Silencers — an update

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What does a firearms silencer sound like?
  • What does a silencer do?
  • Making the gasses work against themselves
  • Silencers and the law
  • What you think doesn’t matter
  • The problem
  • Code talkers
  • So — are airgun silencers legal?
  • How quiet?
  • Times are a-changin’
  • Summary

I just heard from someone who went through the legal process of registering a firearm silencer. He waited 11 months for the entire process to go through, and he very recently picked up his $600 silencer.

But — it isn’t silent!

No, It wouldn’t be. Firearm silencers are not silent, nor do they sound like a small airgun, as Hollywood often portrays them. But before you rag on the filmmakers, consider this. You can watch a video of an atomic bomb detonating, where the “sound” is so “loud” that it’s actually a solid visible wave of supercompressed air that shatters buildings. Yet you can watch it in comfort. That’s because your speakers cannot reproduce real sounds that loud — I don’t care how much you spend on them! In the real world people flinch violently when a firearm is fired, unless they are prepared for it. On the big screen it’s no more annoying than a rooster crowing. read more


The “Dark Side” has never been brighter!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The “Dark Side”
  • Early problems
  • Modern precharged airguns
  • Benjamin Discovery
  • Slow conversion
  • The $100 PCP
  • Other changes in the PCP world
  • Fill coupling standardization
  • Price point PCP
  • It’s no longer the “Dark Side”

I know I said there are lots of backlogged tests, but sometimes I just have to write a report like this. Today is such a day.

The “Dark Side”

Back in the late 1990s, when precharged pneumatics were still relatively unknown to airgunners, someone took license from the movie series “Star Wars” and coined the phrase the“Dark Side” to represent involvement with PCPs. At the time most airgunners identified with spring-piston guns and regarded precharged pneumatics as odd, different and too difficult to understand. And at the time it looked as if that would be the case indefinitely.

Early problems

Precharged pneumatics are not a new technology. In fact, they are the oldest type of airguns, dating back to sometime in the 16th century! Those guns, however, were made by hand and were frighteningly expensive. They existed at a time when repeating firearms were also the stuff of dreams, so in 1780 it was the airgun and not the firearm that became the first successful repeater. There had been repeating firearms before then, but they tended to explode because of the dangers of loose gunpowder, which at that time meant black powder. Indeed Bartolemeo Girardoni’s son was killed when a repeating firearm he was experimenting with blew his arm off! Incidentally, the last name is spelled GiraRdoni — not GiraNdoni! Dr. Beeman has met with the Girardoni family and confirmed this. Unfortunately, the long article on the Beeman webpage still shows the old spelling. read more


I don’t think about the money anymore

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Missed it
  • Been there, done that — got the tee shirt, wore it out
  • Joltin’ Joe
  • The savings?
  • Buy what you need
  • The point
  • My situation
  • Bottom line

Missed it

There was a man who served in the American Army, and from the beginning of 1974 until almost 1978 he was stationed in Germany. Toward the end of his time there, let’s call it sometime in the last year, he had the opportunity to purchase a new Mercedes Benz 300D sedan for $10,300. He had the money to finance the purchase, but at the last moment he thought to himself, what am I doing? I’m about to pay ten thousand dollars for a car! When I left San Jose, California three years ago, I could have bought any number of nice condominiums for $14,000, and in El Paso, Texas, where I last served, I could have bought a three-bedroom house for $12,000. What am I doing, paying this much for a car? read more


Air Venturi Nomad II air compressor: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Nomad II air compressor
Air Venturi Nomad II air compressor.

This report covers:

  • AirForce Extra Air Tank
  • Time test
  • Two tests
  • Test one
  • Filling the tank
  • Dumped the air
  • Fill from a car battery
  • Thank you — battery makers
  • Second fill
  • Summary

Today I will test the Air Venturi Nomad II air compressor for you. In Part 1 I filled a BSA R10 Black Wrap rifle from empty in about 8 minutes. That gun takes a 232 bar fill, which is 3,365 psi. Today I will do something different.

AirForce Extra Air Tank

I chose an AirForce Extra Air Tank as my test tank for today’s work. The current tanks on AirForce airguns do not have to be taken off the guns to be filled, but the older-style tanks did. I’m doing this for the convenience of not needing to find a place to rest a whole airgun.

I used the tank from my 2001 AirForce TalonSS. That tank had been holding 3,000 psi for at least the past 5 years and was still completely full, so I had to attach an old-style refill adaptor to exhaust all the air. To do that I put three pennies into the adaptor before attaching the tank. The pennies push the valve cap down as the tank and adaptor are screwed together, to release the air in the same way the gun’s striker does it, only the pennies hold the valve open as long as you desire. In this case it was until the tank was empty. read more


How the Price-Point PCP (PPP) has changed the face of the airgun world

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gauntlet
Umarex’s Gauntlet was the first PPP to be announced, but several others beat it to the marketplace.

This report covers:

  • Gauntlet dropped!
  • For Hank
  • For the manufacturers
  • What is a PPP?
  • Cost
  • Required features
  • Nice features to have
  • Caliber
  • ALL BOATS ARE FLOATED!
  • Compressors
  • Other PCPs
  • Sig
  • AirForce Airguns
  • On and on
  • Summary

Gauntlet dropped!

When Umarex announced the new Gauntlet air rifle the savvy airgunning world was stunned. A precharged pneumatic (PCP) that was a repeater, was shrouded with an active silencer, had an adjustable trigger and stock, was accurate and came with a regulator — all for less than $300. They named it appropriately, because it was a huge gauntlet to drop on the airgun community. I’m sure this is exactly what Umarex had in mind, though the particulars of how it has and still is unfolding I’m sure have been as much of a surprise to them as they have been to others. read more


2018 Pyramyd Air Cup: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Field Target meeting
A record 104 shooters receive their orientation briefing from Tyler Patner on the first day of the field target match.

This report covers:

  • The vendors – H&N
  • The vendors – Leapers
  • Public range
  • Gauntlet and Fortitude
  • Sig ASP20
  • More interesting airguns to come
  • Field target
  • Pistol match cancelled
  • World-class airguns
  • More to come

The Pyramyd Air Cup is a public event that combines airgun competitions, a public range, a chance to meet many of the vendors who make the airguns and accessories you read about and, most importantly, a chance to shoot airguns you have seen and heard about but could never try. A day at this event is worth a year of reading on the internet — this blog included.

The Cup was held at the Tusco Rifle Club in Midvale, Ohio, which is about midway between Cleveland and Columbus. It’s convenient to people living in a 500-mile radius, and this year I saw people from all over the U.S., including Florida, California and Hawaii. People had come from Canada and the UK, as well. The H&N general manager, Florian Schwartz, was there, and Tobias Schmidt represented Diana. Both men had come from Germany to be there. read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASP20
Sig Sauer’s new ASP20 gas spring breakbarrel air rifle breaks ground in many areas!

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Why a gas spring?
  • Trigger
  • Why a breakbarrel?
  • Does the ASP20 have an internal shock absorber?
  • On with the build
  • Final assembly — the stock
  • The barrel
  • Off to the range
  • Shooting sensation
  • Cocking effort
  • Accuracy
  • Whisky 3 ASP 4-12X44 scope
  • Summary

Boy, is there a LOT of interest in this new rifle! You guys are asking a lot of very good questions about the new ASP20 breakbarrel rifle, as you should. I will begin by addressing some of the most prominent ones.

Why a gas spring?

Some call it a gas piston, others say gas ram, but we are all referring to the gas spring (the industry term for a spring that uses compressed gas in place of a coiled steel spring to do its job). Gas springs replace coiled steel mainsprings in spring-piston airguns. They are more modern and easier to make and obtain, they don’t take a set if left compressed, they are less susceptible to cold and, if the design is right, they are smoother operating. They also eliminate several parts that rattle and they remove some weight from the powerplant. read more