The airgun market in 2018

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Serious airgunner
  • The market has exploded
  • No more cheap
  • The gun crisis
  • Where were airguns?
  • Firearm crossover
  • Airguns — cheap???
  • Is that all there is?
  • The future
  • The point?
  • Summary

When I started writing about airguns in 1994 there weren’t but about 5,000 to 15,000 serious airgunners in the U.S. No one knew for sure how many there were because there was very little data about this market. There may be disagreement on just how many there were but everyone agrees that the American airgun market was small.

Serious airgunner

Let me define what I mean by “serious airgunner,” because that has a bearing on what I’m saying. Airguns are very prevalent in the United States. I would estimate that millions of homes have at least one airgun, but that ranges from the family who just inherited their parents’ home and are unaware of the old Benjamin that’s stuck up in the rafters of the garage to homes like mine, where the number of airguns is greater than 50. There are a huge number of families with airguns, but most of those people cannot be considered serious shooters. My definition of a serious airgunner is someone who owns and shoots an airgun at least once each month. My experience is that if they do shoot an airgun that often, they shoot it a lot more than that! read more


Crosman 102 multi-pump pneumatic repeater: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 102
Crosman’s 102 is a .22 caliber multi-pump repeater.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Clearing the jam
  • The jam
  • Assembly
  • Accuracy
  • Re-sighting
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Crosman wadcutters
  • 10-shots
  • Discussion
  • Summary

You may recall that the Crosman 102 jammed last time I tested it and I had to clear it before continuing. I did that and today we will shoot it at 25 yards. First, let’s clear the jam.

Clearing the jam

Crosman designed the 102 to be easy to clear, but without a manual I had to discover it for myself. The rear peep sight slides to either side, revealing a hole through which many jammed pellets can be removed.

Crosman 102 jam hole
Pull the bolt back and rod the pellet out of the breech. It will fall out this hole.

My jam was more involved, though, and I had to partially disassemble the action to clear it. The top receiver cover is held on by one shoulder bolt that has a large thumbscrew head. Remove it and the top cover slides back and off the receiver. The peep sight is attached to the cover by a rivet and comes off with the cover. read more


Gamo Compact vs IZH 46: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • Single Stroke Pneumatics
  • Velocity
  • RWS R10
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Accuracy test
  • RWS R10
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Chinese match wadcutters
  • Summary

Today is a mistake. Reader RidgeRunner asked me if I intended to finish this report from 2008. I looked at his link to Part 5 and, sure enough, it looked like I had intended to. I even promised a reader back then that I would. Well, WordPress software is at fault this time, because I did not find a later report when I entered it in the search box at the top of this page, but when I went to publish this report number 6 I found that one had already been published — on July 22, 2008. But that was after I did the complete test plus some extra things, so I’m going to finish it again. It’s actually a good report. And by the way, I just entered the title in the search box again and this time it came up. Of course it did! read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASP20
Sig Sauer’s new ASP20 gas spring breakbarrel air rifle breaks ground in many areas! The safety is on both sides of the stock. Photo provided by Sig Sauer.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Update
  • Sig Super Target pistol
  • Sig X-Five
  • M17
  • It’s over!
  • Dinner
  • Summary

Update

When we closed Part 3 I said I was done with the ASP20 until the test, but I overlooked a couple very important things. Several of you asked me where the safety is and it is shown in the pictures several times. It’s on the right side of the stock. And also on the left side! Yes, the ASP 20 is 100 percent ambidextrous. The safety is manual and slides forward and back.

I also forgot to mention that the rifle comes with a Picatinney rail welded on top, so scope mounting will be a breeze. This type of scope base is replacing the 11mm dovetail rail and most new spring guns have one. 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


Punting with the FWB 124

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB 124
Feinwerkbau 124.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The ship hit the sand!
  • Plan B
  • Plan C
  • Open sights
  • Getting ahead of myself
  • The test
  • RWS Superpoints
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS R10
  • What’s up with the lone “flyer”?
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm head
  • Discussion
  • The FWB 124
  • So what?
  • The big deal
  • Summary

Well, well. Sometimes the bear eats you! Today is one such day. I returned from my Sig trip last Thursday and wrote this report on Friday and Saturday. Everything that could go wrong did, giving me a lot to tell you about. And I have some exciting news to share today, as well.

The ship hit the sand!

I was going to test the Crosman 105 Target pistol for you today, but I couldn’t get it to hit the paper. Whoever guessed that it would shoot way low was spot-on. It shoots so low that I can’t get it up on paper, even using aim-off tricks (aiming at one thing to hit another). I have to work on the pistol before I can test it again. read more


Cool stuff

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The mostest-fastest pellet gun!/li>
  • The mostest-powerfulest
  • How to generate power
  • The deal
  • What does this mean?
  • Summary

I am at Sig today, so I won’t be able to comment as much as usual. I have airguns to test, but today I thought I would do something different. Many of our readers have gotten into modifying their guns, so I will address that today. What works, what “works” and what doesn’t.

The mostest-fastest pellet gun!

There are those who want to see just how fast a pellet can be propelled, so they put together a science experiment that uses helium as the propellant gas. They looked on the periodic table and discovered that helium is the gas with the smallest atom that is safe. Hydrogen atoms are smaller, but they remember the Hindenberg disaster. read more