Action targets throughout history

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Bleed, break or fall
  • History
  • Live animals
  • Ad Topperwein
  • Shooting was king!
  • End of the Civil War
  • Early mechanical target
  • Quackenbush bell and mechanical targets
  • Targets 2, 3 and 4
  • Target 3
  • Target 4
  • Quackenbush targets 5 and 6
  • Targets 7 and 8
  • One more galley target
  • Summary

Bleed, break or fall

“Airgun targets have to bleed, break or fall.” said Leigh Wilcox of the now-defunct Airgun Express, many years ago. Leigh was one of many who felt that punching paper was like watching paint dry. A lot of you readers feel the same, as we have seen in this blog recently. Today’s report was requested by reader GunFun1, but I know that a lot of you are looking forward to it.

History

I will get back to airgun targets in a bit, but first let’s travel back in time to see where action targets began. For that we need to go to Europe around the year 1300, when shooting events lasted for many days and took on a carnival atmosphere. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS R10 pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I conduct the 25-yard accuracy test of the Chinese B3 underlever air rifle. Before shooting this particular B3 I had never shot any Chinese sporting spring rifle at this distance and I didn’t think there were any that could manage it.

The test

I read Part 6 to learn which pellets did best in the rifle. All shooting was off a rest, using the artillery hold. And I have to use the open sights on the rifle, as there is no easy way to mount a scope. Later B3s do have dovetails for scopes but this early one does not. read more


Must an airgun use air?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Green gas/red gas
  • Catapult guns
  • Caps!
  • Not the end!
  • Ulterior motive

Simple enough question, no? Maybe you get confused by certain air-powered tools or perhaps a slang reference to a paint sprayer, but most folks know exactly what you mean when you say airgun.

Think so? Think again.

The term airgun isn’t found in most dictionaries, yet. You’ll find that your spell-checker wants you to write it as two words, but that’s not what today’s blog is about. I really want to know if you know all that is encompassed by the term airgun.

Some of you have already stopped reading to formulate an official-sounding definition that goes something like this: An airgun is any smoothbore or rifled gun that propels a projectile by means of compressed air. As you stand back to admire your work, it suddenly dawns on you that your definition doesn’t encompass any of the guns that are powered by CO2. Don’t you hate it when that happens? read more


Daisy Targeteer shooting gallery: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Why we collect
  • Today
  • .12 caliber
  • The box
  • Lead BBs?
  • Fragile
  • Art deco
  • Summary

Why we collect

Sometimes we collect something because of its performance. A Whiscombe recoilless rifle that’s powerful and accurate might be an example of this. Other times we collect something because of the way it is made — the craftsmanship. The Sheridan Supergrade comes to mind.

And other times we collect something for other reasons. My M1 Carbine is an example of this. I like it for three important reasons:

1. It is so well made and so well designed. It weighs 5 lbs. — a rifle weight that has never been equalled in a rifle as powerful, to the best of my knowledge. And this rifle was designed in 18 months, back in the late 1930s! read more


Build a good airgun library

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Diana 23 refinish project
  • What next?
  • An Airgunner’s library
  • Blue Book
  • Others?
  • Are there more?

Diana 23 refinish project

Yesterday, reader Errol asked me this.

“Hi B.B.
What happened to the Diana 23 that you were going to fit a new barrel, blue & tune up some time ago. Just happened to remember Sir.”Errol

He is referring to the Diana 23 I was refinishing for you. That came at the end of a performance test of the rifle where I even tested it out at 25 yards. It’s pretty accurate, if not very powerful.

Part 5 was published on July 2, 2015. For the next two weeks I worked on sanding down the metal even better than you see in Part 5. Then, on July 14, my wife Edith went into the hospital, and she passed away on July 26. I had other things on my mind for the next several months. When I looked at the project again I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to buff it as aggressively as I had once thought, or just blue it the way it was. read more


The Stiga Zenit – an EM-GE Zenit clone: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

Today’s report is the completion of a guest blog from reader Paul that began last Friday. He is telling us about his Stiga Zenit — an airgun not many have heard of.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

This report covers:

  • Firing behavior
  • Power
  • Accuracy
  • Wrapping it up

Okay, Paul, finish what you started.

On Friday I showed you the basic construction of my Swedish Stiga Zenit pistol that closely copies the EM GE Zenit made in Germany. Today we will look at its performance.

When the cocking lever is first pulled upwards the spring loaded barrel will also tilt up about 15 degrees; this makes it simple to inspect or clean the barrel from the rear and also serves as a sort of “safe mode”. Swinging the lever through its arc completes the cocking action and requires about fifteen pounds of effort. read more


When you need it…

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • US Army pocketknife
  • Supergrade safety installation tools
  • Crosman Pellgunoil
  • Pelican light
  • Midnight Manager
  • ATF Stop Leak
  • Scragging tool
  • Over to you

Before we begin I want to wish all of the United States a happy Memorial Day. This is the day in which we remember all those who have died for our country. I remember Grady Triplett, who died in Viet Nam far too soon. We were cadets together at San Jose State College in the 1960s. I have visited his name at the Viet Nam memorial several times, and I always think of the sacrifice he made.

Today’s report will be very different. I have wanted to do it for years and just never found the right way, but today I believe that I have. I am going to share with you a few (and I mean a very few) of the tools I use all the time. Then I want you to share with us those special tools you use and why they are so special. Once you read the report, I think you’ll get the idea. read more