Revitalizing a Benjamin 392: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R9

Part 1

Benjamin 392
Benjamin 392 multi-pump pneumatic.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The rebuild
  • The test
  • Test 1
  • Analysis of test 1
  • Test 2
  • Analysis of test 2
  • Test 3
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Analysis of test 3
  • Next

Today we look at the Benjamin 392 that has been resealed. The first report was done on the gun as it came from the pawn shop. All I did was oil the pump head with ATF Sealant and then test the gun. It’s been a long time since Part 1, so you may want to read it again. In the last test I said this was the fastest 392 I have ever tested.

The rifle responded well to ATF Sealant. I will run those number with today’s test figures for comparison.

The rebuild

I sent the gun to reader Jeff Cloud for a rebuild. He is the guy who rebuilt my Sheridan Blue Streak a couple years ago. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Remove the stock
  • Anti-beartrap
  • The piston and sliding compression chamber
  • Removing the mainspring
  • Removing the anti-beartrap device
  • Compression chamber and piston out
  • Cleaning
  • Assembly
  • The trigger
  • Lubrication
  • Does it work?
  • Next
  • Summary

Today I take the Chinese B3 underlever rifle apart and we see inside. This will be a good one.

Remove the stock

The first step is to remove the stock. That’s two forearm screws and one in the triggerguard. Once out, I could see this rifle is very rusty. It’s so rusty that it will take many hours to clean. I don’t have that kind of time so I’m going to clean only what needs to be cleaned.

B3 action
With the action out of the stock you can see rust everywhere! Notice the flat bar in front of the trigger housing. That’s the anti-beartrap. read more


The world’s best airgun doesn’t exist…

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The start
  • The deal
  • The challenge
  • It is achievable
  • The Marauder
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Bronco
  • The world’s best air rifle
  • Synthetic stock
  • The deal
  • History?

…but it has in the past. Or parts of it have existed. They are very rare today, but at one time there were many airguns that were 80 percent of the way to being great.

The start

This report started this past Wednesday in an archery store. Next week I will mention why I was in the store, but here’s what happened. The older man behind the counter, after learning what I did for a living, asked me what would be a good airgun for him to get. I stood there like a deer in the headlights, running through a half-century of experience and trying to boil it down to one sentence, when he added, “…and be able to take out a squirrel once in awhile.” read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Firing behavior
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Trigger
  • Summary

This is accuracy day! Today we will learn how accurate my new/old Chinese B3 underlever spring-piston air rifle is. This is the rifle with the replaced breech seal that we learned in Part 3 is such an easy fix. Today we see whether it matters.

The test

I shot at 10 meters off a sandbag rest. I used the classic artillery hold with the off hand next to the front of the triggerguard and rested on the sandbag.

I resolved to shoot just 5 shots, unless the pellet looked like it might group. If it did I would go to 10 shots.

RWS Superdomes

First up was the RWS Superdome. The first shot hit the target at the lower edge of the bull, but shot two hit above the 10-ring. I shot the next three shots and then looked at the group and decided this is not the right pellet for this rifle. The 5-shot group later measured 1.37-inches between centers. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

  • The washers
  • Installing the washer
  • Velocity
  • RWS Hobby
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation
  • Next

Today we find out how the makeshift faucet washer fix does fixing the B3 breech seal. Before I get on with the test, here’s a word about the piston seal.

The older B3s often have leather piston seals, but as the years passed the Chinese started putting synthetic piston seals in them. From what I have learned, you have to look at yours to be sure, because owners can replace the leather with synthetic.

Given a choice, I would choose leather, just because in a rifle of this power leather should last a long time, and as we know, the Chinese synthetics are not that reliable. I can’t see any advantage for power with either material. Now let’s test the gun and see what happened. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1

A history of airguns

  • Condition
  • Velocity test
  • Hobbys
  • What would you do?
  • Seal crumbles
  • Beartrap!
  • Safety first
  • Next time

Here we go! Today is the day we find out the health of that rusty old B3 underlever I found in a local pawn shop several weeks ago.

Condition

I’ll start with a description of the condition of the rifle. It’s rusty all over and looks like every Chinese B3 I ever saw. When the rifle is cocked and the sliding compression chamber is pulled back, you can see the breech seal. On this rifle, it looks bad, actually destroyed. So the velocity testing that we’re doing today will be very interesting.

B3 breech seal
The breech seal is toast!

B3-1 breech seal
This is what a B3 breech seal should look like. read more


Old versus new

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

  • Wait
  • Old airguns
  • Pistols?
  • Broomhandle Mauser M712
  • Lookalikes
  • Get it?
  • The moral

Are old airguns better than new ones? “Yes!” says the guy who likes them for their wood and steel. He doesn’t want any plastic on his guns. It bothers him that the firearm handguns of today are made from as much plastic as steel.

Wait

Hold on, brother! That plastic Glock that offends you so much has been test-fired 30,000 shots without a major failure. The 1911 you love so dearly was praised in 1910 for shooting 6,000 shots  with the same results. The Glock endured 5 times the punishment as your venerable Browning design.

The Glock is also built for ease of manufacture. It’s so simple that a guy can build one in his workshop, starting with a plastic frame that’s 80 percent finished. All it takes is a file, a drill and some time. Oh, and a lot of money! When it’s finished he will have about as much tied up as if he had bought the gun over the counter. But it is possible. read more