How to treat a new airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • New airgun — what do I do?
  • Be careful!
  • Lube it?
  • CO2
  • Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP)
  • Multi-pumps and single strokes
  • Spring piston guns
  • Do I need to clean it?
  • What about disassembly?
  • How should I protect my new airgun?
  • The most important thing

Every so often I am inspired to stop and cover the basics for our readers. Many of you who have been with me off and on over the past 13 years (yes, this blog turned 13 this month) will find the things I am about to say rudimentary, but each of you went through them in your own way. My recent encounter with the Sub-1 crossbow made it clear to me what it’s like to have something about which you know very little. And, as I was in the midst of my discoveries, reader Johncpen asked this.

“When lubing the bolt of a PCP like a Benjamin Maximus would you use silicone oil on the O-ring and Remington oil behind that or just silicone oil on the whole thing?” read more

Using air pistols for defense training

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • Why the pseudonym?
  • Defense shooting
  • The ideal airgun
  • The training
  • Action targets
  • Holster?
  • Evolution
  • Suggestions

Why the pseudonym?

Some new readers may wonder why I still write as B.B. Pelletier, even though I put my real name above. Well, it goes back to the 1990s, when I was writing The Airgun Letter. My style of writing that you all feel comfortable with today was unheard of in 1994, when the newsletter started. At that time the world of airguns was full of cliques that tried to exclude others, or if they couldn’t keep them out they tried to ridicule and discourage them. The internet just gave them a larger overpass to spraypaint. Edith and I didn’t allow that on our Airgun Letter Forum, and it drove these guys nuts! We were hacked and spammed and everything else that’s bad, even though many of our detractors were also living on our forum! read more

SHOT Show 2018: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • Traffic was down
  • Sig
  • Sig magazines
  • Hatsan
  • Crosman
  • Umarex USA
  • ASG
  • Conclusion

Today I will give you the final report on the 2018 SHOT Show. Did I save the best for last? That’s for you to decide.

Traffic was down

Every SHOT Show is larger than the previous one, but not this year. I would estimate attendance was down by 10-20 thousand, based on how open the aisles were on the first 2 days. Some booth holders lamented about it, but all of the ones I talked to who actually write business at the show (take orders for the year) told me business was up. I think the tire-kickers stayed home and only the serious buyers came. Let’s get started!


The new Sig breakbarrel is a landmark air rifle, but it wasn’t all that I saw in their booth. The next exciting thing was the new Sig Super Target single stroke pneumatic target pistol! When I pumped it I was surprised by how easy it is! This may be a target air pistol that many women and older children can cock. That is a landmark achievement, because I had been holding out for the Daisy 499 to be made into a pistol for the same purpose. If a Daisy 747 single stroke pistol takes 20 lbs. to pump, this pistol takes 10 or less. I was told that the velocity is around the 300+ f.p.s. mark, which is in the Daisy ballpark. The trigger is very nice and I can’t wait to test one! read more

Colt Peacemaker BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Colt Peacemaker
The new Colt Peacemaker is also available with ivory grips.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Loading the gun
  • The test
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • H&N Smart Shot lead BBs
  • Plastic BBs
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Why accuracy before velocity?
  • Evaluation so far

It’s been a month since we first looked at the Colt Peacemaker BB revolver with the 7.5-inch barrel. In that time I thought about how I should test it for you. I think today’s test will be different and even exciting, because I am doing accuracy before velocity. I’ll tell you why as we go.

Loading the gun

We know this revolver accepts a 12-gram CO2 cartridge in the oversized grip. The grip is that of a Colt 1860 Army cap and ball revolver instead of a Single Action Army cartridge revolver, and is about one half-inch longer. It looks right on the gun, though, and feels fine. The wrench for the CO2 piercing pin is permanently attached in the left grip panel so it’s always at hand and installing the first cartridge went quick and easy. read more

ASG X9 Classic BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASG X9 Classic
ASG X9 Classic.

This report covers:

  • Strange things
  • Patterned after the M9
  • BB pistol
  • Action
  • Power
  • Not from Pyramyd Air
  • Summary

Strange things

Today I begin looking at the X9 Classic BB pistol from ASG. This CO2-powered pistol is unique in many ways. First, it was shipped with a box of plastic BBs that are called rubber on the box lid. Yes, this is a real steel BB pistol in every sense of the word, but it evolved from airsoft, and in this case it may not have left airsoft behind.

X9 Classic BBs
These are the first BB-sized airsoft balls I have seen. That’s a real steel BB and two 6mm airsoft BBs for comparison.

The next strange thing I noticed was a warning sticker on the bottom of the magazine that tells you to release the CO2 when you are finished shooting. The warning says this is to protect the o-ring seals, but I’ve not seen an o-ring that could not withstand constant pressurization. It will make the gun safer, though. They obviously mean this, so I will take them at their word — making this the first CO2 gun I’ve ever depressurized after shooting. read more

Apache-Fire-Ball-Texan: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This is the completion of our guest blog on the Apache multi-pump air rifle. Today Benji-don shares his experiences with the performance of the rifle, after it was made operable.

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

Apache-Fire-Ball-Texan: Part 2

by Benji-don
Apache-Fire-Ball-Texan multi-pump pneumatic air rifle.

Apache Fire Ball Texan
Apache-Fire-Ball-Texan multi-pump pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Trigger pull
  • Pumping
  • Loudness
  • Test for velocity and energy
  • Number 4 buckshot velocity
  • Daisy BBs velocity
  • Accuracy tests
  • Accuracy with BBs
  • Buckshot
  • Accuracy with BBs
  • Measuring #4 buckshot
  • Accuracy with airsoft BBs
  • Accuracy with .25 caliber pellets
  • Conclusions
  • From B.B.

Trigger Pull

I measured the trigger pull with a fish-weighing spring scale. It was 1 lb. 1 oz. It is one-stage with a long and creepy release. As much as I have shot the Apache, I still do not know when it will fire. That really requires holding on the target while squeezing the trigger. read more

Paper Shooters Zombie Slayer Kit: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Paper Shooter Zombie Slayer
Paper Shooter Zombie Slayer.

This report covers:

  • Plastic parts and steel screws
  • American Airgunner
  • Building the second gun
  • Paper construction
  • Velocity
  • Velocity dry
  • Velocity wet
  • Bullet deformation

It’s been over 2 months since I wrote about the Paper Shooters Zombie Slayer Kit, but I have been doing things with it. Today you learn the back story about my kit and what I’ve learned. Take the time to review Part 1 before reading today’s report, because a lot will be explained today. I’ll begin with plastic parts and steel screws.

Plastic parts and steel screws

In case it hasn’t dawned on you yet, steel screws go into plastic parts in just about any way they want to, and they don’t signal when they are all the way in. It’s real easy to mess up a kit like this one, if you are too ham-fisted with the screwdriver. I mentioned that in Part 1, and now I am reinforcing it. If you want to build this kit successfully, you’d better develop a safecracker’s touch! read more