Pellet calibers — why .20?: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

diabolo pellet
The diabolo pellet exists in four smallbore calibers.

This report covers:

  • History
  • Back to Sheridan
  • Early success — sort of
  • Why .20 caliber?
  • The next speedbump
  • Boom
  • Bust
  • Summary

Today we take a look at the .20 caliber that is also popularly labeled as 5 mm. There were Quackenbush airguns in the late 19th century that were made in .21 caliber and Crosman made some gallery airguns in .205 caliber, but the true .20 caliber didn’t exist until it was created by Sheridan in 1947.

History

According to Ronald Elbe’s book, Know Your Sheridan Rifles and Pistols, 2nd edition, copyright 2018 by Ronald E. Elbe, the 5mm pellet (and airgun) existed in Europe prior to the launch of the Sheridan model A (the Supergrade) in 1947. This is the first time I have been aware of that fact. To the best of my knowledge, only the Zimmerstutzen parlor rifle existed as a 5mm, and that size was at the high caliber range of the rifle. It would be a new ball size 21 or an old ball size 17. But a zimmerstutzen is a firearm by the strictest definition, so I need to find out more about the existence of these pre-Sheridan 5 mm airguns. read more


AirForce Texan: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Texan
AirForce Texan big bore.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Mr. Hollowpoint
  • The test
  • Two important things
  • Bullet seating
  • Shot count
  • 255-grain bullet target 2
  • 300-grain bullet group 1
  • 300-grain group 2
  • 350-grain bullet
  • 365-grain bullet 
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I finally report on my AirForce Texan .458 that we looked at last in September. Some reader asked me to try different commercial bullets in my rifle, and while I was talking to Ton Jones at AirForce he said they really like the bullets Mr. Hollowpoint, Robert Vogel, makes. So I contacted him and ordered a selection of bullets to test.

Mr. Hollowpoint

Robert was on a hog hunt when I contacted him, but when he returned we communicated and he generously sent me a sampling of some of his .45 caliber bullets. I asked for them to be sized .459, because my Texan’s bore is .458. He said he understood and would try his best to satisfy my needs. read more


Pellet calibers — why .177?: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

diabolo pellet
The diabolo pellet exists in four smallbore calibers.

This report covers:

  • Smallbore calibers
  • Before diabolo pellets
  • Birth of the diabolo
  • Ideal for plinking
  • Highest velocity
  • Velocity wars
  • Target shooting
  • Field target
  • Summary

Sunday while I was walking through the hall in my church a man stopped me and said, “You know a lot about airsoft? You’re the grandfather of airsoft?” He had been talking to our youth pastor who works part-time at AirForce Airguns and he was trying to remember what he’d just heard.

Most readers can guess my response, but once we were on the subject of airGUNS, he said he needed a good air rifle — something to use on pests. He told me that he was aware such guns cost as much as $100 or even $125, and what would I recommend?

What I would recommend is an education, but of course I didn’t say that. We have all been where he is now and we had to learn from someone! That started me thinking about the basics. A couple weeks ago I completed the series on How to mount a scope. There were plenty of basics in that series, but we also went into some of the more advanced principals. I thought that would be a good approach to use for pellets, as well. Let’s see where this goes! read more


What do YOU want?: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • In a handgun
  • A target BB pistol
  • What it’s for
  • A hunting handgun
  • Any holes?
  • Get real!
  • Over to you
  • Summary

This is a continuation of your opportunity to affect the world of airguns. I told you last time that airgun manufacturers all over the world read this blog daily. Of course there are exceptions to that from time to time. Sometimes a personnel change at a company diverts the attention of its people to other things and we loose them for awhile, but then someone in the company has a question about something airgun-related and they go online to research it. That usually brings them to this blog and they bring the others in their company back with them.

In a handgun

What do you want to see in an air handgun? It can be anything from a simple BB gun to a big bore airgun capable of taking big game. I’ll get you started and then turn the discussion over to you. read more


Reloading firearm cartridges: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Design an Airgun
  • Godfather’s Gold Gun giveaway
  • Reload a cartridge
  • Types of cartridges
  • Rimmed and rimless cartridges
  • Resize and deprime
  • Bell the case mouth
  • Prime each case
  • Put powder in the case
  • Powder measure
  • Insert the bullet
  • Summary

Design an Airgun

Just a reminder — the Design an Airgun contest ends on this Friday, October 16. The winner will be the niftiest design that most people can build. The winner will receive the American Zimmerstutzen as a prize. I have to limit the contest to residents of the United States because of international shipping laws but readers from other countries are welcome to show us their designs.

American Zimmerstutzen
The winner of the Design an Airgun contest will win the American Zimmerstutzen.

Godfather’s Gold Gun giveaway

Don’t forget that some lucky U.S. reader this month will also be drawn to receive the Godfather’s Gold Gun — an Ataman AP16 pistol designed by B.B. Pelletier. So, there is a lot going on this month! read more


The Benjamin Cayden: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. PelletierBenjamin Cayden
Benjamin Cayden sidelever repeater.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

Power adjustment — duh!
Today’s test
Shot count
The trigger
Test 2
H&N Baracuda
H&N Slug HP
Eun Jin domes
CCI Quiet discharge sound
Summary

I told you at the end of Part 2 that this report would be a continuation of the velocity test. The Benjamin Cayden has such good use of air and the power is adjustable, so more needs to be done to fully understand it. We have a lot to do so let’s get started.

Power adjustment — duh!

I told you about my trouble with the power adjustment knob. Well, in the manual it says to turn that knob to adjust power. There is no mention of the scale on the left side of the receiver that the knob is connected to, or the screw slot in its middle, nor is there any picture of it. I knew it was there of course, and also that it connects to the knob. But— DUH! read more


The Benjamin Cayden: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin Cayden
Benjamin Cayden sidelever repeater.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Adjusting the power
  • DonnyFL Ronin silencer
  • Velocity on high power
  • Velocity on medium power
  • Velocity on low power
  • The trigger
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Shot count
  • Summary

This was a fun test because the Benjamin Cayden gives me lots of things to do. Some, like adjustable power, are things I have dealt with in the past and I’ve figured out good ways to handle them. Others, like the sound of the unmoderated gun firing, are not things I usually deal with. And I have a new sound meter to collect data on that! Let’s get right into the test.

The test

Since the Cayden has adjustable power I thought I would test it with a single pellet and the setting on high, medium and low. That would give us a good idea about the power range as well as the stability at all power ranges. I will also keep track of the reservoir pressure and try to get a shot count, though. as we go. read more