The importance of bullet-to-barrel alignment and fit: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Balls
  • Patched balls
  • Results of patching
  • Conical lead bullets
  • Pellet head
  • An experiment
  • Pellet skirt
  • Summary

Before I begin, I am enroute today to the Sig factory, here in America. They are bringing in a number of writers to show us their airguns and see their factory. I will take lots of pictures and tell you all about it when I return.

But I will not be able to attend to the blog the way that I normally do. I ask those readers who have been here awhile to help the new readers, just like you always do. I will be back in my office in Texas on Friday and things will hopefully return to normal.

Today I will finish the discussion of bullet-to-barrel fit and alignment. I will begin with bullets and then transition to pellets. read more


The TexanSS: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

TexanSS
TexanSS big bore air rifle from AirForce.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • First comments
  • Bubble Leveler
  • Collar Buttons are a no-go at 100 yards
  • 210 SWC is still a great bullet
  • Balle-Blondeau-talk
  • Balle-patent
  • Balle Blondeau
  • 355-grain flat point dogbone
  • Ton shoots at 100 yards
  • One more test

I had the Umarex Gauntlet out to shoot at 50 yards last week but the day was just too windy. Once I got it sighted-in for 50 yards the wind picked up and blew the pellets all around. I wanted this test to be a good one between the magazine and the single-shot tray, and it wasn’t going to happed this day. So I brought out the TexanSS that has no difficulty shooting in the wind.

Today I will show you how the AirForce TexanSS big bore performs at 100 yards. I have spent several days at the range to get today’s results. That’s why it took me so long. read more


The TexanSS: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

TexanSS
TexanSS big bore air rifle from AirForce.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Sight-in
  • The test
  • Tin Starr 210-grain semiwadcutter
  • Tin Starr 310 grain flat point
  • Hunter’s Supply 250-grain hollowpoint
  • Something different
  • Hollow base first
  • Hollowpoint first
  • Last bullet — the flying dumbbell
  • What’s next?
  • Summary

Today I will shoot the AirForce TexanSS at 50 yards for accuracy. In Part 3 we learned about the bullet tuner on the left side of the rifle. We saw that the .45 caliber Texan SS has a narrower range of adjustment than the .45 Texan I tested for you several years ago. The results of that test set us up for today’s accuracy test.

Sight-in

I scoped the rifle with the 4-16X56 UTG Bubble Leveler scope. The scope sits high above the bore line of the rifle, but the bubble level inside guarantees the rifle will not be canted when it fires. read more


Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Hercules 45
Hatsan Hercules QE .45 caliber big bore rifle.

This report covers:

  • Big gun!
  • Description
  • .45 bullets and “pellets”
  • 1000 cc reservoir capacity
  • Onboard air gauge
  • 250 bar fill
  • Adjustable stock
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Barrel
  • Sights
  • I shot the Hercules
  • Sound
  • Evaluation

Big gun!

I’m starting a report on the Hatsan Hercules QE .45 big bore air rifle. First let me observe that this rifle is BIG. And I mean big in all ways. It’s 48.4 inches long and weighs 13 pounds before a scope is attached. I was surprised by that number, so I put it on a balance beam scale, and the rifle I am testing came to exactly 13 lbs.

The Hercules rifles come in the following calibers: .22, .25, .30, .357 and .45. Some of the specifications like magazine capacity differ by caliber (the .22 magazine holds 14 pellets), but the length and weight remain the same throughout the range. read more


They have the wrong twist rate!: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Then came big bores
  • What am I talking about?
  • Bullets don’t work like pellets
  • Bullet length
  • Why bullet diameters matter
  • Hard cast lead bullets
  • Putting all of this together
  • Last story

Before we begin I have some startling news from Umarex USA. Sales manager, Justin Biddle contacted me and told me the new Hammer big bore is regulated.! I certainly did not know that, because this is huge news. It means that those three shots it gets on a fill can all be at the same power level. I have adjusted the SHOT Show report (Part 6) to reflect this new information. And by a strange coincidence, this dovetails nicely with today’s report.

For many years I have written about black powder firearms in this blog, and I have included things like rifling twist rates in those articles. And for years people have written me comments that they appreciate a look at something different, but they would never consider shooting black powder arms or even modern firearms, themselves. read more


2017 SHOT Show: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

  • Umarex USA
  • The Hammer
  • .50 caliber
  • Repeater
  • 4500 psi
  • Absolute zero
  • Second Zero
  • MP 40 BB gun
  • Umarex Forge
  • Trevox and Strike Point
  • Optical Dynamics flashlights
  • Still not finished

Before we begin I want to tell you about a blog series I will start this week. I have the new Air Venturi air compressor on hand and I used it for the first time yesterday. It works so well that I’m jumping the line to get the report started. You can expect to start reading about it this week.

The 2017 SHOT Show was the biggest show I have ever experienced for airguns. Some manufacturers like Crosman and Umarex brought out many new gun models and related products that are really different. Others brought out only one of two items, like the Gamo Swarm Maxim, but they are so significantly different that they deserve to be recognized. My work is cut out for me this year! read more


2017 SHOT Show: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

  • Air Venturi
  • Lil Duke
  • New Air Bolts
  • Hatsan
  • Semiautomatics
  • Big Bore Carnivore
  • Sun Optics compressor
  • The year of the airgun

Air Venturi

This was the first actual day of the SHOT Show, and the crowd was excited! I stopped at the Air Venturi booth first, so let’s see what’s there.

Lil Duke

First up was the Lil’ Duke BB gun. As you can see, it’s styled after the model 92 Winchester John Wayne carried in a number of his most famous movies, including True Grit. This is the one he fills his hand with.

Lil' Duke
The Lil Duke is bound to become a favorite.

The John Wayne airguns have been quite successful for Air Venturi. They had a second booth upstairs this year where they showed a number of their other John Wayne handguns, including a 1911 that Wayne probably carried in the Sands of Iwo Jima! read more