2017 SHOT Show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • What’s coming
  • Let’s get started
  • MP 40
  • Remington 1875
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Umarex ARX ammo
  • Umarex Hammer
  • Umarex Gauntlet
  • A shrouded Texan?
  • Other new things

Well, it’s that time again. Here I am at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This year will be the biggest one yet for new airguns. And when I say new, I mean really new designs. I’m not interested in a re-skinned gun that’s had other names in the past. There is so much stuff that is really new this year that everything else will get shoved to the rear.

What’s coming

Yesterday I was on the range with Sig and today I am out at Industry Day at the Range. That’s an event that allows gun writers to try out various new products at a gun range. Actually, it’s more than 50 ranges, all lined up, one after another, in a line that’s about a third of a mile long! A few years ago they started putting ranges on the other side of the walkway, for guns that don’t shoot as far — like shotguns and airguns. read more


Wax on — wax off!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Some basic truths
  • What am I saying?
  • What many do wrong
  • Ready, fire, aim!
  • Back to airgunners
  • Use the sights!
  • The end

Homework assignment. You need to watch the movie, “Karate Kid.” The moral of the movie is to slow down, concentrate and focus power! At least that’s what Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel-san.

Another phrase from WWII is, “Straighten up and fly right.” It pretty much means the same thing.

I almost titled this report, “Why I shoot muzzle loaders,” but I thought that would turn off the very people I was reaching out to today.

Some basic truths

1. When shooting lead bullets in a big borte airgun, always size the bullet at least one-thousandth of an inch larger than the bore. This is the principal reason 9mm big bore airguns are not accurate when shot with 9mm bullets (0.356-inches) but tighten right up when shot with 0.357-inch and even 0.358-inch bullets. read more


Some talk about airgun lubrication: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

    • Pneumatics
    • Single-stroke pneumatics
    • Multi-pump pneumatics
    • Other pump gun lubrication
    • Precharged pneumatics
    • Other lubrication needs
    • Lubing pellets
    • Keep the barrel clean
    • PCPs differ from spring-piston guns
    • What lube for your pellets?

    This is a continuation of our discussion about lubricating airguns. Part 1 is basic for spring-piston seals. We don’t need to cover that material again. Today I will look at some different lubrication applications for pneumatics.

    Pneumatics

    Pneumatic airguns are those that use compressed air to propel a pellet or BB. They may compress the air as they are used, such as single-stroke and multi-pump pneumatics do, or they may be guns that use compressed air from a separate source — guns we refer to as pre-charged pneumatics or PCP. I will address all three types, starting with single-stroke pneumatics. read more


2016 Texas Airgun show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Weather
  • Started late?
  • Flash flood of people!
  • What kind of show was it?
  • Some finds
  • The gate

Here we go! The 2016 Texas Airgun Show was the most different airgun show I have ever attended. I will try to tell you why, but as I do, you will learn that I did not see the entire show, so I’ll rely on the comments of others to assist me.

Weather

The weather was perfect! Normally Texas is above 100 degrees at this time in August, but this day was just 91. And the humidity was down, as well. Rain had been predicted earlier in the week, but the sun was out most of the day and I don’t think a drop fell.

Started late?

Every airgun show I have attended, which is over 40 by now, has had the dealers lined up at the door, pressing to get in even before it’s time. This Texas show was not like that. In fact, at 7 a.m., half an hour after the doors were opened for the dealers to set up, there were still only about one-third of the tables filled. I thought something was up. A few people said the show was hard to locate, but that was because they were using Google Maps to find it. If they switched to Map Quest, the directions were perfect. read more


Teach me to shoot: Part 13

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jack will start teaching Jamell, how to shoot a muzzle loading rifle.

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • A fowler?
  • Jamell Fowler
  • A refresher
  • Flintlock basics
  • Description
  • Loading sequence
  • Speaking of ramming
  • Priming sequence
  • Flash in the pan
  • Wet weather
  • Next

DANGER: Today’s topic talks about loading and shooting a black powder firearm. Black powder is explosive, even in the open. Be sure you know what you are doing before using black powder!

I went with Jamell to pick up the custom flintlock she ordered. It was part of a trade for one of her sculptures, and she took pictures of the clay rendering she had made to show to the gun maker. He was thrilled with her work, which will be an 18-inch bronze of a mountain man facing a grizzly bear. Apparently he will owe her some money plus the gun, but I stayed out of their business. read more


Teach me to shoot: Part 11

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jack will start teaching Jamell, how to shoot a muzzle loading rifle.

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • The mountain men
  • Black powder
  • Characteristics of black powder
  • Safety first
  • Possibles bag
  • Charging the rifle — step one
  • Charging the rifle — step two
  • Black powder grain sizes
  • Loading the ball
  • Ramming the ball home
  • Cap the rifle
  • Clean the bore
  • Finishing

Things have certainly taken a turn since I started teaching Jill to shoot. Now I’m teaching her friend, Jamell, how to shoot a muzzleloading rifle, to prepare her for the custom rifle she is having built. At least I thought it was going to be a rifle. Let me stop for a moment and bring you all up to speed on what it is that Jamell wants to do. read more


The influence of shooting galleries

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

  • The 15th century
  • Why?
  • Gallery guns were weak
  • Airguns and galleries
  • Different ammo
  • Repeaters
  • What killed the airgun?
  • Feltman

Shooting galleries have been a major influence in the shooting sports for close to a century and a half, and airguns have had their day in galleries. Reb, our most outspoken reader, once ran a traveling shooting gallery that featured the popular “Shoot out the Red Star” game. I’ll discuss that at the end of the report, but right now I’m going back to the beginning of shooting galleries.

The 15th century

And, who can really say when that was? We know from documents and from tapestries that shooting events were popular in Europe in the 1400s. But those were sporting events that came and went — they weren’t the galleries I am discussing today. The crossbows and guns that were used at those events belonged to the shooters. They were not rented by the gallery to the general public. read more