Johnson Indoor Target Gun: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Johnson Indoor Target Gun
The Johnson Indoor Target Gun is a catapult BB gun that was made in the late 1940s for youth target practice.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Research
  • Cutting trouble
  • Sloppy cutting
  • It worked — sort of
  • What to do?
  • Experiment over?
  • Too much power
  • Summary

Today I will try a different kind of rubber in the Johnson Indoor Target Gun. Several readers who are more knowledgeable than me about slingshots recommended I try Theraband Gold. It is one of the types of elastic that’s favored by catapult users and makers around the world. I watched a You Tube video of the Slingshot Channel titled, The BIGGEST slingshot EVER. The builder uses Theraband Gold to launch a bowling ball into a Mercedes car repeatedly, destroying it. read more


Johnson Indoor Target Gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Johnson Indoor Target Gun
The Johnson Indoor Target Gun is a catapult BB gun that was made in the late 1940s for youth target practice.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • What kind of rubber?
  • Remove the old rubber
  • Measure the old rubber
  • Loops on each end
  • Install the new rubber
  • Ready!
  • Daisy BBs
  • Problems!
  • Got it going
  • Baseline
  • Shortened the rubber
  • Second Daisy test
  • Dust Devils
  • Two lessons
  • Shortened the rubber again
  • Higher velocity
  • Shortened the rubber another time
  • Last test
  • Summary

Today I install a new rubber band in the Johnson and if all goes well, we will see what velocity it gives. In case you forgot, when I got this gun the rubber was broken.

Rubber
This is how I got the gun.

What kind of rubber?

I have been shooting my other Johnson Indoor Target Gun for years, so I had 10 feet of 3/16” amber surgical tubing on hand for repairs. I will start with that.

rubber bag
I had this surgical rubber tubing from my other Johnson.

Remove the old rubber

Step one was to remove the old rubber from the gun. It might look easy, but wherever that rubber was in contact with the steel in the gun it had bonded. It took me 15 minutes to get all the little pieces out. read more


Johnson Indoor Target Gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • Johnson Indoor Target Gun
    The Johnson Indoor Target Gun is a catapult BB gun that was made in the late 1940s for youth target practice.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Operation
  • Cocking
  • Trigger
  • Serendipity
  • Pat is not pending
  • Adjustable sights
  • Repeater
  • Summary

I was going to write about something else today, but the response to Friday’s report convinced me to stick with the Johnson. Several of you said that you enjoyed the detailed photos. Today I will tell you about how the gun is constructed and how it operates, plus some special features. Grab your coffee cup and let’s go!

Operation

The Johnson gun is a catapult gun, and in Part one I showed you the broken surgical tubing in my new gun. Now, take a look at a gun with tubing in working condition.

Johnson rubber working
This is how the rubber is supposed to look when it’s properly installed. The ends of this surgical tubing are held together with small cable ties. We are looking at the inside of the top cover of the gun. read more


Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Test 1
  • Test 1 continued
  • Discussion
  • Firing behavior
  • What’s next?
  • Test 2 — A modern Sharpshooter
  • More discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Sharpshooter catapult pistol. Since there is only one type of ammo for it, I have added something additional to spice up the report. Let’s get to it.

The ad from 1948 said the pistol could hit a fly at 16 feet. Dean Fletcher tested his at a more reasonable 10 feet, which is what I will do. Readers asked me what kind of target I used and today I will tell you. Using a coat hanger, I made a wire target holder that stands up, and wrapped a single sheet of aluminum foil around the edges of the loop at the top. It’s the same target I used for the Daisy Targeteer test. read more


Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.

This report covers:

  • Why not oil?
  • First test
  • Moly-powder
  • Test 2
  • Test 3
  • Changing direction
  • Test 4
  • Conclusions
  • Summary

I said we would get deeper into the velocity of the Sharpshooter pistol this time, so that’s what will happen today. First I need to tell you that one of the two rubber bands I used for the velocity test last time broke, so I have to install another one today. Before I do that, though, I want to test my other velocity idea, which reader Paul in Liberty County correctly guessed was applying a dry lubricant to the gun. He thought it might be graphite, but I actually want to try powdered Molybdenum Disulfide. read more


Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.

This report covers:

  • Bulls Eye pistol
  • Sharpshooter velocity
  • The launcher
  • Velocity
  • One band
  • Chronograph problems
  • Discharge sound
  • Trigger pull
  • Accuracy
  • Next time

Before we begin, I want to share an email I received last Friday. It says a lot about the experience of attending the Pyramyd Air Cup.

“Hi Tom, 

Meeting you in person for me was one of the highlights of the Pyramid Air Cup 2018. I’m the tall guy shooting any tournament for the first time. I shot a TX200 and had questions about a second air rifle that weekend. We spoke about the Sig P938 and you recommended a Sig 365 you were testing. I wanted to give you my perspective of what I got out my first shoot and ask you to consider sharing my thoughts. Not the shoot but as a newcomer into competition. read more


Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.

This report covers:

  • History
  • Operation
  • How much value can be put into an inexpensive gun?
  • What is this about?
  • More power!
  • Next
  • Summary

Today I begin a report that I started five years ago and never finished. That was before we had the historical section of the blog. I planned to test many things about this line of unique catapult pistols and even bought the rubber bands for the extended test, but somehow it got away from me. Well, now I’m going to try it again.

You may remember several months ago I reviewed the Daisy Targeteer .118-caliber “BB” gun. You may not recall it, but when we got to the accuracy test that pistol failed miserably. These Sharpshooter pistols shoot the same small .118-caliber shot as the Targeteer, but they are powered by rubber bands and are generally much more reliable — at least the older ones are. They are still weak airguns, but I think we can have some fun with them anyhow. read more