Sub-1 crossbow: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sub-1 crossbow
Sub-1 crossbow. Photo used with permission of Mission Archery.

This report covers:

  • Sub-1 crossbow
  • Would I like to try?
  • Surprise, surprise
  • Description
  • Bubble level
  • No dry-fire
  • Trigger
  • Maintenance
  • Special tips
  • What have I left out?

This is a different kind of blog. I hope it’s one you will enjoy.

Sub-1 crossbow

When I was at Media Day at the Range at this year’s SHOT Show, I stopped by the Mission Archery booth, where they were displaying the Sub-1 crossbow. It looked cool and they engaged me in conversation right away, so I asked where the name came from. They told me this bow can shoot 3-shot groups at 100 yards that measure less than one inch between centers. That caught my attention!

Would I like to try?

This is what Media Day is all about. Of course I would like to try. I wondered what the draw weight was? Two hundred pounds, I was told. Okay, deal me out. Maybe when I was 50 I could draw 200 pounds — certainly not today. Then the representative told me that his 13-year-old daughter could cock it. Well, with that I puffed out my chest and tried to cock it. When it comes to cocking crossbows, anything a 13-year-old girl can do… read more

Daisy’s 179 BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 179
Daisy 179 was the first Spittin’ Image BB gun Daisy made.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Metal frame
  • Love-hate
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • It is a catapult!
  • Cocking effort
  • Velocity
  • Quiet!
  • Do-over
  • Reliable feeding
  • Accuracy
  • A real lesson!

Metal frame

We are back looking at my Daisy 179 again, and the first important thing to know is I got it wrong when I originally described the frame or body of the gun as being molded in plastic. It definitely is metal. It would have to be, to be held together by screws the way that it is. Sorry for the confusion!


We heard from some owners who love the gun and from others who hate it. I guess this is an airgun that you need to understand before getting one. It’s not what it looks like — which is a single action revolver. It’s single action all right, but very far from being a revolver. It is a 12-shot repeater, but the spring that operates the hammer is so strong that it is impossible to thumb rapidly with one hand, or to fan. It’s a very deliberate gun. read more

Daisy’s 179 BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The Spittin’ Image
  • What is it?
  • Catapult gun
  • A kinetic gun?
  • Very low power
  • Cowboys are cool
  • Four variations
  • The Holy Grail
  • The pistol
  • That’s all for today

The Spittin’ Image

In 1960, Daisy Manufacturing Company embarked on a marketing campaign that was to blossom into one of the largest segments of the airgun market. They brought out their model 179 BB pistol that was copied after the Colt Single Action Army revolver. A few years later they brought out their first 1894 that was highly successful, and a half-century after that not many people remember the first Spittin’ Image BB gun.

Daisy 179
Daisy’s 179 BB pistol came out in 1960 — the first of the Spittin’ Image guns.

Today the lookalike airgun market is huge. It’s expanding all the time, with more and more realistic models coming out every day. You can argue that the 179 was not even the first such airgun Daisy made. many folks think their Targetmaster BB pistol copies the Colt Woodsman Match Target and the Number 25 slide action BB gun was patterned after the Winchester model 12 shotgun. But in 1960 the term Spittin’ Image was first used to describe this pistol as an intentional lookalike. read more

Welcome, fellow Jedi!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Back in the day
  • Parallax
  • Twist rate and rifling styles
  • Velocity versus accuracy
  • Oh, how far we have come!

I was going to show you a brand new spotting scope today, but something came up that I want to address. I don’t always respond to your comments these days — there are simply too many of them for me to cover. But I at least scan all of them and I read many of them.

Yesterday it dawned on me as I was reading the comments — many of you are ready to take your test to become full-fledged Jedi knights! A few may even go on to become Jedi masters. Well done, my enthusiastic Padawan learners!

Whenever I write about a technical subject I cringe, thinking of all the questions it will bring. That used to be bad, because I had to answer each any every question myself. But that isn’t the case anymore. I have been following conversations between Bulldawg76, GunFun1 and ChrisUSA and I am amazed at the level of expertise being displayed. I remember when each of them first started commenting on the blog, and they don’t seem like the same people anymore. read more

Bully pulpit and the future of airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Bully pulpit
  • Closed ranks
  • Lead, follow or get out of the way
  • A new dynamic
  • The stalwarts
  • Robert Beeman
  • What I did
  • Edith was the inspiration
  • I pulled the plug
  • The big push!
  • It’s not me

Bully pulpit

According to Wiki, “A bully pulpit is a sufficiently conspicuous position that provides an opportunity to speak out and be listened to.” The phrase was coined by Theodore Roosevelt, who felt the White House was a bully pulpit. In his day, the term bully meant excellent.

Closed ranks

When I started my newsletter — The Airgun Letter — in 1994, it was in response to a lack of literature about airguns. There were only a couple books on the subject at that time, and it seemed as if the serious airgunners wanted to hide their passion. Advanced collectors told me what a shame it is to have a reference like the Blue Book of Airguns, because now everybody can know what they know. In the past, they relied on ignorance to grow their collections at low prices. But when everyone can know that a Winsel CO2 pistol is ultra-rare, they stop selling them for $50, and the price climbs to over $1,000. read more

The Gallagher steam trebouchet

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • An airgun from the American Civil War
  • Modernizing the trebouchet
  • Using horsepower for weight
  • Lighter, faster and more powerful
  • President Lincoln
  • Success in the field
  • Steam trebouchet lives on
  • Steam, not air
  • Final thought

An airgun from the American Civil War

Today we will learn about an airgun that no longer exists, yet was, for a brief moment in history, considered to be an ultra modern and deadly weapon of war. During the American Civil War both sides pressed for the latest technology, in the hopes of overcoming their enemy and bringing a swift end to the war. The South sought ways to make large quantities of arms cheaper yet just as good as those made by Colt and the Springfield Armory, while the North looked for technology to overcome their early shortfall in trained foot soldiers who could shoot. Both sides were keen to try anything new if they thought it stood a chance of succeeding. read more

Catapult guns and velocity

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol uses rubber bands to launch a .12 caliber lead ball. Other catapult guns were as large as .43 caliber!

This report covers:

  • You know catapults guns
  • More power doesn’t mean higher velocity
  • Why a limit?
  • What is the limit?
  • Crossbows may be faster — but…
  • What about stonebows?
  • Conclusion?

You know catapults guns

Over the years I have written several reports about catapult guns . The Sharpshooter shown above and the Bullseye pistol that proceeded it used rubber bands to launch their shot. But the Johnson Indoor Target gun used surgical tubing. And a don’t really know for sure what the .43 caliber Hodges gun of the 1840s used but I suspect it was natural rubber bands. The point is, catapult guns have used many different power sources.

Johnson Indoor trainer
Johnson Indoor Trainer uses surgical rubber tubing. read more