Revitalizing a Benjamin 392: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin 392
Benjamin 392 multi-pump pneumatic.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The story
  • Applying ATF stop leak
  • Condition of the rifle
  • Test 1
  • Test 2
  • Test 3
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Trigger pull
  • Conclusion

Before I begin, a message to Aaron from Hawaii. I have talked with Johnny Hill of Tin Starr bullets (at the Weatherford Pawn Shop) and he is making me some bullets that are unlike any on the market today. I will test them in the TexanSS and let you know the results. They are very light and should give more than three shots per fill.

Today will be a different kind of report. It’s one many of you have asked for, but I think this is the first time I’ve done one like it.

The story

I was in the Weatherford Pawn Shop last week, picking up a gun and getting some bullets for the TexanSS test. I happened to see an old Chinese B3 rifle in the corner and asked about it. This was a real B3 — not a B3-A that I sometimes mention. It looked even older than the B3 I once owned, so it probably dated back to the late 1970s or early ‘80s. I thought it would make a nice gun to test for this historical series. They sold for $20 when they were new, but the tag on this rusty old one said $59.00! I plotzed, right there in the store! read more


FLZ Luftpistole, version 2: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FLZ pistol
The FLZ version 2 pistol was made in Germany from 1938 to 1940.

A history of airguns

  • Uncommon
  • Description
  • Stock
  • Marks
  • Looks like a rifle

Today we start looking at an air pistol that’s uncommon in the U.S., and indeed, around the world — the FLZ Luftpistole version 2. FLZ stands for Fritz Langenhan of Zella Mehlis, Germany. We have looked at one other FLZ airgun on this blog in the past — the Millita that now resides in RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.

Uncommon

I don’t think the FLZ air pistol is rare, but the first version that has a rounded grip was made from 1926/7 to 1940, according to The Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols, by John Griffiths. Version 2 that I have was introduced in 1937 and lasted until 1940. The nation of Germany was preparing for war in the late 1930s, and commercial production was curtailed, so I think the second version of the gun must be less common. That doesn’t make it more valuable — just harder to find. read more


The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • .22 WRF
  • Not a magnum
  • The .22 Winchester Automatic
  • Corrosive priming
  • High speed
  • Splatter-Less
  • Summary

We are back with the .22 rimfire cartridge. We left it in the 1890s, as smokeless powder was just starting to be introduced. I will talk about that in a moment, but I want to start with another cartridge that lasted for quite a while but is obsolete today — the .22 Winchester Rimfire, or .22 WRF.

.22 WRF

This cartridge was introduced with the Winchester 1890 slide-action rifle that was also called a pump gun. I have owned 2 1890s in this caliber, and in the 1960s I thought this cartridge was the bee’s knees! It uses a 45-grain flat-nosed lead bullet that is not heeled like the .22 Long Rifle bullet. The diameter of the bullet is 0.224, so it’s also larger (.22 LR bullet is 0.2225”-0.223”). The barrel twist was increased to 1:14” to stabilize the heavier bullet. read more


A vintage Daisy Number 25: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 25
Vintage Daisy Number 25.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • SHOT Show
  • A great find!
  • My interest
  • My collection
  • This BB gun
  • Cocking
  • Takedown
  • Number 25?
  • Sights
  • Summary

SHOT Show

I am at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas this week. Today I am at Media Day at the Range, where I get to shoot any airguns that are there. Not every dealer attends this event, but about 200 of them do and I get to shoot not only airguns, but any firearms I want. Imagine 200 firing ranges, side-by-side, a quarter-mile long with 2,000 shooters.

Having said that, when I return, I have to write tomorrow’s blog with pictures and get it up before I go to a hosted dinner at 6:30. The blog publishes at 9 pm, here on the West Coast, so I’m getting crunched on both ends. My reports will be slim and telegraphic this week. I’ll have more to say when I’m back in the office next week. read more


The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Maynard tape primer
  • .22 Long
  • Rifling twist rate
  • Why change the twist?
  • Time of flight
  • But…
  • Inuit and the .22 Long
  • .22 Extra Long
  • The big change
  • Smokeless powder
  • Smokeless powder
  • Smokeless powder
  • The bleeding obvious
  • A lot more to tell!
  • Not even halfway!

Maynard tape primer

A reader asked about toy caps last time and I said I would show some roll-type percussion caps that were used in the Civil War. The Maynard tape primer was a mechanism that held a paper roll of percussion caps and fed them over the nipple when the gun was cocked. It actually worked and was just one of several automatic priming systems that were just ahead of the metallic cartridge era.

Maynard tape primer
The Maynard tape primer fed percussion caps automatically as the gun was cocked. It could be incorporated into the design of the gun or added on.

I ended the first report with Smith & Wesson’s launch of the .22 Short in 1857. At first it was just called a .22, but the introduction of the .22 Long in 1871 caused them to rename it the Short after that time. I didn’t mention it in Part 1 but the chamber pressure of the Short cartridge as it’s loaded today is 24,000 psi, and the bullet diameter is 0.225-inches. read more


Remington model 33 single shot rimfire: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Remington 33
Remington’s model 33 single shot .22 was their first bolt action rimfire.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • New versus old
  • Irony
  • The second test
  • Summary

Remember what I wrote about the range last Friday — how everything went bad for me? Well I did manage to test my HW85 and one other rifle. That rifle was my venerable Remington model 33.

New versus old

You may recall that I bought a nice example of the Remington 33, to hopefully replace my current rifle that’s rusted up. I was thinking that with a better barrel the new rifle would really show up the tired old bolt action I only bought to burn up discarded range ammo.

I was out on the 50-yard range, so I decided to try my luck with both rifles shooting the CCI standard velocity long rifle cartridge. First up was the old rust 33. You will recall that I had cleaned the barrel of this old beater for the first time in anticipation of this test. Well, I had forgotten to bring my reading glasses to the range, so the sights were quite blurry. Still, I did my very best and with the tired old 33 I put 5 into 2.293-inches at 50 yards. The rounds hit a little above the bull I was aiming at. That was a good start, so now let’s switch over to the nicer 33 I just bought. read more


The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Lead Sled
  • Rifle rested on sandbag
  • The artillery hold
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I will shoot my vintage HW85 at 50 yards for you. One thing I’m testing is whether resting the rifle on a Caldwell Lead Sled will improve accurate. Reader Bob from Oz says it will. We’ll see.

The test

The day was perfect for a test like this. It was 34 degrees with just a hint of a breeze. I shot in three different positions that I’ll describe as we go. The rifle is still sighted in for 25 yards, so the pellets dropped about 3 inches at 50 yards. And I used the Crosman Premier pellet that has worked so well for this rifle in the past. read more