Must an airgun use air?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Green gas/red gas
  • Catapult guns
  • Caps!
  • Not the end!
  • Ulterior motive

Simple enough question, no? Maybe you get confused by certain air-powered tools or perhaps a slang reference to a paint sprayer, but most folks know exactly what you mean when you say airgun.

Think so? Think again.

The term airgun isn’t found in most dictionaries, yet. You’ll find that your spell-checker wants you to write it as two words, but that’s not what today’s blog is about. I really want to know if you know all that is encompassed by the term airgun.

Some of you have already stopped reading to formulate an official-sounding definition that goes something like this: An airgun is any smoothbore or rifled gun that propels a projectile by means of compressed air. As you stand back to admire your work, it suddenly dawns on you that your definition doesn’t encompass any of the guns that are powered by CO2. Don’t you hate it when that happens? read more


What good is the Blue Book?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Blue Book
The Blue Book of Airguns is a valuable reference for all airgunners

This report covers:

  • Hot news
  • What good is it?
  • Airgun shows
  • How much is a Benyamin worth?
  • The deal
  • No free pass
  • Cha-ching!
  • What it doesn’t have
  • Use common sense
  • No sales job
  • Summary

Hot news

Pyramyd Air is now offering Life Extended carbon fiber air tanks at far below the normal commercial rate for a new CF. tank. If you are already in precharged airguns, this might be of great interest. Now, let’s talk about today’s topic.

What good is it?

For some people the Blue Book of Airguns is of no use, whatsoever. These are people who don’t have books in their lives. If they own a book it’s being used as a doorstop or to level a piece of machinery in the garage. I’m not making fun of them. They simply do not have books in their lives, and nothing is going to change that. read more


Daisy Targeteer shooting gallery: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Why we collect
  • Today
  • .12 caliber
  • The box
  • Lead BBs?
  • Fragile
  • Art deco
  • Summary

Why we collect

Sometimes we collect something because of its performance. A Whiscombe recoilless rifle that’s powerful and accurate might be an example of this. Other times we collect something because of the way it is made — the craftsmanship. The Sheridan Supergrade comes to mind.

And other times we collect something for other reasons. My M1 Carbine is an example of this. I like it for three important reasons:

1. It is so well made and so well designed. It weighs 5 lbs. — a rifle weight that has never been equalled in a rifle as powerful, to the best of my knowledge. And this rifle was designed in 18 months, back in the late 1930s! read more


Build a good airgun library

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Diana 23 refinish project
  • What next?
  • An Airgunner’s library
  • Blue Book
  • Others?
  • Are there more?

Diana 23 refinish project

Yesterday, reader Errol asked me this.

“Hi B.B.
What happened to the Diana 23 that you were going to fit a new barrel, blue & tune up some time ago. Just happened to remember Sir.”Errol

He is referring to the Diana 23 I was refinishing for you. That came at the end of a performance test of the rifle where I even tested it out at 25 yards. It’s pretty accurate, if not very powerful.

Part 5 was published on July 2, 2015. For the next two weeks I worked on sanding down the metal even better than you see in Part 5. Then, on July 14, my wife Edith went into the hospital, and she passed away on July 26. I had other things on my mind for the next several months. When I looked at the project again I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to buff it as aggressively as I had once thought, or just blue it the way it was. read more


The Stiga Zenit – an EM-GE Zenit clone: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is Part 1 of a guest blog from reader Paul. He’s going to tell us about his Stiga Zenit — an airgun that many will not have heard of, including me.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • What is it?
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Too perfect a copy
  • Editor’s note

Over to you, Paul

Zenit right side
The Stiga Zenit is a close copy of the pre-WWII EM-GE Zenit pistol from Germany.

For some reason I have a soft spot for offbeat airguns, and the Stiga Zenit is a good example. The Swedish-made Stiga Zenit is a nearly identical copy of the original, EM-GE Zenit from Germany. The EM-GE pistol was made from 1936 until 1939 or 1940, its production being ended by the start of World War II. Stiga’s version had a much longer run, from 1949 until 1969. Milbro also made their copy of the Zenit, called the Diana Mark IV, and the Milbro G4 and G4S (smoothbore), from 1950 to 1977. Fortunately Chambers of England still sells a number of parts that work in all Zenit variants. The original EM GE Zenit is not terribly common in the USA, but one or two come up for sale on the usual auction sites each year. The Stiga copy is rarer, still. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Refresher
  • The test
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Sight adjustment
  • On a roll?
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • POI change
  • RWS R10
  • Best for last
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Summary

Today was day of learning, or perhaps I should say remembering, because today’s test of the Chinese B3 underlever took me back to my early days with spring-piston air rifles. I will explain as the report unfolds.

Refresher

I found this tired old air rifle in a pawn shop many months ago. In this series I have replaced the breech seal with a faucet washer, opened up the powerplant, lubricated the moving parts with Tune in a Tube and shot the rifle for accuracy. That was when I discovered how accurate this old Chinese underlever is. So I vowed to shoot it for accuracy once more, now that the powerplant has been tamed. read more


Gimmicks — what works, what doesn’t and why?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Takedown rifle
  • What am I saying?
  • Whiscombe
  • Takedown guns that work
  • Same caliber for pistol and rifle
  • The truth
  • Dual fuel airguns
  • Cocks on opening AND closing!
  • What else?

Sometimes an idea for a blog just overwhelms me. Today is such a time.

Takedown rifle

I was reading about a takedown AR in the May edition of Firearms News. This 5.56mm rifle breaks down to three pieces that are less than 18 inches long, and it even comes with a backpack to carry it. I scanned the article and it seemed like a great idea — until it hit me. I have been down this road before and it leads nowhere! Takedown rifles do not function the way most people think.

The author showed several targets that seemed reasonable for an AR. Now, ARs are not that accurate, as everyone who shoots them is aware. They are good for five shots in 2 inches at 100 yards and good ones can do a little better, but accuracy is not their strong suit — anymore than it is the strength of an AK. The author showed a 4-inch group of five at 200 yards, which is very good for an AR. He also showed a 1-1/4-inch group of three at 100 yards. Okay — three shots is a modern gun writer’s way of fudging the truth. A rifle that can put 3 in to 1-1/4-inches will put 10 into 2.5 inches. That is the real accuracy of the rifle. Still, for an AR it’s not that bad. read more