Sig Sauer P226 X-Five pellet pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P226 X-Five
Sig’s P226 X-Five pellet pistol.

This report covers:

  • PELLET pistol?
  • The quiet reader
  • What’s an X-Five?
  • Back to pellets — features
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Blowback
  • Safety
  • Grip
  • Magazine
  • Slide and frame
  • Size and finish
  • Summary
  • Note to Sig

If it sounds like this blog has turned into one long commercial for Sig, don’t blame me! They are the ones who keep on bringing out significant new airgun products. Today we begin looking at the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five pellet pistol.

PELLET pistol?

That’s right, sports fans — this pistol shoots lead diabolo PELLETS! Don’t get it confused with the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five BB pistol that looks very similar. I have already gotten confused a couple times, so I know how easy it is.

The quiet reader

I’m starting this report today for the quiet reader. He’s the guy who has commented that he would sure like to see each BB pistol I have tested in a version that shot pellets. The belief is since pellet pistols have rifled barrels they will be more accurate at greater distances. I think that’s true, as long as we bear in mind that a repeating pistol with blowback will never be as accurate as a dedicated single shot pistol, when all other variables are the same. But in all probability a rifled bore should put the pellet pistol ahead of a smoothbore BB pistol at distances of 10 meters, or so. That’s the hope, and that’s what I will be testing. read more


Using peep sights: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Adjustable-iris peeps — Merit
  • Gehmann adjustable peep
  • Tunnel sights
  • Front sight elements
  • Target post
  • Hunting inserts
  • Unusual front sight
  • Target aperture
  • Clear apertures
  • Last word on inserts
  • How do you hold over or under?
  • Peep sights on handguns
  • Summary

Normally I don’t do what I’m about to do, but the reader response to the first report on peep sights was overwhelming. We finished last Thursday with more than 150 comments, and as of this writing there are 248 comments. That propels it into the ranks of the all-time best reports! I had to put Part 1 in the title several days after publishing, because I knew there would be a Part 2.

Today I will address the discussion points and questions brought up by readers, and add a few point of my own. Sit back and enjoy!

Adjustable-iris peeps — Merit

There was some discussion about peeps that offer holes of different sizes. The most famous of these is the Merit Iris Shutter Click adjustable peep sight. This one has been around for at least 75 years and probably longer. I own one and it used to fascinate me. I will show you mine next to a dime, to illustrate the size. read more


Dressing up the Bug Buster

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Why a sidewheel?
  • Does a Bug Buster need a sidewheel?
  • However…
  • P.O.I. scope rings
  • What to do?

Today I will tell you about an accessory for the BugBuster 3-12X32 scope — the new sidewheel add-on for all Bug Buster scopes. It will fit any of them, but it’s most useful on the most powerful scope, which is the new 3-12. That’s because the more magnification, the farther out you can determine range. I reported on this new accessory in my SHOT Show 2018 report — Part 5.

This item is so new that Pyramyd Air doesn’t even have it cataloged or in stock yet. But it’s coming soon. It attaches directly to the adjustment knob on any Bug Buster scope that has a SWAT (Side Wheel Adjustable Turret). The early Bug Busters adjusted parallax at the objective lens, so you do need the sidewheel adjustment knob on the left side of the scope for this to work. read more


Using air pistols for defense training

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • Why the pseudonym?
  • Defense shooting
  • The ideal airgun
  • The training
  • Action targets
  • Holster?
  • Evolution
  • Suggestions

Why the pseudonym?

Some new readers may wonder why I still write as B.B. Pelletier, even though I put my real name above. Well, it goes back to the 1990s, when I was writing The Airgun Letter. My style of writing that you all feel comfortable with today was unheard of in 1994, when the newsletter started. At that time the world of airguns was full of cliques that tried to exclude others, or if they couldn’t keep them out they tried to ridicule and discourage them. The internet just gave them a larger overpass to spraypaint. Edith and I didn’t allow that on our Airgun Letter Forum, and it drove these guys nuts! We were hacked and spammed and everything else that’s bad, even though many of our detractors were also living on our forum! read more


Where are airguns today?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Spring-piston guns
  • The price-point PCP
  • High-pressure air compressors
  • Action air pistols
  • It’s been done before
  • Airgun shows
  • Hunting
  • They’re listening now!
  • Summary

After writing 6 reports on the SHOT Show I thought it was time to look at all that has happened in airgunning in recent years. We are in a golden age of experimentation and refinement, and it’s good to stop and reflect on that for a moment.

Spring-piston guns

If you had asked me what the future of the spring gun was before I attended this SHOT Show I would have told you that everything that could be done had been done. Then, at the show, I saw not one but two novel new breakbarrels.

Crosman has their new Akura breakbarrel with the Precision Barrel Lock or PBL. It is a novel new way of locking the breech at the shot by using some of the compressed air to push a pin back into the spring tube. The rest of the rifle is a straightforward gas spring breachbarrel, but the question we have to ask is why they felt it necessary to lock the breech this way. A few other airguns use mechanical locks that are operated by the user, so there must be an advantage to locking the breech, but will we see it when I test the Akura? read more


Umarex Embark breakbarrel spring rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Unarex Embark
Umarex Embark air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Why hard to scope?
  • Stock extension
  • The test
  • Sight in
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Journey pellets
  • Discussion

Today I will finish the report of the Embark air rifle from Umarex. This is the rifle that’s used in the Student Air Rifle (SAR) program. I tested it for accuracy at 25 yards with open sights last time. Today I will scope it.

Why hard to scope?

The Embark has a small-diameter spring tube, with the scope base dovetails cut directly into the tube. That means there is a high crown between the dovetails that many scope mounts will bottom out on. Their jaws will not be able to reach the dovetails on the rifle because of this. But I knew that BKL mounted would work, because it has nothing that gets in the way of that high crown. I selected BKL 263 MB 2-piece scope rings to attach the UTG 3-12X32 AO Bug Buster scope. I had planned to use a 3-9 power Bug Buster, but the 3-12 came to market in time for today’s test. read more


Weihrauch’s HW55SF: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 55SF
HW 55SF.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Rob velocity?
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Discussion
  • So, what?
  • Cocking effort
  • Firing cycle
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the HW 55SF target rifle I tuned back in November. If you read Part 4 you’ll see that I just applied Tune in a Tube grease (TIAT) to the mainspring and got great results. Some readers ask me to use TIAT over and over again on different airguns, apparently not convinced that it works as well as it does. But when they break down and try it, they see for themselves. This stuff really works!

Rob velocity?

But what does it do to the velocity? This is a low-powered spring rifle and we know that thick grease can rob velocity. We have the baseline velocity data I gathered in Part 2 to compare to, so today I will re-test the rifle with the same pellets. Let’s get right to it. read more