Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The gun
  • Hough front sight
  • Loading
  • The BB changed from lead to steel
  • Getting 0.175-inch lead shot
  • Darts, too!
  • Summary

Sometimes we like things for reasons that make no sense to others, though we know why. Today’s report focuses on a BB gun that I have liked for many years, after discovering late in life that it existed at all.

The gun

Daisy’s Number 12 Model 29 is a lever action BB gun with a difference. It looks older than it is. It resembles a Daisy model H that was made from 1913 to 1923. The strangest thing about the model H is the cocking lever, which catches your eye immediately. In many respects these guns look similar to the more common BB guns we know today, but that cocking lever seems strange. I have not read an explanation for why it looks like it does, so allow me to posit a guess — leverage. read more

The importance of bullet-to-barrel alignment and fit: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Balls
  • Patched balls
  • Results of patching
  • Conical lead bullets
  • Pellet head
  • An experiment
  • Pellet skirt
  • Summary

Before I begin, I am enroute today to the Sig factory, here in America. They are bringing in a number of writers to show us their airguns and see their factory. I will take lots of pictures and tell you all about it when I return.

But I will not be able to attend to the blog the way that I normally do. I ask those readers who have been here awhile to help the new readers, just like you always do. I will be back in my office in Texas on Friday and things will hopefully return to normal.

Today I will finish the discussion of bullet-to-barrel fit and alignment. I will begin with bullets and then transition to pellets. read more

Action targets throughout history

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Bleed, break or fall
  • History
  • Live animals
  • Ad Topperwein
  • Shooting was king!
  • End of the Civil War
  • Early mechanical target
  • Quackenbush bell and mechanical targets
  • Targets 2, 3 and 4
  • Target 3
  • Target 4
  • Quackenbush targets 5 and 6
  • Targets 7 and 8
  • One more galley target
  • Summary

Bleed, break or fall

“Airgun targets have to bleed, break or fall.” said Leigh Wilcox of the now-defunct Airgun Express, many years ago. Leigh was one of many who felt that punching paper was like watching paint dry. A lot of you readers feel the same, as we have seen in this blog recently. Today’s report was requested by reader GunFun1, but I know that a lot of you are looking forward to it.


I will get back to airgun targets in a bit, but first let’s travel back in time to see where action targets began. For that we need to go to Europe around the year 1300, when shooting events lasted for many days and took on a carnival atmosphere. read more

Blowguns — the first airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This is a guest blog from reader Hiveseeker. Today he reflects on the very first airguns — blowguns

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

Blowguns — the first airguns
by Hiveseeker

This report covers:

  • Airgun history
  • Blowgun calibers
  • Blowgun length
  • Popular .40 and .50 caliber darts
  • Popular .625 caliber darts
  • A word about blowgun hunting
  • Blowgun accessories
  • Make a blowgun target
  • How to blow that blowgun
  • Aiming a blowgun
  • For further study

lead photo
Modern-day blowguns come in .40, .50, and .625 caliber. Note the accessory dart quivers.

Airgun history

Here at the Airgun Academy blog B.B. has done a great job of sharing his passion and knowledge of airgun history, deepening our appreciation for our favorite sport. Today we’ll be traveling even further into the past as we delve back to the earliest roots of airgun history — the blowgun! B.B. took us there in 2007 when he wrote about The blowgun Where it all began, and observed that “As airgun collectors become more interested in their hobby, they eventually start acquiring blowguns.” read more

The rise of the accurate pellet: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Accuracy taken for granted
  • Crosman 160 opened my eyes!
  • In the beginning
  • The ball or bullet
  • Smaller calibers
  • Pellet shape
  • Birth of the diabolo
  • A long way to go

Accuracy taken for granted

I was speaking with a group of very advanced airgunners recently and found myself amazed by what we all took for granted. The subject was airgun accuracy and topics like distance, powerplants and pellet shapes came up, but no one in the group seemed to remember the time when none of those things made any difference. They didn’t because there weren’t any pellets on the market that took advantage of them. Until around the 1960s, accuracy with airguns was iffy, at best. The problem was not the guns — it was the ammunition!

Crosman 160 opened my eyes!

I remember buying a new-old-stock Crosman 160 target rifle that had been produced and sold to the U.S. Air Force. The rifle hadn’t been fired since Crosman tested it with CO2 at the factory some time in the 1970s. The Air Force bought an unknown number of 160s that came with slings and the Crosman S331 rear peep sight. Presumedly there was a plan to use these rifle for some type of training, but that must never have happened, because hundreds of them were found in a military warehouse in the 1990s in unused condition. When I opened the gas reservoir to install 2 fresh CO2 cartridges, I found the original cartridges Crosman had used to test the gun before packaging in the 1970s! The rifle was brand new, as were hundreds of others just like it! read more

Some thoughts on airgun projectile stability

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Pioneer airbow
  • Rifling
  • Hop-Up
  • Projectile finish
  • Summary

I’m writing this from my hospital bed on Saturday, though I hope to be discharged later today. I would like to thank Val Gamerman for covering the blog for me last week. I was unable to do much of anything, and my thanks to all of you for keeping things going. This will be short, because of my situation. Let’s talk about airgun projectile stability today.

Pioneer airbow

When I shot the Benjamin Pioneer airbow at the SHOT Show this year I was amazed by the accuracy it gave. Not just when I shot it, but also there were two cases where one arrow went inside another one at 30 yards. Television’s Mythbusters proved that a regular longbow cannot do that because the arrow is constantly flexing as it flies, but the Pioneer pushes the arrow from the tip (it’s hollow inside) rather than from the back end and it doesn’t flex in flight. That got me thinking about what has been done about airgun projectile stability and what remains to be done. read more

The Gat’s where it’s at!: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The Gat is a timeless classic air pistol. Shown uncocked here.

A history of airguns

Part 1

  • Hard cocking!
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • RWS Hobby pellets
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets
  • RWS R10 Pistol pellets
  • RWS HyperMAX pellets
  • Darts
  • Took longer to shoot
  • 2016 Texas airgun show

Today we look at the Gat’s power. I was also going to combine an accuracy test with today’s report, but I spent so much time just determining the velocity that I will only report that.

Hard cocking!

I reported in part 1 that the Gat is hard to cock. To cock the gun the barrel is pushed straight back, like a Quackenbush or a Crosman M1 Carbine. By the time I had tested 5 pellets and a series of darts, my left palm was sore!

After about 31 shots, my hand was sore! I had to stop shooting.

Air Arms Falcon pellets

First up were Falcon pellets from Air Arms. These fit the breech rather loosely, though I didn’t know that until I had tried other pellets. They averaged 186 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 165 f.p.s. to a high of 197 f.p.s. I had guessed that the Gat was a 200 f.p.s. pistol, so this was very close. read more