When you need it…

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • US Army pocketknife
  • Supergrade safety installation tools
  • Crosman Pellgunoil
  • Pelican light
  • Midnight Manager
  • ATF Stop Leak
  • Scragging tool
  • Over to you

Before we begin I want to wish all of the United States a happy Memorial Day. This is the day in which we remember all those who have died for our country. I remember Grady Triplett, who died in Viet Nam far too soon. We were cadets together at San Jose State College in the 1960s. I have visited his name at the Viet Nam memorial several times, and I always think of the sacrifice he made.

Today’s report will be very different. I have wanted to do it for years and just never found the right way, but today I believe that I have. I am going to share with you a few (and I mean a very few) of the tools I use all the time. Then I want you to share with us those special tools you use and why they are so special. Once you read the report, I think you’ll get the idea. read more


SHOT Show 2018: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Meopta
  • Leapers
  • P.O.I. Airgun Rings
  • Vanquish 700
  • Air Venturi Hellboy
  • ASG
  • AirForce
  • Are we done?

Before I start I want to say a word about who I cover at SHOT. There are plenty of airguns I never look at, for reasons I think are good. These are the fringe companies that have no representation in the U.S., or they have a couple of shyster dealers with bad reputations. I don’t want to give them any attention. The other people covering the show can “scoop” me on these. Yes, I miss a few things, but I also avoid giving credibility to guns that will only break your hearts.

That said, why do I cover Leapers and not other scope companies? Am I getting a kickback? Well, there is a story here. I used to go to Burris, Leupold and many other scope manufacturers, and they all received me the same way. “Airguns? You write about airguns? Sure, we have a couple scopes that could be used on an airgun, I guess.” read more


Sig Sauer Spartan BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Spartan BB pistol
Sig Sauer Spartan BB pistol offers a lot of pistol at a budget price.

This report covers:

  • Sig firearms
  • The airgun
  • Manual safety
  • Full blowback
  • Grips
  • Finish
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Magazine
  • Light rail
  • Evaluation

Today we begin looking at Sig Sauer’s latest BB pistol, the Spartan. It’s a faithful copy of their Spartan 1911 firearm, which has upgraded features that put it ahead of many production 1911s. And it’s made in Japan.

Sig firearms

I will say this about Sig firearms — when they decide to make something they don’t cut corners. I never had much contact with them in the past, but since they have started making airguns I have been giving their firearms a look, as well. I am a died-in-the-wool conservative when it comes to firearms. Don’t try to sell me on a process like metal injection molding (MIM) unless it performs better than machining in some way other than just the cost to manufacture. read more


A light report — the UTG Compact Defense LED light

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

UTG Compact Defense light
UTG Compact Defense light.

This report covers:

  • 2017 SHOT Show
  • Let’s get real
  • Description
  • Main power
  • Lower power
  • L.I.B.R.E.
  • Runtime
  • Defense
  • Come on, BB — a light?
  • Side clip
  • Where to get one

The power went out in my neighborhood last evening, about 11:30 p.m. This time it was serious, because it’s now 7:10 a.m. the next morning and there is still no sign of restoration. [Note: the power was restored at 7:50 a.m.]

Power here in Texas is pretty reliable because this state is off the national power grid, but when I lived in Maryland that wasn’t the case. Power on the Eastern seaboard is iffy at best. So the Pelletier household was always well-stocked with alternative sources of illumination. I became a flashlight fanatic and now own more than 50 sources of portable light, including the Victorinox Midnight Manager pocket knife that is my constant companion. read more


Air Arms S410 TDR precharged pneumatic pellet rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Arms TDR rifle
Both side of the Air Arms S410 TDR.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The G6 pump has a luminous dial!
  • Many things to test
  • The point of the test
  • Third group
  • Analysis of the first series
  • High power
  • Air Arms dome
  • End of the test

Today we take the Air Arms S410 TDR Classic to the range. If you recall, I got good stable velocity with the power selector set on medium power, so I left it set that way for this test.

The G6 pump has a luminous dial!

You may also recall that I am filling the TRD with an Air Venturi G6 hand pump. I do that because the TDR has an Air Arms proprietary fill adaptor that nothing else fits, so I attached it to the G6 for this test. The velocity test suggested there may be as many as 30 good shots from a fill to 2900 psi, and filling the rifle to that pressure isn’t hard to do. But the morning I was at the range I discovered something curious. The G6 pump I’m using has a dial that glows in the dark! read more


Pistons and sears

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Two basic types of pistons
  • Center-latched pistons
  • Side-latched piston
  • See the difference?
  • Gas springs

I’m going to look at how triggers interact with pistons in spring guns today. I thought some of the blog readers may not be aware of some of the subtleties of sears and triggers as they relate to pistons.

Two basic types of pistons

Spring pistons are latched or “caught” by their sears in 2 different ways. These 2 ways are so vastly different that they dictate what types of triggers will work with what types of pistons. Until you understand the differences, you can’t appreciate why certain triggers such as the Rekord won’t work with certain types of pistons.

Center-latched pistons

A center-latched piston has a rod in its center that in some way gets latched or “caught” by the sear. When it’s latched, the sear restrains the full force of the mainspring. That can be well over 100 lbs. of force in the case of a coiled steel spring, or several hundred psi of gas pressure in the 2-piece expanding cylinder of a gas spring. The sear prevents the piston from moving until it’s released by the action of the trigger. read more


What’s for Christmas? Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This topic was received well last week, so I’m doing the second list today. Several readers have reminded me of other gifts I should mention, and some of them will make today’s list. If I don’t list something you suggested, there’s a reason. These are the things I recommend without question.

Stocking stuffers/small, neat gifts

Gifts in this category don’t cost a lot but will have great meaning to airgunners. Some of them are things that shooters won’t buy for themselves.

Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Seater
Someone suggested the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Seater, and I have to agree. This is a great gift, and it’s one that a lot of shooters won’t buy for themselves. read more