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

A vintage Daisy Number 25: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 25
Vintage Daisy Number 25.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Getting used to the Number 25
  • Not a double feed
  • Settling down
  • The test
  • First target
  • Second target
  • Third target
  • Fourth target
  • Conclusion

I’m skipping the velocity testing on this Daisy Number 25 pump gun because I already did it in Part 2 of the report on the Dust Devil BBs. The two BBs I will use today are the Daisy Premium Grade BB and the Dust Devil. The Daisy BB averaged 360 f.p.s. in the vintage Daisy 25 I’m testing and the Dust Devil averaged 365 f.p.s.. That’s really too close to call.

Getting used to the Number 25

It’s been some time since I shot this BB gun and I forgot a number of things. The first was that the 50-shot forced feed magazine always fires two BBs on the first shot. They aren’t a double feed. One is already in the breech when the shot tube is installed and the other loads when the gun is cocked. read more

SHOT Show 2018: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The big news
  • Benjamin Fortitude
  • Marauder Field and Target
  • Akura
  • Traveler
  • SigASP20
  • Tight breech and no droop
  • The trigger
  • AirForce E-Pump

I will start the third day on the SHOT Show floor with Crosman. They always have loads of new products and this year was no exception. I actually had to visit the booth two separate times to get what I am about to tell you.

The big news

So — what’s the big news at Crosman? I guess that depends on what interests you, but since I am defining this year’s show as the battle of the price-point PCPs (precharged pneumatic rifles with upscale features selling for under $300), let’s start with the Fortitude.

Benjamin Fortitude

Benjamin’s new Fortitude PCP is regulated, a repeater and has a shroud. It is positioned between the Discovery and the Marauder. read more

SHOT Show 2018: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • AirForce Airguns
  • What’s next?
  • Hatsan USA
  • Hercules Bully
  • Price point Hatsan
  • Sortie Tact
  • Air Venturi
  • A new IZH 61?
  • Multi-pump
  • One last thing!

Here we go! I go to these shows thinking that nothing can get me excited anymore, and that ends at the first booth, Today that happened before the show opened. AirForce Airguns has been keeping a secret for many weeks that they promised to reveal just before the doors opened.

AirForce Airguns

A few minutes before the doors opened, AirForce revealed that they are incorporating the Theoben Rapid line of PCPs into their lineup. Formerly known as Rapid Air Weapons (RAW), the Rapid lineup is on the cutting edge of pneumatic quality. The only drawback they have is the long wait time when an order is placed. AirForce will bring their manufacturing prowess to bear on shortening the lead time between ordering and shipping, while maintaining the high level of quality the brand has become known for. read more

Media Day at the Range — SHOT Show 2018: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Media Day upper
The upper range at Media Day has about 50 ranges and vendors. Because of crossbows, the ranges go in both directions.

Media Day
On the lower range there are more ranges, also going both directions, with shotguns on the right.

This report covers:

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

Media Day at the Range is an event for gun writers and video makers, only. About 2,000 of us are taken to the Boulder City range where we are allowed to shoot and use some of the newest guns and accessories.

Umarex Hammer

We waited all last year for the Umarex Hammer to come out. From what I saw and sampled this year, I think we will see production guns by mid-2018.

The Hammer is a repeating .50-caliber big bore that gets 4 powerful shots on a fill ton 4,500 psi. The regulator drops the firing pressure to 3,000 psi, and the first 3 shots are all at the same pressure. Shot 4 drops below 3,000 slightly, but at 40 yards all the bullets should stay in a tight group. read more

Kral Puncher Breaker Silent Synthetic .177 PCP repeater: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Kral Puncher Breaker rifle
Kral Puncher Breaker bullpup with synthetic stock.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Magazines are easier to load
  • Crosman Premier Lights — low power
  • Crosman Premier Lights — medium power
  • Crosman Premier Lights — high power
  • Discussion
  • High velocity
  • Max power
  • Trigger pull
  • Next

Today we test the velocity of the Kral Puncher Breaker Silent Synthetic bullpup rifle. Let’s begin.

Magazines are easier to load

I found the two magazines that came with this rifle MUCH easier to load and manage than the mags I tested with the.22 caliber Kral Puncher Pro rifle last year. That one gave me numerous failures to feed in the velocity test. This one was perfect! And, when I say one, I mean that I tested both mags. It also loads easier, because I think the spring in the mag may be lighter. At least that’s how it feels.

Crosman Premier Lights — low power

I used the Crosman Premier Light pellet, to test the range of power adjustments. I started with 10 pellets at the lowest setting. They averaged 356 f.p.s., which is very slow. The low was 349 and the high was 365 f.p.s. — a spread of 16 f.p.s. That’s pretty tight for the absolute lowest power setting. read more

Crosman 102 multi-pump pneumatic repeater: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 102
Crosman’s 102 is a .22 caliber multi-pump repeater.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The rifle
  • Test 1
  • Rebuilt
  • Examine the power band
  • Trigger pull
  • Surprise!
  • Test 2
  • Magazine capacity
  • Feeding
  • Label
  • Summary

Today we look at the power of the Crosman 102 bolt-action repeater that we are testing. This test went in a different direction than I expected because of the rifle’s design. I will explain as I go.

The rifle

You know that I just finished the test of the Crosman 100, and I’m getting confused between that rifle and this one. I re-read Part 1 for this rifle to familiarize myself with its operation, and good thing that I did. I had forgotten one thing that turned out to have a huge influence on today’s test. But I’m getting ahead of myself. read more