My day at Sig Sauer: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASP20
Sig Sauer’s new ASP20 gas spring breakbarrel air rifle breaks ground in many areas! The safety is on both sides of the stock. Photo provided by Sig Sauer.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Update
  • Sig Super Target pistol
  • Sig X-Five
  • M17
  • It’s over!
  • Dinner
  • Summary

Update

When we closed Part 3 I said I was done with the ASP20 until the test, but I overlooked a couple very important things. Several of you asked me where the safety is and it is shown in the pictures several times. It’s on the right side of the stock. And also on the left side! Yes, the ASP 20 is 100 percent ambidextrous. The safety is manual and slides forward and back.

I also forgot to mention that the rifle comes with a Picatinney rail welded on top, so scope mounting will be a breeze. This type of scope base is replacing the 11mm dovetail rail and most new spring guns have one. read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASP20
Sig Sauer’s new ASP20 gas spring breakbarrel air rifle breaks ground in many areas!

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Why a gas spring?
  • Trigger
  • Why a breakbarrel?
  • Does the ASP20 have an internal shock absorber?
  • On with the build
  • Final assembly — the stock
  • The barrel
  • Off to the range
  • Shooting sensation
  • Cocking effort
  • Accuracy
  • Whisky 3 ASP 4-12X44 scope
  • Summary

Boy, is there a LOT of interest in this new rifle! You guys are asking a lot of very good questions about the new ASP20 breakbarrel rifle, as you should. I will begin by addressing some of the most prominent ones.

Why a gas spring?

Some call it a gas piston, others say gas ram, but we are all referring to the gas spring (the industry term for a spring that uses compressed gas in place of a coiled steel spring to do its job). Gas springs replace coiled steel mainsprings in spring-piston airguns. They are more modern and easier to make and obtain, they don’t take a set if left compressed, they are less susceptible to cold and, if the design is right, they are smoother operating. They also eliminate several parts that rattle and they remove some weight from the powerplant. read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASP20
Sig Sauer’s new ASP20 gas spring breakbarrel air rifle breaks ground in many areas!

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Sig thinks inside the box!
  • They balanced the trigger
  • Anti-beartrap
  • Assembly continues
  • The Keystone breech
  • Piston and gas spring assembly
  • One more brilliant feature
  • Summary

We left off at the start of the ASP20 assembly station, looking at the Glidelite cocking mechanism. The next item I saw was shocking — an American-made air rifle trigger — the Matchlite! Is it as nice as a Rekord? That is something each shooter has to decide for themselves, but I will describe how it works when we go to the range. Right now I will just tell you what it does.

Sig thinks inside the box!

When I first saw this rifle at the SHOT Show I told Sig Air vice president Joe Huston that shooters were going to fiddle with the screws in the Matchlite trigger. Historically they do this with every new airgun trigger. When Beeman warned them not to fool with the Rekord’s screw 51b, it was like a neon sign, telling them where to start! For some odd reason, Joe just smiled back and said nothing. read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Sig Sauer at work
  • The tour
  • Security
  • Ground rules
  • Rapid change
  • The big deal
  • Finishing
  • Test firing
  • ASP20
  • The engineers
  • Ed Schutz takes over
  • Laser-welded parts
  • Precision fixtures for every process
  • The cocking shoe
  • Summary

Last week a number of airgun writers and editors were invited to Sig Sauer in New Hampshire, to witness the start of the ASP20 production line and to tour the Exeter facilities. Those who attended were Tom McHale who writes for American Handgunner, Shooting Illustrated, Concealed Carry Magazine and too many other publications and website to list. Kristen Voss from the digital side of the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine was also there. Terry Doe and Dan Chart were there from Archant Limited, the publisher of Airgun World and Air Gunner magazines in the United Kingdom. John Bright of Highland Outdoors, a worldwide firearms and related products distributor in the UK was also there. I was there representing this blog and Firearms News in the US. read more


2018 Texas Airgun show

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • FWB 110
  • Daisy 99 first variation
  • Daisy Targeteer gallery and gun
  • Daisy Critter Gitter
  • Daystate CR97 prototype
  • O’Connell rifle
  • Shooting!
  • RAW
  • Big bores
  • Hammer
  • More on the show
  • Prizes galore!
  • The end

It happened last Saturday and if you were there you saw what I am about to report. If you missed it, too bad, because I think it was the best show yet.

Airgun shows usually have a theme; this one had several. Airguns that are never seen was one of them. Let’s start there.

FWB 110

Reader JerryC laid an FWB 110 on my table for display throughout the show. How rare is it? Well, this is the first one I have seen.

FWB 110
It may look like an FWB 150 or 300, but the 110 was the one that started them all.

The 110 is unique because it doesn’t have the anti-recoil mechanism in the stock. It recoils, though this one doesn’t move very much. It was tuned and resealed by Dave Slade and is a masterpiece of a recoiling 10-meter target rifle. Think of a tuned HW55CM or a Walther LGV and you will have it. How do I know? I shot it! Yes, you will be getting a 3-part review! read more


Umarex Forge combo: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Forge
Umarex Forge.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Trigger
  • The test
  • Accuracy — JSB Exact RS
  • Accuracy— JSB Exact Heavy
  • Accuracy— Crosman Premier Light
  • What next?
  • Final group
  • Evaluation
  • Summary

Today I complete the report on the Forge from Umarex. This is a breakbarrel rifle with a gas spring and … Well, you can read the past posts to catch up.

I’m running this test because the last time we looked at the Forge I felt the poor 4X32 scope that was provided with it might not have extracted all the accuracy the rifle can produce. I vowed to return and test it with a better scope and today the Force is mounted with the Aeon 8-32 AO scope with trajectory reticle, which is one of the best scopes I own. You can read about it here.

The test

This will be 10 shots with each pellet from a rested rifle at 25 yards. I started with the conventional artillery hold but soon discovered the Forge can be rested directly on the sandbag. I used the artillery hold in the last test, so that may make a difference today. read more


Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston Mark II pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Benjamin Train NP II
Benjamin Trail NP Mark II air pistol.

This report covers:

  • The detent and how I open the gun
  • Velocity
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Discussion
  • Cocking effort
  • Discharge sound
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

The detent and how I open the gun

I’ll start today’s report by answering reader Siraniko’s questions from the last post. He asked me to show the locking detent and how I manage to open the gun for cocking. Here’s the detent.

Benjamin Trail detent
The chisel detent is long and narrow. It’s not under that much spring tension, so it opens easily, but the shallow angle of the slope ensures that it locks the beech securely.

That detent chisel face is long and shallow but the spring is not that strong. I can push it in with my finger. So the long shallow slope of the chisel on the detent is what’s keeping the breech locked so tight. read more