The airgun market in 2018

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Serious airgunner
  • The market has exploded
  • No more cheap
  • The gun crisis
  • Where were airguns?
  • Firearm crossover
  • Airguns — cheap???
  • Is that all there is?
  • The future
  • The point?
  • Summary

When I started writing about airguns in 1994 there weren’t but about 5,000 to 15,000 serious airgunners in the U.S. No one knew for sure how many there were because there was very little data about this market. There may be disagreement on just how many there were but everyone agrees that the American airgun market was small.

Serious airgunner

Let me define what I mean by “serious airgunner,” because that has a bearing on what I’m saying. Airguns are very prevalent in the United States. I would estimate that millions of homes have at least one airgun, but that ranges from the family who just inherited their parents’ home and are unaware of the old Benjamin that’s stuck up in the rafters of the garage to homes like mine, where the number of airguns is greater than 50. There are a huge number of families with airguns, but most of those people cannot be considered serious shooters. My definition of a serious airgunner is someone who owns and shoots an airgun at least once each month. My experience is that if they do shoot an airgun that often, they shoot it a lot more than that! read more

Chinese B3 underlever: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Pre-work baseline
  • RWS Hobby
  • Harsh firing cycle
  • Rifle is breaking in
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • RWS Hobby again
  • Discussion
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today I will test the velocity of the B3 underlever that we cleaned and lubed on Friday. This will be a fantastic learning lesson for all airgunners, because the results are most informative!

Pre-work baseline

If you have been following this report you know I discovered in Part 2 that the rifle wasn’t performing to expectations. In Part 3 I replaced the breech seal and tested the velocity. That gave us a baseline we can use today for a before and after comparison. Let me get to the tests right now.

RWS Hobby

The first pellet to be tested was the RWS Hobby. In Part 3 Hobbys gave an average 617 f.p.s. with a 24 f.p.s. spread. read more

How to treat a new airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • New airgun — what do I do?
  • Be careful!
  • Lube it?
  • CO2
  • Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP)
  • Multi-pumps and single strokes
  • Spring piston guns
  • Do I need to clean it?
  • What about disassembly?
  • How should I protect my new airgun?
  • The most important thing

Every so often I am inspired to stop and cover the basics for our readers. Many of you who have been with me off and on over the past 13 years (yes, this blog turned 13 this month) will find the things I am about to say rudimentary, but each of you went through them in your own way. My recent encounter with the Sub-1 crossbow made it clear to me what it’s like to have something about which you know very little. And, as I was in the midst of my discoveries, reader Johncpen asked this.

“When lubing the bolt of a PCP like a Benjamin Maximus would you use silicone oil on the O-ring and Remington oil behind that or just silicone oil on the whole thing?” read more

Crosman 2400KT CO2 Air Rifle — Part 12

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This is Part 12 of the Hiveseeker guest blog on the Crosman 2400KT. Today is subtitled Modding the Crosman 2400 family — Primer 1

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

Crosman 2400KT CO2 Air Rifle – Part 12
Modding the Crosman 2400 family — Primer 1
By Hiveseeker

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11

2400KT lead photo
The 2400KT CO2 Air Rifle that I modded for this report is only available directly from the Crosman Custom Shop. It is shown here disassembled with a mix of stock and modded parts. For scale, the background grid on all photos is one inch square. read more

Precharged pneumatics, regulators and power adjusters: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

    • Mac’s gun
    • Difference between the Talon and Talon SS
    • Long barrel
    • Air flow is the key
    • The Condor
    • The Freimarked rifle
    • NRA airgun range
    • However…
    • For RidgeRunner
    • Michael


    It seems like you readers are hot for more information on tuning valves and adjusting power on precharged pneumatics (PCP). Very well. In response to something RidgeRunner said yesterday, I will do Part 2 of this report today.

    Mac’s gun

    It began many years ago with my friend, Earl MacDonald — Mac. He was of the opinion, shared by many airgunners, that a high-velocity .177 caliber pellet will be most accurate at long range because it will drop less over distance. So, he wanted the mostest-fastest .177 ever made. He talked to AirForce, where I worked at the time, and convinced them to let me build him a super-fast .177 Talon from blemished parts. In those days production was smaller than today and we didn’t have as many blemished parts around. Still I managed to find the parts I needed to assemble the gun. read more

Precharged pneumatics, regulators and power adjusters: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

    • Two things
    • What is an air regulator and what does it do?
    • How does the valve behave?
    • So — why have regulators?
    • Result
    • Why you need a chronograph
    • What I have not yet addressed

    Today’s blog was a gift from reader Michael, with several others joining the discussion. Here’s what Michael said last Thursday.

    I’m not a future TexanSS owner, but I enjoy reading about any model of AirForce air gun. I have considered buying a TalonSS ever since AirForce came out with them, and I’ll keep thinking about one until I someday break down and get one.

    They are accurate, lightweight, cool looking, etc., but to me the greatest appeal is AirForce’s wide ranging power adjustment. To me that is huge. Want to increase shots-per-fill for target practice? Dial it down. Want to rid your side yard of that pesky squirrel but you have a .25 Condor? Dial it down to squirrel power. read more

They have the wrong twist rate!: Part 2

usby Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Been awhile
  • New airgunners
  • A better way
  • Doing what works
  • The point
  • Sharpening straight razors

Been awhile

Part 1 of this report was written way back in the beginning of February. I think the reason it’s taken me so long to get back to it is I titled it wrong. I will discuss that as we go, but first let me define who “they” are. In the words of comedian, Red Green, “They” are everybody who is not us. Now that that’s clear we can continue.

Part 1 was a treatise on twist rates and how they affect accuracy. As many of you are aware, I use this blog to school both new airgunners and also airgun manufacturers — who are often as ignorant of the facts as new airgunners, but cannot or will not admit it. No engineer who has just been hired by an airgun company is going to admit there is something he doesn’t know about guns! Heaven forbid! And neither is any CEO or owner of a company, because in their minds they are in a position of authority and should therefore know! read more