How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Who to believe?
  • Quart of blood!
  • How do you know what you don’t know?
  • Make haste slowly
  • There is more than one way…
  • Setting the bevel
  • Most important point
  • World-record sharpener
  • Bad advice that turned out well
  • Artillery hold?
  • Three ways to sharpen.
  • That’s all, folks!

I didn’t think I would be back to this subject so soon, but I’ve had some major breakthroughs recently that I wanted to report before I forget them. As you may recall, I am writing this report because I want to experience what it feels like to be a new guy in a subject that interests me, but one that I know very little about. That way maybe I can better understand what new guys want/need to know about airguns. I had no appreciation of how much of a new guy I was when it came to sharpening straight razors, or just how deep I would get into this new subject!

read more


The Diana 27: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
My .22 caliber Diana 27 is actually a Hy Score 807.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Not the pre-war 27
  • First time
  • Why a 27?
  • Great feeling!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • Seals
  • Breech seal
  • Trigger
  • Overall evaluation

What is a classic? One dictionary defines it as “…of the first or highest quality, class or rank. Serving as a standard, model or guide.” Although that definition is somewhat subjective, I believe it captures the essence of the word. The Diana model 27 air rifle is certainly a classic by that definition.

Not the pre-war 27

Before we dive in let’s understand that Diana also made a model 27 before World War II. That one had only a wooden buttstock with no forearm. It looks significantly different than the rifle we are examining today. It’s not the same air rifle.

read more


How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The goal
  • The proof
  • My mistakes
  • What had I learned?
  • Things to avoid
  • Sharpening a straight razor
  • Sharpening stone grits
  • After honing — the strop
  • What was wrong?
  • Research pays off
  • Summary

Note to readers: This report was written over time and I was learning as I went. Parts 1 through 3 were written before I had done enough research to know what is right and, more importantly, what isn’t. Read them for enjoyment, but begin with Part 4 for the serious information of sharpening straight razors.

I started this series so I could experience coming into a hobby as a new guy. That would make me more sympathetic to the thousands of readers who are either new to airguns or new to shooting altogether. It certainly did that, as you will learn today!

The goal

When I started this project, I had what I thought was a simple and straightforward goal — learning to sharpen a straight razor. That’s not any different than the guy who buys an air rifle to eliminate pests. But I completely underestimated the scope of the project — again, not unlike many new airgunners. And that’s a good thing because today you get to watch me make all the new-guy mistakes.

read more


Collecting airguns: Modifications and refinishing 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Scarcity Part 1
Condition Part 2
What is collecting? Part 3
Collecting airguns: Fakes and counterfeits Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Hypothetical
  • It’s a Tucker!
  • Dig in or knuckle under?
  • What about it?
  • However…
  • Specifically
  • When not to modify
  • What about an FWB 124?
  • Controversy
  • The end

Today’s topic will be controversial. Many of you will feel that this isn’t any of my business. If you own something you have the right to do anything to it that you like — including destroying it. I would agree with you on that. If it’s yours, it’s yours to do with as you like. But it isn’t that simple. If it was, there would be nothing to say.

Hypothetical

Let’s say you have inherited a vintage car from your favorite rich uncle. It was made in 1948, and it has some lines that you think are cool, but others that you don’t care for. You want to do extensive bodywork and also to lower the suspension several inches.

read more


Stuff I cannot live without

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Not the big stuff…
  • Let there be light!
  • Tools
  • A magnifier
  • Electronic dial caliper
  • BB trap
  • More light on the subject
  • Are there other things?

Yesterday I used my Benbo 2 tripod for an extreme overhead shot and it brought to mind just how important that piece of equipment is to me. It’s a major part of my work, yet I seldom give it a second thought unless I’m using it. How many things are like that in an airgunner’s life?

Not the big stuff…
I’m not talking about the big obvious stuff today — stuff like chronographs and spotting scopes. Every airgunner needs them and you will too, once you see how well good ones work. The things I will talk about today are the little things — not necessarily cheap things, but things that are probably insignificant on the radar of your life.

read more


Diana model 5V pellet pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 5V pistol
Diana model 5V pellet pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • 5 screws
  • Gun fell apart!
  • The solution!
  • Case-hardened parts
  • Stoning is out!
  • Back to the pistol
  • Testing the trigger
  • Job done

This one will be a quickie. You will remember that I wanted to remove the grip from my Diana 5V pellet pistol to see if I could do anything to reduce the trigger pull that was over 12 pounds. Well I did, and in less time than it will take me to write this short report, I discovered and corrected the problem.

5 screws

The grip is held to the action by 4 screws. They sit two to a side. The fifth screw is a wood screw that holds the base of the triggerguard to the grip. The front of the triggerguard is hooked over a pin in the action. If you don’t remove this screw first, the grip won’t come off the action.

read more


Checking out a Diana RWS 34P: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Diana 34P
The Diana RWS 34P is a classic breakbarrel spring-piston air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Drooper
  • Sight in
  • The groups
  • One last time
  • Different pellets
  • RWS Superdomes
  • BKL adjustable scope mount
  • Summary

Today I scope Geo791’s Diana RWS 34P and shoot it for accuracy at 25 yards. We already know this rifle is accurate from the test with open sights. Today we discover how much it droops and whether enough correction is possible. Let’s start with the scope mount.

Drooper

I suspected this rifle was a drooper just because it’s a Diana 34. Most breakbarrels droop and all of the Diana 34s I have seen have had severe barrel droop. With some breakbarrels you can put shims under the rear of the scope to elevate it a little, but with this model shims usually don’t work — the droop is too great. If you used enough shims to raise it as high as it needs to go, you would damage the scope tube. So, I start out with a scope mount that’s made for a drooper. In this case I used the BKL 1-piece adjustable scope mount with 1-inch rings, because George has a scope with a one-inch tube. If this works I plan to send his rifle back to him with this mount installed, so all he has to do is mount his scope in the rings and sight in.

read more