Piston seals: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Updates
  • Early leather seals
  • What’s next?
  • Now that you understand…
  • No magic
  • Don’t be depressed!
  • Leather piston seals
  • The better way
  • It’s all the same
  • Leather’s shortcoming
  • Summary

Updates

Pyramyd Air has shipped me the replacement Fortitude, so I will be restarting that report soon. Leapers is sending me a micro dot sight that I showed you recently. I wanted that to test on the Beeman P1 pistol that I stopped testing months ago, but now I also want to put it on the Chaser pistol and perhaps on a rifle or two. And yes, GunFun1, I am going to test the Gauntlet at 50 yards with the tightened shroud/barrel.

But today I want to talk about something different. As you are aware, this blog gets many new readers all the time. Often when they come in they have a question about a topic I have addressed in the past. If their question is easy to answer I will often just give them the links to the past report — if I can find it. But sometimes their question isn’t so easy to answer, and when that happens and I know that I have many other new readers who might perhaps benefit from it, I will write a special blog. Today is such a day. read more


Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

Benjamin 310
A Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun from 1952.

This report covers:

  • Hollow bolt
  • All that I want to test
  • Steel BBs
  • Lead balls
  • Darts
  • Traditional airgun darts
  • Non-traditional airgun darts
  • Pellets
  • Velocity test
  • Sad BB!
  • Next day
  • Discussion

I’m at the Pyramyd Air Cup today. Veteran readers please help the new guys with their questions while I’m gone, because I won’t have much chance to answer email. I will be back in the office on Monday.

Today we begin looking at the velocity of the Benjamin 310 BB gun. There have been so many comments and requests for me to test different things with this gun that I won’t get through the whole velocity portion today. But I will get a start.

Hollow bolt

I mentioned the hollow bolt nose that differentiates the 310 from other Benjamin air rifles, but I don’t think all of you understood what I was talking about. I remember the first time I encountered this as a kid, it fooled me, too. read more


Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

Benjamin 310
A Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun from 1952.

This report covers:

  • Smoothbore single shot
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • Size and weight
  • How many pumps?
  • Manual
  • Adjust bolt for best air seal
  • Walnut stock and pump handle
  • Summary

Today we continue our look at the Benjamin 310 BB gun.

Smoothbore single shot

I make no attempt at hiding the fact that I like single shot rifles and guns. Usually their actions are simple enough that there is flexibility to do things you can’t with a repeater. For example, I had a problem with lead balls jamming in the Benjamin 700, and there is no easy way to clear the jam. The 700 action is all buttoned up. But the 310 is a simple bolt action that will allow me to test varying sizes of lead balls. If one gets stuck all I have to do is rod it out and keep on going. read more


Diana Chaser air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Chaser air pistol
The Diana Chaser is a new CO2 pistol.

This report covers:

  • Chaser rifle
  • Crosman challenge!
  • The pistol
  • Grip is off
  • The bolt
  • CO2 chamber
  • More CO2
  • HOWEVER
  • Sights
  • Composition
  • Trigger
  • Bag
  • Evaluation
  • Summary

Okay, Bob, this one’s for you! Several readers have asked me to test the new Diana Chaser air pistol, but my brother-in-law, Bob, has been the most vocal. Not that he wants to buy a pistol — he is interested in the Diana Chaser air rifle that is built on the same frame. Today I’m starting the test of a .177-caliber Diana Chaser air pistol. Both the rifle and pistol come in .177 or .22 caliber.

Chaser rifle

The Chaser rifle comes with everything you need to convert it into a Chaser pistol. The owner’s manual describes how that is done. At this time I think that is the only way you can go. I don’t see the parts needed to convert the pistol into the rifle. So, the rifle and pistol combination together seems like the better deal than just the pistol by itself. Unless price is an issue. Give that some thought before you buy either gun. read more


Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Today’s test
  • Where to get the right BBs?
  • The test
  • Test 1
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot
  • Failure!
  • 4.4+mm lead balls
  • What is it?
  • End of the report

Boy, am I excited about today’s report! I have owned this Daisy Number 12 Model 29 for many years but have never tested it like I am about to. I oiled the plunger/piston about 3 weeks ago, and it is nice and juicy now. The gun has a leather piston seal, so that’s important.

Today’s test

Today is velocity day, but there is more than just running the gun through the chronograph. I will start with the ammunition.

The first BBs were sized 0.180-inches in diameter, nominally, because they were shotgun birdshot, size BB. That lasted until roughly 1905, when Daisy downsized the lead BB shot to 0.175-inches and started calling it Air Rifle Shot. There is always a transition period as the old goes away and the new takes over. That move saved on lead and the BBs went faster because they were lighter. read more


Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana model 30 gallery gun
Diana model 30 gallery gun.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Caliber 4.4mm
  • The fix
  • Power was intermittent
  • Rifled
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Apparently there have been three Dianas model 30. Blue Book of Airguns calls them out and tells us the differences. Last week there was some confusion about which Diana model 30 airgun I was referring to in a comment, and when I clarified it one of our readers asked for a report. It happened that I then visited a friend who has a model 30 gallery gun, and he told me it wasn’t working. I said I would try to get it working again if I could test it for the blog, so here we go.

Description

The Diana model 30 gallery gun is a spring-piston rifle that uses a bolt to cock the mainspring. It’s similar in function to a great many other bolt-action airguns like the Schmeisser model 33, the Anschütz model 275, the Haenel model 310 that copies the Anschütz, and even the Czech models VZ35 and VZ48. All of those airguns are rifles like this one, but if we expand the list to include smoothbores we have to acknowledge the Mars models 85, 100 and 115. There are probably others I haven’t mentioned. read more


Crosman 102 multi-pump pneumatic repeater: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Clearing the jam
  • The jam
  • Assembly
  • Accuracy
  • Re-sighting
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Crosman wadcutters
  • 10-shots
  • Discussion
  • Summary

You may recall that the Crosman 102 jammed last time I tested it and I had to clear it before continuing. I did that and today we will shoot it at 25 yards. First, let’s clear the jam.

Clearing the jam

Crosman designed the 102 to be easy to clear, but without a manual I had to discover it for myself. The rear peep sight slides to either side, revealing a hole through which many jammed pellets can be removed.

Crosman 102 jam hole
Pull the bolt back and rod the pellet out of the breech. It will fall out this hole.

My jam was more involved, though, and I had to partially disassemble the action to clear it. The top receiver cover is held on by one shoulder bolt that has a large thumbscrew head. Remove it and the top cover slides back and off the receiver. The peep sight is attached to the cover by a rivet and comes off with the cover. read more