The difference between strikers and hammers

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • What are firearms?
  • What is an explosion?
  • What starts the burning?
  • Ignition
  • Smokeless powder
  • The hammer-fired system
  • Evolution
  • Hidden hammer
  • Striker
  • On the airguns
  • Valve stem
  • Summary

Today I want to explore a gray area in airguns. It’s gray because airguns operate differently than firearms, so we will begin our discussion with firearms for better understanding.

What are firearms?

Firearms are devices that launch projectiles by means of a chemical explosion. To start the explosion there needs to be some kind of initiator. In the beginning, when the gunpowder that we call black powder was in use, all it took was a spark or a hot coal to start the explosion.

What is an explosion?

An explosion is a violent expansion of gasses. Pop a balloon and it explodes. Anything that burns can explode under the right circumstances — even dust. The flour that bread is made from can explode so violently that it can kill people and even level huge buildings. read more


FX Dreamlite precharged air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FX Dreamlite
FX Dreamlite PCP.

This report covers:

  • Unique features
  • The manual is a problem
  • Transfer port adjustment
  • Trigger
  • Fill
  • Fill probe
  • Regulator
  • Transfer port adjustment
  • Keep the baby
  • The rifle
  • Free-floated barrel
  • Smooth Twist barrel
  • tock replacement
  • Summary

Today we begin looking at the FX-Dreamlite precharged air rifle. It’s been several years since I tested an FX rifle, and I’m curious to see what has changed. The last rifle I tested was very accurate.

The Dreamlite I am testing is a .177 at my request. The rifle also comes in .22 and .25 calibers, and the barrels can be swapped. So can the butts.

The Dreamlite is part of the FX Dreamline series that includes their lower-priced PCPs. I say they are priced lower, but we are still looking at $1,180 for the Dreamlite, so they aren’t cheap!

Unique features

The Dreamlite comes with a bundle of desirable features that I’d like to mention first. It’s a repeater with a sidelever bolt action that’s very light and smooth to cock. The .177 I’m testing has a spring-loaded circular magazine that holds 21 rounds. I think that’s a record for this kind of magazine. In .22 caliber the mag holds 18 and in .25 it holds 16. I would think that should suffice for a day of hunting! Of course this mag does stick up high above the top of the receiver, so 2-piece scope rings are a must. And no, there are no open sights. read more


Artemis PP700S-A PCP pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Artemis pistol
Artemis PCP air pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Seals are holding
  • First shot string
  • Point 2
  • Scope shift
  • RWS Superdome
  • Second shot string
  • Regulator?
  • Four minutes
  • JSB Exact Jumbos second time
  • RWS Hobby
  • Discussion
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we’ll look at the velocity of the Artemis PP700S-A PCP pistol. From the comments to Part 1, I could tell that many of you know this pistol or are at least aware of it. Reader Arcadian even mentioned that it was regulated, but if it is, the reg is not function correctly. You’ll see why I say that in a moment.

Seals are holding

I filled the pistol at the end of the last report, so it has held air for three weeks. The gauge on the pistol reads 300 psi lower than the larger gauge on my carbon fiber tank, but before I conducted the first velocity test I filled the reservoir so the gun’s onboard gauge needle went to the top of the green on its scale. Then I tested the gun with the .22-caliber JSB Exact Jumbo pellet. That test string shows a lot about the performance of the pistol, so let’s look at it now. read more


AirForce Edge 10-meter rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Testing Baracuda FT pellets — Part3

AirForce Edge
The AirForce Edge target rifle.

This report covers:

  • 18-inch Lothar Walther barrel
  • Leak!
  • Accuracy
  • The test
  • No sight-in
  • How do velocities compare between the three barrels?
  • What you see
  • Next
  • Summary

Well, RidgeRunner — this one’s for you! Today we look at the AirForce Edge target rifle that reader RidgeRunner had Lloyd Sykes modify into a fancy plinking/sport air rifle. Lloyd boosted the power at the cost of 3/4 of the shots, by adding an air chamber after the built-in regulator. It is an elegant solution!

A normal Edge set up for target work gets about 110 shots from its tiny reservoir. This one gets 25. A normal Edge shoots target pellets at 500-525 f.p.s. This one shoots heavier RWS Meisterkugeln rifle pellets at an average of 713 f.p.s. (estimate — read Part 2 of this report) for 9.31 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. read more


The AirForce Ring Loc Kit: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ring-Loc Kit
AirForce Condor Ring-Loc Kit.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • A little history
  • Installing the Ring Loc Kit
  • Adjusting the top hat clearance
  • The bolt-locking notches
  • Protect the bolt bushing
  • What is the measurement under the top hat?
  • Let’s test it
  • Air use
  • One last test
  • Summary

Today we take the Ring Loc Kit from AirForce in a new direction. To this point we have seen the performance of all the orifices except for the smallest one — the 0.070 orifice that is supposed to be a pilot hole for drilling your own custom orifice. But some of you have asked me to shoot the gun with that orifice as it is? Well, I was told that it won’t push a pellet out of the barrel when the rifle is set on maximum power, but when I pressed him, Ton Jones told me that was with the .25 caliber barrel installed. They were interested in the maximum power in each caliber, because this kit goes on an AirForce Condor, after all. read more


Artemis PP700S-A PCP pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Artemis pistol
Artemis PCP air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Not from Pyramyd Air
  • Impressive from the start
  • Description
  • Finish flaws
  • Fill
  • Fill adaptor
  • I filled it!
  • Sights
  • Scope rail
  • Manual
  • Operation
  • Trigger
  • Power
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we start something different. The Artemis PP700S-A (what a mouthful!) is a single-shot precharged pneumatic (PCP) air pistol that comes in both .177 and .22 calibers. This pistol I am testing is a .22.

Not from Pyramyd Air

This pistol is made by Shaoxing Snowpeak Air Gun Factory in China, and sold all over the world. Here in the U.S. it’s only carried by smaller dealers. I ordered mine overseas from a large European exporter and had the airgun in about two weeks. I have no idea whether it’s a good air pistol or not, but after this test we should all know.

Come on, Snowpeak! Give this pistol a real name. If you don’t there will be worldwide confusion about it and you will lose sales. It doesn’t have to be an American name. I would rather call it a Licking Cow than a PP700S-A. What is that — somebody’s password? read more


The AirForce Ring Loc Kit: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ring-Loc Kit
AirForce Condor Ring-Loc Kit.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Update
  • The .22
  • 0.232 orifice
  • 0.166 orifice
  • 0.145 orifice
  • 0.125 orifice
  • Discussion 1
  • .177 Condor
  • 0.166 orifice
  • 0.145 orifice
  • 0.123 orifice
  • 0.145 orifice with .177-caliber 18-inch barrel and power wide open
  • 0.123 orifice with .177-caliber 18-inch barrel and power wide open
  • Temperature affects the results
  • Discussion 2
  • Summary

I’m not doing an historical report today because there are too many current airguns and other things on my plate. Today I will tell you more about the performance of the new Ring Loc Kit from AirForce. They have given me mounds of test data to choose from and I am abbreviating it for you. Today we’ll look at the performance in .22 caliber, as well as a glimpse into the world of the .177.

Update

The Ring Loc Kit contains orifices in sizes 0.232-, 0.166-, 0.145- and 0.123-inches. There is also that experimental orifice that has a pilot hole of 0.070-inches that’s too small to shoot anything, but serves as a pilot/guide for a small drill bit. I hope to get to that one soon. read more