3D printing to the rescue!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is written by blog reader New To Old Guns. We met at this year’s Pyramyd Air Cup, where he showed me the items you are about to see. I was impressed, and so was Val Gamerman, the president of Pyramyd Air. He gave his inventions to Val to take back to his office to evaluate, and he and I had already decided that a guest blog would be the right thing for everyone else. So, here we go!

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

And now, over to you, New To Old Guns.

3D printing to the rescue!

This report covers:

  • The Sumatra magazine, the start of it all.
  • What is plastic printing?
  • How does the printer print?
  • Early success: the clip holder
  • Iteration is what makes this great!
  • Follow on success: belt and gun mounts for the clip holders
  • The power of 3D printing
  • Other resolved issues with the Sumatra
  • Summary

The Sumatra magazine, the start of it all.

Around 2003, I purchased the Sumatra 2500. It was a beast of a gun compared to anything I’d owned before. I was immediately smitten. But, it wasn’t long after opening the box and starting to use it, I found the first design choice I disagreed with. The clip is little more than a cylinder with 6 slightly tapered tubes and a pair of spring-loaded bearings front and rear providing centering force. There is nothing holding the pellets in the clip! That’s great, in that there is nothing to deform the pellets as they’re loaded and shot, but not so great because you can’t preload clips for field carry. The pellets just fall right out of the clip! read more


The importance of bullet-to-barrel alignment and fit: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Balls
  • Patched balls
  • Results of patching
  • Conical lead bullets
  • Pellet head
  • An experiment
  • Pellet skirt
  • Summary

Before I begin, I am enroute today to the Sig factory, here in America. They are bringing in a number of writers to show us their airguns and see their factory. I will take lots of pictures and tell you all about it when I return.

But I will not be able to attend to the blog the way that I normally do. I ask those readers who have been here awhile to help the new readers, just like you always do. I will be back in my office in Texas on Friday and things will hopefully return to normal.

Today I will finish the discussion of bullet-to-barrel fit and alignment. I will begin with bullets and then transition to pellets. read more


Semiautomatics and accuracy

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Trolling for questions
  • Why are semautomatic firearms less accurate?
  • Semiautos are accurate!
  • Why?
  • Matt’s Garand
  • My Garand
  • When you fire
  • Not even a Garand!
  • Why does it matter?
  • Airgun accuracy
  • Pellets are plastic
  • Seating consistency
  • Summary

Today’s topic was suggested by some comments from reader Matt61. He says, “The comparisons at the beginning of the post between firearms and airguns and semiauto vs. bolt-action raise a lot of questions for me. I take it that airgun repeater level accuracy is better than firearm repeater accuracy. Why? If it’s because the round is moved by air instead of a bolt, what difference does that make? The bolt seems like it would be more secure. This all has to do with the mechanism of operation so I guess it really is one question about the difference between semiauto and bolt actions. Once the bolt chambers the round into the chamber, what difference does it make whether the round comes single-shot or from a magazine or whether the bolt is operated by hand or by gunpowder gases (firearm) or air? This history would seem to be erased once the round is in the chamber. So why the differences in semiauto, firearm and airgun accuracy?” read more


Firearm pellet adaptor: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Must load from the front of the cartridge
  • Sizing pellets to fit into the mouth of the case
  • How deep is the pellet seated?
  • A lot of “stuff” to support the adaptor
  • The stuff
  • The test
  • Benchrest
  • Surprise!
  • Shot 4
  • Discussion

Today we look at the accuracy of the firearm pellet adaptor. This is what we have been interested in all along. In Part 2 we saw that the velocity was stable when the pellets were loaded deep inside the neck of the adaptor, but not when they sat proud. That generated several questions that I will address before I get to the test. Everything I do today was done with the .22-caliber JSB Exact Jumbo pellet.

Must load from the front of the cartridge

Several readers wondered what might happen if the pellet was pushed in from the rear of the cartridge, rather than loaded from the front. The dents at the base of the cartridge case shoulders prevent that from happening, though I expect you could push a pellet through if you used a lot of force. read more


They have the wrong twist rate!: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Then came big bores
  • What am I talking about?
  • Bullets don’t work like pellets
  • Bullet length
  • Why bullet diameters matter
  • Hard cast lead bullets
  • Putting all of this together
  • Last story

Before we begin I have some startling news from Umarex USA. Sales manager, Justin Biddle contacted me and told me the new Hammer big bore is regulated.! I certainly did not know that, because this is huge news. It means that those three shots it gets on a fill can all be at the same power level. I have adjusted the SHOT Show report (Part 6) to reflect this new information. And by a strange coincidence, this dovetails nicely with today’s report.

For many years I have written about black powder firearms in this blog, and I have included things like rifling twist rates in those articles. And for years people have written me comments that they appreciate a look at something different, but they would never consider shooting black powder arms or even modern firearms, themselves. read more


2017 SHOT Show: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • What’s coming
  • Let’s get started
  • MP 40
  • Remington 1875
  • Benjamin Wildfire
  • Umarex ARX ammo
  • Umarex Hammer
  • Umarex Gauntlet
  • A shrouded Texan?
  • Other new things

Well, it’s that time again. Here I am at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. This year will be the biggest one yet for new airguns. And when I say new, I mean really new designs. I’m not interested in a re-skinned gun that’s had other names in the past. There is so much stuff that is really new this year that everything else will get shoved to the rear.

What’s coming

Yesterday I was on the range with Sig and today I am out at Industry Day at the Range. That’s an event that allows gun writers to try out various new products at a gun range. Actually, it’s more than 50 ranges, all lined up, one after another, in a line that’s about a third of a mile long! A few years ago they started putting ranges on the other side of the walkway, for guns that don’t shoot as far — like shotguns and airguns. read more


Teach me to shoot: Part 14

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13

This is the continuing fictional saga and guest report of a man teaching a woman to shoot. Today Jack continues to teach Jamell how to shoot a muzzle loading fowling gun.

Our guest writer is reader, Jack Cooper. Take it away, Jack.

Teach me to shoot

by Jack Cooper

This report covers:

  • How a flintlock works
  • The vent or flash hole
  • Tow?
  • Not a rifle
  • Her reactions
  • Jamell’s turn
  • Not accurate

DANGER: Today’s topic talks about loading and shooting a black powder firearm. Black powder is explosive, even in the open.

I haven’t written about this subject for a couple months because BB was having problems with a video I wanted for today. He has it finished now, thanks to blog reader Kevin in CT who edited three video clips into one movie. The edited video is online today! read more