Quality is not always straightforward

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Location, location, location!
  • Price point
  • Limited access to materials
  • Committee rule
  • Space is different — of course
  • Materials issues
  • Something different
  • Intermodal containers
  • Different perspective
  • The gamble
  • They approved the design
  • Real world
  • However…
  • Your comments
  • True story
  • Summary

The 5-part Air Venturi TR5 Multi-Shot Target Air Rifle series brought up a lively discussion of manufacturing quality. I have read the comments and feel compelled to mention a few things that no one has addressed yet.

I will be addressing some of the comments from readers in today’s report, but I am not doing it to argue with anyone. I just think we need to see all sides when we talk about this.

Location, location, location!

Does anyone not know that the TR5 is being made in China? It is. Many of you think the Chinese don’t care about quality and the last good thing they built was the Great Wall, but that’s incorrect. China makes most of the smartphones, computers, consumer electronics and optics that we have today. China also has a space program. They are only the third country to put humans into orbit (in their own space program) and they have plans for a Chinese space station next year. They even plan to walk on the moon! read more


ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASG SP-01-pistol
ASG’s CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol is large and heavy. The guns they are shipping have red fiberoptic sights in front, like those found on the firearm.

This report covers:

  • Rich history!
  • So what?
  • Anywhere?
  • The BB pistol
  • Adjustable rear sight
  • Front sight
  • Full blowback
  • Single action and double action
  • All controls are real
  • Grips
  • Summary

I recently started exploring using airguns as stand-ins for certain self-defense firearms. This has now taken a turn, and today I will start reviewing one that I am serious about — the ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol. I will get to the description in a bit, but before I do, let’s first look at the prototype firearm — the CZ75.

Rich history!

There are a few sidearms that stand out from the crowd. The M1911 is one, and the P08 Luger is another. And today’s pistol, the CZ75, is right there with them. We start by recognizing that the 9X19mm cartridge that we know better as the 9mm Luger, is the most popular handgun cartridge in today’s world. Nearly everything else is compared to it, and most successful semiautomatic pistols are chambered for it. read more


Kral Puncher Breaker Silent Synthetic .177 PCP repeater: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Kral Puncher Breaker rifle
Kral Puncher Breaker bullpup with synthetic stock.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The test
  • The day
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Magazine is easy
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm heads
  • Trigger
  • Wind picked up
  • Crosman Premier heavies
  • Evaluation

Today we will finish the report on the .177 caliber Kral Puncher Breaker bullpup PCP. I have taken longer to write this report because of the weather here in Texas. We have had a cold wet winter that has kept me off the outdoor range, and today’s test is the one at 50 yards. I learned a lot about the rifle in this test and when you see the results I think you will agree.

The test

I shot the rifle off a bench with a sandbag rest. The targets were 50 yards away and I shot 10-shot groups. Not only will I describe how the rifle shot, I’ll also give you a lot more detail on things like the trigger pull. read more


Umarex Gauntlet: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gauntlet
Umarex Gauntlet.

This report covers:

  • A price-point PCP
  • Two calibers
  • Features
  • Trigger
  • Sling swivel studs
  • Description
  • Fill
  • Overall evaluation

Yes, Jonah, it is the Umarex Gauntlet on which I will test the Bug Buster 3-12 scope with sidewheel! I had planned on reviewing this rifle last summer, but things happened on the production side and that window closed. Then I wanted to review it before Christmas, but that never happened, either. So now I’m starting my report on an air rifle that’s already in many shooter’s hands.

A price-point PCP

The Gauntlet is not just a price-point precharged pneumatic (PCP). It’s the rifle that defined the class. A price-point PCP has to have a lot of desirable features and retail for less than $300. Umarex drew that line when they announced the Gauntlet last year, but while they were getting the first rifles ready several other manufacturers got their offerings out first. They all stuck to the under-$300 retail price and the features differ from gun to gun. I will test several other price-point PCPs for you but today is all about the Gauntlet. read more


The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman P1
Beeman P1 air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Lots of reports
  • What is the Beeman P1?
  • HW45
  • Three calibers
  • Good 1911 trainer
  • Two power levels
  • Adjustable sights
  • Adjustable trigger
  • All metal
  • PTFE piston seals
  • Overall evaluation

As I was packing up at the 2017 Texas airgun show a man stopped by my tables and showed interest in a BSA Airsporter I had for sale. He asked if I would consider a trade. He then showed me a Beeman P1 pistol in near-excellent condition. The only real detractor is someone had tried to mount a scope on it and they screwed a scope stop pin down into the top of the scope rail, leaving a mark. I already owned a P1, but my gun has been highly modified from the days of The Airgun Letter, and I welcomed this chance to test a stock one.

Back in 1996 I modified the trigger of my P1 and got an extremely light and crisp pull. Ever since then I have had to try to remember what the stock trigger felt like. Also, I have tuned my pistol, making it’s pretty far from the gun it once was. I like the P1 and have recommended it for years to shooters who are serious about air pistols that can shoot, but in all that time I have been talking about a stock gun that’s getting harder and harder to remember. With this trade I can rectify that! read more


Umarex Forge combo: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Forge
Umarex Forge.

This report covers:

  • What we know
  • Say hello to my little friend!
  • Today’s test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Rested on the bag
  • Was this a fluke?
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Trigger report
  • RWS Superdomes
  • H&N Baracuda Match 4.50mm heads
  • Evaluation
  • HOWEVER

Today we begin seeing how accurate the Umarex Forge is. Many of us are holding a lot of hope for this air rifle, because so far it seems to have the stuff of greatness. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a fine air rifle priced where this one is?

What we know

To this point we have discovered several things. The power ranges from 12.8 to 14.5 foot-pounds. So it’s probably a solid 14 foot pound gun with the right pellet.

The trigger is 2-stage and breaks very heavy. I will discover more about the trigger when I shoot the rifle for accuracy today.

We know that the cocking effort is 26 lbs., which is light for a gas spring. It’s entirely suitable for the power this gun puts out. read more


Time out with B.B.

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • New old airguns
  • Tune in a Tube
  • Serendipity
  • More serendipity
  • More stuff
  • Parrus inletting is tight!
  • Summary

I needed to pause from testing airguns and related products today to tell you about some real neat things that are happening in my world — and by association — in this blog.

New old airguns

I guess it’s no surprise that the blog’s history section is very popular with a lot of readers. It is for me, too, because I get to see airguns I have only seen in the Blue Book of Airguns or in old references. I now watch Gun Broker and some of the online airgun sales sites, plus whenever I go to an airgun show I’m always looking to buy something we haven’t yet seen. The Crosman 600 pistol and the BSA Meteor Mark I both came from the recent Texas Airgun Show, and you have seen what’s been done with them. read more