Sig Sauer P226 X-Five pellet pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P226 X-Five
Sig’s P226 X-Five pellet pistol.

This report covers:

  • PELLET pistol?
  • The quiet reader
  • What’s an X-Five?
  • Back to pellets — features
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Blowback
  • Safety
  • Grip
  • Magazine
  • Slide and frame
  • Size and finish
  • Summary
  • Note to Sig

If it sounds like this blog has turned into one long commercial for Sig, don’t blame me! They are the ones who keep on bringing out significant new airgun products. Today we begin looking at the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five pellet pistol.

PELLET pistol?

That’s right, sports fans — this pistol shoots lead diabolo PELLETS! Don’t get it confused with the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five BB pistol that looks very similar. I have already gotten confused a couple times, so I know how easy it is.

The quiet reader

I’m starting this report today for the quiet reader. He’s the guy who has commented that he would sure like to see each BB pistol I have tested in a version that shot pellets. The belief is since pellet pistols have rifled barrels they will be more accurate at greater distances. I think that’s true, as long as we bear in mind that a repeating pistol with blowback will never be as accurate as a dedicated single shot pistol, when all other variables are the same. But in all probability a rifled bore should put the pellet pistol ahead of a smoothbore BB pistol at distances of 10 meters, or so. That’s the hope, and that’s what I will be testing. read more

Using air pistols for defense training

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • Why the pseudonym?
  • Defense shooting
  • The ideal airgun
  • The training
  • Action targets
  • Holster?
  • Evolution
  • Suggestions

Why the pseudonym?

Some new readers may wonder why I still write as B.B. Pelletier, even though I put my real name above. Well, it goes back to the 1990s, when I was writing The Airgun Letter. My style of writing that you all feel comfortable with today was unheard of in 1994, when the newsletter started. At that time the world of airguns was full of cliques that tried to exclude others, or if they couldn’t keep them out they tried to ridicule and discourage them. The internet just gave them a larger overpass to spraypaint. Edith and I didn’t allow that on our Airgun Letter Forum, and it drove these guys nuts! We were hacked and spammed and everything else that’s bad, even though many of our detractors were also living on our forum! read more

SHOT Show 2018: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

This report covers:

  • Traffic was down
  • Sig
  • Sig magazines
  • Hatsan
  • Crosman
  • Umarex USA
  • ASG
  • Conclusion

Today I will give you the final report on the 2018 SHOT Show. Did I save the best for last? That’s for you to decide.

Traffic was down

Every SHOT Show is larger than the previous one, but not this year. I would estimate attendance was down by 10-20 thousand, based on how open the aisles were on the first 2 days. Some booth holders lamented about it, but all of the ones I talked to who actually write business at the show (take orders for the year) told me business was up. I think the tire-kickers stayed home and only the serious buyers came. Let’s get started!


The new Sig breakbarrel is a landmark air rifle, but it wasn’t all that I saw in their booth. The next exciting thing was the new Sig Super Target single stroke pneumatic target pistol! When I pumped it I was surprised by how easy it is! This may be a target air pistol that many women and older children can cock. That is a landmark achievement, because I had been holding out for the Daisy 499 to be made into a pistol for the same purpose. If a Daisy 747 single stroke pistol takes 20 lbs. to pump, this pistol takes 10 or less. I was told that the velocity is around the 300+ f.p.s. mark, which is in the Daisy ballpark. The trigger is very nice and I can’t wait to test one! 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

Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan Bullmaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Scope performance
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • Scope adjustment
  • Group two
  • Group three
  • Evaluation
  • Group four
  • Group five
  • Summary

Today I take the Hatsan Bullmaster out to the 50-yard range. I might have said in the past that I would attach a bipod for this test, but instead I rested the rifle on a sandbag.

Hatsan Bullmaster Tom at range
I shot the BullMaster off a sandbag rest.

The test

It is important to remember that the BullMaster is a semiautomatic. However, it is also a repeating pellet rifle. It doesn’t handle the pellets the way cartridges are handled in semiautomatic firearms, so that’s one accuracy-killer that can be discounted. It feeds from a circular magazine. The bolt that pushes the pellet into the breech is operated by air instead of manually by a bolt. Therefore we can expect airgun repeater-level accuracy. read more

Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan Bullmaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Mounting the rings
  • Problem
  • Enter BKL
  • Two strap rings
  • More to mounting a scope
  • Shim the rear mount
  • Position and level the scope
  • Adjust the eyepiece
  • Thickness of the reticle lines
  • Is this scope clear?
  • Scope mounted — what’s next?
  • Summary

Today is Part 3 of my report on the new Hatsan Bullmaster precharged pneumatic airgun, but you may recall that I introduced two new products in Part 2 — the new UTG 3-12X32 AO Bug Buster scope and some UTG Accu-Sync scope rings that are so new they aren’t even on the Pyramyd Air website yet. Normally in Part 3 I start testing the accuracy of the airgun under review, but today I’m going to discuss mounting this new scope and getting the rifle set up to test. With all the new readers that have joined us over the past several months it seems like the right thing to do. Let’s get started. read more

Hatsan Bullmaster PCP: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Bullmaster
Hatsan Bullmaster semiautomatic bullpup PCP.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Comments
  • New Bug Buster
  • Power
  • H&N Baracuda 5.50mm head
  • H&N Sniper Light 5.50mm head
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • Shot count
  • Trigger
  • Sound
  • Summary
  • Next


I’ll start today’s report by listing some of the comments you readers made to Part 1. Several of you don’t care for the Hatsan BullMaster’s looks. That’s why I show a picture of the gun at the top of each report. You have to be satisfied with the appearance if you’re going to buy an airgun this expensive.

Next, several of you commented on the weight. At more than 10 pounds before the scope is mounted, this is not a lightweight airgun. Bullpups are small, but not necessarily light.

Then there is the size, itself. For a bullpup, the Bullmaster is on the large side. The overall length of just under 31 inches is very short compared to a conventional air rifle, but for a bullpup it’s on the long side. That length does give you a fully shrouded barrel that’s just under 20 inches, and you need the barrel length for power, but the point of a bullpup is its compact size. read more