2018 Pyramyd Air Cup: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Field Target meeting
A record 104 shooters receive their orientation briefing from Tyler Patner on the first day of the field target match.

This report covers:

  • The vendors – H&N
  • The vendors – Leapers
  • Public range
  • Gauntlet and Fortitude
  • Sig ASP20
  • More interesting airguns to come
  • Field target
  • Pistol match cancelled
  • World-class airguns
  • More to come

The Pyramyd Air Cup is a public event that combines airgun competitions, a public range, a chance to meet many of the vendors who make the airguns and accessories you read about and, most importantly, a chance to shoot airguns you have seen and heard about but could never try. A day at this event is worth a year of reading on the internet — this blog included.

The Cup was held at the Tusco Rifle Club in Midvale, Ohio, which is about midway between Cleveland and Columbus. It’s convenient to people living in a 500-mile radius, and this year I saw people from all over the U.S., including Florida, California and Hawaii. People had come from Canada and the UK, as well. The H&N general manager, Florian Schwartz, was there, and Tobias Schmidt represented Diana. Both men had come from Germany to be there. read more


The airgun market in 2018

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Serious airgunner
  • The market has exploded
  • No more cheap
  • The gun crisis
  • Where were airguns?
  • Firearm crossover
  • Airguns — cheap???
  • Is that all there is?
  • The future
  • The point?
  • Summary

When I started writing about airguns in 1994 there weren’t but about 5,000 to 15,000 serious airgunners in the U.S. No one knew for sure how many there were because there was very little data about this market. There may be disagreement on just how many there were but everyone agrees that the American airgun market was small.

Serious airgunner

Let me define what I mean by “serious airgunner,” because that has a bearing on what I’m saying. Airguns are very prevalent in the United States. I would estimate that millions of homes have at least one airgun, but that ranges from the family who just inherited their parents’ home and are unaware of the old Benjamin that’s stuck up in the rafters of the garage to homes like mine, where the number of airguns is greater than 50. There are a huge number of families with airguns, but most of those people cannot be considered serious shooters. My definition of a serious airgunner is someone who owns and shoots an airgun at least once each month. My experience is that if they do shoot an airgun that often, they shoot it a lot more than that! read more


Gamo Compact vs IZH 46: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

This report covers:

  • Single Stroke Pneumatics
  • Velocity
  • RWS R10
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Accuracy test
  • RWS R10
  • H&N Finale Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Chinese match wadcutters
  • Summary

Today is a mistake. Reader RidgeRunner asked me if I intended to finish this report from 2008. I looked at his link to Part 5 and, sure enough, it looked like I had intended to. I even promised a reader back then that I would. Well, WordPress software is at fault this time, because I did not find a later report when I entered it in the search box at the top of this page, but when I went to publish this report number 6 I found that one had already been published — on July 22, 2008. But that was after I did the complete test plus some extra things, so I’m going to finish it again. It’s actually a good report. And by the way, I just entered the title in the search box again and this time it came up. Of course it did! read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASP20
Sig Sauer’s new ASP20 gas spring breakbarrel air rifle breaks ground in many areas! The safety is on both sides of the stock. Photo provided by Sig Sauer.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Update
  • Sig Super Target pistol
  • Sig X-Five
  • M17
  • It’s over!
  • Dinner
  • Summary

Update

When we closed Part 3 I said I was done with the ASP20 until the test, but I overlooked a couple very important things. Several of you asked me where the safety is and it is shown in the pictures several times. It’s on the right side of the stock. And also on the left side! Yes, the ASP 20 is 100 percent ambidextrous. The safety is manual and slides forward and back.

I also forgot to mention that the rifle comes with a Picatinney rail welded on top, so scope mounting will be a breeze. This type of scope base is replacing the 11mm dovetail rail and most new spring guns have one. read more


How to treat a new airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • New airgun — what do I do?
  • Be careful!
  • DO NOT GET IT “TUNED” FIRST THING!
  • Lube it?
  • CO2
  • Pre-charged Pneumatic (PCP)
  • Multi-pumps and single strokes
  • Spring piston guns
  • Do I need to clean it?
  • What about disassembly?
  • How should I protect my new airgun?
  • The most important thing

Every so often I am inspired to stop and cover the basics for our readers. Many of you who have been with me off and on over the past 13 years (yes, this blog turned 13 this month) will find the things I am about to say rudimentary, but each of you went through them in your own way. My recent encounter with the Sub-1 crossbow made it clear to me what it’s like to have something about which you know very little. And, as I was in the midst of my discoveries, reader Johncpen asked this.

“When lubing the bolt of a PCP like a Benjamin Maximus would you use silicone oil on the O-ring and Remington oil behind that or just silicone oil on the whole thing?” 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!

Sig

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


The Golden Rule

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The foundation
  • Airgun Breakfast
  • How things developed
  • Next year
  • Undaunted
  • Progress
  • AirForce
  • Time marches on
  • Back to Crosman
  • Challenger PCP
  • Summary

I’m using the history section for a special report today. It’s history, but also very recent. Last Thursday when I started the report on the Diana Stormrider, reader William Schooley asked me the following question.

“Thought this might might be an interesting 3P juniors PCP rifle until you reported the 20 FPE and 26 FPE numbers. Something tells me that this rifle will exceed rule 4.1.7 limit of 600 fps muzzle velocity.

Will someone please explain why there are no sporter class PCP’s on the market that have been submitted for inclusion on the approved rifle list (Rule 4.2.1) at a $200 price point?

When that happens, that will be a PCP rifle a junior can purchase with their own allowance and odd job money and shoot at 3P and 4P matches. read more