Why collect airguns?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Covered this subject before
  • How to begin?
  • Because I couldn’t have them
  • I couldn’t afford them
  • Got a paper route
  • The point
  • Why do this?
  • Not the only reason
  • Summary

Reader William Schooley requested this report and I need to do it today for a special reason I am going to explain. On Wednesday I go into the hospital for surgery, so I am writing a lot of blogs to cover the time when I can’t be online. When Edith was with me, something like this was seamless, but now I am the only guy in town and I have to do things differently. Therefore, this week’s blogs will be shorter and, starting Wednesday, I won’t be able to answer comments for awhile. I’m supposed to be home on Thursday sometime, but we’ll see how that goes. Now let’s get into today’s report. read more


Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

A history of airguns

Benjamin 310
A Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun from 1952.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Avanti Match Grade shot
  • Hornady Black Diamonds
  • 4.45mm balls
  • Beeman Perfect Rounds
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the accuracy of the vintage Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun. I want to remind you that this is a smoothbore and not to expect too much accuracy from it. That being said, I remember that the ancient Benjamin 700 repeater surprised me. Let’s see if that trend continues with this single shot 310.

The test

I shot the gun at 10 meters off a sandbag rest. I used the one-pump system I developed that stabilizes the velocity around 390-400 f.p.s., depending on the type of shot. I tested both steel BBs and lead round balls, and, knowing that the larger shot were more stable in the gun, I tried to test with them. read more


The punt gun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

punt gun 1
A punt gun is huge! The man has a conventional shotgun in his other hand for comparison.

This report covers:

  • Market hunting
  • What is a punt?
  • What is a punt gun?
  • The nasty part
  • Punt guns in the movies
  • Why the punt gun today?

I’m having some fun today, and I want to invite all of you to have some with me. First of all — what do punt guns have to do with airguns?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

About the only thing I can say is that both things have the word “gun” in their title.

Market hunting

I will step across the politically correct line now and talk about market hunting. Until the 20th century, market hunting was one of the ways the human race survived. Today we go to the grocery store. In 1875 we either raised our own meat or else we bought it from a meat market that, in turn, bought it from either a local rancher or a market hunter. read more


Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

Benjamin 310
A Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun from 1952.

This report covers:

  • Smart Shot
  • 4.4mm balls
  • 4.45mm balls
  • Beeman Perfect Rounds
  • Darts and bolts
  • Airgun darts
  • Bolts
  • Airgun bolts
  • Bolt extraction
  • Not finished yet

Today I will almost complete the velocity test of the Benjamin 310 BB gun. Today we look at the velocity with lead balls and also with both kinds of darts. Lead balls are first.

I don’t plan on testing each lead ball exhaustively. If I find something interesting I can always expand that particular test. And I will exhaust all the air before each shot I record, so you know it is moving that fast on just those pumps.

Smart Shot

H&N Smart Shot measure 0.1725-inches, nominally. Here is their performance. read more


Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.

This report covers:

  • Bulls Eye pistol
  • Sharpshooter velocity
  • The launcher
  • Velocity
  • One band
  • Chronograph problems
  • Discharge sound
  • Trigger pull
  • Accuracy
  • Next time

Before we begin, I want to share an email I received last Friday. It says a lot about the experience of attending the Pyramyd Air Cup.

“Hi Tom, 

Meeting you in person for me was one of the highlights of the Pyramid Air Cup 2018. I’m the tall guy shooting any tournament for the first time. I shot a TX200 and had questions about a second air rifle that weekend. We spoke about the Sig P938 and you recommended a Sig 365 you were testing. I wanted to give you my perspective of what I got out my first shoot and ask you to consider sharing my thoughts. Not the shoot but as a newcomer into competition. read more


Benjamin 700 multi-pump repeater: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

Benjamin 700
Benjamin 700 repeating BB gun.

This report covers:

  • Wrong ammunition
  • Two big clues
  • Filling the BB gun
  • The test
  • Sight-in with Daisy BBs
  • Pressure too high
  • Hornady Black Diamonds
  • Getting used to the gun
  • Daisy Match Grade shot
  • Bottom line

Today we learn how accurate the Benjamin 700 multi-pump repeating BB gun is. And we will learn a lot more than that. Let’s go!

Wrong ammunition

Some of you know how I harp on calling a BB gun a BB caliber and NOT .177/4.5mm. Because it’s not! A steel BBs is 0.171- to 0.1735-inches in diameter. It may not matter to people buying one BB gun at a discount store, but to someone like me who has to shoot oddball new and old airguns from all over the world, it makes a big difference.

The Benjamin promotional pamphlet from the 1930s says these guns (the model 600, 700 and 300) use steel Air Rifle Shot of 0.175-inches in diameter. There’s just one problem with that. As far as I can tell, nobody ever made steel Air Rifle Shot in anything but 0.171-0.1735-inches. I wondered if it was possible that the Benjamin writers of that pamphlet were as cavalier back in the 1930s as BB manufacturers are today. Did they really want us to use Air Rifle Shot that is 0.171 to 0.1735-inches in diameter and not LEAD Air Rifle Shot that is 0.175-inches? They did emphasize not using lead balls in these guns. read more


Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana model 30 gallery gun
Diana model 30 gallery gun.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Caliber 4.4mm
  • The fix
  • Power was intermittent
  • Rifled
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Apparently there have been three Dianas model 30. Blue Book of Airguns calls them out and tells us the differences. Last week there was some confusion about which Diana model 30 airgun I was referring to in a comment, and when I clarified it one of our readers asked for a report. It happened that I then visited a friend who has a model 30 gallery gun, and he told me it wasn’t working. I said I would try to get it working again if I could test it for the blog, so here we go.

Description

The Diana model 30 gallery gun is a spring-piston rifle that uses a bolt to cock the mainspring. It’s similar in function to a great many other bolt-action airguns like the Schmeisser model 33, the Anschütz model 275, the Haenel model 310 that copies the Anschütz, and even the Czech models VZ35 and VZ48. All of those airguns are rifles like this one, but if we expand the list to include smoothbores we have to acknowledge the Mars models 85, 100 and 115. There are probably others I haven’t mentioned. read more