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


FLZ Luftpistole, version 2: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FLZ pistol
The FLZ version 2 pistol was made in Germany from 1938 to 1940.

A history of airguns

  • Uncommon
  • Description
  • Stock
  • Marks
  • Looks like a rifle

Today we start looking at an air pistol that’s uncommon in the U.S., and indeed, around the world — the FLZ Luftpistole version 2. FLZ stands for Fritz Langenhan of Zella Mehlis, Germany. We have looked at one other FLZ airgun on this blog in the past — the Millita that now resides in RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.

Uncommon

I don’t think the FLZ air pistol is rare, but the first version that has a rounded grip was made from 1926/7 to 1940, according to The Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols, by John Griffiths. Version 2 that I have was introduced in 1937 and lasted until 1940. The nation of Germany was preparing for war in the late 1930s, and commercial production was curtailed, so I think the second version of the gun must be less common. That doesn’t make it more valuable — just harder to find. read more


The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 9

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

Beeman P1
Beeman P1 air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Sorted pellets
  • Sorting RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Pre-test work
  • Another teat?
  • Modifications?
  • Back to the test
  • 4.55 Premier
  • 4.56 Premier
  • The test changes
  • Deep seated again
  • Meisterkugeln with 4.54mm heads
  • Discussion

Today I will conduct the accuracy tests of the Beeman P1 that you readers requested. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s begin.

Sorted pellets

Based on the fliers I was getting in Part 6, you asked me to sort the pellets by head size. I chose the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet and the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellet for this test, because they both performed the best in the last accuracy test.

I used the PelletGage to sort pellets by head size. Premiers were first, and I discovered their heads ranged from 4.54mm to larger than 4.56mm, which is the largest hole on my gage. Most were either 4.55 or 4.56mm, with 4.56mm being the most common. read more


The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Beeman P1
Beeman P1 air pistol.

This report covers:

  • Disassembly
  • Cleaning
  • Lubrication and assembly
  • Velocity — RWS Hobby pellets
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Crosman Premier Light
  • Discussion
  • What comes next?

Today is a big day. I cleaned the Tune in a Tube (TIAT) grease out of the Beeman P1 we are testing and lubricated it with plain white lithium grease. This will tell us whether TIAT is wrong for an air pistol like the P1 and also whether the pistol I’m testing is still in good shape.

Disassembly

I had the pistol apart and ready to clean in 15 minutes. The directions I gave you in Part 4 work perfectly. I’m not showing any pictures of that today because Part 4 nailed it.

Cleaning

I will say this, TIAT is very sticky stuff! It took longer to clean than I anticipated. Everything had to be wiped dry. That stuff really clings! All I did was wipe it all away with paper towels so the gun was dry and ready for the new grease. read more


The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Beeman P1
Beeman P1 air pistol.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Crosman Premier light pellets
  • Discussion
  • What comes next?

Today we look at the velocity of the new/old Beeman P1 pistol I tuned for you. If you recall, I wanted to get a few shots on the powerplant first because the pistol acted like it had just been tuned. I got 40+ shots in the accuracy test in Part 6, and, while that isn’t a real break-in, it’s at least a start. Let’s get right to it because I have other things to talk about.

The test

I decided to test the pistol with the same three pellets I used in the first velocity test. That was reported in Part 2. That will give us a direct before/after comparison. I also added the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets that showed so much potential in the last accuracy test. They weren’t in the first velocity test. I’m not testing RWS Superdomes, but you should get a sense of where they fit in when you see what the other pellets did. This is a test of the tuned powerplant — not a test of each and every pellet. read more


The Beeman P1 air pistol: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Beeman P1
Beeman P1 air pistol.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Smoothing makes a difference
  • RWS Superdome
  • Experience so far
  • Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Summary

Today we are back with the Beeman P1 air pistol I disassembled and lubricated in Parts 4 and 5. I said at the end of that job that I felt the gun was behaving like it had just been tuned, so instead of doing the velocity test next I would shoot it for accuracy. That would give it a chance to break in a little before velocity testing. Today is the accuracy test.

The test

I shot the pistol off a rest at 10 meters, using a 2-hand hold. My hands rested on the bag and the pistol did not touch it. I intentionally did not read the first accuracy test before shooting because I wanted to test this pistol without any bias. I also did something that I thought was very clever. Then I discovered that I had done it in the first accuracy test, as well. Oh, well, when you are old like me, everything is new each day! read more


Owning vintage airguns

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Only new for me!
  • The RidgeRunner story
  • Kevin’s story
  • Whacky Wayne
  • Hey, BB — where are the airguns?
  • A lot of them can be fixed
  • Vintage pneumatics
  • Shaving is the best test
  • Blade shape and thickness
  • Don’t forget CO2
  • Summary

Reader Michael gave me the idea for this report when he made a comment to yesterday’s blog, referring to my discussion of the bent versus unscragged mainspring.

“I suppose, too, that if a particular air gun is firing or cocking abnormally, a bent mainspring is one of the usual suspects.”

That comment is so true that it started my brain firing on both cylinders! The bottom line is — what’s it like to own a vintage airgun?

Only new for me!

Some of you steadfastly refuse to look at vintage airguns, for fear you will encounter some problem that can’t be fixed. Does that ever happen? You bet it does! Have a look at my greatest failure — the pogostick repeater. Read that report and look at the pictures. After I wrote that I gave the rifle to former reader Vince, who attempted to put it back to being a vintage Diana. He failed, too, and today it’s just a pile of parts somewhere. read more