Finding that silk purse

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • A break
  • The real story
  • Fell into it
  • Oh, no!
  • The real story
  • Back to the future
  • The lesson
  • More
  • The point
  • Summary

A break

I need a break from punching holes in paper. Been doing a lot of that this week. Today I was all set to test the Slavia 618, but the next test is accuracy and like I said — I want to do something else.

As I was sitting at my computer trying come up with an idea for today, I got messaged that the parts for my .22 rimfire High Standard Sport King pistol had arrived in my mailbox. What’s the story there?

Fell into it

Many years ago I was at one of the last gun shows I ever attended. I had two tables full of guns to sell and one of them was something I had priced at $450. I forget what it was — it was that unimportant to me. But my price was reasonable and there was some interest. One guy came by and asked if I would come over to his table and see if there was anything I would take in trade for it. So I did. read more


Slavia 618 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Slavia 618
Slavia 618.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Before the test
  • RWS Basic
  • How does it shoot?
  • Crosman Premier Light
  • Discussion 1
  • Re-test with the “new” seal
  • Basic test 2
  • Premier Light test 2
  • Discussion 2
  • Cocking effort and trigger pull
  • Summary

Today I test the velocity of the Slavia 618. You will recall that I have two of these rifles and one seems to be performing well. That’s the one I’ll test. The other rifle I will rebuild, but we will look at that in a separate report some time in the future.

Before the test

This rifle has a leather breech seal which is indicative of a leather piston seal, as well. So I dropped about 5 drops of Crosman Pellgunoil down the barrel and stood the rifle on its butt for a few days to let the oil run down into the compression chamber and soak into the leather. It also soaks into the breech seal as it passes, softening it up so it can do the job it was designed to do. That should get the rifle into the best possible condition for a velocity test. read more


Beeman R10: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Recap
  • The initial test
  • Today’s test — the firing cycle
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grain
  • How I set up the Vortek kit
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • RWS Superdome
  • Cocking effort
  • Summary

Today is the day we find out what the Vortek PG3 SHO tune has done for the Beeman R10 I’m testing.

Recap

I received the rifle from a reader who wanted a rifle that had a tune done by me. I will tell all of you now that I am not an airgun tuner. I tune some of my own guns from time to time, but I don’t do it as a service. And there is absolutely nothing special about any tune I have done. This report is more a testimony of what the Vortek kit can do than it has anything to do with me.

The reader and I both agreed that a smooth-shooting air rifle was preferable to the last f.p.s. in velocity. So smoothness was what I was after, and nothing more, as long as the rifle performed within reasonable parameters. read more


Beeman R10: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Start
  • Scope base off
  • Tip 1
  • Mainspring
  • Remove piston
  • Sleeved piston
  • Threaded spring tube
  • Breech seal
  • Cleaning
  • Piston seal
  • Tuning strategy
  • Trigger
  • Insert the piston with the new Vortek seal — tip 2
  • Last thing — the trigger box!
  • Final assembly
  • Summary

Today I disassemble the Beeman R10 and install the Vortek PG3 tuning kit. I installed one of these in the Air Arms PG3 SHO tuning kit in an Air Arms ProSport last year and the results were very positive. But this R10 is a different rifle in many ways, and I will cover that today as we go.

I am going to show you all the differences and nuances of the R10, but I can’t show everything about disassembly. If you want to see that read the 13-part series titled Spring gun tune. That was about a Beeman R1, but most of the steps are the same for the R10. I will address the ones that aren’t. read more


What do you want?: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • So what?
  • The most important thing
  • What gives accuracy — the barrel
  • What gives accuracy — the trigger
  • Safety
  • What gives accuracy — the breech lock
  • Powerplant
  • Sights
  • My idea
  • Between the lines

This is the start of a series that I think will be quite different. The inspiration comes from the SpaceX company that has now successfully put two astronauts on the International Space Station. SpaceX has significantly reduced the cost to build rockets and launch payloads, making space exploration more affordable. Elon Musk determined that he could buy the materials to build a rocket for just three percent of what the Russians wanted for theirs. That was what put him in business.

So what?

What does any of that have to do with airguns? Everything, I think. Because it illustrates just how much can be accomplished when there is a plan and when the schedule is not artificial but is based on realistic forecasts. This report is not meant to criticize any company or person, but it will also not permit the hardening of attitudes that stifles progress. read more


Beeman R10: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • This R10
  • History of the Beeman R9 and R10
  • Success!
  • Tap the cap
  • What about this R10?
  • The R10 came in both standard and deluxe versions
  • Thin spring tube
  • Trigger
  • Cocking shoe
  • Performance
  • Velocity with JSB 8.44-grain
  • Summary

I wrote a 6-part report about the Beeman R10 in 2017-18, but this one will be different. The rifle I reported on three years ago was actually a Weihrauch HW85 that was the basis of the Beeman R10, and I bought it because it had been super-tuned. Not only is it lubed to perfection, but some internal parts like the spring guide were made for it so there is no tolerance in the powerplant. If you read the series, especially Part 1, you will learn that this rifle was tuned by Bryan Enoch, reader David Enoch’s brother. When I shot it at the Malvern, Arkansas, airgun show I was impressed by how smooth it was. I made one of those, “If you ever decide to sell…” kind of offers and David (or Bryan — I really didn’t know whose rifle it was) took me up on it about a year later. read more


The Haenel 311 target rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Haenel 311
Haenel 311 target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Air Arms Falcon|
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Alibi
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Qiang Yuan Training 
  • Gamo Match
  • Discussion
  • Summary

I’m doing this accuracy test because I discovered that in a test run many years ago I shot my best targets when holding the Haenel 311 target rifle with an artillery hold. In the last test I laid the rifle directly on the sandbag and I wondered how the artillery hold would affect the groups.

The test

I shot 5-shot groups with each pellet, but with one pellet I shot several groups for different reasons. I did try my hardest to shoot well. I shot from 10 meters.

Air Arms Falcon

First up was the Air Arms Falcon pellet — the only domed pellet in the test. In the last test with the rifle resting on the sandbag, the 311 put 5 Falcons into a 0.466-inch group. This time using the artillery hold the same Falcon pellet went into 0.571-inches. It’s close, but the bag rest seems better. read more