Piston seals: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Updates
  • Early leather seals
  • What’s next?
  • Now that you understand…
  • No magic
  • Don’t be depressed!
  • Leather piston seals
  • The better way
  • It’s all the same
  • Leather’s shortcoming
  • Summary

Updates

Pyramyd Air has shipped me the replacement Fortitude, so I will be restarting that report soon. Leapers is sending me a micro dot sight that I showed you recently. I wanted that to test on the Beeman P1 pistol that I stopped testing months ago, but now I also want to put it on the Chaser pistol and perhaps on a rifle or two. And yes, GunFun1, I am going to test the Gauntlet at 50 yards with the tightened shroud/barrel.

But today I want to talk about something different. As you are aware, this blog gets many new readers all the time. Often when they come in they have a question about a topic I have addressed in the past. If their question is easy to answer I will often just give them the links to the past report — if I can find it. But sometimes their question isn’t so easy to answer, and when that happens and I know that I have many other new readers who might perhaps benefit from it, I will write a special blog. Today is such a day. read more


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


Hatsan 135 QE Vortex .30-caliber pellet rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hatsan 135 30 caliber rifle
Hatsan’s .30 caliber 135 QE Vortex is a large breakbarrel — both in size and caliber.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • JSB Exact 44.75 grain
  • JSB Exact 50.15-grain
  • Predator Polymag
  • Next
  • JSB domes at 25 yards
  • Predator Polymags
  • Polymags with the tips removed
  • Popeye?
  • What’s next?
  • Summary

Time for me to bend the bow of Ulysses and see what it can do. Today I have a slightly different accuracy test for you.

The test

I tested the rifle at both 10 meters and 25 yards. I shot 5-shot groups today because this rifle is just too hard for me to cock. A tired BB is a sloppy BB. All shooting was off a sandbag rest in the normal fashion and I used the artillery hold, both because I knew the rifle would be twitchy, something several readers confirmed.

Sight-in

Sight-in took five shots. As it came from the package the rifle was shooting high and right. The open sights have scales to tell you where they are and I found the windage scale most helpful, getting on target. read more


Hatsan 135 QE Vortex .30-caliber pellet rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Hatsan 135 30 caliber rifle
Hatsan’s .30 caliber 135 QE Vortex is a large breakbarrel — both in size and caliber.

This report covers:

  • Adjusting the trigger
  • JSB Exact 50.15 grains
  • Predator Polymag
  • Air Venturi .30 caliber balls
  • JSB Exact 44.75 grains
  • Cocking effort
  • Recoil
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Time for me to bend the bow of Ulysses, which no man but he could string. Today is velocity day, plus I said I would take a closer look at adjusting the Quattro trigger. I’ll do the trigger first.

Adjusting the trigger

All of the trigger adjustments work and I adjusted them all. The trigger came out of the box breaking at 6 lbs. 10.5 oz. and I was able to get it down to 5 lbs. 4 oz. When I did the first stage went away, so I added some and now it feels right to me. I also lightened the first stage pull (1 lb. 10 oz.) by a couple ounces (1 lb. 4 oz.), though it doesn’t seem any different when I pull it. read more


Hatsan 135 QE Vortex .30-caliber pellet rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan 135 30 caliber rifle
Hatsan’s .30 caliber 135 QE Vortex is a large breakbarrel — both in size and caliber.

This report covers:

  • Not only no…
  • Calibers
  • Description
  • Stock
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • Scope base
  • Ammunition
  • Do you own one?

This is the airgun I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s report. The Hatsan 135 QE Vortex .30-caliber pellet rifle is intriguing because the caliber is so large. This is the only big bore breakbarrel I know of. But is it practical? Is it worth the effort (stay tuned for that!)? Is this an air rifle you can do anything with besides brag? I intend finding out.

Not only no…

It was 2006. I was in Josh Ungier’s office in Pyramyd Air’s old location. Josh had been showing me different cool things, like the pump-assist Benjamin 392 they were working on and we were having a great time, just talking airguns. Then he got a cagey look in his eye, which for Josh was common because he always had something bizarre cooking. He reached behind his desk and pulled out a large breakbarrel rifle and handed it to me. “Cock it, Thomas,” he said. Josh always calls me Thomas. read more


Ten-meter accuracy test — Daisy 499 versus Haenel 310

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Another failure!
  • The test
  • 499
  • Discussion 1
  • Haenel 310
  • Discussion 2
  • CZ75 P-07 Duty accuracy at 10 meters
  • Summary

I put today’s report in the historical section because it relates to both the Haenel 310 and the Diana model 30 that we tested recently. In the comments to the Diana 30 test the question was raised about which would be more accurate at 10 meters — the Daisy 499 Challenger or the Haenel model 310. I said I thought the 310 would beat the 499 because it is rifled, but several readers wanted to see. So, today we see.

Another failure!

Before I get to the results of today’s test, let me fill you in on another irony. I was going to test the accuracy of the Benjamin 700 today and the gun jammed as I started to shoot. This one has a happy ending, because I got it unjammed and working again, but that was after today’s test. There is more sweet irony in the story that unfolded there, but I will hold off on that until we get to the report. read more


Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Today’s test
  • Where to get the right BBs?
  • The test
  • Test 1
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Daisy Match Grade Precision Ground Shot
  • Failure!
  • 4.4+mm lead balls
  • What is it?
  • End of the report

Boy, am I excited about today’s report! I have owned this Daisy Number 12 Model 29 for many years but have never tested it like I am about to. I oiled the plunger/piston about 3 weeks ago, and it is nice and juicy now. The gun has a leather piston seal, so that’s important.

Today’s test

Today is velocity day, but there is more than just running the gun through the chronograph. I will start with the ammunition.

The first BBs were sized 0.180-inches in diameter, nominally, because they were shotgun birdshot, size BB. That lasted until roughly 1905, when Daisy downsized the lead BB shot to 0.175-inches and started calling it Air Rifle Shot. There is always a transition period as the old goes away and the new takes over. That move saved on lead and the BBs went faster because they were lighter. read more