1896 New King Single Shot: Part 3

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

1896 King
1896 New King single shot BB gun.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Straightening the barrel
  • 4.55 mm BBs dropped to bottom
  • It also shoots 4.5 mm balls
  • 4.55 mm lead balls
  • Velocity
  • Muzzle energy
  • Oops!
  • 4.50 mm lead balls
  • Discussion
  • What does today’s test give us? 
  • Summary

Today I tell you how straightening the barrel of this century-old BB gun went and then we look at its performance. Last time I shot a single BB out at 157 f.p.s. What will she do today?

Straightening the barrel

Boy, did I ever have a lot of helpers ready to school me on how to straighten this solid brass shot tube! The way some of you talked you would think this thing is going into a NASA satellite!

I straightened the shot tube exactly as I described to you in Part 2, by laying it on a flat steel table (on my vise) and tapping it gently with the wide head of a plastic hammer. read more


Design an Airgun contest, Part 2

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Several entries
  • Norica bullpup
  • Nerf gun
  • Two great entries!
  • Maximus Blowhardus
  • Learned something
  • Spaghetti blowgun
  • Catapult gun
  • Without further ado, My plinker:
  • Some of the features I incorporated:
  • Penny shooter
  • The simplest entrant
  • Stonebow
  • Wow!
  • A hard job
  • Summary

Today we learn who is the winner of the Design an Airgun contest. It began on September 10 and was supposed to end at the end of the month, but several readers asked me to extend the closing, so I did. The contest ended last Friday, October 16.

Several entries

There were several entries. Some were blue sky dreams and nothing was built. I didn’t take them seriously. But some folks submitted more than one entry and they built all of theirs. I considered everything on the basis of the contest rules, which were:

1. I’m guessing it will be a BB gun, but it doesn’t have to be.
2. I’m guessing it will be a smoothbore, but again, it doesn’t have to be.
3. When I say build an airgun, it doesn’t have to work with compressed air.
4. It can be any kind of powerplant — so long as it doesn’t use an explosion to launch the missile.
5. The winner would be the niftiest design that the most people could build.
read more


1896 New King Single Shot: Part 1

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

1896 King
1896 New King single shot BB gun.

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • How this happened
  • Detailed history
  • Pop quiz
  • BB shot and air rifle shot sizes
  • Getting ready
  • Good news!
  • Summary

Sometimes we get the rare opportunity to examine something that’s really from the past. Today is such a time. We will begin looking at a New King single shot BB gun from Markham. It is the 1896 model that was made from 1896 until 1905.  Mine was made in either 1900 or 1901, as I will explain.

How this happened

Periodically I look at eBay to see what sort of antique airguns they have and a couple weeks ago I saw this listing. So I went to the Blue Book (the new edition of which should be available by this Christmas) and saw that in 95 percent condition this was a $1,950 BB gun. In 20 percent condition it is a $400 gun. This one is 10 percent at best, which meant that the opening bid of $150 was reasonable. But oddly there were no bidders. So I bid on it and won it without opposition. The listing said that it works, which is far more important to me, and I took a chance that it did. So far — it does! read more


Airguns you never see

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

History of airguns

This report covers:

“Toy” BB guns
The heavy Daisy 179
FWB 125
Daisy Annie Oakley BB gun
Summary

Gonna have some fun today. Instead of testing something I want to show you some airguns you’ll probably never see. We’ll start with a couple Daisys.

“Toy” BB guns

Imagine you work at the Daisy Manufacturing Company around the year 1960. It might have been a few years earlier, but probably not much later.

You’re cranking out BB guns by the million each year, and the monotony is getting to you. So you decide to do something different.

In another part of the plant they make true toy guns that don’t shoot anything. These are noisemakers and smoke makers for the smaller boys and girls who aren’t yet ready for the responsibility of a real BB gun. read more


Sharpshooter pistol resurrection: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharpshooter pistols
The Bulls Eye pistol (left) came first. Manufacture started in 1924 in Rawlins, Wyoming. The smaller Sharpshooter pistols at the right were made in Rawlins until sometime in World War II and then manufacture moved to La Jolla, California in 1946.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Learned a lot!
  • Velocity
  • Three guns to test
  • Plain Blue pistol from La Jolla
  • Black DeLuxe pistol from Rawlins
  • Curses! — foiled by eBay
  • Summary

Here we go! This is probably the final installment of this series that started several weeks ago when the grand nephew of John Beckwith, George, sent me some carriers for Sharpshooter pistols that his grand uncle had given him. With one of them I was able to resurrect a Sharpshooter pistol I have owned for many years. Its plastic carrier broke and the gun has been silent for a long time, but thanks to George it’s up and running again! read more


Sharpshooter pistol resurrection: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharpshooter pistols
The Bulls Eye pistol (left) came first. Manufacture started in 1924 in Rawlins, Wyoming. The smaller Sharpshooter pistols at the right were made in Rawlins until sometime in World War II and then manufacture moved to La Jolla, California in 1946.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • 1938 prices
  • Prototype Sharpshooter
  • Did you notice?
  • Stamp pad to make targets
  • Size
  • Oil the rails
  • Oh — my gosh!
  • Shot may be reused
  • But wait!
  • Accuracy
  • Velocity
  • Summary

Well, I just can’t put them down! I own four Sharpshooter pistols and one Bulls Eye and I’m finding them so much fun to shoot — now that I have a target that traps all the shot and shows all the hits. And, there is so much more to tell you!

I wrote about the Sharpshooter being the darling of the pistol shooting world. The French especially liked it so much that it was a featured product in World and Olympic champion Leon Johnson’s Paris catalog. Apparently he bought a lot of them because Dr. Bunten of Rawlins Wyoming went to the effort to apply for a French patent! In my research I discovered French markings on one pistol, and also found them on the box! All pistols made at a certain time probably had them, because that particular pistol was sold by a sporting goods store in Pennsylvania in 1942. read more


Sharpshooter pistol resurrection: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharpshooter pistols
The Bulls Eye pistol (left) came first. Manufacture started in 1924 in Rawlins, Wyoming. The smaller Sharpshooter pistols at the right were made in Rawlins until sometime in World War II and then manufacture moved to La Jolla, California in 1946.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Cleanup
  • Companies that made and sold Sharpshooter pistols
  • Odd guns
  • Accuracy
  • Adjustable sights
  • Hard to get groups
  • Summary

Cleanup

Today I take a turn from my usual format. This is Day 2 where I normally report velocity, but instead of that I’m going to begin with accuracy. The reason for doing that is because when the pistol is adjusted for accuracy the velocity is affected.

Sharpshooter adjust rail
This screw pulls the two halves of the sheet metal together, pushing the front of the guide rail upward. That tightens the fit of the carrier on the rail — affecting both accuracy and velocity.
read more