A vintage FWB 300S tests new pellets

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

FWB 300S
My FWB 300S is the most accurate 10-meter target rifle I own.

This report covers:

  • Background
  • Essentially sighted in?
  • The test
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet
  • Sig Match Pb pellet
  • Sig Match Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • Sig Pb target pellets
  • Summary

Before we begin I need to explain why a test of three current pellets is in the history section. Besides airguns I have a lot of other things I need to test and report, and pellets are one big category. I also have some .22 caliber pellets from Sig that need a test, as well as those samples of the new Baracuda Field Target that I received at the Pyramyd Air Cup. If I don’t stop and make the time for these tests, they will never happen.

When it comes to target pellets, my most accurate 10-meter target rifle is an FWB 300S — a spring-piston target rifle that is decades out of date. But it’s the best I have, so I used it. Since it is no longer made, I put the test that used it in the History section. read more


Daystate Sportsman Mark II

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • “What they oughta do…”
  • “They” did!
  • Sounds nice!
  • How did it shoot?
  • History
  • Summary

This week reader Yogi asked me if I could write a blog about the Air Arms Pro Elite — a breakbarrel rifle that was built to the same quality level as a TX200 Mark III. I said I would look and see if I had enough information to write about them. I have owned two Pro Elites, a .177 and a .22, and I didn’t think much of either one. The build quality was excellent but they were hard to cock, recoiled harshly and were not that accurate, as I recall. However, thinking about that rifle opened another closet in my dusty memory, — one that related to the Seneca Aspen I started testing earlier this week. I’m referring to the Daystate Sportsman Mark II. read more


Crosman DPMS SBR full-auto BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Crosman DPMS SBR
Crosman’s DPMS SBR full auto BB gun.

This report covers:

  • Never run out of bullets
  • The feel of the gun when firing
  • Here we go!
  • Left cartridge first
  • Copperheads first
  • How does it feel, single-shot?
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • How many shots?
  • Using the BB speedloader
  • Full auto
  • Test 1
  • Test 2
  • Test 3
  • Test 4
  • Test 5
  • Test 6
  • Discussion
  • Test 7
  • Shot count
  • Feel of full auto
  • Trigger pull
  • Forgot I had to cock it
  • Summary

Never run out of bullets

The first part of this report didn’t receive that many comments, but those who did say something said similar things. The first was you all want this gun to never run out of BBs. You want it to get no less than 150 shots before it’s time to reload.

When I was a kid I wanted the same thing. I wanted all my guns to hold an infinite numbers of bullet, so they would never run out. Then I went into the Army and got to shoot many fully automatic weapons. I quickly learned that the first thing you want in a machine gun is reliability.

I remember that the M85 .50 caliber machine gun that was designed for fitting inside the turrets of armored vehicles was the worst machine gun to exist since the French Chauchat of WWI. It jammed all the time and seldom would fire an entire belt of ammo without stopping. You had to lubricate the cartridges with fireproof hydraulic oil to keep the gun operating. read more


Piston seals: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Importance of round air chambers
  • My best advice
  • Out of round pistons
  • The deal
  • Plain seals
  • Leather piston seal assemblies
  • Parachute seals
  • The PTFE seal
  • Last subject — seal materials
  • Piston rings
  • Summary

Today we will continue our discussion of the piston seal. This report was prompted by the comments of new reader Arvizu, who said, “ I noticed, too, that the seal plays an important role to define performance (sometimes small variations in diameter makes the difference). I would like to clarify that this is only my appreciation and limited experience with airguns.”

In Part One I attempted to show how a piston does its job. Arvizu’s question seemed to imply that he thought there might be an unlimited horizon for the piston seal, if only the technology could extract it. I tried to show that a piston is limited by the volume of air it compresses and improving piston seals is asymptotic. In other words there is a limit on the power that’s possible and we are now shaving small percentages as we approach that limit. To put it bluntly, we will never see the power of a spring piston system doubled by the seal. Never! read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Value-packed airgun!
  • Stock
  • Sidelever
  • Single shot and repeater
  • Sights
  • Filling
  • Overfill pressure release
  • Depressurization screw
  • No-fill
  • Safety
  • Power adjustor
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Features
  • Evaluation

I just received this airgun last week and I am bumping some other reviews out of the way to bring it to you today. This is the air rifle many of you have been waiting for — the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP with a built-in pump! They won’t be available from Pyramyd Air until early December, so we should see a pretty full test before you have to make the buy decision, to get it by Christmas.

Value-packed airgun!

The Aspen retails for $400, so it’s not quite a price point PCP (PPP), but it has some features that few other airguns offer. Let’s look at them now. For starters this is a PCP that has a pump built into the airgun! What that means is you can fill it from a tank or you can pump it up yourself. This is exactly what the easy-chair engineers have been designing in their dreams for years. Then FX came along with their Independence that does exactly that and everybody changed their tune to —“I would buy one, if only it wasn’t $1,600!” Well, this one isn’t. read more


Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

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

This report covers:

  • How to test?
  • RWS Hobby
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • One pump
  • Another test
  • Fastest shot
  • Pellet tests coming
  • One final test
  • Summary

Today is our final day of looking at the velocity of the Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun. You will recall that the reason this has taken so long is because this gun is very flexible about the ammo it accepts. If it turns out to be accurate, this gun may well be an all-time best airgun to own — right up there with an FWB 124 and a Diana 27..

Today we will look at the velocity with pellets. Since the gun is smoothbore I don’t expect it to be accurate past 10 meters, but I will reserve judgement until we test it. If I get nothing better than 2-inches at that distance, though, I won’t be testing it at 25 yards. There are already enough holes in my walls and woodwork! 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