Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.

This report covers:

  • Bulls Eye pistol
  • Sharpshooter velocity
  • The launcher
  • Velocity
  • One band
  • Chronograph problems
  • Discharge sound
  • Trigger pull
  • Accuracy
  • Next time

Before we begin, I want to share an email I received last Friday. It says a lot about the experience of attending the Pyramyd Air Cup.

“Hi Tom, 

Meeting you in person for me was one of the highlights of the Pyramid Air Cup 2018. I’m the tall guy shooting any tournament for the first time. I shot a TX200 and had questions about a second air rifle that weekend. We spoke about the Sig P938 and you recommended a Sig 365 you were testing. I wanted to give you my perspective of what I got out my first shoot and ask you to consider sharing my thoughts. Not the shoot but as a newcomer into competition. read more


Sharpshooter rubber band catapult gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Sharpshooter pistol
The Sharpshooter catapult pistol was made from the early 1930s until the 1980s by as many as 5 different companies. This one was made in the early 1940s.

This report covers:

  • History
  • Operation
  • How much value can be put into an inexpensive gun?
  • What is this about?
  • More power!
  • Next
  • Summary

Today I begin a report that I started five years ago and never finished. That was before we had the historical section of the blog. I planned to test many things about this line of unique catapult pistols and even bought the rubber bands for the extended test, but somehow it got away from me. Well, now I’m going to try it again.

You may remember several months ago I reviewed the Daisy Targeteer .118-caliber “BB” gun. You may not recall it, but when we got to the accuracy test that pistol failed miserably. These Sharpshooter pistols shoot the same small .118-caliber shot as the Targeteer, but they are powered by rubber bands and are generally much more reliable — at least the older ones are. They are still weak airguns, but I think we can have some fun with them anyhow. read more


Benjamin 700 multi-pump repeater: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

Benjamin 700
Benjamin 700 repeating BB gun.

This report covers:

  • Wrong ammunition
  • Two big clues
  • Filling the BB gun
  • The test
  • Sight-in with Daisy BBs
  • Pressure too high
  • Hornady Black Diamonds
  • Getting used to the gun
  • Daisy Match Grade shot
  • Bottom line

Today we learn how accurate the Benjamin 700 multi-pump repeating BB gun is. And we will learn a lot more than that. Let’s go!

Wrong ammunition

Some of you know how I harp on calling a BB gun a BB caliber and NOT .177/4.5mm. Because it’s not! A steel BBs is 0.171- to 0.1735-inches in diameter. It may not matter to people buying one BB gun at a discount store, but to someone like me who has to shoot oddball new and old airguns from all over the world, it makes a big difference.

The Benjamin promotional pamphlet from the 1930s says these guns (the model 600, 700 and 300) use steel Air Rifle Shot of 0.175-inches in diameter. There’s just one problem with that. As far as I can tell, nobody ever made steel Air Rifle Shot in anything but 0.171-0.1735-inches. I wondered if it was possible that the Benjamin writers of that pamphlet were as cavalier back in the 1930s as BB manufacturers are today. Did they really want us to use Air Rifle Shot that is 0.171 to 0.1735-inches in diameter and not LEAD Air Rifle Shot that is 0.175-inches? They did emphasize not using lead balls in these guns. read more


Benjamin 700 multi-pump repeater: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Benjamin 700
Benjamin 700 repeating BB gun.
This report covers:

  • The Benjamin Automatic
  • Model 700
  • Repeater
  • How many pump strokes?
  • My encounter
  • The gun
  • Takedown
  • Accuracy
  • Price
  • Ammo
  • Getting it fixed
  • Summary

And now for something brand new, because it is so old that most of you will never have heard of it. We have to go back to 1930 for this one! And those were exciting times at the Benjamin Air Rifle Company in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Benjamin Automatic

Early that year Benjamin launched the model 600 they called the Benjamin Automatic. It was a smoothbore 25-shot BB repeater that fired as fast as the trigger was pulled. Well, that was the story. I’ve never tested one so I can’t say anything about one for certain, but my general knowledge of multi-pumps of the day tells me you can expect a handful of shots before it’s time to top off the gun by pumping again. I’m saying don’t expect to rattle off 25 shots at one go. read more


Daisy Targeteer shooting gallery: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Maintenance
  • Success!
  • Lead shot is not consistent
  • Sorting shot
  • Loading technique
  • BB rollout
  • Velocity
  • Accuracy testing
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Maintenence

The last time I looked at the Targeteer I lubricated it with a lot of Crosman Pellgunoil. How many drops, you ask? Maybe 50. It’s still oily a week later, which a BB gun needs to be, to work its best.

paper
I just thought you would like to see the cover of the manual.

Success!

And they all said — whaaaat?

A couple readers knew I was having problems getting either of my two Daisy Targeteer pistols to shoot. I was working on the problem, but last week I was stumped. Fortunately this ain’t my first rodeo and I finally remembered what I used to do.

Lead shot is not consistent

We know that lead birdshot is not of consistent size, regardless of how it is made. That had to be the problem. When I looked through the barrel I saw nothing. There should have been light shining through, so the barrel was plugged. I found something to ram through the barrel — turned out to be one of those thin plastic spray tubes that come with many aerosol cans. Remember — this Targeteer is .12 caliber, not .177! read more


Daisy Targeteer shooting gallery: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Why we collect
  • Today
  • .12 caliber
  • The box
  • Lead BBs?
  • Fragile
  • Art deco
  • Summary

Why we collect

Sometimes we collect something because of its performance. A Whiscombe recoilless rifle that’s powerful and accurate might be an example of this. Other times we collect something because of the way it is made — the craftsmanship. The Sheridan Supergrade comes to mind.

And other times we collect something for other reasons. My M1 Carbine is an example of this. I like it for three important reasons:

1. It is so well made and so well designed. It weighs 5 lbs. — a rifle weight that has never been equalled in a rifle as powerful, to the best of my knowledge. And this rifle was designed in 18 months, back in the late 1930s! read more


The Challenger countertop trade stimulator

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Challenger
Called a countertop trade stimulator, the Challenger was one of many small shooting galleries that accepted pennies.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Money tight
  • Drop Coin into slot
  • The prize
  • The play
  • Shoot Hitler
  • On through the ‘40s

Now for something a little different. Instead of guns, let’s talk about trade stimulators today — shooting gallery trade stimulators, to be specific.

History

In the 1930s, the world was in the middle of a hard depression, one which many people were not prepared to weather. Lifestyles of the Roaring ’20s had to be revamped to survival in the ’30s. For store owners, the pinch of tight money was particularly defeating because money is the lifeblood of trade. read more