Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

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

This report covers:

  • Smoothbore single shot
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • Size and weight
  • How many pumps?
  • Manual
  • Adjust bolt for best air seal
  • Walnut stock and pump handle
  • Summary

Today we continue our look at the Benjamin 310 BB gun.

Smoothbore single shot

I make no attempt at hiding the fact that I like single shot rifles and guns. Usually their actions are simple enough that there is flexibility to do things you can’t with a repeater. For example, I had a problem with lead balls jamming in the Benjamin 700, and there is no easy way to clear the jam. The 700 action is all buttoned up. But the 310 is a simple bolt action that will allow me to test varying sizes of lead balls. If one gets stuck all I have to do is rod it out and keep on going. read more


Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

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

This report covers:

  • Green box
  • The “hidden” find!
  • Back to the BB gun
  • Finish
  • Model 310
  • A sweetie
  • Take our time

Two months ago I attended a small local gun show where the joke is — if you are looking for Indian jewelry, coffee mugs and dream catchers, this is the gun show to attend! Guns? Not so much. But it’s local, so I went. I haven’t had much luck at this show — ever! But because it’s mentioned the intro to this report, you know this time will be different.

I was halfway through the show, looking carefully at everything on each table when my buddy Otho called to me. He was on point the next aisle over. Oh great, I thought. Another rusty Daisy Red Ryder from 1986! But I was wrong. read more


A peek over BB’s shoulder

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

  • Labor Day
  • What to do?
  • Oddball listing was hidden!
  • Lesson from the old guy
  • Fresh from a score and ready for more
  • The deal
  • You can play, too
  • The catch

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! It’s a holiday for you American working stiffs; another day at the office for me.

Labor Day started in New York in 1882, as an unofficial march to protest long hours and low pay, plus a protest on using convict labor to do jobs free men could do. The marchers were in danger of loosing their jobs for skipping work, but the American Labor Movement was in full swing at the time. It is said the bars were all filled on that day, so bartenders apparently didn’t get the day off.

The goal was to get a 40-hour workweek and a day off each week. Yes, many people worked 7 days a week in the early 1800s. That’s too much for anybody. 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


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


Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana model 30 gallery gun
Diana model 30 gallery gun.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Cocks hard!
  • Description
  • Trigger
  • Safety
  • Sights
  • Potential accuracy
  • Why was this airgun so hard to get in the U.S.?
  • The end — or maybe not!

You’ve had a weekend to contemplate this gallery gun and today I will finish describing it and talking about its basics.

Cocks hard!

All of these bolt-action repeaters cock really hard, and the Diana model 30 is no exception. The piston can only move a short distance, so the mainspring has to be stiff enough to give the ball a good push. Even so I wouldn’t look for much velocity. My experience with a Haenel 310 tells me this one will shoot 350 f.p.s. or less. We will see in the next report and I will also measure the cocking effort.

Description

The rifle is 42-3/4-inches long, overall. The barrel is 16.9-inches of that. The pull measures 13-1/2 inches. The rifle weighs 7 lbs. 6 oz. read more