Revitalizing a Benjamin 392: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Benjamin 392
Benjamin 392 multi-pump pneumatic.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The story
  • Applying ATF stop leak
  • Condition of the rifle
  • Test 1
  • Test 2
  • Test 3
  • H&N Baracuda Match
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Trigger pull
  • Conclusion

Before I begin, a message to Aaron from Hawaii. I have talked with Johnny Hill of Tin Starr bullets (at the Weatherford Pawn Shop) and he is making me some bullets that are unlike any on the market today. I will test them in the TexanSS and let you know the results. They are very light and should give more than three shots per fill.

Today will be a different kind of report. It’s one many of you have asked for, but I think this is the first time I’ve done one like it.

The story

I was in the Weatherford Pawn Shop last week, picking up a gun and getting some bullets for the TexanSS test. I happened to see an old Chinese B3 rifle in the corner and asked about it. This was a real B3 — not a B3-A that I sometimes mention. It looked even older than the B3 I once owned, so it probably dated back to the late 1970s or early ‘80s. I thought it would make a nice gun to test for this historical series. They sold for $20 when they were new, but the tag on this rusty old one said $59.00! I plotzed, right there in the store! read more


FLZ Luftpistole, version 2: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FLZ pistol
The FLZ version 2 pistol was made in Germany from 1938 to 1940.

A history of airguns

  • Uncommon
  • Description
  • Stock
  • Marks
  • Looks like a rifle

Today we start looking at an air pistol that’s uncommon in the U.S., and indeed, around the world — the FLZ Luftpistole version 2. FLZ stands for Fritz Langenhan of Zella Mehlis, Germany. We have looked at one other FLZ airgun on this blog in the past — the Millita that now resides in RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.

Uncommon

I don’t think the FLZ air pistol is rare, but the first version that has a rounded grip was made from 1926/7 to 1940, according to The Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols, by John Griffiths. Version 2 that I have was introduced in 1937 and lasted until 1940. The nation of Germany was preparing for war in the late 1930s, and commercial production was curtailed, so I think the second version of the gun must be less common. That doesn’t make it more valuable — just harder to find. read more


Crosman 100 multi-pump pneumatic: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 100
Crosman’s 100 is a .177 caliber variation of the more plentiful model 101.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Discussion
  • Summary

The last test of the Crosman 100 was back in December, when I shot a remarkable 5 pellets into 0.145-inches at 10 meters. That engendered the question of whether it was just a lucky group or the rifle was really that accurate. I said at the end of that report that I would return and shoot 10 five-shot groups at 10 meters with the same pellet, so we could see whether that target was a fluke or representative. I waited until my right eye was corrected again, to give the test the best chance for success. So, today is the day! read more


Where are airguns today?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Spring-piston guns
  • The price-point PCP
  • High-pressure air compressors
  • Action air pistols
  • It’s been done before
  • Airgun shows
  • Hunting
  • They’re listening now!
  • Summary

After writing 6 reports on the SHOT Show I thought it was time to look at all that has happened in airgunning in recent years. We are in a golden age of experimentation and refinement, and it’s good to stop and reflect on that for a moment.

Spring-piston guns

If you had asked me what the future of the spring gun was before I attended this SHOT Show I would have told you that everything that could be done had been done. Then, at the show, I saw not one but two novel new breakbarrels.

Crosman has their new Akura breakbarrel with the Precision Barrel Lock or PBL. It is a novel new way of locking the breech at the shot by using some of the compressed air to push a pin back into the spring tube. The rest of the rifle is a straightforward gas spring breachbarrel, but the question we have to ask is why they felt it necessary to lock the breech this way. A few other airguns use mechanical locks that are operated by the user, so there must be an advantage to locking the breech, but will we see it when I test the Akura? read more


The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • .22 Magnum
  • Revolvers first
  • Longer range
  • Accuracy
  • Cost
  • Advances
  • .22 hyper velocity rounds
  • Specialty rounds
  • Summary

Today we will look at the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR). round. An argument can be made for it advancing the rimfire cartridge in significant ways. Then I will address the hyper velocity rounds in the Long Rifle class. And finally I’ll give a quick nod to some specialty rounds. Let’s begin.

.22 Magnum

This cartridge was launched in 1959 by the Winchester corporation. It received a lot of immediate attention from the gun press, as well as from little boys like me. I wasn’t able to buy firearms in 1959, so it would be a couple decades before I actually shot a .22 Magnum, but all the gun journals were loaded with stories from guys who could and did shoot it. So, I read and dreamed. read more


A vintage Daisy Number 25: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 25
Vintage Daisy Number 25.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Getting used to the Number 25
  • Not a double feed
  • Settling down
  • The test
  • First target
  • Second target
  • Third target
  • Fourth target
  • Conclusion

I’m skipping the velocity testing on this Daisy Number 25 pump gun because I already did it in Part 2 of the report on the Dust Devil BBs. The two BBs I will use today are the Daisy Premium Grade BB and the Dust Devil. The Daisy BB averaged 360 f.p.s. in the vintage Daisy 25 I’m testing and the Dust Devil averaged 365 f.p.s.. That’s really too close to call.

Getting used to the Number 25

It’s been some time since I shot this BB gun and I forgot a number of things. The first was that the 50-shot forced feed magazine always fires two BBs on the first shot. They aren’t a double feed. One is already in the breech when the shot tube is installed and the other loads when the gun is cocked. read more


The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • .22 WRF
  • Not a magnum
  • The .22 Winchester Automatic
  • Corrosive priming
  • High speed
  • Splatter-Less
  • Summary

We are back with the .22 rimfire cartridge. We left it in the 1890s, as smokeless powder was just starting to be introduced. I will talk about that in a moment, but I want to start with another cartridge that lasted for quite a while but is obsolete today — the .22 Winchester Rimfire, or .22 WRF.

.22 WRF

This cartridge was introduced with the Winchester 1890 slide-action rifle that was also called a pump gun. I have owned 2 1890s in this caliber, and in the 1960s I thought this cartridge was the bee’s knees! It uses a 45-grain flat-nosed lead bullet that is not heeled like the .22 Long Rifle bullet. The diameter of the bullet is 0.224, so it’s also larger (.22 LR bullet is 0.2225”-0.223”). The barrel twist was increased to 1:14” to stabilize the heavier bullet. read more