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


Using peep sights: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Adjustable-iris peeps — Merit
  • Gehmann adjustable peep
  • Tunnel sights
  • Front sight elements
  • Target post
  • Hunting inserts
  • Unusual front sight
  • Target aperture
  • Clear apertures
  • Last word on inserts
  • How do you hold over or under?
  • Peep sights on handguns
  • Summary

Normally I don’t do what I’m about to do, but the reader response to the first report on peep sights was overwhelming. We finished last Thursday with more than 150 comments, and as of this writing there are 248 comments. That propels it into the ranks of the all-time best reports! I had to put Part 1 in the title several days after publishing, because I knew there would be a Part 2.

Today I will address the discussion points and questions brought up by readers, and add a few point of my own. Sit back and enjoy!

Adjustable-iris peeps — Merit

There was some discussion about peeps that offer holes of different sizes. The most famous of these is the Merit Iris Shutter Click adjustable peep sight. This one has been around for at least 75 years and probably longer. I own one and it used to fascinate me. I will show you mine next to a dime, to illustrate the size. read more


Beeman QB Chief precharged pneumatic rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman PCP
Beeman QB Chief precharged pneumatic air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Accuracy day
  • The test
  • Fill
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm heads
  • Time for the trime!
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Crosman Premier heavies
  • Discussion
  • Oh, no!
  • Summary

Wow! How’s that for a blog opener? Are you curious?

Ever make a huge mistake in judgement? I think I made one in Part 2, when I said this air rifle is probably not for the first-time PCP user. Read on to discover why I say that.

Accuracy day

Today is accuracy day and I want to shoot the Beeman QB Chief precharged pneumatic air rifle with both the open sight it comes with and also with a scope. Since this is the first test I decided to go with open sights at 10 meters.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 10 meters. The rifle was rested directly on the bag, which you can do with precharged pneumatics (PCP), because they don’t recoil. I decided to go with 5-shot groups and to just look for that special pellet or pellets that would be worthy of a 25 yard test. Boy — what I didn’t know and was about to find out! I also went with just 5 shots because we know from Part 2 that the Chief is short on breath. Ten shots are about all you get before the velocities drop way off the power curve. read more


The FP-45 Liberator pistol

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Liberator
The Liberator pistol was a strange chapter of World War II.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The idea
  • Not well made
  • Actual use
  • How it works
  • Valuable
  • Buy one today
  • Why?

I have to punt today. A rifle I was trying to scope gave me fits for hours and I lost the window of opportunity for the test, the photos and the writeup. So I’m writing about a firearm that I have actually owned that many people don’t know about — the FP-45 Liberator pistol from World War II. The official title was “Flare Projector 45,” to disguise the real purpose of the gun. Bascially this is a zip gun for military use.

The Liberator is a single-shot pistol chambered in .45 ACP — the same cartridge that’s used in the M1911A1 pistol carried by many American forces during the war. It is a smoothbore, which raises a lot of questions that I will address in a moment. American troops were not issued this gun. A million of them were produced in 6 months, which tells you a lot about the lack of precision in the design. read more


Using peep sights: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Announcement
  • Bad eyes — can’t use ‘em
  • Have to sight-in!
  • History of peep sights
  • The message?
  • Not just for military use
  • The image
  • Don’t over-think it!
  • Using peep sights
  • The BIG deal!
  • The rest

Announcement

The Vortek Center-Latching Air Piston that I have been testing in the Beeman R9 has leaked down all the way. This is what I was concerned about at the end of Part 4. The leakdown took two weeks. I’m sending it back to Vortek and they will be sending me another unit to continue the test, and I will test that one for its ability to hold over time.

Today’s report is for those readers who have asked about peep sights.

Bad eyes — can’t use ‘em

Many shooters think their eyes aren’t good enough to use peep sights, but they have it backwards. Peep sights improve your sighting precision, which is why many armies have used them for the past 140 years! read more


Sheridan Supergrade: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sheridan Supergrade right
My new Sheridan Supergrade is in fantastic condition, despite the wood check at the butt.

Sheridan Supergrade
The cheekpiece makes the Supergrade stand out!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact
  • Crosman Premier
  • Sheridan Cylindricals
  • Predator Polymag
  • Crosman Premiers
  • H&N Baracuda
  • H&N Field Target Trophy
  • Evaluation so far
  • 10-shot group
  • Summary
  • 22 caliber club

Today I moved back to 25 yards to test the Sheridan Supergrade. There were also a couple extra tests readers asked me to do and they are included in this report.

The test

I shot with the rifle rested on a sandbag. I pumped the rifle 5 times for every shot in today’s report. I also wore my reading glasses to make the front sight as sharp as possible. The bullseye became a little fuzzier than usual, but I think you are going to see that it didn’t matter. read more


The Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump pneumatic rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Seneca Dragonfly
Air Venturi Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump air rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Sight adjustment
  • Qiang Yuan training pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Crosman Premier lites
  • Last group
  • Evaluation thus far

Today we begin to look at the accuracy of the Seneca Dragonfly multi-pump rifle. But before we start, there is a picture I owe some readers.

Dragonfly open
The pump handle is fully extended.

The test

I decided to pump the rifle 3 times per shot for the entire test. In Part 2 we saw how powerful it is, and three pumps are more than enough for any pellet. The distance for this test was 10 meters and the rifle was rested. I used the open sights for today’s test. I shot 5 shots per bull and then selected the best pellet and shot a final group of 10. Let’s get started. read more