How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Who to believe?
  • Quart of blood!
  • How do you know what you don’t know?
  • Make haste slowly
  • There is more than one way…
  • Setting the bevel
  • Most important point
  • World-record sharpener
  • Bad advice that turned out well
  • Artillery hold?
  • Three ways to sharpen.
  • That’s all, folks!

I didn’t think I would be back to this subject so soon, but I’ve had some major breakthroughs recently that I wanted to report before I forget them. As you may recall, I am writing this report because I want to experience what it feels like to be a new guy in a subject that interests me, but one that I know very little about. That way maybe I can better understand what new guys want/need to know about airguns. I had no appreciation of how much of a new guy I was when it came to sharpening straight razors, or just how deep I would get into this new subject!

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • My attempts
  • Lots of solutions — think BKL
  • BKL Cantilever base
  • The scope
  • More solutions
  • An aside
  • Bottom line
  • Sight-in

My attempts

Today I will attempt to mount a scope and shoot the Hatsan Sortie at 25 yards. I say “attempt” because the Sortie’s magazine sticks out very high above the scope rail. Any scope you mount has to either clear it or be located behind it, a detail that you need to consider when buying this air pistol.

Hatsan mounted a holographic dot sight on the Sortie they brought to the Texas airgun show. It sat behind the magazine and seemed to work fine. I don’t own a holo sight — yet — so I had to do something else.

UTG scope and mounts
See the problem? The scope is mounted in UTG high rings that do not quite clear the magazine (because of the scope turret). On the other side of the gun, the ring jaws are not quite reaching the mount base, so this setup cannot work.

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie
Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • An announcement
  • Today
  • Familiarization
  • Still learning the magazine
  • The trigger
  • The test
  • The sights
  • RWS Superdome — sight in
  • JSB Exact RS
  • H&N Baracuda with 5.50mm head
  • H&N Field Target Trophy with 5.53mm head
  • Summary

An announcement

This morning I shaved with a straight razor in a completely different way, after reading a book about shaving that was written in 1905. While very different from anything I had been doing, it all sounded very good and authoritative until I tried it. Then I needed a pint of blood after finishing! The author of this book says many things that run contrary to conventional wisdom and what is being taught today.

As a result of this experience, I have decided that there is more to sharpening a straight razor than I thought. There will be another report coming in which I examine some of the facts and some old wive’s tales about sharpening straight razors. I will try to show you the results more graphically. I don’t want to wreck the surprises that I hope are coming, so that is all I will say at this time. Let’s now turn our attention to today’s report.

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Something else

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Always something else
  • Change it
  • Make ‘em pumpers
  • Farco air shotgun
  • A good rifle
  • The 1873 Springfield
  • A long shot
  • The point
  • Summary

Always something else

One thing has stood out about airgunners for me. No matter what you are talking about, they always seem to want something else — something different. I remember many years ago when powerful precharged guns didn’t exist, the Yewah 3B Dynamite multi pump from Korea was looked at as a big deal. It was powerful, large caliber (.25) and airgunners were in awe of it — mainly because few of them had ever seen one.

Change it

Then I read about a guy who had one and reported how very powerful it was, but, man, was it ever hard to pump! The 3B required 150 pump strokes to fill initially, and then you could top it off after every shot with another 20 pumps. This fellow liked the power but hated all the work. So he machined a fill coupling and turned his 3B into a precharged airgun! He said the gun became lighter when the pump mechanism was removed, and it was no longer a chore to fill.

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How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Dealers matter!
  • Let’s resume
  • Sharpening
  • All blades honed
  • Something new
  • Results
  • Care for the stones
  • Dress all waterstones?
  • How does it shave?
  • Proof of sharpness
  • Summary

Note to readers: This report was written over time and I was learning as I went. Parts 1 through 3 were written before I had done enough research to know what is right and, more importantly, what isn’t. Read them for enjoyment, but begin with Part 4 for the serious information of sharpening straight razors.

Boy, there were a lot of questions and discussion on Part 2 of this report! Today I will tell you how to both hone the razor and also how to take care of the waterstones that are so essential. And I have some things to clear up and correct.

As you recall, I’m writing this report to put myself in the shoes of a new airgunner. What is it like to not know what you don’t know, and don’t even know who or where to ask? That’s what it was like for me, learning how to sharpen a straight razor!

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The Hatsan Sortie PCP pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Sortie

Hatsan Sortie precharged pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Three magazines
  • Filling
  • RWS Superdome
  • Loading
  • H&N Field Target Trophy (5.55mm)
  • Hand pump
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Discharge sound
  • Is this a semiautomatic?
  • Trigger
  • Evaluation so far

Today we look at the power of the new Hatsan Sortie semiautomatic air pistol. I told you in Part 1 that it is a 12 foot-pound gun, so the discharge sound shouldn’t be too great, but we will find out today.

Three magazines

I didn’t show you the stuff that comes with the gun in Part 1, so let’s look at it now. First and foremost, there are three magazines in the box with the pistol. That’s very generous of Hatsan, and the two extras save you about 50 dollars! You also get a fill probe and a set of o-rings and a seal for the gun.

Hatsan Sortie accessories
The Sortie comes with 3 magazines, a probe and a set of seals.

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Sig Sauer Spartan BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig Spartan BB pistol
Sig Sauer Spartan BB pistol offers a lot of pistol at a budget price.

Part 1
Part 2 

This report covers:

  • The test
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • The trigger
  • Air Venturi Zinc-Plated BBs
  • Overall evaluation

It’s accuracy day for the the Sig Spartan BB pistol, and I have to tell you I am excited. The trigger on this pistol, while heavy, breaks so crisply that I am expecting good things.

The test

I shot from 5 meters, seated and resting my shooting arm on a UTG Monopod. The Spartan’s sights are fixed but they are wide enough for good accuracy and the front post is sharp. There was no problem seeing the sights on the target for a 6 o’clock hold.

H&N Smart Shot

I tried the H&N Smart Shot lead BBs first. I did that because the Spartan only got 40 good shots on a CO2 cartridge in Part 2 and I wanted the pistol to be as powerful as possible with this heavier BB.

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