Choosing an airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What to do?
  • Electric bicycle
  • No idea
  • A bonus
  • My eyes were opened
  • The upside
  • What I learned
  • New eyes
  • PCPs
  • Get what you want
  • Summary

I was going to do a test today, but this subject popped up and I think it should be addressed. I recently started a review of the Benjamin Fortitude Generation 2 PCP air rifle. The Fortitude Gen 2 is a price-point PCP (PPP). So far the review of that rifle is going well.

On Tuesday of this week I started my review of the Air Venturi Avenger PCP air rifle, another PPP. From our first look at that rifle it also looks very promising.

Now, some comments have said that if the airgun is a precharged pneumatic, the rifle doesn’t stand alone. You need a way to get compressed air into the rifle, and that costs more money. So, the cost of the rifle is not the end of the story for PCPs. But with a spring-piston airgun, the rifle does stand alone. Except for the pellets that all pellet guns need, everything you need to shoot is there when you purchase a spring-piston airgun. With a few exceptions like some spring-piston rifles that come without sights, I have to agree with that reasoning. read more


Diana Bandit PCP air pistol: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana Bandit
Diana Bandit precharged pneumatic air pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Set up
  • Adjusting the UTG Reflex Micro dot sight
  • The test
  • Hades pellets
  • First group
  • Refill the pistol
  • Second group
  • Not clarvoiant!
  • Next step?
  • Fill to 180-bar
  • Final group
  • Summary

Today I finish my report on the .22-caliber Diana Bandit PCP pistol. I had to relearn some lessons, even though I described them well in the past blog parts.

The purpose of today’s report is to shoot the pistol with the 7-shot magazine that it comes with. Until now I have been shooting it with the single-shot tray.

Set up

I had to remount the UTG Reflex Micro dot sight, so there was another whole sight-in. It took all of the 7 pellets in the .22 caliber magazine to get in the bull. The first three shots were from 12 feet and the last 4 were from 10 meters, which is the distance I’m shooting at today. read more


Crosman MAR 177: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman MAR
The MAR177 from Crosman.

History of airguns

This report covers:

Tested before
From 2012
The AR system
The lower
National Match lower
Stopping here
Buying the MAR
The purpose of the MAR
What is the MAR177?
Where did it come from?
What about THIS one?|
Discussion
Summary

Today is the big day and now you know. This report will be about the Crosman MAR177. As I told reader Brent on Wednesday, this gun is no longer being made, yet I believe the one I am testing is brand new. By sheer luck as I was researching another article I stumbled across this New in the Box MAR177. Apparently it has never been out of the box, because the accessories are still factory wrapped. read more


Umarex Air Javelin airbow: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Umarex Air Javelin
The Air Javelin from Umarex.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • However
  • The “barrel”
  • Not a toy!
  • Sights
  • Front sight
  • Rear sight
  • Adjust the stock
  • Install the cocking handle
  • Charging
  • One fact to bear in mind
  • Summary

At least one of you readers is really interested in the Umarex Air Javelin, just as I am, so today is Part 2. However, because this is an arrow launcher, this Part 2 will be a little different. I normally test velocity in Part 2, but the Air Javelin is better tested outdoors for that and today the temperature here in sunny Texas is 36 degrees, F. Yes, we have bright sunshine and the temp is supposed to rise to 62 late this afternoon, but my testing and photography work gets done in the morning, so the cold is hampering me.

However

That doesn’t mean I can’t shoot the Air Javelin (hereafter called the AJ) indoors. In fact, by shooting it indoors I will get a really good idea of how loud the report is. Remember that I could not hear it when I shot it at Industry Day at the Range in January. I’m making this report up as we go, so let’s get going! read more


Crosman 760 Pumpmaster Classic: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 760 Pumpmaster Classic
The new Crosman 760 Pumpmaster Classic.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Dot sight
  • The test
  • Sight in
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets
  • No sight change
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • Gamo Match
  • H&N Finale Match Light pellets
  • Discussion
  • Summary

This will be our last look at the Crosman 760 Pumpmaster Classic. It has some surprising results, though not in a good way. But, like so many things, we sometimes learn by doing.

Dot sight

Way back in early February at the end of Part 4 I said I needed to return to this airgun and test it with a dot sight. I half-kidded about using Sig’s Romeo5 XDR that costs 9 times what the 760 costs. I would have done it for a laugh but it proved to be impossible. The Sig sight design is so focused on rifles with Picatinny rails and pistols that accept insert plates that it does not adapt to 11mm rails — even with the UTG 11mm to Weaver adaptor. So I had to find something else. read more


Range days at the 2020 SHOT Show

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

Sig Virtus

P365 BB pistol

Virtus airsoft

Smart Shooter

It’s over

Media day at the Range

Umarex USA

Air Javelin

Air Saber

Constant Acceleration Pneumatic Arms

Light gas

Not done yet

That’s all

I went to two range days this year. Sig Range Day was on Sunday and Industry Day at the Range was Monday. Both are for the media, so we get to see and possibly shoot the guns they are showing at SHOT. I say, “Possibly” because the guns don’t always cooperate. I have seen several that failed to function on range day. That’s either because they were rushed through production or sometimes it’s just bad luck. read more


Diana 27S: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27S
Diana 27S.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • SHOT Show
  • Odd-sized breech seal
  • Grainger
  • Velocity with Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Fooled around
  • WHAT!!!?
  • On with the test — JSB Exact Heavy
  • Chronograph error
  • Cocking
  • 27S
  • Cocking behavior
  • Firing behavior
  • RWS Hobby
  • Summary

SHOT Show

I’m at the SHOT Show today. Today is Media Day At The Range, so I’m looking at all the new airguns that are on the range in Boulder City. Yesterday I went to Sig Range Day, so tomorrow I will have a report on both events. The show opens on Tuesday, so the Wednesday blog will be my first report from there.

Today we look at the velocity of the Diana 27S we are testing. If you recall, in Part 2 the breech seal failed and I couldn’t test the rifle. I replaced the seal with a temporary leather one and the velocity jumped from the mid-300s to the high 600s. I said then that it was the largest velocity increase I have ever seen from just replacing a breech seal. I expected a gain of 60-80 f.p.s. Several readers made similar comments.

Odd-sized breech seal

When I measured the old seal I expected to find numbers that were even, numbers that made sense! Instead I found the old seal’s material diameter (the thickness of the ring) was 2.4mm. The inside diameter was 8.3mm and the outside diameter was 13.1mm. Okay, where is the camera — I’m on Candid Camera, right? I expected a ring with a thickness of 2.5mm, an ID of 8.5mm and an OD of 13mm. Who would make something common like an o-ring with such random and odd dimensions? The ring wasn’t designed for Diana. Diana selected the ring from what was available and designed their airguns to fit.

Apparently, though, someone did design a ring like this because when I went to Grainger looking for one, there it was — 2.4mm by 8.3mm by 13.1mm! The reason I was so skeptical is because when it comes to measuring things I’m a cut-three-times-measure-once-and-then-hire-somebody-else-to-do-the-job kinda guy. But, listening to all of you guys with skills, I figured I could at least give it a go — might provide some fodder for a funny blog!

Grainger

So I placed an order with Grainger for 25 o-rings. I have about 6-8 Dianas that need these seals, and the way I love these guns more can come at any time. The rings arrived last week, and, with considerable trepidation, I installed one in the 27S. Then I set up the chronograph and fired the first tentative shot.

Diana 27S breech seal
The new o-ring/breech seal from Gainger fit perfectly.

Velocity with Air Arms Falcon pellets

Okay guys, we will start the velocity test with the Air Arms Falcon dome pellet. Ten Falcons averaged 689 f.p.s., for an average muzzle energy of 7.73 foot-pounds. Remember — the magic number of 671 f.p.s. is the velocity at which the energy of the pellet in foot-pounds is equal to the pellet’s weight in grains.

The spread ranged from a low of 672 to a high of 710 f.p.s. That’s 38 f.p.s., which is high.

Fooled around

After that I shot some more Falcons and got a string of three that measured 320, 309 and 310 f.p.s. — WHAT!!!?

WHAT!!!?

Right after installing the new breech seal and shooting the gun at velocities in the 690s, I suddenly got one at 374 f.p.s. And that is when it hit me. The new breech seal DOES NOT add 300 f.p.s. to the velocity of the rifle! I had shot through the chronograph in such a way that the first skyscreen was triggered at the wrong time. I know that because I can now do it anytime I want.

It isn’t common but I have seen this phenomenon before. If the muzzle of the gun is too close to the first skyscreen (with Shooting Chrony chronographs) you will get a reading like this. In the case of this Diana 27S I also have to point the barrel slightly downward by a few inches at 3 feet to make it happen every time. That is what happened in the last test, but I didn’t catch it until today. It was just the way I was sitting that made it happen. Apparently the Diana 27S is just long enough to put the muzzle in the exact right spot for this to happen.

So — chronograph users beware. And everybody — a new breech seal should not increase velocity by 300 f.p.s. unless there was no seal to begin with!

On with the test — JSB Exact Heavy read more