Old versus new

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

  • Wait
  • Old airguns
  • Pistols?
  • Broomhandle Mauser M712
  • Lookalikes
  • Get it?
  • The moral

Are old airguns better than new ones? “Yes!” says the guy who likes them for their wood and steel. He doesn’t want any plastic on his guns. It bothers him that the firearm handguns of today are made from as much plastic as steel.


Hold on, brother! That plastic Glock that offends you so much has been test-fired 30,000 shots without a major failure. The 1911 you love so dearly was praised in 1910 for shooting 6,000 shots  with the same results. The Glock endured 5 times the punishment as your venerable Browning design.

The Glock is also built for ease of manufacture. It’s so simple that a guy can build one in his workshop, starting with a plastic frame that’s 80 percent finished. All it takes is a file, a drill and some time. Oh, and a lot of money! When it’s finished he will have about as much tied up as if he had bought the gun over the counter. But it is possible. read more

“Spring Doc” Spring Compressor Review

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

I am not running an historical report today because we have two guest blogs this week. Today I’m running the first of them. This is a guest blog from a reader who goes by the name Motorman.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me. Now, over to you, Motorman.

“Spring Doc” Spring Compressor Review
By Dean Speidel, alias “Motorman”

This report covers:

  • Decisions
  • “Spring Doc”
  • Diving In!
  • Flies in the ointment?
  • Wrap-Up


For some time I’ve been thinking about learning to disassemble, repair and, perhaps most importantly, re-assemble spring piston airguns. Making or buying a spring compressor is the first and unavoidable step.

I’m reasonably good with my hands, so I searched the internet and found a number of plans for build-it-yourself compressors. Some were pretty crude and, frankly, looked dangerous! Some were better, but I just never found one that I liked well enough to put the money and effort into building it. read more

Finding the pot of gold

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Trick number 1
  • Walter
  • Daisey
  • Trick 2
  • A gem!
  • Trick 3
  • Trick 4
  • Trick 5
  • Trick 6

I’m writing this report today because I need to. Something inside is telling me to get this out and I can’t think of anything else.
Today I’m going to talk about finding great deals.

Trick number 1

Several years ago I wrote a report about how to use common misspellings to locate hard-to-find items on public auction websites
like Gun Broker. We all hear people mispronouncing the names of famous airguns and firearms, but did you know they sometimes spell them that way, too. Take Anschütz. Many Americans pronounce it Anschultz, as in Ann Schultz. So, I went on Gun Broker and typed in Anschultz and, sure enough, there were 6 listings. Nobody who types in the correct spelling of the name will see these 6 listings, unless the seller also put the correct spelling in the title. It also means there will be very little competition on these listings. That’s the way the internet works.  But, if he listed it under Anschultz I doubt that he knows the correct spelling. 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.


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

SHOT Show 2018: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • The big news
  • Benjamin Fortitude
  • Marauder Field and Target
  • Akura
  • Traveler
  • SigASP20
  • Tight breech and no droop
  • The trigger
  • AirForce E-Pump

I will start the third day on the SHOT Show floor with Crosman. They always have loads of new products and this year was no exception. I actually had to visit the booth two separate times to get what I am about to tell you.

The big news

So — what’s the big news at Crosman? I guess that depends on what interests you, but since I am defining this year’s show as the battle of the price-point PCPs (precharged pneumatic rifles with upscale features selling for under $300), let’s start with the Fortitude.

Benjamin Fortitude

Benjamin’s new Fortitude PCP is regulated, a repeater and has a shroud. It is positioned between the Discovery and the Marauder. read more

SHOT Show 2018: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Gamo
  • Big bores?
  • Daisy
  • Gamo Urban
  • Winchester big bores
  • Diana
  • Umarex USA
  • Cowboy Lever Action
  • Single action
  • But wait…
  • And the show goes on…

We’re back at it today. I’ll start with Gamo


Gamo is the one company that never gives me any information about their products. A few years ago their VP of sales was very helpful, but in the last 20 years of attending the SHOT Show, that was the only time anyone helped me. So I just read the signs and try to make sense of it.

Big bores?

Gamo has a line of big bore airguns this year. They look like Bizarro copies of AirForce guns — where the size and shape are similar but nothing is quite the same. These single shots are called the TC 35 and TC 45, indicating their calibers. They have carbon fiber air reservoirs that serve as the butt of the rifle. read more

The Beeman R10/HW 85: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 85
Weihrauch HW 85.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Lead Sled
  • Rifle rested on sandbag
  • The artillery hold
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I will shoot my vintage HW85 at 50 yards for you. One thing I’m testing is whether resting the rifle on a Caldwell Lead Sled will improve accurate. Reader Bob from Oz says it will. We’ll see.

The test

The day was perfect for a test like this. It was 34 degrees with just a hint of a breeze. I shot in three different positions that I’ll describe as we go. The rifle is still sighted in for 25 yards, so the pellets dropped about 3 inches at 50 yards. And I used the Crosman Premier pellet that has worked so well for this rifle in the past. read more