Blemished airguns — what’s the deal?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Refurbs, too
  • Different standards
  • What buyers notice
  • The 4 Cs
  • No flawless diamonds
  • The average guy
  • What does blemished mean?
  • What if the blem was missed?
  • What about bad parts?
  • Refurbished airguns
  • It’s gonna get scratched anyhow
  • Summary
  • Why this blog today?

I’m writing this report in response to reader GunFun1 who asked about it after I made a comment a few days ago when I installed a blemished barrel in an airgun to save money. He wanted to know whether blemished guns are a good deal or not.

Refurbs, too

I’m also going to include refurbished guns in this report, because I think they fall into the same category. Many people look at them online and wonder whether the cost savings are worth it, or are they just buying trouble? I hope I can answer that question.

Different standards

I have to begin the report with a qualifier. Every company has its own standards, I will try to address them in the report, but if you do business with a company whose standards are not what I am describing, your experience may be different. However, what I’m about to present is sort of an industry standard for blemished products. read more

Diana model 26 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 26
The Diana 26 air rifle.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The deal
  • What is it?
  • Earlier model 26
  • Blue Book of Airguns
  • Trigger
  • Stock
  • Description
  • Sights
  • Comparison to the 27
  • Summary

I have written a lot about Diana air rifles over the course of this blog. A quick look finds 2 articles about the Diana model 25, and 6 articles about the Diana 27. There are probably more on each rifle, but they may be titled so I can’t find them. While I have written a lot about these Diana models, I never heard of the Diana 26 until reader Carel from the Netherlands told me he had one.

The deal

Back in February I mentioned on the blog that I would like to find a Diana model 35 to detune, just to see how sweet it could be. Carel contacted me and told me he had a nice old one I might like. Then he told me about this model 26. I had never heard of it, and he tells me they are quite scarce in Europe, too. I think the gap between the models 25 and 27 was too narrow to support another model. read more

Hatsan SpeedFire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Hatsan Speedfire
Hatsan SpeedFire Vortex breakbarrel repeater.

This report covers:

  • Hatsan response
  • Good data
  • Velocity Baracuda Hunter Extreme
  • String two
  • String three
  • Discussion
  • Vortex Supreme
  • Air Arms Field
  • Newboy Junior
  • Firing cycle
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we resume our look at the .22-caliber Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle. In Part 2 I got some velocities that seemed far too low, so I assumed the rifle was damaged in some way. I returned it to Hatsan and asked them to look at it and, if possible, please repair it so I could resume the test with the same rifle.

Daniel Settle of Hatsan got back with me and here is what he said.

Hatsan response


We took some time to test out your sample SpeedFire this afternoon.  This was tested “as-is” out of the box – original gun, original magazines.  We did experience a larger extreme spread with one magazine (41) versus the other (23) with our Vortex Supreme pellets.  The “bad” magazine had some damage around the pellet exit opening on the muzzle side of the body.  I expect this might be interfering with and damaging the pellet skirts as they are pushed through. read more

Pause to reflect

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Blue Book coming
  • Overwhelmed
  • Price-point PCP
  • Compressors
  • The value compressor
  • Set-and-forget
  • Gun compressors
  • Repeating spring guns
  • Lookalikes
  • Big Bores
  • Special things
  • Over to you

Blue Book coming

I have been writing my next Blue Book of Airguns report. My section is called Gaylord Reports, and I try to summarize all that has happened since the last Blue Book was published. The new book should be released in May or early June.

The last Blue Book was published in 2016. While that sounds like just three years ago, since the book was actually written the year before, it’s a full 3-plus years and going on four. More has happened in this time than at anytime in the history of airguns!


There is so much information that I cannot get it into one report. I’m having to consolidate all of the exciting things into categories. And doing that has caused me to pause for reflection. There is more going on with airguns today than I have ever seen. I would like to share my view with you right now, and then give you the opportunity to comment. read more

Tuning BB’s Diana 27: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Teardown
  • 25 years?
  • Krytox!
  • Petroleum archaeology!
  • Grease to oil
  • Spring is fully scragged
  • Grease formed plugs and solidified
  • Start cleaning
  • Removing the barrel
  • Surprise!
  • Piston out
  • And rust!
  • Diana peened the blind pin in the piston head!
  • Cleaning done, time for the Krytox
  • Lubed the mainspring
  • Assembly
  • The rest of the parts go in
  • Finishing assembly
  • The verdict
  • Did I do it wrong?
  • What should I do now?
  • Don’tcha wanna know how it works?
  • RWS Superpoint
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Summary

Today is the day we learn whether Krytox is the miracle lubricant that both fixes and quiets spring-piston airguns. I have been hounded by people for more than a decade to try this stuff, and I had dug my heels in real deep, but then it dawned on me that Gene from Pyramyd Air had been after me for an equally long time to try Almagard 3752 — the grease that turned out to be Tune in a Tube. We all know how that went!

I promised to become the number one Krytox cheerleader if the stuff really works as advertised — by some airgunners, not by Krytox, themselves. But, I will also be only too happy to poke a hole in the Krytox balloon if it turns out we have been hoodwinked. read more

Tuning BB’s Diana 27: Part1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Bias
  • The deal
  • Krytox
  • Diana peep sight
  • Cheap peep
  • Same idea — more elegant
  • The best
  • Ebay
  • BIG teaching point
  • On with the Diana peep
  • So, what?
  • My 27
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • Sad news

Today’s report isn’t quite what the title says. I am going to tune my Hy Score 807/Diana 27 for you, because, after the success I had with Michael’s rifle, I felt it was time to strike while the iron is hot. But reader comments entered the picture as I was extolling the virtues of Tune in a Tube. One reader said he had his best luck with a lubrication product called Krytox, and then several more readers piled on, saying similar things. So, the subtitle of this report could be “The Great Krytox Experiment, or Krytox versus Tune in a Tube.” Because that’s what I plan to do — tune my Diana 27/Hy Score 807 with Krytox to compare it to a Tune in a Tube tune. read more

DIY Rifle Stock – Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is Part 5 of reader Vana’s excellent report on stock making. This one was delayed because of the SHOT Show, followed by my need to catch up on reports followed by my forgetting I had it — and Part 6 that’s still to come.

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

And now, over to you, Hank.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Slavia 618
This is my original 55 year old Slavia 618 in its new “firewood” stock. I made this one in a “camo” style, using cherry and maple blocks in a random arrangement of the pieces.

This report covers:

  • Preparing for finishing
  • Cabinet Scrapers (aka Card Scrapers)
  • Sandpaper and sanding
  • Steel wool
  • Preparing the surface
  • Smoothing the wood
  • Fancy it up
  • Checkering
  • Stippling
  • Carving
  • Accent pieces
  • Accessories
  • Summary

Preparing for finishing

In this part I will discuss the hand-tools that I use to finish the stock and how I use them. The stock, having been shaped with rasps, files and coarse sandpaper, will have scratches, bumps and flats that need to be smoothed out before I can even think about applying a finish. Electric sanders are useful time savers but you can easily get by without them. In truth, I like sanding, and find the quiet time I spend working on the wood relaxing. read more