Air Venturi Dust Devil Mk2 Frangible BB: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dust Devil
Dust Devil Mk2.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The first and best test
  • Test strategy
  • Crush test
  • Test 2 — close impact
  • What have we learned?
  • Hard target test
  • What does this tell us?
  • One last test
  • Summary

Today we look at the frangible properties of the new Dust Devil Mark 2 BBs. Remember — these are the only Dust Devils you can buy and the box does not say Mark 2. But the BB I am testing is what you can buy and all that you can buy!

The first and best test

What I show you today is the first time I have tested Dust Devils at all. I did shoot the Mark 1 Dust Devils against a concrete floor with nothing remaining and no bounce-back, and at the 2018 NRA Show where Pyramyd Air always runs the airgun range, Dust Devils were the only BBs fired and there was not one bounce-back in perhaps 10,000 shots. Today I will take it several steps further. read more


Umarex Air Javelin airbow: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Umarex Air Javelin
The Air Javelin from Umarex.

This report covers:

  • Get ready
  • Not an airgun?
  • Low cost
  • Industry Day at the Range 2020
  • Noise?
  • Description
  • Action is ambidextrous
  • Performance
  • Will it accept air?
  • Size and sights
  • What’s the purpose?
  • Summary

Well, lookie, lookie, who’s got the cookie! I write about airgun manufacturers putting peep sights on their guns yesterday and today’s star — the Umarex Air Javelin — has them! Not only that, the Air Javelin (AJ) is a thousand-dollar airgun selling for $170! Or at least it will be when they come in.

Get ready

I’ve been sitting on this report for over a month for a couple reasons. The main one is the AJ that isn’t quite on the market yet. I don’t like to write about airguns you can’t get, but I expect this one to be available soon.

Not an airgun?

Is the AJ really an airgun? We can get into a long discussion about that, and I expect we will, but here is my opinion. The AJ shoots arrows, so it’s definitely not a BB or pellet gun. And it runs on CO2, so we can have that discussion, as well. 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


Crosman Mark I and II reseal

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is a guest blog from reader Ian McKee who writes as 45 Bravo. He’s going to tell us about the Crosman Mark I pistol he recently acquired and what he did to fix the leak it came with.

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

A history of airguns

Over to you, Ian.

Crosman Mark I and II reseal

by Ian McKee
Writing as 45Bravo

This report covers:

  • Just kidding!
  • Four major changes over the years
  • I got this one cheap
  • It’s mine!
  • Bringing it back to life
  • BB’s end cap
  • Resealing both caps
  • How did it go?
  • Outer barrel removal
  • Wrong o-rings

Back in December 2018, and January 2019, B.B. reviewed a classic Crosman Mark I pistol in .22 caliber.

There were many comments about how it worked internally, and how the power adjuster worked, so today I thought I would give you a little peek inside the gun.

Mark II disassembled
Here is your peek of a disassembled pistol. This is actually a Mark II I photographed some time back. The parts of the two pistols are identical except for those pertaining to the caliber.

Thank you, that concludes today’s blog.

 

Just kidding!

I could not do that to you. Here is a synopsis to refresh your memory.

The Crosman Mark I and Mark II (.22 and .177 calibers, respectively) pistols are airgun versions of the classic Ruger Mark I and Mark II .22 rimfire pistols. They share the same grip angle, sight profile, and overall profile of the iconic Ruger rimfire pistol.

Ruger Marl 1
Ruger’s Mark I pistol.

All Crosman Mark air pistols retained an adjustable trigger throughout their production run, which was 1966 to 1986, but had other changes in their design over the years.

Four major changes over the years

The flip-style piercing cap was changed to a button-style piercing cap, similar to what’s found on the Smith & Wesson 78/79-series air pistols.

The metal bolt guide that was secured in the frame by a screw on either side below the rear sight was changed to a plastic bolt guide that is retained by 1 screw that’s hidden under the rear sight blade.

The power-adjusting screw that was located under the barrel was eliminated.

And to hold the grips they changed from using screws with countersunk heads to screws with flat heads, as shown.

Mark I grip screws
There are two different grip screw head profiles and grips that match them.

If you use the countersunk screws on grips made for flat-head screws, you will crack them, and it is not easy to find replacements.

There were some other minor changes over the years, but these were the big ones.

I have been a big fan of these pistols over the years, and have owned and resealed more of these than I have of the Smith & Wesson 78/79G series. In my opinion, the adjustable triggers of the Crosman guns are better than the adjustable triggers of the S&W guns. The engineer that designed these air pistols later had a hand in the design of the Smith & Wesson guns.

I got this one cheap

I saw this pistol online with a $50 or best offer price tag, and no photo. These two things together usually tell me to run away and let someone else take the chance.

I got to thinking I could always use it for parts, so I took the bait and contacted the seller. I found out he lived not too far away, and decided on a face-to-face look at the pistol.

He sent some fuzzy photos by text, that didn’t help my feelings about the deal.

In the ad he said the gun had leaks. When I finally saw it, it was one of the roughest Mark Is I have ever seen. It had been repainted several times, and at some point, someone had covered the bare spots with a permanent marker to make it all black again.

Mark I right
Right side.

Mark I left
Left side.

I put a CO2 cartridge in it and it vented all of the gas out of the piercing cap while I shot it a few times. [Editor’s note: Doing this in front of the seller is a big negotiating tip, because it emphasizes the fact that his gun doesn’t work!]

From this short examination I knew 3 things:

1. This was an early model Crosman Mark I in good mechanical condition.

2. All of the parts were there.

3. It did NOT leak out of the barrel, when it vented the gas.

It’s mine!

I made a ridiculously low offer, and he accepted. When I got it back home and on the bench, I started by cleaning off the permanent marker with alcohol.

I knew it was an older model, but did not realize how old, as in serial number 000659! There is not even a date code.

Mark I serial number
This is an early Mark I.

I now own one of the first ones made and also one of the last ones made.

Bringing it back to life

I put a second CO2 cartridge in it to check it out on the bench. It vented the gas in about 30 seconds and it all came from the piercing cap. That told me the valve seal was still good.

I shot it over the chrono as it was venting. The gun was cold from the CO2 cool-down, but it still registered 485 f.p.s.

Most times the leak is because the tiny o-ring in the piercing cap deteriorates. The piercing pin moves up and down in the older models by a lever. You flip the lever one way to pierce the CO2 cartridge, then return to its normal position to let the CO2 into the gun.

Some online disassembly guides say you have to remove the snap ring at the bottom of the cap and then drive out a roll pin. That is the hard way. The easy way is to use a 3/8-inch wide (9.5mm) screwdriver blade in the slot inside the piercing cap. Use it to unscrew the cover that contains the 006-sized o-ring.

This cover is threaded and acts as a screw to hold the small o-ring in place. It looks in the photo like the piercing pin will prevent unscrewing it, but the end of the pin is actually below the screw slots. Remove this cover. In a moment I will describe and show a newer style end cap that has some different parts and comes apart differently.

With the cover off, use a dental pick to remove the old o-ring. It is probably hardened and will break into fragments when you pick at it. It may not even look like an o-ring, but it is tight around the base of the piercing pin.

Once all the small pieces are out of the cap and the o-ring groove is clean, lightly lubricate the new o-ring with your choice of lube, center the new o-ring over the piercing pin, and push it into its recess. Then screw the cover back into place over the o-ring.

Mark I cap 1
The screwdriver fits into the slots on either side and unscrews the cover. The tip of the piercing pin is below the slots. The cap looks brassy in this photo but it is really steel.

Mark I cap 2
This picture with a different angle shows how the o-ring sits at the base of the piercing pin. read more


Springfield Armory M1 Carbine BB gun: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

M1 Carbine
Springfield Armory M1 Carbine BB gun.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • 10 meters is hard for BBs!
  • Groups don’t double with the distance
  • Today’s test
  • Starting with a fresh CO2 cartridge
  • Air Venturi Steel BB
  • Smart Shot
  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • Dust Devils
  • Last group
  • Summary

Last week reader Thedavemyster asked me when I was going to do the final test with the Springfield Armory M1-Carbine. I said last April that I was going to shoot the Carbine at 10 meters since it was so accurate at 5. Well, I forgot all about that and never did the test — until today. Today I back up to 10 meters and shoot the Carbine at

10-meter air rifle targets read more


Springfield Armory M1 Carbine CO2 Blowback Airsoft gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Springfield Armory M1 Carbine airsoft
Springfield Armory M1 Carbine Airsoft gun.

This report covers:

  • History
  • M1 Carbine production
  • Carbine performance
  • Carbine requirement
  • It lives on
  • M1 Carbine airsoft gun
  • M1 Carbine BB gun
  • Two stocks
  • Expected power
  • Adjustable Hop Up
  • Which model Carbine?
  • Sights
  • Can’t be disassembled
  • So much more!
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine airsoft gun. It’s not rifled so no matter what anyone says, it’s not a rifle. It’s a smoothbore airsoft gun.

The M1 Carbine is a favorite of B.B. Pelletier, so this blog may sound a little different — as in having a lot more history attached to it. In fact, let’s go there now.

History

Ask any red-blooded American shooter what was the standout soldier’s weapon in World War II and they will not hesitate to say it was the M1 Garand. Canadian-born firearm designer John Garand (pronounced GAR-und, with Gar rhyming with care) worked for years to perfect a design that was initially created in the late 1920s or early ’30s by firearm company, Irwin Pederson. By the late 1930s the design was accepted and in September 1937 low-rate production (10 rifles a day) began. During the war 3.5 million-ish Garands were produced, and production continued into the 1950s. It is believed that a total of approximately 5.4 million Garands were eventually produced.

M1 Carbine production

In sharp contrast, the requirement for the M1 Carbine first saw the light of day in 1938. It was formalized in 1940. Two tests were run in 1941 and on October 22 of 1941 the Winchester design that is called the “13-day rifle” (because of the accelerated time in which it was developed) was accepted for production.

David Marsh “Carbine” Williams had little to do with the development of the Carbine beyond his invention of the short-stroke gas piston that made the entire concept feasible.

The Carbine production program was one of the high points of the war, from a logistical standpoint. In 38 months 10 prime contractors and hundreds of subcontractors produced over 6 million Carbines — nearly twice as many as Garands during the war and in far less time. Ironically, the only prime contractor that never had a Carbine accepted by the government was Irwin Pederson, whose production methods were decades out of date and were thus incapable of meeting the requirement for parts interchangeability. Their contract was cancelled and their plant was taken over by Saginaw Steering Gear — a division of General motors.

Carbine performance

The M1 Carbine had performance requirements that were not equalled for decades after production ended and, indeed, are not being equalled even today. The primary one is weight. The carbine had to weigh no more than 5 lbs., yet had to handle the pressures associated with a centerfire rifle.

Carbine requirement

The Carbine was created because the Army felt its soldiers were not well-equipped with the M1911A1 pistol. Too many soldiers had problems shooting the pistol accurately, and the Army felt a small light rifle would be more effective. That sounds reasonable but two things worked against the notion. First — they named it the M1 Carbine and by the time it got to the field the Garand had already entered its days of glory. It was even made in the same .30 caliber! Too many people expected it to be a “baby Garand,” which it is not. And the second reason for its unpopularity is very similar. The Carbine looks like a rifle (which it is, of course) so people expected it to perform like one. But it didn’t. It’s cartridge is more closely related to a powerful pistol cartridge than to a rifle cartridge. The bullet is lightweight and it leaves the muzzle 700 f.p.s. slower than the Garand bullet. Instead of almost 3000 foot-pounds of muzzle energy the Carbine bullet develops less than 1,000. And the lighter bullet sheds energy rapidly, so beyond 100 yards it hits like a .30 caliber pistol.

For the purpose it was designed the Carbine is a brilliant weapon even today. But when it is compared to a powerful .30 caliber rifle cartridge used by the Garand it falls short.

It lives on

However, with all the downside I’ve just mentioned, people love the Carbine when they get to handle and shoot it. It’s just right for carrying all day and for certain tactical situations. For example, a fully automatic M2 Carbine is quite handy in close-quarters engagements. As a result of the popularity, more than 30 commercial gun manufacturers have copied the Carbine since government production ceased, and it is still in commercial production today!

The M1 Carbine is the father of Ruger’s popular Mini 14 and the grandfather of the Army’s M16. I own a Carbine that has been converted to shoot the 5.7mm Johnson Spitfire that Melvin Johnson created in the 1950s. The Army used that as the starting point in the development of their 5.56mm cartridge that’s still used today.

M1 Carbine airsoft gun

Today we will start looking at the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine airsoft gun. It is a CO2-powered semiautomatic 6mm airsoft gun that features full blowback of the bolt. It holds 15 rounds, just like the firearm it copies. Don’t let anyone tell you that the M1 Carbine holds 30 rounds, because it doesn’t. The M2 Carbine holds 30 rounds in a curved magazine that is called a “banana mag”, but nobody who knows the rifle ever carried a banana mag fully loaded. They start having feeding issues when fully loaded. The 30-round mag does fit the M1 carbine and soldiers would stock up on as many of those mags as they could get, but they loaded them with around 25 rounds to be safe. What I’m saying is the 15 rounds in the airsoft mag are correct for the firearm it copies.

M1 Carbine BB gun

We looked at the Springfield Armory M1 Carbine BB gun last year in a three-part test. In that test we learned that the BB gun is extremely accurate — to the point of being not too far behind the Daisy Avanti 499. Can this airsoft version that looks incredibly similar be far behind? I hope not!

Two stocks

You have a choice of stocks when you buy the airsoft gun. I’m testing the synthetic stock that is available right now for $199. Add $100 and you can get one with a hardwood stock.

Expected power

The description page on the Pyramyd Air website says the velocity is 470 f.p.s. which I think is too fast for airsoft. Reader Michael asked me to test the M17 airsoft pistol with heavier 6mm BBs because when I tested it with 0.25-gram BBs it became more accurate than with the 0.20-gram BBs Sig recommends. I ordered in a slew of heavier BBs for that test that’s still to come, so you can be sure I will try them in this gun, too.

Adjustable Hop Up

The Hop Up (method of putting a backspin on the BB for improved accuracy) is adjustable, but it isn’t mentioned in the manual anywhere. I went online and could not find it anywhere — including in the information on the Asian models this gun is based upon.

So I asked Tyler Patner to show me and he was kind enough to send a video. The adjustment is a tiny 1.5mm (I measured it) Allen screw that’s located at the top rear of what is the chamber in the firearm. Just pull the bolt back and lock it, then there is access for the wrench.

Springfield Arm,ory Carbine airsoft Hop Up
The Hop Up adjustment is a 1.5mm Allen screw deep inside the receiver, at the top of the chamber.

Springfield Arm,ory Carbine airsoft Hop Up wrench
The Allen wrench is set to adjust the Hop Up.

The wrench for this doesn’t come with the gun, nor are there instructions in the manual. I think that is an omission that should be corrected — however, I haven’t yet seen if the adjustment really affects anything. If it doesn’t then the adjustment isn’t helpful and you should just consider the gun to be not adjustable. As long as we can find a BB that’s accurate, I don’t care about the Hop Up unless I need it.

Which model Carbine?

The Carbine evolved over its life cycle. Some things, such as the stock changed right away, while others like the bolt, the bayonet lug, the rear sight and the flash hider, came toward the end of its production cycle.

This Carbine represents the final configuration of the Carbine. It has the “low water” stock that shows a lot more of the operating rod handle than the first “high water” stock.

Carbine right high water
This Winchester Carbine was one of the first 15,000 Carbines made and subsequently was not interchangeable with all other Carbines because Springfield Arsenal changed the drawings after Winchester began production. Consequently these rifles never went to war and are often found in excellent condition like this one. This one has the early “high” water” stock.

Universal Carbine
This “Carbine” was made commercially by Universal. It shows none of the operating rod — something genuine Carbines never did. There is that 30-round banana mag, by the way. read more


Onyx Tactical Crossbow: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sen-X Crossbow
Onyx Tactical Crossbow.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Why a crossbow?
  • Smoothbore accuracy
  • Rifling
  • So — how accurate are smoothbores?
  • But what about smoothbore airguns?
  • Dumbbell projectiles and the Balle Blondeau
  • And now the crossbow
  • Setting up and cocking
  • Surely that’s not all?
  • Summary
  • read more