The American Zimmerstutzen: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

American Zimmerstutzen
The American Zimmerstutzen.

This report covers:

  • I didn’t know the gun was loaded
  • And again…
  • And again
  • STOP!!!
  • Blanks?
  • Can real blanks hurt you?
  • They were blanks but he fired too soon
  • KaBOOM!
  • So what?
  • Sooner started…
  • Does this thing even work?
  • No fit?
  • Serendipity
  • HOWEVER
  • Summary

I first titled this report, “Can blanks hurt you?”

In writing about the American Zimmerstutzen today, I rediscovered all my fears about shooting blanks in guns. Why would I worry about that? Well, this home-built pellet rifle was made to be powered by a blank cartridge. And, over the three score and ten years of my life, I have seen countless injuries and deaths from blanks.

I didn’t know the gun was loaded

You may have heard the story that actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was killed during filming, “The Crow.” He was shot with what Hollywood and the media called a “blank gun.” But it wasn’t really a blank gun — it was a firearm. And he wasn’t shot with a blank; he was shot with a bullet. How, many ask? Simple — the film crew was careless while using a firearm to shoot blanks and someone loaded a live cartridge into the handgun that shot and killed Lee. And that was not the only time it’s happened. 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 6

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is Part 6 of reader Vana’s excellent report on stock making. This is the completion of his very thorough report on stockmaking.
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
Part 5

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:

  • Finishing the finishing
  • The first rule of applying a finish…
  • Put a handle on it!
  • Dyes and stains
  • Finishes
  • Oil products
  • Other potions and elixirs
  • Polyurethane
  • Precautions
  • Summary

Finishing the finishing

We’ve covered theory, materials, carving the stock, personalizing it and the preparation for finishing. This is where people get anxious and start rushing to be done – that’s a bad approach. read more


BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54
BSF S54 target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Resting on the sandbag
  • Artillery hold off hand extended
  • Discussion
  • Adjusted the rear sight
  • Falcon pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • JSB Exact RS domes
  • H&N Finale Match High Speed target pellet
  • Something extra
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the BSF S54 Match rifle. Now, while this rifle is called a Match rifle and did come with a large aperture sight, it’s not a serious match rifle and never was. Sometimes I have guys ask me questions like, “Could it be used in a match?” and I have to answer, “Yes” but they don’t let me finish by saying, “… but it will never win!” You see, some guys are so enraptured by the design of the S54 Match (and that huge rear aperture!) that they want it to be a real match rifle. Other guys own one and don’t want to spend the money for something different. The bottom line is — The BSF S54 Match rifle is not for formal competition! I think you will see that today. read more


BSF S54 Match rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSF S54
BSF S54 target rifle.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A little more of the BSF Story
  • Today
  • Front sight
  • BINK!
  • Velocity
  • Superpoints for the proof
  • Firing behavior
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

A little more of the BSF Story

Bayerische Sportwaffen Fabrik (BSF) was established in 1935. They made some airguns before WW II, but after the war is when they really got going. They were located in Erlangen, a town that’s about 15 kilometers from Nuremberg, but today is more like a suburb.

BSF airgun models ranged from youth guns to serious adult guns. Their lowest model was called the Junior that was a plain-Jane youth breakbarrel. Above that the Media came next. It shared a few parts with the Junior like the trigger but it was longer, heavier and more powerful. Think of them as the Diana 23/25. 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