What is it about old guns?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • I like old airguns
  • Garand
  • Peabody
  • What about old airguns?
  • Hakim
  • Falke 90
  • FWB 124
  • Summary

Today I am writing about something that moves me as a shooter and as a writer — old guns. Because this is an airgun blog I will talk about old airguns, too, but even old firearms really get me excited. Why is that?

I like old airguns

I have been holding off on a special blog series about a Webley Mark VI pellet revolver with a battlefield finish that I have had on order since June. See — BB has to wait, just like everybody else. This revolver also comes in a plain blue finish and a silver finish that I guess passes for nickel, but it’s the battlefield finish that I want. Guns with the two other finishes are in stock and have been for months — only the battlefield finish is backordered. Why is that? Why is it that more people want something that looks worn and used, rather than something brand new and pristine? read more


Johnson Indoor Target Gun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • Johnson Indoor Target Gun
    The Johnson Indoor Target Gun is a catapult BB gun that was made in the late 1940s for youth target practice.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Operation
  • Cocking
  • Trigger
  • Serendipity
  • Pat is not pending
  • Adjustable sights
  • Repeater
  • Summary

I was going to write about something else today, but the response to Friday’s report convinced me to stick with the Johnson. Several of you said that you enjoyed the detailed photos. Today I will tell you about how the gun is constructed and how it operates, plus some special features. Grab your coffee cup and let’s go!

Operation

The Johnson gun is a catapult gun, and in Part one I showed you the broken surgical tubing in my new gun. Now, take a look at a gun with tubing in working condition.

Johnson rubber working
This is how the rubber is supposed to look when it’s properly installed. The ends of this surgical tubing are held together with small cable ties. We are looking at the inside of the top cover of the gun. read more


Johnson Indoor Target Gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Johnson Indoor Target Gun
The Johnson Indoor Target Gun is a catapult BB gun that was made in the late 1940s for youth target practice.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Who was Johnson?
  • The M16
  • Airgun
  • The gun in hand
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Yes, I’m reviewing a Johnson again. For some reason I keep coming back to this one. I did a short piece on December 28 2015, and before that an article on December 22 2005. Finally I did an initial very short introductory piece on October 2, 2005. That’s a lot of articles. So, why am I writing about it again? Well, the gun we are looking at today is a nearly-new Johnson that I got in the box at the Texas Airgun Show this year. It has many thing that I can show you, plus I will do a complete report on this one. So grab your coffee, boys — this series should be good. read more


Tin can chronograph

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • How powerful is it?
  • Tin cans are not tin!
  • SAFETY!
  • Aluminum cans
  • Hickory tree chronograph
  • Back-door-to-hickory-tree chronograph
  • Leaf chronograph
  • The house silencer
  • Out of BBs
  • We were soldiers once, and young
  • Out of matches

No, this isn’t a “how to” piece about making a chronograph from a can. It’s a story about the past. For some of you it’s a story about “the old days” when we were kids and life was still fun. For others it goes back before you were born. But for all of you it should be interesting. So grab your coffee and let’s reminisce!

How powerful is it?

When I was a kid in the 1950s we all coveted the BB gun. As with all things in life, there were the “haves” and the “have-nots.” I was a have not, but I lived next door to a kid who was a have. Duane had a Daisy BB gun. It was some sort of El Cheapo model that didn’t come with a forearm, and it also shot to the left, but he knew exactly how much to hold off and was pretty good with it. The ownership of that small gun made him the Alpha in the neighborhood. read more


Benjamin 310 BB gun: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

A history of airguns

Benjamin 310
A Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun from 1952.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Avanti Match Grade shot
  • Hornady Black Diamonds
  • 4.45mm balls
  • Beeman Perfect Rounds
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the accuracy of the vintage Benjamin 310 multi-pump BB gun. I want to remind you that this is a smoothbore and not to expect too much accuracy from it. That being said, I remember that the ancient Benjamin 700 repeater surprised me. Let’s see if that trend continues with this single shot 310.

The test

I shot the gun at 10 meters off a sandbag rest. I used the one-pump system I developed that stabilizes the velocity around 390-400 f.p.s., depending on the type of shot. I tested both steel BBs and lead round balls, and, knowing that the larger shot were more stable in the gun, I tried to test with them. read more


A vintage FWB 300S tests new pellets

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

FWB 300S
My FWB 300S is the most accurate 10-meter target rifle I own.

This report covers:

  • Background
  • Essentially sighted in?
  • The test
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet
  • Sig Match Pb pellet
  • Sig Match Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • Sig Pb target pellets
  • Summary

Before we begin I need to explain why a test of three current pellets is in the history section. Besides airguns I have a lot of other things I need to test and report, and pellets are one big category. I also have some .22 caliber pellets from Sig that need a test, as well as those samples of the new Baracuda Field Target that I received at the Pyramyd Air Cup. If I don’t stop and make the time for these tests, they will never happen.

When it comes to target pellets, my most accurate 10-meter target rifle is an FWB 300S — a spring-piston target rifle that is decades out of date. But it’s the best I have, so I used it. Since it is no longer made, I put the test that used it in the History section. read more


Daystate Sportsman Mark II

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • “What they oughta do…”
  • “They” did!
  • Sounds nice!
  • How did it shoot?
  • History
  • Summary

This week reader Yogi asked me if I could write a blog about the Air Arms Pro Elite — a breakbarrel rifle that was built to the same quality level as a TX200 Mark III. I said I would look and see if I had enough information to write about them. I have owned two Pro Elites, a .177 and a .22, and I didn’t think much of either one. The build quality was excellent but they were hard to cock, recoiled harshly and were not that accurate, as I recall. However, thinking about that rifle opened another closet in my dusty memory, — one that related to the Seneca Aspen I started testing earlier this week. I’m referring to the Daystate Sportsman Mark II. read more