Collecting airguns: Modifications and refinishing 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Scarcity Part 1
Condition Part 2
What is collecting? Part 3
Collecting airguns: Fakes and counterfeits Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Hypothetical
  • It’s a Tucker!
  • Dig in or knuckle under?
  • What about it?
  • However…
  • Specifically
  • When not to modify
  • What about an FWB 124?
  • Controversy
  • The end

Today’s topic will be controversial. Many of you will feel that this isn’t any of my business. If you own something you have the right to do anything to it that you like — including destroying it. I would agree with you on that. If it’s yours, it’s yours to do with as you like. But it isn’t that simple. If it was, there would be nothing to say.

Hypothetical

Let’s say you have inherited a vintage car from your favorite rich uncle. It was made in 1948, and it has some lines that you think are cool, but others that you don’t care for. You want to do extensive bodywork and also to lower the suspension several inches.

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A million questions

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Lots of questions
  • Down to the basics
  • Shape and balance
  • Accuracy
  • What about droop?
  • Reliability
  • Which does BB enjoy the most?
  • Who makes what?
  • BB’s evaluation
  • It takes time

I get a lot of questions on other parts of the blog. Sometimes the people asking them seem frustrated by all the things they don’t know. Last week I received this comment from reader Winterz.

“Yes, I am the person who uses obscure threads to ask you questions like the dual collaborative piston breakbarrel air rifle. I also wrote you about the Forge review.

I don’t know where to ask this, and it might be worthy of a writing topic, but of the springer varieties – breakbarrel – underlever — sidelever…. which style do you most enjoy shooting? Which is the most reliable?

Sidelevers look awkward to me, and seem to add complexity. Underlevers are less attractive…but if they have a durability benefit or if droop is a serious problem in some rifles, then they could be considered.

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The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Findlay
  • Fortune smiles!
  • Not the first
  • Taploader — oh oh!
  • Description
  • Evaluation so far

Enough about straight razors and coin collections! Let’s get back to vintage airguns. Today we begin a series that looks at the venerable Diana model 50 underlever air rifle.

History

According to the Blue Book of Airguns, Diana’s model 50 was produced from 1952 until 1965, when the T01 variant took over. That one lasted until 1987, so in all the rifle had nearly a 4-decade run.

The model 50 is an underlever spring-piston air rifle that came in both .177 and .22 calibers. I think the .22 isn’t as common, since the 50 was seen as a target gun and Europeans were already using .177 caliber for that. Maybe .22 was a nod toward marketing Americans, with whom the larger caliber was much more popular at the time.

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How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Something new
  • What is “razor-sharp?”
  • Drugstore shave
  • How did “they” do it?
  • Eureka!
  • What stone for sharpening?
  • Honing stone lore
  • The strop
  • What “they” say
  • Upsales
  • The point

Don’t be fooled by the title of this report. I will indeed show you how to sharpen a straight razor, but that’s not what the report series is about. It’s about me getting into something new and fascinating, like airguns, but something I know nothing about, and wondering what I don’t know. It’s about learning something new. It’s also about wondering what is true and what is either misleading or an outright lie, when you are unfamiliar with the subject.

I’m writing this series for all the newer airgunners, some of whom are also new to the shooting sports. There is so much to absorb and comprehend! Where do you start? Many of you started in the wrong place, as did I. You acquired an airgun and immediately began seeing that it didn’t live up to your expectations. It didn’t do the things other people said it should. Was it the gun, or was it you? Or, were you just being steered wrong by people who talk a lot, yet have very little to say?

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Hakim airgun trainer at 25 yards

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hakim air rifle
Hakim air rifle trainer. Anschütz made 2800 of these for the Egyptian army in 1954/55. This one has custom-made wood.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Eley Wasps
  • The experience

Today’s blog arose from the suggestions of several readers. In the end it was Siraniko who pushed me over the line, and, when you see what happened, I think you’ll be glad that he did.

The test

The question is — how well does the Hakim air rifle shoot at extended distances? In the past I have always tested it at 10 meters. Today we will see what it can do at 25 yards. The rifle was rested directly on a sandbag and I used the open sights that came with the gun. My bionic eyes don’t see the rear notch very clearly anymore, and now you will see if that affects my accuracy.

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Collecting airguns: Fakes and counterfeits 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Scarcity Part 1
Condition Part 2
What is collecting? Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Counterfeiting
  • The racketeer nickel
  • Made to deceive
  • The tale
  • People want them!
  • Fake airguns
  • Refinishing and modifying
  • Personality airguns
  • The Rosetta Stone

Here we go again. Today we will look at the shady side of collecting — the works of intentional deception. In some collecting fields fakes and counterfeits are so common that they have become a whole area of study within the field. Let’s look at the oldest of all — the counterfeiting of money.

Counterfeiting

Long ago it was more possible to counterfeit money because there were fewer ways of determining whether something was fake or real. It wasn’t until old Archimedes came up with a way of knowing how much gold was present in an object (Eureka!) that people had much of a chance of knowing what was real and what wasn’t. They learned to trust the money issued by certain governments (Rome) or kingdoms (Babylon) because those authorities made every effort to police their own money. The death penalty was usually the price for counterfeiting, because the authorities did not want the expense of policing the currency.

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Diana model 5V pellet pistol: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 5V pistol
Diana model 5V pellet pistol.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Update on the Hakim
  • The Diana 5V air pistol
  • The test
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Hobby
  • A different hold
  • Summary

Update on the Hakim

On Friday I took the Hakim to the range to shoot it again. This time I listened to my own advice about adjusting the gas port and was able to begin with the rifle not ejecting the spent cases. It kicks like a 98 Mauser that way, but the cartridges are reloadable.

Then, with the gas port open as small as it would go, the rifle extracted and ejected factory rounds softly enough to be reloadable. I caught them in a cartridge trap I use for a lot of my semiautomatic arms. The cases were still dented, but not so much that they wouldn’t fit in a resizing die, so this fixes the problem I told you about last Friday.

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