The Relum Telly: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Today, we’ll finish Vince’s report on his new Relum Telly.

If you’d like to write a guest blog, please email us.

Over to you, Vince!

The Relum Telly: Part 2
by Vince

When we last saw the Telly, I’d just reduced the cocking effort by repairing the cocking linkage and smoothing the outside of the spring tube. Then I set about to fix the other things that were wrong with my new airgun. I had just fixed the stripped stock screw holes and was about to go into the gun’s innards. So, today join me on a tour of the Telly’s belly.

The piston is basic enough, and the fact that the leather piston seal was still in passable condition saved me a fair bit of hassle. It’s riveted in, so replacement wouldn’t have been very straightforward:

Relum Telly piston seal
The leather piston seal looks good.

Relum Telly piston body
Looking inside the piston reveals the rivet that holds the piston seal to the body.

So, a soaking in 30 weight oil is all it gets before reassembly.

I mentioned the concentric springs earlier. This is what they look like:

Relum Telly springs
The inner and outer mainspring. The inner spring shows a bit of “snakeiness” from its long life.

The thinner inner spring has about 1/3 the spring rate of the outer, which means that it does indeed contribute significantly to the powerplant energy.

The trigger is a linked direct sear. Oddly enough, it’s sorta similar to the linkage in the el-cheapo Industry Brand S2 pistol. The trigger blade pops right out but the actual sear pin is peened in place so I can’t remove the sear block. I’ve sketched in what it sorta looks like, sorta (yellow area).

Relum Telly trigger
The trigger blade came out easily. The sear is held in by a heavily peened pin, so I didn’t remove it. The yellow area is approximately what the sear looks like in profile.

As the blade is pulled back, it rotates the sear block clockwise (downward in back), which releases the piston. Here’s where I discovered something. Remember that goofy lockscrew I noticed in the front triggerguard bolt? It wasn’t a lockscrew at all. The bolt itself threads into the hole identified by the yellow arrow (above picture), and the concentric screw (which is both smaller in diameter and longer) pushes up on the sear block opposite of the trigger. This can be used to reduce the sear engagement and adjust the trigger. In fact, you can adjust it to the point of not even working. I don’t like messing too much with direct sears of any type, so I run the gun with the screw all the way out.

Relum Telly trigger adjustment
What I thought was a lockscrew turned out to be the trigger adjustment screw. It controls the amount of sear engagement area.

All the innards look usable, so after proper cleaning and relubing I reassemble the gun and get ready to shoot.

This is not going to be a super-comprehensive shooting test. Considering how few of these things that are around, the Relum Telly is not exactly a vintage gun you’re gonna want to use as a routine shooter. If you want a nice, usable vintage gun for a youth, get them something like a Diana 25. We just want to see what sort of performance the Telly was capable of.

The gun didn’t like Daisy Precision-Max or Crosman Wadcutters, but (surprise, surprise) it thrives on 7-grain RWS Diabolo Basic pellets. This 5-shot group shows what the gun is capable of at 10 meters:

Relum Telly target
Five RWS Diabolo Basic wadcutters made this 0.35-inch group at 10 meters.

That’s 0.35 inches, center-to-center, with rotten open sights. The rear blade has a “V” notch, while the front post tapers to a point on top — which means to my eyes, the top of the post sorta fades in and out like Captain Kirk stuck in a malfunctioning transporter. It’s very hard to make sure I’m getting a consistent aim point, which makes me think the gun is capable of even better.

Next up is the velocity — and laziness dictates that I only bother testing the pellets that shot well. Or, in this case, the one pellet. After 5 warm-up shots, the gun laid down this string:

618
605
625
603
622
621
624
624
606
623

The average was 617 f.p.s. This is just shy of 6 foot-pounds of energy…which, for the size of the rifle, really isn’t bad. On the OTHER hand, it’s HORRIBLE for a gun that requires as much as or more cocking force than a Diana 350 or a Baikal 513, while delivering less than 1/3 of the energy.

Anyway, it’s at this point that I decided to snap a quick picture of the breech with a pellet loaded to show you how loose it fits:

Relum Telly pellet in breech
See how deep into the breech the pellet falls?

See? It drops right in with no fuss or fighting. But then I get to thinking that SOMEbody’s going to carp about that ancient leather breech seal! So, should I replace it? The gun is probably doing as well as it can, so I have no reason to. In fact, I can even hear that little voice in my head saying, “LEAVE IT ALONE!”

So, naturally I popped it out, destroying it in the process. To my delight, it seems to be the same size as a Diana seal, which means I can use a #109 o-ring. But wait — there’s something funny about the groove it sat in.

Relum Telly breech seal groove
The groove is cut parallel to the bore, but not to the slanted breech. As a result, it’s deeper on the top than on the bottom.

Dang. The breech face is slanted on this gun (like on a lot of Dianas), and the groove is cut parallel to the barrel bore, not parallel to the breech face. This means that the top of the grove is a lot deeper than the bottom.

At first, I tried to see if I can “split the difference” by shimming it just right, but obviously that won’t work:

Relum Telly new breech seal 1
The shimmed breech seal obviously isn’t going to work.

Eventually, the obvious solution hit me, and I cut a wedge-shaped washer out of semi-rigid tubing:

Relum Telly wedge washer
By cutting this washer on a bias, I got a wedge shape to lie under the new o-ring breech seal.

…and VOILA!

Relum Telly new breech seal 2
The wedge-shaped washer raised the new o-ring to be level with the slanted breech.

One final note: the gun shoots no faster with the new seal.

So there you have it, the Relum Telly in a nutshell. Cocking effort aside, it’s a decent little plinker. I’d say it’s easily the equal of a small Diana or Slavia in accuracy but superior in power. Granted, this pup ain’t gonna get shot very much — but at least in looks at home in my airgun rack:

Relum Telly airgun rack
The new Telly is near the right side of the top rack.

My New Relum Telly!
Not such a bad little felleee,
At least with the right pelleee…
My New Relum Telly!

And so, both my Telly review and brief poetical foray draw to a long-overdue conclusion.


Industry Brand B-7

by B.B. Pelletier

Our favorite guest blogger, Vince, is at it again. Today, he shares his experience of testing a Chinese airgun.

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

Now, take it away, Vince!

Ahhh… the way we were! The way some of us were, anyway. By “us,” I’m referring to those of us who first got into airguns (or came back to airguns) after being seduced by those irrascible Chinese. I’m going back about, oh, 10 years or so ago, when, waltzing through the internet, we would find all sorts of places selling “The Chinese Can Opener” or the “High-Power Military Training Air Rifle.” What a deal they were — my goodness, why on earth would ANYONE spend $100 or more on one of those high-falutin’ overpriced airguns when these $25 Chinese models were obviously just as good? And we knew they were just as good because that number said so!

You know, that number. The velocity number. Because that was the only thing that mattered! That one number told us the whole story!

Sooner or later, we discovered the inevitable — although for some (like, uh, me), it was certainly later than sooner. Eventually, the B3, B4-2 and Fast Deer airguns went by the wayside to be replaced by Gamos, RWSs, Cometas, Noricas, and then Spanish and German Beemans. Around this time, the Chinese started cranking up the quality, though, so their better products didn’t entirely leave our field of view. But the old carved-out-of-a-2×4-and-lubed-with-pig-fat models — along with all their broken seals, mainsprings and promises — were pretty much forgotten.

But man is a funny animal, and a collector (even a half-baked collector) often sees value in diversity as well as quality. And just as a man who collects Mustangs sort of really needs a 1974 Mustang II 4 cylinder automatic (as horrid a car as it was) in his collection, I began pining for some of those old, crude guns just because they were there.

So it was that I found myself fishing around for some of those old bottom-feeders…those poorly made, all wood-steel-and-leather guns that smelled like bacon grease when fired. Those guns that, frankly, I had virtually no interest in shooting, except to appreciate the better guns that came later. The subject of this report, the Industry Brand QB-51, is one of those fossils I dug up.


Industry Brand B-7 spring-piston rifle.

This .177-caliber breakbarrel air rifle was also called the Industry Brand B-7 and shouldn’t be confused with the BAM B-7. That gun was the old sporter-style sidelever that actually had a reputation for being sort of decent. No, the Industry Brand B-7 was one of those smoke-and-soot, machined with a dull file and worn-out drill bits and carved-with-a-hatchet examples of communism at its most typical. If you were lucky, it worked out of the box. If not, well, it simply didn’t. But luck shines upon me, and this one actually did.

The QB-51 was one of those novelty guns they used to put together by combining a low-buck action with some possibly less-than-useless useless bells and whistles. This one was apparently playing paratrooper with a folding wire stock, a total weight of under 6 lbs. and an overall length of only 35 inches. But it’s not a kid’s gun by any stretch — the pull length of 14 inches and a 28-lb. cocking force certainly attest to that.

Since the folding stock is obviously the most interesting aspect of this gun, let’s take a look at that first. It actually has two interesting features, the less obvious being an adjustable buttpad.


Buttpad is centered.


Buttpad adjusted down.

Is an adjustable buttpad on this cheap gun completely pointless? Actually it isn’t. It can be used to dial up a more comfortable shooting position. The gun does look awkward as all get out if the pad is moved too far off the normal position; but let’s face it, this pup isn’t winning any beauty contests if the judges are permitted to keep their eyes open.

The folding stock is perhaps less useful.


Folding stock extended.


The stock is folded flat against the side of the gun.


This is what it looks like from the side.

Some rifles with a folding stock can be handled as a pistol (sort of); that’s not really going to happen with this gun. All it does is make the rifle a bit shorter and easier to pack up for transport — if you could think of any reason you’d want to. But at least the rough cast folding/locking mechanism is stout enough.


The hinge is stout and tight!

Moving past that, we come to the pistol grip — and another gadget! The grip is hollow and has a sliding door at the bottom.


The grip has a secret compartment!

Presumably, you can put pellets in there. It would hold several hundred, even if getting them out one at a time might be a bit tricky. Again, we have an oddball feature that still isn’t quite useless.

On top of the gun, we can see the simple rear sight. If you were into mid-grade airguns 10-15 years ago, you might recognize it. This is pretty much a knock-off of the old Gamo sight that used to come on a variety of their breakbarrels. Frankly, they did well to copy it. It’s simple, largely devoid of free-play and pretty darned rugged.


The rear sight was kind of nice!

Finding it on this rifle was a pleasant surprise, and I was hoping to find a similar surprise as I moved rearward toward the trigger. I already knew that Industry Brand used a knock-off of the Gamo trigger in their QB-57, QB-88 and QB-25 models. When I saw that telltale safety tang in the triggerguard area, I got my hopes up. It says something about bottom-feeder Industry Brand triggers when you’re seriously looking forward to a Gamo trigger. But even those modest hopes were quickly dashed. This gun has a simple direct-sear and a crude sliding safety, both of which makes a 2004 Gamo Shadow feel like a Swiss watch.

As I move around the gun, it’s becoming obvious that this thing is based on the old Industry Brand 61 and 62 model actions, later known as the B-1 and B-2, respectively. I’ve had those. My B-1 had a horribly inaccurate barrel and probably a 12-lb. trigger. One B-2 had a soft trigger that quickly wore and went into the auto-fire mode, and the other B-2 bent its rear retaining pin because it couldn’t handle the spring pressure. As one might guess, I don’t get all excited by B-1/B-2 variants.

One giveaway is the breech pivot bolt.


The pivot bolt has only four places for the locking screw to engage. That often makes it difficult to adjust properly, for many times you want to stop somewhere in-between.

And the other is the smashed-leather breech seal.


The leather breech seal is as flat as a pancake.

Both are hallmarks of Industry Brand inferiority, and that breech bolt (with its four positive locking stops) frequently makes it impossible to properly tighten up the sideplay without making custom washers to go under the bolt head.

Oh well…let’s keep going. The front sight is basic enough.


Front sight is what you would expect.

Although I won’t be using it. I’ve learned from recent testing that I just can’t be consistent with open sights anymore — so I pretty much have to go to a scope. The problem is that the grooves milled into the receiver are ridiculously short. In trying to mount a scope, look at what I had to resort to.


The Daisy variable scope was cheap enough and worked well. Notice how close the rings have to be to fit the short dovetails!

The skinny scope mounts I used — moved as close together as possible — barely fit. The scope, by the way, is a cheap Daisy Powerline 3-9×32 (no AO), in which I had fudged the objective lens to eliminate parallax at 10 yards. Set up this way, the $35 scope works like a champ — and seems way too good for a rifle like this.

I do have some concerns about running a scope on this gun, however — Diana’s aren’t the only breakbarrels to have droop, and this one seemed to have joined that party. But there’s only one way to find out, so I’m off to test it. And, yes, this time I checked the stock screws first.

I’m shooting the gun with the same series of pellets I used last time — although, frankly, putting Crosman Premiers through this rifle seems rather silly.


I tried all these pellets in this gun.

No matter, same drill — 5 shots to get the barrel used to a pellet, then 5 on each through two separate bulls.

Much to my surprise, dialing in the Daisy scope wasn’t such a big deal, and soon I was landing pellets close enough for government work. Though the Daisy scope worked well enough, the Daisy Precision Max wadcutter pellets didn’t.


Daisy Precision Max wadcutters: These shots are hard to see, but the group sizes are listed next to them.

These groups came in at 0.66 inches and 0.82 inches; but come to think of it, maybe I’m being too hard on these pellets. Maybe this really is the best this gun can do!

Crosman Competition wadcutters do nothing to dispel that notion. At 0.78 inches and 1.40 inches, they’re making the Daisys look good.


Crosman Competition wadcutters.

At 1.28 inches and 1.52 inches, Crosman Hunting pellets (pointed) do even worse.


Crosman Hunting pellets.

Even my cherished Crosman Premier hollowpoints are sucking canal water at 1.12 inches and 0.9 inches.


Crosman Premier hollowpoints.

Of all the Crosman pellets, only the Premier Lites seems to consistently do under an inch — although 0.82 inches and 0.9 inches is nothing to squawk about.


Crosman Premier Lites did better, but still not great.

Oddly enough, those new Gamo Match pellets I don’t like so much just about equalled the Crosman Premier Lites in this gun.


Gamo Match pellets were a pleasant surprise. But it still isn’t good enough.

But at 0.95 inches and 0.88 inches, they still couldn’t match the Daisys. I had high hopes for the RWS Diabolo Basic pellets that seem to shoot so well in many low-power guns. I finally started to see some improvement.


RWS Diabolog Basic pellets are an inexpensive wadcutter. They look good here.

At 0.57 inches for both groups, they were quite consistent; and now we’re starting to get into the range of acceptable performance for a cheap rifle.

But then we have the Beemans. Not the German Beemans from H&N. I’m referring to those imposter, Chinese-made Beeman wadcutter coated pellets. My very first group with them was typical for this rifle.


These groups are difficult to see, but Beeman coated wadcutters, which are made in China, did remarkably well.

As you can see, the second group was a shocker. We went from 0.78 inches to 0.37 inches in one set. Something’s up. Let’s try this one more time.


Incredible! Almost a quarter-inch group of Beeman coated wadcutters. I circled the group for you.

My goodness! Stick a feather on my rump and call me a turkey — but this Chinese junk just put 5 pellets into virtually a 1/4-inch group.

Now, before anyone starts complaining — “That’s not fair! No other pellet got a third chance!” — let me explain something. The Beemans were absolutely the first pellets I shot, and during that time I was trying to come to grips with that yucky trigger. That’s why I think the first group was poor. Since the second group did so well, I shot the third group last after I had completed all other testing. So I think this third test was fair and that it really means something.

[Editor’s note. This happens sometimes, and it’s a reminder of the hold sensitivity issue and why things have to be done just right to see good results. I’ve seen what Vince is talking about. With some experience under your belt, you’ll know when something deserves a second chance like this.]

But before we get too excited, let’s do a velocity check. Since the Chinese Beeman pellets were far and away the best, those were the only ones I tested. 10 shots came out like so: 396, 397, 388, 390, 380, 381, 381, 379, 381, 377.

We immediately notice three things: (1) The velocity stinks, especially for a gun with an almost 30-lb. cocking force. (2) The velocity seems to be on a downward trend. (3) The spread of 19 f.p.s. is significant, considering the fact that this thing is outgunned by a P17 pistol.

Where does that leave us?

Well, to begin with, this gun obviously has a decent barrel. Not sure how that happened, but happen it did. And if the barrel is good, the gun is good, right? Couple that with the fact that, against all odds, this example also seems to have a consistent lockup — and we seem to have a perfect diamond in the rough.

Yes — very rough. I could probably go through this gun and get the velocity up to 500-600 f.p.s. range, and some trigger smoothing and lubing would probably help as well. Even at that — will I ever want to shoot this thing just for fun? Really?

If I’m honest — not really. In fact, I have absolutely no reason IN THE WORLD to go through the trouble of tearing this thing apart and making it right.

Nope. No reason at all.

I’ll let y’all know how it turns out.

[Editor’s note. Maybe I should have made this a Part 1. We’ll see what Vince does. I don’t want him to feel pressured.]


Smith & Wesson M&P 45 air pistol: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Smith & Wesson M&P air pistol is highly realistic. It shoots both pellets and BBs.

Today is the day we answer the long-awaited question of how accurate the Smith & Wesson M&P 45 air pistol really is. Is it capable of shooting out a one-inch bullseye at 23-24 yards, as one owner claimed, or does it conform to what we know about this level of air pistol?

Two different types of ammo
For starters, this pistol shoots both BBs and pellets. Usually when a gun does that, it has to give something away for the compromise, because BBs are much smaller than pellets. They are also made of steel and cannot take the rifling; so when you shoot a BB, you have to shoot it as a smoothbore. I tried them first.

BBs — not that hot
As expected, eight BBs did okay at 25 FEET. Nothing spectacular, but eight shots did land in a group that measures 1.747 inchs across the two widest centers. That’s minute-of-pop-can accuracy, but nothing more. I shot Daisy zinc-plated BBs for this.

I did discover during this session that the sights needed a lot of horizontal adjustment. The group of BBs at 25 feet was slightly low and three inches to the left. I loosened a locking screw on the rear sight and slid it to the right to correct this, and it took two corrections to get it right. When the shots were centered on the bull the rear sight was noticeably over to the right.

Now, on to pellets
I had suspected that it wouldn’t be BBs that were so accurate, but lead pellets. So I was all set for a surprise when I shot them. The distance to the target was 25 FEET from a supported standing rest. I shot single-action and I can report that my eyesight has returned to about where it was in the past.

I shot many different types of pellets, but two stood out enough to be worthy of mention. The first were H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. They shot to the point of aim and grouped well, though there was always one or more that opened up the group.

I actually shot several groups of this pellet, because they were teasing me with groups that were almost perfect, but never quite. Finally I came to the conclusion that we are seeing the best the pistol can do with the two groups I’ve selected to show.


Eight H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets made this 25-foot group, which measures 0.936 inches.


Another eight H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets made this 0.955-inch group. It’s very close to the other group and also to the groups not shown.

The other pellet that really did well were JSB Exact RS domes. I tried them because they are lightweight and very accurate in lower-powered air rifles, so I thought that might carry over to pistols.

Apparently, it does, because one of the many groups I shot at 25 FEET was the best of the session. Eight pellets went into a group measuring 0.928 inches.


Although this group is the smallest of the test, don’t be mislead by the appearance. There is a ragged hole at the bottom of the bull to the left of the number six that enlarges this group to 0.928 inches. That’s good, but not that much better than H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets.


Here is another target shot with JSB RS pellets that will fool you. It looks great, but a stray shot that cuts the five-ring (to the right of the dime) enlarges what looks like a tight group to 1.342 inches.

What is the conclusion?
Is the S&W M&P pistol capable of one-inch groups at 23-24 yards? Of course not. It would be one of the most accurate pellet pistols on the market if it were. But at 25 FEET it is more accurate than I expected. Especially with JSB RS domes and H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. This gun wants to group.

I didn’t shoot at 25 yards because there is no point. It will probably group eight shots in the 3-5 inch range if everything is done right and the best pellets are used. I don’t think this pistol gives us any surprises other than it is very capable for a blister-packed air pistol.

At the price, I doubt you’ll find a more accurate pistol capable of shooting both BBs and pellets — and that says something. With Christmas coming soon, maybe this is one for your gift list.


Smith & Wesson M&P 45 air pistol: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


Smith & Wesson M&P air pistol is highly realistic. It shoots both pellets and BBs.

Today, we’ll look at the velocity of the Smith & Wesson M&P 45 air pistol. Of course, this pistol shoots both BBs and pellets, so we’ll have to look at the velocity for both.

Two different clips
I told you in Part 1 that the pistol uses two different clips — one for BBs and the other for pellets. It’s important to use the correct clip for each type of ammunition to avoid feeding problems and possible jams. I’ll start with BBs

BBs are pushed into the black plastic clip from the side that doesn’t have the ratchet teeth. The BBs are held in by pressure, alone, so loading them correctly is important.

Unusual stability!
For what I think is a first, I noticed no difference in velocity between single-action and double-action firing. Double-action is when you just pull the trigger to fire the gun. The trigger cocks the striker and advances the clip to the next chamber, so the pull is heavier though, on this pistol, it isn’t that bad.

Single-action is when you cock the pistol separately before the shot. That can be done by pulling back on the rear half of the slide. You won’t find it in the manual, but it’s there and the trigger becomes much easier to pull. Do it when you want to shoot accurately, as opposed to fast.

Trigger-pull
The pistol fires at between 5 lbs., 4 oz. and 5 lbs., 9 oz. on single-action and more than 12 lbs. on double-action. That may sound like a lot; but if you’re a shooter who pulls a lot of triggers, it isn’t so bad.

I shot Daisy zinc-plated BBs, because extensive testing has shown them to be just a little larger than Crosman Copperhead BBs and, therefore, more accurate and a little faster.

Eight BBs (what fits in one clip) averaged 345 f.p.s. As I said, it didn’t matter whether they were fired single-action or double-action. The spread went from 340 to 351 f.p.s., and I was allowing about 10 seconds between each shot. At the average velocity, the gun is generating 1.35 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Now for pellets
When shooting pellets, we use the gray metal clip. Pellets are loaded from the side that has the ratchet. That’s just the reverse of the BBs. Load the pellets point or nose first and seat them so their skirts are flush with the clip so there won’t be any jams.

The first pellet I fired was the Crosman Competition pellets — a very appropriate pellet for a pistol like this. Eight pellets averaged 334 f.p.s., ranging from a low of 329 to a high of 348 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 1.96 foot pounds with this pellet.

Next, I tried RWS Hobbys, which are among the very lightest of pure lead pellets. They also averaged 334 f.p.s., but the range was much broader. It went from 316 to 344 f.p.s. I attribute that to the tight fit of the pellets. The gun was much harder to cock and shoot with Hobbys, as well, so they are not a good pellet for this pistol. At the average velocity, the muzzle energy was 1.73 foot-pounds.

Finally, I tried an H&N Finale Match Pistol pellet. They averaged 351 f.p.s. with a spread from 345 to 359 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they were producing 2.07 foot-pounds of energy, making them the clear leader for efficiency among the pellets tested. They also fit the chambers better, and I think that has a lot to do with how fast they went relative to the Hobbys.

How many shots per cartridge?
How many shots you get from a CO2 cartridge is always something buyers want to know. The M&P seems to be right in where all the other BB pistols are. I got 56 shots before the velocity dropped below 300 f.p.s. with Finale Match Pistol pellets.  I shot a final clip of eight — making 64 shots in all. The lowest velocity I saw was 272 f.p.s. with Finale Match Pistol pellets. But you must remember that I was allowing the gun 10 seconds between shots to warm up. Shoot it fast, and you’ll drop below 300 f.p.s. sooner than I did.

Observations
So far, this pistol is doing well. But I’m still intrigued by that one owner who claims he can shoot one-inch groups at 23-24 yards. Part 3 should be very interesting!