Reloading firearm cartridges: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Design an Airgun
  • Godfather’s Gold Gun giveaway
  • Reload a cartridge
  • Types of cartridges
  • Rimmed and rimless cartridges
  • Resize and deprime
  • Bell the case mouth
  • Prime each case
  • Put powder in the case
  • Powder measure
  • Insert the bullet
  • Summary

Design an Airgun

Just a reminder — the Design an Airgun contest ends on this Friday, October 16. The winner will be the niftiest design that most people can build. The winner will receive the American Zimmerstutzen as a prize. I have to limit the contest to residents of the United States because of international shipping laws but readers from other countries are welcome to show us their designs.

American Zimmerstutzen
The winner of the Design an Airgun contest will win the American Zimmerstutzen.

Godfather’s Gold Gun giveaway

Don’t forget that some lucky U.S. reader this month will also be drawn to receive the Godfather’s Gold Gun — an Ataman AP16 pistol designed by B.B. Pelletier. So, there is a lot going on this month! read more


The 788 project: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The Godfather’s Gold Gun giveaway
  • The rules
  • Design an airgun contest
  • The 788 project
  • Remington’s 788
  • First trip to the range
  • Free-floated barrel
  • Relieving the barrel channel
  • Ten-shot 50-yard group
  • Timney trigger
  • Glass-bedded action
  • So what?
  • Summary

The Godfather’s Gold Gun giveaway

Before we dive into today’s report I must tell you about a new feature on the Pyramyd Air website. It’s called Build Your Own Airgun. It’s an interactive set of pages that allows you to configure certain airguns the way you want them. Think of it as a custom shop where you are the builder. You put all the parts, features and finishes together for a certain airgun and then give your creation a name. Pyramyd Air will put your choices together and construct the airgun you have purchased. From that point on, every gun of that model with those same specifications will carry the name you have selected. read more


What is “lock time”?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

How fast does black powder burn?
What is lock time?
Why does lock time matter?
Lock time for firearms
Rimfire cartridges were the problem
Summary

I’m writing this report because of a discussion we had on the blog a couple weeks back where readers were using the term lock time inappropriately. Don’t fret — most shooters do the same.

They were talking about the time a pellet stays inside the barrel of an airgun when it fires and calling it lock time. It isn’t. I promised then to address the subject and today is the day. Lock time relates only to a flintlock firearm.

How fast does black powder burn?

When it is unconfined, black powder that is used in black powder guns burns fast with a whoosh. It’s not as fast as photographic flash powder, but it is much faster than smokeless gunpowder. Here is a short video on photographic flash powder, to give you some idea of how fast that is. read more


Be glad you’re an airgunner

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • We had fun
  • Ammo shortage?
  • Prepper
  • Why am I telling you this?
  • An historical aside
  • The point
  • What’s more
  • One last remark

A week ago Friday and again last Friday I took my neighbor Denny to the range to shoot his new 9mm carry pistol. I took seveal of my own 9mm pistols too, just for fun. 

We had fun!

I have not been to my gun range in 18 months! I was so rusty and out of practice at shooting a firearm that it was good to get back in the saddle. But while we were at the range Denny told me he had to go to the sporting goods store the minute they opened and he stood in a line to get his 9MM ammo. He was limited to just 300 rounds of 9mm and it cost him nearly $60!!!

I was flabbergasted. You see — I don’t listen to the news. Never have. I don’t like being lied to, and 40 years ago I discovered that was all they were doing, so I quit watching. Whenever I catch a snippet of a broadcast these days I can see that they run nothing else but grossly slanted lies. read more


The first Smith & Wesson 78G air pistol(s): Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

02-S&W 78G
A very early S&W 78G air pistol. Though the picture looks matte because of the cloud lighting, this one has glossy paint. It’s like new!

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Behind the curtain
  • This pistol
  • How early is it?
  • Refinished?
  • Let’s look
  • So what?
  • Trigger
  • Interests?
  • Summary

What? Another S&W 78G? BB — we know you love this air pistol but you just finished a 5-part blog on one last June! Enough already!

Behind the curtain

There is a good reason why I needed to write this blog. I spent 10 hours yesterday (all day Friday) and this morning (Saturday) trying to tune my Diana 27S air rifle so I can report on it. At this point I have one piece of advice to anyone trying to tune one of these rifles. DON’T REMOVE THE TRIGGER BLADE ASSEMBLY!!! Eight and one-half of those ten hours have been spent trying to reinstall the trigger assembly and it still isn’t in! I will get the rifle back together and give you a great report on the tune and troubles I had in good time, but if a blog was going to be published today it had to be something else that was quick and easy. read more


A day at the range

by B.B. Pelletier

This isn’t Part 2 to yesterday’s report, but it could be. Today, I got out to the range for the first time since February. And, man, did I need it! I took a bunch of guns that I’d never shot before and tried them all out.

1862 Peabody
This rifle was patented in 1862 as a breechloader for the U.S., but it was never ordered. However, three states did buy it for their militias, including Connecticut, which later returned all their rifles to the maker to be converted to .45/70. That is the caliber mine is, so I quickly cooked up 20 rounds of my Trapdoor Springfield load, knowing that the stronger Peabody falling block action would have no trouble with it.


Like a Sharps rifle only different, the Peabody isn’t as well-known as some of the other big bore single-shots. This one is a .45/70 made in about 1868.


The Peabody was the forerunner of the Martini falling block action. The difference is the Peabody has an exposed hammer that must be manually cocked. The rifling is Alexander Henry-type, and the bore on this rifle is perfect!


A good friend of mine takes a shot at the 50-yard bull.


Compared to a .45 ACP (bottom), the .45/70 rifle cartridge is huge and imposing.

I spent no effort making accurate rounds. These were just for function firing, and the bullets varied in weight by as much as five grains. Still, I shot a very decent first group with the rifle. Good enough that I’m now interested in seeing what it can be made to do. Anytime you get bullets landing near each other with a big bore rifle on the first go-round, you’re doing something right. I suspect this rifle can shoot into less than a minute of angle when everything is perfect.

While this is no screamer, it does indicate that the Peabody wants to shoot. Better sights, a refined powder load and finding the correct seating depth will all serve to tighten the group considerably. read more