How to sharpen a straight razor: 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

This report covers:

  • A gift
  • The razor
  • Best shave
  • The importance of the strop
  • Razor’s edge is fragile
  • The strop
  • Buy quality
  • How this relates

I said at the end of Part 6 back in November of last year that this series had ended. Well, things transpired to change that, as you will learn today. So sit back, because there is more to tell.

A gift

At this year’s SHOT Show I walked into the Pyramyd Air booth one afternoon and was handed a business card. On the back was a note telling me to come to a certain booth — there was a fine Swedish razor awaiting me. Reader Jim met me in that booth the next morning and presented me with a really nice old Swedish straight razor. He told me he used to shave with one when he was in college (he’s near my age) and he had bought several over the years. He had given most of them away, but stumbled across this one while the series was running, and he thought of giving it to me at this year’s SHOT. read more


Using air pistols for defense training

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • Why the pseudonym?
  • Defense shooting
  • The ideal airgun
  • The training
  • Action targets
  • Holster?
  • Evolution
  • Suggestions

Why the pseudonym?

Some new readers may wonder why I still write as B.B. Pelletier, even though I put my real name above. Well, it goes back to the 1990s, when I was writing The Airgun Letter. My style of writing that you all feel comfortable with today was unheard of in 1994, when the newsletter started. At that time the world of airguns was full of cliques that tried to exclude others, or if they couldn’t keep them out they tried to ridicule and discourage them. The internet just gave them a larger overpass to spraypaint. Edith and I didn’t allow that on our Airgun Letter Forum, and it drove these guys nuts! We were hacked and spammed and everything else that’s bad, even though many of our detractors were also living on our forum! read more


The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • .22 Magnum
  • Revolvers first
  • Longer range
  • Accuracy
  • Cost
  • Advances
  • .22 hyper velocity rounds
  • Specialty rounds
  • Summary

Today we will look at the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR). round. An argument can be made for it advancing the rimfire cartridge in significant ways. Then I will address the hyper velocity rounds in the Long Rifle class. And finally I’ll give a quick nod to some specialty rounds. Let’s begin.

.22 Magnum

This cartridge was launched in 1959 by the Winchester corporation. It received a lot of immediate attention from the gun press, as well as from little boys like me. I wasn’t able to buy firearms in 1959, so it would be a couple decades before I actually shot a .22 Magnum, but all the gun journals were loaded with stories from guys who could and did shoot it. So, I read and dreamed. read more


SHOT Show 2018: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Meopta
  • Leapers
  • P.O.I. Airgun Rings
  • Vanquish 700
  • Air Venturi Hellboy
  • ASG
  • AirForce
  • Are we done?

Before I start I want to say a word about who I cover at SHOT. There are plenty of airguns I never look at, for reasons I think are good. These are the fringe companies that have no representation in the U.S., or they have a couple of shyster dealers with bad reputations. I don’t want to give them any attention. The other people covering the show can “scoop” me on these. Yes, I miss a few things, but I also avoid giving credibility to guns that will only break your hearts.

That said, why do I cover Leapers and not other scope companies? Am I getting a kickback? Well, there is a story here. I used to go to Burris, Leupold and many other scope manufacturers, and they all received me the same way. “Airguns? You write about airguns? Sure, we have a couple scopes that could be used on an airgun, I guess.” read more


The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • .22 WRF
  • Not a magnum
  • The .22 Winchester Automatic
  • Corrosive priming
  • High speed
  • Splatter-Less
  • Summary

We are back with the .22 rimfire cartridge. We left it in the 1890s, as smokeless powder was just starting to be introduced. I will talk about that in a moment, but I want to start with another cartridge that lasted for quite a while but is obsolete today — the .22 Winchester Rimfire, or .22 WRF.

.22 WRF

This cartridge was introduced with the Winchester 1890 slide-action rifle that was also called a pump gun. I have owned 2 1890s in this caliber, and in the 1960s I thought this cartridge was the bee’s knees! It uses a 45-grain flat-nosed lead bullet that is not heeled like the .22 Long Rifle bullet. The diameter of the bullet is 0.224, so it’s also larger (.22 LR bullet is 0.2225”-0.223”). The barrel twist was increased to 1:14” to stabilize the heavier bullet. read more


SHOT Show 2018: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • AirForce Airguns
  • What’s next?
  • Hatsan USA
  • Hercules Bully
  • Price point Hatsan
  • Sortie Tact
  • Air Venturi
  • A new IZH 61?
  • Multi-pump
  • One last thing!

Here we go! I go to these shows thinking that nothing can get me excited anymore, and that ends at the first booth, Today that happened before the show opened. AirForce Airguns has been keeping a secret for many weeks that they promised to reveal just before the doors opened.

AirForce Airguns

A few minutes before the doors opened, AirForce revealed that they are incorporating the Theoben Rapid line of PCPs into their lineup. Formerly known as Rapid Air Weapons (RAW), the Rapid lineup is on the cutting edge of pneumatic quality. The only drawback they have is the long wait time when an order is placed. AirForce will bring their manufacturing prowess to bear on shortening the lead time between ordering and shipping, while maintaining the high level of quality the brand has become known for. read more


Media Day at the Range — SHOT Show 2018: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Media Day upper
The upper range at Media Day has about 50 ranges and vendors. Because of crossbows, the ranges go in both directions.

Media Day
On the lower range there are more ranges, also going both directions, with shotguns on the right.

This report covers:

  • SHOT Show
  • A great find!
  • My interest
  • My collection
  • This BB gun
  • Cocking
  • Takedown
  • Number 25?
  • Sights
  • Summary

Media Day at the Range is an event for gun writers and video makers, only. About 2,000 of us are taken to the Boulder City range where we are allowed to shoot and use some of the newest guns and accessories.

Umarex Hammer

We waited all last year for the Umarex Hammer to come out. From what I saw and sampled this year, I think we will see production guns by mid-2018.

The Hammer is a repeating .50-caliber big bore that gets 4 powerful shots on a fill ton 4,500 psi. The regulator drops the firing pressure to 3,000 psi, and the first 3 shots are all at the same pressure. Shot 4 drops below 3,000 slightly, but at 40 yards all the bullets should stay in a tight group. read more