The importance of bullet-to-barrel alignment and fit: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • An opportunity arises
  • Cartridge comparisons
  • Disaster!
  • Ta-da!
  • At the range
  • The test
  • Final accuracy test
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today is Part 2 of this report that may go one more time if I don’t cover everything today. I think I won’t, because today I am reporting on a big experiment that has taken me months to complete — plus a whole lot of money!

In Part 1 I talked about the importance of the alignment of the bullet to the bore of the gun. I hope you got something from that. Today I will begin discussing the importance of the bullet’s fit. And when I say bullet, I include pellet, though there are some things that are unique to pellets that will have to be discussed later.

An opportunity arises

Several months ago I was in a local pawn shop where I saw a Taurus revolver with two cylinders. One is chambered for .22 long rifle cartridges and the other is chambered for .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, or WMR. I thought, “What an ideal platform to test the importance of bullet fit for accuracy, since the .22 long rifle cartridge and the .22 Magnum cartridge do not share the same bore dimensions.” We discussed this in the 4-Part series The development of the .22 rimfire cartridge. read more

ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASG SP-01-pistol

ASG’s CZ 75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol is large and heavy. The guns they are shipping have red fiberoptic sights in front, like those found on the firearm.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Function alike
  • To be honest…
  • How to test
  • The test
  • Accuracy Daisy BBs
  • Accuracy ASG Blasters
  • Accuracy Dust Devils
  • What now?
  • Discussion
  • More to come

Today is accuracy day for the ASG CZ75 SP-01 Shadow BB pistol, and there is more besides. As you know, I am very excited about this air pistol because of its realism. The shooting population thinks that all lookalike air pistols are good substitutes for the firearms they copy, but I have had reservations about that for years. Lookalike pistols have been with us a long time, but pistols that function alike are relatively recent. I think this BB pistol is one of them. read more

Sig Sauer X-Five pellet pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Sig P226 X-Five
Sig’s X-Five pellet pistol.

This report covers:

  • X-Five P320 or P226?
  • Velocity — RWS Hobby
  • Velocity — SIG Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Velocity — JSB Exact RS
  • Will the X-Five shoot BBs?
  • Velocity — Dust Devils
  • Shot count
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation

Today we look at the velocity of the new Sig Sauer X-Five pellet pistol. I told you in Part 1 that the firearm version of this airgun is now on my bucket list. Here is why. The X-series Sig pistols have all been through Sig’s Custom Shop, where their triggers have been tuned to perfection and where their parts have been hand-fitted to achieve accuracy that was once just the claim of the legendary Sig P210.

Most readers know that I am a handgunner at heart. I grew up longing for the most accurate handguns available, and all my life the Sig P210 has been one of them. It rivals S&W and Colt revolvers and accurized 1911s. And they cost accordingly. The Sig X-Five will cost just under $1,700. That’s not cheap by any means, but compared to what a vintage P210 costs, it’s very reasonable. read more

Action targets throughout history

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Bleed, break or fall
  • History
  • Live animals
  • Ad Topperwein
  • Shooting was king!
  • End of the Civil War
  • Early mechanical target
  • Quackenbush bell and mechanical targets
  • Targets 2, 3 and 4
  • Target 3
  • Target 4
  • Quackenbush targets 5 and 6
  • Targets 7 and 8
  • One more galley target
  • Summary

Bleed, break or fall

“Airgun targets have to bleed, break or fall.” said Leigh Wilcox of the now-defunct Airgun Express, many years ago. Leigh was one of many who felt that punching paper was like watching paint dry. A lot of you readers feel the same, as we have seen in this blog recently. Today’s report was requested by reader GunFun1, but I know that a lot of you are looking forward to it.


I will get back to airgun targets in a bit, but first let’s travel back in time to see where action targets began. For that we need to go to Europe around the year 1300, when shooting events lasted for many days and took on a carnival atmosphere. read more

Must an airgun use air?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Green gas/red gas
  • Catapult guns
  • Caps!
  • Not the end!
  • Ulterior motive

Simple enough question, no? Maybe you get confused by certain air-powered tools or perhaps a slang reference to a paint sprayer, but most folks know exactly what you mean when you say airgun.

Think so? Think again.

The term airgun isn’t found in most dictionaries, yet. You’ll find that your spell-checker wants you to write it as two words, but that’s not what today’s blog is about. I really want to know if you know all that is encompassed by the term airgun.

Some of you have already stopped reading to formulate an official-sounding definition that goes something like this: An airgun is any smoothbore or rifled gun that propels a projectile by means of compressed air. As you stand back to admire your work, it suddenly dawns on you that your definition doesn’t encompass any of the guns that are powered by CO2. Don’t you hate it when that happens? read more

Sig Sauer P226 X-Five pellet pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sig P226 X-Five
Sig’s P226 X-Five pellet pistol.

This report covers:

  • PELLET pistol?
  • The quiet reader
  • What’s an X-Five?
  • Back to pellets — features
  • Sights
  • Trigger
  • Blowback
  • Safety
  • Grip
  • Magazine
  • Slide and frame
  • Size and finish
  • Summary
  • Note to Sig

If it sounds like this blog has turned into one long commercial for Sig, don’t blame me! They are the ones who keep on bringing out significant new airgun products. Today we begin looking at the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five pellet pistol.

PELLET pistol?

That’s right, sports fans — this pistol shoots lead diabolo PELLETS! Don’t get it confused with the Sig Sauer P226 X-Five BB pistol that looks very similar. I have already gotten confused a couple times, so I know how easy it is.

The quiet reader

I’m starting this report today for the quiet reader. He’s the guy who has commented that he would sure like to see each BB pistol I have tested in a version that shot pellets. The belief is since pellet pistols have rifled barrels they will be more accurate at greater distances. I think that’s true, as long as we bear in mind that a repeating pistol with blowback will never be as accurate as a dedicated single shot pistol, when all other variables are the same. But in all probability a rifled bore should put the pellet pistol ahead of a smoothbore BB pistol at distances of 10 meters, or so. That’s the hope, and that’s what I will be testing. read more

Daisy Targeteer shooting gallery: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Why we collect
  • Today
  • .12 caliber
  • The box
  • Lead BBs?
  • Fragile
  • Art deco
  • Summary

Why we collect

Sometimes we collect something because of its performance. A Whiscombe recoilless rifle that’s powerful and accurate might be an example of this. Other times we collect something because of the way it is made — the craftsmanship. The Sheridan Supergrade comes to mind.

And other times we collect something for other reasons. My M1 Carbine is an example of this. I like it for three important reasons:

1. It is so well made and so well designed. It weighs 5 lbs. — a rifle weight that has never been equalled in a rifle as powerful, to the best of my knowledge. And this rifle was designed in 18 months, back in the late 1930s! read more