The American Zimmerstutzen: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

American Zimmerstutzen
The American Zimmerstutzen.

This report covers:

  • I didn’t know the gun was loaded
  • And again…
  • And again
  • STOP!!!
  • Blanks?
  • Can real blanks hurt you?
  • They were blanks but he fired too soon
  • KaBOOM!
  • So what?
  • Sooner started…
  • Does this thing even work?
  • No fit?
  • Serendipity
  • HOWEVER
  • Summary

I first titled this report, “Can blanks hurt you?”

In writing about the American Zimmerstutzen today, I rediscovered all my fears about shooting blanks in guns. Why would I worry about that? Well, this home-built pellet rifle was made to be powered by a blank cartridge. And, over the three score and ten years of my life, I have seen countless injuries and deaths from blanks.

I didn’t know the gun was loaded

You may have heard the story that actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was killed during filming, “The Crow.” He was shot with what Hollywood and the media called a “blank gun.” But it wasn’t really a blank gun — it was a firearm. And he wasn’t shot with a blank; he was shot with a bullet. How, many ask? Simple — the film crew was careless while using a firearm to shoot blanks and someone loaded a live cartridge into the handgun that shot and killed Lee. And that was not the only time it’s happened. read more


Silencers — an update

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • What does a firearms silencer sound like?
  • What does a silencer do?
  • Making the gasses work against themselves
  • Silencers and the law
  • What you think doesn’t matter
  • The problem
  • Code talkers
  • So — are airgun silencers legal?
  • How quiet?
  • Times are a-changin’
  • Summary

I just heard from someone who went through the legal process of registering a firearm silencer. He waited 11 months for the entire process to go through, and he very recently picked up his $600 silencer.

But — it isn’t silent!

No, It wouldn’t be. Firearm silencers are not silent, nor do they sound like a small airgun, as Hollywood often portrays them. But before you rag on the filmmakers, consider this. You can watch a video of an atomic bomb detonating, where the “sound” is so “loud” that it’s actually a solid visible wave of supercompressed air that shatters buildings. Yet you can watch it in comfort. That’s because your speakers cannot reproduce real sounds that loud — I don’t care how much you spend on them! In the real world people flinch violently when a firearm is fired, unless they are prepared for it. On the big screen it’s no more annoying than a rooster crowing. read more


DIY Rifle Stock – Part 6

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is Part 6 of reader Vana’s excellent report on stock making. This is the completion of his very thorough report on stockmaking.
If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

And now, over to you, Hank.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Slavia 618

This is my original 55 year old Slavia 618 in its new “firewood” stock. I made this one in a “camo” style, using cherry and maple blocks in a random arrangement of the pieces.

This report covers:

  • Finishing the finishing
  • The first rule of applying a finish…
  • Put a handle on it!
  • Dyes and stains
  • Finishes
  • Oil products
  • Other potions and elixirs
  • Polyurethane
  • Precautions
  • Summary

Finishing the finishing

We’ve covered theory, materials, carving the stock, personalizing it and the preparation for finishing. This is where people get anxious and start rushing to be done – that’s a bad approach. read more


Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Webley Mark VI
Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish. This one is rifled and shoots pellets.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Adjusted sight picture
  • Why not fix the front sight?
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • H&N Finale Match High Speed pellets
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Next — more sight corrections
  • Summary

Today I test the accuracy of the Webley Mark VI with battlefield finish. I decided to test it with all 5 pellets that were used in the velocity test.

The test

I shot from 10 meters, using a sandbag rest for the butt of the revolver. I held the gun with two hands for a steady hold. I shot 6 pellets at each target and I will describe what happened as we go. Let’s get started.

JSB Exact RS

The first pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS. The first three shots landed low, with one below the target paper. The group had to come up somehow. read more


I don’t think about the money anymore

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Missed it
  • Been there, done that — got the tee shirt, wore it out
  • Joltin’ Joe
  • The savings?
  • Buy what you need
  • The point
  • My situation
  • Bottom line

Missed it

There was a man who served in the American Army, and from the beginning of 1974 until almost 1978 he was stationed in Germany. Toward the end of his time there, let’s call it sometime in the last year, he had the opportunity to purchase a new Mercedes Benz 300D sedan for $10,300. He had the money to finance the purchase, but at the last moment he thought to himself, what am I doing? I’m about to pay ten thousand dollars for a car! When I left San Jose, California three years ago, I could have bought any number of nice condominiums for $14,000, and in El Paso, Texas, where I last served, I could have bought a three-bedroom house for $12,000. What am I doing, paying this much for a car? read more


2019 SHOT Show: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Diana model 30
  • Leapers
  • The really big news!
  • The King Bug Buster!
  • UTG Micro Reflex dot sight
  • P.O.I. rings in 11mm
  • Hatsan Speedfire
  • Crosman Triple threat
  • ASG
  • Summary

Diana model 30

We were in the Diana booth at the end of Part 4. There is one more thing I want to show you in that booth. We talked about it last year, but when I tested a vintage one, it failed during the test. Last August I reported about the Diana model 30. I told you then that this was an airgun that was made from 1972 through 2000. Well, I learned from a Diana representative that the model 30 is still in production today, and that it sells to shooting gallery operators for 1,000 Euro, which is $1,141 as I write this. So the price of $1,000 back in the 1980s wasn’t as far out of line as I had thought. read more


Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Webley Mark VI
Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish. This one is rifled and shoots pellets.

This report covers:

  • History and new together
  • The firearm
  • Field strip
  • Differences between firearm and pellet gun
  • Disassembly of the pellet gun
  • Loading the pellet gun
  • The rear sight
  • Summary

History and new together

This is Monday when I usually write an historical report about an airgun or something. Well this is about the pellet revolver called the Webley Mark VI with battlefield finish, which is a modern air pistol, but today’s report will also be historical. Remember — I own both the pellet gun and the firearm it is patterned after.

Normally Part 2 is the velocity report. Today, though, we will be looking at some things we don’t usually get to see in an airgun report. Let’s begin with one of the big ones — field stripping the revolver. read more