Hand pumps for the ancient big bores: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Air intake and outlet valves
  • The key to the test
  • That’s not all
  • I tested one, too
  • More questions answered
  • Maintaining consistency
  • Three-stage hand pumps
  • Summary

Today I will hopefully answer all your questions about the hand pump test that Dennis Quackenbush and I did many years ago. Remember — we were trying to determine how powerful the old big bore airguns had been. One part of that was knowing what kind of air pressure they used, and that is all we are looking at in this report.

Air intake and outlet valves

First I want to address a question from reader GunFun1. He asked about the pump’s air inlet valve. I told him there was no inlet valve. There is an air hole located at the top of the pump cylinder, and when the pump piston head rises past it, air is sucked into the cylinder — exactly the same as a conventional piston port 2-stroke engine. No valve is required. When the piston head drops below the air hole, the cylinder is sealed again and the piston is able to compress the air that’s now trapped inside. read more


Hand pumps for the ancient big bores: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • How powerful were antique big bores?
  • How were they filled?
  • No one knew
  • Hand pumps of antiquity
  • Empirical testing
  • Early rapper
  • Single-stage pump tradeoff
  • But wait — there’s more!
  • Summary

Dennis Quackenbush has always been helpful when it comes to the difficult questions about airguns. Over the years, he and I have experimented with several fundamental questions; the most recent being the $100 PCP. I should have an update on that one for you in a couple weeks.

How powerful were antique big bores?

Back in the 1990s — the days when I was still writing The Airgun Letter and Airgun Revue magazine — I had a prolonged discussion with Dennis about the performance of big bore airguns of antiquity. He had just come out with the .375-caliber Brigand that was about to start the airgun world on its modern journey toward big bores, and there was a lot of interest in them. read more


Air Venturi hand pump: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Venturi hand pump
Air Venturi G6 hand pump.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The great challenge
  • History
  • An experiment reveals a lot
  • The trick
  • The dawn of modern high-pressure hand pumps
  • The Air Venturi G6 pump
  • Today’s test
  • My physiology
  • The test plug

The great challenge

Writing about the Air Venturi G6 hand pump is one of the most difficult reports I’ve ever attempted, because most airgunners know so little about hand pumps in general, and a lot of it is wrong. Also, because the audience for this subject spans the gamut from rank beginners to people who have owned other hand pumps for years, the spectrum of comprehension is infinite. Some people feel this is nothing more than an expensive bicycle pump, so I have to explain how it is different.

I read online discussions of hand pumps among airgunners, and I can tell that only a few of them have any actual experience. It goes beyond the blind leading the blind — it’s more like the blind writing detailed travel instructions to places they’ve never been. read more


Air Venturi G6 hand pump: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Air Venturi hand pump
Air Venturi G6 hand pump.

This report covers:

  • Basic questions
  • Easy airguns to fill from a hand pump
  • Moderately easy airguns
  • PCPs that are harder to fill with hand pumps
  • PCPs you don’t want to fill with a hand pump!
  • Maintenance
  • Difficult to accept
  • Air Venturi G6
  • Test plug
  • Feel of the pump
  • Give me your thoughts

You want to come over to the dark side of airgunning (those who use precharged pneumatics), and you’re considering getting a hand pump to fill your airgun. This review will look at the Air Venturi G6 hand pump specifically; but before I dive into the description of this one pump, let me address some basic issues about hand pumps and precharged airguns in general.

Basic questions

The first question nearly everyone asks is how hard is it to fill an airgun with a hand pump, and should they consider going that route? My answer has always been another question. How much work are you prepared to do? If you have a riding lawnmower for a suburban yard of less than a half acre, maybe a pump is not for you. If you pay someone to mow your yard, it almost definitely isn’t right for you. read more