Industry Brand B-7

by B.B. Pelletier

Our favorite guest blogger, Vince, is at it again. Today, he shares his experience of testing a Chinese airgun.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Now, take it away, Vince!

Ahhh… the way we were! The way some of us were, anyway. By “us,” I’m referring to those of us who first got into airguns (or came back to airguns) after being seduced by those irrascible Chinese. I’m going back about, oh, 10 years or so ago, when, waltzing through the internet, we would find all sorts of places selling “The Chinese Can Opener” or the “High-Power Military Training Air Rifle.” What a deal they were — my goodness, why on earth would ANYONE spend $100 or more on one of those high-falutin’ overpriced airguns when these $25 Chinese models were obviously just as good? And we knew they were just as good because that number said so!

You know, that number. The velocity number. Because that was the only thing that mattered! That one number told us the whole story!

Sooner or later, we discovered the inevitable — although for some (like, uh, me), it was certainly later than sooner. Eventually, the B3, B4-2 and Fast Deer airguns went by the wayside to be replaced by Gamos, RWSs, Cometas, Noricas, and then Spanish and German Beemans. Around this time, the Chinese started cranking up the quality, though, so their better products didn’t entirely leave our field of view. But the old carved-out-of-a-2×4-and-lubed-with-pig-fat models — along with all their broken seals, mainsprings and promises — were pretty much forgotten.

But man is a funny animal, and a collector (even a half-baked collector) often sees value in diversity as well as quality. And just as a man who collects Mustangs sort of really needs a 1974 Mustang II 4 cylinder automatic (as horrid a car as it was) in his collection, I began pining for some of those old, crude guns just because they were there.

So it was that I found myself fishing around for some of those old bottom-feeders…those poorly made, all wood-steel-and-leather guns that smelled like bacon grease when fired. Those guns that, frankly, I had virtually no interest in shooting, except to appreciate the better guns that came later. The subject of this report, the Industry Brand QB-51, is one of those fossils I dug up.


Industry Brand B-7 spring-piston rifle.

This .177-caliber breakbarrel air rifle was also called the Industry Brand B-7 and shouldn’t be confused with the BAM B-7. That gun was the old sporter-style sidelever that actually had a reputation for being sort of decent. No, the Industry Brand B-7 was one of those smoke-and-soot, machined with a dull file and worn-out drill bits and carved-with-a-hatchet examples of communism at its most typical. If you were lucky, it worked out of the box. If not, well, it simply didn’t. But luck shines upon me, and this one actually did.

The QB-51 was one of those novelty guns they used to put together by combining a low-buck action with some possibly less-than-useless useless bells and whistles. This one was apparently playing paratrooper with a folding wire stock, a total weight of under 6 lbs. and an overall length of only 35 inches. But it’s not a kid’s gun by any stretch — the pull length of 14 inches and a 28-lb. cocking force certainly attest to that.

Since the folding stock is obviously the most interesting aspect of this gun, let’s take a look at that first. It actually has two interesting features, the less obvious being an adjustable buttpad.


Buttpad is centered.


Buttpad adjusted down.

Is an adjustable buttpad on this cheap gun completely pointless? Actually it isn’t. It can be used to dial up a more comfortable shooting position. The gun does look awkward as all get out if the pad is moved too far off the normal position; but let’s face it, this pup isn’t winning any beauty contests if the judges are permitted to keep their eyes open.

The folding stock is perhaps less useful.


Folding stock extended.


The stock is folded flat against the side of the gun.


This is what it looks like from the side.

Some rifles with a folding stock can be handled as a pistol (sort of); that’s not really going to happen with this gun. All it does is make the rifle a bit shorter and easier to pack up for transport — if you could think of any reason you’d want to. But at least the rough cast folding/locking mechanism is stout enough.


The hinge is stout and tight!

Moving past that, we come to the pistol grip — and another gadget! The grip is hollow and has a sliding door at the bottom.


The grip has a secret compartment!

Presumably, you can put pellets in there. It would hold several hundred, even if getting them out one at a time might be a bit tricky. Again, we have an oddball feature that still isn’t quite useless.

On top of the gun, we can see the simple rear sight. If you were into mid-grade airguns 10-15 years ago, you might recognize it. This is pretty much a knock-off of the old Gamo sight that used to come on a variety of their breakbarrels. Frankly, they did well to copy it. It’s simple, largely devoid of free-play and pretty darned rugged.


The rear sight was kind of nice!

Finding it on this rifle was a pleasant surprise, and I was hoping to find a similar surprise as I moved rearward toward the trigger. I already knew that Industry Brand used a knock-off of the Gamo trigger in their QB-57, QB-88 and QB-25 models. When I saw that telltale safety tang in the triggerguard area, I got my hopes up. It says something about bottom-feeder Industry Brand triggers when you’re seriously looking forward to a Gamo trigger. But even those modest hopes were quickly dashed. This gun has a simple direct-sear and a crude sliding safety, both of which makes a 2004 Gamo Shadow feel like a Swiss watch.

As I move around the gun, it’s becoming obvious that this thing is based on the old Industry Brand 61 and 62 model actions, later known as the B-1 and B-2, respectively. I’ve had those. My B-1 had a horribly inaccurate barrel and probably a 12-lb. trigger. One B-2 had a soft trigger that quickly wore and went into the auto-fire mode, and the other B-2 bent its rear retaining pin because it couldn’t handle the spring pressure. As one might guess, I don’t get all excited by B-1/B-2 variants.

One giveaway is the breech pivot bolt.


The pivot bolt has only four places for the locking screw to engage. That often makes it difficult to adjust properly, for many times you want to stop somewhere in-between.

And the other is the smashed-leather breech seal.


The leather breech seal is as flat as a pancake.

Both are hallmarks of Industry Brand inferiority, and that breech bolt (with its four positive locking stops) frequently makes it impossible to properly tighten up the sideplay without making custom washers to go under the bolt head.

Oh well…let’s keep going. The front sight is basic enough.


Front sight is what you would expect.

Although I won’t be using it. I’ve learned from recent testing that I just can’t be consistent with open sights anymore — so I pretty much have to go to a scope. The problem is that the grooves milled into the receiver are ridiculously short. In trying to mount a scope, look at what I had to resort to.


The Daisy variable scope was cheap enough and worked well. Notice how close the rings have to be to fit the short dovetails!

The skinny scope mounts I used — moved as close together as possible — barely fit. The scope, by the way, is a cheap Daisy Powerline 3-9×32 (no AO), in which I had fudged the objective lens to eliminate parallax at 10 yards. Set up this way, the $35 scope works like a champ — and seems way too good for a rifle like this.

I do have some concerns about running a scope on this gun, however — Diana’s aren’t the only breakbarrels to have droop, and this one seemed to have joined that party. But there’s only one way to find out, so I’m off to test it. And, yes, this time I checked the stock screws first.

I’m shooting the gun with the same series of pellets I used last time — although, frankly, putting Crosman Premiers through this rifle seems rather silly.


I tried all these pellets in this gun.

No matter, same drill — 5 shots to get the barrel used to a pellet, then 5 on each through two separate bulls.

Much to my surprise, dialing in the Daisy scope wasn’t such a big deal, and soon I was landing pellets close enough for government work. Though the Daisy scope worked well enough, the Daisy Precision Max wadcutter pellets didn’t.


Daisy Precision Max wadcutters: These shots are hard to see, but the group sizes are listed next to them.

These groups came in at 0.66 inches and 0.82 inches; but come to think of it, maybe I’m being too hard on these pellets. Maybe this really is the best this gun can do!

Crosman Competition wadcutters do nothing to dispel that notion. At 0.78 inches and 1.40 inches, they’re making the Daisys look good.


Crosman Competition wadcutters.

At 1.28 inches and 1.52 inches, Crosman Hunting pellets (pointed) do even worse.


Crosman Hunting pellets.

Even my cherished Crosman Premier hollowpoints are sucking canal water at 1.12 inches and 0.9 inches.


Crosman Premier hollowpoints.

Of all the Crosman pellets, only the Premier Lites seems to consistently do under an inch — although 0.82 inches and 0.9 inches is nothing to squawk about.


Crosman Premier Lites did better, but still not great.

Oddly enough, those new Gamo Match pellets I don’t like so much just about equalled the Crosman Premier Lites in this gun.


Gamo Match pellets were a pleasant surprise. But it still isn’t good enough.

But at 0.95 inches and 0.88 inches, they still couldn’t match the Daisys. I had high hopes for the RWS Diabolo Basic pellets that seem to shoot so well in many low-power guns. I finally started to see some improvement.


RWS Diabolog Basic pellets are an inexpensive wadcutter. They look good here.

At 0.57 inches for both groups, they were quite consistent; and now we’re starting to get into the range of acceptable performance for a cheap rifle.

But then we have the Beemans. Not the German Beemans from H&N. I’m referring to those imposter, Chinese-made Beeman wadcutter coated pellets. My very first group with them was typical for this rifle.


These groups are difficult to see, but Beeman coated wadcutters, which are made in China, did remarkably well.

As you can see, the second group was a shocker. We went from 0.78 inches to 0.37 inches in one set. Something’s up. Let’s try this one more time.


Incredible! Almost a quarter-inch group of Beeman coated wadcutters. I circled the group for you.

My goodness! Stick a feather on my rump and call me a turkey — but this Chinese junk just put 5 pellets into virtually a 1/4-inch group.

Now, before anyone starts complaining — “That’s not fair! No other pellet got a third chance!” — let me explain something. The Beemans were absolutely the first pellets I shot, and during that time I was trying to come to grips with that yucky trigger. That’s why I think the first group was poor. Since the second group did so well, I shot the third group last after I had completed all other testing. So I think this third test was fair and that it really means something.

[Editor’s note. This happens sometimes, and it’s a reminder of the hold sensitivity issue and why things have to be done just right to see good results. I’ve seen what Vince is talking about. With some experience under your belt, you’ll know when something deserves a second chance like this.]

But before we get too excited, let’s do a velocity check. Since the Chinese Beeman pellets were far and away the best, those were the only ones I tested. 10 shots came out like so: 396, 397, 388, 390, 380, 381, 381, 379, 381, 377.

We immediately notice three things: (1) The velocity stinks, especially for a gun with an almost 30-lb. cocking force. (2) The velocity seems to be on a downward trend. (3) The spread of 19 f.p.s. is significant, considering the fact that this thing is outgunned by a P17 pistol.

Where does that leave us?

Well, to begin with, this gun obviously has a decent barrel. Not sure how that happened, but happen it did. And if the barrel is good, the gun is good, right? Couple that with the fact that, against all odds, this example also seems to have a consistent lockup — and we seem to have a perfect diamond in the rough.

Yes — very rough. I could probably go through this gun and get the velocity up to 500-600 f.p.s. range, and some trigger smoothing and lubing would probably help as well. Even at that — will I ever want to shoot this thing just for fun? Really?

If I’m honest — not really. In fact, I have absolutely no reason IN THE WORLD to go through the trouble of tearing this thing apart and making it right.

Nope. No reason at all.

I’ll let y’all know how it turns out.

[Editor’s note. Maybe I should have made this a Part 1. We’ll see what Vince does. I don’t want him to feel pressured.]


More about Gamo Match pellets: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

This is the second part of blog reader Vince’s test of Gamo Match pellets. This will conclude the .177 pellets, and next week we’ll give you his report on .22 Gamo Match pellets.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

Part 1

by Vince

Pointy
This is the unnamed Chinese sidelever I blogged a little while ago, and it turned out that it was made by EMEI of China. It also turned out to be a very basic, simple gun with a very decent barrel that would shoot better and more consistently than expected. In this test it didn’t do quite as well as it had in the past.


And, it definitely votes “NO!” on the new pellet. The difference isn’t gargantuan, but it is significant. Verdict: Older is better.

Daisy 1150
The Daisy 1150 is one of the Gamo Daisys, this one being a rebadged Delta Cadet. It’s the same action that lives on in the Recon. It’s definitely in the youth gun category.


These results surprised me since this gun and the older Match pellets were being made at the same time as this rifle. But, holes don’t lie. While the actual ctc (center-to-center) isn’t that much different, it’s obvious that the new ones are shooting more consistently. Verdict: Newer is better.

GT600
This is the Norica Beeman I blogged a little while ago, a gun that did well with Premiers. From these groups, you can see why I didn’t report its performance with Gamo Match pellets of any stripe.


Yes, the older pellets did better, but neither was anything to write home about. I wouldn’t use them in this gun as a matter of course. Verdict: Both poor.

HW30
Possibly the best air rifle I have, the HW30 holds (for me) the best open-sight group I’ve ever shot — about 1/8″ at 10 meters for 5 shots. This was done with the old-style Gamo Match pellets, so I knew the newer ones weren’t gonna beat it.


Near as I can tell, I just didn’t have my technique down quite right, as the HW is a bit hold sensitive. Still, it’s a fair group, and the comparison clearly illustrates the preference for the older pellets. Verdict: Older is better.

QB51
The last of my novelty guns, the Industry QB51 is another folding-stock air rifle. This one is a breakbarrel that’s not trying to resemble anything in particular. It’s a crude gun with poor cocking geometry, giving a short but stiff cocking stroke, and a stiff trigger make it difficult to keep on target. So I wasn’t expecting much.


It actually didn’t do too bad with the old pellets but didn’t get along with the new ones very well. Verdict: Older is better.

QB88
The QB88 is another sidelever produced by Industry Brand, a notch or two up from the TS45/TS41/B4-1 garden stakes that made up their entry level sidelevers. This gun has Shanghai’s copy of the Gamo trigger and actually feels nicer than some real Gamo triggers I’ve sampled. The gun used to be advertised as having a choked barrel, not sure if that’s true or not. But, it’s a fair plinker, nonetheless — easy to cock, not harsh at all and fairly accurate.


Yes, that little half-circle at the top of the picture is included in the group. When I tried a make-up shot for that flier, it landed even further away. By contrast,the older Gamo pellets preferred to live in the same neighborhood. Verdict: Older is better.

Mendoza RM200
The RM200 is one of Mendoza’s mid-powered springers, very similar to the Air Venturi Bronco sold by Pyramyd Air. I’ve had them apart and side-by-side, and the only substantial difference I could find in the action was the spring.


The RM200 doesn’t really care for either pellet. The group clustered with the newer ones and smeared’ for the older, but the overall group size is about the same. Verdict: Comparable.

Gamo Sporter 500
A more powerful cousin to the itty-bitty Delta Cadet, the Sporter 500 featured similar hybrid plastic/metal construction but bolted into a wood stock. It, of course, shares the same trigger as almost every other Gamo rifle produced over the past umpteen years and is one of the most stubbornly twangy airguns I’ve ever shot. Still, it’s light, easy to cock and shoots well with Premiers.


The newer pellets went into a tighter group than the older, showing the same preference for the new pellets as the Daisy 1150/Delta Cadet. Verdict: Newer is better.

Sea Lion
This is another rifle that has something of an unclear lineage. All I know for sure is that the Sea Lion underlever was imported in some quantity some time back, and its overall appearance is certainly evocative of the more recent Industry B3. But, evocative in appearance, only. I’ve had this one apart, and it’s not an early B3 variant. The innards are too different. I’m wondering if it’s a stablemate of sorts to that old Chinese sidelever I have — based on its simple design, good construction and decent barrel.


The new pellets actually produced a pretty good group for open sights. Certainly far better than the old. Verdict: Newer is better.

How do the totals tally up? I tested 15 guns, and of those 15 almost half (7) liked the older pellets better. The newer ones were favored by 4 guns, and the remaining 4 seem to think they were comparable.

The inescapable conclusion remains that these pellets are indeed significantly different despite their superficial similarities, and while some guns will shoot them well the fact is that if your gun liked the old pellets, there’s no guarantee that it will like the new ones. Lastly, based on this sample, they simply aren’t as good overall.

Look for a test of the .22 Gamo Match pellets next week.


To B3 or not to B3 – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Vince is an airgun fixit guru. He’s been on a roll lately and has sent me a number of great guest blogs about fixing airguns, taking junker guns and making them whole again, and making airgun parts.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Vince

To B3 or not to B3…that, as they say, was the dilemma of the day.

You know, there’s a dark side to being a collector (sort of). I’m up to about 70 air rifles and have room for about 20 or so more, so I’m just sniffing around for stuff I don’t have. I came across a gentleman selling a box of guns, four in all–well, three-and-a-half, actually–for pretty cheap, and I had examples of NONE of them! Two were Shanghai-built Industry Brand B3 airguns, one was an unidentified Chinese sidelever and the last was the action part of a QB51.

I’ll cover the sidelever in another blog, but the B3 guns…What can be said about them that hasn’t already been said? Love ’em or hate ’em (and there’s no shortage of shooters that go both ways), it doesn’t change the fact that I DON’T HAVE ONE. Imagine a rich Mustang collector; he NEEDS to have a 1974 Mustang II Ghia with a 2.3L 4-cylinder and an automatic in his collection. It’s a horrid little car, but that doesn’t matter. There’s a spot for it.

But not two. So, I test-fired the B3s; one’s a .177, the other’s a .22. I ditched the .177. It was actually smoother and more accurate, it wasn’t missing its rear sight, and although velocity was low (no better than the .22, really), it was obviously the best one. I figured I could get $15 for it as opposed to $5 for the .22. I WAS RIGHT! Sold it in no time!


The .22 B3. At least I found a home for my $5 scope!

I’d recently been testing .22 pellets to find out what worked best in some of my lower-powered guns. When I was done, I figured “What the heck? I’ll see what the B3 likes — if anything!” I got exactly 2 shots off before the bad cocking cycle got to the point of “You try to cock me one more time, and you’ll regret the day you were born!”

Hence, my pickle.

I hate to let anything good go to waste. Since I seldom buy ANYTHING good, I rarely get the chance. But, that attitude sorta spills over into the not-so-good, the pretty bad and (not infrequently) the trash. And, so, I started wondering (for some strange reason), if I ought to even put five minutes into this thing. I mean, “time is money, money’s scarce and that ain’t funny!” I never made a habit of taking personal advice from The Kinks, so the B3 goes to the workbench.


The B3 action comes apart in the usual fashion, and the wonders of bottom-feeder Chinese engineering become immediately apparent.

The circles show the half-baked way in which the articulated cocking link is kept in place. No fancy rollers or bearings for the B3! We’ll make do with a plastic button and some perpendicular serrations on the link JUST TO MAKE SURE the button wears out fast! Ah, but they didn’t count on MOLY! I’ll foil their plans for premature wear!

Next, I took apart the trigger. Fortunately, it waited for me. Shanghai uses non-peened pins for the trigger blade pivot and stop, and sometimes everything falls out on its own accord when the action is taken out of the stock. When the gun is assembled, the close fit of the stock keeps them in place. Or, at least, in the same neighborhood.


The trigger.

For longtime readers of this blog, these parts might look just a tad familiar. Go waaaaayyyyyy back to B.B.’s review of the TS45. No, not the one he did in September 2009. You have to reach back to January 2007.

You’ll see the neat X-rays of the trigger. Very similar. If you want to try to smooth the trigger action, all you have to do is smooth the areas circled above. I hope that the hardening treatment at the factory went deeper than .0000001 inches. You could even play with the angles! Given that this is a sliding-cylinder gun that can de-tip your digits, I’m going to leave it be.


Next, out comes the pivot for the cocking lever: a simple screw that also contains the front sling swivel.

The whole cocking linkage assembly just lifts out. That leaves the trigger interlock exposed, which can be yanked after removing the one screw that holds it in.

Tune in tomorrow to see the rest of Vince’s disassembly and the reassembly!


I’m from China. Do you know my name?

by B.B. Pelletier

Blog reader Vince has been very busy! Last week he gave us a 2-part guest blog, and this week he’s given us another blog. Like mysteries? Get out our magnifying glass and help Vince uncover the name of this air rifle.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them), and they must use proper English. We’ll edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by Vince

I know there’s something to be said for mystery, even when it’s balanced by intimate familiarity. Still, I REALLY want to know what to call you.

‘Twas a dark and stormy night — or not — when she came along in as innocuous a manner as possible. I had spotted a “dump sale” on one of the sites (don’t remember which), where a fellow was getting rid of four bottom-feeder Chinese guns. I believe he had a business, and these guns didn’t move — but I’m not positive about that. In any event, the airguns included a pair of Industry Brand B3 rifles (.177 and .22, a cult gun if there ever was one), an old half-eaten Industry B7/QB51 (folding-stock breakbarrel missing the stock) and this orphan. It’s a nondescript Chinese sidelever that I thought at first might be a KL-3B Fast Deer (another cult gun that was sort of a flash in the pan about 5 years ago). But no, there was no safety on the starboard side above the trigger. Then, I thought it might be an old TS-45, which I always wanted for no particular reason. But the stock shape didn’t seem quite right. No matter, I’ll find out when it gets here, right?

The package finally comes into my possession, and I start going through the box. The B3 rifles were what you’d expect — ugly. Turns out that the .177 version has about the same velocity as the .22, and the accuracy with either was rather tepid. The .177 was sold off for $15, and I kept the .22 just to have one.

But that sidelever….



Well, the price was cheap enough. Are those serial numbers? Who knows!

Even up close, I’m not sure what it is. There are some numbers stamped into the wood near the buttplate. Whatever it is, it certainly isn’t a model number of any sort. I looked on the compression tube and found the obligatory Made In China (NO! REALLY?) stamped in the metal along with the just-as-obligatory Chinese characters. Above that is some sort of mountain range motif. Maybe Snow Peak? I don’t see any snow. Don’t see any scope dovetails, either.


The logo isn’t exactly on par with Diana throwing away her bow and picking up an air rifle.

So, I’m thinking, “I shall call you Pointy, and you shall be mine.” But that’s kind of a stupid name for a gun, so I’ll continue examining the rest of the rifle for clues.

I was always under the impression that Snow Peak was an early manifestation of Industry Brand, but the gun does NOT seem to have that special lack-of-attention-to-detail that distinguishes (extinguishes?) the early Industry guns. Even the stock — while the varnish on it is applied unevenly and is a bit orange-peeled — isn’t hosed down with that orangish-brown goo that Industry used in abundance.

Next, I looked at the sights — the AK47-style sights. The rear has a push-button slider with markings at each position for elevation, and no windage adjustment. While the front sight is adjustable for windage (with a punch or an AK47 sight tool) and elevation (again, with the AK47 tool):



Front sight is fully adjustable, rear sight is adjustable for elevation only.

For afficionados of cheap Chinese (guns, not food), this smacks of the old BAM B4-2 underlever that bore a passing resemblance to the inferior Industry B3. That makes me think about the BAM XS-B7 — the sporter version of BAM’s old XS-B3-1 AK47 lookalike sidelever:


The new gun sorta looks like this…in some ways…but not really. (Photo courtesy of the former Pellettrap website)

No, the stock shape is all wrong. The XS-B7 does NOT have the AK-style sights, but it does have a safety in the triggerguard. Pointy doesn’t have one at all. It makes do with an interlock that keeps the shooter from pulling the trigger when the arm is open, but that’s about it.


One last detail. My gun has a fairly substantial set of sling swivels mounted on its underside.

The gun comes with a full set of sling swivels. The rear screw on each swivel is actually one of the bolts that holds the action to the stock. I don’t thing they’re going anywhere. Despite the differences in stock shape, with these swivels I’m again leaning toward calling it a TS-45.


X-ray of the TS-45 trigger shows it’s the same as the B3.
(from Tuning a cheap Chinese airgun – Part 2)

The TS-45 has the same trigger as the B3, which has the trigger blade holding the sear in place until it’s pulled. Even without taking the gun apart, I can tell that Pointy has a simpler direct sear.

At this point, I’m flummoxed. So, I set the whole ID issue aside and just started shooting it.

The gun itself is very much full weight and size at 6 lbs., 14 oz., and 41 inches overall. As you’d expect from a sidelever, it balances well (since the cocking linkage is close to the shooter), and the pull length of 13.5 inches is well within the average range for adults. The sight is clear enough, with plenty of depth to the slot in the rear sight, although the notch is a bit too wide for the front post.

Side note: Why do some manufacturers get so danged stingy with the depth of the rear sight notch? Am I alone in finding that an open-leaf sight with a really shallow notch is a pain to use?

Anyway, holding and shouldering the gun doesn’t feel bad at all, the stock seems well proportioned. Meaty without being fat, it’s probably a good compromise for a variety of hand sizes. The not-so-smooth finish on the stock actually makes it easier to grip. Poor man’s checkering? Uh, yeah…that’s it.

Of course, old Chinese guns aren’t known for mechanical refinement. Pointy’s direct sear trigger (with a 6-lb. release), graunchy cocking cycle and dry, hollow-sounding firing cycle do nothing to dispel this reputation. And, I discovered something else the first time I cocked it — this gun is SHARP! Literally. They didn’t do much to bevel the edges at the end of the cocking lever. Ouch! Not rough or uneven, mind you, and not enough to cut skin, but darned uncomfortable. Glad it doesn’t take more than 20 lbs. to cock it.

I started punching paper at 10 meters so I can start adjusting the front sight windage. And, that’s when the rifle started doing things like this:


Just when you think you know how a gun’s gonna shoot…it does something like this.

Hmmm…. that’s about a .32″ group with Crosman Premier Hollowpoints. With open sights. Guys, laugh if you wanna, but this passes as a very good open-sight group for me at this range. It did the about the same thing with a group of 5 Gamo Match pellets and a little worse with RWS Super-H-Point and RWS Diabolo Basic pellets

So, whatever it is, whoever made it — they certainly paid attention to the barrel. What else did they pay attention to? Well, now I’ll get down and dirty to find out.


The action is dirt simple.

What am I seeing? The mechanism is certainly basic enough, with the direct sear trigger pivoting on the same pin that holds everything together. The stampings are straight, and the spot welds all seem to be spot-on.


Out come the main pin and parts.

Once apart, I found the expected leather seal, and the general mechanism is reminiscent of the horrid Industry B1 and B2 rifles I’ve worked on. But wait! Something’s different! That pin! That 5mm pin that holds everything together and holds the trigger!


The 5mm pin that held it all together.

Notice anything strange about the pin? It’s STRAIGHT! That’s strange, because every old Industry gun I’ve worked on with the same arrangement also had a bent pin (metal too soft). But not this one. What else did I notice? The sear mating surfaces weren’t significantly worn.


The sear mating surface wasn’t worn to a nub.

My experience indicates that would CERTAINLY be unusual on an Industry rifle. In fact, the sear faces on the old Industry B1/B2 guns can wear so much that they start shooting without you.

That rear guide seems to be machined out of a solid piece of steel, rather than fabricated from a sheet metal tube and a washer.


The rear guide isn’t the usual cheap manufacturing process I’m used to seeing.

The piston seems well made, and the piston rod is STRAIGHT and centered in the bore of the piston. All in all, I’m now certain that Industry didn’t make this gun.

Pointy was dry as a bone when I took it apart, so the gun goes back together with the typical moly goo I use. Since it’s a lower-powered gun, I didn’t bother with tar on the spring, but the leather seal did get roughed up and soaked in 30-weight oil. Cocking and shooting behavior is smoother, and the velocity seems to have stabilized in the mid-500s with Crosman 7.9-grain pellets.

But, I’m no closer to identifying the gun. So far, the sights and general build quality still make me think that it’s related to the old BAM XS-B3/B7 rifles, but now I’ve got pictures of the innards! So, I go perusing the internet til I find an exploded view of the XS-B3 variant so I can compare the general construction.


Exploded view of the XS-B3.

After noting some of the details — the rear guide and spring retainer, the trigger, the construction of the beartrap and of course those sights — I believe I now have part of the puzzle. Pointy is probably a product of the BAM factory before it was actually called BAM and provided the basic design for some of their subsequent rifles. I’m also guessing that this gun was produced at a less frenzied pace than their guns today, affording them a bit more time for QC.

So, I know where you’re from, and I know where you went, and I know you shoot well. But, I still don’t know your name. Who are you?