Something different — The Wandering Earth pistol

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Wandering Earth
  • Plot
  • The pistol
  • The manual
  • Done!
  • What does it shoot?
  • How powerful?
  • Summary

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

Wandering Earth

Well, you can’t stay bored by this! Today we look at a catapult pistol inspired by the Chinese sci-fy film classic, Wandering Earth. It has grossed more than US $700 million, worldwide.

Plot

In the year 2161 the earth is threatened by an aging sun that will expand into a red giant and engulf the planet within 300 years. So to preserve life, enormous planetary thrusters are positioned around the globe to push the earth out of the solar system and to the Alpha Centuri star system, which, at only 4.2 light years, is closest to us.

I won’t spoil the plot for you, except to say that it takes a LONG time to make the journey and life as we know it has to undergo some drastic changes. Apparently one of those changes is to make use of the incredibly fat double action only catapult signal pistol that we are looking at today. read more


Sharpshooter pistol resurrection: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharpshooter pistols
The Bulls Eye pistol (left) came first. Manufacture started in 1924 in Rawlins, Wyoming. The smaller Sharpshooter pistols at the right were made in Rawlins until sometime in World War II and then manufacture moved to La Jolla, California in 1946.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Learned a lot!
  • Velocity
  • Three guns to test
  • Plain Blue pistol from La Jolla
  • Black DeLuxe pistol from Rawlins
  • Curses! — foiled by eBay
  • Summary

Here we go! This is probably the final installment of this series that started several weeks ago when the grand nephew of John Beckwith, George, sent me some carriers for Sharpshooter pistols that his grand uncle had given him. With one of them I was able to resurrect a Sharpshooter pistol I have owned for many years. Its plastic carrier broke and the gun has been silent for a long time, but thanks to George it’s up and running again! read more


Sharpshooter pistol resurrection: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharpshooter pistols
The Bulls Eye pistol (left) came first. Manufacture started in 1924 in Rawlins, Wyoming. The smaller Sharpshooter pistols at the right were made in Rawlins until sometime in World War II and then manufacture moved to La Jolla, California in 1946.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • 1938 prices
  • Prototype Sharpshooter
  • Did you notice?
  • Stamp pad to make targets
  • Size
  • Oil the rails
  • Oh — my gosh!
  • Shot may be reused
  • But wait!
  • Accuracy
  • Velocity
  • Summary

Well, I just can’t put them down! I own four Sharpshooter pistols and one Bulls Eye and I’m finding them so much fun to shoot — now that I have a target that traps all the shot and shows all the hits. And, there is so much more to tell you!

I wrote about the Sharpshooter being the darling of the pistol shooting world. The French especially liked it so much that it was a featured product in World and Olympic champion Leon Johnson’s Paris catalog. Apparently he bought a lot of them because Dr. Bunten of Rawlins Wyoming went to the effort to apply for a French patent! In my research I discovered French markings on one pistol, and also found them on the box! All pistols made at a certain time probably had them, because that particular pistol was sold by a sporting goods store in Pennsylvania in 1942. read more


Sharpshooter pistol resurrection: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sharpshooter pistols
The Bulls Eye pistol (left) came first. Manufacture started in 1924 in Rawlins, Wyoming. The smaller Sharpshooter pistols at the right were made in Rawlins until sometime in World War II and then manufacture moved to La Jolla, California in 1946.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Cleanup
  • Companies that made and sold Sharpshooter pistols
  • Odd guns
  • Accuracy
  • Adjustable sights
  • Hard to get groups
  • Summary

Cleanup

Today I take a turn from my usual format. This is Day 2 where I normally report velocity, but instead of that I’m going to begin with accuracy. The reason for doing that is because when the pistol is adjusted for accuracy the velocity is affected.

Sharpshooter adjust rail
This screw pulls the two halves of the sheet metal together, pushing the front of the guide rail upward. That tightens the fit of the carrier on the rail — affecting both accuracy and velocity.
read more


Beginning airgun design

by B.B. Pelletier

Update on Tom/B.B.: Walking, eating, moving around…all good things that continue to improve his health! Now, it’s just a matter of time til he’s robust enough to come home, as his body just needs to heal. We hope there are no more downturns!

B.B. wrote today’s blog.


The Quackenbush Lightning used rubber bands to power the piston.

I have another assignment for you! Create a simple spring airgun with the fewest number of parts. I’m guessing you can do it with 10 or less. Don’t worry about things like tightly fitted mainsprings. The Quackenbush Lightning used rubber bands to power its piston. They were outside the gun and hooked onto the piston, which traveled inside the compression chamber.

Muzzle loading will simplify things for you. No harm in stuffing the pellet from the front, and it saves a lot of design work.

I’m thinking about PVC-type parts, not cannibalized airguns. This should be something that can be made anywhere by MacGyver in the last 15 minutes of the show.

Here’s a tip: If you do decide to do the Quackenbush Lightning, instead of running the cocking wire through the side of the piston, run it top to bottom and somehow use the bottom part to connect with your trigger. Now, you have a sear as well as a piston. See the Mega Dart MX-7 airgun on page 67 of Airgun Digest, Second Edition.

If we get several designs that are truly exceptional, I wouldn’t mind testing them formally and showing everyone photos of them. So, if you’re proud of your gun, consider sending it to me for testing.

Simplifying design
To reduce parts count, make one part do many jobs. You probably don’t need a stock, so do without. No need for sights, so forget ’em. Your gun may do better shooting after it’s been oiled, so you can make that a part of the process.

What I’m looking for is how clever you guys can be. I hope to be surprised!