Diana model 30 gallery gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana model 30 gallery gun
Diana model 30 gallery gun.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Description
  • Caliber 4.4mm
  • The fix
  • Power was intermittent
  • Rifled
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Apparently there have been three Dianas model 30. Blue Book of Airguns calls them out and tells us the differences. Last week there was some confusion about which Diana model 30 airgun I was referring to in a comment, and when I clarified it one of our readers asked for a report. It happened that I then visited a friend who has a model 30 gallery gun, and he told me it wasn’t working. I said I would try to get it working again if I could test it for the blog, so here we go.

Description

The Diana model 30 gallery gun is a spring-piston rifle that uses a bolt to cock the mainspring. It’s similar in function to a great many other bolt-action airguns like the Schmeisser model 33, the Anschütz model 275, the Haenel model 310 that copies the Anschütz, and even the Czech models VZ35 and VZ48. All of those airguns are rifles like this one, but if we expand the list to include smoothbores we have to acknowledge the Mars models 85, 100 and 115. There are probably others I haven’t mentioned. read more


The airgun market in 2018

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Serious airgunner
  • The market has exploded
  • No more cheap
  • The gun crisis
  • Where were airguns?
  • Firearm crossover
  • Airguns — cheap???
  • Is that all there is?
  • The future
  • The point?
  • Summary

When I started writing about airguns in 1994 there weren’t but about 5,000 to 15,000 serious airgunners in the U.S. No one knew for sure how many there were because there was very little data about this market. There may be disagreement on just how many there were but everyone agrees that the American airgun market was small.

Serious airgunner

Let me define what I mean by “serious airgunner,” because that has a bearing on what I’m saying. Airguns are very prevalent in the United States. I would estimate that millions of homes have at least one airgun, but that ranges from the family who just inherited their parents’ home and are unaware of the old Benjamin that’s stuck up in the rafters of the garage to homes like mine, where the number of airguns is greater than 50. There are a huge number of families with airguns, but most of those people cannot be considered serious shooters. My definition of a serious airgunner is someone who owns and shoots an airgun at least once each month. My experience is that if they do shoot an airgun that often, they shoot it a lot more than that! read more


Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The gun
  • Hough front sight
  • Loading
  • The BB changed from lead to steel
  • Getting 0.175-inch lead shot
  • Darts, too!
  • Summary

Sometimes we like things for reasons that make no sense to others, though we know why. Today’s report focuses on a BB gun that I have liked for many years, after discovering late in life that it existed at all.

The gun

Daisy’s Number 12 Model 29 is a lever action BB gun with a difference. It looks older than it is. It resembles a Daisy model H that was made from 1913 to 1923. The strangest thing about the model H is the cocking lever, which catches your eye immediately. In many respects these guns look similar to the more common BB guns we know today, but that cocking lever seems strange. I have not read an explanation for why it looks like it does, so allow me to posit a guess — leverage. read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASP20
Sig Sauer’s new ASP20 gas spring breakbarrel air rifle breaks ground in many areas!

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Why a gas spring?
  • Trigger
  • Why a breakbarrel?
  • Does the ASP20 have an internal shock absorber?
  • On with the build
  • Final assembly — the stock
  • The barrel
  • Off to the range
  • Shooting sensation
  • Cocking effort
  • Accuracy
  • Whisky 3 ASP 4-12X44 scope
  • Summary

Boy, is there a LOT of interest in this new rifle! You guys are asking a lot of very good questions about the new ASP20 breakbarrel rifle, as you should. I will begin by addressing some of the most prominent ones.

Why a gas spring?

Some call it a gas piston, others say gas ram, but we are all referring to the gas spring (the industry term for a spring that uses compressed gas in place of a coiled steel spring to do its job). Gas springs replace coiled steel mainsprings in spring-piston airguns. They are more modern and easier to make and obtain, they don’t take a set if left compressed, they are less susceptible to cold and, if the design is right, they are smoother operating. They also eliminate several parts that rattle and they remove some weight from the powerplant. read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

ASP20
Sig Sauer’s new ASP20 gas spring breakbarrel air rifle breaks ground in many areas!

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Sig thinks inside the box!
  • They balanced the trigger
  • Anti-beartrap
  • Assembly continues
  • The Keystone breech
  • Piston and gas spring assembly
  • One more brilliant feature
  • Summary

We left off at the start of the ASP20 assembly station, looking at the Glidelite cocking mechanism. The next item I saw was shocking — an American-made air rifle trigger — the Matchlite! Is it as nice as a Rekord? That is something each shooter has to decide for themselves, but I will describe how it works when we go to the range. Right now I will just tell you what it does.

Sig thinks inside the box!

When I first saw this rifle at the SHOT Show I told Sig Air vice president Joe Huston that shooters were going to fiddle with the screws in the Matchlite trigger. Historically they do this with every new airgun trigger. When Beeman warned them not to fool with the Rekord’s screw 51b, it was like a neon sign, telling them where to start! For some odd reason, Joe just smiled back and said nothing. read more


My day at Sig Sauer: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Sig Sauer at work
  • The tour
  • Security
  • Ground rules
  • Rapid change
  • The big deal
  • Finishing
  • Test firing
  • ASP20
  • The engineers
  • Ed Schutz takes over
  • Laser-welded parts
  • Precision fixtures for every process
  • The cocking shoe
  • Summary

Last week a number of airgun writers and editors were invited to Sig Sauer in New Hampshire, to witness the start of the ASP20 production line and to tour the Exeter facilities. Those who attended were Tom McHale who writes for American Handgunner, Shooting Illustrated, Concealed Carry Magazine and too many other publications and website to list. Kristen Voss from the digital side of the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine was also there. Terry Doe and Dan Chart were there from Archant Limited, the publisher of Airgun World and Air Gunner magazines in the United Kingdom. John Bright of Highland Outdoors, a worldwide firearms and related products distributor in the UK was also there. I was there representing this blog and Firearms News in the US. read more


Punting with the FWB 124

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB 124
Feinwerkbau 124.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The ship hit the sand!
  • Plan B
  • Plan C
  • Open sights
  • Getting ahead of myself
  • The test
  • RWS Superpoints
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS R10
  • What’s up with the lone “flyer”?
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.50mm head
  • Discussion
  • The FWB 124
  • So what?
  • The big deal
  • Summary

Well, well. Sometimes the bear eats you! Today is one such day. I returned from my Sig trip last Thursday and wrote this report on Friday and Saturday. Everything that could go wrong did, giving me a lot to tell you about. And I have some exciting news to share today, as well.

The ship hit the sand!

I was going to test the Crosman 105 Target pistol for you today, but I couldn’t get it to hit the paper. Whoever guessed that it would shoot way low was spot-on. It shoots so low that I can’t get it up on paper, even using aim-off tricks (aiming at one thing to hit another). I have to work on the pistol before I can test it again. read more