Smell the roses!

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Price-Point PCP
  • Silencers
  • Lookalikes
  • More lookalikes
  • $100 PCP
  • More than just guns
  • Hand pumps
  • Compressors
  • Airgun technology
  • Big bores
  • There’s more

Today’s report came to me as I was planning to test the accuracy of the Umarex Legends Ace in the Hole revolver. I have so many tests waiting for my time, but today’s report had to come first.

Gentlemen — we are living in airgunning’s Golden Age. I know I have written that many times, but today I would like to reflect on all the good things that are happening in our world. Let me start with the Price-Point PCP.

Price-Point PCP

When I got into precharged pneumatics in 1995, I was dragged into it kicking and screaming. No PCP rifle cost less than $600 in that day (think $900 today) and the high-pressure hand pump had just been invented. I had to use a 3000 psi aluminum scuba tank that cost an additional $120 and I had to beg the local dive shop to fill it for me. I actually created a release form that I signed and left on file with them to absolve them from all risk of selling air to a non dive-certificated person! That might sound extreme in 2018, but in 1995 that was the way it was done, and plenty of dive shops refused to sell us air. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Pre-work baseline
  • RWS Hobby
  • Harsh firing cycle
  • Rifle is breaking in
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • RWS Hobby again
  • Discussion
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today I will test the velocity of the B3 underlever that we cleaned and lubed on Friday. This will be a fantastic learning lesson for all airgunners, because the results are most informative!

Pre-work baseline

If you have been following this report you know I discovered in Part 2 that the rifle wasn’t performing to expectations. In Part 3 I replaced the breech seal and tested the velocity. That gave us a baseline we can use today for a before and after comparison. Let me get to the tests right now.

RWS Hobby

The first pellet to be tested was the RWS Hobby. In Part 3 Hobbys gave an average 617 f.p.s. with a 24 f.p.s. spread. read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Remove the stock
  • Anti-beartrap
  • The piston and sliding compression chamber
  • Removing the mainspring
  • Removing the anti-beartrap device
  • Compression chamber and piston out
  • Cleaning
  • Assembly
  • The trigger
  • Lubrication
  • Does it work?
  • Next
  • Summary

Today I take the Chinese B3 underlever rifle apart and we see inside. This will be a good one.

Remove the stock

The first step is to remove the stock. That’s two forearm screws and one in the triggerguard. Once out, I could see this rifle is very rusty. It’s so rusty that it will take many hours to clean. I don’t have that kind of time so I’m going to clean only what needs to be cleaned.

B3 action
With the action out of the stock you can see rust everywhere! Notice the flat bar in front of the trigger housing. That’s the anti-beartrap. read more


Beeman R9 with Vortek center-latching air piston: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Today’s fill
  • JSB Exact
  • Predator Polymag
  • H&N Field Target Trophy
  • H&N Baracuda
  • Crosman Premiers
  • Benjamin Cylindricals
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Firing behavior
  • Summary

Today is velocity day for the Beeman R9 with the Vortek center-latching gas piston that I’m calling the center latching unit (CLU). Bear in mind as you read today’s test, that this unit allows the owner to adjust the pressure inside the gas piston — raising or lowering the velocity and cocking effort. So, this is the first of several tests of the unit.

Today’s fill

I filled the CLU to 675 psi when I installed it. So that’s how it’s set up today. I will test it with 6 different .20 caliber pellets — one more than Pyramyd Air carries, if you don’t count the felt Beeman cleaning pellets. Let’s get started. read more


The world’s best airgun doesn’t exist…

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The start
  • The deal
  • The challenge
  • It is achievable
  • The Marauder
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Bronco
  • The world’s best air rifle
  • Synthetic stock
  • The deal
  • History?

…but it has in the past. Or parts of it have existed. They are very rare today, but at one time there were many airguns that were 80 percent of the way to being great.

The start

This report started this past Wednesday in an archery store. Next week I will mention why I was in the store, but here’s what happened. The older man behind the counter, after learning what I did for a living, asked me what would be a good airgun for him to get. I stood there like a deer in the headlights, running through a half-century of experience and trying to boil it down to one sentence, when he added, “…and be able to take out a squirrel once in awhile.” read more


Beeman R9 with Vortek center-latching air piston: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The Vortek unit
  • Filling the unit
  • How it works
  • Spring guide
  • Installation
  • Disassembly
  • Piston
  • Barrel goes back
  • End cap in
  • Compressor
  • How long and how difficult?
  • Summary

I try to stay away from products that are not available, but today I’m starting a look at a new gas piston unit for the Beeman R9/Weihrauch HW95 breakbarrel rifle. This report will be unique in several ways. First, it is the first look at a new Vortek gas spring unit that may either be available from Pyramyd Air or from Vortek directly. Second — the R9 I’m using for this test is in .20 caliber. I know there are many shooters who favor .20 caliber, but many more who don’t. I will address that as the report unfolds, but let me state for the record that, except for testing a Sheridan Blue Streak or Supergrade, I haven’t tested another .20 caliber air rifle in many years! read more


Chinese B3 underlever: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

B3
The B3 underlever from China.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Firing behavior
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Trigger
  • Summary

This is accuracy day! Today we will learn how accurate my new/old Chinese B3 underlever spring-piston air rifle is. This is the rifle with the replaced breech seal that we learned in Part 3 is such an easy fix. Today we see whether it matters.

The test

I shot at 10 meters off a sandbag rest. I used the classic artillery hold with the off hand next to the front of the triggerguard and rested on the sandbag.

I resolved to shoot just 5 shots, unless the pellet looked like it might group. If it did I would go to 10 shots.

RWS Superdomes

First up was the RWS Superdome. The first shot hit the target at the lower edge of the bull, but shot two hit above the 10-ring. I shot the next three shots and then looked at the group and decided this is not the right pellet for this rifle. The 5-shot group later measured 1.37-inches between centers. read more