Spring-piston airguns I’m thankful for

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Happy Thanksgiving! This is the day Americans set aside to remember the things we’re thankful for as we eat a feast of traditional turkey.

A couple days ago, blog reader Rob asked for my list of most-favorite spring guns and why they’re my favorites, so I thought today would be a good day to do that. So, here goes. I’m doing only the springers, because that’s what he asked for. What you’re about to read is by no means a complete list of airguns that I like.

Diana model 27
I bought my first Diana model 27 air rifle from a pawn shop in Radcliff, Kentucky, when I was stationed at Fort Knox in the 1970s. It was tired-looking and rusty but still shot like every 27 does — smooth and straight. This one was a Hy Score 807. I never tuned it because I didn’t know about such things in those days. I just shot it offhand as a plinker. That rifle cocked so easily that shooting it was like eating peanuts — I just couldn’t stop! I never did figure out the trigger, though. It wasn’t until I read the owner’s manual for a Diana 35 about 20 years later that I figured out how to adjust the trigger on this rifle. Today, I own 2 model 27 rifles and a model 25 rifle that I’ve been testing. And these are some of my favorite airguns. read more


Sterling HR-81 .177 underlever air rifle: Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Now that Vince has tuned the Sterling, it’s time to see how she shoots.

It’s time to see how the Sterling underlever rifle shoots. Benjamin put Lothar Walther barrels on these rifles, so I’m hoping the pedigree will show in today’s test. Vince got the velocity back up to a respectable level, as we saw in Part 3 (and Vince showed you what he did to the gun in his guest blog about the Sterling), so there should be nothing to prevent the gun from shooting its best.

When I went to mount a scope, I saw that the Sterling has two vertical holes that can be used for a scope stop. They’re located where the front ring needs to be, but with two-piece rings that presents no problem. read more


Sterling HR-81 .177 underlever air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


The Sterling by Benjamin Sheridan is an air rifle not many have seen or even heard about.

Say hello to my little friend! We last saw this Sterling 11 months ago and discovered during testing that the velocity was very unstable. Variations of 61 to 147 f.p.s. were found in the 10-shot strings, even though the rifle had been recently tuned by reader Jim Grossman (Jim in PGH). Clearly, something seemed to be wrong. I stopped the test right there because I didn’t want to damage the mechanism, and I set it aside for later when I could I eventually look inside.

Well, our No. 1 tuner and all-around good guy — blog reader Vince — stepped forward and offered to have a look at it for me. He told me he’d worked on another Sterling, and I was relieved because I didn’t have to learn the complexities of yet another odd spring-gun mechanism. This one is odd because, in addition to the underlever that cocks the mainspring, the gun also has a bolt-action that opens the breech for loading a pellet. It’s quirky and unlike just about any other airgun you’ve seen. read more


Sterling HR-81 .177 underlever air rifle: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Today, we’ll look at the velocity this Sterling HR-81 underlever air rifle produces. You’ll recall that this airgun started out as a UK rifle, so the power was limited to 12 foot-pounds. Benjamin-Sheridan didn’t change that when they took over manufacture in 1994. The U.S. production ended in 1994 when Crosman bought the Benjamin company. So, an American Sterling rifle is probably a pretty rare airgun.

Trigger
I finally had the opportunity to test and evaluate the Sterling trigger. It’s single-stage with lots of creep before the release. The trigger-pull measured 40 oz.; because of the creep, it felt like more. The safety is manual, which I really like. When it’s applied, it just blocks the trigger from moving. read more


Sterling HR-81 .177 underlever air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

This report is specifically for blog reader Robert from Arcade, who mentioned last week that he always wanted to own a Sterling air rifle, but didn’t have the money when they were available. Well, I can relate to that! My Sterling just jumped into my lap at the Roanoke airgun show last year. It was at the very end of the show when Jim Grossman came over to my table and offered me the Sterling for a BAM B-40 I had on the table. I took the trade because I was intrigued by the rifle, but also because I’d be able to test the Sterling for you. It’s not a common air rifle by anyone’s definition, and I think it’s always nice to be able to look at something a little different. read more


More about Gamo Match pellets: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

This is the third part of Vince’s test of old and new Gamo Match pellets. In parts 1 and 2, he tested .177 caliber. This test is for .22 caliber.

After part 1 was published, we discovered that today’s report was supposed to be the first part! So, you’ll read a lot of introductory info that Vince intended for you to see when he started this series. Sit back and enjoy the rest of Vince’s pellet tests.

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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. read more