Action targets throughout history

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Bleed, break or fall
  • History
  • Live animals
  • Ad Topperwein
  • Shooting was king!
  • End of the Civil War
  • Early mechanical target
  • Quackenbush bell and mechanical targets
  • Targets 2, 3 and 4
  • Target 3
  • Target 4
  • Quackenbush targets 5 and 6
  • Targets 7 and 8
  • One more galley target
  • Summary

Bleed, break or fall

“Airgun targets have to bleed, break or fall.” said Leigh Wilcox of the now-defunct Airgun Express, many years ago. Leigh was one of many who felt that punching paper was like watching paint dry. A lot of you readers feel the same, as we have seen in this blog recently. Today’s report was requested by reader GunFun1, but I know that a lot of you are looking forward to it.

History

I will get back to airgun targets in a bit, but first let’s travel back in time to see where action targets began. For that we need to go to Europe around the year 1300, when shooting events lasted for many days and took on a carnival atmosphere. read more


Sub-1 crossbow: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Sub-1 crossbow
Sub-1 crossbow.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Airgun shows
  • Crossbows
  • A lot to learn
  • Read the manual
  • Lightbulb!
  • Just like an airgun
  • Fire
  • Confidence
  • Shot 2
  • Shot 3
  • Arrow management
  • Summary

I am not writing a history report today, because there are too many things on my backlog. Not all of these reports are about airguns, as you can see by today’s title, but they are all pertainent to the subject at hand. This one more than most!

Airgun shows

First, here is a list of the airgun show dates that I know about.

Flag City Toys That Shoot airgun show April 14

Malvern Airgun Extravaganza — Arkansas — April 27 & 28 (For more information email seth.rowland@att.net)

Gene Curtis Memorial Fun Shoot and Airgun Show — This one is not well publicized. It’s at the Tri-County Expo Center in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas May 18-20. I have no phone number or email address link yet. read more


Using air pistols for defense training

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

  • Why the pseudonym?
  • Defense shooting
  • The ideal airgun
  • The training
  • Action targets
  • Holster?
  • Evolution
  • Suggestions

Why the pseudonym?

Some new readers may wonder why I still write as B.B. Pelletier, even though I put my real name above. Well, it goes back to the 1990s, when I was writing The Airgun Letter. My style of writing that you all feel comfortable with today was unheard of in 1994, when the newsletter started. At that time the world of airguns was full of cliques that tried to exclude others, or if they couldn’t keep them out they tried to ridicule and discourage them. The internet just gave them a larger overpass to spraypaint. Edith and I didn’t allow that on our Airgun Letter Forum, and it drove these guys nuts! We were hacked and spammed and everything else that’s bad, even though many of our detractors were also living on our forum! read more


Where are airguns today?

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Spring-piston guns
  • The price-point PCP
  • High-pressure air compressors
  • Action air pistols
  • It’s been done before
  • Airgun shows
  • Hunting
  • They’re listening now!
  • Summary

After writing 6 reports on the SHOT Show I thought it was time to look at all that has happened in airgunning in recent years. We are in a golden age of experimentation and refinement, and it’s good to stop and reflect on that for a moment.

Spring-piston guns

If you had asked me what the future of the spring gun was before I attended this SHOT Show I would have told you that everything that could be done had been done. Then, at the show, I saw not one but two novel new breakbarrels.

Crosman has their new Akura breakbarrel with the Precision Barrel Lock or PBL. It is a novel new way of locking the breech at the shot by using some of the compressed air to push a pin back into the spring tube. The rest of the rifle is a straightforward gas spring breachbarrel, but the question we have to ask is why they felt it necessary to lock the breech this way. A few other airguns use mechanical locks that are operated by the user, so there must be an advantage to locking the breech, but will we see it when I test the Akura? read more


All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

503-1 target
The All American Target Concepts 503-1 target is like nothing you have ever seen.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The target under fire
  • Operation
  • Airgun power
  • .22 rimfire
  • What you didn’t see
  • Paddle hits
  • Evaluation

Today I’ll show you how this big Texas Star target works. In Part 1 I mentioned there were numerous patents on the target, but the maker informed me there is just one patent that’s currently in force.

I also have the manufacturer’s pricing now. One target will be $509, with free shipping. That may sound high, but this is a club-grade target and much better built and more rugged than most of us are used to. I think today’s report will show you what I mean.

The target under fire

You should read Part 1 to refresh your memory. This target is built for safety first and also for ruggedness. All the angles on the parts are designed to direct the pellets and bullets away from the firing line. And they are built to take punishment! read more


Codeuce spinner targets: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • How to test?
  • Targets set for powerful airguns
  • Diana 27
  • What the pellets did to the paddles
  • Leveling
  • Evaluation so far

Today will be a short report, but there is a lot in it. I’m testing the spinner airgun targets reader Codeuce made, and many of you readers were interested ion them in Part 1. Today I will show you how they work.

How to test?

Codeuce made two different sets of paddles for these targets. I showed them to you in Part 1. I said at that time that, based on how freely I saw the targets spinning, I didn’t think the lightweight set for lower-powered airguns was necessary. So I went my own direction for today’s test.

Targets set for powerful airguns

I tested the targets set up the way Codeuce sent them — with the heavier paddles installed. Let me show you how easy they work. ALLOW TIME FOR THE VIDEOS TO UPLOAD TO YOUR DEVICE! read more


All American Target Concepts 503-1 action target: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

503-1 target
The All American Target Concepts 503-1 target is like nothing you have ever seen.

This report covers:

  • Big target
  • Tough
  • Safe
  • Portable
  • Assembles without tools!
  • Paddles of two different thicknesses
  • The secret
  • How large is it?
  • Knockdown
  • Many patents
  • Test

You may not remember me telling you about this action target in one of the reports on the 2017 Texas airgun show. Today I start my report about it.

Big target

The manufacturer does not call this a Texas Star, but they acknowledge that it works like one and most people will call it that. But if our sun is a star, this target is Betelgeuse! That’s a red supergiant start that, if it was in the same place as our sun, its rim would extend past the orbit of Mars! I’m saying the 503-1 is BIG. You might plink at regular Texas Stars at 35 yards — this is one you can move out to 75 and even 100 yards! read more