Winchester 422: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Winchester 422
Winchester’s 422 is another lower-powered breakbarrel from the 1960s and ’70s.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Preparation
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Heavy
  • Something else
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Today we look at the power of the Winchester 422 I’m reviewing. The 422 is in the same power class as the Diana 23, so I’m hoping to see some lightweight pellets in the 400 f.p.s. range.

Preparation

We have looked at several vintage breakbarrel springers in this blog in recent times. You readers are now reminding me of things to do before shooting one of them. 

First, check the breech seal. That’s what lead to the El Gamo David report being stopped until I can replace the seal. When I examined this Winchester 422 seal it looked to be in good condition. Breech seals in the Diana 22 and 23 are located on the end of the spring tube and not at the rear of the barrel. I believe that’s because of the small size of the airgun. There isn’t room for a substantial seal on the end of the barrel. read more


1896 New King Single Shot: Part 4

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

1896 King
1896 New King single shot BB gun.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • 4.55 mm lead ball
  • Moved to 10 feet
  • The first “group”
  • Second thing I did wrong
  • Correction
  • 4.50 mm ball
  • Marksman BBs
  • Summary

I couldn’t resist! I just had to know how this old girl shot. So today we will find out together.

The test

I started the test at 5 meters, like all BB gun tests. I rested the gun on the UTG monopod and I sat in a chair. I vowed to push all the balls down the barrel with the cleaning rod, but I changed that one time while the test was underway. Let’s get started!

4.55 mm lead ball

First to be tested was the 4.55 mm lead ball that comes as close as possible to the 0.180-inch BB caliber. It measures 0.179-inches in diameter. I fired the first shot and the sound from downrange was not what I expected. So I went and examined the target. There were no holes in the target! read more


1896 New King Single Shot: Part 3

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

1896 King
1896 New King single shot BB gun.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Straightening the barrel
  • 4.55 mm BBs dropped to bottom
  • It also shoots 4.5 mm balls
  • 4.55 mm lead balls
  • Velocity
  • Muzzle energy
  • Oops!
  • 4.50 mm lead balls
  • Discussion
  • What does today’s test give us? 
  • Summary

Today I tell you how straightening the barrel of this century-old BB gun went and then we look at its performance. Last time I shot a single BB out at 157 f.p.s. What will she do today?

Straightening the barrel

Boy, did I ever have a lot of helpers ready to school me on how to straighten this solid brass shot tube! The way some of you talked you would think this thing is going into a NASA satellite!

I straightened the shot tube exactly as I described to you in Part 2, by laying it on a flat steel table (on my vise) and tapping it gently with the wide head of a plastic hammer. read more


1896 New King Single Shot: Part 1

Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

1896 King
1896 New King single shot BB gun.

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • How this happened
  • Detailed history
  • Pop quiz
  • BB shot and air rifle shot sizes
  • Getting ready
  • Good news!
  • Summary

Sometimes we get the rare opportunity to examine something that’s really from the past. Today is such a time. We will begin looking at a New King single shot BB gun from Markham. It is the 1896 model that was made from 1896 until 1905.  Mine was made in either 1900 or 1901, as I will explain.

How this happened

Periodically I look at eBay to see what sort of antique airguns they have and a couple weeks ago I saw this listing. So I went to the Blue Book (the new edition of which should be available by this Christmas) and saw that in 95 percent condition this was a $1,950 BB gun. In 20 percent condition it is a $400 gun. This one is 10 percent at best, which meant that the opening bid of $150 was reasonable. But oddly there were no bidders. So I bid on it and won it without opposition. The listing said that it works, which is far more important to me, and I took a chance that it did. So far — it does! read more


Diana 23: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 23
Diana 23.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Hobby
  • Sights are off
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • RWS Superpoints
  • H&N Match Green
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • One last thing

Today we look at the accuracy of Diana 23. I sure hope she’s accurate!

It took me half an hour to set up the range indoors, so I wanted to make this count.

The test

I shot the rifle from a sandbag rest at 10 meters. I used the artillery hold and did not test anything else. I rested the rifle on my off hand that was back almost touching the triggerguard. The stock is a little short to allow me to treat it like other adult rifles, so my off hand placement was the best I could do. I shot differing numbers of pellets at each target so I’ll address that when we get to it. read more


John Wayne Lil’ Duke BB gun with scope: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Lil Duke and scope
John Wayne Lil’ Duke BB gun with scope.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • What happened?
  • I thought I knew better
  • HOWEVER
  • Is it really tight?
  • The scope
  • The test
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Avanti Match Grade Precision Ground Shot
  • Smart Shot
  • Old Dust Devils
  • Dust Devil Mark 2
  • What have we learned?
  • Summary

I tested the John Wayne Lil’ Duke BB gun with scope in Part 4, but if you read that report you’ll see that the scope base was a little loose. Today’s report clears that up.

What happened?

Reader Chris USA asked me if I read the instructions that came with the scope base, Of course I read them. The better question to ask was when did I read them? I read them as I was editing my report and wondering why Pyramyd Air would let a scope base this flimsy go out. That was the reason for the Oh, fudge! title at the end.

I thought I knew better

You see, I tested a BB-gun scope base like this back in 2016. You may remember the Brice scope base for the Red Ryder BB gun. That was years before this base hit the market and I thought I knew everything there was to know about BB gun scope bases. read more


Air Venturi Dust Devil Mk2 Frangible BB: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Dust Devil
Dust Devil Mk2.

This report covers:

  • Dust Devil
  • The Mark 2
  • BB weight in grains
  • Smaller belly band
  • Production is up to speed
  • How can I test them?
  • 499
  • Legends MP40
  • Future BB gun tests
  • Impact tests
  • Bada Bang
  • Is that all?
  • Old Dust Devils
  • New Dust Devils
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Summary

I have been waiting for this day for a long time. The new Air Venturi Dust Devil Mark 2 is finally here! And that begs the question — what makes it a Mark 2? In recent years we have become used to companies launching new but not fully developed products, in a rush to get them to market. Then they bring out the improved Mark 2 version the following year, after all the fatal flaws have been found and fixed. Hard goods are now being treated like software releases!

Dust Devil

Well, not so, the Dust Devil. It has worked as advertised from day one. It’s a steel BB made from steel dust, so it fragments back into into dust on contact with a hard surface. I have tested it in dozens of different BB guns over the several years it has been around. Which begs the question — why is there a Mark 2? read more