Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Edith Gaylord

Edith Gaylord was a person you assumed would always be around. Her passing has left a great void.

I first spoke to her one morning twenty years ago. I had called to ask for a copy of “The Airgun Letter”. Edith made me feel like friend right from the start. That was twenty years ago.

A few years later she called to tell me that she and Tom would buy a story about shooting airguns with my daughter, Valerie, that I had submitted to “The Airgun Review”. Steph, my wife, had taken the photos and was delighted when she told me, “Ron, Edith Gaylord is calling”. Ever since then, they always graciously asked about Valerie.

Last January, I was at the Shot Show watching the taping of a segment for “American Airgunner”, when I noticed a woman standing next to me.

“Edith?” I asked.

“Ron Gill, how are you,” she said without a moment’s hesitation. She and Tom were as gracious as ever.

She said, “You should rewrite that story about Valerie, and get it published again”.

“But I sold that story to you years ago,” I said.

“Don’t worry, I give it back to you,” she said, and that was all there was to it.

I told this story to someone at the Pansal squirrel shoot in Idaho in May of this year. He thought it over, smiled and said, “The Gaylords have a lot of class”.

They sure do, and we will all miss Edith.

With Respect,

Ron Gill

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Daystate Air Ranger .25

The group on the ram's front shoulder was shot at 75 yards.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Benjamin Armada, the erector set

The Benjamin Armada is the erector set of air rifles. One can add an accessory here and take away another one there until you get the Armada of your choice. I think you could line up 100 personally owned Armadas and not more than 10 would be the same. Unless the new owner hasn’t had time to shop for accessories. I have moved the bipod 4 times, the front sling swivel 2 and added a front pictinall rail. For High Power Sporting Rifle matches I install a set of backup sights and moved the rear sight 3 times. Then there is the but stock. It has been taken off, put back on and adjusted to all its different lengths. To my surprise I found the adjustable buttstock the most useful. Since you can’t move the scope or rear sight backforward for the right eye relief, Changing the length of pull can serve the same function.

Some things run counter to habits from a lifetime of shooting firearms. I have always set up scope mount with the screw heads on the right side so if Some just have to be that way like Unertl external mounts, but with Weaver mounts or tipoff mounts that use thumb screws or allen wrenches, I put them on the right. On the mounts that come with the Armada package there is a nut that tightens the the scope rings onto the base.

Air guns have a way of being game changers. The Armada/Marauder rifles have a magazine that that fits flush on the left, but sticks out on the right. I thought that went away with the .30-40 Krag. Crosman magazines display a shot counter on the portion that protrudes from the right side of the breach.

I shoot three of the four stages of HPSR in sitting and if I want to check the shot count, I move my head to the right and look down the right side of the rife. I tried this in a sitting rapid fire stage, and all I saw was the nut!

Scope mount nut blocking shot counter.

Mount turned around, and nut no longer blocks counter.

All these moves seem pretty obvious once they are done. They are not obvious until you shoot the gun for a while and see what needs to be changed to fit your shooting style.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Benjamin Armada Project Rifle

An Armada Project Rifle

Arimo Dave was a black rifle shooter before he came to shoot airguns with us. He went to Camp Perry and shot what is known as a Space Gun.

Space guns are an AR-15 variation that started in the days when the AR, or the M16 for that matter, was a 300 yard gun with bad sights. Armorers milled off the carrying handle, and installed match sights. They used long barrels that extended the sight radius and stabilized 75 grain bullets to buck the wind out to the distinct 600 yard targets. These rifles were shot in national match competitions under the match rifle rules, but they quickly became known as Space Guns.   

The above photo shows the Armada I shoot and two of Dave’s AR-15s. The top gun is his match rifle (very spacey) and the lower is a A-2 model that meets the definition of service rifle. I took these after a gun club meeting where Dave wanted to compare the three rifles. After that, he would email and ask for measurements until he finally announced that he was going to duplicate the balance and accouterments of this space gun on an Armada.

He chose a .25 Armada for the project for two reasons. One you likely know and the other you may not but it may be the more important.

The barrel in the .25 Armada and the Marauder is made by Green Mountain and has a better reputation for accuracy then the .22 barrel, but it is the length of the magazine well that was more important to Dave. The magazine used in the .25 rifles is about ⅛ on an inch thicker than the .22 and when it comes to single loading that extra ⅛ inch is a lot more finger friendly.  

I am not so sure about the accuracy issue when you compare the .22 I shoot with Dave’s .25.  I shot some higher scores at the last Sporting Rifle match. See detailes at http://idahoairguns.blogspot.com/2015/07/sporting-rifle-7-1-15.html  Our benchrest is next Wednesday and we will see how that goes.