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Category Archives: History

The history and origins of airguns

The Daisy 777 Target Pistol

I’ve written a bit about the 777 and its cheaper cousins, the 747 and 717, but until this one arrived via UPS yesterday I had never actually handled a 777. I found this one at a very good price on  It arrived, along with a Plano case, a set of airgun-sized silhouettes, and three […]

The HW Barakuda

I first came across this unusual gun in the pages of W.H.B. Smith’s Gas and Spring Air Guns of the World. (I traded my somewhat rare copy away, but I see you can now order a nice reissue from Stackpole books for much less than originals are selling for.)  Getting back to the Barakuda: It’s perhaps the […]

The Diana Model 27, by Ladd Fanta

Ladd Fanta was the the first American writer to take note of the high-quality air guns coming out of Europe, and did more to promote and popularize them in this country than anyone else. He was the first to suggest using silicone oil instead of petroleum oils in guns with leather compression chamber seals, and […]

The Daisy 717

The first quality air pistol I owned, back in the 1980s, was a Daisy 717. I paid around $40 for it back then, which wasn’t much, although it did strain my grad student budget. It was astoundingly accurate for a budget gun, and was actually used by many in serious competition. Bullseye pistol legend Don […]