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Case In Point

Started by Alan, March 31, 2022, 06:26:02 AM

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Septicdeath's recent coverage of the Daisy VL is very interesting. I remember when the rifle/ammo combination came about, and several of the gun mags at the time, covered its arrival. Fifty plus years is a long time to dredge up memories, but I do remember gun club discussions about Daisy not being a registered firearm manufacturer. Although Septicdeath did touch on the reason the rifle is no longer made, the truth is, Daisy agreed to stop making the rifle, and no federal charges were ever levied. And, on-line research alludes to the fact, sales of the rifle were very poor. Coupled with the somewhat higher cost of the caseless ammo, doomed the VL into oblivion.

About the same time, MBAssociates introduced the GyroJet. It too was caseless, in that the propellant was housed inside the projectile itself. Both the gun and ammo were expensive, and accuracy was frankly, lousy! It has been years since I've seen a GyroJet (pistol or rifle), but once in a while the ammo comes up for sale, at about $100 a round! Even at the time, GyroJet ammo was nearly $1 per round.

Both of these "space-age" guns failed, do mainly to the cost of their ammo (skipping their relatively poor accuracy). Surely that cost would have come down over time, but time literally ran out, dooming both to only a memory. These memories may not seem related to the world of airguns, but in some respects they do.

Airgun history literally dates back to circa 1580, with the Girandoni air rifle coming in circa 1780. These early airguns weren't much different than today's myriad of models. A (relatively) high-pressure air tank, is coupled with a hammer striking a (bash) valve, thus releasing a blast of air behind the projectile, driving it down the barrel. Not much has changed over the years in the basic design, albeit variations have been rampant in the last 20 years or so. But all airguns are similar to the VL and the GyroJet—they use caseless ammo!

Let us digress a moment, and review one real issue with modern firearms—they require a case to hold the driving force behind the projectile. For many years, firearm designers have strove to reduce the weight of the case, by either eliminating it (that didn't work!), or by using plastics to lighten them. The latter is still in its infancy, but appears to have hit a lot of roadblocks. For example, the requisite thickness of the plastic reduces the necessary volume of the case, which is obviously an important attribute. It also makes the cases weight as much as the brass or steel ones. Sort of a dead end I think.

So here we are, well into the 21st Century, and try as we may, airguns are still the only caseless ammo. Of course, the Navy's electronic rail canon, and ArcFlash Labs GR-1, are exceptions, but they cost really big bucks!

Aren't we lucky?

I have a Hill EC-3000 compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your tank as a courtesy (4,250 PSI limit).