The Schimel Gas Pistol (1946 to ca. 1956)

I’m quite partial to a Schimel and when one comes up for sale, I’ll often try to buy it. In fact, I’d have to say that the Schimel Gas Pistol is top of the list of my favourite vintage air guns. On this occasion though, Jimmie Dee Snr purchased a Schimel despite my warnings that the advert stated that it leaked and the box had been poorly repaired with unsightly tape! Normally I wouldn’t consider a leaking Schimel as they’re quite a risk as you will learn later.

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The “Firefly” (unguarded trigger) by Edwin Anson & Company (1925-1933)

Readers may remember in my last article that I described Anson’s guarded Firefly in considerable detail and contrasted it against known unguarded Firefly air pistols. At the time when the article was originally written, Jimmie Dee’s Airguns did not have an “unguarded trigger” example in the collection. In early 2016, that changed…

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Leather seals…

Some time ago I decided to try to make some new leather seals for a 1925 Anson Firefly and a 1925 Frank Clarke Briton. The seals in the Briton were almost non-existent. They hadn’t been cared for and were crumbling to pieces. The seals on the Firefly had worn out around the barrel and so it had little to no power.

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The “Firefly” (guarded trigger) by Edwin Anson & Company (1925-1933)

The Anson Firefly is a small pistol based on the pop-out design that was originally patented by Henry Quackenbush in 1877. Quackenbush was an exceptional and prolific American air gun designer of the late 19th century and whilst he is credited as the original designer of the pop-out pistol, he never produced one. Strangely enough, Quackenbush’s design went on to become the most copied and successful of all air pistols. [1]

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The Briton (Second Model) “Deluxe” variant by Frank Clarke (ca. late 1930s or late 1940s to ca. 1950s)

Following on from a previous article about Frank Clarke’s “Briton” (second model) air pistol, this one is almost identical except it has white plastic grip inserts (although they appear yellow in the photographs, trust me, they are white) rather than an all pressed steel body. Continue reading “The Briton (Second Model) “Deluxe” variant by Frank Clarke (ca. late 1930s or late 1940s to ca. 1950s)”

The Briton (Second Model) by Frank Clarke (1931 to 1939)

This is Franke Clarke’s second model of “The Briton” that he produced. They were manufactured between 1931 and 1939 although advertisements were still seen up to 1956. Thus production may have resumed after the end of the second world war. If not, there must have been a lot of pre-war stock still available. It’s hard to think that would be the case if they were recycling steel for the war effort. [1] Continue reading “The Briton (Second Model) by Frank Clarke (1931 to 1939)”

Restoration Project – FB Record Champion – Part 2

About 18 months ago I started work on a rough and broken Record Champion air pistol. These air pistols are quite rare and very unique and so are very worthy of restoration and repair. Not only do they have a concentric oval piston and seal, but they are also side-lever cocking with a twelve-shot stick magazine that slides into the grip. Additionally, it has an adjustable two-stage trigger and a dovetail rail on which you could fit a pistol scope! How’s that for a feature-packed spring powered air pistol? Continue reading “Restoration Project – FB Record Champion – Part 2”

Service Guide for the FB Record Jumbo

In this article, for a change from writing historical pieces, I am going to write a guide that details how to disassemble a Record Jumbo. Why the change Jimmie? Well, I bought this pistol rather cheaply at a bring and buy sale some years ago. Bargain it was or so I thought. When I got it home when I soon realised it wasn’t such a good deal. It would not fire a pellet at all…. Continue reading “Service Guide for the FB Record Jumbo”

Heym LP103 Air Pistol (1949 to c.1956)

This is the “Heym” pop-out air pistol. It was manufactured by F. W. Heym GmbH & Co. K.G. of Münnerstadt in Germany from 1949 to circa 1956. According to the Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols, it is said that approximately 1,500 of these air pistols were manufactured between 1949 and 1952. That’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things which makes this a pretty rare air pistol to find today. [1] Continue reading “Heym LP103 Air Pistol (1949 to c.1956)”

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A Diana (Milbro) “double metal” target holder. It was designed to be used with either darts or pellets and may have been manufactured in the 1970s. These are a rare find as most would have been well used and eventually thrown away. To find one complete with its box, darts, targets and wooden block was a very lucky find! It was probably found in someone’s late grandfather’s draw or attic which had been stored away and forgotten about.

Until next time, happy shooting!

Jimmie Dee

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A Webley and Scott pre-war .22 calibre pellet tin. These tins are distinctly different from the more common post-war tin. They are also quite rare in comparison. The most notable difference between the pre-war and post-war tins is the singular rifle reference. This is because when these tins were produced in the late 1930s, Webley and Scott were producing only one model of air rifle, the MKII Service Air Rifle. Production of the MKI had ceased a few years earlier.

Until next time, happy shooting!

Jimmie Dee

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