Airgun Publications

Only a handful of periodicals in the U.S. currently deal exclusively with airguns. The outstanding Airgun Letter and its sub-publication, the Airgun Revue, now replaced by Airgun Illustrated magazine and the former Rimfire and Airgun, which replaced U.S. Airgun and the former American Airgunner, which replaced Airgun News & Report, are but a few.

Two American gun magazines, The Rifle and Guns, feature airgun columns, while most American gun magazines, such as The American Rifleman, Guns and Ammo, Sports Afield, have only occasional airgun articles. The magazines, Precision Shooting and The Accurate Rifle, perhaps the best shooting magazines in the English language, frequently present excellent article on airguns. The National Rifle Association, as part of its new program to promote airguns, promises to have one airgun article in at least one of their several publications each month.

Airgunners should obtain each volume of The Air Gun Digest; the first edition by Robert Beeman 1977, and the second and third editions by Jess Galan 1988, 1995. A small monthly publication, Airgun Ads, consists completely of advertisements for airguns and accessories, primarily vintage and modern working specimens, but sometimes includes antique models.

In addition to following the current airgun periodicals, one cannot remain current without consulting the latest editions of airgun catalogs from Beeman Precision Airguns, Dynamit-Nobel RWS, and Air Rifle Specialties. After these, the literature to seek will depend on what kind of airguns have become of greatest interest to you.

Airgun collectors will be familiar with The Art of Airgun Collecting Beeman, 1977. At this time, your best starting point is the First Edition of the Blue Book of Airguns by Dennis Adler. For American BB and pellet guns, the most basic references are The American BB Gun – A Collectors’ Guide. The American BB Gun -A Collector’s Guide, Know Your Sheridan Rifles and Pistols (Elbe, 1992), It’s a Daisy! (Cass Hough, with Jack Powers, 1976), and the excellent series of books written and published by Dean Fletcher including: The Complete Benjamin Book, The St. Louis and Benjamin Air Rifle Co.’s, 75 Years of Crosman Airguns, The Crosman Arms Library CD, and several books on individual models or groups of Crosman airguns. A most unusual and most welcome addition to the airgun literature was made by Fletcher’s undated CD” The Crosman Arms Library”. This huge supplement to his Crosman books contains 888 high resolution full color 24-bit scans of Crosman literature. Fletcher provides manufacturing dates for Daisy airguns in The Chronology of Daisy Air Guns 1900-1981. Daisy airgun fans are delighted with the November 2002 publication of Neal Punchard’s Daisy Air Rifles & BB Guns, The First 100 Years, a 156 page hardbound book with 300 color illustrations.

A rather special development in airgun literature is represented by a series of books being produced by British authors G. Baker and C. Currie. Their plan is to use their engineering and gunsmithing background to present the exact details of famous airguns. This is being done in the form of detailed photos, full scale drawings and hand measurements of each piece of the guns under study. The series goes under the name of The Construction and Operation of the Air Gun. Vol.1

Steve Fjestad’s outstanding Blue Book of Gun Values series has been the only general gun guide to list the values of modern and some vintage airguns. Airgun collectors, and airgun buyers or sellers should try to obtain the First Edition and Second Edition of the Blue Book of Airguns.

Brett Reno (2001) has done airgunners a tremendous favor by printing his Airgun Index and Value Guide. This is a ring binder with over 150 pages of information on 1800 different airguns.

Leading American airgun collector Larry Hannusch has published (2001) Pneumatic Reflections, a compilation of the last twenty years of his interesting and well done airgun history articles.

Those who are interested in the older airguns should obtain, or at least regularly consult, the indispensable, but extremely expensive 2287 page, three volume Heer der Neue Støckel (Heer, 1978) which catalogs virtually all gunmakers from 1400 to 1900. Finally, scour books, old arms auction catalogs, and journals directed to antique firearm collectors, such as Man at Arms, Gun Report for their rare references to airguns. For instance, the beautiful book, The Mortimer Gunmakers, 1753-1923 (Munson, 1992) has excellent material on, and wonderful illustrations of, the elegant air rifles made by the Mortimer family in the 1700’s to early 1900’s.

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