Looking at buying some older airguns, but have had no success finding anything about them? How or where can you start looking? Jonathan Young helps out…
Sometimes it’s as difficult to find data on a recent airgun as something made 120 years ago. Many manufacturers have disappeared or have been absorbed, so we have little chance of finding company archives or even an employee who may remember something! Try to speak to people: visit your gun shop or join a club where older members may have bought your type of gun when new and can fill in the blanks. Online forums were once valid, but much of that first-hand knowledge base has diminished, and now a simple query can degenerate into many “possibly, maybes”.
A general online search may reveal a very old forum posting of much more relevance. The best advice, however, is nearly always based on available literature, so seek the reference material out for yourself. There have been some books printed, but even better are older airgun magazines, and not necessarily those from the UK either.
One torn and dog-eared mag may have a review of your specific airgun or an advert answering all your questions, saving months wasted online. They’re invaluable and useful in any condition – but they do take up a lot of space! If you happen to find any old leaflets, catalogues or owners’ manuals relevant to your interest, snap these up too. All are useful, if a little expensive, and some are now considered collectible.