Target Products Corp. - Boone Air Pistol
Target Products Corp. - Boone Air Pistol.
With thanks to Sean Campbell, imaging manager of the Buffalo Bill Centre of the West in Cody, Wyoming, for permission to post this pic of a gun held in the Cody Firearms Museum. The blurb accompanying this gun follows.
Accession Number: 1993.8.66
Date : c. 1930-1940
Dimensions: L: 9.75 in, H: 5 in
Credit Line: Gift of Thomas K. Hutchinson
Remarks: Aluminum die-cast body, steel barrel.
Inscription: left side of receiver: PAT APPLIED FOR
Synopsis: firearm- pistol- airgun- American- Unknown- steel- aluminum- left side of receiver: PAT APPLIED FOR- .177- Aluminum die-cast body, steel barrel.
With thanks to Jim for the following two pics.
More on this pistol at www.cinedux.com
Target Products Corp. - Boone Air Pistol - Boxed, David Swan Collection.
With thanks to Rod Meek of Anderson & Garland Auctioneers (www.andersonandgarland.com) for permission to post these pics of a gun auctioned in 2015.
"A Boone BB air pistol, circa 1948, with ring pull forward action, black painted metal body, 9 1/2in. overall length, with box.
Hammer Price: £70.00"
Boone air pistol (repeater?)
With thanks to John G for these pics.
John's post on the airgunbbs.com was as follows:
"Bottom drawer oddities. Number 2. The enigmatic Boone.
Continuing the saga of my bottom drawer orphans, the second gun I found was a rather battered Boone Target air pistol. I remembered that I had stashed it away a long time ago with the intention of restoring it at some later date, but having since picked up a nicer example it had descended way down my priority list and joined the forgotten few.
So why does this one have any curiosity value? Well, the Boone pistol is a little known pistol, and it has a body that is riveted together rather than screwed, and so it is impossible to get into without major surgery. As they are so rare (particularly in the UK) , for many years no one had the courage to take one apart and examine its internals and so for a long time its detailed construction was something of a mystery. In fact, so much so that back in the 1980’s the late great collector Dr Joe Gilbart went to the extreme measure of X-raying an example to find out more about its construction. Because the main body of the pistol is aluminium the X-rays could penetrate this easily and the steel and brass parts then showed up as white areas on a black background. This was the image he obtained:
This must be the only example of X-raying of an airgun ever attempted. It was not until several years later that a patent drawing was located, showing the construction details.
Anyway, to get back to my own pistol, someone had removed the three rivets from the frame and replaced them with nuts and bolts, presumably to carry out some sort of repair. As a result the pistol was easy to take apart and its internals could be examined at leisure. Here are some pictures I took.
It is a very simple design and has a one-piece trigger/sear unit. The lower part of the looped cocking rod slides in a groove cast into the frame. When the spring is fully compressed the end of the cocking rod is intercepted by the sear and holds it back. The barrel is a brass tube fixed on top of the air cylinder, and when the gun is assembled it sits inside a false barrel housing.
The piston head is just a leather washer sandwiched between two steel washers.
The Boone is unique (I believe) in being the only spring air pistol that is muzzle loaded. So to load it you have to roll a BB shot down the barrel when it is trapped just ahead of the air transfer port by a constriction of the bore diameter. This works surprisingly well and once the BB is in place it is virtually impossible to dislodge it just by shaking and banging the barrel. In fact it works so well I though it must have a magnetic trap of some sort, but as 4.4mm lead balls work just as well it must be just friction that holds the shot in place.
It is easy to cock, but you have to remember to keep your fingers out of the way of the cocking rod, which flies backwards on firing.
You would think that having a bore that lets the shot roll freely down it would lead to very low power and hopeless accuracy, but I was amazed to find that my better example gave consistently more than 240 fps muzzle velocity with steel BB’s. The accuracy wasn’t too bad either for this type of gun and was in fact vastly better than the G10 pistol. A minty G10 gave only about 150 fps with steel BB’s and yet in my opinion is no easier to cock than the Boone.
You can read more about the Boone here:
So as far as my old Boone pistol goes, I think I will have a go at threading the holes in the frame and replacing the nuts and bolts with less obtrusive screws. This will not only look more like the original gun but will still give easy access if needed. I will probably then be moving the gun on as, interesting as they are, who really needs two Boones?
Vic Turner has reminded me that many Daisy single shot air rifles were muzzle loaders, so I was wrong in saying that the Boone was the only muzzle loading spring airgun. I have now amended this to "only muzzle loading spring air pistol", which I believe is still true. Thanks Vic.
On another matter, I have come across an old advert for the private sale of a repeating version of the Boone. It states that the magazine is in the grip. I have not been able to find any literature to back up the existence of such a thing, so has anyone ever seen any mention of a repeater version before?
According to the seller's ad (unfortunately I can't find a record of where I saw it) it is in his words "fed from the rear; turn upside down and gravity feed into chamber." The breech plug is certainly different from the usual. Could the pistol be an amateur's modification or a manufacturer's prototype? The riveted construction suggests it could even be a production model despite the lack of any advertising literature."