By Tom Gaylord, July 2013

John Whiscombe hand-made every one of the fewer than 450 airguns that bear his name. He invented a special cocking linkage that allows two pistons to be withdrawn at the same time. It takes 3 cocking strokes to cock the most powerful rifle models and two for the rest. The gun will not fire until fully cocked. I looked on the internet and found the total number of rifles he made to be 416.

Tom Gaylord Whiscombe Rifle

When the rifle fires, the 2 pistons come together like the clapping of hands, adding 50 percent more power to the shot. Yet as powerful as his rifles are, they do not recoil!

When it was last sold, a complete rifle like the one I showed on American Airgunner Episode 7 2013, with 4 barrels of different calibers (.177, .20, .22 and .25) — each with the Harmonic Optimized Tuning System (HOTS), cost $2,250- $2,800, depending on the grade of wood it came with. John Whiscombe stopped making rifles a couple years ago and today a complete set like the one on the show will bring $8,000-10,000.

Whiscombe rifles are known as the spring rifles that shoot like pre-charged rifles (because they are so accurate and they don’t recoil).

John worked out of his British garage, which is just large enough to house an Austin Mini.

John is still alive, but he has retired from the airgun making trade.

Watch Episode 7 of American Airgunner via YouTube/AmericanAirgunner.