Yale Engineering Co., Sydney,Australia made the CRACAJAC Airgun.
To cock,the barrel was pushed inward until the piston engaged the trigger sear.The barrel was then pulled forward again.
Photo below shows the barrel pushed in.
I947 was a great year for me.I was mowing lawns,earning money and my "trading gene" was on the ascendancy.One day,a neighbour ,four years my senior, appeared at our back door.In his hand he held an item that made my heart skip a beat.It was an air rifle! "Wouldya like this Trev?"he asked.WOULD I! "Oh yes,"I managed."It'll costya a half crown",he rejoined. Well,a half dollar was what I charged to mow a lawn and at the time I was well fixed for coin. In a trice,a deal was done. Ken(the elder fellow) went on his way-(probably to buy a half-crown's worth of fags!)whilst I sat on our back porch and examined my purchase. I found out how to cock the darn thing but was disappointed to hear a weak dull thud when I squeezed the trigger.Not much going on in there,I thought.Best try it with a BB.It's a funny thing,I always had a few BBs in my pocket-no mystery though,I'd pick up previously shot ammo in the vacant section across the road.A lot of BB gun shooting went on in our street-particularly after all the kids had crowded the Crystal Palace to watch the exploits of the Durango Kid. Having primed my weapon I dropped a BB down the muzzle and pulled the trigger. Alas,no BB rocketed down range.Seems Ken had sold me a dunger.
Rather disheartened,I set about dismantling the useless beast. Many many minutes later I had my CRACAJAC in pieces.The insides were chokka with black grease,bent nails,broken matches and bits of gravel.I removed most of this muck with my hankie and a bit of cloth taken from the tail of my shirt(which I figured was a surplus piece of rag).Black grease spreads and sticks,I seemed to have the stuff all over me.However,the gun's bits and pieces were relatively clean,giving me a great sense of satisfaction. The reassembly of the gun did not go without incident and a couple of blood-letting injuries.But I got there! Now,when cocked,a burst of dirty air came from the muzzle.I popped another BB down the spout and fired at the hedge,some 20 yards away. My CRACAJAC lobbed it's missile straight into the foliage.This is GOOD,I thought.
I then repaired to the front yard,closed from the street by a big swing gate.I put a tin can on the gate and paced a few yards back from it. With great authority the rifle swung to my shoulder and I let fly at the can.It wasn't my fault I missed it(must have been the wind).My errant,overshot BB flew out into the roadway and by chance,mere chance,went through the rolled-down window of Mr Lorrison's pre-war Oldsmobile,inflicting a flesh wound on his cheek. Have you ever been dragged down to the Balmoral Police Station by your collar?NOT a pleasant experience,I can tell you. ""This kid,"roared the injured gent,"shot me in my car!Do something about him!". A huge overweight constable glared at me."What's your name?"he demanded. I'll never know what prompted my reply,well I DO know,it was a thing my dad used to say if everything was going wrong. "B*M,B*GG*R,B*TCH",I shouted. Where-upon the policeman grabbed a razor strop and belted me soundly.In those days it was OK for a copper to administer discipline on the spot,worse luck for me.
In all this hullaballoo,my not so trusty CRACAJAC went missing.I really didn't feel it was worthwhile complaining to anyone about this loss though......................
CRACAJAC's had the date of manufacture on the stock.
AR shot was stocked by all hardware shops.We(the kids,the shooters)erroneously referred to CRAC SHOT as "BB's".Hazardously,one would put a dozen rounds in one's mouth.Then, after cocking one's rifle,one spat a round down the muzzle! YEP!That's what "one" would do!
CRACAJAC Air Guns were advertised extensively in Australasia from 1946-56.They were easily the most successful airgun made in the colonies.
The New Zealand-made CEE BEE Airgun
As far as I'm aware,the only BB or slug gun made in New Zealand,was the "Cee Bee". An immediate post-WW II phenomenon,this wee gun was first made at an Onehunga workshop and then later at an engineering outfit at Penrose,on the southern outskirts of Auckland city. The "Cee Bee" was a bit of a toy. In the tradition of many BB guns,it was a muzzle-loading,shot-shooter. Locally made,AR "Crac Shot",worked just fine in it.An under-lever mechanism was used to cock the mainspring. The "Cee Bee" was a robust and rather unattractive gun that,as is said,"did the job".
The only marking on the otherwise anonymous "Cee Bee"".
How about this!Ron Young's three "Cee Bee"'s.
Another contemporary of the CRACAJAC was the Hornet. Made in Australia,this BB shooter was cocked by retracting a lever that lay parallel to the under-edge of the butt-stock when at rest. When pulled down and forward this lever retracted a rod attached to the gun's piston-until the trigger sear engaged with a notch. The Hornet did not sell well-maybe because the lever system was prone to pinch little hands.
Apologies for the rotten photos-the only ones I have!