By B.B. Pelletier
Today we'll look at a problem some spring guns have in abundance - too much vibration!
What causes vibration in a spring gun?
Vibration is caused when the moving parts of the powerplant have too much clearance. The moving parts include the piston with its seal, the mainspring, the spring guide and sometimes other parts - such as the piston liner (inside the piston), which removes some of the clearance between the mainspring and the piston wall. Technically, this last part isn't supposed to move, but if it gets bent during operation it can cause vibration.
Do powerful guns vibrate more?
More power isn't really an indicator of a tendency to vibrate. In fact, some very powerful spring rifles hardly vibrate at all. Gas-powered piston guns, such as the Beeman RX-2, are among the smoothest, as far as vibration is concerned, though it may take a little time to get used to the quicker recoil.
You might even expect a powerful steel spring rifle like the Webley Patriot
to vibrate a lot, but it doesn't. Yes, you will feel some vibration, but compared to other spring guns, it isn't too bad. Now, RECOIL on a Patriot is a different story!
Webley and BSA know how to tame vibration
In my experience, both Webley and BSA spring rifles have been the most vibration-free airguns. Weihrauch guns usually vibrate more, and they also vary more, gun to gun. Most older Chinese airguns are pretty bad, but for some reason the newer ones are very nice. I think the Chinese have learned a lot about fitting powerplant parts in the last 10 years.
Gamo guns vibrate in the beginning and then become smooth!
Most new Gamo rifles I have shot seem to vibrate a lot. That said, you can significantly reduce the vibration just by continuing to shoot a Gamo rifle! It seems to take thousands of shots, but a well-used Gamo can be fairly smooth. Of all the Gamos, I find the Shadow 1000 to be the smoothest out of the box, though the Hunter 1250 Hurricane is surprisingly smooth, despite the power. The Hunter 220 has the most vibration of the Gamos I have tested.
Why would a formerly smooth gun now vibrate?
When a smooth spring gun all of a sudden starts to vibrate, it usually means the mainspring is canted (bent). Springs cant for a number of reasons, which I'll cover in another posting. However, I will tell you now that there is no grease that can stop a canted spring from vibrating. The only solution is to replace the spring.
There's a lot more to vibration than what I've written here, so look for more info in future postings.