by B.B. Pelletier
I have a real treat for everyone! A new book about airguns has just been published, and it’s one I know you’re going to enjoy. It’s the QB78 Family Workshop Manual by Stephen Archer, and it’s all about the QB78 CO2 rifle. When I say “all about,” I’m not exaggerating!
Everything you ever wanted to know about the QB78!
What’s a QB78?
The QB78 is a modern version of Crosman’s famous 160/167 air rifle. I wrote about it on November 7, 2006. Many of you already know what a fine air rifle it is. For those who don’t, some research is in order. Before the 78 was available, people were paying up to $250 to get a Crosman 160, because the supply is limited and the rifle has some great features. The QB78 is essentially the 160 made for everyone.
In just the first scan of this book, I learned that my velocity recollections for the 78 are incorrect. I had the .177 down for 700+ and the .22 for 600 f.p.s. But the author tested many rifles and presents a table of observed velocities that are quite a bit lower. He also shows the factory spec for both calibers and where actual rifles he has tested fall against it! You usually can’t buy that kind of data. The rifles I tested must have been tuned before they were sent to me.
But the best part of this book are the technical details about the rifle. It starts by assembling a tool kit and takes you through complete disassembly of the rifle, adjustments, repairs and troubleshooting. Determining what to fix by where the gas escapes the gun is very helpful info, and that’s just one of the tidbits I picked up in this book. The instructions are specific and complete, and they take you all the way down to every part of the gun. Even the complete valve disassembly is described in detail. Assembly instructions are far more comprehensive than the usual “do everything in reverse.” You are shown special assembly tips and even told how and what to lubricate as you assemble.
This book is filled with charts of caliber-specific velocity and accuracy gathered from hundreds of individual tests. For example, Archer charts the power curve of both calibers as it relates to the ambient temperature. I had a question this week about how airguns do in heat; this book shows how the QB78 is affected, degree by degree. You might be surprised to know there is a power downturn as the temperature gets up over 96 degrees F, so shooters in Las Vegas aren’t always in the ideal circumstances we sometimes think they are.
Another reader asked several months ago if I would address customizing airguns with various accessories. This book gets into that, telling you how to change the stock, installing a custom bolt handle, fitting a sling, refinishing a wood stock and bedding the action, and converting the rifle from 12-gram cartridges to bulk-fill.
The book is filled with detailed photos and line drawings. The author has pictured aspects of the technical work that are difficult to convey with words, and there are many assembly drawings of parts, such as the valves. There’s also a numbered parts list that translates Crosman 160 parts numbers to QB numbers where the parts interchange. Where they don’t interchange, you are told what doesn’t work (and sometimes why).
The 88-page book is available from the author. Contact him at www.archerairguns.com. The price is $24.95 and $5 shipping to any address in the 50 States and $10 to the rest of the world.