Read the manual!

by B.B. Pelletier

This post is for me. I answer questions posted to this blog every day, 365 days a year, except when I’m out of the country. Some of those questions are simple, fundamental things that are explained in the owner’s manual that comes with a gun. In fact, a lot of the time, I end up reading the manual and quoting it back to the person who asked the question (and he should have a copy of the manual tucked in the same box the gun came in). Since I don’t own every airgun ever made, I use the excellent online owner’s manual library right here on Pyramyd Air.

What to expect in an owner’s manual
A good owner’s manual tells you important things, such as how to load the repeater’s magazine. Some folks look at an airgun and assume it works like a firearm they’re familiar with. With airguns, that’s usually wrong. I remember once handing an Colt M1911A1 to a guy who, “Knew all about the 1911,” only to have the dummy dump a brand new CO2 cartridge when he attempted to pry the “magazine” out of the gun. What he did was press the button that, on the firearm, would release the mag. On the CO2 pistol, it pops out the left grip panel. By prying down on the “magazine” floorplate, he really worked the cam lever that relaxes tension on the cartridge! Big laugh for him, and half a buck out of my pocket.

Then, there was the guy who “Knew all about the M16,” so I let him shoot my Armalite (Classic Army) M15A4 airsoft gun…unsupervised. I got it back with the charging handle pulled out and the spring broken. There was absolutely no operational reason for him to pull that handle, but he “Knew all about the M16″ so he just did it anyway! That one cost more to fix.

I’ve seen firsthand the guy who doesn’t read a manual and jumps into the gun just far enough to screw it up. However, when someone posts a comment to this blog, I have to take his word that he knows what he’s doing. Sometimes, if I ask enough pointed questions, the guy will reveal that he hasn’t got a clue how his gun operates, and then we can get to fixing the problem. I always wonder where the owner’s manual is while this is going on.

All manuals are not the same
Owners’ manuals range from very comprehensive and detailed to the bare minimum. The German, Austrian and American manuals are the best. They show the most detail and are usually written in tutorial terms that assume little gun experience on the reader’s part. The Spanish and Russian manuals are good, but can be a little thin. The Russians are better, but they often don’t pay to have their words properly translated, although EAA has gone far in correcting this. The Chinese and UK manuals are the worst, and it differs from maker to maker and even gun to gun. It’s not unusual to get a Xeroxed pamphlet from a UK maker when buying a $2,000 airgun! The Chinese don’t bother to translate their manuals well, resulting in hard-to-follow English. Other Asian countries are somewhat better than the Chinese, though in some cases they ship guns without manuals!

What manuals don’t contain
There’s been a shift away from providing detailed information over the past 25 years. It’s not common for a manual written today to contain disassembly instructions or a schematic or even a parts list for the airgun. Oddly, the more expensive guns are the ones that do still have this info, and the UK manuals that I just criticized are also the ones that tell you step-by-step how to disassemble their guns! My Whiscombe came with a Xeroxed pamphlet that has such instructions. However, the Brits still write at a very high level, so you are expected to know the language well if you want to follow their instructions.

Most manuals tell you how to cock, load and charge the airgun but not how to tear it down or make repairs. That’s fair. After all, your car owner’s manual doesn’t tell you how to rebuild the engine, either!

Bottom of the home page
If you lose track of this posting, you can always access the manuals library from the home page of Pyramyd Air’s website. Scroll to the bottom and click on “Manuals” under the “Customer Support” heading.

83 thoughts on “Read the manual!

  1. a late night (early morning?) check of the blog and look! a new entry! timezones.

    the diana i bought had a very, very sparse manual. i cant recall where it disappeared to, so i cant reference, but they even skimped out on describing how to work the action! my CZ was a whole different world. the manual was more like a small book, all in gloss and filled with pictures. and then there was still more reading to do after all that.
    well, i suppose i’ve whined about not having a CZ a little much, but its only because diana failed miserably with the model 20. not to mention, my sporting goods store now stocks the 24 for only $30 more… blarg. too many lemons makes sour lenonade.


  2. Yup, get the gun and throw the rest away. I get it all the time also, don’t feel bad, real men don’t need no stinking manual until it’s to late. First thing I do is read the sucker and if I have any questions is is call the person or company I bought it from. Please folks readem’ and make sure.


  3. A new question– What is “green gas” actually composed of? How is it different from CO2? Is it interchangeable
    with CO2? Since CO2 is so readily available and an established technology, is there any real advantage to using
    green gas?


  4. The EAA I think gives you there version of the manual, not the ones that are found on the manufacturer’s site, (i.e IZH/Baikal) but they are very close.



  5. Green gas is propane, perhaps mixed with some other gasses, but essentially propane. There are those who swear that it isn’t, but you can adapt a green gas gun to work on propane, plus green gas smells like propane. And insiders have admitted to me that it is propane.

    The advantage is it works at low pressure 100-115 psi, so the gun can be made of lighter materials. CO2 works at 850-900 psi and tends to destroy plastic guns. It’s also more temperture dependent than green gas.

    B.B.

    B.B.


  6. Crosman is great with their manuals! If you lose your manually or you want an exploded view, you can download a manual or diagram for most of Crosman’s guns from the Crosman site. For their newer guns (e.g. 2300S), you can call and they will email you an electronic manual.

    .22 multi-shot



  7. So is green gas better minus the danger? There is a paintball gun that runs on a propane tank like the one on a camping stove, and it gets 15000 shots from a single tank.
    Tipman c3




  8. No problem. Though I thought I should mention that I have nothing to do with that site or Airsoft Innovations or even own a GBB. In fact, given that you are dealing with propane, using that adaptor seems like a pretty risky idea if you don’t know what you are doing. Do Green Gas cannisters have warning labels about open flames?

    Bert



  9. maybe pressurized things DO have labels, but remember the episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” where the salesman patient, while sniffing from an O2 cannula up both nostrils, tried to light a cigareette ? the label on the wall of his hospital room about use of oxygen didn’t help ! Better to release a little more CO2 into the atmosphere and take the abuse of global warming zealots than incinerate yourself while practicing a hobby ! On another aspect of manuals, how many airgunners out there are or know folks with military experience ? What’s the first thing a GI is always supposed to do when issued a new item of equipment, after signing for it ? READ THE -10 MANUAL AND DO THE PMCS ! (And if there was no manual, go find somebody who will let him photocopy theirs !


  10. Can you do a post on Chinese airguns. I know a lot of people aren’t fond of them, but an equal amount say they are great. The kermit airgun club site has some info that recomeds the $20 and $50 models. I just want to know if they are worth the $20 even just to kill cans at 25 feet




  11. Can I do a post on Chinese airguns?

    You mean besides the multi-parters on the BAM B40 in both calibers, the multi-part on the B26, The Tech Force 99, the QB 78, and the Remington Genesis?

    Besides those, you mean?

    B.B.





  12. Brian,

    I have a B3-1 scheduled already. That’s about as cheap as they get.

    I’m not going to tune it, but I will get somebody who has tuned Chinese airguns to do a guest blog or two and discuss his experiences with us.

    B.B.


  13. Some cheap chinese guns come with a very poor metal finish; some look sharp. Apparently they consider pine or spruce to be a VERY hard wood in China (or Kentucky where they get their advertising?)

    If you could tune one, it would be great because they all are so buzzy. some just won’t shoot, another I had shot ok but only after I put heavy grease on the mainspring and balanced it over my shoulder like a rocket launcher.



  14. BB,

    Are you sure the Remington Genesis is Chinese? I know the Quest/Phantom is (used to be called the B19), but I thought the Genesis was based on the American-made Legacy 1000…

    Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t believe that the propane adapter is really any more risky than the green gas cans. I’ve got one, and I’m not quite sure how I could make it dangerous (and I’m usually pretty good at that kind of stuff!).

    If anything, I suspect that the relatively thin-walled, aluminum green-gas canisters would be more fragile than the steel Bernz-O-Matic canisters you can buy at Walmart.


  15. i woud expect that green gas cans are fragile. i did some reseach on this a year ago and found that propane adapters are not really worth it.
    1. the adapter alone costs $30 and if you buy in bulk you could buy at least 3 or 4 can of green gas for the same price.enough to get you through 20000 bbs.
    2. most green gas has silicone oil mixed in and blows through the seals and valves and also helpes with slide movment.with propane you have to put a drop a oil in with the propane.
    3. most sporting goods stors now cary green gas because airsoft has become so popular.
    i did read that propane tanks do have pressure relief valves. so if its sitting in a hot shed in the summer the valve will open on its own when the tank pressure gets so high the tank would explodes. this is just an added saftey feature. i am also aware that green gas cans do not have this pressure relief system


  16. A good price on a can of green gas is $10 for about 560 gr. of gas, for propane it’s about $3 for 400 gr. That comes out to about 56 vs. 133 grams of gas per dollar.

    At that rate, you’d have to buy about 2900 grams of gas to save $30 with propane. This is about 6 cans of green gas. If you’ve shot at least 6 cans of green gas, the propane adapter would have paid for itself.

    The picture doesn’t change much when you buy bulk, if you consider the fact that propane can sometimes be bought on sale. And propane canisters are much more universally available.

    Don’t know how you can get 20,000 shots out of “3 or 4 cans” – that’d be 5000-7000 shots per can, which would be 200+ refills in a 25round gun PER CAN.

    Yes, you DO have to manually add a little oil to the propane… but at least that way you KNOW the oil is in there. Green gas is supposed to contain oil – but I’m not sure it always does.


  17. I asked the question about green gas. I’m surprised that it might be propane if it doesn’t have warning labels
    about flammability. Seems to me that would be regulated by the feds. And chlorodifluoromethane is FREON, which is pretty tightly controlled now since it is chewing up the ozone layer and definitely NOT green in any way.


  18. This one might be a dumb question.
    But howcome green gas is called “green gas”? is it supposed to be more environmentally friendlier than CO2?
    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I’m not sure where else I can get the answer.

    Thanks,
    -newbie in airsoft


  19. Pellgunoil in springers

    Vince said he thought Pellgunoil was not to be used in springers as a piston lube. I thought Pellgunoil was a silicone lube, and hence not likely to contribute to any detonation. Am I wrong?

    Thanks – Gazza.


  20. i looked around, and a post on airsoft canada says that freon was the “old skool” version of green gas. its true name is hfcfc22. apparently someone got confused and mashed propane in that formula, which is hfc22. more confusing still, is that Airsoft Innovations looked at the chemical formula and found it to be false on green gas/propane cans. quote from their page:
    “The molecule emblazoned on gas cans (CH2FCF3CH3) is fictitious: carbon does not have enough available. electron valences to hang onto that many hydrogen and fluorine atoms (remember highschool chemistry?). It also does not appear on any lists of refrigerants currently used.”
    for being named green gas, i can only guess that the industry is trying to adapt a color codew for their gasses. for example, hfc134a or “blue gas”, c02 or “black gas”. a taiwanese manufacturer named their gas green gas, and others followed suit with other names.
    i use pellgunoil in my springer, but its a sub 500 fps gun. bb reccomends rmoil, but in my experience pellgunoil works fine though there is some smoke in the bore when freshly applied, making me believe it could detonate in a magnum gun.

    something interesting i found, you can purchase .22 barrels for the model 24, making it a very appetizing buy. theyre sold on airgun express a.k.a. pyramyd.


  21. Green gas,

    Guys, the name Green Gas was chosen because it sounds environmentally friendly. That’s simply marketing. You don’t really believe that everything calling itself “green” really is safe for the environment, do you?

    Yes there is a flammibility warning on green gas containers. Most of the containers are made of aluminum and are considered HAZMAT. They cannot be shipped by air. There are now a few steel DOT-approved containers on the market.

    As frar as what thew chemical composition of green gas is, this stuff changes faster than the Asian websites can keep up, so don’t go by what you find on the internet.

    B.B.


  22. Gazza,

    Yes Pellgunoil is silicone, but what is the flashpoint? I don’;t know and Crosman recommends RM oil for spring chambers, so I don’t recommend Pellgunoil for guns unless thay don’t generate a lot of adiabatic heat (like the R7).

    B.B.


  23. WHAT?!?!?! THE WORD “GREEN” DOES NOT EQUAL GOOD AND WONDERFUL?!?!?!

    Man, there goes MY bubble! Sorry, BB – it’s gonna take me a while to get over this one…


  24. New Phantom
    Just got my Phantom last week. Out of the box can shoot touching holes at 10 meters w/ crosman wad cs, will try 25 to 50 meters later. If all chinese air guns can shoot like that, no need to spend
    top dollar for Dianas,etc…and if there’s such a thing called breaking in a springer, it just might do even better…



  25. Also, I’m thinking of the Beretta Elite II air pistol if that doesnt work out…I see no specs other than that it has 480 fps…can you clarify about it?


  26. Michael N.,

    I don’t see any indication that Crosman clips can be used in Umarex guns. Therefore, I would have to say they don’t.

    As for the Beretta Elite II, it’s a new model. It’s double action only, so there is no blowback. It holds 19 BBs. It has a Weaver mount under the slide for a laser or tactical flashlight.

    B.B.


  27. Also, are there extra clips I could buy for the Beretta? I would think that 19 BBs wouldn’t waste the whole CO2, so I’m looking for more mags.



  28. Thanks, I would have impulse bought some other clip that wouldn’t have fit, if you didn’t tell about the lag between extras and gun.


  29. I’m also looking at the 1088. Before I buy, can you see if you can find a manual or tell me how it loads? I know it’s not very important, it probably loads like the 1008, but could you check?


  30. Does the 1088 have one of those new “slide-release” buttons that open up the magazine loading area automatically, like the T4, or is it manually operated? I’m really just looking for a CO2 pistol that could fit into a holster, has an easy load mechanism, and that the pistol alone burns at the most, $100.




  31. I was wondering something, if the airgun manufacturers could make more money off of selling extra magazines, why don’t they set up the extra mags when the gun comes out?


  32. Michael,

    This is a chicken & egg dilemma. Before the gun comes out, there’s no need for the magazine. When the gun is first built, it takes all of the production capacity to get guns to market.

    B.B.


  33. Two last things: how many shots can the Beretta get off before reloading the CO2, and how is the Powerline 953 cocked? Pump, then bolt-cycling, or vice versa?


  34. Michael,

    I assume you are talking about the Beretta Elite II. Since I haven’t tested it yet, this is just a guess, but I’d say it gets at least 50 shots per powerlet.

    The Daisy 953 is a single stroke pneumatic. Pump the gun once, then cycle the bolt and load.

    B.B.



  35. Okay, so now I’m down to the 953 and the Crosman 3576W for target shooting. Will the 0407T speedloader or the 953 clips work with hollowpoints? I need hollowpoints because the target is a phone book, 25′ away, so I need pentration to be able to tell if I hit it.






  36. Michael,

    For a circular clip a wadcutter is always the best choice. But the guns you have selected are not powerful, so the penetration that you talked about isn’t something they will be good at.

    B.B.




  37. I know it’s a question probably already answered by your “low penetration” quote, but should I use hollowpoints to prevent the chance of the pellet passing through the target, possibly hitting something I wouldn’t want to pay for?


  38. Michael,

    Penetration depends on energy and what’s there to stop the pellet. For example, a chipmunk isn’t going to stop a hollowpoint from a 1,000 f.p.s. air rifle unless he’s hit at 50 yards or more.

    Hollowpoints tend to penetrate the least, followed closely by wadcutters.

    I suggest you shoot different pellets at modeling clay to learn the penetration characteristics.

    B.B.


  39. Would your homemade ballistic gel formula work? I would think that semi-transparent would funtion better than an opaque material in terms of penetration.




  40. Since my backstop has proven useless against my slingshot, I’m thinking of buying a GAMO 850 carbine to try to punch holes through that phonebook I mentioned earlier. Will it punch through with Crosman Premier Super Points, or maybe Premier Ultra Magnums?



  41. I know that most of my questions are all over the place in terms of subject, as you can infer, I’m a tad bit indecisive, but how do bipods affect spring-piston rifle accuracy?


  42. Michael,

    Bipods that attach to the barrel change the vibration of the barrel, which changes where the rifle shoots, and sometimes how well it groups. If you set the rifle up to rest on the bipod insteasd of it just tucked away on the barrel, it changes the vibration pattern again. Now you are connected to the ground and vibration nodes change.

    Bipods that attach to the stock are a smaller problem.


  43. Would a Gel Shooting Support take the vibration problem out of the question, and also let me take advantage of more vantage points?


  44. Michael,

    The Gel Shooting Support pad is a substitute for the open palm of your hand FOR SOME SPRING GUNS. It doesn’t seem to work for all of them.

    It would be simpler and cheaper to start with one and graduate to the bipod much later, when your shooting technique has been refined by experience.

    Do you own a gun yet?

    B.B.


  45. No, as I mentioned earlier, I don’t have a particular choice in mind.

    I’m flip-flopping between the {Beeman SS550 with C. Super Points, [possibly] a gel shooting support, and a pelletholder}, and the {Powerline 953 again with extra clips and a Daisy 4x15mm scope}.

    In case you can think of a better choice, I’m looking for a $140 max target gun[with accessories] that can also take squirrels(with head shots, mind you), as they are a nuisance around the orange trees.

    Thanks again for answering my constant barrage of questions, I’m a debate kind of guy…


  46. Michael,

    Neither gun has enough power for squirrels. They are target guns, only and the 550 is just for plinking (too inaccurate for target).

    In your price range, get the Daisy 22SG and use Gamo Hunters.

    B.B.


  47. Would a Mendoza RM-200 Grey work? I’m thinking I need a gun that blends in well with Floridian soil, as my “squirrels” are appearing more and more like chipmunks, because they’re up in the trees and on the fence every time I shoo them away.

    Should the fact that they’re chipmunks and not squirrels change my weapon of choice?


  48. Michael,

    Chipmunks are easier game than squirrels. The .177s you mentioned before would be enough for them.

    The Mendoza 200 would also be a good choice, and, being a .22, it would really do a number on chipmunks.

    B.B.


  49. Just to be careful, what pellet would I use in the Mendoza RM-200? I ask because in your review of said gun, you mentioned that if the pellet doesn’t fit the bore properly, like Crosman Premiers do, the accuracy will suffer. The pellets I’m leaning toward are Gamo Hunters.



  50. How effective would GAMO Tomahawks be in the Beeman SS550? The 750 ct pointed hollowpoints is looking very interesting, and may override my choice of the RM-200.



  51. I’ve finally decided on the Crosman 2260, because of its power, no recoil, and the bolt action. What is a good all-purpose pellet that you would recommend for the 2260?



  52. How long would you recommend I should wait between shots, to avoid Powerlet freezing? Also, what would be the fastest I could fire without a significant loss of CO2 pressure?



  53. What is your experience with .22 RWS Superdomes? The medium weight leads me to believe that they would have both a flat trajectory and good striking power.



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