HW 55 Tyrolean – Part 7 Time to test the tune

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Today, we’ll put the HW55 back together (finally!) and see how well it performs. You’ll recall that I cleaned, adjusted and lubricated the trigger in the last report. This will be the first time I’ve been able to examine the job with the rifle in the stock. That makes a huge difference in the feel.

Which mainspring?
You may also recall that I had a choice of mainsprings to try. In part 5 of the report, I talked about how to measure a mainspring before fitting it to the rifle. Well, I was surprised this time. The spring I chose was so close to the internal dimensions that, when it compressed, it became too large to fit and the rifle could not be cocked. The length was never an issue because I couldn’t break the barrel far enough to cock it anyway. My initial plan was to remove coils to get the right length, but that didn’t take the width of the compressed spring into account. On to plan B.

Plan B was to use a smaller spring that would certainly fit the rifle. And it did. In fact, it’s a much better fit than I had hoped to get. It’s only slightly smaller than the mainspring I took out of the rifle. I put just a kiss of black tar on the coils to dampen any vibration–so little that the spring now looks dirty rather than black. That’s going to give the max power the spring can generate, so let’s hope it has what it takes.

The spring guide is Delrin, a self-lubricating hard synthetic often called engineering plastic. That’s a modern change from the steel guide the 55 came with; being self-lubricating, it offers maximum velocity without lubricants. It fits the spring very snugly, so all hint of vibration is gone from that part of the gun.

The new spring expands to take up the entire inner space inside the piston, so another vibration cause is gone. When the rifle fires, the spring goes back to its almost uncompressed diameter. That’s where the hint of black tar should come in.

The piston seal got a coat of Beeman Metal-2-Metal moly paste. Some of that will burn off with the first hundred shots, but it will also burnish into the compression chamber walls where it’ll provide lubrication for many years to come. The last tuner did the same thing, so this gun is probably lubricated for at least the next 10 years. No chamber oil is required. The piston seal fits the chamber very tightly, so compression should remain at its peak for all that time.

This tune will either work well or not, and the only way to tell is to button up the rifle and shoot it. So that’s what I did. And the first shot was very satisfying. The gun is now a bona fide HW55! There’s no vibration and the trigger breaks as crisp as a glass rod snapping.

I found that the locking lever had been adjusted as loose as possible, but the mechanism was very dry so I lubricated it. That reduced the required effort to unlock the barrel a little, but not as much as I would have preferred. The rifle is still too new and needs a few thousand shots to wear in. The breech seal is in perfect shape and is sealing the barrel exactly as intended.

Cocking is still light and smooth, though the barrel does have to be pressed all the way back for the trigger to catch the sear. On the closing motion, the dreadful “ratchet-y” drag of the cocking arm over the mainspring has been reduced about 80 percent. You can still detect it, but it’s a world better than before.

The trigger is HW55-fabulous! I adjusted it to about 14 ozs. That’s heavy for a pure target rifle, but good for use by non-target shooters. It still takes getting used to, but it isn’t dangerous.

Velocity with Meisterkugelns
Before the tune, the rifle averaged 516 f.p.s. with RWS Meisterkugeln pellets. The extreme spread for 10 shots was 27 f.p.s. After the tune, it averages 546 f.p.s. with an extreme spread of 15 f.p.s. Slightly faster and considerably more uniform.

Velocity with RWS Hobbys
Before the tune, the Tyrolean averaged 598 f.p.s. with RWS Hobby pellets, and the extreme spread for 10 shots was 40 f.p.s. After the tune, it averages 631 f.p.s. with a spread of 15 f.p.s.

Velocity with blue-label target pellets
Before the tune, the rifle averaged 598 f.p.s. with the Chinese-made target pellets I use for air pistol competition The spread was 21 f.p.s. After the tune, it averages 633 f.p.s. with a spread of 19 f.p.s.

Bottom line
In summary, the tuneup turned out very well. The barrel lock still needs to be worked-in and there ‘s still some drag on the closing stroke, but this rifle has taken a new lease on life. I wouldn’t think of opening it again for at least a decade and maybe longer if it holds up.

I’m going to use the rifle for one more test of the new AirForce aperture sight.

84 thoughts on “HW 55 Tyrolean – Part 7 Time to test the tune

  1. BB I need to pick your brain. My Beeman RX-1 has started acting up. Upon cocking it no longer sets the automatic safety and sometimes won’t stay cocked at the bottom of the cocking stroke. If your not careful and paying attention you could wind up with a bent barrel. Any ideas what’s going on here? From SavageSam


  2. Thanks for putting this up along with your “how to tune” a spring gun series. I have an old HW that I want to make sure that everything is in order with, but lack the cash for a professional job.


  3. SavageSam,

    The trigger on the RX-1 is different than any other Weihrauch trigger. I have no experience with it, but it sounds like it is out of adjustment. The sear isn’t engaging when it should.

    The Beeman manual online is useless, as it tries to address all airguns without hitting any of them in particular. If you still have the manual for your rifle I recommend starting there. If your trigger was a Rekord, I would tell you to adjust screw 52b, as shown in the Weihrauch drawing for a Rekord trigger. So see if you can find the equivalent documentation for the RX-1.

    B.B.


  4. Tunert,

    My other HW55 vibrates more than the Tyrolean I just tuned and it is slower, as well. Still, it represents a factory gun more closely than the rifle I just tuned.

    What I’m saying is you don’t always wind up with what I got in this case. Sometimes you have to live with some things because no amount of tuning can get rid of them.

    So have a practical outlook if you decide to tune your gun and you should do well.

    B.B.


  5. Thanks BB, I forgot to sign AL in CT:-)
    The whole reason for the tune was just to make sure that everything is how it should be. I’ve never owned a spring gun before, so I don’t have any yardstick to measure it against. I wish I could afford to send it to a pro, but with a stay at home wife, baby, house, dog and Christmas coming, I’m strapped for money. I don’t see that changing for the next lifetime or so:-)
    Would you happen to know if in taking apart a ’65 HW 50S, a spring compressor is needed? You mentioned that some rifles have more spring tension at rest than others.

    Al in CT


  6. SavageSam

    Here’s a good site for Rekord trigger function.

    http://www.arld1.com/images/swfs/r10.swf

    The #52b screw that you likely need to adjust must be UNSCREWED to add sear engagement. This should stop your trigger from slipping off the piston rod’s cocking notch. Note that 52b is in front of the trigger blade. You’ll need to remove the trigger guard to make the adjustment.

    Derrick


  7. Al,

    Believe me – I understand!

    Your rifle should come apart without a compressor. As you unscrew the last three or four threads on the end cap, plant the muzzle on the floor on something that will move and not mar the finish. I use a leather sandal, but any slippery shoe will work. Ir an old purse made of leather.

    Hold the end cap into your gut and turn the action with the other hand. When the threads run out the mainspring should push the end cap up about an inch.

    B.B.



  8. B.B.

    Are you trying to make my choice harder? It sounds like a better than new HW55-T at this point… And the list you sent me to trade for it, is very impressive.. you’ve got to be the fairest trader in the world!
    And making my choice very hard!!

    But I have to believe, you’ll get more use from the 55T than me, with my old eyes…

    And with the USFT and other quality FT type air guns I bought, the rifle range is going to focus on Field Target and bench rest contests, not 10 meter offhand..

    So, consider her yours now, and I will try to pick from the generous list you gave me..

    Bless you for your generous trading offer! Your Karma has got to be the best on the planet!!

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  9. SavageSam,
    Whoa, I missed the X in RX-1. So much for my reading comprehension skill test today. BB’s right, you don’t have a Rekord, you’ve probably got the HW “Elite” trigger. Sorry, I’ve not had to work on one of those.

    Try this site and see if any of the 3 or 4 trigger diagrams match the one in your rifle.

    http://www.theoben.co.uk/pages.php?pageid=7

    Derrick


  10. BB,

    Is that racheting really from the cocking lever rubbing against the spring? If so, I’m afraid you’ll find a bent mainspring next time you open it. Did you round and polish the cocking lever where it inserts/notches into the piston?


  11. B.B.

    This is all interesting and sounds familiar. Rich from Mich put a delrin spring guide in to replace the original in my B30 which helps explains its marvelous performance. I also noticed a black film oozing out to cover the top of the sliding compression chamber. Perhaps that’s tar.

    I was quite intrigued by the old spring that Rich sent back. I would take Superman to compress this thing by hand. How are springs made anyway? Do you just carve the spring shape out of solid metal? That’s about what it feels like.

    Matt61




  12. BB,

    I’m so ignorant, I’ve never even seen one with a separate cocking shoe! That looks similar in theory to what my clunk had, except in that case the end has to go through the sleeve and the piston. From the picture, the part of the widened end nearest the spring looks like it might be irregular. It is non-critical in function, but can contact the spring during cocking. On mine, I worked that section down a tiny fraction, rounding and polishing then lubing with moly, because on the first fit I had a symptom like you are describing (not to mention others). My guess is that the spring is still just the least bit larger in OD than stock, at least on cocking.


  13. With all this talk of classic air guns, has any one thought of doing classic air gun postal matches?
    I wonder if there was anyway that Pyramyd could set up something like that?

    Al in CT


  14. BG_Farmer,

    Yes, that is what I think, as well. It’s not a real elegant design, but I guess the inside diameter of the piston is so small that Weihrauch didn’t want to take up any more of it with a steel liner.

    B.B.




  15. B.B.

    Well thanks to all your help B.B., we feel ready and we mailed in our membership fee to the AAFTA Field Target Ass. and we will have our first match on Jan. 17th and 18th, then Feb. 14th and 15th, then March 21st and 22nd.

    We are having informal contests every other Saturday, starting tomorrow the 20th, just to get in the swing of things.

    B.B. you never mentioned if there are prizes and entry fees.. We are thinking of a $200 first place, $100 second place, and $50 third place, with no entry fee. Or maybe $500 first place, $300 second place, and $100 third place, with a $10 or $20 entry fee. How does the average club do it? It seems like something to offset the cost of travel is in order, at least for the winners..

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  16. BB,
    I’ve kind of ignored the fact that my 2 1088s have only been able to shoot 1 medium powered shot every minute (a problem that has developed over time), the co2 in 88dgre weather should be more expansive than that. My pro77 and 1077 don’t do that. what could be wrong?
    Shadow express dude


  17. SED,

    It sounds like something is blocking the gas flow in your guns. Since two of the same model are involved, I’ll bet it’s either a design thing of a worker who wasn’t squeaky clean. Those pistols should be the same as all others.

    B.B.


  18. Wayne,

    No club I know of gives cash prizes. They give trophies and plaques. We used to give small wooden field targets they could stand on their gun case. One of our members made those, so the cost was really minimal.

    Try to keep your entry fee as low as possible. Ours was $10 but if you helped us set up the range we cut it in half, and to members if the club that hosted the match, the fee was $5, with the same off if you helped out.

    Also, consider an informal swap meet before and after the match. It will happen even if you don’t bring it up, so here’s your chance to be a hero.

    For really BIG matches, such as the state championship, give store-bought trophies that you engrave with the class and placement of the win. I would limit the names to just the overall state champion, because you will end up chasing all over the place trying to ship trophies after the match.

    B.B.


  19. BB,

    Great results, by the way; I forgot to say that because — as you know — I have a one-tracked mind.

    I’m always a little amused by how important cocking behaviour can be to us, but we’re not rational beings. I agree that lever design is minimalistic and a little at odds with the locking lever.


  20. Hello B.B. and everyone:
    What do I need to do in order to convert a 10lb. Fire Extinguisher into a 10lb. CO2 bulk-fill tank?? WHere do I need to take it and which valves or accessories must I buy??
    Cheers,
    Jony


  21. Jony,

    You don’t really need anything special. The siphon tube is only necessary if you want to fill with the tank standing upright.

    You will need a coupling to connect your gun to the tank. The outlet of a U.S. CO2 tank is 1/2″ gas pipe thread (check this with the place that fills the tank for you). The dealer who sold you the gun should be able to supply an adaptor, but if not, Airhog can take care of you.

    http://www.airhog.com

    All you do is connect the gun or its small tank to the big tank and open the valve.

    B.B.


  22. Wayne,

    Some words require a tad more care when abbreviated. I spent much of my younger days with that in front of the word manager. Just not sure it was a mistake.

    We are in agreement about putting some glass on just about everything. I shoot the kids 499 at 10 meters last night and ended up with a finger tip group. Just had no idea how I did until I walked up to it.

    Volvo


  23. Wayne,

    To answer your question from the other day, I have an RWS 850 AirMagnum. The name was given to me by BB because I was looking for a good .22 multi-shot rifle at the time and it stuck.

    As for the disco with the power adjuster and non-locking valve, I agree. Make it multi-shot with a shroud, sell it at $325 with pump and they have a TKO for sure, LOL!

    I’m just hoping their new model is a shrouded multi-shot for around $325 without the pump! If so, I’ll have to start saving!

    .22 multi-shot


  24. BB,
    I’m not sure, it didn’t do this when I first bought them both. I was shooting my second one today (slightly modified with a truglo sight and cut down, ventalated grips), and I was able to shoot a great 2inch group with premier heavies at 25 yards. I waited 1 minute between shots when it was 78degrees inside. The shots were emensively powerful. loads of evaporating co2 flew out of the barrel each shot and it had real recoil. This only usually happens on the first shot.
    Shadow express dude (now “enconomifocation”)



  25. B.B.

    Thanks for the great tips… the entry fee of $10 is what I was thinking too. Especially about the swap meet before and after.

    It’s impressive, that folks will travel for just a trophy and the glory/fame… or what is it?

    Of course here in Southern Oregon there are many other reasons to come, as I’m sure there are at other contests. Are these family events, or just the shooters in and out mostly?

    The other things to do while in the area, include: Downhill or cross country skiing on Mt. Ashland, 30 min. away. Hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail in an old growth forest is 30 min. away. The Marble Mt. Wilderness is 2 hours away. Deer, Elk, Duck, Geese, Grouse, Turkey, Quail, Squirrel, Rabbit and the like hunting, within one hour in any direction from here. Steelhead, Salmon, and Trout fishing in the Klamath, Rouge and Applegate rivers. All within an hour again.. Plus an excellent bass and trout lake within 5 min. of the range. We have one of the largest variety of birds for bird watching, in the US., because we are on the Pacific Coast fly way, and at the interface of the oak woodland/conifer forest. Then there is the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. (copied with permission of the “Wazyboy chamber of Commerce)

    But still, it seems with the expense of this hobby, it would be an easier sell to the wife, (or ones budget) if there was at least a chance to win the gas to get home.. or get her to come along if the place has other interests.

    Why not create a chance for folks to someday shoot targets for a living? It’s gotta help the gun manufacturers and retailers..

    Isn’t this sport sort of like golf? We too could have big prizes and millions watching. To me it’s more of a challenge than golf. Sure the ball is smacked and it’s visual path can be followed with the camera. So too, can the new technology show the pellet in “slow mo” and the distance at which it’s been put through a 1/2″ steel hole. I don’t know, but they seem about the same excitement level for the viewer.

    It’s just at this point, more people play golf, than shoot air rifles, but that’s changing each day!

    I’m not saying we can get network coverage, but a small cable channel would be a great start.. I have to believe there is enough audience and advertisers to make it work. And having prize money attracts attention, which starts the ball rolling, in my humble opinion…

    So lobby the retailers and manufactures to put up some prize money, then the cable channels will follow!

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  26. Shadow express dude,
    I have a 1088 that is a couple years old and it has the exact same issue. Like B.B. I do not belive it is related to CO2 temperature.

    Sometimes if I loosen the cartridge bolt a bit and let some CO2 burp out it will shoot better for a while. And sometimes it will not.

    But for sure a repeater that will not repeat is not much fun. As a result mine mostly sits in the case.

    DB


  27. Volvo,

    No hidden meaning, just lack of paying attention in 3rd grade, sorry folks!

    Yes, at some point I just decided to focus on what I can sort of do, FT through a scope, and for me now, open sights are limited to "walking the can" with the H & R 929 – 9 shot .22LR revolver, so I can see when I hit it.. That's too much fun.. When it gets too far for the 929, I pick up the Remington or Marlin semiauto with a scope, and keep walking it out to 100 yards or so. You should see me do it while I'm riding my goat with training wheels, just like John Wayzboy the first! My great uncle, don't ya know…

    Wayne


  28. .22 multi-shot,

    Just a lucky guess.
    So would you buy the 850 again? And how do you like CO2.

    I haven’t gone down that path yet, I really went for the scuba tank thing and I’m very happy with air. $5 buck per fill or 3,000 shots, if you count the 1,900 lb fill guns like the Disco and USFT. And with a power adjuster and mod. it can be quite as well. So I get power when I want it and slow when I don’t…

    I’m unsure of the CO2 thing for our range, but could be sold… it seems more to suit the hunter who for some reason is going to shoot a lot of shots, far from the car… maybe a starling hunter or something. What are the benefits?

    And the temp thing and the cost and disposal of the tanks… What do you think, now that you’ve done it?
    Chime in folks!!

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  29. Wayne,

    The strongest part of you argument is that Field Target can’t be more boring to watch than golf:)? I’ll take a re-run of News Radio, please!

    One really useful check on your idea is to ask how many people who read this blog are or plan to become Field Target shooters. That would give you a good idea of how big the potential _audience_ is, with the actual shooters willing to do it seriously being much smaller.

    I would support as many local or regional events in as many different areas as possible, e.g. silhouettes and the emerging AR benchrest shooting as well as field target. It is the people closest to you who will come often and pay money to use the range, and you need to appeal to as many of them as possible. Occasional wacky events like an airgun turkey shoot (almost no idea how it would work) might also be useful to bring in new people.


  30. Savage Sam,

    My RX-1 developed a similiar problem after many tens of thousands of shots. The safety spring failed and the rifle wouldn’t fire. Shipped it off to Beeman and they fixed it for free. Of course I had to pay shipping but it was well worth it. Why fool with it – the RX’s are too complicated for me. Hope all goes well for you whatever you decide.

    Springer John


  31. B.B.,

    Blundering around on internet and stumbled across and idea of Chris Long’s at:
    http://www.the-long-family.com/optimal%20barrel%20time.htm

    Basically he’s proposing that there is a barrel harmonic and that effects shooting precision. He calls the notion “Acoustic Shock Wave Theory.” I’m assuming that the idea is to have the pellet leave the barrel coinciding with a minimum in the shock wave.

    Heard of this before? Know if anyone has done frequency analysis of the noise of a pellet leaving the barrel?

    Herb


  32. BG-Farmer,

    The bench rest is in for sure, I just forgot to mention it.. I don’t know why we can’t do a turkey shoot of some sorts…. sounds like a great thing this weekend…. but, no time to put it together!

    Sure the more games the better!!

    Wayne


  33. BB and DB,
    No, I’m pointing strait. good news is it prints well. I can recall times when I took it to 60yards and could hit a 10inch circle consistantly. Another problem I think I’ve fixed is the chamber misalighnment. I used to see pellets split almost down the middle. I dropped some RWS Spring Cylinder oil on the mags and moving parts. Now they are slightly shaved off. This problem, too happend to both pistols.
    Economifocation


  34. Wayne,

    The RWS 850 was ok, but the stock was disappointing – hollow and odd shaped. It did not feel good in the hands. Accuracy was goodfair.

    The big advantage to it was the 8 shot magazine and decent power with no pumping or cocking.

    Ultimately I sold mine, for a combination of reasons not the least of which was the high cost of the 88gram CO2. An adapter for $100 is available for the smaller cartridges, but it would take some time to re-coup that cost.

    Volvo


  35. Wayne,

    I own 2 850s, because I liked the first one so much that I bought a second one. My reason was that I figured that one day, the way I was shooting it so much, it would break. I did not want to be without the 850 air rifle for a few weeks (or more), and so bought the backup.

    If you are interested, then I will be happy to explain why it is a very fun gun, and the first one that I give to friends/relatives who have never shot before.

    - Dr. G.


  36. Dr G.
    So the first one never broke, that’s good! I get that it would be fun, an 8 shot repeater, with 250 shots in a tank…. no recoil… probably a perfect first gun for the causal user.

    But, when do the limitations of temp kick in, can one overcome them? What is the cost per shot for CO2 alone.. compared to 3,000 shots for $5 of air. I can find a used muti-shot in air like the AAs310 I got for $350.
    But that is still twice what I can get a perfect used 850 for from B.B., so maybe CO2 works… see the difficulty of the choice… The scuba tanks cost up front and I have 7 already, and I’m not tossing used small CO2 tanks… can they be refilled? What is the cost then if one gets a large tank to fill small ones with, if it’s possible… HELP?

    Wayne,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range


  37. Volvo,

    Your concerns on the cartridges are mine too.. I tend to be more traditional in stocks as well…

    But for some, the fun factor might be an overpowering factor… it’s hard to decide… it’s more about getting into two types of power sources, is it necessary, to have happy customers?

    Wayne


  38. Wayne,

    RWS 850.

    I found I could get about 150 full power shots from one 88gram cylinder. My local ‘mart sells them for $14.99 for two.

    So at $7.50 a cartridge you use a .05 for every shot, not including the pellet. The 3000 shots you speak of would cost $150.00.

    I will agree they are easy to shoot and inspire confidence along with the ability to throw a bunch of lead down range in a hurry.

    Just not my cup of tea.

    Certainly personal preference weighs heavy – some like Merlot and some Sangria.

    Variety is the spice of life.

    Volvo


  39. RWS/Hammerli 850,

    There’s a $26 adapter from Bryan and Assoc. that lets you use a 9 oz paintball tank on your 850 instead of the 88 gram Airsource cartridges.

    I just bought a 9 oz. tank from a local retailer for $10 each. Cost $2 for a CO2 fill. Should pay for itself in no time compared to buying Airsource cartridges.


  40. Wayne,

    I can address some of your questions and some that you have not asked. However, since cost of pellets/CO2 is something that I never consider when using any air gun (isn’t that part of the reason for shooting them in the first place?), I think that you will have to do the financial math on your own, perhaps in that nice chair of yours.

    Part of why this air rifle is great for the beginner is the light weight, even with a scope. It is weighted on the neutral side as well. Further, the black plastic appearance is for some reason very appealing to people unfamiliar with guns. Finally, with the moderator it is very quiet, and thus people new to guns take to it more comfortably.

    The accuracy of both my .22 rifles is substantially the same, even though one is moderated and the other is not (it is always fun and instructive to demonstrate the difference in quietness to those new to air rifles, who often find “silencers” very cool, which of course they are). At 10 yards the 850 will always shoot 3/16″-5/16″ 8-shot groups using h.p. pellets (RWS and Predator).

    It is not accurate enough for me to seriously use for anything other than shooting 1/4″ size plastic Legos and similar things I scavenge from my boys’ old toy boxes. Sometimes I shoot (sitting) the 850 at paper targets, but I shoot better than this rifle’s accuracy and so that does not last long.

    For target accuracy, I prefer the 54 springer or my Theoben Rapid (which is substantially like your favorite PCP, except that I had my valve modified so that it can be pumped up to 3200 and, although overall the fps went down about 30-40, I get more than 50 extra usable shots from the tank when compared to factory specs).

    The temperature has never been a problem with the CO2 driven 850, as I always pay my heating bill on time and the basement range never falls below 68 degrees.

    This air rifle is very popular in England, for as you may notice it is right up there under 12 ft. lbs., which is the limit before one needs an FAC ticket (firearms) over there. I wrote a very detailed and well received review of this rifle on reviewcentre.com if you want more information, including an evaluation of different pellets. The site is an excellent source of England Everyman’s take on a very large number of different air rifles (and other consumer goods).

    Rich of Michigan can modify the 850 into a PCP that gets a good number of shots per fill (and of course boosts the fps by 100-200 depending on caliber) and for your public purpose of course that would be the way to go. I do not think that the air rifle needs any other tuning, but Rich does that as well.

    So, there you have it in a nutshell.


  41. Volvo & Dr. G. & Annon,

    Thank you very much for your feedback! Well thought out and written as usual.. Wow, lots to consider… Very interesting….

    Thanks a bunch. I'll sleep on it.

    Wayne



  42. Shooting From the Other Side

    Last week in order to evaluate whether one of my air rifles was shooting to the side because of trigger pull, I decided to shoot from the other side, switching the side used since age 10 years old and using arms, hands, and eyes in ways never before tried.

    I was focused on the trigger pull issue, which I resolved, and did not address the issue of switching the shooting side (from righty to lefty, or for 10% of you from lefty to righty). Because this is the weekend, I thought this was the time to bring up this issue and ask for feedback.

    The first time I picked up the rifle (my heavy 54 with scope) with my off hand it felt not like a rifle as it had before, but more like a heavy piece of wood, perhaps with some metal.

    I found getting my eye to properly train on the scope was the hardest part, and I had new found empathy and understanding for all my friends who have never shot before and who always had a hard time properly alligning their eye with the scope. Shooting with my non-dominant eye was challenging also because it is not 20-20 like the dominant eye (it is 20-25) as well as because the dominant eyelid did not want to stay shut for long. So, for much of this experiment I found that things worked out better when I kept both eyes open, only closing the non-scoped eye briefly at times.

    The first 5 shots my arm felt somewhat disconnected from my other arm, and both seemed disconnected from my eye. It felt strange, unpleasant, and my arm was starting to ache.

    The second 5 shots the gun no longer felt simply like a heavy piece of wood, rather it started to feel like a crossbow, which was a decided improvement. My eyes were also getting much better at doing their new jobs.

    The next 5 shots, although feeling still dsconnected, almost as if I were holding the rifle at arms length, proved also to be more consistently accurate. I believe this was due to an improved working of the eye, although I also improved my form so that I no longer was going to be getting any tired arm.

    My groups, after 15 shots, were about 2X what I would normally shoot, but clearly looked like groups. It was a far better performance than I encounter with people who are new to shooting. I was very impressed, and unfortunately was equally fatigued by this time from the rigors of this experience. I knew that most learning occurs in the early stages of any new endeavor, and I was eager to see what my “other side” was capable of.

    - Dr. G.


  43. Shooting From the Other Side (II)

    To take a break from the tension of shooting the othe way I decided to continue shooting but to stop aiming for the paper targets and start aiming for the little plastic Legos. This has always been more relaxing for me for some reason, and I found right away that I was knocking those little plastic pieces off very well.

    I experienced looking through the scope by this time with my weak eye (this was about the 20th shot) to be as I imagine looking through a periscope in a submarine would be. Normally, when I shoot, I never noticed the scope or the reticles. I simply looked, saw the target, and fired. Now, however, everything felt very mechanical and almost not quite connected to me, even though I also noticed that I must have been doing well since I was knocking off the 1/4″ pieces at 10 yards.

    So, I eagerly returned to the paper targets to see what I could accomplish. Amazingly, after 25 shots, my groups were consistently only about 20-40% worse than my usual groups. The POI, for what it is worth, was lowered by 1/4.”

    There were a few new observations and insights regarding shooting technique that I was able to carryover to my normal side of shooting. I am eager to put these insights into action over the weekend and see whether they improve my regular shooting side.

    I am interested in how some of this blogs’ readers will do in switching rifle side (from lefty to righty or righty to lefty) after about 25 practice shots, and wonder if you might have a similar experience, viz., that while it feels really weird and unpleasant, you shoot much better than you ever thought that you would, right up to the moment that you pull the trigger.

    Be forwarned if you attempt this that it is stressful and thus somwhat draining…but enlightening like no other experience.

    - Dr. G.


  44. Shadow Express Dude and CB,

    I’m soon starting a test of the 1088. Knowing about this problem and seeing that at least three guns are involved makes me wonder, so I will take extra pains to see whether I can find out what is happening.

    Anything you two can do to help me uncover the problem wh=ould be appreciated. For example, I wonder if you are tightening the CO2 cartridge too much and flattening the inlet seal so it blocks the gas? I tend to tighten the cartridge just enough to seal it and use Pellgunoil to keep the seal.

    B.B.


  45. Wayne,

    The biggest attraction for the fair sex seems to be antiques. They also attract more than half the male airgunners, as they always hope to find a nice airgun laying around.

    So a local map of the antique malls might add interest for you.

    Natural wonders like Crater Lake are another big plus.

    B.B.





  46. Derrick and BB thanks for the replies. Is it possible some RX-1′s were made with the “Rekord” trigger? My gun has a hole in the trigger guard in front of the trigger blade to adjust the trigger pull weight. Or at least that what I always assumed it was for. I’ve never messed with the trigger except to have a shoe added when it was sent it for a tune by Beeman.




  47. Dr.G.

    After the first time I shot the Win .270 for about 2 hours, my right shoulder was sore, so when I came home, that night I tried shooting left handed with the S410 from the Wayzboy. It was easier than it might be from a sitting FT position, I haven't tried that yet, maybe this weekend, so to add to your comments..

    But from the chair, because I can lock down so to speak, the biggest issue was eye relief as with you. My best groups were also about double what I do right handed. It was a very interesting feeling, and the more I did it, of course the more natural it was.. Switching back was a little weird, but I think over the long run it might help the right hand skills somehow..
    I'm glad you brought it up, I'm going to do it every so often, just to stay in balance..
    I'll let you know how it is in the FT sitting position.

    Wayne
    AARR&R


  48. B.B.,

    Have you tried shooting an air rifle lefty? I am wondering how you would do.

    It took me about 20 minutes for 25 shots, which is longer than usual. It actually felt more like half an hour when I was done even though I was eager to try it.

    Regarding your airsoft pistol suggestion from last week for my 11-year-old son who has small, 11-year-old hands, I wondered if you could suggest a smaller pistol than the one you use? (which seemed fine except for grip size). I think that your idea of getting something that runs on green gas is correct.

    Thanks again.

    - Dr. G.


  49. B.B.

    Thanks for the tip about the antiques. We do have a lot of shops around here. Jacksonville & Ashland were two of the first gold rush towns in Oregon, there are still a lot of the old houses standing, not many from the gold rush days, but very old houses, with attics full, I presume.. lots of old farts around too, so not all the stuff is sold yet!! Some stuff can be had at yard and garage sales, before it gets to the shops..

    How could I have left out Crater Lake, it's only 2 hours from here.

    And "Natural bridge", which is on the way, is amazing, the whole upper Rouge river gets sucked down into a lava tube and comes out about 100 yards down stream. Many people have died there, messing around in front of it.. My sisters boy friend was one. He was drinking and goofing off, and wanted to cool down, he slipped on a rock in the shallows and was washed into the current, and was gone in minutes..

    But anyway, it's an amazing feeling to stand there and watch the whole river go into that hole.. Just stand back and don't be silly!!

    Wayne,


  50. Dr. G.,

    Believe it or not, the Broomhandle Mauser has a small grip. The gun looks huge, but the grip is quite small.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/model.pl?model_id=857

    However, it is a heavy gun.

    A single-stack 1911 and 1911A1 has a small grip:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/model.pl?model_id=1723

    Luger grips are small:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/model.pl?model_id=1644

    And the PPK/S grip is small:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/cgi-bin/model.pl?model_id=1451

    I have shot left-handed to see what the other side thinks about shooting right-handed. Other than a few moments of confusion I found it pretty easy. I didn’t shoot as well as I normally do, though.

    B.B.


  51. DR.G. An absolutly brilliant idea! What a good way to get in touch with the problems of a beginning shooter. It’ll turn me into a newbe as a shooter which will help me coach my grandkids. A renewing if you will of the lessons learned in a life time of shooting. The skills that we as shooters take for granted like finding the target in the scope. I’ve got a mental picture of my very domanent right side talking to my left side saying something like just look through this 12 power scope and slowly squeeze the trigger. Left side replies how do I look through this thing and now the cross hairs are wiggling all over the place. Dr.G. thanks for your post–Mr B.


  52. BB,
    Sall Right. I’m heading to the range with my New/ used enfield MK4 no1. hope its good. Is it safe to shoot a spring gun in 30 degree weather? Thats about our average this week.

    My friend has a few old rifles and he would like to know what to clean them with and make the finishes look new.

    I plan on sanding down and making the walnut stock on the enfield into a sporter style stock. Any cautions?
    Shadow express dude


  53. RE: Barrel Harmonics

    B.B.,

    Thanks for the additional information. I finally figured out that in spite of the name “”Acoustic Shock Wave Theory,” Chris was really talking about barrel vibrations.

    There are so many components that vibrate, no wonder it is extremely difficult to sort out. The behavior is undoubtedly mathematically chaotic in that small changes can produce very different results. Sort of like a “seed” value for a random number generator.

    It would seem to me through that a pellet gun would be somewhat different than a firearm. In a firearm there would be a significant shock wave due to powder “explosion.” In a air gun, it would seem that the effect would be due to the travel of the pellet coinciding with a harmonic of the air column in the barrel.

    Fascinating that something that seems so simple is such a mathematically complex problem. Maybe we should get some of that super computer time at Los Alamos to do something useful instead of wasting tax dollars doing theoretical calculations on nuclear warheads. American tax payers shoot a lot of airguns every day. The last time a nuke was used was in 1945. :-)

    Herb


  54. Shadow express dude,

    I don’t know if it matters to you, but you will wipe out any collector value it has, by redoing the stock…

    Wayne


  55. SavageSam,

    If you can engage and disengage the safety at will without re-cocking the rifle, you do not have a Rekord trigger. If the safety is in front of the trigger it’s the “Elite”.

    Derrick


  56. Dr. G.,
    Left Hand Report,

    It sure was different from the Wayzboy recliner, without the back support, I cramped up after 50 shots with the Air Arms S410. The cheek rest is sharp on that side, and eye relief was hard to find each shot. Cocking the right side, side lever, took longer… But it can work.
    It was much more difficult than when I first tried the sitting field target position a couple months ago. I’ve gotten comfortable right handed, (after a lot of sit ups and swimming, but I have stretched my muscles in one direction, and shortened them in the other. Now asking them to do the opposite is super uncomfortable!! Thanks so much!!

    This is important.
    We have to stay balanced! As much as it hurts, I’m going to do 50 or more shots per day as a lefty. and soon it will be easy… and I’ll be in better balance.

    From 18 yards in a sitting lefty FT position, I did hit the 1/8″ dot at least once in a 5 shot group, but the other 4 shots, which normally should be making one hole 3/8″ or less, are up to 1/2″ off in any direction. Due mostly to wandering and poor timing with a left trigger finger, and a worsening muscle cramp.

    Are you really a Dr. ? I have a cramp…

    Wayne


  57. bb- if one was to pay the legal tax etc. to recieve a silencer and wished to make their own airgun silencer what would you use as the baffles and spacers, or what internals would you use?
    Thanks,
    John from Jersey


  58. Wayne,

    For me the CO2 thing didn’t work for my pest rifle (the 850). We get some snow during the winter and I needed to be able to count on stable power. I ended up converting the 850 to air as reported here as a guest blog.

    For my fun guns, CO2 does work (currently a PPK/S). I also enjoyed a Crosman custom pistol although the temptation to convert it to a Discovery pistol has sidetracked that one too!

    I can’t report further on my converted 850 since further work is being done on it. I am designing a complete new valve for it. We’ll see if I am successful :).

    .22 multi-shot


  59. John from Jersey,

    It may not be legal for you to manufacture a silencer. I have a letter from a man serving 20 years for making a silencer. Of course he didn't apply for permission first.

    While you can legally make a firearm, I think a silencer is a hot-button item because of all the red tape required to buy one.

    I'm just guessing about this The National Firearms Act branch of the BATF&E is the place to inquire.

    B.B.


  60. BB
    I am new to this board, so this may have been addressed before. My 25-yr old .22 cal. Benjamin pump
    has always retained a substantial amount of air after each shot, the equivalent of two or three pumps, making velocity hard to regulate. Any idea what could cause this? Thanks. Jugghead



  61. SED,

    If the stock is old and rough, then refinish. But don’t if there are recognizable cartouches.

    As for shooting a springer in the cold, I don’t think you need to worry until minus 10 Fahrenheit.

    B.B.


  62. Wayne,
    I’ve been told many times that. But I look at the gun as a shooting platform that has a faster bolt that many modern rifles. And the walnut stock seems to be a great platform for my amature carving skills. Any cautions?

    BB,
    yesterday I took my benelli 20g (best for quail) to the range and rented a FNP-40. that pistol can shoot. At 35yards, 4inch groups were common with blazer jacketed semi wc. no jams and low recoil due to the egronomics. The benelli on the other hand, coupled with a full choke took 6inch groups at 30 yards…Amazing. All with that cheap winchester #8 practic shot (not AA).
    Shadow express dude


  63. BB,
    Is it safe to shoot a spring gun in 30 to 40degree weather. I always use heavys (over 9.3gr) if that helps any.
    Shadow express dude



  64. .22 multi-shot,

    Go for it then!

    As far as wood finishes go, I like the "Watco oils", they penetrate and slowly dry to a very hard finish, that is very deep and becomes part of the wood, not just a surface coating. You can keep applying more to build it up. And scratches don't show very much, because the finish is so deep, which is important, because it sounds like you plan to use it, not just look at it.. It also might look more like the original finish, than say a verathane or polyurathane… try a small amount first, before you do the stock..

    Wayne
    AARR&R


  65. .22 multi-shot & All,

    Thanks for the CO2 reports. So what I'm hearing is that, CO2 is mostly for indoor fun shooting, where temp can be controlled, and power is not necessary, or desired. I think I'll pass on CO2 for now…
    If people are converting CO2 guns to air, then I'll just watch for more used PCPs like an older Air Arms S310, BSA, or FX… Sometimes they can be had for $400 or less,(I got one of each for that price) which is about what you'll have in your conversion, I would guess. I'm not the converting type myself. Now, my free time is devoted to trading and shooting and not tinkering…

    Wayne,
    AARR&R


  66. Wayne,

    The RWS 850 conversion has definitely cost a quite bit over time because of experimenting with various things. When I’m done, I’ll see what the actual cost was after I sell the extra bits.

    Converting the Crosman custom pistol to a Discovery pistol will end up costing a total of about $250. That is including the original cost of the pistol (about $150). You can’t buy a PCP pistol for that!

    I would buy another Crosman custom pistol and leave it CO2 because it was so much fun to shoot!

    .22 multi-shot


  67. B.B.,
    I’ve tested very tight and very loose cylinder and everything in between. Just snug does seem to work better. Tighten it up until the cylinder is punctured and then back it off a turn or so.

    But even with this effort the problem still sometimes happens. Was thinking you could test a 1088 that has a known defect as well as a new test pistol.

    DB


  68. BB,

    I have come across the word “fire-lapping” occasionally used by other shooters in search of better accuracy.

    Just what is firelapping and how is it done properly? What are the risks involved?

    Thanks.

    Dave



  69. Dave,

    You lap the bore by running a lead slug through with ultra-fine abrasive powder embedded in the sides of the slug. Fire lapping means to coat bullets with lapping compound and shoot them.

    B.B.


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