New-old-stock TS-45 air rifles!: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


This TS-45 rifle is probably at least 30 years old, yet also brand new.

Let’s look at the velocity of my new-old-stock TS-45. It’s been many years since I tested a really old Chinese airgun, so this was a nostalgic test for me. The TS-45 surprised me by being smoother to cock and fire than I imagined. The stock bolts were loose; but once I tightened them, the rifle fired quite smoothly and without a lot of aftershocks. I think that’s mostly due to the low power rather than any special fitting of the powerplant parts. Randy Mitchell did lubricate the powerplant of this rifle, but an older Chinese spring-piston air rifle needs a lot more than a lube tune to straighten up.

Trigger
The non-adjustable trigger is single-stage and if you pull it slowly it releases consistently at around 5 lbs., 14 oz. You don’t want it any lighter because of the danger of this mechanism slipping off the sear while loading. As cumbersome as it is, I always put my arm in the path of the cocking lever while I’m loading, just in case the sear lets go.

Velocity testing
The first pellet I tried to test was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier — the so-called Premier Lite. I say I tried to test the velocity, but it was all over the place. The first shot went 564 f.p.s. and stayed there for two more shots. Then shot No. 4 leaped up to 750 f.p.s. And the feel of the gun at firing was more harsh, which told me it was dieseling pretty heavily. No detonations (explosions) were heard, but I suspect we were running just shy of them.

The Premier pellet fit the bore tightly, which I take as a good sign for potential accuracy. They’ll certainly be among those pellets I use for accuracy testing.

The velocity remained in the 700s for a few shots, then slipped back through the 600s to the 500s again. By the time I had fired 16 shots, we were down to 523 f.p.s.; but I knew the velocity would drop even lower than that, so I switched to the next pellet.

Next up were RWS Hobbys. They started out at 558 f.p.s. and dropped to 523 f.p.s. by the tenth shot, but the average for the string was a healthy 552 f.p.s. I suspect that number is a bit high, but it’s close to the real velocity with this lightweight pellet. Accepting it as fact gives us an average muzzle energy of 4.74 foot-pounds.

Like the Premier, these Hobbys also fit the bore tightly. They will be tested for accuracy, as well.

One nice thing about Hobbys is that they force a lot of dieseling for some reason. Perhaps, it’s due to their lightness, but I often find they’ll burn off excess lubricant when a gun has just been tuned.

The next pellet I tried was the Air Arms Falcon dome. These pellets fit the bore loosely, and I don’t have a lot of hope for their accuracy potential. They averaged 512 f.p.s., which seemed close to the real velocity. The range went from 500 to 529, so the rifle is definitely becoming more stable. At the average velocity, they generated 4.25 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Back to the Premiers
The rifle seemed to have settled down by this time, so I tried chronographing the Crosman Premiers once more. This time they were very stable at an average 464 f.p.s. The range went from 462 to 466 f.p.s., so the rifle seems to have settled in — at least as much as it’s going to for now. A crude spring rifle like this always needs about a thousand shots through it to fully break in and start performing the way it was meant to, but I doubt the velocity will change by more than 20-30 f.p.s.

At this velocity, the rifle generates an average 3.78 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. While that seems low, remember that spring guns do favor lighter pellets, and this one will probably follow that trend very closely.

So, how do I like the TS-45 so far? Well, I see a lot of pellet rifles over the course of a year, and this one isn’t the best that I’ve seen. It isn’t even in the top half. But it also isn’t at the bottom of the list. I’ve tested guns with a lot more power that I liked less than this one. If it weren’t so dangerous, this might be a nice little plinker.

The accuracy test is next, and those results will be very telling.

24 Responses to “New-old-stock TS-45 air rifles!: Part 2”

  • Robert from Arcade Says:

    BB: Your numbers with the pellets yo have tried are similar to what I got in my example , but I have tweaked mine beyond all reason. Try the JSB exacts for accuracy ,as I have found that in mine , they were the most accurate despite seeming heavy for the powerplant. I also found that once it settles down, the velocity spreads are very tight. Go figure?

  • Oliver Says:

    Funny how these early Chinese rifles prove so popular, it really must be the challenge of getting something for nothing (almost) and trying to make it rival a TX200!

    The first rifle I pulled apart was an old Pioneer B3, the struggles I had trying to get that blasted spring back in in my rudimentary spring compressor. I realised later that with such a low powered spring I could have simply put the gun on the table and leant on it.

    I have one of these imported to the UK by Titan (later became Falcon) in the 1980s. I have been working on it and realise that Titian did a real job on making these acceptable, new seals and washers, better spring, cleaning up the metalwork and giving it a brand new beech stock and scope rails. Essentially a new gun.

    • Oliver,

      When Tom and I published The Airgun Letter, subscriber Ray Apelles repeatedly asked Tom to test cheap Chinese rifles. Tom finally relented, if for no other reason than to show people how crummy these guns really were.

      At that time, Ray was not a champion field target shooter and probably didn’t own any PCP guns.

      We bought some Chinese guns from Compasseco, and Tom ripped into them. He showed all the faults (and there were a LOT) and wrote about how awful they were.

      Compasseco’s sales of these guns went off the charts! People weren’t unhappy about the guns, they just wanted the unabashed truth. Most guys saw these guns as an opportunity to work on guns without spending a lot of money. They could educate themselves on something that was cheap enough to throw away.

      Edith

      • Oliver Says:

        Ha! Fantastic tale. It does not surprise me in the least. I retain a strange fascination for the old underlevers which were imported in their tens of thousands in the 1980s and 90s. In a way they wereinnovative, the sliding breech for example was being produced by the Chinese a long time back, possibly even before Anschutz and FWB employed it. Its perfect for a cheap mass-produced gun. But how many of them will last? Given their build quality not that many. The great grand daddy of them all, the Lion Rifle (the original version), is now really quite hard to come by. Accidental collectables perhaps?

        • Oliver Says:

          A thought. Is it still possible to get copies or scans of those Airgun letter reviews?

          • B.B. Pelletier Says:

            Oliver,

            Doug Law sells old “Airgun Letters”. His website is here:

            http://www.bigspringguns.net/books.htm

            I sometimes publish parts of old reviews in the blog. What, exactly , are you searching for?

            B.B.

          • Oliver,

            We hope to republish all issues of The Airgun Letter plus the Airgun Revues, the R1 book and Tom’s articles from Airgun Illustrated magazine. Time is the biggest obstacle we face.

            Edith

            • Oliver Says:

              Thanks for the very useful link. I would just like to see what BB made of the Chinese guns when first looked at (though your comments tend to tell me). As I say I’m especially interested in the underlevers.

              Good plan about republishing the famous book on the R1, its a classic (which I have never seen) and there are many in the UK who would like to won a copy, updated or not!

  • BG_Farmer Says:

    BB,
    I’m actually interested to see what happens next. It is rare that an airgun costs less than what I think it is worth — I guess I’m more cynical about the danger as some of my pets and most of my tools could remove a hand if treated with disrespect! Robert says his shoots JSB exacts well, and I have had good luck with them also in my clunks. The JSB’s and RWS’s are made of some really soft lead that appears to work more consistently in a lot of rifles. I wouldn’t give up on any rifle before trying Superdomes and RWS Basics, either. For some reason, mine all hate the Hobby pellet. The only reason I shoot the Hobby pellets is to hear the unique UFO sound effect they produce out of my 36-2 :) !

  • Matt61 Says:

    With all the extensive regulations against bad food, bad drugs, vehicle emissions and so on, aren’t there laws against guns that will chop off your fingers? Is there a way to modify the gun so it won’t be so dangerous?

    Duskwight, my foreboding was a passing impression. As one music critic said, “How do you describe the color blue in words?” Or maybe it reflected my general wariness of technical things.:-)

    Mike, fired with black powder eh? I had no idea. Your weight comparison is interesting. As it turns out, there is a critical point in the movie where the crew needs to move a single 16 inch round from a damaged turret to a serviceable gun. As one guy says, “It weighs 1000 pounds and the gun is 500 feet away. How are we supposed to move it?” With all hands lifting turns out to be the answer with a lot of grunting. I thought it would have been easier to roll the thing. Anyway, is a Volkswagen a mere 1000 pounds?

    Matt61

    • Mike Says:

      The old original (1960′s) VW Beetle was in that ballpark. Perhaps a bit more but you get the picture. Those rounds are heavy! I knew a college wrestler and could pick up the front of one of the old VW’s back in the 70′s.

      Mike

    • Paul Says:

      The gunpowder used in the 16-inch Naval guns was a smokeless powder (Smokeless Powder Diphenylamine (SPD)) but was nicknamed “black powder”. Don’t know why.

      The projectiles weighed between 1,900 and 2,700 pounds. My brother-inlaw’s Giah weighs about 2,600.

      Lots of interesting info here:
      http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.htm

      Paul from Liberty County

      • Mike Says:

        Yes, I always heard it called black powder. Perhaps due to it’s color or because of all the smoke it produces.

        Mike

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Matt,

      Yes. The way to modify the TS-45 to be safer was to completely redesign it, to the point that it no longer existed.

      B.B.

  • chuck Says:

    “…The way to modify the TS-45 to be safer was to completely redesign it, to the point that it no longer existed.”

    LIKE

    Sorry, I looked all around for the “Like” button but couldn’t find it. Had to resort to oldschool ways.

    -Chuck

  • Mike Says:

    I had a version of the TS-45 that was of much better quality. I was told it was produced in a different factory. I think it pre-dates this type.

    Mike

  • Mike Says:

    Here’s a link that shows a picture of the other version of the TS-45.

    http://www.ar15.com/mobile/topic.html?b=7&f=141&t=904939

    Mike

  • twotalon Says:

    Slow day or something ??

    I’m sitting here eating grilled ribeye steaks. Thinking about the huge cows that our mail lady raises. They are called limosines (sp?) . HUGE things. She said they have had ribeyes as big as 17″ . Holy chow time Batman !!!!!.
    Gotta have some.

    If I could only find a bambi big enough to get ribeyes HALF that big, I don’t think I would care if it was in season or not.

    twotalon

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