Corn oil for lubricating spring-piston airguns

by B.B. Pelletier

Last week, our new reader, Cantec, mentioned that several gentlemen were advising the use of corn oil for lubricating the compression chambers of spring-piston airguns. I know exactly where this recommendation came from and how it should be viewed, and I wanted to share this with you today.

Corn oil?
Yes, I’m talking about common corn-based cooking oil. Wesson oil is the most popular brand here in the U.S. Why would anyone recommend using corn oil in a spring-piston airgun? I want you to know the entire truth so you don’t make any serious mistakes with your guns.


Good old corn oil that’s most often used for cooking has also been used to lubricate some spring-piston airguns.

WD-40
In my role as a firearms enthusiast, I used to put WD-40 on all my guns. It smells so good and guns always look so nice after they have been wiped down with it. So, when the Army sent me to Germany for four years, I sprayed WD-40 on all my guns before storing them in my mother’s attic, thinking I was protecting them against the ravages of time. What happened, instead, was that the WD-40 dried out and left every gun covered with a thick coating of yellowish residue that proved nearly impossible to remove. Only more WD-40 would dissolve it, and in one case the silver plating on my collectible second generation Colt 1851 Navy cap and ball revolver was destroyed! Each gun took weeks to clean, because the residue had gotten into all the cracks and tight places and had to be scraped out with tools.

Several years after that experience, I joined an horology club and attended their meetings for about a year. These are guys who fix watches and clocks, and they had one thing to say about WD-40. Don’t ever use it on a clock! They knew all about the yellow coating it leaves, and several members had horror stories about removing it from clock gears. Apparently, not even ultrasound tanks can remove all of it.

Before you rise up to defend WD-40, know that I use it, too. For certain jobs, it can’t be beat. But not for protecting the finish of a gun. Use Ballistol for that.

What does WD-40 have to do with corn oil? Everything. Like WD-40, corn oil dries and leaves a waxy film on anything it comes in contact with. And that’s why it was originally recommended for spring-piston airguns. Not all spring-piston guns, you understand. Just the ones from China.

Duane Sorenson, who used to work at Compasseco in the 1990s, recommended corn oil for all his Chinese guns because of the waxy buildup. He reasoned that the wax filled in the rough machining marks left inside the cheap Chinese compression chambers, eventually building up to the point that compression increased. He was an active proponent of corn oil in spring guns, and I think many thousands of shooters were told by him to use it.

Duane also said the flashpoint of corn oil was very high, so using it would stop dangerous detonations. As far as I was able to test for that, it did seem to work. But — and this is the point of today’s report — corn oil is not recommended for a sophisticated spring-piston airgun powerplant. The current crop of Tech Force guns do not have compression chambers rough enough to benefit from its use.

Time is the criterion
Duane was advising corn oil for airguns like the B3 underlever and the TS45 sidelever. Those guns really did have rough compression chambers that could benefit from a product that infilled their machining marks. But at the same time he was recommending corn oil, Sorenson was also pushing their Chinese manufacturing partner to better finish the insides of their compression chambers. The result was the Tech Force 36 underlever, which was very smooth inside, and later the Tech Force 99, which was even better.

But while this improvement was happening, Duane was still selling lots of the older and less expensive Chinese spring guns that were still very rough. So, he continued advocating corn oil, even as the many of the guns he sold were getting better and had less need for it.

I tested it
Duane was so insistent on corn oil being a miracle-product that I bought a quart of the stuff and began experimenting with it. That was how I learned that it doesn’t detonate. While I was testing it, I was unaware of why corn oil was being recommended and the fact that many of the more modern chinese airguns didn’t need it.

I conducted several tests using corn oil for The Airgun Letter, but frankly I never got the kind of results Duane told me to expect. Part of that was because I was probably testing it on the wrong guns and part was because I wasn’t using it as much as Duane did. I never saw the long-term effects he told me about.

I expected to see an increase in velocity and a decrease in the total velocity variance. The velocity never increased as much as I had thought, but the shot-to-shot variation did decrease somewhat.

What about corn oil today?
This is the reason I wrote today’s report. Do not use corn oil in any modern spring-piston airgun! Corn oil is meant to solve a level of manufacturing crudeness no longer seen in modern airguns. Like many other things, time has changed the game. We no longer put oatmeal in our car radiators to patch small leaks, and we certainly no longer lubricate spring-piston compression chamber with corn oil.

Just as you don’t want a buildup of hard yellow film on the outside of your airguns from dried WD-40, you also don’t want the waxy buildup from corn oil on the inside. Use the products that are recommended for the job, like a proper grade of silicone chamber oil for the compression chamber of your airguns.

60 thoughts on “Corn oil for lubricating spring-piston airguns

  1. Well said, BB …

    Just in case there is someone who would find himself with the WD-40 pasty coating that develops when the carrier evaporates, I may have a solution to getting it off more easily. Having been raised way up in northern Wisconsin, we learned early in life that the motorcycle gets put away for the winter. And, in my teen years, winter started sometimes in the middle of October and went until the end of April or even into May. It was our habit to spray the motorcycle down with WD-40 … every inch of it, including the tires, but especially the chrome spokes. By the time spring did appear, the bike was not only covered in the WD-40 residue crud, but also in bugs, dust, and whatever else touched it. What got it clean? The answer is Hot Water. We would mix up a bucket of hot water and Pinesol. Wet the bike down first, then apply the soapy hot water with a sponge or rag, and then scrub and rinse. Works like a charm. I never had any problems with chrome as a result of the WD-40. Sorry to hear about your bad luck. Maybe in your day they were still selling the WD-39?


    • The credit should go the PineSol (I used to have to use it straight from the bottle to loosen the soap-scum that used to build up at my previous apartment; the drain was very slow and I couldn’t wait for it to empty from morning shower, so every few months it was dribble PineSol over the top rim and use a porcelain friendly scouring pad)

      {Now that I’ve moved out, taking 3000lbs of books [the other 3000lb had already been in storage], I wonder if the building has lifted upwards again — the stucco below the bathroom area was bowed outwards about 2 inches from how the base had sagged [and flattened the slope of the horizontal drain run]}


      • As a person who deals with greasy things in the kitchen, the No. 1 thing I use for cleaning is a 50/50 solution of water & vinegar. Mixed in a spray bottle, this stuff can be sprayed anywhere & cleans the grease off just about anything (and no chemical vapors, either). Maybe you guys should try that the next time you’re removing gunk.

        Edith


    • NRS,

      Hot soapy water! Whuda thunk?

      I could have saved so many hours on those guns. And the funny thing is, the Army often recommends the same thing for cleaning almost everything.

      Thanks,

      B.B.


      • Won’t hot soapy water wreck your wooden stocks? I have wondered about guys who clean their firearms of corrosive ammo by taking a shower with them.

        Matt61


  2. While others may argue the nature of PellGunOil, let me jump onto the WD-40 fray (confession, I do own a nominally small number of shares in WD-40)

    While WD-40 is pushed as a lubricant for things like sticky door hinges, it functions more as a penetrating oil in that role, and should be followed up with some other lubricant once the hinge is moving.

    The primary purpose of WD-40 is as a moisture barrier — one that could be applied to already dampened surfaces (anyone remember spraying the inside of a distributor cap to get a car started in wet weather?). This is even apparent in the product name! WD-40 is derived from “Water Displacement – 40th try” (experimental formulation). The stuff is actually in the specs for either the Titan or Atlas missiles of the 60s (and maybe still) — to protect wiring harnesses from condensation.


    • Grew up with WD 40. As young-un’s we were told that WD 40 belonged outside. We used it to remove corrosion (rust) by spraying it on metal and carding it off with steel wool. Any road tar (common on dirt roads where we were), bugs, etc. on our vehicles were easily removed with WD 40. Like kerosene for many uses WD 40 was not allowed in the house.

      Now, many years later, when I read the MSDS data sheet and see that Stoddard Solvent is the primary ingredient (60%) it confirms that my grandfather was wise beyond his years. How did they know this stuff before the internet?

      BTW we used starting fluid not WD 40 to dry out the insides of distributors caps. Cheaper and worked fine. What a hick I am.

      kevin


      • Kevin: Ever roll a tire off a rim and use starting fuild to reset the bead? Standard 101 redneck/hick mechanical techinque. Just be looking away before you light it up.


        • Robert,

          Is there another way? LOL!

          We lived an hour from a small town (glenwood springs) on dry roads back in the 60′s-70′s. We had to find a way.

          Tractor tires were the worst to flash seat the bead with starting fluid. When it was cold we used oil pans filled with dried corn cobs soaked in kerosene and lit on fire to warm the case oil in order to get the tractors started. We used the same oil pans filled with cobs set on fire to warm tires before mounting. Most times a rope cinched down around the outside of the tire was necessary to get the bead close.

          kevin


          • Kevin : So you’ve been there done that too! Another one of those “Mountain Pride” things /skills . For a couple years, I worked at a shop where we did maintenance of their small fleet of semi’s and the trailers. Mostly walking floor trailers for hauling apple pulp ( by -product from cider mill) used for cow feed, and flat bed trailers for hauling trees. Sometimes they would break down on site , but actually even at the shop, the only way we had to pull a tire was one of those floor mounted tire changing units that used irons and muscle power . It wasn’t what you’d call a OSHA/ANSI shop. Set the bead and aired up A LOT of those tires with the ether method. One time the guy that was helping me lit er up before I had a chance to look away . Burnt off half my beard. Sometimes those tires would hop a foot into the air when lit . I actually have a flat rear tire on my old TLB right now that I will probably break the bead using the hoe and re-set it with the starting fuild.


    • Wulfraed,

      Yes! I have dried out several wet distributor caps with WD-40. In fact, my stepfather introduced me to it for that purpose when I was a teenager.

      B.B.


  3. Coarse ground pepper for radiator leaks.

    Sawdust for transmission slippage.

    IF this is part 2 of tuning springers (not identified as such) then maybe part 3 should be about dri-slide? Where does shrink tubing fit into this mix?

    B.B., seriously, what is your opinion of cross hatching the interior of the cylinder and on what guns is it beneficial? Same vein, When should you hone (sunnen hone?) a cylinder? Fact or Fiction?

    Last question, since Tom Gore has come on the scene (again) and since I’m not a tuner and do not have a long history with airguns what is your opinion of his “drop in kits”? I know you don’t use them but with your rapport and HISTORY with an enormous network of airgunners and airgun resources it is important to flesh out your take. Your reports and opinions on tunes has covered everyone from macarri, watts, slade, reeves, barnes, quakenbush, stace, zapatero (what a fanactic), tim m, bimrose, groenewold. etc. and therefore your opinion matters.

    kevin

    ps-mi, mi,mi, fa, la, la,la, I’m tuning my vocal chords for a song. You really don’t want to hear this. Send me $$$ and I won’t sing. This is your last warning.


    • Kevin,

      the check is in the mail.

      Weirdest use of WD-40, stopping the squeak from a bed that my wife’s girlfriend slept in. The two halves of the frame would scrape against each other and cause the squeak (don’t ask).

      Fred DPRoNJ (only 53 days until Roanoke)


    • Kevin,

      If you start singing I’ll sic Edith on you. She has a voice that can curdle lead! She carries her tunes in a Diebold safe that she and I have agreed will never be opened — again!

      I told Edith about the sawdust in transmissions. Use it when selling a car — not if you are keeping it.

      I hear that tuners like to hone the compression cylinders. I never did, so I’m not the guy to ask about hone types. A brake hone was all I ever heard people mention.

      Tom Gore’s kits have always performed well for me. You might have missed it, but I did tune a Diana 34 Panther with a Gore spring hit here in the blog.

      B.B.


      • Yes, everyone, it’s true. I’m tone deaf. When Tom & I got married, I played my Tony Bennett & Frank Sinatra LPs for him. He told me they were all warped. I had no idea! They sounded great to me.

        Personally, I think I have a wonderful, lilting singing voice. I should have known, when in the 8th grade, a teacher who made all of the girls sing in a chorus told me to not utter a word. I was allowed to only move my lips.

        When I sing, the cats leave the room.

        However, I can whistle in tune. And Tom can’t whistle at all :-)

        Edith


        • May I introduce you to… Auto-Tune

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-Tune

          Somewhat cheaper, I suspect, is the /old/ BOSS BR-600 (its replacement, the BR-800, lacks the Pitch-Map feature, but works great as a voice modulator [I once had me sounding like a sinister dark elf, from one of those milieus (sp?) where elves are supposed to have rather higher pitched musical voices; I let my brother play with it, and his first response to hearing himself under some setting was "wow, Jabba!"])

          Most of these small multitrack recorders have a pitch correction capability, which works on nearest chromatic/diatonic pitch. The BR-600 allows one to define the desired pitches at time points, and will correct to that note in the nearest octave.



      • B.B.,

        Thanks.

        Okay. Uncle. No singing. Although I’m fearless, I’m scared about the threat of Edith singing back at me. Only thing worse would be a chorus of the two of us. Terrifying thought.

        kevin


    • Kevin,

      Cross-hatched honing (about 45 deg from the circumference line of the cylinder) is done in combustion engines to hold oil and help the cast iron rings seat. Sunnen makes the machines that do this. I used to run one in an engine shop back in the dark ages. It’s not really necessary for composite seals like o-rings as long as the cylinder walls are polished and free from gouges. I think that most of the honing done to airgun chambers today is to clean up sloppy machining and to polish that result. You still use the same cross-hatching technique to prevent wearing down one part of the cylinder more than another part.

      /Dave


      • /Dave,

        Your engine analogy seems to explain the justification that airgunners use for cross hatching the inside of the tube, i.e., to help lubes adhere. Thanks.

        kevin


    • Awww…tranny sawdust.
      When I was younger (much, about 17) I purchased my second car, a 1969 Grande Parisienne from a corner used car lot. This was 1974, so it was only 5 years old and in very good shape…or so I thought.
      I bought the car on a Saturday. It came with a 3 month warranty. I knew I was in trouble when Monday, when I drove past the lot on my way to work there was nothing there. No cars…no signage…the little trailer used as an office was gone.
      Well…a couple of weeks later the tranny started slipping. Took it to the corner mechanic who told me about all the sawdust in the tranny.
      And the obvious signs of a major fire under the hood.
      And the cracked frame.
      And the rolled back odometer.
      He figured it had been a well used taxi.
      Learned my lesson good…no matter how good the deal seems…no matter how there’s ‘another buyer out arranging financing’…if they won’t let me have it checked it ain’t on the list.


      • CSD,

        I love the Canadian names on American cars. I remember going into Canada as a drive for the first time in 1968 and seeing Acadian Invaders, Beaumont Broughms (SP) and of course the Parisiennes you mention. You brought back some good memories!

        B.B.


        • Yeah, my family used to drive an ’84-ish Parisienne. And we were in Maryland! I bet it involved some shady deal like CSD’s. Then again, it was very tough to tell the real lemons from the “regular lemons” that GM was belching out in the ’80′s. Ick.

          Maybe my ’86 Buick would have lived a few months more if I had used the oatmeal, sawdust, and pepper tricks. And of course slathered everything in corn oil. The beer can welded to the exhaust, the broom handle crammed into the broken vacuum hose, and the emptied-out catalytic weren’t quite enough for the old girl…

          -Jan


    • I asked Jim Maccarri about honing cylinders once. He told me that the recommendation going around a few years ago of a 220 grit stone was all wrong – way too rough for synthetic seals. He suggested 600 grit, and as I recall he didn’t believe cross-hatching was really important.

      I wonder if the cross-hatching thing showed up as a carry-over from engine honing.


  4. Interesting look back on some snake oil. I need to look into why it doesn’t detonate, as it is surprising that it doesn’t.

    As you are a Ballistol convert, I think you were trying to be fair to WD40 :)!


  5. WD40 can also cause trouble in key locks, car doors or padlocks. There is better stuff available for precise mecanism.
    It’s great for a lot of stuff but has to be used with parsimony.

    J-F


    • Neighbor’s front door lock was screwed up. A spray of WD-40, and it works like new. Our largest Locksmith in town told me that WD-40 is what everyone should use. He does . We used it at Go Kart Mfg. in Azusa, California, in the 1960′s where I was advertising manger . Used it on the chain drive, and Steen Oil in the two cycle fuel mix in our Mac engines. Ah, simpler days..
      Pete


      • Maybe if only WD-40 is used it’s fine or in warmer climates? Here it didn’t work so well. None of my 3 teachers when I studied to be a locksmith recomended the stuff and when I left school I went to work at 5000+ employee company that had a lot of doors and gates that needed opening, closing and locking and the guys from security had to carry propane torches to unlock some of the padlock during the winter. I tried mounting new padlocks with all clean internals lubricated with different stuff and unless it rained graphite worked good, prolab worked all the time and WD-40 would jam if too cold or not used for long periods of time and left outside. Maybe it was the freezing during the night and warming up during the day that made condensation inside it? Maybe some guys from maintenance (even tought they were not supposed to touch my locks) passed behind me and felt it need a little somthing extra and the stuff doesn’t mix well with other products? But I can tell you it doesn’t mix well with graphite or really dusty environements and it didn’t work for us.

        I’m not saying it’s not great stuff, I use it for other stuff all the time. A coating on the snow shovels will keep heavy snow from sticking on it almost all winter long, under the mower before storing it for the winter and grass will not stick to it next year and my favorite one is close to what BB mentionned, on spark plug wires during a rain storm, it worked like magic!

        J-F


  6. This was sent to the wrong address,

    i’m trying to find current value of my daisy 25 pump with the no. 300 telescope sight both made in plymouth mich can you help me?

    rick


    • Rick,

      Your set could run from $100 on up to three times that much. It depends on what version of the Daisy No. 25 you have. Is the stock wood? If the front sight adjustable? Is the triggerguard thin or thick? Is the pump linkage blued or case-hardened?

      Also, is the scope complete?

      Tell me these things and the general condition of the gun and I’ll try to narrow it down.

      B.B.


  7. Duane Sorenson had some weird ideas. When I was trying to decide what my first airgun would be I kept looking at the TF99. Reading Compasseco’s catalog was like reading an old Herter’s catalog. The lowest level gun was the best and they kept getting better from there. My parents were living fairly near Compasseco at the time so my Dad and I drove up to visit them. Duane showed me around the warehouse. They didn’t have a showroom. He had an old work bench in the warehouse. He explained to me that no one knew how to build an airgun correctly and that the secret was to drill out the transfer port to a larger size. He took all the TF99s apart and drilled out the transfer port, oiled them with corn oil and put them back together. The TF99s looked pretty nice but Duane was enough of a loose nut to make me put off getting an airgun. I then lucked into a HW55 and I have been airgunning ever since. When someone tells you that he knows that secret to airguns and that everyone else is just stupid it’s time to cut and run!

    David Enoch


  8. Also it would appear that the price of corn is going to rise. What’s with the pen in the photo? Here I thought the worst that could happen with lubricant was that it would dissolve and leave your gun vulnerable to rust. What’s the story with white lithium grease? B.B. because of you it’s in the guts of all of my precious military surplus rifles! :-) I hope it’s not going to turn into crud.

    Duskwight, I don’t think the challenge of mushrooms is sneaking up on them. It’s the enemy from within. I’ve heard that some percentage of Polish people die of poisoning every year because of their national obsession with mushrooms; some people always misidentify when they all turn out to pick.

    Great power is mine! I see that the back-cut technique with the bowie knife is related to certain stick paradigms. This knife is an amazing piece of equipment that distills the entire history of bladed weapons. But it also seems to be the first case of uncontrolled marketing. The name was such a selling point that it referred to any large knife with a blade five inches or greater. It’s not even clear if Jim Bowie used the clip point design associated with his name.

    Matt61



    • Matt,

      The only cure from poisoning is to know what mushrooms to take and what to leave alone. In fact edible and poisonous mushrooms look even more different than Volkswagen Beetle and Ford Mustang. Majority of poisonous mushrooms are gill-bearing and almost all boletuses in our woods are OK except for 2 species, but you won’t confuse them with anything else because of their colors. Even 5 y.o. kids can learn this and those who don’t – well, they are definitely Darwin Award nominees :)

      duskwight



    • Cantek,

      I was afraid of that. Others were also interested and I wanted to nip it in the bud before anything got started.

      B.B.


  9. Dear Bb – i know im deviating from the topic :)
    Your website,blog and reviews are wonderful! May I ask you couple of questions regarding my newly acquired pistol – BEEMAN P1
    1) At 5 meters on full power using RWS SUPERDOME 8.3GR I penetrate 1 can of beans/2.5 thin bottles of milk/ towel & glass bottles it bounces off and wood or melamine slightly chips and bounces off – is it normal and powerful?
    2) can i use it for small game hunting at 10 meters (squirrels/pigeons/rabbits and rats)?
    3) Ive dry fired it on one occassjon – did it cause any de-tunes or expansions?
    4) once ive shot a target at a very close range causing the pistol to de-bounceμany consequences?
    5) Do I have to maintain it and if so after how many shot a d how?
    6) ive heard that incorrectly cocked beeman can lessen the life of sear breach, can you elaborate?
    7) Finally, what else do i need to do and know to extend hi power and a life of beeman p1
    Many Thanks,
    John3


  10. To paraphrase a baby dinosaur from a short-lived series: “Not the B.B.”

    1) At 5 meters on full power using RWS SUPERDOME 8.3GR I penetrate 1 can of beans/2.5 thin bottles of milk/ towel & glass bottles it bounces off and wood or melamine slightly chips and bounces off – is it normal and powerful?

    And I can penetrate a plastic milk jug with a 22gram hand-thrown dart… Not really a valid subject for evaluating performance.

    Assuming you were achieving the rated velocity (600fps — unlikely using a heavier pellet) you were producing about 6.6 ft-lbs… More likely you were down around 500fps => 4.6 ft-lbs. Target gun range.

    2) can i use it for small game hunting at 10 meters (squirrels/pigeons/rabbits and rats)?

    10m? I wouldn’t. I believe some guides suggest 5ft-lbs on small game — I believe /at impact/. For this pistol, assuming 8.3gr with 550fps muzzle, you have 4.9ft-lbs at 5m. Headshots of chipmunks and pigeons out to 5m might be possible. I wouldn’t try with fox squirrel or rabbit.

    Most hunting guns start at around 12ft-lbs muzzle energy. That takes around 850fps with 8.2gr (13ft-lbs muzzle) and retains 5.5ft-lbs at 35 yards. (.177 caliber! A .22 caliber 14.6 at that velocity starts at 23ft-lbs and still has 5.3ft-lbs at 65 yards, 35 yards is still over 10ft-lbs)

    3) Ive dry fired it on one occassjon – did it cause any de-tunes or expansions?

    Once is probably safe — I’m currently concerned about my RWS m54, which went off a few times while I was trying to adjust the trigger stages (I eventually put cleaning wads into the barrel just to give nominal back-pressure). Without a pellet, the piston will tend to slam against the end of the cylinder — this could lead to damage to the piston seal, and jarring of the rest of the mechanism over a piston that slows down slightly at the end of the stroke as the pellet starts to move.

    4) once ive shot a target at a very close range causing the pistol to de-bounceμany consequences?

    Pardon? I can’t figure out what conditions you are describing.

    5) Do I have to maintain it and if so after how many shot a d how?

    Read the owners manual would be my suggestion.

    6) ive heard that incorrectly cocked beeman can lessen the life of sear breach, can you elaborate?

    Hearsay could be saying anything… And what is a “sear breach”?

    I suppose if you don’t latch it closed, and if the trigger can be pulled in that condition, then the air jet would be splattering against the breech seal and not against the pellet… and anything could be happening to the internals (though — given a semi-auto firearm background — being able to “fire” the gun with the action not completely closed seems like a design flaw).

    7) Finally, what else do i need to do and know to extend hi power and a life of beeman p1

    Live with it as it is, and follow the manufacturer’s care guide. Don’t expect to boost the power by changing to a heavier spring — it may make it more powerful, but it will also become harder to cock, harder to shoot accurately, and reduce the life of the components. (It’s easier to start with a powerful gun and swap to a lighter spring to reduce power — the rest of the components are sized for the heavy power and won’t be affected by running light)


    • From the deepest chambers of my Beeman – thank you!

      In my first question I was just concerned about penetration issues, is it normal and what can you/others penetrate from 5 meter range?


      • <sigh>

        My restricted environment is such that penetration is something one does NOT want to have happen…

        At 5m, I’d expect the front half of the pellet to embed itself in duct-seal putty. With a 12-20ft-lb gun (.177 vs .22 — sectional density will affect penetration depth), I’d expect the pellet skirt to be under the duct-seal… And three shots from a Marauder running 18ft-lb .177/10.7gr impacting in the same region punched through over an inch of duct-seal and out the back of the “silent pellet trap”, leaving a small hole in the closet door behind it (I wonder how well the manager’s paint covered the wood-tone crayon filler I used).

        The 18ft-lb .22 m54 /dented/ the front edge of a trap rated for .22 rimfire (granted, the pellet gun was about 10m, no 25+) when it hit low. And the 40ft-lb .22 Condor, while I hit at the proper height (the deflector slope) spattered lead shavings back through the target paper.

        Penetration is, as mentioned, not a effective measure of power. A soft-alloy pellet will deform (mushroom), transferring energy to the backstop. Harder materials (say a steel BB) of similar mass and velocity will punch through without transferring energy [unless the backstop is something that causes pellets to splatter, and BBs to ricochet].

        Muzzle /energy/ is strictly a numerical computation given projectile mass and velocity.

        Terminal ballistics (what it does to a target) depends on sectional density, velocity, composition of projectile and composition of target. A 1 ounce .17 caliber steel rod moving at 500fps is going to make a deep .17 hole, if not pass right through; in contrast, a 1 ounce .25 caliber steel button is probably not going to penetrate much, but will dump a lot of energy into the target. Same mass, same velocity => same energy — but much different effect on impact.

        If you really need comparison tests, you might try shooting bars of glycerin soap (since ballistics gelatin is so finicky with regards to temperature and humidity)… Lay the bar on its side and shoot the small end — if you are level the pellet should stay inside; a clear glycerin soap would let you see the penetration and deformation of the pellet. I think your pistol is low enough to stop in one typical soap bar, though you could dampen the ends and put two of them end-to-end (==). Make sure you have a safe backstop if you miss or angle so the pellet penetrates back out.

        Don’t know if large white paraffin wax candles would do — I think the wax is too brittle on high speed impact.



      • The technical details are likely okay, though after 8 hours of sleep I think my “tone” may have been a bit harsh.

        A personal fault…


  11. Read the manual and wonder where can I find pictorial ( video ) aid to carry out following routine tasks:
    ” The mainspring. The mainspring is the power source for the air pistol. A break-
    in period of 1,000 rounds is usually necessary before maximum velocities are reached. Once the airgun is properly broken in, periodic lubrication is necessary for smooth operation. A light application of the lube applied directly to the main- spring through the slot on the underside of the cylinder will accomplish this. Use only a small amount, as excess will damage the air pistol.
    3. Barrel hinge and other bearing surfaces. The main bearing surfaces, such as the barrel pivot lever and cocking arm, should be lubricated with a good lubricating gel. Use only one drop per side as excess may cause galling.
    4. Barrel. The barrel normally requires minimal care. For best accuracy, the bore should be cleaned with a lightly oiled patch or felt cleaning pellets. Do not use regular firearm bore cleaners as they may injure the seals and cause dieseling! Always clean from the breech end and use a cleaning rod designed for airguns so to protect the rifling and crown.


    • John,

      Cock the gun, then look at the cocking slots. That’s where you put the oil.

      The rest of the recommendations should not be necessary until you have about 10,000 shots on the gun.

      Nobody ever cleans a spring piston airgun barrel unless the accuracy falls off. I have never cleaned the barrel on my P1 and it has about 15,000 shots so far.

      Just shoot it and enjoy it.

      B.B.



    • 8.3gr @ 521fps is (according to ChairGun Pro) 5.004 ft-lbs

      Presuming the power plant was optimized for 5ft-lbs with “pistol weight” pellets, a 7.0gr pellet should produce ~567fps at the same 5.004 ft-lbs.

      After break-in, the 7gr pellet may make 585fps and 5.3 ft-lbs… Close to the advertised 600fps. A hypothetical 6.5gr pellet would then just make 600fps.



        • John,

          You don’t have a speed issue. Your pistol is operating normally. It may never achieve the 600 f.p.s. it is rated for, but that doesn’t make any difference.

          Focus on how well it shoots. It’s a very accurate air pistol.

          B.B.


    • John,

      Yes, that is normal.

      Let’s not oil the mainspring just yet. It’s still oily from the factory. But when you do, just two drops of oil in each cocking slot should do it.

      You really need to shoot your gun a lot to break it in, so that’s what you should be doing now. I shoot mine on full power, only, as low power sends the shots to a different place.

      B.B.



    • NO Corn Oil…

      The whole article is a treatise on how it doesn’t work.

      RWS Spring Oil, Crosman PellGunOil: for springs and hinges
      RWS Chamber Oil, Crosman RMCOIL: eventually /in/ the piston chamber (“eventually” being 500 to 1000 shots; only into the piston chamber — ie; dripped in through the air-port seen when the barrel is open).

      {I probably over oil mine — since they’ve stood in the gun cabinet for 5 to 10 years without being cycled}



  12. Thanks Bb & Walfraed for your top notch advice,
    -1)I’ve done 600 shots so far, in how many shots should I oil?
    0) I’m in possession of the following 5 oils ( came to USA from uk sometime ago) – which of them should I use and when? This is my last question :)
    1)WD40?
    2)Abbey Gun clean?
    3)Napier’s gun cleaning lubricant
    4)SMK Mineral Gun Oil
    300ml Pumpasol Spray Bottle
    5)Napier Power Airgun Oil
    200ml Aerosol Spray Can


    • John,

      Let’s get at least 1,000 shots before we do anything. Then use a good quality OIL, if you want to oil the gun. I don’t know any of the products you mention, but the SMK mineral gun oil sounds like the thing to use.

      You need to stop worrying about oiling the gun and just keep shooting it. I never oil my pistol and it now has many thousands of shots on it. The PTFE piston seal is self-lubricating and the mainspring doesn’t need that much oil to keep running.

      B.B.


      • John,

        One last word of caution. Never use WD-40 on any gun for any reason. It leaves a yellow deposit that’s very hard to remove.

        B.B.


    • WD-40: Only to dry it out after dropping it in the creek while hunting. “WD” is short for “water displacement” (most oils will float on water, or form sludge — WD40 is supposed to get “under” the water… AND THEN A GOOD WIPE-DOWN. WD-40 is NOT a lubricant, per se; 3-in-1 would be better for friction surfaces (even Liquid Wrench may be better as a lubricant on moving parts, and it’s really a penetrating oil for rusty bolts).

      Abbey Gun Clean is a POWDER SOLVENT; meant to dissolve gunpowder (including black powder) residue in a barrel… Similar to Hoppes #9 Solvent. IT IS NOT AN OIL — don’t use

      Napier Gun Cleaner Lubricant Aerosol (closest I could find on google) is another powder solvent — don’t use

      SMK — looks like everybody is selling it, but the company remains a secret (based on first page of google). Sounds similar to RWS spring oil, but in a pump spray bottle. Suitable, wipe off excess from the outside of the gun.

      Napier Power Airgun Oil — probably okay for general spray over the entire gun, followed by wiping down with a soft rag to remove excess from the outside.

      None of these are are “chamber” rated — for the chamber you’ll want a silicone (no petroleum content) oil. Silicone is not a long-term lubricant, per se, but is not a solvent either… RWS Chamber Oil (small bottle) or Crosman RMCOIL (tube), will last a long time.

      RWS (via UmarexUSA, current importer/owner) suggests two drops of chamber oil every 1000 shots (into the chamber) and some on the breech seal; and a drop of spring oil on the hinges/spring at 1000 shots.



  13. Thanks guys!
    Really appreciated all the advice here!
    Will shoot another 1000 shots before doing anything, bought myself 4 knockdown targets and 17cm general targets.

    For those who’re interested in penetration ( I know it’s not gauge of accuracy)
    From 5 meters, using RWS 8.3gr pellet It penetrates –
    3 empty milk bottles,
    tin of beens( both sides)
    dents tuna tin( small)
    One wall of Costco bottle filled with water
    40 pages of a phone book
    Gets stuck in the soap
    5 beers cans
    BOunces of hand towel
    Bounces of glass bottles


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