Getting things clean

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is a guest blog from reader duskwight. It’s about how and why to clean airguns. It’s longer than our usual blog posts and filled with lots of info you’ll need.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

by duskwight

What we put into our airguns — and what it puts into their barrels
Everybody knows we shoot lead. So-called “ballistic alloys” are a poor substitute for it, so let’s all pretend that we shoot lead.

Lead is a soft, malleable metal — so malleable that a pellet’s skirt blows out when hit by compressed air and presses into rifling. It’s also so soft that during the Middle Ages it was used for pencils, as it leaves dark lines on paper or parchment or human hair! Yes, people made lead combs to dye their beards and hair while combing them — they didn’t live that long back then, anyway. Remember that, though, and wash your hands thoroughly, especially when you’re covered with a lead and oil cocktail, because it’s readily absorbed.

So, lead leaves traces of itself on things. Sometimes, it leaves even more than traces — as in whole deposits of lead. Just imagine a lead pencil drawing a line all along the inside of your barrel, and you’ll get the picture. Freshly exposed lead is so shiny and bright — it’s also quite sticky and shaves off your pellets to form thin (foil-like) deposits inside your barrel. It looks like tiny shavings or scales, pressed and stuck onto the metal.

Of course, that’s not all. Some pellet makers use graphite dust to prevent pellets from sticking to each other inside their tins. Some use different types of grease (e.g., tiny amount of petroleum jelly dissolved in a good amount of solvent to form a thin coat after a short wash) to prevent them from oxidizing while being stored. Some use both. There’s all sorts of lead dust and tiny shavings of lead coming off pellets. The better the quality of your pellets, the less dirt they bring with them. But they’re all dirty. And compressed air, especially in a magnum springer, carries tiny amounts of grease, fat and oil to combust — creating different sorts of tar and carbon for the barrel.

And there’s other bad stuff inside, but only for CO2 guys. Carbon dioxide cools as it expands rapidly in the barrel, and it condenses out some tiny amount of water from the air. It can also contain some water of its own. Carbon dioxide plus water is unstable carbonic acid H2CO3 (fizz water anyone?). It is a rather weak acid; however, it’s still an acid.

What it means for your rifle or pistol
The rule is simple. You shoot, and you foul your barrel. It’s inevitable, just like every breath you take brings some very strong oxidants into your lungs.

Then comes the next rule — dirty barrels tend to make you miss. This is simple, too. Compare it to driving on a highway or autobahn (in case you use German-made barrels) — that’s a clean barrel — versus country roads beaten up by tractors and ill repairs — that’s a dirty barrel. Deposits in your barrel make your pellet’s ride unstable. What’s worse is when the deposits collect near or on the crown. They force the pellet to leave your barrel with an unequal force on all sides, making it prone to tumbling, less stable and imprecise. They can also deform or mar the surface of your pellet, affecting aerodynamics and hurting accuracy.

Match-grade barrels with polished grooves collect less lead. Poorly manufactured barrels with “cheese-grater” surfaces scrape off more. Polygonal or segmental rifling tends to catch and hold less lead than classic Ballard rifling because of fewer cutting edges, lower lands and less spaces for lead to stick. The smoother your airgun shoots — the less brute force is applied to the pellet, the less fouling is left. Springer super magnums seem to be the champions of brute force (which makes them lose accuracy soonest). Choked barrels tend to catch more lead in the choke; barrels that are straight cylinders tend to get dirty more uniformly.

The main thing to learn from all this is that there’s no certain equation between the number of shots and aforementioned effects. Every barrel and every rifle has its own character and own number of shots to get dirty. For example, my Feinwerkbau C62 Luft needs 2,500 shots to get dirty, while my modified Gamo CFX with Lothar Walther barrel gets 500-520 shots before it needs to be cleaned. My Feinwerkbau 300S likes to be cleaned every 1200 shots (although I suspect that’s me being paranoid, not exactly the rifle’s barrel). An IZH 60 I have seems to have no limit at all. That’s what you get with segmental rifling and low power. However, the same modified Gamo CFX with the same Lothar Walther barrel (except for the wood) I made for my friend wants to be cleaned after every 550-600 shots. And another buddy’s FWB C62 wants cleaning after 2,000 shots.

Keep in mind that I use just 4 different types of pellets for my fleet – all of them are .177. Multiply that by the number of rifles — each of them can (and probably will) like its own sort — H&N, JSB, CP, Eun Jin, etc. — and calibers — .177, .20, .22, .25, .30. Don’t go crazy doing this. Learn your guns, get intimate with them and know their habits and likes.

Getting dirty
Oh, you’ll know when the barrel finally gets dirty! Your perfectly tightened, perfectly tuned and sighted airgun starts to spit like a mad camel! Pellets start to fly chaotically, hitting where you don’t want them.

If you’re lucky (which means you have a “predictable” barrel), the accuracy fall-off will start sharply — just 5 or 10 shots, and it’s shooting horribly. If you’re not so lucky, it will drag along for 50 or more shots, with some being better and others worse. Up and down you’ll go — getting tighter then trashier groups. Anyway, it will happen. That tells you things got dirty, and it’s time to clean.

Some shooters clean after every session. Some clean according to a regular preventive schedule — when the shot count comes to the predetermined number of shots. And others just wait until the inaccuracy gets obvious. I’m somewhere between the second and third type. I don’t like to disturb barrels too often.

What we clean
Airgun barrels are made of steel or brass. Steel is tougher, yet it’s not the same kind that’s used for powder-burners. It’s softer and of a simpler composition, not chromed and so on. Brass is even softer and less durable, but it has a lower friction coefficient with lead and tends to collect less lead than a steel barrel.

A good clean airgun barrel looks like mirror — shiny and amplifying light. Dirty barrels look dusty, and their insides look smoky and blackened. Some even drop lead dust when shaken.

What to use for cleaning — and what not to
The rule in this case sounds like that – nothing can enter the barrel that’s harder or as hard as the barrel metal. The worst thing that can happen to your barrel is a damaged crown. That’s a death sentence for your barrel’s accuracy.

So, steel rods and steel brushes go directly to trash for both steel and brass barrels. [Note from B.B.: Some gunsmiths recommend a one-piece polished steel cleaning rod for cleaning steel barrels. They claim it doesn't harm the barrel because it's smooth.]

Steel rods coated with plastic are good. Brass rods are good for steel, but not for brass. Wooden rods — if you can find one in .177 caliber — are ok. Plastic rods are ok too. Different kinds of cloth “snakes” are also ok.

Brushes are usually made of one of three materials — brass, plastic or cotton (they call the cotton ones mops). Brass on brass doesn’t play; save it for your steel barrels. The rest are OK.

Patch-holding tip — get a brass one for steel barrels and aluminum alloy for brass barrels.

Felt patches — I use them for quick cleaning or refreshing the barrel on the range. I load 2 dry with 1 wet between them, and a pellet behind all of it to give a springer something to push against and save the optics — or nothing in case of a PCP. But that’s not proper cleaning, no matter what the ads say.

Thin cotton cloth — clean old t-shirt is quite ok; special wads are too posh for true tough guys (any dry cotton is OK).

As for oil — I prefer Ballistol. Nothing too special, and it does the job right. I also use WD-40 for CO2 guns — as a preventive to get rid of water.

A word of caution about oils. Make sure they don’t get into any place where there’s compression, especially when it comes to sprays. In the case of springers, they can cause intense dieseling — or even detonation — and broken seals and springs. In the case of single-strokes or multi-pumps, you can get yourself a very nice tiny working diesel engine — and some purple-black blood-blistered fingers for your troubles.

Do not use silicone oils. Just don’t — they’re simply not for cleaning metal. [Note from B.B.: Silicone oil is used to seal pistons. It doesn't lubricate, it seals.]

Ah, and one more thing. You need a tiny and very bright single, white LED flashlight to check the barrel’s condition. This is a useful amateur gunsmith tool.

Getting things done
Brass barrels are exotic these days. If you have one — use a plastic brush.

Steady your rifle, preferably in the horizontal mode. The less bend you’ll give to your rod, the better.

Close all the glass optics with covers. Should I remind you that your rifle must be uncocked, unloaded, de-pressurized and checked twice for maximum safety?

It’s best to clean the barrel from breech to muzzle. Well, I think that’s a bit of a superstition. With good equipment and steady hands you can clean it in the reverse direction — and you often have to. Especially, since some guns do not give you easy access to the rifle’s breech.

Let’s say we have a VERY dirty steel barrel on our hands. Don’t laugh — it happens! Put a brass brush on your rod. For brass barrels (they’re hard to get this dirty), use only plastic brushes. Spray it with Ballistol to wet the brush.

Drag your brass brush along the barrel 5-10 times. Not fast, not slow — just calm and steady. The brass brush will scratch all the big lead deposits off barrel walls and won’t hurt your steel barrel.

WATCH OUT FOR RUBBER RINGS AND OTHER DAMAGEABLE STUFF INSIDE THE BARREL AND PAST THE BREECH.

Now, wait for a couple minutes. Then, screw your patch-holding tip onto the rod. Get some cotton onto it or use a patch of cotton cloth. It must sit tight inside the barrel. Spray some Ballistol to make it wet. Run it 5-10 times through the barrel in both directions. Take it out and say, “Eek!” It should be black with some tiny, shiny flakes of lead.

Change the cloth or cotton and repeat 5-10 times. Aaah…now it comes out dark grey. Change patches again. This one comes out light grey. Change and clean until it comes out white. This alone works fine for regular cleaning if your barrel doesn’t tend to get extremely dirty.

Congratulations, you just got yourself a nice, clean barrel. However, you must finish the job.

Use a loosely woven dry cloth or cotton on your patch-holding tip or use a cotton brush to dry the barrel. Don’t be afraid. One run will not leave the barrel dry, it will leave just the right amount of oil that you need in metal pores and on its surface. You’ve heard the expression, “A light coat of oil?” That doesn’t refer to a wardrobe choice.

Then, if you like — shoot 3-5 pellets into a pellet trap to season the barrel. This will give you a thin film of lead that gives the barrel its standard accuracy and voila! Your barrel is ready to punch hundreds more precise and clean holes in paper.

For polished match barrels that are not very dirty, I use the method of some Olympic airgun shooters. It puts minimal (well, they are prone to overplaying safe) influence on the barrel and makes things extremely right and tender.

Get a fishing line – very good stuff to clean match barrels. I prefer 0.40mm Japanese line. Get 5-6 feet, fold in two, knot, pass through the barrel, loop outside the breech, knot outside the muzzle. Put a narrow strip of cloth into the loop (in my case — 6″ long, 1/5″ wide, 2 loops for .177), soak it with Ballistol, put the rest of the cloth over your fingers (as fishing line DOES cut!) and just pull steadily and slow. This will drag the cloth through the barrel and clean it. Repeat with wet cloths until it comes out white. Finish with one dry patch. Perfectly clean!

There’s another kind of problem with CO2 guns that I mentioned before — water and carbon acid. To maximize your CO2 gun’s service life (don’t consider it to be just a plinker — FWB and Walther made some Olympic CO2 match rifles, and the Hämmerli 850 AirMagnum is a serious piece even by today’s standards), depressurize it and apply some WD-40 into the barrel with a cotton brush or patch-holding tip and cotton cloth after every session. This will get the water out of the pores and preserve it from rust. The same goes for shooting PCPs and springers in misty or high-humidity outdoor conditions.

And a finishing touch — gently rub your rifles steel parts with a soft cloth, slightly wet with oil. Congratulations — you’re done!

87 thoughts on “Getting things clean


  1. I have to agree hank, I was going to say he succeeded in putting a very fun and interesting read together. Cleaning bores can be… a bore! Haha but this was a really good article, thanks duskwight


    • RifledDNA

      It’s not just me – Tom and Edith did a lot of job too, as my English is not quite OK for NY Times front page :)

      duskwight



  2. I gotta get me one of those cool icons like ya’ll have. Do I have to sign up or make an account profile or something?


  3. Also, excellent guest blog duskwight. I typically try and leave my airguns barrels alone, and only give them a cleaning once a year unless I notice a distinct accuracy drop off. Also, has there been a blog done on the different types of barrels/rifling, because I can’t recall one specifically about that. What I mean is the relative merits of hammer forged, broached, or conventionally cut rifling as it relates to the construction of airgun barrels.


  4. Duskwight
    Thanks for penning such an all encompassing blog on the art of barrel cleaning. You have obviously put a lot of thought, and years of experience into writing this blog. It seems to answer most questions that are asked on how to go about properly cleaning an air gun barrel. Today’s blog is a keeper, and should be considered required reading for all air gunners.
    Ciao
    Titus


  5. Duskwight,

    Excellent report. One question, for the wet patches is it ok to use Otis O85 Bore cleaner for airguns or is that for firearms only? Sure seems like a lot of people use it and its the only dedicated bore cleaner (I think) that P.A. sells.

    G&G



    • G&G

      Of course. Demothballing is a must, especially for springers. I believe I made a blog here on proper springer after-purchase cleaning and lubing.
      As for Otis – I think it’s an overkill. No airgun gets _this_ dirty _this_ way. Ballistol and cloth are what anyone needs in 97.5% of cases.

      duskwight



        • G & G,

          I clean the barrel on every gun I acquire. New, used, springer, pcp, rimfire, centerfire, etc. I want to take the variable of a dirty barrel out of the accuracy equation before I start shooting.

          kevin


        • Me too. I use a bronze brush and jb bore paste for 20-25 strokes (40-50 single passes) on all new steel bores. TouchUp might require only a few strokes.


  6. The thing about cleaning air gun barrels is accuracy. Right? I’m one that will clean only if I see the accuracy change. So that means its important to know how your gun groups.

    So here is some questions.

    How do you know if a new gun needs its barrel cleaned? Do you look at the target and see dirty holes which other wise would be clean white? You obviously don’t have any data to compare with yet for the groups changing. Or do you just look down the bore with a good light. (Unloaded of course) Should you automatically clean the barrel of a new gun?

    If you have a gun that is not new and has shot for a while. Will the holes in the target have a gray ring around the hole? Is that normal?

    Or when you shoot the gun if you have a good enough scope you can see the pellet start cork-screwing, or maybe tumbling. Is that when you clean a barrel?

    Good write up but need more facts to know when and why the barrel needs cleaned. Not trying to be a smart you know what. But the more info the better you know.


    • Gunfun1

      1. Every new airgun needs to be cleaned, checked for bedding, screws, seals, air tanks integrity and so on before making first shot. It’s a rule and a required procedure. It’s demothballing and like making a “base 0″ for subsequent learning of this rifle. Data on groups can be acquired by… eeerrr… making some? Learning and getting close with your rifle? Rifle’s true accuracy comes in 100-200 shots in my exerience, as there’s a “cushion problem” :) Then you can accumulate data on its behavior.

      2. Gray rings show nothing at all. Most times it’s just lead leaving marks while tearing through paper.

      3. Most times pellets fly faster than detectable by human eye. The only positive proof is paper and learning how to read marks on it is a good skill. Groups start to open and get chaotic due to dirty barrel waaaay before pellets start to tumble. So If I see a tumble – I would rather inspect the gun’s barrel for mechanic malfunctions and the rest of the gun for tightened screws or review pellets than look for cleaning kit.

      duskwight


      • Thanks duskwight.
        And very true that you can learn alot about your gun by the paper the pellets hitting. So tell me if you see the pellet hitting the paper with the side of the pellet that would maybe be tumbling.

        Have you found lead loaded up in-between the lands ever when you encountered tumble or yaw? Well and then there is cork-screwing how do you know what that looks like on the target other than it may be a flier.

        And with the scopes and guns I have I can see the pellet trajectory very clearly. Its kind of like when you shoot the High velocity big caliber guns on a warm day. Well even my .17 HMR. Whats funny about that round is they say that bullet can actually vaporise depending on weather conditions.

        Ain’t these guns fun to learn about. :)


        • Gunfun 1

          On lead between lands – yes, I’ve seen such stuff and there’s good macrophoto, made by another guy, showing lead deposits. Let me search for it and I’ll show it to you. However I can not confirm that I met such stuff on my rifles – they are most time clean.

          On results – Pure statistics for cork-screwing, as it leaves a sort of ring of holes around the bullseye. Tumbling gives you a specific sound and leaves square holes. Again – I’ve never seen such stuff myself due to dirty barrel, however I’ve seen this stuff in case of damaged or incorrectly made crown.

          duskwight


          • duskwight
            I would like to see the photo if you could find it. It would help to show people what to look for inside a barrel.

            And I’m with you on that about my barrels also. I hardly ever clean my barrels. And every time I inspect them they are nice and sparkly clean.

            But I will have to say I have seen pellets tumble and corkscrew out of my guns when I was trying different pellets. And then inspect the barrel and its fine. Then try my known pellets that work and have no problem with them shooting. So I guess that pellet design or quality could give a false example of a dirty barrel then.


  7. Great job Duskwight!

    One of my favorite cleaning tools is similar to the fishing line setup. When I was a tweeny, my father needed a cleaning rod for his 5mm magnum, so he took a length of nylon string and tied a loop on one end and put a fishing split shot sinker on the other and gently hammered the shot into a cylinder that would slide down the barrel and drag the line with it. It worked great and it is very compact.

    When I ventured into airgunning with a CFX, I made one out of 150# Spectra kite line. I just drop the shot into the breach and it slides down the barrel and out the muzzle, stick a cloth in the loop and pull. I always keep one in my cleaning kit for a quick swipe or two.


  8. The weighted cord type are great for quick cleaning airguns with hard to access breaches such as a CFX and powder burners such as semiautos and lever actions.


  9. Duskwight….

    Thanks for the blog today. It should help a lot of people.
    And don’t worry about your English. After we get out of school, most of us throw all of that stuff away and talk anyway we want to.

    twotalon


  10. Duskwight,
    Great blog. Me thinks PA should include a link to this article in the manual of each airgun they sell. A simple rubber stamp would suffice so as to keep costs down.

    Pete


  11. So now lets pretend we don’t all shoot lead, is the cleaning regimen the same?
    I am not suggesting alloy is better, simply that for some practical reasons some of us do shoot it from time to time.


    • StevenG

      Sorry, but I’m not much in shooting alloy, so I can not share any exerience on that, same thing goes for coppered or zinked steel balls. As far as I know alloy is somewhat harder, thus it’s less prone to fouling the barrel. However since it’s performance is still inferior to lead pellets – I didn’t consider it to be a valid topic. As far as I can imagine procedures must be almost the same, with corrections to fouling time. Perhaps somebody sometimes should make a research on that.

      duskwight


    • Yes, and let’s not forget those plastic “sabot” lead/alloy pellets that are out now. Is plastic a big concern in an airgun? I would think the velocities are too low, but I don’t know. Bradly


  12. Thanks, duskwight! Great article, as always.

    I like the idea the long, narrow strips of cloth. I will have to give that a try!

    Thanks,
    Jan


  13. Duskwight,

    After cleaning the barrel, in your experience how many shots does it take to coat the barrel with the proper amount of lead to acclimate the bore? I have read it is around 20-30 shots.

    G&G


    • G&G

      Again – that depends on every barrel, every gun and every pellet and is cleared by experiment. In my experience 5 shots are enough.

      duskwight


  14. Excellent blog, Duskwright. Very educational and informative. As for your English skills, I have found that there has NEVER been a problem with understanding what you write. However, there are several who post on this blog I can’t say the same for :) – (I’ll never tell who).

    Fred DPRoNJ


  15. Hi Duskwight

    Need some advice. I squirt a bit of WD 40 down the barrel of my air pistol if its very dirty & then send dry patches after a minute or two till its clean. The barrel is sparkling after. Is this OK or will it damage the barrel with residue we can’t see? Thanks for the great article.

    Errol



  16. Thanks, duskwight.

    BB has previously suggested using e.g. J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound, which I take to be an abrasive polish. Do you agree? When/how often would you recommend that?


  17. BB,

    This is off topic but I hope you get to read this. If I don’t get a response from you I will write this again another day. My subject is this:

    Yesterday I took my scuba tanks to get refilled and this thought occurred to me. Would it be possible to build a compressor such as the Shoebox so that instead of using a shop compressor to feed air to the machine, you could use air from a tank to feed it?

    Obviously, once our scuba tanks get down to 2000 psi or so they are no longer useful. So my thought was why not use the remaining 2000 psi of air in the tanks to supply to the Shoebox (or whatever) the air it needs that it can then boost to 3000psi.

    That would mean we could get many, many more FULL fills from a tank. It would be great for those of us that already own a few scuba tanks. We would not have to buy the shop compressor. Plus I would imagine it would greatly reduce the time needed to fill a gun or tank. Noise would be greatly reduced since only one machine would be running. Also, we could still use our tanks and not lose our investment in them. Trips to the dive shop should be significantly reduced and we would only need to get one tank refilled to supply air to the compressor. Although I would still get all but one filled and would only need to go to the dive shop once or twice a year.

    Unless there is something I’m not seeing it seems like a very good idea to me. I would buy this compressor in a heart beat. Any comments?

    Also, it occurred to me that a good short blog topic would be the proper procedure for cascading tanks. Just in case my idea above does not fly (LOL). I would like to know exactly how one cascades tanks to maximize use of air.

    G&G


    • G & G,

      Yes, you could build a compressor like the shoebox to run off of compressed air instead of a small shop compressor.

      You can run a shoebox off of compressed air instead of a small shop compressor. The reason no one does it is because you would need a high pressure regulator on your tank that feeds the compressor so you can regulate input down to around 85 psi. A high pressure regulator costs more than a small shop compressor that is rated at 85 psi at 2 cfm so why do it?

      As for cascading, if you have two tanks use one for primary filling and use the other to top off your guns when the primary tank starts running low on air. You can buy all the expensive hoses and gauges for cascading but you’re accomplishing the same thing.

      kevin


    • G&G,

      Yes, that could be made to work. I guess it would solve the problem of only topping tanks off, because when that one was empty, it would be very empty!

      But as for how really practical it is, I couldn’t say. Shop compressors don’t cost that much, these days.

      B.B.


  18. Regarding WD 40: http://gizmodo.com/5932262/10-surprising-uses-for-wd-40-and-5-places-it-should-never-be-sprayed . NOTICE: the part that “3. Paintball guns. WD-40 can melt the seals in the guns.” I’m pretty sure pellet guns use the same type seals.

    Here’s the TDS for WD 40: http://www.wd40company.com/files/pdf/wd_40tec16952473.pdf

    Personally, I wouldn’t allow WD 40 within 10 feet of any of my airguns. It reacts badly in temperatures above 200 degrees F. I’m pretty sure the friction of a pellet cursing thru a barrel, and the rapid compression of air flashes to that point. Plus it leaves a nasty residue over time, that’s nearly impossible to remove. Use Ballistol as others have suggested.


    • chasblock,

      I thought the same thing about WD-40 and was surprised that duskwight suggested it and that Tom must have felt the same way since he didn’t omit it from the posting.

      Edith


      • Tom didn’t notice it! I messed up a Mauser rifle with WD-40! I sprayed it on and let it dry. I left a yellow varnish that took a long time to remove.

        Horologists will never use it because of that varnish.

        B.B.


        • The whole reason WD-40 exists is to leave a hydrophobic coating… It is specified for use in (as I recall) Atlas rockets to keep wiring dry. That IS what the “WD” stands for: Water Displacement (and the -40 is that it was the 40th formula the company tried before achieving success).


          • in order to displace water, a residue is required, at first this compound is labeled Extremely flammable, I assume this is only in vaporized form,however if this residue turns or shelac ,or varnish, like gasoline it would definitely be a problem and should never be allowed to do so. Even if it does no direct damage,The cleanup probably will. I learned years ago to keep this away from guns. It does a very good job of stripping rust, including Bluing!



    • chasblock

      I should’ve written – “only inside the barrel and then wipe”. “Rubber + WD40 = bad” for me is an axiom, so I ommitted that. And there’s no air or flash in CO2 guns – CO2 is used in fire extinguishers ;)

      duskwight


      • Yes sir, I’m aware of that. And CO2 still uses seals. But I still won’t use WD40 around *any* of my guns; not when there are better products around specifically made for guns, air or otherwise.


  19. Duskwight,

    Thanks for an excellent report. It is indeed something to be kept for future reference.
    I like to clean barrels on new guns. I have found some real crud in brand new barrels (sticky grease and metal particles).

    Les


  20. Duskwrite, what are the rubber rings or other damageables inside the barrel? I had no idea to look for them. Where exactly and what are you talking about?

    Thanks for the great report.

    Rob


    • Rob

      It’s all quite simple. Some hight-class PCPs utilise a “bare metal” loading rod and the sealing is obtained by rubber (PTFE, silicone etc.) rings that are placed into grooves cut _inside_ the barrel. Another example is a breech seals in several Feinwerkbau models and Izh-46 – by thrusting your rod too hard and out of the breech end, you can damage rudder rings inside the breech block.

      duskwight


  21. Off the subject.
    If you had a choice between buying a collectible air rifle. And your choices were
    Daisy 25 takedown
    Crossman 400 repeater
    Crossman 500 repeater

    Which would you choose? And what is the maximum amount to pay(in good condition)?


    • Jeff,

      I would go for the Daisy 25. I wouldn’t pay more than $800 for a first model, and I would expect at least 50 percent of the original black nickel remaining.

      Of course you can get a nice 1930 model in excellent condition for no more than $250. They look cool and the money is not that much.

      B.B.


  22. Nice blog, duskwight! Спасибо, товарищ!

    I’m one of those who cleans my firearms religiously after a trip to the range, even if I’m going again in a couple of days… I feel terrible if I have to wait until the next day to get it done.

    On the other hand, I shoot airguns all the time and don’t clean them more than once or twice a year. Fortunately, I live in a very dry climate where humidity doesn’t have much of a chance to give me problems. Also, it doesn’t hurt that I have a collection to choose from so the total shot count on any one gun doesn’t climb as rapidly…

    /Dave


  23. Interesting article. I’m one of those folks who never really cleans the barrels of his airgun. (Well, not strictly true… I do have a 4.5mm Daisy cleaning rod and I have run patches down the barrel before years ago… And I did use a brass brush on a B-3 many, many years ago…) Mainly that’s because I shoot low-velocity guns (Daisy 880, Crosman 2100, and a (smoothbore) Crosman 760). But its also because as a plinker I don’t worry too much about wringing every last drop of accuracy out of my airguns. Still like I said, that was an interesting article. If I think about it, I’ll pass this one on to my friend CF45 since he shoots better quality and higher velocity airguns.



    • GF1,

      I saw that you posted a comment, but we had no intention of allowing posts there (I didn’t even know comments COULD be posted on that page). Any questions should be posted on the regular blog to maximize spread of info to everyone interested in the show. That’s why I had the comments disabled this afternoon. Tom will address the question you asked there, but he just came home from his trip and won’t get to it til later.

      Thanks,
      Edith


  24. Thanks, Duskwight. Very detailed and substantial as well. Hold on! I thought you never had to clean airguns! I think this must mean that you don’t have to clean them nearly as often as firearms since there is no powder fouling. But given that rifling will cut away some lead, there seems no way to avoid an accumulation of lead over time. That must be what Derrick found in my IZH barrel after 100,000 shots without a single cleaning. On the other hand, accuracy was fantastic right until the seal failed. Does lead corrode like powder in firearms or does it merely degrade accuracy without damaging the barrel?

    Gunfun1, talent is unavoidable in archery as in other walks of life. However, I heard the other day that steroids can sharpen your vision as well as give you bigger muscles which is why they are used by baseball players. So, maybe that would work for archery too. As a related point, I understand that the brains of birds are much more devoted to vision than ours. So not only can they see much better, but they can process visual input and respond much faster than we can. That is why goshawks can zoom through dense forest at 40 miles per hour without hitting anything. What potential for shooting, but they are not set up for using guns.

    I saw Noah last night. Without spoiling anything I can say that all of you tinkerers out there would have had a field day building that ark. It was like your ultimate erector set. What they came up with was not very prepossessing and looked like a giant shoebox. Not clear how it would have avoided flipping over, especially in the seas it was in, causing disaster inside. On the other hand, the ark was somehow designed to accommodate all the daily needs of the dwellers although as with the original Biblical story those details are left in the dark. It’s like Bill Cosby said in his memorable rendition of Noah. “(Speaking to God) And do you know what it’s like to clean up after those elephants?”

    Man of God though he is, Noah, also takes out quite a few people gladiator style and in a fairly expert way. The original story has Noah and family sealing up the ark and waiting inside for the rains. When they come, the doomed hammer away outside to no effect. In the movie, Noah stays outside to take them out personally for reasons that are not quite clear. Initially, it looks like the movie veers into political commentary. The only recognizable gun which is kind of crude bazooka or blunderbuss is used by the wicked people. However, Noah makes use of a kind of hand grenade at one point, so the movie mercifully leaves politics aside.

    I don’t get the Vatican’s commentary that the movie has no God and departs from the Bible. There are constant references to a higher being. As for departures, it does more of filling in blank spaces than contradicting the original story. I thought that the character of Noah was surprisingly deep. A propos of our conversation about gun company executives, Noah turns into kind of an administrator run wild.

    Anyway, next up is Captain America and the Winter Soldier.

    Matt61


    • Matt,

      Just like I wrote – Izh barrels seem to be “eternal” from that point of view.
      Lead does not corrode. It produces a blend of lead hydroxide and lead carbonate – ceruse or lead white. This is quite a hygroscopic stuff and it can “attracts” water, you can calculate the rest.

      The package is on the way to me, I’m tracking it.

      duskwight


    • Matt61
      Ain’t that something to watch a bird fly full on and start dodging trees and branches as it fly’s.

      And alot of the movies don’t thrill me to much now days. But I do want to see the movie Noah. And I can say that I do like Emma. Always have even from the Harry Potter movies. And that’s the type of movies I like. Also the Chronicles of Narnia. And I did kind of like Snow White and the Huntsman.

      So you got your gun back and its shooting good now?


  25. GunFun 1 posted this to the wrong place, so i’m posting it here for him. It refers to the new airgun show in Texas.

    Will anybody be able to shoot on the shooting range?

    And can you bring your own airguns to shoot or will there be some already there available to shoot?

    GF1


    • GF!,

      Yes, anybody can shoot. A club member has to accompany them, and that’s being set up.

      You need a gun to shoot. The range is for people to test-fire guns before they buy it. I bet you could borrow a gun from one of the dealers, just to shoot a bit.

      B.B.


      • BB
        Thanks for that info about the show. That would be great if they had a variaty of different types of guns people could try at the range. It would give people a chance to see how different types of airguns shoot.

        Im sure you will post more info as time goes on.
        Thanks again BB.



          • Reb
            If the plan works out on my end me and my family are planning to come down to visit my wife’s brother and his family. I use to hunt deer, rabbit and squirrel with him when we was younger. That’s how I started dating my wife way back then.

            But my plans are to bring my .25 cal. Marauder that’s got a bunch of stuff done to it. Hopefully Lloyd will have the double tube air reservoir kit worked out by then and I will have it on the gun.
            Right Lloyd if your listening ;)
            And I plan to bring the .22 cal. Monsoon also. My wife’s brother wants to shoot both of them also to see what thier like.

            So it would be nice if I could bring them to the show and shoot them. That’s what I’m hopping for anyway. I hope it all works out. Will see.


  26. I took another peek at the .0035 today. -$60 a little surface rust on the barrel, the bore is bright, breech seal standing proud. I could’ve put it on layaway for $11, and probably would have but I started dropping things outta my left hand and was unable to finish the job to get paid. Spent the day @ hospital instead.It’s been getting worse for 2 weeks now, All my cocking & loading has been right handed. They gave me Prednisone and a corticosteroid. Hoping it’s a pinched nerve.I’m gonna find all the info I can on this gun and have heard good things about it here. Could this be my small, lightweight hunter?
    Thanks

    Reb


  27. [Note from B.B.: Some gunsmiths recommend a one-piece polished steel cleaning rod for cleaning steel barrels. They claim it doesn't harm the barrel because it's smooth.]

    Steel rods coated with plastic are good. Brass rods are good for steel, but not for brass. Wooden rods — if you can find one in .177 caliber — are ok. Plastic rods are ok too. Different kinds of cloth “snakes” are also ok.

    I’ve also seen the counter argument to use steel rods being that the softer plastic(coated) and brass rods risk having hard fragments embed into the rod surface — turning the rod into “sandpaper”.


  28. Instead of fishing line, I used a piece of 24 gage insulated wire, folded in half and twisted together, leaving an eye on one end. This can be pushed in from the muzzle to pull patches back through from breech to muzzle. I use Hoppes square cleaning patches. There is one particular size that you can fold in half two times to form the perfect size to fit in the eye of a patch puller. You first stack several patches before folding. The larger the caliber, the more you use before folding. This way, you can customize the compression in the bore for just the right friction to scour the rifling grooves.

    I would add another thing about barrel brushing: don’t reverse direction until the brush has passed all the way through the bore. The bristles can jam up in the barrel. I like the Otis bronze brushes for steel bores and use JB compound that B.B. has recommended so many times here.


  29. duskwight

    Excellent article on cleaning barrels. I use a Crown Saver which is a soft plastic tube with a loop of “parachute cord” like material looped inside the soft plastic tube and a weed eater pull starter handle on the end. I use Otis small patches on the looped end attached the same way Otis uses them. These patches will work with .177, .22 and .25 calibers.

    I am interested in your comment of the CFX rifles with the LW barrels. Do you have any information on that conversion? I would be interested in learning more about the conversion.

    Thank You
    DT4321


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


+ 9 = 11

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>