Air Venturi Rail Lock spring compressor: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Rail Lock compressor
The Air Venturil Rail Lock spring compressor is compact.

This report covers:

  • Attaches to the scope rail
  • Let’s look at the unit in detail
  • How shall I test it?
  • Developed for gas spring guns
  • Installation
  • The coolest feature
  • Quirks
  • The price

Today we start looking at a mainspring compressor that’s very different from any other. The Air Venturi Rail Lock spring compressor is a compact 1.5-pound unit that attaches to the scope rail of the gun being disassembled. The threaded rod is then pressed against the end cap of the rifle — whatever configuration that might take. From that point this compressor works the same as any other, but in the next few reports I will show you in detail, plus today we will look at its design very closely.

Attaches to the scope rail

Right off the bat you might be wondering if this unit will fit most spring-piston airguns. As long as they have a scope rail either cut into the spring tube or attached, it will work. There are a few vintage spring rifles and pistols that don’t have rails like the Haenel model 28 pistol and some Diana model 27 rifles, and this compressor won’t work without a rail. But the majority of spring rifles being sold today, plus a number of spring pistols, do have a scope rail. On them the compressor should work well.

11mm dovetails and Weaver/Picatinny dovetails
It fits both kinds of dovetails — 11 mm and Weaver/Picatinny. There’s no worry there.

Rail Lock compressor rails
The compressor rails are a short section of dovetail grooves on the unit. They clamp to both 11mm and Weaver/Picatinny dovetails.

Let’s look at the unit in detail

 



Here are the parts of the Air Venturi Rail Lock mainspring compressor.

How shall I test it?

My thinking is I will start with an easy disassembly and proceed to more difficult ones after I get the hang of operating the compressor. The Beeman R1 is the easiest spring rifle I can think of that needs a compressor for disassembly. The TX200 Mark III is even easier, but that’s mainly because a compressor is not needed for disassembly.

Developed for gas spring guns

This compressor was initially created as a shop tool — not for resale. Tom Gore of Vortek needed a compressor that would work on gas piston and gas spring rifles as well as airguns with conventional coiled steel springs. Gas spring airguns may only need a fraction of an inch of compression to get them together, but because the gas pressure is so high they are very difficult to assemble. So Tom created this unit, which he says makes assembly of a gas spring easy. I guess I need to try it that way.

Installation

The unit clamps to the scope rails of the airgun with the rail shown above. A screw at the front and rear of the unit clamps it tight in place. I will report on how well that works when I test it. Two Allen wrenches are packaged with the compressor for all adjustments.

Rail Lock compressor installed
Here’s the compressor installed.

One thing several readers noticed in my 2017 SHOT Show report is the threaded screw doesn’t align with the center of the spring tube. That depends on the diameter of the tuibe. It isn’t necessary that the unit be centered for it to work and we will have a chance to look at that as this report progresses.

The coolest feature

I will cover installation in the next section of the report, but you can guess how it works. The dovetail of the compressor is clamped to the dovetail of a spring piston airgun and then the threaded rod is screwed down for tension. Bur the coolest feature is the quick release button that allows you to slide the threaded rod in and out. So installation goes fast. I will have more to tell you about that after I’ve used it.

Quirks

Where this may get dicey is on strange airguns like vintage BSAs and oddballs like the Hakim. Not all spring guns have end caps. Some, like the BSAs. require you to use a tool that reaches inside the rear of the spring tube and also passes around a crosspin to engage an inner sliding sleeve. Additional adaptors may have to be made for these guns, but that’s true of any mainspring compressor. It’s too soon to know for sure how the Rail Lock compressor will do, but I plan to challenge it in this test!

The price

Well, it’s $100. That’s half of what the only other mainspring compressor is selling for. Whether it’s worth it will depend on how useful it is, but I know there is a demand for a good mainspring compressor, so let’s see how good this one is.

Air Venturi Rail Lock spring compressor: Part 2

29 thoughts on “Air Venturi Rail Lock spring compressor: Part 1

  1. B.B.,

    I like it. The quick release of the screw is genius. Similar concept like found in quality wood working clamps. The (rotation locking set screw) has me a bit puzzled. I would like to see a pic of that rear block shot directly from the rear.

    Looking forwards to seeing what “patient” you will choose.

    Good Day all,…. Chris


  2. BB,

    I’m sold. I can see where this would be a good tool to have in the airgun toolbox, and it will actually fit in the toolbox. I have the Sun Optics compressor, but I can see where at times this would be a better choice. I can also see where if you are letting off or compressing an extra long spring it could be an issue, most especially if you cannot align the screw with the center of the tube.


    • I have the Sun Optics too. I don’t really know why I’d need something else. Sure it’s huge and needs a bench. The lack of alignment options would be the deal killer. Every brand I’ve had to make a tool to get it working.


      • Taemyks,

        This would probably be better for a few models and not so good for others. I think this one will be especially good with the gas springs without a long compression. That is what it was originally designed for.



  3. Cool idea. OnceI thought of making some thing similar using a couple of scope mounts and a piece of tubing and a clamp,but never got around to it. The only concern I would have would be that someone could distort a mount or the tube if they really reefed on the clamp screw?



  4. Figured I would post this real quick.

    Has anybody seen that Crosman has a survey on their website asking what kind of products air gunners would like.

    I say now is the chance to tell them about what we have mentioned here on the blog we would like.

    I know I’m going to fill out the survey.


  5. Will this compressor keep you safe from getting a broken arm?

    Mike, I wonder if the appearance of such a taxi might hurt its competitiveness. Incidentally, I finally got to ride in a stretch limo that was used as a taxi (at a very affordable price). I wasn’t that impressed, and I was not tempted to use the little conveniences they had.

    Gunfun1, I don’t know cars well enough to understand your modifications. Clearly you’re adding a lot of power. Would that translate to pure speed or hauling ability or something else? It would certainly be a surprise to see a car like that zipping along. I like your idea of rentable airguns at a shooting range. So, far I’ve only had spotty sightings of airguns at mine. That FX Impact was the most high-end model by far.

    Matt61


    • Matt61
      That would sure give the firearm people at the range a chance to shoot a air gun. And maybe even get some interested in air guns. And then give us already air gunners a chance at shooting other guns that we want or dream about.

      And the modding the car. Was thinking in terms of making it go fast quicker. But also as you say would definitely help the car move a heavy load. And tow easyer. Definitely would need a suspension and brake upgrade on it too. Not sure how much that Checked weighs. But the added big block Chevy and full size blower would make for some additional weight to the car. But I for sure wouldn’t mind being seen cruising that wagon BB showed. Cool looking car.



        • TT
          I know. Thought exactly the same thing.

          But of course with some sticky tires. That thing would smoke the tires at 70 mph with regular street tires with that engine and blower and gears.

          I would love to have that car with that drivetrane.


      • I went to New York City on business a few times in the 1960s, and most of the cabs in Manhattan at that time were Checkers. I think the design center was a car that ran 200-300 thousand miles before wearing out, when most US cars were done at 90 thousand. Top speed may have been 45 or so on Manhattan streets, and they didn’t need more.

        My first trip there, I got in one outside my hotel, and the cabby rear-ended the cab, in front of him, HARD, at the end of the first block. Nobody spoke, nobody moved. When the light turned green, both cabs shot ahead, and at the next red light, mine pulled alongside the one he had just rear-ended. My cabby shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, “how could I have avoided hitting you?” The other cabby shrugged, I’m not sure how to interpret his shrug. We all drove on at the green light. Those Checker cabs were tough, and could take a beating no Ford or Chevy could.


        • Flintrocker,

          If I recall a documentary correctly those Checker cabs had bumpers that were spring loaded. They were expected to be used in situations like yours.

          Siraniko


    • I don’t think the appearance hurt competitiveness. When they were in common use, there were lots of them in the cities. I believe folks were so used to them that it was a non-issue. I’ll bet there are still some being used today.

      Mike


  6. BB and Fellow Airgunners
    What a marvellous idea for such an essential product that can be used by anyone who enjoys working on spring piston airguns. I love the compact design that could easily fit in a shooters kit bag. About the only weak part I see is the short clamping piece that holds the spring compressor to the scope rails of the airgun. I know you will give this product a thorough testing with the safety of the user being of primary concern. I can see it working quite well on your average spring piston airgun, but I would like to see how it handles one of the uber springers such as the Beeman R1/ Weihrauch HW80. Could this possibly be a better mouse trap?

    I didn’t get around to commenting on the beautiful BSF S 70 air rifle yesterday. The fact you were stationed with the American Army at BSF’s headquarters in Erlangen, Germany gave me a chuckle. My daughter attended university in Barcelona, Spain for a year, and only found out she could have toured Gamo’s airgun factory when she returned to Vancouver. Some things are just not destined to happen for whatever reason.

    I’ve finally setup my outdoor range that lets me shoot up to 30 meters in my backyard. It was a long, cold winter, with snow still on the ground until a week ago. The past two days has seen spring- like temperatures in the low 20’s celsius (mid 60’s fahrenheit). I’ve managed to shoot 30-50 pellets a day before having to call it quits due to fatigue. I’m beginning to believe the adage I read that claims for every day you spend laid up for a long term, it takes two days to recover. I’m just grateful to be enjoying the sport of shooting airguns once again. Buying my HW30 in .22cal before I was hospitalized, turned out to be a clever decision on my part. It’s so ease of cocking, and light weight make for an enjoyable session of target shooting, and tin can plinking.
    Ciao
    Titus


    • Titus
      Glad your out shooting again.

      And yes that is a nice little spring compressor.

      I thought I wouldn’t like it cause the scope would have to be removed from the gun to use it then resight the gun in. But in reality the resighting would probably need done anyway if a different tune was put in the gun or a new spring or piston seal and such.

      So yes I do like this spring compressor. And I think anyway the price is right.


    • Titus,

      You know I will test this very thoroughly for you. I have a report fromTyler Patner of Pyramyd Air who has already used it several times and he says it’s great! I will start with my R1 which is pretty easy to disassemble, and then I’ll start looking for ways to challenge it.

      I want you to know that I pray for your health each and every day. I want you to hang around a lot longer to keep me motivated.

      B.B.


      • BB
        Thank’s very much for your prayers, and thoughts. As you well know BB, recovering from a long term ailment can be a long, slow process. It’s wonderful to know I have you, and so many other great people who read your blog in my corner. The day I ordered my first adult airgun, 7-8 years ago, was a day I have never regretted for a moment. Thank you one, and all.
        Ciao
        Titus


    • Titus,

      Great to hear you are up and active. A 30 yard back yard range is very respectable. It is nice to just be able to step out the back (or front) door. The 30 yard is what I use the most unless shooting something higher powered. Take care.

      Chris



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