Do-it-yourself project

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 2

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

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 1
R.A.I. Adjustable Adapter: Part 1
R.A.I. Adjustable Adapter: Part 2

WARNING: This conversion changes the operation of the pistol to use air at up to three times the pressure it was designed for. The parts that are installed are strong, but there are other parts in the gun that aren’t changed and could fail when subjected to the higher pressures. Pyramyd Air advises anyone making such a conversion to exercise extreme caution.

Crosman 2240 air conversion
My Crosman 2240 has been converted to operate on high-pressure air.

This report covers:

• Where we are
• Before filling the first time
• Shooting the gun
• Crosman Premier pellets
• RWS Hobby pellets
• RWS Superdome pellets
• What comes next

Let’s look at what the conversion to air did for the Crosman 2240. Boy, was there ever a lot of discussion on that report! I think this may be one of the all-time most popular subjects on this blog.

Where we are
Here’s where I am with this subject. The 2240 is now converted. I plan to test it with 2,000 psi air today, and I do not plan to go higher. This is a test of what’s out there and some of the things that can be done with a 2240, but I’m not in the business of hotrodding this pistol. Many other folks are doing that very well; so, if you are interested in what’s possible, read what they have to say.

Today, I’m going to test the pistol with the conversion but with the stock striker spring still installed. In other words, if you simply screwed the tube into the gun and did nothing else (the front sight still has to come off to clear the tube), this is what you’ll get. I did change the face seal, which is why I disassembled the pistol in the previous report; but that wasn’t strictly necessary, since I am pressurizing to only 2,000 psi. I did it just to show how the entire kit is installed.

Before filling the first time
Before filling the gun, which is now done through the male Foster nipple on the end of the air tube, I put several drops of silicone chamber oil into the fill nipple. It came to me bone-dry, and I wanted all the seals inside the unit to get a coating of this oil. Then, I connected the gun to my carbon fiber air tank and slowly filled it to 2,000 psi. I say slowly, but as small as this air tube/reservoir is, it fills pretty fast. It probably took only 15-20 seconds to fill it all the way. You want to go as slowly as as possible to keep heat from building.

When I bled the air connection in the hose, the inlet valve in the air tube remained open and all the air bled out. So, I refilled it and bled it a second time. This time, it sealed as it should — thanks to the oil, I believe.

Shooting the gun
It was now time to test the gun. I had no idea what it was going to do, but I left my hearing protection off to hear if the first shot was loud. It wasn’t. Perhaps the gun is a little louder than it is when using CO2, but the difference is not that great. Of course, I used eye protection for the chronographing session, because the pellet trap is so close. I use a trap with duct seal to keep the rebounds down and the noise to a minimum.

Crosman Premier pellets
The first pellet I tested was the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier dome. I should add that I shoot only the pellets from the cardboard box, which is why I link to them, only. We were informed several months ago that Crosman planned to stop selling Premiers in the cardboard box and I stocked up on them. But I see they’re still available.

Back in 2010, I did a test of the CO2 2240 pistol, so I have the recorded velocities for this exact pistol on CO2. It averaged 448 f.p.s. with Crosman Premiers. On 2000 psi air, the first shot was 468 f.p.s. It increased to a maximum of 492 f.p.s. by shot 7 and dropped back to 466 f.p.s. by shot 15. At the end of the string, the gun was still holding 1200 psi of air pressure. The average velocity of 15 shots was 486 f.p.s., which means air boosted the average velocity of this pellet by 39 f.p.s.

RWS Hobby pellets
Next up were 11.9-grain RWS Hobby pellets. When the pistol was running on CO2, these pellets averaged 482 f.p.s. On 2000 psi air, they started at 515 f.p.s. and increased to 537 f.p.s. by shot 9. The velocity droped back down to 511 f.p.s. by shot 16. The average velocity for this string of 16 shots was 525 f.p.s. — a 43 f.p.s. increase on air. The remaining pressure was 1200 psi, once again.

RWS Superdome pellets
The final pellet I tested was the 14.5-grain RWS Superdome. When the pistol ran on CO2, Superdomes averaged 455 f.p.s. On 2000 psi air, they started at 470 f.p.s. and drifted up to 495 f.p.s. by shot 7. They dropped back down to 467 f.p.s. by shot 16. The average velocity was 483 f.p.s., an increase of 28 f.p.s. over CO2.

Notice that the gun performs similarly, regardless of what pellet was tested. The curve starts out slow, builds to the maximum quickly and then drops back to the starting point just as quickly. The three pellets gave a total shot count of 15, 16 and 16, respectively.

What comes next?
I can’t test the pistol for accuracy as it is right now because the front sight has no clearance to be re-installed. And the plastic 2240 receiver does not have a scope base on the receiver. Decision time.

I could get a steel breech for the 2240 from Pyramyd Air. While it will not accept the 2240 rear sight, it does have 11mm dovetails for a scope. That’ll work with the barrel that’s on the gun right now; but if I get a longer barrel, I’ll get a little more velocity from this same setup. So, I ordered a 14.5-inch barrel from an eBay vendor.

There are a number of different ways this can go with these parts, so I will wait to see what seems best once I have them.

Crosman 2240 conversion to air: Part 1

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

R.A.I. Adjustable AR Adapter for Crosman 2240 pistols: Part 1
R.A.I. Adjustable AR Adapter for Crosman 2240 pistols: Part 2

This report covers:

• What this is
• Thanks to Rick Eutsler
• Step-by-step instructions
• How hard is it?

Today, I’m starting a fresh and different look at the Crosman 2240 air pistol. You may have noticed that I linked to the R.A.I. adjustable shoulder stock adapter at the beginning of the report. That’s because my plan is to convert the 2240 to operate on high-pressure air and test it again as a small PCP carbine. And, I might add, not only is it small, it’s also affordable if done in stages.

WARNING: This conversion changes the operation of the pistol to use air at up to three times the pressure it was designed for. The parts that are installed are strong, but there are other parts in the gun that aren’t changed and could fail when subjected to the higher pressures. Pyramyd Air advises anyone making such a conversion to exercise extreme caution.

What this is
What we are looking at today is a device that is so simple, yet apparently effective that many will slap their foreheads and wonder why they didn’t think of it themselves. It’s a drop-in device that changes the operation of a 2240 pistol from CO2 to air. It appears very simple, but there’s some disassembly and parts-swapping involved, so that’s what I’m going to show you today.

What’s happening is that you’re dropping a high-pressure air cartridge into the space where a CO2 cartridge would normally go. And if that was all there was to it, we would be done. Just remove the CO2 cap, remove the empty cartridge, slide the unit in and screw it tight against the face seal. But there’s the rub. The face seal in a 2240 is not designed for high-pressure air. So, we have to substitute a different face seal, and that’s where the disassembly comes in.

Thanks to Rick Eutsler
This conversion was suggested to me by Rick Eutsler, who appears with me on American Airgunner. He thinks a lot of it and wondered if I’d tried it, yet. No, I hadn’t. So he sent me a device. The device is made and sold by PowerMax-HiPAC.com. This one I am testing sells for $65, according to their website, but there are many other configurations and accessories available. I’ll focus on just this one for now, and we’ll see where it takes us.

Before starting the conversion, I removed the CO2 cartridge. Then, I removed the UTG 6-Position Mil-Spec Stock Assembly and the R.A.I. adapter that connects it to the pistol. The gun was now in its factory configuration, and the conversion could begin.

 Crosman 2240 air pistol stock removed
The R.A.I. adapter and UTG adjustable stock were removed from the 2240.

Crosman 2240 air pistol air tank
The air tank (bottom) goes into the 2240, replacing the CO2 cartridge and end cap. The tank is threaded just like the end cap. The face seal inside the gun must also be changed, so disassembly is necessary.

What follows is a step-by-step disassembly and replacement of the face seal. The work is easy, but some of the parts are small — and you have to exercise caution to keep from losing them. Note that I did my work on a dark wool blanket. The wool keeps parts from moving, and the dark color allows me to use flash photography without the dark parts appearing black. If a white background were used, that’s what would happen.

Step 1. Remove front sight
The front sight is knocked off with a wood block and rubber hammer. The sight isn’t attached by fasteners, so it comes off with a light tap.

Crosman 2240 air pistol front sight off
A wood block was placed against the rear base of the front sight and tapped with a rubber hammer to remove the sight.

Step 2. Remove barrel band
The barrel band is held by Allen screws, top and bottom. Loosen both, and the band slides off the gun.

Crosman 2240 air pistol barrel band off
Loosen the screws of the barrel band and slide it off.

Step 3. Remove rear sight
The rear sight is held by a single screw that’s one of two holding the end cap to the action. Take it off, and the end cap is almost ready to come off the gun.

Crosman 2240 air pistol rear sight off
Remove the rear sight by removing one screw.

Step 4. Remove grips (optional)
The grips come off next. This step isn’t necessary; but if you want to see all the working parts inside the grip, you can do it.

Crosman 2240 air pistol remove grips
Each grip panel is held on by a single screw. There isn’t a lot to see.

Step 5. Remove end cap
Remove the rear grip frame screw, and the end cap will come off the gun. There’s a powerful spring pushing against the cap, so contain it as you remove this screw or the end cap will go flying.

Crosman 2240 air pistol remove end cap
When the rear grip frame screw is removed, the end cap and mainspring are free. Contain the end cap or it’ll go flying.

Step 6. Remove grip frame
Now the front grip frame screw is removed, and you can separate the frame from the action tube. Be very careful in this step not to lose the tiny spring and ball detent for the safety — it rests in the left side of the grip frame.

Crosman 2240 air pistol remove grip frame
Remove the front grip frame screw and lower the frame from the action tube. Be careful not to lose the safety spring and ball detent that are in the grip frame.

Crosman 2240 air pistol safety spring and detent
The safety spring and detent ball are very small. They are not under tension when the grip frame comes off; but if you turn the frame upside-down, they’ll fall out.

Step 7. Remove receiver from tube
At this point, just a single screw holds the receiver and barrel to the action tube. That screw is located in the pellet trough and is very small (I believe it’s an .050, but it may be larger). Unscrew this screw, and the receiver and barrel can be separated from the tube.

Crosman 2240 air pistol remove action screw
Remove this screw, and the action and barrel lift off the tube.

At this point, you can remove the barrel from the action. It isn’t required; but if you do, you’ll see where the transfer port fits in the bottom of the barrel.

Crosman 2240 air pistol barrel
If you slide the barrel from the receiver, you can see the machined spot where the transfer port fits.

Step 7. Remove gas transfer port
After the barrel is off the tube, the steel transfer port will be exposed. It usually stays with the tube, but nothing holds it except the seal in the valve. This small part is how the compressed gas (or air, when we convert the pistol) moves from the valve into the barrel to push the pellet. So, it’s very important.

Crosman 2240 air pistol transfer port
The steel transfer port usually stays with the tube when the barrel’s removed. If not, don’t lose it.

The transfer port has two lengths to it — a long side and a short side. The short side fits into the seal in the valve that’s still in the tube, while the long side goes into the underside of the barrel.

Crosman 2240 air pistol transfer port detail
The short side of the transfer port goes into the tube and into the seal in the valve. The long side goes in the bottom of the barrel.

Crosman 2240 air pistol transfer port seal
The transfer port seal is shown here. You see the brass valve body under it.

Step 8. Remove striker
Next, remove the striker — or what many call the hammer. It’s held in place by a small pin that must be lifted out, then the striker will come out the rear of the tube. This pin connects the bolt to the striker and is how the gun is cocked.

Crosman 2240 air pistol striker pin
To remove the striker, first remove the striker pin. There’s an enlarged hole at the rear of the cocking slot through which the pin is lifted out.

Crosman 2240 air pistol striker out
Once the striker pin is out, the striker slides out the rear of the tube.

Step 9. Remove valve screw and valve body
Remove the screw holding the valve body in the tube. When it’s out, the valve will slide out the rear of the tube. I pressed it lightly with the barrel to start it, but some valves may take a little coaxing depending on how long they’ve been in the gun — but it isn’t difficult to remove this part.

Crosman 2240 air pistol valve screw
Remove the one valve screw.

Crosman 2240 air pistol valve body
The valve body slides out the rear of the tube.

Step 10. Exchange the face seals
Now we come to the place where the face seals are exchanged. The light-colored seal is for CO2 cartridges and is too soft for the air pressure we’ll be using. It must be pried out of the end of the valve, and the black seal that’s supplied with the air conversion kit should be installed in its place. Getting the new seal in is much like buttoning a shirt collar with small buttons. The new black seal will also work with CO2; so if you want to convert back, you can skip this teardown and just remove the air tank.

Crosman 2240 air pistol valve face seal
Here’s how the face seal looks before you pry it from the valve body.

Crosman 2240 air pistol valve 2 face seals
Here’s the factory face seal (lighter one on left) and the new seal to be installed. Notice that continual use has made a groove in the factory face seal.

How hard is it?
It took me a total of 20 minutes to disassemble the pistol, and that includes taking the pictures seen here. It isn’t hard, but there are places where caution should be exercised.

Assembly is the reverse of disassembly, and there are no special tips. Just make certain that the bolt will engage the striker pin when you assemble the action, and make sure all the seals are properly seated.

That’s it for now. Next time, I’ll put air into the pistol and chronograph the results.

R.A.I. Adjustable AR Adapter for Crosman 2240 pistols: Part 2

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

Part 1

stock extended
The UTG stock is attached to the Croswman 2240 with the adapter and extended as far as it will go.

This report addresses:

• Crosman 2240 pistol is accurate!
• Sight-in reveals a tip!
• Accuracy testing
• Summary

Today, I get to shoot the Crosman 2240 air pistol as a carbine. Thanks to the adapter from R. Arms Innovations and the adjustable UTG 6-position Mil Spec AR stock, my 2240 is now a handy carbine. Allow me to explain why that’s such a good thing.

2240 is accurate!
Many years ago, when I knew much more than I do now, I wrote an article for Shotgun News about some vintage air pistols — specifically the Crosman Mark I Target pistol and the Smith & Wesson 78G. Both vintage air pistols have superb handling and light, crisp triggers, not to mention their fine adjustable sights. I was writing about how the golden age of target air pistols had ended 30 years earlier, and I included a Crosman 2240 pistol in the article, just for comparison. You know — so people could see how far things had slipped over time. Imagine my chagrin to see the 2240 turn in the best results of the test, despite having a much cruder trigger and sights that were as simple as a door latch. I wrote the article that way, admitting my surprise that the current gun bested the two golden oldies, despite lacking all of their sophistication.

Sometimes, I think of myself as the Charlie Chaplin of writers. I’m always doing things my readers know will explode in my face, and I guess it’s funny to watch — or, in this case, read. Anyhow, the Crosman 2240 rubbed my nose in it real good that time!

We now have a chance to let the 2240 sprint like the thoroughbred that it is. The peep sight that comes on the pistol could not be used when it was a pistol; but with this adjustable stock attached, it can now come into play.

One more thing I learned in today’s test. I thought I had the stock adjusted perfectly when we began. It was set up for the Benjamin Marauder pistol that has a scope mounted on it, and what I didn’t consider when switching over to the 2240 was how far my eye would be from the peep hole. Fortunately, the UTG stock adjusted one more click in, and then the peep sight was in the right place. That’s why an adjustable shoulder stock is better than a stock of fixed length when you’re trying different air pistols like I am.

Sight-in
One reason you read this blog is the occasional tip you get. Well, today’s the day! The 2240 uses a standard rear sight that has a peephole on the same plate as the notch. Simply flip the plate over (you have to take it off the sight to do this), and the peep is available. It isn’t a precision target aperture, but neither is the peep sight on a Garand, M1 Carbine or M16, for that matter.

crosman 2240 rear sight
The rear sight has both a notch and a peep hole. They adjust in both directions, but the adjustments are somewhat crude. Loosen the screw and slide the plate up and down for elevation. For windage, the entire sight slides a little side-to-side.

You adjust elevation by sliding the peephole up and down — always moving in the direction you want the shot to move. There is also some sideways adjustment by sliding the whole rear sight side-to-side, but it’s not much. On my gun, it didn’t go far enough. This is where the tip comes in!

If you can’t move the rear sight, maybe you can move the front, but on the 2240 the front sight is fixed. Ahh…but the barrel isn’t fixed! So, you move the barrel instead of the front sight. Two Allen screws on the forward barrel band (one on top, the other on the bottom) are loosened, and the barrel is pushed from side to side. But there’s a catch.

Crosman 2240  barrel band
Allen screws at the top and bottom of the barrel band are loosened, and the barrel’s pushed in the direction you want the pellet to move.

While you always move a front sight in the opposite direction you want the pellet to go, when it’s the entire barrel that’s moving, that gets reversed. Move the muzzle in the direction you want the pellet to move.

It took me 6 shots to get in the bull at 12 feet, then the sights (and the barrel band) were locked down. I moved back to 10 meters and started shooting. A confirmation shot was close to the center of the bull, so the sight-in went perfectly.

Accuracy testing
The first pellet I tried was the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier. As I was shooting the group, I could see that all the pellets were hitting inside the small bullseye. But after shot 6, the hole they were making became large enough to see from 10 meters. I know that 0.84 inches for 10 shots at 10 meters doesn’t sound very good, but it looks better when you see the hole!

Crosman 2240  Premier group
Ten Premiers went into this 0.84-inch group at 10 meters. The number is large, but the group looks good.

Next, I tried some RWS Hobbys. They usually do well in guns like the 2240; and on this day, they didn’t disappoint. The first 8 went into a group that measures 0.462 inches between centers, but then the gas pressure started to drop. I could hear it happening, but I continued shooting. Shots 9 and 10 dropped below the main group, opening it to 1.043 inches. If only I’d stopped when my gut instincts told me!

Crosman 2240 Hobby group
Eight Hobbys went into the main group that measures 0.462 inches. The final 2 pellets dropped below and opened the group to 1.043 inches.

This group made me mad because I knew that my 2240 uses CO2 pretty fast. In fact, I debated shooting the second 10-shot group because sight-in and confirmation had already used up 7 shots. I knew my gun had 25 shots on full power. I guess I just tried to scrape by, and this is what happened.

So, I changed the CO2 cartridge and started again. This time, I shot JSB Exact RS pellets, that I expected to do the best of all. And I think they did. Nine of 10 shots went into 0.497 inches, and one shot strayed to the left, opening the group to 0.698 inches. I don’t actually know which of the 10 shots is off to the left because I never called it.

Crosman 2240 JSB RS group
Nine JSB Exact RS pellets went into 0.497 inches, and that one on the left opened it to 0.698 inches. It’s still the best group of this test!

Summary
The R.A.I. adapter and UTG 6-position adjustable stock were made for the Crosman 2240. I love this little air pistol, and these accessories turn it into a handy carbine. The sights are crude; but as these groups demonstrate, you don’t need target sights to do a good job.

No, I’m not going to shoot this gun at 25 yards. Sure it can do it; and yes, the groups will all be larger. With a gun like this, 10 meters seems like a comfortable distance to me.

If you enjoy the 2240, and I know there are many who do, perhaps this adapter and stock are something you should consider. If you own several Crosman air pistols and have other family members who like to shoot, I think this adapter and stock are almost required.

Diana 72 youth target rifle: Part 4

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

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Diana 72
Diana 72 is a youth target rifle from the late 20th century.

This report addresses:

• More on the trigger.
• Accuracy with various pellets.
• Why 5 shots?
• Accuracy with deep-seated pellets.
• Summary.

Today is accuracy day for the Diana model 72 target rifle. We had one extra report in this series, and that was on adjusting the trigger. I want to tell you some more of what I have learned about this trigger.

More on the trigger
During the accuracy test, the trigger failed to work two times. The first time I made a small adjustment and got it running again in a matter of a minute. The second time, however, I worked on it for 15 minutes without success. I finally read Part 3 of this report, to see where the two adjustment screws had been positioned when the trigger was working. The camera angle of that photo isn’t the best, so there was still some guesswork involved; but even then I couldn’t get the rifle to fire.

Then, I thought of something. I know this rifle has a very protective anti-beartrap mechanism, and I wonderd if it was a little too over-protective. So, I cocked the gun, again (it was still cocked and loaded from when the trigger had failed). I’ve had other spring-piston air rifles — most notably Weihrauchs and a few Dianas — that would seem to cock but wouldn’t quite go all the way. How many people have I talked through cocking their RWS Diana sidelevers because they had not pulled the lever all the way back, and the gun was stuck? Even my Whiscombe has done this often enough that I’m used to it.

When it happens to the 72, the rifle is cocked from the standpoint that the piston is back and the mainspring is compressed, but it also isn’t fully cocked in that the trigger isn’t in the right position to fire the gun. It’s a sort of limbo state that some spring rifles can get into. Think of it as a disagreement between the trigger and the anti-beartrap device, and the designers have allowed the anti-beartrap device to trump the trigger for safety reasons.

All you need to do when this happens is cock the rifle a second time, making sure that the cocking linkage goes all the way back. When I did this, the 72′s trigger began working immediately. So, if you ever get one of these rifles, keep this in mind.

Accuracy
I began this test not knowing where the sights were set. After all, this rifle had been through a complete rebuild, so those sights presumably came off. And the action has been out of the stock several times over the past 2 years. So, the gun needed to be sighted-in.

As a side note, the manufacturing date on the left rear of the spring tube is November 1989. That puts it near the end of the production cycle (1979-1993, according to the Blue Book of Airguns).

Sighting-in with H&N Finale Match Pistol
I started sighting-in with H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets. The first shot was lined up with the center of the bull, but it was too low. It landed at 6 o’clock. Since the sights are target apertures front and rear, I was not using a 6 o’clock hold, but centering the bull in the front aperture.

The first sight-in shot was interesting, but the second was even more so, for it would tell me if this was an accurate rifle or not. It hit above the first shot, in the same line but the 2 holes didn’t quite touch. That was good but not what I had hoped for. I had hoped to see a single hole that had barely enlarged with the second round.

Shot 3, however, went into the same hole as shot 2, and shot 4 joined them. So, the rifle was probably accurate, after all. I clicked the elevation up two clicks and proceeded to the first record target.

Shooting for the record
The first 5 shots went into a group that measures 0.221 inches between centers. It’s a group you would love to see out of most sporting rifles but not impressive coming from a 10-meter rifle. Just to make sure it wasn’t me, I shot a second group with this same Finale Match Pistol pellet. As I shot, I could hear the voices of the newer readers, asking why I only shot 5 shots. So, on just this one target, I put 10 into the next group, which measures 0.269 inches. That’s encouragingly close to what just 5 shots did, so it renewed my enthusiasm.

H&N Finale Match Pistol target 1
Five H&N Finale Match pellets went into 0.221 inches at 10 meters.

H&N Finale Match Pistol target 2
Ten H&N Match Targets made this 0.269-inch group. This is not that much larger than the 5-shot group.

RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet
Next up was the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet. Five of those made a group that measures 0.244 inches. It’s in the same range as the H&N Finale Match pellet, so no cigar.

RWS R10 Match Pistol target
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets went into 0.244 inches.

RWS Hobby
After that, I decided to give the RWS Hobby wadcutter pellet a try. Who knows what they might do? Well, that was a good decision this time, because 5 of them went into 0.194 inches between centers — the smallest group so far.

RWS Hobby target
Five RWS Hobby pellets went into 0.194 inches at 10 meters. This is a good group.

At this point, I’d noticed that all the groups were landing off to the left. There’s no scope involved, so I can hit the center of the target and not destroy the aim point. I dialed in 3 clicks of right adjustment into the rear sight and continued the test.

JSB Match
Next, I tried JSB Match pellets. Five went into 0.264 inches. That was the second-largest group in this test, so no joy there.

JSB Match target
Five JSB Match pellets made this 0.264-inch group. Not that good.

Why 5 shots?
Before someone asks why I shot 5-shot groups, I’ll tell you. Accuracy is the reason. Ten-meter guns are generally so accurate that there isn’t that much difference between 5 and 10 shots. You only have to look at the first 2 targets to see the truth of that.

H&N Match Pistol
Next, I shot 5 H&N Match Pistol pellets. They’re a lower-cost pellet than the Finale Match Pistol, and sometimes they produce good results. This was to be one of those times. Five pellets made a round group that measures 0.166 inches between centers. That’s the smallest group of the test; and because it was noticeably smaller, I shot a second group to see if the first was a fluke.

H&N Match Pistol target 1
Now, this is a group! Five H&N Match Pistol pellets went into 0.166 inches.

It wasn’t a fluke at all, as you can see. The second group was a little larger, at 0.196 inches, but still one of the smaller groups fired in this test.

H&N Match Pistol target 1
This second group of H&N Match Pistol pellets was shot to confirm the first one. It measures 0.196 inches, which is larger but still one of the smaller groups of this session.

Seating the pellets deep
Now that I’d tested 4 different wadcutter pellets, three of them being designated as target pellets, I thought I would take the best 2 and test them by seating them deeply in the breech to see if there was any difference. For this, I used the Air Venturi Pellet Pen and Pellet Seater that was also used in the velocity test. We learned then that the 72 doesn’t like pellets to be seated deeply where velocity is concerned. Let’s see what it does for accuracy.

The first pellet I tested this way was the H&N Match Pistol that proved to be the most accurate in the entire test. When seated deeply, they gave a 5-shot group that measures 0.23 inches between centers. While that isn’t bad, it’s larger than either of the two groups that were seated flush. They measured 0.166 inches and 0.196 inches, respectively.

H&N Match Pistol target seated deep
When they were seated deeply, 5 H&N Match Pistol pellets went into 0.23 inches. It’s larger than either of the 2 groups made with the same pellet seated flush.

And the last pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby. When seated deeply, Hobbys group in 0.252 inches. Again, this was not as small as the one group of flush-seated Hobbys that went into 0.194 inches. That leads me to believe that this rifle likes its pellet seated flush much better.

RWS Hobbys seated deep
Five deep-seated RWS Hobby pellets went into 0.252 inches. This group appears smaller than it really is because some of the target paper has closed around the holes.

Summary
The RWS model 72 target rifle is a fine example of the quality and ingenuity that Diana can put out. They took a great informal target pistol — the model 6 — and turned it into a youth target rifle. They didn’t pour a lot of money into this airgun, with the rear target sight being a conventional, adjustable sight fitted with an aperture, but they did everything right. This is a youth target rifle to covet!

If you want one of these, you’d better start looking right away. There aren’t that many of them, and owners tend to hang on to them longer than they do most airguns.

This was a test of the recoilless model 72, but don’t forget there’s also a model 70 that’s based on the model 5 pistol that recoils. There are more of them to be found, and their recoil doesn’t amount to much since they were originally an air pistol. Either model is a great airgun that you should certainly look for if this sort of gun interests you.

Diana 72 youth target rifle: Part 3

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

Part 1
Part 2

Diana 72
Diana 72 is a youth target rifle from the late 20th century.

This report addresses:

• Examining the Diana model 72 trigger.
• Two trigger adjustments.
• Caution — you may not want to do this!
• Trigger adjustment directions.
• Blog reader Mikeiniowa.

Today, we’re going to look at how to adjust the Diana model 72 trigger. I know this report is needed; because when I searched for information on the Diana model 72 target rifle, this blog was at the top of the list! I wish I had an owner’s manual for this little rifle, as I’m sure clear trigger adjustment instructions are in there. Lacking that, let’s first look at the trigger.

The Diana 72 trigger
As you’ve learned, the Diana model 72 youth rifle is just a model 6 target pistol in a rifle stock. Most things remained the same, but the trigger is one feature that had to change. People will tell you this rifle trigger is identical to the pistol trigger, but the presence of the long linkage from the trigger blade to the sear adds complexity the pistol trigger doesn’t have.

Diana 72 trigger left
Kind of surprising, no? What looks like the trigger is nothing but an isolated lever. Under the large hole in the flat plate several inches to the left is where the actual trigger lies. The arrow points to the trigger adjustment screws.

Diana 72 trigger right
On the right side of the trigger mechanism, we see the trigger linkage (the flat bar above the trigger blade that connects it to the trigger mechanism on the right).

What you thought was the rifle’s trigger turns out to be just a lever sitting out by itself and connected to a lot of machinery located several inches away. The linkage that connects the blade to the rest of the trigger mechanism is long and springy. It’s why this trigger can never be set to operate as crisply as a true target trigger. But some small amount of adjustment is possible, and this trigger can be very nice.

You can see the trigger adjustment screws in both pictures, but it isn’t necessary to take the stock off to access them. The rifle has an oval cut in the bottom of the forearm, and both screws are exposed. Actually, I should say all three screws are exposed, because the adjustment screw is actually two screws — one inside the other. The other screw isn’t for adjustment — it’s there to lock the larger adjustment screw in place.

Diana 72 trigger adjustment screws
The trigger adjustment screws can be seen through an oval hole in the underside of the forearm when the rifle is assembled. There are three screws. The one on the right is actually 2 different screws. On the left is the locking screw that locks the large screw on the right. Notice the very large screw at the far left of this picture? That’s the stock screw and has nothing to do with the trigger adjustment.

Diana 72 trigger adjustment screws exposed
Here you can see the adjustment screws exposed. The screw on the right in this picture is actually two different screws — one inside the other. The small screw inside the large screw on the right will turn at all times. The single screw to the left of the two screws locks the larger screw in place. When you do that, the smaller screw inside can still be turned.

Two trigger adjustments
You can make 2 adjustments to the trigger. You can adjust the length of first-stage travel, and you can adjust the amount of second-stage letoff — which means the weight of the trigger-pull.

BUT — Please read this and believe it. These two screws — one inside the other — act in unison. As one is adjusted, it affects the other. It is extremely easy to adjust them OUTSIDE the safe range, in which case the trigger stops working altogether. When that happens the gun can be cocked, but cannot be fired!

To be safe, when that happened to me several times, I always broke open the action so the anti-beartrap would prevent the gun from firing. Then, I adjusted the 2 screws together until the gun worked once more. I did this several times to learn what each screw does. One time it took a full 10 minutes of working with both screws before I got the gun firing again!

Caution: This is very difficult
If you’re afraid of how sensitive this adjustment is — good! Stay away from it! The large hollow screw has a very small range of adjustment and can get out of the range very easily. But if you want to try this, below are the instructions.

Adjustment directions
First adjust the length of first-stage travel (the small screw inside the large one). This can be done with the second-stage screw (the large hollow screw) locked in place. Turning the small screw out (counterclockwise) lengthens the first-stage travel. Turning it in (clockwise) shortens the first-stage travel. I tried to eliminate the first stage altogether because I know some people like it that way, but I was unable to get rid of the last little bit of travel. Formal target shooters use two-stage triggers almost exclusively, so perhaps Diana thought some travel was needed; but it also might be necessary to have some travel in this particular trigger for safe operation.

After you have the first stage where you want it, you can adjust the second stage. First, unlock it by loosening the locking screw to the left. I found the adjustment range of the large, hollow (second stage) screw extremely limited. It was possible to get out of the range with as little as one complete turn of the large, hollow screw.

I played and played with this adjustment mechanism and came to the conclusion that not only are the screw turns limited — the weight range of the trigger release is also very limited. That’s because this trigger blade is connected by a springy linkage.

The best I was able to do was reduce the release from 2 lbs., 1 oz. (33 oz.) to 1 lb., 8.5 oz. (24.5 oz.). The first stage takes up about the first pound of that weight, so stage 2 is very light and difficult to feel until you get accustomed to it. There’s also some travel in stage 2, but there’s no creep (moving and pausing at random points).

Mikeiniowa
If you search the internet for directions on how to adjust the Diana model 72 trigger, you’ll discover that a good many folks who are experts with vintage airguns avoid this job. Several of them recommend sending your rifle to our blog reader Mikeiniowa, who apparently knows this rifle quite well. I hope he reads this report and comments.

Status of the rifle
The model 72 is now ready for accuracy testing. Although the trigger isn’t match grade, it’s as good as it can get– and it isn’t that bad.

R.A.I. Adjustable AR Adapter for Crosman 2240 pistols: Part 1

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

This report addresses:

• Missing Part 3 of the adapter report on the Marauder pistol.
• Description of the 2240 adapter.
• Mounting the 2240 adapter.
• Adapter mounted — now what?
• How difficult is the adapter to install?

If you’ve been waiting for Part 3 of the report on the R.A.I. AR Adjustable Stock Adapter used on the Benjamin Marauder pistol, you’ve been waiting a long time. I tested the pistol at 50 yards for a Part 3 report, but the results I got were unsatisfactory. I didn’t think they represented what the pistol can do, so I didn’t report them — and now a lot of time has passed.

I still plan on writing that report when I get a good day at the range, but today I have something different to show you. R.A.I. stands for R. Arms Innovations, an Illinois-based company that makes adapters to connect adjustable AR stocks to various Crosman pistols and turning them into carbines.

Dave Rensing, the owner of R. Arms Innovations, got started by making an adapter so his young son and daughter could shoulder his Benjamin Marauder pistol. When he discovered that the adjustable AR stock makes it possible for the pistol to fit both young people and adults, alike, he knew he was onto something.

Crosman already makes a stock that converts many of their pistols into carbines. But the stock they make has a fixed length of pull. Either it fits or it doesn’t.

The innovative way Dave designed his adapter allows it to be adjusted for a variety of cast-off and cast-on (butt slanted toward the body or away from it) positions, cant angles plus a wide range of comb heights. In other words — a stock that can be easily adapted to fit most people.

This is all just old news for those who read the first 2 tests of the R.A.I. adapter and the Benjamin Marauder pistol. But, today, we’re looking at a different adapter — one that works with the popular Crosman 2240 CO2 pistol. This adapter will be more popular than the Marauder pistol adapter because there are many times more shooters who shoot and modify the inexpensive 2240 family of air pistols.

2240 adapter
The 2240 adapter is very similar to the Marauder adapter, except for the way it interfaces with the pistol. The Marauder has a threaded hole where the power is adjusted. The adapter can bolt directly to that. The 2240 doesn’t have a hole, and the 2240 end cap is flush with the pistol. The adapter for the 2240 had to include a new end cap into which the adapter can be bolted.

RAI adapter bolt
The Marauder pistol has a threaded hole in its end cap to accept the R.A.I. adapter bolt. The 2240 pistol end cap doesn’t have that threaded hole.

Mounting the adapter
To install this new end cap, the pistol’s end cap must first be removed. The rear sight screw and a screw at the top rear of the grip frame hold the 2240 end cap in place. You only need to remove these 2 screws and then the factory cap comes out of the pistol. Next, attach the new cap that comes in the R.A.I. kit. It has a threaded hole that you’ll need. The adapter will then attach to the gun like it should.

Crosman 2240 end cap
Crosman 2240 end cap (right) has been removed and the R.A.I. adapter end cap (left) is ready to be installed. Only two screws are removed for this. The R.A.I. end cap has the threaded hole that accepts the adapter bolt.

Once the adapter is attached, you can screw the buffer tube of any AR extendable stock to the other end of the adapter. I used the UTG 6-position Mil-Spec AR stock on the Marauder pistol, and I note that R.A.I. offers the same stock with some of their kits. Obviously, this is a high-quality stock at a good price.

RAI adapter mounted up
The R.A.I. adapter is mounted and swung up as high as it will go.

RAI adapter mounted down
The R.A.I. adapter is swung down as low as it will go. This lowers the butt considerably. And the adapter can be locked in position at any point around a complete circle.

stock extended
The UTG stock is attached to the adapter and extended as far as it will go.

Stock collapsed
The UTG stock is collapsed as far as it will go.

Now what?
Once the adapter is mounted and the stock is attached, what can you do? This is where Crosman 2240 owners can go nuts because the possibilities are virtually endless. You can use the gun just as it is, like I’m showing here. Crosman puts a peep sight on the 2240; but until you have a shoulder stock, you can’t use it. With the stock attached, I can switch the rear sight to the peep and use it.

But most 2240 owners will probably want to switch to a steel breech. It adds strength to the gun, plus there’s an 11mm dovetail rail on top for mounting scope rings. And that extra strength can be used to hold an 18-inch barrel! Now, you have a carbine that the stock is ideally suited for! Crosman sells all these parts very reasonably.

How hard is it to install?
I don’t like things that are difficult, so I worry when there are parts to be disassembled. But here is what it took to install this adapter. It took a total of 10 minutes for me to disassemble the 2240 and install the adapter and stock. That includes the time spent taking the pictures. It isn’t difficult at all!

In the next report, I get to do something I’ve wanted to do for years. I get to shoot this 2240 using the peep sight!

Airgun lubrication — gas guns

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

Airgun lubrication — spring guns: Part 1
Airgun lubrication — spring guns: Part 2

This report addresses:

• Molecules versus atoms
• Crosman Pellgunoil
• Can’t over-oil with Pellgunoil
• “Fixing” leaking guns with Pellgunoil
• Transmission stop leak oil
• Oiling moving parts
• Ballistol

Let’s look at lubricating gas guns — and by “gas,” I mean CO2. What I’m about to say will also work on airsoft guns that operate on green and red gas, because both those gasses work similar to CO2; but there are no pellet or steel BB guns that run on any gas except CO2 (excluding air).

CO2 is a molecule — not an atom!
Many folks thought that high school science class was a waste, but in the curriculum there were things that matter to airgunners. How levers work is one of the most important things, and yet I still see youngsters grabbing breakbarrel rifles five inches back from the muzzle — as though the length of a lever has no significance! The fact that CO2 is a compound made of molecules is also important.

Atoms are very small. When they’re inside a pressure vessel (air is made of several elements that are atoms), they try to escape through the smallest holes imaginable — sometimes through pinholes in the casting of the metal. Molecules are combinations of atoms that are much larger than atoms, by definition. They also try to escape, but they need larger holes to get through. This fact is what saves the CO2 airgunner, and it’s also why CO2 guns can be made with larger tolerances. That makes them cheaper to build.

Crosman Pellgunoil is our friend
When I started seriously shooting airguns in the early 1990s, nobody talked about Crosman Pellgunoil. I didn’t even know if it did anything. Then, I met Rick Willnecker, the man who runs Precision Pellet — one of the top repair stations for vintage CO2 and pneumatic airguns. Rick always had a jumbo bottle of Pellgunoil on his workbench, and he applied it liberally to valves, seals and o-rings whenever he assembled a CO2 gun. He told me that I should always put a drop of Pellgunoil on the tip of every new CO2 cartridge before it was pierced.

You cannot over-oil with Pellgunoil
I asked Rick how much oil was too much. He said it is impossible to over-oil a CO2 gun with Pellgunoil. Apply it liberally. What doesn’t stay inside the gun gets blown out the muzzle. This was all news to me. I’d grown up with the bottlecap CO2 cartridges of the 1950s that leaked before you even put them in your airgun, and I thought CO2 was a gas that was totally unreliable. Rick’s revelation turned this around. I discovered CO2 is a very reliable gas if you use Pellgunoil.

bottlecap CO2 cartridge
In the 1950s and ’60s, Crosman was capping their CO2 Powerlets with bottlecaps that leaked a lot.

But the discoveries didn’t stop there. Soon after learning about the benefits of Pellgunoil, I bought a Crosman model 111 target pistol at a flea market for $35. It was in the original box and came with the original 10-oz. CO2 tank that Crosman sold with the gun back in the early 1950s. I bought this gun thinking it would have to be resealed. It’s seller told me it had laid in a closet for a minimum of 20 years before she brought it to this flea market, so how in the world could it possibly have any gas left in it?

Crosman 116 pistol and bulk tank
This .22-caliber Crosman 116 bulk-fill CO2 pistol and tank were sold up until the model 150 came out in 1956.

Well, that gun was still charged! What is even more important was the 10-oz. CO2 tank that came with it was also mostly full, so I was able to connect it to the pistol and charge it many times — for another 50 shots each time. Each time I charged the pistol, I applied more Pellgunoil, and that old pistol kept right on functioning for almost 2 years. When the seals finally did need to be renewed, I took the gun to Rick Willnecker, and he got me started in bulk-filling CO2 guns. I bought my first 20-lb. CO2 tank and the adapter to connect it to the 10-oz. Crosman tank, and I was off to the races. Since that time, I have owned five 20-lb. CO2 tanks and have been filling my own bulk tanks at home for more than 15 years. Where a CO2 cartridge costs about 50 cents, I pay about 5 cents for the same amount of gas!

But it didn’t end there, either. I discovered on my own that by using copious amounts of Pellgunoil, I could get non-functioning CO2 guns to work again. That’s when I started buying up old Crosman gas guns that were leakers and “rejuvenating” them with Pellgunoil. I still own a Crosman 180 rifle that I bought for $20. It has been holding gas for about 20 years so far!

Transmission stop leak oil
Dennis Quackenbush taught me this trick. He said he “fixed” a leaking Crosman 112 bulk-fill pistol with transmission stop leak oil — the stuff you get at the auto parts store. I had a Crosman 116 bulk-fill pistol that was a fast leaker, so I thought I would give it a try. I put several drops of this oil in the fill port connection of the pistol and filled it with CO2. That was about 2-1/2 years ago and that gun is still holding gas today!

transmission stop leak
Transmission stop leak oil (this is just one brand…there are several others) will swell and make supple the seals inside an older CO2 gun.

Several people wrote comments telling me that this oil would turn the seals in my airgun to mush and it would be an even bigger leaker than before; but as I said, 30 months have passed and that gun is still holding gas. So is Dennis’ gun. This stuff seems to work.

Oiling the moving parts of the gun
You can oil the moving parts of a gas gun with any good brand of gun oil, and I even use household oil (yes, 3-in-One brand) on mine. If you want to buy a good oil from Pyramyd Air, I have used Gamo Air Gun Oil for many years for this purpose. All you’re doing is providing simple lubrication, and oil is correct for that.

Ballistol
Finally, you can wipe down the gun — wood, metal and plastic — with Ballistol. Ballistol removes rust, protects against fingerprint acids, lubricates and generally is the single best lubricant for an airgun or firearm.

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