Some talk about airgun lubrication: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Why do we lubricate?
  • The Meteor’s needs for lubrication
  • Leather piston seals
  • Velocity
  • Watch the performance
  • Synthetic piston seals
  • Summary
  • Other lubrication requirements

Yesterday a reader asked why I bothered with Tune in a Tube. Why didn’t I just clean the Meteor Mark I when I had it apart, lubricate with moly grease and be done with it? That tells me there are a number of readers who don’t really understand what is involved with airgun lubrication. So today I thought I would discuss it a little.

Why do we lubricate?

This is a good place to start. In fact, from the reader’s comments, it seems to be at the core of misunderstanding. Don’t we just lubricate to reduce friction?

Friction is a principal reason for lubrication. But there is more to it than that. Sometimes we want to reduce friction by a certain amount, while retaining some part of it that’s needed for proper operation. Otherwise, moly (molybdenum disulphide) would be the answer to everything. Some airgunners think it is. The reader who wrote the comment that got me started on today’s topic said that very thing — that I should just clean the Meteor’s parts and lube everything with moly and be done with it.

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Mainspring compressor

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

mainspring compressor
Mainspring compressor.

This report covers:

  • Can you make a mainspring compressor?
  • BSA Meteor
  • Description
  • Bridge
  • Headstock
  • Tailstock
  • Legs
  • General

Today I’m going to show you a mainspring compressor that I will use in tomorrow’s blog. I was asked this week by a new reader to show the tools needed to safely disassemble a spring-piston airgun. Here is the request.

Sir,
Great web sight!  As a “newbee” to air rifles, I find it a wealth of info!  Having a hard time trying to start a new post in the blog forum..  Specifically, I’m looking to find out if anyone makes proper tools for the correct disassembly of the Benjamin Trail NP XL 1500.. Looking for a proper end cap removal tool, and a spring compressor.  I was an armorer for years in LE, with an incredible amount of proper tools for “firearms”.  Just want to make sure that maybe there’s a place to purchase proper tools for air rifles out there.

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Testing a Diana model 23 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Diana model 23 air rifle Diana 23 was a find on Gun Broker. The finish is bad but the gun works well.

This report covers:

  • An update
  • Step 1
  • Rust
  • Step 2: To buff or not?
  • Pits
  • Steel wool
  • I’m not done prepping
  • Cold blue

Many of you are interested in working on vintage airguns. To this point, I’ve shown you how to tune several spring-piston guns and I’ve touched on the subject of cold bluing, but I have not discussed it in detail. This series will go into the refinishing of the metal parts of a springer, including how to apply a deep cold blue that lasts.

An update

The last time we looked at this Diana model 23 breakbarrel, I’d disassembled it and shown you all the bad spots. I said then my plan was to refinish the rifle. Today, we begin by cleaning the parts. I’m only showing the spring tube, but all the steel parts are treated in the same way.

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HW 35 Luxus: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

HW35
HW35 Luxus

This report covers:

  • Disassembly
  • Rekord trigger
  • End cap comes out
  • Mainspring and guide come out
  • Piston is next
  • Assembly
  • The safety
  • Back together
  • What’s next?

Today, we’ll look inside the HW 35 Luxus to see what we find. I’ve thought from the beginning that this is a tuned air rifle, and I’ve given you the clues why. The baseblock is lubricated with some heavy grease that Weihrauch never used, and the safety seems to be defeated.

I also want to find out what material the piston seal is made of. If it’s leather, it needs more frequent lubrication than a synthetic seal would need.

Disassembly

Disassembling most Weihrauch air rifles is easy. Only the R9/HW95 and the new HW50 have those 4 tabs that hold the very thin end cap in the rifle and are a little harder to deal with. But this HW 35 is an old-school Weihrauch that has a threaded end cap.

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RWS Diana 45: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

RWS Diana 45 air rifle
Diana 45 is a large breakbarrel spring rifle.

This report covers:

  • RWS Superdome pellets
  • Uh-oh!
  • RWS Hobby pellets
  • Air Arms Falcon pellets
  • Time to stop and think
  • H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 4.53mm head
  • Where we are

Today, we’ll look at the performance of the Diana 45 that we tuned recently. Although a new mainspring was installed, it has the same power as the spring that was in the rifle, so no vast power increase was anticipated. If there’s any increase at all, it will probably come from the new breech seal I installed. The old one was flat and hard, so the breech is probably sealing air better now.

The point of this tune was to eliminate as much vibration as we could. The rifle’s owner, Johnny Hill, did not like the buzz that came with every shot, and I told him that most or even all of that could be eliminated by tightening the tolerances inside the powerplant. At my request, he made a larger spring guide, and he buttoned the piston to take out as much vibration as possible.

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RWS Diana 45: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

RWS Diana 45 air rifle
Diana 45 is a large breakbarrel spring rifle.

This report covers:

• Barrel must go on
• Piston into the tube
• Piston liner and cocking shoe go in
• Install the barrel
• Install the trigger
• Install the barreled action in the stock
• Quick function test

Barrel must go on
I’ll pick up where I left off in the last report. To assemble the parts, the barrel has to go on the spring tube. During disassembly, I’d noticed during that the breech seal was flattened and hard, so it was replaced before anything else was done. It’s just an o-ring with a steel spacer underneath, so the old one was pried out and a new one was pressed into the groove.

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RWS Diana 45: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

RWS Diana 45 air rifleDiana 45 is a large breakbarrel spring rifle.

This report covers:

• Piston head swaged
• Eliminate sloppy tolerances
• Buttons
• Tighter spring guide
• Remove all burrs
• Clean the spring tube
• Lube the spring tube
• Lube the piston, piston liner and mainspring
• Lube the leather piston seal
• Leave the trigger alone

Today, I’ll show you all the things that have been done to the Diana 45 parts; and I’ll clean, lubricate and assemble the rifle. This will be a long report, so I am breaking it into two parts — today and tomorrow.

Piston head swaged
Before we get to the job though, I was asked by one reader to show how the piston head is attached to the piston body. If you want to replace the leather piston seal, the piston head has to be removed — and that isn’t going to be easy, because it is mechanically swaged onto the piston body.

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