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Education / Training HW 55 Tyrolean – Part 3

HW 55 Tyrolean – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Today, I’ll start disassembling Wayne’s HW 55 Tyrolean rifle to see what it looks like on the inside. Wayne bought this rifle on my recommendation and at a price that guaranteed a good investment from the start. From the firing behavior and other visual clues, the rifle seems to have been recently tuned. We will discover whether that assessment is true once we get inside. Also, there were a couple of concerns with the rifle. The Rekord trigger, which in the 55 is a special target version capable of extraordinary lightnesss with positive safety, has been adjusted rather heavy. It’s not even as light as a sporting Rekord, which is nowhere near as fine as a target Rekord can be. So, I’ll look into adjusting it and anything else it may need. Additionally, the cocking link drags over the mainspring when the barrel is closed after cocking. I’ve felt this before in other spring guns, but I’m going to have a close look to see if anything can be done.

A little R1
This rifle is constructed like many classic Weihrauchs, so there’s a lot of similarity between it and the Beeman R1. Of course, the HW 55 is nearly three decades older than the R1, so perhaps it’s more correct to say the reverse–that the R1 is a big HW 55. The point I’m making is that the 13-part blog I did on tuning a spring gun, which was based on an R1, holds true for this rifle, as well. There are some subtle differences besides the scale of the two rifles, and I’ll cover those as we come to them. You might want to review that tuning report, as I may have touched on a few things that I’ll not put into this report.

No safety
Step one is to remove the rifle’s action from the stock. Before doing that, let’s look at the first significant difference between an HW 55 and most other Weihrauch spring rifles. The 55 has no safety! The automatic safety was added to the line, model by model. At one time, none of them had it. I guess it seemed right for the sporting models, because that’s where it ended up; but, since target guns seldom have safeties, it never made it to the 55 model, as far as I know. If anyone knows differently, I would be happy to be enlightened.


As far as I know, the HW 55 never had a safety.


This Beeman R1 has a safety button. Incidentally, this is the R1 that was the star of the book.

The Weihrauch safety is a spring-loaded pin that jumps into position when the rifle is cocked. If you want to reapply it after taking it off you have to break the barrel again–on the cocked rifle–so the piston rod can press the trigger parts out of the way, once more. Eliminating the safety does nothing to the function of the trigger, which remains a modular unit. But what it does do is remove one additional step a competitor has to remember while shooting a match. However, the 55 adds another step of its own, in the form of the breech lock lever, so it’s really a wash. R1 owners get so used to releasing the safety that they never give it a second thought, anyhow.

Separate the action from the stock
The 55 has an articulated 2-piece cocking linkage, which means there is a steel bridge under the spring tube that the linkage passes through. That also means that instead of 2 forearm screws–one of either side of the gun–there’s just a single screw in the bottom of the forearm that screws into a threaded bushing in the steel receiver bridge. HOWEVER–important tip–instead of just the front triggerguard screw holding the triggerguard and therefore the stock to the action – BOTH the front and rear screws hold the rifle together. The rear triggerguard screw actually threads into a nut held captive by the trigger housing. So, it still takes the removal of three screws to separate the stock and action.


Only a single forearm screw and a short cocking slot are features of an articulated cocking link.


On the 55, both triggerguard screws hold the rifle in the stock. The front screw fits into a boss on the spring tube. The rear screw fits into the rear of the trigger housing. That’s the last hole on the right in this picture.

Remove the trigger
To remove the Rekord trigger, drift the two crosspins from left to right. Drift the front pin first and install it last during assembly. I will explain the special assembly procedure when we get to it. Once the trigger was out, I saw a strange and somewhat disturbing thing. It was still greased from the Weihrauch factory with what I call “tractor grease.” Once you’ve seen this stuff, you’ll never forget it. It’s a clear sign the trigger has never been touched, but the mainspring that I can now see is coated with black tar. Who removes a mainspring and coats it with tar but fails to clean and adjust a Rekord trigger? There’s an obvious answer to that, but I held my opinion until the mainspring was out.


Drift out the 2 crosspins that hold the trigger to the rifle.


The thick transparent brown grease that covers the trigger parts is a telltail factory sign. This trigger has never been cleaned or adjusted since new.

Remove the end cap
Once the trigger has been removed, there is a huge hole in the end cap. To get the threads started I insert the smooth end of a medium-sized crescent wrench into the hole and strike it on the the other end with a hammer to start the threads turning. It only takes two or three strikes on the wrench before the end cap can be unscrewed by hand. The smooth rounded end of the wrench ensures there will be no marks left on the sharp edges of the trigger slot.


Once the trigger is out, there is a deep slot where it was housed. The smooth rounded end of a 10-12-inch crescent wrench can be inserted in this slot and used as leverage to turn the end cap.


The end cap is threaded into the spring tube.

As you can see, the end cap simply unscrews from the spring tube. When the threads get near the end, I place the muzzle on a piece of wide leather (the inside of my sandal works for this) so the whole rifle can rotate while I hold the end cap still and exert downward pressure. When the threads end, the cap springs up with about one inch of spring tension, which is 30-40 lbs. of effort. I’m not using a mainspring compressor with this gun. I’ve always done it this way with the smaller Weihrauchs, and I know that other airgunsmiths do the same. If you don’t know what you’re doing, use a compressor.

The mainspring will now pull out. Once I have it in hand, my suspicions are confirmed. It’s canted. That means this gun was not tuned by a professional. It has what is known as a redneck tune. Someone put black tar on the bent spring to calm the gun. It’s like a politician paying hush money to cover his tracks instead of solving the problem. This spring will not be going back into this rifle.


This is the correct amount of black tar for a mainspring.


And there’s a problem. A canted mainspring will make the gun buzz and produce less power. The last person inside the gun used black tar to quiet the buzz instead of replacing the spring with a good one. That may be where the dragging cocking link came from.

I’m going to stop here because this has become a lengthy process. Next time, I’ll complete the teardown.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

67 thoughts on “HW 55 Tyrolean – Part 3”

  1. Goodmrning B.B. Interesting, perhaps we now know why the trigger pull was so heavy. I would have thought that a “red neck tune” wold have included hitting the trigger with a shot of brake cleaner. When do you think Wayne”s gun was made? I think we, your loyal readers, should start a pool on who will be its eventual owner. Cheers Mr.B

  2. B.B.,
    I have enjoyed your articles immensely, from the cleaning, using the JB paste, to the Pellgun Oil information to the actual operation and disassembly of these weapons. Just searching your blog, I find out so much information.
    To me the most significant article is the artillery hold.
    I’m on my second .22 cal break barrel, RX-2, prior to that was the SS1000 Beeman #1064. I also have a custom .22 cal Crosman pistol that I modified with the B&A valve and shoulder stock. To me this is a real tack driver, only after I mastered the break barrel.
    The break barrel represents a real challenge at 40 yards, the more I use it the better I get with the pistol. I actually prefer the break barrel to the pneumatic just because of this.
    One of these days a PCP will be in my future, but I’m sure I will be going back to the break barrel, just for the challenge.
    I’m not a blogger, just wanted to let you know that there are some old guys like me that really enjoy your articles.
    Thanks so much,

  3. Hi B.B, I have been reading your blog for some time now and it has been really interesting. I got hooked initially because I was looking for a good review on the Diana RWS 54, because I intend to buy one some time in the near future, but I am waiting till I find a way to import it into India safely.
    I have a BSA Meteor that must be over 38 years old it used to belong to my god farther and I just got my hands on it some time back. After I finished cleaning it up, it decided to finally start cocking smoothly after about a month and then it was firing without a problem, then all of a sudden it decided to stop cocking all together!!! 1 of my friends was trying to fire it at that time and he said he heard some sound before it stopped cocking all together…I assume it has some thing to do with the trigger because i can feel the tension on the spring through the cocking stroke but it does not catch at the end of the stroke…Any ideas? I guess I will have to open it up change the main spring because after all this time i guess it must be in really bad shape, any idea where I can get 1, and other spare parts because the rear sights are totally broken off. Also have you any idea if I will need a main spring compressor? the other thing is i have to get the gun blued as the barrel is all rusted and has a few pits, but i do not want to mess with its tempering…Any ideas?… Thanks for all the information you keep flooding this blog with.

  4. Mr. B.,

    I think Wayne’s gun was made in the 1990s. It has a serial number in the 900,000 range, which is late. It also has a white plastic spring guide, which is very late in Weihrauch production – close to the year 2000.


  5. Lawrence,

    I’m glad you found us. Remember, the average age of an airgunner is around 45, so you may not be as old as you think!

    Yes, breakbarrel spring guns are a real challenge. And they do make you a better shot, because the follow-through you learn from them applies to every gun – firearm or air.


  6. Gavin,

    From your description, it sounds like your BSA has either broken a spring or a spring guide or possibly both. You may not need a spring compressor to take it apart but you’ll certainly need one to assemble it.

    Hot salt bluing does not get hot enough (275 degrees F) to affect the temperature of steel, besides which, an air rifle barrel is not tempered. It is dead soft. But you can do a pretty good job with some cold blue.


  7. B.B.
    Off topic…
    I have a Marksman 0035 made in Spain. Bought it quite a few years ago, and find it to be one of the nicest little guns I have ever had my hands on. This would have been the “dream gun” for me when I was a kid.
    It is lower powered, but has plenty of punch and accuracy for the kinds of pest hunting that I did back then. Everything about it seems to be perfect.
    Can you tell me anything about this little rifle?


  8. BB,

    Thanks for putting this up. I have a sister model to this one, an old HW50S that I don’t know if needs a tune up or not. I don’t have a chrony nor do I have access to one. Also, it’s my first and only spring rifle so I am unaware if it’s in good order. It shoots well and doesn’t make any honking noises that would indicate it needing to be oiled.
    Are there any signs to look for?

    Al in CT

  9. BB,

    I feel compelled to defend “redneck tuners”. Perhaps the trigger was fine for him and he didn’t notice any problem with the spring after tarring, which is likely based on your initial description: “As I examined Wayne’s rifle, I found ample evidence that it was tuned recently. It fires with a dead-calm thunk.”

  10. B.B.


    She all dirty inside..

    I’m so glad she’s in your hands. My gut feelings were not far off.. I haven’t been inside one yet, but I could tell she wasn’t as good as she should be..

    Do you think that is the original spring that just got tarred?

    How did the seals look? And how much more are you going to have to pay me for a rifle tuned by the famous Tom Gaylord, when it’s done?

    I told you I was a “horse trader” from way back..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  11. Al,

    If your gun really is “old,” it may have a leather piston seal. In that case, it will never honk when cocked, but it needs a lot of lube on the seal. Is it 1990s-old, which isn’t really old, or 1970s-old, which is?

    If the serial number is below about 400,000, you may have an old Weihrauch with a leather seal.

    Look at the breech seal. Is it white (now yellowed with age) or dark and fibrous? If it’s dark, it’s leather and needs to be oiled, as well.


  12. Volvo,

    Thanks for the update on your FWB 124. Yes, I’ve been hunting an fwb 124 for quit some time. I’ve read numerous articles on the fwb 124 and understand that the gun was “twangier” than most even after a break-in so a tune is necessary. Since I’m pricing a tune into a purchase it has so far eliminated all the 124’s I’ve located. If I remember right, you bought the artic kit from macarri for your 124? This is the direction I’m leaning since maximizing the power in a 124 is not my goal. I’d be happy with 700fps-800fps in exchange for smoothness. I’d like a relative light weight (6.5 lbs. ? ) springer, with legendary accuracy, that’s easy to cock, easy to scope to shoot all day long. The lineage and beauty of this fine air gun are just bonuses for me. This is my justification for wanting a 124. Appreciate your insight into the trigger. You had rich do your tune, right?


  13. Wayne,

    Thanks for the alert on your friends fwb 124 on gunbroker. Saw that one last week. Looks like it’s in great shape but….it’s a lefty. I can’t do anything left handed. Not sure why god put this appendage on me.


  14. BB,

    My 50S was dated to 1965 I believe, the serial number was in the 20000 range. I remember checking the seals when I break open the barrel- they are dark and one looks a little chewed, but to be honest, they don’t seem like they are leather. More like a black plastic.

    Al in CT

  15. I may be a step closer to my sparrow control goals. Seems Chairgun lists the Beeman Silver Bear 5mm pellet with a BC of an overwhelming 0.006. That shouldn’t carry up very well at all. 8.8 grains or so at 620 from a R7 or a little more from a Blue Streak should do the trick quite nicely.


  16. BB,

    You’re right, but there’s the possibility the spring is a replacement that doesn’t fit perfectly on the guides and “got bent” after installation. From the amount of tar (seems reasonable to me), it doesn’t seem like the “tuner” was too wild. The tar and the cant probably explain the good firing behavior and the roughish cocking, with the cant being responsible for the lower velocity and higher spread? I’m enjoying this one, not trying to give you a hard time:).

  17. BG_Farmer,

    You are right – it is possible that the spring bent after installation. I guess I was turned off by finding it and that colored my observation.

    I do think it is a Weihrauch factory spring, and the HW55 is so mild I have a hard time imagining their spring wearing out in less than a decade. But it is under more than an inch of precompression, so it is possible.


  18. B.B.

    Thanks for your excellent blog – I especially enjoy posts like this one – I really enjoy working on springers, especially the older ones.

    I recently obtained a HW55 tyrolean, much like the one you are working on – an early gun (14x,xxx)in great shape. I replaced the original spring & guide with a JM kit, and it's a smooth shooter. I left the leather seal alone (cleaned & relubed with silicone oil). It's currently chronying at about 535 with 8.2 grain Meisterkugelns – what do you think? Up to speed, or should I consider replacing the leather seal with an adapter and synthetic seal?

    Love these old HWs!

    Matthew Noe

  19. B.B.

    Thanks for the advice – I was leaning that way, to keep it all original.

    Yes, they’re a blast, and rather easy to disassemble (I’ve done a difficult prewar Diana 27, and a couple of FWB124s). No springs flying off to who knows where, and just beautiful, precise craftsmanship.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series – it’s a winner already!

    Best –

    Matthew Noe

  20. B.B.

    I hope you got that I was just teasing you about the price. I should have said HA HA, or something… sorry if I sounded serious and not teasing.. It’s hard without tones of voice…


  21. Hi BB,
    You have mentioned finding good deals on airguns at Flea Markets. I was wondering if you have had any luck at the Canton, Texas flea market? It is supposed to be the largest in the US. I went this weekend but the pickings I saw were pretty slim. I didn’t spend any money except for parking.

    David Enoch

  22. B.B.

    The “redneck tune” cracks me up. As a matter of fact, since getting the B30 back, sometimes I seem to feel the faintest whisper of a vibration or buzz, but now I may be jumping at shadows. The gun shoots fine.

    Wayne, remembering your dim view of springers, at least compared to PCPs, I want to remind you, as B.B. did in one of the comments about the importance of follow-through which is most apparent on springers but applies as well to other guns. I had quite the demonstration of it this weekend. While trying out some things with my Daisy 747 single pump pistol, I thought that I may as well try out the follow through that has worked so well with my springers and behold.


    That’s 10 shots at 20 feet. So, I threw a couple. You can see the possibilities. insane to have overlooked this for so long. The technique is reminiscent of the TOW anti-tank missile which you might have heard about. It was in place some decades ago and may still be in service. The projectile trails a thin wire back to the gun, and it responds in flight to adjustments to the crosshairs. So, the gunner has to keep the crosshairs on target until impact. Physically this doesn’t happen with airguns, but the technique behaves as though it does. So, don’t think that the S410 can’t gain from follow-through. With that and smaller targets, you’ll be unstoppable, except by me of course. Heh heh.


  23. Benchresters, help me out with my upcoming showdown with Wayne as I attempt to adapt from offhand shooting. The question is how much movement of the sight picture to expect. There’s the old saying that there will always be movement. Does that still apply to benchresting so that I need to coordinate trigger control with movement of the sight picture? Or is it reasonable to be able to achieve a motionless hold and just concentrate on maintaining it when I press the trigger? Thanks.


  24. I actually came across a movie on YouTube of the original Annie Oakley doing a shooting demonstration.


    I wasn’t overly impressed since she is shooting at the same distance I do, and I don’t know if the camera does her justice. But there is no doubting her actual skills as documented many times, and it is nice to the see the Great One in action. One of her contemporaries said that she had no nerves at all and operated like a machine. Interesting to imagine.


  25. David,

    I heard that Canton had turned very commercial a few years back and wasn’t worth the effort. Tom Woodling told me that. I remember that also held true for Carlisle, PA, another huge flea market that has turned into an outdoor antique mall.

    What you want are the smaller flea markets that aren’t as commercial. Keep searching, because they are there.

    It’s like garage sales. In new housing areas all you find is cheap furniture and baby items, but in established neighborhoods the real stuff comes out – sometimes.


  26. Matt61,

    Your link didn't work for me, but Annie did.. I guess she was working on a small stage. Try to get a copy of the special that PBS did on her life story.. It's very good..

    I took your advice and made 1/8" black dots on white paper. I added crosshairs out 1/2" on each side. I got 25 dots on an standard copy paper, and just copied a bunch of them.. And since I added an extra layer of that clay stuff to the silent trap, I have to tape the targets up anyway, so it works great.

    This is with the Air Arms S410 .177, from my indoor range, 20 yards from my lazyboy, sitting, off knee, 5 shots per dot except I had 5 left over in the last 10 shot mag, so I put them on the worst 5 shot group, (a 1") which happened when I was trying to finish a shot and the phone rang. (dr.g.) Again that's 130 shots on a fill, with the power adjuster on half. I turned it up to 9/16 of full power, (about 780fps with the 8.4 JSB Exacts, by that time on the tank), for the last 40 shots.

    The best four groups were 5/16", 8 groups at 3/8", 3 were 7/16", 6 were 1/2", 1 was 9/16", 2 were 5/8" and the worst one that was 1"…

    I'm still having trouble with my photo bucket. Google won't let me start a new one with the same login names, now I have to have some passwords for each photobucket…poopy!
    I could email them to you and you post the results on your bucket, then the folks only have to look at one site.

    I wish we could just post them here like it was an email.. I've got to get my website going.. videos would be best.

    But anyway, your idea is great, without the 1" orange dot for distraction, and the focus on the 1/8" dot, my groups are better.

    As for the benchrest shooting, I do that a lot for testing pellet & gun accuracy. I find that I need to hold the gun into the rest with pretty good firmness with springers, to control the recoil and allow the follow through you and B.B. speak of..

    I agree that after shooting springers with recoil, I have better follow through on the PCPs.

    But, I've been there, done that, and I'm only going back there for testing and short time practice.. You also have to practice with what you plan on competing with.

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  27. B.B.

    Yes, I had never even imagined that she would be on film because of her time period, but YouTube has everything under the sun, so I tried on an impulse. I suppose that the Edison Black Mariah is some kind of movie camera.

    Wayne, you have to add the second line of the url into the first line in the address window. In other words, just add 747.jpg to the rest of it. It worked for me just now. Don’t overlook pistol shooting. It will add to your range and open new dimensions to you.

    Great shooting with the S410. I can already tell you that the B30 will have a very hard time with that. As for springers, I thought the theory was to hold them loosely even in the benchrest. Now that I think about it, I suppose I will have to count on some movement for a springer, but perhaps not with firearms. Sure, send along photos you would like to post while you are fixing your photobucket accounts and I would be glad to post them.

    db, I ran across that clip while searching for Annie Oakley. Let’s just say that they are barely shadows of the original.


  28. Matt61, with a good rest no motion, just have to worry about breath and trigger control along with follow through. I’ve been using 1″ thick neoprene pads glued together, with PVC pipe glue, that I’ve cut up to resemble bench rest bags. Seems to work as well as resting forend on my hand judging by comparatve group sizes, ie, the same shooting either way with a Diania 350 Magnum Do a google for bench rest technique. Let me know how it’s working for you. Best of luck Mr.B

  29. Matt61,
    I left my email on the weekend blog, send me an email, & and I'll send you back the photos, while I learn more stuff..

    I also don't like all those adds on the side of the Google site..

    Can't we sponsor a web site to post the blogs photos, any posters pay $2 per month, 25 posters would cover a website, wouldn't it?

    To be fair Matt, I have to use a springer too, so when the Avenger 1100s get here, any day now, that will be the best test for the people here on the blog. These two are in the best springers for the money group for sure.. The other cool thing is that Chris at PA probably tuned them both after a return. I know he tuned the Avengers.

    Pistol shooting will come around on the Git'tar.. soon, as Woody G. would say…

    How about if we try benchrests, favorite FT position, (sitting or prone), and even offhand,(at my total disadvantage), I want to switch to the new Slavia 634 for the offhand. That way we test ourselves and the guns….

    And for now we'll post them all on your photo bucket..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  30. Kevin,

    I suspect the FWB 124 is a bit heavier than 6.5 lbs. While no jumbo like an HW97, it is not an R-7 either. What rifles do you currently own?

    Yes, Rich installed an Artic kit and tuned the rifle. She is now up to 783fps with CPL’s and I suspect once I get a couple hundred shots in her it will go up even more.
    No way to tell for sure. My HW50S actual came back shooting slower than before a tune shooting Hobby’s at less than 620 – last night I tested it again and it went over 700fps (it’s a .22 cal) So only time will tell how a tune will break in.

    Some suggest a trigger shoe to lower the perceived effort. It is not too bad as is; it just is not like my HW rifles that are all probably less than a lb. The reality is a little heavier pull for field use is probably a good idea.

    I recently killed a lampshade with the newly tuned BSA. This rifle had such a heavy pull before; I have not adjusted to its new hair trigger yet.

    If my newly arrived PCP works well I will likely sell the FWB 124.


  31. Wayne,

    Possession is 9/10th of the law. I think we should all congratulate BB on his new 55 : )

    My Webley Raider arrived today, it is surprisingly the two shot model, instead of the single. The stock is beech as I suspected. While discontinued, a few dealers have it as new old stock for $649 so I feel good about my $395 investment. (Back to justifying)

    Anyway, no pump yet but it does have some air in it.

    As part of my ritual I gave it a good rub down with a Tibet Almond Stick and will wax the stock and clean the barrel tomorrow.


  32. Volvo,

    I was afraid someone might notice that… In this case it’s 31/32… Just don’t tell B.B. and I’ll be fine..

    “Airgun bros” again… I got my “like new” 10 year old, Air Arms S310 .22 cal, without the fill adapter last week, with just enough air in it to tease me with a few shots.. My adapter should be here any day.

    That was a great buy on the Raider, your wife should be proud, you did the right thing, for sure. you could make a great profit at any time you want…

    Now, help me feel good about the very large amount I just spent on Billy’s USFT.. Even the “King of Justification” is having a hard time with this one..as much as I can’t wait to hold it and shoot it.

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  33. Volvo,

    Thanks for putting up with my hounding. I hear different specs on the fwb 124…6.5 lbs – 7 lbs. R7 is 6.1 lbs I think. Most of my guns are powder burners. I don’t think many would care to see my long list of firearms. Easy to buy but hard to get rid of. Memories in each and every one of them. Been a hunter for almost 45 years. Don’t kill much any more. Quit big game when chronic wasting disease (cwd) became such a problem in Colorado and haven’t hunted birds for 2 years since the old lab had to be put down. Still have his son but just haven’t been able to get back into the field. Sure miss that old guy.

    As far as air guns, it’s a short list: benjamin 397, norica krono, diana 27, diana 54, beeman R1 and as of this afternoon a fwb 124 sport sans sights. I don’t have a chrono but the fwb is shooting weak as expected. I’m leaning towards the “old school artic kit” that you used (maccarri). Haven’t decided on the tuner yet but it will happen soon. Sure like the way the 124 fits me. I’m finding myself picking up lighter guns to shoot off hand more and more.

    Surprised to hear that you would consider selling the fwb 124. Such a classic with great potential. Is it just about the trigger?


  34. Wayne,

    You did not spend a dime. You wisely decided to invest in a fine collectable. Given the fact the most folk’s traditional investments are down about 30 % for the year, your acquisition makes sense, doesn’t it?

    Ok enough of that. Since I have no real skills, that is how I make a living.

    I’m going to play with the Webley a little more………


  35. Wayne,

    I sent you an email. Bring on the photos. I don’t know about a new paying website for photos. It’s hard to beat a free one, and I haven’t even noticed the Google ads as fascinated as I’ve been with my own albums….

    Okay, we’ll try out all of the shooting positions.

    Mr. B, thanks for the advice. Maybe I’m getting some motion because I haven’t gotten everything positioned right. The concrete tables at the range are too high for the crummy plastic chairs they use. Maybe when I get everything arranged correctly… Your rest sounds like a gel pad sold by PA that B.B. blogged a long time ago that is supposed to be as good as resting on the hand. For the time being, I might try the backs of fingers although that seems like it would be painful with a B30.

    DB, I wonder how many women there are in the NRA as a percentage. I bet getting a woman elected president there would be tougher than for the U.S.

    I’m getting more fascinated with Annie Oakley. She could hit glass balls in the air with a rifle while riding a bicycle! I have fantasized about shooting from a bicycle but figured that I would be knocked over by the recoil. And I’ve toyed with the idea of riding with no hands, but never doing both things at once. She also could apparently jump over a table after glass balls were thrown in the air, grab her rifle and break them all before they hit the ground. Preternatural.

    I’ve ordered her 16 page autobiographical sketch with some notes on shooting but since only 2 libraries in the world are listed as owning it, I’m not optimistic.


  36. Kevin,

    I was wondering what air rifles you had so I could tell you what would be closest to the FWB 124. No need now as you have one. If you are not planning on working on the 124 yourself, the longer springs JM has may be even easier to cock. Maybe send him an e-mail?

    I did not mind your questions; I just did not feel like an expert on the rifle, as I have owned it for such a short time.

    As far as selling it, I would like to just hold on to it as a collectable, but that is not practical at this time. To have a place as an actual “shooter”, the competition is tough in my rack. The three HW’s with Paul Watts tunes, the BSA Rich in Mich did, now a PCP…
    It is a great rifle, and if the barrel was four inches shorter and trigger was better I would need to flip a coin.


  37. Wayne,
    Thanks for posting your information, very helpful. I spoke with The Man, and we will see what develops.

    Regarding spending thousands of dollar$ on that Billy Lo rifle – you make it sound worse than what it really is. Especially given its lineage, anytime that you want you can quickly turn your USFT around for around the same huge amount that you paid for it. It is almost as fungible as collectible stamps or coins. Plus, it is a whole lot more fun to play with until/should you decide to one day sell it.

    For myself, knowing that my Whiscombe air rifle can be quickly sold for more than what I paid for it was the only way I could in good conscience send Whiscombe several thousand dollars for his nice dual spring gun. And it doesn’t even come in .25!

    – Dr. G.

  38. Matt,

    Cool. I’m not sure what she’s shooting at, plates? At 10 feet, and it looks like she misses one? Doesn’t matter — she was quite a woman, though Veronica Lake is still my favorite actress from before the time the pictures got small.

    The best (additional, unrelated) thing is that it lays to rest all the whining by egghead academics about lost media formats. There’s a recording somewhere of Tennyson reading some of his poetry, also.

  39. Volvo & Dr. G.

    AAAHHH that helps.. especially about the having fun while it holds value. It is a unique piece for sure.

    And I really hope he borrows it back and wins a world title with it.. That might add a little value, don't you think.

    See, I told you I was the "King of Justification"

    My favorite on the Annie Oakley PBS special was seeing her cut playing cards in half, after she shot out the center, with someone holding the card, they then turn it sideways and she cuts it in half, edge wise.. there is some really great old footage..and a lot of history, how it was to be a women preforming at the time.

    I didn't get the email yet, but it will come over night, and I'll send them in the morning. Thanks this is so much easier for this old guy.. there is just one button to click to add photos to an email.. and folks can go to one site to view them..


  40. Matt,

    The Black Maria was Thomas Edison’s studio, where the first successful moving pictures were filmed. It started in 1893, and was a light-proof tar-paper shack on the grounds of the Edison labs in New Jersey. Do a search on the term and read about it. It is the birthplace of the movie industry.


  41. Kevin,

    You live in Colorado and shoot spring guns? Do you live above 5,000 feet? Are you aware that all spring guns lose energy as the altitude at which they are shot increases?

    Up to 6,500 feet we have found that many springers are still usable. Above that, they all have severe problems with low power.

    On the other hand, you are in prime country for PCPs.


  42. Matt61: No, I’ve got the gell pads and like them, but what I use off the bench looks more like rabbit ear type bags, check out Brownells web site for some pictures. The neprene is soft enough to absorb the recoil, but firm enough to keep the gun, on the target without any pressure by me. My right hand is on the pistol grip and my left hand is under the butt of the gun. Check out the web for a picture or two. When it is all together and working for me, the gun goes off and I see the hole appear in the target almost like magic or a zen type thing. Hope this helps you keep Wayne in line. M.B

  43. B.B.,


    Yes, I live in Colorado and shoot spring guns. It’s worse than you think…..during the week I live in wheat ridge (at the foothills of the rocky mountains) at 5,400 feet in elevation. Friday-Sunday you’ll find us at our home in the mountains outside of leadville (9,700 feet in elevation). The place in the mountains is where I have a real shooting range, more time and therefor do most of my shooting.

    Back in the spring when I first contacted you about a prairie dog infestation at my place in the mountains you directed me to an old article you had done on testing spring guns at altitude. They lost 5%-6% power at 6,500 feet in elevation vs. sea-level as I remember. Also had lengthy dialogue with an avid airgunner (known as peak chick on the yellow) in colorado springs (about 2 hours south of me). She lives at roughly 6,500 feet, as I remember, has a chrono, shoots springers at 8-9,000 feet in elevation and looses around 10% power vs. sea-level. Other than power loss neither she nor I have had problems.

    PCP’s are an interesting segment of the airgunning world. Lighter weight guns in general, easier to shoot accurately and multi shot is an option. Not sure I’m ready for the armload of accessories, including a chrono, pump/scuba tank, adapters etc. that it requires. Not very deep down I’m a simple guy that enjoys the purity of grabbing a gun and just shooting. Not sure about the future. If you told me this spring that I would have this many spring guns, well……

    This pastime has awakened a passion that was dormant. Don’t get to the range or field much anymore and airguns have allowed me to realize I still enjoy shooting.


  44. Volvo,

    Thanks again for your patience and insight into the 124. Longer spring may be an option but the trade off is pre-load in the 124 and I’d like to minimize that. I’m told that with the “old school-artic spring” the fwb is still easy to cock. Do you agree? Again, I appreciate your opinion on the trigger. The experience of the tuner with a 124 trigger will be a major factor in my decision of who will tune my gun.


  45. Kevin,

    I have heard horror stories about harsh behavior at altitude – piston-scraping and vibration and guns that sound unlubricated. That was what prompted my comment.

    Of all the PCPs in the world, the Benjamin Discovery is by far the simplest. And with a fill to just 2000 psi, it’s also the easiest to refill – excepting the USFT that only fills to 1600. And the Discovery is not that expensive.

    A pump is the only extra piece of gear you have to take with you. However, if you are hiking, I wouldn’t even want to drag one of those along.

    It’s your business, of course, I just wanted to be sure you knew that PCPs perform better at altitude because of the thinner air.


  46. B.B.,

    Careful. I don’t need much of a push to try the Discovery that you helped design. This would be my choice for the entry into the “darkside”.

    Don’t think I’ve really experienced harsh behavior and don’t think I’ve had piston scraping. But, just between you and me, this is the excuse I use on an off day of shooting.

    Thanks for looking over my shoulder. I’m still a novice and have grown to respect your advice even if you have inadvertently cost me a lot of money. 😉


  47. Kevin,

    I would say the cocking effort on the 124 is similar to the stock spring, but I was only able to put about ten shots through it stock until it gave up the ghost. It is a little more effort than my R-7, but easier than the HW50S. (The new HW50S is a smaller, lighter, and more powerful rifle than the 124)

    JM says he uses the Arctic kit in his own FWB 124’s, which is a great endorsement. .

    The HW50S actually sounds closest to how you described your needs, but we can leave that for another time.

    As far as the tune goes, I was planning on installing the kit myself, until I thought better of it. So I simply sent the rifle and JM kit asking for installation and basic tune while the gun was open. I did not even mention the trigger. I am sure Rich could have lightened it, as when I asked for that on my BSA it returned ultra light. So I would guess if you request improvement I’m sure it can be done. It is not as smooth as my other rifles, but then once again I did not have the piston buttoned or any thing else exotic done.

    From a rest the FWB 124 is capable of amazing accuracy, off hand however I don’t do very well with it. My least accurate rifle from a rest is the .25 cal Lightning XL, but I do very well off hand with it. So I guess you never know until you try.

    As far a PCP I have been liked minded. Keep it simple. I think my new Raider has a low fill point also – 200 bar, whatever that means. So when the pump gets here I’ll find out. She is pretty girl with a deep blue-black like my Patriot had. The rest remains to be seen.


  48. Volvo,

    Thanks again. I’ll leave you alone for awhile so you can get acquainted with your new girl. I’ll be keeping an eye out for your view of the pcp world.


  49. Good Morning. I don’t know where else to ask my questions. I have a “Benjamin Franklin” Benjamin 377 BB gun. I am wondering if there is a special oil I need to clean it to keep the leathers soft? Also any suggestions on cleaning. I know there are many kinds of BBs. Should I use a special kind? About how old might it be? Are they getting to be collector item? Approx value? Any other info would be appreciated. Thanks. Darby

  50. Darby,

    Okay, first, it’s just a Benjamin. The words “Benjamin Franklin” are in quotes on the gun – which indicates a play on words – a joke.

    I’m not familiar with the model 377. Are you sure it isn’t a 367? If so, it isn’t as BB gun. It’s meant for .177 caliber lead pellets, only. Don’t use steel BBs in the 367 because they will ruin the bore.

    If it really is a 377 then I am not familiar with the model. Could you tell be about it? The designation 377 would be for a .177 rifled gun, so the warning about steel BBs still applies.

    Crosman Pellgunoil onthe tip of each new CO2 cartridge is what you need.


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