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Education / Training Long-term barrel storage – no grease!

Long-term barrel storage – no grease!

by B.B. Pelletier

JP inspired this report, but so did my recent acquisition of a Russian SKS rifle. While inspecting the action of my new gun, I noted that the firing pin remained in the extended position, as though it had just been struck by the hammer. “That’s not good!” I thought. “That looks like the bolt of an M3 grease gun,” a .45 ACP submachine gun that was in U.S. service for 50 years or so. The M3 firing pin is fixed in the forward position so when the bolt goes forward the pin strikes the next primed cartridge. As long as the trigger is held down, the bolt keeps going forward until the magazine is empty. The only way to stop the gun firing is to release the trigger, which then catches the bolt at the back end of its cycle and prevents it from going forward.

SKS was a Warsaw Pact main battle rifle that was replaced by the AK47.

M3 “Grease Gun” is a .45 ACP submachine gun that fires from an open bolt. This is known as a “slam-fire” gun in slang terms.

An SKS firing pin is not supposed to stick out of the bolt face like this. It’s should do this only when struck by the hammer. The pin has no return spring and is supposed to rebound from the primer after smacking it. If the rifle were loaded with the pin in this condition, there’s a high probability that the gun would go full-auto the moment the bolt went forward the first time.

The M3 is called a “slam-fire” gun because the entire weight of the moving bolt is what drives the firing pin and causes the gun to fire. There’s no separate hammer, like you’d find on a conventional firearm. Now, how does that relate to the SKS?

Well, the SKS is not a slam-fire gun. It’s got a real hammer that’s supposed to drive the firing pin when the bolt is closed. But if the firing pin sticks in the forward position like what I saw, nothing can stop the gun from firing. And since the trigger does not hold the bolt back, like the trigger on the M3, if an SKS starts firing full-auto, there is nothing to stop it until all 10 rounds are gone.

So this sticky firing pin was a real problem. A little research in the internet proved that, indeed, the slam-fire tendency of the SKS is its greatest flaw. The firing pin has no return spring, and if cosmoline grease or dirt gets into the bolt and jams the firing pin forward, you’re in for the shock of your life.

The solution is to clean the grease out of the bolt and run it absolutely dry, but what does that have to do with airguns? Everything, if you focus on the grease. Grease has no business inside the bolt of an SKS, just as it has no business in an airgun barrel–ever!

My time capsule
Several years ago, I gave way too much money for a Feinwerkbau 124. I’ve owned quite a few 124s over the years, so you might wonder what was so special about this one that I gave too much for it. Just this: the gun was encased in a shrine of 1970s parts! It had been mummified by its former owner, who I must assume was also the first owner. The man had built a cabinet-grade wooden case for the rifle and put in everything the gun would ever need…period Beeman Silver Ace pellets, a replacement mainspring, three replacement piston seals (all made from the flawed 1970s formula that deteriorates with time, so they’re all useless now), a sling, oils, greases, instructions and so on, until it became clear to me that this outfit was indeed a sarcophagus.

This FWB 124 was enshrined for all time by its former owner. Among the things he did that didn’t work well was he plugged the barrel with grease.

And the rifle’s barrel was filled with grease. By “filled” I mean that there was a solid plug of grease that ran from breech to muzzle. I know that because I pushed it out with a patched cleaning rod and saw that it was the length of the barrel. Had the grease hardened, the job would have taken much longer. Which brings me to the point of this report.

Grease does not preserve barrels! The fact that governments use a product called cosmoline to preserve metal parts should not convince you to experiment with any old grease laying around the garage. In the first place, cosmoline is a specific type of rust-preventive product. If you aren’t using it, you don’t have the same protection it offers. Second, cosmoline has a shelf life. I just bought some M1 Carbine parts preserved in cosmoline since the end of World War II and they were rusty! Yes, rusty. After a few decades, even cosmoline breaks down and fails to preserve metal.

Here’s the funny part–real cosmoline is not grease! Yep, it’s a product that resembles grease, but it isn’t the same. It’s really more of a wax-based compound than a grease. But that doesn’t stop folks from thinking that it’s grease because when it’s fresh it looks like grease. Those same people think that any old grease can do what cosmoline can.

What grease can do is dry out and get hard. Then, it can crack and allow oxygen to contact the steel of a barrel…rusting it.

What to do? Leave a thin coat of oil on the exposed metal parts. That’s the best protection.

“Yeah,” you say, “but you have to redo that every so often because it doesn’t last.”

Neither does grease! It doesn’t even last as long as oil.

JP: I own a 133-year-old rifle that, to my knowledge, has never had grease in the barrel for preservation. It’s an 1875-version of an 1873 Springfield rifle. And the bore is fine. I keep it lightly oiled–the way the government has always insisted for their rifles.

Keep the grease out!

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

59 thoughts on “Long-term barrel storage – no grease!”

  1. Off topic, but wanted to comment on last night’s discussion. I work at a specialty retailer and we chose products to sell based on the product’s capacity to fulfill a customer’s need. There’s some gamble, of course, that our vision of a product doesn’t line up exactly with a customer’s ideal–but that’s business. To project some dark motive to carry and promote crap through your blog is just ridiculous.


  2. I thought Paul Capello showed a digital scale he used in his last video on the Talon? Perhaps Paul can weigh in (man, that’s a great pun!) with what he uses. Folks, just wanted to add my 2 cents to yesterday’s discussion on PA and their commercial interest. This is a business and remember what their goal is. Does it improve volume? I’d say it certainly does. Do we get significant useful information on products not to be found anywhere else easily? Definitely. Do we learn all types of useful information on the care and feeding on our beloved air products? Without a doubt. Is all this free? Yes, it is. No one’s forcing anyone to buy their supplies at PA. Plenty of other shops out there but without our support, PA might decide not to continue this blog.

    Remember TNSTAAFL – There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Along with that saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of those classifieds, especially at this time of year.

    Happy Shopping to All and To Jane – I don’t thing you’ll go wrong with any of your current choices.

  3. Derrick, if you’re referring to my comments about the Delta combo, rest assured I was not projecting ‘some dark motive to carry and promote crap’ onto either BB or this blog.

    But onto Gamo? Absolutely, and this is not unusual behavior for any entity trying to make a profit. But ‘let the consumer beware’, and if a newbie happened to be reading the blog it is proper that he or she be informed. 5 or 6 years ago that newbie would’ve been me.

    BB explained that his list was not a list of recommendations, but only a list of some stuff that was available within a certain price range. This cleared up my misunderstanding, and so I would think that the whole discussion pretty much done with.

    BB, if you took any sort of personal offense at my remarks, I assure you that this was unintended and I would apologize for my poor choice of words failing to convey my meaning.

  4. Vince,

    I thank you for your comment!

    I saw no offense at anyone, just a comment on the packaging of a combo product.. that the scope was not of the value of the product priced… And the response you got from B.B. was to let PA know about it..

    No problem!
    My problem is with an annon comment that is a cheap shot, and not true.

    What you pointed out is a good thing, thank you..


  5. Digital Scale

    I have been happy with Cabela’s store branded model, which has served well for the past 8 years. It was the most economical at the time, and I would guess continues to be so.

    I have always found it odd that PA doesn’t carry one. That and a Chrony are necessities for us “pellet heads”.

    B.B. – we will be fine playing on our own.

    Health – Family – Work: correct order for anyone.


  6. Wayne,

    My wife writes about natural remedies, so I have been gulping olive oil and lemon juice twice a day for three days now.

    This morning we added the sonic massager with heat and I think that brought it to a head.

    After hearing all the horror stories from others who have had this, I guess I am like a woman in childbirth who just wants it to go away.

    Thanks for the links,


  7. B.B. Let me be the first to wish you as rapid a passing as possible. (Come on folks maybe he needs to try and laugh a little to take his mind else where for a minute.) Mr B.

  8. Vince,
    The 4×15 scopes and the like do work. A Tasco variant came with my Marlin 60 many years ago. It was removed at some point early on and put into the cabinet, where it lay for about 20 years, until I wanted to try it out again. Remounted it and it was good to go — only about a 1/2 inch off until I re-adjusted. The eye-relief is tricky or I would have kept it on there a while. I don’t remember as a kid having any problem with the 4×15 scope on my friend’s Daisy .22 pump gun, either.

    The next common step up the scope ladder in terms of size and weight is 4×32, which is excessively big and heavy for a 3 lb. pumper. A 4×15 or x20 actually makes some sense for airgun hunters, too, although the execution is lacking in refinement on most of these scopes.

  9. OK all,

    Let’s get back to how we get our family to buy what we want, and how to give what they want..

    How to plant the hints?

    How do we get the list in front of the right people? A tin of the right pellets can be a great low cost gift, from a child with moms help, but the wrong ones, not so good..

    Do we slip into moms computer to leave a bookmark? Or print out our desires and transfer them to “sticky” notes for careful placement on the fridge and TV screen?

    I know lists of desired gifts is a little iffy, but make the point that your just trying to save time, gas and the planet… limiting returns…

    Let’s share ideas..


  10. BB,

    OUCH! My condolences!

    My wife swears by fresh green cabbage juice, if you have a juicer or blender, or a nearby fresh juice store. It’s rather miraculous.

    Good luck.

    Joe B.

  11. BB,

    I empathize with you. My wife has had kidney stones several times and I had very painful gall stones a few years ago (my gallbladder is gone now).

    I am amazed at your dedication to this blog. Blogging on holidays and now with kidney stones? I think you are past a mere job into a passion!

    Take care and pass those stones soon!

    .22 multi-shot

  12. BB:

    My condolences. Been there, done that, still get follow-up x-rays (and in 2 weeks, a CAT scan) at the VA med ctr. Cranberry juice till your stomach is so full you feel it slosh (don’t walk to the bathroom too fast LOL !)(Or just have a seat on the throne and bring a wirelessly-networked laptop in there with you so as not to miss any of our missing you ?)(Please shut off the built-in webcam, tho.)


    How to leave hints: how about entering your desired pellets, accessories, etc. on a wishlist then email the list to whomever ?

  13. Wayne,

    B.B. is on leave. You’re the second in command. Tell us more about the S410 ie. Pros, Cons, etc.

    B.B., Drink soakup some suds. That’s the best treatment 😉

    Jeff in Dallas

  14. Leon,
    Great one, how simple..


    There is no second for Tom, and it could never be me, I’ll never catch up to his level..

    But, I love to talk airguns, and that’s all we need for a while,

    There’s lots more answer guys for fixes, but I can tell what I know about what air rifles I’ve tried already…

    Pros and Cons of the Air Arms S410.. well that’s been said by me before nearly everyday for 3 months, but I try a short version..

    It costs $962, before you get a tank and yoke, or pump.. $250 more.
    (but tell us folks, how many $150 to $500 guns get set aside on the way up to an Air Arms S410 anyway)

    PCP no recoil, easy to be accurate.

    Some would say the most accurate barrel on an air rifle.

    More shots per fill, than other PCPs by two to one. And more important more total foot pounds per tank than others, by a lot… a very thrifty valve system..

    Quality in the stock and metal work that compares with $2,000 competitive field target rifles… and shoots as well too!

    Ten shot mag and a very easy side lever advance.

    Power adjuster, for indoor paper or powerful hunting outdoors.. Again, the quite fun of 500fps indoors or 1,000fps with med/heavy hunting pellets..

    Very, Very Quite, right out of the box.

    Both my walnut stocked S410s the .177 and .22 are the most impressive pieces of woodworking I’ve seen in a long, long time. The stocks alone are worth collecting, let alone the way the gun preforms.

    Sorry that wasn’t very short, but the Air Arms people pay me by the word..

    Just kidding, I didn’t even a discount from them..they don’t know I exist, but someday my name might be on a low level FT score list with theirs as well…

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  15. Vince,

    No, I thought it was good of you to point that out to PA. If it doesn’t make sense to us reading the blog, it’s probably not gonna fly with their larger customer base either.

    I was commenting on this anonymous post:

    “Remember, this blog is essentially an infomercial for PAM’s profit margin”

    Well, yeah, obviously somebody’s paying BB to write for this blog. No company does anything marketing related with no expectation of financial return. Think Ford makes all those commercials just to give Toby Keith some beer money? This blog is likely the most widely-read airgun site. Kudos to PA for promoting our sport. If the sport doesn’t grow, what happens to any of us–Pyramyd AIR included? With all the near religious anti-gun fervor in many places, we should all be thankful when a company ponies up with their money and supports the shooting sports.

    Some people just don’t get it. It’s real simple. Companies HAVE to make money–including Pyramyd. I hope they have a record year. Why would you spend your money with a company NOT actively promoting something you enjoy?


  16. “Please tell your wife for me that green cabbage juice tastes like licking the underside of a lawnmower! It MUST be good, to taste so bad.”


    Actually, she doesn’t like the taste either. Ah, well, I never said it tasted good….

    I believe it works so well because the body would rather pass a bowling ball than have to drink this stuff.

    If you can, drink several 4-6 oz glasses of the fresh juice.

    Actually I always thought that wheat grass juice tasted “like licking the underside of a lawnmower”.

    Be well soon,

    Joe B.

  17. You said “all made from the flawed 1970s formula that deteriorates with time”. Can you elaborate this more on the seal? Did they intend to do the flaw formula to keep the gun smith employ?

    ag gunsmith.


  18. ag gunsmith,

    Not at all. But back in the 1970s a lot less was known about plastic and synthetic formulation than today. Walther guns had the same problem.

    The material they used dries out and gets hard over time. Then it crumbles into a waxy residue. That’s whether it’s in the gun or, as in the case of the three packed with my rifle, just sitting out in the open. This is the single biggest flaw in an early FWB 124/127 or a Walther target rifle from that era.

    Today’s synthetics are everlasting.


  19. B.B.

    Monitoring the blog with a kidneystone is above and beyond the call. Take a break. But thanks for your info about the old military guns. The mechanism of a machine gun which can fire numbers of rounds per second is inconceivable and has always been fascinating to me. And the grease is also interesting. The M1 Garands at the CMP that have come from Greece seem to be packed in solid grease and require an extensive procedure of cleaning and degreasing.

    For the kidney stones, all I can say is that you shouldn’t try the remedy that my granduncle did. Before boarding a plane from Ireland back to the U.S., he thought he would try to wash out an incipient kidney stone with a pint of Guinness…. The plane flight back was the suffering of the damned, and as an old Navy vet who survived Kamikaze attacks in the Pacific, he said that the final drive to the hospital was almost beyond endurance.

    Otherwise, I would recommend preemptively blasting the kidney stones with a lithotripsy procedure which my Dad has done successfully many times. Hope you get better soon.

    As to last night’s cheap shot about the blog by the anonymous poster, my normal instinct is not to dignify such things with a reply. However, there are some issues here worth talking about. Of course, PA has some profit motive in devoting resources to the blog. What’s the alternative? Does our anonymous poster seriously think this is a pure charity operation for his benefit? I think you would look very long and hard to find any human communication that isn’t a give and take on some level, so taking this general condition and twisting it into an accusation is somewhere between very naive and nasty.

    But business transactions can run a whole spectrum from adversarial like the maniac dealer of the Savage rifle whom I encountered to a platform for real generosity, education, and other things transcending the material and the blog and PA are more like this than any outfit that I’ve ever encountered.

    Wayne, I’m stumped as to how to hint at my desires for Christmas gifts. As a first-generation gun owner, I guess I’m glad if the family doesn’t drive me off with sticks. So, I have come up with a plan to prepare the ground. For Christmas, I’m taking over a bunch of guns and a pile of ammunition and introduce them to the joys of shooting; this will be firearms for greatest effect. I hope that the TSA doesn’t freak out at my arsenal. After this, we’ll see what’s possible. It will be a fun Christmas anyway.

    Dr. G that’s pretty cool that you’re getting a Whiscombe. Send along pictures if you can. If you haven’t used a 6-24X50mm Leapers before, I can give it my highest recommendation based on the way it performed with my Savage police rifle at 50 yards. And the customer support is tops as well. They exchanged my faulty copy for a new one very promptly.


  20. All,

    On the topic of Tom and this blog, I’d like to let people know how much free advice I get on items that are old collectors, PA makes nothing on…. or fire arms… PA doesn’t sell them either.

    More than half the rifles I have now (over 50) are not from PA, but still I got great advice from Tom on the purchase… some even personal phone calls.. This guy is very special folks.. so don’t mess with him.. he doesn’t deserve it at all!!
    He’s for sure not owned by someone..

    Here is another gift idea, since I’m talking about things PA doesn’t sell…
    I just got a Winchester 423 .177.. it was probably made in the 1950s.. I’ve bought 10 or so of these 500fps and less diana oldies… some work perfect like the last one I just got, but most need rebuilding..
    Some of you can do rebuilding, and those that can’t, could still have it done still before Christmas.

    Give someone a collectors item, that they can shoot as well… It will hold it’s value and be better built than a lot of the new stuff.

    And it says that you did something special for someone special…

    Since I’m promoting things not from PA, I’m sure they’ll pull this, right??

    That’s my point, it would never happen..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  21. blasting the kidney stones with a lithotripsy procedure

    I want to say it is an “extracorporeal photolithotripsy”, but I’m not sure the “photo” part is correct.

  22. BB,
    Sorry, just figured out how to get the name to pop up. Oil in the barrel always makes my guns detonate. What kind of oil do you use to store the barrels of magnum springers with?
    The SKS have comon problems, it’s not just your rifle. If the firing pin mechanism gets dirt or debris in it, the pin will get stuck.
    Tracy (AKA shadow express dude)

  23. BB, I – uh – hope everything comes out OK! (sorry). Wifey went through a couple of those, although this is one of the few things that’s worse for the male half of the population.

    As for this Delta thing… I never saw that ‘infomercial’ post. Derrick, I apologize if it seems I was lashing back at you. I hope I didn’t come across that way.

    In any event, there’s nothing wrong even with infomercials if the ‘info’ part is true and complete. And there’s nothing wrong with criticism if it, too, is based in truth. But our visiting critic offers no substantiation, only pontification. Which is, of course, of no help to anyone at all.

  24. Hints to the wife and family on what they can get you for XMAS / Chanukah / Kwanza or whatever – remember Ralphie in the Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd (my hero – used to listen to his radio broadcast every night here in the East)? He left magazines around the house open to the page of the Red Ryder he wanted. I remember doing stuff like that when I was a kid and wonder of wonders, my daughter has been doing that lately. Only I am NOT buying her a new car. The ’93 Taurus wagon is good enough!

    You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

  25. BB,

    Hope you’re unstuck by now…or soon.

    I too bought an SKS years ago, just for the pleasure of being able to purchase and take it home on the same day (does BATF really believe you can’t knock over a liquor store with an older firearm?). Paid $100 as I remember. Didn’t shoot it much and eventually traded it to a dealer for shipping my firearms from one end of the country to the other.

    Joe B.

  26. BB,
    Sorry to hear you’re under the weather. As has been stated before, us kids can get along awhile without you, but not too long. You are the only one more anxious for you to be over the problem than your loyal readers.

    I have been reading this blog daily for about 2 years. All I’ve ever gotten is good information from BB, Wayne and all the other folks. The only negatives I have ever seen are from those who, evidently, haven’t been around very long. I would have lost interest in these ‘toys’ long ago with out the very high level of participation by BB and many great contributors.

    Because Pyramyd sponsors this blog I will buy from them. They have earned my respect and business.

    Get well BB. We don’t want to be without you for too long.

    Al Pellet

  27. FRED,

    Now that’s another easy one! And for those who don’t do as many magazines, print out the web page and put it with the other mail or on a dinner plate.. keep the last one for the 1st choice.

    Thanks for those kind words, I am trying to pay back all those of you who gave great info on other things they’ve tried.. even then, one gun can be very different from another. I found that with some Air Arms S410s that PA gave me full refund on, because I was worried about the mag advance that broke on two new guns in a row. They sent me two sets of free replacement parts for the one I kept and I fixed it in 10 mins. after worrying about messing it up for three months.. Now it is smoother than new.. With many thousands of shots with out a problem.
    So then I bought two used ones, first a 10 year old 310 10 shot .22 cal with no gauge or power adjuster, and later another matching walnut stock Air Arms S410, but in .22 cal.

    Both of those with the straight pull bolt advance, which is very hard to pull back, compared to the side lever. The next ones I get for the range will be from PA.. walnut stock .177, side lever with power adjuster, and 10 shot mag. again, now that I see how easy it is to fix. And how long my .177 has lasted with my fix.


  28. BB..I have yet to experience passing a kidney stone and I am not looking forward to it,I had a friend who intentionally passed stones,I think he called them kidney flushes and he used pure virgin olive oil to flush em out,lots of info on the net about it but I haven’t had the courage to try as it’s actually a in depth procedure and makes you feel horrible for a day after.

  29. BB,

    Lots of Bombay Sapphire to make you forget the pain. Seriously, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having to go through this. Hope your well soon.


    Nope, didn’t give it a worry, as I knew you and I were already on the same page.


  30. Volvo,

    Very cool, when you shoot your first moth out of the air in the library, be sure to get it on film.

    That guy is very good offhand, or…

    Those do look like fine rifles, but I wish the film was slower and closer up, so we could see more of the guns.

    But all and all, very cool add..

    Did you mean 4 as this day closes?… tell us in hours and minutes..

    I feel a pink slip race coming up…


  31. All,

    I cleaned up the old Winchester 423 .177 cal I got today. It must be all of 3 lbs with a cocking effort of 8 lbs and trigger pull of 4 lbs… I tried my favorite .177 pellet, the JSB Diabolo Exact 8.4gr first through the chrony, thinking it would only shoot in the upper 300fps range with a fairly heavy pellet. But I was happy to see a 454 avg of 10 shots, Hi 458fps, and the low 449.
    Then I tried 7.88gr Beeman Trophy, avg. 342fps Hi 361, Lo 326fps.

    Then RWS R 10 Match 8.2gr. 406fps avg. hi 409fps, Lo 402fps.

    Hows that for steady shooting! And what a sweet little gift. (I’m going to find a “youngin” to give it to).

    Only open sights, but she groups even with my old eyes, 10 shots on a 3″ “shoot and see” at 20 yards and 5 of them in 1″ close to center, surprised the — out of me when I got close enough to see..

    My question guys, is: Why did the heavy pellets shoot the fastest? Tighter fit? Better thin edges that get blown into the rifling?


  32. So I feel like I come out of the wood works every time you post a firearm related blog…

    Either way, I’m glad you mentioned that thing about the stuck SKS pin! Holy crap I would have never thought to look at such a thing AND I’ve been looking at SKS’s for a nice little semi-auto plinker. Now I know one thing to look for in guns… Imagine someone taking that thing home and loading a mag just to see it cycle the action!

  33. Tracy/SED,

    This is the third SKS that I’ve owned, but the first that is in factory-new condition. The first was a Vietnam bring-back I bought in the mid-1970s.

    I have never seen a malfunction of any kind with the SKS, so the news that they can malfunction this way came as a revelation. There is a fix for this, in which a return spring is installed and I may get one, except mine rifle is now functioning perfectly after I cleaned the bolt. I guess I’ll shoot it a bit and then decide.


  34. Shorty,

    Please read my comment above. The SKS is a very reliable rifle that can be counted on when the chip[s are down. This problem only crops up with brand-new guns, which mine is. After the bolt is cleaned, the problem goes away, though I have read that it can come back if the gun gets too dirty.

    There is a fix for this with a drop-in firing pin and return spring. It’s shown here:


    And this is a good place to learn how to take the bolt apart:


    They say that a new bolt is difficult to disassemble, but I didn’t find that the case. I used a 3-pound hammer and had the pin out in 30 seconds.


  35. Wayne,

    I had a Diana 25 from the 1930’s I sold to an older Gentleman in W.V. Just a little heavier than you described and the action was like warm butter – effortless to cock and shot at 540 almost matching my R-7.

    He could no longer usecock the bigger rifles. So keep that in mind as an alternative if you sell off the 423. An old-timer might treasure it also.

    As far as a shoot off, I wouldn’t feel right taking your .177 S410. : ) I would take one in .22.

    Did I mention the FX holds 16 shots in .177? Too bad PA doesn’t carry much of the higher end other than AA PCP’s. Daystate, Falcon, FX, BSA, Theoben…. but I guess the market is smaller for those.

    I found a reprint of a magazine article awhile back on the Whisper, I will try to find and post so you can see close-ups.


  36. Reliability was one thing that I was looking for when I started looking at SKS’s so I’m glad that’s still the case.

    THere’s another lesson to be learned here, I think – always check your guns before you shoot them. With something so potentially dangerous, one should always double check everything to see that it works. At the very least it’s probably worthwhile to check the functioning part like the bolt.

  37. Shorty,

    You know, I bet I had my new SKS apart 10 times before it sunk in what was wrong. I’m so used to that type of rifle being dead-stone reliable that it never dawned on me they could have a flaw like that. And then I discovered that our own Garand – another tower of reliability, though not quite as good as the SKS – had the same potential problem!

    Yes, get an SKS. Keep it stock or get the firing pin return spring option, but don’t try for the increased magazine capacity. If you ever find anything other than an anvil as reliable I will be surprised.


  38. Excellent information, and I appreciate it. I too had an SKS (Paratrooper model, Chinese Manufacture: dime a dozen almost). It was a good rifle for me anyway. I noticed someone mentioning WD-40 awhile back. I’ve heard tales of someone preserving a barrel in it wrapped in wax paper, but ended up with a bore that looked like it was made of velvet after awhile. A corrosion specialist I spoke to mentioned WD-40 contributes to corrosion in a sealed environment. Anyway, I’ll be watching for the water-log report, and maybe if you got time for the one about different ammo’s used over the years. JP

  39. No, but I remember asking about what to do with a water-immersed air rifle, and perhaps a report looking at the different types of ammunitions used in air rifles (or firearms even): if anything “Odd” was ever stuffed down a barrel and fired with relative safety; multiple rounds, discarding sabots, etc. (The ammo question springs from having read how Robinson Crusoe loaded a musket with “2 musket balls and 3 pistol bullets…”)

  40. B.B.,

    I recently had to send my RWS panther back to the factory b/c of a defective mainspring. They replaced it and I shot about 30-40 shots through the gun but it keeps dieseling. I read your post about dieseling, but you never mentioned if it is bad for spring piston guns. What should I do?


  41. hegshen ,

    Just keep shooting your rifle and use pellets of 7.9 grains and heavier. Make sure the pellets fit the breech tightly.

    There is no easy way to stop the detonations other than shooting. I use to advise oiling with silicone, but so many shooter don’t have the right stuff that I quit.

    Just keep shooting. You are almost out of the woods.


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