by B.B. Pelletier
This is the final installment of Vince’s guest blog about Wacky Wayne’s vintage Tell air rifle.
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As it turns out, the clearance between the pivot bolt and hole in the breechblock was a little too loose, and this seemed to be responsible for the lockup problem (as it often is). But everything is machined from solid steel; there’s no bushing to wear down and replace. As I’m mulling over what needs to be done, it finally occurs to me that the pivot bolt is actually tapered, and that’s how the factory controls the clearance. Now that things started wearing a bit, I needed to get the bolt to go in further so the widening taper would snug things up again. If I go too far, it would jam solid in the breech and rotate in the lockup fork, which I don’t think it’s supposed to do.
I undercut the bolt head, and undercut it way too much on purpose. As I suspected, the bolt now jams in the breechblock, but I fix that by installing a steel shim under the bolt head to bring it back out a bit. This way, if it wears again, it can easily be readjusted by putting a thinner shim in place.
A steel RWS breech seal shim fits perfectly!
This tightens the lock nicely and gets rid of most of the barrel lift. There’s still a little, but that’s one of those things I think we’re gonna have to live with. The moly paste I put into the pivot and fork should minimize further wear, so it shouldn’t get worse anytime soon.
That pretty much wraps up the Tell. How does it shoot? Velocity is about the same as before I started; and as I mentioned earlier, the trigger is certainly stiff. Unfortunately, accuracy just isn’t that good, even after cleaning the barrel.
In the course of trying to nail down the reason, I try pushing a pellet down the bore and find a rough patch right near the muzzle. If I sight down the bore from the breech end, I can see a ring that seems to be intruding into the bore’s surface. Sure enough, it looks like there’s some bad pitting at the muzzle. A second JB-and-bronze-brush cleaning doesn’t help.
I offered Wayne a choice: leave it as is or let me drill out the last inch or so of barrel and hopefully get past the rough stuff. I didn’t think this gun was ever gonna be a volume shooter, but rather just a functioning relic that could be taken down and shot once in a while. I really didn’t want to drill out the barrel. I had to consider what it would do to the collector value–and what Wayne might do to me if I screwed it up! To my relief, Wayne concurred. No drilling.
Wayne’s now got his Tell back, capable of grouping about 1″ or so at 10 yards. Enough to whack the aforementioned soda cans pretty reliably…and certainly better than most BB guns at that range. I wish it had come out better for him, but sometimes there’s a limit to what can be done. But it works, it works reliably and it will certainly be an interesting addition to his collection.
34 thoughts on “Do Tell! – Part 3”
That was very clever to figure out the tapered bolt..
And it does make a nice fit in the collection.. I just really like it's look and feel.. Thanks for another great job, fixing up a clunker..
And thanks to Fused for a lead on another great oldie… a pre-war Diana 26 youth or 27L as Tom thinks..
It will be on the way to Vince soon for a similar go through and testing.. and blog I bet!
It also has the trigger adjusting screw through the trigger gaurd.. looks a lot like the BSA and Tell, but this one was made in Germany by Diana..
Interestingly the name is NOT DianaWerks… it says "Diana – Luft – Gewehr"
here is a link if you want a preview..
Thanks again David, (Fused)
Ashland Air Rifle Range
He dry fired that beauty! He did mention that he knew very little about airguns though.
I know nothing about Gun repair or how YOU clean a barrel with a JB-and-bronze-brush, but is it possible to get results, in this case, by putting the brush on an electric drill and letting it run for a while or would that be the same as drilling it out?
You're welcome, and thank you back!
A gun like that ought to be in a museum somewhere! 🙂 What do you think it's worth?
The brass brush is scraping the rifling grooves when the brush is run longitudinally down the bore. A drill would spin the brush tangentially–at right angles to the rifling.
Cleaning the bore is not the same as cleaning rust off a patio chair. It's more like cleaning the ash out of a pipe stem with a pipe cleaner.
Yes, that dry fire was discouraging! but since it's a low power unit, I'm hoping it didn't get hurt.. too bad.. if at all..
Vince will tell us soon enough..
The bluing and stock on this one looks much better than the two BSAs and the Tell..
It will be interesting to have Vince compare the German and English manufacturing of the time..
The guy I bought it from has hundreds of firearms for sale on Gunbroker.. It looks like he goes to estate sales a lot.. that's where this one came from… but it looks like he is still learning about Air guns!! (like me)..
Ashland Air Rifle Range
Gotcha! No drills! I understand whereof you speak. Right angle is not the right angle.
Well hard to say at this point..
We don't know for sure which one it is yet.. the guy said there are no numbers on it.. Maybe he just didn't find them..
It looks a lot like a Diana 26 youth to me, but B.B. thinks it looks like a 27L..
It looks a lot like the first Diana model in the beginning of the DianaWerk rifle section in the "Blue Book of Air Guns".. and I couldn't find it on the next few pages.. so I got real excited, thinking it might be from before the company got started….
..but, an email back from Tom brought me back down to earth with the truth revealed a few pages further in the book..
So, it looks like it's worth according to the Blue Book, about the $300 I paid for it.. but I'm still hoping it will turn out to be a special gun of sorts.. the name being different still gives me hope!! but that too is probably normal….
.. so much to learn.. that's what makes this such a fun hobby!
If I hold it a long time, (which is my plan), I'll do well, I'm sure.. and it's just plain cool.. and fits well with the BSAs and the Tell.. all with the trigger adjusting screw through the trigger guard.
having too much fun for an old man..
Can you guys make a recommendation for pellets in say… oh I don't know… a RWS 94 .177? Would Crosman Premier Heavies do well for hunting? My thoughts are that the extra weight would do better on not just passing straight through. What do you think?
Always go for the lightest pellets with a springer until you learn otherwise. Springers usually don't do as well (are not as efficient) with heavier pellets. So your choice should be 7.9-grain pellets. They will be faster and will penetrate deeper because of it. They'll also probably be more accurate.
Is that true up to a point? Because the lead fee pellets are notorious for being inaccurate right?
BB – Fused gotcha there! Sounds like you're saying: Go straight for the Gamo Raptors!
Fused, do you have a 94 already? If you do, how's it running? Because a good 94 does run the risk of putting the lighter pellets supersonic on a consistent basis. Which is NOT what you want.
I don't have what you haven't sent me yet! 🙂 You're right I don't want supersonic. So where does that leave me?
Fused is David, who you sent the 94 and 92 to for me!
So what pellets did best in that one?
I always like the JSB 8.4 in both the RWS 92 and 94.. but what do I know.. nothing!
Would you recommend me chopping the barrel of my 34P?
How would it affect my rifles performance?
Why would you want to chop (meaning to shorten) the barrel of your 34P?
You need the lenght as leverage for cocking it. Reducing length will increase cocking effort.
Right. I fergot who Fused is.
Generally I use the CP in the RWS 94's, not to say it's the best but I just don't tend to go pellet crazy. Strangely the 92 seems to like Gamo Hunters better, though.
My 34P feels very muzzle heavy. I taught shortening the barrel would make it versatile, compatible and more comfortable and smooth to shoot.
I do not recommend cutting your barrel. It will make the rifle harder to cock and could damage the accuracy.
A cut barrel seldom gets more accurate unless there is a problem around the muzzle.
A muzzle-heavy weighting is best for accuracy, as it keeps the muzzle still while aiming.
Some gunsmith recommended it to me. I told him I want a Maccari tune, and he said that the 34P is good as it is and a tune would only show slight improvement.
Then he went on to say that the best thing he could do for my rifle is cut the barrel, and his reasoning was that it would become lighter, easier to keep steady, SMOOTHER TO SHORT and increase power.
I will tell him, politely, No thank you.
Smoother to shoot*
Last week Paul Capello and I were filming a show on spring guns and we gave a 34P a Maccari tune on the show. It made the gun MUCH smoother to cock and shoot, but it didn't reduce the sound of the gun at all.
The rough spot near the muzzle could be related to the front sight. I think you all made a good choice to leave it alone, although the accuracy you're getting works against my Zimmer theory. I also wonder if it possibly shot lead balls instead of pellets.
Did you get your air rifle zeroed back in and shooting ok?
I like longer barrels…..mainly it's just easier to break the barrel and hang onto when you load a pellet so it doen't slip.
I'm sure we'll some some good videos on how properly handle and shoot a springer either on the TV show or in your helpful hints page?
Great series of posts. Very interesting. Pictures are excellent.
Once again, thank you for sharing your time and expertice with us. Always alot for us to learn from your work– a tapered pivot bolt who would have thought?? not me.
word verification–facken. Maybe blogger needs a talking to.:)
Dropped 30 pellets through the TF97 this evening popping cans at 30 yards again. This time I shot across my Chrony.
Yeilded wild power variation over the 30 shots. Was uing CP HP because I have so many. Spread went from 535fps to 354fps… lots of shots in the low 400's. This could be why so many shots missed the cans at 30-yards. Yesterday I was thinking it was me.
Will try a better pellet next time… maybe some JSB heavies. Have loads of those too. Now that my Disco is on a Kodiak only diet. I have lots of extra 22 cal pellets.
Two question for you:
1. Should I be concerned about the wild variation?
2. Think it would be all right to use some removalbe thread lock on the cocking lever locking screw?
Word Verification: eumils
That is just the way I feel about most of the emails I get.
Vince and Wayne,
Thank you for sharing your experiences in this hobby. Most of us will never get the chance to see most of the vintange airguns you bring to life here on the blog pages.
About the TF97 that Wayne & Vince gave away as a floater. It went to Herb who put out a blog about it and now it is my home.
I'm going to hold on to it and shoot it quite a bit. My reasoning is that I've had a three springers that had worse triggers and didn't shoot as straight.
Don't get me wrong this is not a perfect gun but it is a lot of fun and if you have not really had a fair shooting springer you might want to give this one a try. Low powered springers are easier to shoot.
I'll be letting the TF97 go in a month or so. The deal is you pay shipping and once your done you pass it to the next person who in turn pays shipping.
This way we can all collectively spend several hundred dollars in shipping for this $60 gun.
I'll post it here when I'm ready to let go of it.
I'm having fun!
That's not wild variation!! 🙂
When I sent the TF97 to Vince it varied more than that!.. that's why I had no hope for it.. among other things I'm sure you've noticed too..
..were passing it around to let everyone see true quality from China! just kidding folks.. I know Matt61 loves his B-30.. There's been some good cheap stuff from over there.
but the TF97..it's just a bottomfeeder and that's it's place in life.. pop cans at 5 feet!!! 🙂
Stop it you’re irritating a old rash – that itch for a TX200 is back again.
Problem is I also have an itch for a Murauder and can not fund both this year.
Why do you think Air Arms pays me so much? 🙂
I can spread the airguneyetttesss through the cable lines… so be careful how you use your eyes!
The TX 200 is a dream rifle.. really loved mine..
.. but I would still much prefer the Marauder even being tied to a scuba tank or pump…
but that's just me..
The TX200 means total freedom, with only a little loss of accuracy.. and if you have a good technique, maybe just as accurate.. The fit and finish is for sure better on the TX 200.. on my anyway.. but..
Now that you've tasted the high quality of the TF97, you'll never be satisfied with a lessor gun like a TX200 🙂 sorry to do that to you.. it was really Vince's fault..
Yep… TF97 is a case of get what you pay for. It is a fine can popper.
In similar fashion my Disco is a fine starter PCP. I like it fine but the trigger stinks and it is not really as accurate as I'd like… not sure any rifle could be as accurate as I'd like. Could be me and not the gun.
Was shooting the Disco today… five same hole shots at 30-yards then 5-more in a 1-inch pattern all around the POA. Using Kodiaks heavies.
Still though I'm loving the Disco.