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Mounting a globe front sight on an RWS 48/52/54

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report has my name on it, but my friend Earl McDonald is the one who did all the work, took the pictures and wrote the specifics. I just took what he gave me and put it into the blog report format.

This report is for the owners of RWS Diana sidelever rifles of the T05 variety. That’s models 48, 52 and 54. If you want to mount a globe-type target front sight on your rifle, Diana makes a special unit to do this and Umarex USA has a few of them in stock.

While at the 2010 SHOT Show, I spoke with Glenn Seiter about what sorts of parts and neat things he had in the back room at Umarex USA, which is also RWS USA. One of the things he mentioned was this front sight. My buddy Mac has two RWS 54s in .22 caliber and was very interested to turn one into a target rifle with peep sights. This sight would make that possible.

This is a new front sight base that fits on a T05-series RWS Diana 48/52/54. The new base accepts a standard Diana front globe sight with replacement inserts. If you install this sight option, you’ll also need to install an aperture rear sight to work with it, and I’ll cover that for you as well.

The bottom front sight base and sight are a standard T05 sidelever front sight. The top front sight base is a special T05 sidelever rifle front sight base that replaces the standard base. Although it appears there is a slight ramp or incline on top of the base, the dovetails at the top are perfectly straight. Just the back of these dovetails can be seen when the Diana globe sight is mounted.

Here’s the special front sight base with the globe sight removed.

Glenn also sent new sight inserts to Mac so he could test it for you. He told me the insert with a 2.2mm hole proved best for shooting bullseyes at 30 yards outdoors.

Only fits the T05
This front sight base fits only the new series T05 guns. The earlier T01 guns have a different style of base that’s not interchangeable with this unit. The T05 rifle has a beveled flat that’s machined into the steel barrel and a corresponding bevel inside the T05 front sight base. The T01 rifle sight base clamps onto dovetails cut into the top of the barrel at the muzzle.

The top of the T05 barrel has a bevel machined to accept the front inside of the T05 front sight base.

The top of the T01 barrel has dovetails to accept the front sight base.

If you were to machine or file a bevel on the steel barrel of a T01 rifle to accept the T05 base, it would have to be precise or the front sight would mount with some degree of rotation. That would ruin the rifle. I’m not saying that the conversion of a T01 rifle can’t be made–just that it’s a precision fit requiring careful work.

Time for the rear sight
Once Mac had the new sight installed and had determined that it fit only a T05 sidelever (he owns two 54s–one a T01 and the other a T05), it was time to select a rear sight. Initially, he tried a vintage Diana rear aperture sight, but the bottom of the dovetails on that sight are beveled rather than flat. That interferes with the fit on the sight base of the rifle, and the sight cannot be installed.

Vintage Diana aperture rear sight has odd-shaped dovetails on the bottom that prevents installation on a sidelever rear sight base.

Next, he tried a Mendoza rear aperture sight. It fit the rifle fine, but could not be adjusted low enough to work. Mac says the lowest it would go was shooting 8 inches high at 30 yards.

Mendoza rear aperture sight fits well but doesn’t adjust low enough.

A Gamo rear aperture sight saved the day. It installed on the rifle and the adjustment range was fine. Mac cleaned the sight base on the rifle, then put one drop of epoxy on top of the rail and installed a Gamo aperture sight. Naturally, he knew exactly where he wanted this sight, because once the epoxy hardens the sight will be very difficult to remove.

The old Gamo rear aperture sight worked well. This sight no longer exists, but the Air Arms rear diopter may also work. Don’t buy one until you are sure

If any reader owns a Diana sidelever, I’d sure like to know which currently made rear diopter sight fits the sight base.

How does it work?
After the sight was set permanently, Mac went outdoors and rested the rifle across the tool box in the bed of his Mazda pickup. AlanL, are you listening? He then proceeded to shoot group after group at 30 yards using the Crosman Premiers that have proven to be the best in this rifle. The largest group of five measured 0.31″ between the two widest centers. This was on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with three feet of snow on the ground, the thermometer well below freezing and the wind blowing.

So, if you want peep sights on your T05 sidelever, this looks like the best way to do it. Of course you can use a rear aperture sight with the existing post front sight that comes on both the T05 and the T01 rifles. But, if you want the globe with replaceable inserts, this is how to do it.

To buy a front sight ($39.95 and comes with one insert) and replacement inserts ($5.95 each), contact Glenn Seiter at Umarex USA. There are a limited number of this special front sight in stock, and once they are gone there won’t be any more. Act now if you want one.

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.

123 thoughts on “Mounting a globe front sight on an RWS 48/52/54”

  1. Wayne,

    The part number is 305321, but it isn't that hard. Just contact Glenn and tell him what you want to do.

    He is aware of this blog and of what we are trying to do. He was surprised that anyone would be interested in a part like this. I told him this report was coming out today and he is ready for the contacts.

    You must contact Glenn, because Umarex USA doesn't inventory this part.


  2. SteveJ,

    I hope you are able to get to this latest report today, because this answer is for you.

    BB pistols like your P30 are not accurate. You don't mention the distance you are shooting, so I can't tell whether the problem is the gun or the shooter, but at 30 feet it would be difficult for anyone to keep all the BBs inside a 6-inch circle witb that gun.

    With pellets, the gun should do a LOT better, but not in the cold. CO2 is too temperature-dependent to work well at anything much under 50 degrees, F and really it needs to be warmer than that.

    One other thing. When you mention the gun, please give the entire nomenclature, such as H&K P30. There is also an FWB P30 air pistol that has been around for over a decade and it is by far better known than the new H&K. That's what I thought you had until you mentioned shooting BBs in your gun.

    Welcome to the blog! Ask anything you want on the current day's report, and expect the answers to come to that report, even after it is no longer the current day.


  3. B.B.,

    I'm listening, I'm listening!! I do hereby declare that I will not hesitate to shoot across beds, trunks, or anything hard enough to handle my Diana. And forget about this conversion for me– I will not be turning into a peeping Alan anytime soon– am perfectly happy with my sunshaded Leapers and reversed rear sight that just piggybacks along for the ride!


  4. Mr B & Frank B,

    Concerning yesterday's comments, that was a very interesting suggestion about the green laser and parallax correction. I had so far only carefully followed Tom's sighting-in instructions, and read the more involved instructions by the A-Team. I'm concerned that the laser will add yet more complexity and weight to my already massively heavy Diana 54.

    I want to share with you a bit of advice that I found very helpful. It was posted by Scott on 2008-08-14 19:47:08 in a review on PA's site for the Leapers 3-12×44AO scope. This is what he said:


    "Follow the directions when resetting the turrets to read "zero". Always make sure to adjust out the parallax at any distance or power regardless. If the reticle "moves" up and down with regards to the target you are out of parallax and need to turn the side "focus" (parallax) knob one way until the reticle stops moving. If you shoot regularly then you know what I mean but for the people who don't then they need to know this. Shoulder the rifle with good support (front rest) and look through the scope at the target. Now move your head (without moving the rifle) up and down very slightly. If you can see the reticle moving up and down you are out of parallax. You need to turn the side focus [parallax adjustment] until that movement is GONE. Do this while SLIGHTLY moving your head up and down until the reticle stays put. The target should be sharp with the reticle sharp and not moving. Now all parallax is adjusted out. Every time you change the power setting or distance you need to check this. Do not go by the markings on the side turret because you do not know the EXACT distance to the target plus the markings could be wrong. An out of parallax (focus) shot will result in a miss and Ive seen too many shooters chase the shots thinking the scope is not holding a zero or they end up changing the elevation and windage adjustments. A waste of your time is the only end result."

    Do you guys agree with this? It seemed to help me get sighted in quicker than anything else I'd tried so far.


  5. Mac,

    Thanks for the contribution to todays article.

    I'd also like to thank the volunteers that have stepped up to the plate and are helping B.B. answer comments left under older blogs.

    FredProNJ and Slinging Lead are a big part of the support team. Of course the veteran Mr B continues in his thankless role. If I've missed anyone else that's contributing Thank You too!


  6. Kevin,

    You old mind-reader! I have devoted the first part of tomorrow's blog to a big "Thank You" to all the guys who help me answer these comments. You are aware of how large the volume is these days. I could not hope to keep up without all the help I get.

    And thank YOU for not dropping off the map!


  7. Off topic: I recently got an Air Force Talon SS (CO2) that I've been shooting a lot! This rifle has an interesting quirk, it's VERY sensitive to the hold on the pistol grip, possibly due to some flexibility in the frame caused by the large cutout for the loading port. I was wondering if the Edge exhibits the same characteristic, and if that could have accounted for the initial disappointing accuracy results you got? Just a thought. If it (the Edge) is that touchy, I think that would move me more toward the Challenger for my offhand gun.

    I find if I hold my Talon with the web of my hand on the frame extension above and behind the pistol grip (I have large hands), forefinger on the trigger, and the rest of the hand waving in the breeze (not touching the grip at all) the gun shoots exceptionally well. I'm thinking of getting one of the one piece laminated grip/forends to see if that makes a difference.


  8. "A funny aside that makes me cry
    Edith just read the specs from a manufacturer on a new repeating pellet gun they're bringing out. They claim that it comes with a "BB magazine." A PELLET gun comes with a BB magazine? I'm not making this up, folks! It's getting stupider and stupider out here!"

    There were 166 comments to that entry from Jan 8th, 2010, and I didn't read them all.
    I just wanted to say that my Baikal MP-514 "Pellet" rifle came with a circular pellet magazine and a spring loaded "BB" magazine.
    The BB mag works just fine.

  9. Sorry, I wasn't clear. I was referring to your tests before you locked the Edge down in the vise. I thought there might be some corelation, since the vise held the gun upside down with no pressure on the grip.


  10. Jim,

    I also shoot a Talon SS on CO2 and HPA and haven't had any problems with my hold on the pistol grip causing changes in group size or POI. What size CO2 tank are you using? Mine is the 20 oz size.

    Do you have a 24" barrel and/or the HPA tank? How about baffles between the barrel and end cap?

    Mr B.

  11. Jim,

    Okay, I see what you mean. It's an interesting thought. but that frame doesn't flex much.

    RCBS and others use the same design for their reloading presses because it doesn't flex. True those presses and made from steel and the AirForce rifles are made from aluminum, but I've never seen one flex where I think you are referring to.

    Where they do flex is at the joint between the butt reservoir and the frame. But since the sights are both on the frame, that doesn't seem to cause a problem.


  12. Mr B:

    Mine is a standard SS, 12" barrel (so far). I only have CO2, no HP air (yet!).

    I like the Air Force design, that's got to be the most versatile air rifle available. Mine is just twitchy unless held just right, then it's AWESOME!


  13. BB or Edith:

    I have sent 3 emails to the sales@pyramidair.com in-box and have had no replies to any of the emails?

    Is there a better address to get help from at PA? All I wanted to know was that the Walther Lever Action with scope and hard-case was still on sale and in-stock. You know, illy, paying customer questions!

    This is (has been) one of my few complaints about PA. Their "sales" dept doesn't respond by email and their tech dept usually responds days or weeks after a problem is solved on my own or by others.

    This is not just a PA problem, it is an internet problem generally or… as it was better said by someone else "send it to their Internet Sales Prevention Dept."


    Brian in Idaho

  14. Brian in Idaho,

    Yes, the Walther Lever Action rifle with scope & case is still on sale. Get yours while you can. The scoped model & the Wells Fargo model have been discontinued by Umarex USA.

    When did you send your 3 emails to the sales department?


  15. GUN SOCKS:

    BobbyNations and B.B. had suggested that I store my guns in gun socks. I obediently went and bought some. Epic Fail!!

    Can anyone recommend a good source for a REALLY WIDE silicone impregnated gun sock that will slip comfortably over a Diana 54 with a big scope attached?

    Caution to all: I ordered the 52" long Magnum size gun sock from Cabelas. Its packaging advertises that it expands to 12", but Cabelas actually warns you (when you put it in the shopping cart and read the product notes) that it only expands to 10", yet the disappointing reality is that it only expands to about 8". The regular sack says 8.5" but only expands to maybe 6".

    I then called Allen, the manufacturer, and they confirmed that even their new tactical gun socks would only stretch to 10", and that would be putting considerable pressure on a scope. I don't want to risk the adjustment.

    I've tried lots of websites but few give meaningful specs and I don't want to keep retuning socks… I'd be grateful for a surefire lead on a sock that'll go AT LEAST 12".


  16. Slinging Lead,

    I use a fresh one every time because the brass bristles get bent down and the brush becomes thinner with the first cleaning. You certainly can use the brush more than one time. I just won't be as aggressive is all.


  17. Slinging Lead,
    I've cleaned the brushes off with very hot water and some dish detergent. An old toothbrush will speed things up. The brass brush looks almost new.

    Does anyone have a spare rubber eye shade for an aperture sight they want to part with? One like in the GAMO sight pic from today's blog would be perfect.
    Lemme know how much you need for it if you've got one. Thanks.

  18. BB,
    Reading so much about the 54 over the last few days, I don't feel bad about my underlever clunk anymore:).

    Your adjustable endcap idea is good — I know because I had it too:). The problem I found (at least with the rifle I wanted to do it on), is that the preload is limited by sear engagement slot position. I also considered a bleed-off valve to throw away half or so of the pistons travel, but couldn't figure out how to implement that on a sliding cylinder, and it would result in 2x the cocking effort for less than 1/2 the power:). Implementing multiple cocking positions seems to be the best way, but that requires a design that is compatible, just like the adjustable endcap. Seems like a good idea for a manufacturer of large, heavy but accurate under- and side-lever guns, though. At the 1/2 power level, they should be incredibly smooth shooting, and still have the "11" option for longer ranges:).

    I'll check out the HW. Thanks.

  19. AlanL,
    I feel your pain. I bought a silicone sock at Gander Mountain for my Talon SS with a 12oz CO2 tank and a scope but the sock fits real real tight. I have to work to put it on. After doing that twice I gave up. Now what I do is lay the sock in the gun case and lay the gun on top of that and close the lid. The lid is not lined but holds the gun firm over the sock. Some day I'll get a sock to lay on top of the gun, too, before I shut the lid. That way the gun will have silicone on both sides of it.

    I have the a Talon SS with the 12oz CO2 and 12" barrel. I have not experienced what you are describing. When I get home and if my memory is intact I'll look at it closer to see if there is any movement there at all. Bottom line, my gun is not hold sensitive and I hug her a lot.


  20. BGFarmer,that gives me more to ponder…but I am thinking only of a prototype for a tuner,and only a degree of adjustment for spring preload,and then only for a portion of it…to examine behavioral changes.It just seems to me some valuable data could be mined here.
    BB,I have a P1 I am very fond of,partly because it was purchased for just under 200$ NEW!I was concerned that it had been dry fired until I read your review about the seal and shooting on low power!!!It has always been a joy to shoot!
    Kevin,thanks alot,I think you just cost me 1600$,'cause now I gotta get one!LOL Frank B

  21. Kevin,
    I didn't even know you were re-doing the 410's, but they look great! Same RLO treatment as before? You ended up allowing more build and gloss than I would have suspected from your comments on preferences, but it looks right on that stock style.

  22. FrankB,
    I see. What you need is a gun that isn't too nearly coil-bound when cocked. From my experiments, a range of a few millimeters can make a big difference, if that helps.

  23. BGfarmer,yes,I was thinking of a rectangular profile spring ordered with that in mind….maybe this is a dumb idea,but I wouldn't mind experimenting with it.Build a better mousetrap and all that….

  24. FrankB.,
    I don't think its a dumb idea at all — just wanted to tell you what little I knew:). When I put my 36-2 back together, I had a lot of leeway in piston spacing due to shorter replacement spring. If I remember correctly, the difference b/t match type velocities and "magnum" power was less than an inch. The compromise was something like 70% "full" power spacing(the rule of diminishing returns definitely applies at the upper end), so there would be significant adjustment in even a half inch or less. I hope someone with more experience will jump in and help you out some more. I do know for sure that there is a point where the increased preload results in very little power gain, but inordinate harshness. Perhaps your adjustment would be just the ticket for switching pellet preferences.

    A couple of other possible thoughts. You'll be better off with a long piston stroke in my opinion, and the piston weight needs to be balanced against the extremes of the range.

    It really sounds like a cool experiement.

  25. AlanL,

    There are case versions of the gun socks that look to be a bit larger. They aren't made of stretchy material, so you shouldn't have the binding problem assuming that your gun will fit into them.

    Cabela's has them listed as 10" by 46" for a scoped rifle version. Sportsman's Guide sells one as well, but they don't list the dimensions or maker.


    Sorry about off-site links, but Pyramyd AIR doesn't sell this particular item. Feel free to remove if you'd like.


  26. Kevin,
    I guess I need more computer practice, as I can only find the “before” photos of the 410’s. : )
    In all seriousness, to work on such a nice pieces would never occur to me. I humbly bow to your skilled craftsmanship.

    Bg Farmer,
    My R-7 showed up today. Have to say still there is nothing quite like a Weihrauch Springer. I was going to hold out for a .177 R-8, but this will tide me over nicely.
    It is a .20 caliber which I avoided in the past as a gimmick, however the price was right and I also have a small stash of .20 caliber pellets left over my Sheridan.
    I know recommendations here are as hard to come by as blades of grass on a golf course, but any of the Beeman HW rifles are worth the price of admission.


  27. BB, do you think that RWS Diabolo Basics would work well in a Benji 397? They are quite cheap but German made, so I'd rather use them than Crosman regular wad cutters. Any other pellet recommendations that are reasonably priced?(besides Premiers)


  28. B.B.

    You and Earl sound like the Sackett brothers in the Western book series.

    With your one-handed defensive pistol shooting, do you blade the body or stay squared up?


  29. Kevin,

    Beautiful job–isn't it amazing what photo shop's touch up function can do? LOL

    Excellent work–thanks for sharing and giving us your insights on refinishing.

    Mr B.

  30. BG_Farmer,

    You have a good eye.

    The gloss won't last. These are progress pictures. About halfway through the refinish.

    The rifle has a prefinish of tung and about 6-8 coats (don't remember) of RLO. Had RLO leftover from the 2 FX stocks so didn't want to let it dry up. I have alot of respect for Mr. Maccarri but I don't care for his RLO. This stuff is a pain to work with. Flashing everywhere.

    The carbine was also started with a prefinish of tung oil and has 6-8 coats of waterlox and has more finish on it and is filling faster and more evenly.

    After the stocks are completely filled I'll take the sheen off just like I did on the FX stocks.


  31. Mr B.,

    Actually those photo's are untouched which is why they look like, well, you know.

    Part of the reason for the photo's was to take a break from working on stocks and become motivated to understand photoshop and the camera. I've been lax in that department. Now I have a reason to delve into that realm that I have successfully avoided thusfar.


  32. Anonymous with the benji 397,

    premiers never did well in my 397. JSB's worked best at 20 yards and less. I don't have a scope on my 397 so that's about max distance for my old eyes. JSB's are about .005 (half a penny) more per pellet but the accuracy is worth it to me.


  33. Kevin,since you have called me out on the FWB124 and now set the bar so high….If I take a few pics and email them to you,can you put them up for the blog,it is something I find to be difficult.If you say yes,I'll furnish pics of my FIRST wood finishing foray… Frank B

  34. Kevin,

    My reference to photo shop was an attempt at humor that didn't quite make it. I was going to add that I don't really care for a high gloss finish on a piece of wood cause it's too hard for me to keep it that way.

    Mr B.

  35. MrB,you should put your shades on before viewing my FWB 124 finish attempt…I got a little crasy with the Birchwood Casey Tru Oil!!! Everyone,feel free to offer any criticism or tips.I will share outdoor photos tomorrow,they will show much better detail.I don't have a tripod,neither does wallyworld.

  36. Kevin,

    Thanks for the tip about the Morgan adjustable butt pad. That aluminum frame looks butt ugly. Did you grind it off as suggested by Thorin and Derrick38? Or did you go with the new plastic framed one?

    There appear to be only two screws holding the butt plate onto my 54; the Morgan shows three. Did you have to drill the middle starter hole in the stock?


  37. Mr B.,

    I'm with you. Don't care for high gloss finish. More aesthetics than function for me.

    Since I use oil the "repair" when it does get scratched is minimal. Although the high gloss brings out more of the grain it doesn't look right and more importantly doesn't feel right to me.

    Once I'm done applying the necessary coats of oil to completely fill the pores in the walnut wood I'll knock down the gloss.


  38. AlanL,

    The aluminum frame is integral to the function of the morgan adjustable butt pad.

    It comes oversized and you need to grind in down to fit your stock. I used a belt sander.

    Yes you will need to drill a hole, not just a pilot hole, for the third screw. One size smaller than the screw size and I like to add beeswax to the threads for hardwoods like beech and walnut.


  39. Spectacular!? someones been hittin the scotch….thank you Kevin! I need to knock down that gloss.I could shave in the reflection.I can honestly say I know that piece of walnut to the most minute detail now…and I am pleased with the feel without checkering.that is good,I lack the courageous spirit it would take to start scratching lines in it now!!!! Frank

  40. AlanL,
    I'm not sure what you mean by the third screw for the Morgan. The base fits to the stock with 2 wood screws. The pad is then fitted to the base by a machine bolt. The only reason to drill holes in the stock is if the holes in the baseplate don't match the ones already in the stock.
    Here's some being fitted up:

    And here's a blog about making a replacement adjusting bolt for an older model:

    There will be yet another blog about mounting the old model Morgan to a new rifle in a few more days.
    We're kind of Morgan nuts of late.

  41. Even a chimp can make a 600$ stock blank look good.I felt like was scribbling on the Mona Lisa with a crayon really….I wish I posessed your ability.My Crosman 600 failed to work on the very day I recieved a Mac-1 14" barrel W/ three baffle brake !This really sucks…holding gas,fire it and the valve doesn't open at all.Any idea what could cause that Derrick?

  42. Frank B,

    I like what I see in your one close up photo.

    There's one side of that stock that is as good as any exhibition grade I've ever seen and I've seen quit a few.

    I really like nice checkering but in my opinion it doesn't belong on an FWB 124. In my opinion it would interfere with the loose hold that's required to wring out every ounce of accuracy in the magnum springer.

    I'm one of those "function dictates form" guys. I've seen some spectacular stocks with stippling and checkering mounted to FWB 124 actions but it always made me wince. Maybe the checkering doesn't interfere with shooting but isn't the point of checkering to better grip the gun. Seems counterintuitive on a magnum springer.

    Nice job.


  43. AlanL & derrick38,

    derricks post made me think. I don't think my morgan adjustable butt pad had 3 screw holes but I did have to drill a hole to install it.

    I also remembered when I was looking for an adjustable butt pad that many people had bad experiences with the plastic spacer on the morgans cracking with little torque. That helped me chose the aluminum spacer. This was years ago and maybe derrick can comment on the strength of the current morgan plastic spacers that are still being sold?


  44. Is it possible to use the Mendoza aperture sight (or any of the others PA sells) with the stock fiber optic front sight on the Daisy 953?

    And, will these air gun sights work OK on rimfires, such as a Ruger 10/22?

  45. Thank You Kevin,
    I really thought you would feel otherwise.I still want to try some Rennasance wax,maybe I'll try an experiment with talc on my left hand!A real artillery "rail"…

  46. Kevin,

    Honestly, I like the gloss in that case and its not out of place on those stocks, even thought you might have decided you liked it there (and that's OK), but like Mr.B says, it poses an impossible task to maintain:). I have a hard time keeping a satin finish maintained:).

    Interesting that you are using RLO on one and Waterlox on the other — it seemed like the pores on one were still more open(RLO?), but even excellent pictures are hard to read perfectly. I assume RLO is a varnish/oil mix that leans towards the oil side and Waterlox is definitely a varnish that will build pretty quick — should be interesting to compare the two in terms of durability and ease of repair.

  47. Volvo,
    The R7 sounds nice, although I feel the same way about the .20 cal as you do.

    Thanks for the HW50S links — I will check them out, even if I'm not really in a new gun mood right now, I will be someday:). I'm lukewarm on the 50S stock — that style of cheek piece is not my favorite, but the rest is actually pretty nice. Utilitarian and Bavarian I did find attractive in my wilder and younger days, just as you guessed, but that's a different story:).

  48. FrankB,
    I assume you gapped the barrel correctly before you tightened the set screw so the shuttle could move?
    I moved your question so Nick could see it. He's finishing up a five part Crosman 600 blog series right now. Your question is at the end of the last post here:

    If Nick doesn't know off the top of his head, we'll mull it over.

    I've also heard that the plastic Morgans plates have occasionally broken. I've only installed the aluminum model-about 7 or 8 so far. I think it'd be hard to get a complete picture as to how the plastic bases broke. Was the buttstock actually flat? Did the installer try for just one more turn after the screw was tight? Were the screws of the proper size to pass through the plastic base mounting holes–or did they use screws from the old butt pad that may have been too large? Did they use screws that were countersunk rather than for a counterbore? As always, there are potentially a lot of contributing factors to failures. At work, it's rare to ever get the true skinny when a customer has a broken item. At the bike shop, we call them "JRA's"–"Just Riding Along" when the wheels both spontaneously imploded! And then the frame snapped in half.

    Personally, I find that I'd like to minimize the plastic on my air rifles, so I think the extra expense and time to fit the aluminum plate are more than made up for in appearance and function. And like I've said, they're still less money than most scopes.

  49. Frank B,

    You've done yourself proud son. My brain just did a fast fwd over different checkering patterns–none needed on that beautifully finished magnificient piece of wood!

    Mr B.

  50. MrB,kind words,I thank you.The ND-3 should arrive tomorrow.Then I will mail you the ND-5 for a month of evaluation.I hope you enjoy it!I think the ND-3 will prove formidable mounted on the Condor.I have a crazy sighting combo in mind where two red lasers mount on either side of the barrel aimed level with the barrel,one underneath that is dead on at sight in range…make for a crazy sighting display!!!

  51. BG_Farmer,

    You're absolutely correct in your ability to pick out the details in my quick/poor photo's. I intend to provide better photo's since this was an experiment in two different oil based finishes.

    Part of the experiment was ease of application.

    Not only does the RLO build slower but it dries quicker and therefor flashes constantly. Frustrating to build upon an inconsistent base. In typical maccarri fashion the mix is a secret. I suspect that the oil has a quick dry poly rather than varnish that would allow a little more work time.

    Waterlox is easier to work and it seems they build at the same rate but this may not be entirely true since the RLO requires a rubbing out much more often which takes layers off.

    The other part of the experiment is durability with these "new to me" products. Time will tell.

    I'll post more detailed photos when I learn how and will keep everyone posted about durability.

    ps-no B.B. I don't think this is blog worthy. You have enough new products to report about, topics you've already promised and series that you're in the middle of completing anyway.


  52. derrick38,

    Thanks for the update about the morgan adjustable butt pads. I'm sure the plastic spacer option was available when I ordered mine but just don't remember.

    Read about alot of problems recently with the plastic spacer on the morgans. What you've said makes sense. I'm not a fan of plastic especially on the butt of a gun.

    Since you've installed 7-8 adjustable butt pads recently you must appreciate the unsung benefit of immediate sight picture acquisition that an adjustable butt pad can create.

    I read other forums where airgunners are furiously looking for stockmakers and/or cheek risers that will help them with a correct sight picture and easier cheek weld. An adjustable butt pad can solve their problems and they seem to overlook this option.


  53. Frank B
    The correct spacing is as close as possible with no drag on the shuttle.
    So, Nick thinks maybe a trigger issue with your gun. He's delved further into the 600 than I have. I think with his recent posts you should be able to take yours apart?

    Yep, having the scope or diopter come immediately to the eye is a great benefit of using an adjustable butt pad. As always, ergonomics factor in to how easy a gun is to shoot. At some point though there does need to be a cheek piece in the right location to index your face consistently for a good sight picture. I'm not sure that an adjustable butt pad alone can correct for every situation. The adjustable cheek pieces are probably directly related to the giant objective lens sizes on our new scopes and the super tall mounts required to hold them.

  54. Derrick,thanks…sitting here thinking and I've figured it has to do with the shuttle indexing…I had a pellet jam in it.in the process I must have moved it on the shaft.Now I think it is preventing the valve from being struck.I will get at it tomorrow with your blog for valuable help.Thanks man…

  55. Derrick38 and Kevin,

    Re: Morgan Adjustable Butt Pad

    Thanks for your thoughts on the Morgan and the excellent and detailed pics on the other blog. I see now that once properly fitted and sanded down the new plate looks really good.

    I find that to get the cheek weld that gives me the clearest view through my scope at maximum magnification I have to raise the 54 considerably, to such a point that the bottom of the butt pad digs into my shoulder while the top of the pad rides in the air. if this rifle had a lot of recoil I'd have a dent under my collarbone. I need that Morgan! I wonder if the maximum down position will be enough to give me the raise I need. Even if not, it'll still be a heck of a lot better than the fixed butt now.

    Is there any chance that Morgan (Nick?) will manufacture custom plates for popular rifles like the Diana 52/54 series and others? Not having to drill and grind would be a huge plus and worth more $$ to me.

    Although maybe this project is not completely beyond my abilities, it is not something I can do for lack of time and equipment. Can you guys recommend somebody who would install the aluminum one for me?


  56. AlanL,

    You're having the same height issue with the 54 that I did. We must be built similarly. So sorry for you.

    There is no chance that Morgan or anyone else will manufacture "custom plates" for the 54 or any other popular gun since a butt pad of any kind must be custom fitted to each individual stock. The subtle differences in each stock, even within the same model gun, is why buttpads, adjustable and non adjustable, come oversize. They must be ground, sanded and/or filed to fit your specific stock.

    I don't have a recommendation on who could do this for you since even idiots like me with some sandpaper, a cheap drill and a cheap metal file can fit a butt pad to a stock. When you factor in the cost of shipping your stock to and from a handyman in order to install a new buttpad you can afford a decent drill and excellent file.


  57. B.B.,

    Sorry you weren't feeling well.

    Appreciate your kind words. One thing I've learned about taking photo's and posting them on the internet is you have to be a long ways away from your subject so no one can see the details.


  58. AlanL,

    You should be able to get your local gunshop to fit an adjustable pad on your stock for a nominal fee. Probably for less than the cost of shipping your rifle and with less risk of damage to and fro. Derrick's blogmate, Nick Carter, sells them at a good price. The adjustable pad might add a smidgen to the LOP, so having someone local do the work would help with any trimming you might need to the stock itself. Best of luck either way.


  59. Kevin,

    Hmmm… An even bigger idiot like me is almost certain to screw it up. I think you underrate the qualifications needed for this job. No ordinary handyman will do. It takes a real gunsmith with patience I think. I do have an excellent drill, vise, files, workbench and so forth, but I do not have a belt sander. For the aluminum base that is what's needed, unless one is prepared to expend an awful lot of elbow grease. Given the minimum recoil of the 54, do you think I can get away with the plastic base? Or would that be a travesty?


  60. AlanL,

    Although I've never tried one I've heard alot of bad things about the morgan plastic spacers cracking. I wouldn't use one but I'm one of those guys that only likes to do projects one time.

    To put your mind at ease about your cocking arm coming away from your stock about 3" I have a gift for you. Here's a link to a tutorial on tuning an RWS 48/52 (very similar to a 54) with great photos that my shooting buddy Scot Heath put together. If you scroll down about 3/4 of the way into this tutorial you'll see a photo of the tip of the cocking arm that should be 2"-3" from the body of the action in order to function properly.



  61. Mr. B,

    Thanks. Yes, I'd seen that. Nick and Derrick are some talented guys. A lot of neat stuff on that blog.


    Thanks. Now I know how to adjust the cocking arm so it 'clicks' into the closed position. B.B. had mentioned that the adjustment instructions for this were in an old version of the user manual for the 54 but I never was able to find that.

    Aren't you sad you got rid of your 54? So many adventures… or, did you sigh with relief?


  62. Frank B,

    You are most kind sir–thank you. Two lasers on your Condor is an awesome idea. Include a scope and you'll have a mind numbing number of sighting in choices which can only be a good thing.

    I've put a WOK butt on my Talon SS. The money was well spent. Do you have a shroud on your Condor and if so who's and how do you like it?

    Mr B.

  63. pcsashooter,

    No simple answer to your question. Rather than saying one sight will work on a number of guns, that sight has to be mounted and checked out on each specific rifle.

    The contour and width of the receiver comes into play, as does the height of the front sight/.


  64. Kevin,
    The pictures themselves are much better than most I see on the internet already.

    If RLO is drying too quickly but builds well, that most likely means it is thinned significantly with something volatile, like naptha or a mix (mineral spirits, paint thinner); adding a bit more oil (BLO) might slow it down, but don't put it on your nice stocks without trying a sample first and not at all after it is sealed in my opinion:). With thinned poly for wiping (my own concoction), everything except for the first coat (overall or in a new set) sets so quickly that it is hard/inadvisable to try to fix anything until the next coat.

  65. AlanL,

    I enjoyed the 54 while I had it. Great learning experience.

    I don't miss the gun. It was one of those guns that taught me if I needed more power and better accuracy in a lighter weight gun to reach for a pcp.


  66. BG_Farmer,

    Later coats of RLO weren't thinned, didn't build well and dried too quickly resulting in flashing.

    Even turned the temperature down in the refinishing room to slow the process and still got flashing when it dried. Looked good wet but when it dries it looks like #$%!.


  67. Kevin,
    I meant that it comes for the jar thinned with something like naptha. The first coat or so can (and maybe should) be thinned further than the rest, because most of it soaks in to the wood and the volume is relatively high.

    "Looked good wet but when it dries it looks like #$%!."
    That sounds like a heavy varnish component, as you said. I get that problem with poly if I try to do more than one or two thin coats without curing and "sanding" (light #0000 steel wool) between coats, especially if I try to "work" it. I think the problem is that the current coat needs some minor roughness to wipe the varnish off the applicator; otherwise it comes off unevenly and gets worse as it dries (thicker gobs contract?). I don't know what your application schedule is for the RLO, but you might just try lightly abrading the surface after a 24 hr. (or more) cure and doing only one coat, with no going back over holidays after more than a few seconds, then repeat for several days in a row. You should be able to work your way up the grits in the b/t coat sandings, but if there is as much poly as you suspect, it probably isn't necessary to go too high — it will build an ideally thin layer automagically:).

    Anyway, I think you might be being too hard on yourself — obviously you are doing a great job, just trying to be helpful and thinking out loud:).

  68. BG_Farmer,

    Thanks for the moral and technical support. Appreciated.

    I probably applied 15 coats of tung oil prior to application of RLO and Waterlox. Sanded the tung oil up to 1,000 grit. I prefer bronze wool rather than steel but that's for early applications of stock sanding/sealing.

    I'm at the point where the stock is glass and the coats of RLO should just flow. They're not but the Waterlox is.

    I wait a day between applications at this stage and wait a week between rubbing out layers before continuing to build more finish/fill the wood grain completely.

    I'm not being hard on myself I'm being hard on RLO. I'll never use it again.


  69. Kevin,

    I don't want to irritate you with unneeded advice again, but I think you may actually have it too smooth for a heavy varnish to flow and stick in a uniform layer, especially if poly is involved (and who knows with these compounds). My bet is that if you sand it lightly with 600-800 grit or #0000 steel wool (or back to before whatever stage it started having problems), a coat will go on just like you want, and the surface smoothness will be fine. On the other hand, that does seem like throwing away a lot of work, I know. You can always smooth and de-gloss at whatever grit you prefer.

    I say these things, because from your experience and reading about RLO and some others, it seems like they are mostly aimed at getting an adequate film build in a handful or so of applications, almost like poly. You are using a high-end technique, and these mystery oils aren't up to it:).

    Incidentally, I agree in theory about steel wool, but since I mostly use oil-based poly and oil-based stains, it is only a minor concern — as long as you clean off the work with air and, esp., thinner. The main problem with steel wool is when fibers come off and rust inside a clear finish, especially a water-based one.

    By the way, I can't tell from the work that you are having problems — it does look excellent. So these musings are more so I don't feel like I shorted you when you said you were having a problem than because it looks like you need help:).

  70. BG_Farmer,

    Your advice is always appreciated and you're not irritating me.

    You may have a point about the build. My motivation for sticking it out with RLO is two fold. First, I didn't have near this problem with the two FX stocks. Second, the two guys I shot with this summer have probably finished/refinished 40 stocks between them and sang praises about RLO.

    The reality is that when I de-gloss the stocks the flashing won't matter. It's the uneveness of grain filling that's frustrating. I'm too close to the finish line (pun intended) to reintroduce bronze wool or sandpaper although I understand your logic for providing some "tooth" for subsequent layers to adhere to.

    As I've said, one of the reasons for this undertaking was to try out "new to me" products for finishing a stock. Newer product doesn't always equal better product. I want to be able to say first hand what my preferences are for stock finishing.

    Don't get me wrong, the RLO stock will look fine in the end. It's just going to require some extra effort.

    I really appreciate the input. I'm taking a break from the stock refinishing and intend to tackle the camera and photoshop.

    Sometimes time away from a project allows me to reflect and come up with another option.


  71. Way off topic, but I followed your advice from other strings and sent an old, but working Benjamin 3120 to George Pena to have a bent pump lever replaced. Being a Benjamin Dummy (I own 2 Sheridan Bluestreaks, pre Benjamin), I didn't even know the mag tube was missing. I bought the gun at an antique mall for $40.00. Well, George obtained brass tubes and made a mag tube and did a great job. Just wanted to give george credit and recommend his work.

  72. B.B.

    Different subject, but I need a little advice. My 16 year old IZH 60 gave up the ghost. I plan to rebuild it but have read that moly on the spring and in the chamber really slows it down. On person suggested a little moly mixed with chamber oil should be used sparingly on the spring. What do you sugest for lubing the piston seal and chamber? Camber oil, dry slide, Beeman pena dry, etc.???

  73. Paul,

    Well, since chamber oil has zero viscosity and will cause steel parts to gall I would for get that.

    I'd just use a few drops of a good gun oil. RemOil or Hoppes gun oil or something like that.

    Forget the hinge treatments. Use real oil.


  74. B.B.

    This is off topic of this blog, but I would like to know what air rifles(preferably .22cal, that can be used for small game hunting) would you recommend that are under $175? I was thinking about: Crosman 2260, Beeman RS1 dual caliber,or a Mendoza RM-600. I am not sure, what do you think?
    Your help would be greatly appreciated.


  75. Those will all work under the right circumstances. Of course that assumes the right range, accuracy and appropriate target.

    The RM200 would be another good one in .22, along with a Benjamin 392 for sure.

    I think if it were my choice I'd go for the 392 or 2260, depending on the time of year when I planned to hunt.


  76. Anonymous, I'd suggest taking a peek at the TF89. It's a bit on the largish side, but has very good power and one of the better triggers out there.

    I would also have suggested the MP513, but glad I looked first! Price went WAY up, out of your range. The one I had was powerful, light, and horribly accurate. It was also harsh, hard to cock, and one of the most unpleasant air rifles I had ever shot.

    You might also consider the RWS 34. New, it's over your price range, but I know where you might be able to get a used one. If interested, email me at vfblovesnancy@yahoo.com.

  77. B.B.

    How long can you leave a spring gun cocked? Not to put into storage, but like when you are searching for game animals? Also are spring guns affected by cold weather?


  78. Spring cocked,

    Several folks in the airgun community have run tests on this very question and written up their results. Here's B.B.'s take. Paul Capello wrote up a test performed by Ken Pang on the Yellow forum's FAQ page. There are others as well, but these should give you a good starting point.

    Personally, I don't concern myself when hunting as I generally will shoot once every hour or two at the outside.

    Hope these help.


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