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Ammo To B3 or not to B3 – Part 2

To B3 or not to B3 – Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This is the second part of Vince’s guest blog about the B3 air rifle he turned into a decent gun.

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by Vince

The anti-beartrap mechanism.

Notice that this is the type that’s engaged by default. It’s not put on SAFE by the lever being cocked. Rather, it’s put on FIRE when the lever is returned to the stow position.

Next comes the fun part — getting the spring out. I did it my way, which first involves tapping out the single pin with a punch or a phillips screwdriver slightly smaller in diameter.

When the pin comes out all the way, the spring retainer jumps out a tiny bit but is safely retained by whatever you used to knock out the pin.

This may seem dangerous, but there’s little that can go wrong at this point. The retainer won’t even try to escape until the pin is all the way out, and that won’t happen until the punch is all the way in. Unless the spring is powerful enough to shear off the punch, everything is hunky-dory. So, don’t use toothpicks or bamboo skewers as a punch.

My two-step spring-removal method.

What I do is really very simple. I grasp the action with my left hand and hug it close. With my weight (and I’ve got lots of weight to spare!), I bear down on the action while feeling the punch that’s still holding everything together. When I feel the punch loosen up, I know that I’ve taken up the entire force of the spring and slip it out with no surprises. I use my right hand to help steady it, let ‘er up and it’s apart.

Now, I’m looking at the good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly is my own reflection in the spring tube. The bad is the spring retainer/rear guide. The good is everything else. I’m seeing acceptable condition in all the other parts.

The B3’s spring tube parts.

The piston seal is the standard Industry Brand bottom-feeder clip-on synthetic type, which is in remarkably good condition:

The original piston seal is in good shape and doesn’t need to be replaced.

Good thing, too, ’cause I don’t have laying around, and I SURE don’t plan on buying anything for this gun. That still leaves me with the whole rear guide/retainer issue.

This is what came out of the rifle.

I took some measurements. The overall length is about 4.5 inches, and the rear guide diameter is 12mm. And, no, .50 inches won’t fit inside the spring. the first thing I did was rummage around my boxes of miscellaneous parts, and I come across a Crosman Quest rear guide/retainer that looked like it might just be workable.

I hacked off the remaining vestiges of the smashed guide and bore a hole down the middle of it to accept the shank of the Crosman guide (first two pictures). I separated the Crosman guide from its retainer block, trimmed it to length and tapped it into the original retainer (last 3 images).

I still have the issue of the spring perch that spaces the rear of the spring and gives it a bearing surface. It appears that the original design had plastic EVERYTHING in this area, which yields a very short life expectancy.

I figured that I can take care of the spacing duties with a piece of CPVC pipe, which happens to fit over my new guide very nicely.

The new retainer.

I cut it to length (approx. 26mm) and squared it up. I can’t let the spring actually seat on a plastic part (even if Shanghai can), so I dug up a rusty old lockwasher and refinished it.

And after flattenning, cleaning and grinding to the proper dimensionsm I’ve got an almost-proper spring seat using this rehabbed lock washer.

As long as I was at it, I decided to really go all out and clean the barrel. This means using a .22 caliber brush and some Brownell’s J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. Frankly, I’m wondering if the B3 is worth the additional $1.79 worth of material. But, hey, it’s Christmas, right…well, it was Christmas when I was doing this. The time of miracles?

After the barrel is clean, I goop up everything with moly goo and put it all back together. Now comes the fun part: Cocking it for the first time!

Perfectly uneventful, as it turned out, and it cocked like a cheap gun in decent working condition. Which is, by no means, universal for a B3. Firing the gun with Crosman Premiers showed velocities ranging from 399 fps to a little over 500. Not good.</p> <p>I don’t care about velocity. This is not a high-precision tune; all I care about is punching paper at 10 meters. So, off to the range to start making holes. One hole here, one over there and a third in Timbuktu. Pretty much the same sort of results B.B. was getting the last time he shot a B3. I’m a bit disgusted but not the least bit surprised when I decide, on a lark, to continue my pellet test from before.</p> <p><a href=”>Crosman Premier hollowpoints were up first. After three shots, I gave up. Next were “The Peak” Chinese pellets, which sometimes do well in lower-powered guns. Funny thing happened — 4 scattered shots, but 2 in the same hole. Next up were the Gamo Match, and I had 3 go into a surprisingly tight group with 2 opening it up.

Last pellet was the Daisy Precision-Max wadcutter, which is a very soft and mediocre pellet (especially in .22). Four shots went into a pretty tight group, with one about 1.5 inches away. I shot a sixth, and it went into the same place as the other four. If I throw out the flier, I’ve just shot a .40-inch group with my B3 and a $5 scope.

The next, oh, 100 shots or so, were spent chasing down tantalizing groups with agonizing fliers. One thing was certain — the B3 was getting better the more I shot it. The sound of the gun wasn’t changing at all, so I’m guessing the not-terribly-well-finished barrel is sensitive to seasoning. It got to the point where I started wondering about the scope, so I popped on a CenterPoint 4×32 I had laying around.

My rehabbed B3 and CenterPoint 4×32 scope.

I also switched back to Gamo Match pellets and found that things continued to improve.

Gamo Match pellets plus the new scope, and this level of accuracy became pretty commonplace.

I got about a .50-inch group — with no flyers! — which is, oh, about a zillion times better than I imagined it would ever do. I also tried shooting the gun while resting it on a Pyramyd AIR gel pad which it most certainly didn’t like. So, the B3 has the nerve to be somewhat hold sensitive. It’s a fair assumption that I could get better results if I really took the time to learn how to hold it and to deal with the still-annoying trigger — and if I tried more types of pellets.

But, I’m not going to bother. Why should I? Even with acceptable accuracy I’ve got other rifles that are far more pleasant to shoot, just as accurate or more so, and don’t threaten my fingers with amputation. Besides, all I wanted was a useable B3 in my collection, whether it ever actually gets used or not.

What does this say about the horrible quality of the B3? Hard to tell, frankly. Is quality control all over the place, but I got a good one while B.B. got a bad one? Or, is it just that the barrel needs a lot of cleaning and seasoning before it’s any good? Who knows?

The rest of the innards, while still being obviously from a cheap gun, really were made better than I expected. The only thing I can say with any certainty is that when a shooter claims to do well with one of these things, well…you never know. He just might be telling the truth!

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.

75 thoughts on “To B3 or not to B3 – Part 2”

  1. You accomplished something here I really didn’t think was possible.Not only that,you made it look relatively easy….and I have most of what was used,including the extra weight! Thank You Vince.

    • I use the same process for most springers I’ve worked on, the MP513 and guns having a screw-in spring retainer being the exceptions. What can go wrong is that the bottom of the action (where it sits on the workbench) can slip sideways rather quickly, which skitters stuff all over the place (like a good break on a pool table!). But even then the spring doesn’t really have the opportunity for sudden, unhindered expansion and to shoot stuff at high velocity. Of course, when I stopped trying to do this on a formica surface (!) slippage has pretty much become a non-issue.

      I appreciate BB letting me describe the procedure. I wouldn’t have thought it to be any big deal, but a few years ago when I described this on one of the forums I got absolutely lambasted by the local forum god, who accused me of being reckless and not caring if anyone gets injured. Oddly enough that same accusation is sometimes leveled against proponents of gun rights.

      • Vince..
        I know about removing some things without a compressor. Getting the parts back together without one is another story.
        I used something like your method for removing the plug on my 97K. not a problem. But putting it back together requires a compressor . That threaded plug. What a SOB.


        • Two Talon: On my R-10 ,I made sure my threads on my plug, and inside the receiver tube were de-burred and lubed with a light grease before trying to install threaded plug back into the end of the receiver. I found that the plug started very hard when I tried to do it without the spring in place before re-assembly. Those threads were very sharp and the rough edges caught and dragged. It then spun in easily , and after a couple threads caught,it was easier than having to push in the pins that some guns use to retain the end cap,Robert.

          • I put some moly on the threads of my 97.
            Its a tricky game.
            You have to get the whole thing lined up straight in the compressor. Slowly tighten the compressor until the end of the plug has started in, and resistence is felt as the threads start to make contact. Then turn the plug part of a turn, then the compressor part of a turn . Keep repeating until you are sure that it is threading in. There is a feel to how easy the plug is turning, and the wrench tension on the compressor are working together. Once the plug is in a ways, remove the gun from the compressor and stand it on the back end, and between your feet. Stick an aluminum bar in the trigger mechanism slot, and against one of your feet to keep it from turning. Then crank the rifle down onto the plug.
            Then the real fun…
            Getting the scope grooves to line up.


              • Getting it apart is easy.
                Remove the trigger assembly so you have a slot to stick a soft metal bar in. But getting the pins out that hold the trigger stuff in is a bear. They are severely friction fit, and require a good punch.
                They don’t have to come all the way out. Just far enough to drop out the Rekord.

                If you need some extra leverage to break the rifle loose from the plug, there is a flat spot at the back of the barrel where you can use a padded crescent wrench.

                A heavy one piece scope mount might help get the scope groove forced into alignment. Always seems to turn too far or not far enough.

                And make sure the piston is positioned right with the slot and catch down, or you will have to take it back apart again. You can guess how I know that.

                Not an easy job.


      • Vince : I used to belong to that forum you described your method of dis-assembly on , in one of your excellent reveiws of some gun you were working on. He jumped on you good for that as I remember.I also got into a debate with that guy on cleaning air gun barrels with a proper cleaning rod and JB bore paste, and also lubing CP pellets in the higher powered springers. I think I won that one, as his moderator/toadie proved to be as clueless as the owner in that little dust-up. After that epidsode, I swore off forums for good and didn’t post comments anywhere until I found this blog. In my dog -earred 1970 copy of “The Complete Book of the Air Gun ” by Nonte, he relates a similar method of springer dis-assembly. He places the guns muzzle on the floor and the end cap under the lip of a heavy table. He then uses the tables weight to take the strain of the spring being released. That how I used to do it as a skinny teen-age kid back in the early seventies. No spring compressor for me back then. Take care ,Robert.

          • BB: It was my father’s copy of Major Nonte’s book on pistol smithing that got me interested and not afraid of working on my own guns, and in buying my first power tool used in home gunsmithing, a Dremel tool kit, and later an Austrian made Unimat 3.5 ” mini lathe. Nonte had a way of writing that made you believe you could do alot with your own guns using a little common sense, working slowly, and with the help of some good ,but readily available tools. His book on cartridge conversions is a treasure for those who collect obsolete firearms and handload. I have several of his books including that one on air guns , and I still have that Unimat lathe. I made a pair of firing pins on it for 28 ga double just last week,and the tool to remove the bushings that held them in,Robert.

            • Robert,

              I have always wanted a Unimat. I am very ham-handed, but at one time I owned a 6″ Atlas metal lathe and I actually managed to turn out some good work on it.

              Making firing pins for a 28 gauge double is the sweet kind of work I like to envision when sitting in my easy chair.


              • BB; I also have an old (1939) 10″ Atlas also now, but the Unimat still gets most of the work . It’s great for handloading projects like altering cases and making bullets smaller. Back when I got the Unimat ,I really wanted the 5′”model they sold, but at the time life, and college debt wouldn’t permit it.I don’t have any formal machinist training , just learned what very little I know on my own. The books “The Machinists Bedside Readers” 1-2-and 3 , by Guy Lautard were a great inspiration for me. My wife is a CNC programer and machinist though,and I keep hinting that I want a Bridgeport mill. She jokes that I can have her tool box and tools when she retires,Robert.

        • pcp4me, there aren’t many ‘forum gods’ out there in the airgun field, and if I start saying who it’s not pretty soon it’d be obvious who it is. Really, it’s not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things…. maybe I shouldn’t have even brought it up.

          • Vince,

            Well to me it is a bigger deal apparently than you think it is. I placed a classified on said “forum gods” big classified ad (think it is the biggest one on the net) site.

            I was trying to sell a really nice Chinese gun and told the potential buyers only issue with the gun was a less than desirable trigger pull. So I said “but that is easily fixed with a CDT GRT III drop in trigger” Next thing I know I am banned. No email, nothing. My first week on that forum. I sent the owner an email why I was banned as I had not violated any of the published rules’

            His reply was you mentioned “that fishy guy, Bob W, and we don’t allow any mention of him or his products.” He unbanned me and told me “never do that again.” Mind you nowhere in the forum rules does it state that.

            Later we butted heads on 2 different occasions when he was giving out misinformation and I challenged him! The first one would only have caused people to miss their targets, but on the second one he told people it was ok to use oil in and on a pcp. And he also said it was ok to use pell gun oil on the probe o-rings. I and several others challenged him and he said he knew of no instance where a gun was damaged or blown up because of use of oil based lubricants. Several people quickly posted pictures of accidents caused by said practice.

            I hate to use that forum, but unfortunately it is the biggest classified for free and I need to thin out my herd of guns to make room for several more pcp’s. So I bear with the arrogance of said individual.

            After all it is a free classified site.

            • Steve and Bob used to be partners on that trigger… Steve is the one who came up with the original design, Bob got it produced and marketed.

              When Bob and Gene were starting up GTA Steve accused Bob of plagiarizing the look and feel of the yellow forum and trying to steal members. Bob and Steve parted company, and Bob at first was going to stop selling the trigger. He later reconsidered, started up production again and sold the trigger without Steve. Bob, predictably, got accused of stealing the idea and using it solely for his own profit. Bob contended that Steve’s design was only a rough starting point and needed a fair bit of rework before it was really a good product, and was thus he was entitled to sell it as his own.

              Steve retaliated by forbidding any mention of Bob’s product, and he took every opportunity to bad-mouth Bob’s airgun tuning and repair business. He had no trouble repeating and trumpeting unsubstantiated allegations and rumours and stooped to juvenile name-calling, all in clear violation of his own forum rules. Once or twice I suggested that we get a 3rd party to look into claims of shoddy workmanship on Bob’s part so that we can establish the truth, and curiously neither Bob nor Steve were particularly interested in arranging that. When I suggested that without proof Bob was being treated unfairly on the Yellow I was threatened with banishment. So I left and hung out at GTA for quite a while.

              That whole CDT trigger thing even spilled over onto this blog some years ago when BB first mentioned it. I believe Steve himself posted here, rehashing his case against Bob.

              Meanwhile there was a guy – Rich in Mich – who was also running a business and was coexisting quite happily on GTA with Bob. Rich sold a trigger mod for the OE Gamo trigger which was a lot cheaper than Bob’s trigger and accomplished much the same thing. But Rich’s was plainer looking and significantly harder to install. Somewhere along the line Bob posted something about how his trigger was the better option, and in doing so he sorta put down Rich’s product. Rich took that as an unwarranted slam… and not long afterwards Rich parted company with GTA. I think he went over to the Yellow, but I’m not sure.

              Bob’s business, meanwhile, was doing rather well and was receiving adulation’s galore from his happy customers. Maybe that had something to do with it, but it got to the point where anyone who had a technical disagreement with him soon found himself the recipient of some rather harsh criticism, in violation of his own forum rules oddly enough. He didn’t get quite as verbally colorful as Steve did, but he did cross the line on several occasions. A sample: a few years ago I bought a new CF-X .22 from PA, and the gun was literally inoperable out of the box. I had a long talk with the CS rep at PA who told me that Gamo QC had really taken a nose-dive recently and they were seeing a lot of factory defects. I relayed this info on the GTA Gamo forum. Bob came back trashing both myself and the rep from PA as being dishonest, ignorant, or both because we were obviously passing along false information. He informed us that Gamo was in touch with him soliciting his advice and input, and that the past few years they had made a lot of improvements in their rifles and putting out a better product. PA’s being a volume retailer – and having first-hand experience with Gamo factory QC – counted for nothing.

              I no longer hang out at GTA either, despite the fact that I was invested rather heavily over there with reviews and as a moderator. I don’t know how on earth a subject as relatively inconsequential as airguns can be embedded so deeply into one’s ego that it leads to trashing relationships.

              But frankly, on a personal note, I don’t miss either forum. This is a vastly different place… where we have experience, innovation, significantly conflicting viewpoints and a wide variety of backgrounds all living together rather peaceably. Personally I’m not into confrontations, and I never have to come here wondering if someone’s gonna be tearing me a new one. If I did, it wouldn’t be worth it. I’ve got quite enough aggravation elsewhere, thank you.

              Tom and Edith and everyone else – thanks a zillion. Y’all make this place a great place to camp out.

              • Vince,

                An overview that is dispassionate and accurate which neither forum can be called.

                I’ve witnessed a lot of nastiness. You really have to mentally gear up, including full pads, to read multiple posts. Even then it takes a lot of sifting to find a small gem of info. It reminds me of a good ole boys fraternity with secret handshakes in order to be allowed to speak openly.

                The vintage is another story. Filled with such knowledge and the willingness to freely share without any hidden agenda is a breath of fresh air.

                I still spend most of my time here because of the guys like you that contribute without any hint of arrogance. Thanks.


              • Vince,

                Wow! A lot of info there. From my 2 cents I have bought both triggers and neither is 100% a slam dunk “best trigger”.

                That said, Bob has been nothing but 100% great to me. Though I had problems installing his on ONE gun, he was very gracious to help. I corresponded with him both by phone and email. He eventually helped me to get the trigger adjusted correctly, but still had one fatal flaw. You can pull through the safety with his trigger installed on THAT gun. So I simply do not put any pressure on the trigger when the safety is on. Bob’s trigger works perfectly in several other guns though.

                As far as Steve’s trigger goes, it too leaves a LOT to be desired and unlike BOB, I get NO technical support from either Steve or AoA! It was in fact so bad I sold it to some one with them knowing full well the potential problems at a huge loss to me and even installed it on their gun. It gives a nice light second stage pull, but the first stage simply flops around and no amount of adjusting that first stage screw makes a difference. IMHO the trigger is simply unacceptable.

                The person I sold it to was very happy as all he wanted was a lighter second stage pull. To me the pull combined with no definable point where second stage begins makes it hairy, to say the least. In sighting it in often it went off unexpectedly.

                Also with regards to the two forums, never had a problem with Bob or his forum. Regrettably I cannot say the same for Steve and his forum.

                Thanks BB for letting me get that off my chest. I feel a lot better now.

  2. Vince…
    I just had to pull mine apart yesterday. No fear of breaking it. Doubt if it had more than 100 shots through it.

    One look at the insides left me at a loss for words. Is there a word that means something at least 10 times as bad as hideous??

    Completely dry, but full of crud. The spring looked as if it had been soaked in salt water for a few months, and was every bit as rough as a wood rasp. The spring guide was being eaten away by the inside of the spring.
    I am a bit perplexed as to just what the piston seal is. It is shaped like plastic on the end…sort of. Looks more like some kind of fiber, with a thick fiber or leather shim under it. It’s held on with a phillips head screw in the center, which seems to have made contact with the bottom of the compression tube a few times. It looked at first glance as if the seal had been sculptured out of an old shotgun fiber wad.

    I spent a couple hours polishing both the inside and outside of the spring to smooth any contact surfaces.

    The main tube and outside of the compression tube got red bearing grease. Everything else that could rub anything got moly, except the sear catch on the piston. Left it dry.

    It tries to detonate once in a while. I can smell moly burning. Maybe I overdid it.

    Had trouble getting it to cock the first time. O.K. after that.


    • TT, that’s a leather seal… and the temptation to overdo it is both understandable in a case like that and generally no big deal in a low-compression gun like the B3. Although you might have been better off with a GP grease. Sometimes bearing greases are made to work (‘flow’ or move) properly only at higher temperatures… on friction surfaces they can get pushed out of the way and not come back.

      Still, no doubt it’s better off than it was!

      • The red grease was Valvoline. It is a non-stringy grease that is suitable for a lot of things, including bearings when non-stringy grease is specified. Got it originally for my Chevy. For some reason they specified non-stringy grease for the wheel bearings.


  3. Vince,
    That is great! The way you cobbled up a replacement rear guide from spare parts and junk is perfect. It justifies keeping all those boxes laying around that are filled with stuff that is too good to throw out. To me, there is always a much better sense of accomplishment when you make or fix something from those piles of junk rather than going out and buying a shiny new thing. And a B3 is a perfect test bed.
    Great photos and text, too.

  4. Vince,

    as I stated in the comments section in your first blog here, there are parts changers, which are most car mechanics today, and there are craftsmen. You are a craftsman! And, you write well, too.

    TT, I know about threaded plugs, having to change the fork oil in my motorcycles every couple of years, especially those that are pre-loaded. The real trick is to get the plug started without crossthreading them. I’ve played with them for 5 minutes, pushing down on it with a t-handle socket trying to get it square while pushing against that 70 lb per inch or more, fork spring. The extra weight my doctor keeps on telling me to lose certainly comes in handy here.

    Fred PRoNJ – snow day!

      • Brian,part of the system that sired the one hitting Boston passed over Huntsville Alabama sunday night into monday morning leaving behind a full 10″ of snow! We even experienced thunder snow,which I saw for the first time ever,even though I grew up{older,really} above Albany NY.
        When it snows in the south,everything stops!

            • Probably being helped by NASA. They completed feasibility studies on materials that could hold up to the local conditions (sitting around waiting for snow), and moved on to real-time tests of those materials as well as setting up teams to study strategies for structural integrity, vehicular attachment, power and articulation requirements. If Huntsville gets too many snows, and pressure mounts, they’ll probably have an intern or two research snow-plows in other cities to see if they can be adapted to use in Huntsville. Sorry, my best friend growing up is a rocket scientist there — can’t see those roads getting cleared until the temp’s go up :).

  5. Vince, do you know the year of manufacture of this fine specimen of high quality mfg. ?

    Are the parts in the photos and the mtls. of construction typical of current, lo-end Chi-com spring guns?

    As others have said (and I can appreciate) it is especially gratifying when you can make something form the junk pile or unrelated parts. I love it when a pipe fitting or a hunk of old plastic comes to life in a new application!

    • No, but I’m guessing it was made within the past 5 or 6 years, considering the synthetic seal.

      I suspect that the no-too-bad insides is what they are all SUPPOSED to look like, but I wouldn’t bet a nickel that they do.

  6. Vince:
    I thought the only difference between the B3 and the BAM AK lookey likey(apart from the stock) was the placement of the cocking leaver mechanism.
    The internals appear totally different as well.

    • Don’t forget – this is the Industry Brand B3. When BAM produced that AK-lookalike (not mechanically related) they called it a B3 as well. It seems that the general convention is to call the BAM model the “XS-B3” to distinguish it from this one.

  7. Vince,

    Let me add a second to Fred’s comment about part changers and craftsmen. You are for sure in the second category.

    Thanks for the tutorial on removing the spring without a mechanical spring compressor.


  8. Good work, Vince. The Chinese barrels I’ve seen have machining marks left in the bore — that may explain why it takes some cleaning and shooting. One thing that works great to smooth out ML’er barrels is either #0000 steel wool or green scrub pad (which you can load with polishing compount if desired), but air rifle barrels are so small, I haven’t figured out how to use them in this application.

    I’ve never figured out how they determine whether a gun gets a leather or synthetic seal. The synthetic one seems to shoot better, but some of the nicer models have leather.

    I’ve also never understood that almost solitary piece of plastic (guide/plug) — in a high load/wear situation; maybe its just cheaper and/or easier to produce a lightweight part, but they don’t seem particularly eager to save metal or weight in other places. My suspicion is that it is because the part would need to be machined or cast and can’t easily be made with sheet metal.

    One more thing — the seal on the port of the sliding tube looks just like the one on my 36-2. 5/16″ ID black fuel line is a very economical replacement, and seems to seal as well as or better than the “OEM” part.

    • With regards to breech seals:


      So yes, they are the same (QB36-2 = TF99)

      Leather seals generally are a little less efficient than synthetic, and they hold oil which can make them diesel prone. But they are also extremely durable and fine for lower powered guns. In fact, I’d suggest that they’re preferred for cheap Chinese guns because of what poor machining or careless assembly can do to the more delicate synthetic seal.

      The steel wool idea is intriguing… I can easily see ramming wads of this stuff through the barrel. You’re right about the machining marks which is why I’m surprised the rifle did as well as it did.

      Wasn’t nearly as bad as a QB57 I recently had gotten from another vendor, though. Horrible. Pushing a pellet through it was like pushing it down a threaded hole… that rough. I tried the cleaning bit with that – and it tore up the brush so badly there was NO resistance after the first handful of strokes. Fortunately for me that vendor not only replaced the gun but they also paid for the return shipping.

      • Vince: The last three of these I took apart had the black spring guide with a wire reinforcement inside of it . They all were leather seals and were bought in 2008 right from the tool truck. They were all .177’s. Maybe the .22’s are different? I’ve never tried it, but I have been told that the spring and piston seal(if snythetic) from a Crosman Quest can be used in these. I have made a button from delrin to completely replace the leather piston and made it into an O-ring sealed piston. Did that also to one of my Luznik pistols also. Worked about the same as the leather ones did…Robert

        • The Crosman seal is 25mm, so if the end of the piston were suitably adapted it would probably work. But I really do like the O-ring idea. I worked on a couple of old BSA’s a while back for Wacky Wayne that used O-rings.

          With regards to the leather vs. synthetic, I bought one from Cummins back in ’04 and it still had leather. But it wasn’t a B3… it was actually a B4-2 with a different rear sight. The ‘real’ B4-2 I bought at about the same time had a synthetic seal.

  9. The following was sent to the wrong address, so I’m reposting it here for the sender. It was addressed to Paul Capello and Tom Gaylord at Pyramyd AIR.

    Tom and Paul

    Paul, Tom is more senior so he comes first. I am writing you today about an idea that I had because of my experience with hunting during hours of limited visibility. I own a five acre farm here is Virginia and have some very weary shy pests that I must control to protect my live stock and at the same time enjoy something dear to my heat, air gun hunting.

    I own an RWS Diana Model 48, which I am satisfied with, but in order to hunt at night I find the target first with NODs (Night Optic Devices) the line up the rifle in the general target direction, next I flip on the red varmint light and get my site picture through the scope at low power, all to make the shot. That is a lot to accomplish, and sometimes the animal will disappear long before your ready.

    My solution was to try the “Yukon NVRS Tactical Internal Focus 2.5×50 Scope” sold by “pyramid air”. However being an old guy, not quite as old as Tom, but close, and being familiar with NODS and scopes of the past with air guns I decided to ask about the durability factor when used with a “springer” air gun. Nickie from pyramid air helped to track down an answer, even going as far as to contact an engineer at the manufacture.

    In the end Nickie called back with what she found and confirmed my concern that the violent recoil of a “springer” air rifle would likely tear up the optics. But this is all supposition as no one has really looked at this . In the end the sight might endure on some springer like the 48 52 or 54 and not on some like the R1, so we need some ground truth as well as some experts to weigh in. That brings us to you gentlemen. We as a community of air gunners need the ground truth here through field testing. It is normal to just say, “limit the Scope use to PCPs” but that not really the right answer.

    It is my hope you will undertake the search of ground truth here and as sponsored experts and conduct some tests and give a report, I can’t be the only one who is interested in this topic. I anxiously await to here your thoughts, as do other air gunners of the community.

    • Rickie,

      There has not been much interest on the part of airgunners in night vision devices.

      But I would think that if an optical device is strong enough to withstand the recoil of a centerfire rifle, a moderate- recoiling rifle like an RWS 48 would be okay. Yes, the vibration is faster, but these days most optical devices are properly braced for that.

      I cannot comment on what Nickie learned, but perhaps a test is warranted. However a test is short-term by definition and what you are asking about is the long-term ruggedness. Unfortunately until airgunners start using NODS, there will be no good data on this.


    • Rickie,

      We called the manufacturer and here is the answer. The optics can handle the recoil but the electronics cannot. This is a Gen 1 device and unsuited to airguns. For an airgun NVD you will have to spend at least $1,000.

      Edith is adding that info to the descriptions now.


      • This is not what you asked, but the Gamo SOCOM Tactical comes with a 3-9 scope, flashlight and laser and mounts. $300 at Pyramyd. Sounds like it is made for night shooting.

    • I just spoke with the tech department at Yukon Optics. The 3 NV scopes Pyramyd AIR sells are Gen 1, and those are unsuitable for heavy-recoiling firearms or magnum spring-piston airguns. I’ve added that info to the descriptions of the NV scopes.

      You’d need at least a Gen 2 NV scope for it to survive heavy 2-way recoil. Those are more than triple the price of the Gen 1 NV scopes.


      • Rickie,

        Instead of a night vision devise, have you thought about using the ND3 or ND5 laser designators mounted to a regular scope? I”m just throwing this out there as an alternative. I do hunt with an airgun too, but not at night so I don’t have any first hand experience in very low light situations. Anyway, good luck on your quest.

        David H.

    • Rickie,

      I gotta go with David H on this one. I have not tried it yet for 2 reasons. 1) $300, and 2) my scopes are 30mm and I haven’t come up with a clean way to mount the ND3 yet.
      Check out Paul’s review on this device at /product/laser-genetics-nd3-laser-green-3-mile-visibility-mounting-accessories?a=2817


  10. Volvo,

    I just read your posting on yesterday’s forum concerning the death of your mother. Please accept my sincere condolences. I know what it is like to lose parents. My other died in 2003 and my father in 2007.

    At least you can take some comfort in the thought that she died without suffering. I know that’s not much at this time.

    As to the $150 flea-market B3, my comment at the time was “must be a $125 scope”. The seller wasn’t missing any fingers.


  11. Rickie,


    At a price of about $580, experimenting with that thing would put a big ding in your wallet if it won’t take the recoil!

    If the manufacturer says no, experimenting would be a big gamble money wise. But what the heck, go ahead. I would love to know if it works!

    • Rickie:

      Try inquiring on any of the UK (England) airgun blogs or sites. The boys in the UK do a lot more night shooting for pests & vermin and they also shoot a lot of spring guns as well as PCPs. Someone out there knows the answer.

  12. Happy New Year to all. It’s nice to return from a world of chaos (Chinese stealth fighter!?) to a haven of stability and see that Vince is still doing his thing and getting even better.

    Had a pretty good time out in Hawaii. The high point of shooting was with my Ruger Single Six which I had on target at 25 yards. With the .45 I’m in the black only half the time at that range while with the Single Six, I could hose the target at will. Never have I felt so dialed in with any firearm, even with Anschutz. I attribute this to my daily dry firing of the Single Six and regard all of this as confirmation of the study that those who practice dry firing exclusively will be better than those who practice with live ammo exclusively. This, incidentally, does show up one serious disadvantage with my beloved springers which cannot be dry-fired. It’s not a question of ammo cost but of eliminating any ammo and the expectation of a hit which is death to detached concentration.

    Also noteworthy is my Dad with his 20/100 vision shooting three half inch 4-5 shot groups at 100 yards with the Savage 10FP sniper rifle topped with the Leapers scope. Naturally, a lot of credit goes to the rifle and scope, but you can’t deny the shooter either. It was funny to see him who has never been comfortable with mathematics insisting on the details of minute of angle calculations and the subtending of angles at different distances blah blah.

    But for all the successes, I was not able to get the shooting range monkey off my back. While running to assist with the construction of shooting frames, I ran my head into a low-lying branch hard enough to hear the cartilage in my neck crackle. Arghh. But there are no apparent ill-effects.

    Also read some good action adventure from Stephen Hunter. He has a German sniper at the end of WWII using an STG 44 modified for sniper work. It shoots special soft lead ammunition from the principle that it will dig more into the rifling grooves (at a special high twist rate) to stabilize the bullet and make this automatic weapon fabulously accurate out beyond meters. What is wrong with this picture? Why hasn’t this invention been made? One problem is that the ammo causes severe leading of the barrel so that after a few magazines, the guy has a smooth bore like a shot tube and can’t hit anything. Heh heh. But is there another problem with this this set-up….?

    I also had a good time swimming a quarter mile off Waikiki. Turtles abounded. This must be the same thrill as one gets wandering nature during a hunt. The turtles were so close and unfazed that I was worried that they would bite my feet. But they were benign.


    • Matt61,

      I really enjoyed your comments. Glad to hear you luck at the range didn’t carry over to the swimming with the turtles. Never good coming home with head wound AND a turtle bit foot! Though I admit a chunk out of a swim fin would be cool on a wall. I like your dad’s style, good shootin’ too!


  13. Well, after fooling around with the spring in a click pen during school, the click action now is a two-stage type which breaks like glass at 1 pound even…yeah, I’m bored.

  14. So just wondering. What (if anything) do the B3 underlever and the B3-1 AK have in common?
    I purchased two the AK style for my sons this past summer and at 30 yds they are pretty accurate and seem fairly well put together.

    • CBS, what they have in common (besides being Chinese): a “B” and a “3”.

      Seriously, though… the seals and springs might be physically interchangeable. But that’s about it.

      • Thanks Vince.
        It’s always puzzled me….it seems the B3 underlever has a lot of reviews claiming that it is a great $20 gun…meaning a fair piece of crap that is useless without a major teardown.
        Yet the B3 AK gets a lot of positive reviews.
        I always wondered if they had anything in common other than the B and the 3…or was it that people were just enamored over the looks of the AK style (‘sows ear dressed as a silk purse’ kinda thing).

  15. Cool… I have one of those B3’s sitting with a broken spring. I actually shot with some level of accuracy until the spring broke. Doubt it got 500 shots before it broke.

    Maybe I can fix it.

  16. Vince

    I had a rather strange thought while reading this report. What if one were to buy a used B3 from somewhere. Then the buyer goes to cock it for the first time…. and there is the tip of someones finger in the compression chamber! Freaky.

      • Actually that’s not uncommon in springers. The simplest trigger, the direct sear, tries to stay engaged naturally underpressure from the piston. When the shooter pulls the trigger he is forcibly moving the sear out of the way.

        But most triggers do operate on some sort of ‘trap door’ principle. The sear is always trying to disengage from the piston, but the trigger mechanism prevents it. Pulling the trigger moves this blockage out of the way allowing the sear to release, like opening a trap door on a stage. The difference between the good and poor triggers really has to do with how easily that trap door is sprung. Good triggers will use a number of intermediate levers that ultimately reduces the pressure and thus the friction between the trip faces (Rekord, AR1000) because that allows a light trigger pull. The B3 uses no intermediate levers; the Gamo, Daisy, Remington Genesis, Crosman Quest use one, and so on.

        For a low-grade gun I prefer bevelled edges like the B3 – simply because sharp edges are more prone to wear, and if the metalurgy is suspect you want to avoid that. I know it looks funky, but when you think about it – in order for the piston to actually ride up and over the sear (as it looks like it might) there’s got to be a TON of slop between the piston and main tube bore. Otherwise there’s just no room for the piston to move up.

        • It still gives me the creeps, considering the manufacturing precision used on such a cheap gun.
          There is no way to tell how close it is to letting go. Throw in a little wear….

          Could never trust it.


  17. I was looking at the article you posted about the crosman 2200 and I was wondering if you’ve had any experience shooting the Crosman 2100 Classic or the Remington 77 Airmaster. Reliable info. about these on the web has been hard to come by. They are supposedly the same but I’ve heaard that the Remington has slightly higher velocity than advertised, while the Crosman has slightly lower velocity than advertised. I understand that the 77 Airmaster is just a Remington licensed product but I have been wondering if the Remington version is built to tighter tolerances than the Crosman version, maybe as a part of the license agreement. The reason I want to know is because I’m getting myself and my brother-in-law each one of these for squirrel hunting, and I need to know which one I should buy. Thanks.

    • Brian,

      Read about the Airmaster 77 here;


      Each of these guns will have slightly different performance, so put no value on reports of different velocities. They are the same guns (77 and 2100). The Airmaster 77 is not built to tighter tolerances. That concept is a myth in low-priced airguns.

      I like the Airmaster’s performance, but I dislike the chrome (yes, it is chrome, not nickel) barrel shroud. I think it makes the gun look cheap.


  18. hi first time here, i have a gamomatic 68 and the trigger mechanism is missing tryed to get one but nobody had one. so im going to make one i have the sycmatics but hard to see if any body has a better picture of the trigger mechanism it would help me out .
    thanks matt

  19. The spring retainer on my B3 blew apart. You are right! How can they make these out of plastic when it bears the brunt of the spring, Furthur, no spacer between the spring and the retainer to absorb some of the shock. Engineering resin, like aircraft resins would be great but I only paid $25 fo the piece so I cannot expect much.
    Do you know where I can order another spring guide? Better yet, is there another manufacturer whose guide would work? Any made out of metal? Any help appreciated.
    FYI. On removing the spring. I use a 48″ wood clamp, bar type, with a crank on the end to apply the pressure. Insert a 1/2″ socket between the guide and the crank, take some pressure off the spring, punch out the pin and slowly crank out the spring. Works great.
    As far as the B3, I’m on the “love it” side. I had trouble zeroing it in so I placed a 4×32 scope and solved the problem.

    • Ralph,

      I don’t know of anywhere that stocks parts for guns in the B3’s price range. There just isn’t any demand for them. Most people will make the parts on a lathe instead, if they want to repair the gun.

      Vince — do you know of anyplace?


  20. Did you look at Part 1? There’s an illustration of the trigger parts. Also, in this post there’s an x-ray of what is basically the same trigger in a TS45:


    There’s not much to the trigger, it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out…

  21. Vince thanks; since I posted this ??? I found post about someone else having this trouble and said it is because the piston is not fitting tight enough in the chamber and sure enough I looked at mine and I do thing it need shimming some how so I am on the way to the shop and figuer out some how to make the piston tighter in the cylinder there is about an 1/8″ play on the piston thanks for the shout back however the X-ray not like the trigger in mine but I did figuer out what it catches on the piston to cock it so thanks…

  22. Well I just got back from working on my B3-F, after taking it apart 4-5 times and trying to figure out why it would not cock after replacing the trigger spring…from what I come to find out was that the pictures I was going by to get the spring placed on the trigger and the sear was wrong…it showed to fit the spring on that tab at the back of the trigger….while I was looking at pictures I came across one that showed the sear and the trigger and the spring on a table and not wit an arrow pointing to the spring, and it said ” kink here ” I could not find out what was ment by that note until I had put my gun together and cocked it about 5-6 times and each time it would fire before I could get the cock handle back to it stow position, so I decided to take it apart again and give a going over..once I pulled the trigger assembly out and there was the spring with a kink in it just where the arrow was pointing in the picture them it was a ahh-aw moment it hit me, that the spring was in the wrong position so I changed the spring to where it is under the shelf on the trigger, put it, back re-stocked it, cut me a section of 1/2″ dowel rod, cocked it placed the dowel rod in the receiver took it out side put a pellet in it removed the dowel rod and with no sights or scope aimed at my target stand and sent the MT. Dew plastic bottle a spinning… LOL…finely got it back together the proper way….so thanks to all that gave support, and to who ever it was that wrote the post about there being to much movement with the piston and the tube mine had about 1/8 ” slop in it and beleive or not I took a stripe of camo duct tape 5/8 wide and raped it around the piston just to see if it would help and low and behold it bid…don’t know how long it will last, ( but the wiggle in the piston and the trigger not being sprung up correct ) was the problem and the duct tape bushing, and the correct spring location fixed my B3-F melt-down….gonna take the piston and hit it with a few well placed welding spots and grind them down to the proper fit, get rid of the duct tape and I think this Cummins Rifle will shoot another 20+ years…everyone have a good week end and shoot something…TTFN..RDS..Lenoir N.C.

  23. So how much fps after all these interesting efforts ?
    This gun is not a waste of money it’s really a die hard gun low price and very enjoyable and can be tuned and modified as a test gun
    Change its spring with titan or more powerful ones use some high temperature grease (1200c or more ) around piston and check it out
    for your finger safety you don’t have to fully cock the rifle pull about half or less the breach opens put the pellet then go full length
    great job and well done

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