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DIY How to lubricate your spring-piston airgun

How to lubricate your spring-piston airgun

by B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is a guest blog from our favorite Russian reader, duskwight. Some of you know that he’s fabricating a dual-opposed recoilless piston air rifle for himself that will function similar to a Whiscombe. He jokingly calls it the duskcombe.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email us.

Take it away, duskwight!

Oiling and greasing your springer
This report only concerns springers and is meant for those who perform their own service. This is a collection of things taught to me by other very experienced airgunners, and things I learned from my own experience with springers.

Every springer is an air-compressing mechanism made mostly of steel. This is the key that defines everything about your springer’s need for lubrication. So, there are three areas to be addressed:

1. Your springer must be airtight everywhere except for the barrel channel.

2. Your springer works under a significant amount of load and its parts are prone to mechanical abrasion.

3. Your springer is made of a metal that’s prone to corrosion if it contacts water, acids or humidity.

Proper lubrication will address all of these concerns.

Degrease first
Zen monks say, “Forget what you have learned and learn again.” To lube your springer correctly, you need to remove all the grease first, especially if your gun is new.

Airgun makers prefer to be on the safe side and usually put lots of grease on guns to make their products corrosion-proof for storage. Sometimes, they think that their customers are a bit irresponsible and will never again service their springers. This holds true for every airgun maker – IZH, Gamo, Air Arms, RWS/Diana rifles, as well as the makers of Chinese and Turkish guns.

But the simple truth of this is that no matter why they do it, you need to correct it. Be your own gunsmith. I also noticed that production means reduction, or simplifying things. Makers prefer to cut their expenses even on grease, so they use the same cheap grease for the whole rifle. Not only is that wrong, but it’s also where you can gain the advantage by doing it right.

Things you’re going to need
Tools to disassemble/assemble your airgun.

A cleaning rod, a set of brushes, and cotton wads or patches.

A wooden stick — 1/2-inch thick 1-1/2 feet long, or something similar that’s not made of steel.

Lots of cloth (cotton is the best, nylon is the worst).

Solvent: Here you must be careful to not use anything that will dissolve the synthetic seals in your springer. Many modern gun solvents are made expressly for synthetics because of the proliferation of synthetic gun parts these days, so take some time to acquire a safe solvent.

[Editor’s note: The next step involves disassembly of your airgun. Do not attempt this unless you know what you are doing. Disassembly can be dangerous and can also void any warranty on your airgun, so know what you are doing before taking this step.]

What comes next?
Time to disassemble your rifle. I hope you know what to do and how to do this, and remember that springs are springy and steel is a bit harder than the flesh. Here’s a tip: Place all the parts on the same surface in the order that you have removed them. That will ease the assembly process.

Inspect every part. In most cases, you’ll see a thick cover of grease or a thick film of oil on each of them. That’s when the cloth comes in. Wipe every part. Do not try to wipe it dry, just wipe it. That will leave the right amount of oil on the surface and in the pores of the metal. That’s more than enough lubrication. You’ll probably see an oily shine on the surface of the metal parts.

Pay special attention to the trigger assembly. Sometimes, manufacturers fill it with grease. That’s not proper. Wipe all the parts, and what’s left would be enough for a very long time. Some users just dump it into acetone assembled. Well, that’s also a solution, but then you have the problem of lubricating it properly afterward.

A price on Mr. Diesel’s head
The piston and compression chamber that the piston rides in are a completely different matter. They must be as close to greaseless as possible.

You probably know the German surname Diesel — that’s the guy who invented piston engines where the fuel/air mixture ignites when pressure goes very high. It’s the simple physics of the fuel/air mixture igniting from the heat of compression. The diesel effect is good under your car’s hood, but not inside your rifle. Oil fumes and dispersed oil are an excellent fuel for dieseling. All it brings is trouble — burnt seals; deafening sound; overstressed and broken springs, mounts and sights; even damaged barrels, not to mention lots of smoke, bad smell and soot. In short, diesel is a killer.

[Editor’s note: By dieseling, I believe the author refers to detonation, which certainly does all the bad things he says. All spring-piston airguns that shoot over about 600 f.p.s. will diesel to a certain extent; but if you aren’t hearing any explosions and see only a little smoke, the diesel effect won’t destroy your gun.]

Take the piston and remove the seal. Space between the piston head (“mushroom”) and the seal is an excellent reservoir for oil. And the most common place where this nasty guy diesel lives. You’ll probably see that seal’s surface is covered with grey/black oily residue. This is due to your rifle being dry-fired or test-fired at the factory. Check the seal. It must not be cut or melted. If it is, install a new one and take care of all the edges around its circumference. A very fine file or scraper will remove any burrs or extra material.

Take a fresh piece of cloth and thoroughly wipe the piston and the seal with solvent to dry it. If the seal material allows it, wipe it with a cloth wetted with solvent. Then wipe the piston. I prefer acetone; it dries very quickly and leaves no spots.

Now for some inside work. Take a long wooden stick and wrap some cloth on its end. You can use your cleaning rod, but a stick is less prone to bending. Apply a few drops of solvent and use it to clean the inside of the cylinder. The compression chamber must be dry metal — oil and grease have no place inside (for now).

And some finishing touches if you have a rifle with a fixed barrel that cannot be removed. If you’ve got a cleaning rod long enough, use it to clean the barrel by accessing it through the cylinder. Some manufacturers put grease into the barrel, some sort of technical petroleum jelly most times. The barrel also deserves a solvent wash, as the diesel effect can happen inside the barrel, as well.

Alright, the gun is clean. Now we’re ready to lube.

Dos and don’ts of lubricating
Use petroleum-based oils and greases for this lubrication. Do not use silicone-based lubricants for metal parts. Silicone-based lubes are for plastic parts that have low levels of load. Steel lubricated with silicone allows a hard steel part to eat into a softer steel part.

There are also reports that silicone-based lubes can decompose inside the compression chamber and give you a fine SiO2 (silicon dioxide) on the inside walls. SiO2 is basically sand. I don’t know if these reports are credible, but I prefer to stay on the safe side.

Do not listen to the hype about “Teflon coating” or “liquid Teflon” or “contains Teflon.” From a chemist’s and physicist’s point of view, they’re nearly worthless. Stick to tested lubricants, and you’ll be okay.

Do not use organic (vegetable- or animal fat-based) lubes. They tend to decompose and produce weak acids.

Placing the lubricant
Things you’ll need:

Cloth (cotton is the best, nylon is the worst).

Toothpicks to apply the lubricant. I use small flat screwdrivers; they work like little shovels .

A cleaning rod and set of brushes and patches.

Three different types of lubricant are all you need to keep your springer going.

First, some oil for the seal and piston. By “some,” I mean a single drop. I would say that full synthetic motor oil (the real stuff now, not just petroleum that has synthetic oil added) is the best among those most easily available. A quart will last for tens of thousands of jobs. Take an assembled piston. Put one drop of full synthetic motor oil on your fingertip and just rub it over the seal and piston front. That will do the job for years.

Now install the piston in the cylinder. If your rifle is properly tuned, it might give a very light diesel with very light white smoke on the first one or two test shots but no more. Always load the gun for test shots and shoot it into a pellet trap. It’s very convenient to store and apply this kind of oil in a single-use syringe.

Let’s use something for the mechanical parts. This is the second type of lubricant we’ll be using. I’d say the best for this purpose is oil jellified with lithium salts. I’m not sure if there are the same markings and names in the U.S., so let’s describe it. It’s somewhere between jelly and soft butter spread, yellow-orange semi-transparent, with a distinctive petroleum smell. In case it’s doped with MoS2 (molybdenum disulfide), it’s often deep blue with a greenish hue. MoS2 is great, as it reduces friction but simple lithium jelly is more than enough to maintain your rifle. Use it wherever friction occurs. Apply a thin (very thin!) coat onto any joints (cocking lever assembly, barrel joint, etc.) rails and cogs (Whiscombe and IZH-60/61 rifles).

[Editor’s note. In the U.S., we have white lithium grease, which the U.S. Army recommended for lubricating guns like the M1 Garand. It has many automotive applications, where there’s heavy metal-to-metal contact and wear, so I think this will serve the author’s intended purpose. There’s also red lithium grease and general-purpose lithium grease. I would go with the white lithium grease for this purpose.]

I’m not among those who cover mainsprings with heavy tar-like grease. This substance is an invitation to Mr. Diesel, as well as a dust trap. A good plastic (e.g., Coke bottle side) piston shim to reduce the space between the piston and mainspring and a properly fitted spring guide will kill the twang, and wiping the spring with a lithium grease cloth is more than enough.

You can now finish assembling your gun. Check if everything is correct and check for 2-3 “spare” parts on your table. Test how it cocks and then make some test shots…of course, no dry-firing. Your airgun now works as it should, plus all the internal parts are lubricated with the correct substances.

But what about the third type of lubricant? What’s that used for? That’s easy. The third type is the preservative oil you’ll use to clean and wipe your beauty after you use it. I like using Ballistol. It should be applied only outside and for the barrel’s interior. Some people also use Ballistol spray to wash trigger assembly parts when degreasing. Well, that doesn’t do any harm, plus it lubricates the parts at the same time.

How often should I lubricate?
You should not lubricate your springer very often. It mostly depends on how you use your rifle. Hunters and outdoorsmen must clean and lube their rifles more often than backyard shooters. Pistons and seals should be lubed only once in 4-5 thousand shots, together with mainspring maintenance.

[Editor’s final comment. Duskwight wrote a much longer report than what you see here. I condensed it and removed references to certain things that are not accepted in the U.S., such as using gasoline for cleaning parts. I also removed a couple references to types of materials that our readers probably are not familiar with.

Bear in mind that duskwight is in the middle of building a recoilless dual-opposed spring-piston air rifle that will work on the same principle as the Whiscombe, but will be entirely different in design. He’s contracting for each part to be made to his specifications — so this man is light-years ahead of most of us when it comes to spring-piston airguns. He’s also writing from the viewpoint of a different country, and he isn’t even writing in his native tongue!

I don’t know about you, but I learned something in today’s report. The bit about using pure synthetic automotive oil as a piston seal lube was brand new to me. I think we owe duskwight our thanks for sharing his experience with us.]

91 thoughts on “How to lubricate your spring-piston airgun”

  1. G’day BB
    I cant recall your FX Revolution test. Could you please direct me to it? I guess this Monsoon is similar?
    That 12 shot magazine is sure fun to fill the first time if you have not got a PhD.
    Cheers Bob

    • Bob,

      I published that test in Shotgun News, a gun magazine here in the U.S. Sorry that you cannot get it.

      Just a quick rundown. I found the Revolution very accurate, but not quite as accurate as this Conquest I’m testing. Nothing has been that accurate yet, except for an AirForce Condor shot on lower power. The Revolution functioned reliably, but as I noted, the trigger kicked back with every shot. It was most disconcerting.

      Other than that the gun tested just fine. It was a .177, so not serious for hunting, but great for inexpensive long-range targets.

      Well-made and each to operate.

      Hope that helps,


          • BB need help jus got gamo silent cat and shooting gamo red fire 7.8 gr and shooting 1 inch group at 25 yards I’m new forgive me lol I’m just curios when when do I need to clean rifle barrel and what not I’ve put around 75 pellets thru it so far

            • Gapickens90,

              Welcome to the blog.

              I don’t ever clean the barrels of my spring guns. They never need it. Unless thew accuracy falls off, just shoot them. I have over 10K rounds on some that haven’t been cleaned.

              Your rifle will break in after around 1,000 to 3,000 shots have been fired. Then it will cock smoother and the trigger will become as smooth as it’s going to get.

              Really — just shoot the rifle and don’t worry about cleaning.


  2. Hello B.B., and thank you Duskwight, for a most informative blog on spring rifle cleaning. I’m with you B.B., in saying you’ve learned something here today’s report. One of the main reasons I read and occasionally participate in this particular blog is that it transcends international and political boundaries. There is nothing worse than reading a blog on a certain topic and soon realize you are getting a political manifesto along with it. My queries have all been answered with kindness and concern, and this is a real shot in the arm for a newbie. A you have said in the past B.B. “there are no stupid questions here”. I am looking forward to a long relationship with you guys and gals. Your my type of people.

  3. B.B./anyone,

    Thought I’d take advantage of Pyramyd’s offer of 4 for 3 pellet tins while still on the mainland and shipping is cheaper.

    Say I want to stock up on a variety of pellets that will likely allow me to find the ones that my rifles/guns work the best with. In multiples of 4, which pellets would you recommend? Best four…eight…twelve…sixteen…twenty tins?

    Thanks in advance. I have been thinking about this for a while now.

    • I don’t mean for you to answer each set of four…just however many different types you would reasonably like to have on hand for your tests. I believe this would make for a handy piece of knowledge for many of us.

      • Joe,

        I got as many current ones as I could. The problem with that being, I now have many kinds that don’t get used very often and I tend to forget which pellet goes with which gun (I’m not as organized with hang tags and notes like some on this blog).

        Pick the pellets with a purpose or category in mind. Distance, penetration, paper punching, etc. You’ll end up with a few tins that you don’t use, but you’ll have them to try when you buy a new gun!


        • If you have the time and inclination it is best to keep a notebook, but I use another way to keep track of what works best that helps. When I’m repairing or tuning a gun that’s not mine or one I don’t shoot a lot ,I write what pellet that I last used, that shot best on a small piece of painters tape and stick it on the gun. Gives me a starting point if I ‘m away from that gun for awhile. Also, in pellets I have found that JSB Exacts, Crosman Premiers , RWS Superdomes, and H&N FTT are the ones to try first. For a cheap pellet , Crosman field point hunting pellets get the nod. These few usually will tell me something useful .

    • Joe,

      Buy as many JSB Exacts as you can. In .177 get the 10.2. In .22 get both the 15.9 and the 18.1. Get Premiers in the cardboard box in all the calibers you own. Get 7.9s for your spring guns and 10.5s for your PCPs and CO2 rifles. And get Kodiaks in .177 and .22.


  4. This is indeed an informative blog today and every day. That is why I hang out here. I wish to thank B.B., Duskwight and so many others who pass on their hard won knowledge to us and thank you to PA for providing us a place to gather.

  5. I agree with the others on Duskwight’s use of the synthetic motor oil. Never thought about using that either.Thank-you for the your blog on lubing springers Duskwight. Also, you would never see an article like this , on lubing springers, or much of the other information that’s presented here on this blog ,along with the replies, on the popular forums. The personal vendettas between rivals that sell different services and products, and use those places for exposure of their services,compromises any information that does surface.

    • I can’t believe much that I read on some of these forums unless I know it’s a fact in the first place.
      I feel sorry for the guys who are looking for help.


  6. Duskwright,

    great blog – very informative. If I could ask you a question – when you make a spring guide out of a plastic bottle for your main spring, do you enclose the full length of the spring with the guide? I ask because I have a buzzy HW rifle that I was going to quiet down with heavy grease but may try the plastic shim and guide procedure.

    Fred PRoNJ

    • Mr. Pro what will you do when they ban bb’s and pellets? even though I left the Peoples Unrepuiblic of NJ I still get the latest anti gun updates and how I count my blessings that I now live in freedom far away from that state.I guess now you will have to go to other states for your bb’s.

      • no new jersey Mike,

        I see that you’re referring to FredPRoNJ as “Mr. Pro.” I get the impression that you think Fred is stating in his screen moniker that he’s “pro New Jersey.” In fact, PRoNJ is an acronym: People’s Republic of New Jersey. He’s basically mocking the state for their draconian gun laws in the same way that people mock the state of California by calling it Kalifornia or the People’s Republic of Kalifornia. This is paraphrasing country names often used by communist rulers and dictators: People’s Republic of China, etc.


        • Absolutely correct but I like to spell Republic as “Republik” to enforce my disdain for NJ and it’s gun laws. Mike, I’ve noticed you’ve sent numerious replies on this which don’t always get published as some were a bit, shall we say, draconian in their tone? Mike, it’s unfortunate that you were unexpectedly caught unawares of the NJ law that treats pretty much anything that is expelled from the barrel of a gun or rifle as a firearm. I’m not sure how softair has escaped this defnition but that’s the way this State works and you either work within it or, like you did, get out.

          I envy you and I plan to leave NJ when I retire or my company transfers me. Please Mike, if you have a question or comment on airguns or can add to our knowledge or experience, feel free to post but we all understand your dislike of NJ and it’s rules and regulations and you are not alone. No further need to enforce this.

          Fred PRoNJ (Peoples’ Republik of New Jersey – helps to say with a Russian or Slavic type accent – apologies to Duskwright :))

          • No haяm done, comяade Fяed. I also heaяd fяom the news that ouя gloяious comяades undeя the command of Ivan Danko (a.k.a. comяade Schwaяzeneggeя) established a base in a state called… what’s its name… ha, vodka’s playing things on me – Kommifoяnia, that also has gun laws comparable to Russian.


              • Thank you, Comrade Duskwright. Speaking of Vodka, although my last name is Nemiroff (I understand it used to be Nemirofsky), I am, unfortunately), no relation to the Vodka.

                Fred PRoNJ – hmmmm – perhaps I should change this to PDRoNJ (the People’s Democratik Republik of New Jersey)

            • duskwight,
              You are sooooo funny! Your last comment with all the backward “r”s had me laughing out loud. I have to figure out how to do that, too.

              Your article on lubricating is excellent. I have not cleaned and re-lubricated anything I own yet but I know it’s inevitable. You have done me a great service and definitely belong alongside BB and the rest of the knowledgeable contributors on this blog.

              I, also, wish you great success with your invention. I am in awe of your creativity.

              • Chuck,

                That inverted R is actually a Cyrillic letter “Я”. Name is “ya” and marks either 2 sounds [ja] if stands alone or after vowel, or sofness of preceding consonant and sound [a].
                Easy to remember – Я in Enlish is I – but with sounds inverted 🙂

                And trust me, there’s nothing worthy to be in awe. I wish I could show you – people make things far exceeding my possibilities with their hands, not just tossing mouse, ordering things and putting them together like me.

              • Chuck, now that DuskWight has told you about Cyrillic characters I’ll point you to a program call Character Map in Windows. In Windows XP you find it in /programs/accessories/system tools/character map; I haven’t even checked for it in Windows 7 and if you have Vista I can only pray for your deliverance.
                Under Linux in the KDE desktop there is a program called KCharSet that is similar to Character Map.

                You can find Cyrillic characters in the Unicode character set for some fonts or in on of the sets with cyrillic in the set name (again you can select the font but not all fonts will have the character in question).

                From there it is just a matter of copy and paste. I didn’t think the Cyrillic characters would paste into Notepad, but they did.

                This concludes our series, “Fun With Character Sets and Fonts”
                Kind of like singing along with an instrumental 🙂

                Have a good one,

    • Fred,

      How about I do a blog on this subject soon? The spring guide is not made from the Coke bottle. That part is used to make a shim that fits inside the piston and takes up the space between the piston and the mainspring.

      The spring guide is located at the other end of the powerplant and fits inside the mainspring. Its base presses against the end cap of the spring tube.

      Give me some time and I will arrange the parts to give everyone an illustrated look at the interaction of these parts.


  7. duskwight,

    Thanks for the interesting writeup; new knowledge is always appreciated. I have recently aquired a number of 30-40 year old Dianas and have been opening them up for a relube as the factory grease had dried so much it was no longer effective.

    I was amazed by the amount of goop on the front of the piston seal of my new HW30. The groove in the seal was nearly full; wonder if that reduced the seal’s effectiveness?

    Paul in Liberty County

    • Paul,

      I’m afraid that 30-y.o. seals are not effective at all 🙂 Take it off the piston and install a new one. However I must notice that grooves are actually a dead volume. Of course they do their job expanding the seal on compression, but I think that also steals some performance as well. Here some custom-made seals are made from softer PU with front surface like a very-very-very shallow cup and they provide an excellent performance. They are called “zero dead volume”. Maybe you’ll be able to find some in US or order them, to be lathe-turned for you from PU.


  8. I appreciated all the helpful warning tips by the editor and Duskwight such as “Be careful when disassembling your spring gun!” and various forms of “You had better know what you’re doing.” Well that’s right on target because I certainly do not. And to Duskwight I owe the memorable image that if some small pin were to give way, the mainspring would fly back into my face with fatal consequences. 🙂 Kidding aside, this is a very important topic. I thought my IZH 61 had completely broken when it started shooting like a shotgun at 20 feet–burger sized groups. But when I sent it to Mike Melick, he said the only problem appeared to be that it needed lubrication. When he sent it back, it shot better than ever and has continued to do so. It still boggles my mind that lubrication alone can determine shooting performance like that. And on the subject of white lithium grease, it was with great satisfaction that I finally got some to put on my M1, and the fact that it was used by the U.S. Army makes it only more gratifying. The stuff is thick and may help prevent some of the jamming problems with my M1. I also put it on my Lee-Enfield and Mosin. Also I note on the directions it says that white lithium grease is better than multi-function lubricants because it stays in place. That sounds like Ballistol. Another concern that comes to mind is whether white lithium grease and Ballistol might chemically interact in some destructive way. I understand that one should not mix different bore solvents in a barrel for this reason. So, my guns are not going to get all chewed full of holes, right? I don’t think so, but it would be nice to be sure.

    I have wondered like philosophers about the first causes of the manufacturing process, and I guess at some point each part has to be fabricated for the first time. So, Duskwight is truly starting from scratch. This sounds expensive. Was there any way to model things in advance to make sure they worked and a lot of money wasn’t wasted?

    Also, Duskwight, more questions on Russian guns. Is the AK action the same as the RPK which I believe is a kind of squad automatic weapon and the Dragunov, the sniper rifle? And what does the Russian army use for its dedicated sniper rifle when it absolutely needs a cold bore accurate shot at a long distance? I believe that the Dragunov is more like a designated marksman rifle. The Dragunov has proven more accurate than people had supposed by going under 1 MOA with match ammo. But it doesn’t have bolt-action accuracy. So what fills this niche? It wouldn’t still be the Mosin would it? 🙂

    My head is still full of the Evanix and especially B.B.’s first amazing group. While full auto does have an accurizing potential, one is never liberated from shot mechanics. Moreover, a burst of full auto is of longer duration than any one single shot, so follow-through can only be more important. So, the first group cannot be a fluke. There are no flukes in science and statistics as Victor pointed out! 🙂 I wonder if the surprise factor was critical and sheds new light on the phenomenon of beginner’s luck. A beginner’s very ignorance can function to ignore recoil which is an important component of good shooting. This might explain how people do well initially then suffer a drop in performance of various degrees which is only made up over time. This might explain how my Dad’s friend in the army broke the range record with the M1 without having any prior experience with shooting, then failed to hit anything with the 1911. Or how my Dad hit some initial bullseyes at 25 yards with the 1911 using full power 230 grain loads, and has spent much of the rest of the time demolishing the lower part of the shooting frame. Maybe this also explains Crystal Ackley’s phenomenal shooting. And then there is myself, full of promise on the high school rifle team, only to plunge spectacularly into the cellar and quit, only to resume decades later. My rowing coach claimed that with new athletes you see performance with radical peaks and valleys like a sine curve gone wild and that the thing to do is smooth out the deviations to get something more consistent. And perhaps that is also true with shooting.

    Victor, I’ve taken advantage of some mediocre shooting on my part to notice that the one sign of the technique unraveling is when I start to move faster. The sight picture gets elusive and it seems to take superhuman reflexes to keep up with it, and no amount of speed and alertness can compensate. However, if I slow my shooting sequence down (with a sneering indifference at results), the bull gets tamed and comes willingly into my sights. I’m reminded of how quarterbacks say that as they get into a game, everything slows down and they are able to see all the receivers, move, and make their decisions which had initially appeared impossible. So what do you think of the technique benefits of slowing things down? Incidentally, I understand that this is a big theme in close quarters battle training where the room entries are supposed to happen lightning fast.


    • Matt,

      In short – I considered reworks as a necessary evil, however I have some tricks to escape this.
      First is KISS. Simple solutions work – or don’t work at all. That is why my rifle is as simple as it is possible in shape and production.
      Second is studying. I studied lots of parts, lots of photos and lots of solutions. Borrow from skilled and successfull and learn from them. Why shouldn’t it work in your case if it works in other designs? Lots of men now consider me a very meticulous and annoying person.
      Third is digital modelling. It saves a lot of real-world work if you know what to do.

      On Russian guns – no, SVD differs from AK, being somewhat similar in shape. On Russian sniper rifles I guess you must read this by Max Popenker, great man and specialist:
      Links talk for themselves, don’t get lost 🙂 And our army and SpecOps also use Saco and AI products.


  9. First of all I must thank Tom and Edith for allowing me to take part in this blog and correcting my article by translating it into English 🙂 I feel I have to brush up on my “techno” English if I am to write a report on my project development, but I promise I’ll do my best to describe things proper way.
    Then thank you everyone for reading this and thanks to all the people who shared their knowledge with me and were kind to teach me. As far as I can see from this point, knowledge is a thing most hardly earned but easily shared and it’s one of the precious few things that make one rich by spending it. Hope I was not too much Captain Obvious on that 🙂

    Next, some words on my project development. It all suddenly made a huge leap forwards. It seems that all the parts are either already made, or being made right now, or ordered and confirmed into production. Some springs, pins, washers and bolts – and voila, it’s done. Well, I try not to think about it at all, as expectation may bring fear. Anyway, DWR mod. 0 seems to be on the way towards its birth. It’s more of a testbed than actual rifle, as mod.1 that exists only in sketches|blueprints is going to be lighter, slimmer, simpler to produce, but let’s get finished with mod. 0.
    Mod.0 will make its first shots (it will, I hope 🙂 )with a modest-power 2×40 kilo steel springs and then I think I’ll move to variable-power short-stroke gas springs – I know a man, a real pro, who makes them.


  10. What a fine article today. Enough of these, and I may be emboldened enough to take one of my own springers apart! So far, I’ve only been brave enough to disassemble Daisy 880’s.

    My first pellet rifle was a Beeman “Silver Bear”. Not understanding how to maintain it, I always cleaned the bore and lubed it after shooting it. It always Dieseled, and eventually, apparently the mainspring broke. I also have a Walther’s PPKs BB pistol I over-lubed until it blew an O-ring seal out and lost it.

    I don’t know much about the heritage of my old Beeman. I paid under $100 for it at a department store.
    It is marked “Made in Germany”. I guess I killed it with kindness.

    That is a great idea to use synthetic motor oil. I am currently using non-detergent 30W conventional oil. I thought it was important to avoid detergents. Am I wrong? I think synthetic oil, around here at least, is only available as multi-weight detergent oil. Would Mobil One 5W-30 be a good choice?

    Two of my grandchildren, Nicky and his sister Melanie, are doing well in their 4-H BB-gun shooting club, the Platte Valley Sharpshooters. I sit in on the classes and help at the shooting practice. Although they use Daisy 99’s (purchased on a grant from NRA), a lot of the classroom instruction is based on teaching them the various kinds of firearms and how they work. I think this is great, because it demystifies them. Foremost emphasis is placed on safety, the same rules applying to air guns as to firearms.

    After nine weeks of instruction, the club will move on to competitive meets with other similar clubs.
    We are getting matching outfits to wear to these meets.

    After the kids graduate from the BB gun program, they move on to air rifles, using Daisy Avanti PCP target guns. These were also purchased with the NRA grant. They have adjustable stocks and are really beautiful pieces.

    I asked if there was an adult division I could compete in. No, only a couple out-of-town clubs that shoot .22 powder burners. Oh well.


    • Les,

      I understand your frustration with the lack of shooting clubs. Edith and I put on a demonstration of adult airguns at a local Izaak Walton League that was hosting the Chevy Sportsman’s Team Challenge. There were several hundreds of adults there for two days and we got the message across about airguns being serious.

      After the competition was finished, one of the Izaak Walton members asked me what it would take to start a field target club right there. I told him and he brought in two other guys and that is how the DIFTA field target club was born.

      We knew very little about field target when we started. I was the only one who had competed and that was only a handful of times. But the four of us puzzled the thing out and today the DIFTA club is one of the most active in the U.S.

      The four of us also started a 10-meter pistol club that met every Monday evening and as far as I know, that’s still happening, as well.

      You need to find a couple other guys that can help put something together and you guys start the shooting club that you want.

      Just ask Wacky Wayne if it didn’t happen the same way for him. He’s hosting the field target nationals this year.


          • B.B.,
            Thanks! I’m asking for a practical reason. I’m beginning a new round of discussions with the city about reactivating a junior marksmanship program, and I’m thinking of adding Field Target into the mix. My thoughts are that these MAV 77’s, with a good Leapers scope with side wheel might be a good inexpensive way to offer something new and exciting for teenagers. Like so many, the city really is experiencing a budget crises. I don’t want to scare them with expensive equipment. The $350 price tag may fit the bill, so to speak.

  11. Franck,

    On yesterday’s blog you mentioned that the Evanix catalog says the Conquest/Speed comes in low and high power. Is the catalog digital or print? If it’s digital, please send me a link or send it as an attachment to edith@pyramydair.com.

    If it’s in print, could you tell me which page number references the the low & high power?


  12. WARNING, Way, way off topic.

    I’m on edge since it’s an election year.

    Thank you duskwight for a great post. The comments today seemed to create banter about republik, democratik, kommifornia and you tube links.

    No offense but, I love America and am proud to be an American even though we have faults that need to be corrected. Remember, it’s an election year 🙂

    Please don’t feel like I’m picking on you. This post is not a rant nor is it triggered by one comment. It is the sum total of many.

    The real reason for this very off topic post is that it reminded me of a CMH (Congressional Medal of Honor) presentation.

    There are many appropriate titles for this youtube video:

    -The real heroes are the ones that gave their lives for our Country
    -The cost to be an American is high since so many have sacrificed
    -A Green Beret’s code is Duty, Honor, Country.
    -Texas breeds incredible American heroes

    or the best, Roy Benavides

    Before you click on this link make sure you have 25 minutes of time that will be uninterrupted. We owe uninterrupted viewing to this man:



  13. I have a question somewhat off-topic but inspired a bit by this topic. I hope it’s OK. I want to buy another air rifle that is of great quality, is really accurate, and has some power for dispatching small critters. I am wishing for (saving for) something along the lines of the HW77 Weihrauch in .22 caliber (can’t figure out if it should be the carbine or the other). I am wondering about the need to lubricate a used one that is available from PA now. Is it a matter of inspecting carefully a used rifle or asking the PA folks about their offerings or what? Thanks so much!

    • Dixon,

      My advice is always to shoot any gun you get first, before doing anything. If it makes a squeaking noise when it’s cocked or if the mainspring cocks with a jerky or gritty feel, it’s time to lubricate the gun.

      In contrast, what you usually find is the gun has been over-lubricated and needs to be attended to as our guest blogger notes.

      The HW 77 is fairly easy to work on because it has a threaded end cap. You might want to look at my 13-part series about tuning a spring gun. It’s about an R1, which is similar to an HW 80 breakbarrel, but the trigger and end cap are similar.


      As far as rifle or carbine, I would go for the carbine. It’s just as powerful and a lot handier.


      • Thanks BB,
        I appreciate that you take the time with everybody it seems, and you’re a good writer. I’ll read your tuning piece. I think my recent adoption as a hobby – airguns – is re-teaching me a concept that I sometimes want to run away from, or wish for somebody else to do, which is responsibility. I know I can have fun, but I must learn about and listen to the airgun for what it needs, and then act on it.
        Thanks so much again.

        • Dixon,

          I like that: “adopting” airguns as your hobby. You’re now part of a bigger family 🙂

          If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading the customer gun reviews on Pyramyd AIR, it’s this: don’t mess with success! The number of people who take apart guns before shooting them is quite surprising. Shoot it, enjoy it. If it’s not up to par, then you can fiddle with it. If it’s shooting the way you expect and doing everything you expect of it, why fiddle with it?

          The fact that you’ve chosen an airgun as nice as the HW77 indicates that you’re looking for more than raw power, which is usually a common trait of new airgunners. Just from the little that I’ve seen in your comments, it appears that your expectations from airguns will bring you decades of airgun pleasure.


  14. Hi,
    I need help, I opened my hatsan 125 th, and with great difficulty installed a 40 joules spring I greased it a bit with hight temp grease, its writen for pistons etc.
    Then I assembled the gun, and now its detonated like 3 times sparks…and smoke everytime….I do not know if it is already damaged…I do not want to disassemble it again because its super difficult to put it back again the main piston spring, I have not disassmbled main piston but somehow grease from Spring went to it…when I kock it it makes ship sounds like metal rubbing on each other at the end of cocking it, and smells like burnt oil…Should I spray bensin inside?? or fat remover?? how can I solve this without plucking it apart…??? thanks please mail me if you have replied

    • Let’s see — you apparently have a petroleum-based lubricant seeping past the piston seal into the compression chamber and detonating… And now you are thinking of using a lower flash point petroleum product to try to wash it out?

      What would you expect to use then to wash out this even more explosive compound? Consider — you have to remove anything that may have soaked into the piston seal material. If the seal is leather, I don’t think you’ll succeed. And various plastics may be attacked by some petroleum and/or acetone [Methyl-Ethyl Ketone is what I used to dissolve acrylic gel varnish from windows, a decade ago] products.

      On my part, I’d say a complete tear-down and soaking in tubs of degreaser, followed by rinsing in a series of volatile solvents (industrial ethanol, acetone, MEK — all of which could damage a seal so expect to replace the piston seal) and hanging it out to dry.

      If you need a thick lube on the spring, a light brush of molybdenum-disulfide/lithium grease — NO petroleum grease. For the piston seal, only a silicone oil — a few drops into the chamber through the chamber port (for an absorbent seal — leather — you may need to repeat the chamber oil a few times over the days as it may “suck up” too much of the oil). I’m not certain of what Crosman “RMCOIL” contains (I haven’t opened my tube as I have nearly full bottles of the RWS spring gun lube kits — Chamber Oil and Spring Oil [a sloppy piston seal could let some of the latter appear on the walls of the cylinder, and add to the smoke from a smooth dieseling]).

  15. Silicone Greases are special type of Lubricating Greases for extraordinary conditions.
    Silicone grease is commonly used for lubricating and preserving rubber parts, such as O-rings. Additionally, silicone grease does not swell or soften the rubber, which can be a problem with hydrocarbon based greases. It functions well as a corrosion-inhibitor and lubricant for purposes that require a thicker lubricant, such as the operating mechanism of the M1 Garand rifle.

  16. I have done all the things you have told to my Hatsan Mod 25 Supercharger. Remarkable smoke went out of the barrel in first about 10 shots. Then smoke amount decreased. Now the power seems good. I want to ask only one thing, should we grease the walls of the part that the piston goes in (I couldn’t remember the part’s name)? I barely greased it. And put some green silicone grease to the piston seal. Thanks for all.

      • I have bought a silicone based grease and a lithium based grease as mentioned above. You say above, molybdenum is not necessary, only yellow-orange lithium grease is enough for the lubrication of the metal-metal touch surfaces. But if so, how about the metal-rubber surfaces? In the compression chamber, there is a touch surface between the rubber based piston seal and the walls of the compression chamber. Should we use silicone grease to the piston seal and lithium based grease to the comp. chamber? And if we do like this, does the lithium based grease do an harmful effect to the rubber seal? Thanks.

        • Serkan.

          This is a guest blog, written by a Russian reader of this blog.

          What I told you above is my own advice.

          There are also two distinctly different types of spring-piston powerplants — one that is low-powered with leather seals and the other that is high-powered with synthetic seals. Your Hatsan is the latter.

          So use moly — not lithium grease. Lube the piston seal with silicone, but never lube the metal parts with silicone.


            • Serkan,

              Please don’t think I am angry. I was frustrated by the situation, but not angry with you. You can ask any airgun questions you want on this blog.

              I do invite you to ask them on the current page, however, as we have many readers who can help me answer you, plus they have experience of their own. You w3ill never get flamed on this blog!

              Welcome to the blog,


  17. A recent forum posting brought this thread up as an example of how to lube a springer. After reading, several points really stood out, and to be honest I was surprised you posted this piece.

    The number one thing that glared at me from this post was the suggestion of putting pieces of plastic bottle inside the piston. This is junkyard mechanics, and a cheap bandaid that’ll bring grief down the road. Better to either size the guides properly, use tar, or purchase a tune kit with properly fitting guides. If unsure how to do it, or incapable, send the gun out. Using shrink wrap on guides, cutting plastic shims from bottles are common mistakes many make because they try it and for awhile everything seems great. A couple thousand shots later though, they find busted springs, pieces of plastic and trash everywhere inside the action, and another round of cleanup and tuning.

    Also, properly lubed and with a new seal, a rifle should not need anymore lube inside the powerplant until it is time to replace the seal or spring, not 4,000 or so shots later.

    Also, the advice of lithium grease is also suspect. Many lithium greases are loaded with carriers that are not air rifle friendly. They can contain chemicals which react with rubber and synthetics, breaking them down and causing all sorts of weirdness and damage. Hence the warning on many lithium grease containers stating they are not compatible with rubber. Essentially, they can damage your seals. The lithium is also not as effective for sliding load metal on metal contact as moly pastes, has a lower flash point, and has much more petroleum based carrier than moly paste, all of which equals greater chance for deiseling and detonation and less effective protection against scoring and galling.

    There is a reason most of the pro tuners use moly and tar, and a reason outfits like Air Rifle Headquarters and Vortek either include moly and tar with their kits, or offer it seperately. When you stray from the good stuff and start following advice like cutting plastic shims from bottles or trying a general type of “grease”, you are just asking for trouble.

  18. Thanks, Ok so I pulled the gun apart and cleaned off all the factory lubrication. I used Moly Grease to lubricate the piston, Cylinder, and spring. used a tiny bit of silicone grease on the piston seal.Do You think thats good then?

  19. Hi
    Amazing information i have read, am new to the airguns

    i have purchased Gamo whisper x after my Diana 45 for changing taste, it was very good, suddenly after use of almost 10000 shots its performance is decreasing. So i have consulted a so called gun technician here in our City he advised be to put some machine oil in the chamber through the channel that shifts pneumatic pressure so it followed the instructions, now the pressure of the air gun fall tremendously and it sounds exceeding the sound barrier and smock, so i personally reached a point that i have to change the main spring so please advise what to do, how can i remove the lubrication from the chamber & piston.



    • Zeeshan,

      Welcome to the blog. You have to disassemble the gun to replace the mainspring. Remove the piston and clean out all the oil.

      Never use petroleum oil in a powerful airgun like yours. Use silicone chamber oil that won’t explode when the gun fires.


  20. B.B.

    Thanks for the help, now i have the choice of having springs from Titan Xs or OX, also is there reliable shop that can ship the original main spring to Pakistan because here i have what is nothing worthwhile to make my gun alive again. I can pay by Visa Debit card.


    • Zeeshan,

      I have heard good things about Ox mainsprings over the past 20 years.

      As far as who will sell to you, go on the websites and inquire. I have bought parts and airguns from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and was pleasantly surprised every time.


  21. I am just getting back into airguns after a hiatus of 25 years. I am just about to re-spring and tune my .22 caliber HW 35. Here’s the thing. It’s not like i haven’t done these things before, but it’s been a LONG time. In the past I had always followed the methods in ARH’s ARMs, which I still have. The main lubricants used in those were Dri-Slide, Moly grease or paste, and Moly powder. Are these considered obsolete now? I have all that stuff plus I have automotive Lithium grease. Is JM’s spring tar Moly grease or something different?

    • Jimhenry2000,

      I can’t say for sure, but Jim’s tar in the past has been open gear lubricant. No moly in it.

      I would try Tune in a Tube. It has the best promise.



  22. I am sorry to post to such an old thread, but I ran across this while I had my model 48 apart and decided that a tune might not be a bad idea. I really liked the idea of meticulous cleaning and minimal lubrication. I had replaced the original power plant with a Vortec unit a few years ago, and even though I was really judicious with the moly paste supplied (I still have some left), it was still kind of a mess, and I suffered with “Mr Diesel” for some time. So I decided to take a risk, and give the synthetic motor oil a chance (it’s pretty pricey, must be good). I used 3 “American drops” as I would guess the Russian drops must be bigger. This time I had virtually NO dieseling and the shot cycle seems as smooth as can be. I have run nearly 100 shots through the gun an I am getting about 880FPS with .177 cal 10.34gr JSB Exact Heavies. (Not the greatest, but it is about where this gun has performed.) My question, sorry it took so long, has anyone else tried this long term, and what do you think of synthetic motor oil as a lubricant?

    The Kapt

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