by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll finish Vince’s report on his new Relum Telly.
If you’d like to write a guest blog, please email us.
Over to you, Vince!
The Relum Telly: Part 2
When we last saw the Telly, I’d just reduced the cocking effort by repairing the cocking linkage and smoothing the outside of the spring tube. Then I set about to fix the other things that were wrong with my new airgun. I had just fixed the stripped stock screw holes and was about to go into the gun’s innards. So, today join me on a tour of the Telly’s belly.
The piston is basic enough, and the fact that the leather piston seal was still in passable condition saved me a fair bit of hassle. It’s riveted in, so replacement wouldn’t have been very straightforward:
The leather piston seal looks good.
Looking inside the piston reveals the rivet that holds the piston seal to the body.
So, a soaking in 30 weight oil is all it gets before reassembly.
I mentioned the concentric springs earlier. This is what they look like:
The inner and outer mainspring. The inner spring shows a bit of “snakeiness” from its long life.
The thinner inner spring has about 1/3 the spring rate of the outer, which means that it does indeed contribute significantly to the powerplant energy.
The trigger is a linked direct sear. Oddly enough, it’s sorta similar to the linkage in the el-cheapo Industry Brand S2 pistol. The trigger blade pops right out but the actual sear pin is peened in place so I can’t remove the sear block. I’ve sketched in what it sorta looks like, sorta (yellow area).
The trigger blade came out easily. The sear is held in by a heavily peened pin, so I didn’t remove it. The yellow area is approximately what the sear looks like in profile.
As the blade is pulled back, it rotates the sear block clockwise (downward in back), which releases the piston. Here’s where I discovered something. Remember that goofy lockscrew I noticed in the front triggerguard bolt? It wasn’t a lockscrew at all. The bolt itself threads into the hole identified by the yellow arrow (above picture), and the concentric screw (which is both smaller in diameter and longer) pushes up on the sear block opposite of the trigger. This can be used to reduce the sear engagement and adjust the trigger. In fact, you can adjust it to the point of not even working. I don’t like messing too much with direct sears of any type, so I run the gun with the screw all the way out.
What I thought was a lockscrew turned out to be the trigger adjustment screw. It controls the amount of sear engagement area.
All the innards look usable, so after proper cleaning and relubing I reassemble the gun and get ready to shoot.
This is not going to be a super-comprehensive shooting test. Considering how few of these things that are around, the Relum Telly is not exactly a vintage gun you’re gonna want to use as a routine shooter. If you want a nice, usable vintage gun for a youth, get them something like a Diana 25. We just want to see what sort of performance the Telly was capable of.
The gun didn’t like Daisy Precision-Max or Crosman Wadcutters, but (surprise, surprise) it thrives on 7-grain RWS Diabolo Basic pellets. This 5-shot group shows what the gun is capable of at 10 meters:
Five RWS Diabolo Basic wadcutters made this 0.35-inch group at 10 meters.
That’s 0.35 inches, center-to-center, with rotten open sights. The rear blade has a “V” notch, while the front post tapers to a point on top — which means to my eyes, the top of the post sorta fades in and out like Captain Kirk stuck in a malfunctioning transporter. It’s very hard to make sure I’m getting a consistent aim point, which makes me think the gun is capable of even better.
Next up is the velocity — and laziness dictates that I only bother testing the pellets that shot well. Or, in this case, the one pellet. After 5 warm-up shots, the gun laid down this string:
The average was 617 f.p.s. This is just shy of 6 foot-pounds of energy…which, for the size of the rifle, really isn’t bad. On the OTHER hand, it’s HORRIBLE for a gun that requires as much as or more cocking force than a Diana 350 or a Baikal 513, while delivering less than 1/3 of the energy.
Anyway, it’s at this point that I decided to snap a quick picture of the breech with a pellet loaded to show you how loose it fits:
See how deep into the breech the pellet falls?
See? It drops right in with no fuss or fighting. But then I get to thinking that SOMEbody’s going to carp about that ancient leather breech seal! So, should I replace it? The gun is probably doing as well as it can, so I have no reason to. In fact, I can even hear that little voice in my head saying, “LEAVE IT ALONE!”
So, naturally I popped it out, destroying it in the process. To my delight, it seems to be the same size as a Diana seal, which means I can use a #109 o-ring. But wait — there’s something funny about the groove it sat in.
The groove is cut parallel to the bore, but not to the slanted breech. As a result, it’s deeper on the top than on the bottom.
Dang. The breech face is slanted on this gun (like on a lot of Dianas), and the groove is cut parallel to the barrel bore, not parallel to the breech face. This means that the top of the grove is a lot deeper than the bottom.
At first, I tried to see if I can “split the difference” by shimming it just right, but obviously that won’t work:
The shimmed breech seal obviously isn’t going to work.
Eventually, the obvious solution hit me, and I cut a wedge-shaped washer out of semi-rigid tubing:
By cutting this washer on a bias, I got a wedge shape to lie under the new o-ring breech seal.
The wedge-shaped washer raised the new o-ring to be level with the slanted breech.
One final note: the gun shoots no faster with the new seal.
So there you have it, the Relum Telly in a nutshell. Cocking effort aside, it’s a decent little plinker. I’d say it’s easily the equal of a small Diana or Slavia in accuracy but superior in power. Granted, this pup ain’t gonna get shot very much — but at least in looks at home in my airgun rack:
The new Telly is near the right side of the top rack.
My New Relum Telly!
Not such a bad little felleee,
At least with the right pelleee…
My New Relum Telly!
And so, both my Telly review and brief poetical foray draw to a long-overdue conclusion.
41 thoughts on “The Relum Telly: Part 2”
With a slanted breech face, the gap between the breech face and the compression tube face is pie shaped so you WANT a uniformly tall breech seal (which is then prouder out of the shallower bottom of the breech seal channel) in order to fill the gap all the way around…imo.
The compression tube face is also slanted to mate with the slanted breech face… so no pie, and the breech seal DOES need to lie parallel to the breech face.
Sort of a shame, really. I’m kinda in the mood for pie!
I stand corrected. Cherry pie is my favorite.
Great strip down review. The double spring arrangement can be happily replaced with a single spring, though you will need to find a spring guide for it, which can be floating. Over here the spring commonly used was a BSA Meteor, but it will also take something larger, such as an Airsporter spring. As long as the guide is tight fitting (I have used an appropriate piece of steel tubing) it improves the cocking effort no end and of course reduces the crunching sound the double spring commonly makes and the subsequent twang.
Seems I finally tracked out and hopefully busted all reasons for DWR’s unstable grouping. Hope to test it on Sunday.
That’s wonderful! We are all waiting to hear what it was.
Well, no magic at all.
First reason – I mentioned it to you – were loose bolts – M4 instead of M5 in the rear.
Second reason was bypass – some tinkering with lever proportions and screws helped to reduce pressure it exerted onto barrel’s breech – frankly, results shocked me but now I understand Georg Luger much better – resulting force was some tens of kilograms despite I closed it with a single finger. I caught that fact with a graphite dust and a sheet of paper: actual barrel end movement on closing was between .25-.50 mm – on the edge of finger’s sensitivity, but more than enough to be seen on target @ 25 m. Made barrel-receiver screw onnection much more solid using Loctite.
Third reason – used dust again. Seems my work was too perfect 🙂 symmetric movement produced a resonance which made itself visible through some resemblance of Chladny figures on the top of the receiver. Tweaked its mode (or, rather disrupted it) by tinkering with synchro assembly washers and wider bolt heads. Don’t know if that could be a reason but Dad nailed it into my head – resonance = bad everywhere except for musical instruments.
Paper will show.
Thanks for not keeping me waiting. You, sir, are a wonderful pneumaticist! You are educating all of us with this project.
I wish I was… Wonderful pneumaticists don’t make mistakes like that and find troubles even before they begin – in blueprints 😉
I hope you don’t really believe that! Becauae they all make big mistakes. But they have to, because they are the only ones doing anything.
Looks like the Telly needs some new neighbors in that gun rack of Vince’s! There’s still some room left.
Not any more!
Well looking at these pics I think I only have the outer spring left in mine which is probably why it’s so sweet to cock and shoot. Mine is a little bit more accurate than yours but by very little.
I like how the pellet fits in the bore, it prevents the skirt from being crushed when closing the barrel, no need for a bic pen to seat the pellet correctly. You did a great job on this rifle and a very nice (and quite large) airgun collection.
You have to watch those drop in loose pellets. They can fall back out and get crushed in the breech or fall clear when closing up the action. If you don’t see it happen, you will be in for a surprise.
The few times that’s happened to me it’s been pretty blatant. The barrel simply won’t close.
What (in my experience) is MORE common is something like this happenning in a fixed-barrel, sliding-compression-tube gun. Pellet falls out, you force the action closed anyway and pull the trigger – the end result is reminiscent of the “penny on the railroad tracks”. Can’t even tell that it used to be a pellet.
I have had a few that fell out. Spotted some as they fell, and also had a few that I didn’t catch.
Had one fall out of my TSS that stayed in the breech. Did not come out of the barrel or jam the breech dumping the tank. Grateful for that.
Had some fall out of break barrels. Missed seeing a couple. BANG.
Had some fall out of the 48. Got a couple caught and squashed in the breech. Some I saw fall to the ground. I missed one completely. The dry fire got my attention REAL GOOD.
The ones that got squashed in the breech (48)…
I am glad that I close up the cocking handle with just a couple of fingers. Too much resistance in the wrong place stopped me before anything bad happened.
I have become very careful of pellet fit. If something does not feel right, then I stop right now and correct the problem.
I didn’t do a comprehensive accuracy test. I just wanted to get a “rough order of magnitude” idea what sort of accuracy it was capable of. The answer is “pretty darned good”, which I found is par for these old European guns.
“I just wanted to get a “rough order of magnitude” idea what sort of accuracy it was capable of. The answer is “pretty darned good”, which I found is par for these old European guns.”
Which brings us back to “how hard is it to make a good springer”. Why don’t they make this kind of springers anymore? Or maybe more accuratly why don’t they make MORE of them?!?
Great write up. As usual.
I really like your gun racks. They seem to provide the perfect environment for your airguns to cross pollinate and reproduce on their own.
Which gun(s) get shot the most?
Ah, the stories that rack of guns could tell, if guns could talk. I guess they do in their own way though don’t they?
This thing seems to have respectable velocities. I was expecting to see worse from an old gun. It seems to me looking at the pictures of how it was constructed though that somebody didn’t quite understand engineering and design of a gun at the factory. A lot of it seems to be built rather wonky.
Nice write-up, Vince!
Nice rack too! All of my guns would look pretty lonely just taking up one little corner of that….
Seems like it is a nice old gun, and a conversation piece too. Not everyone can say they have a Telly! Good velocity for an old one too. Just enough power to stick a pellet into a pine board. That was our test when we were kids. If a gun wouldn’t stick a pellet in a pine board, then it was time to look for another…
Very good blog, Vince. I remember a friend had one of these, purchased about 1962-3. At 13 or 14 years of age, all the guys I hung out with had pellet guns of some description. One of the guy’s father bought him a Diana. I’m not sure of the model. However, it was so heavy, we would take turns carrying it. After a while, he didn’t bother taking it with him if he had to carry it too far. It sure put our El cheapo guns to shame as far as looks go. A good lesson for parents who think they should buy their kids the best. If the poor kid can’t carry it, or it’s too heavy to aim properly, the gun will soon lose it’s shine. I sure am glad you added the picture of your airgun collection. I immediately called my wife over to have a look. Makes my family of Weihrauch’s look puny by comparison. Thanks for documenting your work on this amazing gun.
hi Vince if you want to know more about the relum telly and the best things to do to one join airgunbbs cause there are a few knowledgeable people on there about them they do something like change the standard spring to a BSA meteor one to improve the gun
Nice work, Vince. Maybe I need one, so I can be a Relum Telly Tubby. I wonder what the deal with that cocking effort is. Maybe Edith’s hypothesis the other day is correct: People think that a harder-cocking gun is more powerful. That is assuming that it was that way originally. My limited experience with over-engineered and under-thought devices/machines is that they work great when everything is “just right” but tend to fail most miserably the rest of the time. Either way, I think I’d keep it original unless you want to shoot it a lot. Maybe it will be worth some serious money in the next Baktun :)!
We’re heading out of town shortly for our place in the mountains. Internet service during the summer months is unreliable and during winter storms at 9,000 + feet in elevation it’s unlikely to work.
Wanted to thank everyone here that has elevated my airgun experience over the past year. Especially that B.B. guy and his lovely bride Edith. Thank you.
As a pathetic reimbursement I wanted to share some personal Christmas Traditions that make this season special for us.
I’m big on traditions especially at Christmas.
We have gone to our mountain home for 8 of the last 10 Christmas’s and plan on going again this year. We always go sledding, skiing (gonna be tough this year with a lack of snow), take the ATV’s up the pass, long walks around our property either before meals or after meals is common, board games, puzzles and good food & drink consumed not far from the wood stove are our beloved traditions.
At 9,950 feet in elevation the extra exertion, isolation, usual cold temperatures outside, peacefulness and good, selective company makes food and drink taste better than normal. Much better than normal.
Several of our “feasting” traditions during the Christmas week holiday are suppers of prime rib (Christmas Eve) and corned beef (usually a day or two after Christmas). Breakfasts of slow cooked steel cut oats with cooked fig & honey topping, leftover corned beef made into hash with poached eggs, swedish pancakes with lingdon berries and a side of bangers are our traditions.
Just picked up the prime rib today from our butcher that dry ages for 3 weeks. Ribs 8-12 are my favorite cut. Also picked up the beef brisket (point cut) that I just put in my home made brine with spices since I like my corned beef more than any that I’ve bought (no salt peter in my solution thank you very much). Always makes me smirk when I go into the typical grocery stores that sell “prime rib” but at best it’s choice grade and usually select grade that is wet aged. No thanks. Prime grade and dry aged for me please. I eat prime rib maybe twice a year since no one can make prime rib that I like.
I like it dry aged for at least 3 weeks before I buy it then I like to finish the dry aging myself.
I also like my wet/dry rub that I put on the prime rib 24 hours before it cooks. I cross hatch the chine since I like the contrast in cooking. I quit cooking prime rib with the bones on years ago but insist on getting the bones since well seasoned and properly cooked beef ribs are my favorite. Flanken style are my wifes favorite and a close second for me.
Indirect heat on my grill and baste twice in 3 hours with melted butter, olive oil, fresh thyme, smashed garlic and smashed shallots and a dash of fresh parsley for brightness. Don’t baste too often or the crust from the wet/dry rub can melt. The beef bones get the same treatment since they can easily be reheated in the oven inside tin foil for another meal.
The leftover prime rib will be made into great beef vegetable soup and we will have a meal of blackened prime rib done in a cast iron skillet on the grill. After a meal of corned beef, parsnips, cabbage, new potatoes and carrots we will have enough leftover to have corned beef hash and poached eggs for breakfast and great reuben sandwiches for another meal.
We’re hosting 14 guests over the Christmas Holidaty (not all at once but 3 families spread over 9 days) and each is bringing several of their favorite meals to add to the traditions. Aldona is going to make her famous duck a l’orange with spaetzle.
Did I mention the wine parings for the meals or the homemade lemon sorbet with aged gran marnier drizzled over it for dessert?
My hope and prayer is that everyone enjoys the holidays as much as us and that you don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season.
So what’s wrong with beer and pizza (deluxe with the works) ???
Absolutely nothing IF that’s your tradition.
My tradition is not to have a tradition. I just do whatever I want whenever I want.
Too many years working any and all time schedules, and every day or the year. When you have to be at work and when you have time off become the only important things. And party when the opportunity and the desire fit together.
I understand what you’re saying.
The loss of tradition can be felt in your words.
Because of my crazy work schedule (clients expect you to be available all days at all times) that traditions, including a week off for Christmas, are extemely important to me. I’m almost obsessed at preserving traditions for these reasons. Please don’t sacrifice traditions because of work schedules. This is the whole point of this post. We’ve become so busy that we lose sight of what’s important.
Traditions, in my family, are handed down (and in cooking are encouraged to be tweaked for flavor, number of guests and situation) and are honorably continued by me. I’m hopeful that my daughter will pick up on and therefor carry on these traditions. Especially on Christmas Eve. Prime Rib is a tradition.
I remember my grandfather cooking a prime rib on his smoker when I was young. His smelt, salmon and trout on this smoker were to die for. The prime rib was inedible. Too much smoke.
Although the settings, economics and times have changed I’m hopeful that the spirit of these traditions will be carried forward. That’s important to me.
There are many things that I do in life that could define me as a mutant. This could certainly be one of them LOL!
But, it’s traditions that keep me rooted in these chaotic times. My sense is that my daughter and my friends can also benefit from these customs since they help us to return to those roots that help us stay grounded.
I gained three pounds just reading your comment, plus I’m now ready for a nap!
Merry Christmas you you and your fine family from all of us here on the blog.
B.B. and Edith
Your frame can easily accommodate another 3 pounds.
Merry Christmas my friend.
Really enjoyed your remarks about tradition & what your family does.
Christmas is my thing. Even when I was single, I ensured that there was tradition because I enjoyed many of the traditions my parents had when I was growing up.
When Tom and I got married, I incorporated some of his family traditions (which were few) into mine. As a result, relatives from both sides of the familly cannot stop coming to our house for Christmas. The food, the gifts, the tradition…they love it.
My brother hated just about everything about our family…including Christmas. Now, he can’t stay away from our house for Christmas. All because of the comfort of rich tradition that hangs in the air. In fact, he almost missed his oldest son’s wedding a couple years ago because he might have to miss coming here for Christmas (he ended up missing most of the reception just so he could share in traditions that he’s come to fully embrace).
Our traditions are not lockstep. They offer comfort, love, warmth, laughter, good food, great gifts and a continual reminder of the only reason we’re celebrating—the greatest gift we’ve ever received…the birth of Jesus.
Tradition doesn’t have to be lockstep. It’s not engraved in stone. These are things we do and remember that give us joy and pleasure.
Merry Christmas! May you be enveloped by the love of your family and God.
Now that’s a comment!
We sure have a lot in common. I love Christmas for so many reasons. Traditions are just one of those reasons.
We’re blessed to have friends and family that are willing to drive to the middle of nowhere to spend time with us over the Christmas holiday. I don’t think it’s because they love us. I think it’s because of the warmth the wood stove generates, the fact that it’s peaceful (isolated is more accurate. 10 miles from the nearest store and 80 miles from the nearest shopping mall!! I love that part.), you’re always guaranteed a white Christmas at our elevation and the food is always warmer than it is outside.
May all your wishes come true. Merry Christmas.
back to the pellet falling out of the breech hassle, i found with both my meteor and relum break barrels is that when i close the rifle by holding the barrel down and swinginging the stock upwards to close it. i have a few problems with loose fitting pellets and until i fixed it the guns would fire as they snapped shut (weak trigger spring tension in the end), this also would send any misfire land in the groung 3 meters in front of me. Never get this pellet problem with my HW35 and the rest are bolt loading and also one of those silly smoothbore 1077’s(but the wife likes that one so it stays in the collection). Thanks Edith for your past advice on encouraging yor partner to take an interest in your hobbies, and she’s loving the 2044 at the moment and with a 30 meter garden she gets a real buzz out of it
yours Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe
Some people say, “You have more money than sense”, you could say, ” some people have more air rifles than sense”, or my personal favorite and true in my case, “You have more airguns than money”,
thats the way i like it baby, i don’t want to live forever.
yours Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe
Hey. Anybody know the dimensions of the sprigs?
“the cocking link seems to want to hang down from the action rather than sitting up tight. I wonder why that is?”
This is common. :-/
“The worst part was the feel of the cocking stroke. It felt like metal-on-metal galling”
A lot of owners didn’t bother to maintain the insert, 🙁 which I believe was of Delrin, whatever that is.
“The front stock screws are stripped out.”
Not uncommon. Put a bit of Loctite in when screwing into the newly tapped holes.
“which makes me think the gun is capable of even better.”
It is. I used to practice with the edge of matchboxes at ranges between 10-20 yards. If I didn’t hit the edge of the matchbox, that was down to me, not the gun.
Having experimented with one for many years, you can get surprising power, and no decrease in accuracy, with the stock spring following a few mods. The head of the piston is crimped on and may move slightly; braze it on. Replace the leather piston seal with a PTFE seal, and the breech seal with PTFE. If there’s a bit of play between the rear of the piston and the compression tube wall – as there probably is – braze on a phosphor bronze skirt to stop the end of the piston slapping the wall of the compression tube. There isn’t enough meat to put an O-ring in. Then do a few other standard tuning moves.
That basically improves the overall efficiency of the mechanism. I left the inner spring in, BTW. Back in the 60s the previous owner’s father provided a spring guide – before such things were available – in the form of a modified car valve. 🙂 I bought it off the previous owner for £5 BTW.
*Don’t* put in a more powerful spring. Firstly it will take you well over 12 ft/lbs. Secondly the catch on the piston is V-shaped. A sufficiently powerful spring will make the gun dangerous by unpredictably forcing down the sear, prematurely firing the gun. Even if you overcame this, the sear slightly forces the piston backwards before it fires, which is increasingly difficult with more powerful springs. The only way around all of these problems is to grind off the old catch, weld on a new one with a vertical meeting face, and re-engineer the action to something like a modified QB78, if you can do it in the restricted space that the trigger assembly occupies. This is all too much bother for most folks. All in all, it is better to keep the stock springs unless you really want to boggle folks with the existence of an FAC Relum Telly. It is, after all, quite powerful enough with the above mods.
All in all it was a ‘nearly’ gun when made, as in it was very nearly a very good gun. With a few mods to correct design defects, plus a bit of modern technology, it is a good but simple, reliable hunting gun, even using the simple iron sights. Mind you I lost the iron sights long ago in favour of a scope, though that meant putting on a Parker Hale scope rail first; the Telly didn’t originally come with scope rails as standard.
Welcome to the blog!
You have landed on an older report. Come join us on the current blog located here:
And thank you for your tips on Telly tuning!
Still shooting mine in the garage at 6 meters. It’s cool. : – )
Polished the trigger group, made a new leather seal, oiled the woodwork, took off the scope ( ! ),
trying to work out how to put the scope back on, or maybe the “new” diopter sights.
and cleaned the bore ( it was full of gunge… )
Have an issue with pellets not liking the bore very much. ( ? ) and having to poke them down a bit into the rifling to get them “into the groove” but heck do they come out fast after that.
H&N Field target trophy 8.64 gr. Maybe they are too big???
The unit has enough power to ding a decent tin can but not to go through at close range ( 4m ). This is great for indoor shooting from the kitchen table…. ( Over a cup of coffee with my 70 year old ex RNZAF neighbor )
Will post some pics soon as I get the new sights on. : – )
Welcome to the blog.
It sounds like you are very pleased with your rifle! 🙂 Awaiting the pix.