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DIY Things you can do to make your new airgun better: Part 3

Things you can do to make your new airgun better: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

• Shoot it!
• Test it!
• Clean it — maybe
• Oil it — maybe
• Keep your hands off!

Today, I’m going to look at precharged pneumatics (PCP). Maybe you thought these came ready to go right from the factory, and in many ways they do; but even with this powerplant, there are always things you can do to make the guns shoot better.

Shoot it!
The first thing is something most people are going to do anyway — I just want to make you aware of how it affects your gun. Shoot it! Don’t take it apart to see how it works and if you can “correct” all the flaws the “stupid” factory left in the gun when they made it. Don’t send it off to be tuned. Just shoot the thing, and it will get better.

Back when Falcon airguns were being made in the UK, they used to come from the box at one velocity — let’s say it was 890 f.p.s. with a .177-caliber H&N Baracuda Match. A thousand pellets later, the same rifle might be getting 960 f.p.s. from the same pellet. Falcons always increased in velocity as they broke in. That’s something my friend Mac taught me. He owned 6 Falcon air rifles, and each one of them got faster the more it was shot.

I started watching, and lo and behold my brand new Daystate Huntsman did the same thing. It started out at 875 f.p.s. with the same pellet and was up to 930 when I started competing in field target with the rifle, about 500 pellets later. Of course, to notice such things, you have to have a chronograph and use it.

Test it!
The second thing you can do for your PCP follows from the first. Test your PCP to establish the optimum fill pressure. Don’t read the manual and then slavishly fill to exactly 3,000 psi on the dial of your fill gauge just because that’s what it says in the book. It’s a good bet that your gauge is off by some amount, anyway, so use that chronograph to find out what works best with your particular airgun and your particular gauge. Use the owner’s manual as your starting point.

My Daystate came with instructions to fill to 2,600 psi. But that didn’t agree with the fill gauge on my scuba tank — and THAT did not agree with the gauge on my hand pump that I ultimately used exclusively in competition. I discovered that if I filled my rifle to 2450 psi, as indicated by the gauge on my hand pump, the rifle gave me 24 shots that didn’t vary by more than 10 f.p.s. That information didn’t come from any manual — it came from testing the rifle over a chronograph with the pellet I intended using. Once I discovered that, I made an indelible mark on the cover of the gauge of my hand pump — a mark that is still there today, even though the rifle’s long gone.

Clean it — maybe
This trick I learned from the late Rodney Boyce, who sold me both my Daystates. He told me that PCPs shoot with dry bores, and they sometimes get lead in the rifling that affects accuracy. He said that, whenever accuracy falls off, you need to clean the bore. Then Ben Taylor — the Ben of Theoben — told me exactly how to clean an airgun barrel. Use a brass bore brush (steel barrels only) that’s loaded with JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound and run it through the bore both ways 20 times. Clean out the residue, and the bore will be clean. I’ve been cleaning airgun barrels that way ever since, and it works.

And while I’m on the subject — don’t get hung up on the fact that Brownells calls their brush a bronze brush and I said to use brass. Brass or bronze — they all work the same. When the exact material really matters, such as when I say to use Silicone Chamber Oil, I’ll tell you that I don’t want you to use the silicone oil that comes in spray cans for oiling door hinges. And, I’ll tell you why.

Before I leave this subject, I have to say one more thing. LEARN ABOUT LEAD AND LEAD ALLOYS!!!! For over 50 years, I’ve had to know about the subtle differences between pure lead and certain lead alloys because I cast my own bullets. It really matters. If you use lead that’s been hardened with antimony, I guarantee that your bullets will leave lead deposits in the bore of your gun! I first discovered this in about 1968 while shooting a .45 Colt Single Action. But over the years, I have seen only a few gun writers who know that this happens or why.

Antimony is used to harden the lead alloy when you want to shoot a bullet very fast. Soft lead alloys will not withstand the rotational torque of the bullet when shot fast. In short, they’ll strip the rifling (they will not allow the rifling to grab and guide them) and will be inaccurate.

This leading happens more as the velocity increases, so until you top about 750 f.p.s. with pellets you won’t notice it. But when you shoot Crosman Premier pellets in an airgun at 900 f.p.s., they’ll lead the bore! It’s gradual at first, but it does accelerate as the lead builds up. Those using Premiers should clean their barrels when the accuracy drops off. But don’t be a slave to cleaning!

I know an airgunner who claims he cleans his barrel with JB Paste every 200 shots! Folks, that’s not cleanliness — that’s insanity! He’s being anal. This fellow will clean his barrel so often that a time will come when it will have to be cleaned all the time, because of the mechanical damage he has done from the rod impacting the rifling. Only clean your barrel when the accuracy falls off. And, if Premier pellets are the most accurate pellets in your airgun, by all means use them. I do!

Oil it — maybe
I do oil my PCP airguns. I use silicone chamber oil and put it in through the air intake port — the same way we put Crosman Pellgunoil into a CO2 gun. I know what this oil does for a PCP powerplant, and I do this as a matter of course. You don’t have to do it, and I am not advising you to. But if your PCP has a slow leak (loses pressure after a week), then some silicone chamber oil might fix it.

And, no — I didn’t say to use automatic transmission fluid or whale snot or Jake’s Sure-Fire Fix-it Oil. I said silicone chamber oil — period!

Keep your hands off!
The best advice I can give is going to roll right off the backs of those who need it the most. Leave your airgun alone! Just shoot it, and then shoot it some more. If there are adjustments (trigger, power, etc) avoid making them until you’ve shot your gun enough to know when an adjustment makes a real difference. I read about guys getting brand-new PCPs and tearing into them like they’ve been working at the factory for the past 10 years. They get knee-deep in the innards, and only then does it occur to them that they don’t know what they’re doing.

There’s a delicate balance between the striker weight, the power of the striker spring, the length of the striker travel, the diameter of the valve port, the shape of the valve head and seat, and the strength of the valve return spring. Is that complex enough for you? Your airgun has been designed to work best with the combination of these variables that’s in the gun when it leaves the factory. Changing any variable affects the others and may take the performance of your airgun outside the envelope in which it was designed to work.

When I worked at AirForce Airguns (2003-2005), I got to see the damage people will do to airguns. One case was particularly interesting, because the man who had brought us his nearly new and hopelessly broken Condor was posting on forums how to soup-up Condors at the same time he was asking us to fix the rifle he had destroyed. His “heavy” striker weight hammered apart the valve in his gun. It also ruined the screw hole in the frame that holds the threaded boss that the tank screws into. We fixed that as best we could, but he really ruined the rifle’s frame, which is the heart of the whole gun. Be wary of people who are self-proclaimed experts.

119 thoughts on “Things you can do to make your new airgun better: Part 3”

  1. Seems like regardless of power-plant the best advise is to buy the best airgun you can afford, enjoy shooting it, maintain it as the manufacturer instructs, and be happy with what you have.

    • Fishmonger,

      Like I said in this report, put the oil in the fill port and blow it in with the fill. Just like a CO2 gun.

      If by probe you mean the fill probe, then, yes, oil the rings. If you mean the bolt probe, oiling the gun does that automatically.


      • Can you clarify in what situations and types of guns (spring, single or multi stroke, pcp) and parts you would recommend Crosman Pellgun oil vs. Silicone Chamber Oil (RWS)?

          • Sorry about that! The narrow version of my question is that my old Benjamin 132 and 137 pistols don’t hold air as well as they used to. One gun has been shot by me for almost 50 years with no service at all. Would Pellgunoil or Silicone Chamber Oil be the better choice for this type of older multi stroke gun? Also, which oil is better for a modern single stroke almost new pistol such as HW75 and IZH 46M (which I shoot when not shooting the old Benjamin guns)?

  2. Ragarding spam issue, maybe other readers can help Edith?

    As I understand, your easy to fill in “check if youre human” box is cracked a lot of times, and you are thinking of trying some other “prove you are human” -box. Some official mail addresses have a very difficult box, that difficult. …. that my middle aged brain can not unscript the code. Im sure a lot of readers have the same problem.
    Maybe I-TECH-readers can help you out making the right decision?

  3. Hi BB!

    Completely off topic here, although I do appreciate the refresher concerning Bore cleaning (JB non-embedding), but I have to ask… Whatever happened with that old Bugelspanner of yours?
    I did several searches using variations of keywords, and found nothing other than the three bugelspanner articles (pt 1 and 2 and “The Making of Tom Gaylord”) and I am just wondering what came out of all that?

    I also have read up on “.22 vs .25” but there is not much new info there, either. .22 is usually more accurate even today, but accurate .25 pellets were a joke until a few years ago. Is there anything new to report here?

    Lastly, I appear to have had a long post eaten by the website a few days ago; it didn’t register the number I entered into the “Please answer so your post can be counted” box. Is there any way to make sure the blog holds on to your post for long enough to let you double-check the answer? It was a very technical response and question concerning the effects of velocity and pellet weight on energy at the target (not muzzle energy) and I was really frustrated when it disappeared. It’s not the first time a post has been lost, but it was definitely the most frustrating in recent history.

    So, to summarize:
    1: Bugelspanner?
    2. .22 vs .25 updates?
    3. Losing posts fixable?

    I hope you folks are having a wonderful week!

    • Qjay,

      I have learned from my own past experiences that when I compose a long post, I highlight and copy it (control c) before I hit Post Comment. That way, if it should disappear into the nether world, I can repost without frustration.

    • Qjay,

      The Buglespanner is still broken down in parts, awaiting time to do the repairs. Each of the modification reports that I write takes 8-20 hours of offline work to prepare for the report. So they are extremely labor-intensive. With my commitments to this blog, Shotgun News, American Airgunner, the 20-50 blog comments I answer each day plus a dozen or so “quick questions” each week for various people in the industry that take an hour to a day to answer, I am swamped.

      I have several projects in this state of awaiting time.

      Regarding .22 vs .25, I am about to begin testing a Hatsan BT65-10 QE in .25 caliber that should be powerful enough to shoot solid rifle bullets. That will get me back on track with the .25s.

      I lose posts, too. So I copy the longer ones so I can paste them into a new response box, if necessary.


      • BB (and RR),

        That “copy before posting” thing gets me because I do frequent a few other places on the interwebs, and the ones I comment at have the “save your last post if you accidentally leave the page or do something stupid” feature. So I have gotten spoiled by not having to do so. 🙁
        I still do it when I remember, but I didn’t get it that time.

        It is good to know the Bugelspanner hasn’t disappeared into the depths of the storage bunker!

        As for your lack of “free time”… I definitely try to track down everything I see from you, and you are the one who got me looking at American Airgunner, subscribing to Shotgun News (I missed the Texan review issue, so I broke down and subscribed), and generally REALLY looking into Airguns.

        I found my “first gun” a few weeks ago at my mother’s house: Crosman 766
        It’s rusted almost to mush 🙁 But I am going to give it a shot for repair and rebuild and see if I can pass it along to a young child in my family once I am done.

        I’m really looking forward to your reviews of the new .25 Hatsan, I’ve been looking at their offerings for awhile now.

        Thanks for everything you do! ~Qjay

        • Qjay,

          I am also looking forward to the Hatsan test. I understand the rifle is very accurate and the price is hard to beat.

          On that first gun, don’t overlook the automatic transmission sealant trick. I just “fixed” a 30-something year old 760 that way.


          • BB
            Ok I will be waiting for the Bullpup. Don’t know if I’m up with the design they chose but if it shoots nice that can be overlooked I suppose.

            And if you do get the big caliber Hatsan let us at least know you got it and will be testing it soon.

    • Qjay

      If you register for the blog you don’t have to answer the question each time you post a comment. I fat fingered the answer more then once causing a comment get lost in cyberspace.


  4. This is timely. I just got my new marauder last Saturday, by the time I got the scope mounted it was dark, and then Sunday it rained all day. I really hope to do some shooting this weekend.

    Fortunately I don’t know too much about the inner workings of pcps, certainly not enough to think I can improve on what the factory did.

    Is pellgun oil the same thing as silicon chamber oil? Or is that something different? I’ll probably just use some motor oil, a friend was telling me how well it works.

    I kid, I kid! Don’t ban me please.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent chronograph sub 100 dollars? Caldwell has one that connects to a phone for 90 dollars, anyone have experience with it?

  5. I’m always mind boggled at how many people on my favorite airgun forum will purchase a very expensive rifle and have it sent straight to one of the tuning gurus without ever shooting it. They will then extoll the virtues of the magic this tuner has performed and proclaim him almost godlike. They never talk about how much they spent to have this miracle transformation. I’m not saying that certain guns can’t be improved, but I find this practice foolish.

    • I actually did this with my .22 Rainstorm II. I did have a pretty good idea of it would be out of the box due to having tried a refurb .177 Rainstorm I that had issues (Pyramyd was great as always on the return). With that experience I knew I wanted the handling, but with a worked trigger a detuned to 30ftlb with 18g JSB and a more backyard friendly shroud. I got exactly what I wanted and still well below a Euro gun price.

    • Rey,

      I haven’t seen this lubricant before, but it is one of many I have seen such claims for. Increasing velocity with a lubricant is pretty rare. I have never actually seen that happen, though I have seen oils slow pellets down.


      • So, absolutely no lead fouling should be expected from pellets claimed to be flying out at 900-1050 fps in brass barrels? Should I be oiling them? Planning to purchase a PCP in a month or so budget permitting. 95% of the airgunning population here belong to the darkside with about 80% on CO2 and the rest already on PCPs.

        • Siraniko,

          Lead and brass are quite slick against each other and the lead slips right through without depositing a smear. Of course my experience with Philippine rifles tops out at 900 f.p.s. They were CO2 guns. There may be problems above that speed of which I am not aware.

          If you do have to clean with a brush, use one with synthetic bristles that aren’t as hard as the brass.


  6. B.B.,

    My new to me TX200 seems to like Crosman Premiers. If accuracy falls off how would you recommend I clean the barrel? Even if I worked from the muzzle there is still the space between the barrel and the end of the shroud that would accumulate the JB paste. The rifle is MK3.

    Mark N

      • B.B.,

        Just looked,…WOW!,…did not know that was there. Yeah,..that would be an issue.

        First I have read this. Maybe this would be worthy of mention with the TX and any others with this feature. Looks like it would be a big no-no.

          • B.B.,

            Sorry,…I missed it. I have tried to absorb a lot, in a pretty short time.

            No cleaning on the TX and do not plan to. I do not believe the FPS requires it and it also sounds like a good idea to stay away from the Crossman Premier’s due to the lead mixture,..antimony.

          • B.B.,

            Thanks for the info. I guess I never paid attention until I had mine in hand about barrel cleaning though I’m sure I’ve read you comments about it before. I probably had some vague recollection from reading earlier posts.

            It’s sort of a shame since I find the design to be otherwise so elegant yet simple.

            Thanks again,
            Mark N

      • Chris,

        yes I have tried JSB’s 10.34, H&N 10.65 Baracuda Match and 8.64 FTT’s, Superdomes, Supermags, AA field 8.4’s, CPL’s and CP’s. I don’t stock a lot of .177 cal pellets. (Obviously a .177 TX200).

        I bought it ever so slightly used and unfortunately the CP’s are the only pellets showing much hope of accuracy.

        Having said that it is still very new. I am going to give it some time.

        I would also mention that this is one buzzy rifle. I currently own over 20 spring rifles and I have never experienced one that buzzes this much. Granted that my TX is more powerful than most of my other rifles though. But I don’t think that buzz should affect accuracy. I may put a kit in after further evaluation.

        It is a beautiful left handed version. I posted some pics over on the Diana forum:


        Mark N

        • Mark N,

          “Buzzy” does not sound right. I have nothing to compare to though. You sound like you have tried a lot of pellets.., more than me.

          Mine is left also.

          As for “buzzy”,…I’m sure you will be getting a few replies here shortly from some of the more experienced posters. At least I hope you do.

          I’m new also. My best is 10mm on average with few 4-6mm. along the way. That’s at 41′.

          • Chris,

            Thanks. I’m sure it is a loose spring to guide fit. It happens. Although I may not be able to correct it I’m sure it is correctable.

            Some of my favorite springers required a bit of a journey to really appreciate. I have no problems with the journey. Part of the enjoyment for me.

            Thanks again,
            Mark N

            • Mark N,

              The TX is insanely easy to tear down. No spring compressor needed. Gunfun1 has a video link. You can have it tore down, (spring out), in less than 10 minutes.

              20+ springers is a lot. You did not mention if you have tore down guns before. I have not, but with the video link, I would in a minute.

              • Chris, USA

                Time has passed and I don’t save stuff to much anymore.

                I know shame on me. But that’s a lot about the way I operate. I have documented a lot of things I do.

                I just do and enjoy now is what I like to accomplish.

                But Buldawg sent me the link originally. Him and BB got my senses riled about tuning and that was my big influence to learn about spring guns.

                And I’m glad I took on that little episode of my life.

                Spring guns are fun. 🙂

  7. Tom/B.B.,

    Here’s something that will have a shooter’s new air guns and older air guns both shooting better — READ THIS BLOG!

    Almost everything I have learned about air guns I learned from you and from the comments left by fellow followers of the blog over the years. This place on the internet is the world’s best course in air gunning.


      • B.B.,

        Another way would to use a vacuum pump which would require no disassembly of the tank. Automotive shops and technicians who work on refrigeration and air conditioning have them.


      • Michael & B.B.:

        I’m a long-time scuba diver (since mid-1980’s with well over a 1,000 logged dives). I would highly recommend taking the tank that you are referring to a scuba shop for inspection. A scuba tank should never have moisture in it. If it does, the tank was probably run dry with the valve left open. There may be other contaminants in the tank besides just water. This may not be a problem if the tank is only used to fill PCP’s but can be deadly to a diver if the tank was actually used for scuba. The rule at the dive shop I use is that if a tank is brought back in with less than 250 PSI, the tank is bled dry, the valve removed, and visually inspected. Whoever turned in the tank gets charged for the VI.

        Folks, if you are using scuba tanks to fill your PCP’s, then I would suggest learning from your local dive shop the proper care and maintenance of a scuba tank. Used correctly a scuba tank is safe. Used incorrectly, well, they make a powerful bomb. Do a google search for exploding scuba tanks. Back in the late 80’s or early 90’s there was a story floating around the industry about a dive shop destroyed by a tank that exploded while being filed. As I remember the story, a diver purchased a used tank and took it to his brother-in-law who owned an auto body shop. He just dropped it off as his brother-in-law was not there at the time with a note to please paint the tank. The brother-in-law baked on a nice new finish and called the diver to pick up the tank. He did not tell the diver that the tank had been heat treated. The diver took the tank to his local shop. The shop owner asked if the tank had been subjected to heat in the painting process and was told that it had not been. The shop visually inspected the tank (heat treatment will not show on a visual inspection) and started to fill it. Luckily, the shop was using an autofill station back of the shop and the people had gone back in the shop while the tank was filling. The tank got to estimated 2500 PSI and exploded. In this case there were some injuries but it could have been much worse. Exposure to heat of 300 degrees or more can cause aluminum to crystallize and become brittle.

        If you are considering purchasing a used tank, I would suggest requiring a VI (visual inspection) by a dive shop and having the tank hydroed even if it is within the 5 year hydostat window before purchase.


        • Jim,

          The use of non-dive-dcertified air compressors is the reason for the water. As airgunners we never plan to breathe that air so we aren’t as concerned about moisture as divers are.

          Your advice and cautionary tale are well-received. We non-divers become too accustomed to the dangers of compressed air.


  8. Tom,
    As usual your advice is right on.
    I just got the marauder that I have been wanting for over a year. I got it specifically because of all of the available adjustments that I could make.
    After reading this post I’ll be waiting until I see what the gun can do out of the box before I “tune”it.

    As to cleaning the barrel ,has anyone come up with a good way to run JB down a Marauder barrel?

  9. BB,

    I was looking over your new site and was reading your article about the 4 Horsemen. FYI, the HW35 is still being imported as the HW35E with a beautiful walnut stock. As soon as I can scrape up enough change, I will be adding one to my modest collection.

      • And it’s still incredibly fun to shoot. I just wanted to write that everything about it screams “quality”. But this one doesn’t “scream”. It politely says “quality” 🙂

        If I recall correctly, you haven’t done your usual accuracy tests with the HW35. That would be a thing I’d like to see.

        Speaking of which… I just tried to improve on the groups I shot yesterday and after shooting several groups, I gave up. I’m probably too tired…

  10. I have to say I kind of agree with the crazy guy that cleaned his air gun every 200 shots. I noticed that when using Premiers in my .22 RWS 460, that the accuracy would very noticeably fall-off within that number of shots. After cleaning, the accuracy would return for a while. I gave up on the Premiers in favor of JSB’s for that very reason. They perform about as well, but are a bit more expensive, but worth it for eliminating the excessive cleaning. Also, when using non-lead, plastic-encased pellets in my .177 P1 (“trick” pellets as some call them), I was amazed at the depositing of plastic in the bore. Accuracy fell-off within 50 shots in that case. Needless to say, I don’t use those pellets at all any more. I guess cleaning frequency depends on what your putting in the bore.

    Steve from PA

  11. BB:

    Yes, the Premiers were accurate in my 460, and I hated to abandon them because they were rarely, if ever, on back-order. However, the JSB’s don’t seem to lead the bore much, if at all. Also, when I do clean, (and you will call me paranoid for this), I prefer to put a dab of bore compound on the front end of a felt cleaning pellet, then push that into the breach, followed by a POINTED lead pellet. My thought is that upon firing, the pointed pellet drives into and obturates the back-end of the felt pellet, and thoroughly scrubs the compound away that was deposited by the blob of compound on the front-end of the felt pellet. I repeat this about 7-10 times, and it seems to clean the bore well. I do all of this because I worry about the cleaning rod damaging the rifling. I know it’s a little paranoid.

    Steve from PA

    • How do you know your bore is clean? Do you have a borescope? Interesting idea. I gave up on my supply of felt pellets after I read that they do not have sufficient weight to operate the gun. Perhaps they might even damage the gun in the same as a dry fire. That would be fixed by combining it with a pointed pellet.


      • Properly, you are not supposed to “shoot” those felt pellets. You are supposed to push them through with a blunt cleaning rod.

        Last time I used them was when I was adjusting the m54 trigger… I’d already had a number of accidental dry-fires that I felt even a pair of felt pellets would offer some buffer to the piston (digging the felt out of the carpet was another matter)

        • Wulfraed
          If your going to adjust th e trigger why and the heck did you fire the felt pellets?

          I know it don’t matter when adjusting your trigger but heck go ahead and shoot some groups with regular pellets just for the heck of it while your adjusting the trigger.

          You know home work and have some fun at the same time.

          • Those weren’t intentional firings, first… They occurred while making minor tweaks to the first and second stage settings. My m54 was shipped with lawyer-friendly settings — no first stage, everything was a long second stage; it took me some time to realize that I didn’t need to move the first stage screw deeper in [I’d even removed 1/8″ of the trigger {plastic} from under the first stage head to let it seat deeper into the trigger]. Then it became a case of backing out the second stage completely and working it back in slowly until I could feel it at the end of the first stage travel.

            Second, my living room was only about 12-15 feet across not allowing for furniture, and the m54 with real pellets into my .22rimfire trap rattled windows.

  12. Here’s some technical advice I follow to the letter. I never cleaned my IZH 61 for almost 100,000 shots and didn’t notice any problem. Derrick had a look and said the bore was filthy and cleaned it out. I guess it will be good for another 100,000. My only reservation about just shooting the gun is something I’ve heard in connection with firearms. Someone said that it is madness to shoot your firearm from the factory without checking that something might be obstructing the bore. That’s not really a concern for airguns, but it would make sense to check for a firearm.

    Very interesting about the differences between lead alloy with antimony and without. I wonder if a similar process is involved for copper fouling in firearms. My Mosin seems to have years of deposits laid down in the bore.

    B.B., that’s kind of disappointing to get 6 MOA from your scoped Mosin. With this rifle, it is almost easier to get a new one than to fix accuracy problems. But at least you saw the fine accuracy in other copies of this rifle.


    • What?! 6 MOA from a Mosin?
      Half the time that happens it needs to be counter-bored and re-crowned, the rest of the time the rifling is damaged and it needs to be relined (Or re-chambered and/or bored into something bigger 😀 😀 ). This does, of course, assume there are no mechanical problems like loose screws, bad wood pressing on the barrel, damaged sites, etc.
      It’s not really a 50/50, but those are the major reasons for loss of accuracy with a Mosin. At least, assuming Tom doesn’t have a flinch from the recoil, lol. I guess it could happen, Mosin’s are powerful rifles!

    • Matt,

      That could sound funny, but guys who have experience with Izh barrels here say that segment rifling (aka “drawn nut”) that is used on later Izh air rifles is almost impossible to foul. In fact it’s almost “the dirtier – the better” approach they use. The only real indication for cleaning is if groups “explode” or if your rifle starts making wild “flyers” with no mistakes from your side and your Izzy in overall working order.


    • Matt61,

      I purchased an IZH 61 this past year for my grand daughters and fell in love with it! Very accurate, extremely easy to cock and just fun to shoot period! At 19′ it will shoot small, one hole, round symmetrical groups and it stacked four out of five pellets once at 17′, I only tried it that one time. This was done with a Williams aperture sight and the factory post front sight. Since this one was already spoken for, I had to get a replacement for myself, I bought two more. Unfortunately, neither one is as accurate as the first. How accurate is yours? At what range do you normally shoot it, number of shots and group size? What pellet works best in yours?

      FYI, hard cast, lead bullets require the correct mixture of lead, tin and antimony to discourage leading at higher velocities and with the proper mixture, the bullets can even be heat treated to make them substantially harder still. This information can be found in the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook and gets quite technical.


  13. Matt61:

    The bore might not be perfectly clean when I’m done, but when I fire the initial felt wads into a pile of rags (to catch them for inspection), the first 3-4 come out with dark black longitudinal lines from the grooves, then they gradually get lighter. The final 2-3 wads come out very clean, without the black dirt. At the end, I fire one or two pellet/wad combos without bore compound just to make sure things are “dry.” Most importantly, however, I assume its clean enough because any loss in accuracy up to that point seems to be returned. You will need a crow’s beak or something pointy to advance the wad into the breach to make room for the pointed pellet, as the resistance offered by the wad makes it very difficult to get the pellet in flush with just your thumb.

    Steve from PA

  14. I’ve been glued to this blog for two days! I’ve learned so much already from all the knowledgeable people on this site. I’ve been airgunning for several years with an HW-77 in .177 cal. I have been shooting H&N Match Rifle(8.18gr) with very good results. I recently bought a large pellet sampler and have tested about 30 different pellets. I get good accuracy at 25 yards with the Beeman FTS (8.9gr) and the Beeman Kodiak (10.6gr). I get good results from several other pellets as well. But, when I shoot the copper coated FTS and Kodiaks, they’re called Double Golds, the groups spread out considerably. Has anyone else experienced this? Is the copper plating influencing the accuracy? Also, will I have to be concerned with copper fouling in the barrel if I use these copper plated pellets? Recently, I bought a Beeman R1, and am going to clean the barrel with J-B Non Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound as suggested by B.B. I have shot some Crossman Premiers through it and have noticed lead at the breech and the crown rifling. Reading that the J-B cleaning compound will ruin seals, how is the breech seal removed from an R1? I have spare breech seals, but I don’t want to damage the metal in that area. Is there an easy, safe way to remove the seal?

    • Landmass
      I have almost bought those copper coated pellets in the past.

      But something tells me that they are harder then lead. Even if its a coating.

      I’m looking at it like shooting a copper coated bb through a rifled barrel. That’s usually not good for rifling. And I would like to know the bennifits if there is any. Which there probably is for some reason.

      I hope BB steps in here. Because I would like to know what he has exsperianced with copper coated pellets.

    • Landmass,

      Welcome to the blog.

      If those copper-plated pellets don’t work in your rifle, don’t use them. Like any pellet, they will perform differently in different guns.

      Will they plate the bore? I honestly don’t know. I’ve never seen it, but I don’t use them much.

      In the past when I shot copper-plated pellets the guns I shot them in were too slow to have any problems.

      You will do more damage taking the breech seal out of your R1 barrel. Just leave it in place. I have never removed a breech seal and I’ve cleaned hundreds of barrels with JB paste. Just clean out the residue when you are done. That’s all it takes.


  15. Anyone, is there a section of this blog that addresses the issue of stock building and fitment? I’m having a problem with a custom Black American Walnut for an R1. The gun was shooting fine until I put the newly finished stock on it. Then it shot wild groups hitting an average of 6 inches below the previous point of impact. I took it off, replaced it with the factory Beech stock, and everything went back to normal. The blank came to me 90% finished, so I had to sand the action cavity. The fit looks very good, with no gaps, etc. Can any of you think of what I may have done wrong, and possibly suggest a course of action I can take to remedy this situation. What’s the first thing I should look at? It’s a great piece of wood, and I put A LOT of work into it… I built a 90% finished stock a few years ago, and it’s on an HW77 and it’s the most accurate rifle I own.

  16. Hello BB. I wanted to make a trigger adjustment to my NP2 and wanted to ask a question… If I were to bring it to a gun smith would he be able or qualified to fix the trigger pull? (As I want It reduced to a two stage two pound pull instead of 5-6 pounds). I know there are other options such as Charliedatuna’s premade triggers but I am still rather weary of taking apart the gun myself in order to install it. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

    • Jordan,

      All gunsmiths are not equally qualified, so I can’t say that they can. If the guy is reasonably skilled he should be able to adjust the trigger as well as anyone, though 2 pounds is probably way lighter than it will go.


  17. might be off topic but I have searched the forums to no avail so far.

    I have a fairly old, 15 years or so, Gamo Shadow 1000. I am not able to get tight groups with this gun any more and I am not sure what to do. I am currently using Gamo Rocket .177 pellets and was getting a group at 25 yards of inside a quarter. Now it is 2″. I have cleaned the bore with the recommended methods above.

    Is there a more accurate pellet for this rifle? Does this rifle need tuning of some sort? I use to be able to take head shots on squirrels at 25 yards and now miss them broad side!

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, the fiberoptic sights broke off. Do you reccomend replacing them with any certain brand?

    • Nahhanecho,

      Welcome to the blog.

      After you cock your rifle, does the barrel stay where you place it, or does it fall down? In other words, is the barrel join t tight enough. That is the test for a breakbarrel rifle — that once cocked, the barrel will remain in and position you place it.

      Have you cleaned the bore with JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound? The Shadow 1000 is a little too fast for its own good and with hard lead pellets it will lead up.

      Is the breech seal flattened? If so you may need a new one.

      Gamo Rockets aren’t on the list of premium pellets. I would suggest JSB Exact RS or JSB Exact Haevy domes.

      Are you using the artillery hold correctly? Here is a video as a reminder:


      These are all the things that come to mind.

      By the way, you can also talk about this on the current page:



  18. B.B.

    Thank you from the quick reply.

    The barrel aligns well and seems to stay where it should. Yes, the breach seal looks to be flattened a little, where could I get one to replace it?

    I used the JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. I am going to rethink my skill level of the artillery hold. I feel I have been holding it a little to firmly.

    I will be replacing the Rockets with one of the pellets you recommended also.

    • Nahhanecho,

      Call Pyramyd AIR for the replacement breech seal. They are also your source for the JSB pellets.

      The artillery hold makes all the difference in the world with this rifle. Three-inch groups will become half-inch groups.

      Give it a try.


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