Sheridan Blue Streak: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Sheridan Blue Streak
My Sheridan Blue Streak was purchased new in 1978.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • What about a Steroid?
  • Today’s test
  • Test 1
  • Test 2
  • Test 3
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation

Today we will look at the power of my vintage Sheridan Blue Streak. I bought this multi pump pneumatic new in 1978 and it has never had any maintenance. All I have done is faithfully oil the pump piston head with Crosman Pellgunoil when it needed it (at least every 6 months if you shoot it regularly, but every time if you only shoot it occasionally like me) and I always stored the gun with a pump of air in it. In the past 6-8 years I’ve upped that to 2 pumps of air.

What about a Steroid?

Always when I talk about a Sheridan, the topic of the Steroid Streak comes up. Why haven’t I had my rifle upgraded by Tim McMurray? Well, the readers of The Airgun Letter know that I did own a Steroid Streak. It was a Silver Streak I bought new and sent to Tim to convert. Yes, it was more powerful, but I decided after testing it that I didn’t need the extra power. What my old Blue Streak could do on its factory trim is good enough for me.

I even went beyond a Steroid Streak. Greg Fuller sent me his conversion of a Blue Streak to test. It got up to 25 foot pounds, as I recall. I also recall a final pump stroke (number 15 or 18, as I recall) took100 pounds! Yes, that’s right — 100 pounds. Greg built his rifle just to see what was possible on the Blue Streak platform. He never meant it to be a practical air rifle, and it certainly wasn’t. It was a study of the extreme potential.

My point is — if you think you want a Steroid Streak conversion, get one. Tim strengthens the pump mechanism to take the additional strain, so I don’t think it will shorten the life of your gun. But also recognize that many shooters are perfectly content with the Blue or Silver Streak just the way they are.

Today’s test

I’m going to do a couple things as I test this rifle for you. I will select the .20 caliber Crosman Premier pellet as my standard pellet. Although Crosman no longer makes their 14.3-grain Premier in .20 caliber, I have a couple boxes set aside just for special things like this. However Crosman does offer the 14.3-grain Benjamin Cylindrical pellet, which is a cross between the vintage Sheridan Cyindrical and a true diabolo.

Benjamin Cylindrical
Benjamin’s Cylindrical pellet is a cross between the old Sheridan Cylindrical and a diabolo.

Sheridan Cylindrical
The vintage Sheridan Cylindrical pellet is not a diabolo in any way. It is a reincarnation of the pellets sold in the late 1800s.

Test 1

In this test I will record the velocity achieved with 3 through 8 pumps. Then, just so you know, I will pump the rifle more than 8 times, until the valve starts locking up and the velocity starts to drop. Older Sheridans will often allow more than 8 pumps when their pump piston head gets worn and hard.

Pump           Velocity
3………………400
4………………422
5………………444
6………………455
7………………486
8………………462 (this is where the manual says to stop)
9………………456
10…………….476

This test was surprising and confusing. I expected to end at around 600+ f.p.s. with this pellet, but obviously that didn’t happen. Also, the highest velocity came on pump 7 rather than pump 8. Even though pump 9 went slower than pump 8, there was no air left in the gun after the shot — as confirmed by firing a second shot. And then pump number 10 increased in velocity, when I expected it to go slower than pump 9. Again, no air remained in the gun.

That caused me to run several shots over, just to see what they would be a second time.

Pump          Velocity
7………………480
8………………473
9………………459
10…………….454

I wish I could say that clears things up, but it really doesn’t. Shot number 10 was the real puzzler.

Test 2

Now I will test the consistency of the rifle at the same number of pumps. I’ll still shoot Premiers and pump the gun 5 times for every shot.

Shot             Velocity
1………………393
2………………402
3………………425
4………………429
5………………432

I stopped after 5 shots and oiled the pump head, thinking the gun needed it. Then I resumed shooting.

Shot             Velocity
6………………404
7………………432
8………………428
9………………426
10…………….414

Obviously, oiling was not the answer. The average for this string was 419 f.p.s., but I don’t know what that tells us. My rifle seems sick and in need of a rebuild.

Test 3

This time I will look at other pellets. Now I’m not exactly overrun with choices of .20 caliber pellets, because it’s not a caliber I commonly shoot. But I do have a number of vintage pellets that will be used in the accuracy test, So I’ll include them in this test. The gun will be pumped 5 times for each pellet.

Pellet                               Weight          Velocity
Sheridan Cylindrical……….unk…..………366
Beeman Ram Jet………….11.7………….447
Beeman Silver Sting………10.5………….436
Beeman Silver Arrow……..15.5………….364
Beeman Silver Jet………….unk…………..376 (on the second try!)

I tried to weigh all the pellets, but my electronic powder scale picked today to fail. I gave my Ohaus 1010 mechanical scale to my friend Mac years ago, thinking I would never need it again. Now I know why that wasn’t correct!

The Beeman Silver Jets loaded hard and did not come out of the barrel on the first try. I pumped the gun again and got the velocity you see. Yes, they were .20 caliber pellets. Beeman used to color-code their pellet tins and boxes and yellow or gold was the .20 caliber color. The .22s were in green tins/boxes.

Trigger pull

The Sheridan Blue Streak trigger has the same pull regardless of the number of pump strokes you make. It’s single stage and breaks at a reasonably crisp 3 lbs. 14 oz.

Evaluation

I have a rifle in need of a rebuild. This performance is way below what I expect from this gun. Fortunately I have been tracking the rifle for the past 22 years with a chronograph and I know what it should be able to do. It’s not doing that, or even close to that. So it needs a rebuild. I am contacting the right place to do the job, and I will tell you about it when I get the gun back. Until then, we wait.

51 thoughts on “Sheridan Blue Streak: Part 2


  1. BB,

    When my calendar alarm rung today I was wondering why until I brought up what the alarm was about. I did have the thought that you would put the next part about this rifle today as a fitting tribute. Seems even her rifle misses her.

    May wonderful memories fill your heart until you meet again.


  2. BB,

    Your sick puppy reminds me why I need to get a chronograph. I have managed without one, but it is a very nice tool to have as long as you do not become obsessed with it.


  3. A Sheridan Blue Streak was my first pellet gun. It was stolen when my house was robbed. They just took the Sheridan and not my firearms sitting next to it in the gun case. I have three sons and I had bought them all Blue Streaks. They still have their’s. When I started repairing airguns, I got a Blue Streak and a Silver Streak in a deal with three other airguns all for $11. Replaced the pump plunger in one and rebuilt the other ones valve. Then got a Silver Streak to rebuild until I told the owner what it would cost. He would not spend any money to rebuild a “BB gun” so I gave him $30 for it. I rebuilt it so now I have two Silver Streaks and one Blue Streak. Love the Sheridan. Haven’t figured out how to shoot all three at the same time though! Usually only shoot the one Silver Streak I put a receiver sight on since I can’t shoot regular open sight very well anymore. Old eyes, you know.


    • Jonah,

      Perhaps you know the answer to this. My 1978 Blue Streak has the adjustable pump rod that allows you to adjust the pump head clearance top zero — thus getting as much power as is possible from the rifle. I have been told that the current replacement pump head comes on a rod that is not adjustable and I will lose this feature when my gun is rebuilt.

      Do you know anything about that?

      B.B.


      • BB,
        I’m surprised that your Sheridan has the adjustable pump rod. That was supposed to be discontinued after the 1964 models according to my sources. My 1972, 1973 and 1975 Racine Sheridans all have non-adjustable pump rods. Its possible that your gun has a replacement rod from earlier guns. Up to about 1961, the pump rod was adjustable on both ends. Then up to 1964, was only adjustable on the top cross head end.From my information, pictures of the three rods side by side appear to be interchangeable. Unless your rod is damaged, it should not have to be replaced unless it is the earliest rod threaded at both ends. The pump cup was molded in on that rod. If that is what you have, contact MAC-1. I believe that he can repair that pump cup. He may have the replacement pump cup holder that takes the new style pressed in cups. I have pictures of one, but don’t know who made it.
        I can bring you a copy of the Sheridan Repair Manual at the Texas Gun show if you desire. I think it may be too long at 31 pages with pictures to e-mail. If you sent me by e-mail your mailing address, I would send you the copy.


      • BB,
        I can send manual by e-mail. I know that you don’t want your e-mail address out on the web. Send me private e-mail at lroach1@hotmail.com if you desire too. For all others, please don’t request copies. Manual is available on the internet if you look for it.


        • Jonah,

          I think I already have the repair manual. I had it years ago. I’ll just have to find it.

          But I don’t plan on fixing the rifle myself. It’s not my thing. I have a message in to a repair center right now and if I don’t hear from them I will probably contact Tim.

          B.B.


  4. Rio Olympics Up-Date: your special correspondent, Fred_BR, with the latest news from Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics Shooting events… 😉
    Saturday, as you all know, we had a fantastic day, with Virginia Thrasher (USA) winning Gold on Women Air Rifle 10m, and Felipe Wu (BRA) with Silver medal on Men Air Pistol 10m. As usual for Brazilians to fool with every aspect of life, the joke around here is that, given the current violence levels in Rio, the first Brazilian medal on this Olympic Games could only come from a shoot out!
    Yesterday, we had the Finals for Women Air Pistol 10m, won by Zhang Mengwue (China) with 199.4 points. Silver for Vitalina Batsarashkina (RUS) and Bronze for Anna Korakaki (Gre). Please, don’t ask me to pronounce their names. I did my best to type them as correctly as possible!
    We also had Women Trap, won by Catherine Skinner (AUS), with Natalie Rooney (NZL) – Silver, and Corey Cogdell (USA) – Bronze. Congratulations for all medalists.
    Today the Shooting events Men Air Rifle 10m finals (12:00 Brasilia time), and Men Trap final (15:00 – Brasilia time). As usual, your reporter Fred_BR will be up dating the results for you as the events take place.
    Cheers, folks…


  5. The Sheridan is one of my favorites. I have two. I have one with a Scout Scope mounted forward in a Crosman Intermount. I needed to shim the mount but that was easy. I used some milk carton plastic. It works great. i most often shoot JSB pellets it them. The other has a factory installed Williams Receiver Site. That one was purchased new in 1968.

    Mike



  6. B.B.,

    Best wishes on getting the Blue Streak up and going again.

    Question: Is there ever a time when silicone oil would be introduced into the fill nipple of a PCP?

    I ask this because of using Pellgun oil on the tip of a co2 cartridge. In principle, it is the same thing. Yes, the pressures are different,.. (much) different. If a co2 gun valve benefits from having oil mist passed through it,….. what is to benefit a PCP valve?

    I suspect that answer is an emphatic NO!,…… but I just had to ask.

    Thanks, Chris



      • B.B.,

        Mine is not leaking. I was more concerned with a detonation. I thought that (a drop) of something like RWS chamber oil put into the nipple prior to a fill, might be a beneficial thing (for the valve).

        I have never heard it discussed, or even mentioned. I would like to do it for the simple reason that it should benefit the valve. I have RWS silicone chamber oil.


        • Chris,

          Don’t do “beneficial” things to a PCP. I remember when Rolls Royce polished the piston heads inside a Buick automatic transmission they were going to use and broke it!

          Leave PCPs alone, unless they need something.

          B.B.


        • Chris USA
          The check valve might benefit from a few drops in the guns fill fitting. And I believe it helps the o-rings in the guns valves and the top hats sealing area and the stem and o-ring seal.

          I put only a few drops in my pcp’s fill fitting about every 2000 shots. And I use the RWS silicone oil. And I could of swore I mentioned that before.


          • GF1,

            No,… You have not mentioned that before. Not that I recall anyways. If so, I would not have asked the question and would have already done so. 1,2,3 drops? I am looking at 2000-3000 shots without counting empty .25 pellet tins.

            With the rear pistol grip rest, the hold is dead perfect. Yea,… I can mess that up,… but I am getting shots that are perfect (hold) from one to the next,…. and the pellet will land off. Shooting 8 in a row and paying attention to everything, casually, there is no reason whatsoever. I am thinking a sticking valve or pellets,…. one of the 2.

            Out shooting now,…. so hold on for a reply,….. Chris


            • Chris USA
              Hmm I know I mentioned it to somebody I done it. I also put a few drops of the RWS silicone oil on the o-ring in the Foster female quick disconnect fitting just to keep the o-ring from being dry.

              I even put a couple drops in the low pressure fitting that the hose from my shop compressor hooks up to on top of my Shoebox. Maybe once a month.

              I do believe that over oiling is not good though either. Just enough here and there just so the seals or o-rings don’t dry out.


              • GF1,

                Fittings,… yes. I do some silicone grease on the males,… which will get onto the females. No problem there. I am talking about 1-3 drops of RWS oil (IN) the male fitting on the M-rod,… prior to a fill. You have done that?


                • Chris USA
                  Yes I said that to you in my first reply to you today. Here it is again.

                  “The check valve might benefit from a few drops in the guns fill fitting. And I believe it helps the o-rings in the guns valves and the top hats sealing area and the stem and o-ring seal.

                  I put only a few drops in my pcp’s fill fitting about every 2000 shots. And I use the RWS silicone oil. And I could of swore I mentioned that before.”


                  • GF1,

                    Sorry there,….. 🙁 I just wanted to be sure. One minute we talked fill fittings and the next hose fittings. One will lube the O-rings and the other will go (inside) the air chamber. That is what I wanted to be clear on.


                    • Chris USA
                      Yep and I don’t use grease. I use the liquid RWS silicone oil in all places.

                      So did you put some in the gun? Did it help if you did try it?



                    • Chris USA
                      I don’t see what it could hurt. Just don’t over do it.

                      And I have been using one drop of the RWS silicone oil on the tip of my first co2 cartridge of the day in a co2 gun. Then no matter how many more cartridges I shoot in the gun that day I don’t oil anymore. I just get enough on the seal so it’s not dry. I was using pellgun oil on the Brodax every cartridge. I think that seal got over lubbed and got smashed to easy by my overtighening the cartridge. So that’s how I started using only one drop of the RWS silicone oil only on the first cartridge of the co2 guns I have now. And tightening gently. So far good luck with that process now.

                      And let me know if you see any change in your group’s after the drops of oil in the gun.

                      But one thing that keeps popping up in the back of my mind is those o-rings you have stacked up in the tube on your gun. The ones for the striker debounce. If you don’t have your striker adjustment set so it hits the valve stem consistently that can cause problems. Like a little more hit thanks needed to make sure it hits good every shot. Another thing is those o-rings can fall over a little if they don’t fit the inside diameter of the tube tight. That will cause all kinds of shot variation.



  7. B.B.
    The “Let’s Build a Multi-pump” report and the two reports on the Sheridan have re awakened my interest in shooting my 392. I had put a scope on my gun but have since removed it and installed a peep sight. I found that the rear sight was getting in the way so I removed it when I pulled it out last week. Much better without now getting nice groups off hand out to 20 yards with the 392. 🙂

    David


  8. Does caliber affect the hold sensitivity of a rifle?
    [primarily regarding springer … sorry for asking on a multi-pump blog entry]

    My hypothesis is: The slower velocity of a larger caliber (ex .22 vs .177) would mean it spends longer in the barrel and therefore more affected by recoil and hold consistency.



    • Belgrath04
      Concerning a springers shot cycle and the weight of a pellet it does affect its hold sensitivity. So size of the pellet as in caliber and weight could make a gun more or less hold sensitive if the same powerplant was used on the two different calibers.

      That’s one of BB’s tricks to get a temperamental springer to shoot better. The artillery hold.


      • GF1,

        On the (above), I will give it an 1/2 turn in and see what happens,…. and the oil. You could be right,… the striker setting might be right on the “edge”. The O-rings fit real nice.

        Thanks,…. Chris


        • Chris USA
          Ok let me know what goes. I’ll be waiting. I’m actually off work today.

          I got my old adjustable shooting stick/ bi-pod out and my green 5 gallon bucket. Got the bucket turned upside down and sitting on it. Practicing some field target shooting with the Tx setting outside in the yard. Not in the breezeway. Yep I’m ruffing it today and doing it the old fashioned way. 🙂


          • GF1,

            Poor wittle ol’ you,….. out there in that mean ol’ outdoors! 😉 🙂 Bout’ time,….. you were getting all soft and such all up in the breezeway all of the time.

            Will keep you posted,……


            • Chris USA
              Been shooting outside the last few weekends. Threw some cans out in the yard and mixing in some shots at my steel spinners and two sqerrial field targets I got.

              Since I got the Python after I messed the Brodax up and now the m22 and of course the 1077 and Bugbuster scope. I have been practicing standing freehand shooting. Actually doing real good with the 1077. Then the Python is next in line to the 1077. I’m pretty good with the m22 but I still need to get better on my grip hold with it. But it shoots good. I just need to learn to shoot it good.

              And today I figured I would shoot the way I use to before I started shooting out of the breezeway at the other house we just moved out of. Yep 5 gallon green bucket upside down and my bi-pod shooting stick. I’m telling ya my Tx is killer with that Tasco red dot on it. It just don’t miss if I keep at 50 yards and in.

              Anyway enough about me ruffing it outside. 😉

              But yes let me know how it goes.


  9. B.B.,

    I, too, have a Blue Streak in need of a rebuild. No matter how many pumps, it holds and releases one pump worth.
    I do still have Sheridan pellets and Beeman Silver Jets. I found this chart at (I am showing only the specs for the Silver Jet .20 caliber):
    http://www.beemans.net/pellet%20specs.htm

    NAME CAT. NO. WEIGHT HEAD DIA. SKIRT DIA. LENGTH
    Silver Jet 20 3075 11.21/0.73 .195/4.95 .199/5.05 .287/7.29

    I leave you with this (People, by you know who).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8L-lrqm1vk

    ~ken


  10. Wonder why the Silver Jets were dropped from the line? My FWB .177 always shot the Silver Jet the best. I only have about 100 of them left after all these years. Still have two boxes of the 5mm Silver Jets. My Silver Streak shoots them better than the JSB. I have 3000 Sheridan pellets in the yellow box. All three of my Sheridan’s shoot them nearly as well as the JSB and Silver Jet, but not quite. Did like the .177 Silver Jets and miss them. The H&N Silver Point looks like the old Silver Jet, but it does not shoot as well in my FWB 124.


  11. Don’t see the point of upgrading the power of this airgun. I believe that the essence of the multi-pump qua multi-pump is variable power. So why bother with increasing one end of the range? As a PA commenter said of the Benjamin 397, “I get plenty of power with three pumps. What the heck would I need with nine?”

    Joe on Bainbridge Island, good for you to invite the new shooter to shoot your airguns. You never know what kind of talent you will find. I understand that Ginny Thrasher started shooting 5 years ago. I’ve been shooting steadily for 10 years, and I’m not anywhere close to an Olympic level. It is in me to be jealous, but I’ve found that it’s more efficient to appreciate real talent than try to compete with it. 🙂

    I also understand that Ginny rocketed up from 23rd place in the world to defeat the two-time defending Olympic champion. However she did that, I’m sure it wasn’t, steroids…

    Matt61





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