by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

BSA Meteor
BSA Meteor Mark I.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Applying Tune in a Tube
  • Not greasing a tractor
  • Well?
  • The test
  • Hobbys
  • RWS Superpoints
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Shut my mouth!
  • Next

Today we find out whether Tune in a Tube works on my BSA Meteor Mark I. Before we get into that, though I want to say a couple more things about the rifle. Reader RidgeRunner asked if the detent has a groove cut into it for the pivot pin. Yes, it does. And the trigger of this Mark I is significantly different than the trigger on my Mark IV Super Meteor that I showed you.

I plan to photograph both items in the report when I clean and re-tune the rifle, just so we have a good record, because this trigger is not that simple to assemble. Or perhaps it is simple, but it only goes together one way, which is not completely obvious. So I will document that in the next report.

Applying Tune in a Tube

The directions for Tune in a Tube are very simple. Pull the barreled action out of the stock and apply several thin lines of the grease on the coils of the mainspring through the cocking slot. Sound simple — right? It is simple, until you go to do it. I am so glad this test was on a Meteor, because the cocking slot on a Meteor is not that exposed. Here, let me show you.

BSA Meteor cocking slot
Here is the cocking slot of the Meteor. The mainspring is not as exposed as you might think. Not a lot of room to apply the grease. Look at the extreme left of the picture. See the small window where the spring is exposed? The spring guide isn’t blocking it there, either, so you have good access to the entire inside of the spring cylinder in that spot.

Not greasing a tractor

Okay, guys, time to grease the gun.  This is where the term “sparingly” comes into play. We aren’t greasing a tractor! The directions say to apply several thin strands of the lube both on the mainspring coils you can see and also reach the applicator tip through the coils to get to the inside of the spring and the other side of the spring tube. But look at the small space you have with the Meteor. Most of the spring that’s visible has the spring guide inside it, so there will be no reaching through the coils there.

You have to use common sense. What you are doing is putting some grease inside the spring tube. The actions of cocking and firing the gun several times will spread the grease around the spring and the inside of the tube. Just do your best to put enough grease in there. If you err, do so on the side of putting too little grease on the spring. You can always put more if you have to. It’s hard to take any away. Let me show you what I did — and given the small space you can forget the “thin strands of grease” in the instructions. I just put in what I thought was the right amount — again trying to err on the side of too little.

BSA Meteor grease 1
This is (almost) how much Tune in a Tube grease I put on the mainspring. Notice that I put some on the body of the piston, too. Since the piston slides in the spring tube, it will also distribute the grease as the gun is cocked and fired.

Remember that tiny window that was to the left in the first picture? I told you that was the one place where there is access to the opposite side of the spring and spring tube. So I squirted some grease in there, as well. I can’t show you how much because it’s deep inside the gun, but trust me that I put about the same amount of grease there that you see in the last picture. I also greased the tiny bit of spring that is visible through that window.

BSA Meteor grease 2
This small window (arrow) gives the only access to the inside of the spring tube that isn’t blocked by the spring guide. I squirted some grease deep inside this window, plus I put some on the few coils of spring that are visible.

Well?

I noticed that the grease was thinner than I anticipated. It also looked reddish, but since I’m colorblind how would I know? It reminded me of the Spring Gel product Beeman used to sell. I never had much success with Spring Gel and thanked them for bringing out the much thicker Mainspring Dampening Compound several years later. That thought left me wondering if this product would do anything.

I then assembled the action into the stock, cocked and loaded the rifle and fired the first shot. My gosh — it works!

Shot two was even smoother and I noticed over the first 10 shots that the rifle was smoothing out with every shot. That is exactly what the directions say! I then settled down to break in the new “tune.” After about 15 shots I remembered the dry piston seal, so I oiled it through the transfer port. Then I shot maybe 15 more shots and endured a couple detonations — perhaps three in all. After that the rifle seemed to have settled in and was ready to test.

The test

To test the rifle I decided to use the same pellets that were used in the velocity test in Part 2. I even shot them in the same sequence.

Hobbys

First up were RWS Hobbys. I’ll show you the results of the two tests (before and after the tune) side by side. Today’s test is Test 2.

Test 1…………………………….Test 2
Shot…………….Vel…………Shot…………….Vel
1…………….….624…………..1……………….616
2…………….….615…………..2……………….613
3…………….….612…………..3……………….610
4…………….….618…………..4……………….607
5…………….….605…………..5……………….605
6…………….….619…………..6……………….604
7…………….….622…………..7……………….610
8…………….….600…………..8……………….616
9…………….….616…………..9……………….612
10………………615…………..10…………..….611

Test 1…………………………….Test 2
Avg……Spread…..FPE………Avg……Spread…..FPE
615……….24……..10……..…610……….11……..9.83

Pretty close, eh? That is exactly what the directions said to expect — slightly slower with a tighter spread.

RWS Superpoints

Next came RWS Superpoints. They are now called Superpoint Extra, but the weight is still the same, at 14.5 grains.

Test 1…………………………Test 2
Shot…………….Vel…………Shot…………….Vel
1…………….….552…………..1……………….546
2…………….….551…………..2……………….545
3…………….….559…………..3……………….549
4…………….….548…………..4……………….546
5…………….….532…………..5……………….548
6…………….….541…………..6……………….540
7…………….….550…………..7……………….541
8…………….….542…………..8……………….549
9…………….….549…………..9……………….552
10………………545…………..10…………..….539

Test 1…………………………….Test 2
Avg……Spread…..FPE………Avg……Spread…..FPE
547……….27……..9.64………545……….13……9.57

JSB Exact RS

The last pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS dome.

Test 1…………………………Test 2
Shot…………….Vel…………Shot…………….Vel
1…………….….571…………..1……………….567
2…………….….572…………..2……………….570
3…………….….566…………..3……………….567
4…………….….558…………..4……………….564
5…………….….563…………..5……………….566
6…………….….563…………..6……………….568
7…………….….565…………..7……………….561
8…………….….568…………..8……………….563
9…………….….566…………..9……………….566
10………………561…………..10…………..….563

Test 1…………………………….Test 2
Avg……Spread…..FPE………Avg……Spread…..FPE
565……….14……..9.52………566……….9…..…9.56

There you have it. In every case the velocity spread was smaller after Tune in a Tube was applied. Two of the pellets went slightly slower after the application and the last pellet went slightly faster. In practical terms there is no difference.

Shut my mouth!

I never imagined this test turning out this way — especially after seeing the low viscosity of the product. I thought we were in for a big disappointment. Well — I WAS WRONG. This stuff really works. In fact, if I had cleaned the parts of the powerplant before assembling it, I would leave the Meteor just as it is. I can’t do that, of course. I have to clean everything, just to ease my conscience if nothing else. But Tune in a Tube really does work.

Next

My thanks to all you readers who prompted me to test this product. It’s almost too good to be true, because this is exactly what airgunners have been asking for, for the past two decades. Tune in a Tube — get some!

My next step will be to disassemble the rifle and clean all the parts, including the interior of the spring/compression tube. Then I will lube it again (maybe with this stuff!) and assemble it once more for a final test. There are several additional places I want to lube with different products, plus I want that rust out of there. And I want that piston seal lubed properly! So, stay tuned.