Why won’t my new air rifle shoot well?

by Tom Gaylord

Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • The barrel
  • AirForce Texan .357
  • Is JB Bore Paste safe in a barrel?
  • Why haven’t we heard of this before?
  • What is the accuracy limit?
  • What about brass barrels?
  • Leather shoes
  • What have we learned?

I have been writing this blog for going on 12 years, and before that I wrote The Airgun Letter newsletter for 9 years. In that time I have talked to thousands of new shooters about the accuracy (or lack of accuracy) of their new airguns. This subject comes up more with rifles than pistols, because when a pistol is inaccurate most people blame themselves. But what I am about to tell you holds true for all guns that have rifled barrels.

Today’s blog was prompted by a new reader who calls himself Geo Johnson. George has an RWS Diana 34 that he is having accuracy problems with. We went through the artillery hold, and since I can’t see him shoot I have to take his word that he is doing it right. It makes all the difference in the world if he is putting any pressure on the stock as the rifle fires, but I will assume he is not. I know that a Diana 34 is a very accurate air rifle, so what else could cause it to not be accurate? Loose screws are a possibility, but they are quickly checked.

The barrel

 

How about the barrel? I have written about this many times over the years, but since we have thousands of new readers I thought I would go over it again. New barrels do not usually come ready to shoot. They have to be broken in before you will see the best from them. In the firearms world, .22 rimfire shooters have to shoot several hundred rounds through a new barrel to get it to shoot its best. Centerfire shooters have to go through a very rigid process of shooting and cleaning, shooting and cleaning their barrel for at least a hundred rounds. The only thing that makes this unnecessary is if the barrel has been hand-lapped. Lapping is a polishing process that removes all the rough edges from the rifling after manufacture. But not many shooters are willing to pay several hundred extra dollars for that. Despite what you pay for a new barrel, it always needs to be broken in when you get it, unless it has been lapped.

The reason I don’t stress this as much as I stress using Crosman Pellgunoil on every new CO2 cartridge in a gas gun is because most new air rifles are springers that also have to be broken in from 500 to 1000 shots to smooth out the powerplant. That shooting also took care of the barrel. This used to be a big deal with springers, and since springers constitute 95 percent of all new air rifles, it was pretty much universal. Well, times have changed. Spring guns are now coming from the factory much smoother, and shooters may not appreciate that their barrels still have to be broken in.

AirForce Texan .357

 

This came to a head last week when Johnny Hill of Weatherford Pawn was talking to me about his new AirForce Texan .357 big bore rifle. Johnny is an experienced shooter who knows about breaking in a barrel. He told me he cleans all his new rifled barrels with 1200-grit valve grinding compound, running a brass brush loaded with it through the bore in one direction (breech to muzzle) about 30 times. He follows that with 20 strokes, one way, of JB Bore Bright, not to be confused with  JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound (called JB Bore Paste), and then cleans the barrel to remove all compounds. I see no reason why JB Paste cannot also be used, though, because it works on airgun barrels. I plan to use it.

This process either gets rid of the tiny burrs left by tooling that is used to rifle the barrel, or it aligns them with the bore. The same thing happens when a lot of bullets or pellets go down the bore.

Is JB Bore Paste safe in a barrel?

 

A reader commented that a gunsmith told him that JB Bore Paste wears (he said erodes, but erosion comes from from the heat of powder gasses) the rifling. That is an urban legend that goes around the shooting circles. In fact, all winning benchrest shooters use JB Bore Paste when their bores are new and also periodically to clean the barrels. So do many smallbore target shooters. It is completely safe and only removes the metal that’s deposited from jacketed bullets. If you are skeptical, do some research on benchrest rifles and the need to break them in.

Why haven’t we heard of this before?

 

A lot of shooters will be hearing about this for the first time. There are many reasons for that. First of all, how many shooters will pay $400 for a premium Shilen or Hart barrel? I didn’t say a Lilja barrel because Lilja barrels are all hand-lapped at the factory — and you pay for it. Some Shilen and Hart barrels are also hand-lapped.

Also. how many shooters ever read their owner’s manuals? Many manuals address the need for a barrel break-in period, but most shooters ignore it and just shoot. You are hearing it now because someone asked why his new gun barrel isn’t accurate. In the case of a Diana barrel my answer is — it will be. Either shoot the rifle a thousand times or clean it as I have described in this report. Shooting gradually either removes those rough surfaces or aligns them with the bore, making the inner barrel surface smoother. Cleaning just removes/aligns the imperfections faster. The point is — don’t walk away from a new airgun because it doesn’t seem to be accurate.

What is the accuracy limit?

 

Most airguns will benefit from either having their barrels cleaned or going through a break-in period like the one I have described. But there is a limit.  Experience tells me that if an air rifle scatters its pellets randomly, it may get a little better, but it may never go beyond a certain mediocre limit. A barrel that puts 8 out of ten pellets through the same hole and throws two of them wide in the beginning will probably improve to the point that all the pellets will go to the same place when it is thoroughly broken in. Even if only 6 of 10 go into the same hole, that barrel will probably get a lot better after it has broken in.

What about brass barrels?

 

All you Sheridan Blue Streak and Benjamin 392 owners will ask if you should do this to your barrels. The answer is NO! Brass barrels will wear from this cleaning method. Those barrels are only broken in through shooting. However, there might be an accuracy flaw in some of them.

Many years ago I bought a new Sheridan Silver Streak and had Tim McMurray at Mac-1 Airguns give it a Steroid tune so I could test it. As I recall I didn’t test it for accuracy first — I just sent it to Tim. So I had no idea how accurate it might have been from the factory. When it was returned, the accuracy was horrible! It couldn’t keep 5 pellets inside two inches at 20 yards.

I pushed a pellet through the barrel from the muzzle to the breech and discovered there was a huge burr at the air transfer port near the breech. Tim had opened that port for his Steroid tune and apparently a burr was left. I returned the rifle to him and he fixed it for free. After that the rifle could keep 5 Sheridan cylindrical pellets around an inch at 20 yards, which is about as good as Silver Streaks get. Brass barrels don’t usually have problems, but if they do it’s almost always a burr at the transfer port or at the muzzle.

Leather shoes

 

Older readers will remember that leather shoes always had to be broken in. A pair of expensive leather shoes might cost five times what normal shoes cost, but they would still blister your feet until they were broken in. After that, though, they were extremely comfortable. Even the very best had to be broken in.

What have we learned?

 

I hope you have learned that a new rifled barrel needs to be broken in to remove the tiny burrs and imperfections left by the rifling process. Certain barrel makers will correct this problem as part of their manufacturing process. Harry Pope did it and so does Lilja. Some companies offer hand-lapping as an option. But a rack-grade rifle, be it an airgun or a firearm, will need to either be shot-in or cleaned the way I describe above before the accuracy will be at its peak.

I will tell you more about this process when I start testing the AirForce Texan .357 rifle, which is coming soon. I plan to do a before (cleaning) and an after test with the same bullets, to show the benefits of a proper cleaning.

64 thoughts on “Why won’t my new air rifle shoot well?

  1. B.B.,

    How about an airgun barrel that is cold hammer forged? If I am not mistaken, the process works out the imperfections in the barrel blank vs. the button rifling method. I think the break in period won’t be necessary for pcp’s with cold hammer forged barrels, however, the o-rings and internal seals of the gun need to be stabilized by shooting off a couple of shots.


    • Kevin,

      The mandrill is made by man.
      The steel is made by man.
      The forging is done by man.
      Where in this is perfection? My limited experience with such is they CAN be superb, but there is no guarantee. I have a superb shooting HM1000X that is button rifled I do believe and I have not cleaned it or shot it as much as BB describes.

      This issue is more likely to be seen in the less expensive barrels as efforts are to reduce cost. These barrels are found on the less expensive break barrel sproingers. I am certain that all barrels will benefit from a good cleaning/polishing.


      • RidgeRunner,

        Both BR and HF barrels can be very accurate. As for the less expensive air rifles, the breech bore and muzzle crown may not be perfectly centered or have burrs that affect accuracy.


    • Kevin,

      Hammer forging produces good barrels, no doubt. But they still need a break in. Maybe less than some other rifling methods.But no benchrest rifle champion I know of uses a hammer-forged barrel. There must be a reason for that.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        My Steyr LP10 and my IZH46M both have HF barrels and they only need a few shots for them to stabilize and they’re able to group into a single hole. Unlike benchrest shooters that prefer button or cut barrels, many military sniper rifles use HF barrels with incredible accuracy.


  2. BB,

    I will be very interested to see what your results with the Texan will be. From what I have seen so far, I am not really that impressed. Maybe you can work some magic on it and make it into an interesting air rifle. 😉




      • BB
        So do you think spending more time getting acquainted with the gun helps you get the groups you like from it?

        Or does that gun just have it? What I mean by that. Is does it just seem to shoot good no matter what you do. You have had guns like that haven’t you?

        And I’m talking airguns. Not firearms. Seriously. Why do some guns just stand out in acurracy compared to others. Are they a one in a million luck of the draw or what. Makes me want to disect that gun and see why. And on the other hand I don’t even want to bump the gun or anything. Being afraid I might upset how it shoots.

        But I found if you get a good shooter. It just does it no matter what. It stands out and you absalutly know it.

        Sorry for getting a little heavy into it here. But you got to feel it a little don’t you. You had them kind haven’t you?


  3. B.B.,

    Very nice. I have seen bits and pieces of what is here over the last few years,…. but not all in one place as it is presented today. All 3 of my rifles have 2000-4000+ shots through them,…. so if I want anything more out of them,… cleaning will be it. I did check my manuals for any mention of break in periods or even a recommended # of shots and none of the 3 mentioned it. TX200, LGU, Marauder. Hopefully Mr. George can get his Diana shooting better. Being a break barrel, clean/polish should be quite easy compared to the afore mentioned 3.

    In fact, anyone planning on doing this lapping and polishing bit right out of the gate should consider ease of access. “Breech to muzzle” is not so easy on mine.

    Chris


    • Chris
      I agree with the ease of access problem. I have the Marauder and just to run a patch through it requires a needle nose pliers. I am impressed with the accuracy right out of the box. The three shot groups to get the scope sighted were cloverleaf patern. Makes me excited to get more shooting time.



        • BB
          For now, running a patch of cleaner through the barrel will have to be enough. The manual does not describe any disassembly. I am apprehensive about taking somthing apart without a parts diagram. I will have to look for some instructions.


          • Gopher,

            I have been into mine several times. It is not too hard. YouTube was best but I had to look around a bit. You can pull the shroud easy enough which will expose the barrel set screws, BUT,…. other things in the action need taken apart (first). Don’t do it until you are confident. The last time I had it apart I pulled the barrel which like B.B. said is about the only way,…. especially if you are doing the lapping compound and paste stuff. The reason I had it apart was for modifications,… not any kind of function issue.


          • Gopher,

            Correction,…. the barrel set screws are seen through the 11mm. rail. No shroud removal required. It would appear that I could use a bit of re-schooling myself. Really though,… it is pretty easy. I got into mine first to flip the bolt from R to L. I got in again later to add a 12.5# hammer spring and some clean and lube.


            • Chris
              Thanks for the vote of confidence and guidence. I will see what the inside of this Marauder is like after I have used up a tin of pellets or two. My first impression of it is that it is pretty awsome right out of the box.


              • Gopher,

                Yes they are. Mine is in a R.A.I. stock. It is a .25. Bi-pod. Nice 6 position stock. 4-16 x 56 UTG scope. Love it. The biggest thing is getting it tuned for the # of shots you want from a fill. Plus,… de-tuning it if you want to slow a pellet down for some reason. Mine has a 12.5# spring which allows me to fill to 3500 and get 24 shots. My settings are 6 in on the hammer, 1 turn in on the striker and the port is 4 turns out from the bottom.

                B.B. just has his tuned. He is getting 24 shots with a really tight fps spread. 50$ I think + shipping. It was a recent article. Good luck and have fun.

                Winter in Ohio, so I will shoot it on occasion this Winter just to keep things moving,… but in large it is retired until Spring.



      • B.B.,

        That is fine, as long as someone is confident in disassembly (if reqd.) and does not care about any warranty. Obviously a break barrel would be a non-issue. For anything else I would shoot it for awhile (50 shots) to eliminate any functionality issues and then go for it.


  4. An excellent reminder of how to treat barrels of new airguns and those that don’t appear to be giving the best results and even those that have started to show signs of deterioration.


  5. BB

    Yeah I do love this report. Some points that jumped out for me:
    1- Clean the barrel in one direction only to avoid going against the grain. This seems more logical than 20 times through and back.
    2- Your paragraph “What is the accuracy limit?” This is very helpful. If I purchase a new gun and its accuracy is a major concern, I do want some prediction that it has potential after the break in is completed. If not I can return it and avoid any return policy concerns.

    Decksniper


    • The problem with lapping back and forth (or sanding something back and forth for that matter) is the abrasive does more work where the lap changes direction (at the extremes of its travel). It is why hand lapped barrels are generally lapped before they are chambered (if a firearm), cut to length, and crowned. If a barrel is already chambered and crowned, I won’t hand lap it. Rather, I’ve devised a fire lapping method that keeps lapping compound out of the chamber throat in firearms and also keeps it from being dragged backwards or multiple times across the muzzle crown. I even fire lapped a 17 HMR rifle once to a wonderful result. Before fire lapping it, it couldn’t shoot more than three rounds accurately before crudding-up, with accuracy going progressively further south after three good shots.


      • Calinb

        Thanks. While reading your reply I was getting ahead of things and wondering if I could fire form (lap) a worn out barrel. Well you answered that!
        Have you ever impregnated grit onto pellets? Seems to me an airgun can be fire lapped if a firearm can. Shoot a pellet of a chosen head diameter and a soft skirt rolled in grit of increasing fineness after each shot. Clean the barrel after each shot. Just a pipe dream maybe?

        Decksniper


        • I’ve never firelapped a worn out barrel but, if you have nothing to lose….?

          I’ve used firelapping to address the sorts of problems with new barrels that B.B. covers here. The traditional method is to roll soft lead bullets between steel plates that are dabbed or coated with lapping compound. This impregnates the bullet with the grit and then you hand load them. For 22 LR rimfire, you can buy pre-loaded rounds but I could not find them for 17 HMR. I recommend using the following technique I developed for 17 HMR for pellet and air gun use. I’ve used the Wheeler lapping kit (3 grits) but the technique will work with virtually any compound that is the right consistency (about like toothpaste) or can be thinned such with water or a light gun (or even mineral or vegetable oil).

          1. Maybe some kind of blocker out of a stick or cartridge case to chamber in the gun and keep lapping compound from entering the throat of the camber (firearm) or transfer port area (air gun). For a break action springer, this is probably not a critical concern, because the “freebore” area is probably not critical but I doubt is would hurt to protect it anyway.

          2. Mix up the coarsest grit and load a small amount into a plastic syringe. I use nylon syringes from a surplus store but I’ve seen them sold elsewhere (TAP plastics or Amazon maybe?). They lack rubber seals in the plunger (which can gum-up) and rather have a cone shaped end to the plunger and tapered needle point that helps to force the paste to the pointy tip of the syringe.

          3. Use the tip of the syringe to place a ring of lapping compound inside of the muzzle. The syringe is employed to keep grit from being dragged backwards across the muzzle crown.

          4. Use a clean plastic brush, mop, or patch (moistening it with lapping compound thinner first might be beneficial) and a cleaning rod to push the compound backwards down the bore toward the breech and and “chamber/throat” blocking device. Use a muzzle protection device to protect the crown from your rod, if so inclined. The idea is to not expose the crown and muzzle area to lapping compound yet. Push the rod down and pull it back. When you pull it back, you will be pulling lapping compound out the muzzle, but you will not be changing direction with it at the critical ends of the barrel (muzzle and chamber throat) where the most life-limiting wear occurs in normal shooting. Why start wearing these areas out prematurely?

          5. Load a round and shoot it. BTW, your results may vary and this is obviously a safety issue that warrants some thought and caution but I used diagonal cutters to snip the bullet tips off of my factory 17 HMR loads to reduce them down to about 12 grains. Yes–I actually disassembled 17 HMR rounds in developing my process. I even turned bullets down on my lathe and reloaded them–not something that I’d ever recommend that others do (it’s your life…you take your own chances). In the end, simply snipping the intact bullet nearly to the ogive curve worked just as well. I reduced the bullet weight because I could not easily reduce the powder charge in a rimfire round and I didn’t want to have a mishap due to high pressure from the lapping compound coated bore. I have no problems with my reduced weight bullets.

          6. Fully clean the bore in the “right” direction by pushing clean patches with a rod or pulling them with a bore “snake,” etc. Always use a new and completely clean patch for each cleaning stroke to not contaminate the throat with grit. This step is the time consuming one!

          Repeat the above. Then clean fully and repeat with a finer grit.

          You might want to clean every other round, but ALWAYS clean thoroughly between compound grit changes. I cleaned every other round with my 17 HMR and it still too all afternoon with approximately the following schedule.

          6 rounds with Wheeler course.

          12 rounds with Wheeler medium.

          12 rounds with Wheeler fine.

          Then I shot 40 normal rounds with NO degradation in accuracy (vs. only there rounds between time consuming cleanings previously). Then it got too dark to shoot and I’ve since cleaned the 17 HMR. I don’t know how many rounds it will shoot before accuracy diminishes but 50 rounds is typical for this tiny bore anyway–even with a very high quality barrel like an Anschutz.

          I’ve firelapped airguns too, but never saw the dramatic improvement I saw with my 17 HMR (a cheap Savage), but it now shoots 10 rounds into ~1 inch at 100 yards repeatedly.

          Let me know if you have any questions.

          -Cal


          • “Maybe some kind of blocker…”

            Oops..I meant to say “Make some kind of blocker…”

            I consider protecting the breech and throat from lapping compound to be essential in a firearm. Contaminating the transfer port in a PCP, MPP, or SPP might be bad too.


          • Calinb

            Hey what a clearly written step by step how to do it set of instructions. Hope BB and also manufacturers see this.

            I do have one question. Have you ever fire lapped a new airgun barrel?

            Much obliged for taking time to prepare this excellent report.

            Decksniper


            • I’ve never fire lapped a brand new barrel. I did fire lap a 12-land Diana 34 barrel once (Chinese OEM) after losing patience (and tin after tin of a variety of inaccurately shot pellets) in it. So it was relatively close to new. Unfortunately, fire lapping didn’t help (or hurt) it and I eventually replaced the OEM Chinese barrel and barrel block assembly with another Chinese barrel assembly that I got from Steve Archer. The new barrel shot significantly better than the old one–about like a Diana 34 should shoot, in fact. I changed it from .177 to .22 too, but I don’t think caliber had anything to do with my successful swap result. So although my fix was also a Chinese barrel, I am still one of those people that hold a grudge against Diana for buying barrels from China for a brief period of time! On the other hand, some people have reported good accuracy from those 12-land Diana barrels and I saw one very accurately shot-up target, so I think it was a quality control issue. Peoples’ experiences with these sorts of things often vary. I’ve owned a Taurus PT-1911 for years and it’s been a wonderful pistol that shoots well and it has never given me any trouble, unlike the lemon Taurus PT-1911 that B.B. wrote about many years ago!

              I have removed the old .177 barrel from the Diana barrel block and have a Lothar-Walther barrel to fit to it, but I also know I will not have time to complete the project for awhile.


      • I forgot to mention that I shot about 150 rounds through the 17HMR before resorting to firelapping it. It wasn’t improving at all, I was spending most of my time cleaning it, and lapping compound was way cheaper than wasting 17 HMR ammo!


  6. This is exactly the reason why I shoot at least 500-1000 pellets to break the gun in. It takes care of most problems.
    BB, I have read that in centerfire rifles, the rifling wears out after a certain no. of shots, like 5000 shots for a 30-06. Have you ever worn out the barrel of a centerfire rifle?


  7. B.B.,

    This is an excellent report, one of your most important ever for new airgunners, heck, all of us, to read and reread periodically. I have never, ever run a patch soaked in Ballistol (just to check things out) into a brand new air gun and not found some dark sludge in it. If it is very little, then I just use a few patches with Ballistol until it is clean. Of course if it is a ton of sludge, then I go to bore paste instead of the protectant Ballistol. I do always finish with Ballistol as a last step, however.

    Again, an excellent report.

    Michael


  8. One thing I wanted to stress to anyone using the brush and JB bore pate method…if you go both directions then make sure the brush comes out of the barrel before pulling or pushing in the other direction. If you change directions while the brush is inside the barrel, it will usually snap the bristles off and destroy the bore brush. It also leaves some nasty bristle debris in your barrel. Don’t ask me how I know. Lol



      • Thanks B.B.
        Actually been reading daily since about 2006-2007 but finally came out of the shadows to post again. My first high powered air rifle was the Benjamin Super Streak in 2006 and I broke the spring quickly shooting high velocity pellets out of it. It was your blog that introduced to me to the 34 Panther that replaced that one. You also answered a lot of my newbie questions about that rifle and scopes back then. Bought, traded, and sold quite a few over the past ten years but still having fun and newest toy has been the Maximus combo from pyramydair. Thanks for everything you do for all of us air junkies Tom…..more than appreciated.


        • David,

          Thanks for sharing that. It’s nice to know the blog has helped you with our hobby. And you have a 34 Panther (the name that was used prior to 34P). How do you like it? I have some modifications in the works for that rifle that I hope you will appreciate.

          B.B.


  9. Pingback: Why won’t my new air rifle shoot well? | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  10. Yep, I still have the Panther and she’s in .22 caliber. Still take it out every once in a while and pretty accurate with the super h points to 20 yards for me. It’s also still wearing one of the old drooper angled mounts and still rock solid with a little 2-7×32 scope. Mine was originally a panther pro model but I took the heavy muzzle break off a long time ago and added the globed fiber optic front from Umarex. That muzzle break was super heavy and made the rifle feel off balanced to me, especially trying to use artillery hold. I’ll be looking forward to hearing about some improvements on the rifle and I don’t mind tinkering either if it involves tearing into it.
    Thank you,
    David


  11. BB, perfect timing.
    First time on the blog for me but you guys have been my morning coffee clutch for a long time. Black Friday was a day of weakness for me so I purchased a closeout from Crosman. A Genesis in .22 for $79.00. Probably be a collector because they no longer exist on their website. Anyway back on point, the barrel was filthy, after a lot of cleaning I mounted a 3-9×40 utg scope and started slinging pellets. 10mtrs and I had ten shot groups with jsb and h&n pellets inside a nickel. I hope this will only improve with break in.
    Thanks for all you and others on this blog share with us newbies.




  12. B.B.
    Thanks for posting this blog…especially for me!

    As the other posters have probably seen from my previous posts, I have had more than my share of problems getting my RWS 34P to group less than 1″ at 25 yards. I don’t think this is an unrealistic goal for this rifle but so far I have not been able to achieve it consistently.

    Guess I will purchasing the JB Bore Paste, a brass brush, and some Ballistol to do a barrel cleaning as you suggest. Hope this improves the groups. If not, it may be time to trade this RWS 34p in for a PCP. I am not a collector. I just want a rifle that will shoot where I aim…consistently.

    Do you still suggest pushing the brush through from the breech and then pulling it back through from the muzzle?
    I read some posts above that advise not to pull the brush back through from the muzzle.

    Thanks again B.B. I have read this blog thoroughly and also I read all the posts to it.
    Geo


    • Geo,

      I used to recommend going both ways with the brush, but I’ve heard from several people that one way is best. So it’s breech to muzzle if you can.

      BTW, one of those I heard from just shot five .357 bullets into one inch at 100 yards with an AirForce Texan — a gun that some folks are complaining about. More writing coming for me.

      B.B.


  13. I don’t want to repeat my previous posts, but if anyone is interested in the motivation for today’s blog by B.B. here is a link to those posts regarding the issues I have had with the accuracy of my RWS 34P rifle.
    My posts are near the very end.

    /blog/2016/11/pellet-shapes-and-performance-part-2/#comment-390312


  14. I have a model 34 commemorative addition, beautiful stock, that won’t hold a pattern the size of a golf ball at 30 feet. I’ve shot over 1000 rounds through it. Used different pellets. Cleaned the bore. Lubed it. Even sent it back to Umarex which they stated had a broken spring and fixed it. I don’t think they put seals in it. So erratic pressures caused by poor sealing may be an issue. Using open sights also.

    This article mentioned valve grinding compound. Is using JB Bore Paste in place of valve grinding compound what is suggested for 30 strokes? Then go to the JB Bore Brite for 20 strokes???

    Any help at this point would be a positive.

    Thanks.


    • tzsv4k,

      Welcome to the blog.

      I approved your post this morning but got busy and forgot to talk to you about your problem.

      An RWS Diana 34 that’s inaccurate is a very rare airgun. I’m sure it’s possible, but it’s not common.

      No, JB Paste is not the same as valve grinding compound. It’s far, far less abrasive.

      I would clean with JB Paste first before thinking about valve grinding compound./ I have always told people to brush it BOTH ways 20 times then clean the gun. This one way thing is something someone else told me. He is the same guy who mentioned valve grinding compound.

      Are you sure you are shooting with the artillery hold? Because if you grasp the stock of a 34 in any way, the groups open up.

      And I am assuming all the stock screws are tight and the pivot bolt is tight, as well?

      B.B.


  15. No, the artillery hold is news to me. But I’ve read up on it and will try it out.

    I’ll JB Paste the bore and clean it.

    Do you think the seals become in need of maintenance with sitting / non use? There’s been a total of 2000 rounds put through it, tops.

    Do you need special tools to disassemble spring guns for maintenance?

    Good information. Thanks.


    • Tzsv4k,

      I would recommend using the artillery hold first before anything else. You may need to do anything else if the groups improve. The Diana 34 is hold sensitive especially when over 12 fpe.

      2000 rounds seems a low number for the seals to require replacement.

      Beyond wiping with oil the external metal and regularly tightening the screws I don’t see any need for special tools unless you are going to tune the rifle. In which case you will need a spring compressor.

      Siraniko




        • Tzsv4k,

          When I began shooting springers I was ashamed of my groups which resembled patterns. Through perseverance and practice I have shrunk my groups to an inch shooting offhand at 10 meters. This took nearly two years and many tins/boxes of pellets. We’ll all get to the point of satisfying accuracy sooner or later.

          Siraniko


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