Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Recap
  • Tune in a Tube
  • But the rear sight…
  • The rifle is fixed!
  • Breech seal shim
  • Pivot bolt locking screw
  • Accuracy
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • RWS Hobby
  • Then I read…
  • Michael’s rifle is accurate
  • The big surprise!
  • Next

Today was a long time coming — much longer than I anticipated. But I learned a lot about problems with the Diana 27 that I have never encountered before, and I now believe I can tune one with ease.

Recap

Just so you remember, I am tuning reader Michael’s Winchester 427 that is a Diana 27 by another name. It looked good on the outside, apart from missing things like the rubber button on the butt and a locking screw for the pivot bolt. The rear sight was a kluge of backwoods “repairs”, but that didn’t impress me until the very end of the job. In fact, I will tell you now that I should have started there first. It was the main source of the rifle’s issues.

The inside of Michael’s air rifle was a different story, with surface rust everywhere. It must have been stored in a humid climate most of its life. Fortunately, surface rust comes off easily with the liberal application of Ballistol and steel wool.

The tune went well except for the piston seal. That was where I learned that the seal is held on by a blind pin — read about it in Part 4. I replaced the entire piston with a new one from T.W. Chambers in the United Kingdom. For Diana 27 parts they are the best source I have found. I will drill out the old piston pin and fix that piston as a spare — perhaps to rebuild my own 27 one day.

And the new mainspring is strong! The old one is probably still good, but Michael sent me a new one, so I installed it. I’ll send the old one back to him with the rifle.

Tune in a Tube

Tune in a Tube (TIAT) grease is miraculous. For those readers who live in places not served by Pyramyd Air, TIAT is Almagard 3752, a red grease with a very high tackiness. You will have to buy a 14 oz. container, where Pyramyd Air sells a smaller applicator that’s good enough for 5 or more spring guns. It’s also much handier to use because of the needle applicator. Use a little on the mainspring, spring guide, inside of the piston and on the piston rod to quiet the powerplant. Use a little more on the ball bearing trigger to keep the three balls inside the black inner cage during assembly — that’s detailed in Part 6. I applied it one time and all these parts are still well lubricated — despite the rifle coming apart at least three more times.

But the rear sight…

In Part 7 I discovered that the same person who cobbled the rear sight had also drilled one of the rear sight mounting holes directly through into the bore. I discovered it because I could not get the rifle to stop detonating on every shot, despite having done the tuneup correctly. However when I inadvertently held my hand over the breech to feel for air loss, the blast that came out of that hole nearly poked a hole in the palm of my hand!

Many readers advised me to get a gunsmith or machinist to drill and tap the rear hole for a slightly larger screw, rather than doing it myself. They were right about that. I’m not the guy to do that kind of work. So I contacted a good gunsmith and set it up.

So last Friday I disassembled Michael’s rifle one more time, to take just the barrel to the gunsmith. I even removed the cocking link from the barrel so there were no extra parts to get in his way or get lost. And then I had a thought.

I had purchased an all-metal rear sight from Chambers and told Michael it could be his, or I would install a Mendoza rear peep sight on the rifle — his choice. I have a Winchester 425 that’s missing its rear sight and I would use the Chambers replacement if Michael wanted the peep. He wisely chose the replacement rear sight, so I held it over the barrel to make certain the screw holes aligned. Then I thought — what the heck — and I screwed the sight to the barrel. To my utter astonishment, the screw hole that I thought was completely drilled out had threads after all and held the screw tight. Apparently it is only messed up right at the top, which is all I’m able to see with a loupe.

Diana 27 rear sight
The new all-metal Diana rear sight is an upgrade over the original one that’s largely plastic.

The rifle is fixed!

With that screw tightly in the drilled-through hole, the barrel is now sealed and Michael’s rifle is fixed. No need to take it to the gunsmith. So I assembled it for what I hoped was the last time.

Breech seal shim

I have been on the Chambers website many times, looking at all the parts they have for this Diana. Over the course of the time we have been doing this report, I purchased many parts for the gun — including a breech seal shim that I never knew existed. It’s a thin steel ring that fits beneath the new synthetic breech seal and raises it just a little. This is the first time I even knew this part existed, but it went into Michael’s breech!

Diana 27 breech shim
The flat steel shim (left) goes beneath the new synthetic breech seal. I had never seen one of these before doing this job!

Pivot bolt locking screw

Since I was buying from Chambers anyway, I went ahead and bought the locking screw for the barrel pivot bolt. As you can see, its head fits neatly into a cutout in the head of the bolt, preventing it from moving. Once you have the pivot tension adjusted properly, fit this small screw head into a slot and the pivot bolt will never move.

Diana 27 pivot bolt screw
The pivot bolt locking screw (arrow) prevents the pivot bolt from turning and loosening the barrel.

Accuracy

The rifle is back together and, believe me, I did shoot it many times to assure myself that it wasn’t going to detonate. Now let’s see what she does downrange. I’m shooting for accuracy first because TIAT needs time to spread around and settle in. I expect some velocity loss because I have seen it in other lower-powered spring-piston rifles. But the tradeoff is how smooth it shoots. And it does speed back up over time. So, I will just test accuracy today.

I shot from 10 meters off a sandbag rest. I used the artillery hold with my off hand out toward the end of the stock. I shot 5-shot groups because I am getting low on RWS Superpoints that have been the most accurate for me in a .22-caliber Diana 27. The first shot was from a rifle whose barrel had been off several times, plus the front and rear sights. The shot hit in the 8-ring of the bull at 7 o’clock. I adjusted the sight up and to the right and the next shot hit the center. I then finished that 5-shot group. Five pellets went into 0.521-inches at 10 meters. Not too shabby!

Superpoint group 1
Five RWS Superpoints went into 0.521-inches between centers. The group may appear larger because of paper tearing. The sight-in shot is below the pellet.

Not too shabby, but I felt I could do even better. Michael’s rifle hits exactly where it is aimed and inspires extra care while shooting. The second 5 shots went into 0.463-inches at 10 meters. Now, we’re talkin’!

Superpoint group 2
The second group of Superpoints went into 0.463-inches at 10 meters.

Air Arms Falcons

I don’t remember ever trying an Air Arms Falcon pellet in a 27, so this may be a first for me. Falcons loaded easier than Superpoints and went all the way into the breech. Five then shot into a group that measured 0.277-inches between centers. If that one lower hole on the right wasn’t there I would have used the trime in the picture! Michael — your rifle can really shoot!

Falcon group
Five Falcon domes went into 0.277-inches at 10 meters. This was done with open sights!

RWS Hobby

Next I tried RWS Hobbys. They landed in the same general area as the other pellets, but as you can see the group was large and open. Five are in 0.814-inches at 10 meters. They are probably not the best for the 27.

Hobby group
Five RWS Hobbys went into 0.814-inches at 10 meters.

Then I read…

I had read my report on the Diana 27 from 2017 to get ready for this report. But until I got to this point in the test I didn’t read that the rifle prefers to be rested directly on the sandbag! I had been using the artillery hold all throughout this test. Well, Superpoints may be short but I have a brand new tin of Falcons, so I set up the range again for one final test. I shot a 10-shot group with Falcons while the rifle rested directly on the sandbag.

This time 10 Falcon pellets went into 0.595-inches at 10 meters. The impact point shifted lower and a little to the left, but everything is still near the center of the bull.

Falcon group 2
Ten Falcons went into 0.595-inches at 10 meters, when shot from a sandbag rest.

Michael’s rifle is accurate

Michael, your Winchester 427 is an accurate and natural shooter. It isn’t remarkable — at least not for a Diana 27. It is remarkable, though, just because it is a Diana 27. It may be ever-so-slightly more accurate than my own Hy Score 807, but that’s difficult to say. My rifle doesn’t have the tune that this one has, and in this case the tune really does make the rifle easier to shoot accurately.

The big surprise!

Okay, here comes the big surprise. When I told you someone had drilled through to the bore several readers expressed concern about a possible burr in the bore where the hole is. I pushed a pellet through the bore and, indeed, there was a pretty significant burr at that hole. I had all kinds of advice how to correct it if I found a burr, but none of it was anything I wanted to do. So I thought about it for a couple days.

Here is what I came up with. What happens to thin metal (the burr) when you work it back and forth? It fatigues and eventually snaps at the point of fatigue. So I took a .22 caliber brass brush that fit the bore tightly, loaded it with JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound and inserted it with a cleaning rod until it was centered on the burr (by feel). Then I worked the rod back and forth many times. At first the rod was extremely hard to move, then it loosened considerably. After I was finished, I cleaned the entire barrel with the brush, followed by numerous cloth patches until they started coming out clean.

I can now run the brush through the bore in both directions fairly easily. The area with the burr can still be felt, but it is significantly smoother than before.

Falcon pellets
Two domed pellets were pushed through the bore. On the right is the pellet that went through immediately after the rebuild. The burr was its highest then. On the left is the pellet that went through after the bore was scrubbed, as described above. It still shows some damage from the burr, but the amount has decreased.

I waited to show this to you until after you saw the groups because after seeing that some folks would make up their minds that the barrel is ruined no matter what the test results looked like. This barrel is damaged, but it is still just as accurate as any Diana 27 barrel.

“Yeah, BB, but how much better would it shoot if there was no burr?” In my opinion — no better. I don’t think you can expect a Diana 27 to shoot any better than what you have seen today.

Michael now has an air rifle he can shoot and enjoy for the rest of his life. If he wants to, he can do the bore brush trick himself and maybe reduce the size of the remaining burr even more. Or he can look for a .22 caliber Diana model 27 barrel to replace this one. I wouldn’t waste my time or money, given how this one shoots, but that’s his call. And, by the way, Michael is reading this along with the rest of you. I never told him any of what you have read today — beyond the fact that his rifle is now fixed.

Next

On Monday I will report on the velocity of the rifle and also more about the trigger pull. Remember — I adjusted the trigger in Part 6, and I got it exactly where I wanted it. The release of stage two is 1 lb. 15 oz. I will also test the cocking effort for you.

I want to finish this report because Michael is anxious to get his rifle back and to experience a Diana 27 in all its glory!

141 thoughts on “Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 8



  1. BB,

    Ah yes, the pleasure of shooting the old gals. So much is lost when you start down the road of the pursuit of velocity/power, most especially with a sproinger. The Brits have it right, at least in that respect. A good quality, well tuned sproinger around/under 12FPE is such a joy to shoot. When you start pushing the velocity/power envelope above that with a sproinger you start encountering issues that make shooting with real accuracy difficult. Even the much vaunted gas spring cannot overcome some of these issues.

    That may be one of the major reasons I like the old sproingers. They were not after velocity/power. They were after accuracy. After all, “What good is 500FPE if you can’t hit what you are shooting at?”


  2. BB,

    Being the way I am, I would not be able to leave that burr alone. Of course, this is not your air rifle, Mickael I am sure is wanting it back in his grubby little paws and it is not affecting accuracy very much if at all. I am glad you were able to fit a decent rear sight on that, Michael might want to invest in a peep for it though.





        • RR
          And you know what. The synthetic stock bullpups just have a different look to me. If you get some nice walnut on them they seem to transform into a different looking gun.

          I like black guns as well as nice wood too. But I think I would like my Hatsan Bullmaster better if it had a wood stock.

          And to me anyway. If the 117 Stealth Bomber had wing guns the Benjamin Bulldog would be a nice fit. Don’t you think? Seems to me that’s were the look comes from on the Bulldog. The Stealth Bomber and no 90° angles. Well with the Bulldog anyway in the shroud area.

          Oh here don’t forget about this Crosman gun too. Another bullpup design.
          https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Benjamin_Pioneer_Airbow/3894


          • GF1,

            That’s just a Bulldog with another barrel.

            The truth is to me there are only three things wrong with a Bulldog.

            The first thing is it is a clamshell type rig that if you take it apart the pieces fall out all over the place. The reservoir, barrel, action, etc. are held together by the shell. I will admit that is not from personal experience. I read that on the internet, so you know it is true.

            The second thing is the cocking mechanism requires you to be a contortionist to work it without removing it from your shoulder. That is from personal experience. The Bulldog is a 1st gen bull-pup that came along well after 2nd gen pull-pups were out. They did not bother to design it with a forward cocking lever like they should have.

            The third issue I have is when I shot it, the accuracy was terrible. It is true I may not have had the best ammunition for it, but both the Bulldog and ammo was provided by TKFKAC for our shooting. The Rogue shot better.

            If it was not for those three issues, I would like to have one. Though not a big fan of black rifles, this looks like something you would fight aliens with. I would have to see if I could make it go BEEWWW! when I shot it. 😉


            • RR
              What bullpup did you take apart that pieces fell all over? And what do you mean the barrel and resivior and action are held together by the shell?

              Check out some bullpup digrams and you are going to be surprised. I haven’t seen such a thing as you describe.

              The Bullmaster and Barrage whole action bottle can and all lift out of the stock just like any other pcp.

              And accuracy. Maybe so with the Benjamin Bulldog. But my Hatsan Bullmaster is very accurate with JSB 10.34’s and not bad actually with the Winchester dome pellets I use in it to plink with. Matter of fact my Bullmaster has become more accurate over time. Maybe that’s what the Benjamin Bulldog needed. More break in time? Who knows.

              And I wonder what kind of wood stock Crosman would come up with for the Bulldog if they made one.


            • RR
              And ok I see what you mean about the Bulldog how the stock is two halves. But the air resivior and barrel all attach to the receiver block. And the shroud looks to be one piece though.

              And yep not the conventional way a bullpup is made. I definitely don’t like how the stock is split on the Benjamin Bulldog.



  3. BB—-The chinese artists make ball within ball sculptures with a tool ( scraper) that looks like a miniature golf club. First they drill holes. Then they insert said scraper and rotate it at the bottom of the hole. When they are finished, they have carved a ball inside a ball. They can make as many as 7 balls inside each other. A similar tool will allow you to remove the burr without damage to the rest of the rifling. ——-Ed


  4. B.B.,

    I am indeed excited. This is like Christmas morning! (Don’t worry, pure lead only — this is one kid who won’t “shoot his eye out.”)

    Man, you have done so much work on my Winchester 427/Diana Model 27 that it has become really special. It is now not just a Diana 27, quite a thing in itself, but it has been tuned and restored, and gradually brought back to life. This particular Diana Model 27 has become extra special.

    This is an air rifle I will keep for the rest of my life. And it is one of those rare high quality springers that is shoot-able for an old man. I will grow old(er) along with this fine heirloom sitting on my back patio with it resting on a bag and shooting spinners. I need to get some Falcons in .22. For the next month or so I will have to shoot it in my basement 10 meter range, but I will save soda cans for that warm day.

    Thanks so very much for all or your hard work and long hours. You are truly dedicated to the old classic air guns that need to be restored and preserved. Nobody will ever make these anymore!

    Michael


  5. B.B., great job and great report!

    Michael, I’m not jealous, just happy for you!
    You now have a beautiful and accurate fun-gun-plinker. =>
    As for the velocity, I don’t think it will matter that much.
    B.B. has noted his .22 Diana 27 is in the 450 fps range; so is my .22 HW30S;
    and guns like that work great as 5 to 15 yard plinkers.
    I think you are going to have a ton of fun with this little rifle.
    Enjoy! =D


  6. B.B., thanks for sharing this repair. This is not a book club, but “Shop Class as Soulcraft”, an inquiry into the value of work, by Mathew B. Crawford, not specifically shooting related, but explores why we enjoy so much what you are doing. Its an easy read, again, thanks, Rob


  7. B.B.,

    A question I have been meaning to ask,….. What are these extended life air tanks?

    – Are they old tanks, now re-tested and given another 5 years of life?
    – Are they new tanks, that are built stronger?

    Maybe I missed it somewhere along the way,… and to be honest, I have not looked too hard,…. but curious none the less.

    Chris


    • Chris USA,

      NOT B.B., but here is your link to the complete answer:

      https://www.digitalwavecorp.com

      Quick facts: After 15 years a CF cylinder can be processed and get a new label for 15 years of life extension. It still needs external yearly visual Inspections and a Hydro every 5 yeas and just like new to 15 year old cylinders;15-30 year life extended cylinders can fail a visual or a 5 Hydro and be CONDEMNED!!!

      shootski


      • Shootski,

        Thank you. I did watch the video and saved the link. I have 2 options for testing now. Taking (very) good care of one now,.. would seem to reap future benefits.

        When I got the 98 cu. in. Guppy, it has the added bottom support/stand/cup,.. but I also wrapped it with 2 layers of 1/2″ foam sleeping mat. Looks very nice and it added 2″ to the OD and stands by itself very nicely. It has never left the house as my bench is like 15 steps from my front door.

        Chris


  8. B.B.,

    The burr does not bother me in the least because the rifle is quite accurate as it is. I have decided not to work on it at all, because if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Nevertheless, because it involves play and not work, I might push a pure lead RWS pellet through it as a baseline, and then plink with Crosman Premiers for 100 shots, then clean the barrel, then push another RWS pellet through it for comparison with the first. The hard Premiers just might shoot out or at least very slightly wear it down. And in the meantime, I get to shoot the rifle. :^)

    Are the ultra-speed trick pellets harder than the Premiers? I could buy a 200 pack of those and shoot those instead.

    Michael


    • Michael,

      Some trick pellets are harder than Premiers, but I can’t say all are. I think you can just run the brass brush through the bore occasionally and do what I did. That would also clean out any lead the burr might collect, though I don’t think that will be much.

      B.B.


    • Michael
      I realize you do not plan to do anything more but for the rest of us just take a bobby pin straighten it out, remove the plastic tip coating, bend the tip over a little, say 45 degrees insert it and rotate it for a while. Cost next to nothing and may do the trick. Cant hurt. I have a Cherry Max rivet depth gauge, stainless, and it works fine.
      Bob M



        • Michael
          From the hole. Anything that can scrape the lower edge at the bottom of the hole will help remove the rough metal. A brush helps but as you can imagine only has limited pressure.
          If you use something down the breach I would try to push any excess metal back into the hole rather than work it back and forth and scratch everything up.

          I’m not too sure how small Dremel tool bits get but there are some with a ball on the end that may work with a drill ? It would probable grind away some rifling edge around the hole with it.


          • Bob,

            I’ve decided I’m not going to do anything that involve tools, even a homebrew tool. A brass brush is OK, but nothing except for that.

            The hard pellet idea intrigues me, and besides, it involves shooting the rifle. :^)

            Michael


    • Michael,

      Airgun smith guru Ernest Rowe has had very good luck removing burrs from inside Airgun barrels by rolling very hard pellets in COARSE VALVE LAPPING COMPOUND and then shooting them through the barrel.


  9. Michael——I do not know the correct name for the tool. It probably is a Chinese name. Look up ——carved ivory puzzle balls and Chinese puzzle balls , the Rubiks cube of the ancient world. —–Ed


  10. Here I sit with my second cup of coffee and I pop over to Giles’ site and his bit on the British Shooting Show 2019. It seems there are new bull-pups everywhere. Gamo is bringing one out. One I saw that I actually liked the looks of is the Umarex/Walther Reign.

    As any of you who have paid attention to my ramblings may remember, I have created generation categories for bull-pups. I use these terms to separate the various stages of development level of these, at least in my head, most especially since I have been fortunate enough to have witnessed the birth and development of the modern bull-pup.

    What I call a gen 1 bull-pup is a rifle/carbine that has a new stock that puts the action at the shoulder and has a linkage of some sort to move the trigger forward. These were the first designs to come out, therefore gen 1. Unfortunately for the gen 1, they usually require you to be a contortionist to operate the action without removing it from your shoulder. I personally have only seen one gen 1 pup that I liked, the Edgun Lelya.

    On to gen 2. Here is where the real engineering starts to take place. The cocking mechanism has been moved forward to where it should be. Now the pups are starting to get my attention. Probably the top of the heap right now is the FX Impact X.

    Now I am starting to see what I will call gen 2.5. These are where the airgun companies have come to the realization that most shooters are not contortionists, but do not wish to invest in the engineering to move the cocking mechanisms forward. What they do is lengthen the shoulder stock a bit so as to move the action a little farther from the shoulder so as to make it easier for us stiff-jointed shooters to operate. Just for the sake of convenience, I intend to group the semi-bull-pups in here as their publicly state purpose is to move the action forward so that they are easier to operate.

    Something else I have noticed is that some of the companies have taken to lengthening and bulking up their pups. Some of them even look like Saint Bernards. There are pups out there bigger and heavier than my HM1000X. Yes, I have the basic understanding of the physics involved. I understand the purpose of the longer barrels and the larger air reservoirs. I’m just too old and crotchety to lug those big honkers around.

    To me, the idea of the pup is to have something compact and light to tuck in close. Where I live the woods can have a lot of undergrowth. You are doing good to get yourself through it sometimes. Another of my considerations is my shooting. I am basically a plinker. I am VERY serious about my plinking though. I am in the process of setting up a plinking range at my house. It is going to go out to about 150 yards.

    There is no do-it-all airgun out there. That is why some of us have several. Some have quite a few. I only have a few. I have tried to create categories of various airguns that I wanted a certain example of. I would like another small-mid caliber PCP. That slot could easily be filled with the right pup. That would be real nice for a day of killing feral soda cans or take it out after bushy-tailed tree rats.

    Time to refill my coffee cup.






          • I understand. As I sit here in the kitchen typing this I can look out the glass doors onto the side covered porch and see the target stand and spinners out in the yard. I have them sitting at 10 yards right now.

            Even without consideration of shooting, I find it quite difficult to comprehend how they can live like that.


            • Amen to that!
              I shoot indoors a lot, air pistols mostly, on my 5 meter range
              mostly because I can use it 24/7.

              But it would be sad to live in a place where I couldn’t shoot in my own backyard.
              I read somewhere where that was even OK in England

              “as long as the pellets stay in your own garden or yard”

              …sounds fair to me. =>


              • That is so. Use some common sense and it is cool.

                Here though we have a serious lack of common sense and bunches of attorneys with nothing to do.

                I was just listening to one of my “neighbors” go through a couple of hundred rounds of AR15 ammo. He does it almost every weekend. He spends a lot of money on that every week and I seriously doubt his accuracy has improved over time.





                    • RR
                      There’s a guy to the south east of my property that shoots every weekend rain or shine. He’s got big guns and he ain’t got no bump stocks or semi-autos. He’s shoot’n way to fast and for too long.

                      Don’t know him but I’m thinking he is with some kind of unit because you can here it for miles. And it’s more than just him shooting. All I can say is big guns. Some sound very different than what I have heard throughout time.

                      I’m sur they are shooting up a thousand dollars or more over the weekend.

                      On second thought maybe he’s a lawyer. Did I just say that.


              • Dave,

                The Euro bunch has long seen clear to use moderators,… swappable ones,… thus keeping the urban neighbors happy and oblivious. Quite the debated topic as to what is best. Clubs of sorts,.. indoor and outdoor, seem to be the desired/ideal format. Sub 12 fpe probably does not hurt either in close urban quarters.

                We, in the U.S. seem to coming along,…. but we seem to prefer the welded on/glued on method of attachment.

                Chris


                • “The Euro bunch has long seen clear to use moderators,… swappable ones,… thus keeping the urban neighbors happy and oblivious.”

                  Chris, that sounds quite civilized to me; thanks. =D


    • RR
      And a comment here.

      I have to say I would like the design better where the bolt is moved forward.

      The Bullmaster bolt is back. It puts it right by your ear. So every shot you hear a pretty good noise when the bolt cycles back. I wear ear plugs when I shoot the Bullmaster just for that reason.



        • RR
          Actually it’s not a bad idea really.

          I have already looked into that with my Bullmaster. The Barrage stock should go right on my Bullmaster. And should just be able to take the trigger block and move it back to where the sear block is. Just drop off the linkage rod. Actually kind of smart on their part as far as production goes. Well maybe I should say manufacturing.

          I can see why they don’t move everything forward like your talking about. That little move of the trigger and bolt involves more than meets the eye. And added cost is one. I like it. But probably less likely to happen than what we see now.


          • GF1,

            Oh, I understand it from a marketing point of view. For the least amount of expenditure you offer two different models. TCFKAC has been doing that for years. With different stocks and accessories they put out 5 or 6 different models.

            I do understand they are playing a numbers game. I am just not playing it. I own one Crosman. It is an antique. I own one Hatsan. The shipping cost was higher than the price of the air rifle.

            I do not own a pup. One day I hope to. You may rest assured it will be a good one. 😉


    • R.R.,

      I’m always thinking, I like your shooting concepts, almost as much as my own!
      But REALLY!!!!! A plinker with a private 150 yard range…LOL!!!!!!!
      EVEN a shooter who takes his or her plinking SERIOUSLY usually doesn’t get much beyond 75 yards.

      My lovely wife just brought me my 2nd Mimosa…gotta go!

      shootski


  11. And speaking of plinking.

    I’m always trying to figure out something to shoot at to change up my shooting to keep things exciting.

    Found this to be kind of fun. I filled up a 2 liter plastic soda bottle with water and set it out at my 50 yard mark. I shoot starting at the top of the bottle and work down. That way the bottle stays full longer as you shoot.

    But I found if I hit right at the water level it will make a big swirl like explosion inside the bottle.

    It’s really fun with the semi-auto Bullmaster. Just thought I would mention since we was talking plinking.


    • GF1,

      Well I have to admit I have thought about putting some marks on the top of one of my Red Ryder barrels, the tube over the barrel, to match up the top of the rear sight with for those long lobs at a pack of feral cans comming down the driveway at my cabin. That must be a run on sentence. I stop going further out at about one hit per 5 or 10 shots. With the Red Ryder I don’t worry about wasting amo. I also hold the gun near the center of my chest and the butt is 3 or 4 inches from my body. More like a pistole.

      I think there is already a pack of cans swarming the house from the back lawn. I better go find them off. The lawn is harder because I can’t always see where the bbs hit.

      Don


      • Don,

        Get ya’ a 499 with a Red Ryder spring mod. and you will not only up the power,… but also drop that dismal 1 in 5,.. or 1 in 10 rate to about 70% positive hits. Not a repeater, but you can’t be beat the accuracy.

        Chris


        • Chris U,

          When those cans attack you really need a repeater. I was just over run by a nasty bunch hiding in the grass. I have not paid much attention in the past but at 25 yards I had to hold the bottom of the rear notch at the front of the barrel band and set the front blade at the top of the can.

          Even though I can see the bb on its flight I cannot tell if my shots are over or under in the grass. It is more fun with some good dry dirt. It took a while to find the right holdover with the grass.

          I have the 499 you talked me into but it is up at the cabin with a box of upgrades for more power. I have been waiting for a rainy day up there to work on it. It is definately more accurate they are not even comparable.

          Don


          • Don,

            Just looking at the 499. If “they” will never make a repeater 499,…. then an external “drop in” magazine is in order. The front of the magazine tube could be mounted with a barrel band, and the rear of the magazine mounted with the 2 screws that hold the forend on. The magazine could be (activated) by the lever coming full swing/open. Spring fed. There is about 3″ of free space on the shroud (from the shroud tip to the barrel tip). That could be used as the “drop in” point for a bb. No need to go all the way to the muzzle tip,…. just get the bb into the funnel. It could be side, bottom or even top mounted.

            Just hold the gun with muzzle up as you would be doing anyways when single shot loading. Tip gun up, cock lever, lever activates magazine, 1 bb drops,… wait for the “click”,… lower and fire.

            Besides designing a lever activated, push tube type (10, 20, 30+) magazine,…. drilling through that last 3″ would be required,.. through the outer shroud and through the funnel. With a sleeve/tube between the 2.

            Just a little “armchair engineering”,………. Chris 😉


            • Chris
              One day you might end up with a surprise on your doorstep.

              If you won’t get you one I’ll send you one of mine. That is one of my Crosman 1077’s or the WildFire even.

              You need to get into some fast action feral can shoot’n.

              You don’t know what your mis’n. How’s that for enabling? 🙂


              • GF1,

                Thanks for the offer, but save the post cost. Not really my style. Precision benching is more to my liking. If I wanted something rapid fire, I would go with one of those full auto blasters that are out. Besides, I do not shoot what I have already nearly enough.

                Chris


                • Chris
                  Ok glad you said that because I was going to get it on it’s way.

                  And I like the bench resting too. But I like mixing it up from time to time.

                  Kind of gets boring sometimes punching paper. But I do have to admit I do like the long distance bench rest plinking. Ain’t noth’n like seeing a gallon plastic milk jug going flying out at a 150+ yards when it gets hit. For sure fun stuff.



  12. Hi B.B.,

    I have an off-topic question…
    I have the first bb gun that my Dad let my brother and I shoot. I remember the end shooting off quite a bit and the remaining bb’s falling out of the barrel shroud…
    This is how the stamp on the top of the receiver reads

    KING 1000 SHOT
    No. 55
    THE MARKHAM AIR RIFEL CO.
    PLYMOUTH, MICH. U. S. A.
    PAT. JAN. 29 1907 – MAY 26, 1913
    TRADE MARK REG U. S. PATENT OFFICE

    Is there a way of dating this air gun and how can I best oil the seal/air chamber?

    As always, any help with this is appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Jeff


    • Jeff,

      Looking at The Blue Book,.. there was 4 models, with some variation among them. The (first) one listed is the (only) one that mentions Markham address (on top of barrel). There were 2 variations,.. 1) Straight walnut stock 2) Pistol grip model with curved lever. 35″ overall. Mfg. 1923 ~ 1931. 95% value is 225 and 40% at 80.

      The other 3 are listed as 1) Number 55-32 (single shot),… 2) 55-33 1000 shot repeater,… 3) 55-35 1000 shot repeater.

      (DO NOTE) Your #55 says that it shoots .177 lead air rifle shot or .174 steel bb’s,….. so today’s steel bb’s might not work.

      I will allow BB to take it from there,…….. Chris


      • Chris, thanks for the information…. I think we shot regular .177 steel Daisy bb’s in early 70’s… I wonder if the force of the larger bb down the tube would make the front end (and tube) come out…? But I thought I remember bb rolling out the tube at times…

        Mine has a straight walnut stock and straight lever too…


        • Jeff,

          Not sure. BB could say for sure. My thought is that a lead shot will conform,… whereas a steel bb will not. The gun BB listed states “.174 steel BB cal.” The one he mentioned also states “new frame?? with Daisy-type spring anchor and rear sight. Straight grip, blued finish and 35 are common between the 2. The one I listed says “.177 lead air rifle shot or .174 in steel bb cal.”

          Maybe the spring anchor is the telling difference? Not sure about the stamping/address as it is not mentioned in later models in The Blue Book. A pic might help, if you can do.

          I do hope that you get it up and running and in good order,………. Chris


    • Jeff,

      Your King was made from 1933 to 1935 according to the Blue Book. Daisy owned Markham-King at the time (the two companies were across the street from each other), so it disassembles like a Daisy.

      Drop oil down the shot tube or remove the shot tube and drop it directly down the outer tube. Give it a couple hours to soak in.

      B.B.


      • B.B.,

        Based on the information given, how did you determine that it is a later model and not the earlier one I noted? My only inclination was that Jeff noted 55 and not 55-32, 55-33 or 55-36. My book is the 11th edition by the way. The note of stamping on the barrel was the other clue and not noted in the subsequent 3 other models.

        I hope that you do not mind me helping you out on occasion with Blue Book references? I figure that sometimes you are too busy with other task and might give an abbreviated response, when you might otherwise prefer a more detailed response, given more time. Where we,…. as your dedicated legion of followers,.. may have all the time in the world. Just tryin’ to help.

        Chris





            • Jeff,

              It looks to be a rear spring tab///// rear sight combo???? BB might say for sure. The rear spring tab on a modern Red Ryder is exactly in that position, BUT,… the rear sight is then ahead of that. Yours is clearly a rear sight.

              Chris



                • Jeff,

                  The other determining factor is the “one piece sheet metal frame and barrel shroud” on the earlier one that I mentioned (and/vs) the “new frame with Daisy-type spring anchor and rear sight”,… that BB listed.

                  I will,…. WILL,…. leave it to BB differentiate between the 2 variations.

                  Chris



                    • BB,

                      🙂 Maybe Cobalt will chime in? That bunch over at The High Road (THR) seems to know everything that there is to know about the little lever actions. Thanks.

                      The Markham forward does indicate that records and revisions were a bit sketchy around that time and that updates to previously known facts have been revised. Not uncommon from previous, similar topics on the older guns.

                      Chris


                    • Thanks, B.B. and Chris for your collaboration on this! You’ve told me more than I knew before… Yeah.. Cobalt has helped me out in the past too!


                  • Jeff,

                    Good. Glad to be of less than ideal help. 😉 Hit the THR up and hit Cobalt up. If there is anything out there,… those guys will know. It looks to be in nice shape by the way. Being a family pass down,…. worth a restore/rebuild in my opinion, if you can’t get it going. BB knows the guy(s) that can do it.

                    Chris



                    • Just a follow up… I let the oil soak in and she fires regular. 177 bb’s. Shot about ten times towards my tree about 15 yards away and could hear a small tap indicating impact… (I would never fire a powerful air rifle at my tree…) I’ll try a real target next time, but it’s snowing today and I was impatient.


                • Jeff,

                  Good to hear that it worked. Now,… to determine with a chrony if it is up to what it should be. At least it is progress in the right direction! 🙂

                  Keep us posted,……… Chris



  13. Jeff,

    I had not seen the mention of photo. Sorry. Nice! 🙂 I can not say that is typical of the rear spring tab from your picture as it looks more like a rear sight.

    By all rights, the one BB mentioned is correct. It is however the (only) one pictured within the “55” line up and matches yours to a T.

    Chris


  14. Jeff,

    Thanks for the picture. That does look like the one in the Blue Book that I mentioned at first. Unfortunately the book doesn’t picture the earlier BB gun. I’m going by the Daisy-type spring anchor/rear sight.

    And your trigger is goofed up, but you know that.

    B.B.


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