Air Venturi TR5 Multi-Shot Target Air Rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

TR5
Air Venturi TR5 repeating pellet rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Complex repeating mechanism
  • The test
  • Don’t do this
  • No barrel swap
  • Cleaning the barrel
  • Cleaning
  • Assemble the rifle — oh oh!
  • Which pellet to choose?
  • Sighting in
  • At 10 meters
  • Too much time
  • Summary

Today I clean the barrel of the Air Venturi TR5 Multi-Shot Target Air Rifle then mount the UTG Micro Reflex dot sight. I will sight in after that, but not shoot any groups in this report. You will understand why as you read this report.

Complex repeating mechanism

The TR5 has a very complex repeating mechanism. It’s practically identical to the repeating mechanism on the IZH 61 that it copies. Repeaters don’t usually offer good access to the breech, and this mechanism is particularly difficult to deal with. There is no room even for a flexible cleaning line or a bore snake. For me to clean the barrel of this rifle properly, the barrel had to come off!

Don’t do this

I’m doing this to test the accuracy potential of the TR5. I don’t recommend anyone taking off the barrel of their rifle. I know several readers have done just that and that’s fine, but I can tell you this isn’t as simple as it looks or sounds. If it were simple, like taking the mainspring out of a TX200 Mark III, I would publish the directions with pictures. One reader has mentioned how it’s done, but he left out a couple of important steps and points that may seem obvious to a clever person, but will baffle somebody else. When I get to the problem area I’ll elaborate.

No barrel swap

I know that reader GunFun1 has swapped his TR5 barrel for one from Crosman. He seems to be getting better accuracy from it, but here is how I see that. The TR5 either works or it doesn’t. Shooters don’t want to buy an airgun that they then need to change barrels on, just to make it shoot. I understand the fun in tinkering, but I’m evaluating this air rifle for the average potential buyer — someone who doesn’t want to do all that. They want to shoot it as it comes out of the box — period.

I’m cleaning the barrel today to see if that is what’s keeping the test rifle from grouping. If I find that it can shoot, then maybe we need to find a way to clean the barrel without removing it.

Cleaning the barrel

So, I took off the barrel and examined it. It did have some lead in the rifling grooves that I was able to get on film for you.

TR5 barrel clean
Cleaning the TR5 barrel turned out to be a long process.

TR5 dirty breech
The TR5 breech is a little dirty, but it doesn’t look that bad.

My examination revealed that the TR5 barrel was a little dirty, but it didn’t seem that bad. Was I wasting my time?

Cleaning

The first step to clean a rifled barrel is to run a brass or bronze brush loaded with JB Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound through the bore. When the barrel is dirty, the brush usually meets a lot of resistance. But not this time! The brush sailed through the bore with almost no resistance at all. Know what that means? The bore of this rifle is large.

I searched through my cleaning kit for the largest .177 brush I could find, which was in an RWS cleaning kit. With that brush on the rod there was some resistance, so the bore is large but not too large. I then scrubbed the bore with the JB bore paste about 100 times in each direction.

At first the brush pulsed through the bore like there were spots of resistance every quarter inch or so. But after about 50 passes in each direction, the rod smoothed out. That’s why I scrubbed it so many times. Normally I don’t make more than 20 passes.

Then I used cleaning patches with bore solvent on them. Since the barrel was out of the gun there was no reason not to use the most aggressive gun cleaning solvent I could find. Patch after patch revealed that the barrel was dirtier than it had initially looked. In all it took about 30 patches before the barrel was clean. You know that its clean when dry patches start to come out clean. I did try the brush again, but now the barrel was smooth.

Then I examined it the bore again. This time it was hard to see the rifling, which is one way to know it’s as clean as it can get. This is hard to get on film, but I think I managed it.

TR5 clean breech
The barrel is now so clean that the rifling is difficult to see.

Assemble the rifle — oh oh!

With the barrel clean it was time to install it back in the rifle. That’s when I learned I had removed a screw I should only have loosened — the barrel locking screw! It took me the next 45 minutes to extract the Allen setscrew that holds the barrel tight inside the action. It was down deep in its cavity and refused to shake loose. This is the main reason I don’t want to explain how to remove the barrel.

Now that I have removed and reinstalled the barrel one time, it’s not that difficult to do, but I don’t want to risk a lot of people having the same experience I had. Let’s just say it took a very small magnet and extreme dexterity to get that screw out of the action! With that done the rest of the rifle went together easily.

Another reason I don’t want people attempting this is because the plastic stock parts are held together by wood screws. Wood screws will strip out of plastic very easily if they are tightened too much. It takes a skilled hand to not strip them!

I left the rear sight off the rifle because the UTG dot sight was going on next. That only took a few minutes and the rifle was ready for sighting in.

Which pellet to choose?

Given the size of the bore I felt that the largest pellets I had would be the best. But I also read what GunFun1 said about his most recent experience with his TR5. He found that JSB Exact Heavy pellets worked the best. But his rifle has a Crosman barrel and I’m using the barrel that came on the TR5 — the one I just cleaned. However, for some reason I went with the same pellet for the sight-in.

Sighting in

I initially sighted in at 12 feet. I used the dot on maximum illumination, because I was shooting offhand with a door jamb for a rest. I wasn’t going for precision yet. The UTG dot sight adjusts easily and I had the rifle almost where I wanted it in three shots. Then I backed up to 10 meters.

At 10 meters

At 10 meters I dialed the illumination of the dot down to the lowest level. Now it was a tiny bright pip in the center of the black bullseye. The first shot at 10 meters was low and right, but I knew how many clicks to use at this distance. And, I nailed it! Shot number two went through the 10-ring of the bullseye. Sight-in was finished!

Too much time

I normally try to take 2 to 2.5 hours to do whatever test I’m doing for a given report, because it takes another 3 to 5 hours to write the blog. That time varies depending on how many pictures there are and how much work I have to do to them in Photoshop.

Today the test took me 3.5 hours, most of which was involved in cleaning the barrel and then assembling the gun after cleaning. That put me behind schedule just a bit. So, I didn’t shoot any groups.

I’m going to finish this report tomorrow with groups at 10 meters. I’ll start with the JSB pellets that were used for sight-in and then I’ll use the other pellets I selected. I have hope that we will see some good results from this work.

Summary

I’m doing all of this to see if the TR5 is worth the extra effort. I know owners have reported roughly the same accuracy that I got in Part 3, and I want to find out whether the TR5 has any accuracy potential beyond that.

Buyers shouldn’t have to change barrels to get accuracy. But, if a good barrel-cleaning produces results, then the next step might be to discover how to clean the bore without removing the barrel. If the TR5 is accurate, then the extra effort is worth it.

87 thoughts on “Air Venturi TR5 Multi-Shot Target Air Rifle: Part 4

  1. BB,
    I cleaned mine almost exactly as you described. And it did help. But not much.

    The grub screw that got loose on you I haven’t had trouble with. I used an Allen wrench with a ball end, and made sure I got it all the way out.


  2. B.B.

    All airgunners want the most accurate barrel possible! If airgun barrels were easy to switch Walther would make a ton more money! Why do you think FX and AirForce sell so many barrels?

    -Y


  3. BB
    Hey just wanted to let you know. Don’t remove that set screw. 😉

    But on the serious side. I’m with you. I definitely don’t expect to change a barrel on a gun when I buy it. I mostly did it to see if it was the barrel or if the gun was having other issues causing accuracy problems.

    I do hope your cleaning works for the factory barrel. And where was the leading in the barrel? I’m skimming through your report kind of fast right now on lunch break.

    And one thing I mentioned for me to get better accuracy this last time out. I moved the adjustable butt stock in to the shortest legnth of pull. I had it originally on the longest legnth of pull setting. The gun wobbled around to much that way unless I pulled the gun in tight. And pulling in tight don’t work on my gun. On the bench or standing shooting free hand.

    So when you shoot let me know what you see with the butt stock and the play it has.


  4. OK everybody, grab your costumes and makeup! The Rocky Horror Picture Show is playing at the Bijoux tonight!

    Let’s see. A Chinese copy of a Russian air rifle that was not known for being very accurate. What is everybody expecting?

    Don’t get me wrong. I do understand. It’s operation makes me wish I had picked up an IZH 60 when I had the chance. But I didn’t. I’m not going to drink the Kool-Aid this time either.



      • GF1,

        That was the “cult” speaking. I am certain that some were actually pretty good. Just because they were made by the same bunch that build some very fine competition air rifles and pistols does not mean these are one of them.

        Take the BAM 40. Some were absolute tack drivers and others would shoot around corners. You do not hear about those. I know where one is right now. This is why TCFKAC never brought out the long anticipated Maverick.

        Hey, I understand that “cult” thing. I ride a Harley.


        • R,

          No, it wasn’t the cult. The early IZH 60s were phenomenally accurate — every one of them. They would equal or beat Daisy 853s. At some point, that changed dramatically and they started being average to less than average.

          B.B.


          • B.B.,

            That’s what I have always read. The best bet with those would be an early, steel-action IZH-60. The 61 was never known to be accurate, and the later 60s did not have a great reputation, either. The problem is there probably were never that many IZH-60s with the steel action, and those that are out there come up rarely and sell for the high dollars one would expect.

            Michael


            • I have a steel action 61, it does ok though the front globe sight’s post isn’t optimum for me. I should run a scope on it and see just how much is weak eyes vs the real accuracy.


              • Huklbery,

                Ah-HAH! Your multi-shot is indeed accurate! I thought that might be possible. Excellent. Do you also have the original Baikal metal clip?

                Michael


                • I have two metal clips and I bought two plastic ones when Pyramyd still carried them. It’s redundant though as the clips do not retain pellets so preloading them is not a big efficiency. I use a QB peep sight on the rear rather than the sheet metal circle with a hole in it for adjustability.



                  • Gunfun1,

                    Yes, but they are the most desirable to collectors, too, so they are pricey whenever they come up for sale, including the 61s. I have no idea how heavy they are, but it can’t be that much. It is still a kind of skeleton thing. The metal ones do look exceptionally cool to my eye.

                    Michael


                    • Michael
                      If I found a early 60 I would probably buy it if it was a fair price and in nice shape.



                  • One thing did please me, it shoots the inexpensive Qiang Yuan Training Pellets, .177 Cal, 8.2 Grains, Wadcutter, 500ct very well. I am fortunate in the 10m range that my CZ200, HW30 & Hatsan AT44 all do well with them.

                    The sight I use…

                    This is the Industry Brand Target Aperture Rear Sight as fitted to the AR2078/9 series of CO2 rifles and the BS4 spring gun. Fits most air rifles with standard 3/8-inch scope rails without a “hump” between the rails. The sight provides precise 1 minute-of-angle click adjustment for elevation and windage and includes an efficient rubber eye cup to minimize stray light affecting the sight picture.

                    NOTE:

                    This sight also fits the IZH60, IZH61 and Daisy Avanti Champion 499 air rifles.


                    • Huklbery
                      Was that the Izzy or the TR5?

                      And for some strange reason I have had good luck with the Daisy wadcutters.

                      The JSB’s usually tend to do better. But the Daisy wadcutters have not been bad. Especially at 30 yards and in.




              • Huklbery,

                Would you be interested in selling your IZH 61 with the steel receiver? If so, I would definitely be interested! I didn’t get into air rifles until about five years ago and by that time only the ones with plastic receivers were available. I did see the writing on the wall however and bought a couple of extra ones before they were banned from importation.

                I was looking forward to the TR5 doing well because there were a couple of good features I liked on it compared to the IZZY, the only exception being the loading process. Personally , I believe it is a poor idea to have to cock the rifle to both load AND remove the empty clip. As you and everyone else who has one (IZH 61) knows, all you have to do with them is release the bolt probe/pellet pusher and the clip can be inserted/removed at any time without cocking the rifle.

                Bugbuster




      • Birdmove,

        Not all of them. Not even all those with steel receivers were accurate. Sometime in the 1990s the Russians changed something about their rifling process and the accuracy went south — steel receiver and metal clip and all!

        They were so cheap that we were buying them 10 at a time and giving them as gifts. Then suddenly we were surprised by the loss of accuracy. But the word was out and people kept buying them. They blamed the plastic receivers and clips, but the accuracy went south before they came out.

        B.B.


        • BB
          Ok but really. What did make the accuracy go south?

          Did anyone try to break it down similar to what I did.

          Or did everybody just say darn.

          What the heck changed in the 90’s on the 6061’s?

          If it changed that much. Something should be obvious.


          • GF1,

            That’s what we all said. The Russians still hammer-forged the barrels, so nothing changed there — at least not obviously. And, let’s face it, airgun companies are not forthcoming about their manufacturing — especially Russian arsenals! Who ya gonna call?

            B.B.


            • BB
              I really hate when there’s not a explanation.

              It’s there. But now probably to late to find out.

              Straight up. No one’s going to chop one up nowdays to find out. They will probably be happy just to get one.

              But darn somebody should of dug in back then. We would at least have more of a clue why now.

              And I have to say is I hate when history goes wrong.


              • GF1,

                Of course you know hindsight is 20/20?

                About the time I bought my Edge, a dealer at the Roanoke show had a cardboard box full of IZH 60’s and 61’s parts. He literally gave them away as a raffle prize. I would like to have that box of parts now.


  5. B.B.,

    If your TR5 is significantly more accurate after the barrel cleaning, then unless a method comes along for cleaning it without removing it, many owners of TR5s will wish to remove the barrel to clean it. And if the barrel is to be removed, why not purchase a $14 replacement and simply install that instead of cleaning the stock one?

    Michael



      • B.B.,

        I am reluctant to change barrels on my TR5 because of my lack of skill, but of course I would be interested in learning how to clean it. Might a bore snake (never used one) be an option?

        By the way my TR5 is operating very well now. Actually, it might be that I am operating it very well now. ;^)

        Michael



          • B.B.,

            I have yet to miss an aluminum or steel can in my backyard at 20 – 30 feet. :^) I have only plinked with it, which is what I bought it for. My guess is that I am getting about 2.5 – 3 inch groups at 10 meters, shooting it off-hand. That is pretty good for me, as I usually rest long guns on a bag, even for that short distance. But the TR5 is so light, I can shoot it off-hand with ease. That plus the effortless cocking make it an “easy shooter.”

            Michael



              • B.B.,

                I should add that I haven’t adjusted the sight at all, and it does seem to shoot slightly low and perhaps just very slightly to the right, but rather than mess with the sight, I have just adjusted my aim to compensate, which has been more than adequate for turning aluminum cans into cheese graters.

                I do intend to put a red dot on it, however.

                Michael



              • Mildot
                Sometimes. It depends on recoil and ergonomics.

                With the TR5 and the butt stock adjusted for the short legnth of pull the gun can be held in to the body. I can tuck my arms into my ribs and you don’t know the guns there. You just move your body and shoot.

                Like I mentioned before. If my TR5 was a semi-auto air gun or rimfire it would be my dream gun. Well under one condition if it was as light as my TR5.

                Really it’s so easy to shoot off hand it ain’t funny.


                • Mildot52 and Gunfun1,

                  I have to agree with Gunfun1 when it comes to the TR5. I can shoot it almost as well off-hand as I can off of a bag, and I can’t say that about too may air rifles of mine. The recoil is so minor that extra weight would not help much, and the amount it would help would, at least with me, be more than offset by the extra fatigue.

                  Michael




            • Michael
              I tryed them too. They were not bad. But not the best.

              Are you going to shoot at some paper with it at some point in time to see what it groups like?


              • Gunfun1,

                I could. Make that I WILL, but it will have to wait until the school year is over. This is finals week for me, so I have a ton of grading to get through. But then I’ll do some paper punching at a measured 10 meters and get back to you. Besides, as stressed out and sleep-deprived as I am right now, I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a twelve gauge. And by that I mean I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn if I stood four feet away from it and threw the twelve gauge at it! ;^)

                Michael


  6. Ahh… the satisfaction of re-assembling something (without any left-over parts) LOL!

    QUESTION B.B. About the J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound. I have never used anything like this for cleaning a barrel and here you are using it to remove roughness.

    Is this a product that I should have in my “routine maintenance” kit? (The thought of using any sort of an abrasive in my barrels makes me VERY nervous.)

    Maybe you can comment on when/why should it be used and how often.

    Thanks,
    Hank


    • Hank,

      This product is used by world record-holding benchrest champions for routine barrel cleaning of their thousand-dollar barrels. It does not remove metal — at least not at levels that can be measured. It probably removes it at the micron level.

      B.B.


      • BB
        But the question is. What do you think came out of the barrel? What color was the stuff?

        Could it be some left over (dryed up?) cutting oil they used in machining the barrels?

        I looked down my factory barrel when I removed it and my barrel was actually shiny clean.

        I keep thinking the stopping you felt was from the machining process when they did the rifling.

        I haven’t ran anything through my factory barrel yet. So maybe my barrel does the same as yours with the stopping. But I can say I sure can’t see nothing like that when I look down the barrel.


        • GF1,

          The stuff that came out was black — as in the black oxide the barrel was finished with.

          When a barrel is rifled by the button method the button is pulled or pushed through the bore smoothly without stopping. If it stops, that barrel is ruined. I sure hope they didn’t do that with this barrel!

          On the outside of the barrel you can usually see the button being pulled through. It produces a swelling in the barrel that moves with it. The steel inside is being stressed by being displaced by the button and has to be stressed-relieved after rifling.

          B.B.


          • BB
            Wonder how they stress relieve it.

            Sounds to me like the stuff in the barrel was baked on in there.

            Hmm. I still wonder why my factory barrel looked clean. Maybe with me shooting it alot before I pulled the barrel to try the Crosman barrel that I shot it clean?


          • BB
            Also forgot to mention.

            My barrel on the outside is really nice. Perfect in a sense. The factory TR5 barrel.

            I don’t think they used the button process on the factory TR5 according to what you describe. Unless they are turning or grinding the outside diameter of the barrel to resize it.

            We have to occasionally resize our bar stock at work sometimes when it’s oversize when it comes in by grinding the outside diameter. It actually turns out nice and the diameter holds precise.



        • Vana2,

          BB may respond, but in case he doesn’t I wanted to say that I think his normal recommendation is 20 passes in each direction. I use it since he wrote about it and I do 20 passes for some reason and I think it was because ” BB Said So! ” 😉

          Half



          • Halfstep
            Why did you feel you needed to clean it. Did you have a problem gun?

            I’m tell’n ya I just don’t clean air gun barrels. Now firearms that’s another story. And those I only use a brass brush and no solvent. And maybe a patch or two.

            Done it that way for years with firearms and air guns like I explained for each.

            So really did it pick your gun up when you cleaned the barrel? And how much has it improved your air guns throughout time? Since your always our data guy, do you have any data on barrel cleaning with solvents and brushes or snakes?

            Did you get better groups after cleaning? And did you get better groups after just shooting a new gun. Again data would be nice.


            • GF1,

              I have quite a few airguns that were made in China and arrived with barrels that were filthy when I looked through them with a bore light at the other end. Those guns I cleaned because I assumed that it was some sort of preservative to protect the metal while at sea or machining fluids and should come out first. It usually looked like rust on dry patches. Those guns weren’t even fired until they were clean so I don’t know for certain that it made them more accurate. If the barrel looks OK I just shoot it until it stops being accurate then clean it. That only happened once, that I can recall, and cleaning restored accuracy that time. I had my Gamo Coyote tuned too fast and Crosman Premier Lites fouled the barrel.

              Half


          • Thanks for chipping in Half!

            Every rifle gets a through cleaning, inspection and proper lubrication right out of the box. Then I season the barrel before serous use.

            Been getting good groups so I don’t think there is anything to be really concerned about at the moment. BUT, like everybody else, I wonder if a bit of spit & polish might just improve the groups 🙂

            Cheers!
            Hank



  7. Dave,

    Good photos. And I’m glad to learn that the rifle is being used that way. NASA used Career 707s to kill woodpeckers that were pecking at the styrofoam sheathing on launch vehicles sitting on the pad. They didn’t want anyone to know about it because woodpeckers are protected, but the damage they did was life-threatening.

    One of our former readers was a cop in Honolulu and shot egrets that were inside a hanger. They were defecating on the airliners, causing caustic damage to the paint and skin of the planes.

    I say you do what you have to!

    B.B.


    • “I say you do what you have to!”
      I’m with you on that, B.B. I’m just thinking that this “Scarecrow” guy has a “job” that most any of us would be willing to do for free! Driving around the Base in a pickup truck, shooting airguns…and I have a good suspicion that much of his time is spent plinking, which he can always claim is “checkin’ my scope zero”…sweet. =>


  8. Hey all,

    This is a little off topic, but I was outside with a friend of mine taking a break, and we saw a guy pull up with a truck, pull out a rifle and a tripod and set it up in the back of the truck to take a shot…when you see such things at a Base, it gives you pause; my friend was like, “What’s up with this guy with the rifle?” But I recognized right off that it was an Air Arms PCP (the Air Arms guns have a very distinctive look). So I meandered on over for a chat with the man. It turned out that he is the Base biologist, call sign of “Scarecrow,” hahaha! Anyway, I asked if his gun was a PCP (just to start a conversation; I already knew if was due to the scuba tank in the back of his truck. =>). He said, yes, it was an Air Arms S410 in .22 caliber, and he uses that instead of his shotgun (which he is also authorized to use) to take out turkey vultures that mess with the antennas on the 80-foot tower next to our building because he has to ensure there is no antenna damage. I asked if it would be OK to photograph his airgun “for my friends on the airgun blog,” and he said “sure.” He said he only takes 20 shots before refilling to preserve his trajectory, and added that he has no issues with the magazine’s feeding. I would have liked to ask him more questions, but he had to go take care of some other critter issues. By the way, that is me posing with his gun, not him. =>



      • …and the scuba tank he keeps strapped in place in his truck. He has some grackles in back, which he said get “flattened by this gun,” as opposed to the turkey vultures, which he takes only with head shots, no body shots, to ensure a clean kill. He is all about his Air Arms S410, which he has had for “a while.” =>


        • Dave
          Some people have tuff jobs.

          I feel sorry for him waking up everyday and thinking about all the stress he will have that day searching out how his work for the day will go.

          And I knew I wanted to take my career other places. Poor guy anyway.


          • “Some people have tuff jobs.”
            Yep; our parting question as he drove away was, “Do you need any helpers?”
            He gets to shoot hogs, too, and also gets to use an infra-red scope to shoot armadillos at night.
            Like you said…tuff job…I’m jealous! =)~



            • Yeah, some people have tough jobs…

              A guy I knew at school landed a job as a field biologist for the government – his “job” was to study remote lakes and report.

              …So he was provided a float-plane (and pilot who also took care of all the camp work) and any fishing gear he wanted and he spent the summer fishing different lakes (10 days “working”; 4 days relaxing at home). In the winter he would write up his reports.

              I won’t tell you about the pictures he would show me or recount his complains of going to bed exhausted from catching so many big fish.

              Like you said…tuff job…I’m jealous!




                • Yeah, really eh?

                  Siraniko hit it right on. The trip back to civilization was to re-stock supplies, keep in touch with friends, enjoy hot running water, cold beer and restaurant food.

                  Hank


              • “…he spent the summer fishing different lakes (10 days “working”; 4 days relaxing at home). In the winter he would write up his reports.”

                Hank, that makes me so sad I want to cry…for myself, not him, hahaha! I’m jealous of him, too! =>


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