by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Lotsa pix!
- Remove the stocksides
- Roll pin 3
- Roll pins 4 and 5
- Remove plastic forend
- Remove the barrel pivot pin
- Remove the barrel and cocking link from the gun
- BB’s first tip
- Not a lot of spring tension
- Remove the mainspring and guide
- Problem identified!
- What to do?
- Three lubricants
- BB’s next tip
- Test the pistol
- BB’s final tip
Better put on a whole pot of coffee. This is the longest blog I have ever written.
Here we go — diving into the Webley Hurricane — an air pistol I have never wanted to see the insides of! I was warned about little springs that might fly everywhere. There aren’t any. But there is a sear spring that is attached to absolutely NOTHING, and yet does its job well — IF PUT BACK IN THE GUN THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE IT CAME OUT!
There are several things like that — things the blog that reader Derrick directed us to never mentioned or showed. Things that the Webley manual got wrong!!! My aim is to set the record straight and then to advise most of you to never go inside this pistol or a Tempest. I will show how it comes apart and describe how it goes back goes together, but before you undertake such a task take a look at my qualifier, below.
Rate yourself as a careful worker. Are you someone who has difficulty replacing batteries in things? Or are you the type of guy who can take an old lawnmower engine and use it to power a go-cart you built? The first guy scores a one on the careful-worker scale. The second guy scores a 10. You need to be honest with yourself and rate yourself on that scale. I’m a 2 to 3 who sometimes rises above a 3. Today is one such time.
An HW 80 is a 2 in its level of difficulty to assemble. An FWB 124 is a 3. A BSA Meteor Mark IV is a 6 and a Haenel 311 is a 10. This Webley Hurricane is a 5-6. That’s mostly because of all the roll pins holding it together. I complain about them, but, given the pistol’s aluminum frame, they really are the best way to secure crosspins without wearing their holes.
If you are a 2 on the handyman scale, you have no business tackling a 5-6! Send it away! Gene Salvino at Pyramyd AIR loves helping folks like you.
I took 32 photos of this disassembly and I used 24 of them. That is as many as I take on the second day of the SHOT Show! I took that many because there was that much to see and to understand! I won’t get to the velocity test today because there is too much to plow through with just the fixit job.
I have my magnetic dish, my new roll pin punches and my new hammer, ready to go!
Make sure the pistol is uncocked. Well — DUH!
However, I have seen and heard of people disassembling spring guns that were cocked. I had to do it myself once when there was no other way to uncock the gun.
When I was in the Army and taught soldiers how to prime and detonate high explosives, things mostly went well. HOWEVER — on one occasion the 4 blocks of C4 in one demolition pit didn’t detonate. That’s 5 pounds of explosive that is more powerful, weight for weight, than TNT, and far more powerful than dynamite!
Besides being the officer in charge of the range and the instructor, I was also the safety officer this time, because my lieutenants were in the class with the other soldiers in my company. Guess what the safety officer has to do when a charge fails to detonate? After waiting a length of time for a possible hangfire, he has to go into the pit, collect all the charges, put them together again and prime them a second time. The problem is — three of the blasting caps had detonated without exploding their block of C4, but the fourth one had not detonated. That was highly suspicious and that block was now considered very sensitive. The explosion of the other three blasting caps had ripped open their blocks of C4 and scattered them around the pit.
Old BB had to gather all the explosives together, taking care to not move or even touch the one block whose cap hadn’t gone off. Then, after molding each of them back together again where the caps had ripped them apart, he stuck new blasting caps into the three C4 blocks, and attached igniters to each of their fuses. At the time I remember thinking that if that block whose cap hadn’t detonated blew up now, I would be the last person to know it.
In the Army we called a situation like this a pucker-factor exercise, and if you get through it unharmed it usually advances you by at least a point on the careful-worker scale.
Make sure the pistol is uncocked!
Remove the stocksides
Ha, ha, Webley. On Earth we call them the grip panels! And here is the first oddity. You would think the grips attach to the frame of the gun, but they don’t They attach to each other with the frame sandwiched in-between. The right panel screw is screwed into a long tubular threaded bushing that Webley calls a nut. Remove the left panel and screw first and then the right panel will also be free of the frame, though still attached to the threaded bushing.
The right grip screw threads into a threaded bushing that also accepts the left grip screw.
Removing the grips exposes all five roll pins that have to be removed next. In Another Airgun Blog all five pins were not visible.
Remove these five roll pins in order of the numbers next to them. See the text below.
Pin 1 removes the back of the triggerguard. Pin 2 removes the front, freeing the triggerguard to be removed. The sear spring will probably fall out with it.
With the two triggerguard roll pins out the guard can be removed and the sear spring will also probably drop out.
I didn’t see the orientation of the sear spring inside the pistol before it fell out, so I spent some time puzzling out how it had to fit when the gun is assembled. This spring is held inside the gun by nothing other than the triggerguard being in the way. No roll pin passes through the central circular hole or even the smaller hole on one end of the spring. The roll pins are too large to fit through that hole.
That rolled end of the spring is simply formed as a foot to rest against the sear when the triggerguard is in place. The long straight end of the spring sticks down in front of the sear. Let’s look.
There is the sear spring with the short end resting on the sear and the long end sticking down (up in this upside-down view). When the front end of the triggerguard is installed it pushes the spring down to where it makes the sear function.
Roll pin 3
Remove roll pin 3. This is the axel that holds the trigger, trigger spring and trigger adjustment screw. A circular coiled trigger return spring is inside the trigger blade. The adjustment screw is a wee-teeny Allen screw that, on my gun, is deep inside the blade. They come out together.
There is the trigger with its return spring. The adjustment screw on my pistol is deep inside the blade because I never adjusted it. Roll pin 3 lies next to the trigger.
Roll pins 4 and 5
Pins 4 and 5 are for the sear. Tap out pin 4 first. That’s the sear stop pin. Now, LOOK AT THE SEAR BEFORE YOU TAKE IT OUT.
That is the sear, still on its pin inside the frame. Note that the long flat end goes toward the rear of the pistol, which is to the right in this photo.
Now remove pin 5, knowing that the sear will go back in exactly the way it was when it came out.
There is the sear and the two roll pins that hold it in the gun.
Now we can remove the safety. Unscrew the single screw and as you do, pull up on the safety lever to loosen it. It should come off the square safety shaft easily.
With the safety lever off, the wire spring can be removed from the square safety shaft that will then drop out of the frame. Pay attention to which leg of the spring is on top of the square shaft.
Here are the parts of the safety.
Remove plastic forend
Punch out the roll pin and remove the plastic forend. The manual says it’s a spring fit, but mine just slid right off.
Remove the roll pin and slide the forend off.
Remove the barrel pivot pin
With the forend off we can see the pin — not a roll pin — that holds the barrel to the frame of the gun. This pin is also the axel the barrel pivots on when the gun is cocked. When this pin is removed, the force of the mainspring pushes the base of the spring guide out of the gun. However, we don’t do that yet. First we drive the pin out just far enough that the barrel pivot is freed and can be removed from the end cap/spring guide base. The pin still holds the end cap/spring guide base in the gun against the force of the mainspring.
The barrel pivot pin (arrow) is removed and the base of the spring guide that holds the mainspring in the gun is pushed out. First we tap the pin in just far enough to remove the barrel pivot.
Remove the barrel and cocking link from the gun
Older Webley pistols had a threaded end cap that has to be unscrewed, but this spring guide base is only held in place by that pin. Now that the barrel pivot is free from the gun, the cocking link can be slid back toward the rear of the pistol to a large disassembly hole at the end of the cocking slot. Once there, the cocking link can be lifted out of the pistol and the barrel and cocking link are now free of the gun.
The barrel and cocking link are free of the gun.
That end cap pin is still in the end of the pistol, holding the end cap against the mainspring pressure. I have a tip for you on removing it.
BB’s first tip
Drive the end cap pin all the way out with the pin punch. The pin punch will now hold the end cap from coming out.
The pin punch has driven the end cap pin completely out. The punch now holds the cap against the mainspring.
Hold the pistol in your hand like you would to fire it and set the end cap on top of the bench. I padded my dining room table with a folded towel. Now, lean on the pistol with your chest. The end cap will be pushed back in and the spring compressed enough that you can easily remove the pin punch with your other hand. Now slowly lift the pistol up off the table.
Not a lot of spring tension
The end cap will now come out of the pistol about 1 to 1.5 inches. The pistol’s spring is not strong. I estimate there is about 30 to 40 pounds of energy pushing on the end cap.
Remove the mainspring and guide
You can now remove the end cap/spring guide and the mainspring.
The end cap/spring guide and mainspring are now out of the pistol.
Now that I could see the spring guide I learned why the pistol had grown so difficult to cock. Webley had lubricated the mainspring and the spring guide generously when they built the pistol, but they used the wrong type of grease. They used either a thin machine grease or more likely a lithium-based grease that does not have adequate surface tension to lubricate parts that are under as much pressure as this pistol imposes.
The grease could have initially been light in color but it was now black with metal particles and dirt, collected over the years. I now went on the search for shiny places on all the pistol’s parts. I found them on one part right away — the spring guide. All over the body of the spring guide were shiny places where the mainspring had rubbed under pressure and worn away the surface. The guide was initially very smooth and the worn spots were thankfully not grooves. They were just shiny surface patches.
The largest shiny spot on the guide was wrapped in a spiral — just like the coiled steel spring would do when compressed during cocking.
This is a different place on the spring guide and you can see another shiny spiral spot. Look at the shiny spot on the tip of the guide. Look where the tip enlarges into the body of the guide and you can see that the guide has retained its original shape and just the surface has been rubbed shiny.
At the base of the spring guide you can see two more shiny spots where the mainspring has rubbed hard when the gun fires.
An insert in the spring guide base bears against the cocking link when the pistol is cocked. The end of the insert is shiny but the place on the cocking link where it rubs is only mildly affected. That means the pressure against the link is not that great, but the small spot on the insert contacts it throughout the cocking cycle.
That constitutes most of the shiny spots where the Webley grease failed. They are all on the mainspring guide. I still examined every square inch of the pistol looking for more shiny spots. I found a small area of the mainspring that was a little shiny, but that is common in a spring gun. When the gun is cocked the mainspring kinks up and twists as it is compressed, and if any place on the spring bears against other metal there will be shiny places. What I saw on the Webley mainspring gave me no cause for concern.
This small shiny area on the mainspring is nothing! The spring is still in good condition.
What to do?
Let me review where this article has gone. First I described in detail how to disassemble the Webley Hurricane and showed you the details you need to know as we went. Those pictures will help you assemble the gun again, though I also have a couple more things to tell you about that. None of this “assemble in reverse order of disassembly” garbage!
Next I showed you what was wrong with the pistol. In the last report I stopped using the pistol because I felt its parts galling, which is parts that are rubbing against each other with too much pressure. In this report I showed you the proof of that — the shiny paces on the spring guide — ALONE. No other part in the gun had shiny places, other than the small place on the mainspring that is normal.
Now I’m going to tell you how to fix the pistol. Since the problem was with the lubrication, that’s what we will fix.
I selected three types of lubrication for this pistol. For the spring guide I normally would have chosen Moly grease, but I decided to do something different this time. I have an injector tube of a grease called Extreme Weapons Grease. Of course the manufacturer says wonderful things about it, but I thought why not give it a try? So, on every place where there are parts that rub under high pressure, I used EWG. If it doesn’t hold up I can always redo the pistol — now that I have this report to follow.
The pistol had a small bit of vibration when it fired before the galling started. It was so small I decided to live with it, but now that everything was apart I cleaned off all the old grease from every part in the gun and used Tune in a Tube on the mainspring. The spring was heavily lubricated before, so I figured a light coat of TIAT would probably preserve the velocity. Naturally I will check that when I test the velocity again.
I also used EWG on the cocking link shoe that retains the link inside the pistol. It wasn’t shiny, but as long as it is exposed, why not do it right?
There is the “shoe” (arrow) that connects the cocking link from the barrel to the pistol. I also used EWG on every surface of this part.
I mentioned there is an insert in the end cap that bears against the cocking link. I also coated the shiny spot on this part with EWG.
I also put EWG on the part that rubs against the cocking link (arrow).
Besides those parts I put EWG inside and on the sides of the pivot point of the barrel and also on the pin that holds the base block/end cap in the pistol.
I lubed the ends of the piston with moly that then transfers to the inside of the now-clean compression tube. The Teflon piston seal (the Brits call it PTFE, for Polytetrafluoroethylene) was in perfect condition and needed no lubrication.
Lube the parts of the piston that come in contact with the inside of the compression tube and also with the sear. They are the circular places that stick out.
BB’s next tip
Yes, the pistol is assembled in reverse order and I have given you all the details you need to do that. But getting the end cap/spring guide into the pistol so the pin can be driven in isn’t easy. Remember, the pin has to be driven in partway to hold the end cap, and then the barrel pivot hole needs to be aligned with the pin before it’s driven all the way home. Webley has you pushing the pistol against a table, but I find doing it that way takes three hands. A much better way is to use a 12-inch wood clamp to slowly bring the spring guide into the pistol. Sure, the clamp slipped off a couple times, but it took me only a few tries to get it right.
Then I assembled the remainder of the pistol. I used Moly grease on the sear parts, though the way this pistol is designed that will not lighten the trigger pull a bit.
Test the pistol
The gun is together again. The job took me three hours because I was going very slowly and carefully. I was also taking pictures.
To test the pistol I tried to cock it and it would not cock. However, this was not my first rodeo
BB’s final tip
After assembling a spring airgun always squeeze the trigger several times to sort out the parts. When I did I heard a couple clicks and the second time I was able to cock and fire the pistol. Job done. And, by the way, there is now NO VIBRATION when the pistol fires!
Now the velocity of the Webley Hurricane can be safely tested. And, if the Extreme Weapons Grease works as advertised, the pistol may now function correctly for many years.