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DIY Sometimes…

Sometimes…

This report covers:

  • First up
  • A problem
  • Question from South Africa
  • And this was my answer
  • The truth
  • Gas piston problems
  • Switch to the HW 30S
  • But wait…

As the 18th century Robert Burns once penned, “The best-laid schemes o’ Mice and Men gang aft aglay!” Translated, that means stuff happens. Or, it’s always something. I guess Gilda Radner as Rosanne Rosannadanna on Saturday Night Live taught us that.

Stuff happens to B.B. Pelletier, too. And today I’m going to tell you about it because its just as important to know what to do next as it is to deal with things when they go right.

First up

My plan for today was to start testing the velocity of the Seneca Eagle Claw PCP. I say start because the Eagle Claw has power settings and I need to do more than just test the rifle with three pellets and be done. I need to get an idea of the shot count at each power setting — or at least get a general idea of how many shots there are at the different settings. If some of them are close together then I don’t need to explore each of them. I also need to test sound levels at each power setting. Then I need to test the rifle with lightweight, medium weight and heavy weight pellets. Adjustable power means a lot more testing.

A problem

In short, there is a lot to test on the Eagle Claw, so velocity testing will take several reports. But there is a problem. When I filled it to get started, the fill nipple leaked down the entire reservoir. The leak was very fast, with the full 3,000 psi exhausting in just over a minute.

I noticed that the female fill coupling on the tank hose went onto the male filling on the gun very tight. That usually means that the wide spot on the male fitting is a little too long. The female fitting has to be pushed past that wide spot so the spring-loaded ball bearings inside the female coupling can be forced into the groove to hold the couplings fast while filling.

I tried filling twice and both times it leaked down the entire reservoir. So I went to my other carbon fiber tank and tried it again. Same thing.

Then I dropped several drops of silicone chamber oil into both the male and female fittings. When I tried to fill the next time that oil was blown into the reservoir where it got on the internal seals and might have loosened the moving parts of the intake valve. That can work, but this time it didn’t.

The last thing I did was disconnect the hose as almost all the air was out of the reservoir — but not all. Maybe 15-20 bar remained. That sudden pressure release can cause internal intake valve parts to move and loosen, but this time they didn’t. The leaking stopped immediately when the connection was broken, but when I tried to fill again, it still leaked out. If you ever try this do it when ther air is almost exhausted, because pressure can make that hose whip and hit you!

So I have to resolve this problem before the test of the Eagle Claw can continue.  It’s not good because you don’t get a test today, but it is good because you get to watch what BB does to resolve an issue that you may have someday.

Question from South Africa

I have a website and I get lots of questions from there as well as from this blog. Here is one that came in while I was working with the Eagle Claw.

“Hope you are well.

Do you perhaps know if the diana ntec air rifles can be converted to a coil spring in case it leaks and which components besides the spring and guides will be required to make the conversion? There’s some ntec rifles available at good prices but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to buy one. I live in south Africa and its basically impossible to get spares and the ntec gasram is a closed system and therefore if I breaks, getting a replacement gasram will be a problem.”

And this was my answer

“I am sure that it is possible to do such a conversion, but Diana doesn’t recommend it and no parts are identified. This would be a project a person would have to discover by themselves as they did it. There are no parts available for such a job.

From what you say, I would stick with a different air rifle.”

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

The truth

The truth is, I know that someone is working on a coiled steel spring replacement kit for the Diana gas piston in the Diana 34 EMS. If it will fit that one will it also fit a 34 N-TEC? I don’t know, but probably. At least that is my guess. But I can’t tell someone things like that. He might make his decision based on what I say and then the company that is considering making the coiled steel spring replacement may decide not to. Or they may sell the conversions for three years but it might take five years for the N-TEC gas piston in South Africa to start having problems. So I answer based on what I know for sure today.

Gas piston problems

Remember the Beeman R9 with the Vortek center-latching air piston I was testing in 2018? I sent it back the Vortek for repairs so the test could continue and the crickets started chirping. I haven’t seen that unit yet — and it’s been three years!

Vortek CLU kit
Beeman R9 center-latching unit from Vortek.

Quoting Robert Burns again,  “O wad some Power the giftie gie us,  To see oursels as ithers see us!” Translated, it means — you may have good intentions but it’s what you do that matters.

Switch to the HW 30S

Okay, it was still early so I thought I would switch over to the HW 30S. I would take it apart and let you see the internal parts. Before I did that I read the end of Part 6 — the last report I did on the rifle. There I said I would first remove the scope and install a rear target sight. My late friend Mac willed me a bunch of airgun rear target sights and I thought a Feinwerhbau looked good. Oh, boy! Here we go!

Except it didn’t fit. The FWB rear sight jaws don’t conform to the Weihrauch scope dovetails. Okay, I can use the rear sight from an AirForce Edge. A reader even suggested that. Or I can remove the Weihrauch target sight from my HW 55SF. Or…

But wait…

Here I am, trying to solve problems, when all the while today’s blog is writing itself for me. You don’t need another perfect test from perfect B.B. Pelletier who lives in Perfectland. You need to see behind the curtain and to stumble over the boxes of parts from past tests gone bad. You need to know that South is a legitimate compass direction, and sometimes the best-laid plans of mice and men — go South. Sometimes, my friends, B.B. Pelletier shoots the couch!

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

29 thoughts on “Sometimes…”

  1. B.B.,

    With the amount of things you have to do for the blog I sometimes imagine that you are on a unicycle while spinning plates! Does the modern HW 30s correspond to the 11mm or 13mm dovetails?

    Siraniko

  2. BB,

    LOL! You were not paying attention when I said the FWB rear aperture does not fit the HW30S. Shootski recommended I use a little rosin, but I do not have any and it is most definitely not worth finding any for what little I would need.

    If you fool around with these things, sooner or later you are going to have a misadventure or two. I do wish those crickets would stop chirping though, I was really looking forward to an adjustable gas sproing.

  3. BB
    Well at least no couch shooting today. 🙂

    Reminds me of a little story I read one time. Two guys are looking out a window and its raining. One guy say’s what a dreary day. The other guy looks at him and say’s but not for ducks.

    Guess it’s all about how you look at things. Yes it’s not a perfect world. But how else do you learn.

    • GF1,

      Have you been checking out the new G2? They have made it snazzier and upped the performance also. I am almost persuaded to buy one of these things.

      • RR
        Yep I posted that I liked the new Gauntlet 2.

        I even checked the PA site and they aren’t available yet. I believe it was July.

        Definitely got my eyes on it. Probably a .25 caliber if I do.

  4. BB,
    Yep we get crickets here too and sometimes we get far too many. Hopping all over the place and chirping like mad.
    I hope you get your pressurized air under control and without whipping hoses… that sounds not good. Duck! No, that’s a sea gull…
    Got cracking back into the semi bullpup project after cleaning 16 engine valves…. only took an hour! and things are looking up. I have a new trigger connector which is steel and running in plastic bearings with some TIAT and it feels pretty good. Sliding triggers are great. The stock needs about and inch or two added on and that will be adjustable. Here’s some pics. : – ) Robert.

      • RR,
        No can do, the stock is going to grow a couple of inches. The LOP is too short in those pics. As it’s just a mock up I used the old stock/grip from previous version.
        So this is Semi Bull Pup (SBP ) MK II Which has a higher grip than the MK I. Also I prefer shooting off hand and don’t like craning fwd to peer through the sight. If I went to my Anschutz dioptre ( which has super short eye relief and can move back and forth with ease ) then this lop would actually be ok. The next step is to make a whole new grip and butt. Overall the rifle is much smaller now. which is ideal. I didn’t like it being so hecking long. and wobbly. : -) Robert.

  5. B.B.

    Funny you mentioned it, but about 4-5 years ago a buddy asked me to recommend an airgun for a tropical island. I recommended two gas ram guns. No spring to break or rust. No spring fatigue or rust. No twang or rust. Both guns still going strong. The best pellet for one is the copper coated ones with the most oxidation possible, go figure…

    -Y

  6. Along these lines in SNAFU-FUBAR Land, the replacement globe front sight for the HW95 is on the way; thankfully this will be an easy fix to a small problem. Apologies were made by the seller, but as FM put it in his “thank you” email to the company, “no worries, stuff happens.”

    • FawltyManuel,

      How do you plan to attach it this time? I was thinking of using heat shrink plastic as an additional reinforcement If I were to do something like you are doing.

      Siraniko

      • Siraniko,
        The plan is to use the “mild” version of Loctite to ensure the sight screws don’t move. A friend suggested Tef Gel, which he uses in marine applications – it is a thick, pretty sticky grease which also offers very good corrosion protection. He thinks it may keep those screws from moving but without getting stuck in place; have a tube he gave me, so may try that instead of Loctite.
        https://tefgel.com/contain.php?param=tefgel_infor

        I’m still going to verify tightness frequently!

  7. B.B.,

    Apparently the leaking down immediately after filling a Seneca Eagle Claw and Dragon Claw are common problems. Usually a problem with the check valve not seating properly. Usually a fast bleed from the fill source fixes the problem but in your case it didn’t. Here’s some other things to try that have worked on others Eagle Claws and Dragon Claws:

    “Try bleeding again with the muzzle pointed down. When the pressure drop is to low, sometimes the filling valve doesn’t close.

    If that does not solve the problem, empty the air tank, be sure there isn’t a pellet/slug in the barrel and open the loading port, press the cocking lever forwards to open the valve and hold the lever in place, while opening the air supply/pressure tank. The air will now flow through the air rifle and in most cases removes dirt from the valves and seats.”

    • Kevin,

      I was fairly certain I had a handle on what B.B.’s problems were after my first read; then i read your post and HAD (because I respect the Posters to this Blog) to go back and read todays Blog again. B.B. said, “…the fill nipple leaked down the entire reservoir. The leak was very fast, with the full 3,000 psi exhausting in just over a minute.” So IF we take B.B.s writing it looks like it is the Fill Nipple that has the problem. I had one very similar instance with one of my DAQs. The fix followed the same course B.B. has taken so far and then I bled the airguns reservoir to ZERO and removed the entire Fill end. It turned out that a very small piece of O-Ring was stuck between the fill valve seat and the stem. After a complete inspection, polish, and new O-Ring it has never leaked again.

      shootski

      • shootski,

        Suspect that something is blocking the valve seat. My suggestions were less invasive hoping that only dislodging some grit or jarring the seating of the valve with air alone would solve the problem.

        B.B. might have to resort to removing the fill port and inspecting the valve. Not uncommon for orings to be cut during installation and block the valve.

      • shootski,

        It’s not the fill nipple, but a valve that’s one level deeper in the reservoir. Tyler Patner checked it out for me and I have to return this rifle to PA. They have already sent another one.

        BB

    • Kevin,

      I didn’t do all of that, but by disconnecting the fill hose with 15-20 bar left in the reservoir, I forced the inlet valve to close quickly. I hoped that might jar it loose, especially since I had just lubricated the valve on that fill.

      Sometimes the engineers don’t put return springs on the inlet valve, thinking a pressure differential will close it when the bleeder is opened. It works when the bleed is fast enough, but apparently neither of my tanks are.

      BB

  8. Thanks, B.B.!
    It is nice to see that it’s not just the rest of us, that, sometimes, even the master has a tricky day when all does not go as planned. I’m sure you’ll get it all sorted out. =>
    Looking forward to many more reports,
    dave

  9. B.B.,

    The late Roger Ebert’s One Reel Rule was if nothing happens in a movie after the first reel (roughly eleven minutes), nothing is going to happen. A variation of that could be: If a Vortek kit hasn’t come back in three years, it isn’t coming back.

    Michael

    • Michael,

      Yup!

      The “U” shaped Bathtub Curve is the Standard for Lifecycle Engineers. It goes South promptly (Infant Mortality) or failure waits to happen at the other end of the “U” or the predicted/designed end of the units Lifecycle.

      shootski

    • Michael,

      Yeah — I pretty much figgured that out.

      I don’t hound the manufacturer when I’m testing something they wanted me to test, which this was. I figure support is part of the equation.

      BB

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