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Air Guns What do you need?

What do you need?

This report covers:

  • Alex2no
  • The basics
  • Lubrication
  • Pellgunoil
  • Spring-piston silicone oil
  • ATF sealant
  • Tune in a Tube
  • Spare parts
  • Other spring rifles easy to disassemble
  • Airgun manufacturers

I was all set to shoot the Haenel 312 for its first accuracy test today when reader Alex2no posted this comment on the report titled, Do you really get what you pay for? I thought the question she asked was too good to pass up, because I know there are a lot of readers who are in the same boat. So today I’m addressing her comments.

Does the wheel need to be reinvented when in comes to airguns?  I don’t see myself running to the nearest store or  go on line to browse for the newest thing out there.  What company could manufacture a more fun, accurate and easy to shoot backyard rifle than an R7? What company could better the slim elegant profile on an FWB 124? Not to mention,  the accuracy and ease of cocking. Most of my guns were passed down to me by my grandfather.  The males were not interested, so the tomboy of the family got them. I like these two rifles soo much that when opportunity presented herself I purchased a second set. One to have with open sights, one scoped. My small Dianas show their age but are well taken care of.  If ever I need anything to recondition them,  parts are available here in the US or Europe. What a testament to the quality of these guns and the companies that built them. For sure, these guns can last another fifty to seventy years.

Not holding my breath for Daisy to bring back the gravity fed 99 or 299

B.B ,

What spare parts should one have on hand for these older guns? I do have some breach seals but that is all. Most are shooting to spec and do not see myself hoarding springs. pistons and the like. 

BTW, not mechanically talented.


I’m glad you asked. As I told you when I responded to your comment, my wife Edith was also a tomboy. She built car models when she was a teen, just like many boys of that time (early ’60s). As a result, she could identify older American cars by their smallest features. She could even tell you the year they were made.

After we were married I taught her how to load, pump and shoot my Sheridan Blue Streak so she could finish off the field mice we had in our house in Maryland. She didn’t like the way our cats tortured them before killing them, so she finished them off quickly. And when rats invaded from the deforestation nearby, she killed dozens of them. Her proudest moment came from a one-shot kill at 20 feet on the front lawn.

So believe me when I say, I know tomboys! I also know there are a lot of guys who read this blog who are in the same boat as you. They want to maintain their airguns but they aren’t mechanically inclined. BB Pelletier is one of them.

The basics

I’ll assume that you can change the batteries in a flashlight. So I’ll endeavor to keep things at that level. 


Much of what we can do for our airguns involves lubrication. I know you asked about spare parts and I’ll get to that, but there are other things we all should know how to do first, and lubrication is where it starts — for all powerplants.


Why do we lubricate? Some will say to reduce friction, and that’s certainly a reason, but there is more. In pneumatics and CO2 guns lubrication is essential to keeping them sealed. If you own a CO2 gun or a single stroke or multi-pump pneumatic Crosman Pellgunoil is your lifeblood. So much so that I bought a bulk bottle of it from Dennis Quackenbush and in 10 years I used all of it. So I bought another one. 

Oil each 12-gram cartridge before you pierce it. Oil each 88-90 gram CO2 cartridge for the same reason. Oil them where they are pierced so the gas blows the oil into the valve assembly where it gets on all the internal seals. Rick Willnecker of Precision Pellet taught me that you cannot over-oil these guns. Whatever is excess gets blown out as they shoot.

Build a Custom Airgun

Air chamber silicone oil

Oh, and since you asked, no it is not safe to put petroleum-based products into precharged airguns, so to lubricate their internal seals I recommend air chamber silicone oil that’s not going to explode in a high-pressure environment. Now don’t get silly and put compressed oxygen into your airguns because we all know that will make them explode and burn up. 

ATF sealant

I remember lubricating the pump piston head of my Sheridan Supergrade with automatic transmission fluid stop leak and gaining about 20 f.p.s. when the 15+grain Sheridan Cylindrical pellet was fired. Read about that in Part Two of my report on that air rifle. Over the years I have told you of reviving scores of CO2 and pneumatic guns with ATF sealant. I have also revived multi-pumps and single stroke pneumatics with this stuff.

transmission sealer
This stuff works on pneumatics as well as CO2 guns. It doesn’t have to be this brand, either.

Tune in a Tube

Okay, here is the last thing I will say about lubricants, and it has very little to do with lubrication. Tune in a Tube is marvelous for quieting vibrating mainsprings. Now, I have told you readers that TIAT is really Almagard 3752 red grease. I do that for readers in countries like India and Bangladesh where TIAT isn’t readily available. I have also told you that Red “N” Tacky grease is just as good and costs less than half of what Almagard 3752 costs.

HOWEVER —  for those who know they are not mechanically gifted, TIAT is the ONLY thing I recommend. Not for the grease as much as for the applicator. You need a way to get the grease deep inside the mainspring, since you will not be disassembling the airgun. That TIAT applicator is perfect for this. Oh, sure, you can buy applicators for grease, and I’m not talking about big grease guns. They make smaller applicators for 3 ounces of grease that would be perfect if that’s what you want. But I think a lot of you are keeping all your tools in a kitchen drawer, and you don’t need a big greasy one in there, too.

Spare parts

Okay, what spares should an airgunner who doesn’t want to disassemble airguns keep on hand? Breech seals for your spring guns is a good place to start. Alex2no mentioned she has them and all of you should, too. If you don’t have them, know where to buy them. Pyramyd Air is a good source. So is T.W. Chambers in the UK as well as T.R. Robb in the same nation.

What about other parts like mainsprings, spring guides and so on? This is where you need to listen to BB. There are very FEW spring rifles that can be maintained by almost anyone, regardless of their mechanical ability. I would rate the TX200 Mark III and its close relations, like the Hunter Carbine, in that boat. Stripping a TX is more complex than changing batteries in a flashlight, but that’s because there are so many parts involved more than because of complexity. I have shown you how to disassemble a TX200 Mark III a couple times and perhaps this one is the best.

If you own a TX200 Mark III, you can take it apart and fix pretty much anything inside. You don’t need a mainspring compressor. But you will encounter things you are not familiar with. For example, how do you get the piston seal off the piston? I use two thin-bladed screwdrivers. Use one to pry up one edge of the seal and use the other screwdriver to hold that place as you move on around the base of the seal. When you get halfway around the seal it pops off and there you go.

Other spring rifles easy to disassemble

There may other rifles that are easy to disassemble, but I don’t know what they are. If a spring gun requires a mainspring compressor to safely disassemble, it doesn’t make my list. And you can forget what Bubba will tell you about all the spring guns he has disassembled without a compressor. You only have to slip once to know why that is a bad idea, and, believe me, Bubba has slipped at least once. By “slipped” I mean the end cap that was supposed to be held down was on an angle and shot out of the gun under the compression of the mainspring. 

broken desk divider
When the end cap of my Beeman C1 let go the mainspring threw it across the room and into a wooden divider in my desk drawer.

While either disassembling or assembling my Beeman C1 a curious thing happened and I got the first photo to go into the R1 book. The heavy solid steel end cap got away from me, sailed across the room and broke a desk drawer divider in two! Had my arm been there instead, I’m thinking it might have been broken — bruised for certain. I instantly understood the need for a mainspring compressor!

Airgun manufacturers

Okay, only AirForce and Ed Schultz at Crosman listen to me, and here is what I am saying to them. Today’s report is a BIG DEAL! Wanna sell more airguns? Make one that is maintainable by the owner — the very guy or gal who stops at changing batteries in a flashlight.  Send me your prototype and I will examine it, report on it and then send it on to readers Michael or Alex2no and let them strip it down and comment! Do it right and you will have just invented the next FWB 124. I will see that the world knows what you did.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

45 thoughts on “What do you need?”

  1. “Okay, only AirForce and Ed Schultz at Crosman listen to me, and here is what I am saying to them. Today’s report is a BIG DEAL! Wanna sell more airguns? Make one that is maintainable by the owner — the very guy or gal who stops at changing batteries in a flashlight. Send me your prototype and I will examine it, report on it and then send it on to readers Michael or Alex2no and let them strip it down and comment! Do it right and you will have just invented the next FWB 124. I will see that the world knows what you did.”


    Isn’t that exactly what the Diana EMS was supposed to be?


  2. BB,

    Maybe you should add oiling the external metal parts too before putting our airguns away. I have encountered too many airguns that have gathered a thick patina due to their owners neglecting to oil the outside before storing.
    Oh and while we have Ed Schultz’s attention maybe Crosman can lower the pressure in their nitro pistons just a bit?
    How does one make a simpler PCP that will sell? The PPPCPs might need a second look. Not to make them cheaper to sell but easier to maintain.


      • BB,

        I know it can be made simpler. The problem will be the bean counters who want it also cheaper! I mean take our local designs which use a swing out breech and an external hammer with a detachable tank which is as simple as can be. It does not, however, lend itself to adding a magazine. It is simple but won’t be popular because it won’t do multiple shots.


    • What exactly do you mean by simple, though? It seems everyone wants endless adjustability in their PCPs right now and that seems to some degree inherently complicated. My Marauder was simple when I just put air and pellets in it and it shot where I aimed. It didn’t get complicated until I decided to open it up and start turning all the knobs.and dials.

      It is safely back to simple again for the time being. But my big drawer of aftermarket parts seems to indicate I’m not done complicating things.

      • ProfSteelToe,

        I don’t know about the market but to me a simple to maintain airgun is one that is ready for the end user to keep running without necessarily going to a machinist to repair. Methods of modification will be kept to a minimum. In a PCP that would be the pressure from the regulator, the volume of the plenum (if there is one), the volume of the tank, force of the hammer striking the firing pin and the trigger. Regulators, plenums and tanks can be swapped around. The hammer strength and trigger pull can be adjusted with screws.


  3. Hi everybody,

    I have really come to like Ballistol. I bought the first can with one of my airguns to wipe off the blued steel after use. I think this stuff is really useful as it can be used anywhere you want basic lubrication or corrosion removal/protection. Also, it is not harmful to nature or your health. I like the smell, but that’s highly subjective 🙂
    I think as a “universal” oil, it is often a much better product than WD-40 which actually degreases parts and only provides lubrication for a very short time. I think as a penetrating oil for screws that are really rusted and corroded, WD-40 might do a better j0b, so I also keep some of it around.

    I also always have some silicone oil around, too (I use the stuff from Ballistol too and it seems to work well). I use it for things like CO2 cartridges, plastic parts but also for my car’s door seals. I give all the seals a generous spray of silicone spray every one or two years and that keeps them soft and pliable and prevents them freezing in place in the winter.


    • Stephan,

      That is a good suggestion concerning the car door seals.

      I like Ballistol myself. It is a great light lubricant. I also have a cylinder o Lucas Red ‘n’ Tacky. I have it to refill my TIAT applicator but have found wood skewers work pretty good also. I have taken to using silicone chamber oil for lubricating my leather piston seals. I have found that though they are low powered, I still get some dieseling.

      • Would flat wood sticks, like tongue depressors, make it easier to spread the grease? Note this is coming from an inexpert someone who, to date, has not greased/TIAT-ed an air gun main spring.

        • FM,

          That will work if you have a spring compressor and can take it out. What is nice about the TIAT dispenser is it is like a syringe that allows you to stick the long, plastic tip down into the compression chamber where it needs to go.

    • Stephan, I also like Ballistol for many reasons, and it wipes onto a blued steel surface extremely well, with good protection. One comment about WD-40. It’s obviously very common. Years back, I studied all the information on this I could find. WD-40 is praised and nearly as often, criticized. My advice with WD-40 is that it’s main value is NOT as a lubricant, and most importantly, you should always shake the tar out of the can before use. It is a solvent blend that comes out of solution easily, so if you want the most from the product, remember that. If you want to use it as a solvent, then don’t shake it. It does have water absorption qualities. This can be either good or bad. These two products, along with some mineral oil USP are the standby lubricants I use.

    • Ballistol user here too-I’m slightly partial to the smell; family cannot stand it though….
      So far it’s worked better on my precision tools than the other oils I’ve tried; for corrosion protection. I wipe down all steel surfaces that I’ve touched while shooting on my Diana; and also use it in the bore-after a session; I’ll push a cleaning pellet in and soak it with Ballistol-then load a lightweight Superdome behind it; so it’s not dry-firing-had issues with leading from the hard H&N Barracudas that I shoot before; no issues now that I’m doing that.

  4. BB,

    I hope more than John McCaslin and Ed Schultz read this article.


    I do not know how much simpler you could make your airguns. I have never messed with a Texan. I have heard it is not easy to change calibers. If this is so, you need to work on that.


    Where do I begin with TCFKAC? I guess we can start with a sproinger. Why not build one that is accurate, is not especially hold sensitive, the trigger is a nice, crisp breaking one and the spring can be safely removed without a spring compressor. It does not have to be particularly powerful. The HW30/R7 isn’t. Maybe it should have a long compression stroke.

    Now here is where some real engineering comes in. Have it so not only can you remove the spring easily, but you can drop a gas spring in it, giving it a faster, more powerful stroke. Once again it should have little or no precompression.

    As for PCP, maybe they should bring back the Discovery/Maximus. I just bought one this past year. 2000 PSI fill, not a thing wrong with that. Single shot, that’s fine. A little trigger work, accurate barrel and easy to mount the silencer of choice would also help. Perhaps give it a nice piece of wood.

    Just my thoughts.

  5. Alex2no,

    You are where I am. I look at all of the “new shinies”, but do not buy most of them. Most of my “collection” is pretty old. I do not need +100 FPE to kill a feral soda can at 25 yards. I do enjoy making tiny groups every once in a while, though.

    The airgun industry in the USA believes they have to bring out a new model every year. Weihrauch doesn’t, although they are guilty of updating their stocks every once in a while. Air Arms doesn’t. How in the world do you update something that is so beautiful, not only as eye candy, but is very accurate and has such a sweet trigger?

  6. I called Crosman a few months back to purchase a seal kit for my Benjamin Marauder pistol it’s 10 years old an not holding air.. I talked with a guy named Kevin (he was awesome). He said let’s try something easy first. Silicone oil in the fill probe. Wow it’s held air for 3 months. The starlings are not happy.
    I’m sure I will get to reseal some day, but I do like an easy fix.

    Love your Blog read it every morning.


  7. B.B.,

    I feel some of the most interesting blog articles you have had examine products “regular Joes” think up in their recliner and then build in their garage. I honestly think, “Oh goody!” whenever you have an off-the-beaten-path product to share with us. I also very much appreciate when you devote a daily blog to address (or inspired by) a question by a reader, such as today’s installment.

    Alex2no’s asked, “What company could manufacture a more fun, accurate and easy to shoot backyard rifle than an R7? What company could better the slim elegant profile on an FWB 124?” The R7 is still here, last I checked. The Feinwerkbau Model 124 is a different case. Many manufacturers, including many of the biggest, could make an airgun like that again, but it would cost a pretty penny and would not sell well enough to remain in production for long.

    An example of this would be the Sig ASP 20, a fine air rifle by all accounts that sold poorly compared to Sig’s expectations and was therefore discontinued. In a few years, Sig says, the company will cease replenishing parts inventories for the rifles as well. That last detail makes me wonder about the company’s commitment to its customers. I am not in the market for a Sig, but if I were, I would think twice about purchasing one.


  8. BB,
    I want to commend Alex2no. She is a good writer.

    An airgun company listening to airgunners can be both a blessing and a curse. I have seen very sucessful airguns created as a direct result of listening to airgunners and also seen airguns made to order for us airgunners who never bought enough of what they asked for to make it profitable.

    David Enoch

  9. B.B.

    This report came at a very good time for me. I have a Tanfoglio Gold Custom CO2 Blowback BB Pistol with two CO2 / BB magazines. The shot valves in the two magazines just failed recently by suddenly venting all the CO2 as I fired a shot. As far as I can tell, the pistol and magazines are discontinued and no longer manufactured. Buying replacement magazines is not an option. I also don’t know if spare parts (like valve o-rings) are available.

    I always follow your advise and use Pellgun Oil on the tips of the CO2 cartridges. So when the first magazine shot valve failed, I put several drops of Pellgun Oil into the top of the magazine while working the shot valve stem to get the oil inside the shot valve. After the shot valve appeared to be full of oil, I let the magazine rest for a while to thoroughly lube the interior workings of the valve. Unfortunately that didn’t fix whatever is wrong with the valve. When I loaded another CO2, the gas immediately vented out through the top of the magazine.

    I saw what you wrote about using ATF sealant for CO2 guns. Do you think that would work to fix my magazine shot valves?

    Do you think there is another problem that will require disassembly of the shot valve and replacement of defective parts?

    I really would like to repair these magazine shot valves so that I can continue to shoot this Tanfoglio Gold Custom pistol. I would really hate to have to throw it in the trash, or worse yet, take to a recycling center and suddenly find myself facing some hysterical person who has called the police at the sight of my BB pistol.

    Your suggestions will be much appreciated.

    • Charles,

      I would love to say yes, but I don’t think I can. It sounds to me like an o-ring has split apart and the leak won’t stop until that ring is replaced.


      • B.B.

        Pyramyd AIR Customer Service suggested contacting Evike about replacement parts because Evike apparently bought Palco Sports who distributed the Tanfoglio Gold Custom. If Evike doesn’t have spare parts, can I find a suitable replacement o-ring at the hardware store?

        Do you know where I can get a schematic diagram of a CO2 shot valve, a blowback valve in particular?

        • Charles,

          No doubt there are schematic and isometric drawings of CO2 valves.

          As for the o-ring, it has to be metric, so that’s what you’ll need.


  10. FM’s insignificant opinion about this blog post is that BB as well as many of you who weigh in with tips and suggestions about air gun maintenance and repair are being humble about your mechanical aptitude and ability to maintain your cherished guns.

    All FM will say is every nugget of wisdom and knowledge shared here is deeply appreciated. At some point any one of us may need to push the envelope and tackle a repair or maintenance job we thought we could not do if the alternative is to not be able to enjoy your air gun. There may not be anyone else around to help you who knows how to work with their hands and their brain.

    Along those lines, it would be great to have readily-available information about maintenance and repair of specific air guns or those designed around common platforms, for the users. This would be similar to the concept of automotive shop manuals. You would not necessarily have to print the manuals; they could be online and viewable/dowloadable – at a suitable price, of course. Maybe it has been attempted but was not profitable and so the idea or attempt “died on the vine.” Call it “The Go-to Book of Air Gun Maintenance and Repair.”

  11. BB
    I was about to note the misspelling of AMLGUARD, an old name for a clear water displacing hard drying Corrosion Prevention Compound- ( 5054 CPC ) we used on aircraft. Just assumed they may make a preservative grease. But I decided to verify that first and got an education instead.
    ALMAGARD is a Vari-Purpose Lubricant not a company name. It contains ‘Almasol’, a solid, wear-reducing under extremely heavy loads, additive and Quinplex an impact resistant tacky, stable, water resistant additive. The combination makes it a perfect heavy load, high temp water proof grease.
    Beginning to think that is probably what the red wheel bearing grease is we use on aircraft wheel bearings. Those wheel brakes get REALLY glowing red hot after a landing sometimes and you can imagine the weight those bearings carry under a loaded Boeing 767. We just called it red hi-temp wheel bearing grease.
    Then there is the the 1894 Lever Action BB Rifle with a hole in the spring housing / outer barrel with words similar to or exactly “OIL HERE”
    Bob M

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