What do you need?
This report covers:
- The basics
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.