This report covers:

  • Be reasonable
  • Why write this?
  • But…
  • No clocks — airguns
  • Mainspring compressor
  • What about pneumatics?
  • CO2
  • The money?
  • Summary

Today we will explore the possibilities of you working on airguns.

Be reasonable

You want to rebuild your 1924 Crosman multi-pump that is the predecessor of the model 101. You wonder where to get parts and schematics. Sound familiar?

Let me change the facts to make it easier to understand. You just inherited your grandfather’s 1931 Rolls Canardly touring car. Where is a good place to get parts? Where can you get drawings that show all the parts and how they go together?

A good place to get those parts is in your machine shop. Oh, you don’t have a machine shop? Well, get one and learn how all the machines work. Then, in ten years or so, you can make the parts you need, because the Rolls Canardly car company went out of business in 1934. They never really had drawings, either. They had a few scraps of paper that the machinists used when they were making the parts, plus they used the engine block from an 8 cylinder 1929 Packard Phaeton. Try finding out of those! By the way, the reason they went out of business is their car just rolls downhill and can hardly make it up the next one. 

Working on a 1924 Crosman multi-pump will be a graduate course in airgun repair. They were put together differently in those days and they require special tools for disassembly. A lot of the parts look similar to the later 101 parts, but they aren’t. That rifle is not the place to start learning about airguns!

Why write this?

The other day I addressed a question written by reader Alex2no in the report titled, What do you need? She wanted to know what sort of spares she should keep on hand for her spring guns. And she told me she was not particularly mechanically inclined. I told her I understood because I’m similarly mechanically inept, and some readers didn’t believe me. After writing the report I noticed that I recommended a lot of things, but not many of them were parts.

And then I took the Haenel 312 apart. You read about that yesterday.

All of that got me thinking — what about all the airgunners who aren’t mechanically inclined. Can they work on airguns, too? Should they even try? And that leads me to the subtitle of today’s report — Is there an airgun, or airguns that is/are simple enough for most people to work on? Now, here’s the deal. When you were young you didn’t know how to tie your shoes. So someone taught you how and then you knew. Or you may wear shoes that don’t have laces for that very reason.

Before you rode a bicycle for the first time someone probably showed you how. Stuff doesn’t always come naturally. Some of it — even a lot of it — has to be learned.

Okay, okay, BB. What does this have to do with me? I inherited my dad’s Benjamin model 130 pistol and that’s the only airgun I have. What do I do?

Well, if you inherited your dad’s 1968 Omega Moon Watch chronograph should you take it apart and clean it? Of course not. In fact, for a complex mechanism like a wristwatch or a clock maybe you should just keepa your hands off it — forever!

But…

But you’re interested in how clocks work! You want to take them apart and put them back together.

Okay, let’s find a clock that you can work on safely. How about one like this that sells for $10.50?

build clock
This construct-a-clock kit is an educational toy for ages 6-10. I don’t know about you, but that appeals to me. I reckon I can do anything a 10-year-old can do, except run around all day!

No clocks — airguns

Okay, you don’t want to build clocks. You want to work on airguns. Are there any out there that would be good for you? Yes, says BB Pelletier! There aren’t many but the Weihrauch HW 80 is a place to begin.

Wait a minute, BB! Isn’t the HW 80 expensive? Yes, it is. What about the HW 30S that you worked on recently?

I didn’t recommend the HW 30S or the HW 50S for one good reason. Their end caps don’t come out that simply. Where the HW 80 end cap unscrews, the end caps of the 30 and 50 require 4 tabs to be punched out and then the inner cap has to be rotated slightly for a tab to clear the spring tube. 

R1 end cap
The HW 80 and Beeman R1 end caps unscrew, making disassembly much simpler.

BB,  what about the Beeman R1? Isn’t it an HW 80 by another name? Yes, it is. Get one and then read my 13-part Spring gun tune report.

What about the Beeman R10, which is also the HW 85. Don’t they have end caps that unscrew, too? Yes, they do. If you can find one, go for it.

What about the Beeman R9/HW 95? Do they come apart easily? No, they don’t. That rifle has those same pesky end cap tabs that BB thinks are too complex for working on a first easy spring gun.

Find a Hawke Scope

Mainspring compressor

You will need a mainspring compressor to safely disassemble one of these air rifles. Oh oh! BB, you said this was going to be easy. I don’t want to waste money on a mainspring compressor! I just want to work on airguns! 

Okay, I have two things to say to you about that. First, you tell me you want to work on your Rolls Canardly but you also don’t want to buy any wrenches. You have a Chinese adjustable wrench that came with your kids’ bicycles and you reckon that’s as far as you want to go in the tool department. That’s like saying you want to learn calligraphy as long as you don’t have to learn cursive!

And second, why not make building your own mainspring compressor your first task in learning how to work on airguns? It’s not that difficult and if you are up to it, then working on a spring piston airgun shouldn’t be beyond you.

What about pneumatics?

I don’t know of very many pneumatics that are easy to rebuild, but there are a couple. The Beeman P3 and the Beeman P17 come to mind. Reader Ian Mckee gave us a wonderful series on resealing the P17, and since the P3 is virtually identical, you are in business. These are both single stroke pneumatics and I rate them as more complex than the spring guns I just mentioned, but still doable for most folks.

Beeman P17
The Beeman P17 single-stroke pneumatic is easier to rebuild.

Perhaps there are others but these two I know for sure.

CO2

I know of no CO2 guns that I would recommend to a first-timer. CO2 and pneumatics are guns that need good seals and their valves must be clean for them to work. Yes, I said you can repair a P17, which is a single stroke pneumatic, but it is the simplest of all the pneumatics that I know of, and the guest blog about resealing it is so straightforward.

With just a little practice you could repair some of the older CO2 guns like the Crosman Mark I and II and the S&W G78 and G79. But they don’t make good starter airguns, as far as I’m concerned.

The money?

The P17 is really the only affordable airgun on the short list I have given you. I would shop for the others as used guns. But my point today is, if you want to learn to repair airguns, this is a good way to start. It will be challenging for some of you while others will wonder why I was so cautious. 

Summary

If you want to start fixing airguns I have outlined a simple way to get started. Yes there are costs and yes there will be things to learn, but learning is the point, isn’t it?