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Ammo Original Bugelspanner: Part 3

Original Bugelspanner: Part 3

B.B.’s Bugelspanner.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Help arrives
  • Problems
  • Replaced the piston seal
  • Assembly
  • Dart gun
  • Next
  • Summary

Today I resume the report on my Tyrolean Bugelspanner. Let’s see — I left off in December of 2013. That was just short of 10 years ago. You might want to read those first two reports to catch up.

I disassembled the Bugel into major assemblies and then left it — for many years! To be honest, it isn’t that complex inside. How much of a problem could it be to repair this airgun? Apparently, too much of one for me!

Help arrives

Then I appealed to reader 45Bravo/Ian McKee. He is handier than I am, and I thought it would be no problem for him to get the old gal going. And it wasn’t — sort of. More on that in a bit.


The main problem with the Bugelspanner was the piston seal. It was dirty and possibly decomposing. I saw what looked like leather chunks in the bore. Also the compression chamber needed to be cleaned, because some of the leather bits from the seal were embedded at the end of the chamber..

Buglespanner pisaton seal
The Bugelspanner’s leather piston seal was dirty and starting to decompose.

Another problem was a worn out cocking lever pivot screw. To better understand that let’s look at how the Bugelspanner cocks.

Buglespanner cocked
The triggerguard is pulled down to cock the Bugel.

Buglespanner cocking pivot
The screw that the cocking lever pivots on at the end of the piston was badly galled and worn. It needed to be replaced.

The remainder of the parts weren’t in bad condition, but the double set triggers were poorly adjusted. All parts needed cleaning and the two volute springs that make up the mainspring needed to be cleaned and lubricated. 

Buglespanner volute spring 1
The mainspring consists of two volute springs that meet in the middle like this.

It turns out that it matters where the two volute springs go. Spring number one goes toward the butt and number two toward the muzzle.

Buglespanner volute spring 2
The volute springs fit together in the middle like this.

Buglespanner volute spring 3
This spring goes toward the butt.

Buglespanner volute spring 4
And this spring goes toward the muzzle.

Replaced the piston seal

After all the parts were cleaned, the decision was made to replace the piston seal.

Buglespanner old seal cleaned
The old leather piston seal was cleaned, but the decision was made to replace it.

Buglespanner new seal
The new Bugelspanner piston seal.


The assembly of the gun was done by a third party who has overhauled several Bugelspanners. During that process he made the final adjustments to put the gun into working order. He owns a couple Bugels of his own but he had never seen one like mine.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Dart gun

This is a dart gun, which is why I said in the Wednesday blog that I was going to give you readers reasons to love the Marksman pistol once more. The breech of the smoothbore barrel measures .25 caliber or 6.35mm but the muzzle measures 0.264-inches/6mm. Ian found that a .22-caliber dart worked okay. The front steel part was a little loose but the “feathers” in the back sealed the bore.

He brought the fixed Bugel to me last week and I shot it several times while he was here. After he left I experimented with wrapping the steel dart body with plumber’s tape to let the front of the dart fit the bore as well as the feathers on the tail. When I did that, the Buglespanner started putting dart on dart at close range (15 feet/4.5 meters). But I couldn’t use the rear sight because the sporting sight on the barrel got in the way. I removed it and look what happened.

Buglespanner dovetail
I knocked the sporting rear sight out of its dovetail so the rear peep could see the front sight. I didn’t see the corrosion until the sight came off.

Buglespanner sporting sight
The sporting rear sight.

Buglespanner rear peep
The rear peep sight.

Bugelspanner target
Now, that’s a shot! With the darts shimmed larger in front they now go exactly where the Buglespanner is aimed.


I only wrapped the darts with tape as a proof of concept. I am searching for a more permanent fix. And the Bugelspanner has become my favorite new airgun because it is quiet, safe and accurate. The set trigger lets off with 1-2 ounces. But why should you care? You care because the Marksman 1010 pistol and all of its derivatives also shoot darts. Those are the airguns that half of you like and the other half despise.

Guys, shooting darts is fun and even safer than shooting pellets or BBs into a box of rubber mulch. BB is going to run some more reports about dart guns.


It took a decade but my Bugelspanner dart gun is back on line. The action is cleaned, adjusted and the gun now shoots as it was designed to. BB is going to have some fun!

63 thoughts on “Original Bugelspanner: Part 3”

  1. BB,

    Shucks, I was hoping that old gal would end up at RRHFWA. Ah well, I cannot win them all I guess. Dart shooting is one of the reasons I picked up a Webley Junior.

    Dart diameter. Maybe some small o-rings? Glue? RTV? Combination thereof?

    More thoughts and suggestions will follow.

    That thing sure is pretty.

    • They’re going to pull your cajun card!
      You went straight to machine sleeves…..
      And completely skipped over every kind of beverage straw in the world,
      That and a cigarette lighter……. And of course there is always shrink tubing!

      Lots of cheap ways to skin that cat!

      • I do love making/fixing things with “found” objects. On one hand I am a Millwright but in the other I am a Machinist . I grew up on a farm in South Louisiana and when something broke it usually had to be repaired that day by whatever means necessary . Where I work now Millwright and Machinist is a combined craft but we Machinist know better 😉

        • That is really cool. Sorry I was just being catty….. And trying to get a laugh.
          You have the best skills of both worlds. When everything that breaks is your problem…..improvisation is definitely our friend.
          I have the greatest respect for all Machinists.

          • Oh , you got a laugh out of me Mon frere . Lost my card long ago, lived twenty years in MS and now twenty-two years in TX. In just a little while will be leaving Bayou Blue going back to Dickinson, TX. Praying for a safe and uneventful journey.

  2. Barrel-centring dart-body-guides:
    a) establish the thickness of the tape
    b) acquire some hardwood veneer to match
    c) apply double sided carpet tape to the veneer
    d) cut the veneer into narrow strips
    e) adhere 3 narrow strips longitudinally and equally spaced around the dart body tube
    e) carefully trim the strips on the tube to a length that balances friction area with area of adhesion

    and finally…
    f) purchase .25″ calibre darts ! 🙂

  3. Wow! This is really interesting.
    I know as a young boy I shot darts until I lost them out of the first airrifle (Suhl300) my father bought. It was quite funny – and I did not destroy the barrel even after few hundrets shot.

  4. BB-

    Congratulations to you and Ian for getting it shooting again. I would be be inclined to use tool handle dip (Plasti-Dip or Dip and Grip are a couple of the Brand names) on the darts. You can easily control the thickness deposited by duration and number of dips into the liquid.

  5. A very interesting post. I’m glad ya’ll got it working and are having fun with it! Coincidentally, a stepson brought over some old air guns yesterday (after I told him I was interested in seeing them, and that we could fire them in the basement). He inherited them but has no real interest in using them. He prefers firearms and always carries one. He has left them with me, and due to his lack of interest I suspect will never take them back (but who knows). I might offer him something for them if I decide I want them. One of them is a pistol that appears to be Russian, a Baykal MP-46M. The lever doesn’t appear to build up any pressure when operated. But I suspect that this might be a quality target pistol that is worth repairing. Anyone familiar with these?

    • Elmer,

      You hit the jackpot! That’s an airgun everyone wants.

      Open the pump lever by pulling it as far forward as it will go, then drop 10 drops of oil on the pump head the appears at the end of the slot. Work the pump handle back and forth many times before you cock the pistol.

      Then cock the pistol and work the pump handle back and forth with out letting it pump all the way. That flexes the pump piston head and warms it up.

      Read this:



      • Wow, I read the 3-part review, thanks! It looks like I should order some match grade pellets for this gun. I assume Crosman Pellgun oil would be appropriate for the pump head. Or do you think I should find some ATF sealant? And the manual indicates putting a few drops of oil in the compression chamber transfer port. Should this be the RWS air chamber lube that I already have?

          • Okay, I have it shooting now, thanks to all the great help! The trigger is amazing! The velocity (based on the timing of the sound of the pellet hitting the target at 10-meters, and the point of impact) is inconsistent and very low sometimes. I used pellgun oil and performed the first part of your procedure. The second part (operating the lever back and forth AFTER cocking) is something that I failed to do because I didn’t remember to do it. After I re-read your procedure, and included the second part, I tried shooting it one more time. I think that will help, but I want to try again tomorrow with a fresh mind. I also have some ATF sealant on the way. Thanks again!

          • Thanks, this morning I took another look at this gun. And I tried the tissue paper test. It blew the tissue paper up into the air. I discovered that the two o-rings that are in the bolt need replacing. The one in the bottom of the bolt is missing entirely. I am planning to get a metric assorted o-ring kit and see if I can find the right size o-ring in the kit. Any advice on what to use would be appreciated. Thanks!

            • Elmer,

              I really have no idea what size they are. If I am not mistaken, PA still sells a seal kit for the Izzy. BB may also have an idea. Later in the morning I may pull mine out and measure them for you.

              Huh! PA no longer sells the seal kit or the Izzy clone anymore. I will measure those seals this morning for you.

  6. B.B.

    Glad you got the old pretty gal working again. Glad we will get more dart reviews in the future.
    Hopefully, all this dart info will then follow into dart tranquilizer guns? Still the most unexplored area of airguns. Have a great weekend!


  7. I also want to thank Roamin Greco for suggesting the lower mounted Williams peep sight for the Crosman 362 with the steel breech. I got it mounted and a rough sight-in done. I just need to use it some more to get used to it before I fine tune the sight-in.

      • Friend B.B.,

        Sleeve it with a caliber that is more suited to current dart sizes. Either .22 or .177.

        Sleeve it with a .22 cal or .177 cal. Your choice for commonly available darts in this day and age. You also have multiple available options for twist rate based on the velocity. The option for rifled vs. smooth bore vs. twist rate is enough of a motivation but having a twist rate option puts this option over the top.

        Had one of my most memborable conversations with MAC at Roanoke many years ago about barrel sleeving. He got it and had done it. We spoke for over an hour within feet of your table. We exchanged information about his experiences that raised my eyebrows and I think my experiences raised his eyebrows. Mac was my kindred spirit.

  8. BB,

    Absolutely beautiful!
    I think that this Tyrolian style of shoulder arm is one of the finest designs. It evokes memories of shooting parlors, with men in suits and bowler hats. Truly, a different time.
    Have you thought about using the aluminum ‘duct sealing’ tape for a shim around the dart? As memory serves, it’s only about 0.003” to 0.005” thick (but I don’t have any at hand to measure) and is easily cut with scissors.
    I am looking forward to further reports on this beautiful old precision dart shooter.


  9. B. B.,

    I was also going to suggest using heat shrink tubing, particularly one made with PTFE (similar to Teflon) which is very slick. Of lesser importance for this application, it also tolerates quite high temperatures. and is a superb electrical insulator. A #6 has an ID of 7.67mm and shrinks up to 4.4 mm – I think it would be a good size. However . . .

    There is a problem, its minimum wall thickness is 0.38mm which seems too much.

    Let me know if you need small pieces for some other application, I might have some on hand.


  10. B.B.,

    You may want to look around here: https://www.luftgewehr-shop.com/federbolzen/

    and similar shops.

    The following is an embedded GIST translation:
    Luftgewehr Federbolzen
    Airgun featherdarts(bolts)
    Die Luftgewehr Federbolzen oft auch nur Luftgewehr-Bolzen genannt haben schon eine lange Tradition im Schießsport. Sie könne auch aus Luftpistolen mit Federdruckantrieb verwendet werden, seltener werden Sie auch aus CO2 Waffen verschossen. Die meistgekauften Federbolzen werden unter dem Markennamen Germania vertrieben
    The most purchased darts are marketed as(by) Germania.

    Luftgewehr und Luftpistolen Federbolzen gibt es in unterschiedlichen Kalibern.
    Various calibers exist.

    Die klassischen Luftgewehrbolzen gibt es in den Kalibern 5,5 mm und 4,5 mm. Neuere Modelle die statt der weichen Büschel eine hartes Kunststoffendstück haben gibt es auch im Kaliber 6,35. Diese Kunststoff-Luftgewehrbolzen haben sich aber nie richtig am Markt durchgesetzt. The standard BUSHY TAIL models are in .177 and .22 and hard synthetic end piece in .25 never found great success in the marketplace.

    hope it helps you find some quality ammo for your Bügelspanner.


  11. BB,
    I am delighted that you, Ian and your third party got this old gal beck into service. It’s a beautiful creation. I bet Denny would get a kick out of shooting it with you. The stacked piston seal is a design that I may have never seen before. Was this seal common for a time?

    I’m wondering how the galled cocking lever pivot screw problem was solved. I think that part is better to be made of material that is softer than the guides and would have been a replacement part that you could order back when.

    This blog inspired me to ask my daughter’s boyfriend to shoot darts out of Crosman 1377 pistols in the basement today. I have the paper dart board from P/A and we’ll see how that goes. I’ll start shimming the darts before time gets the better of me. Tally ho!

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