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Maintenance Anschutz 335 Rebuild: Part One

Anschutz 335 Rebuild: Part One

Today reader Dean Speidel, whose blog handle is Motorman, begins to share his experiences with an Anschutz 335 breakbarrel air rifle.  If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at blogger@pyramydair.com.

Take it away, Motorman

Anschutz 335 Rebuild: Part One
Motorman / Dean Speidel

Anschutz 335
Anschutz 335.

This report covers:

  • It just kinda stuck to my hand!
  • Anschutz 335 History
  • Performance Check – Uh-Oh!
  • Disassembly

The point of writing this blog is two-fold.  Yeah, it’s the story of my odyssey with an Anschutz 335.  I also intend to present some of the tricks/techniques that I’ve been developing as I’ve gained experience rebuilding sproingers.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not some master airgunsmith.  I’ve rebuilt a couple Diana 5G’s, a FWB 124, and maybe one or two more.  So, some of the things I’ve been doing might be good ideas.  Maybe not.  Maybe you’ve got a better way of doing it.  Maybe I shouldn’t be doing it at all?  I’m asking for your comments and suggestions.  Where am I wasting my time?  What should I be doing differently?  How can I improve my sproinger rebuilding techniques?  The process of having this discussion might help you and me both to improve our rebuilds.  

It just kinda stuck to my hand!

While wandering the June, 2021, Columbus air gun show, I had an Anschutz 335 stick to my hand.  Just couldn’t get the darned thing to let go, so I paid the man and took it home.  I’d never heard of this model, but, hey, it’s an Anschutz.  How bad could it be?  They make some of the most accurate 10 meter air guns and .22’s on the planet, right?  Sure, the original sights were missing, there were some nicks in the stock and tiny spots of bluing missing on the compression tube, but the price was right and this thing ought to be super accurate.  I mean, it’s an Anschutz, right?

Anschutz 335 History

The Blue Book of Air Guns says the Anschutz 335 breakbarrel air gun was manufactured from 1980 to 2003.  It was made in two versions.  The first one has a barrel release that is parallel to the barrel and is pushed toward the muzzle.  The later version’s barrel release is at a 45 degree angle to the barrel and it’s pushed in.  There are some other minor differences.  Mine appears to be the first version.

Performance Check – Uh-Oh!

Some research on the internet told me that it had a reputation for being a little twangy.  This gun competed with the FWB 124 and the Weihrauch HW95 / Beeman R9 / Marksman 70, and by comparison the Anschutz 335 lacked some punch.  It’s only rated at 700 FPS versus 840 for the FWB and 950 for the Weihrauch.  

When I got it home I ran it thru the chrono.  Uh-oh.  It’s spitting RWS Hobby’s (my standard for measuring velocity) at 500 FPS.  I don’t need 900+ FPS…I’ve got a Marksman 70 (HW95) for that.  But, 500 FPS?  And, sure enough, it was a little twangy.

O.K., maybe we can get out of this easily.  A new breech seal, a little Tune-In-A-Tube on the spring, pour some oil down the transfer port and let it sit for a day to oil up the leather seal and maybe we’ll get lucky?  Did all that, but not surprisingly all I got out of it was around 550 FPS.  Geez!  Maybe someone left it cocked for a couple years and collapsed the spring?  


When I removed the stock I noticed a sheet metal strap that runs from the back of the trigger assembly, thru the trigger and up to where the cocking link engages the piston.  It’s strangely held in place by a spring and tab at the rear (just above the trigger in the photo).  Rather fiddly to figure out how to disassemble…and then, to put it back together.  I’ve not really been able to figure out what its function is.  Is it supposed to keep the cocking link from coming out of its slot?  If so, why don’t other breakbarrel air guns require them?  In any event, it was somewhat of a challenge to remove and re-install it.  [Editor: That metal strap is part of an anti-beartrap device.]

Anschutz 335 trigger
The metal strap that comes back into the trigger is an anti-beartrap device. The second version of this rifle apparently lacked this feature.  You can find disassembly instructions for the 335 on Anschutz’ website, but they’re for the mark 2 version, not the one I have.  I live my whole life like this.  

Disassembly required a 15 mm socket as a spacer between the spring compressor and the trigger assembly.  After applying a little pressure with the spring compressor the two pins that secure the trigger were easily removed.  Cranking out the spring compressor was all that was required to remove the trigger, spring guide, spring, and piston.

Before disassembling the 335 I had decided to replace the original leather piston seal with a synthetic seal that I ordered off eBay.  Interestingly, it shipped from Australia!

When I got it I apart I carefully selected the correct size screwdriver bit from my Weaver screwdriver set, cautiously put the piston in my vice with the plastic jaws…careful, now, don’t tighten the vice too much…and promptly broke the stubborn screw’s head off leaving about 1/8” of seal screw sticking out of the head of the piston!  DANG!  

O.K., options here are to grab what’s left of the screw with a pair of vice grips and try to remove it.  In my not so humble opinion, I had a better than 50-50 chance of breaking the screw off flush with the head of the piston thus making the problem worse.  Drilling out what would be left of the screw and cleaning up the threads while making sure that the hole stayed right in the middle of the piston head sounded like more fun than I bargained for!

Option two was to humbly take the piston head down to my kindly sympathetic local gunsmithing shop (cheap plug here:  First Gunsmithing, 932-I, Meramec Station Rd, Valley Park, MO 63088).  These guys have been great about occasionally digging me out of some hole that I’ve dug for myself…like this one.  Thirty minutes and $20 later I had the piston in one hand and the stump of the screw in the other.  Thanks, guys!!!!

So, why did I bother to tell you about this little misadventure?  To all the guys (or gals!) who might be tempted to rebuild and/or repair their air gun, don’t think for a moment that everyone else in the world does these projects without running into a challenging problem.  I get thru most of them on my own, but once in a while I need help.  Good chance you will, too.  Go do your project anyway.  It’ll all work out!

Jim Maccari’s organization was able to supply a new spring.  Apparently, this is the same spring they provide for the Anschutz Hakim rifle that was built as an Egyptian military trainer.  I noticed that the Maccari spring was about 3/4” longer than the (presumably) OEM spring that came out of the 335.  That would make sense if I was right in guessing that someone left it cocked and collapsed the spring.  The Maccari spring wire was also slightly larger in diameter than the OEM spring.  Since the outside spring diameter of the spring had to stay the same, this meant that the inside diameter was very slightly smaller.  Happily, that meant it fit reasonably closely on the spring guide while the original spring had some slop between it and the spring guide.  Would the slightly smaller ID of the new spring address some of the buzz?   

Anschutz 335 springs
In this picture the new Maccari spring is on the top and the old spring is lower down.  Note also that the spring guide and piston are kinda stonky.  I took them to the buffing wheel (to reduce friction?).  

By the way, you’ll notice that I have an old bath towel on my work bench.  I find it helps to keep stray bits and pieces from wandering off.  When I’m done with a project I shake it out (to see if there are any valuable bits embedded in the knap of the towel) and then throw it in the washer when my wife isn’t looking. 

I’ll show you how the piston and spring guide came out in Part 2.  We’ll also look at lubrication and getting ready to re-assemble things.

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.

49 thoughts on “Anschutz 335 Rebuild: Part One”

      • I did!
        Do you speak English or some foreign language? Merriam-Webster has no listing for your vocabulary.
        What does Stonky mean??????????????????????????

        Is Motorman=RidgeRunner?


        • Yogi:

          “Motorman=RidgeRuner” That’s quite the compliment there! Thank you kindly!!!

          O.K., for the colloquially challenged, “stonky” means dirty, beat up, nasty, etc. If you touch something real stonky you may need a tetnus shot afterwards!

          Eastern MO

          • Thank you!
            Why did you not just say messy? Please leave you colloquialisms in your neck of the woods. The idea is to communicate in English, with other people not just eastern Mo’s.
            This blog is read by international readers too.
            Stonky rhymes with Donkey, so I thought it might be a stoned donkey?lol.

            FWIW-the spring guide does not look all that bad. What is the ID of the OEM springwire and what is the ID of the new spring’s wire?


            • Yogi,

              My guess is stinky + wonky = stonky. There are many different versions of English; each is filled with colloquialisms. Folks just tool around the globe too much, and over time, they start calling shopping carts buggies and electrical outlets plug-ins, and are fixin’ to pronounce words in all different ways!


              • Then of course, there are folks that just make up their own words and hope the rest of us understand. George “Dubyuh” was famous for that as I recall. Anyone remember the “nucular” gaffe?

                As a Professor of English, Michael, I’m sure you recall the invention of the word “normalcy,” which has become commonly [mis]used, vs. “normality.” Or, was it the other way around? (Shrug)

                I like “stonky.” I am hoping to learn a few more new words in Motorman’s future guest blogs.

                • RG, you are making a list of these and submitting them to Merriam Webster correct?

                  I heard they added 690 new words to the dictionary in September 2023.

                  YOURS could be next!


                  • Ian,

                    Merriam Webster, Webster’s New World, and American Heritage dictionaries are “descriptive dictionaries.” They describe language as it is used. The Oxford Dictionary of American English is a “prescriptive dictionary.” It prescribes a “proper” version of English that its editorial board has decided people should use.


            • Yogi:

              “Stonky” adds some local color. “Messy” was just too plain! One of my other interests is languages in general and the history of the English language in particular. English, originally a Germanic language, has been inventing words and borrowing words and grammar from other languages for centuries (Norse, French, Latin, Greek and more). It is, in general, the bastard child of the original Germanic language and old French. Over the centuries it has been, perhaps, one of the most dynamically changing languages on the planet. For all these reasons it is also, therefore, one of the most difficult to learn as a second language. My sincere apologies to all those non-native English speakers for that…and, if you found my word “stonky” objectionable, that, too!

              I wrote down the difference in the springs’ inside diameters, but I must apologize. Can’t find it. I already had the gun back together, but to answer your question I took the stock off and could JUST measure the wire diameter of the Maccari spring (about .129″ or 3.27 mm). The stock spring wire is around .112″ (about 2.90 mm). So, the Maccari spring wire appears to be approximately .017″ (maybe .45mm?) larger. That should close up the I.D. by something like .034″ (.90 mm?). Recognizing that these measurements weren’t taken with anything more sophisticated than a Harbor Freight digital caliper, it’s tough to calculate the Maccari spring’s I.D., but it IS smaller than the OEM spring.

              Eastern MO

  1. Motorman,

    I was amused to see the Cheap Pricks next door to your local gunsmiths
    (actual name of neighbouring shop).

    Thanks for the tip about the bath towel. Now all I need is a suitable work bench. 🙂

    In a future instalment, would you please elaborate on your mainspring compressor, thanks.
    I think it a most important tool, most unavailable to buy.
    Hopefully this’ll provoke someone to prove me wrong… 🙂

    Happily mine is also the first version and so I look especially forward to more guest blogging about your Anschütz 335. 🙂

    PS I like your challenge to the reader and tried to think of improvements and failed.
    However, I can clever-dick this:

    I know it looks like Anschutz on your airgun but it’s actually an Anschütz.

    Not really very important as it’s mainly just a pronunciation aid for Germans, ie those two little dots above a vowel, called Umlaut – which is a word that literally means change of sound – in this case, turns “oo” into “ew”, eg “Ansh’oo’ts” becomes “‘Ansh’ew’ts”.
    Besides, Schutz means protection while Schütz is short for shooter. 🙂

    • I second the motion on the spring compressor. I have been looking for one, but no one wants to give theirs up. I will have to go to the hardware store and get the necessary parts to cobble together my own.

    • Hi3:

      The Cheap Pricks place I think does low cost injections for pets or something. I probably wouldn’t have named MY business that, but then, it’s not MY business.

      I’ve already written the first four parts for this report and, yes, in Part Three I’ll show you my spring compressor. I actually did a review of this spring compressor (see my 5 March 2018 report on it)..

      My ancestors on both sides came from southwestern Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace. Being proud of my Germanic roots I studied the language in high school and college. Yep, I appreciate the difference between vowels with and without umlauts, but I don’t know how to make my keyboard do that. BTW, for all you English speakers, English does something similar to it’s vowels by putting an “e” at the end of words (i.e. “CAM” versus “CAME”).

      I think you’ll like the change this rebuild ultimately makes to the 335. It’s a keeper now!

      Eastern MO

      • Thank you for the guest blog Motorman, I look forward to the next one.

        As to naming the business that name, it is doing exactly what is needed, it gets people talking about it, and it sticks in your mind.


      • Motorman,

        thanks for your reply.
        Four parts, eh – hopefully showing how your “sproinger” became a ‘springer’ once more! 🙂
        Of course, it’ll be fun to continue to make comparisons. So far, I’m happy to have measured mid 600s feet per second velocity with seven grain pellets (665.6 ‘/s).

        I read your guest blog on your Spring Doc mainspring compressor, thanks! If only there was a maker like Greg Lindsey in Europe too.
        ( https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2018/03/spring-doc-spring-compressor-review/ )

        By the way and for your interest only, on my ipad I access unusual characters like dotty vowels by selecting the appropriate letter on my keyboard and holding it for a little longer than normal. 🙂

        By the way, is “BTW” by the way? Also, I guess now we all know how you pronounce that delightful thing that is a cardinal ingredient of a cream tea and popularly consumed with strawberry jam and clotted cream, ie the scone! 🙂

  2. Motorman,

    Thank you very much for this guest blog! How much preload was on the spring before you removed it from the rifle? How much cocking effort did it require to cock the rifle before you decided to change the spring? If the Maccari spring is the same spring being used as a replacement for the Hakim rifle which rarely goes above 600 fps I don’t see how the listed 700fps will be achieved. Hopefully the end result will be an accurate and twang free rifle regardless of velocity attained.


    • Siraniko:

      As memory serves (and it doesn’t serve well at my age!!!), I think there was only about a 1/2″ (12mm) of preload coming out. I didn’t measure it, but going back in I’m inclined to say there was something closer to 1″ – 1 1/2″ (25 – 38mm) preload.

      As you’ll read in future installments, the rebuild came out better than I expected (and maybe deserved?). The 335 has joined the ranks of my “never-gonna-part-with-em” guns.

      Eastern MO

  3. Motorman,

    cool report. I wasn’t even aware Anschütz was making breakbarrels as late as 2003.

    It looks like a nice rifle and probably wasn’t cheap if the current prices of their target rifles are any indication.

    That anti-beartrap device looks fairly similar to the one on my Diana 25 DS. If I’m right, it should be a metal tab that is pulled forward by the cocking linkage and blocks the trigger until the barrel is closed.

    Having some issues is probably normal if one is not an expert. Improvement requires practice and practice means breaking some stuff. It also means it’s extra satisfying when you do get it sorted out.

    I’d be interested to see what accuracy you can get out of this one.


    • Stephan:

      You (and Tom!) are absolutely correct!!! That danged thing is an anti-bear trap device! Tom inserted the part in the report about what it does. When I wrote and sent the report to him I had no notion. Makes perfect sense now, but it slowed me down for a day or two when I took the stock off.

      When I run into something that I don’t know how to overcome I sometimes just set it aside for a couple days and think about it in my free moments. Often I come up with a way to address the problem and go back to it rather than bumbling forward and breaking something. In this case, I know I didn’t want to bend the spring or something because Anschutz repair parts (as far as I can tell) are made of pure unobtainium!

      Eastern MO

  4. Motorman,

    I myself was most fortunate when I took my 1906 BSA apart. Someone had been shooting it without oiling the leather seal. The seal and the screw holding it were gone. There was a nice indentation of the screw head in the end of the compression chamber though.

    Fortunately, I had access to a machine shop with a lathe and we were able to machine out what was left of the screw and rethread the hole. I replaced my piston seal with a leather one. I had not seen the synthetic replacement seals at the time.

    The screw head indentation is still on the end of the compression chamber.

    PS: I use a fluffy towel also. 😉

  5. Motorman, thank you for the great report. I have seen Anschütz air rifles from time to time on auction websites, but never bid on them. Somewhere I have come to understand that parts are difficult to get. Perhaps that is wrong. I saw that even Crosman used to have a rebranded Anschütz, Model 333, I think.

    I will follow this series with great interest.

    As far as constructive criticism, you can never have too many pictures.

  6. Motorman,
    What a good story you have going! It’s a pleasure to read. Since you said that the price was right (and it’s an Anschütz), I’m also betting that you have a winner here. Looking forward to how things work out, you’ve got this. I like the fluffy towel idea, too.

  7. Motorman,
    This is a very nice write up on a sweet-looking rifle; I look forward to Part 2.
    Meanwhile, my favorite part was this bit of advice you posted here…sound wisdom! 🙂
    Blessings to you,
    “So, why did I bother to tell you about this little misadventure? To all the guys (or gals!) who might be tempted to rebuild and/or repair their air gun, don’t think for a moment that everyone else in the world does these projects without running into a challenging problem. I get thru most of them on my own, but once in a while I need help. Good chance you will, too. Go do your project anyway. It’ll all work out!” —Motorman

  8. In FM World, you are a master airgunsmith. It is very interesting to read about these repairs/rebuilds, mostly to learn what NOT to do so as to avoid screwing up things – which can be a thing with FM. Keeping fingers crossed his sproingers will remain healthy and enjoyable to shoot until he is sproinged out of the planet. 🙂

  9. Thanks Motorman, having always suffered from the need/compulsion to disassemble things I really appreciate when someone else provides pictures and a write up on their mechanical adventures.

    I’m dying bucktails (yellow, chartreuse, red and black) to tie up some streamer flies for the upcoming fishing season. I, moments before reading your comment about the towel: “then throw it in the washer when my wife isn’t looking” just did exactly that 🙂


      • Motorman,

        One word to save your skin: Laundromat
        Part 1 has been an enjoyable read. I hope all the SKONKY is gone in Part 2!

        I hope that Anschutz 335 is a real shooter for you.

        My ancestors on my father’s side had moved out of the far North and settled in Villingen-Schwenningen (Württemberg) and my mother’s side in Illkirche-Graffenstaden (Alsace) until the Wars of the Spanish Succession. Some time in the 17th Century both families started a migration down the Danube eventual settling near the Iron Gate trying to avoid all the suffering that area experienced.


    • Hank and Readership, is it especially difficult to have a used air gun shipped from Canada to the USA? Is there a risk of it getting swallowed up by Customs and put in a warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant?

      • Roamin Greco,
        I don’t know about airguns, but I know a bit about firearms going that route…or rather, not going that route.
        There is a great dealer, Joe Salter (and son), that is right on the border; he has two websites: one for Canadian sales of firearms and one for USA sales of firearms. I saw some stuff I liked on the Canadian side, but was told it was not really possible (like a nightmare) to get stuff from Canada to USA or vice versa, and that’s why they have two separate stores, two separate sets of inventory.
        I don’t think airguns would fare much better…the whole thing is a bit sad.
        Blessings to you,

      • Roamin,

        Did a bit of checking and it seems that UPS is the carrier to use if you want to cross the border with a gun.

        Seems that the others are less than accommodating.

        Don’t know about duties or taxes though.


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