Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 7

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • New breech seal
  • The breech test
  • Second tune with a new piston seal
  • The hand test
  • No relief
  • Rear sight was fooled with
  • Too much air escapes the compression chamber
  • Where we are
  • Summary

This is the report about tuning reader Michael’s Winchester 427, which we know is a Diana 27. It’s a .22 caliber breakbarrel air rifle.

New breech seal

I completed the tune in Part 6 and then started shooting the rifle to burn off the excess oil from the piston seal pre-lube. I expected one or two explosions after the tune, but the rifle never stopped detonating. It was constant. Something was wrong.

The breech test

The rifle acted like it was leaking air at the breech. There is a way to determine whether the breech seal leaks. Put something light, like tissue paper, over the breech and see if it gets blown off by escaping air. I did that and the paper stayed in place when the rifle fired. So the breech seemed to be okay. read more


Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Taking the gun apart
  • BB gun spring compressor
  • Help!
  • No air tube
  • What does this mean?
  • BB gun technology
  • What to do?
  • Summary

Today I tear into my Daisy Number 12 model 29 single shot BB gun to see what’s wrong with it. If you recall, I was testing this gun last August when it stopped shooting altogether. I was testing it for velocity when it simply stopped shooting a BB out the barrel, so I removed the single shot tube and extracted bits of what I knew were leather.

Daisy model 29 leather stuff
This stuff came out of the Daisy Number 12 model 29. It’s leather that has rotted and come apart.

When I saw that junk I knew what had happened. The leather piston seal, which in a Daisy BB gun is called a plunger seal, had rotted and was coming apart. It had to be fixed, before the gun could work again. read more


Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Webley Mark VI
Webley Mark VI service revolver with battlefield finish. This one is rifled and shoots pellets.

This report covers:

  • History and new together
  • The firearm
  • Field strip
  • Differences between firearm and pellet gun
  • Disassembly of the pellet gun
  • Loading the pellet gun
  • The rear sight
  • Summary

History and new together

This is Monday when I usually write an historical report about an airgun or something. Well this is about the pellet revolver called the Webley Mark VI with battlefield finish, which is a modern air pistol, but today’s report will also be historical. Remember — I own both the pellet gun and the firearm it is patterned after.

Normally Part 2 is the velocity report. Today, though, we will be looking at some things we don’t usually get to see in an airgun report. Let’s begin with one of the big ones — field stripping the revolver. read more


Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Assembling the ball bearing cages
  • Two cages — inner and outer
  • The real sear
  • Trigger assembly
  • Finish the assembly
  • Trigger adjustment
  • Test the rifle
  • Summary

And I’m going to pick it up right where we left off on Friday. A reminder that I am in Las Vegas at the SHOT Show today and will not be able to respond to comments as easily as normal. Let’s get started.

Assembling the ball bearing cages

We have come to the most daunting part of the assembly — assembling the trigger unit. You have to put a swarm of loose parts into the spring tube under tension from both the mainspring and the trigger spring. First, put the lubricated spring guide into the rear of the mainspring. I forgot to do that the first time through and I assembled the rifle without the guide. Got the rifle all buttoned up and said those famous last words, “I hope I never have to do THAT again!” Then my eyes fell on the guide sitting on the table. It was smiling at me, and I’m pretty sure I heard God laugh a little! read more


Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • SHOT Show
  • Today and Monday
  • New parts
  • Scragging?
  • Lubricating the mainspring
  • Rust removal
  • Lubrication
  • Putting the piston into the spring tube
  • Pull the trigger!
  • Attach the barrel
  • Break

Many of you have been reading this series in which I tune reader Michael’s Winchester 427 that is actually a Diana 27. This is not an air rifle for beginners to learn on! The mechanism is too complex for first-timers for a number of reasons that should become clear today.

SHOT Show

I have to tell you — this is a very lengthy report. I won’t get it all done today, so Monday I will finish up. And on Monday I will be in Las Vegas at the SHOT Show. I won’t see your comments as frequently as usual while I’m there next week, plus after I walk out of the show every day I have to go back to my room, write the next day’s blog and have it ready to publish by 9 p.m. which is midnight on the east coast where the WordPress server publishes the blog. So please don’t ask me any lengthy questions. I am not going to have dinner with anyone this year, so I can do my work without being whipsawed! read more


Crosman’s Mark I Target pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman Mark I
Crosman Mark I target pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Hobby pellets
  • Crosman Premiers
  • RWS Superpoint
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the Crosman Mark I Target pistol. After adjusting the trigger in Part two, I feel confident it won’t let me down.

The test

I put in a fresh 12-gram CO2 cartridge. We learned in Part 2 that there are around 45 full-power shots in a cartridge and I plan to shoot less than that in today’s test. I will shoot a 5-shot group on high power and a second 5-shot group on low power with each pellet. That’s 10 shots per pellet times 3 pellets is a total of 30 shots. The range is 10 meters and the gun is rested directly on a sandbag. Let’s go. read more


Treasure of the pond

by Tom Gaylord

A history of airguns

This is a special day. You will notice that I did not use my pen name today.

I’m showing you the first chapter in my next book. My last book was BB Guns Remembered, which is a collection of short stories I wrote about vintage pictures of boys with BB guns. I make nearly $100 a year from the online sales of that book, which beats the thousands I lost on the R1 book. So, I obviously don’t do this for money. I do it for fun. Have some fun on me this weekend!

boy dog gun

My gosh! I never looked that clean a day in my life! I had to take a bath and get on my best summer clothes for that picture. See those shoes? Never wore them in the summer, except to church. And the hat? Not on your life! It made me look like a girl. read more