HW 30S: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

HW 30S
The HW 30S I am testing seems to be a new version.

This report covers:

  • The stock
  • Light!
  • Sights
  • Rekord trigger
  • Adjust trigger
  • Articulated cocking link
  • Surprise number 2
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the Weihrauch HW 30S that I mentioned yesterday. It arrived last evening and I am excited to get started. There are two surprises awaiting, so let’s get started.

The stock

Let’s start with surprise number one — the stock. It is profiled in a very modern style. Gone is the western hunting profile. It’s been replaced by a more tactical-looking butt. It has just a hint of the A4 kickdown tactical butt without shoving your face in it. Compare it to the SIG ASP20 stock.

HW 30S ASP20 stock
The Sig ASP20 stock had the same tactical look.

The bottom of the cutout at the bottom of the butt is flat. You might not appreciate that until you slide a rear sandbag underneath and notice the stability. And folks — these are all small touches that any company can make that costs very little and add so much.

HW 30S butt bottom
The bottom of the butt is flat for stability.

HW 30S forearm
There are identical checkered, stippled and carved panels on both side of the forearm.

HW 30S grip
The grip is also checkered, stippled and carved. 

This stock fits me quite well. The forearm is thin so the rifle drops down deep in my off hand the way I like. The pistol grip is very full — almost to the point of being a palm swell. The pull from the trigger to the center of the soft but firm red rubber butt pad is a manly 14-1/8-inches. And the stock is 100 percent ambidextrous. Whoever designed this stock knows rifles! I’m not saying it will fit everyone but those it doesn’t will be in the third standard deviation on either side of the mean.

Light!

The first thing I noticed as the rifle came from the box was how very light it is! Mine weighs 5 lbs. 13.2 oz. It is 38-7/8-inches long with a 15-1/2-inch barrel. I think the slim profile of the stock adds to the impression of lightness.

Sights

And the gifts just keep on coming! The NON-FIBEROPTIC sights — thank you, Weihrauch! — are wonderful. The rear sight adjusts in both directions and has 4 different notches to choose from.

HW 30S rear sight
The HW 30S rear sight adjusts both ways. There are 4 different notches to choose from.

But it is the front sight that is amazing. In 2021 I never expected to find a globe front sight that comes with 6 inserts on a rifle selling for under $300!

HW 30S front sight
The front sight accepts inserts. The 5 additional sight inserts are in a pouch hanging from the triggerguard.

HW 30S front sight inserts
A pouch that hangs from the triggerguard holds five of the six front sight inserts that come with HW 30S. The other one is in the sight.

Rekord trigger

But wait — there is more! Aside from the small, light style, the HW 30S comes with a Rekord trigger! That’s what the S in the title signifies. And yes, there are HW 30 rifles that don’t have a Rekord trigger. If anyone owns one please speak up and tell us about it.

HW 30S Rekord trigger
The 30S has a Rekord trigger.

Adjust trigger

I will tell you right now that the trigger in my rifle is not adjusted the way I prefer. There is some creep in the second stage. Therefore, before I shoot for accuracy, I will adjust the trigger. That will be a report of its own. I have adjusted Rekord triggers before in this blog but I think this will be the first time I have adjusted and reported on one just as it comes from the factory.

Articulated cocking link

The 30S has a 2-piece articulated cocking link. That means that the cocking slot in the stock can be very short and that means less vibration. However, I have shot this rifle (had to, you know) and there is the tiniest bit of vibration. After the regular test and trigger adjustment I will break her down and tune her to be slick and quiet. But that ain’t all!

Surprise number 2

I told you there were some surprises in store with this rifle. The stock was the first one. Now let’s look at the second one. To see it, and I should say them, I broke the barrel open. Let’s look.

HW 30S breech
There they are — surprise(s) number two! From the bottom up I see a ball bearing barrel detent. That’s easier to machine in many respects, so Weihrauch is keeping the cost under control. 

I would like to hear from HW 30S owners whether your rifles have ball bearing barrel detents. I believe they had chisel detents at some point in the past. In fact I believe they had them until recently.

Above the barrel detent I see a funny-looking notched breech. Wait! I saw one like this recently, didn’t I? Where was that? On the Diana 34 EMS? The one with the interchangeable barrels?

Diana, this is a message from the folks at Weihrauch. When you launch an air rifle with interchangeable barrels and aren’t ramped up to supply the barrels yet — remain quiet! Don’t make it a feature that you can’t supply. In the future you can pull back the curtain and reveal an added value that’s been there for some time. AirForce Airguns does it that way, and their owners love them for it. Leave the stuff that isn’t real for BB’s April Fool’s blog!

Above the breech you can see the four rear sight notches. Choices!

Summary

Guys, we have a real winner to examine in this HW 30S. This is gonna be a fun series for all of us!


Resealing the Crosman 38T target revolver: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

38T
Crosman 38T.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Grips & tips
Part 4

History of airguns

Today we have another guest blog by reader Ian McKee who we call 45Bravo. He shows us how to reseal a Crosman 38T revolver. The revolver he reseals is the same .22 that I am about to test for you and also the same gun whose grips he fixed for us, so I linked to all the previous Crosman 38T links, because this is a large series.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at [email protected].

Take it away, 45Bravo.

Resealing the Crosman 38T target revolver

Resealing the Crosman 38TThis report covers:

This report covers:

  • Start
  • Disassembly
  • The seal kit
  • The piercing assembly
  • The tube assembly
  • The valve group
  • Assembly
  • Hammer and trigger assembly
  • The valve group
  • The barrel and shroud

The 38T is a vintage all-metal (except the grips, rear sight, and the rotating pellet cylinder) CO2 replica revolver that closely mirrors the lines and grip of a 1980’s Smith & Wesson revolver. 

In the firearm world, most revolvers are considered a simple design, and they do have relatively few parts.  But when you make a airgun replica of a firearm, you have to work within the envelope (profile and dimensions) of the original. 

That means you have to get creative with your engineering and layout as to where you can place your necessary components such as the CO2 cartridge, the valve, and the way to feed the intended projectiles. Typically, on a piece-by-piece count, an airgun will have more internal parts than its firearm twin. Today we look at such an animal.  

I apologize in advance that it is a long blog, but there are a lot of steps to cover.

Start

Start by removing the grips, the right grip is held in place by 2 screws, the shorter one of the 2 goes in the top of the grip, the longer screw goes in the bottom. The left grip is held in place by a spring clip that attaches to the CO2 cartridge, so the grip will not stay in place unless a CO2 cartridge is in the gun.  Remove the left grip, and then unscrew the CO2 cartridge piercing screw, and remove the cartridge.

TIP:  I would suggest leaving a cartridge in the gun, but not pressed into the CO2 face seal. Just tight enough to hold the grip in place.  You sometimes see these pistols listed for sale without the left grip as it has become lost over the years. 

These grips are thin, and tend to break and crack around the alignment pins and also where the CO2 clip is attached. The gun I’m resealing had those issues, and the repair has been covered in the GRIPS & TIPS BLOG.

Phase 2 parts

Disassembly

Included with this blog, are a few different exploded views of the pistol, please use them to guide you in removing the parts, which I will list as we go. 

The above parts diagram is for a Phase II gun, which is what I am working on, so the part numbers will match. There are a few differences in this gun from a Phase I gun, but the differences are minor. I will include a Phase 1 parts diagram at the end of the blog for those that have the earlier gun. I believe the Phase 3 guns will have the same parts as the Phase 2 guns.

Start by loosening the rear sight elevation screw 2 turns to relieve tension.

Remove the outer barrel shroud by removing the single screw that is under the barrel in the end of ejector shroud (140-013), then with a slight wiggle, slide the outer shroud off of the barrel. 

There are 5 screws on the left side of the gun, that hold the cover in place. They are all the same length, and it does not matter which hole they go into when the gun is assembled. 

Slowly lift the left side cover, there is only 1 spring that will want to pop out (38A083), and it is the spring that pushes the sliding loading gate into its forward position.  The spring is relatively weak, and not under much tension.  

38T cover off
Here are your thousand words. 

Remove the sliding pellet loader (38A042) and spring (38A083) from its tray. 

Using tweezers, remove the sear spring (38-039) and spring guide (38-089) that is behind the sear (38-040) near the rear of the trigger. 

Next, remove the detent ball (38-064) and spring (600-079) that are in the front of the gun, right below the base pin that the pellet cylinder rotates on. 

Remove the hammer spring (38-B038). It is a long flat spring that goes from the bottom of the grip to the hammer. Use needle-nosed pliers to remove this spring by lifting the bottom straight up out of its resting place. It is not under much tension. 

Depending on which phase your pistol is, there MAY be a small ball detent that is under the rear sight elevation screw, be careful not to lose it if yours has one. You may remove the rear sight and spring now, but it is not necessary for the reseal, or you may cover it with masking tape to hold it in place while working on the gun — your choice. 

You will see a large flat lever assembly (38A054) that goes from the trigger to the front of the gun. On the right side is a small roller (38-125) that is in a raceway, remove this roller. 

Congratulations! You have now removed all of the springy bits that are likely to take flight easily.  

Place your hand over the exposed components, turn the revolver over and remove the valve body screw (150-013) from the false “cylinder” on the right side of the gun.

Turn the gun back over, unscrew the base pin (38-127) on which the cylinder rotates. 

Now remove the pellet cylinder (38-107), the entire valve assembly (38-073), and lever assembly (32A054) all at the same time and set them aside. 

The lever assembly (38A054) is factory assembled with special jigs to assure proper timing and should not be disassembled. 

Remove the trigger (38B034), the trigger spring (38-126), and the transfer bar (38A102). 

Remove the hammer (38-106) and hammer pawl (38-021) that pivots inside the hammer, carefully remove the pawl spring (38-039 and guide (38-081).  

Now for the reason we are here. This airgun leaks and we need to stop that foolishness. 

38T valve breakdown

The diagram shows the valve is broken down in 3 sub-assemblies, 55 (the piercing assembly), 56 (the tube assembly), and 60 (the valve assembly).

TIP: The factory service manual says not to separate the 3 assemblies unless absolutely necessary, but since you will be replacing a seal on each end of the tube, you have to separate them.  It is also better to take them apart so you do not inadvertently bend the tube. 

(I tried it their way first, and DID accidentally bend the tube, and had to correct that problem when putting it back together).

Using 2 small adjustable wrenches, unscrew the copper connector tube and piercing assembly from the valve body, being careful not to bend or break the tube assembly.

A small metal washer (part 51 in the diagram) may come out with the tube assembly, but that is ok, just make sure it goes back in first. 

Then using the same 2 small wrenches, unscrew the piercing assembly from the tube assembly. Do not disassemble the tube assembly itself unless it is absolutely necessary, as it is flared on each end. 

The seal kit

The seal kit Tom ordered for this pistol came with all the parts necessary to reseal the pistol including a small bottle of lubricant I will call Pellgunoil.  It is a very complete kit, and the seals are very good quality compared to others that are sold online. 

38T seal kit
I have labeled the parts to match the part numbers shown in the diagram.

The piercing assembly

38T piercing assembly
The piercing assembly.

Using a wide blade screwdriver, or a spanner wrench, unscrew the guide collar (24), end seal (25), piercing pin (27), and piercing screen (28) from the piercing block. 

Clean the assembly with alcohol and a Q-tip. Using the new parts from the reseal kit, lubricate them with the Pellgunoil, or your choice of lube, and reassemble in reverse order and set aside. 

The tube assembly

38T tube assembly
Tube assembly.

Remove the old small seal (part 65) and lube the new seal and carefully put it over the flared end of the copper tube. 

Remove the old larger seal, (part 17) and lube the new one and carefully put it onto the other end of the tube. Set it aside. 

The valve group

Using a spanner wrench, or needle nosed pliers, or a wide blade screwdriver modified for this purpose, remove valve seat (91), being careful to keep finger or thumb pressure on as it is under spring tension. 

Remove the valve components gently using a dental pick to remove the inner parts.

Pay special attention to the parts orientation as they come out. 

Clean the assembly with alcohol, let it dry, and then lube the parts as you reassemble. 

38T main valve order 1
Main valve order 1.

Lay the cylinder (part 9) large end down on a rag or towel, lube the parts with the Pellgunoil as you assemble them. 

The o-ring (part 88) goes in first, valve washer (part 13) goes in with the small lip down toward the o-ring, and the flat side up toward the valve spring.

The valve spring (78A) is tapered, and the large end goes in first. 

Start stacking the components in order, 22, 78A, 18, 92, install the oring (part 58) on part 91. 

38T main valve order 2
Main valve order 2.

Being careful not to cross-thread the top valve seat (91), tighten until contact is made with the valve washer. Then tighten 1/8 – 1/4 turn more. This will squeeze the o-ring a little to make it seal against the valve body. 

Assembly

Now we are ready to put it all back together.

Hammer and trigger assembly

Wherever there is metal-to-metal contact, lube lightly with moly lube or your choice of lubricant. 

TIP: The key word is LIGHTLY, since the speed the hammer falls does have a direct effect on the velocity, and excess lube could slow the hammer fall. 

Install the hammer pawl (38-021) into the hammer (38-106), and the guide pin (38-081) and spring (38-039), and the small bushing (38-125), and place the hammer on the hammer pivot pin.

Insert the flat hammer spring (38B038) into the lower part of the frame, and into the hammer.

Install the transfer bar (38A102), trigger spring (38-126) and trigger (38B034) onto the trigger pivot pin. The transfer bar goes into the smaller of the 2 holes in the trigger.

The trigger spring goes over the trigger pin, the short leg sits on top of the trigger, the long leg rest on the lower part of the frame as shown in the photo. 

38T trigger and hammer assembly
Trigger and hammer assembled.

The valve group

Carefully screw the tube bushing into the piercing block, taking care not to damage the new seal. But do not tighten it yet.

Insert the metal washer 51 into the valve, and screw the other end of the tube assembly into the valve taking care not to damage that new seal. Again, do not tighten this end yet either. 

38T 38-073
The valve group — assembly 38-073.

As one complete unit, install the cylinder (38-107) (the plastic part that holds the pellets), the valve group (38-073) (the valve, tube and piercing block, and the lever assembly (38A054) (the long silver bar with the spring loaded hook on one end.)

NOTE: the piercing block fits into a matching recess on the right side of the frame, the gas tube should be in the position farthest from the hammer. 

Carefully holding everything in position with the palm of your hand, install the valve body screw (150-013) that holds the valve to the right side of the frame. 

Install the cylinder base pin (38-127).

Check that the gas tube is not rubbing on the hammer, and then tighten both ends of the gas tube. Check the clearance again. 

Install the ball detent (38-064) and spring (600-079) into the front of the cylinder, and the sear (38-040) on its pivot pin below the hammer, then install the sear spring (38-090) and plunger (38-089).

As it sits, the springy things should not want to fly out. 

Double check the bushing on the hammer/lever assembly is in place, the cylinder ball detent and spring are in place, and the sear spring/plunger are in place as indicated by the arrows in the photo below. 

38T springs in place
The springs have been installed (arrows).

Place the pellet loader (part# 38-42) in the loading tray of the main valve body with the rounded or tapered end toward the pellet cylinder. 

We will install the loader spring after the side cover is installed. 

Install the side cover with the 5 screws, they are all the same, so it does not matter where they go. 

Double check the trigger and hammer function in both single action and double action to ensure there is no binding.  

At this stage of assembly, if it is binding, the tube is probably rubbing on the hammer, or you forgot to tighten the valve body screw on the right side of the gun (part# 150-013).

The barrel and shroud

If you took the barrel off, look for the mark the set screw left on the barrel, and install it with that mark aligned with the set screw, insert a 0.004 feeler gauge or shim between the barrel and cylinder, and tighten the set screw (part#38-050).

Install the spring (38A083) for the pellet loader in the grove with the end that is tightly coiled toward the back of the gun, and using tweezers or a similar tool, put the front of the spring under the rear of the loader. 

Install the outer barrel with screw (140-013).

Install the right grip panel with the 2 screws.

Hopefully, you have no leftover parts. 

Now you can function test the gun again, checking that everything moves freely. Install a fresh CO2 cartridge, and check for leaks. 

Here is the Phase 1 parts diagram I promised.

Phase 1 parts

ONE FINAL TIP: The manual suggests using a coin to tighten the piercing screw, because a screwdriver could provide too much leverage and may possibly damage the gun.

If you are into revolvers you should have one of these very neat replicas in your collection. 

Thank you,

Stay safe.

Ian


Things this blog has taught me: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Steel dreams
  • Steel dreams become real things!
  • Let’s look at this rifle
  • Back to today
  • Postscript

This report is inspired by reader RobertA from New Zealand. He has been modifying a Gamo CF-S springer and sharing the experience with us in the comments. He is now struggling with a mainspring made from 3mm wire, which is 0.118-inches in diameter. He replaced the stock spring that was 2.3mm (0.091-inches) in diameter. Now his rifle is rough and recoils more than it did before. Here is what he said.

Hello! Another update on my Gamo CF-S monster…

Changing up from the 2.3 mm wire spring to the 3mm wire spring has been a bit of a shock. Kept getting my nose hit with the dioptre sight. It was not fun after a while! Pellets definitly fly much faster but the TWANG and rifle kick/wobble is remarkable. The 2.3 mm spring is really quite nice, but slow. The .177 pellets are going through 1/3 inch pine plywood with no concern at 20m. For a giggle I swapped out the dioptre for the 4×32 scope, eye relief means I don’t get hit in the nose. ouch. A relaxed shoot with a friend and we were having a laugh. Lots of banter and very little serious shooting. Fun! But we got a few 10’s!

Here is a pic of the rifle with the scope ( still no cheek rest yet… I know I need to make one…) and the best looking target. I was shooting sitting in camp chair ( best way I reckon…) and trying not to laugh at my mates balderdash. ( he kept claiming all my good shots as his own… the cad. ) Hope you are all good and things are fine!” Robert.

This reminded me SO MUCH of the Steel Dreams report that I’m reposting the ENTIRE report for you today. I believe there are a lot of folks who haven’t seen it yet. I’m editing it to make it a single report. Here we go.

Steel Dreams

More than a decade ago (this was published in 2008, so I’m referring to the late 1990s), I saw a curious rifle at the Little Rock Airgun Expo. It looked something like a Beeman R1 but was quite a bit larger. When the seller told me that it was a handmade, one-of-a-kind rifle that was designed to be a more powerful R1, I couldn’t resist buying it. I had just published the R1 book, and here was a great follow-on story that needed to be told.

Vissage rifle
This curious Springer is a monster.

Steel dreams

The inventor of this rifle, Steve Vissage, had seen the Beeman R1 and wanted a rifle that would put a .22 pellet into the supersonic realm. That was quite a goal for a spring-piston gun of the early 1980s, and it still hasn’t been reached today by any except a few PCPs (remember — this was written originally in 2008). Steve thought the best approach was to increase the diameter of the piston and to increase the length of the stroke — some of the same topics we frequently discuss on this blog.

Now I’ll tell you why I am making this report. A number of our new readers are asking the same questions that Steve Vissage asked back in 1981. What does it take to get more power from a spring-piston air rifle? Back in 1982, the R1 was the most powerful spring-piston gun in the world. At 940 f.p.s. in .177, it offered velocity undreamed of 5 years earlier.

When the R1 came out, Robert Beeman wrote in his catalog that it took more than just a powerful mainspring to boost power in a springer. But, because those catalogs are now collector’s items, a lot of newer airgunners haven’t had the opportunity to read them. Many who might have read them don’t believe what Beeman said. What Steve Vissage did is what many of you think should be possible today, and I want to share my observations on that topic.

Steel dreams become real things!

Vissage built three rifles, of which mine was the first. Let me explain what’s so different about talking about airguns and actually building them. When guys start discussing airguns, anything seems possible; but, whenever Vissage made a decision, it got locked into steel…not easily changed. Even if he did make some changes, there was still a cost involved for the original decision that was not followed. Steel dreams cost more and take longer than daydreams. If you don’t understand what I’m driving at, you will by the time this report is finished.

Vissage baseblock marks
The date of manufacture and serial number are stamped on many exterior parts. SS stands for supersonic and V1 stands for Vissage model 1.

Vissage baseblock marks left

Both sides of the baseblock and spring tube are marked similarly.

Let’s look at this rifle

A stock R1 (The Beeman R1 was discontinued but the HW 80 that was its foundation still exists) weighs 8.9 lbs., give or take. Many new airgunners feel it’s far too heavy, and they’re also impressed by it’s sheer size. The Vissage rifle weighs 11 lbs. It’s also longer than the R1, but I don’t seem to have recorded the length. (I was told by the seller that) The barrel came from an Anschutz target rifle; and, since Anschutz doesn’t make target air rifles in .22 caliber, I think that means it’s a .22 rimfire barrel. So, accuracy was out the window, because .22 rimfire bores are several thousandths larger than air rifle bores, and don’t fit pellets very well. (After speaking with Vissage I sorted this confusion out.)

The spring tube, end cap, baseblock and cocking link are all custom-made parts.I spoke to Steve and he told me he reckoned he put $600-700 1980’s dollars into making this one rifle. The wood stock came from an HW80. It was opened up to receive the 40-thousandths-larger spring tube. The forward stock screws are very close to the end of the forearm. Look closely at the first photo, and you’ll see they had to be moved forward almost an inch.

Vissage end cap
Just so there is no doubt who made the gun, Steve put his address on the end cap. He later moved from that address. See that flathead screw ahead of the end cap? That’s how the end cap is held to the spring tube.

The sights are stock Weihrauch items, the same as come on an R1. There is no provision for mounting a scope. The entire rifle is plated with Armaloy, a tough material used on tactical handguns. It is said to resist wear and to be self-lubricating.

The trigger is a Rekord, which was very popular back in the 1980s. Vissage would have been able to get one easily, since they had been on the HW35 for at least 20 years at that time. This is a good place to reflect that he used the factory trigger and sights instead of inventing his own. By this point in the project, he’d sunk a lot of money into this rifle, and inventing a whole new trigger would have cost him more than all he had spent to this point. Don’t forget that all the internal parts – the piston and mainspring, for instance, have to be made from scratch, because the entire rifle has different dimensions than a standard R1.

Speaking of different dimensions, how does Vissage get a stock Rekord trigger to line up with the piston hook if all the internal dimensions are different? Details like that are always overlooked when guys talk about airguns; but, when you actually build one, you want to cock it!

Vissage trigger
Here is what happens when dimensions change. The Rekord trigger had to be suspended at a different point inside the end cap in order to align with the piston hook. See the empty hole at the top left? That’s where the safety button is supposed to go if this were an R1, but ooops – it doesn’t contact the trigger because the end cap is larger than an R1 cap. Look at the picture before this and see the other side of the cap. No safety!

Naturally, as a red-blooded airgunner, I put it through the chronograph first thing. The cocking effort was 53 lbs., compared to a Beeman R1 that cocks with 36-41 lbs. of force. So, while the rifle isn’t the heaviest-cocking springer I’ve ever tested (that distinction belongs to a Hatsan 135 that took 75 lbs. to cock), it certainly wasn’t built for casual plinking.

The firing behavior was harsh. There was a huge lunge forward plus lots of vibration. The big lunge means a heavy piston, and the vibration usually means a canted mainspring. I said that the barrel was an Anschutz, but I found in my notes that Steve Vissage told me he thought he remembered putting a Webley Osprey barrel on the gun.That would have had the proper dimensions for a .22 caliber pellet.

The velocity I got with 14.5-grain Eley Wasp pellets was 755 f.p.s. I checked with the two .22 caliber R1 rifles I used in the R1 book, and they averaged 725 f.p.s. and 751 f.p.s. after 1,000-round break-ins. Steve Vissage remembered a velocity of around 800 f.p.s. with this gun, but that could have been with a different pellet.

Then, I disassembled the rifle. I was all set to use a mainspring compressor, but Steve told me the mainspring was under about a half-inch of preload. So, I removed those three machine screws and the one triggerguard screw, and the end cap popped up by less than a quarter-inch. I guess over time the spring had scragged (taken a set length from which it will never diminish until it wears out).

preload
Not a lot of spring preload. Vissage saved some money by not threading the end cap like a Weihrauch.

With the end cap off, the mainspring came out, and it’s a monster! Its 32.5 coils are made from 0.190″ ASTMA 410 silicone chrome wire. The compressed length is 6.175″, which must be a record for spring rifles. The mainspring weighs 12.2 oz. (RobertA — this is for you).

An R1 mainspring weighs 6.3 ounces, in comparison, or just over half what this one weighs. Look at the photo for a comparison.

Vissage springs
Guess which spring goes in the Vissage rifle? The R1 spring on top is worn-out and canted. The Vissage spring is also canted, although this picture doesn’t show it.

The piston came out next. It weighs 18.2 oz. and is 1.30″ in diameter, while an R1 piston weighs 12.6 oz. and is 1.147″ in diameter. Vissage had the piston tempered and shot-peened to relieve stress. The piston rod was hardened and drawn to a dark straw color. That should make it file-hard. The spring guide is also proportionately larger than the R1 guide.

Vissage pistons
Vissage’s piston weighs over a pound and dwarfs the R1 piston beside it. Those two things on the left are the respective spring guides.

A close examination of the piston seal revealed several flat spots, which are burn marks from excessive friction. Vissage told me he put a lot of effort into the selection of material for the piston seal. He was looking for high-lubricity and tolerance for high-temperatures from the heat of compression. Those flat spots told me the seal was too dry and was wearing from the friction with the chamber.

Vissage seal
See the flat spot that’s facing you? That’s a burn due to friction.

After seeing the massiveness of these parts, I felt that some velocity was lost by a slowdown in acceleration of the piston. The weight of the piston told me where the rifle’s powerful forward lunge was coming from. However, before you start criticizing Vissage, let me tell you that Jim Maccari once made a plastic piston for a TX200 to accomplish just the opposite – faster acceleration from lighter weight. That gun vibrated like a jar full of mad hornets, so you can go too far either way. And if people hadn’t experimented in this way, none of us would ever know!

The piston seal is not a parachute design. Perhaps there’s some loss of pressure around the sides, where the high-pressure air has nothing to confine it. A parachute seal would inflate and push its sealing edges against the cylinder walls, but this seal can’t do that.

I lubricated the piston seal with Beeman M-2-M moly grease before installing it again. The mainspring received a coat of Maccari’s black tar to cut the vibration (Today I’d use Tune in a Tube). All friction points received a coat of M-2-M grease. The thin washers at the pivot point had never been lubricated. Steve counted on the Armaloy plating to self-lubricate, but I found it mostly scraped away when I disassembled the rifle. So, I used moly paste on the washers, and the cocking got smoother.

When the gun was back together, it felt like the cocking effort had diminished, when in fact it had actually increased by 2 lbs.! It was smoother but also a little harder to cock. The velocity with Wasps averaged 776 f.p.s., but that dropped to 767 pretty fast. I imagine the rifle will sink back to 755 in time. It vibrated much less this time, though there was still some present.

Sorry to say that I never shot the Vissage rifle for accuracy. I was more interested in how the powerplant performed; and, as we saw, it was about like a factory R1.

When I tuned a standard Beeman R1 with a Venom Mag 80 Laza kit, the average velocity with Eley Wasps jumped to 840.8 f.p.s., and the firing behavior was as smooth as glass. The Venom kit was the first to offer Delrin button bearings ( read my 10-part report on the Diana 45 to learn about them) to float the piston in the spring tube. It took 50 lbs. of effort to cock, but the return was a much more powerful air rifle.

That’s the tale of a man and his quest for speed. The other two rifles he built were a .177 and a rifle with both .177 and .22 barrels, which he kept for himself. Vissage never went supersonic in .22 caliber, but I bet he knew a lot more about what goes into a powerful spring rifle after this project was over! And, now, we all know a little more.

Back to today

Okay, there is a LOT more to talk about. I have reader Michael’s Walther LGV on hand to tune right now. It’s the gun that Michael said squeaked when cocked. He sent it into Umarex USA but wasn’t satisfied with it when he goit it back. I told him I would take a look at it and attempt to fix whatever is wrong.

Well, this rifle doesn’t squeak now; it’s dead quiet when cocked. To me that means that the technicians at Umarex USA lubricated the piston seal corerectly. But it has the worst vibration I have ever felt in an air rifle when shot. How Umarex could have returned it this way and say that it’s fixed is beyond me!

Postscript

That’s what this series will be about — getting a spring rifle to fire smoothly so it is a delight to shoot. I probably should have made this a Friday blog because I expect a lot of comments. And though we start with a lot of history, this isn’t an historical blog, either.  I hope that this is a common-sense report about how a spring rifle ought to be set up. That’s my goal, anyway.

And, as a second postscript, Steve Vissage passed away years ago.


Quick Shots

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today we have a guest blog by reader Ian McKee who goes by the handle 45Bravo. He tells us about some bits and pieces he is working on.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at [email protected].

Take it away, 45Bravo.

Quick Shots

by Ian McKee 
Writing as 45Bravo

This report covers:

  • The like-new S&W 79G
  • Refinishing the Crosman MKI/MKII and a test
  • SIG Airgun Stuff — good news
  • SIG Airgun Stuff — bad news
  • Postscript from BB

This report is going to be a little different, instead of a detailed report, it will be just a few short updates on things that I have learned, and what is coming up. 

The like-new S&W 79G

A few months back I reported on a like-new Smith & Wesson 79g I had bought. I have decided that pistol deserves to be in the possession of a collector, not a shooter like me.

A TIP — if you have never noticed, on some of the Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G boxes, it is actually printed as having a box of cartridges and 250 pellets or a sampler pack (like this one) or nothing printed on the box, when it only included the pistol.

SW box 1
This older box shows the full 5 CO2 cartridges and a 250-round tin of pellets.

SW box 2
The newer box for the like-new S&W 79G indicates a sample pack of CO2 cartridges and pellets.

Refinishing the Crosman MKI/MKII and a test

I have 2 Crosman pistols that need refinishing, and a friend sent me 3 more to do for him. 

One of his custom pistols is already stripped to the bare metal, and he likes the look, but it keeps dulling because of no protection from the air. His gun will be finished using clear Duracoat aerosol finish. Brownells sells many types of products and parts for gun enthusiast of all types.

One of my pistols has more metal showing than paint. I intend to strip it and refinish it using Brownells-Aluma Hyde CLEAR finish. The other guns will be refinished with other colors of the same products. I want to test how easy the 2 products are to use, and how well the finishes stand up to use.   

silver Mark II
A friend likes the look of his silver Mark II, but the aluminum keeps dulling from exposure to the atmosphere
.

SIG Airgun Stuff — good news

For those of you that have belt-fed SIG airguns, I am sure you have experienced the issue with having a few good shots, then having one flier spoils the group. Well, there is hope. The belts do come apart very easily. You could rearrange the belt pieces until you have an entire belt that groups well.  It just takes time finding and replacing the chambers that are causing the fliers, and removing them from the equation.

Sig belt pieces
The Sig belts come apart, which means the chambers that cause accuracy problems can be removed.

Sig belt chamber detail
This detail of the black pellet chambers shows the lips that overhang the metal loops, keeping the belt together.

The belt pieces are asymmetrical, so make sure you have them all oriented the same way when re assembling them or you will have feeding problems.

Sig belt link difference
As you can see, the links are asymmetrical and the lips that overhang are only on one side.

Sig belt flipped link
If a link is flipped like this, the belt will not function and feed properly.

SIG Airgun Stuff — bad news

A friend brought me a SIG ASP 226 CO2 pellet pistol he had obtained through his work. It had been used as a display in a retail sporting goods store, and at some point in time, a safety conscious employee had “deactivated” it by drilling out the co2 piercing pin.

Sig ASP 226
Sig ASP 226 sporting CO2 pistol.

The valve design is very simple, and is a cartridge design that is easily removed for replacement or service. 

Sig ASP 226 valve
Here is a look at the valve of the ASP 226 pistol.

I have tried contacting SIG’s airgun division about buying the parts to repair the air gun, through several different channels, eventually talking with one of the reps I had met at the Texas airgun show in 2018.

SIG will let you buy almost any part for their firearms (except the serialized frame) online. The airguns, however, are an entirely different animal.

You have to get an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) and send the airgun back to SIG. If it is in warranty, they will assess if it needs to be repaired or replaced. 

If it is out of warranty, or the problem is not related to materials or workmanship, you will be contacted about the cost of repair/replacement, and they will proceed accordingly.

I asked how I could become an Authorized Service Center for SIG airguns, but all airgun service is done in house, or from the manufacturer that built the guns for SIG.

As much as we hate to believe it, a LOT more replica airsoft guns are sold worldwide compared to replica pellet/BB guns.This is partly because of some countries laws restricting airguns that fire metal projectiles, and in other countries, the parent’s perception that a plastic projectile is less dangerous than a metal one. 

Over the years, I have either owned or worked on guns from almost every airsoft manufacturer, I have scoured the many airsoft manufacturers, looking for airsoft companies that produce guns with a similar valve design, but at this point in time, I have come up empty. 

I THINK, Sig has contracted with a company to produce their licensed designs exclusively for them.

While I like SIG firearms and some of their airguns, and own a couple, I am seriously reconsidering any future SIG airgun purchases because of this policy. 

SIG publishes the numbers of “tested to 15,000 rounds”. For some owners that is a lifetime of shooting. For other owners, that number of rounds could be 3 months of shooting with the family in the back yard.

A couple of years ago, SIG introduced the ASP 20 break barrel air rifle, it made a big splash, and was well reviewed by almost everyone. As of now, if your SIG ASP 20 breaks, the gun is no longer in production, and SIG will not repair or replace it since it is out of warranty, and there are no parts available to the public to repair it. You now have a wall hanger

I would like to hear what you readers think about the closed service system for their airgun repair.

Ian

Postscript from BB

This bits-and-pieces guest blog dovetails into tomorrow’s historical blog for the weekend. It’s an airgun we haven’t yet covered.


Diana 34 Easy Modular System (EMS) Synthetic: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 34 EMS
Diana 34 EMS with synthetic stock.

This report covers:

  • Diana listened
  • 2020 SHOT Show Day 4
  • Variations
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • The rifle
  • Firing behavior
  • Stock
  • Barrel swap and droop compensation
  • What comes with the rifle
  • What doesn’t come
  • Summary

Today we start our look at the Diana 34 EMS breakbarrel air rifle. The title of the first section will set the theme of today’s report.

Diana listened

I saw this rifle at the 2020 SHOT Show, but the Diana booth where it was, was unmanned every time I stopped there and the rifle was inside a glass case. It was in there because it was disassembled to show the features. Here is what I said.

2020 SHOT Show Day 4

Okay, several of you (RidgeRunner) keyed in on this before I was ready to report it. Diana has redesigned their popular model 34 breakbarrel, yet again. But this time the changes were large and noticeable. They call it their Easy Modular System (EMS). I’ll start with the elephant in the room — barrel alignment! Yes, sports fans, Diana has finally seen that barrel droop is not a good thing, and they give you the ability to adjust it out with shims. Please forgive the photo that follows, but they put everything inside a plexiglass case and photography is quite difficult!

Diana shims
Here you can see two of the redesigned Diana 34 features. The cocking link is now articulated and Diana  provides shims to adjust the barrel droop.

Besides the droop issue they have made the barrel changeable and threaded the muzzle with a silencer-friendly 1/2-inch by 20 UNF thread. The sights are also changeable. Better still, the rifle can be converted to a gas piston, if desired. Wow — it’s almost as though they know what we want!

Variations

The 34 EMS comes in both .177 and .22. I’m testing a .177. It also comes in either a conventional wood stock or a synthetic stock with a thumbhole. Personally I like the conventional stock best, but I ordered the thumbhole variation so I could report on it for you.

Trigger

The two-stage trigger is adjustable for the length of the first stage pull, the second stage let-off point and the trigger weight. As I fired the rifle a few times today I discovered that the trigger is set far too light as it came from the factory. There is also not a definite second stage stop point. The rifle fired before I was ready, and I don’t mean that in a good way. I will have to adjust the trigger to shoot this rifle safety.

The manual says to use a 1.5mm Allen wrench to adjust the trigger but the trigger on the test rifle has slotted screws in all three adjustment places. Thankfully I bought a set of long-bladed screwdrivers with small blades recently, because these screw are just slightly larger than the screws in eyeglass frames.

The trigger blade is nearly straight and I like the shape a lot. When I get the trigger adjusted for me I know I will be able to do some good work with this rifle.

Sights

The rifle comes with fiberoptic sights front and rear, but for those who don’t like them (which includes me) the front sight can be exchanged. The Diana manual says you can get a premium front sight (a globe with interchangeable inserts) from specialist dealers. Pyramyd Air comes to mind as the biggest specialist dealer in the world, but they do not yet have any information on the optional front sight.

Since the front sight can be removed, Diana gives you a way of knowing when the new sight is on the rifle straight. It involves two alignment bars. They even tell you how to align the sight in the owner’s manual. But the alignment bars are not included with the rifle, or at least my test rifle didn’t have them. I can guesstimate the sight alignment anyway, so nothing is lost, but be aware the bars are not included.

The Pyramyd website says that the rear sight can also be exchanged, but the manual doesn’t address it. The signage in the Diana booth said the same thing, so perhaps it will be at some point in the future, but at this time there is no telling.

But the rear sight did come with something I have never before seen. You can remove the fiberoptic rear sight blade and replace it with a non-fiberoptic one. Maybe this is what Diana means by a replacement?

Diana 34 rear sight blade
The non fiberoptic rear sight blade came in a plastic bag, but it’s now mounted on the rifle.

The rifle

The Diana 34 EMS is a spring-piston air rifle that cocks by breaking the barrel down. I will measure the effort to cock in Part 2, but I can already tell it’s over 30 pounds. The rifle is 46.3-inches long, so it’s a big one. And the synthetic stock is wide through the forearm, though the very vertical pistol grip is slimmer and fits my hand fine. The thumbhole stock is ambidextrous and doesn’t hinder the hands either way. I suppose if your hands are large it could get in the way, but normal hands will find that it works.

Firing behavior

Of course I have shot the rifle several times, just to get a feel for it. I can tell you that there is no vibration when it fires. I don’t see any reason why you would want to install an N340 gas piston unit, but Diana designed the EMS to accept it.

Stock

The synthetic stock is roughly textured in all the right places and it really works. The rifle does not slip in the hands. The flat and thin rubber butt pad is semi-soft and grippy. You can position the butt anywhere on your shoulder that you want. And the stock sounds and feels solid, which will be welcomed by many airgunners.

The 34 EMS synthetic weighs 7.85-pounds so it’s not a lightweight. You know you’re holding something!

Barrel swap and droop compensation

This is one area where the manual leaves you wondering. There is no mention of how the barrel is exchanged or how to use the barrel shims. In fact, if I didn’t get a picture of the shims at SHOT last year we wouldn’t even know what they look like.

What comes with the rifle

The rifle comes with the manual, the spare rear sight blade and a package of stickers the manual says can be pasted over the spring tube holes for the scope stop that you don’t use. That’s a solution to a problem I never heard of.

What doesn’t come

You don’t get the optional front sight, the alignment bars, the barrel shims or instructions on how to remove the barrel and use the shims. There are also no tools that come with the airgun.

Summary

The Diana 34 EMS is the next generation of the venerable Diana 34. The older design is no longer available. So this test will tell us how well the Diana 34 tradition has been maintained.

The new rifle appears to be powerful and seems to have a very nice trigger. I hope it is accurate, and with the Diana name on the airgun it seems quite likely that it is.


Rebuilding a Crosman 101

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today we have a guest blog by reader Cloud9. He shows us his repair of a friend’s Crosman 101 last year. This was first posted on the GTA forum in April of 2020, at the start of the quarantine period.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at [email protected].

Over to you, Cloud9.

This report covers:

  • Whose 101?
  • No-go
  • Valve tool
  • Be careful!
  • Get going
  • My big vise
  • Restoration
  • Paint
  • Stock
  • Assembly
  • The result
  • Thanks|


Whose 101?

Last year I restored a Crosman 101 for a friend. The rifle belonged at his father and he and his brothers shot it a lot when they were kids. He contacted me about fixing it and getting looking better. I like a challenge, so I agreed.

No-go

When I got the rifle it wouldn’t pump or fire. The trigger was loose and floppy. The pump arm was bent and it had a large crack in it.The metal was missing lots of black paint which is typical for these older Crosman rifles — especially when they’ve been well-loved and used. The steel parts had quite a bit of rust on them.

Valve tool

To remove the valve from a 101 requires a special valve tool. The valve in this one was so stubborn that I broke my tool trying to remove it! Now what?

Be careful!

When your wife asks for a new kitchen trash can you have to be careful. She wanted one that was white like the old refrigerator it stood next to, but you bought her a stainless one. That would never do!

Fortunately the fridge was old and you both knew it was on its last legs, so maybe it was time to replace it before it went out altogether. You went to the local appliance center and — WOAH! When did refrigerators start costing $2,500? You went there with $800 on the brain. But you went there to buy one and buy it you did. Installation wasn’t that much more and within a week you had a gleaming new stainless steel fridge keeping your food cold. This one was wider and lower than the old unit and it highlighted a large gap between the old cabinets and the top of the refrigerator. 

Back to the appliance/kitchen center you went and discovered that the custom bleached ash cabinets your wife really wanted, the ones with the glass in the doors, would cost $10,000 installed, but these would have the lights your wife always wanted, to see her work on the formica countertops.

Formica! You promised her when you bought the house 15 years ago that someday you’d get rid of those ugly countertops and install real granite. Now’s the time and you have to do the island, too. It’s only another $8,500 and the kitchen looks sharp — except for the floor. That green linoleum has to go! A bright hand-laid tile floor was only another $12,000 because the extra-large breakfast nook and walk-in pantry had to be done, too.

So — a new trash can for the kitchen only cost you, what — $33,360, plus about 40 meals out while the work was being done. A bargain at any price! Why do I tell you this? Just listen.

Get going

So I had to make a Crosman 101 valve tool. I first got my South Bend 10K lathe up and running. But to get it running required installing and programming a variable frequency drive (VFD) that I had purchased about a year before. And I had to level the lathe, plus clean and lubricate it. I also had to purchase a decent 3-jaw chuck, a quick change tool post and some cutting tools. Then I had to blow out all of the cobwebs from my head to remember how to use this stuff.

This all took me about 3 months to accomplish and COVID-19 gave me some spare time to tinker. I made two new Crosman valve tools out of O-1 steel — one for the small nut inside the hammer and a larger one for the big nut that retains the valve. I heat-treated both of them so they wouldn’t break.

My vise

I had to put the rifle’s receiver in my vise and use penetrating oil, my heat gun and a long lever arm on that new tool to get that big valve nut to break loose. And finally it did — hooray!

valve parts
Here’s the valve disassembled, the pump link and the pump rod.

Restoration

After getting the rifle apart I had to order seals. Then I started cleaning. I stripped the paint from the metal and the old varnish from the stock using aircraft stripper. I soaked the rusty metal parts and screws in rust remover, then polished them with Scotchbrite and steel wool. The metal still has some pits and dings that show it has been used but now it has a nice cold-blued finish from Brownells Oxpho-Blue to protect it going forward. A long-time member of the GTA forum sold me another 101 from which I cannibalized the pump arm.

painted parts
After they were stripped the large metal parts were painted.

painted detail
When the paint was sprayed on the cleaned metal parts, the result was smooth and even.

Paint

I used Brownells Dura-Coat two-part semi-gloss black paint. I sprayed it from a airbrush and painted the receiver, pump tube and barrel. I really like this paint because it goes on thin and dries hard, resulting in a durable top coat.

cleaned parts
The ferrous parts were cleaned of any rust and lightly sanded or rubbed with Scotchbrite, then given a cold blue.

Stock

I gently sanded the stock and forearm with 320- and 400-grit sandpaper. Then I applied 5 coats of Tru-Oil finish. The stock retains some of the bigger scratches and dents it acquired over its long lifetime, but the finish is much smoother and better-looking than it was.

Assembly

After all the pieces were refinished the next step was assembly. Fortunately I had new tools for this task!

The result

I must say, this rifle came out really nice. It now pumps and holds two pumps of air for two weeks. And of course it fires. 

I chronographed the rifle to ensure it really was healthy. Then I zeroed it at 20 yards. Finally I boxed it up for shipment back to its happy owner, who plans to share it with his brothers. Sometimes staying home in quarantine isn’t such a bad thing!

Thanks

I ran this report from Cloud9 today because I had difficulty replacing the parts in my Walther LP53 pistol. I have fitted a new Teflon piston seal, but some of the parts in the cocking mechanism that had to be removed to get the piston out are fighting me to go back in. That took up the morning of Friday, so I set that work aside and put wooden handles on the bullet mold for my rimfire cartridge reloading series in the afternoon. Now that I know how to prime the rimfire cartridge cases, that report can advance again.

I also wanted to run this report because reader RidgeRunner is in the middle of a 101 repair. I thought reading this might encourage him a little. Maybe some of the rest of you are in the same boat?

So, thanks, Cloud9 for saving the day! Oh, and I’m starting to think of things I need your fancy lathe to do!


Lapping scope rings

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Definition of lapping?
  • Scope ring alignment
  • Potential misalignment problems
  • The holes in the scope rings don’t line up
  • The inside of the scope rings are out of round or not finished smooth
  • Lapping scope rings
  • Check scope ring alignment
  • How are scope rings lapped?
  • Finish the job
  • Want to do it?
  • The big deal
  • Summary

This report comes by request of Pyramyd Air. It’s a subject that is not that familiar to airgunners for reasons I will explain at the end.

Definition of lapping?

Lapping is the polishing of surfaces to knock down the high spots and even-out the surface. I have addressed lapping the inner surface of a rifled barrel in the past, though I haven’t gone into it in depth. Today will be the first time I have addressed lapping scope rings.

Scope ring alignment

Scope rings are supposed to align with each other so the thin scope tube is held tight by the rings without any undue pressure resulting from misalignment. If the scope tube is perfectly round and also perfectly true (in a straight line along its entire outer surface), the holes in the scope rings need to be the same. If they are not true and also in alignment with each other, they will put uneven pressure on the scope tube when the rings are tightened.

Potential misalignment problems

There is a long list of potential scope ring misalignment issues. I will address a couple of the biggest ones.

The holes in the scope rings don’t line up

This happens more with 2-piece scope rings because their positioning on the gun is independent of each other. We presume the makers of one-piece rings take care to align them during manufacture. But two-piece rings can be out of alignment because of the scope bases they are mounted on. They can be off side to side and even up and down. It only takes a small alignment offset to create a problem.

The inside of the scope rings are out of round or not finished smooth

Cheap scope rings can have burrs and rough edges inside them that causes the scope to not fit the ring tightly. On really cheap rings it is even possible for the hole in the ring to not be round. Some are so bad they are not worth trying to fix.

Lapping scope rings

For these reasons and more many shooters have lapped the inside of their scope rings. Lapping corrects most of these problem, though if the base the rings are mounted on is the problem, lapping may not be enough. Some gunsmiths fail to take the care required to attach the scope bases to the rifle and create a problem that costs a lot more money and effort to be expended. This is far more common with firearms than airguns these days because most air rifles come with scope bases already machined into their receivers or scope tubes. 

Check scope ring alignment

To lap a set of scope rings you first mount the rings to the rifle. Then use a special pair of alignment tools that are the same diameter as the rings and taper to a point. When they are mounted in each ring with their points together, they either prove the scope ring holes are aligned or they show the misalignment.

scope ring align
Scope ring alignment tools.

ring misaligned
This is what a misaligned set of rings looks like when the tools are mounted.

If you don’t have these alignment tools you can use the lapping bar, though it will not tell you as much. A lapping bar of the same inner diameter as the rings is set in the lower ring halves. The bar looks like a scope tube. If this bar just drops into the lower rings you can proceed, but if the bar will not drop into the lower halves of the rings you must investigate why. This is where the alignment tools really pay off. 

You may discover that there is a fundamental problem that prevents proceeding. Or you could just stick the scope in the rings and try to mash it down into place by tightening the top ring caps. I have seen that done and it usually results in a dented scope tube, if not a broken scope.

How are scope rings lapped?

Scope ring lapping is grinding the inside of the scope rings to fit the outside of the scope tube. Let’s assume the lapping bar did fit down in the rings as it’s supposed to. Step one is to remove any material from inside the ring so the lapping bar can contact the ring directly. Some rings have non-slip pads inside and they must be removed.

The lapping bar is then coated with lapping compound, which is a fine grinding paste. Put the ring caps on over the lapping bar and snug them down, but not so tight that the bar can’t be moved. Now the lapping bar is both rotated and worked back and forth just a little to remove the high places on the inside of the rings. As you rotate and work the bar around, tighten the cap screws every so often, so you get an even lap. Lapping should go very quickly, but that does depend on the material from which the rings are made. Aluminum will lap much faster than steel. As you lap if you remove the bar and clean the rings you’ll see the high places that are being worn away.

Finish the job

Remove the lapping rod and clean off all the compound from the rings. Clean the lapping bar too. Then replace any material you may have removed from the rings before lapping if you really want to. A lapped set of rings will grip a scope much better, so the material may not even be necessary

Want to do it?

Lapping compound is sold in many places and is easy to find. Make sure it’s for the material your rings are made from.

A complete lapping kit can be purchased at several places online. One for both one-inch rings and 30mm rings will run about $75 and up. It includes both the alignment tools and the lapping bars in both ring sizes.

The big deal

Okay — if the rifle is an airgun and IF you buy quality rings, they probably don’t need to be lapped. Today’s scope bases and scope rings on and for airguns are very high quality. Lapping is more for the firearm user who uses two-piece rings and had to have two scope bases installed on his rifle by a gunsmith. There are so many variables there that lapping is still a viable option. But with a good set of airgun rings on a modern air rifle, lapping should be a thing of the past.

Summary

Scope lapping will never go away as long as gunsmiths attach ring bases after the gun is made. This happens a lot with older military arms. Modern firearm should come with bases that are in alignment, and the use of the Mil Std. 1913 Picatinney rail system has all but eliminated scope base issues. Combine that with a set of quality rings and the need to lap all but disappears.