Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 8

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
Part 7

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Recap
  • Tune in a Tube
  • But the rear sight…
  • The rifle is fixed!
  • Breech seal shim
  • Pivot bolt locking screw
  • Accuracy
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • RWS Hobby
  • Then I read…
  • Michael’s rifle is accurate
  • The big surprise!
  • Next

Today was a long time coming — much longer than I anticipated. But I learned a lot about problems with the Diana 27 that I have never encountered before, and I now believe I can tune one with ease.

Recap

Just so you remember, I am tuning reader Michael’s Winchester 427 that is a Diana 27 by another name. It looked good on the outside, apart from missing things like the rubber button on the butt and a locking screw for the pivot bolt. The rear sight was a kluge of backwoods “repairs”, but that didn’t impress me until the very end of the job. In fact, I will tell you now that I should have started there first. It was the main source of the rifle’s issues. read more


Testing H&N Baracuda FT pellets: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The Baracuda FT
  • Head size
  • The test
  • Start 4.50mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.50mm head
  • 4.51mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.51mm head
  • Discussion of today’s test
  • Summary

Part 1 contains much of the background information for this test. Today I will add some more, to round out your understanding of the pellet I am testing.

The Baracuda FT

The Baracuda FT is a departure from the standard H&N Baracuda that was developed in the 1950s expressly for the Weihrauch Barakuda EL54 rifle. The EL-54 was an HW35 with an ether injector to purposely detonate when the piston went forward. It only shot round lead balls, because it blew the heads out of all diabolo pellets until the Baracuda pellet was created. The Baracuda pellet had a very thick head of pure lead that resisted the additional pressure from the ether explosion. read more


Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot breakbarrel air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hatsan Speedfire
Hatsan Speedfire Vortex breakbarrel repeater.

This report covers:

  • Breakbarrel repeaters
  • So, what’s new?
  • Outside the rifle
  • Pellet feed
  • Trigger
  • Power
  • Cocking effort
  • Tests
  • Summary

Once more I’ll remind you that I am suspending the historical reports for awhile to catch up on several things I have been putting off. There are also many new airguns I want to test. Some tests of complex guns like the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP have taken me many more than the usual three reports, and this has led to the current situation. The history section will be back soon, I promise.

Breakbarrel repeaters

Today I start looking at the Hatsan Speedfire Vortex multi-shot rifle. It’s a breakbarrel spring-piston gun that uses a gas spring (this one is a contained unit that Hatsan properly calls a gas piston) for the powerplant. It comes in both .177 (12 shots) and .22 (10 shots), and I am testing the .22. read more


Testing H&N Baracuda FT pellets: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Test plan
  • How many tests?
  • Backwards planning
  • Test design
  • Start — 4.50mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.50mm head
  • 4.51mm heads
  • Discussion of the 4.51mm head
  • Discussion of today’s testing
  • Summary

On Friday I told you I wanted to clear a backlog of reports. This is one of them. When I was at the Pyramyd Air Cup in September of last year, I was given two sample packs of a new .177-caliber pellet from H&N — the Baracuda FT (for field target). Florian Schwartz, the director of H&N, told me this new pellet was designed for air rifles shooting at 12 foot-pounds and less. But new airguns and other equipment kept pushing the test back until last Friday, when I decided to suspend the history section for awhile to catch up.

Test plan

Many people think that testing a pellet involves putting a PCP into a vise and shooting it at a fixed target. Do you know what that will tell you — how well a PCP in a vise shoots the pellet. Will there be correlation between that kind of test and the real world in which a living person shoots the same pellet from the same gun that’s not in a vise? Yes — SOME. But not as much as many people think. read more


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


2019 SHOT Show: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This report covers:

  • Diana model 30
  • Leapers
  • The really big news!
  • The King Bug Buster!
  • UTG Micro Reflex dot sight
  • P.O.I. rings in 11mm
  • Hatsan Speedfire
  • Crosman Triple threat
  • ASG
  • Summary

Diana model 30

We were in the Diana booth at the end of Part 4. There is one more thing I want to show you in that booth. We talked about it last year, but when I tested a vintage one, it failed during the test. Last August I reported about the Diana model 30. I told you then that this was an airgun that was made from 1972 through 2000. Well, I learned from a Diana representative that the model 30 is still in production today, and that it sells to shooting gallery operators for 1,000 Euro, which is $1,141 as I write this. So the price of $1,000 back in the 1980s wasn’t as far out of line as I had thought. read more