Basic airgun maintenance for beginners

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Good for everyone
  • Back to the LG55
  • Oiling the piston seal
  • How to tell
  • How to oil the piston seal
  • Other maintenance
  • Cleaning the barrel
  • What pellets?
  • Cleaning the outside
  • That’s it

I received this question on Tuesday.

“I just received an LG cal 4.5 mod 55 Walther’s patent air rifle. It’s a great gift, and I would like to keep it in good condition. I live in Europe though, And like most Europeans, I know almost nothing about guns.

Could you write an article about basic airgun maintenance and important things to check when laying hands on an old gun?
Thanks in advance for any help, Jean”

Good for everyone

With the enormous number of readers we have, I imagine Jean is not alone with his question. I put the answer here in the History section because his Walther LG 55 is a vintage breakbarrel spring-piston airgun that’s no longer made. It was made from 1955 to 1967, according to the Blue Book of Airguns. For some of those years (until 1963) it was Walther’s top target air rifle, and even today it has a smoothness and robust construction that cannot be overlooked. You don’t have to know airguns to recognize the quality of this rifle.

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The Crosman 180: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Crosman 180
My .22 caliber Crosman 180 is the second variation.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The acquisition
  • Quick fix
  • 180 variants
  • Trigger
  • The 180 valve
  • Adjustable power
  • Description
  • Sights
  • Summary

The acquisition

When my wife Edith and I lived in Maryland (1982-2003) we often attended the Columbia Flea Market. Once each month they held a Super Sunday when the market would expand by 500 percent. That was the day all the occasional dealers would attend, and bring the stuff nobody had ever seen. I found some tremendous air gun bargains there! Maybe I will write a report on just that — the deals I found and the deals I passed up. Today, however, I am starting a look at a Crosman 180 that came from that market.

We had been attending for more than a year and I believe I had started writing The Airgun Letter, or was about to. Because I was used to seeing vintage airguns at this market I carried several CO2 cartridges in my pocket, just in case. On this day one stall had this Crosman 180 and a .177-caliber 187 for sale. As I recall they wanted $40 apiece. I asked if they held CO2 and of course the dealer didn’t know. Then I asked if I could try my cartridges and she said yes.

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The Diana 27: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
My .22 caliber Diana 27 is actually a Hy Score 807.

Part 2: The Diana 27

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Not the pre-war 27
  • First time
  • Why a 27?
  • Great feeling!
  • Description
  • Sights
  • Seals
  • Breech seal
  • Trigger
  • Overall evaluation

What is a classic? One dictionary defines it as “…of the first or highest quality, class or rank. Serving as a standard, model or guide.” Although that definition is somewhat subjective, I believe it captures the essence of the word. The Diana model 27 air rifle is certainly a classic by that definition.

Not the pre-war 27

Before we dive in let’s understand that Diana also made a model 27 before World War II. That one had only a wooden buttstock with no forearm. It looks significantly different than the rifle we are examining today. It’s not the same air rifle.

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The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Low light
  • The test
  • RWS Superdomes
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Falcon pellets
  • Discussion of the results
  • Next

Today we are back with the Diana model 50 underlever spring rifle, shooting at 25 yards. I have a couple things to tell, so let’s get started.

Low light

First, my quartz light that I always us to illuminate the target was on the fritz, so for all of today’s shooting I illuminated the target with a powerful flashlight. It wasn’t ideal, but I believe it worked okay. I learned one thing for sure — I need a backup quartz light!

I remembered to switch the front sight post to the large square-topped one that’s best for target shooting. I wouldn’t have that as an excuse for poor marksmanship!

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The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Loading tap
  • Rear sight
  • Pre-test preparation
  • Fastest way
  • Velocity RWS Superpoints
  • JSB Exact RS
  • RWS Hobby
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Evaluation so far

Today we will learn the velocity of my new/old .177 caliber Diana model 50. But there are several things I need to clear up before we get to that. Let’s start with the loading tap.

Loading tap

The Diana model 50 is an underlever spring-piston air rifle. That means the barrel doesn’t open like a breakbarrel, so there has to be another way to load a pellet. On some underlevers the entire compression chamber slides back, exposing the breech, but others like the model 50 use a loading tap. A tap sits behind the barrel and rotates open to load the pellet and closed to align the pellet with the breech.

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The Diana model 50 underlever: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 50
Diana model 50 underlever.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Findlay
  • Fortune smiles!
  • Not the first
  • Taploader — oh oh!
  • Description
  • Evaluation so far

Enough about straight razors and coin collections! Let’s get back to vintage airguns. Today we begin a series that looks at the venerable Diana model 50 underlever air rifle.

History

According to the Blue Book of Airguns, Diana’s model 50 was produced from 1952 until 1965, when the T01 variant took over. That one lasted until 1987, so in all the rifle had nearly a 4-decade run.

The model 50 is an underlever spring-piston air rifle that came in both .177 and .22 calibers. I think the .22 isn’t as common, since the 50 was seen as a target gun and Europeans were already using .177 caliber for that. Maybe .22 was a nod toward marketing Americans, with whom the larger caliber was much more popular at the time.

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Hakim airgun trainer at 25 yards

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Hakim air rifle
Hakim air rifle trainer. Anschütz made 2800 of these for the Egyptian army in 1954/55. This one has custom-made wood.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight in
  • RWS Superpoints
  • Eley Wasps
  • The experience

Today’s blog arose from the suggestions of several readers. In the end it was Siraniko who pushed me over the line, and, when you see what happened, I think you’ll be glad that he did.

The test

The question is — how well does the Hakim air rifle shoot at extended distances? In the past I have always tested it at 10 meters. Today we will see what it can do at 25 yards. The rifle was rested directly on a sandbag and I used the open sights that came with the gun. My bionic eyes don’t see the rear notch very clearly anymore, and now you will see if that affects my accuracy.

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