Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G target pistols: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

S&W 78G
My S&W 78G pistol.

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • Blog data helpful
  • The test
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Air Arms 16-grain dome
  • Air Arms dome group 2
  • Air Arms dome group 3
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of my S&W 78G pellet pistol. Normally this would be the final report in the series, but reader 45Bravo has given us a guest blog that shows the difference between the S&W pistols and the pistols made by Daisy, so there is at least one more installment coming.

Blog data helpful

I find the blog is a good place to make notes for the future, so today I looked over Part 2 to find out what sort of shot count I could count on. And also in Part 2 I showed you the manual that says to leave a CO2 cartridge in the gun for storage, so I knew there was a fresh CO2 cartridge inside, because last time I exhausted the gas at the end of the report. Today I can shoot at least 20 good shots from one cartridge. read more


Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G target pistols: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

S&W 78G
My S&W 78G pistol.

A history of airguns

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Something special
  • Velocity
  • RWS Hobby
  • Shot count
  • Little trick
  • 12.5-gram CO2 cartridges
  • Crosman Premiers
  • H&N Baracudas
  • Trigger pull
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Something special

Before we begin let me remind all of you that today is the 3rd of June — another sleepy dusty delta day. Stay away from Choctaw Ridge!

The comments to Part 1 of this report show that there are many airgunners who appreciate these air pistols. I mentioned in Part 1 that after 1980, Daisy took over the manufacture of these pistols and designated them models 780 and 790. In 1984 they brought out the silver-colored Daisy model 41 that was made only in that year. According to the Blue Book of Airguns the 780 was made from 1982 to 1983. The 790 was made from 1982 to 1988. read more


Smith & Wesson 78G and 79G target pistols: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

S&W 78G
My S&W 78G pistol.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • History
  • Physical description
  • CO2
  • Fit
  • Loading
  • Adjustable power
  • My observation

Before I get into today’s report I have a surprise for you. I had a conversation with Val Gamerman on Friday about the TR-5 and together we discovered something neither of us had ever thought of. You’ll read about it tomorrow.

History

The .22 caliber 78G and .177 caliber 79G single-shot target pistols were made (actually, produced) by Smith & Wesson from 1971 through 1980. They were first made in their Tampa, Florida, plant. In 1973, they moved the airgun division up to Springfield, Mass. In 1978, they moved airguns back to Florida. From this point forward, I’ll speak specifically about the .22 caliber 78G, unless I indicate otherwise, though much of what goes for one gun holds for the other pistol, as well. read more


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


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


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 4

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

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Reader MarklinJHawkland
  • The blind pin
  • Sheared the screw
  • The lesson
  • Cleaning the spring tube
  • Other cleaning
  • The assembly
  • Summary

I’m tuning and overhauling reader Michael’s .22 caliber Diana 27, which is actually a Winchester 427. In Part one I disassembled it and in Part two I showed you how the ball bearing trigger works. In Part three I talked about removing the old piston seal that had a screw that was stuck. I have a lot more to say about that today.

Reader MarklinJHawkland
This is the reader who solved the puzzle. I knew there is a pin in the head of the piston, because when I disassembled the rifle someone had tapped that pin in far enough for me to see it. Unfortunately it was probably that and not the rust that had jammed the screw in place. read more