Resealing the Daisy model 41 pellet pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is another guest blog from reader Ian McKee who writes as 45 Bravo. Today and tomorrow he will tell us of his experience in resealing a Daisy model 41 pellet pistol.

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

Resealing the Daisy model 41 pellet pistol: Part 2

Now, take it away, Ian.

Ian McKee
Writing as 45Bravo

History of airguns

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Disassembly
  • Parts breakdown
  • Trigger and hammer
  • Valve body
  • Valve parts
  • The reseal
  • Leak test
  • Testing
  • The service manual minimum specs are listed as:
  • Some things Daisy got right with the 41
  • What was Daisy thinking?
  • A treasure trove of information

Disassembly

Today we start with the disassembly of the Daisy model 41. Removing the barrel and velocity adjuster is the similar to the Daisy 790 in part 4 of the 78G blog, except the crosspin that holds the end cap that contains both the front of the barrel and the power adjuster in the “slide” is splined on one end, so it goes in only 1 way.

41 barrel
The 41 barrel and velocity adjuster remove the same as the  790’s parts.

41 barrel pin
The pin that holds the barrel and power adjuster end cap is splined on one end, so it only fits in one way.

Parts breakdown

At this point it is useful to give you an illustration of all the parts. Ellarge the page to see it better.

41 parts breakdown
The 790/41 parts breakdown provides a map to follow the rest of the disassembly.

Trigger and hammer

The trigger and 2 piece hammer system is the same as the 790 that was shown shown in Part 4 of the 78G blog.

41 hammer
This is the underside of the two-piece 41 hammer, similar to the 79G hammer shown in Part 4 of my blog on the 78G and 79G.

Valve body

The rear of the slide is held on by 1 screw on the right side of the pistol, just like all of the earlier pistols.

The valve body (part 790-312-A) is made from zinc or pot metal, the valve assembly is held in by 4 screws, not 3 screws like the earlier design. 

The completely assembled valve assembly as a whole is part number 790-32.

If you wanted to order the individual parts, you have to add the letter designation, such as 790-32-F for the main seal, and 790-32-C for the main valve body seal.

41 valve assembled
This is the valve assembly, complete.

The model 41 valve, assembled.

The transfer port seal (part 790-31) is nylon, like the one on the 790 we looked at in part 4 of the 78G blog, it seals the barrel/valve very well, with no leaks or puffs of air when fired. Its slightly oversize design, allows for some misalignment with the barrel port, but still seal where they join.

41 Tport seal
The transfer port seal on top of the valve seals the valve to the barrel.

Valve parts

Now let’s look at a drawing of the valve parts.

41 valve parts
This portion of the parts breakdown shows the valve parts with their letter designations.

There is a protrusion cast into the valve body that holds the trigger spring in place during assembly so you don’t need an eleventh finger, or zip ties during assembly. You see it in the drawing above.

Because the valve body and piercing assembly are together, there is no cartridge connector connecting the valve body to the frame. This is where the Daisy engineers simplified the S&W design and reduced the parts count.

There is a steel pin (part 790-32-G — refer to the previous drawing) that holds the valve body cap (which Daisy calls the valve plug) in place, when you drive that out, the cap/plug is under a few pounds of spring pressure and will come out the back like the earlier designs.

Definitely not the same

The steel valve stem and nylon main seal (parts 790-32-E, and 790-32-F respectively) are 2 pieces, unlike the older design, where the seal and stem were 1 piece.

41 valve stem and seal
Valve stem and seal.

This is a simpler design, and more cost efficient to produce. 

The reseal

Only 1 o-ring from the Smith & Wesson seal kit will work on this gun, and that is the main valve body o-ring that fits on the valve plug.

The bolt probe o-ring is thinner in diameter than the normal .177 bolt probe o-ring, and the groove on the bolt probe is narrower than the other .177 bolts.

41 probe o-ring
The model 41 bolt probe o-ring (right) is thinner and larger than the 79G bolt probe o-ring.

Whoever said the internals were the same, has never been into one of these! 

The valve body plug o-ring is straightforward. It is a number 012 o-ring, and is captive, so it can be any type of o-ring you want to use. But personally I use urethane as they are impervious to CO2.

I have never seen a seal like the one used as the main seal, if anyone here knows a source for them, or if they were used in a different model Daisy made, please let me and Tom know, so he can update the blog with the info, and I can get a few for future repairs . 

41 main seal
The main seal in the valve looks proprietary to me. If you know where they exist anywhere else, please let me know!

Daisy’s service manual tells you to dig the main seal out with a sharpened piece of music wire bent into a hook. If the main seal deteriorates, (part 790-32-F in the parts diagram) at this point in time, good luck finding a replacement. 

The seal drops in the valve body, flat side facing the front of the valve, the valve stem (part 790-32-E) goes next, the valve spring, the valve body cap, and the steel pin holds it all together.

41 main seal in valve
The main seal goes into the valve first, followed by the valve stem assembly.

The OEM CO2 face seal (part 790-43) is available online. The company that sells the OEM face seals, limit you to only 3, until the OEM parts came in, I used replacements I had on hand to test the gun, it is apparently the same size as used in several models of CO2 magazines of modern 1911 air pistols.

41 face seal installed
The face seal is installed.

If you unscrew the CO2 piercing piece, there is a small o-ring inside there, (part number 36 in the diagram). I do not know the size of it, but it was flat, kind of like a small rubber band used by kids with braces, but smaller, and made from black rubber.

After assembling the valve, it’s easy to assemble the rest of the pistol. Put the trigger spring on the protrusion on the front of the valve, line it up with the trigger, and insert the valve into the frame. Secure it with the 4 screws.

Daisy added 4 small pads cast into the frame around these screws to strengthen the frame at this point. Since the frame is thicker, it SHOULD not crack like the older frames if the screws are too tight. 

41 frame pads
The pads Daisy added to the frame can be seen around the screw holes for the valve.

Insert the plastic transfer port into the valve body, replace the bolt probe o-ring if needed, and assemble the “slide”.  I suggest setting the power adjuster to a preset position, before assembly, as it is plastic, and easily damaged by a screwdriver while trying to adjust the power.

41 power adjuster
As you can see, the power adjuster of the 41 is all plastic and doesn’t hold up to being adjusted. It’s best to set it where you want it before you assemble it into the pistol.

41 power adjuster parts
The power adjuster parts are plastic. Set them where you want and just leave them alone after the pistol is assembled.

Secure the slide to the frame with the single screw on the right side.

Insert the muzzle plug that holds the barrel and power adjuster (part 790-4). 

Then insert the power adjuster assembly into the bottom hole of the muzzle plug, making sure the groove for the retainer pin uses is towards the barrel, then reinsert the splined retaining pin. 

On this gun, the pin goes in from the right side of the gun, but the diagram shows it going in from the left side. You want those splines going into the gun last.

Leak test

To check for leaks on this model, after charging the gun with CO2, put some light oil (I used Crosman Pellgunoil), where the valve stem comes out of the valve, and some where the valve body cap is in the rear of the valve, and some on the area where the piercing pin and face seal screw into the bottom of the valve. Look for bubbles to form.

41 leak test
Performing the leak test.

If there are no leaks in the oil (arrow), put the grips back on the gun and function test.

Testing

Since this model uses a face seal, the CO2 cartridge goes in with the flat end up toward the top of the pistol. Tighten the CO2 cap at the bottom of the grip to pierce the cartridge. With this type of cartridge arrangement, it is suggested you not leave a cartridge in the gun, as the face seal will eventually lose its shape and start to leak prematurely. But the service manual does say to leave it charged for 24 hours, then test again to see if it still holds gas, and shoots to same velocity in the initial test after repair. 

The service manual minimum specs are listed as:

The first 20 shots from a new co2 cylinder are as follows:
With the velocity adjustments set to max.
Room temperature between 70-85 deg. F.
(They don’t specify what pellet or pellet weight.)

S&W78/79G, Daisy 780-790 Phase I&II:

780           320fps        (98mps) minimum velocity.
790           330fps      (101mps) minimum velocity.
Phase III and Model 41:
780            340fps       (104mps) minimum velocity.
790            420fps       (128mps) minimum velocity.
41              420fps       (128mps) minimum velocity.

Some things Daisy got right with the 41

They added metal to the valve support screw area to prevent cracking.
Simplified the valve, and reduced the parts count, and o-ring count.
Nylon Transfer port seal instead of metal to metal port like the S&W.
They added a trigger spring support to make assembly easier.
They added a middle position to the bolt probe so it can be in 1 of 3 positions, closed and ready to fire, partly open but the o-ring not compressed for storage, and open for loading.

What was Daisy thinking?

The entire bolt assembly and probe are made entirely from plastic!
Plastic rear sight assembly.
A new seal system for which, as far as I know, no replacement parts are available.
A plastic power adjuster that is easily damaged when adjusted.
A plastic co2 cap. 

A treasure trove of information

With this reseal, we have learned the facts of what is and what is not inside a Daisy Model 41. We also now have a copy of the owners manual, and we now have an actual exploded parts view, and factory service manual. [Editor’s note: I have no place to put this entire manual — yet. I will work on it.

With this information, hobbyists will be able to repair and reseal their pistols and have at lease some idea of what they are up against before they start.  

If you have any information that would be helpful, please post it. 

Ian


Beeman R10: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Recap
  • The initial test
  • Today’s test — the firing cycle
  • JSB Exact 8.44-grain
  • How I set up the Vortek kit
  • Air Arms Falcon
  • RWS Superdome
  • Cocking effort
  • Summary

Today is the day we find out what the Vortek PG3 SHO tune has done for the Beeman R10 I’m testing.

Recap

I received the rifle from a reader who wanted a rifle that had a tune done by me. I will tell all of you now that I am not an airgun tuner. I tune some of my own guns from time to time, but I don’t do it as a service. And there is absolutely nothing special about any tune I have done. This report is more a testimony of what the Vortek kit can do than it has anything to do with me.

The reader and I both agreed that a smooth-shooting air rifle was preferable to the last f.p.s. in velocity. So smoothness was what I was after, and nothing more, as long as the rifle performed within reasonable parameters.

I had installed one Vortek PG3 kit previously, but like I told you previously I applied Tune in a Tube to that mainspring — to make the powerplant as smooth as it could possibly be. This time, however, I decided to tune the gun the way Vortek recommended, to see if their kit was as smooth as they claimed. So all I used was the Vortek grease that came with the kit. Gene Salvino says it is slicker than TIAT and it is certainly less viscous. It would be up to the tolerances of the Vortek kit to eliminate vibration.

I told you that when the piston was installed it moves inside the spring tube with resistance. Several readers advised me to trim the piston seal down a little to realize more velocity. But as I have explained — velocity is not what I am after. I want smoothness, and a looser piston seal could well allow a little vibration back into the rifle.

The initial test

After receiving the rifle I tested it with the same JSB Exact 8.44-grain domed pellet that the owner had tested it with. He recorded a velocity of 847 f.p.s. My ten shots averaged around 815 f.p.s except for the last shot when the cocking link disconnected with the piston. So my chronograph reads about 30 f.p.s. slower than the chronograph owned by rifle’s owner. That sets us up for understanding today’s test.

Today’s test — the firing cycle

The firing cycle of the rifle before the tune had some vibration on every shot. When I took the mainspring out we saw it was canted and starting to fail. That was where much of the vibration came from.

The rifle now fires with zero vibration, which is exactly the result I was seeking. In fact I said this was as good a tune as I have even done. Only my Beeman R1 with the custom Mag 80 LazaGlide kit that I installed about 22 years ago was as smooth! Therefore, I did something I say I try never to do. I pulled out my HW85 rifle (the same model as the Beeman R10) that Brian Enoch tuned years ago. This is the rifle I bought from him just based on how smooth it shoots.

That rifle is a .22 so I can’t compare the performance but I can compare the shot cycle. Both rifles are equally smooth but Bryan’s tune does something this one doesn’t. At the end of the shot cycle with the R10 I just tuned there is a very tiny forward bump, when the piston comes to a stop at the end of the stroke. Bryan managed to prolong the timing of that bump in the HW 85 he tuned, so it feels like slightly less. But as I said before — this Vortek kit gives you a $400 tune for $90 if you do the work.

JSB Exact 8.44-grain 

First to be tested was the 8.44-grain JSB Exact. That would tell us what this Vortek tune has accomplished.

Ten pellets averaged 818 f.p.s. through the chronograph, so the kit has maintained the same power as the factory powerplant. The velocity spread was 11 f.p.s., from 809 to 823 f.p.s.. That’s a little better than what we saw with the factory tune before the cocking link disconnected. It varied by 19 f.p.s. from 806 to 825 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet now generates 12.54 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

We know that the owner’s chronograph is recording velocities higher than mine. I think we can expect him to see a velocity of about 850 f.p.s. from this pellet when he gets the rifle back.

How I set up the Vortek kit

Now I will tell you something I purposely left out of Part 2. The Vortek kit has a forward spring guide  (I call it a tophat) that has three positions for the end of the spring. Think of them as low-, medium- and high-power settings, though the differences aren’t that great. In the Air Arms Pro-Sport test the difference between the lowest notch and the highest one, plus the addition of two heavy weights to the piston, increased the average velocity of .22 caliber H&N Baracuda pellets from from 437 to 463 f.p.s. That was a 12 foot-pound kit and the relative energies of those velocities is 8.97 foot-pounds and 10.07 foot-pounds, respectively.

Pro-Sportr spring in bottom notch
The spring end is in the lowest notch with the least preload.

Pro-Sportr spring in top notch
The spring end is in the top notch and the preload is the greatest.

I set this kit up with the spring in the lowest notch to put the least amount of preload on the spring. As I keep saying — I was after smooth shooting and not power. Still, I got power equal to what the rifle had before the tune and it now shoots very smoothly. If the owner desires he can easily remove the spring and adjust the end that’s in the forward guide/tophat to the top notch. I estimate he will gain about 25-30 f.p.s. with the JSB 8.44-grain pellet.

Air Arms Falcon

The next pellet I tested was the 7.33-grain Air Arms Falcon dome. Ten of them averaged 867 f.p.s. The low was 864 and the high was 869 f.p.s. so the difference was 5 f.p.s. That’s a remarkable result from a spring piston rifle that’s just been tuned! At the average velocity this pellet generates 12.24 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

RWS Superdome

Next I tested the 8.3-grain RWS Superdome. Ten of them averaged 789 f.p.s. with a spread of 23 f.p.s, from 779 to 802 f.p.s. That spread is a little large, considering what the other two pellets did, and the energy of 11.48 foot-pounds tells us this is probably not the best pellet for the R10.

Based on the results of these three tests I was prompted to try a heavier pellet. This powerplant seems to like them. The 10.65-grain H&N Baracuda averaged 686 f.p.s. for 10 shots. We know that the magic number is a velocity of 679 f.p.s. — where the velocity in feet per second is equal to the energy in foot-pounds. This pellet is therefore slightly above 10.65 foot-pounds. In fact it registers 11.13 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Cocking effort

The R10 was supposed to cock with  25 lbs. of effort when new. When I tested the rifle before this tune it cocked with 24 lbs. of effort. After the tune it now cocks with 26 lbs. of effort. Cocking is smooth and I can just barely hear the new cocking plate/shoe as it runs along the slot in the spring tube. It’s an ever-so-slight slight sound and the only one the rifle makes when cocked.

Summary

The rifle is tuned. I got exactly what I was after and I think the owner will be pleased when he gets it back. The next step is to test the accuracy. The owner and I talked about that and he said he might buy whatever type of scope I tested it with. Well, my HW-85 has an obsolete UTG 3-12X44 Mini-SWAT scope that I like just fine. While that one of no longer available UTG does have a current version of the same scope, only this one has an illuminated reticle.

Because the HW-85 has the same scope base as the R10, the 30mm BKL high scope rings will fit perfectly. This R10 has a scope stop that the BKL rings don’t need but with it installed the scope will be positioned in almost the identical place on the R10.

The Vortek PG3 HO tuning kit is remarkable. It doesn’t need any extra help from TIAT. It’s dead calm and, except for the issues mentioned during installation, it goes in easily. The R10 is a bit of a chore to tune, but I would imagine that an R9 would be easier. Stay tuned.


Beeman R10: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Start
  • Scope base off
  • Tip 1
  • Mainspring
  • Remove piston
  • Sleeved piston
  • Threaded spring tube
  • Breech seal
  • Cleaning
  • Piston seal
  • Tuning strategy
  • Trigger
  • Insert the piston with the new Vortek seal — tip 2
  • Last thing — the trigger box!
  • Final assembly
  • Summary

Today I disassemble the Beeman R10 and install the Vortek PG3 tuning kit. I installed one of these in the Air Arms PG3 SHO tuning kit in an Air Arms ProSport last year and the results were very positive. But this R10 is a different rifle in many ways, and I will cover that today as we go.

I am going to show you all the differences and nuances of the R10, but I can’t show everything about disassembly. If you want to see that read the 13-part series titled Spring gun tune. That was about a Beeman R1, but most of the steps are the same for the R10. I will address the ones that aren’t.

Start

The barreled action was out of the stock, so the first step was to remove the Rekord trigger and safety. To remove the trigger, drift out the two pins that hold the trigger unit in the end cap.

Beeman R10 trigger out

When the two pins are tapped out the trigger unit is free to be removed.  Once the trigger is out the safety and spring slide out of the end cap.

When I saw the trigger I thought that this rifle has never been apart, because all the factory grease remains on the trigger parts No tuners I know would leave all that grease on those parts. It serves no purpose.

Before someone asks the obvious question of why Weihrauch puts the grease there if it serves no purpose, let me tell you that you have never seen the assembly of an airgun if a factory. It’s fast! The workers are told to squirt a little grease here and there and they do. Some do more and others less. In some countries where it is very hot perhaps the grease melts and runs over the parts. In others it ends up like this. That’s just the way it is.

Some airguns are dwesigned to need much less grease. The Air Arms TX200 Mark III is an example. So less grease is applied and the lubricity of the parts does the rest.

Scope base off

Next I had to do something that’s unique to the R10. The scope base is attached to the end cap by two screws. But the base is also attached to the spring tube by a flange, so the base must come off before the end cap can be removed. And there was a scope stop attached to this scope base that had to come off first.

Once the two screws are out the scope base should slide forward and come out of the spring tube. It’s held in place by a flange that I will show you. This one was stuck, though, by what turned out to be hardened grease. That’s more of an indication that the gun has never been apart. So I partially unscrewed the end cap with the scope base still on the rifle.

Tip 1

The R10 end cap unscrews from the spring tube. When the gun hasn’t been apart for a long time the cap can be hard to start turning. Once the trigger is out of the gun there is a large slot in the end cap where the handle of a crescent wrench can be inserted and used to start the end cap turning. I use the rounded end of a crescent wrench because it is rounded and will not damage the sharp edges of the trigger slot in the end cap. I also use it to tighten the end cap at the end of assembly. I will also grease the end cap threads so it’s easier to remove next time.

Beeman R10 end cap
I have started to unscrew the end cap. The scope base is still attached to the spring tube, but the end cap screws are out so the cap is free to turn.

You can unscrew the end cap by hand until there are 3-4 threads remaining. Then put it into the mainspring compressor and keep tension on the cap as you slowly unscrew it.

Beeman R10 end cap unscrewed
The end cap is unscrewed all the way, but the mainspring is still pressing against it.

I had no idea of how much pretension the R10 mainspring had, but the compressor was set to allow a long one. Good thing, because it turned out there are three inches of pretension on the spring — one is taken up by the end cap threads and the spring has the other two!

Beeman R10 mainspring relaxed
The mainspring has finally relaxed! As you can see, there is a lot of pretension on this spring!

Mainspring

With the end cap off, the mainspring and spring guide could be removed. This spring is unlike any I have ever seen in a Weihrauch product. What I thought was lube on the spring coils was actually just the shiny metal. There was almost no lube on the mainspring, which is consistent with other Weihrauch airguns I have disassembled.

The spring is canted at both ends — rather visibly at one end. This was the reason why there was some vibration when the rifle fired

Beeman R10 mainspring canted
The mainspring was canted noticeably — especially at the end that went over the spring guide.

Once the mainspring was out I could move the scope base forward until it freed up and slid out of the spring tube. 

Beeman R10 SCOPE BASE
Here you see the scope base and the slot in the spring tube where it fits. The square piece on the left underside of the scope base is a flange that slots into the spring tube.

Remove piston

With the mainspring out the cocking shoe is removed from the piston and the piston is slid out of the rifle. There was nearly no lubrication on the piston, either, which leads me to believe that the gun had never been disassembled. If it was, whoever did the work did not lubricate it very well.

Beeman R10 piston
The piston was dry.

Sleeved piston

One R10 quirk is that the piston is sleeved. That reduces the clearance between the piston and the mainspring. The Vortek kit cannot be installed with the sleeve in place, so it has to be removed. There is a small hole at the top of the sleeve to assist you in this task.

Beeman R10 piston sleeve
The piston sleeve has a hole at the top (arrow) to assist in removal.

Beeman R10 piston sleeve 2
This view of the bottom of the piston shows the sleeve better.

Beeman R10 piston sleeve 3
The sleeve is sliding out.

Beeman R10 piston sleeve 4
The sleeve has been removed.

Threaded spring tube

Let me show you the threads in the spring tube. Remember I said that threading the tube was risky? Let’s see why.

Beeman R10 threaded tube
This is the threaded end of the spring tube, where the end cap screws in. There’s not a lot of extra material for leeway.

Breech seal

I was also sent a new breech seal for the rifle. The one that was in the gun looked okay, but when I went to remove it, it broke apart. The Weihrauch seal looks like an o-ring in the gun, but it’s three times as tall and is specially made for their rifles. This replacement seal seemed to be the same tough stuff that the Vortek piston seal is made of.

I’ve never seen a Weihrauch breech seal break apart that way, but I have seen a lot of other airgun seal break apart. So it’s a good thing it was changed. It took me some time to pick out all the broken pieces.

Beeman R10 breech seal
When I tried to pick out the breech seal it crumbled into pieces.

Cleaning

At this point I cleaned the rifle and its parts, plus I looked for any burrs to remove. I found no burrs, and the interior of the spring tube wasn’t that dirty. I use a long dowel with a piece of paper towel wrapped around one end and held on by a rubber band. I usually dip the towel into alcohol, but this time I used acetone, which cleans even faster.

The piston needed to be cleaned inside and out. And I cleaned the head of the piston after removing the old piston seal. The new seal needs to be on a clean piston.

Piston seal

The old piston seal was still in good shape, unlike the breech seal, but since the Vortek kit comes with a new piston seal, I put that one on. It’s made of extremely tough synthetic material which proved a real blessing during assembly.

Tuning strategy

At this point in any tune my experience takes over and I do things my way. When I tuned the Air Arms Pro-Sport I put a thin coating of Tune in a Tube on the mainspring of that PG3 kit, to cut the vibration. The Vortek kit is supposed to dampen all vibration, but I didn’t want to take a chance. But Gene Salvino said in the comments to Part 1 of this report that the Vortek lubricant that is provided is slicker than TIAT, so I decided to give it a try. At worst I would have to open the rifle again to fix my mistake if the kit vibrated.

Here is what Gene said to reader Chris USA,

“DO NOT use TIAT in a Vortek . His [Vortek’s] grease is a synthetic based grease that is very slippery and will not gum up in the cold weather . Zero benefits , the guides shield the noise anyways . TIAT is for high powered guns with factory guides with factory drop in tolerances , the Vorteks are very tight .”

Beeman R10 Vortek kit
The Vortek kit contains a small container of special lube that’s supposed to be much slicker than TIAT.

I lubed the piston seal, the piston body, inside and out, including the central rod that connects to the trigger with the Vortek grease. I lubed the front of the mainspring generously because I couldn’t get the white rear spring guide off the mainspring to lube there. I figured when I cocked the rifle that part of the spring would get some grease.

I didn’t lube the inside of the rifle’s spring tube, which I normally do with moly. The parts that generate friction in the Vortek kit are all held by synthetic parts that have a low coefficient of friction, so I figured Vortek knows what they are doing.

Trigger

I spent some time cleaning the factory grease out of the trigger. Yes, an ultrasonic cleaner is probably the best way to do that, but I don’t have one. So it’s cotton swabs and paper clips for me.

When I had removed as much grease as possible, I then lubed the sear contact point and the piston rod catch with moly grease.  Before doing that I cocked the trigger by pressing down on the rear if the long piston rod catch until the sear caught. I could then examine the sear contact area with a loupe. You will remember that  I told you in Part 1 that this trigger is adjusted perfectly. I don’t want to do anything to mess it up.

Beeman R10 trigger unit
To check the sear contact, cock the trigger by pressing down on the back of the piston catch lever (arrow shows where it is inside the black trigger box) until the sear catches. The sear contact inspection hole is at the lower left.

Beeman R10 sear
The sear contact is enough to be safe, as this trigger is adjusted. This is about a 10X magnification. The factory grease has not yet been removed. 

Insert the piston with the new Vortek seal — tip 2

I tried and tried for 20 minutes to get the new Vortek piston seal into the spring tube. No matter what I did that seal was not going in past the threads. The seal has a small lip on the back that just will not pass the threads in the spring tube.

Beeman R10 piston seal
That small lip on the rear of the Vortek piston seal would not go past the threads in the spring tube.

Finally, after fiddling with the piston for 20 minutes, I decided to “thread” the piston seal past the threads. In other words, to screw the piston into the spring tube. It worked! This kit also works on a Beeman R9, but because its spring tube isn’t threaded, you will not encounter this same difficulty.

It took me about 5 minutes to thread the seal into the tube, but once past the threads the piston slid into the spring tube the rest of the way. It was by no means easy to move the piston inside the tube, but it did move, once the threads were passed. The seal appeared to suffer no damage from being installed this way. That’s what I meant about its toughness.

Once the piston was inside the tube and connected to the new cocking shoe that I lubricated with the Vortek grease, I was able to slide the entire mainspring with its guides into the spring tube. When it was shoved all the way in only about 3/4-inch of the parts stood out, compared to the two inches with the factory spring.

Beeman R10 spring installed
The Vortek spring and guides go into the piston much farther than the factory parts.

Last thing — the trigger box!

You may not know this and you need to learn. Beeman told the owners of R-series rifles not to over-tighten the rear triggerguard screws on their rifles. This is because Weihrauch used to just punch a hole for that screw into the bottom of the trigger box and then thread the metal flanges that were displaced by the punch. Those threads are extremely tenuous! I want you to see them.

Beeman R10 trigger box
There are the threads that hold the rear triggerguard screw. Don’t over-tighten it! 

At some point after this rifle was made, Weihrauch replaced this method with a small nut that slips into the trigger box, but even that is small and not that strong. Just don’t over-tighten that screw!

Final assembly

The R10 went back together the way it came apart. Again I remind you to read the 13-part Spring gun tune report to see the details.  I have given you all the ones where the R10 differs. Once the barreled action was together and was back in the stock, the rifle was cocked and fired to prove everything worked as it should. It did!

The firing cycle is now completely dead and free from vibration. This is as good a tune as I could ever hope for. This Vortek kit works exactly as described and does a remarkable job. It’s a $400 tune for $90, if you do the work. I will say that a mainspring compressor is needed because those fine threads on the end cap are hard to get started.

Summary

I can do a job like this on an R1 in about 45 minutes. This R10 took 3.5 hours to do the same things. Part of that was because the rifle may never have been apart and part of it was the special design of the R10. The Vortek piston seal made installation of the piston take longer, but if you screw the piston in like I mentioned you’ll avoid the time it took me.

So — what did the Vortek kit do for this R10? To find that out you’ll have to read the next part of the story.


Beeman R10: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Beeman R10
Beeman R10.

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • This R10
  • History of the Beeman R9 and R10
  • Success!
  • Tap the cap
  • What about this R10?
  • The R10 came in both standard and deluxe versions
  • Thin spring tube
  • Trigger
  • Cocking shoe
  • Performance
  • Velocity with JSB 8.44-grain
  • Summary

I wrote a 6-part report about the Beeman R10 in 2017-18, but this one will be different. The rifle I reported on three years ago was actually a Weihrauch HW85 that was the basis of the Beeman R10, and I bought it because it had been super-tuned. Not only is it lubed to perfection, but some internal parts like the spring guide were made for it so there is no tolerance in the powerplant. If you read the series, especially Part 1, you will learn that this rifle was tuned by Bryan Enoch, reader David Enoch’s brother. When I shot it at the Malvern, Arkansas, airgun show I was impressed by how smooth it was. I made one of those, “If you ever decide to sell…” kind of offers and David (or Bryan — I really didn’t know whose rifle it was) took me up on it about a year later.

This R10

What I am looking at today is a genuine Beeman R10. The largest difference between the two rifles is the forearm of the R10 is about two inches longer than the forearm on the HW85. Other than the markings on the guns, I don’t think there is any other difference.

This R10 belongs to a reader of this blog — Jim M. At the Texas airgun show several years ago he asked me if I would tune one of his air rifles and after some discussion we settled on this one. The rifle is not in stock trim. Both the front and rear sights have been removed, there is a Beeman muzzle brake in the front of the barrel and I can see through the cocking slot that someone has lubricated the mainspring after the gun came from the factory.

Jim wants me to install a Vortek PG3 HO tuning kit into this rifle. PG stands for Precision Guide and the three means there are three guides for the mainspring. HO stands for High Output — meaning power. This is a high-power kit that will produce more power than their conventional 12 foot-pound kit, though it may not produce as much power as the Beeman factory mainspring. More on that in a bit.

This kit is made for the HW95, which also is the Beeman R9. It will fit the R10/HW85, though, because of the history of the two Weihrauch models.

History of the Beeman R9 and R10

There used to be an airgun manufacturer based in Erlangen, Germany. Their name was Bayrische Sportwaffenfabrik, or BSF, and they made many fine spring-piston airguns. Their most powerful breakbarrels were the BSF S55/S60/S70  that were essentially all the same powerplant in stocks with varying degrees of finish. I have reported on the S70 in this blog, including a long series on how to bend an airgun barrel where the S70 was the subject. Unfortunately BSF went out of business in the 1980s. Weihrauch purchased all or a lot of their inventory that included finished airguns, and lots of parts in-process.

Weihrauch made many different models of air rifles to exhaust the BSF parts, including a Marksman 55 and 70 that were similar to the BSF rifles but were engineered to accept the Rekord trigger instead of the BSF trigger. Another rifle they made from those parts was the HW85 that was also the basis for today’s subject Beeman R10.

In the early 1980s Weihrauch benefitted from the design input of Dr. Beeman who had computer-modeled the performance of a new breakbarrel air rifle he wanted. As far as is known this was the first computer-aided design of a production airgun. Beeman had long wondered why the big HW35 was not more powerful, and his computer model revealed the reason — the piston stroke was too short.

Weihrauch saw great potential in the new design and agreed to build it if they could retain the rights to the gun under their own name, as well. That rifle was the Beeman R1, that Weihrauch branded as the HW80. Because the R1 used a wood stock with a longer forearm, the HW80 was produced first, since a source of wood had to be established for the longer stock. That might sound like a trivial thing to most people, as in, “Why not just cut the wood longer?” But until you understand the full ramifications of the production world you can’t appreciate what sort of time delay a two-inch longer stock can bring.

Success!

At any rate, the R1/HW80 design accomplished exactly what Dr. Beeman was hoping for — a .177-caliber spring piston air rifle capable of a muzzle velocity of 1,000 f.p.s. It didn’t happen in the first year of production, but by year two HW had learned how to lubricate the powerplant to get that speed. And a year after that Dr. Beeman came out with a softer (weaker) mainspring made from some high-tech steel that, along with a new tightly-fitted piston seal and a new lubricant, got the velocity over 1,100 f.p.s. How about that — it was easier to cock as well as more powerful!

But the R1 wasn’t the only rifle Weihrauch was looking at. They had all those BSF parts and had already made some spring rifles of their own. So what became the HW85 and R10 flowed out of that. Dr. Beeman’s computer modeling showed the Weihrauch engineers that the length of the piston’s stroke, and not its diameter was tantamount to developing greater power. So Weihrauch took the smaller BSF spring tube and gave the piston a longer stroke and the HW85/R10 was born. It was more powerful than the R1 yet weighed over a full pound less. The forearm was slender compared to the R1and the resulting rifle was a step forward the evolutionary trail of spring-piston airguns. Except for one thing.

Tap the cap

Robert Beeman was ever-so-fond of his R1 end cap that restrained the mainspring. It was threaded into the thick R1 spring tube, which made servicing the powerplant a breeze. In those days we didn’t use mainspring compressors — we restrained the heavy end cap with our generous bellies, while the muzzle was safety pressed into the inside of a shoe or sandal. In fact, it is the Beeman R1 that caused many airgunners, including your stout author, to develop a generous midriff, just to assist in powerplant disassembly! (insert smiley emoji here)

So, the R10 got a threaded end cap, too. Only, with its much thinner spring tube, the danger of ruining the spring tube and creating scrap while threading rose quite high. It was soon realized that a better way to fit the end cap was needed. Enter the R9. The R9 is an R10 without the threaded end cap. That’s why the Vortek tuning kit will fit both air rifles. It’s also why an R9 can achieve the same velocity as the R1 and still weigh a pound and a half less.

To sum all of this up — the R1 proved that a longer piston stroke was the key to more power. The R10 took that longer stroke one step farther and got greater velocity with less size and weight. And the R9 made the whole thing produceable.

R10 production ended because that rifle was too expensive to produce, due to excessive scrap. The R9 that replaced it is the same rifle in a form that’s easier to make.

What about this R10?

Now that were are up to speed on the model, what can I tell you about this particular R10? It’s a .177 caliber rifle. They also came in .20 and .22 caliber. Dr. Beeman fancied the .20 caliber as the best of all worlds, but in the end the market didn’t follow him. However, the Weihrauch website says the HW85 is still being produced in .20 caliber, as well as .25 caliber.

The R10 came in both standard and deluxe versions

The R10/HW85 came in a deluxe version with a longer barrel and a checkered pistol grip as well as a standard model with a shorter barrel (16.14-inches/410mm) and no checkering. The one I’m testing is the deluxe.

Thin spring tube

The spring tube is so thin that Weihrauch could not cut 11mm scope grooves into it without weakening the tube. So they screwed on an external scope base and someone has added a Beeman scope stop to that.

Beeman R10 scope base
The R10 spring tube is too thin to accept grooves, so an external scope base was screwed on.

The rear sight is not present and a proper Beeman plate sits in its place. The front sight was removed and a Beeman muzzle brake was added. That extends the 19.7-inch (500mm) barrel by just over an inch, making the already easier cocking even lighter. An R1 that’s been broken in would require 36 lbs. of force to cock. This R10 needs 24 lbs. to cock which is almost exactly where it should be. The Beeman catalog says 25 lbs. is what it should be, though the muzzle brake gives us that extra inch of leverage.

Trigger

The Rekord trigger is set to require 13 oz. for the first stage, with a clean break at 1 lb. 8 oz. for stage two. That is about as good as it gets, so the only thing I might do is lubricate the trigger pivots and parts. Yes a Rekord can be adjusted lighter, but I don’t need it any lighter. This is perfect for me.

Cocking shoe

I noted with interest that among the parts Jim sent for his rifle there is a “new-style” Beeman R9/R10 cocking plate — a part I call the shoe. It fits the end of the cocking link and sits in the piston’s slot to push the piston back when the barrel is broken open. So I examined the shoe that was on the rifle and, while it did not seem to be broken, it also did not fit the end of the cocking link very well. The connection appeared very open and loose. And the new-style plate or shoe that Jim sent appears to correct this flaw — if it is a flaw.

Beeman R10 shoe label
New-style cocking plate.

Performance

Jim bought the rifle in September of 2016. He chronographed it to see how healthy it is and he recorded an average of 846.5 f.p.s. that I will round up to 847 f.p.s. with JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes. His extreme spread was 7.46 f.p.s  that I will round up to 8 f.p.s. He never shot it for accuracy, so it’s a much a mystery to him as it is to the rest of us. I thought I would test its performance before I do anything to it.

Velocity with JSB 8.44-grain

My chronograph recorded the following velocities for the JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome.

Shot…….Vel.
1………..821
2………..825
3………..811
4………..814
5………..815
6………..812
7………..806
8………..811
9………..785 — Oh, oh!

After shot 9 the rifle would no longer cock. I could tell that the cocking link was no longer connected to the piston, so I took the action out of the stock and indeed that was the case. The cocking shoe appears not to be broken, but the link has come out of the shoe. No doubt that is why I was sent the “new style” cocking plate or shoe.

Beeman R10 cocking link
The cocking link popped out of the cocking shoe or plate. I could just snap it back in and continue shooting, but I think it’s time to fix this old gal!

Jim told me what he wants is a smooth-shooting rifle. Power is of secondary concern, as long as the rifle is smooth. So, smooth is what I will go for. The Vortek kit should give all the power that’s needed, and most of the smoothness. I will just tweak it as I go.

Summary

This will be your chance to watch another vintage Beeman/Weihrauch rifle get overhauled and tuned. Most of the work will be done by the excellent drop-in kit, but old BB may have a trick or two to add. This should be an interesting series!


Daisy 22SG multi-pump pneumatic: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 22SG
Daisy 22SG.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Old 22SG
  • Warmup
  • First 10-pump shot string
  • Oh, oh! What happened?
  • Did it need more oil?
  • Variable pumps
  • Help!
  • Fixed
  • Second 10-pump shot string
  • Variable pumps again
  • Heavy pellet
  • Trigger pull
  • Pump effort
  • Summary

Well! If the comments are any indicator I would say that this report has struck a nerve! Apparently if you don’t currently own a Daisy 22SG now you used to, or you wanted to, or you own/owned an 822 or a 22X, which are the same rifles without the scope. I saw the same kind of enthusiasm on the internet in general. The 22SG is an air rifle people remember!

Today is the day we test velocity, but I’m going to make it something a little more than just that. Several of you are asking me about the automatic transmission sealer that I tout for fixing the seals on old pneumatics and gas guns. You say I don’t specify what exactly it is. Well, I’m doing so right now. The stuff I use is called Bar’s Leaks (that’s the name of the company) Transmission Stop Leak Concentrate. I have written about it numerous times, including the report titled A proven CO2 fix for leaking guns.

transmission sealer
This is the stuff. It works.

Old 22SG

I tell you this because my Daisy 22SG is not new and fresh anymore. I reported on it 14 years ago, and it hasn’t really been shot since then. So it’s got some age and the seals could be starting to harden. ATF sealant does soften their surfaces so they seal better, but we have learned another trick to keep pneumatics running well — we flex their seals by partial pumping! I will do that today as I test this fine airgun. Let’s go!

Warmup

The 22SG valve and firing mechanism doesn’t allow partial pumps the way I have been doing with other airguns, because if this gun isn’t cocked all the air from each pump rushes out the barrel. I had to devise another way to warm the pump cup. So I decided to shoot a first string where the gun was pumped 10 times for each shot. I started the tests with RWS Hobby pellets.

First three shots
Shot……..Vel
1…………537
2…………545
3…………554

At that point it seemed like the gun was warm, so I shot a 10-shot string. Still shooting Hobbys. It looks like this.

First 10-pump shot string

Now I shot the first 10-pump shot string.

Shot……..Vel
1…………558
2…………552
3…………550
4…………549
5…………531
6…………530
7…………518
8…………519
9…………521
10………..506

Oh, oh! What happened?

Something in the pump mechanism or valve is not functioning as it should. This is a rare occurrence, but a very useful teaching tool, so let’s discuss it.

The average from this string is 533 f.p.s., but as you can clearly see, something went wrong. You can really see it after shot number four. This is another classic example of the value of a chronograph for testing your airguns. At the average velocity for this string the Hobby pellet generated 7.51 foot-pounds. But this average isn’t representative of the gun at the end of firing.

Did it need more oil?

I looked at the pump head before shooting the gun the first time and noted that it was still wet from the previous application of ATF sealant. However, to leave no stone unturned I oiled it again with the same stuff. And this is what I got with the same Hobby pellets.

Shot……..Vel
1…………513
2…………510
3…………507

Variable pumps

Okay, it’s clear the gun has degraded in some way that oil alone cannot fix. There is another test I can do that will tell me more about how much it has degraded. This time I will shoot the same Hobby pellets with variable pumps from 3 to 10, and watch the velocity.

Pumps……Vel
3…………342
4…………404
5…………450
6…………476
7…………495
8…………511
9…………513
10………..518

See how this test reveals more about how the rifle is performing? Daisy said in the manual (available on the Pyramyd Air website) that the rifle got 625 f.p.s. on 10 pumps. To the best of my recollection that number is close to correct. Of course they don’t tell what pellet was used, and that makes all the difference in the world. I was using Hobbys which are the standard lightweight lead pellets in .22 caliber.

The velocity for three pumps looks about right, and on up to 6 pumps it looks good. Then the velocity increase starts slowing down. From 8 pumps on there is almost no increase. So something is happening after 6 pumps.

I noticed for the first time that the pump handle was springing back after 6 pump strokes. With a multi-pump that’s an indication there is pressurized air that hasn’t entered the compression chamber. The culprit is the pump cup that isn’t bottoming out in the compression cylinder. In some more expensive multi-pumps there is or used to be a way to increase the stroke length of the pump cup. Gene Salvino told me that the older Daisy 880s had that feature.

Help!

I placed a call to Gene Salvino and we talked about this for a while. He told me there is no pump cup. He told me the pump piston of a Daisy 880 and this 22SG is sealed with a 113 o-ring. I have a huge assortment of o-rings, so replacing that was no problem. I didn’t think the valve was a problem because the rifle still fired with relatively good power.

Fixed

I fixed the rifle in about the same time that it took me to write  and edit this next paragraph. Two screws and the wooden forearm slabs (one on either side) came off. The pump mechanism was not retained by anything beyond that. I had the pump mechanism out of the rifle in two minutes, and the o-ring exchanged in 15 seconds. Back together in two more minutes and back to the chronograph.

Daisy 22SG o-ring
The 22SG piston is sealed by a 113 o-ring.

Daisy 22SG o-rings
The old ring is on the left. It is still soft and pliable but I can see a difference in their sizes. The new ring looks fatter.

Second 10-pump shot string

When I inserted the pump piston back into the pump cylinder there was greater resistance than before. Did that mean the new o-ring was doing its job? One way to find out! I did not warm the gun in any way. Just went right to shooting for record. And I’m still shooting Hobbys.

Shot……..Vel
1…………552
2…………513
3…………535
4…………549
5…………541
6…………541
7…………546
8…………549
9…………548
10………..544

What do you think? I think the new o-ring did the trick. Maybe you could get a little more velocity with a complete rebuild, but that will either cost me $125 (shipping both ways and repair costs) or I will have to try to get the parts from Daisy. I think I will leave it as it is. The average for this string is 542 f.p.s. and that generates a muzzle energy of 7.76 foot-pounds. This average isn’t much better than the first time, but this time the numbers are stable at the higher end.

Variable pumps again

Remember the variable pump test I did? Let’s do it again see how it does.

Pumps……Vel
3…………353
4…………414
5…………462
6…………498
7…………514
8…………535
9…………552
10………..558

I will say the rifle is back, and performing as it should. I don’t have any historical data that I’m aware of, so this will have to be the baseline.

Heavy pellet

We have looked at a lightweight pellet; now let’s look at a heavyweight. For this test I used an obsolete Beeman Kodiak that weighs 21.14 grains. First a string on 10 pumps.

Shot……..Vel
1…………469
2…………456
3…………468
4…………469
5…………474
6…………476
7…………470
8…………473
9…………470
10………..473

The average for this string was 470 f.p.s. The spread was 20 f.p.s., but exclude shot number two and it’s 8 f.p.s. At the average velocity this heavy pellet generates 10.37 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Now let’s see how this heavyweight does with variable pump strokes.

Pumps……Vel
3…………293
4…………338
5…………374
6…………400
7…………426
8…………449
9…………462
10………..480

Trigger pull

None of these airguns (Daisy 880, 820, 22X) have good triggers. They are all single-stage and creepy. This one fires with a pressure of 6 pounds 5 oz., though the creep makes it feel heavier. There is not a lot that can be done with the trigger. There are You Tube explanations of how the trigger is assembled, but when you look at them you will see that, because of its design, the Daisy 880 trigger does not lend itself to tweaking. Just get used to it and do your best.

Pump effort

I talked so much about the light pump effort that I thought I should measure it for you. Here goes.

Pumps……Pounds
1……………2
2……………5
3……………9
4…………..11
5…………..14
6…………..14
7…………..14
8…………..14
9…………..15
10…………15

I have to say it felt heavier than that from pump 5 onward. I think the resistance builds higher the faster you pump. But I also think a fast pump stroke is more efficient.

Summary

There we have it. My older Daisy 22SG was a bit tired but was revived by a simple o-ring swap that took five minutes. Other than using ATF sealant, that is the quickest fix I have ever performed!

I’m satisfied with the rifle’s power now and will proceed with this series as planned. Accuracy is next.


IZH 46M target pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH 46M
IZH 46M single stroke target pistol.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • New in the box
  • Comparisons
  • Single stroke pneumatic
  • The IZH advantage
  • Difference between the IZH 46 and 46M
  • Power
  • Accuracy
  • Trigger
  • Sights
  • Grips
  • Weight
  • Can it be scoped?
  • The tests
  • Value
  • Importation
  • Not weapons!
  • Scarcity creates demand!
  • Summary

Today we begin a report on a target pistol that has become legendary — the IZH 46, and more specifically the IZH 46M that is the later magnum version. I picked this one up in a recent purchase that included the two IZH MP532 target rifles I’ve been writing about.

New in the box

This pistol was new in the box with everything that originally came from the factory. It had been used as a display gun at an NRA show, but I don’t think it was fired very much. According to its official certificate of acceptance, it was made in October of 2005, so although it is relatively recent it’s still been sitting around for a long time and will need some attention that I will document.

Comparisons

I normally don’t make comparisons between airguns, but this time I will make an exception. I’m going to compare the IZH 46M with my IZH 46 that was resealed by Pyramyd Air a couple years ago. I’m also going to show you how to get the best performance from a single stroke pneumatic. And I will address reader Lain’s question of whether an SSP whose piston is sealed with o-rings, like the Beeman P17 or the new Sig Super Target, reacts similarly to one with a pump cup like this IZH.

IZH 46M and 46
IZH 46M (top) and IZH 46. They look very similar. The 46M has a pump tube that’s about one-inch longer than the 46.

Single stroke pneumatic

The 46M is a single stroke pneumatic (SSP). Some dealers call it a one-pump airgun, because if the lever is opened for a second time, all the air that’s inside the gun is exhausted. Whatever power it develops from the one pump is all the power that’s available. While that does limit the power these airguns can produce, it also simplifies their mechanisms, making them ideal for use as target guns and short-range plinkers.

The IZH advantage

The pump handle of this pistol has a rounded rod that acts as a bearing that slides up a separate lever of a second linkage. This changes the location of the fulcrum as the pump handle is closed, magnifying the force you put into each pump stroke. Where it becomes the hardest to pump is also the point at which you have the best leverage, so it feels like less effort. For the power it develops the 46M is relatively easy to pump.

IZH 46M pump linkage
The rounded end of the pump link slides up the second bar as the pump handle is closed, changing the location of the fulcrum and magnifying the energy put into pumping. This is the IZH 46M

Difference between the IZH 46 and 46M

There is really only one significant difference between the standard IZH 46 and the more powerful 46M and that is the length of the pump mechanism. The 46M pump tube is almost an inch longer than that of the standard 46, resulting in a longer piston stroke that compresses more air. The result is a muzzle velocity of about 500 f.p.s. over 425 f.p.s. for the standard model. Other than that, the two airguns are identical.

Power

The thing that sets the 46M apart from other single strokes is its power. It develops a true 500 f.p.s., with lightweight lead pellets. That’s 75 to 100 f.p.s. faster than other single strokes. The manufacturer claims 410 f.p.s. for the 46 and 460 f.p.s. for the 46M, but I have done extensive testing over 20 years and have found my numbers to be more representative.

Accuracy

You have already seen the stunning accuracy of the MP532 air rifle. The IZH 46 pistol also has a hammer-forged barrel that gives similar accuracy. It rivals the accuracy of vintage target airguns like the FWB 65.

Trigger

The trigger is adjustable for the position of the blade, the length of the first and second stage pulls and the pull weight. It also has a trigger stop. If you compete, the trigger pull must be at least 500 grams (17.64 oz.) and that will be tested before every match by picking up a 500-gram weight with the trigger of your cocked air pistol.

The trigger on my 46 is set to 513 grams, which is 18.1 ozs. Most airgunners find that too light at first and have to develop sensitivity in their trigger finger before they can use it effectively. Pyramyd air has the IZH 46 owner’s manual online, providing an excellent resource for trigger and sight adjustment.

Sights

The sights are full-on target sights with a rear sight that’s completely adjustable in both directions. The gun came with one different rear sight blade that had two different notches, top and bottom, giving a total of four different notch widths to choose from. Other 10-meter pistol designers like Feinwerkbau simply make the width of the rear notch universally adjustable within the limits of the range.

The front post is also interchangeable with two other inserts that come with each new gun. The combination of possibilities, front and rear, makes for a wide range of selections.

Grips

If the pistol has a shortcoming, it is the grips. While they are fully target-style grips that meet international standards for competition (the gun must fit entirely inside a 50mm deep box), they are also smooth wood and they cannot be tightened enough to prevent them from moving when you grasp them. Most owners work their grips over, stippling them for greater roughness and finding better ways to anchor them to the frame so they don’t move as much.

Weight

When the 46 came out it was on the heavy side of normal for a 10-meter target pistol. But shooters have gone towards lighter pistols over the past 25 years and today the 1158 grams/40.8 oz. of the 46M (and 1107 grams/39 oz. for the 46) is 150-200 grams too heavy. I will say this — when you have practiced for several months with 350 dry-fire shots per day followed by 60 shots for record, you won’t notice the weight.

Can it be scoped?

Asking this of a target shooter like me is like asking if a Lamborghini sports car will accept a three-point hitch so you can occasionally plow your garden! However, not everyone shoots at targets and the answer is yes. There are several aftermarket scope mount possibilities for those who want to shoot air pistol silhouette or field target. I think the pistol is too light for hunting beyond eradicating the occasional water beetle or field mouse in your house.

The tests

I will shoot both pistols for velocity, then I will show you my special means of boosting their power. I will show how the trigger is adjusted and I will show the cocking effort. And of course I will show accuracy with both pistols.

Value

When they first came out there were only a few small private dealers selling them. As I recall the first one I saw for sale was asking over $300. Then the price wars started because small private dealers usually don’t care that much about profit. The price dipped below $200 for a while. Then EAA (European American Armory) took over importation and distribution and the price went back to over $300. As the years passed, it increased with time. The last retail price I saw was over $500

Importation

By executive order in 2014 President Obama banned the importation of all Kalashnikov rifles and other “weapons” made by Ishmash. In 2017 President Trump extended and expanded that ban.

Not weapons!

Now, airguns are NOT weapons! Yes, the Europeans call them weapons because their outlook on airguns and firearms is much different than ours. And yes, airguns have been misused in illegal circumstances, but that misuse doesn’t make them weapons. However, Kalashnikov was supposedly advising its distributors to falsify their documentation to get around the presidential ban, and that means they were thumbing their nose at the United States. As much as I regret the loss of the IZH 46M and the ISH 60/61 rifles, I support our nation taking a firm stand. So, for the present, the IZH 46M and the IZH 60 and 61 air rifles cannot be imported into this country.

Scarcity creates demand!

That spawns two things. First — there is a limited number of IZH 46 and 46M pistols available in the US. They are perfectly legal, as long as they arrived before the sanctions were imposed. But there can be no more new ones for the foreseeable future. So, if someone wants one they have to get it from the number of guns that are available. That sets up circumstance number two.

There will always be a demand for things you can’t get. If cow patties suddenly became scarce, people would pay extraordinary prices, just to have one of their own. But cow patties are and always will be cow patties — no matter how many exist. And IZH 46s are the same. I’m not saying they aren’t good. I’m just saying that I am about to give them the best test I can and let you be the judge.

I currently see IZH 46 and especially 46M pistols selling for around $600 (and up to as much as $1,000!) on the used airgun market. And they do sell. Where people stick their hands in their pockets and dance around, kicking the tires of a $1,400 to $1,800 Sheridan Supergrade, they seem to have no problem forking over 6 crisp Benjamins and more for a 46.

Are they worth that much? This is a case of the value to both the buyer and the seller. I see so-called modern art that I wouldn’t hang in my home selling for 6 figures. It isn’t worth that to me, but watching the reactions of some people, I know that it’s worth it to them. So — YES — these pistols are worth what is being asked.

Remember the Falke 90 I wrote about here and here? It is far scarcer than the IZH 46, but watch one languish on a table at an airgun show and you will gain a valuable appreciation for what things are worth.

Summary

When I wrote about the IZH MP531 target air rifle, very few of you even knew what it was. Now I’m writing about an air pistol whose fame precedes it. Most airgunners who have been around for a couple years know about this pistol. I hope to give you some perspective and insight into what has become a legend in our own time!


IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH MP532
IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Got it!
  • Adjusted the butt
  • Fixed the rear sight
  • Windage adjustment
  • Sight adjustment
  • The test
  • Discussion 1
  • Discussion2
  • Discussion 3
  • Summary

Got it!

Sometimes BB gets it right, and today is one of those times. Got a lot to tell you so let’s get started.

Adjusted the butt

I’m shooting the newer (made in 2007) IZH MP532 today and the butt had been adjusted for maximum length of pull in an earlier report. This time I put it back to where it started, with the butt pad flush against the wood on the stock.

Fixed the rear sight

Part 4 covers the design and quirks of the rear sight in great detail, so read that to see what I discovered and what I did to fix it. I will show you one more thing today.

Windage adjustment

Reader Halfstep noticed in Part 4 that, like the elevation, the windage on the rear sight also adjusts both grossly and with precision. Two screws are loosened to slide it into the range where the precision adjustments can be made.

532 windage adjustment
Loosen those screws and slide the rear sight in the direction you need to adjust the strike of the round. This is the gross adjustment. The knob on the left side makes the precision adjustments.

Sight adjustment

I discovered while fixing the elevation that the precision adjustments don’t move the strike of the pellet very much — maybe two pellet diameters at 10 yards. So that gross adjustment that I showed in Part 4 is critical. And you want to get it into the range where you can adjust in both directions.

I found that a little of the gross adjustment moved the pellet a lot. It took three shots to get into the right range. When I did get it right the pellets were hitting slightly left, so I used the precision windage adjustments to correct.

The test

I shot five-shot groups with 7 different pellets from the MP532 off a sandbag rest at 10 meters for today’s test. Instead of talking you through each of them I’m going to show all 7 and then discuss them.

Remember, this rifle has an older pump cup, so I warmed it by pumping the rifle halfway about 20 times before shooting the first shot. Then I would pump it halfway and then all the way for every shot in the test.

I sighted-in with RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. Five of them went into 0.179-inches at 10 meters.

532 Meisterkugeln Rifle group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets made this 0.179-inch group at 10 meters. How about that — a trime on the first group!

532 Sig Match Pb group
Five Sig Match Pb pellets made this 0.193-inch group at 10 meters.

532 Hobby group
Five RWS Hobby pellets made this 0.446-inch group at 10 meters.

532 Qiang Yuan Training group
Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets went intro 0.247-inches at 10 meters.

532 H&N Match Green group
Five H&N Match Green pellets went into 0.148-inches at 10 meters.

532 Finale Match Heavy group
The IZH MP532 put five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets in 0.072-inches at 10 meters. This is not just the best group of this test — it may be the best group I have ever shot with a 10-meter rifle. It’s certainly among the best!

532 R10 Match Pistol group
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets made a 0.327-inch group at 10 meters.

Discussion 1

Looking at these groups it’s easy to pick the pellets you want to test further. The Finale Match Rifle, the H&N Match Green, the RWS Meisterkugeln and the Sig Match Pb pellets all deserve more testing. But I think the Finale Match Rifle will turn out to be the best. If that isn’t the smallest 10-meter group I ever shot, it’s certainly one of them. How much luck was involved? Probably quite a bit, but more testing will sort that out.

Discussion 2

Is the IZH MP532 target rifle accurate? You betcha! The best of these groups are as good as I typically get with any 10-meter rifle. I said in an earlier report that I wondered if the 532 shot like the Daisy 853. Well — it’s better. It’s fully equal to the best single stroke target rifles made. The odd rear sight and lesser ergonomics push it down on the quality scale, but the price for a new-old-stock rifle ($600-650?) is equal to or slightly better than what you will pay for an equivalent FWB 300S or an FWB 601, and about the same as what a nice Walther LGR costs.

Discussion 3

Did fixing the rear sight problems in Part 4 solve the accuracy issue? Without question it did. In fact, I learned from just this test that the designers intended that both adjustments on the sight be used — the gross ones to get into the range and the precision ones for the final adjustments. That makes me wonder all the more about the sight on the older rifle, because it’s obvious the Russians knew what to do.

So — what about the older rifle with the  different rear sight? What do I do about that? Well, to my mind the best solution would be to buy one of the new rear sights off eBay as long as they are available, because nothing else is going to fit the rifle without some machining. But I will be selling that rifle after this report and I don’t want to spend my money that way. So I will mount a scope to the 11mm dovetail rails that are on the receiver and shoot with that. I’m guessing the older rifle will be just as accurate as this one and may even like some of the same pellets.

Summary

The IZH MP532 10-meter target rifle is quirky, well-made and accurate. It has a great adjustable trigger and a simple powerplant mechanism that should last for a long time. The stock is purposely left rough for the owner to modify to suit his needs and tastes. This has been one of two accuracy tests of the two rifles I have. Next we will look at the older rifle and that will finish the series.