El Gamo David breakbarrel air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

El Gamo David
The El Gamo David is a lower-powered breakbarrel from the 1960s or’ 70s.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Bear is eaten
  • The new seal
  • However!
  • Where were we?
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • H&N Finale Light
  • Something different
  • RWS Hobbys
  • Air Arms Falcon domes
  • Smooth!
  • Re-test
  • Trigger pull
  • Summary

Bear is eaten

…and sometimes you eat the bear! As I reported in Part 2 nearly a month ago, the breech seal of the El Gamo David was old and suspect. It was damaged by removing it for inspection. I ordered the replacement breech seal for the rifle from TW Chambers in the UK. It was at my house in less than two weeks.

El Gamo seal Chambers
The El Gamo seal from TW Chambers arrived in less than two weeks.

The new seal

When I saw the new seal I could see that it wasn’t a simple one. El Gamo had formed what looked like an o-ring on top of the much taller seal, which confused me when I first started to take the old seal out. At first I thought it was just an o-ring, but as more came out of the hole and I saw how large it was I thought that it had somehow deformed the top into that shape in the gun over the years. Neither of those was the case, though. El Gamo had made it that way intentionally. There must be a technical advantage to the size of the seal, but I don’t know what it is. Why didn’t El Gamo just cut a shallower groove in the breech and use a commercial o-ring? Like I say, there must be an advantage to doing it this way — I just don’t know what it is. read more


Slavia 618 breakbarrel air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Slavia 618
Slavia 618.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Before the test
  • RWS Basic
  • How does it shoot?
  • Crosman Premier Light
  • Discussion 1
  • Re-test with the “new” seal
  • Basic test 2
  • Premier Light test 2
  • Discussion 2
  • Cocking effort and trigger pull
  • Summary

Today I test the velocity of the Slavia 618. You will recall that I have two of these rifles and one seems to be performing well. That’s the one I’ll test. The other rifle I will rebuild, but we will look at that in a separate report some time in the future.

Before the test

This rifle has a leather breech seal which is indicative of a leather piston seal, as well. So I dropped about 5 drops of Crosman Pellgunoil down the barrel and stood the rifle on its butt for a few days to let the oil run down into the compression chamber and soak into the leather. It also soaks into the breech seal as it passes, softening it up so it can do the job it was designed to do. That should get the rifle into the best possible condition for a velocity test. read more