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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Determining the age of a vintage airgun

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • How old?
  • It starts with straight razors
  • Shape of the blade
  • Shape of the scales
  • Blade profile
  • Airguns
  • Generations/ages
  • Very old steel and wood
  • Seals
  • Spring guns
  • Funky parts
  • Other finishes
  • Post WW II steel and wood guns
  • Breech and piston seals
  • Look for plastic
  • Painted guns?
  • Summary

How old?

If you are new to the field of airguns there seems to be an ocean of things you need to know. If you want to become a collector, some of these things are crucial. Today I will explore how you can determine the relative age of a vintage airgun.

It starts with straight razors

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about straight razors very long. But they were the thing I used to rediscover what it feels like to be a new guy in an established hobby. Although I am not interested in collecting them, I couldn’t help but pick up some clues to their relative ages (when they were made) along the way.

Shape of the blade

Before around 1800, straight razors had no real tang. That’s the skinny part behind the blade where you hold the razor to shave. Razors from 1800 and earlier simply don’t have one. They just end the sharp blade and remain almost as wide but become dull as they go back to the pivot pin on the scales.

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The Diana 27: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Eye report
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Some questions arise
  • RWS Superpoints
  • The artillery hold
  • Summary
  • MP40
  • Second time was the trick

Before I begin, someone asked about Rich Shar. He’s the guy who smoothes the biggest spring guns like the big Gamos and Hatsans. Rich tells me he has not been working on guns for awhile, but he does have a project in the works. He promises to tell me more about it. Now, on to today’s report.

I have decided to take my Diana 27 apart and clean out the old grease, then relubricate it with Almagard 3752 grease, to see what difference it might make. But not today. Today will be a traditional Part 3 accuracy test.

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The Diana 27: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

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

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • RWS Superpoint
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Crosman Premier
  • Am I satisfied?
  • Cocking effort
  • Trigger pull
  • The ball bearing trigger
  • How to adjust the ball bearing trigger
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of my vintage Hy Score 807 breakbarrel air rifle that you now know is a Diana 27. Besides that I will test the trigger pull, the cocking effort and I will tell you how to adjust the ball bearing trigger. That, alone, is worth what you paid for this entire blog, so settle in and let’s have some fun!

RWS Superpoint

The first pellet I tested was my go-to pellet for a .22 caliber Diana 27 and many other old air rifles — the RWS Superpoint. I believe that Superpoints have such thin skirts that they seal the bore better in these lower powered spring rifles. I told you about the lithium grease “tune” I did about 20 years ago. It’s still performing well after all this time, and I never oil the leather piston seal. As I recall, the Superpoint averaged around 475 f.p.s. in the past. Today 10 pellets averaged 468 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 458 to a high of 474 f.p.s., which is 16 f.p.s. So, the rifle is still pretty much where it has always been. At the average velocity this pellet generated 7.05 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

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Umarex Legends MP40 BB Submachinegun: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

MP40
Umarex Legends MP40 BB submachinegun.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • CO2 effect
  • Installing CO2
  • Loading
  • Umarex steel BBs
  • Fire control
  • The sensation
  • Daisy BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Shot count
  • Hornady Black Diamonds — again
  • Bottom line

Today we look at the velocity of the new Umarex Legends MP40 BB Submachinegun. Since it has a semiautomatic mode, this will be easier than expected. However, there are special considerations for a gun like this.

CO2 effect

Most of you know that CO2 chills the gun as it is fired. And CO2 loses pressure as the temperature drops. Will that affect the velocity of this full-auto airgun? I plan to test for it. My test will show the velocity you can expect from the gun at its fastest and also what will happen as the shots happen faster and the temperature falls. There are unlimited ways of doing this, and I have selected one.

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How to sharpen a straight razor: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Who to believe?
  • Quart of blood!
  • How do you know what you don’t know?
  • Make haste slowly
  • There is more than one way…
  • Setting the bevel
  • Most important point
  • World-record sharpener
  • Bad advice that turned out well
  • Artillery hold?
  • Three ways to sharpen.
  • That’s all, folks!

I didn’t think I would be back to this subject so soon, but I’ve had some major breakthroughs recently that I wanted to report before I forget them. As you may recall, I am writing this report because I want to experience what it feels like to be a new guy in a subject that interests me, but one that I know very little about. That way maybe I can better understand what new guys want/need to know about airguns. I had no appreciation of how much of a new guy I was when it came to sharpening straight razors, or just how deep I would get into this new subject!

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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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