JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy air rifle test results.

Blog #29 Weihrauch HW110

Weihrauch HW110 Test

Weihrauch HW110 carbine test in .177 calibre resulted in some interesting results. The air rifle in question is a Weihrauch HW110 carbine that is seldom seen in air gunning circles with most guys preferring the longer barrel version. Having tested both models, the long and the short, I did not see one being better than the other. As I test in a 25 metre range that may be the reason why, as I imagine the longer barrel may have the edge over a longer distance.

Weihrauch HW110 PCP Air Rifle Carbine in .177 cal

Weihrauch HW110 Carbine in .177 cal

Weihrauch HW100 FAC PCP Air Rifle

Weihrauch HW100 FAC PCP Air Rifle in .177 with softouch stock and Ballistic Polymer action.

 

The Weihrauch HW110 on Targets.

I am hoping this article will explain to you guys just why I test every air rifle prior to delivery. I shoot down a Test Facility that has a 25 metre tunnel of a high density plastic as used in culverts. Due to the angle of the rifle in relation to the side walls, a pellet cannot penetrate it, neither can a .357 or a .44 magnum, been there, tried that.

The target itself utilises real cardboard targets positioned in front of the SIUS 25/50 Target System. The results you see below are zoomed up 300% and so some of the shots can look a bit errant, but in fact that is not the case. The bottom right of the target shows the outside diameter of the group. During the testing stage, all I am interested in is the group, I do not care where abouts it is on the target, just so long as I get a group.

On PCP air rifles, I shoot 6 shots for each pellet, with 6 pellets on test. If by chance none of the 6 pellets work out, I will try another couple and if that is a negative, I will pull the gun down.

The Weihrauch HW110 on test belongs Ms. Sarah Cooper who has graciously allowed me to use the results of her air rifle in this blog.

H&N Baracuda Test Target for a HW110

1st Target testing Baracuda Pellets in the Weihrauch HW110 .177

H&N Baracuda Hunter air rifle test results.

2nd Target testing Baracuda Hunter Pellets in the Weihrauch HW110 .177

H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme air rifle test results.

3rd Target testing Baracuda Hunter Extreme Pellets in the Weihrauch HW110 .177 (Note: The word ‘Extreme print ran off the target’

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy air rifle test results.

4th Target testing JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy Pellets in the Weihrauch HW110 .177

H&N Sniper Magnum air rifle test results.

5th  Target testing Sniper Magnum Pellets in the Weihrauch HW110 .177

H&N Baracuda Match air rifle test results.

6th  Target testing Baracuda Match Pellets in the Weihrauch HW110 .177

The above is a pretty standard test result, however, I left ONE target out.  On this target below I started out by shooting the H&N Terminator Pellets that went very wayward, so far in fact, I was concerned that maybe I had bumped my scope. After 5 shots, I then put through another 5 shots IMMEDIATELY using H&N Baracudas. The Terminators are the large group on the top left while the Baracudas are surrounding the bull. The lesson to take home here is simple, should you select the wrong pellet for your air rifle you can expect a poor performance from it. That usually ends up blaming the air rifle or dealer and not the pellets.

Weihrauch HW110 Test Target

Weihrauch HW110 Test with Terminators outer group and Baracudas inner group

For your information, I have had good results from Terminators in the past in exactly the same model PCP air rifle, so you cannot globally discount Terminators based on one target result. You need to bear this in mind when testing your air rifle or purchasing a new one: Pellet selection is crucial.

Another factor to be aware of, and that is the results are from a NEW air rifle, clean barrel etc and one not bedded in yet. Once the barrel has had 500+ shots through it, you will find the accuracy improving. In part it is due to the rifle settling in and the other part is the shooter becoming more comfortable with the rifle, i.e., developing muscle memory.

As for my shooting, I tend to rush these tests a bit as time is my enemy here. The results still indicate the best pellet whether I bench rest it or snap shoot it like above. The quest is not to get the ultimate score, it is to compare the pellets to each other. That is the end result.

Test Summary.

For those of you who maybe anticipating buying a 12Fpe Weihrauch HW110, the results of the pellet test are below:

Weihrauch HW110 Pellet Test Results

Weihrauch HW110 Pellet Test Results Spreadsheet

As can been see from the highlight, the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets performed the best, despite have a poor Standard Deviation. This is probably due to a deformed pellet skirt that is often the case with JSB. here in Australia. The HW110 owner, Sarah Cooper went on and shot this target below with her second round with the air rifle, having not shot a PCP before.

Weihrauch HW110 test shot

Sarah Cooper personal test target

I think this Blog demonstrates the need to get your air rifle tested prior to picking it up. I personally test every air rifle prior to shipping and only charge the customer if they want the results as it takes some time in post processing. This little Weihrauch HW110 is a great little performer that wouldn’t embarrass the shooter at their local club competition:  it is quite possibly a giant killer.

Author

Ian McIntosh

 

Weihrauch HW77

Weihrauch HW77K part 4.

HW77K Review of the .25 calibre model. The Weihrauch HW77K review part 4: you will now be getting some information on the 25 calibre model. Presently at the time of writing this, Weihrauch does not make any calibres larger than .25 in either their ‘springers’ or their PCPs. The HW77K range of springers in .22 calibre […]

Daystate Red Wolf - Midnight Air Rifle

Daystate-Red-Wolf/

The Red Wolf Transition.

Red Wolf, is it just another Daystate model? If you have handled a Red Wolf or shot one, then the answer is a DEFINITE NO! The finish of both the laminate and Walnut Red Wolf air rifles is first class, like what we have come to expect from Daystate, the ergonomics are great, action is smooth as silk and the accuracy is better than the shooter in my opinion.

When the Special Edition Serie Rosso was unveiled last year, we saw the Red Wolf in a red/black laminate, with it being 70% red and 30% black. I did not expect Daystate to add a Red Wolf to their line-up as this did not happen with the blue laminated Saxon Special Edition that preceded it. When they announced that the Red Wolf will be added to the line-up, we could see the attraction in the marketplace immediately.

The production Red Wolf is presently available in 70% black and 30% red, being the reverse colours of the Special Edition Serie Rosso. It is also available in Walnut for those of you hard core air rifle owners steeped in tradition. There is also going to be an addition to the Red Wolf line-up that I cover at the end of this article, so hang about.

In October, the Extreme Benchrest Championship 2018 was held at Mesa, Arizona where 160 air-gunners from across the globe attended. There is a link at the end of this article that will take you to the results page and a full competition article. But to get straight to the point guys, here are the various results that were achieved and there is NO denying that the Daystate Red Wolf is a giant slayer.

Extreme Benchrest Championship Results.

To get an idea of the scale of this championship, take a look at the image below:

Red Wolf Competition Line Up Arizona

Competition Line Up at Mesa, Arizona Championships

The results of all the competitions are as follows:

American Field Target Results

American Field Target Results at Mesa, Arizona, 2018.

This is followed by:

50 Yard Benchrest Unlimited Class Results

50 Yard Benchrest Unlimited Class Results at Mesa, Arizona in 2018

And again by:

Pro-Class Knockdown Silo Final Results

Knockdown Silo Final Results

With more here:

100 Yard Benchrest Final Results, 2018

100 Yard Benchrest Final Results in 2018.

With the last two results being:

Gilbert Grand Challenge Results 2018

Gilbert Grand Challenge Results 2018

And:

One Gun Challenge Score

One Gun Challenge at Mesa, Arizona.

All in all, even the Red Wolf detractors cannot dispute the above results in each of these disciplines. A full roundup of the results please visit www.extremebenchrest.com

With the results of these Championships, the Red Wolf PCPs have set a new benchmark in excellence, one that will be hard to beat.

The Red Wolf Special Editions out soon.

Daystate has now introduced two new Red Wolf designs in celebration of Daystate’s 40th anniversary. These Red Wolf PCP air rifles are a LIMITED EDITION only and if you want one, please call us ASAP as there are only so many to go around.

Here is the Red Wolf Midnight Special Edition model.

Daystate Red Wolf - Midnight

Daystate’s Red Wolf Midnight PCP Air Rifle

With the Red Wolf Safari Special Edition model being released at the same time.

Red Wolf Safari.

Daystate Red Wolf Safari

Daystate Red Wolf Safari

The Red Wolf PCPs don’t get it all their own way as the Wolverine R Forester Laminate is also being released.

Wolverine R Forester.

Wolverine R Special Edition

Wolverine R Special Edition

Lastly the Daystate Genus is also being released.

Daystate Genus PCP Special Edition

Daystate Genus PCP Special Edition

We will have all the Red Wolf, Wolverine and Genus specifications and pricing hopefully by March 18, 2019. Those of you who may be interested in getting one of these Red Wolf limited editions: our quarterly order book closes at the end of March. Delivery is planned for late May.

For the Tech-heads of you here are the specs:

SPECIFICATION

  Red Wolf B Type Red Wolf HiLite Red Wolf HiLite HP
Overall Length 99.0 cm (39 ins) 99.0 cm (39 ins) 114.0 cm (45 ins)
Barrel Length 43 cm (17 ins) 43 cm (17 ins) 60 cm (23 ins)
Cylinder Capacity 400 or 500 cc 480 cc 480 cc
Weight (Unscoped) from 3.5 kg (7.5lbs) 3.5 kg (7.5lbs) 3.8 kg (8.5lbs)
Available Calibres .177 inch (4.5 mm), .22 inch (5.5 mm) & .25 inch (6.35 mm) .177 inch (4.5 mm), .22 inch (5.5 mm) & .25 inch (6.35 mm) .22 inch (5.5 mm) & .25 inch (6.35 mm) & .303 (7.62 mm)
Loading Magazine or Single Shot Tray Magazine or Single Shot Tray Magazine or Single Shot Tray (Magazine Only in .303)
Cocking Side Lever action – reversible Side Lever action – reversible Side Lever action – reversible
Magazine 10 Shot 10 Shot 5 shot (0.303), 10 Shot (0.22, 0.25)
Fill Pressure Up to 230 BAR (3,335 psi) Up to 250 BAR (3,625 psi) Up to 250 BAR (3,625 psi)
Power / Shots Per Charge 0.303 N/A N/A 45 shots @ 65 ft/lbs
Power / Shots Per Charge 0.25 50 shots @ 45 ft/lbs 45 shots @ 40 ft/lbs 75 shots @ 50ft/lbs
Power / Shots Per Charge 0.22 510 shots @ 12 ft/lbs, 80 shots @ 35 ft/lbs 475 shots @ 12 ft/lbs, 75 shots @ 35 ft/lbs 75 shots @50 ft/lbs
Power / Shots Per Charge 0.177 460 shots @ 12 ft/lbs, 195 shots @ 20 ft/lbs 420 shots @ 12 ft/lbs, 165 shots @ 20 ft/lbs N/A
Trigger Electronic release. Adjustable for weight and length of stage. Electronic release. Adjustable for weight and length of stage. Electronic release. Adjustable for weight and length of stage.
Safety Manual, cross bar, lever open deactivation. Manual, cross bar, lever open deactivation. Manual, cross bar, lever open deactivation.
Stock Ambidextrous Turkish Walnut or Black Laminate Ambidextrous Turkish Walnut or Black Laminate Ambidextrous Turkish Walnut or Black Laminate
Options Silencer, Sling swivels, Gun box, Charging set. Silencer, Sling swivels, Gun box, Charging set. Silencer, Sling swivels, Gun box, Charging set.

Summarising the Red Wolf.

We have sold some .22, .25 and .303 calibres of the Red Wolf production model. During testing several things jump out at you.

Firstly, is the high shot count with the .22 cal Red Wolf that still retains its velocity to the very end of available air. Accuracy is assured with this calibre for target work. The .25 is not quite as air reserved as the .22 but for that inconvenience, you get a powerful PCP air rifle that is at home hunting and doing target work.

Lastly is the .303 calibre Red Wolf that packs a real punch. I am currently sourcing additional pellets for this beast so we can get the best out of it. This PCP will suit the hunter down to the ground with a range of 100 metres the .303 is deadly.

We have an order of 100 High Pressure Compressors coming from China together with a large order of Mark IV Scopes (we have the exclusive marketing for this brand) and 20 more PCPs from Daystate. These include the Red Wolf in .22 & .25, Red Wolf Midnight in .22 & .25, Red Wolf Safari in .22 and Wolverine Forester in .22 and .25. I tell you this now as we will be doing package deals on the Red Wolf and other PCPs that include a Compressor, Scope (MTC or Mark IV), Gun Bag/case, Cleaning kit, Extended Warranty and Service Plan.

In a couple of weeks, I shall be posting the chronograph results of each of these 3 calibres for those of you who are still sitting on the fence. All in all, the Red Wolf is the most exciting air rifle I have shot while trading as Gunroom since 2004.

Author

Ian McIntosh

HW77K in pieces

Tuning a Weihrauch HW77K air rifle at home – Part 4

How to DIY tune a HW77K spring airgun: Part 4

Tuning Weihrauch air rifles is one task that most guys skip over and if they endeavour to “tune” their springer, they seldom follow a recognised series of steps that need to be followed to the letter ( if you want the best from your gun that is). It is not a “five-minute” process and in fact, can result in pulling down a gun many times to get it right. One HW77K that comes to mind, took me 14 rebuilds and adjustments to reduce the group from 48mm at 30 metres down to 8mm at 30 metres. In fact, throughout the competitive life of a spring air rifle, it needs constant adjustment and resetting to get the optimum performance from it.

What I am putting forward here is how I do it and there are others who are tuning Weihrauch air rifles that do it differently than myself, with each of us getting there in the end with the results we want (most of the time that is…). Tuning Weihrauch air rifles does not stop at fitting a Vortek or V-Mach kit. That is but one of the first steps and I will assume that you now have a kit in your Weihrauch HW77, HW77K or HW97K and wish to complete the tuning cycle. Tuning a HW97K will be exactly the same procedure.

Air rifles Australia wide are usually FAC classed and this tends to reduce their accuracy to a degree when put against a 12Fpe air rifles that they use in the UK.

Check out part one and part two and part three of this airgun tuning article series if you haven’t them already.

Test Fire your air rifle

If you have fitted the kit and assembled the rifle then you will need to check that it functions correctly. So take extra care loading the gun and placing your digits in the loading port, should the trigger let go, it will hurt I reckon. You need to test the bear trap works while holding the loading arm down (do NOT let go of it…) and then you need to test the safety while pointing the air rifle at a backstop capable of trapping a pellet.

Fast forward here. Let us assume that the assembly went well, the bear trap works, you haven’t lost any fingers and the safety works well. Now set up a target at no more than 20 metres as we are but testing the rifle, not competing yet.

At this point, I usually put through 20 or so shots using H&N Baracudas and pepper the target. The reason I put through 20 shots is that the grouping tends to change after a few shots as the rifle seal beds in and the spring develops a ‘set’ etc. 20 shots will give you a good idea of how it groups and feels and will allow you to re-zero the scope.

Then with a new target, I put 10 shots into it recording the speeds, energies, extreme spread and standard deviation. This gives you a benchmark to start tuning. If you do not have a chronograph and you can’t borrow one, then rely on your grouping and follow along.

Tuning Weihrauch air rifles: Pellet Selection Testing

Know this, the perfect pellet does not exist that suits every air rifle, period. You would have a better chance of finding Keyser Söze than the perfect pellet, so don’t bother looking.

At this point I get out a good cross-section of pellets, sometimes as many as 15 or more types, to put through the air rifle to find a suitable match for the gun. You need to understand that every air rifle is different and each gun has its own “DNA” for want of a term, so now you need to find which pellet type performs the best.

Next put in 10 shots per target without changing your point of aim (POA) so that you can compare the trajectory of each pellet in your gun. Shooting only 3 pellets into a target does not give you the grouping, but 10 pellets do give you a good idea of where it’s at.

I generally narrow it down to between 6 and 10 pellet types, finally selecting the one with the tightest group. Which pellet this is, only testing will decide.

Tip #1. When aiming at the target I zero in on the circle in the centre of the 5 in a 6-circle target or the centre of the 9 in a 10-circle target – see image below. Aim small and miss small, aim large and miss greatly. I set the scope so that the pellets hit the bull (hopefully) below my POA. If you aim at the bull, it is fairly large, and you need to judge the centre which is harder to do that placing the reticle on a small circle. Then if you do hit the bull, the resultant damage to the bull with multiple shots makes judging the centre more difficult. You can always move the Point of Impact around the target with your scope settings.

 

Air Rifle Target Green

Air rifle targets in Green and Red.

Air Rifle Target Black

Black and white air rifle targets.

When you have found a pellet that is grouping well, then you can move onto getting it to group even better.

Your selected pellet type

At this point, I will use the H&N Baracuda Hunter as the “best” pellet in this exercise. This pellet supposedly weighs in at 18.21 grains for a .22 calibre pellet. However, if you weigh a bunch of these pellets using a digital jewellery scale that can measure down to .01  grains, you will find that these pellets can weigh anything from 18.10 to 18.30 and in-between.

To start the selection process so you can drill down and find the best weight for this pellet, you need to first inspect each pellet, yup, each individual pellet. Skip this process and you may as well fast forward to the end of this article.

Empty a few of tins of H&N Baracuda Hunter (in this example only) onto a soft towelling material and carefully pick up each pellet and inspect it for dents around the nose and more importantly, around the skirt. The pellet skirts are thinner and more prone to being deformed through rough handling and transport.

Place in one pile all the ‘good’ pellets and put the failed ones away from this process. Once I have around 200+ ‘good’ pellets I then wash them, 50 at a time, in a plastic jar with a sponge base so that the pellets do not get crushed. I use acetone and a 1” paint brush and gently brush the pellets around the bottom for half a minute or so. I then empty them into a plastic sieve and wash them under hot water, finally drying them in soft towelling.

Tip#2. Check that the sponge, plastic jar and paint brush can withstand Acetone by using a small amount as a trial.

Tip#3. Some guys use washing detergent instead of Acetone that works well too. Safer by a long shot but it needs closer inspection to see that no remaining manufacturing compound still remains on the pellets.

The idea of washing the pellets is to remove any factory added preservatives, anti-oxidants or lubrication necessary for the manufacturing process. I have seen some pellets with visible amounts of a “wax-like” compound in and around the skirts.

Once you have washed and dried your pellets you then need to weigh them on your digital weighing scale. I usually end up with up to 5 piles of pellets of different weights, that is +/- .02 grains.

Further Pellet Selection

In the next step, you need to arm yourself with pen and notebook and set up ready to test each individual pellet pile. Start with either the heaviest or lightest and fire 10 shots noting the speeds and groups obtained. Then work your way through the individual piles of pre-weighed pellets and you should find that a particular weight works best, giving you the best group.

Now do NOT expect to get marksmanship results doing this as it is only one brick in the tuning wall and there are more bricks to lay, so to speak.

I then record the best, next best and third group by pellet weight. Following this, I lube some of these pellets with Dry Lube sprayed onto a fine sponge and I lightly rub them around to cover them. Do not drown the pellets with dry lube but let the sponge transfer sufficient lube to do the trick. Only do 10 pellets of each of the three best-performing weights.

I then shoot 10 shots using one group and record the results. Then fire 5 un-lubed pellets through the gun before shooting the next 10 best performing pellets. Repeat this until you have fired all 30 lubed pellets followed in-between each group with 5 un-lubed pellets. You should see a difference in grouping at this stage and if you don’t, then repeat the process using a different lube like a varying viscosity of silicone.

You can actually buy pellet lube, with 2 customers of mine in Brisbane, Tony and Allan, swearing by it. Below are 2 sets of images before and after with lube on the pellets much like I have done above but using a branded pellet lube called Napier Pellet Lube. There are others and a Google search will identify them but getting them here in Australia is another issue. You need to follow through if you are into improving accuracy in an air rifle that does not perform.

Pellet Group Unlubed 01

Unlubed Shots

Pellet Group Lubed 01

Lubed Shots

Pellet Group Unlubed 02

Unlubed Shots

Pellet Group Lubed 02

Lubed Shots

Target Images Courtesy of Allan Ruffolo, Brisbane, Qld.

Pellet Lube for tuning air rifles

Napier Pellet Lube

The next step

OK, so if you have followed this process up to this point, you should have increased the accuracy of your air rifle by some small margin. Now if you want to go further and tighten the group some more, you need to alter your pellet speed.

This can be done by first stripping the air rifle and adding some shims to the spring and then firing 3 groups of your best-performing pellets with the best performing lube (or no lube as the case may be). If the groups tighten, then add another couple of shims and so on. If the groups do not tighten or in fact get larger, then you need to remove any default shims that are in place and reshoot the gun. When you run out of shims you will need to shorten the spring bit by bit or replace it with a softer spring. This is where a lot of air rifle accuracy problems start and end.

I have had to take off 1½ coils on one gun I tuned to bring the groups down to a competitive level, so you can now see that guns, springs, barrels and pellets etc., all vary considerably. The reduction in spring pressure obviously reduces the pellet speed, but more importantly, it reduces the recoil too, hence the addition of spring guides in tuning kits. There are exceptions to this, as in all spring gun tuning. I have cut off 2 coils on a spring and the pellet speed increased! The accuracy also increased, why? Most likely the spring was too long to begin with and was spiralling when under compression. Reduce the spring length and you reduce spiralling under pressure, hence you increase the efficiency and spring rate.

You need to record the weather temperature and humidity if you want to get really serious here as humidity and temperature play a big part in pellet performance.  Now I can just hear the ‘naysayers’ rumbling in the background. Well do this if you do not believe me:

  1. Record your best consistent grouping along with the ambient temperature and humidity.
  2. Then on another day when it is either hotter or colder shoot the group again with the same pellets. Point made.

We have found that when you sort your pellets into 5 groups after weighing them and final testing, that you get different results according to the climate. In fact, I have noted with one springer, on a cold day it performed better with a different pellet altogether. So, do not be surprised if you find your results kind of ‘fluid’ and forever changing, hence the need to document your tuning to make sense of it all so you can stay in front.

In another article, I will cover resizing pellets and give examples of temp/humidity changes to grouping results as this article is getting a bit long at this point.

Tuning Weihrauch air rifles summary

Before you race off and start tuning your air rifle, you need to be able to demonstrate to yourself that you are at least a fairly competent shooter. If you can’t hit a barn while standing inside one or your shooting is erratic at best, then no amount of tuning is going to help. Your air rifle should have a good quality scope on it like a Hawke Airmax or one of the up and coming MTC scopes, as these sights handle springers well. Those of you who are into tuning Weihrauch air rifles, you need to have a benchmark of what you are capable of doing target wise, PRIOR to embarking on an air rifle tuning exercise.

Author: Ian McIntosh, Gunroom

Weihrauch HW100TSE

Air Rifle Maintenance, Part 2

This maintenance article is directed at those who wish to service their own Weihrauch air rifle and may lack the skills or confidence to do so without guidance.

Stripping your Weihrauch Air Rifle

The first step is to ensure that the air rifle is UNLOADED. That helps…..

If you don’t have a rifle stand or mount, then the next best thing is a flat table at a comfortable height to work on with good lighting, just like the kitchen or dining table. If you use one of these tables, the best way to strip the rifle is on a blanket over the bench and an old sheet (now its ‘old’….) covering the blanket.

This provides a soft rest for your air rifle and it protects your kitchen or dining table that you may be using while your wife is out shopping. Trust me here, you need a blanket under a sheet to protect the table and the sheet minimises fibres from sticking to oiled parts while doing periodic air rifle maintenance.

With the Weihrauch HW25, 30, 50, 80, 95 etc, all being ‘break barrel’ air rifles, you clean these in a slightly different sequence than you do the HW77/97 loading arm models or the HW100 PCPs.

With all air rifle models, first ‘crack’ the screws prior to un-screwing them completely. By ‘cracking’, I mean just un-tension each screw in turn prior to removing them so that no one screw is left under full tension to the stock.

Then unscrew the 2 side stocck screws in the stock and the 2 screws through the trigger guard on all but the HW100 models. The mechanism can then be lifted off. Be careful to retain the flat and star washers from the stock sides.

With the HW100T,S,TK and SK, being PCP air rifles, the mechanism is held in place by 2 screws with Allen key heads set in cupped retainers into the underside of the stock.

Break Barrel Air Rifle Models

With the break barrel models of air guns, once the stock is removed I would start by wiping the gun down with a lightly oiled cloth first if the rifle is in a clean condition. If it is grubby, then some degreaser sprayed onto a cloth and used to wipe the gun down is the first step.

Then crack open the barrel and put some clean cloth over the detent and in front of the air chamber to keep any loose debris from entering. Next insert a pull through rod from the end of the barrel towards the air chamber. Screw on a pull through jag, attach a patch and damp it with some Bore Cleaner and pull it through, noting of course how dirty it is. Repeat this a couple of times using a new patch each time.

Substitute the cloth patch loop for a bronze brush using some Bore Cleaner solution if the bore has excessive or hard to move build up, then pull this through the barrel. Then wash the bronze brush clean noting any contaminants. If it comes through dirty then clean the brush and repeat the action a couple of times.

Do NOT pull through a cloth patch or bronze brush twice without replacing the patch or cleaning the brush.

Finally, pull through a couple of dry patches noting that they should now be clean and dry. If this is not the case, inspect the bore with a torch and repeat the cleaning using a bronze brush on the pull through followed by cloth patches once more.

You will find that if you clean your barrel regularly that a patch and cleaning fluid is all you need. However, if you use cheap pellets or you are not one that cleans his gun that regularly, then you may need to initiate cleaning your barrel with a bronze brush first before using the patches.

Air rifle maintenance is not restricted to just cleaning and oiling your airgun, storage is important too. When you are storing the air rifle, lightly oil a patch and pull it through the barrel to prevent rust while it is stored for any given length of time. Do NOT over-oil the patch, just a light oiling is all that is needed.

The air rifle mechanism should then be checked for broken springs, loose screws, binding or wear marks that indicated misalignment etc. Lightly oil the pins and detent, trigger pins and loading arm pins using a light machine oil (3 in 1 Oil, light Machine Oil or a genuine Gun Oil). Then wipe down the rifle with a lightly oiled cloth one final time prior to reassembling it into the stock.

Locate and start each screw a few turns until all screws are in place, then hand manoeuvre the rifle mechanism to ensure that it is nested correctly in the stock inletting. Next, lightly nip the screws up in turn, finally securing them with a firm nip rather than screwing the crap out of them. The screws need to be snug and not over-tightened.

NOTE: If you are storing the air rifle, break the barrel and put some clean cloth over the barrel detent and in-front of the air chamber to catch any oil that may drip down. Store it this way if possible. If you have to close the barrel due to storage restraints, then I suggest that you put a Cleaning Pellet in the bore prior to closing it. This will stop any oil from draining through into the air chamber which can cause dieseling and subsequent damage.

Cleaning Pellet by VFG

VFG Cleaning Pellets for most calibres of air rifle

Under-lever Loading Arm Models such as the HW77 and HW97K

The cleaning of the bore on HW77, HW77K and HW97K is done using the same steps as above with the following differences:

Access to the barrel at the pellet end is restricted due to the chamber guide covering the pellet entry end of the barrel. So what I do is clean the action after removing it from the stock while checking the Bear Trap spring is in place and not unserviceable – this is a VERY IMPORTANT part of air rifle maintenance. This image below is a Bear Trap that stops the trigger from being inadvertently pulled when the loading arm is down. The springs lose their tension over a long period and in cases where the air rifle has been neglected, I have found the spring missing on more than one occasion.

Bear Trap And Spring.

Bear Trap And Spring.

Air Rifle Maintenance Diagram

HW77K ready to assemble with the Bear Trap indicated (Note Trigger group is in the “fired” position.)

Once the mechanism is cleaned down, I then check the trigger assembly for dirt or dust and if it looks fouled at all, it is removed and it gets cleaned in a bath. Then the trigger mechanism is oiled and sears are greased prior to reassembly. The moving parts and pins are lubricated next and the air rifle is reassembled. If you are a guy who is not really “into” air rifle maintenance, then just stick to cleaning and oiling the air rifle. If the trigger group looks like it needs removing and cleaning, get a gunsmith or a local gun club enthusiast to do it for you as it is not an area where you should experiment.

So at this stage, we have removed the air rifle mechanism from the stock, cleaned it, checked out the trigger mechanism, oiled it, checked the Bear Trap and refitted the action to the stock ready for the barrel cleaning.

For those of you new to the term Bear Trap, it refers to the sliding gate that is held open when the loading arm is locked up in place. Once the loading arm is drawn down, the small spring you see in the image above, has it’s tension relieved and in so doing this, pulls the sliding gate to move under the trigger fulcrum, effectively preventing the trigger from being operated.

Safety first when doing air rifle maintenance.

I then cock the air rifle and secure the loading arm tight in the fully down position. I do this using a nylon strap to hold the loading arm in the drawn down position to eliminate any possible chance that it may let go and fly back up under pressure, taking off any digits in the loading gate. Ouch….. Unlikely but not impossible, especially when working on a client’s gun as you don’t know what they may have done with it.

air rifle maintenance safety point

HW77 With Loading Arm Locked Down.

Then I clean the barrel out as per the Break Barrel sequence. Once finished, I put a cleaning pellet in place and after releasing the loading arm, I fire that into the ground. This allows you to unload the gun and it also removes any surplus lubricant in the bore. When firing a cleaning pellet, it is best to push the cleaning pellet into the bore ahead of a regular pellet, so when you fire it, the regular pellet creates the back pressure needed to prevent spring and seal damage when fired.

If your air rifle barrel is cleaned regularly, then all you need to do is use patches drawn through the bore with cleaning fluid and you may get away with just pulling down the loading arm sufficiently to allow you to hook the patch onto the jag and then pull it through. Some guys tell me they do it this way but as I am working with Weihrauchs everyday, I find that this method is a bit slow and cumbersome though it may work for you, so try it. Air rifle maintenance is not limited to how I do things, there are other methods worth exploring.

If you need to store your air rifle for a while, then oil the bore as per Break Barrel models. To do this, you pull down the loading arm sufficiently to allow you to insert an oiled patch and pull it back through. You can then fit an air rifle cleaning pellet before relocating the loading arm into the barrel detent socket. This will put a cleaning pellet in the bore while the rifle is NOT loaded. If you pull the loading arm down too far it will cock and you will need to fire it prior to repeating this process.

It is important that you do not get any oil, be it Silicon oil, Mobil 1 synthetic oil or traditional “Grandpa’s” Gun oil into the air chamber as this can cause dieseling: this is a form of combustion that takes place when solvents and or oil are placed under great pressure such as firing the air rifle.

Repeated dieseling can cause massive damage and early retirement of the seal which can then allow metal on metal contact at the end of the spring travel, sometimes rendering the rifle unserviceable. I have seen this on several occasions, it’s not a way to go.

When you are performing any sort of air rifle maintenance on any sort of springer, be it under-lever or break barrel, have a good look at the visible area of the spring. This needs to stay clean and to do this a gun bag or case while travelling is a must as you can’t afford to contaminate the oiled spring with red dust or the like as this would necessitate pulling down the air rifle completely, cleaning it totally and rebuilding it.

Remember too, that when storing your air rifle in a gun bag, do not leave it there for more than a few days or you may find rust forming inside due to the insulation effect of the bag causing condensation.

If like me you live near the sea, then you need be extra vigilant to ensure that dry air borne salt spray does not enter your work space area where you keep or work on your rifle. This dry salt air absorbs moisture as the humidity cycles through day and night and anything not well painted or lubricated will be adversely affected or at risk. Please note this if you live near the sea as performing regular air rifle maintenance will be very necessary to avoid rust.

Weihrauch HW100 PCP

This Weihrauch HW100 PCP air rifle is cleaned much the same way as the others except I prefer to clean the bore while the gun is cradled in the rifle stand.

Again, cleaning the bore should be just that, cleaning it and not moving crap from the bore into or onto other parts of the air rifle. So, care must be taken to draw the pull-though from the pellet entry end out through the end of the barrel. With PCP air rifles you cannot allow dirt or oil to contaminate any parts of the complex air chamber port.

Other points to note are that when cleaning down around the pressure chamber, be very careful not to allow any oil or solvent what so ever to enter the cylinder delivery port, or threads etc. High pressures of 200 Bar and oil do not mix and are extremely combustible!

Extra care should be taken with PCP  air rifles when doing routine maintenance and if you lack the skill set or are reluctant to do it for any reason at all, I suggest that you engage a gunsmith with air gun experience to do it for you. Cost is peanuts and the exposure to risk of damage or incorrect maintenance is not yours. However, in saying this, you need to find a gunsmith who actually does work on airguns as many have little if no experience with air rifles, with their knowledge base being around the more popular rim and centre fire guns.

How often should air rifle maintenance be carried out?

I get asked this a lot. Just like everything else on this site, this is how I do things and I accept that there are other ways to do things as well, I respect that. Each to his own as they say. In saying that however, what I put here works for me and has done for over 50 years without too many mishaps and still counting….

If you are an avid Target shooter then I expect that after each session you would at least clean the air rifle bore if not the whole rifle. This is what it takes to stay on top of the game as well you would know.

Now for you guys that are into hunting and vermin control let me say this: Cleaning your air rifle is probably as quick as reading this article, maybe quicker once you have mastered a technique. So, if you are punching out quite a few pellets each week, I would expect that the air rifle be cleaned at least once a week if not once a month, and not just when it screws up.

For those of you shooting in damp and humid conditions I would be dropping the stock each time I take it out as moisture between the stock and mechanism will not help the finish. Go shooting in dry and dusty conditions and I would pull it down just as regularly, not to stop the rust but to keep sand and dust out of the mechanism.

In saying this, I would also expect that once you have pulled down your air rifle a few times you will know just how dirty it is after each shoot, so you will then be better qualified to know how frequently to pull it down for a clean.

There are still a number of air rifle enthusiasts who prefer not to do air rifle maintenance work on their own rifles, so if this is you, stick to just oiling it and get a gunsmith with air rifle experience to service it in more detail. For those of you who send me their rifles for tuning, service work or repairs, please only send the mechanism, that is, leave the gun stock at home. I have plenty of Weihrauch Air Rifle stocks here to mount your rifle mechanism and anyway, it will cost you less in the Post that way.

Another tip for sending your rifle by Post is to send it Registered mail and package it carefully without making it look like a firearm. Furthermore, NSW restricts sending firearms by Post so you would need to send it by a freighting company if you live there. When addressing any package to a Gun Dealer, whether it is to me or another Dealer, try not to mention the word ‘Gun’ in the address and just use the Dealer’s name instead, this way you at least disguise the fact that the package is firearm related to some degree.

The bottom line guys is this; the cleaner your air rifle the better it will shoot, the longer it will last, the safer it will be, the better it will serve you and the longer it will retain its value, period. Air rifle maintenance is the key to getting longevity from your airgun.

Author

Ian McIntosh