Weihrauch HW77

Weihrauch HW77K Air Rifle, Part 3.

Weihrauch HW77K .22 Review. Part 3.

I will cover the Weihrauch HW77K .22 calibre in a bit more depth with this review. With 95% of my customers, being predominantly hunters with the occasional target shooting foray, the .22 calibre with its’ large range of pellet availability, is an obvious choice. For those of you looking at purchasing a Weihrauch HW77K .22 or other HW series spring powered air rifle, listen up now.

Weihrauch HW77K .22 cal issues.

The Weirauch HW77K .22 calibre’s energy is detailed in part 2, where I compared the energy levels achieved between all 4 calibres. In particular, the energy levels of the .22 and .25 calibre are very close indeed, so close that I would hesitate to recommend anyone buying .25 calibre version over the .22 calibre HW77K at present. I say ‘at present’ as I am going to look into tuning the HW77K in .25 cal and raise the speed somewhat which will, in turn, increase the energy output.

Why would I recommend a Weirauch HW77K .22 over a .25 cal? Simply put, there are currently (at present 2018) more pellet types available for the .22 than there are for the .25. This, in theory, should allow you a more choice in a search for a more accurate pellet. As the energy output is very close I would seriously recommend that the .25 calibre HW77K gets ‘kitted out’ prior to purchase whereby I can increase the energy levels (speed) to take advantage of the additional pellet size and weight. I will go into this is more detail in the article on the .25 calibre HW77K Weihrauch.

Edit: Having now tested and tuned a 25 cal HW77K, I will say this, the energy level may be the same as the .22 cal, but downrange it is more as it carries its’ weight well. I have also found the .25 cal to be very accurate with minimal tuning. Great gun. (Ian 2/7/18)

Weihrauch HW77K .22 Sporter in nickel

Sporter 2 Stock under a Nickel Weihrauch HW77K .22 cal air rifle

With the energy levels around 16 Ft Lbs, the .22 calibre HW77K is an ideal rabbiting air rifle and would benefit well with the fitment of a Vortek Tuning Kit in FAC. It is also surprisingly accurate out to 50 metres and some more, while still maintaining a lethal energy level for rabbits. Tuning up Weirauch HW77K .22  air rifles is not really as warranted in the grand scheme of things as matching up a good Hawke Scope or similar high-quality scope is paramount if you want the best out of your air rifle.

The minimum Hawke Scope I recommend for the Weihrauch HW77K .22 is the Hawke Airmax 3-9×40 and if you are shooting out to 50 metres or more, then consider buying a Hawke Airmax 4-12 x 50.

The weight issues of Weirauch HW77K .22 Air Rifles.

I hear quite a bit about how heavy the Weirauch HW77K .22 rifles are, so I have taken this opportunity to weigh the rifles and each individual stock for those of you who keep bringing the issue up. With the Weirauch HW77K, the weights are within 43 grams of each of the 4 calibres with the stock weights varying to some degree.

  • The HW77K in. .25 Cal weighs 2840 grams with steel sights.
  • The HW77K in. .22 Cal weighs 2853 grams with steel sights.
  • The HW77K in. .20 Cal weighs 2857 grams with steel sights.
  • The HW77K in. .177 Cal weighs 2883 grams with steel sights.

Deduct 93 grams if you don’t have steel sights.

From the HW range of fixed barrel air guns, the HW77, HW77K & HW97K stocks (all interchangeable) weigh as follows:

  • Thumbhole with alloy butt adjustment 1502 grams.   (LoP 352mm)
  • Thumbhole with synthetic butt adjustment 1412 grams.   (LoP 350mm)
  • Laminated Green/Grey & Blue/Grey 1377 grams.   (LoP 360mm)
  • Sporter 1 wood stock 1370 grams.   (LoP 358mm)
  • Sporter with Ambidextrous wood stock 1333 grams.   (LoP 360mm)
  • Sporter 2 wood stock 1206 grams.   (LoP 362mm)
  • Blackline synthetic stock 1185 grams.   (LoP 353mm)

So there are the weights guys, so you don’t need to be Arnie to lift these air rifles, though free standing shooting will need some degree of fitness I guess.

Weihrauch HW77K .22 Sporter 1

Weirauch HW77K .22  Sporter 1 Stainless

Besides the stock weights, I have entered the Length of Pull (LoP), that is the distance from the centre of the butt pad to the face of the trigger. It is pretty close for all of them but there is room to take off some from the wooden stocks if you want a shorter LoP and of course, you can always add a spacer or a new butt pad if you want to increase the LoP. To get the best out of your air rifle, especially a springer like the Weihrauch HW77K .22, it needs to be comfortable as springers need all the concentration you can get. The HW77K Weihrauch should fit you and not you fit the air rifle.

Weirauch HW77K .22, tune or no tune?

I have had to take the initiative and test fire every Weihrauch air rifle prior to shipment in an effort to ascertain the correct pellet type that will perform in it. This has been bought about by the frequent calls I get from new air rifle buyers who have just purchased an air rifle and started shooting it right out of the box. It appears that the selling dealer just hands them whatever pellets they have on the shelf in the belief that they will shoot ok, when in fact this is far from the case.

This pellet “miss-match” is not confined to just Weihrauch air rifles but all spring powered guns or ‘springers’ as we call them. It does affect PCP air guns but to a lesser degree, though most PCPs will perform marginally better with a specific pellet, like H&N or JSB.

H&N Baracuda Hunter Pellet

H&N Baracuda Hunter Pellet

If you intend to buy Weirauch HW77K .22 and use it competitively then you need to tune it or get it tuned otherwise you stand a real chance of being an ‘also ran’. The degree to which you have to tune the Weirauch HW77K .22 will depend on just what grouping you are prepared to settle for and the calibre you choose. The smaller calibres like .177 and .20 calibres perform really well with a Vortek Tuning Kit when detuned from FAC to 12 Ft Lbs.

The Weirauch HW77K .22 calibre is more forgiving as the .22 is a more stable pellet and it handles a Tune well at FAC energies. Still, dropping in a Tuning Kit is not the end of the matter, you will still need to shim the spring up and down so you can compare groups with various spring settings, and to do this you also need to pump through about 50 -100 pellets first to settle the seal and spring. It is quite a drawn out process but you will reap the rewards if you do it.

Tuning an air rifle with a Vortek Kit is not a magic remedy or a bag of secret tricks, namely, it is replacing the spring, fitting a spring guide, new seal and shims. The spring is a different compound and is slightly shorter and this is positioned within a spring guide. The seal is a custom Vortek Vac Seal that needs bedding in so you need to be putting some pellets through the air rifle while you are tuning it over several days preferably. Should you decide to tune your Weihrauch HW77K you can upgrade the air rifle with quality air rifle accessories to improve the accuracy even further.

Weihrauch HW77K .22 cal Blue Laminate

Weirauch HW77K .22 Blue/Grey Laminate Sporter

Once you have found the sweet spot for the spring shimming and your grouping has max’d out to the best you can do, you will need to consider taking the tune a bit further, such as reducing the trigger pull from 1kg down to (say) 600 grams or thereabouts, possibly fitting a custom trigger and an air shredder. Once you reach this stage then glass bedding the stock and setting the scope (aligning) is about as far as you can go other than fitting a V-Glide Tune Kit from V-Mach. From this point on, I think I would be looking at a custom stock and doing further pellet research and trials. With tuning a Weirauch HW77K .22 air rifle, you never really finish, it is an on-going sequence of trial and error followed by patience and tenacity as you strive to reduce the “group” just that much more.

V-Glide Tuning Kit to suit a HW77K ,22 air rifle

V-Glide Tuning Kit

Final selection of a Weihrauch HW77K .22 cal air rifle.

So if you are now concerned about what calibre to purchase, look at it this way. Do you intend to hunt (at all) and if so what? If you are just about shooting the odd rat or Minor bird with competition being your main interest, then I would suggest that you look at the .177 or .20 calibre Weihrauch HW77K.

However, if you want to shoot rabbits, a Weirauch HW77K .22 or .25 cal is the ticket and they are still quite acceptable as a target rifle. While the .177 is quite capable of dispensing a rabbit, I am of the belief that a slight ‘overkill’ such as a .22 calibre is warranted. I base this on experience and conversations I have had with .177 customers over the years where I have been told repeatedly that “I hit the bunny, but it managed to get away…”. Not good. Hence my stand that the Weirauch HW77K .22 or .25 are the better rabbit hunting tools as they pack more energy and have the accuracy credentials required to shoot rabbits out to 50 metres.

Choosing the correct calibre requires some thought, as does choosing the correct Weihrauch stock where you have a choice of a sporter or thumbhole, and then wood or synthetic. If you are a hunter and you do actually get out in the bush maybe you should consider the HW77K Blackline stock as it takes the knocks, doesn’t suffer that readily from bruising and is both comfortable and light. Should you find the HW77K too heavy, then the HW77 is heavier still with the HW97K the lightest of the 3 air rifles.

Weihrauch HW77K Blackline

HW77K Blackline Air Rifle

Hunters should probably look at the Weihrauch HW77K .25 where you have more downrange energy. Those of you who intend to compete may want to look at the wood versions with the choice of 6 factory stocks. As you will be handling the Weihrauch HW77K .22  in a more controlled environment than that of a hunter, maybe wood is a better option, aesthetically anyway.

HW77K in pieces

Tuning a Weihrauch HW77K air rifle at home – Part 3

How to DIY tune a HW77K spring airgun: Part 3

Hi guys, tuning Weihrauchs refers to the HW77, HW77K and HW97K that are the subject of this article, Most of what I discuss here applies to other air rifles too, though I will make continual reference to the HW77K. Apologies for the delay in getting part 3 out but running this site and business on my own just eats up the hours leaving little time for articles. I have simplified this assembly procedure as much as I can to assist those of you who are perhaps tuning their first air rifle even if it is not a Weihrauch HW77K.

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

I am going to assume that you now have the Weihrauch air rifle in bits, polished and ready for assembly. That said, all the rifle parts you have should be lubed with a thin coat of oil if they are being left to stand for a day or two. Now the assembly and testing I am going to outline here is the way I do it, that is to say, it works for me but this is not the ONLY way to go.

Even though the parts are lubed after polishing to stop corrosion etc., I like to wipe them clean and dry and finally inspect them and re-lube them as I assemble each piece. This ensures that no dirt or foreign matter is stuck to any parts that have been zealously lubricated.

Tuning Weihrauch springers: Assembling your piston seal

Before you start reassembly, clean your bench of tools, parts, beer cans and crap so that there is no chance you can scratch or mark your parts or the bluing of your rifle. With the Weihrauch HW77K, I start assembly by fitting the piston seal. I put the seal face down (recess up) on a clean cloth, (key word here is ‘clean’…) and using a cotton bud I put a small amount of Moly grease on the inside of the seal retaining wall and the rebated edge of the seal. Don’t over-do this guys, as too much grease will only result in it being displaced onto the cylinder wall and then finding its way to the front of the seal, where ‘dieseling’ can occur.

Once I have a thin coating of Moly on the internal edges of the seal, I lightly coat the piston flange outer (front of the piston). Then by placing the piston face down on top of the seal, you can ‘walk’ the piston into the seal recess by pressing down hard and moving the piston side to side slightly from the vertical while rotating it by hand, and so allowing the edge of the piston face to slide into the seal recess.

NOTE: Do NOT use a hammer, screwdriver or the like, as there is a high probability that you will not only bruise the seal and create a weakened area, but you may puncture the seal or mark the leading edge.

Once you have the seal mounted onto the piston, rotate the piston while holding the seal with your fingers to ensure that the seal is correctly fitted, it can rotate freely and that the contact areas have sufficient lube. If you can’t rotate the seal by hand then you need to remove it and check that you have in fact got the correct seal and/or sufficient lube.

Note: On the Weihrauch HW77/97 group, air rifles earlier than 1446048 have a 25mm seal while the later units have a 26mm seal. Don’t get his wrong as it will cost you in time and occasionally damage to the sleeve. The seals are very close in size and that has lead to mistakes being made by some in the past.

Weihrauch seals are pretty soft and flexible and dead easy to mount, however, Vortek Vac-Seals and PTFE seals are another matter. Light lube on the contact areas and vertical positioning of the piston while rotating it is the key. Do not use a press or clamp. If you get stuck and you are living in Australia, give me a call, any time and any day and I think we can sort out any problem on the phone (I will call you back).

OK, so let us assume that you have jumped this hurdle and the seal is fitted and rotates freely. I then fit the spring guide that comes with the tuning kit, ensuring that the open edge is 180 degrees away from the slot in the piston (V-Mach kit). If you are reassembling your air gun without the kit, then skip this last bit as Weihrauch air rifles do not come out with spring guides. If you are fitting a Vortek kit, skip this part as well.

Next, I wipe down the piston and seal outer to ensure that there are no grease or cloth particles sticking to it. I then LIGHTLY (keyword again…) grease the piston and the seal sides ensuring that there is no grease on the face of the seal. Then stand the piston upon the face of the seal somewhere where you won’t knock it over if you are assembling on a clean material.

HW77k Exploded Image for Tuning Weihrauchs article

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

Tuning Weihrauch springers: Compression Tube & Piston Assembly

Next, you need to pick up the compression tube and wipe it clean of any debris, lube and fingerprints etc. It needs to be clean and dry as your hands. Face the chamber downwards and lightly smear a bit of Moly grease into the first 30-40mm of the inside of the chamber wall. Then pick up the piston and carefully marry it up to the cylinder. You may have to ‘walk’ this around by rotating the piston/seal slightly in the open face of the compression tube while rotating it, similar to what you did fitting the piston seal.

Once you have the piston seal entering the sleeve you can push the piston home until it bottoms out, then pull the piston right out of the cylinder and wipe off any grease that has migrated to the face of the seal. Repeat this a number of times until negligible grease is evident on the seal face. By working the piston in and out you should be able to determine if there is any binding or change in the wall diameter as this would be evident in the pressure required to move the piston.

If you use a standard Weihrauch Seal when tuning the air gun, you will notice that the wall tension is much less than that of a PTFE seal, with a Vac Seal rating somewhere between both of these seals in wall tension. Cost-wise the Weihrauch seal is the cheapest followed by the PTFE seal then the Vac Seal with each seal have different unique qualities apart from price.

When you are happy with the piston and cylinder set being assembled and lubricated correctly you need to move onto the chamber. If you have an air rifle that does not use the compression tube like the Weihrauch HW77s and HW97K models do, then treat the rifle chamber as I have detailed above for the compression tube.

I then wash out the chamber with degreasing spray (Cheap Auto-Parts sell cans for around $2.50) and a swab on a wood dowel, usually at a point in time when my wife is out of the house. That enables me to rinse out the chamber and barrel assembly using hot water and detergent in the sink. When clean I wipe it down carefully (the sink that is… and then the Weihrauch action) with clean towelling or one of my tee shirts.  I then blow out the barrel and action points with compressed air. Don’t get caught doing this as women just don’t understand…

Satisfied that the action and barrel are clean and dry, I lubricate the inner chamber wall and then fit the compression tube and piston. With compression tubes that are polished to a high degree along with inner chambers being polished too, you will find that loading the air rifle will be very smooth indeed. When lubricating these 2 parts, there is no real danger of over lubricating them as any excess grease will soon be evident in the loading gate or at the rear where the compression tube is housed. It can be removed then.

The spring is then wiped clean of lube, inspected and re-lubed prior to final fitting. If you are fitting a tuning kit, now is the time to fit the recommended number of washers beneath the spring.

Slide in the compression tube complete assembly and check that the long slot in the tube is facing out (down while holding the rifle horizontally) and that will be evident when the compression tube marries up with the offset barrel port that extends into the loading port by around 3mm. If your air rifle is new then leave the barrel seal in that came with the rifle but if it has done a few miles, change it for an ‘after-market’ seal. These are made in the USA and seal very well with quite a soft material.

HW77K Piston Sleeve. From Tuning Weihrauchs article.

Piston Sleeve and Spring Assembly in the correct position. If you use a V-Mach spring guide then fit it with the join facing upwards, that is towards the top of the air rifle. The above image has a V-Mach kit in it and the lower portion of the spring guide can be seen through the loading arm slot.

Once you have the compression tube pushed home and fully engaged (above) with the barrel port, I fit the loading arm catch into the compression tube and lock it onto the piston. I then tie it up against the air rifle’s action with a cable tie. This is done to stop the piston rotating in the chamber when the breech block is screwed back on. See Below:

Loading Arm – Piston Sleeve from Tuning Weihrauchs article.

The Loading Arm Lever is hooked into the Piston Sleeve

Loading arm in position HW77K from Tuning Weihrauchs article.

This image shows the loading arm is inserted into the Piston Sleeve.

I hold the loading arm with a Cable Tie on sub 12 Ft Lbs springs but on FAC springs I hold the loading arm by partially inserting the pivot pin and setting the outer arm into the detent as you would do prior to firing the air rifle. See below:

Weihrauch Pivot Pin HW77K from Tuning Weihrauchs article.

The partially fitted pivot pin

At this point screw the breach block on using a sliding clamp as illustrated in part 1 of this article. Before you put it in place, lightly grease the face of the breech block and the loading arm catch that enters it. I also put grease on the rear of the breech block so that I can turn the block when it is under pressure of the sliding clamp. I put a small amount of oil on the breach block threads at this point.

Compressing Loading Spring HW77K

Irwin Clamp – Piston, barrel and spring assembly being compressed into the breech assembly.

I then tighten up the clamp slowly until I see the thread of the breach block mate up with the thread in the action housing. At this point look along the air rifle assembly to ascertain that the breach block and chamber are inline. Then carefully turn the breach block until the action thread is engaged.

Note: Keep an eye on the alignment here as on powerful springers the 2 assemblies can ‘walk out’ of the clamp alignment and possibly exit at great speed. The key here is to do this slowly if you are a first timer.

Then screw the breech block home and tighten until the trigger opening is aligned correctly. You can also use the dovetail on top to ensure that the mated parts are aligned by running your fingernail along the dovetail to check for alignment.

Alignment is done by placing a brass drift that fits snuggly into the trigger recess and tapping it around once it tightens up by hand. I say “tapping” because it only takes a small amount of pressure to tighten and align the two components. If you over-tighten the breach block then you may find that it becomes loose down the track. To overcome that problem you will need to Loctite the two parts with medium grade Loctite or equivalent, but only do this if your components have been over-tightened quite severely or are prone to loosen on older air rifles.

Weihrauch HW77K end cap.

Threaded end cap partially installed while still in the clamp. At this point, you can disengage the clamp and tighten by hand.

Weihrauch Trigger pod from article Tuning Weihrachs

Tightened End Cap Assembly ready for Trigger Group.

Weihrauch Rekord trigger from Tuning Weihrauchs

Trigger Group in the ‘Open’ or ‘Fired’ position

Press down the Top Lever and catch it with the trigger sear floating arm and it will then be in the ‘Loaded’ position and look like the image below here:

Weihrauch Rekord trigger 2 from Tuning Weihrauchs

Trigger Group in the ‘Loaded’ position and ready to install.

 

Once you have the breech block tightened up and aligned you will need to fit the trigger assembly. Firstly you need to ensure that the trigger group is sufficiently lubricated and then you need to “load” the trigger as per the images above. Once the latch is engaged you can drop the trigger group into the recess and work it down keeping it parallel with the housing. The safety catch is then lubricated and inserted with the spring fitted on the catch end. Hold the safety in against the spring pressure and gently manoeuvre the trigger group into position on top of it.

At this point, I feed 2 tapered pins through the locating holes so that they engage the trigger group and align it ready for the long and short retaining pins. I put them in from the side as shown below and just far enough to locate the trigger group and hold it in place. Then you should be able to slightly rock the trigger group while still holding the safety catch to ensure no binding of the safety catch or trigger assembly occurs. I now slide in one pin at the opposite side and lightly tap it through so that the tapered pin is dislodged, and the retaining pin replaces it through the trigger group locating the hole. The safety catch should still have a small amount of movement in it without binding.

Assembling Weihrauch Trigger from Tuning Weihrauchs

Locating the Trigger Group and Safety Catch to ensure that there is no binding prior to installing location pins. Apologies for the crappy image.

Then repeat this with the second retaining pin while still gently rocking the trigger group and safety catch until the tapered pin is replaced. I then drift the pins into place using a small ball pein hammer and pin punch until the pins are equidistant through the housing. You can then press the trigger and the loading catch will be released with an audible ‘click’.

The loading arm can now be cut free of the cable tie and removed, cleaned and assembled with the ‘bear trap’. The loading arm pivot pins are quite often a loose fit and if your air rifle’s pin falls into this category, do the following:

The bear trap and loading arm are refitted so that the loading latch is located correctly and the pivot aligned with the hole. Prior to alignment, lightly oil the pivot pin arms and locating hole.  With the pivot pin clean and dry, insert it through one side of the chamber boss and into the 2 pivot flanges until about 3mm is still protruding from the boss. Put a drop of Loctite on this dry pin and then press it home. Note that the final 3mm of travel must be free of oil or lube so that the Loctite can securely hold the pin against any movement.

Before you engage the loading arm into the end of the barrel detent, make sure that the bear trap is located at the end of the latch, otherwise, there is a better than even chance the loading arm catch may bend the bear trap. At this point, I push the bear trap platform towards the trigger so that the anchor stud can be threaded into the action. While tightening the anchor stud you need to rock the loading arm up and down to ensure that the stud does not crimp the bear trap. The anchor stud has a small spacer under it to give clearance to the bear trap. Once you have tightened the anchor stud, make sure that the bear trap platform moves under the trigger pawl the moment the loading arm is released from the barrel detent. Lightly oil the bear trap once you are satisfied that it is functional.

Note: Never remove and discard the bear trap as the rifle may then be fired (inadvertently) while your fingers are putting a pellet into the barrel. It WILL hurt if it lets go…

Tuning Weihrauch springers: The final assembly

So now we should have the HW77K air rifle assembled and ready to mate with the stock. Wipe down the action with a clean rag will a small amount of oil on it. Make sure that the small nut is still in place at the rear of the trigger group as this has a habit of dropping out of the trigger housing when inverted. Then I suggest that you wipe down the internals of your gun stock to ensure that there is no debris, oil or grease that can migrate onto your clean action.

Assemble the two components together and fit all 4 screws (we are talking about the Weihrauch HW77 and HW97k here) but do NOT tighten them at this stage. Now I hold the rifle vertically with the butt pad on the bench and while pressing down on the barrel, effectively pushing the action rearwards into the stock, I tighten the anchor stud first. Follow this with tightening the two forward stock screws and lastly the small rear trigger group screw. Always undo the screws in the reverse order.

Doing it this way ensures that the rifle action is hard back against the timber/synthetic stock and ultimately puts less strain on the anchor stud through recoil. Do not tighten up the rear screw ahead of the anchor stud as this screw is small and does not bottom out when tightened. The anchor stud is capable of bending the trigger group when tightened if the small crew is, in fact, pulled down first.

If you have experienced your rifle coming lose in the stock due to recoil, what I do is the following:

With all the screws loosened I stand the Weihrauch airgun vertically and measure the distance between the rear of the breech block and the stock with feeler gauges or similar. I then cut a half moon shape out of black plastic (you can use whatever it takes) from a piece of scrap laying around and fit it between the breech block and the stock rear (make it slightly thicker than the opening when under pressure). If you push down on the barrel while being held vertically, you should not be able to pull the plastic spacer free. Then tighten the screws in the order above while downward vertical pressure is applied.

By fitting this small half-moon spacer we are effectively transferring the recoil through the spacer into the stock rather than through the anchor stud that is prone to coming lose with some of the heavy recoiling Weihrauch air rifles.

The Weihrauch air rifle can now be test fired once you are satisfied that the loading arm effectively activates the bear trap and that the safety works correctly. After tuning you should notice a definite reduction in recoil and spring noise that will help with accuracy while putting less pressure on the mechanicals of your scope. Part #4 will cover pellet selection and tuning the Weihrauch HW77 air rifle. Remember, if you have a problem with a Weihrauch Australia wide, not just when tuning Weihrauchs, then please contact me, any time, any day and I will endeavour to assist you.

Author: Ian McIntosh, Gunroom

Weihrauch HW100TSE

Air Rifle Care and Maintenance, Part 1

In this 2-part article on air rifle care and maintenance, I am going to principally refer to Weihrauch air rifles being a dealer for these guns. However, you guys that own other brands of air rifle can take home much of what is in this article as it basically applies not only to air rifles but rifles and handguns in general.

Those of you with more air rifle experience and conditioning that sees you looking after your air rifle, you may want to pass on this article.

Periodic Air Rifle Care and Maintenance.

Over the many years I have been involved with air rifles, I have noticed 2 things that keep air gunners apart from the general shooting fraternity. The first thing is that many, not all, but many air rifle owners do not clean or maintain their air rifles with the same dexterity that rim and centre fire rifle owners do. The reasoning that I have been given is that air rifle pellets do not ‘lead up’ barrels like conventional firearms do. Hmmm.….., wrong!

Pellets ‘lead up’ air rifle barrels just as much and sometimes more, depending on the quality of pellets used. Many air rifle pellets have lubricants applied to them to assist in the manufacturing process of such tiny castings and in some cases, to assist in reducing friction when fired in an air rifle. Some pellets have preservatives on them to reduce oxidising and cross-contamination when placed in a tin or amongst other pellets. Pellets also get deformed knocking around in the tins in which you buy them or through being carried in your pockets where they pick up lint, dirt and other contaminants – this can be alleviated to some degree by storing your pellets in a dedicated Pellet Pouch.

Pellet pouches assist in air rifle care

Brown Air Rifle Pellet Pouch with Lanyard

These lubricants/preservatives are basically contaminants in the big picture and tend to adhere to the rifling in the barrel. Over time and through irregular use, the build up of these ‘lubricants’ tends to alter in their physical composition and their semi-fluid status by becoming harder. This in effect then adds friction to passing pellets rather than assisting the pellet by reducing friction in the air rifle’s bore.

Causes for the state of change comes about by atmospheric changes such as heat and cold, rain and humidity, differing lubricants and cross contamination through using different brand pellets, and so on. Bottom line for whatever reasons, are that the traces of lubricant or preservatives do change their state over time and therefor should be removed with regular barrel cleaning, using approved cleaning solutions and kits.

The second thing I have seen primarily with air gunners is that many restrict maintenance to just oiling the barrel and visible mechanics of their air rifle. The problem arises here is that quite often rust and corrosion takes effect between the gun and the stock where it can’t be seen with the naked eye until the air rifle is removed from the stock. So, in this article I am going to cover the basics that I feel are required to keep and maintain your air rifle in premium condition.

As can be seen from the pellet on the left below, it has obvious signs of oxidization that would normally end up in the bore of your air rifle. Compare it to the image below right and there you have a better-quality pellet with less baggage. What is the difference apart from oxidization? Answer, Price.

The air rifle pellet to the right, is not only smoother and better defined than the one on the left, but it also performs a lot better with more consistent grouping.

 

 

 

 

Pro-Pell airgun pellet

Pro-Pell air rifle pellet in .177

H&N Field Target Trophy air rifle pellet

H&N Field Target Trophy air rifle pellet in .177 calibre

By late 2020 we will have a complex pellet analysis on this website where you will find data taken from results obtained by firing various air rifles, both spring and PCPs. Some of the results we are currently getting are already at odds with common beliefs about air rifle pellet behaviour.

Tools Required.

Often when I get an air rifle in for maintenance or to fit a Vortek  Air Rifle  tuning kit I find that the securing screws have been butchered by heavy handed clowns using the wrong sized screwdrivers and/or Allen keys. While the screws still work ok, they are a blight on an otherwise good looking rifle. Good air rifle care extends to using the correct tools to prevent such problems.

So before you get out your air rifle after reading this and proceed to strip it down, do yourself a favour and assemble the following:

    1. The correct width flat head screwdrivers that are needed – one without sharp edges above the flat head will ensure you don’t mark your stock (you can grind/file and polish the edges smooth which I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND).
    2. In the case where Phillips screws have been used, carefully size and select the correct screwdriver.
    3. Allen keys. Weihrauch air rifles use Metric Allen Keys while some British and American firearms use Imperial. Do NOT attempt to use the incorrect keys as you will only stuff up the screw inlet possibly rendering it impossible if not difficult to remove later.
    4. A basic set of pliers, small ¼” socket set, small hammer (key word here is “small….”), pin punches, wire brush, vernier calipers (they are quite cheap now and even come in a carbon fibre version which work quite well, see below), small mirror, tweezers, small file set, parts tray, small LED torch and a Mini Hook and Pick set.

      Small Pick Set for air rifle care

      Small Pick Set for your air rifle tool kit

    5. Carbon Vernier Calipers are a must in most work carried out on an air rifle.

      Air rifle maintenance Verniers

      Carbon Vernier Calipers that won’t scratch or mark your bluing on your air rifle

    6. Degreasing spray or fluid. This can be an automotive degreaser which is a lot cheaper than the dedicated firearm degreasers that are on the market. I have found no benefit in one degreaser over the other apart from price.
      1. If you need to touch up bluing, you will need:
      2. some Bluing solution in liquid or gel form
      3. clean toweling or cotton material
      4. paper towels
      5. applicator – brush, sponge or soft cloth
      6. acetone
      7. Wire wool – preferably stainless wool if you can get it.
    7. Gun Oil or Silicone Spray. Some ‘die-hards’ will debunk Silicon Spray in favour of good old “gun oil” like their Grandpa used. I’m not going to get into a pissing contest here over which is better but just say that times have changed, and a good Silicon Spray is just that, “good” and they work just fine, though when dispensed from an Aerosol, they tend to ‘dry out’ leaving a mottled film on the bluing. This mottled film is still Silicone only it has been diluted with Aerosol solvents to enable it to be spayed from a low pressure canister. When these solvents disperse, they tend to leave varying thicknesses of Silicone film behind, hence the mottled look you get after a few hours.
      Mobile 1 for air rifle maintenance

      Mobile 1 Synthetic oil

      Air rifle care and maintenance requires Gun Oils, these come in different qualities with some being really crappy and others very good. Having worked in the USA, where I mixed with a number of Gun enthusiasts there who use Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil. I have even spoken to some seasoned Police who swear by it as it has many of the qualities required to protect your firearm from rust and the like. I use it and have done for many years with great results and the best thing of all, is it is readily available in small quantities and it is a lot cheaper than the ‘Gun Oil’ you get around the traps.  Mobile 1 Synthetic oilAs air rifles do not get as hot as centre fire rifles or handguns, I use a 5W30 grade Mobil 1 and I recommend that anyone reading this should give it a go. Mobil 1 is a polyalphaolefin based synthetic motor oil and not a regular mineral motor oil. As a ‘gun oil’ in the true sense of the word, the specs of Mobil 1 appear to exceed that of Rem Oil and Militec-1, both very respected gun oils.It should also be noted that automotive oils are subjected to extremely competitive marketing and so a lot of constant research goes into making the oils better, whereas “gun oils” are part of a very miniscule niche market where large research programs are not affordable. Hence the growing gap in quality between the two types of oils is becoming evident .

    8. Cleaning kit for air rifle care. Here you need a dedicated Gun Cleaning Kit:
      1. A ‘Pull Through’ rod of the correct diameter.
      2. Bronze Bristle brushes of the correct size.
      3. Pull Through Loop to pull cotton patches through the barrel.
      4. A good supply of flannel cleaning patches that should only be used once before discarding. Make sure that they are the correct size.
      5. A Bore cleaner or Solvent for de-leading rifle barrels.
        ATA Kit for good air rifle care

        ATA Cleaning Kit

        ATA Cleaning Kit

    9. An air rifle stand to hold your gun steady for cleaning and working on it is a must. You only need to drop your air rifle once to understand me.
      I seriously suggest that you make it out of wood if you don’t want to buy one. If you do make it, make 2 grips, one for the complete air rifle and another so you can hold the rifle mechanism when you break it down.

      1. Basically a wood box where your gun cleaning tools and solvents etc. can be stored.
      2. Inside the box you have 2 sets of stands, one for the complete rifle and another for the rifle mechanism plus your dedicated rifle tools.
      3. I will post a set of drawings and photos shortly of how to make one and you can copy this for yourself. Any problems then just buzz me.
    10. You need a large coffee tin or similar to drop your used cloths and rags into when you have finished. These should then be soaked in water before being discarded. Oily cloths and those with solvents in them have been known to self combust and I’m guessing a fire in your gun room or safe is not really what you may have in mind.

Air Rifle Care Part 1 Summary.

That should just about do it for your air rifle maintenance kit. As far as the screwdrivers, pliers and Allen keys go, I have found it prudent to go out and buy the specific tools I require and keep them separate from my automotive tools – this saves you from dicking around in the garage looking for the right gear each time you decide to work on your air rifle, trust me.

Author

Ian McIntosh

Kral Puncher Armour Green PCP air rifle

Blog #30 Air Rifles at Gunroom

Air Rifle Evaluations.

Air rifle makes and models are popping up  every week with some manufacturer or other, making claims of excellence. We look at every air rifle that comes our way and most of them are either crap, over-priced or are not supported by a bona-fide company that will still be around when they eventually arrive here. As I look into new air rifle models I will keep adding them to the top of this article, so expect to see this article on top of the”Latest News” section for some time to come.

I mention  the Huben PCP air rifle further into this article, well for those of you who keep calling, we have them in Hong Kong ready to ship. They are waiting on a permit from the Chinese Government to ship them to us, once that happens they will come over air freight. Once they get here, expect to see a Slider mentioning it when you load this site. I will also do extensive testing on these beasts that are shooting out to 220 metres using slugs and H&N Pile-drivers. This is taking the PCP air rifle into new territory. Interesting…

Mark IV High Pressure Compressors.

The 1st batch of Mark IV High Pressure Compressors have arrived for those of you who have a PCP air rifle that you are filling with a hand pump. These PCP air rifle compressors have been built to our specification and come with 2 high pressure whip leads and a larger filter. The 2 whip leads allow you to fit the filter in-between them so you have hose to spare, thus making connection to your air rifle easier. The 2 issues I had with our past HP compressors was that the filter is too small (so it requires more maintenance) and the whip lead to short, meaning with some air rifle models, you had to lay them down to fill them. Not now, the compressors come with  2 leads and a larger filter for better water trapment.

Mark IV Compressor Right Side facing

Mark IV Right Side facing

Mark IV Scopes and Rings.

We are expecting our stock order on Mark IV air rifle scopes and rings to arrive any day now. These new scopes we signed them up at the Las Vegas Shot Show in January 2019. I am more than happy that they will fill a void that will allow us to package price air rifle models both effectively and economically. The scopes have a lifetime warranty.

We have one model specifically built for the spring air rifle fraternity and that is a 3-9×40 AO and comes with a compensated 1 piece scope mount.

Mark IV Accessories.

Other Mark IV accessories include some nicely packaged cleaning kits, Gun Bags, Gun Cases, 300 Bar Scuba Bottle Filling stations and the scope rings that I have already mentioned. We are totally committed to Package pricing new air rifle, scope and compressor packages and through bulk buying, we have managed to be able to reduce prices accordingly.

Air Rifle Pellets.

I have mentioned this previously but was unable to date the shipment. Well now we have a shipment of JSB pellets, currently in production as I write this and due to ship here mid June. The order is around 2 tonnes of JSB pellets.

We have an air rifle shipment from Air Arms that also includes a stock order of their pellets for those of you who keep calling us in search of them. The Daystate stock order is leaving the UK with Air Arms and we also have the Daystate marketed Kaiser pellets too.

From the USA we have air rifle pellets by Benjamin, Air Venturi and some other lesser known pellet manufacturers. From Europe we have some expensive custom made slugs in .22 and .25 to suit PCP air rifle owners that are still searching for that ‘special pellet’, well these could just be them.

Our new Bullpup stocks for Weihrauch HW100 air rifle enthusiasts are here as are the Benjamin Marauder Bullpup stocks in American Walnut. We can supply a bullpup kit for either the HW100 or the 2nd generation Marauders in American walnut complete with components. Alternatively, you can purchase a HW100 Bullpup or Marauder ready to go.

Air Rifle Technology.

Air Rifle technology has seen massive changes since 2010, when new manufacturers started entering the airgun arena in a bid to gain a foot-hold on this emerging sport that has taken off. With almost daily shootings somewhere in the developed world, the noose around gun owners tightens inch by inch. This push against firearm ownership is presently aimed at semi-automatics and big bore centre fire rifles if they even slightly resemble a military weapon.

At present they are leaving air rifle owners alone (to a degree) but guys, please do NOT get complacent about this. Our battle has yet to start as soon as some tree-hugger realises that, “hey, these air rifles are available up to .50 cal… we can’t have that…”. We need to support the Shooters and Fishers party if we want to keep our sport. I have had my rant so let’s continue…

Spring Air Rifle Technology.

Spring air rifles, or ‘springers’ as they are usually referred to, have advanced at a slower pace than Pre Charged Pneumatics (PCPs), but advance they have. The most significant advances have been in piston seals that have moved from leather to plastics over the years. Now we have piston seals if PTFE that are significantly more suited to high powered springers, with yet another seal referred to as a Vac Seal (by Vortek) that is getting popular.

Calibres that were once restricted to .177 and .22, now have .20, .25 and even .30 available to the spring air rifle customer. Power has increased to carry these heavier projectiles, some using heavier springs and others by using Gas Piston technology. The use of synthetics has seen the emergence of what some would call “way out there” looking stocks, claims of 1250 Fps etc, aimed I’m guessing at our young shooters just starting out.

The emergence of cheap spring air rifles from China, Russia, Turkey, Spain and Czechoslovakia has fuelled the demand for spares and aftermarket tuning kits that have now come to prominence. This has led to the arrival of businesses like V-Mach in the UK, Vortek and Maccari of the US, all of whom supply custom springs and seals to improve the performance of these under-performing spring air rifles.

Due to the overwhelming number of different springer manufacturers, spanning many years, Gunroom has found it uneconomical to do repairs and servicing of these springers as obtaining parts is a nightmare. Hence we now only work on what we sell or those guns that have been imported by Gunroom.

PCP Air Rifle Advancements.

PCP Air Rifles have seen the most advances, due in part to there being more parts and a more complex system of high-pressure valving. Daystate and Brocock started using an inertia hammer rather than the more conventional solid hammer used by other manufacturers.  They called it the Slingshot Hammer and it produces consistent pressure resulting in flat bow curves that translate to better accuracy.

Brocock Compatto air rifle Cut-away

Compatto Cut-away showing internals.

Then there is the introduction of electronics that has seen Daystate for example, produce a number of PCP air rifles that now have a computer that regulates the power and shot count. What is more, is that the system is proving very reliable with great shot consistency, accuracy and higher shot count.

The cost of Walnut has risen over the years as logging  has taken its toll of this tree that is sort after for rifle stocks and furniture etc. This has led to the use of coloured laminates that are cheaper, stiffer and provide an ideal stock building material. The use of laminates has seen most manufacturers using them in assorted colours and stock configurations. Even the conservative Weihrauch air rifle company has produced excellent laminates in both PCPs and spring air rifles.

Bantam Magnum laminated PCP air rifle

The Bantam Magnum laminated PCP air rifle

 

Prices of air rifles have dropped thanks to the introduction of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) that are responsible for mass production of extremely accurate machining together with 3D CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) advances of late. This in turn reduces the cost through ‘Economies of Scale’, and where a manufacturer also uses similar parts on each different air rifle model, this commonality of parts saves money. The Minelli Group in Italy make most of the air rifle stocks you see today as they too are heavily invested in expensive CNC Machines and CAD.

Another advance I think we will see more of in the near future is the hammerless PCP air rifle as seen in the Huben Bullpup. This reduction in moving parts reduces recoil and action movement, however slight, to almost zero. Expect to see more air rifle manufacturers jump on this bandwagon in the next year or two.

Huben hammerless PCP air rifle

Huben K1 hammerless PCP air rifle

Air Rifle Summary.

Finally air rifles are following military examples such as semi-Bullpups (Brocock for example) and full Bullpups such a Daystate’s Renegade and Pulsar. Other air rifle examples that are capturing customers imaginations are the Benjamin Armada and the Kral Puncher Armour, with both their tactical appearances heavily indebted to military concepts.

Benjamin Armada PCP air rifle

Benjamin Armada PCP air rifle

Another military influenced PCP air rifle, the Kral Puncher Armour.

Kral Puncher Armour Black PCP air rifle

Kral Puncher Armour Black Bullpup PCP air rifle

Go back just 15 or maybe 20 years and look at what was available in the air rifle marketplace then and the reader will immediately recognise the technology jump over the last few years. Think about that and just where will the air rifle be in say, another 5 years, given the speed of technology that is driven by demand and competition; that is providing we are still allowed to own an air rifle then…

Author

Ian McIntosh