Re: Spring Powered Air Rifles

by Paul ⌂, Friday, September 04, 2020, 21:40 (20 days ago)

JT mentions the long drought on here so that got me to thinking about what I've been working on the past while. Air power rules here due to the tight restrictions on firearms. So far we've no power limits, the main problem is in importation which is done through a monopoly or what equates to such here, which drives prices up.

BUT if one is patient, it's amazing what comes available. A while back I got to cogitating on a 25 caliber spring powered rifle. We don't hunt (in fact, they just outlawed all hunting here) and there are no "shooting games" designed for a spring powered 25 caliber rifle - but sometimes one needs something just for the "fun factor". And there's something about a 500-600 FPS 25 caliber pellet that makes such a device highly entertaining. The impact on the swingers is obviously different from that of the smaller calibers.

While perusing our equivalent of fleabay my attention was called to a Hatsan Striker 1000X - that is still being advertised at prices from a couple years ago, despite the fact that the dollar has gone way up and most other vendors have marked up their stock accordingly. I put my Ruger Airhawk on the block and it sold to a promising young man who is interested in getting his feet wet in the Field Target game, so the funds were available. An order was placed and the rifle arrived in due time (pretty quickly, considering the restrictions in place to to the current pandemic panic).

And here comes my observation about folks who are not oriented towards air rifles but see them as a poor substitute for firearms and have about as much knowledge of them as Aunt Mabel does of ANYTHING that shoots. If you take a low end air rifle and expect it to function perfectly out of the box, you're likely in for a surprise, disappointment and a desire to have nothing to do with the aforementioned low end rifle. I've played around with a number of rifles of the years and what I've come to realize is that they all pretty much need some tweaking out of the box.

First, if you don't have a chronograph - you need one to diagnose air rifles correctly. Most issues show up by running a few pellets over the chronograph and paying attention to the numbers.

The Striker 1000X that I took delivery of gave wildly erratic readings with the first pellets down the bore. It was over oiled and poorly lubricated and dieseled something terrible. So after the first few pellets I stripped it down. The seal on the front of the piston was poorly molded and there was grease where there shouldn't be and a host of other issues. After working the rough edges off the piston seal, polishing the spring ends, applying a light coat of grease to the right places, I was rewarded with single digit Standard Deviation with low quality Gamo Hunter pellets. Had so much fun messing with this (relatively) cheap rifle that I sold it that Saturday and ordered another that same day. But that one's for another off topic post.

Anyway, if you can get your hands on a Hatsan or Ruger or Crosman wood stocked, steel barrel, spring powered air rifle, odds are that with a bit of tweaking you too can get it up and shooting much better than you'd expect. Shucks, I've even managed to get a Chinese SPA LB600 to shooting single digit standard deviation, increased the muzzle velocity to close to what they claim it should be (they almost all fall WAY short of claims) and got it to shooting groups instead of MAYBE hitting the pellet trap at 30 feet. On increasing the velocity, it came from cutting the spring and then collapsing several coils. Most of those rifles are "over sprung" for the platform and generate less velocity than they are capable of with a more modest spring setup. It's counter intuitive as we tend to think that more spring means more power. Not necessarily so.

If you've made it thus far, congratulations! We now return you to our regular programming.:-D

Re: Spring Powered Air Rifles

by d.sikes, Friday, September 04, 2020, 23:05 (20 days ago) @ Paul

air guns have been a part of my life since I was a little kid back in the late 1950's... starting with "of course" a Red Rider lever BB gun... then about 40years ago I got a Benjamin pump air pistol in .22 ... cause I was being reassigned to Panama and wanted something since I couldn't take my guns down there... I lost that pistol somewhere along the way during a reassignment in 1990... always wanted another air gun ever since...

well this last year I wanted something I could shoot fairly quietly around the chicken coup and such ( I haven't been able to find any Aquila Colibri ammo ) so I scratched my itch and got not one but two air guns... I ordered a Retay 135X spring powered .22 rifle cause I wanted one in .22 and it was "rated" at about 900fps with 14gr .22 pellets... I also ordered a Umarex StrikePoint pump pistol in .22 cause I wanted something like my old Benjamin (couldn't find a Benjamin anywhere)...

to make a long story short... I have been quite pleased with both... my only complaints sofar have been that the Retay rifle is difficult to cock the spring... I have to break the action over my leg and then brace the but on my foot as I cock the barrel back... and the Umarex pistol is large and bulky whereas my old Benjamin (as I recall) was fairly compact and light... all in all, they do what they are advertized to do... tho as I find the Colibris, I tend to shoot those out of my .22lr rifle and handgun more than use the air guns since they are more convenient to load and are just as quiet as the air guns...

anyway... that's my 2 cents worth to this topic.

Re: Spring Powered Air Rifles

by Paul ⌂, Saturday, September 05, 2020, 07:56 (20 days ago) @ d.sikes

Don, have you looked at the Crosman 1322? It's not as nice as the old Benjamins were, but they are a fun gun to shoot as well. The main problem is one tends to start modifying them and before you know it you've got more in modifications in the gun than it cost you originally. :-D

Crosman 1322

by d.sikes, Sunday, September 06, 2020, 03:38 (19 days ago) @ Paul

yup... had one in .177 a long time ago... couldn't find one in .22 so I got the Umarex

Re: Spring Powered Air Rifles

by jgt, Saturday, September 05, 2020, 07:46 (20 days ago) @ Paul

Boy, too bad Kuhnhausen doesn't have a manual on air guns. Dummies like me could learn a lot from such publications.

Re: Spring Powered Air Rifles

by Paul ⌂, Saturday, September 05, 2020, 07:55 (20 days ago) @ jgt

Most of them are not that complicated, in fact some are downright simple. An old Diana or one of the B series sold for $20-50 bucks years ago are VERY simple. The main thing is to ensure your main spring is controlled. I used a bar clamp for years until I managed to snag a good spring compressor from DVOR. Even these Hatsans I've been playing with recently are fairly simple. Apply pressure to the rear cap to allow the pin to slide out, release the spring bit by bit (you need to start with the bar clamp's jaw as extended as possible to allow for the spring to decompress as you withdraw it) There's a few places around the 'net with info on them, but as you noted, there's no (to the best of my knowledge) reputed book on working on them available. The Brits love their air rifles. There's The Airgunner's Shed, a forum dedicated to "fettling" air rifles, where one can get some invaluable advice on spring powered airguns. Thanks to their input I was able to restore an old Cometa 300 (same as the RWS 93) to nearly 12 FPE.


by sixgunner, Saturday, September 05, 2020, 11:23 (19 days ago) @ Paul

Been shooting my Beeman this morning. Has a variable scope and is quite accurate.


by sixgunner, Saturday, September 05, 2020, 11:27 (19 days ago) @ sixgunner



by Paul ⌂, Saturday, September 05, 2020, 15:18 (19 days ago) @ sixgunner

What caliber? Beeman brought in some excellent rifles back in the day. Some of their current items are not up to the old standards (thinking of the Chinese sourced ones). Boy would I love to get my hands on an older R1 in 5.5 mm.


by sixgunner, Saturday, September 05, 2020, 16:49 (19 days ago) @ Paul



by uncowboy, Wednesday, September 09, 2020, 13:25 (15 days ago) @ Paul

I have the R10 in 5mm and 177 cal filled a pickup with game


by bj @, Sunday, September 06, 2020, 20:34 (18 days ago) @ sixgunner

Is the Bushnell made for airguns? Some scopes don't last very long on springers.

I had a Bushnell 4X32 AO on

by Paul ⌂, Sunday, September 06, 2020, 20:52 (18 days ago) @ bj

the Haenel 303 Super that Rich Hoch gave me. Worked great, but eventually I sent it on down the road and replaced it with a Hawke 4x32 AO scope with mil-dots, I like the multiple aiming points on an air rifle.

I've had good luck with UTG/Leapers scopes on even heavy recoiling air rifles. They seem to be well up to the task. Their 3-12X44 SWAT scope with the etched glass reticle is one of my favorites and their 6-24X56 SWAT is my current FT scope so it's on a 12 FPE rifle and has stood up fine, don't know how it would do on a heavier recoiling one. There's a fellow on the Gateway To Airguns forum that is running a series of tests on a nitro-piston rifle to see what the recoil impulse is and how it affects scopes. A bit more technical than I care for, but am following to see if he comes up with useful "man on the street" level of information once he's done.

Mods to air pistols

by stonewalrus, Monday, September 07, 2020, 15:57 (17 days ago) @ Paul

I bought a Umarex 177 pump pistol with a built in suppressor. Problem is the sights are awful and it isn’t set up for anything else. It may not work but I am going to try jb weld to put on a rail and try a red dot I have handy.

Mods to air pistols

by d.sikes, Monday, September 07, 2020, 17:09 (17 days ago) @ stonewalrus

let us know how that turns out... sounds like you have the .177 version on what I have.. I got the Umarex StrikePoint pump pistol in .22

I really wanted the 22 version but got tired of

by stonewalrus, Tuesday, September 08, 2020, 10:21 (16 days ago) @ d.sikes

Waiting on the backordered.

Mods to air pistols

by stonewalrus, Saturday, September 12, 2020, 09:06 (13 days ago) @ d.sikes

Works very well at about 15 yards. The Tasco red dot was spot on without adjustment - lucked out. I have only shot about a dozen times so don’t know how well it will hold up yet. Bought a polymer rail set, used the longest rail thinking it would have a better purchase on the pistol. Having trouble with a picture but I will try to get one uploaded.


by stonewalrus, Saturday, September 12, 2020, 09:09 (13 days ago) @ stonewalrus


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