Posts Tagged ‘airgun maintenance’

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

At the time of writing, there is a variety of upgrade possibilities available for the Diana Outlaw air rifle or soon will be…

Diana has taken a very enthusiast-friendly approach to their new regulated PCP air rifle. And you can benefit from it to make your Outlaw really your own. Some of these accessories are not available yet. However, check with AoA to find out the latest information on availability.

 

One. A Complete Manual For The Diana Outlaw.

Hard Air Magazine has produced a complete manual for the Outlaw that contains just about everything you want to know about your new air rifle. It’s available from Airguns of Arizona!

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

“Choosing and Shooting the Diana Outlaw” is a 94-page book full of useful information. It includes tips on filling, scope mounting and choosing pellets. In addition, the book covers maintenance and re-building details.

Now you will know what to do with all those tools and O rings that were included with your Outlaw!

 

Two. The Outlaw Enthusiast’s Kit

Precision Airgun Distribution – the US distributor of the Outlaw – has also developed an interesting upgrade kit for this air rifle.

The Diana Outlaw Enthusiast’s Kit comprises no less than 32 upgraded parts and tools. It allows the enthusiastic Outlaw owner to make a number of improvements to his/her gun. And all the information you need to use it are included in the “Choosing and Shooting the Diana Outlaw” book.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

All parts are higher quality replacements for those shipped on the gun. The screws and pins are all stainless steel and the O rings, US-made of VITON material. All parts are matched to original Diana Part Numbers for easy identification.

Using this kit you can…

– Upgrade the trigger and cocking lever pins. These precision-ground, oversize pins replace the factory parts and are much less likely to fall out by accident. The trigger pins also provide more consistent operation.

– Upgrade the stock bolt and other assembly screws throughout the gun with high quality stainless steel replacements for a more pleasing, professional appearance.

– Install a non-rotating cocking handle upgrade. Simply cut the rubber tube to length. This reduces double-loading problems caused by fingers slipping off of the cocking lever.

– Replace the barrel seal – two sets for each caliber are included. In addition, superior pointed, barrel adapter setscrews are provides, together with replacement barrel adapter O rings.

 

Three. Upgrade The Buttstock.

Diana plans to offer an alternative buttstock for the Outlaw. This stock is manufactured in Italy by Minelli and offers a more sophisticated design than the standard factory part. It will also be completely interchangeable, with no modifications required to fit it to the Outlaw’s action.

Diana’s replacement buttstock has a more rounded, flowing design. It’s stylish and offers possibilities for a more comfortable and consistent hold for the shooter.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

The rake of the stock’s wrist gives improved positioning the the trigger hand. The swelled, checkered forend will be easier and more comfortable to grasp, while the higher comb will give a better and more consistent cheek weld.

These are important benefits!

Anything that gives you a more comfortable shooting experience leads to greater consistency of positioning yourself against the gun every time you take a shot. And greater shot-to-shot consistency on your part increases the practical accuracy of your shooting. This can make a stock upgrade an important benefit for many shooters.

 

Four. Check Out The Trigger.

Many owners will be happy with the feel and operation of their Outlaw’s trigger.

However, a trigger upgrade is being developed by Diana and this will be regarded as a welcome improvement for owners using their gun for Field Target and other competitive shooting.

However Diana has designed a Match Trigger for the Outlaw. Again, this is a direct, drop-in replacement for the trigger that shipped with your Outlaw. It’s a significant difference!

Diana’s Match Trigger includes setscrew adjustments for both first and second stages of the trigger travel. These are the tiny setscrews visible just ahead of the trigger blade.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

Another adjustment possible with the Match Trigger is that it’s possible to move the trigger blade itself forwards or backwards. This provides flexibility for you to select the most comfortable and convenient trigger position. After all, we don’t all have fingers of the same length!

Adjusting the trigger blade position is a simple affair. Just use a thin-bladed standard screwdriver to slightly loosen the trigger blade. Adjust the position to your liking and re-tighten.

In testing, I found the Match Trigger to be a valuable improvement to the Diana Outlaw. The greater number of adjustments helped me tune trigger release exactly to my liking. It also provided a lower and more consistent pull weight.

 

Five. Add A Huma Regulator.

Understanding the Outlaw’s popularity, the Dutch regulator specialist company Huma has introduced an upgrade for the Outlaw’s regulator.

The Huma regulator is a high-precision assembly, made largely of stainless steel and brass. It provides you with the ability to adjust the regulator pressure of your Outlaw to match the requirements of you, or your favorite pellets, or both.

The factory regulator is pre-set at a pressure of between 130 and 150 Bar (1,880 to 2,170 PSI).

The Huma regulator upgrade comes pre-set at a pressure setting of 135 Bar (1,958 PSI). However, this setting can be changed easily and – unlike the factory part – the Huma regulator gives you a scale showing the different output pressures. Rotating a setscrew allows you to set a specific regulator output pressure.

Setting a higher regulator pressure will give you higher FPS and less consistent shots per fill. Within reason, of course.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

To install this forthcoming Huma regulator, you’ll find full details in the “Choosing and Using The Diana Outlaw” book, of course!

 

As you can see, there’s lots of ways you can have fun upgrading your Diana Outlaw air rifle. Have fun!

Whether you are simply maintaining your airgun by keeping the stock bolts tight, adjusting your sights or scope mounts, or diving in to do some serious airgun-smithing, you need to have tools appropriate to the job at hand. More to the point, tools that are designed to work on guns and the parts used in assembling air rifles and pistols.

U-Shaped Bolt

Notice the U-Shaped Channel

If you look close at stock screws on something like a Weihrauch HW95 rifle, you will notice that the slots for tightening/loosening are “U” shaped. And, if you look at a standard household flat screwdriver, you will notice that it is NOT! This means that using a common tool from the toolbox may get the job done, but it will likely scratch or mark your blued screw heads.

Household Screwdriver

Standard screwdrivers have a V-Shaped Tip

The Chapman Tool Kit solves this problem and many more. Complete with variety of Allen-head, Phillips and Square-Tip Flat screw driver tips, the Chapman Tool Kit is the best tool assortment assembled for airgun use! The come packaged in a durable, well organized case with a cool Desert Tan coloring, and includes a driver handle, extension bar, and a ratcheting handle.

Chapman Screwdriver Tip

Chapman Tool has a U-Shaped Tip. Perfect for Airgun Screws!

The Chapman 27-Pc Tool Kit is one of those “must have” items for any airgun collection!

Variety

Chapman Tool Kit has a variety of uses!

Before we get to today’s blog, and before you all pick up on AOA writing another entry, we need to make an announcement. Nearly seven years ago, we set out on a journey here on this very blog. At the helm was a highly qualified and keen spirited writer by the name of Jock Elliott. (Now before we press on, Jock is fine, and all is well.) Years break down to months, and months to weeks, and every week brought another great story, product review, announcement or the odd rant…every week…without fail. Jock is consistent that way, and for his efforts we should all be thankful. I know each of us at AOA could never express the thanks we have as the task of writing is not for the weak spirited, and the commitment to a weekly article would be difficult for anyone, and to do it with the grace and style ole Uncle Jock has would be near impossible. But alas, following several long and heartfelt conversations, Jock has requested to make his retirement a little more official, and without any hard feelings has stepped down from the weekly duties here. We could never allow him to get away completely, and we were able to tie him down with a less-formal commitment to jump in and share an article when possible. His first task, er…request by AOA will be to formally share his journey here and we ask that everyone chime in and give him the thanks he deserves. I don’t think he will stray too far, as his passion for airguns still burns strong!

Meanwhile, we have some new ideas, new articles, new techniques and even new writers lined up. Amazing how much it took to fill Jock’s well worn shoes! So stay tuned and let us know your comments as we continue on this awesome airgun journey! Now on to today’s blog…

 

For those of us who come from the firearm sport into airguns, or those who are just coming into shooting sports, there are many opinions and yet very little good information out there about maintaining airgun barrels. Powder burners are conditioned to spend a great deal of time addressing the barrel, where carbon build up and high heat make the barrel a nasty place! But airguns, on the other side of the coin, have no heat and no explosive reactions to overcome. So what to do about the barrel?

First off, put away your Hoppes #9 and any other cleaning fluid that works best in the firearm world! Oh, they’ll clean your airgun barrel as good or better, but the long term will result in total ruin of your seals and in case you didn’t know, an airgun of any type, without its seals, is a glorified paperweight! So unless you want to rebuild or pay someone else to rebuild your airgun, keep away from solvents that can harm o-rings or seals.

The same goes for big bristly brushes attached to steel rods. Unless you have a specific issue to attack, airguns don’t require abrasive action, so keep away from these things as well. It is not that the barrels are softer than firearms, but they often contain seals, or have seals nearby, and rubber or plastic does not hold up to even the softest touch by a wire brush!

So here we are, back where we started. How do you clean an airgun barrel, and is it even necessary?

Starting with the last question, the answer is yes. It is still necessary to maintain a clean barrel on an airgun. But you have to consider the fact that pellets leave behind little trace, so a clean barrel will remain so for a long time. Our rule of thumb here at Airguns of Arizona is that a new barrel will likely have remnants of oil and gunk from the manufacturing processes and storage procedures at the factories. This should be removed before use to achieve the best possible outcome in accuracy. But, once that is all gone, and the rifle is shooting well, we don’t recommend a schedule to keep with cleaning the bore. Like we tell many new and seasoned shooters, let the airgun tell you when it needs a good cleaning. If your accuracy is holding strong, leave it alone. When you start to see your groups widen and you know its not you or the conditions, by all means go straight to the barrel for cleaning and see if the problem goes away. Why, you might ask? Well, a mirror shine, ultra clean barrel may actually shoot worse than a slightly dirty one! It is quite common in our testing to clean a barrel and have the accuracy disappear. Then, after a handful of pellets have been run through the barrel, the accuracy snaps back in and you are back in the hunt. With lead pellets, there are no harmful chemicals in the barrel corroding the steel, so there is no issue with avoiding cleaning until necessary for accuracy.

Now on to how. We have grown fond of the simple pull through cleaning tool. Airguns range from break barrel spring guns with full access to the barrel from both sides, to tight breech and shrouded muzzle precharged pneumatics where accessing either side of the barrel can be tricky. This is where a cleaning tool like the Napier Pull-Thru shines!

NapierPullThru1

Napier Pull-Thru

Made of a strong cord with a loop on one end and a T-Handle on the other, the Napier Pull-Thru allows you to fish the device through the bore, add a patch/cleaning solution, and then pull it back through to remove the build up of lead and oils. The unit is sleeved by an outer rubber tube, and this gives the device some structure to allow it to slip down the bore. Once the patch is installed, you can pull gently to cinch the patch in the loop before pulling it back through.

When we say cleaning solution, we simply mean just that…cleaner/degreaser. Not harsh solvents needed. We offer the AOA Cleaner/Degreaser, but many use simple household cleaner as well. A couple drops on a patch, pulled through once or twice, followed by a couple dry patches, and you are all set.

What we like about the Napier Pull-Thu over the rest is two-fold. First is the strength of the components and the comfort of the handle. This unit is strong yet easy to use and does not pinch your hand when pulling patches. Next is the flexibility the unit has, which shines on a tight breech system like a precharged gun designed for magazine use. The Napier can be fished out the breech with ease, and a patch installed without trouble.

Patch loaded on a tight PCP breech.

Patch loaded on a tight PCP breech.

Hopefully this clears up the question about cleaning an airgun barrel. We know that many people have their opinion about what works best, and we respect that fact. In our experience, where ease of use and good yet fast results are needed, the Napier Pull-Thru gets our recommendation. The OTIS system comes in a close second, and for those special circumstances like we alluded to above, if you need the power of a rigid cleaning rod, look to the Dewey line as they are coated in a durable rubberized finish to protect your bore, and they pivot on smooth bearings to prevent harm to your fine airgun rifling.

**Teaser Alert…we have a new writer on board, and he will be kicking it off next week!**

Until Next Time,

Get Out and Shoot!

It is my heartfelt wish that you were very good this year, and Santa showed up with a Ho-Ho-Ho and a nice new air pistol or air rifle for you to enjoy.

So with that in mind, it seems proper to revisit the issue of cleaning and maintaining your newest airgun. Jared Clark of Airguns of Arizona was kind enough to share his expertise with me.

“The very first rule,” he says, “is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Virtually all of the precharged rifles and pistols and many of the springer rifles and pistols go out the door at www.airgunsofarizona.com having already been checked out by the expert staff there. They shoot the gun, chronograph it, and make sure that all is well before it is sent to you. By the time it gets to your door, it’s ready to shoot, so shoot your new gun and enjoy it!

Clark says, “With precharged guns, let the gun tell you when it needs to be cleaned. I have some guns with upwards of 10,000 pellets through them with no cleanings, but if I start to have accuracy problems, maybe it is time to clean the barrel.”

When it is time to clean the barrel, Clark recommends using a pull-through with a non-petroleum-based cleaner/degreaser on a patch. Run a couple of patches with the cleaner degreaser, then dry patches until you are getting mostly white cotton patches coming out the other side.

He says, “With really inexpensive springers, you might have some gunk in the barrel from the manufacturing process, so it doesn’t really hurt to clean, but most of the time you really don’t gain much.”

He adds, “Over time, make sure your precharged gun is holding air. Check the gauge to make sure everything is tight. In my experience, seals tend to last the longest when guns are used often.”

The big issue with springers is making sure that the stock screws are snug. Loose stock screws are the number one cause of accuracy problems in springers, according to Clark. It’s worthwhile to buy good tools like the Chapman gunsmithing kit for maintaining your airguns and tightening up those stock screws. If you are plagued by continually loosening stock screws, Clark recommends Vibratite for helping to keep them snug.

For springers over time, Clark recommends a drop or two of spring lube on the spring once a year.

He also recommends Napier VP90 as a basic treatment for the metal surfaces of any airgun that helps to seal them and prevent rust. It can be sprayed directly on the metal or sprayed on a cleaning cloth and wiped on.

Clark also flags a couple of things that airgunners should never do: don’t dry-fire springers and only dry-fire a precharged airgun when there is air in reservoir.

Finally, do not, under any circumstances, take your brand-new airgun apart. You will void the warranty and Airguns of Arizona will charge you a fee to put it back together.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock

 

Routine Maintenance

To be honest, the jury is still out on routine barrel cleaning for airguns. Many top-notch shooters only clean their barrels when they notice a decrease in accuracy. If you simply must clean your barrel regularly, do so at 500-round intervals, using a pull-through and a cleaner-degreaser.

With a springer, tighten the stock screws, wipe down the finish with a gun rag, and regularly apply a drop of lubricant to the cocking link and cocking slider. Most modern springers do NOT require chamber oil. Older guns with leather seals may benefit from a couple of drops of chamber oil every tin of pellets or so.

With a pneumatic, all you need to do is lubricate the bolt surface with synthetic gun oil and use your normal lube on your pellets, unless the manufacturer’s recommendations say differently.

With springers, store your gun uncocked and never discharge the gun without a pellet. Springers rely on the back pressure provided by the pellet to prevent the piston from slamming into the end of the cylinder and causing damage. If you absolutely must discharge a springer without a pellet, press the muzzle tightly against a phone book and then pull the trigger. On the other hand, pneumatics should be stored uncocked with air in them.

When is it Time to Send Your Gun to the Service Shop?

With precharged pneumatics, usually the only reason for sending a gun to the shop is a leak – you may have an inlet or exhaust valve or o-ring that is bad. The other cause for concern is deteriorating accuracy that isn’t cured by cleaning the barrel.

With spring-piston rifles, there are several symptoms that may suggest sending the gun to the shop: harsh firing behavior (after the gun is broken in), loss in accuracy, noise or increased effort on cocking, loss in velocity, or problems with consistency in velocity. The first thing you should do, however, is check and tighten the stock screws.

If the springer has been sitting around without being fired for a long time, the seals – particularly older synthetic seals – may deteriorate with age. As a result, if you have an old gun that hasn’t been shot and is behaving strangely, it may need to be resealed.

Supplies You‘ll Need to Maintain Your Airgun

Fortunately, the list of necessary equipment for airgun maintenance is short:

  • A quality toolkit, with gunsmith-style bits.
  • A quality cleaning kit with pull-through or coated rod, dictated by your type of rifle.
  • Some cleaner-degreaser.
  • Lubricant for the cocking linkage for springers.
  • Chamber oil for springers – but only if your gun absolutely requires it.
  • Lubricant for the bolt surface for pneumatics.
  • Pellet lube for pneumatics.

If you don’t already have these supplies, order them when you purchase your gun. Then you’ll be ready for many happy years of shooting.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

No matter whether your pride-and-joy is a springer or a precharged pneumatic, CO2 powered or a multi-stroke pneumatic, the very first thing you want to do –before you shoot it for the first time – is give the barrel a good cleaning. That’s because there may be greases and oils left in the barrel from the manufacturing process.

The best way is to use a flexible boresnake-style cleaner – a pull-through. Pull a patch with a cleaner-degreaser like Simple Green or AOA Cleaner/Degreaser through from the breech to muzzle, followed by several dry patches until the patches come through looking clean or almost clean. If you’re still getting a lot of dark stuff out of the barrel, run another patch with Simple Green, followed by more clean patches.

If you can’t use a pull-through, then use a synthetic coated rod. Never use an uncoated metal rod or metal brush in your airgun’s barrel – you can damage the rifling. (If you are cleaning the barrel of a springer that has been stored for a long time, you may have to use a nylon bristle brush and Beeman’s MP-5 oil to clear oil and grease that has congealed and dried.) [A special note to firearms shooters new to airguns: most of what you know about cleaning and maintaining firearms will do you no good when it comes to airguns. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.]

If your new air rifle is a springer, then the other thing that absolutely must do is to tighten the stock screws. These screws may have loosened in transport or because the wood of the stock has compressed or shrunk slightly. Whatever the reason, make sure that the stock screws are snug.

You won’t be wasting money if you invest in good tool kit with gunsmith-style bits. They will allow you to get better purchase on the screw heads in your airgun, so you can tighten them well without stripping the fastener heads or slipping and inadvertently causing damage to your rifle’s stock.

Loose stock screws can cause serious accuracy problems with spring-piston air rifles. In addition, there have been cases, involving high-power springers, in which very loose stock screws have been snapped by the gun’s recoil. So snug those screws down! It’s a good idea to check those screws every hundred rounds or so, particularly when your gun is new.

The other thing you’ll want to do with your springer is put a drop of lubricating oil on the pivot point of a break barrel or underlever air rifle. The factory may have done it, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure.

With a precharged pneumatic, once you have cleaned the barrel, it’s wise to cock the gun before your first fill (some guns will allow air to leak out the muzzle if you don’t). When you fill your precharged pneumatic, do so slowly – take about 30 seconds to fill the gun. Compressed air coming into the gun’s reservoir tends to heat the gun. If you simply open the valve full and allow compressed air to rush into the gun, you can heat the valve and may actually melt it.  Slow and easy is best.

With pneumatics, you’ll probably want to shoot pellets that are lubricated with pellet lube http://airgunsofarizona.com/Napier.html, unless the manufacturer says otherwise.

Breaking In

All airguns need to be broken in. Some require more shots than others, but the initial break in with all guns will be about 30-40 shots. During that time, particularly with springers, you may notice somewhat erratic firing behavior and accuracy, but that is to be expected. Complete serious break in will probably take a full tin of pellets to happen.

With springers, after 30-40 shots, clean the barrel again and check the stock screws. As you go through the rest of the tin of pellets, you’ll notice that the cocking will become easier and smoother; the trigger will smooth out; the gun will get quieter, and the vibration will settle down.

With pneumatics, the break in period is not as critical, but, like a springer, the barrel has to get seasoned as small pockets in the barrel are filled with lead. The trigger and hammer will smooth out; cocking will become easier and smoother; valves with operate with more freedom and faster; the regulator (if there is one) and the entire gun will become smoother and more consistent as you complete that first tin of pellets.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott