Cheap Effective Cleaning
A cheap and effective pull-through for cleaning airguns can be made from a length of .080 weed wacker cord. The plastic cord will not harm the rifling or crown like a cleaning rod will. To make the pull-through you first cut your length and make sure to cut an angle on one end. This angle(point) is used to puncture a patch when cleaning. The other end is melted into a blob using a lighter. I heat up the end then
press it against a metal surface to create a flat pad on the end. Then I use a nail file to contour the pad into a size that will perfectly fit the guns bore. File the pad around it's perimeter and keep checking the fit in the
When all is completed, a patch is pierced with the sharp end of the cord and slid down to the pad. Then the sharp end is fed into the breach like a regular pull-through.
This type of pull-through can be fed into short breach areas where a regular unit cannot because of unflexible metal ends.
Todd Cooper (Ontario,Canada)
Accurizing Domestic Pumps and CO2 Guns
Many accuracy problems associated with domestically produced multi-pump pneumatic and CO2 guns can be traced to two areas. Due to the manufacturing process, particularly with guns that have the barrel soldered to the lower tubes, there are often burrs left where the transfer port enters the barrel. Another problem associated with the transfer port area is the sharp edge of the port itself. As you attempt to chamber a pellet the head tries to fall into the port. Of course it can't do that, but what can and often does happen is that the sharp edge shaves some lead off of the head as you force it past the hard spot. Burrs have the same effect, removing lead from one side of the pellet. Imbalanced pellets just don't shoot straight.
You can determine if this is happening with your gun both by 'feel' as you chamber a pellet and by pushing a pellet either all the way through or back out the breech and examining it under a strong light with a good magnifier.
The other problem area is in the crowning of the barrel. There have already been enough instructions published on the net for it to not be worthwhile to attempt to redo something that has been so well covered elsewhere. Suffice it to say that poor crowning is an all too common happenstance with domestic guns and a good recrown can often produce amazing improvements in accuracy.
To rectify transfer port problems I prefer to use a small ballend steel burr in a Dremel tool at very low speed. The smallest rechargeable Dremel on the market is an indispensable tool when working on guns for me. If I can access the transfer port with the ballend burr I use it to'break' the edge of the transfer port by grinding the sharp edge to a less aggressive profile that won't catch the pellet, but allow it to slide past without damage. It isn't possible to get a ballend burr into the port area on many guns so your only recourse in that case is to create a slotted rod or dowel that you can wrap with fine emory cloth or sandpaper. This should also be a follow-up step to the port clean-up with the Dremel. The bolt will have to be removed to use this method, but it's not too difficult with most guns. Before starting I recommend that you put a pellet, felt cleaning pellet, or even a wad of toilet paper in the barrel immediately in front of the throat to prevent grit from your polishing device from entering the barrel itself. Chuck your polishing tool into a drill that has a 'LOW' speed and polish the throat being very careful NOT to get into the rifling. It doesn't take much to
remove burrs so don't get too enthusiastic and actually enlarge the chamber. This part can even be done by hand and that might be a good idea for the Tim Allen, "More power" fans. After the job is finished push the 'dirt dam' back out thru the breech and use the gun itself to blow out any trash that might have hidden in the transfer port. Clean
out any remaining grit with an oiled patch followed by several dry ones.
That won't solve the sharp edge problem but that can be avoided to a large extent by chambering the pellet with the gun held upside down as the head of the pellet passes the port. This method can also be used as a test to see if a sharp-edged port is part of your problem. Shoot several groups this way, holding the gun upside down so the pellet
doesn't try to fall into the port as it passes. If you realize an improvement you will know how to fix it.
If you are not mechanically inclined please forget you ever saw this and send your gun to Tim McMurray or Craig Pitts for their skilled attention.
Tom @ Buzzard Bluff
Got Any Old Camping Mats?
When I first started air rifle shooting a few years ago I hit upon an idea that I would like to share. It's probably been thought of before but here goes! I was looking for a pellet holder, something that would not damage the pellets, and you could put it in your pocket.Graeme Burgess - from the UK
Get one of those foam camping mats.
Cut off a rectangle about the right size. Using a drill bit, I used a tapered bradle, make holes in the foam pad and push your pellets into them.
If you make the holes the right size they will sit in nicely, experiment.
To get them out bend the pad very gently and push from underneath.
You can make the holes slightly bigger than the pellet, the give in the foam holds the pellet in place.The thickness of the foam means that the pellet is fully protected. I've used it for ages, and it works a treat.
Gun and Place to Shoot
( This next posting is from a question on the Air Gun Forum. I felt it worthwhile to post here to help new people choose a good starter spring powered air gun)
John, you didn't specify what you want to shoot. If it's just plinking at cans, rocks, leaves, etc. then a .177 caliber would be less expensive to operate than a .22 caliber. If you want to hunt, however, you need more punch than you're apt to find in an inexpensive gun. In that case I would highly recommend a .22 cal. gun. In a gun of the same built-in power the ,22 will extract more useable energy downrange at the target.
You hint that you prefer a spring powered gun by mentioning break-barrel or side-lever. Let me assure you well up front that the old wive's tale of a fixed barrel gun being more accurate has long since been disproven. A well-made break-barrel is more accurate than the shooter will ever be so don't allow that to color your decision in any way. In the Chinese springers there are really only a couple that have the quality and performance you seek. These are the B-18 (break-barrel) in ,177 or .22 at a bit under your benchmark price and the B-21/22 (side-lever) in either caliber at a bit over your upper limit. For plinking only, the B-18 would be the gun of choice in .177. In .22 caliber the gun is capable of taking rabbit and squirrel out to 35-40 yds. depending entirely on your shooting excellence. The B-21/22 is a true magnum in weight as well as power. It is one of the heavier sporter airguns on the market and, as such, does not lend itself to duty as a plinking gun. It would, however, be a very good choice as a hunting gun, especially in the more efficient .22 caliber. Our British cousins, who are by law limited to guns of no more than 12 ft./lbs. of muzzle energy have a rule-of-thumb about caliber selection in hunting that experienced hunters have pretty much came to accept as valid, ".177 for feathers, .22 for fur."
If you are willing to consider a gun powered by other than a spring I can very highly recommend the QB-78 in both calibers. I firmly believe it represents the most accuracy per dollar that is available to today's airgunner. It is a modern copy, built in China, of the Crosman 160, a CO2 gun which was originally designed as a target gun, and is, argueably, more accurate than the original. It has achieved cult status in the airgunning community because of it's price, accuracy and almost infinite 'tuneability'. It is available for well under your target figure.
All of these guns are available at several different sellers but I can highly recommend doing business with the founder of this very forum, James Kitching of Fun Supply. His link can be found by scrolling back to the top of the page and you will find descriptions, commentary and pricing at his site. So far I've never heard anyone voice anything but complete satisfaction with Jame's service or satisfaction guarantee. That alone is high praise in my estimation.
As for a place to shoot, check with relatives, co-workers or fellow church members. If you are a stable, responsible person you should have no problem finding someone who will permit you to plink or hunt on their property.
Tom @ Buzzard Bluff