Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, December 26, 2005

Three types of airgun powerplants

by Tex Force

If you are new to airgunning, you may be confused by some of the terms, especially as they relate to how the guns work. This week, I will explain how the different airgun powerplants work, and I'll try to cover at least a few of the common terms.

Pneumatics came first!
We believe airguns were first made in the 16th century, though no examples that old have been found. The earliest air rifle mechanism known for certain is in the Danish Royal Museum. It has a date of 1604 on it, but it is advanced enough to make historians believe that something must have existed earlier.

A very common multi-pump pneumatic today is the Benjamin 392 (third rifle down on the page). An example of a single-stroke pneumatic is Daisy's Avanti 853 Legend (third rifle down on the page).

Three types of pneumatics
The three main pneumatics are: 1) the precharged, 2_ the multi-pump and 3) the single-stroke. The precharged is a gun that stores compressed air for one or more shots. The air is introduced by means of a separate pump or compressed air tank. This is the oldest type of pneumatic mechanism.

The multi-pump came next. This type uses several strokes of a built-in pump to charge the gun. Guns of this type are known to exist from as early as the 1700s.

The single-stroke is a pump-type pneumatic that uses only one pump stroke. If you try to put in a second pump, the first escapes. This type was first offered in the 1960s, making it the most recent.

Spring-air or spring-pistons were next!
This type of airgun does not store compressed air. Instead, the action of a spring powers something that compresses the air on the spot. The earliest type of spring-powered airgun is a bellows guns, where a flat spring rapidly closes a bellows and sends a puff of air up the barrel. You get the same result by rapidly closing a fireplace bellows! The earliest bellows guns are from around the year 1700.

The RWS 24 is a spring-piston air rifle. It isn't pumped, and it doesn't store compressed air. Instead, a powerful spring drives a piston to compress the air when the shot is fired.

Today, however, the most common kind of spring-piston airgun uses a piston with a tight-fitting seal to compress the air. A coiled steel mainspring shoves the piston forward, compressing the air in front of it as it goes. The first spring-piston guns were made in the 1840s. Spring-piston airguns have recoil, plus they have a current top power limit of around 35 foot-pounds.

Then came CO2
Carbon dioxide was first used to launch bullets in the 1870s. The first guns were made in France and were either 6mm or 8mm. The modern CO2 gun was invented by Crosman in the late 1930s. They had to wait until the end of World War II to hit the market. Some survival CO2 shotguns develop over 100 foot-pounds. CO2 develops around 900 psi at 70 degrees F.

Crosman's Nightstalker (second down on the page) is a CO2 rifle. It uses a large disposable cartridge (bottom of the page) that drives the pellet and cycles the semi-automatic action.

Other compressible gasses
Propane is used to power airsoft and now paintball guns. It's marketed as "green gas" and develops just over 100 psi at 70 degrees F. It's good for velocities in the 300 to 500 f.p.s. region but not much higher.

When you buy an airgun, give some thought to the powerplant it has. Each type has advantages and disadvantages - and dictates how the gun functions.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Clean your barrels for extra accuracy

by Tex Force

This week's topic is in response to a comment that came in last Saturday. It was posted to the RWS 34 blog. "Use a brass brush to clean my barrel! I'm new to air gunning but I know not to use a wire brush in my barrel!

If you have only inexpensive American airguns, that advice is good, because many American airguns have brass barrels. They should never be cleaned with a brass brush because it would scratch the bore as it passed through. In fact, you should probably never clean a brass airgun barrel at all! Airgun barrels don't get dirty from the same things as firearms. There is no combustion taking place, no lead melting from the heat of burning gasses nor is any lead being scraped off and ironed into the barrel metal. Any dust that settles in the bore of an airgun gets scraped out when the next pellet goes through. In a sense, airgun barrels take care of themselves.

Steel barrels are a different story
Steel airgun barrels are just as tough as rimfire barrels.
The big difference is the depth of the rifling. Airgun rifling is about half as deep as rimfire rifling. Steel barrels do collect lead if the gun shoots very fast. Anything over 1,000 feet per second, and you can be certain lead is being deposited in the barrel. And, if you use any Crosman pellet, including Crosman Premiers, that velocity gets lowered to 800 f.p.s., because Crosman uses antimony in their pellets to make them harder. Antimony make a lead alloy that sticks to steel.

How to get the lead out?
There is one best way to get the lead out of an airgun barrel.
This way is used by many of the top field target champions in England, and it will not harm the bore. Use J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound on a bore sized brass brush. Apply the compound thickly to the entire brush, then run the brush completely through the bore, starting at the breech if possible. If you do it from the muzzle, you'll have to take extra care to not allow the cleaning rod to touch the side of the muzzle. If it does, the compound will wear away the rifling at the muzzle, which can cause inaccuracy.

J-B Compound is the ticket for best accuracy from a steel airgun barrel.

How many times to run the rod through? I could give you a number like 25, but what I do is feel how the rod binds and gets loose as it passes through the bore. That's the lead grabbing the brush. When that feeling goes away, I give about 10 more passes for good measure. The only spot that should still grab the brush is a two-inch length at the muzzle where the choke is. Better airgun barrels all have this spot, and it will never change.

Where do you get J-B Compound?
You can buy J-B Compound at better gun stores everywhere. Benchrest shooters use it in their rifles for the same reason. If you don't have a good gun store nearby, do a Google search to find hundreds of stores that sell it mailorder.

When the barrel is free from lead, you have to remove the J-B Compound.
Run several dry patches through the bore, and wipe the area around the breech and muzzle to get rid of all excess compound. When the bulk of it is gone, use a mild solvent or, better yet, a preservative gun oil on the next few patches. Alternate oily and dry patches until the patches start coming out clean. The rifle is now ready to shoot.

If you have a leaded barrel, this procedure will restore its accuracy. Don't do it more often than necessary, because any time you run a rod through a barrel there is a chance for wear at the muzzle.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Looking for a BB machinegun? Try a Drozd!

by Tex Force

If you're into fast action shooting and rapid fire, the Russian Drozd submachinegun is for you! This novel gun has an electrically powered firing mechanism, but uses CO2 gas to launch the projectile.

This BB submachinegun packs a lot of fun into a small package!

Here's how it works
The Drozd works like an electric airsoft gun, in that a motor controls the firing rate and the number of shots fired with every pull of the trigger. Although it shoots full-auto, it only does so for bursts of three or six shots - you pick the number. A switch controls how many shots you'll get with each pull of the trigger. In the single-shot mode, the gun works as a semi-automatic; in the burst mode, as a controlled-rate full-auto gun.

Shoot one, three or six shots with each pull of the trigger!

The electric motor is powered by six AA batteries which fit in the front of the gun under the barrel. Remember, these drive the electric motor that powers the feed mechanism - they have nothing to do with how fast each BB goes. That's determined by CO2!

You can select three rates of fire
Another switch controls the rate of fire, which means how fast the shots go off. It only affects the rate when the other switch is set to either a three- or six-round burst. The three rates are 300 shots per minute, 450 and 600.

Select 300, 450 or 600 shots per minute!

It has a rifled barrel!
You can use regular steel BBs in the Drozd, but Gamo lead balls or Beeman Perfect Rounds will shoot harder and group much tighter. That's because they fit the barrel better, so no gas gets past them. I've shot 1" groups at 20 yards with a Drozd when shooting carefully aimed shots in the semi-automatic mode.

If you get the gun, don't forget these!
First, you're going to need lots of good BBs, and Crosman BBs are among the best. I recommend getting the 6,000-count container (the one pictured on the web page), because, at the rate you'll go through them with the Drozd, they will last longest. And, don't forget to buy some Crosman CO2 Powerlets. I recommend the package of 25. They'll provide a lot of shooting, and the price is a lot better than buying them in packs of five.

It's a great Christmas gift
The Drozd is the airgun for shooters who like action-packed fun. It's a little loud for shooting indoors, and it's also very powerful. Wherever you do shoot it, make certain your BB trap or backstop will really stop the BBs. This gun will cut through a half-inch of plywood board in pretty short order. The great thing is that Compasseco has them in stock (at least they did when this post was published) and for a great price! This is a gun that's selling for $225 and above everywhere else.

Act quick if you want one for Christmas. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Super Christmas sale!

by Tex Force

First let me help some of you who are new to this site. It's hard to find everything from the home page. But, there's a site map that has a hot link at the bottom of the home page. Using it, you can find just about everything Compasseco has to offer. And boy, do they have a lot to offer today! All you have to do is follow the links in this blog and I will show you the best airgun deals of the Christmas season!

I received an email of a special Compasseco Christmas sale. All of you probably haven't signed up to get this, so I want to pass along these great deals here.

Starting with the Crosman Nightstalker
I covered the new Nightstalker on October 31. This Nightstalker (second gun down on the page) is the only affordable semiautomatic air rifle in the world! Crosman will not allow any discounting of the Nightstalker, but still, the closest semiauto pellet gun costs over $400.

Walther CP99 compact
Here is the realistic version of the new Walther CP 99 pocket pistol that James Bond used in his latest movie. This one features realistic recoil like the firearm. The normal price is $75.95, but the Christmas sale price is a low $59.95. These are door-buster prices that you aren't going to find anywhere else!

Want a Walther Nighthawk?
Walther's most popular pistol this year has been the Nighthawk (second gun down on page), which is loaded with accessories to resemble a tricked-out tactical combat pistol. Compasseco has a super-special deal on remanufactured guns that include everything (gun, compensator, hard case, dot sight) except the tactical flashlight. They are only $99.95, according to the email! Now a remanufactured gun will look new, but it has been returned to the factory (Crosman, in this case) for some reason. After repair and testing, the gun is sold as reconditioned, but it works just as good as new. And you can save a bundle! The Nighthawk is in such demand that I am surprised there can be any savings, but here it is.

Celebrating 40 years of the Crosman 760
Many boys and girls started in airguns with a Crosman 760. This versatile pump rifle can shoot either steel BBs or lead pellets, by virtue of a specially rifled barrel. It's very easy to pump - and, as the owners already know, quite accurate. To celebrate 40 successful years and over 7 MILLION made, Crosman has produced this special commemorative 760 with real wood stock and special colors. They only made 1,500 of these, so if you keep yours in good condition, it will appreciate in value over the years (keep the box and everything that comes with the gun, too). Only $79.95!

For those who want the very best: a precharged adult rifle under $300!
Can't believe your eyes? Neither could I. The BSA Tech Star is an even more powerful version of the BSA Hornet. Compasseco had this rifle made especially for them. And they initially priced it at a very low $435, but for THIS SALE ONLY, they are dropping the price to just $299.95. The rifle develops 32 to 38 foot-pounds in .22 caliber and will take any small game suitable for airgun hunting. It has a BSA barrel, which is the recognized industry leader. Other big-name airgun makers use BSA barrels in rifles that cost two and three times what you will pay for this one.

The email says the sale is good until December 22. With holiday shipping being much slower, I would order today to ensure delivery on time. Remember - tell them you saw these things in the December 3rd Christmas sale email or in this blog!