Weirhrauch HW 100 T .22 PCP Air Rifle Lockdown maintenance

April 28, 2020 at 2:51 pm

The UK Government Lockdown continues and this week it was the turn of my Weihrauch HW T 100, .22 PCP air rifle for an inspection and oil up. This is the thumb hole model, which has an excellent pistol grip and perfect balance, which helps when bringing the rifle up to the eye. Mine weighs in at over ten pounds, 4.8 kilos with the scope, plus bipod, add the NiteSite combo to the scope and you are in physical workout territory. All that said, the HW100 is an extremely stable platform, that I prefer to fire prone, or rested.

This rifle is like having a Ferrari in the garage, that you use every day for work. It does the job it was designed to do and unlike the Ferrari, it does it time and time again with the absolute minimum of maintenance. The Weirhrauch had not been out of its bag for a year and yet the air pressure gauge was at the level when last used, shooting rabbits at night on a council cricket pitch. I had also remembered to switch the blue illuminated scope reticle to zero the last time out, so even that was ok.

Everything worked as expected, but I sprayed a few of the exposed working parts with Bisley Gun Oil just for good measure. Being right handed, the side lever cocking and loading mechanism on that side, lends itself to rapid multi shots, when prone, or rested.

The safety lever above, only activates after the rifle has been cocked and loaded, an instant way to spot check to see if there is a pellet up the spout or not.

The side lever pulled back in the cocking position, this area worthy of a spray of oil.

A view of the 14 pellet magazine, the thumb switch pushes the rotating pawl into position, making contact with the magazine and rotating it 1/14th of a revolution, when the cocking lever is pushed forward.

Drawing back the thumb switch, retracts the rotating pawl, allowing the magazine to be removed. This view shows the access point for the pellet and the location spring loaded ball, that aligns the magazine. The spring loaded exhaust valve sits in line with the barrel, the hammer, when released by the trigger, springing forward to push on the exhaust valve, allowing a measured amount of air out of the cylinder, through the transfer port behind the pellet, then out of the barrel. Also on the opposite side of the magazine opening, is a peg that guides the magazine down into its slot. Clever people, these Germans!

This image shows the rotating magazine pawl and the pellet probe in position. Another area for the oil spray.

When fired, the hammer springs through the magazine to tap the end of the exhaust release valve.

To be honest, the only maintenance that this rifle needs, when used in in average conditions, is a quick wipe over with an oily rag now and again, with storage in a warm dry place the optimum.

The internals of the Weirhrauch HW 100 are so finely balanced, that firing is vibrationless, the click from the hammer and a puff from the highly efficient silencer, the only signs of a pellet having been fired. With air already in the cylinder and the rifle rested, at twenty yards, I put a close group well within a 10 mm circle. For target shooting, or pest control on small vermin, this is the ideal weapon.

 

 

Webley Venom Viper .22 PCP Air Rifle Lockdown maintenance

April 22, 2020 at 2:33 pm

Unable to go shooting due to the UK government Lockdown, with time on my hands, I have taken the opportunity to look at my rifles and carry out overdue maintenance, this week taking the Webley Venom Viper .22 pneumatic precharged air rifle out of the gun safe.

The Webley Viper Venom is a precharged pneumatic legal limit air rifle in .22 calibre. This was one of the last rifles produced by Webley before going into receivership and in my opinion, one of the best made. It is basically a carbine version of the acclaimed Webley Raider, benefiting from a shorter Walther barrel, fitted with a silencing shroud. In use I found the silencing inefficient and modified the screwed in end cap on my lathe, to take a light weight plastic silencer. The report on firing is now inaudible beyond ten yards, which means more chance of a second shot. On one occasion, I had set out pigeon decoys, with sweet corn as bait to keep the birds on the ground and managed to shoot five from a down wind hide before they took flight. This did highlight one deficiency of the Viper, a two shot shuttle magazine, which had me frantically feeding pellets, having to take my eyes off the pigeons, while I reloaded the shuttle. An upgrade was available later, a ten shot rotary magazine, intended for the Raider, fitting straight in, but the original set up worked OK for me. What ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Viper had been stored unused for a few years since its last outing, night shooting rabbits at a lawn tennis club. The club played into the evening under flood lights until 9 pm, but by 10 pm the rabbits were out to play digging up the manicured lawns. The touch button torch was ideal for highlighting the bunnies in the half light, the add on silencer keeping the report down to a mere puff, while the Bisley Magnum 21 grain pellets knocked the rabbits over with head shots from this very accurate rifle.

At the time, the spring loaded two shot shuttle loading system was a handy innovation, the shuttle manually pushed over to the left side when cocking the rifle, having already loaded the right hand side. Firing the first shot released the shuttle for the left hand pellet to rest in position for the second shot, while cocking the rifle again, pushed the pellet probe forward to position the pellet ahead of the transfer port. In the dark and in a hurry to shoot more rabbits, reloading often proved to be a fumbled exercise, but after a few sessions, there were fewer rabbits around to get too hot and bothered about.

This view shows the shuttle on the right hand side. I was pleased to discover that after all this time the rifle was still full of air, a credit to the manufacturers, the carbine one of the last products of the Webley Custom Shop headed up by Steve Pope, before the world famous gun manufacturer collapsed into administration in 2005.

Being an engineer with my own workshop, I considered removing the shuttle and manufacturing my own rotary magazine system to fit the Venom Viper, but already owning the Career 707 .22 carbine, which has a proven ten shot magazine in place, I did not consider it a productive use of my precious time.

Although the Webley was brand new, when I bought it at a greatly reduced price, due to the collapse of the company, I could not stop myself from taking it apart, one of the things being to polish the hammer with 600 grade wet and dry, even though it made little difference to the power output, although a couple more washers added to those behind the hammer spring, did bring the rifle very close to the 12 ftlb legal limit. In this image you can see that I filed away the sharp edges to the cocking bolt guide, creating a small radius, which gave a much smoother motion, when pulling back to cock, then forward to load the pellet. Obviously this was done, when the hammer, spring and other innards were removed and all swarf cleaned away.

The silencer sleeve over the quality Walther barrel, is only filled with small diameter alluminium top hat spacers and the rifle has quite a crack when fired, so this was another area that I tackled at the time.

Unscrewing the rifle’s silencer sleeve end cap, I placed the cap in soft jaws on the lathe and bored a hole suitable for a 1/2 inch UNF tap, running the tap right through the cap. I then, on the lathe, drilled a 6.5 diameter hole through a 20 mm length of 1/2 inch UNF studding as a generous clearance for a .22 pellet. This drilled stud was then Loctited inside the threaded cap, with 12 mm protruding from the end, enough for the lightweight plastic silencer to be firmly attached.

At the end of my maintenance check there was little to do, the rifle was still full of air and apart from a few squirts of Bisley Gun Oil onto the hammer and the shuttle, plus a wipe over of the walnut stock with some thinned boiled linseed oil, that was it. A test firing over twenty yards, saw a four shot clover leaf pattern punched into a target.

The deadly accurate Webley Venom Viper and a head shot rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shin Sung Career 707 .22 Carbine PCP Air Rifle Lockdown maintenance

April 14, 2020 at 2:01 pm

Unable to go shooting due to the UK Government Covid-19 Lockdown rules, I continued my maintenance program with a stipdown of my Career 707 .22 PCP carbine. This rifle requires a Firearms Certificate, being rated at 28 ftlbs, and is the most powerful air rifle that I own and has given good service for 15 years, accounting for hundreds of rabbits in that time. All the seals were replaced, when I bought the rifle, the only one to fail being at the pressure gauge, which was easily accessed and replaced.

Firing H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme 19 grain pellets it has proved itself in situations where a .22 rimfire rifle would be dangerous to use, such as public parks and gardens. Being extremely accurate, it has a safe rabbit killing range beyond 40 yards, allowing for pellet drop.

My first check was to see if the Career was still holding air. It had been ok in September, when I had shot a rabbit in my brother in law’s vegetable garden, only needing a top up from the diving bottle. This time the pressure gauge on the under side of the lower air cylinder was showing empty, ideal for safety when working on any precharged  pneumatic weapon. Removing the magazine, I cocked and fired the rifle into the ground, there being only the sound the hammer striking the air valve and a weak puff of air from the muzzle.

A quick inspection of the rifle highlighted that three small screws were missing from the sight cover at the muzzle end of the barrel, being held on by the one remaining screw. This a classic example of regular use, taking the rifle out, only topping up the air, then putting it away again without checking it over. I have never needed to use the rifle over open sights anyway, it having an excellent Walther telescopic sight, which has a 3 x 9 magnification range through a 40 mm coated lens. The scope also benefits from an illuminated reticle for low light conditions and an adjustable paralax ideal for setting zero at extended ranges. A check of the illuminated reticule showed that a new battery was needed. I used the Career a lot in low light conditions after dusk in a public park and had forgotten to return the setting back to zero the last time that I had used it. Not for the first time I must add. A new CR2032 battery was fitted.

A recurring  problem that I had been living with, when using the Career, was the loosening of the butt section, due to the fixing nut unwinding due to the vibration on firing. During one evening session, when I shot about a dozen rabbits, the butt section had detached completely, forcing me to return home. It was obvious from my last tightening of the butt fixing nut, was that something had stripped. This was a prolem that I now intended to look at.

To undo the butt, the rubber bung at the rear has to be prised out with fine bladed screwdriver. To remove the fixing nut, which is deep inside the butt, a special tool is needed for this. I machined up a 20 mm diameter boss with two lugs, that locate in the fixing nut, which I attached to a length of 19 mm tubing. With a tommy bar at the other end, this works perfectly, but I am sure that the 19 mm tube with the lugs cut, or filed into end would work ok. I have a lathe and a small milling machine in my workshop, so it was just as easy to do a proper job.

With the nut and spring washer removed, the butt slides off the fixing tube. In my case the tube was only a tight finger fit, due to the end of the rifle end of the tube being partially stripped.

The start of the thread in the rifle was also worn, so chased down the worn thread on the fixing tube with an M15 x 1.0 mm pitch die, extending the thread by 6 mm, then turned off 6 mm of the worn thread, the above image before reducing the overall length. On reassembly I applied a spot of red Loctite to the end of the thread and tightened it back into the rifle with the tube gripped in a vice. It is now fixed solidly in place.

The next job was to check out the cocking and loading mechanism. First removing the two scope rail M4 csk srews, then the long M4 csk screw behind the rail. Using a hide mallet, the cover was tapped off upwards from the trigger end.

With the cover off, the full working of the mechanism is exposed, pivoting the under lever down pulls back the hammer and cocks the rifle. At the same time the lever in the above image draws back the pellet probe and the cam that controls the movement of the pellet feed block to the magazine.

The magazine is spring assisted, pushing the pellet forward into the hole exposed in the feed block, as it slides across from the firing position.

On the other side of the feed is the pellet stop, which has to be adjusted to suit the length of pellet used. The rifle was designed to be used with a 40 grain air bullet, now banned from sale in the UK, which took the maximum length setting. My original choice of pellet was the 21 grain Bisley Magnum pellet, which needed an adjustment for it’s shorter length, then going down to the shorter 19 grain H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme, another adjustment was necessary. Once set, only that pellet can be used. I once had   pellets in my pocket with an odd Bisley Magnum, being longer than the H&M, the Magnum stuck out of the feed block and was crushed, when the feed block was drawn back to the firing position, jamming the mechanism. Impossible to correct in the field, that was the end of my shooting session, needing to return home to strip and clear the mechanism of the crushed pellet.

This a top view of the cam plate pulled back in the feed position, the block has received the pellet from the spring loaded magazine and the rifle is cocked.

This the view from the other side, with the cam plate pushed for ward and the rifle ready to fire. The feed block has been drawn across by the cam into line with the barrel.

 

This is a view of the pellet probe and the feed block in position for firing with the cam plate removed.

With the feed block held in position by the cam, the final part of the loading operation pushes the pellet probe forward, through the feed block, then pushing the pellet ahead of the transfer port into the barrel.

The spring loaded hammer slides in a tube under the rigger mechanism, which is released, when the trigger is squeezed, speeding the hammer forward to make contact with the end of the air release valve, which in turn is pushed off its seat, releasing a measured blast of air, up through the transfer port behind the pellet, double O ring seals preventing loss of air back along the pellet probe, the pellet with nowhere to go, but down the barrel toward its target.

You will agree that it is an ingenious method for feeding pellets from a magazine, but it works every time.

After a generous spraying of the working parts with Bisley gun oil, the rifle was reassembled and the Walther telescopic sight refitted. An initial slow charging of the air cylinders from the diving bottle, produced a slight hiss of escaping air, but a quick turn of the bottle control valve, forced air in at pressure and the seals bedded down. All that was needed was to reset the sight zero at 30 yards on my garden range and the Career 707 was ready for use again, once the Lockdown is over.

CZ Relum Z 2 .177 springer air rifle Lockdown maintenence

April 10, 2020 at 10:07 am

The UK Goverment’s Lockdown came just as the warm spring weather arrived, giving me no chance of a spring clean up of rabbits on my permissions. With travel restricted and exercise limited to an hour a day away from my home, it has been a busy time sorting out my garden for the coming growing season and doing those “get round to it one day” jobs around the house.

Unable to go shooting, I have decided to start a maintenance program, by first checking out and oiling my air rifles, while giving the woodwork a going over with boiled linseed oil.

My first rifle on the list was the CZ Relum Z-2 .177 break barrel springer, that I have owned since brand new. It is over 50 years old, yet the barrel feels as smooth to lock into position as when new, with no sign of play anywhere. Some years later manufacture of an identical Relum, renamed the Telly, was switched to Hungary, where one hopes that the quality was maintained.

It still lives in an equally old gunslip, that I made at the time. Test firing the rifle to hand, put five pellets in a target board within a 20 mm circle at 15 yards. Not bad for an old springer. Ten years ago, I overhauled the mechanism, replacing the spring with a similar diameter OX spring and replacing the leather compression washer with a PTFE item. The result was transforming, with a test over a chronograph at well over the legal 12 ftlb limit, able to punch through 3/8 ply, well up on it’s previous life, but not legal in the UK.

My remedy was to put a steel mandrel through the centre of the New OX spring and grind the outside diameter against a grinding wheel, the friction of the wheel keeping the spring rotating, reducing the the diameter evenly along its length. I had to keep rebuilding the rifle and testing the speed of the pellet over the chronograph, the foot pound measurement being a calculation of the weight of the pellet against it’s speed over the chronograph as it leaves the muzzle when fired. The speed reduced as more of the spring was ground away, becoming a dab hand at removing the rifle end cap to release the spring each time, eventually stopping when a consistent figure of 11.6 ftlb was reached. Legal and powerful.

A VIEW OF THE REGROUND SPRING

In the past I had used the rifle on rats and squirrels at very close range, but it has come into its own again in recent years for popping off feral pigeons in a couple of barns. It is light weight, being easy to keep aloft, while being quick to cock and load. A shot anywhere in the upper breast brings the pigeons spinning to the floor.

The stripdown was just a case of removing three slotted screws and sliding out the rifle action from the wood work, which was treated with a light covering of boiled linseed oil applied with a muslin cloth, the oil thinned by placing the bottle in a saucepan of hot water for ten minutes. Hung on a hook in the workshop, it was touch dry the following day.

Removing the 6 mm main fixing bolt, I saw that it had sheered, probably due to the increased shock load on firing.

Rooting through my many metric screws in the various boxes on my workshop shelves, I found a 50 mm long x 6 mm countersunk allen screw, which I cut down in a vice to the original 40 mm length, making sure to screw a 6 mm nut onto the remaining length of thread before sawing. Being hardened, it knocked out a new blade, but after a quick grind of the cut end, then unscrewing the nut to reform the end of the screw, I was back in business. Being an allen headed CSK screw, I was able to tighten the main screw harder than the original slot head.

With the action exposed, it was easy to reach all the moving parts with my preferred Bisley Gun Oil aerosol spray and reassemble, ready for more accurate years of use.