Airgun Maintenance

9 Quick Tips for Airguns Everyone Should Know

1. Do not dry fire spring air guns.
Do not fire your spring-powered air rifle or pistol without a pellet or two felt cleaning pellets in the chamber.

2. Do not over-adjust the trigger.
Over-adjusting could render the air gun inoperable.

3. Clean the bore of your air guns.
Get more spring airgun maintenance tips.

4. Use the correct lubrication on your air guns.
WD40 and 3-in-1 oils are NOT suitable.  Use RWS lubes or similar high grade lubricants designed for air guns.

5. Always check for loose screws and parts before, during, and after shooting.
This ensures consistent performance and is a good practice for any mechanical system.

6. Always place one drop of airgun oil on the tip of the CO2 capsule before installing.
Click here to see more tips about using CO2 with airguns.

7. When using Rotary Magazines with Umarex pistols, make sure the pellet is seated properly.
Do not use conical (pointed) pellets. Pellets should not stick out past the rotary magazine’s surface.

8. Hold spring air rifles loosely.
Holding a spring air rifle too tightly will reduce accuracy and could damage the gun.

9. Don’t be forceful when returning cocking levers to their closed position.
Forcing a lever closed will bend the cocking lever. Under- and side-lever air rifles have a release button.

How to Change the Pull Rod on RWS Rifles

This article is specific to the RWS 48, 52, and 54.

RWS Diagram

RWS Diagram

The pull rod (27) on a side cocking air rifle is designed to be the weaker link in the cocking system. This is by design as the pull rod is easier to replace than other cocking components and is also less expensive. The pull rod should never break if the gun is operated as designed. However, if a person unfamiliar with the proper function does cock the rifle and then fails to depress the release button on the top left of gun when attempting to close the cocking handle, then the pull rod will be either bent or broken.

Here is how you change pull rod:

  1. Remove the e-clip (64) from the bottom of the pull rod pin (63) and then remove pull rod pin.
  2. Unscrew the pull rod (27) from the front hinge assembly (29-31).
  3. Remove the plastic sleeve (28) from the broken pull rod. If you try to pull it off, it sometimes tightens down and stubbornly resists being removed. The trick is to clamp the stub of the pull rod in a vise. Then, using pliers get between the plastic sleeve and the vise jaws and PUSH the sleeve off of the rod.
  4. Thread the new pull rod (27) fully into the front hinge assembly (29-31) until it bottoms out.
  5. Slide the plastic sleeve (28) over the new pull rod.
  6. Thread on the jam nut (26) and run it up to the end of the plastic sleeve.
  7. Thread on the rear hinge block (25).
  8. Place the rifle on a padded surface in a normal horizontal position.
  9. Position the Cocking Arm (59) so that the grip (58) end of Cocking Arm is in a partially opened position about 3” out from the stock of the rifle.
  10. Screw the rear hinge block (25) on or off of the pull rod until the holes of hinge block line up with the pin holes on the cocking arm (59).
  11. Drop the pin (63) in place. Now the pull rod assembly is just a little over-long. As you push the cocking arm closed it should snap lightly into place alongside of the stock. The rear hinge block (25) is the adjustment point to either increase or decrease the tension on closing the cocking arm. You can adjust the tension by making ½ turn adjustments on the hinge block.
  12. Replace the e-clip (64) and tighten the jam nut (26) up against the hinge block (25).

Don’t Bend Your Break Barrel Rifle

Break barrel rifle barrels can become noticeably bent if proper care is not taken.

Break barrel rifle barrels can become noticeably bent if proper care is not taken.

The Umarex USA Service Department typically receives one or two break barrel rifles per week that have upward bent barrels. At first, this might seem like a strange phenomenon. After all, to cock a break barrel rifle, one typically has to pull down on the barrel of the gun, not up. Why, then, would we see so many upward bent barrels?

This upward bending of the barrel occurs when a person has the gun in an open cocked position, safety OFF, and then pulls the trigger. The result of this situation is that the barrel slams shut with extreme force and bends the barrel upwards. After this occurs, the gun may or may not cock depending on what sort of internal damage has occurred. When this situation happens, we suggest not firing the gun again until it has been evaluated by our qualified gunsmiths to see how the problem might be fixed.

The rifle most likely will not be able to be sighted in due to the barrel pointing in a slightly upwards direction. Many times the trigger tongue will be broken and the stock may be cracked at the pistol grip area when the rifle has been discharged in this way. In most situations, our gunsmith can disassemble the rifle and adjust the barrel back to its original position with the use of our barrel press. The barrel press is an extremely large, heavy press that exerts a tremendous amount of force on the barrel to straighten it out. The press itself is a fundamental tool to any quality gunsmith.

The barrel of the rifle is straightened by a gun tech on a barrel press.

The barrel of the rifle is straightened by a gun tech on a barrel press.

The rifle is reassembled and test fired after the barrel is straightened.

After the barrel is adjusted to once again be straight, the rifle is reassembled by our gun techs, and then it goes directly to our shooting range to fire several pellets in order to ensure it will properly sight in. We do initial testing on the gun range and sight the rifle in to be accurate. After the rifle’s quality has been ensured, we take care to properly clean and service the other aspects of the rifle before returning the gun to its rightful owner.

To prevent this situation from ever occurring to you, please always practice safe gun handling, making certain that the gun is on Safe and your finger is not within the trigger guard area until a safe target has been acquired. Only after a target has been sighted should the gun’s safety be moved to the fire position and your trigger finger placed inside the trigger guard area. Following these steps will ensure that your gun is never damaged and no one is injured in the process.

The rifle is reassembled and test fired after the barrel is straightened.

The rifle is reassembled and test fired after the barrel is straightened.

We can be reached between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM CDT. Please feel free to call us any time at (479) 646-4210 option 7 if you have a question about one of our products or send us an email via our contact us page.

Click The Gunsmith’s Bench for more articles or click the category on the right column.

Introduction to the Gunsmith’s Bench

by: Glenn

Editor’s Note: This articles comes directly from gunsmiths who work at Umarex USA.

Have you ever shipped a gun to a manufacturer for service?

It’s easy to overlook basic common sense and gun handling rules when you’re anxious to get your gun back in working order. Many of you will appreciate the “alarm” among our service team when last month we received a package containing a rimfire rifle with a live round in the chamber. Yes, it actually happened. Calls were made immediately, apologies were given, but what was done was done. Thankfully, no one was injured as the gun passed many hands during its travel. Can you imagine how many people were put in harm’s way or who may have been injured if the gun had accidentally discharged?

That aside, here’s a quick glimpse of our service department:

When you first call Umarex USA for service you’ll reach one of our gun techs who will provide you with technical assistance as needed. They are well trained professionals who pride themselves in making certain that you receive prompt, courteous and knowledgeable service. They have gun schematics digitally available at the click of a mouse for quick reference and utilize a state-of-the-art phone system that allows us to monitor and measure phone traffic and response. We know that you want a live person when you call, so we monitor our statistics—in fact, we achieved a 96.4% live answer rate during the month of August which we feel is quite exceptional.

If you have to ship a gun to us, a gun tech will provide you with a return authorization number and it will be opened in our new gun repair facility led by our Master Gunsmith, Danny. He’s approaching 40 years of gunsmithing experience and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge over a lifetime of honing his skills. Our entire team of gunsmiths are steadily expanding their own knowledge encouraged by Danny’s true passion for gunsmithing and his encyclopedia-like knowledge base on guns.

Expert and efficient assistance and repairs are top priority for us. Our entire service team takes great pride in performing quality work. Our turnaround time for a gun repair is 72 hours with most being completed within 48 hours of receipt. We receive many positive comments about our turn time and appreciate each one as we learn that they anticipated a wait of six to eight weeks which is typical for most gun repair facilities.

We can be reached between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM CDT. Please feel free to call us any time at (479) 646-4210 option 7 if you have a question about one of our products or send us an email via our contact us page.

And remember, if you ship a gun to us, make sure there is no ammunition anywhere in the gun or in the package and it’s a good idea to remove any sighting devices as well.

Click The Gunsmith’s Bench for more articles or click the category on the right column.

Dieseling Air Rifles

by: Glenn and Danny

Editor’s Note: This articles comes directly from gunsmiths who work at Umarex USA.

The mainspring of a rifle that broke due to heavy dieseling.

The mainspring of a rifle that broke due to heavy dieseling.

Have you noticed smoke coming out of the barrel or breech of an air rifle or an unusually loud shot? Dieseling is the ignition of a fuel resulting from the heat generated by the compression of air in a cylinder. When the air within a spring-piston airgun’s receiver tube is compressed, the temperature of the air rises to a very high level, igniting the tiny oil droplets that lubricate the piston seal and walls of the compression chamber. Thus, a combustion and sometimes detonation can result.

Dieseling in an air rifle is natural due to the lubrication required for smooth operation, but too much lubrication can be damaging to your airgun, and may even result in injury to you or others. This is why we stress you follow the RWS recommended air rifle 1000 shot maintenance schedule (also see 100 shot schedule) and specified amount of lubrication for all of your air rifles.

A carbon mainspring with heavy buildup and damage caused by dieseling.

A carbon mainspring with heavy buildup and damage caused by dieseling.

The accompanying picture of a broken spring is an example of what may happen if you over-lubricate your air rifle. The excessive amounts of oil can detonate, creating a powerful force within the receiver tube that violently slams the piston into the spring. When conditions are right, or rather wrong in this case, the force can cause the internal spring to break, rendering the rifle unusable.

The same thing can happen if you use the wrong type of lubricant. You should avoid using petroleum-based lubricants in your air rifle. These lubes are more prone to combustion and some formulas are known to deteriorate the piston’s seal.

While a broken spring due to over-lubricating is one of the worst things you can do to your spring-piston rifle, excessive dieseling can also lead to tears in the piston seal, which will cause a decrease in power and consequently, the velocity.

Many of the air rifles we receive for repair have been over-lubricated. We’ve seen this so often that it’s immediately recognizable, be it the black build-up of carbon on the piston seal, a torn seal, or a broken mainspring. We’ve even seen situations where excess oil has seeped out of the chamber and onto the stock.

Dieseling can cause heavy damage to the inside of an airgun if it is not controlled for.

Dieseling can cause heavy damage to the inside of an airgun if it is not controlled.

Dieseling can cause heavy damage to the inside of an airgun if it is not controlled.

To avoid dieseling, be sure to use non-petroleum based lubricants, like RWS Chamber Lube and Spring Cylinder Oil. Then, only apply the amount as specified in the gun’s manual or in the RWS recommended air rifle 1000 shot maintenance schedule (also see 100 shot schedule).

If you have an air rifle that has been over-lubed, or lubed with petroleum-based oil, the best and safest thing you can do is to contact us at Umarex USA. Ship the gun to us un-cocked and unloaded with the Return Authorization number we’ve provided. We have the specific decompression equipment necessary to disassemble and clean your air rifle and we’ll send it back to you shooting like new.