How To

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).

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.

RWS 34 – Perfect Hunter?

The RWS 34 (or RWS Model 34) from Germany is one of the most popular spring-piston rifles known today. Many air gun enthusiasts have one of these fine air guns in their possession and use it for plinking and fun shooting. However, many individuals miss out on the hunting uses this fine example of German engineering brings to the table. Many people consider the RWS 34 an heirloom and legacy that is passed from father to son and mother to daughter. View all RWS Model 34 airguns.

RWS Model 34 with a scope attached.

RWS Model 34 with a scope attached.

I have been shooting the RWS 34 for a number of years now, having owned one or two in the past. Air guns at my house tend to come and stay for awhile, then move on to another worthy owner who shows interest in it while I’m at the range or shooting with a group of friends. So when my new RWS showed up on the porch from Umarex, I decided to write a brief article on the hunting uses of the RWS Model 34.

RWS 34 Recommended Ammo & Field Usage

The RWS Model 34 leaning against a stump on my property, with a tin of Superdome pellets.

The RWS Model 34 leaning against a stump on my property, with a tin of Superdome pellets.

When you hunt with an air gun, you will find there are debates in the air gun world as to which caliber is best for different game. I consider the .22 the best all-around caliber if you are going to own just one air gun…but where’s the fun in that? As you hunt more often and learn the differences in the calibers and their effectiveness, you’ll find the ability of the shooter a bigger factor than the caliber of the air gun in question. The rifle I ordered was a .177 caliber, and I quickly opened up a tin of RWS Superdomes and began breaking in the gun.

I shoot a couple of hundred pellets through an air gun before worrying too much about velocity measurements and accuracy tests. New spring piston guns need a break-in period to allow the internal parts to start working smoothly together, so shooting a half-tin or more of pellets is a great way to allow those parts to mesh and start doing what they were designed to do at top efficiency. I also took a moment to run a swab or two down the barrel to remove the preservatives inside the barrel. With a clean bore and some ammo already sent down range, I was ready to do some hunting!

I own about 3 acres on the edge of town, with lots of old-growth trees filled with hollows. These hollows make excellent nesting sites for woodpeckers and bluebirds, two of my favorite birds to watch and enjoy. However, they are set upon by English sparrows and European starlings constantly, so I try to even the odds in the favor of the native species, and eliminate every sparrow and starling I can find. Stalking along the edge of my property, I was offered several shots at starlings and sparrows that were competing over hollows and cavities for nesting rights.

The first sparrow I caught was arguing with a relative of hers over who had the best roost on the bush they were in. The male sparrows were also hanging around, trying to catch the attention of the females. I shot the female first at 10 yards, and the rest flew up into a tree to figure out what was going on. At that point, a Superdome was sent precisely to one of the male sparrows, putting him down for the count. That’s a couple of English sparrows that won’t be arguing with my bluebirds this spring!

Next came the European starlings, airborne Vikings I call them. From the front porch, I harvested the first with an upward shot. When shooting up, be sure you can call your shots—shooting at elevated targets or targets lower than you can be tricky sometimes. You need to hold a little bit under what you might think for such shots. Starling #2 was a longer shot of about 30 yards as it was searching for food on the lawn. After the shot connected, the starlings just folded up and went to sleep..

The RWS 34 with four of the birds that it was able to take care of.

The RWS 34 with four of the birds that it was able to take care of.

The Superdome pellets from this pellet gun are both accurate and devastating on pests and small game as well. There is currently no open season for small game in Kentucky right now, so I had to limit my hunting to the avian pest species that you see in the picture. Each pest was a one-shot, one-kill example of the usefulness that the Model 34 can provide as a pest control tool and small game hunting rifle. But during the small game seasons, rabbits and squirrels fall to this combination quite often. In addition to my experience with the RWS Model 34, I was at the local police chief’s office recently, talking about pigeon control. He showed me the tool he uses for quiet and efficient removal of feral pigeons. Want to guess what it was? Yep, an RWS 34 in .177 caliber. He likes to use head shots, and finds the air gun very accurate and up to the job.

RWS 34 Accuracy

Just how accurate is the RWS 34? It’s funny you should ask. Now don’t think I’m crazy here, but unusual targets are a favorite of mine. I’ll sit 10 yards from a ripe fruit tree and pick off the wasps and yellow jackets that buzz around the tree if the rifle I am shooting is up to the task. So I want to show you a picture that you may or may not recognize right off.

RWS 34 - a fly's worst nightmare.

RWS 34 – a fly’s worst nightmare.

While waiting for another starling to come winging into range, I noticed a large housefly sitting on a cardboard box that was about 5 yards away. He was just sitting there in the sun, and I just couldn’t resist! I placed the sights on the fly, and at 5 yards left nothing but what you see in the picture.

Nothing but a splash left for any evidence that a fly ever sat there. Now that is accuracy! And that accuracy extends out to further ranges in proportion to the ability of the shooter. This is a well-made rifle that brings home the bacon when shooting pests and small game.

RWS 34 Family of Airguns

Click to view all RWS Model 34 airguns.  The page includes these RWS 34 items:

  • RWS 34 with or without Scope, .22 or .177
  • RWS 34 P with or without Scope, .22 or .177
  • RWS 34 Pro Compact .177
  • RWS 34 Meisterschutze Pro

by: Randall Mitchell

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.