The Gunsmith’s Bench

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.

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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.

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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.

How To Fix Scope Parallax Issues

All gun scopes, such as those made by RWS and Walther, can experience parallax issues.

All gun scopes, such as those made by RWS and Walther, can experience parallax issues.

by: Glenn and Danny

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

Whenever we get into a discussion with someone about rifle scopes, inevitably the subject of parallax arises. Scope parallax confuses a lot of people, and there is a great deal of misunderstanding on the subject.

First things first; the term “parallax” is used to describe the difference in angles between objects that are seen up close and those seen far away. When you are driving and look at telephone poles pass by on the side of the road, those closest to your car seem to pass very fast, while the ones far away seem to go very slow. That difference is due to parallax.

The lens can focus the object in front of the reticle (in this case the retina of your eye) and cause parallax issues.

The lens can focus the object in front of the reticle (in this case the retina of your eye) and cause parallax issues.

In general, it is wise to keep the old phrase in mind, “The better you can see your sights and your target, the more accurately you will shoot.”  However, that phrase is only true as long as your sights are pointing in the same place from one shot to the next. Telescopic sights allow you to see much further distances, but they create new sighting problems with rifles that never were a problem in the old iron-sighting days.

A scope with parallax issues can wreak havoc on a person’s air rifle accuracy as well as sanity! We see this issue frustrate people to no end time and time again in our service and gunsmith departments. If you don’t know what’s going on and how to check for this problem then you could be wasting hours at the range trying to figure out what is causing the “accuracy” problem.

Many modern day airgun scopes have an adjustable objective (AO) feature, which is located at the forward end of the scope or the turret. There will be an adjustment ring with yardage numbers that can be rotated to coincide with the distance at which you are shooting.

If you are suspicious that there may be parallax issues with a scope then place the gun in a solid rest that totally supports the gun without you holding it. Place a target at a known distance and set the AO ring to coincide with that particular distance. Adjust the gun rest so that the crosshairs are centered on the bull’s-eye.

 

The AO yardage marks are visible on many scopes today.

The AO yardage marks are visible on many scopes today.

Adjust a gun while on a solid “hands free” rest to correct for parallax.

Now, move your head left and right about 1” in each direction. The crosshairs should remain centered on the bull’s-eye as you move your head left and right. If the crosshairs are wandering off the bull’s-eye then there is an issue with the parallax at that distance for that scope when you are shooting it.

It should be noted that distances marked on the scope are not necessarily written in stone. A person’s own optics of their eye comes in to play for a certain scope at a certain distance. Some scopes do not put markings on the scopes for this very reason, instead saying to use the test (above) to find the point of zero parallax error for each distance and then use a silver or white paint pen to mark the positions. If you do notice an issue with parallax on your gun, you can try rotating the AO incrementally to see if the parallax issue can be eliminated, and then noting the position that the AO is in for that distance. If you are unable to eliminate the parallax, then we suggest replacing the scope with another one.

Adjust a gun while on a solid "hands free" rest to correct for parallax.

Adjust a gun while on a solid “hands free” rest to correct for parallax.

The parallax issue is a critical one for hunters and target shooters. The crosshair remaining centered on the bull’s-eye when moving your head left and right is of utmost importance. The reason being…if you didn’t position your cheek at the exact same spot on the stock each time you are shooting then it would be like moving the rear sight, which of course changes your point of impact. By its very nature, parallax is more of an issue at close distances and becomes less of one the further out one aims. Because air rifles are usually aimed at much closer distances than firearms, parallax can be much more of an issue among air rifle shooters.

So, if you find yourself becoming increasingly frustrated with sighting in your rifle, look at parallax as an issue that might need to be eliminated.

 

 

 

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Pellet Selection for Rotary Mag Guns

Air pistols, such as the HK P30, use rotary magazines and require proper pellet selection to function well.

Air pistols, such as the HK P30, use rotary magazines and require proper pellet selection to function well.

by: Glenn and Danny

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

When it comes to proper pellet selection for Umarex airguns that use rotary magazines, we time and time again see people choosing the wrong pellets. At best, a wrong pellet will shoot inaccurately, and at worst it can damage the magazine or gun itself.

We recommend that airguns utilizing a rotary style magazine not be loaded with pointed pellets. This is because pointed pellets are typically longer in length than other styles of pellets, and if they protrude from within the dimension of the magazine then it will likely result in the gun not cycling properly. This is because the end of the pellet can “catch” and cause the gun to cycle improperly. Pointed pellets can also damage the internal hand that rotates the magazine, which leads to future problems with the gun mechanism being able to rotate the magazine to the next chamber when you try to shoot.

The tips of pointed pellets can protrude from rotary magazines, causing damage.

In general, if the tip of the pellet is slightly protruding it can make contact with the internal gun surface and create resistance thus not allowing the proper rotation of the magazine. Besides the possibility of causing internal damage to the gun, this situation can result in misalignment of the pellet with the bore and a normal discharge cannot take place.

Umarex 8 Round Rotary Mags work in the HK P30.  Click this image to view the mag page.

Umarex 8 Round Rotary Mags work in the HK P30. Click this image to view the mag page.

If the internal rotating hand is damaged then it will require repair by one of our highly trained gunsmiths. If you have a gun that utilizes this style magazine and it does not seem to be functioning properly, you can check the rotary magazine to see if it has any damaged teeth, which would prove this to be the case. The gun may cycle for several shots and then fail to discharge properly. If one of these teeth gets distorted and the gun cycles to that particular spot on the magazine you will experience problems. That magazine must be discarded to avoid damage to your gun. A high quality, well fitting pellet such as RWS German made pellets are suggested for optimum performance. The RWS Meisterkugeln, RWS Hobby, and RWS Superdome are superior pellet options for Umarex Airguns.

For an overview of the different types of pellets, see the How To Choose an Airgun Pellet article. For a comparison of hunting pellets, see the article, “Best Airgun Pellets for Hunting.