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Airgun Maintenance


A modern spring-piston air rifle or air pistol will deliver its maximum shooting potential and remain trouble-free for an unusually long period of time if properly lubricated and cleaned. Ignoring this will inevitably lead to wear, power, accuracy loss and ultimate breakdown. Improper/over lubrication can cause damage to the gun and possible injury to the shooter and bystanders. 

Here are the BASIC POINTS:

The COMPRESSION CHAMBER is that portion of the receiver where actual air compression takes place when the piston moves forward in shooting. The piston seal in most modern air guns is  made of a synthetic material that is self lubricating.  It should only be lubricated during routine maintenance performed by an authorized service shop.

Recoilless spring-piston airguns such as FWB 300S and 65, also require very little lubrication, that should only be performed during routine maintenance. Do not over lube. Use all lubes sparingly and as directed.

MAINSPRINGS are the storehouses of the energy provided by cocking the air gun. To expand smoothly with as little friction and vibration as possible, they should be lubricated only infrequently. The mainspring is housed in the spring cylinder, which is a polished cylinder containing the piston, the mainspring, and the spring guide shaft. All metal mainsprings eventually have some cant; therefore, the polish and lubrication of all surfaces here is critical for maximum performance. Velocity and smoothness can be somewhat increased by simple, but careful, treatment.  Add Beeman Metal-2-Metal paste (99130) with a cotton swab through the long slot in the receiver which is exposed directly or when the stock is removed.

The mainsprings of recoilless guns need only light, infrequent lubrication; this lubrication should be done by an authorized service shop. Recoilless guns receiving extensive use in competition should be shop serviced once a year.

Regular recoiling spring-piston airguns will benefit greatly from an initial application of Beeman Metal-2-Metal (99130); it provides dry lubrication and smooths the metal. It is of special value when burnished onto a clean mainspring and onto the inside walls of the spring cylinder after disassembly and cleaning by those skilled in airgun service. The Beeman RX series guns use air as a mainspring. For the RX series, use Beeman Metal-2-Metal when inside the power unit, as directed.

COCKING LEVER LINKAGES receive considerable pressure; proper lubrication insures smooth operation and minimum wear. Moly is also useful in such areas as the sliding small link in the Beeman/Webley Tempest and Hurricane, and on rifle cocking linkages.

BARREL PIVOT POINTS and detents benefit from regular lubrication with a light polarizing oil. Remember, do not over-oil, and keep low flash point oils away from air vent and breech seal. Moly is good here.

TRIGGER MECHANISMS in any airgun should only be serviced by an authorized service shop.

BORE CLEANING. Since airguns do not use powder or primers, cleaning is not necessary to prevent most rust; however, it is essential to good accuracy, use a product specifically designed for airguns such as Napier airgun oil.  Accuracy suffers badly due to caked grease residues blown into the bore from the compression chamber and from leading. Most accuracy complaints are the result of dirty bores--even though they may look clean! For storage, clean the bore and leave it with a light coating of Napier airgun oil.  After cleaning, follow with dry patches until no trace of oil is seen.  (Do NOT use regular firearm bore cleaners as they may injure seals and cause dieseling).  A few regular or cleaning pellets will have to be shot through a cleaned barrel before it can be expected to return to its "zero."

EXTERIOR SURFACES should be regularly wiped with a Silicone Cloth (#9400) to maintain the quality of the finish. Before any guns are stored, they should be given a good wiping with a very high-grade polarizing oil such as Beeman MP-5.

USE PROPER PELLETS! Use only high quality pellets to avoid harmful oils, abrasive material and gun-wrecking air blow-by. Precision adult airguns are intended for use only with lead shot or pellets; steel shot or darts generally injure rifled bores. Properly seated pellets should not show rubmarks on rear of skirt if breech is reopened prior to firing. Damaged, used, or unauthorized projectiles may be unsafe. Plastic jacketed projectiles may cause dangerous ricochet, excessive piston impact and excessive penetration.

Article reprinted from Beeman Precision Airgun Guide.