Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Best Bits of Two Relums to Make The Tornado

Having passed on the Norica Quick to a friend i was left with the one underlever, that one being the old Relum Tornado. This one fired pellets well enough but was a bugger to cock, and seeing as i had a Relum Telly with no stock lying around i would strip both to fix up the Tornado. As all Relums have pretty much the same power plant and trigger assembly, i figured i could make a decent air rifle out of the two of them.
 Action and stock

 Taking the stock off the Tornado was just a matter of two flat head screws on the fore stock and the front flat head on the trigger guard, though i had to screw the sear adjustment screw right in as it's in the center of the trigger guard screw.
Front trigger guard screw with sear adjustment screw in side that

Unscrewing cocking linkage from the under lever cocking arm.
 Unscrewing the cocking linkage from the breech block and pushing it back to the circular hole on the spring cylinder was easy, however it does need to be gently prized out as the linkage is held against the cylinder by a strip of spring steel. This is because the cocking linkage is articulated, which is handy as the linkage slot on the stock is shorter and makes for a sturdier stock all round.

Leaf spring holding the articulated cocking linkage against the piston cylinder, for stock screws also screw into the sides of the metal bridge
There is a bushing on the linkage to stop it scraping the metal on the cylinder, in this case it was in good nick. With the linkage removed i easily pushed the two pins holding the sear and trigger out and with the trigger spring put them to one side, it was then ready to be put in the spring compressor secured with parcel tape yet again.
Two inches of preload on the main spring.

I compressed the end cap in a smidgen and tapped out the securing pin and released the pressure, two inches of preload on two springs one within the other running concentricly came out.

Both inner and outer springs look okay.
 Both springs looked in pretty good condition if not a little compressed with age, there was no spring guide as the inner spring does this job.
Nylon piston seal replacing the original leather one.

 However the piston was a real bugger to remove and needed some real force at times, there was a nylon solid piston seal with a bit of metal showing on one side when it should have been a leather two piece inner and outer seal which is held on to the piston head by a metal rivet.
Relum Telly ready to come apart.
Some very worn springs indeed.

I put the Telly in the spring compresser and repeated the same procedure, this time there was a fairly healthy leather piston seal but both springs were buggered. Even the inner spring was to short or compressed and some plastic tube lid had been shoved in there to take up the slack, both springs were worn with bends on them.
Telly piston on the left with leather seal  for the Tornado, next to the original piston.

 So i decided the healthy springs from the tornado would go back in, and the piston with the leather seal from the Telly would be the better option. Also the trigger and sear pins from the telly would be used ,as both pins on the Tornado had snapped in half.

I cleaned the inside of the piston cylinder first with wet and dry dipped in white spirit on the end a piece of 6mm aluminium tube, this has a slit in the top so it can clamp around the edge of the wet and dry which is then rolled around the tube. Though if there is a lot of crud inside the cylinder you could pop the tubing in a drill and shift it a lot quicker, but i prefer to do it by hand as you can take a little more care doing it.
Aluminium tube with wire wool dipped in white spirit cleaning the inside of piston cylinder.

Repeated the same procedure with some 0000 wire wool wrap around the end of the tubing, this takes a bit longer as i really want to polish the cylinder up. i followed up with kitchen towel and white spirit to remove any thing inside , then polished it again with autosol and kitchen towel to give it a really good finish.

I did pretty much the same thing with the piston out of the Telly with the leather seal , and let about 10 drops of Abbey SM50 soak into the leather for a good hour. I cleaned the springs with white spirit and sanded then polished the ends, then polished the end cap and as much of the inside of the piston where the springs touched. At a later date i will have to knock up a slip washer and top hat, but that will be at another time, not now.
Trying to polish the inside of the piston

Dabbed a little SM50 around the piston seal and some Abbey LT2 grease around the rear of the piston and pushed it in to the cylinder, it was a firm fit and a lot easier to slip in than the old piston. then dabbing a little LT2 grease over the first half of the springs , i took a cloth and ran it around the coils so the excess grease spread even and thin along the whole length as to much grease can bind and slow the spring movement.

The barrel, cylinder, and piston were taped onto the spring compressor and both springs placed within with a dab of grease at each end,the end cap from the Telly was placed at the end and then compressed.
Cleaned, polished, and lubed, the end cap is lined up for the pin holes.

I also used the end pin from the telly and tapped that into the end cap when it was aligned, and the original sear, trigger, and spring were fitted with the pins from the Telly.
Cocking linkage ready for a touch of LT2 grease and slipping through the bridge into place.

The cocking linkage was a lot easier to reinstall than it was to take out, and the linkage pin screwed back in.
The Telly's trigger, sear and spring next to the tornado trigger show how they work.

As the Telly trigger guard stock screw didn't have an adjuster screw, the original was used when the stock was screwed back on, and then the adjuster screw was screwed back out so the sear would engage.
Trigger gaurd stock screw with sear a adjusting screw inside that.

With both fore stock screws put in, the rifle was ready to test, it was definately a lot easier to cock now so some good was done. After loading a pellet in the loading tap i fired a shot at the target board, the trigger was stiff and needed adjusting and i could feel the main spring twist the rifle in my hands when firing.

Oh well, a top hat and a slip washer needs to be made at some point to stop the rifle from twisting, as for the trigger i reckon some adjustment and a good polish of the sear contacts will sort that out. In fact an aluminium piston head with an O ring seal instead of the leather seal could possibly increase the swept volume a little, but these are the things of future work and blogs.

Relum Tornado with Crosman 4x15 scope.
At least i managed to remove that unsightly aluminium hooded site that was on it when i got it, removed the two grub screws but had to cut it off as it had been fixed on with locktite. But i like this rifle, it's quirky and appeals to me so i'm going to tinker with it till it's running just right. Though that may take a while, at least it will be experience gained and you never know it might end up a decent springer.


Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe.        


  1. Hi I have a Telly under leaver myself and was wondering what you could use to replace the spring and inner spring as a guide?

  2. The same main spring that is used in the BSA Meteor fits a treat in these older Relums, you could try and run up a spring guide but i don't think it's the end of the world if you went without one (just use the old inner spring instead as that is what most people have done).

    1. Thank you very much I really appreciate that! If I don't have the inner spring so I need to find or make a spring guide.

  3. Hi Nigel
    Accuired this lovely airgun couple of years had a go with it and its a charm. Took it out few months back and discovered its not cocking. Took it apart to discover broken trigger spring. Made a new one with some spring wire from a ball point pen. Got it working again and yesterday it stopped again. Took her apart again and found a piece wedged inside leather washer. Made a new washer with a piece of old leather belt and replaced the spring once again. To my amazement its all working again. Just love the design and how it responds. Can you please guide my in the right direction to where can I find the original leather seal and trigger spring. Any advice is welcome.

    1. Hey try these guys out (see link below). They where really helpful. the only problem for me at least is that they are based in the UK. hope it helps

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