Friday, 29 November 2013

The SMK B 45-3 Gets Sorted

The problems are finally solved,


After many, many months of trial and error i can say with confidence that the problems with the inlet valve are fixed, and the pump arm has a lot less side to side play. There were times i thought i should let it die with dignity, but with it's simple design there was no reason this shouldn't be a really devastating multi pump. Besides i had invested to much time to give up on it, i am especially pleased with the new stock i built it for starters.

The side to side play in the pump arm was caused by the pump arm being half a millimeter smaller than the the space allowed for it in the front sight assembly, 

Front sight assembly.

the only thing i could do to pack the sides evenly was use shims made from drinks cans. Two layers either side reduced play but didn't stop it, and three layers wouldn't fit with out them tearing apart. 

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\front sight assembly removed with relevant bolts and the handy metal washer to reduce side play,

I have washers that size so i could pack one side but i hadn't any thinner washers, and it works perfectly well just packed out on one side anyway. There was less play with one washer than with two shims either side, so one washer will do fine until i source thinner ones or thicker shim material.

The problem with the air inlet valve was that a raised collar cut into the rubber flap washer seal after about 50 full power shots, depending on the type and quality of the rubber. 

 The white rubber gets cut to shape and makes a good seal.

I found that the rubber that covers electronic cigarette refills was more durable than the thicker, softer rubber of an old car tyre inner tube. 

Inner tube rubber needs super glue to stop it twisting inside out.

After taking a mold of the inside of the valve i came up with two possible solutions.

Delrin seats measured against the mold.

Solution one was to make a delrin seal that would seat on the end of the spring and seal against the collar, but the three i made would not seal properly all the time. 

Turning seats and washers on the fonly lathe.

I am not able to turn things on my Fonly lathe to the tolorences required for an air tight seal, the slightest burr would unseat the seal as was the case.

12 mm for the outer wall.

Solution two was to stop the collar from cutting into the washer seal, by using the mold for the correct measurements i turned a delrin washer to sit outside the collar.

6 mm for the air inlet

 I chanced upon this idea when one of the previous flap washers had been completely cut, the outside part had wedged itself between the outer wall and the raised collar. However the violent motion of the compressed air exhausting itself from the valve unseated it and caused it to block the air inlet, but a ridged delrin washer would stay put and reduce the collar from a cutting edge to slight raised area to seal against.

The delrin washer to fit between the outer wall and the raised collar.

With the delrin washer in place i was able to use the tougher, thinner rubber from the refill caps, allowing more of the metal of the inlet seal retaining nipple to fill the 6 mm air inlet hole. The inlet hole is a lot of dead space for compressed air to build up in, which in turn can expand to push the pump head seal back down the compression tube. Now the pump arm locks in place and is not prone to springing out when holding 6 pumps or more, also it holds all of it's charge over night without any leakage though i only tend to store it with one or two pumps.

I was sold a pot of Logun silicone grease years ago and use it on all PCP rubber seals, i used it on the pump rod assembly so what ever works through is going to be beneficial to the valve seals.

I found that petrolium based grease and oil used to soften and degrade rubber seals, and this i'm sure was the case with this multi pump up until now.

Now i've said all there is to say on the SMK B45-3 i can use my spare time on some of my springers, they certainly need some more tweaking and TLC.


Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe.



  Now that's finished i hope to not see this lot for awhile.

All the tools you need to replace the inlet valve washer


The screw that joins the action to the stock.


\The screw that joins to the compression tube and barrel band as seen through the pump arm.


all the valve bits and bobs.


Measure twice, cut once.


Easy when you get to do the same thing over and over again.



Thursday, 28 November 2013

Three old Breakbarrels

For Tinkering on the Cheap

Over a year ago before i started this blog i put an advert in the local shop, saying i would pay money for old, broken, and unwanted air rifles as a way to get cheap projects on the go. Initially some one phoned with a BSA Meteor Mk4 which was in pretty bad shape as this model usually ends up in, then after that there was nothing as the advert was only put up in a tiny local village shop.

So to my surprise i received a call on my mobile the other day from some chap who tells me that he has three air rifles for sale, he says they are old and some of the sight parts are missing. So i arrange for a time to come around and have a look at them. 

On arrival after a hand shake and greetings he shows me three rather rusty looking air rifles, though 0000 wire wool and gun oil can shift the rust it was a matter of whether the metal was pitted underneath.

Webley Hawk That's sat in a shed for a while
Stock bolts needed tightening.

First one out was a Webley and Scott break barrel in .177, at first glance the forks on the action were slack, there was a split in the stock, it had front and rear sights and the rear one was not working completely, and at some point some one had fired the rifle with the rifle cocked without returning the barrel.

Heanel Mod 1with barrel release on the breech.

Other side of the Heanel

Second up was i discovered after a quick look about was a Heneal in .177, this too had plenty of surface rust so i could not see any markings to date it. The rear sight was incomplete and the leather seals were so in need of replacing, but these can be made myself.

Relum looking rusty.

Even rustier on this side.

Last but not least there was a .22 air rifle which was the rustiest of all of them, it just screamed Eastern European in make. This had no rear sights at all, was extremely pitted in places, and there was rust residue on the rifling. this one had also been fired with the barrel cocked open at some point in the past, but luckily didn't suffer any damage i could see on the outside.

I really would have liked to give the gentleman a little more money for them, but at that point it was looking like i could only fix up the Heanel with the other two being used for the spares pile. I mean, to buy the parts to fix them up would cost way more the the rifles would be worth when fixed, But that won't stop me as i can make most parts myself.

So once home i cleaned up as much metal as i could with gun oil and 0000 wire wool, and with the aid of Google i was able to find out what these air rifles are.

The webley and Scott is a Hawk Mk11 produced around 1975, these were sold with .177 and .22 with interchangable barrels. 

\\\\\removable barrel with breech seal on the transfer port.

Though the stock on this one looks like it comes off a Mk 111 and has a crack that runs from the long cocking slot to the side of the trigger guard,

Mk 111 stock on Mk 11 Hawk, the safety shows it well.

Long cocking slot with split.

 but has a deep rubber butt pad with the Webley logo molded in large letters on it. 

It's a Webley alright.

The hood is missing on the front sight which is not the end of the world, and though the rear sight is mostly complete the windage adjustment needs a bit of fixing. 

Rear sight needs repairing.

The forks are loose around the breech block and the barrel bends upwards slightly, so along with the damaged stock some one has been pulling the trigger with the rifle cocked open.

The Heneal is a Mod 1 GDR and were produced from the 1920's till the 1950', looking at the rear sight base (which is incomplete), 

Rear sight with slider and sight missing.

the safety catch (which doesn't work) and the Made in Germany stamp on the bottom of the barrel leads me to believe this must be a later model. 

The safety that doesn't work.

Out of the three it is the only one not to have a scope rail, and from the information i have gathered it's supposed to be a very accurate target rifle of it's time. 

No scope rail.

It has a simple stock with a finger rail grip and a lovely brass plaque on the butt, though it is of an age not to have a rubber butt plate. 

Nice brass plate.

There is a knurled knob that slides a plate that pushes the breech lock back allowing the barrel to drop, 

More Heanel markings

and the articulated cocking linkage gives a short cocking slot on the stock. This rifle also has tell tale signs of being fired with the barrel cocked open, but due to it's solid build quality it's done very little damage, thank fuck.

Finally it would appear that the .22 is yet another Relum, now cleaned a little i could see the Made in Hungary stamp and the LG527 stamp denoting its model which i think is the Zepher. 

One piece cocking arm made of pressed steel.

These later models are a lot different than the Telly and the Tornado, and time will tell if they are any better. 

Better, nicer stock than earlier models.

The stock is a lot better looking than the older models with a nice cheek piece, 

Trigger is pressed steel but nice and wide.

however the metal is just not as good a quality as you would find on a Telly for example The rifling looks rusty, there is no rear sight, and the metal work is badly pitted, but it does feel quite solid.
Rear sight completely missing.

Well these should keep me busy til i can decide if it's worth pouring some funds into any of them, which i wont be able to do till after Christmas at the earliest. I can only hope there is no pit marks inside the compression chamber as they have been sitting collecting rust for many years.


Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

My Hunting Set-up Cheap and chearful

When i purchaced the Air Arms Shamal for £300 last year it came with a 4-12x40 Nikko Sterling scope and a sling, now being a heavy old sporter the leather sling was a godsend. Just to top it off for now i mounted a 120 lumens SMK spot lamp on the scope with a switch taped to the forestock, but being a .177 PCP a bipod would be ideal for those long shots, but that will have to wait. I just love the flatter trajectory of a .177 over the .22, but nothing beats the knockdown power of the .22 except .25 of course.

A lot of hunters prefer multi shots on their air rifles but for me the Shamal is superbly accurate and one shot one kill always does it, though i would certainly appreciate a bipod for those 50 yard shots but until then i will make do with a shooting stick made from some old straight branch with a fork in the t. The shooting stick certainly helps when trying to get a bunny in the longer grass, as they are hard to target in a kneeling position and impossible when lying prone. Air Arms diabolo's and H and N field trophies both work best in the Shamal and both have the same POI without any adjustment to the scope, which i got to admit is a bonus.

Clothing wise i find black Dunlop steel toecap work boots, dark jeans, and an army DMP lightweight jacket over a green T shirt does me fine for general easy going hunting. But a German full length paratrooper coat with hood which was £26 off E bay, combat trousers of which i have various as i like that style, lightweight black gloves, a large camo bandana to tie around my lower face and cover my neck, and a black rucksack for odds and sods. I also have some 80's British army webbing and pouches i got for a fiver from a carboot sale which i could find a good use for (this also came with an 80's army helmet but that would be a bit overkill for hunting, but pretty handy if i took up airsoft or paintballing.), but for now i have done fine with what i'm using to date.With the German camo pattern being quite dark and mottled i have found this works well in woodlands, and the DMP of the British army works well in  almost any where.

I like the DMP Kit as a traditionalist so i went and bought a pair of River Rock combat trousers for £14, and a River Rock  temperate combat smock for £22 from my local Stove Centre. You have to understand that this is the Cotswolds so they sell all sorts of stuff, including gardening stuff, fencing, animal foods, sheds, large garden ornaments, stone, tough  quality outdoor clothes and boots, and i think stoves as well. The smock jacket is what you would expect from a decent army jacket, its loaded with deep pockets and is very tough, i slipped and grazed my elbow last week but there wasn't a mark on the jacket at all. What i discovered was most impressive was that i could fold my gun slip up and fit it into the button up poacher's pocket at the back, this both keeps it tidily stored and makes a really comfy seat as well.

For gloves i have a pair of very tin Thinsulate gloves, a pair of fingerless gloves, and a pair or thick woolen gloves in black, also a pair of fingerless mittens in different shades of autumn brown. I can choose to wear these in any combination to suit the weather, such as a black woolen glove on my left hand and a black Thinsulate glove on my right giving me the ability to handle pellets. If it's even colder i can put the brown fingerless mittens over the top.

Mind you getting realtree leafy gloves and baraclava for my birthday could sort of count as hunting kit on the cheap, but that's only because my wife paid and presented them to me. In fact the gloves were a prezzie off Rosie my three year old, and the good thing about them is that they can fit over other gloves.

The best move i have made recently is to trade smoking roll-ups for electronic cigarettes, animals have a keen sense of smell and roll-ups just make you stink. I would also say there is a marked improvement in my fitness and stamina, but then i do cycle 11 miles to work and back up and down some iffy hills so that's helped. I just have to remember that the ends of electronic cigarettes light up, so i cup it in my hand when doing a spot of lamping.

That's it for now, i'm just glad i remembered to refer to cigarettes in the correct term and not the British slang word of 'fags' so not to confuse any American readers of this blog.


Best wishes, Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Weihrauch HW 35 Luxus

The one with the rare stock

A few years back when i got back into my old love of all things airgun, i went out and was bought a .22 Weihrauch HW35 for my birthday as a present from my wife.

Weihrauch HW 35 Luxus

I did have an old Relum Telly that had been sitting around for years, but as i then lived in a city and with no affordable airgun club around it sat forgotten in the back of an airing cupboard. But then with a move to the countryside with a large back garden and a permission on promise, i was free to indulge myself in my old passion once again.It's been a good 20 years since i last had a decent air rifle which was an old .22 Diana underlever, it had big old 3-9x50 scope, moderator, and a trapdoor loading mechanism which opened when cocking the underlever. It was a beast of an air rifle that kept me in free meals for years, it was a sad day when some thieving little git had it away.

Raised combe works well with scope fitted.

I had remembered Weihrauch's as a quality air rifles and on seeing this one with the rare luxus walnut stock and its deep bluing that is almost black i was smitten, i didn't care that they usually produced 10. 5 ft/lb as it was a pleasure to use. 

No finger grooves on the Luxus stock.

On removing the stock i could see it had a square Ox spring fitted, this explained why it was a little hold sensative. How ever i put over a chronoscope recently to find it only producing 7 ft/lb, and with a big spread in FPS between shots.

Checkering on pistol grip.

 Having gained experience in tinkering and a new Titan XS spring in the spares box i thought it time to give her an overhaul, and as it's an older 1978 model it would be interesting to see if it still had the original leather piston seal.

Sling attachment on the barrel

HW 35's are known to suffer from barrel droop, and this one does to the extent that i have to shim the rear scope ring to compensate. 

Rear sights are a joy to use.

But the open sights are excellent on these rifles with fine definate clicks when adjusting the rear, and interchangable circular shims that screw into the front hooded sight that fits on a dovetail above the barrel crown. 

Front sights do come with five inserts, i only have the one though.

The good thing about the barrel is that it has a lock in the form of a sliding thumb latch on the breech, it silently slides out of it's detent in the compression tube allowing the barrel to drop so it can be cocked. 

Latch for the breech lock

There's no slapping of the barrel here or snapping it shut, the only sound comes from the articulated cocking linkage moving against it's guide. 

Articulated cocking arm allows for a much shorter cocking slot in the stock, simply it's more solid.

It becomes second nature in no time to use the barrel lock, just thumb the latch, slide your hand to the end of the barrel as it drops, then cock.

Break barrel at rest when unlocked.

The trigger is the world renown Rekord trigger which some reckon is the best trigger ever made for a commercial air rifle, it's a two stage trigger with adjustment on both stages. 

Rekord trigger and really tasty trigger gaurd.

 Some say the Air Arms TX trigger is better but i have yet to try an Air Arms air rifle with one fitted, my Shamal has a wicked trigger but it's not a TX. I have never bothered adjusting this trigger as it had already been set to a pretty light second stage let off, and i like a small bit of first stage movement as i prepare to take a shot which it has. Working on or adjusting this trigger would be a blog entry of it's own, there is a lot of info on the web any way and hopefully i won't have to add to it. 

Scope rail and stops.

There is a good size 11 mm scope rail with two scope stop holes at the rear of the compression tube, and with the combination of the Ox spring and the short compression stroke a scope stop they are really needed. 

Easy to reach safety

The automatic safety pops out on the left at the rear of the trigger unit just above the stock, this easily thumbs off with the thumb of your trigger hand before you fire if you are right handed like me. 

Safety on.

Though it has been getting a little sticky lately and not fully engadging if i don't fully press home the barrel when cocking the rifle, this is just going to get worse so is another reason to strip the rifle.

Cocking stroke of HW 35. I don't make a habit of leaving my springers like this, i always support the barrel or cocking arm till its returned.

Stripping this rifle seems pretty straight forward, i just hope i don't find anything too expensive to fix once inside. There is a guide on Youtube for stripping the HW 80 which is pretty much the same as the HW 35, plus i have also got airgun magazines with strip down guides for the HW 35 and the Record trigger unit. On top of that there is a full step by step guide on Anotherairgun blog which is a really good blog i follow, so i'm sure i should avoid any pitfalls along the way.

A hell of a lot of people love these HW 35's including me, and i think i have been very lucky to find myself such an original example. I usually store my finest air rifles wrapped in a towel so i don't accidently mark them when storing them together, there is a small mark on this stock because i didn't take care originally but it is tiny and will most likely iron out. I have children in the house and a lot of air rifles so i have to keep them safely out the way,  the safest storage place is a small airing cupboard where i can protect them from damage with the towels and from rust because of the dry air. And locked away from kids.


Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe 

Beefing up the Spring Compressor

and other odd jobs

It was a sad day the day the spring compressor broke under the strain of four inches of preload on the Mercury, but i wasn't surprised as it wasn't happy the first time i used it on that rifle. So seeing as i was still able to use it while supporting parts by hand, there is no reason that if i used metal at certain points that it shouldn't be as good as new. I should really design and build a new one thats a lot more stable, but i reckon i can improve on what i built first time round and it'll save a lot of time. After putting my springers over the chrono i think i'll be needing the use of one for quite a while to come, so fixing up the old compressor is the order of the day.

Spring compressor all broken up.

Folding and bolting plates of metal will strengthen it up with out a doubt, this i should have done when i first made it but was too keen to use it. Any way in the metal bin is a length of 3mm thick galvenised steel about 25mm wide, i've used this before to make brackets and i can hammer a right angle out in the vise easily.

Bend in a vice and hit with a hammer till a 90 degree angle is achieved.

As the measurements don't have to be precise because the bolts will hold it tight, i used a long wood screw and my thumb to mark the lengths then scratched it off.

Tabs to be bolted down.

 Needless to say i marked one of the vertical lengths too long, but it was no problem to straighten out and hammer out a shorter bend for the tabs that will bolt on to the bed.

Whoops! Have to do that tab again.

I guestimated where the bolt holes should be and drilled two 6 mm holes to fit onto two bolts holding the back plate on, the back plate was one of the reasons precise measurements wouldn't work that well in this case. 

Holes drill quicker with a dab of grease on the drill bit.

Low and behold it fitted and with the two metal tabs on top was bolted rigidly into place.

Might need a spacer or two but it fits nicely.

Up until now i had been turning the threaded bar with mole grips or pliers, so i ground off two flats for a spanner to attach at the end for turning the bar. i then remembered that this didn't last long as a solution last time, so i drilled a 5.5 mm hole through the end. 

Hole took no time at all with a dab of grease on the bit.

This allowed a length of 6 mm threaded bar to be wedged tightly into the hole, that was after i filed a bit of the thread off.

I will have to harden the 6 mm threaded bar at some time i reckon.

It now seems to be a bit stronger than when i first built it, so lets see how many springers i can get on to working on before it buggers up again. The only cost on this has still just been on the lengths of threaded bar, the rest is out of odds and scrap so its a win/win situation whatever happens. Plus i have threaded bar left over for other dingbat projects, and believe me i have a lot of them.

Large grinding wheel was 50p from a car boot sale, 12 mm threaded bar, nuts, and washers less a quid. Momentum is a bit of a problem on this one


Wing Commander Sir Nigel Tetlington-Smythe