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DIY Springer tune up


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#1 socalmatt

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:22 AM

I purchased a used Beeman FWB 124 sport From the airgun classified several weeks back. It is the standard model, no checkering, no sling mounts and no idea who did what with it for the past 35 years. The person I purchased it from lives in another state and he claimed to know very little about the rifle. He did state that it was in very good condition with no surface rust/pitting and only light handling marks on the wood. It sounded like a nice rifle and I wanted to pick up another one of these classic little springers before they become harder to find. The deal was done and now I'm just waiting for the UPS truck. When the Fedex man launched the package onto my porch from about 10 feet away I knew it was a bad sign. I opened the box and could tell right away the condition of the rifle was not as described. The stock had flecks of white paint on it. The barrel had a deep gouge with surface rust. The receiver was pitted in several locations. Most of the screws were nicked up. I was disappointed, but I didn't request any photos prior to the purchase so I had my self to blame. I didn't bother calling the guy back and complaining. I figured I over paid about $75 for it and just let it go. I always wanted to try my hand at bringing an old beat up air rifle back to life anyway and now I have a candidate. I never had the guts to Disassemble the airguns that I own and I never really needed to either. After a closer look at the gun it appeared the barrel was in good shape, not bent and the rifling cleaned up quite well. The gun was very noisy and ruff when cocking. I decided to shoot it anyway. When I fired it I knew something was not right. It felt like someone held one of those hand shake buzzer gag things to my cheek. The vibration was terrible but it was still shooting 810 fps on the chronograph with silver bear pellets. None of my springers have ever felt or sounded that way. At the minimum I knew it need a strip down and re lubrication.I decided to change the spring and seal if I was going to bother taking it all apart. I ordered a main spring and piston seal along with the need lubricants from Air rifle headquarters. I also ordered a reprint of the owners manual with disassembly/reassembly and lubrication information. The next thing I needed was to build a spring compressor. I found several designs on the web. I took a few ideas from the different ones that I liked and came up with a design. I went to Home depot and picked up some boards an 8" C clamp and some nuts and bolts. Several hours later the compressor was built and ready for action. The disassembly was very easy with the spring compressor. Everything came apart and nothing was damaged any further. I attempted to located the source of the ruff sound when cocking but I couldn't find the problem. The piston seal looked liked the new one other than it was a different color. I really don't know what the inside of a springer in good condition looks like, but it looked like it had way to much lubricant. I was expecting the problem to be a little easier to find. The hardest part of the whole process was degreasing everything. After that was done it was time to lubricate all the parts and instal the new piston seal. The lubrication for the main spring is called heavy tar and its thick stuff. This is suppose to help dampen the vibration. I don't think the old main spring lubricant was this thick and that might have been part of the problem. The new main spring is actually 1" shorter than the old one. I'm told this is new spring technology. It's a little more work putting it all back together. You have to make sure everything lines up and no springs or safety levers get bent. It all went together without a problem. I mounted the stock and wiped the gun down. As soon as I cocked the gun I new it was much better. It was very quite and smooth. I haven't fired it across a chronograph yet, but I did shoot it into a pellet trap in the back yard. WOW the vibration is gone and it sounds solid. I fired it about 15 times into my pellet trap and its smoother each shot. Once I remount the rear sight I'll see what its got accuracy wise. Well it cleaned up Ok and I had some fun so it wasn't so bad a deal after all. At least thats what I tell my self. If it shoots straight, then I won't be pissed at all. Posted Image

#2 ShooterJohn

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:53 AM

That's ashamed it arrived in the condition you mentioned. I hate those sorts of buys. But it really seemed like a positive learning experience in restoring the gun. :signgreatreport3kg: Did you get any picture during the rebuild? I wouldn't mind a closer look at your spring compressor too. As I said very nice report and thanks for sharing. :good: I've heard some real horror stories recently about airguns delivered by UPS. Several actually had tire marks on the packaging as if someone was intentionally trying to damage the gun.

#3 mackeralboy

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 02:52 PM

Matt,Sorry to hear about the bad experience. Thanks for sharing your tune with us. Like John I would like to get a better look at that spring compressor that you built. I have never tuned a rifle but being a tinkerer I am motivated to tune a couple of my cheaper springers to see what kind of a difference it makes.Mc

#4 carspidey

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:02 PM

In that picture, the rifle looks nice... I am thinking that pic was taken after you did the tune up right? :DIn about another 500 shots, I think i'll tune up my gamo... I think I need the practice, so when I get the R9 I can do a tune up too (hopefully with the practice from the gamo I can do the R9 as well)...Here is another picture of another spring compressor...spring compressorThere are some variations of the above compressor, one that includes another piece in the middle that will hold the barrel better...I am going to do mine too (most likely like yours)

#5 ratassassin

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:41 AM

Hey, Matt. I just want to compliment you for having such a positive attitude after that experience with a lousy seller. I hate when sellers misrepresent things. And good job restoring and tuning your rifle. I wouldn't know where to start. I hope it shoots great for you.RA

#6 A17Shooter

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 09:06 AM

Matt,Thanks for sharing & please post the accuracy & velocity results when you get a chance.

#7 socalmatt

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:58 PM

Well I had a chance to shoot the fwb 124 today. I had some nice groups with the open sights at 15 meters. Nothing worth posting for now. I did encounter a problem with the trigger. I'm not sure if it was functioning properly prior to the tune up because I didn't shoot it enough prior to the tear down. I didn't take the trigger assembly apart for the tune up because its not recommended for the novice first timer. The problem I encountered was during the first stage of travel. The trigger is a two stage unit that is common on most air rifles. When I took up the travel on the first stage and began to apply pressure at the second stage, I had to stop because I didn't like my cheek weld on the stock. I took my finger off the trigger and began to sight in again. As I started to squeeze the trigger again I noticed that the 1st stage was gone and the trigger was at the second stage. I was able to manually push the trigger forward and reset the 1st stage and shoot again. I checked the trigger again and it did this every time I took up the first stage and began to squeeze the second stage.I thought, well thats not that big a deal. I also checked the trigger on my other FWB 124 and it didn't do this. I kept shooting and it wasn't a problem from a accuracy standpoint. But I could see where it could be a big safety issue with someone not used to shooting this rifle. I also knew it would just start to bother me knowing that its not right. So I read the manual again and it recommended spraying the trigger group out with some type of degreaser. This can be done without disassembly of the rifle or trigger assembly. Well I tried that and it didn't work. So now I'm going to disassemble the rifle again and see if I can get it fixed. The good new is I don't have to take the whole rifle apart. I just need to decompress the spring to remove the trigger housing. I don't have time to work on it now so I will give it a try in the next few days. Heres a couple pictures of the spring compressor with the rifle clamped down. Posted ImagePosted Image

#8 mackeralboy

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:17 AM

Matt, Sorry to hear about the trigger issue. Thanks for the shots of the sping compressor you made. Now i know what I'll be making in the next to days. :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow: Mc

#9 socalmatt

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 09:13 PM

Today I attempted to fix the trigger on the FWB 124. I decided to disassemble the entire trigger assembly and give it a good cleaning. The trigger is held together by two pins, once these are removed the whole assembly falls out of the trigger housing. You now have a sear, sear safety, front trigger spring and the trigger. The complete unit is very simple and far less complicated than I expected. I cleaned the parts and after about five tries I had the trigger reassembled. I put the rifle back together and was optimistic that the trigger would work properly. Well again it was doing the same thing. At this point I decided to head over to Mac1 airguns and speak with Tim. I met with Tim and explained the problem. This was my first time Meeting Tim at Mac1. Tim was very helpful and he explained a few thing about the trigger and made a few recommendations. The first of which I failed to attempt prior to totally disassembling the trigger. There is a trigger adjustment screw on the trigger that is for adjusting the second stage of travel only. I didn't think to adjust it due to the fact that my problem was with the first stage of travel only. Tim expalined that the screw can be over tightened and cause some binding. The other recommendation was to clean all the parts very well and reassemble carefully. Well knowing that I already did that, I went home with some hope that the trigger adjustment screw adjustment would solve my problems.I went to the back yard with the rifle a tin of pellets and a small screw driver. I backed off the trigger adjustment screw a half turn and the screw was now very loose and sloppy. I cocked and loaded a pellet. As I began to pull the trigger and take up the first stage of travel the rifle fired. Ok thats not good, so I turned the screw back in a 1/4 turn and tried again with the same result. Now I'm starting to think this is a lost cause and I will just have to deal with it. Then I remembered that I purchased a New trigger from Maccari for my other FWB 124 as a back up. Some of the early FWB sporters came with a plastic trigger and Beeman recommended that it should be replaced with a factory metal FWB trigger. Well FWB stopped making parts for this gun a long time ago. But Maccari makes some from time to time and I purchased one for my 124 with a plastic trigger, just in case it ever breaks. I disassembled the rifle again, removed the trigger housing again, and disassembled the trigger again. I installed the new Maccari trigger and reassembled the rifle again. That was it. The trigger functions like new. I never thought the actual trigger was the problem. But after 25 or so years of use I guess something had worn out on the old trigger. I think it had something to do with the threads that the trigger adjustment screw threads into. The screw is very positive, and has no slop. I went Back to Mac1 because Tim said I could use his chronograph when I got the rifle working right. The rifle shoots Beeman silver bear 7.10 grain pellets at 780 fps and JSB 8.4s at 740 fps. I purchased some pellets and lube from Tim and we talked for awhile. Tim also threw in some stock screws for free to replace the old ones. Tim was very nice to deal with very helpful. All my future purchases will be made at his shop. I also changed the c-clamp on the spring compressor. I purchased an 8" clamp made by Husky. The threads are much finer and it doesn't have as much play. This makes the compressor feel more secure, but it wasn't really necessary.Heres a couple new photos. Posted ImagePosted Image

#10 mackeralboy

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 10:39 PM

Matt you and I are lucky to have someone of Tim's caliber within a 30 min drive. As busy as he is, he always has time and he will give you the strait dope, a great deal, and save you time and $$$$ for whatever project you have going. Mc




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