Tuesday, 8 April 2014

 So here we are, April already and its been an interesting start to the year, shooting wise I have been struggling a lot with my springers. I started the year full of enthusiasm and confidence with my Hatsan Mod55s.
This has been an interesting excercise, as I had been hoping to get this ready for the UK Recoiling championships at Anston in April. But like a lot of things I have not had enough time to get it exactly doing what I wanted it to do. I cant fault the accuracy or the power, but I have not quite got the recoil down to a level that you can shoot with confidence with. Its not loke it has a lot of recoil, but just enough to make it a bit too lively for the sort of ranges we are expecting.
So anticipating that it would not be ready I got hold of a Weihrauch HW95K in .177. I have gone on record as saying my old SMK XS20 was an awesome rifle, so it was logical to take the opportunity to get a HW95, as it was available in .177.
Now things were looking up, as the first three months of the year
, my shooting had suffered as a result of trying different things with the Mod55s. So the introduction of the HW95K to the arsenal was to be a forward step
Things never work out how you think they will, do they? Anyway my downward shooting trend continued and I have only been shooting scores around the mid 50% mark. I needed to get some form back, so I studied my record files to see if I could find a common cause to corrulate the downward spiral of my scores and the rifles I have been shooting.
The next step was to see which rifle had been the most consistant. I need not have even considered this as I already knew the answer. The only springer I had shot well in the last two years was my old Walther LGV
This was clearly the rifle I should be using, but, and theres always a big but (and not just Jennifer Lopez') I had sold it on. I sold it because I had gone off on a different tangent and gone down another avenue. A big mistake. I am not in a position to just go and buy another new one, and they just arent around secondhand..... Except one appeared on facebook, and at a good price, So.....
I am now the proud owner of this Walther LGV Challenger. Again a .177, but in the Synthetic stock. I am not a fan of synthetic stocks, as I am a bit old school, and believe a rifle stock is supposed to be made from wood, however ther is an upside, as the Challenger is over a lb lighter.
This one was from a group who offer shooting experiences to disabled and dissadvantaged people, but the group are moving towards a fleet of PCP's (easier for the disabled shooter) and this was at a pricenearly £200 under new.
My only other springer at the moment is my SMK (BAM) B19

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Ok so power wise the rifle is near perfect, but I have still been having the recoil issues in that the rifle is hard to hold on line for the follow through. The rifle "jumps" that little bit to much and "following" the pellet to the target is near impossible (compared to what I am trying to achieve)
So a little re-thinking and I havegone back to the titan spring, but this time I have fitted new delrin guides and spacers. I still have the thrust race up front. I have reduced the length of the spring again, by another coil, and refinished the ends again.
Now we are cooking on gas. Interestingly power has risen to 11.7fpe, but, more importantly the recoil is significantly reduced.
Pulled the rifle out of the slip, cocked it (again improved to almost silk like smoothness) and first shot, hit the 55 yard reset. Hmmm I am liking the latest incantation of this rifle.

OK so following on from the original (out of box) set up, here's what I have done.

Stripped the rifle completely cleaned everything (no need to deburr this one) I have removed the anti-bear trap linkage, (not really needed, as I never cock a rifle till I need to, and never let go if the barrel anyway) I have fitted a Titan spring with Welsh Willy delrin parts (from a Mod95 kit I had) I have removed the safety linkage (and all the bits and pieces).

The rifle is sporting an MTC Viper 10x44 SCB scope.

So the outcome, as it is, is I have an accurate, lightweight(ish) break-barrel rifle that is capable of 55 yard knockdowns, with little recoil.
The object of the exercise was to make a FT quality springer for under £200.
So the rifle cost £109 from Solware
A spring tuning kit from Woodfield Gun Care  about £50 (I know I didnt have to buy this as I had all the bits in my tool box) (but  am assuming you would buy one)
The muzzle brake was £14.
I will fit a sling and sling mounts, that will be another £25  so all in about £198

Mission accomplished.
Next test will be the British Recoiling Championships in April, so until then, practice, practice and a bit more practice

Monday, 17 February 2014

So the new year has started well for me, I have been working on my Hatsan Mod55s and it all seems to be going well. Power has not been an issue, however trying to tame the rifle down a little has been an issue which I have finally got my gead around now. The problem has been with the original spring. Now I want to make it clear that the whole point has been to make this a rifle suitable for FT so a very accurate rifle is the be all and end all, and to that end, recoil, is what it is all about.
The standard Mod55s is a cracking rifle as it comes out of the box, but for FT I need the rifle to, not only be accurate, but with very little recoil. The rifle itself came to me, new from Solware, and as I say, out of the box, is bloody good. Nothing wrong with power, accuracy or weight, but I wanted more.
The standard spring is fairly soft so to keep the power up to a servicable level (10.5+) fpe there needs to be some preload. This preload increases the amount of recoil, so the problem is to reduce the preload but without sacrificing power. Back in my MotoX days and playing with suspension, if you shorten the spring but replace the length with a preload spacer you harden the effective spring action, this was, and is not the result I need. I would have to go down the replacement spring route.
I had a Titan spring in the tool box, so I tried that. The spring was way too long (3") so I cut it down. I had a delrin guide kicking around so used that as well. A series of trial and error then took place until I was happy with the level of recoil and the balance of power.
As a consequence of all the stripping and rebuilding I managed to damage the safety mechanism in so much as I had to remove the auto safety mechanism, as what was happening was I would cock the rifle and sometimes the safety would get stuck on, which needed the rifle recocking and such too many times and it bacame tiresome.
So as it stands now, the rifle shoots 8.4gr JSB exacts at 758fps which works out about 10.7fpe Which is what I was looking for in the first place. Recoil is down sufficiently I can place a pellet on top of the rear scope mount and fire a pellet and the pellet stay on top of the rifle. Its not perfect but for me its very close.
So for now its a good un

Thursday, 30 January 2014

So today I tried the titan spring and it didbt have the "feel" I wanted, so, I replaced the original spring but, with a coil collapsed (heated to cherry red and compressed) now she is at about 10fpe, so a little too much, but I can replace the preload spacers. I am going to use it as is, and see how she shoots in the real world.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Just by way of an interim update.
I have been testing the rifle as much as I can, I took it over my range and did the fine tuning as far as zeroing was concerned, and all went well one ragged hole at 25yards.

Managed to get hold of a nice muzzle brake off of ebay for not a lot of money, anout £14 I think, finished the barrel nicely.
Still got some recoil I want to smooth out. The rifle is currently running at 11.85fpe so i feel I can sacrifice some power for a more docile recoil. I intend to reduce the spring by 1/2" (heat to cheery red and collapse a coil) I could remove the factory preload spacers, but I dont want metal to metal contact.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

OK this is where I am starting from. Its a Hatsan Mod55s (.177) I got this new from Solware of TamworthI ran a couple of pellets throiugh to see were I was powerwise
Nothing to worry about, as always Hatsans always come on the money.
So I set about stripping and rebuilding this rifle. I carbined the barrel to balance the rifle better
Fitted a MTC Viper scope
and set about getting the rifle shooting staright. Still have a few more bits to do, but here it is for now
Hi and may the new year bring you all you want.

Well, I found myself in a little bit of a quandry, I was listing my air rifles for my profile on one of the forums I'm a member of and realised I didnt own a single Hatsan. This came as a bit of a surprise to me, as i spend all my time telling everyone how good they are.

What to do? The obvious thing was to get another one. I didnt fancy another PCP as, having already owned a few AT44's in all the calibres, and I didnt gel with the BT65. It had to be a springer.
Recently we (Pete, Mikey and myself) have been getting all abit competetive on our HFT/FT course and I have been trying to find the springer that suits me. I have been musing with getting another TX200 or a HW77/97 but the thought of all that extra weight, after spending so much time with a lightweight PCP, my BSA Scorpion, put me off a bit. I have been using the BSA Lightning, and whilst its a lovely rifle, I am really struggling with the trigger, theres nothing wrong with it, and in fairness, it has been getting better with use. But I find I am missing shots I know I should be getting, nothing is a "gimme" anymore. So I contacted Ty at Solware of Tamworth, and asked for his advice. Money, is a bit of a problem so I was looking at a Weihrauch HW95 at abiout £225, but, being an open minded sort of chap, asked Ty what else there was in a similar price bracket. Ty said to have a look at a CZ Slavia, so onto Google and search for these Czech built classics. Well all was looking good, nice Retro styling and some very good write ups and reviews, so I had a look at some exploded diagrams and lo and behold the trigger design was archaic, looking like something out of a B2. I know the deign is sound but I dont want to be in the same boat as I am with the Lightning and trying to find a solution to a problem I already have. Then it struck me..... I need something like a "Quattro" trigger like on one of my old Hatsans.

So, (bringing this tale, back on track)(sorry) Which hatsan do I go for, as I said before, money is more of an issue now, so I set myself a project. Build a competative FT springer for under £200 (not including the scope)* So I trawled through all my records of perormance and reliability and narrowed it down to 1, a .177. 2. a wooden stock, 3, Quattro trigger, 4 Money.

My choices were Mod95, Striker, Mod55 or try something different.
The Mod95 is probably the best springer that Hatsan make, it ticks all the boxes except not available in the UK in .177 plus the cost is getting higher on this model.
The Striker again a damn fine rifle .177 (tick) wooden stock (tick) Cost (tick) Trigger, Hmmmm can be bought back upto Quattro levels but at a cost big cross.
So Iit was back to the perenial favourite (and the cheapest) the Mod55s. .177 (tick) wooden stock (tick) Quattro trigger (tick) cost (big tick). The asthetics are a little challenging, all being a bit 1970's Gerry from the Good Life Volvo-esque, but I know how good they are. I have had quite a few of this model and its .22 sister the Mod60. So I know the quality and build and aolso know that for pennies can be bought up to spec. However, can I build one to FT standard, and be competative with it? Well thats the plan, and I will keep you up to speed on how it all goes. I have  deadline, April 14th for the UK Recoiling Championships an the Anston Club.

There, I have set myself a goal,now all I have to do is, put in the back of the net.