Like we’ve said, the air gun is a mechanical object that has numerous parts in its construction. Like every other complex mechanical device, the air gun will last longer and perform better if it is regularly and properly cared for. A proper maintenance is required, but air guns are known among shooters to be exceptionally durable and do not require too much attention from the shooter.
Sometimes even with maintenance the gun may not work properly. Maybe is the gun or maybe is by negligence in the maintenance by the shooter himself.
That negligence from shooters is causing troubles in the maintenance process, because often enough, they are forgetting or missing out on some key maintenance points that need to be considered.
Below, we will discuss the maintenance issues that may occur with the airgun whether it’s mechanical problem or it is the shooter’s fault in much broader detail.
What if my air gun is inaccurate?
Causes for bad accuracy at air gun vary, but the most common are: loose stock’s screws, dirty barrel, miss-shaped crown of the barrel, over oiling the piston and bad pellets.
Take out the screws and use either Loctite or finger nail polish to tight them up. Then let the glue cure over night before using the air gun. Then re-sight the air gun again. Clean the barrel with a degreaser, using either a trimmer’s line and a cloth or a nylon brush air gun cleaning rod, dry well and give it a light lube. Exam the barrel’s crown, if it is not evenly shaped, it will have to be re-crowned. This is done using a round headed bolt without a screw slot with a variable speed hand drill and rubbing/polishing compound. Insert the bolt in the hand drill and using the round head evenly at a low speed slowly polish down the hole of crown until it is even using a rubbing/polishing compound. Try different types of pellet brands to see which ones work well with your air guns.
What if I don’t read the manual?
Seems so obvious right? But this is very likely among shooters. Basically, reading the manual is the first step in actually using the air gun, and maintenance afterwards. There are important reasons to stop being lazy when you buy an air gun and start reading the instructions of the manual.
When you have the product and the manual in your hands, you know that there isn’t more exact instruction for that air gun than the manual that you are holding. Sure you’re maybe more experienced shooter and you know every part of the gun and maintenance process, but what if some air guns require much less oiling, or more oiling? Would you know that without reading the manual? We highly doubt it.
The information and instruction in the air gun’s manual is being prepared and written by highly train experts and professionals. Which means that they have extremely good knowledge and expertise about your air gun. Do not rely on some “advices” of “experienced” shooters and do not imitate them. The manual is all you need!
Very easy! READ THE MANUAL AND FOLLOW IT CAREFULLY! If it says two drops of oil, do not put one, or do not put 6. Do not listen to “advices” from people who know very little about air guns. Keep it by the manual!
What if I disassemble the air gun without a plan?
So the airgun suddenly isn’t working and you try to figure out what seems to be the problem. You dissemble every part of it. You may find or you may not find the issue. Then you try to assemble it. But something is out of order. Right!
If you done something like this, you will need the help of an expert to explain to you how it is done. Before you decide whether or not to go to an expert do not forget the manual, read it well. Research the internet too to see if there is any information or instructions for how to assemble the airgun. At the end do not attempt repairs or modifications on your own unless you know you can do the entire job. Better to spend some money to get the job done right by an airgunsmith than to charge in and break or lose some irreplaceable part.
What if I over-clean the air gun?
Even collectable items are not cleaned that much as the new shooter cleans his air gun. It isn’t necessary to clean an air gun barrel that often, and it actually exposes it to possible damage from the cleaning process gone wrong.
Airguns neither burn powders neither use primers. Airguns shoot at low velocity and use clean led pellets, so there is very little metal fouling. In contrast to a firearm, an airgun can be fired tens of thousands of times between cleanings…and some lower-velocity airguns may never need any cleaning at all. Those with brass or bronze barrels are entirely impervious to cleaning requirements.
Clean your airgun when the accuracy falls off, not before that. Do not clean the airgun barrel on a regular often schedule. The airgun barrel might not even need cleaning.
What if the bore gets dirty?
The traces of lead and the gun’s mechanisms spray lubricants from the compression chamber leave deposits in the rifling.
This must be carefully removed with the proper airgun barrel cleaning kit. Carefully follow the directions in this solution for the best results. Don’t use regular firearm solvents because they will immediately attack the seals. Use a gentle degreaser on a pure cotton patch and make sure the bore is dry before trying to apply a very light coat of polarizing oil to in order to protect against rust.
What if I over-oil the air gun?
Over-oiling the air gun can cause detonations that can severely damage the gun if they’re allowed to continue. Once these detonations start, there’s almost no way to stop them. All spring guns diesel, but when they go off with a loud “bang,” that puts a strain on the mechanism. Over-oiling causes problems and in extreme cases the airgun must be disassembled and dried out.
Read the manual good and see which parts needs to be oiled and how many drops does the oiling requires.
What if I don’t lubricate the air gun properly?
Improper lubrication can cause real damage to the airgun and possible injury to the shooter and the bystanders. The compression chamber of the air gun is that portion of the receiver where actual air compression takes place when the pistol moves forward in shooting. The pistol seal of most modern air guns is made of synthetic material that is self-lubricating. The mainspring is housed in the polished cylinder containing the piston, the mainspring and the spring guide shaft. Polishing and lubrication of all surfaces here is very critical for maximum performance.
The air gun should be only lubricated during routine maintenance performed by an authorized service shop. The 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.
What if I don’t use the right pellets?
When you will put some pellets in you airgun make sure they are only high quality pellets in order to avoid harmful abrasiveness of the barrel and gun wrecking. Every gun barrel is slightly different and the pellet that groups best in one gun may not work with the next gun even if it is the same make and model.
Do not use damaged used or unauthorized projectiles may be unsafe. Plastic jacketed projectiles may cause dangerous ricochet, excessive piston impact and excessive penetration. Properly seated pellets should not show rubmarks on rear of skirt if breech is reopened prior to firing. Powerful spring guns work better with medium heavy or heavy pellets rather than light pellets. This will decrease the velocity but increase the accuracy.
What is the correct shooting way?
The regular firearm ways of shooting do not apply on the airgun too. That is why many expert firearm marksmen can’t shoot airguns accurately but many expert airgunners shoot regular firearms so well.
Hold your airgun firmly against your shoulder and let it jump around when you fire it. Don’t pull it in hard into your shoulder or strangle its forearm and don’t rest the forearm on a hard surface. Let it recoil and vibrate freely – don’t try to prevent it. When you sense that your airgun has fired, the pellet is only just starting up the barrel. Although very fast, the lock time is considerably slower on airguns compared to firearms so you have to adjust and follow through. Hang onto your sight picture just a little longer and your groups will shrink.
What if I drop the gun?
It can happen. But why should it happen!? Why would you let it? To spend more money? Mishandling and drops are one of the most common reasons that led to air gun damage. The mishandling itself is a bad maintenance. It doesn’t matter how well you clean the air gun, if you don’t handle it well, at one point you will drop it and the damage is done!
Allowing the air gun to fall or bounce around in a vehicle may knock things out of alignment. It is a fact that some air gun parts are made of plastic. They are perfectly suitable for their intended job under normal use, but they may not last long if the gun is abused. Huge number of older air guns would be still functioning if they had not been abused.
Treat you air gun as the delicate precision instrument that it is. Do not force any buttons or lever that doesn’t move as it should. Try to find out what is preventing the air gun from operating properly.
What if I twist the pump handle?
If you twist the pump handle when operating it, it is likely that you will twist the linkage and will not operate smoothly anymore. You will have to rub the sides of the channel afterwards.
When pumping up a multi-pump, make sure that you do not twist the pump handle as you operate it. Never exceed the number of pumps specified for your air gun (usually eight or ten). If the owner’s manual lists eight pumps as the maximum number, follow that advice. If you do not, you may damage the seals and shorten the life of your air gun.
What if I misuse the break action?
Break action (break barrel) air guns operate by pulling the barrel downward in order to cock the rifle. After a pellet is inserted, the barrel is pushed back to its original position. Accurate shooting requires the barrel to be indexed in the same position for each shot, and this may not be possible if the locking mechanism is damaged.
Do not slam the barrel upward with big force. The barrel is held in place by a locking mechanism that can be easily damaged if the barrel is slammed upward with force.
What to do if it rusts?
A huge number of air guns out there on the market are made from composite materials that are not likely to collect moisture. But certain kind of air guns have barrel sleeves and pump mechanisms that are made of metal. That metal can rust.
Coating the external metal surfaces of the air gun with a thin film of oil will prevent most of the rusting, well at least for a short time. Place a few drops of oil on a small piece of cloth and rub the metal surfaces thoroughly until you’re sure every inch is nicely oiled. Even when the gun is in a case it is possible for moisture to condense on it which will lead to rusting. That is why every air gun deserves a good quality case to protect it and its elements from bumps.
What if I don’t wipe it properly?
With a little maintenance, most air guns will last for a long time. Many shooters just leave the gun in the case after using it. You need to wipe every component, in that way you will lengthen the life of the air gun even further. Wiping is a big part of the proper air gun maintenance process.
If the air gun has a stock made of plastic, use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt and salts from sweaty hands. If the stock is made of wood, wiping it with a piece of cloth that has one or two drops of oil applied will help keep the wood looking good.