FOR SPRING PISTON AND CO2 AIRGUNS
Airgun maintenance is a topic that many adult airgun users find confusing. Do precision airguns require periodic upkeep? Sure they do, but not in the same way as one would maintain a firearm. This is where most folks often times get confused. Wile there are some obvious similarities between the two, precision airguns are unrelated mechanically to firearms from a general maintenance standpoint and bear closer resemblance to automotive shock absorbers or pneumatic power tools!
So precision airguns really do need regular care. But what about RWS products? Like all fine mechanical devises, even RWS precision airguns require routine maintenance to perform at their very best. Fortunately, RWS has designed its entire airgun line to deliver top performance with only minimal care. Just keep in mind that "moderation" is the key to basic airgun maintenance, which includes everything from power plant and pivot point lubricatin to simple external surface care. Here are a few tips on how you can keep your RWS airgun in top shooting condition well into the next century:
THE BASIC APPROACH
As was previously noted, precision airguns are unrelated mechanically to firearms. Therefore, most firearm lubricants are not recommended as they can quickly ruin internal seals by promoting a violent diesel reaction within the piston chamber. While RWS spring-piston models do rely on a tiny diesel effect to produce full power, sever dieseling must be avoided. To ensure correct lubrication of your spring-piston airgun, RWS conveniently offers procuts that are specifically formulated for this purpose. How, where and when to lubricate? Well, first do a very thorough read of your gun's owners manual for lubrication points such as the air transfer post. Once located, RWS Chamber Lube and applicator needle are the other items you'll need. Just one or two drops placed inside the chamber every few thousand shots is usually all that is required. Alternatively, you can apply RWS Spring Cylinder Oil directly on the main spring through the slot on the underside of the compression chamber. (On some models the stock must be removed first.) But with either method, fire a few dozen shots afterwards to distribute lubricant evenly throughout the power plant. And always keep the gun unloaded and on safe whenever you do any form of maintenance work.
Other important areas requiring periodic lubrication are pivot or hinge points. RWS barrel and side-cocking models are prime examples, needing occasional applications of lubricant to prevent excessive wear and to keep their joints moving freely. Apply RWS Spring Cylinder Oil or moly grease in moderate amounts to these areas. RWS Spring Cylinder Oil is also ideal for preserving your precision airgun's exterior metal surfaces. It is especially important when used in wet conditions or when stored for extended periods. Regular appliations will prevent the onset of corrosions and keep your gun looking new. Rifle models should have their actions and stocks separated at regular intervals so the metal beneath can be treated as well.
RWS CO2 AIRGUN MAINTENANCE
A pair of sophisticated CO2 powered replicas pistols are the latest additions to the RWS precision airgun line. Designed to look and feel like the real thing, the RWS C-225 series copies the famed Sig Sauer P225 semiautomatic, while the RWS 357 is styled after the classic Smith & Wesson 38 standard revolver. Like most domestic CO2 guns, both RWS pistols are powered by a single 12-gram CO2 cylinder concealed in the grip frame. Their operation is also similar to domestic models and consequently, require simple basic maintenance to ensure top performance. Once again, carefully scrutinize your gun's owners manual for the location of its seal and pivot points. Of particular importance to RWS CO2 gun operation is regular lubrication of the cartridge piercing assembly. (located within the top half of the grip frame.) Apply two drops of RWS Spring Cylinder oil every 250-500 shots on the small seal that surrounds the piercing needle. At the same time, also lubricate the trigger, hammer, slide, safety lever and piercing screw assemblies with RWS Spring Cylinder Oil. Given the nonferrous outer construction of both new RWS CO2 pistols, exterior maintenance entails minimal surface cleaning with a mild degreaser, while barrel cleaning can .177 caliber felt pellets (it can also be a lot of fun). As always, lubricate your RWS CO2 pistol in a manner consistent with our spring-piston models and strictly follow all safe gun handling protocols.
GENERAL CLEANING AND ADJUSTEMENTS
Given the degree of handling, a true "working" airgun will receive over the years, any exposed steel surface is fair game for the onset of corrosion. After every use, it's always a good idea to wipe-down the action with a silicon-treated gun cloth or mild degreaser. Then follow-up with the aforementioned RWS Spring Cylinder Oil as a finish preservative. The same goes for your valued precision airgun's hardwood stock, as it too is subject to the stresses of regular handling and outside elements. Similar to preserving fine wood furniture, a rifle stock or pistol grip can be treated with the products including, wood cleaners, conditioning oils, and polishes. Just remember that the key to maintaining any wood surface is to keep the timber well sealed against elements. The inlaid portion of hardwood rifle stocks should also be treated at regular intervals.
Another frequently often overlooked airgun maintenance chore is barrel cleaning. With respect to spring-piston models, each time the gun is fired, a small amount of internal lubricant is also expelled from the power plant. Over the course of several hundreds of shots, there is excess oil buildup in your airgun's barrel, along with lead, dust and other materials that are present at the time. The net result is loss of accuracy, which may be subtle in some cases or quite severe in others.
In such instances, a thorough cleaning of the bore will completely restore lost accuracy. Of course, there is a wrong and right way of cleaning a precision airgun barrel. First and foremost, always make absolutely certain that the gun in question is unloaded. This may be done by using a small flashlight to inspect for any posible obstructions in the loading system, breech and barrel. Once cleared, begin the process of cleaning in the direction of projectile travel (i.e. from breech to muzzle), to prevent any chance of damaging the muzzle crown. With break-barrel models, the standard RWS Three Piece .177 and .22 caliber Cleaning Kit or the RWS Shooters Kit does the job in minutes. Start with the included nylon brush dipped in a mild degreaser to loosen built-up fouling, then finish with several cloth patches or RWS Felt Cleaning Pellets. For more awkward to clean guns such as side and under lever models, it's recommended that you use the flexible Breechway Cleaning system in combination with cloth patches or RWS felt pellets. Like all airgun-related maintenance work, never use any harsh firearm solvents as they can seriously damage precision airgun seals. A final pass with a cloth patch lightly treated with RWS Spring Cylinder Oil completes the bore cleaning process.
A phenomenon unique to many high power spring piston airguns is the loosening of stock bolts due to vibration. When this happens, the gun will typically exhibit a loss of accuracy as well as additional harshness in its firing cycle. Regular inspection of all mounting fixtures, including action, accessory, sight and scope mount screws will usually prevent such problems before they start. check screws for tightness every thousand shots or after using up two 500-count tins of RWS pellets. Should a loose screw be discovered, thoroughly clean both the male and female threads of direct and oil, then apply a small drop of mild locking compound and retighten. For best results, use appropriate size gunsmithing tools to tighten all mounting screws to an equal level of tension.
Other basic maintenancea checks that can be performed by the owner include regular inspection of external seals such as those on RWS spring-piston and CO2 guns. Initial visual inspection involves looking for outward signs of obvious damage, nicks, deformation and so on. To verify actual seal integrity in spring-piston models; cock, load and fire the gun in a safe direction, while cupping your free hand over the breech area. Any felt air on the palm will usually mean that your gun is now due for a replacement seal. On the other hand, RWS CO2 pistols can be checked by simply charging the unloaded gun (according to manufacturers instructions) and carefully listening for any telltale leakage. Often time, oiling the piecing assembly seal will stop minor gas leaks. However, in most all cases, replacement of RWS spring-piston or CO2 gun seals is a simple, "owner-friendly" operation!
A final work on basic precision airgun maintenance involves inspection and adjustment of trigger assemblies. Especially important with respect to safety, periodic inspection of trigger function is time well spent. If your gun fails to cock or fires prematurely (i.e. without deliberately pulling the trigger), then it should not be used again until the problem has been corrected. In most instances, the trigger may only require a simple adjustment which means following the manufacturer's adjustmet instructions to the letter! Conversely, should the trigger fail even once after the maximum adjustment level is reached, it is time to turn the gun over to a professional. Normal adjustments can usually be done safely by the owner. Follow any and all manufacturer instructions precisely.
Manufactured from heavy felt. These pellets remove dirt and lead residue from the barrel. They do not take the place of a thorough cleaning with a rod, but with regular use they will improve overall performace.