Bit by the tuning bug again!

Many thousands of pellets have flown downrange since I’ve written here. In that time, I’ve purchased a Beeman QB78 and converted it to PCP. It has topped out as a 33 FPE monster, but I’m not here to write about that right now. I made the mistake of picking up and shooting my B3-3 the other day and decided I needed to go back to my springer roots.

I have break barrels and underlevers, so I decided it is time to get a side lever. Do you know how hard it is to find an affordable side lever? Diana seems to be one of the few companies still making them, but I don’t like to spend over $400 on an air rifle when I can have fun tuning three or four for the same price. Luckily for me, Mrodair had a side lever more in my price range.

Today, I received a B5, a Chinese spring piston AK-47 looking thing. Mine is in .22 and is almost all wood and metal construction. The only plastic I see on this airgun is the sides of the folding stock and some grip material to make the side lever more comfortable. Like most guns from overseas, there was cosmoline and some unknown oil everywhere.

My new B5 in .22
My new B5 in .22

I ran a couple patches through the barrel and a shop rag over the exterior and loading area. I then mounted a dovetail to picatinny rail and topped it all with my UTG 4×32 AO scope. I decided to test it out initially with CPHPs to work out the bugs. The cocking was the smoothest out of the box I’ve ever experienced with a cheap springer.

Then I took aim and squeezed the trigger. Must be on safe. No, it isn’t on safe. I took aim again and squeezed the trigger, this time much harder. Much, much harder! This thing must have the heaviest trigger in the world, I’d guess it broke around 15 pounds. If I don’t do something about this trigger, my finger is going to look like Quagmire’s arm after he discovered the dirty side of the internet! (If you have a devious sense of humor look that up on YouTube)

After a few dozen shots, I decided it was time to get a benchmark on accuracy before I tear it down, chop it up, and tune it. Most of my Chinese airguns really like RWS Hobby pellets, so I decided to use these for testing. I set up a grid target at 10 yards and took my favorite seated position. If you click on the picture in this post, you’ll notice I circled the group in red.

A half inch group at 10 yards with the worst trigger I’ve ever squeezed and no tune! I’ve got a real diamond in the rough here and I’ll be sure to update this site as I make progress.

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Fixing my Center Point Scope

My Umarex Fuel ate the scope it came with alive. I replaced it with a Center Point 4-16×40 AO scope with illuminated reticle. I’ve been shooting with that scope for about a year now, and several thousand shots later, it has held zero flawlessly. The other day, however, I went to use the illuminated reticle and here’s what I found:

My scope failure
My scope failure

The dial to control the illuminated reticle had its screws vibrated loose from the recoil of all my shooting and was just hanging by the wires that went to the illuminator. I carefully disassembled the dial to get to the screws.

The guts of the illuminated reticle
The guts of the illuminated reticle

Note the ring on the bottom right. I used a small screwdriver to rotated it out of the housing. The round circuit board came out from underneath it. Here’s a view of the dial with the above components removed:

Inside the dial
Inside the dial

I then removed all six screws seen above. This allowed me to remove the dial, exposing the three loose screws.

Nip this problem in the bud
Nip this problem in the bud

To hopefully prevent this from happening in the future, I applied blue Loctite to all screws as I reassembled everything. After 24 hours, it should be ready for several thousand shots more. In the meantime, here’s a view through the scope after reassembly:

View through the scope after repair
View through the scope after repair

In case you haven’t seen it already, here’s a video showing how you can make a scope to cell phone adapter for any phone you can get a hard case for:

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Umarex Fuel .177 Review

I’ve been shooting the Umarex Fuel .177 for six months now. In that time, I have really grown to love this fine air rifle. It is great for target practice, plinking, and hunting.

My airgun of choice - the Umarex Fuel in .177
My airgun of choice – the Umarex Fuel in .177

Here’s my initial video impression of the air rifle:

So, the biggest disappointment with this setup was the scope. I replaced it with a Centerpoint 4-16×40 AO scope with an illuminated Mil-Dot reticle. Needless to say, this is more than enough scope and it has really made the air rifle shine.

With the negative aside, let’s talk the positives. It has a rock solid scope rail that keeps you on target tin after tin of pellets. The suppressor makes shooting as quiet as you can with a spring piston airgun. Speaking of spring pistons, the gas ram is consistent and hard hitting.

That brings me to another interesting thing about this air rifle. It shoots well from the built in bipod. While better accuracy can be had from the artillery hold, this air rifle shoots well in the hands of less experienced airgunners. I think it is due to the sheer mass of the air rifle combined with the fast lock time of the gas piston.

It is a fine squirrel hunting air rifle, I’ve taken a lot of game with it:

My cat admires my hunting success.
My cat admires my hunting success.

I highly recommend that you look at the Umarex Fuel .177 as a potential airgun purchase if you are in the market for a powerful air rifle and want to give springers a try.

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