AIR GUNS: SPRING CARBINE
Compressed air guns are at the peak of technology and
have become widely known in recent years. Their precision and simplicity
make them ideal weapons for the various different disciplines of
recreational shooting competitions. It is important to mention that this
type of gun is prohibited for hunting in Spain, in contrast with other
countries where they are permitted for hunting activities.
This type of compressed air gun includes a large variety
of models on the market, with not only pistols, but also rifles and shotguns.
Rifles can be classified according to their manufacturers (BSA, Gamo,
Cometa, Norica Storm...), the model or its power. However, on this occasion
we are going to classify compressed air guns according to the type of
loading system they have. In this regard, depending on the rifle’s action
mechanism, it can be classified into 3 types: spring rifle, CO2 rifle and
PCP (Pre Charged Pneumatic) rifle or pre-compressed air guns.
BSA XL TACTICAL
spring carbine 4,5 mm.
Spring carbine by GAMO SHADOW 640 model
4,5 mm. (177
In this case, we are going to analyse the spring rifle,
also known as the spring-piston rifle. This rifle has achieved a market
position as one of the most sought-after compressed air guns among fans of
recreational shooting sports. Their ease of handling, their reliability and
their similar means of use to fire arms, along with economical maintenance
and ammunition costs, are all factors which make the spring rifle ideal for
those who are newcomers to the use of compressed air guns. The spring rifle
has a loading mechanism comprising a swinging barrel. This mechanism is
based on a manually activated lever which pushes the gun’s interior piston,
compressing the air inside the cylinder. In this way, the pellet which is
housed in the interior of the rifle’s barrel, is ejected at great velocity.
The most common calibres of spring rifles in Spain are 4.5 mm (177 inches),
the official calibre for competitions which usually use pellets made from
lead and other alloys. Another very common calibre is 5.5 millimetres.
Outline the main elements of an air rifle or spring
Two essential elements of the compressed air rifle are
the spring and the piston. The compression spring is the piece of coiled
wire which gives power to the gun. Its length varies according to the model
of the rifle, although normally the number of spirals is never less than 29,
or more than 40. The quality of the spring is very important since the power
of the rifle depends on it. It is a part which occasionally has to be
replaced as it loses strength with each shot, however, it is not difficult
to obtain parts of this type at the gunsmith’s.
Spring for air gun
Another important element is the piston, which is the
part which compresses the air inside the cylinder. The power of the rifle
can vary depending on the weight of this part, therefore its design is very
important, since it will determine the final performance of the compressed
air rifle. In the upper section of the piston, there is the piston seal
which is a part made traditionally of rubber or nylon, the function of which
is to avoid air leaks at the moment when the piston makes its forward
movement, when the gun is fired. This part has to withstand high
temperatures, and offer the maximum possible resistance capacity at the
moment when the piston is activated, so for this reason the seal and the
piston should be greased with non-inflammable oils. In some instances, the
temperature which is generated in the gun at the moment of release can cause
the oils which lubricate the piston and the seal to ignite, producing what
is known as “dieseling”. This process, if it occurs in a slight way, can
contribute to the increase in power of the CO2 rifle, however, if the
combustion is very intense this can result in seriously damaging the gun.
Piston seals for spring air-guns
A characteristic of spring-piston rifles is that they
have a very pronounced recoil as a result of the piston’s forward movement.
The recoil is the sharp thump which the gun makes on the shoulder of the
shooter when the gun is fired. Therefore, the recoil of spring and piston
rifles is very similar to that of a firearm, which to some extent makes it
more difficult to control the weapon. The spring rifle can also experience
vibrations during firing, which can affect its precision and accuracy. To
control this, the coils include, in their interior, some rear guides
attached to the spring to control its vibration at the moment of firing. The
spring should be well attached to these guides in order to avoid such
vibration. It is recommended not to fix the spring too tightly since the
rifle would lose power, or too loosely as this could increase the vibrations.
The back guides can either be made from metal or another synthetic material.
BSA LIGHTNING XL
Spring carbine pellet-loaded directly into the canyon
A couple of pieces of advice when using and maintaining
spring rifles are, firstly not to leave them loaded for hours or days as the
spring can lose its elastic properties thereby reducing its firing power.
Secondly, never fire the spring rifle when it is not loaded with pellets.
Without ammunition to facilitate the compression of air, the piston seal
will release rapidly, impacting with the piston or with the section known as
the transfer port, which will result in serious damage. Keeping these tips
in mind, you can enjoy your rifle while practising one of your favourite
Buy spring airguns]
of Gamo airguns]