Neil gets to work on a lovely Air Arms Pro Sport to see if he can im­prove an al­ready fine ri­fle

Air Gunner - - Hunting -

A friend of mine with whom I shoot HFT at Kib­worth Shoot­ing Grounds, in Le­ices­ter­shire, bought this beau­ti­ful Air Arms Pro Sport in .177 cal­i­bre. He had been af­ter one for some time, and even­tu­ally bit the bul­let and got one. He is so en­am­oured with it that he told me he wanted it to be the best spring-pow­ered air ri­fle by far in his col­lec­tion, and so he asked me to fit a V-Mach kit. Okay, let’s see how it is per­form­ing be­fore we start. A ten-shot string was put through my Skan chrono­graph. This ri­fle cocked re­ally smoothly and eas­ily and had a very pleas­ant fir­ing cy­cle.

I have seen worse spreads from limit in the UK. Right, time for it to come apart.

1 Take out the four hexagon drive coun­ter­sunk head screws from the fore- end of the stock (two on each side) and then re­move the trig­ger guard by tak­ing out the two hexagon drive screws.

2 With these screws re­moved, break the cock­ing lever down.

3 The stock can now be slid for­ward, clear­ing the cock­ing arm and placed some­where away from the work area for safe­keep­ing. I usu­ally put it straight back into the gun slip that it came in.

4 With an 11mm AF span­ner, loosen, but do not re­move, the pil­lar nut that re­tains the trig­ger block.

5 Be­fore car­ry­ing out this next part of the strip, have a look and make sure that a square sec­tion af­ter-mar­ket spring has not been fit­ted. If it has, then the next part must be car­ried out in a spring com­pres­sor be­cause these square sec­tion springs have a much greater pre-load length than the stan­dard spring, and when re­leased un­con­trolled can shoot out at a tremen­dous speed and do a lot of dam­age, es­pe­cially to your hands. If it is a stan­dard round spring, then hold the bar­rel of the ri­fle, stand it up­right and ex­ert down­ward pres­sure and re­move the pil­lar nut. The main­spring pre-load can then be let down by hand. There is very lit­tle pre-load on these ri­fles, so it is quite safe to do it in this man­ner with­out us­ing a spring com­pres­sor when a stan­dard spring is fit­ted.

6 The trig­ger block, main­spring and guide can now be with­drawn from the rear of the com­pres­sion cylin­der.

7 Take out the hexagon drive cap head screw that holds the cock­ing lever onto the com­pres­sion cylin­der. This may have thread-lock on it so it could be quite tight.

8 With the cock­ing lever dis­en­gaged, the com­pres­sion tube and pis­ton as­sem­bly can be with­drawn from the rear of the ac­tion.

9 With­draw the pis­ton as­sem­bly from the rear of the com­pres­sion cylin­der.

10 If the main­spring ‘top hat’ didn’t come out with the main­spring, as in this case, tap the pis­ton as­sem­bly sharply down on to a hard sur­face to dis­lodge the top hat. This one was held in place with a lot of grease. If you do not re­move this top hat and just fit the new spring on top of it, the spring will be­come ‘coil-bound’ and the ri­fle will not cock.

11 Every­thing that is re­quired is en­closed with the V-Mach kit; a spring with a tight fit­ting guide and Del­rin top hat, power seal, pack­ing wash­ers and spacer, breech ‘O’ rings and lubri­cants.

12 Now would be the ideal time to clean off all of the grease that used on the ini­tial as­sem­bly. Don’t for­get to clean out the in­side of the com­pres­sion cylin­der to re­move any grease residue. I use a cou­ple of sheets of kitchen towel around a suit­ably sized rod.

13 The orig­i­nal pis­ton seal can be prised from the ta­pered dove­tail lo­ca­tion spigot with a thin-han­dled screw­driver.

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