What to do about a leaking breech seal? Ask our resident guru
Dear Guru I think the breech seal might be leaking on my Stoeger X20 break- barrel airgun. If it does leak, will I lose power and how can I find out if it’s worn out? It looks all right to me, but my mate says I should change it. CHRIS Hello Chris, A worn breech seal might well leak and yes, it will then cause a loss of power. Over time, seals wear as they’re pressed against the face of the cylinder over and over. If they don’t make sufficient contact, some high pressure air might blow past and be lost, air that would have otherwise been employed to drive the pellet down the barrel. They’re usually very cheap to buy and quite simple to replace with just basic tools.
A quick and easy way to see for yourself if air is leaking, is to take a tissue, your rifle, and a go to a safe place to shoot. Face downrange and then cock and load the rifle. Drape the tissue over the breech and then take a shot with both eyes open. If the tissue stays still then there’s no problem, but if it blows upwards, you know it’s time for a new seal.
You might also consider getting the rifle serviced by a gun smith. It’s likely that if one seal has worn out that others will have too. A skilled person would strip and inspect all the parts for signs of wear and replace them as needed. The piston seal and main spring are most often replaced and proper lubricants applied to maximise performance and reduce wear. Ed.
“A skilled person would strip and inspect all the parts for signs of wear”
Draping a tissue over the breech seal is a quick way to detect a leak