I take quite a bit of pride in being able to strip down all my springers. I know what all the parts do, I can service them and I can put them all back together again. So it can be a bit humbling to miss something as obvious as this…..
When I first got my TX200HC (second hand) a few weeks ago, I was over the moon. I could make better groups than my Prosport, and I had high hopes. The only problem was it could be a bit inconsistent. What I mean is, I could shoot a brilliant, ragged one hole group. Then another good group, but off to one side slightly. Maybe half a mil-dot off. Then the next 5 shots might not group at all.
I knew the scope was good because I tested that on another known good gun. So I narrowed it down to either pellet selection or my technique. Everyone knows that springers can be hard to master, so I would nail down my technique first!
I tried many different holds, and many different trigger techniques. Some were better than others, but I never got the consistency I wanted. Hmm, what next? Well it was a second hand gun, so maybe something was going on inside. The piston seal was good and the spring looked straight and true too. However the breech seals were missing! I put two new seals into the breech (for some reason Air Arms designed it this way) and tried again. Accuracy and consistency were the same, but at least I had gained 10 fps, so not a completely wasted effort. I even tried a drop in tuning kit, with new guide, top hat and spring.
I then had a few shots with the trusty Weihrauch HW80K and stacked 5 pellets on top of eachother, in the bullseye. Obviously practising my technique was paying off, but not with my HFT gun.
So I decided it must be pellet selection. Last night I went online and selected a load of the best rated brands. I even found some precision scales that I could use to weight them out. But for some reason I didn’t go through with the order, maybe I would have one last look at the gun…
Today after work I stripped the TX down again (now a very quick and easy job) and checked over every part. Lo and behold I found something very obviously broken!
This bracket screws onto the main cylinder. Then the front stock screws come though the wood and into the sides of the bracket. Essentially it holds the front of the stock onto the action.
Sometimes these can come loose, so I gave it a wiggle and loose it was. Out came the allen keys and I tried to tighten it. But the screw was already bottomed out, and the bracket was still loose. Taking it off altogether revealed that it was cracked right through one side, and almost through the other. This would have the same effect as not tightening the front stock screws up properly. Finally a problem I could see!
I reckon this part may have been damaged since I got it, and got slowly worse with use. I’ve put a few thousand pellets through it in a few weeks and the problems have been getting steadily worse.
So hopefully an easy fix. A new bracket it under £10 so it won’t break the bank either. The lesson for me here is to properly check and maintain every part of the gun. Failure to prepare is preparing for failure as they say. If this happens again in the future my process will be:
- Strip down the gun and check EVERY part
- Make sure my technique is spot on. Maybe shoot from a bench to eliminate as much human error as possible
- Pellet test until I find the best brand/make/weight/size
Maybe this will help me improve on that last HFT score of 42…..