new springer


October 24, 2013, 11:19 AM
Soo,... several months ago I bought my first springer air rifle. a Ruger Air hawk.
Not the the best but figured it would be OK for a first.
After I got it, I shot it enough to realize the scope is junk. won't hold zero.
Again, wasn't too bit a issue 'cause if I felt I really needed to shoot a distance where a scope is needed, I have plenty of centerfire rifles for that.

Anyways, yesterday I finally really took it out to dial it in. I ended up having to use a modified version of the artilliary hold so I would be in a comfortable position. What I mean is instead of resting on the palm or back of my fingers, I rested the balance point of the rifle on my fist with my thumb curved just enough to keep it from rolling. I was able to dial it in this way and get decent groups.

The problem that I see is the insane amount of adjustments I had to make on the rear sight. Elevation was set to 5 and windage was nearly halfway over from center. All that for a target approximately 10yds away. Because of the windage my cheek just barely hits the stock.

Is this common for the cheap(er) springers? or do I really have a lemon. I have maybe 100-150 shots thru the rifle. Unless the receipt is in the box, I may not have it for a return and that depends on store policy. (just checked, wayyyyy past the return date)

I don't plan on hunting with it but it just kind of bugs me to have that amount of sight adjustment

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October 24, 2013, 02:15 PM
It doesn't seem to be that uncommon to be honest with break barrels to be honest, although usually you hear about them shooting extremely low and now left or right. I will give you the same advice that a very trusted airgun smith gave me when I contacted him about barrel droop on my first air rifle. Either deal with it, get better glass with more adjustment, or ever so slightly bend the barrel in the direction you need the pellet to go. No I'm not joking he even gave me a link to a thread he posted on that airgun forum explaining how to build the jig he uses and how he bends the barrels. I will go over to that site and see if I can find the link and PM it to you if you would like.

October 24, 2013, 05:36 PM
I have an RWS 350 .22cal added a Leapers 3-9x50 and it shoots half dollar groups at 60 yds. cost for rifle was $400, but I looked for a a few months before I bought. I wanted something "adult" I could practice with instead of a $1/shot rifle. Mine with scope weighs in at 9lbs so its nearly perfect to practice with off sticks or rest. Sorry to hear about your experience. Look at straight shooters or pyramid air there are a few "quality" air gun dealers out there. and if you get a scope, do get one rated for air rifles, else they break very, very quickly.

October 24, 2013, 05:44 PM
There are a few tricks to help with accuracy, holding the gun loosely as you've done is one. Trying a variety of pellets is another, preferably some quality ones in the mid to heavy range. I like JSB 8.4 and 10.3gr, and H&N Barracuda best, other good ones are RWS Superdome 8.3gr, and even Crosman Premier. It's usually better to stay away from Gamo, Daisy, or Crosman other than Premier round nose.
Checking the crown of the barrel and recrowning if needed. Checking and fixing any problems with barrel lockup. If it doesn't lock well each time grease the latch. If needed smooth the bore the latch rides it, maybe shim the spring. Smooth the catch surface if needed. Check for and try to eliminate side to side play in the barrel as well. Be sure it's snug, and shim if needed so the barrel cannot move. If it uses plastic side washers switch to brass and adjust washer thickness so it's just snug without tightening the screw, then use the screw to keep it tight. Be sure all the screws attaching the stock are tight. Be sure the breech seal isn't leaking, and if possible check the main seal which probably needs to be replaced.
If the crown isn't damaged and is true then the open sights should not need to be adjusted to either side very much, unless the front sight is off.
You should not bend the barrel to bring it in line, and with open sights it's not an issue anyway. With a scope it's better to either shim the scope to match the barrel, or take material off the barrel so it's level. Bending is for a gun you don't want to take the time doing it right.
The spring in the scope holding the inner tube inside against the W/E screws is often not strong enough to hold the tube securely under harsh recoil, so you can work on reducing recoil, use heavier pellets, and adjust the elevation down so it puts more pressure on the spring. Usually the barrel points down a bit and if the elevation can adjust far enough for it then you have good spring tension. If you have a straight barrel or shimed the scope to match the barrel you might find the spring tension isn't enough and need to make changes to add tension. If the gun is tuned and medium to heavy pellets used then the reverse recoil should be low enough that none of this is an issue. The scope that came with the gun should be good enough, but if either the breech or main seals leak it will have excessive reverse recoil and cause problems and can even break the scope.

October 24, 2013, 06:10 PM
I hope the seals are not worn. Its basically a brand new rifle with not even a tin shot thru it.
I was going to check the crown during my lunch break but didn't have time. I'll check it when I get home.
Everything is tight and snug yet moves freely. barrel latches closed firmly

I don't remember what brand/weight pellets I bought. I figured I would plink with them, have fun, then get serious and find out what pellets the rifle likes.

Right now, the grouping isn't bad. Could tighten up a bit but I am sure better pellets and improve my holds can do that.

It just kind of bugs me that the rifle needs that much sight adjustment for 10 yards. If I remember and the light holds, I'll take some pics and post.

October 24, 2013, 06:19 PM
The seal won't be worn, it is usually damaged during install at the factory, cut on the sharp edges inside the gun. I always change the main seal first thing in any springer under $500, that is after I smooth the sharp edges.

October 28, 2013, 11:21 AM
Is there anything loose and wobbly? Check the sights and the action to stock fit. Change your hold when you shoot. If you have been holding loose snug it up a bit, embrace it man. Love it.

November 3, 2013, 11:49 AM
in shooting a Springer there are so many variables that you must attrnf to that it oftimes gets frustrating, then all of a sudden you get everything together and your groups start to shrink!
For anyone I wouls advise shying away from a Magnum for a first Springer. A rifle like an R-7 or HW 30. Diana 24 or 27 or the Small Mendosa are very good riflea to learn the basics with and afterwards are very fine shooters for a lifrtime to come!
Once you get the basics down. then move up to a big Magnum.
Airgun Scopes are very specialised and built to take the vibrations amd recoils these guns generate
They needen't be expensive, You can buy a decent low power Centerline from Wal Mart and on line you cnbuy quality UTG brand scopes reasonably.
Just like starting with a .22 lr and then moving up to a magnum...
Airgunning is a GREAT hobby/Sport!

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