Friday, May 13, 2011

Crosman 116 Refinish

Interestingly, the Vintage Airgun Forum recently had a discussion about "overly restoring" airguns. It's a relevant topic--at least to me--as I write this because I'm working on a cosmetically trashed gun from the 1950's and I just rebuilt a vintage Haenel 303-Super with an "over restored stock". I'm guilty. Make no mistake. In the case of the Haenel, I justified it as the gun wasn't worth much money and seemed to only benefit from the work. I did take pains to make the work look period and as though it was done on a semi-mass produced basis. And you thought I just messed stuff up by accident? Nope. I screw stuff up for all kinds of reasons.

In the case of this 116? Well, the gun looked trashed. Who wants that? It also helps to remember that these were mass produced mainly for the young adult market. As a result, many of the factory finishes really weren't all that hot to begin with. Airguns were often seen as gateway guns to "real guns"--firearms.

Again, here's what I started with:

Click on any of the pics to enlarge. The gas tube is missing exactly 37.281% of the original(?) finish.

In the last post, I stripped the gun down completely.

Strypeeze does what it says.

An old brass brush dipped in Strypeeze was wiped across the metal.

Followed immediately by a paper towel. The black paint wiped right off.

Had I been in a hurry, this would have been a three minute job. I took my time and was done in four minutes.

This pic is for you Slinging Lead! Note the brass breech is soldered to the gas tube.

Both breech and front sight are brass. The front sight is soldered to the muzzle and the gas tube. I was sorely tempted to polish out the brass then blue the barrel and gas tube. I think the effect would be beautiful--if you like the look of shiny brass on your gun--which I don't.

I wanted to try my hand at recreating the somewhat crinkly factory painted finish.

Somewhere (not shown) is the stripped grip frame. Two whole pins to removed the trigger and sear.

Four hardware stores later, I finally gave up and went to an AutoZone. Wrinkle paint at last! VHT Wrinkle Plus-- apparently, it also comes in red... I followed the directions on the can to the letter and the VHT worked exactly as advertised.

The first coat didn't make me think it was gonna wrinkle--looked like a semi-gloss. The second coat wasn't much better...

By the third coat, I knew I had something. The top coat just sort of pulled back as it dried and left a random orange peel texture.

Painted the grip frame, too, as well as the fill cap. Gave the paint 48 hours to cure. Heated the paint to 200 degrees as per the instructions for half an hour as well. The crackled finish is really beautiful. Much nicer than what I'd envisioned.

Not gonna cover the reassembly. It's just the reverse of the tear down blog post. I did wrap the fill cap and the valve retaining nut threads in PTFE tape.

After the valve was installed, I gassed up the tube and checked for leaks. Tapped the valve stem several times with a drift to test fire the valve. Looked good.

A white paint marker was used to fill in the Crosman logo.

Allowed it to almost dry, then wiped the excess off. Intentionally took out a bit too much of the paint to make it look somewhat aged and worn. Why didn't I add a trigger stop?

Installed the grips.

Looks slightly better than brand new. My wife, the arbiter of design and style, gave it the nod of acceptance.

Yeah, after shooting it all evening, I need to drill the frame for that trigger stop pin. Won't be hard to touch up...

OK, I added a #6-32 set screw as a trigger stop.

Short enough to not protrude from the guard.

Center punched the guard, used a hand held drill and hand tapped. Didn't even disassemble the grip frame. Finding a #6-32 tap took longer than doing the actual work.

You can just see the allen head of the 6-32 set screw .

It takes a 1/16" allen wrench, so it's pretty small. I touched up the very edge of the threaded hole and the screw almost disappears into the frame.

Not sure what's on the menu next. I've got the longer barreled older brother to the 116--the Crosman 112--that could stand a tear-down and rebuild. Sometimes it helps to do these in succession while the procedures are still fresh in the brain (and the tools are still on the bench).

The 112 will need some grips though, as I parted them out and sent them off to Nick for a project gun he has. Since I wanted to make grips for it anyway, it was a good way of forcing my hand.

One of us will have something new in a few days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crosman 116 Disassembly

Yet another of the Findlay show finds. A Crosman 116 bulk-fill .22 cal pistol. Got it at a great price, no doubt due to the missing finish and it didn't come with the 10 oz filling tank.

The tank is no problem, as I have one or two around here somewhere. Though, I've been using paintball tanks and an adapter to fill my bulk guns. I can only imagine the lecture Dan would give me at Underground Sports where I get my tanks filled. I'll take one down there next time just to raise his blood pressure.

Anyway, the gun works, but the finish has seen better decades. Want to tear it down, check out the seals, massage anything that looks troublesome and respray the metal.

Odd, but the old grips look really good considering the rest of the gun has been dragged behind a truck.

With the grips off...

The grip frame goes next.

Two retaining bolts for the gas tube plug were removed.

There's a power adjuster. Nice feature for a gun from 1950-something. The hammer spring came out, too. The spring looks kinda ratty. I'll scrounge up something to replace it.

Bolt and hammer

Top of the bolt is grooved for the cocking pin.

Speaking of which...

And the bolt came out. Notice the protruding spring. There's supposed to be a small ball bearing at each end of the spring. Yeah, the bolt rides on bearings. Another nice touch.

Rear of the bolt.

Just for posterity, I took it apart.

The valve. It needs a two-pronged spanner for removal. I tapped the valve pin several times with an aluminum rod to make sure there wasn't any gas left in the tube.

Next up is the bulk-fill cap.

A few years ago, I bought a removal tool from eBay or the Yellow Airgun Classifieds. It's simply a ring of steel with a small handle.

A few holes drilled through the side accept a small steel pin.

Tool goes over the cap, pin through the tool and into the cap's vent hole.

The cap is then unscrewed. I think that sliver is the remains of the seal. That was probably at the base of the cap's threads. A small o-ring or maybe just some teflon tape should do the trick upon reassembly. I'll worry about it later.

I think all that's left is the valve. I sacrificed a 13mm socket. Cut and ground it until the notches fit the valve nut inside the gas tube.

Blurry, but you get the idea.

The retaining nut.

And the valve parts. The valve body is soldered into the gas tube, so that's that.

Ah, and I had to remove the front sight.

I'm going to strip what's left of the finish off and hunt down some crinkly, wrinkly, krackly kinda paint.

More soon.