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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:01 pm
Posts: 8
This ancient pumper BB gun has been a trusted gun in my possession for over 50 years. A friend who bought it new claimed he bought it around 1956. It has the tootsie roll fore stock and the screw in bolt handle, if that will help and no serial number anywhere. My two boys were taught safe handling and respected firearms from using this gun at an early age. Even then, it was too stiff for them to pump more than a couple of time. Over the years it has suffered its fair share of damage, drops and wear but it has always been a shooter and held air without leakage. Lately it was showing signs of age and I had extreme difficulty in getting any parts into Canada and have had to cobble together some bush/basement fixes. Amazingly most of the original bluing remains and the shiny brass parts lend character. The kids managed to break the solder on the barrel so I moved the barrel over with a piece of wood trying not to bend the barrel and cleaned the top front of the pump chamber with some acid and silver soldered it with some flux and a propane brazing torch at the front sight support. It has never moved since.. Not pretty but it worked. The bolt handle broke at the thread, so I Brazed it back on as I couldn't find the part at the time. Again not pretty but it never broke and was stronger than original. Finally the pump action became very weak... The gun was always well oiled but the leather pump cup was just wore out. The peep sight which I installed many years ago was getting loose at the peep, so I epoxied it at the sweet spot for 20 yd. Again, not pretty, but it worked. That is the spot everything is zeroed at, so probably no one else can accurately shoot this gun as my sight picture is weird after cataract surgery. After searching for a new pump cup on the internet I found several but they again would not ship to Canada... You can get a complete seal kit, but they cost more than 10 times than this gun, which originally sold for $8.00 new and the only part I needed was a pump cup. What to do? So, I went to the local leather/shoe shop and got some scraps that were 1/16 of an inch thick. The thickness is really important as the inside of the pump barrel is 3/4 of an inch and the fittings at the end of the pump rod were 5/8 of an inch wide. I drilled a 1/4 inch hole in a 2 inch square piece of leather and fastened it with the machine screw at the end of the pump rod through the spacer and the crown and tightened it up. It is important to have the smooth side of the leather on the inside of the cup. This allows for a better seal as the air pressure forces the leather out tightly out to the pump barrel and the rough surface soaks up the oil and keeps expanded and lubricated. I then trimmed the leather with a pair of scissors into a circle that when folded mimicked the depth of the old pump cap. I oiled the leather well and then tried to get it into piston barrel.. no joy, too tight, so I got a piece of 3/4 inch id. copper pipe, greased the inside and managed to force the piston and new leather cup inside with the cup end squished a bit, butted it up to the end of the piston barrel and pounded the rod end with a leather mallet, wonders , it went in relatively easily until it slid down to the end of the cut out in the piston barrel and the leather bunched up. Forcing it past this point could tear the leather and ruin your work. A small screwdriver pushed the sticking edge of the pump cup inside and it slid down the rest of the way. I happily put the gun back together and noted that all the pins after many years of pumping showed no real signs of wear. I was getting ready to retire this as a wall hanger as there appears to no way to mount a scope, but now I am glad I didn't. After oiling the pump barrel it was almost as stiff to pump as my new 397. At 8 pumps this old smooth bore still puts 10 pellets into a 1 inch circle at 15 yds with the peep sight and at 10 pumps it now goes right through a 1 inch pine board with cheap pointed Crosman Premier 7.4 gr. It was built to shoot BBs, and has a cone fitting on the end of the bolt into which you insert a BB to keep it from falling out before closing the bolt. it also has a lip on the barrel at the chamber seal which makes it a bit tricky to insert a pellet. For some inexplicable reason the smooth bore seems to be really accurate with cheap pellets and this is likely because I have never shot at something with it farther than 30 yds. It also has an amazingly smooth,light trigger at about 2.5 lbs. Much better than my new 397. The moral of this long story, is "don't give up on your old air GUN. " A rifle, this 310 is not, but it has humanely dispatched many a pest. Hopefully this story can help someone cheaply resurrect another old Benjamin Air Gun.

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