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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Vancouver
After more than 8 months! Finally, it's coming together, after a string of weirdly bad luck in getting tools and materials to make the silly little drop block for the bottle. But that's done, and now I just have to find someone who'll sell me a 1.8K burst disc (as apparently there's a run of bad ones breaking well under pressure, according to Bob and others here as well as 3 local paintball shops I called today) as everyone's out of stock. Still, seems there's a good chance I'll finally get to use this thing for HFT this month!

weight: 6lbs 14oz

overall length: 36"

barrel: modified QB .22" 13.4" long, reduced for front section to get that centred for a muzzle brake - the bore was quite badly off-centre as it came to me cut to 14" long

balance: just ahead of the back end of the bottle; just right for standing shots

power: ~700fps with JSB 18.13gr, just under the 20fpe HFT target protection limit

Accuracy to be determined, though my tests without the bottle have shown better groups than my 2260 which is already somewhat competitive for HFT distances. Seems to be my third most accurate gun, but as the other two are sub-500fps pistols (Pardini K12 and Brocock Atomic with LW barrel) they don't really count for FT. The 2260 comes close, but groups slightly larger on targets at home.

I'm trying to find a shop where they'll sell me burst discs and also test and adjust shimming in my regulator to get me to around 1,100psi or maybe a little higher to get the same velocity I'm seeing with the main cylinder pumped to 1,100psi. If anyone's got any tips on worthy shops in the Vancouver area I'd be grateful for such information. So far it seems Badlands in New Westminster is the best bet, but they're out of stock until at least Wednesday next week and possibly longer. Anyway, pending a full 3,000psi fill and Chrony F1 test to see how many shots I get out of it... here's a couple of pictures. I'll add more information as it gets tested.

Image

Image

Image

The bump on the pipe stock is a camera mount, put there for my Pentax W90. But I'll probably build another with a downward bend to it to get my head a bit more upright and leave off the camera mount, as that's not likely a thing I'll pursue much. Camera isn't really high-res enough to capture anything interesting. The 6061 aluminum pipe stock detaches for transport using a little brass button with a spring pushing it. Slides over the delrin rear plug and onto the main tube so it's quite solid.

The scope is a Leupold VX-1 2-7x with simple crosshair - I'm not partial to mil-dot scopes. Prefer to estimate in centimetres while consulting charts printed out from Chairgun. The brand of mounts I can't recall, but they're high enough to clear the 8-shot magazine which came to me with the rifle. Barely. They're rock solid so I don't care what they are. I made the sun shade out of PVC pipe, turned thinner from the inside on my little lathe then sprayed inside and out with Krylon black satin 'Dual' plastic paint and allowed to dry for a week in the sun. It's proving fairly durable with handling.

Grip panels were custom carved by someone I don't know (can't read the signature inside, but it's vibrated in with an engraving tool in cursive) and came to me with very, very wide flanges, which I carved away to make it comfortable and not ridiculously wide. They also had HUGE bulges right in the middle of the hand, which was weird. Did a lot of shaping with knives and gouges and sandpaper. They're a beautifully sweet-smelling and very dense rosewood. Hard to carve, almost like ebony. The grip frame is basic 22xx, with a modified trigger/sear which is slightly easier than stock. I might work on that a bit yet. The frame was bead blasted but had the seam intact, so I filed that smooth then baked on epoxy paint.

There's an ebony piece between bottle and cylinder which is matched to the surface shape of both for a snug fit when the bottle slips into place. The rear of the bottle goes into a steel and kydex brace mounted to a 1/4"-20 bolt which holds the grip frame to the valve brass body. Quite secure; I can pick the gun up by the bottle and wave it around with zero movement. The front of the bottle is held to the gun by the Foster QD coupling as well as a stainless steel band which is bolted into the transfer block. It's going nowhere even if I drop it. Which I won't. Never dropped a gun yet.

The block itself is cut from 1.25" thick 7075 aluminum stock, something which took 3 months and more to get here from Israel for some reason. 7075 is hard to source locally unless committing to a very long bar, and pricey, but I love the way it machines. The tapped thread for the bottle went very smoothly, with help in alignment from my TAIG lathe. I re-ground the tap into a bottoming tap once a couple of turns were established then continued in a vise with a long-handled wrench and lots of very short turns and some oil. Finished the narrower bottom of the hole where the 2 O-rings seal on the lathe again. A friend with a machine shop (Toby Cycleworks in Vancouver, if anyone needs anything from an artificial limb to an off-road vehicle for a paraplegic designed and fabricated... or whatever other extremely refined custom metal work - they're amazing guys, who I worked with for a little while in the late 1980's) quickly cut the threads for the QD fitting, then I finished and painted the block with my favourite spray bomb; Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy. Heated the metal to around 200F before spraying a couple of light coats, then air dried for a couple of hours, then baked for 40 minutes starting at 250F then increasing for the last half to 350F. Stuff sets up so hard this way. And not too smelly, though I don't use the kitchen stove. Have a little toaster oven in the shop for paint baking.

The covering on the tank and stock is a textured rubber cloth picked up from a local outdoor fabrics shop, just put on with good contact cement. Makes a warm-to-the-touch finish for face and hand contact. The buttpad is that stuff over dense 1/4" foam. There's a nylon D-ring under the stock so I can hang it from a shoulder strap if I get tired of carrying 7lbs of air rifle for a bit. The little bump on the top of the barrel band (floating fit) is a brazed-in set screw to align a delrin mount I made for a sighting laser. But I decided not to keep that thing on for now, though it's kind of fun. Want to keep this thing simple. The magazine will come out for FT use of course, as a safety rule prohibits mounted, loaded mags from moving between stations.

Of course it's no FX Impact, which remains very high in my 'like' column of airguns (though recently supplanted at the top by the Edgun Leshiy for its sheer functionality and compact brutishness), it's sort of a home-made Impact. Lacks all the exterior adjustable goodness of course. But I can dismantle it if I need to fine tune things. The SSG inside gives a very crisp 9.5mm push to the roughly 60% of original hammer mass remaining, using quite a hard 0.042" spring with a fair bit of pre-compression. Air waste isn't bad - Sikes' calculator shows an efficiency of about 1.48ci/cc in my un-bottled testing with 8-shots strings averaging about 19.9fpe. For FT and general plinking it'll do nicely.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:07 am
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Location: Central West River Nova Scotia
The gun looks awesome. Congrat,s. It,s quite amusing and at the same time frustrating, trying to build custom made "things" not just guns, when trying to source parts or tool,s or custom work. It,s even more frustrating, when you know what you want, but don't exactly know what it is by name, to even start looking for it. The end product is satisfactory, but in your heart of hearts, you know it could have been perfect if only you could have gotten everything just as you envisioned.
Watertown, a member on the forum, and is a friend of mine are building a SSP, and we are having some similar difficulties acquiring parts. The latest part which we intend to make our selves (hopefully) is a pump plunger seal similar to a springer piston seal. However the size doesn't exist over the counter, and custom made is far too expensive. So we intend to make one, but don't know what the name is of the best material for the application. Online, there are too many choices of similar material,s, but don't know which one is the best. Then, there's the problem of finding a source for it that will sell, and ship a small quantity,and not cost an arm and a leg. Because (like your project) this is a, one off, one of a kind, project, never before seen, there are no expert,s to look to for advice. Yep,,,I feel your pain. Great job, sticking with it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:12 am 
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Posts: 77
I like your latest set up.
There may be a spare burst disk in my parts pile. Will have to double check if there is a 1.8k sitting in there.
Will get back to you later this afternoon once I get home to root around.

MM


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Vancouver
Thank you for the offer Bren. I may take you up in it if the shops don't come through. But testing and correctly adjusting the regulator will have to go hand in hand with the disc as I need to get the regulated pressure just right. Have to order some parts from BestFittings to throw together an output tester, with a Foster nipple on one end and a big, easy to read and reliable gauge on the other. And a double-female QD to add to that for double checking my pump gauge maybe, though the corroboration between Ninja and FX gauges is reassuring so far.

What family of materials are you talking about Joe? Plastics? A friend told me a couple of years back about Igus, this German plastic with some amazing stability and pressure resistance and very low friction - these guys:

http://www.igus.com/wpck/15559/barstock?C=US

I emailed them but never got a reply. Maybe if I spoke German... Some day I'd like to order a few feet of 1" or so rod from them. The best I've been able to get from sabicpolymershapes.com has been a PETP plastic rod for a high load, low motion bearing which needs a bit lower friction than that plastic delivers.

A scratch-built SSP... that's a fun and interesting project! Ever since seeing the rather massively built Webley Paradigm - topic31480.html - I've had a bit if a longing for something like that but a bit more compact. Like a bullpup SSP.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:25 am
Posts: 366
Location: Canada
Very nice job. 8)
Interesting ideas you have.
Is that a pellet feeder mounted on the breech?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:43 pm 
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Location: Central West River Nova Scotia
It has to be durable and able to conform to any possible irregularities in the tube, but strong enough to withstand 2000 to 3000 psi, without extruding. we are currently using Viton O rings, but they tended to extrude, so we are going to use backing rings for now. Unfortunately there is no way to measure the pressure, except mathematically, because of the valve design and the tiny volume of air. There are so many choices and compositions of ,PTFE for instance, and not having first hand, touching and feeling the various materials, its hard to know what would work best. And even if a suitable material was suggested, how hard would it be to machine it, as I believe most piston seals are moulded. Anyway, the search for parts and materials is a fun learning experience. Just as a side note. We already had a working prototype which got a 14.3 gr .22 pellet to 590 fps. The newer version eliminates a lot of dead space, and will have a better valve, and hopefully, a better pump. The goal is to get 614 fps to get 12 ft lb energy. At least I think that,s the right calculation.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:57 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
tazz wrote:
Very nice job. 8)
Interesting ideas you have.
Is that a pellet feeder mounted on the breech?


Thanks tazz. Yes, it's an 8-shot (9-hole) .22" revolving magazine which came to me with the QB78D from a collector, who had no clue where he'd even bought the thing, along with two other airguns I picked up from him last year. Guy had way, waaaaaay to many toys, but rarely shot them, didn't even pump up this QB during the time he owned it. I asked on GTA and eventually got pointed to a site which used to sell them for the maker. The maker stopped doing that work. Someone said he went bankrupt. Here's a decent picture of someone else's, same magazine as mine:
Image
It's manually rotated once the bolt is pulled back. Have to be a bit careful to have the rifle horizontal, as the openness of the gap between magazine and tray allows for the pellet to tilt forward sometimes and can result in a smashed pellet jamming the breech, requiring a cleaning rod to knock it out again. I use the mag for plinking but for FT it's easy enough to slide out, just leaving the base which doesn't get in the way at all, being just at the front edge of the breech opening.

This video might have been made by the maker:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYUlAF5OF3g
There are a few other magazines for QB-series rifles. Some are even auto-indexing with a clock spring.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:08 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
Yup, definitely know what you mean Joe. Very difficult to guess without access to all the options just what the properties are, and it seems the plastics suppliers are not interested in explaining a whole lot. At least not in layman's terms. Lots of technical jargon and temperature specification stuff, but only passing references to 'easy to machine' here and there which isn't very helpful when trying to guess resistance to permanent deformation and the like, especially with a machined parachute edge such as one might put on an SSP seal. I've worked with a couple of grades of PTFE rod and found it too mushy for any sustained load, and extremely easy to damage with any sharp or even bumpy edge contact. Ertalyte is much harder, but tricky if you were trying to it for an SSP piston as it is very resistant to deformation, even in a thin edge. Tolerances between seal and cylinder would have to be pretty much perfect for it to hold a seal end-to-end of the stroke.

Have you looked into the middle to harder polyurethanes? I've made a few seals out of 95 durometer polyurethane and they're amazingly durable. One, for the fill nipple on my HiPAC, has taken only slight permanent deformation after sitting for over a year at over 2,000psi, some months of that at 3,000psi. The original O-ring smashed and squirted part way out the fill poppet hole though there was only about a 0.002" gap beside the aluminum stem on the poppet. Really tough stuff, urethane, and very elastic for fitting, so it'd be easy enough to machine an undercut snap-on fit to the piston with a mushroom head on it like the Baikal 46m has. Cutting it is the hard part. Need extremely sharp tooling and just the right feed rate. And lots of rod, and patience, as you learn from mistakes until getting it right. Whether a face seal or an O-ring, I'd think about 90 to 95 durometer polyurethane might do the job on an SSP nicely. That's actually why I bought mine, for the 46m main seal, but on that one I gave up as I lack the tooling and the patience to do something that complicated in such a tricky material.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Posts: 841
Location: Nova Scotia
The rifle looks very professional, but I am wondering why you decided you needed 7075 aluminum for the tank block? What size hole did you put through the block because in the photo it looks like the intersection of the two passages would not meet until very near the opposite edge of the block unless a small passage was drilled off center in the two main holes.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:23 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
Chose 7075 because it's a lot smoother to carve and tap than 6061, which for a guy using a little toy lathe like the TAIG where 6061 tends to chatter a lot (and I'm not set up for lubricated lathe work at all) that's pretty important. Hand tapping the threads for the bottle was an even more important factor. The 7075 cut smoothly, as anticipated, thanks to the high copper content. 6061 would likely gall and lock up before I was half way in with the tap, no matter how much oil I used. Even with the 7075 it was hard going towards the end, coming a bit closer to breaking the tap off in the block than I liked, but I went a tiny bit at a time with a 15" long wrench and it got done.

The holes are 1/8" diameter and meet 0.23" from the end of the block, almost 1/4" which is abundant. Overkill. I wanted a bit of room to play with, so when I was looking for small 7075 blocks on eBay this one jumped out at me as being just long enough to give some extra space, allowing for miscalculations in bottle placement relative to the angled fill nipple. I'd made a maple model which I sent Rick along with the first set of taps I ordered, but as it turned out my aluminum version doesn't match that. The spacing proved a bit bigger between the two threaded sections.

There's a 1/2" section of 10-32 steel bolt threaded into about 0.30" of threaded hole at the bottle opening. It's carved hollow on two sides, then slotted at the bottle end for a screwdriver. Allows for air passage, while providing a pusher to nudge the bearing seal on the bottle open once it's almost all the way in. There's the briefest *PFTTT* when I screw it in or unscrew it, but barely anything. Which is nice for when I want to service the gun, but don't want to empty the bottle and have to fill it up again. I did some searching for how that's done but couldn't find anything. Even Bob wasn't totally familiar with it, telling me in a PM he's never tried with a bearing type bottle stopper, only poppet types, but basically the same thing. Anyway, it works great so I'm happy. Guessed at the correct ID for the hole where the two Ninja bottle O-rings seat as being 0.710" once polished, and that turned out to make a perfect seal first time, every time, until the burst disc blew out. Love it when a plan comes together.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:55 pm 
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Looks really good ,should transport well!..kelly


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:05 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
That's a good point. Especially with so many reports of school and town lock-downs because someone or other transported a rifle case, even just to a vehicle, it's nice to have things compact enough that they can be moved around without undeserved attention. I had a visitor last year wanting to have me check the tuning of a few of his airguns, and he just picked them up in a bundle, no cases, and walked towards my house with a pile of guns. Right across the street. Kind of threw me into a panic as I realised any one of my neighbours could have freaked out and called the RCMP, even though the visit was completely innocent. I ran down with a coat to wrap around them, after gesturing madly from a window for him to go back to his van first. He apologised, saying where he was from (Surrey) he could walk around with an airgun no problem... but I have to wonder about that. I think in most of Surrey an airgun in public might get you a friendly, or perhaps not so friendly visit from uniformed individuals.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:48 pm 
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Need some help here guys, I'm a bit lost. And sorry for the long-windedness, but there are necessary details. If impatient just skip to the end then glance back up if you need to fill in the blanks.

Today MetalMouse dropped by on the way to Squamish and left me with a few of his old paintball things - a pressure release cap with hole threaded for a gauge, an old regulator for a similar bottle, and a tap for fitting mini gauges, along with an old 1.8K burst disc assembly. So I put in the burst disc and pumped the Ninja bottle up to 1,800psi with the cap and gauge fitted. Pressure on the only gauge I have available showed 110bar with 0.080" of shims on the Ninja regulator spring. According to rsterne's test chart, 0.080" shimming with a spring-type Ninja regulator should deliver approximately 850psi. But 110bar is 1,600psi! So I thought okay, the gauge is wrong. It's one rrdstarr passed along to me in case I wanted to use it, so I don't know if it's at all accurate - it has no branding and only says '12-15' on one edge, and 'bar' on the face. So I went ahead and connected the tank to the block in the QB and ran a string, knowing that 1,800 is the upper limit of the safe-ish range and probably not a concern.

Result was a fantastically even string for 15 shots, then slowly dropping:
748, 749, 748, 746, 748, 753, 750, 753, 747, 748, 748, 747, 748, 748, 745

Averaged 748.5fps with JSB 18.13gr, low of 745, high of 753. Perfect, if what I wanted was 15 shots from 1,800psi down to what turned out to be 1,400psi when I connected the pump to it and checked that gauge against the Ninja's bottle gauge and they matched at 1,400psi. Sikes is telling me that's bad efficiency, about 0.94fpe/ci, but I knew that from the louder report and obvious vapour volume increase compared to when it's hitting my target velocity of about 700fps. With a 13.4" barrel my efficiency is going to drop like a rock at anything much over 700fps with this pellet, which fortunately lines up with the HFT rule about 20fpe max.

So this was with 0.080" shims, obviously too much preload on the regulator spring. Next up was to pull out half of that and test. I knew from the first try with the tiny gauge that it was pretty much useless, the pump gauge later confirming it was way off, so I went straight from removing 0.040" shims to pumping to 1,800psi and testing again. Got a 'string' starting at 732fps and dropping about 10fps or more per shot until below 500fps at shot 20. Bottle gauge still showed over 1,700psi in the bottle. So the regulator jammed? Or was it just too little preload on the spring? I de-pressurised and added 0.020" back in, pumped it up again (hard work on a hot afternoon, after running a 5km charity thing in the morning with my boy) to 1,800psi and tested again, with 0.060" shimming this time. Result?

747, 741, 733, 726, 715, 703, 690, 679, 669, 655, 643, 634...

Bottle gauge still showed 1,800psi or close to it after that. Obviously the main cylinder got pressure from the pumping, right up to 1,800psi apparently as that's about the top of the range for my tune, then just emptied down as normally without the bottle attached. So I'm left to conclude the regulator is blocked somehow. Even though connecting it to the cap with gauge on again, after this latest attempt, resulted in the needle jumping up to about 70bar as that thing reads it. Which is just over 1,000psi, which is weird, considering it read 1,800psi as 110bar... but never mind. It was obviously passing air out into the cap and gauge, so NOT blocked. HUH?

So after some head scratching I looked at Bren's regulator. Nope, too long by about 1/2" to fit into the space I have available. So I compared the guts. His fits the Ninja, though it's got a stack of Belleville washers instead of a spring and shims. Fine, swapped it in and pumped it to 1,000psi and gave it a try, not knowing what those spring washers were spaced for. Nothing. My previous string just picked up where it left off, quickly dropping below 600fps. Pumped it up to 1,500psi, by this point getting pretty worried I was going to blow another 1.8K burst disc, so not going there. Nope, shots continued at 583, 572, 565, etc. So still no air getting to the cylinder at 1,500psi.

I'm stumped. There's nothing blocking the Foster nipple, as I can pump the thing directly as always and it shoots at expected velocities for a given pressure. Checking the transfer block it's passing air fine - I can blow through it, and that's just over 15psi, so I know it's letting air through at 1,800psi. The bottle depressing bolt measures such that it's opening the ball bearing seal on the bottle at least 1.5mm when fully screwed in, closer to 2mm, so that's not staying closed. I'm stumped. How could air not be getting from the regulated bottle into the main cylinder at these lower pressures, when the spring is shimmed at any level lower than what Bob's numbers show should produce 850psi, but my tests seem to indicate as being over 1,400psi?

Could it be the poppet in the fill fitting on the QB main tube which is only receiving pressure at something over 1,400psi? Since I don't have an accurate reading yet on the regulator output, I have no way of knowing exactly when that dump from bottle to QB is happening. But if that was the regulator setpoint, 1,400psi, it would explain the lovely 15 shot string at too high a velocity. But wouldn't removal of just 0.020" of preload, 25% of the total shims, result in a relatively small reduction of setpoint if that were the case? Perhaps down to 1,200psi? But my testing showed that there was still no pass-through of pressure to the QB when pumping to 1,800psi with the 0.060" of shimming, nor even with 0.040" shims, so something else seems to be at work here. Gremlins?

Totally at a loss, and again, sorry for the lengthy diatribe. Just don't know how else I could explain it. Looks like I'm back to square one in spite of Bren's wonderfully generous gesture in bringing me these parts to test with. I need an expert to test the bottle regulator and figure out the shimming to get the pressure I want, then from there I'll know the bottle is settled and the problem must be downstream. Perhaps I have to remove the poppet from inside the QB fill plug... though then I'd have to shoot the gun down to zero before I could remove the bottle adapter, a bit inconvenient... If anyone's got a suggestion I'm all ears!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:01 pm 
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Oh boy, more information. I just realised I can swap my FX pump's gauge onto the pressure release/testing cap (little aluminum thing labelled 'ACI') and test output with that. With Bren's Bellevilles and piston in there it's outputting about 550psi regulated pressure with the tank still at 1,500psi. So I know that's way too low. Now to degas, swap my regulator spring and shims back in, and retest... I need another gauge, this is silly...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:08 pm 
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Should have grabbed you that 3000psi gauge from princess auto to get you on the right track.
Hope you get that regulator figured out and have that unit ready for the next 75 yard challange.
Your QB78 in .22 vs my AR2078 unit in .177. If your .22 dose better I may have to swap my barrel to .22.
I am now thinking about how to carve a bottle end cap support like what you have on yours.

MM


Last edited by MetalMouse on Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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