Frequently asked Questions

Please read the following FAQ it will answer 90% of all questions
I'm often called on.  If you don't see your question here or need more specific
information don't hesitate to call.  Many Thanks!

(901) 465-9772 Monday-Saturday 10:30AM-6:30PM

#1:  I want to send my gun in to get tuned and I want to get as much power out of it as possible?

My #1 goal when tuning a gun is to have a pleasant shooting gun that will stay that way for a long time. 

If your primary goal is to have a gun that will shoot peak velocity right after the tune, I shouldn't be your first choice.  I could do it but the end result is a gun that will shoot harshly and develop spring noise in short order.  Sometimes a higher power spring can be fitted but with the tolerance on current production gun's compression chambers, this will often give less not more power.  Until your gun is here and I work on it I can't tell you what it will shoot.  I will say this, most guns sent in for high power tunes are guns that never shot at advertised velocity due to bad spec receivers and the owners is hoping tuning it will be the silver bullet that fixes it once and for all.  Almost every time, it is not and the end result is something no one is happy with.

With all that said, most that ask this question need to get the next model up.

#2  What is buttoning pistons?  What will it do for me?

Piston buttoning is where shallow holes are milled into the piston and Delrin "buttons" are inserted and then lathe turned fitted to match the inside diameter of the receiver of the rifle.  It makes the gun cock smoother and it eliminates metal to metal contact so as to eliminate galling on guns with soft pistons or receivers.  It will often cut down on vibration on many rifles where the piston to receiver fit is loose.

#3  What is a good gun to get nowadays?

Recommending a air rifle is like recommending a car or truck.  Personal taste weigh in too much for me to comment.  It's best for you to try them out yourself and see what you like.  In the past I've recommended guns only to have people complain.  I recommended a TX to one fellow several years back only to have him complain about how hard it was to load and how heavy it was.  I had one guy that couldn't handle the recoil of an R7 (go figure). 

Everyone is worried about making the wrong decision, but soliciting opinions very rarely helps.  Often it just confuses things because everyone else's priorities are usually different than your own.  Try the stuff out and form your own opinions.  Try FT shoots or one of the airgun shows if possible.  Contact a dealer before going if you know they are going to be there and want to try something specific out. 

The Weihrauch line of rifles are always a safe bet and that is why I have chosen to build most of my business on them.  They hold their value.  Buy quality and you will always have quality.  The difference in cost between quality and second best is quickly forgotten once you've spent your money.

#4  How do I pay you?

You aren't required to send money until the rifle is near completion, but preferably with money ;-)  Checks or Postal Money Orders are fine.  Checks are most often cashed on arrival, but not always.  If you have concerns about your gun actually arriving, waiting on the check to clear is not a good way of checking to see if it has.  Just give me a call to check on your rifles arrival on the day it's supposed to arrive.  Please read my Helpful Info page on turn around time before calling about how long it will be once it arrives.

#5 I want to send you my HZ2312 for a tune.  I want the gun to shoot 900fps with 8.4 JSB pellets with little to no recoil.  I shot *****'s gun the other day and that's what his does.

There is no way "Anyone" can tell you what your gun is going to shoot sight unseen, even if he knows what spring is going to be used and the caliber of the gun.  There are just too many variables from rifle to rifle.  Some guns that shot in the mid 900's with a Maccari T-Spring on one run are hard pressed to shoot 820 to 860 fps with all the identical parts on another run.  Receiver and compression tube sealing being the major culprit.   If you send me a gun with a detailed list of what is and isn't acceptable velocity wise, you leave me no choice but to bow out.  There is no way I can guaranty what your gun will shoot without seeing it first.  If you send it wanting to see what can be done with your particular gun, I have no problem with that and I'll be happy to help.

#6 How do I make a seal for my gun and what material do you use. (General how to questions)

    I get several of these requests a week.  I've spent lots of time and money finding out what will and won't work.  The only way for me to recover my expenses and time is to sell what I have come up with.  There is also a good number of people that I have helped in the past only to have them set up shop and compete with me.  With the size of this niche market it just causes hard feelings when this happens.  I'd rather avoid that if possible.

#7  I've got a  **** and it has never shot as well as other guns I've tried of a similar model.  I want to send it in and get you to fix it up for me.

Every now and then a gun comes across my door that has various issues that leave it sub par.  That's not to say that it can't be made nicer but most of the time it can only be improved.   Other times the owner compares their gun to other rifles they think are similar and they aren't happy with it.  That is a design issue and often can't be addressed in a tune.

Rifles with slightly large bores that have had the barrels chopped to unreasonable lengths is another issue.  No matter how much someone brags on the forums that his was OK, they generally increase the recoil by as much as a third if not more.  Your basically making a rifle that is semi-dry firing.  Seals wont last as long and spring life is reduced buy as much as 50%.  Why do I say that?  I often get these rifles with the owners hoping that rechoking the barrel or other tricks are going to pull a rabbit out of the hat.  I've seen too many over the years to count.   While choking helps, it's often a band aid approach. Guns with good tolerances in the compression chamber and good tight barrel bores can be cut with out much problem though.  The rifle would have to be checked before any such work would be done though.

#8  Can you tune my Webley Kodiak?

I no longer do any work on the Webley line of rifles.

#9  I'm in Canada and want to buy parts for my CZ 630/631/634.  I would be nice if I could get the power up on it some.

I no longer offer parts or services for the little Slavia rifles. 

#10  I want to buy a high performance seal for my gun.  How much?

All seals are made in house on a per gun basis.  Gun tolerances vary so much from gun to gun that a one size fits all approach on a high performance seal won't work.  ADV seals are only available on in house tunes.

#11  My Guns accuracy is off.  I want to send it in to get a tune.

There are many many variables that can make a guns accuracy suffer.  Doing a tune is the least likely way of fixing accuracy issues.  Generally something else is wrong.  Often it's something as simple as a dirty barrel or bad pellets.  Most of the time a gun is sent in for inaccuracy, I can go out and shoot one hole groups with pellets I have on hand.  If the gun chronographs fairly consistent with good pellets and the barrel is clean.  The most likely culprit is shooter error or stock securement.

#12  When I shoot my gun every now and then it throws a shot low.  Sometimes as much as a inch at twenty yards.

Chronograph your gun.  If it's fairly stable, the spring and seals are OK.  You've got another problem.  A inch drop at 20 yards can only happen with a 200 + fps drop in velocity if the powerplant were at fault.  Most likely bad pellets or inconsistent hold is the problem.

#13  I'm sending my gun in for a tune and want the trigger tuned.  I don't like the long first stage, I want you to convert it to a single stage.

Most of the better European spring guns are built with a two stage trigger.  The fist stage you pull up until it firms up and that should be the point that it's about to break.  Slightly more pressure and the trigger will break and the gun will fire.  Guns like the FWB124 and a few others have no sear engagement adjustment, only a second stage let off point.  It is impossible to adjust these triggers  for a single stage action.  A new trigger would have to be built from the ground up to do it.  On others like Beeman R series guns or Air Arms, while it's possible to do so, you wind up with a gun that is unsafe.  The slightest wear in the trigger or hard bump when the gun is cocked and it could go off when you least expect it.  It's a liability issue.  I'd be sticking a gun to my head to do it (Pun Intended) ;-)

#14  I'm tired of breaking springs in my gun.  I want to send it in to get it tuned and eliminate the problem.

All things mechanical will eventually wear out.   I've been using Jim Maccari's springs for over twenty years and know Jim on a personal level.  You won't find longer lasting springs or a person more persistent at looking to improve upon what he has.  All things mechanical will eventually  need "maintenance" though.  As a general rule of thumb I rebuild my personal guns every seven to ten thousand rounds. That said, I have customers that have over ten thousand rounds on their guns with no loss of performance.  Most often it's more making sure that the gun is sealing properly rather than the spring.  I can attribute these long lasting guns to good sealing and the owner not abusing them.  A tune that fixes any sealing issues and replaces the spring with one of higher quality will not only last lots longer than the factory set-up but will be more enjoyable to shoot.

#15  I want to send in a gun for a tune but I don't know if I should get the ADV or maccari kit install?

The kit install will have close to the same firing characteristics of a ADV.  The ADV will have additional work that will make the gun cock smoother, have less recoil.  Basically, you ask yourself if you want very nice or all the bells and whistles.  Most of the ADV tunes have the triggers reworked, piston buttoning and the receiver precision honed.  So your better off with the ADV if you want those areas addressed.

#16  Why would/should I cut my barrel to a shorter length?

Many people cut their barrel to a shorter length to allow for more empty room when installing a carbine length barrel sleeve.  The reason being the gun will be quieter with the extra dead air space.  When using a muzzle brake instead of a shroud it can make for a very very short carbine barrel if that's what the customer wants.  If the work is done properly accuracy will not suffer and some cases be slightly improved.  In a good many cases velocity falls off slightly when barrels are cut back.  It's rare that you get a increase in velocity.  Some that I've done have lost 20-50fps with a six inch cut.  Some didn't loose any.  Adding the choke will also cut 15-20fps in some cases.  Suffice to say, if your a chronograph jockey ;-) you might loose power with a choke and going with a shorter barrel.

#17  Do you tune or work on other guns such as Gamo, Chinese, Russian etc. etc...

This depends on my work load.  Most of the time the answer is no if there is a heavy work load of stuff I specialize in.  When my work load is high I usually limit the number of models or brands that are taken in.  It's not a reflection on the value of your gun, it's a matter of the amount of time that's available to get everything done.  For example, some Gamo rifles I'll take in if work is slow but if work load is high I won't take in some German made guns if they are not some of my main offerings listed on my pricing page or if they are older obsolete rifles needing extra work to be made viable again.

 #18  Can you sell me a kit or parts for my TX200?  Can you sell me parts or kits for any of my guns?

I don't supply parts or kits for guns.  Try Air Rifle Headquarters.  If they don't have them listed, they are either in short supply or none existent. 

#19  I can't log into your forum.  When I applied for membership it was denied. 

Most that apply never tell me who they are and never fill out their profile.  Those are the number one reasons.  The forum was originally set up as a service for my customers.  It is for previous customers who have bought rifles or had theirs tuned.  Not trying to be ugly, but that's what works best for me and keeps the foolishness low.

#20  Can you site in my gun before sending it back to me?

Yes I can, but it probably won't be dead on for you when you get it back.  Everyone holds guns different and many times after shipping the impact point will change, or the shooter may tilt the gun slightly and think the reticule isn't level. The price is listed on my Tune Price Page but it's often wasted money.  I'm fine with it but would rather not do it for the previously mentioned problems.  If you know the drill I have no problem doing it though.  I do have to charge for the time spent though.  One other thing to mention is that scopes and stocks are the two items that shippers usually break.  Proper packing will go a long long way to keeping either from happening but it's best to just leave scopes off as they aren't needed when tuning your gun.

#21  Do I need to buy the parts from ARH (Maccari) for you to tune my rifle?

I supply everything needed when you have a ADV tune done to your gun.  I keep ARH springs and seals in stock.  I no longer offer a basic tune.  If you want something similar to a basic tune you can buy a kit from Maccari and I'll install it with the proper lubes for $100 shipped back to you.  $25 extra for oversize or heavy packages.

#22 I sent a email a week ago.  Why haven't I got a reply?

Simply because I can't keep up with it for the most part. 

If you have a question that needs a fast answer, call.  If you can't call I'm sorry about being late replying.  I'll try and be a little more swooft about it but it's something that falls between the cracks when I'm busy in the shop.  If you can and have called in the past, please continue doing things that way.  I appreciate it!

#23 I'd like to get a custom stock for my XXXXX.  I see some of the ones in your gallery but I want one like XXXX.

I no longer offer custom stocks for rifles other than the custom rifles I occasionally offer on my page.  I also cannot recommend anyone that might.  Most that were are no longer doing it and the few who are don't entertain "one off" projects. Try asking on some of the more popular forums.  More often than not you'll find a hobbiest willing to take it on.

#24 I have a rifle I want to get tuned but there is some rust on the rifle.  I'll send it in for a tune if you'll re-blue the action.

I no longer offer bluing services.  I takes too long for me to get to it and with my regular work load being as high as it is, it's just one more iron in the fire I can't deal with at this time.  If the rust or thin bluing is just on the barrel, installing a barrel shroud is the most cost effective way of dealing with it.

#25 I was browsing your gallery and I want to send my rifle in and get it customized like one of those rifles in your gallery.

Some options like set/back triggers and shrouds are available but I no longer take customers rifles in for custom builds.  The projects take too long to complete with all the other work I have to do on hand.  If you want a custom rifle they will occasionally be offered on my main page.  I also no longer have a waiting list for custom rifles. Most that have been added to such list never purchased a rifle when their name came up.  I only occasionally build custom rifles when I'm tuning similar rifles for customers and even then only if they were already near completion.

#26 How long have you been tuning rifles.

I've been working on German made rifles since 1992, but it was around 1994 that I started doing custom tuning.  My tuning was a side business until 1999 when it became too much for me to deal with.  I took a break from tuning for the public at large until 2002 and then went full time with it in 2003 until currently. 

#27 I want a muzzle brake that is ten and a half inches long and fits a XXXX.

I do aluminum shrouds and muzzle brakes in large batches about once or twice a year.  They are done to compliment my tuning services so the design, shape and length are geared toward that end.  One off parts orders are just about never taken in on HardCoat shrouds and brakes due to the long time between tooling up to do another batch. 

However, if you are wanting blued steel brakes, shrouds or fastener kits for one of the rifles listed on my tuning page I can occasionally do them but it might be a few weeks lead time.

#28 I'm going to send my rifle in and want to send just the action.  What's the best way to pack it?

I would prefer the stock be attached.  Sometimes it makes a difference in how the trigger will be adjusted and without it I can't test the rifle when done.  The biggest issues with shipping is for it to be in a sturdy enough box that when dropped at a angle it won't fold easily, there is enough padding on the end that the stock won't take the brunt of the force when dropped on end and that the rifle is secure and cant move inside the box.  Usually double boxing and five inches of bubble wrap rolled up in both ends or secured in a hard case and then boxed.  If the rifle can move at all it will eventually "hammer" through the ends of the box with repeated handling by the carrier.

#29  I want you to tune my rifle.  I want to get a lot more velocity but I want it to be smooth.

I can tune it keeping one or the other in mind "but" on many have to choose to lean in one direction or the other.  If you tell me this I'm going to lean towards higher power not smoothness.  Past experience has taught me that if someone mentions more velocity it is their #1 concern.  The result is always more cocking effort and recoil but will not have any vibration. 

Most everyone wants their rifle to perform like the next model up.  They want the R7/HW30 to perform like the HW50, the HW50 to perform like the HW95/R9 and the HW95 to perform like the HW80/R1.  Every now and then I'm contacted by a optimistic airgunner that wants to skip a model up! ;-) 

Once you reach the upper limits of what a rifle was designed for, the law of diminishing returns comes in.  A rifle with a 30lb cocking effort shooting shooting 14ftlbs will only pick up another 40 or 50fps with a 10-15lb increase in cocking effort and more often than not the recoil doubles or it becomes very brash and harsh making the gun harder to shoot.  That added velocity might make your gun shoot a half a inch flatter at 50 yards.  On many it's not a good trade off.  Also, the harder a rifle is pushed the shorter the life span of the parts.   Like I said, diminishing returns :-(

#30  I have a rifle that was tuned by you several years ago but the owner that sold it to me lost the tune card.  I'm thinking about selling the rifle and was wondering if you can you send me another tune card?

Once a rifle has left my shop I supply the person paying for the tune with a card as a basic list of services performed.  Once the rifle leaves my shop I don't have any control over what is in the rifle or what has happened to it.  If I have the original owners name I can verify if it was here for a tune but after that it's up to the integrity of the seller to verify if the rifle has been left in it's tuned state as it was sent out by me.  The only way I can verify what's in it and send another card is if the rifle is sent in for a refresh. 

Just because someone has a card from me it doesn't mean I actually did anything to the rifle.  It's not uncommon for people to sell rifles with one of my cards that was never here to be worked on.  It happens on the yellow forum and other classifieds from time to time and when I see it I try and point it out.  Not long ago a person was selling a rifle as being one of the rifles pictured in my gallery.  Even though it was obviously not the same rifle.  If the rifle is functioning like it should and the power isn't way off you shouldn't have a problem selling the rifle, just give the buyer a three day inspection.  As far as a card being some sort of provenance of having a tune done here it just can't do that.  Seller's integrity is where the rubber meets the road in any sale of a used rifle with purported internal work.

#31 I was thinking about getting my barrel cut back but my gun is very very accurate now and I don't want to risk it changing.  What do you suggest?

If you're happy with the accuracy of your rifle just have a shroud installed without the cut work if you like the looks and durability of a shroud.  On a few "rare" occasions pellet preference will change when you cut the barrel back.  More often than not accuracy is improved, but cutting a barrel back is more for leaving dead space between the end of the barrel and the end of the shroud.  On higher power rifles it helps dampen the discharge noise.  On lower power rifles it's not going to make much difference.

#32  I'm going to send my rifle in for tune work but I want you to use XX spring, XX seal and use XX lube.  I want XX number of piston buttons spaced as per my directions.........

In the past when I received requests like this I tried to as diplomatically as possible to tell the person why some of it was not advisable and why I did things the way I do them.  Now not so much.  The bottom line is that if you don't trust my judgement or abilities it would be best if you found someone else that you do or learn to do the work yourself.   I've been in this long enough to see "the new wave" come and go only to reappear on the forums decades later and everyone think it's new.  A lot of the "new" stuff is "old school" that either didn't work out or not much different than a properly done job.  More often than not it's just different so it's a selling point or a way for someone to look like a innovator. 

#33  I want to get my rifle tuned and I see you are right down the road from me.  How about I come by and watch you do it or just leave it with you.  I don't want to ship my rifle and risk it being damaged.

There was a time when I used to do this.  After many bad experiences my wife told me not to let any more airgunners invite themselves to her house again ;-)  I don't have a storefront that people can come and go.  My business is based next to my home and I usually have a backlog of work that doesn't allow me to drop what I'm doing and put someone at the front of the line.  I've mentioned this to a few people in the past and they became agitated when I wouldn't make a exception in their case. I simply ask you to put yourself in my position.  A stranger is calling you up and inviting themselves to your home and won't take no for and answer.  What are the odds they will be a gentleman and act right once they are here?  I can tell you from experience they never do.  The whole thing is sad really.  Some of my best, lifelong friends were made when I first started tuning back in the early nineties but as time rolled on more and more I had problems.  If I went into detail about some of the problems I've had in the past you would understand.

#34  Do you use glue on piston buttons?

No I don't.  While they are better than doing nothing, the only reason to use them if if you don't have the equipment or ability to do a proper job.  This is one of those things where many like to say they do the same work that I do but don't.

#35 I want to send my rifle in because it lost power and there are some things broken or missing.  If you do your ADV tune will you replace or fix everything that is broken or bent.

Sorry, the price of my ADV tune reflects the costs of just doing tune work. 

#36 Do you take drop shipments?

I would prefer that you receive the rifle first and (1) See if you actually like the rifle and (2) Inspect it for any damage.  I will take drop shipments but if the rifle is too heavy, difficult to cock or the recoil is too much for you it would be best for you to find that out before sending it in and spending a few hundred dollars on it.

#37  I have a walnut stock that I can't get the screws started in and once the action is installed the trigger blade only comes down about half way in the opening in the trigger guard.  I'd like to have the stock checkered while it's there.

Fitting on aftermarket stocks is a problem on airguns and firearms alike.  It's best to let the vendor you purchased the stock from know about your fit problems so they can address it on their pattern or in their process.  (Big hint here)  Don't be combative or keep mentioning what you paid for the stock ;-)  Absolute perfectly fitted stocks done by the best smiths costs in the thousands not in the hundreds.  Most are willing to bend over backwards to help and see that you are happy so long as you don't convince them to do otherwise ;-)

Checkering is best done on dense dry wood.  Wood that was grown fast due to lots of watering (orchards or climate) will not checker well.  Most stock makers that checker their stocks avoid such wood even though it may have brilliant colors and is very inexpensive.  That's why it's so cheap and more often than not finds it way on airguns.  If your stock is a lower quality wood the checkering may be slightly fuzzy when the job is done.  That said I've seen fuzzy checkering on $10,000 shotguns.

#38  Do you ever have sales or discount your tune pricing.

No.  Nothing is worse than purchasing something or having a service done only to see it being offered for half price a few days or weeks later.  I understand running sales on parts that aren't going to move unless there is a price drop but I'm not going to devalue my work or lower my customers resale value on rifles or work performed here.  Some appreciate this and others don't.  I've found that the ones who don't usually
aren't my customers anyway.

#39 What kind of lubricants should I use an how often after you are done tuning a rifle for me?

The action internals are lubricated with everything they will need for the life of the parts.  Any oil or lubricant added after the tune will only degrade the lubricants used when the rifle is tuned.  A little oil on the cocking lever rivet every one or two thousand rounds is about all that will be needed.

#40  Which FWB124 receivers are tapered?

It's not so much a taper as being out of round and flat spots that vary three to five thousandths.

There are two distinct ways FWB made the original 124 receivers. One was extruded and rarely have any issues unless a corroded seal has set in the bottom of the chamber too long and eroded the ID of the tube. The other and more problematic build style was a two piece receiver where a piece of tubing was plugged into the ID of one end and the forks were machined into it. The two piece tubing on some have the mentioned defects. You can look at the receiver and see a thin line where the two pieces meet on the outside tip of the forks and right at the top of the cut out where the breech seal seals on the receiver. Most of the early rifles up to 15,000 to 20,000 range have the two piece arrangement but once you get into the mid 20,000 to mid 30,000 range I've seen both, so it's not a matter of them completely switching production at some point. The early two piece tubes aren't a problem unless the defect is near the end of the pistons travel and once the out of round chambers are fixed they typically give better performance than the extruded version due to the absence of the relief that is needed in the bottom of the tube in the extruded version.

#41  I'm going to be sending my HW30/R7 in for tune work.  Is there any way to get a little more power out of the rifle?  Will you install a stronger spring or kit if I send it in with the rifle?

I decided a long time ago not to set the current R7/HW30's up with higher power springs. Since early on people have been "shoe horning" in stouter springs into these rifles trying to make them perform like the next model up. Since the piston on this model isn't hardened , stouter springs generally makes galling worse and the back of the piston eat out where the cocking lever applies force to cock the rifle. On some of the stouter springs I've seen installed even a dry fire or two has dislodged the forks from the receiver on more than one occasion. The 40-50 extra fps is soon forgotten when the rifle is toast and it's not something I can build a reputation on over the long term. Some of the older R7/HW30s used a spring that was a "slightly" larger wire and had more coils.  I have a spring for those and it is the same spring I use for the older HW55/50's. 

Many Thanks!

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