Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Rimfire bolt action rifles, lever action, pump action and self loading rifles. Air rifles.

Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by TassieTiger » 12 Oct 2020, 6:38 pm

About a month ago I acquired an under-lever .177 air Hk95 equivalent / Walther LGU.
Now every 2nd shot, sometimes every shot - a wisp of smoke curls from the chamber and it smells weird...like gunpowder residue from a lapua subsonic or similar.

Does anyone know what this ? A seal ? Normal ?
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by collins » 12 Oct 2020, 6:41 pm

Do you put any oil inside of the barrel?
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by Blr243 » 12 Oct 2020, 7:20 pm

Maybe heat and oil. And sometimes we associate a smell with something that it is not exactly related ..... I’m not even sure that what I just typed makes any sense, but that’s ok too I suppose
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by TassieTiger » 12 Oct 2020, 7:25 pm

I’ve not put any oil in it at all - previous owner kept it immaculate and pristine. I’ve only fired it maybe 20 times...maybe he oiled it for transport...it’s quite strange...definitely a burnt smell.
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by scoot » 12 Oct 2020, 7:43 pm

Probably oily pellets or lube from the seals. It should settle after a while. Too much oil/lube will generally cause erratic velocities and accuracy.
Smoke may even be "condensation" type effect from the high pressure/temp air behind the pellet suddenly dropping pressure/temp after the pellet leaves the barrel. :unknown:
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by Strikey » 12 Oct 2020, 8:51 pm

There may be oil or grease from the spring in the compression chamber causing dieseling, if it continues or gets worse you may have to strip it down for a good clean.
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by Tiger650 » 13 Oct 2020, 7:30 am

Strikey wrote:There may be oil or grease from the spring in the compression chamber causing dieseling, if it continues or gets worse you may have to strip it down for a good clean.


Dieseling for sure.
One drop of mineral oil into the cylinder will have the rifle dieseling for a long time and it will almost certainly show indifferent accuracy.
Would probably be a good idea to strip and clean, some knowledgeable folk reckon a little silicone oil to be the go.
I once damaged a Diana 52 with one drop of mineral oil, dieseling flame cut the plastic breech seal and piston slamming then broke the spring.
If you pull it apart PM me and I will send you some Jim Macarri spring tar [google it], reduces spring vibration and increases accuracy, if you want it to shoot really well order a spring kit from Macarri ex USA.
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by marksman » 13 Oct 2020, 8:09 am

Tiger650 wrote:
Strikey wrote:There may be oil or grease from the spring in the compression chamber causing dieseling, if it continues or gets worse you may have to strip it down for a good clean.


Dieseling for sure.
One drop of mineral oil into the cylinder will have the rifle dieseling for a long time and it will almost certainly show indifferent accuracy.
Would probably be a good idea to strip and clean, some knowledgeable folk reckon a little silicone oil to be the go.
I once damaged a Diana 52 with one drop of mineral oil, dieseling flame cut the plastic breech seal and piston slamming then broke the spring.
If you pull it apart PM me and I will send you some Jim Macarri spring tar [google it], reduces spring vibration and increases accuracy, if you want it to shoot really well order a spring kit from Macarri ex USA.


+1 :thumbsup:

exactly what l thought
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by rc42 » 13 Oct 2020, 8:34 am

Dieseling is actually used by some to increase the pellet velocity and energy but it's very difficult to maintain accuracy, it's a well known effect with piston based air rifles, especially the higher powered ones.

When the piston is released and compresses the air in front of it, the air gets hot enough to ignite any tiny amounts of oil vapor, exactly the same way that a diesel engine works.
One drop of the wrong oil can take hundreds or even thousands of shots to clear, this is a big problem for shooters in countries like the UK where a 12 ft/lb limit is placed on the freely available air rifles although some do it deliberately to get performance that would otherwise need a firearms certificate.
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by TassieTiger » 13 Oct 2020, 9:20 am

I’ve undertaken dieseling with a cheep brake barrel - this is a rather expensive air rifle they is immaculate so I couldn’t really see the previous owner undertaking the process on purpose.
There is certainly no sound barrier being broken. I haven’t chrono yet - but based on pellet catching - maybe 700/800fps. Accuracy has thus far been amazing...
Tikka .260 (Z5 5x25/52)
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by Skinna » 13 Oct 2020, 9:23 am

Got some groups to show Tassie...?

Good info in this too... :clap:
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by TassieTiger » 13 Oct 2020, 9:48 am

Certainly - only 20m or so - 7 shots.
Was a relatives firearm. Weighs 5+ kg.
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Tikka .260 (Z5 5x25/52)
Steyr Pro Varmint .223 - VX 3
CZ455 .22 & Norinco .22 (vtex 4-12, bush 3-9)
ATA 686 U/O 12g & Baikal S/S 12g.
Adler a110 reddot
Sauer 30-06 - VX 3
Howa 300 win mag. SHV 5-20/56
Marlin SBL 45/70
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by NTSOG » 15 Oct 2020, 5:47 am

Scoot wrote: "Smoke may even be "condensation" type effect from the high pressure/temp air behind the pellet suddenly dropping pressure/temp after the pellet leaves the barrel."

I often sit out on the back porch shooting my air rifles to get 'trigger-time'. They range from low powered 10M target types, e.g. Anschutz 380 and FWB 300S and 600, up to high powered break barrels like Webley-Scott Patriots. On very cold days there will be a cloud of condensation at each shot. This is different from dieseling which can do real damage. I do not put any type of oil in the barrel or piston chamber, even silicone oil.

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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by elnino » 21 Oct 2020, 8:11 pm

I have had no issues with silicon oil. I use the stuff for rc cars available at hobby stores. Its used in diffs and shock absorbers. The one i have is closer to grease though. i think it is 100,000 weight and is like honey stored in a fridge.

I use it on both my nitro gamo cfx (rotary breach) and nitro bsa meteor with zero dieseling or accuracy issues but only use it very sparingly and only on the barrel side of the seal. Use quality molybdenum grease for spring and piston seal bits.
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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by NTSOG » 22 Oct 2020, 10:05 am

elnino: "... only on the barrel side of the seal."

I agree: any oil in the compression chamber is bad though some gun shops still sell silicone oil for adding to the compression chamber. Moly grease for springs and other pits is good. Some air rifle manufacturers, e.g. Airarms [USA] explicitly void warranties if silicone oil has been used on their rifles.

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Re: Why does my air rifle smell...like a .22 ?

Post by trekin » 22 Oct 2020, 11:20 am

Could be worse, could smell like one of my farts. :allegedly:
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