A blog about tinkering with airguns

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Building a Cool Crosman 22XX for a Cool 10 Year-Old

This is sort of an extension of a previous blog detailing the addition of an AR-15 adjustable stock to a Crosman 22XX platform.    I've abbreviated much of it so this wouldn't turn into a five part mini-series of madness.  It does jump around a little.  It'll probably be OK. 

Backstory:  Two years ago, with the goal of teaching gun safety and shooting fundamentals, my neighbors purchased a Crosman Custom Shop 2240 with the optional 1399 shoulder stock for their 12 year old. They quickly found out that a 1399 shoulder stock has a rather LONG length of pull.  By LONG, I mean it's too long for 6' tall knuckle-draggers like me.  Completely unsuitable for their 12 yr-old daughter.  The easy solution was to copy my wife's Crosman/AR 15 stock set-up as described in the link above.  We sourced an MFT stock and buffer tube, made another stock adapter and it all worked out perfectly.

Now, it's the brother's turn.  Except he's 10--and this time we know going into this what he needs.  A used UTG Pro AR stock and buffer tube were purchased online for cheap.  His gun is being built from an assortment of Crosman 2240 and 2260 parts rather than starting with a preassembled gun. 

I've seen some of the AR stock adapters for the Crosman 22XX guns.  They're OK, though I find them a bit long and bulky because they utilize the buffer tube thread.  That works, but I'd rather cut the buffer tube threads off and sleeve the buffer over the adapter.

This knocks about an inch off and allows the adapter to be smaller in diameter.   The largest diameter of the adapter fits inside the tube.

So, here's a truncated version of machining an adapter.   It replaces the Crosman tube plug on the gun.

Detour #1:  As I did for my wife's project gun, a Benjamin Marauder pistol forend was fit after modifying a Crosman 2250 barrel band and hardware.

Turned an acetal plug to fill the hole for the pressure gage.

Detour #2:  A forward sling swivel.  Rifles need slings.  Ask anyone.

My current favorite way of adding a sling to a Crosman 22XX platform--a modified 2250 barrel band.  Set screws added to the sides at 4 and 8 o-clock. 

Made this.

Used a permanent loctite on the threads for the sling stud. 

OK, enough detours.   Back to making the rifle fit the kiddo.
Here's the (WAY too long for me!) Crosman 1399 stock.  The six-position AR stock is at full extension and fits my 6' frame perfectly.


And more importantly, the UTG stock at it's shortest compared again to the 1399.   Of course, I forgot to write down the LOP.  Think it was 8".  It's really short.

Here's what I gave his father.  It's my jaded take on a 10 year-old's first air rifle.   A 2260 gas tube and a cut to length barrel.  Keeps it short and in proportion for a 10 year-old.  Used a Crosman steel breech with a simple red dot sight.  Made sense to give him a similar sight to what he was already comfortable with from using his sister's gun.    It's a .22 caliber.  The bigger pellets are easier for the kids to handle--and its the same caliber as his sibling's.

Before dropping it off, I shot it for the better part of a week and a half.  The carbine length is appealing.  Fast, light, easy to carry slung.  Really liked it.  If he wasn't such a good kid I would've kept it, grinch that I am.

Yeah, you know how this ends.  He was elated with the rifle.  He's allowed to use it with his parent's supervision.  They're happy it actually fits and appreciate that it's not a cheap toy, but is accurate, easy to use and can be adjusted as he gets taller every week.

Anyway, I'm hoping Crosman redesigns the 1399 stock.  I've read several online posts about parents running into this same problem.  It'd be pretty slick if they made a length adjustable stock that would retrofit to all the zillions of 22XX and 13XX guns out there.  Oh, and a longer forend. With a built in sling QD socket.   And while we're talking about it...

More soon.  Thanks for reading along.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Some notes on a reseal & customizing a Crosman 1377

A local friend asked me to look at his 1377 which was not holding pressure. He also wondered if it could be made more accurate. Some notes on what's an established process that doesn't need great detail (disassemble, clean, reseal, assemble).

The valve assembly was crusty.

O-rings had given up any hint of elasticity.

Something new? The 1377 piston had a pin retaining the pump cup. I had not seen this before and the cups I have do not have a hole.

I can only guess that they found that the cups were popping out of the plastic retainer - possibly due to the design changing or the injection mold wearing?

I have a new ultrasonic cleaner that is almost big enough.

While parts were soaking I set about adapting a spare sight to a spare Crosman steel breech I had on hand.


Filed and formed. It's a tight fit, but slightly tighter one way t'other.

Sight mounted. It's held by two screws, one into the breech and one into the brass.

Taig now offers a 5C lathe headstock. It's a bit spendy but just the ticket for doing barrel work.

Lapping the crown. Not match grade lapping but enough to remove any burr from the lathe ops.

Finished. A longer barrel, a 760 plastic front sight and barrel band. I raided the parts boxes for this one. Friend was delighted and finds it much improved.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Making a Hamster Riser Forend for the QB Air Rifle

I'm sucker for making accessories for my rifles.  I've poured over the old catalogs from Anschutz and Feinwerkbau admiring all the various items that plug into the forend rails on their precision match rifles.  Hand stops, riser plates, palm rests, sling attachments...  I was always fascinated by the purpose driven aspect of the components.  Over the last few years, many field target shooters have embraced a riser plate accessory that is mounted to the underside of the forend to provide some additional height.  The extra height allows you an option to find a more comfortable position with your off hand to steady the shot especially on elevated shots or on rifles with shallow forends.  I'm not sure where the term "hamster" came from, but it seems to have stuck.  Maybe it has something to do with the size. 

Anyway, with my interest piqued to add yet another accessory to my rail compatible quiver, I mocked one up a couple months ago out of a chunk of cherry and the bottom half of a rather tall Picatinny scope ring.  The ring clamped to a section of Picatinny rail that was installed in the forend rail.  I didn't expect much, but it actually was pretty nice for standing shots with the QB .25 cal rifle.  

Looked around the basement and came up with what I hoped would be a cleaner and more fitting design for the QB.

This is the remainder of some UHMW PE plastic from an adjustable butt plate project.  It's 1/2" thick, about 2" wide and 5-1/2" long.

Into the milling machine and squared it up.

Used a corner rounding end mill.  It's used to radius the edges. 

I just eyeballed the cuts and tried to make it look halfway decent. 

As I'm writing this up after finishing the project,  I realize now that I should've chamfered the other side, too.  Ahhhh... hindsight.

Found the center of the plate and through drilled.

Had concerns about the fasteners pulling through and/or the material exhibiting "creep" as the bolt heads slowly dig into the plastic.   Hopefully some screw cups to support the fastener heads and spread out the load over more surface area will help.  Counterbored the hole with a 5/8" end mill.

This is easy.  With the machine stopped, I bring the cutter down until it just touches the work, then zero the readout.  I bored the hole until it was 0.300" deep.

Cranked the milling table over and cut the second counterbore to the same 0.300" readout depth.  Set up side note:  I'm still centered on the workpiece because the vise is lined up to the table axis.

Through drilled the second hole.

The plate is just about done.  

The only way I've found to get a halfway acceptable finish on UHMW has been from bead blasting.  Ran over to work and threw it in the blast cabinet.

In a few minutes I had a uniform matte finish.

Some 5/8" diameter aluminum will be used for the screw cups.



Another side note:  Spotting drills are designed to be stiff and not deflect when making the small starting point for a traditional drill bit.

Clearance drilled for the 5mm bolt. 

Counterbored for the head of the 5mm fastener.  Believe I used a 5/16" end mill. 

Used the bolt itself as a gage.  Need to cut this a bit deeper to completely recess the head.

After deepening the counterbore, I parted it off at about .320" in length. 



I faced them to .301" in length and pressed them into the riser block.

Since the barrel on the QB was sleeved in carbon fiber, carbon fiber pillars will continue the theme. 

Cut and faced two pieces.

There was some measurement/math involved in cutting the carbon posts to the correct length that allowed for secure mounting--but not running the bolts completely though the nuts chewing into the bottom of the rail.

Mounted up the the QB.  This height/rise just allows me to get my off hand position on the forend.   The hamster is there if I want some additional height.

Think I'll chamfer the top side of the plate and throw it back in the blast cabinet.   Softening those edges will certainly make it more comfortable to use.

More soon.

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