Cleaning a CO2 Pistol & Air Rifles
Anyone who has purchased their first CO2 pistol or air rifle and researched 'how to clean and oil' them on the internet is likely to end up confused due to the mass of contradictions from the various advisors and reviewers. Do you clean it often, very rarely, or in the view of some reviewers, they never clean their air guns, especially the barrels. Do you use silicone oil, mineral oil or the age old Mobil One synthetic oil from the local garage. Do you use a pull through or a thin brass rod with a swivel handle, and with brass, nylon, mop and patch heads for cleaning the barrel. One thing is for sure, you do not use penetration oil, the kind you would use for freeing up that stubborn nut which is rusted and seized underneath your car - apparently penetration oil is a killer of the internal workings of air weapons.


I clean all my air guns after I fire off about 500 rounds of lead pellets, usually the number in an average tin and I like a nice clean and gleaming barrel without any residual oil left in it. I clean and oil the outer metalwork and easy to reach mechanicals like the trigger and moving metal parts with the appropriate gun oil to prevent wear and corrosion. Likewise the stock with a light waxing and polishing. For long term storage, I will pull a lightly oiled patch through the barrel before placing it in the gun cabinet. The only gun I am prepared to strip down (once a year) to the internals is my CO2 Beretta pistol so that I can clean and oil the cocking slide mechanism.

For my CO2 pistols, I only use Crosman Pellgun Oil for internal and external workings of my guns and fire VFG Fibre Cleaning Pellets through the barrels until they come out clean. I catch them in a metal bucket but be careful they come out of the barrels with a fair amount of velocity and will easily shoot through any plastic container held at the front of the barrel. All my CO2 pistols are stored (empty of CO2 or pellets) upside down with a drop of Crosman Pellgun Oil on the CO2 seal inside the butt.

For my break barrel air rifle, I use a bog standard Guntuff Cleaning Kit which includes a brass rod with swivel handle, bronze, nylon and mop heads along with Napier Power Air Gun Oil and finish off by firing VFG Fibre Cleaning Pellets through the barrel. NOTE: if you also have the Napier Pull Through Kit you can use that instead of the VFG fibre pellets. For springers with an under lever cocking action, you can use the Napier Pull Through Kit through the breech opening to clean the barrel. NOTE: I never use a silicone based oil for cleaning and oiling my break barrel gun as it can mess up the internal greasing.

With PCP air weapons which have a magazine or under lever cocking piston/spring air rifles, it is often the case that using a rod and various cleaning heads is impossible to use, because the risk of damaging the weapon internals is very likely. The solution is a 'pull through cleaning kit and the Napier Pull Through Kit is exceptional for all air guns and perfect for PCP rifles which have magazine systems. It is supplied (in the kit) with a pull string, patches and Napier Power Air Gun Oil which is approved by a large number of air weapon manufacturers. NOTE: I never use a silicone based oil for oiling my Logan PCP rifle as it can mess up the internal greasing. This came as a warning in my Logan PCP handbook.

In the UK due to the 12ft/lb restriction for air rifles, the most popular calibre of pellets are .177 for target shooting and .22 for hunting vermin. The .177 delivers a flatter trajectory whist the .22 tends to arc its way to the target, especially at longer distances. I use .177 for my CO2 pistols and currently .22 for my air rifles but I am planning to get a .177 PCP air rifle bullpup or carbine in 2021 as I only fire at targets and not wildlife.

The range of pellets which are available is staggering and you could spend a great deal of time attempting to establish what pellet is most suitable for your air rifle. To make matters worse they invariable come in different head sizes for a tighter fit in the barrel. One has to be careful as too large a head size might not suit your PCP gun's magazine and either jam it or leave lead fragmentations inside it.

As an example, my Logan MK II .22 PCP air rifle will not accept any other pellet than a Accupell .22 14.66gr 5.50mm head size which is especially recommended for using with the gun. Recently, I was using the same Accupell pellets in my Weihrauch HW80 break barrel springer which were fairly slack in the barrel, so I tried out some JSB Jumbo Exact Heavy Diablo Pellets 18.13gr .22 with a larger 5.52mm head and wow, the consistent accuracy was awesome and the velocity, distance and target impact were exceptional - now my favourite pellet for my HW80.

Pellets Preparation
Upon delivery I gently pop my pellets into a basin full of warm water mixed with washing up liquid and gently swirl them around for a time using my fingers. Afterwards, I empty most of the water and pop the pellets into a household sieve and then gently onto an old thick towel. I spread them out and dry them with a hairdryer. I move them to a dry towel and lightly spray them all with Napier Pellet Lube or Napier Power Air Gun Oil and then gently roll them inside the 'folded' towel to remove the excess oil which leaves an almost invisible oil coating. Thereafter, they are popped into a Crosman Pellet Pouch and ready for use. NOTE: I never use a silicone based oil for my air rifle pellets.

Target Shooting
I very much enjoy using my air weapons to shoot at paper & metal targets. Although I am surrounded by all types of wildlife, including crows, magpies, rabbits, grey squirrels, pigeons, deer, pheasants, foxes and sparrows, amongst many other small birds, I never shoot any wildlife.

Paper & Metal Targets
Air gun targets come in all shapes and sizes but as I predominantly shoot lead pellets, I prefer to catch the spent lead, rather than let it build up in my fields. Therefore all my targets catch the lead after it has passed through the paper. I like 17mm and also 14mm metal coned target holders with a spent pellet trap at the back. I purchased mine from Ramsbottom in the UK where I also purchase the majority of my accessories and pellets.

PellPax in the UK, supplies many types of targets and I like the metal box targets with little figures (pigeons, crows, ducks, rats) which have a reset figure that when hit, pops back up all the shot down figures - great fun and a test of accuracy.


Gun Safes & Trigger Locks

Gun Safes & Cabinets come in all shapes, sizes and costs. If you only have a single firearm, then the cost can be relatively low but no matter what the size and the cost, the locked safe or cabinet must be bolted to a solid wall and preferably in a place where it cannot be easily found by third parties, somewhere like inside a locked cupboard with a solid wall at the back.

It is prudent to purchase a gun safe or cabinet that can hold a few firearms because invariably your hankering for another gun, often arises. It is not just the gun that must be stored securely, often a scope is fitted, so the safe or cabinet must provide room for the gun to stand with the scope fitted and then there is the height to consider, because your 1st gun may be a short carbine but a 2nd gun, purchased at a later date, might be a full size rifle with a silencer fitted.

Then there is the ammunition and any accessories that you might want to store alongside your gun - many cabinets have side and/or top storage sections. Pellets, targets and airgun cleaning equipment are often stored in gun safes. If you have several guns, the safe should have enough room whereby you can insert or remove a gun without it clattering into another gun in the cabinet.

Anyone who is careful about securing their gun from third parties, especially kids, will secure their air rifle with a Trigger Lock which prevents the guns trigger being pulled and usually these type of locks come with 2 keys.


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Richard Lawrence
United Kingdom