Project C-1: Part I

Twenty years ago I sold a Beeman C-1 to a friend, who used it for many years. A few years back he had it stored in one of those U-rent places where a flash flood soaked it through (along with half of his posessions). I re-aquired the gun in a trade for some other shooting gear a few months ago, and put it aside for a restoration project. Last week I pulled it out to take a close look. surface rustAs you can see, there’s a lot of surface rust; When I first unpacked the gun, I immediately coated the metal parts with a good polarized gun oil (Birchwood Casey Sheath) to prevent further rust. The compression chamber looked good, probably because it’s coated with silicone oil that prevented any water from attacking the metal. The bore looks clean, too, which is good, as you really want to avoid the excessive wear on the airgun bore that would come from from scrubbing out rust.

The wood was damaged, too, and it looks like it’s have to be completely stripped and redone. I may take advantage of this to do a nice stain (the actual wood color is a very light Beechwood) and maybe even a real London oil finish. The buttpad will have to come off, along with that sling swivel, before I can get to that. The existing finish is a polyurethane, which makes for a rugged finish but is difficult to strip cleanly. I may use heat to peel that off .

buttThere’s one other detail that needs looking after, and this one is my fault. My friend disassembled the gun for shipping, and carefully wrapped the trigger guard and screws seperately to protect them. I didn’t notice at the time, so those parts probably left the house as part of the bubble wrape surrounding some other package. I might take advantage of that bit of brain fade to make a nice brass trgger guard to replace the original stamped steel one.

Over the next few months I’ll be doing bit of this project and resporting on them here from time to time. But right now, there’s a faucet in the kitchen that needs attention…

Stop that pellet!

If all you shoot are BBs and low powered pellet guns, the only backstop you need is a cardboard box stuffed with newspapers, or maybe an old carpet hung a foot from a basement wall. But once you move into the range of 10, 12, and even 20+ foot-pound guns, something a bit more substantialis required. Pellets can do a lot of damage, and the dust from a splattered pellet can contaminate an area where small children or pets might ingest bits of lead. So let’s look at the options for stopping those pellets.

For years, Beeman sold a “silent pellet trap” for $59.95, which ones fills with Beeman’s “Ballistic Putty”, at $24.95 for 5 lbs. An elegant system, to be true, but one you can duplicate at a tenth the cost. The trap is nothing more than a wooden box, and truthfully, it doesn’t even have to be wood. Those of you who are skilled woodworkers might want to make an heirloom quality box, but those without the tools or skills can use whatever is at hand, like a polyethylene storage box from the supermarket, or even an old electrical box. Mine is made from some 1×4 pine and a piece of 1/2″ plywood scrap I nailed together over 20 years ago. Ugly, but functional.

The “ballistic putty” itself is nothing more than duct seal (one commercial version is sold as DuxSeal), a mix of clay, oil, mineral fillers and a few other ingredients more commonly used to seal electrical ducts and as a fire stop. You can buy 5 pound chunks of it at your local home supply, electrical, or hardware store for about $2.49 for a 5 lb block. Put a two-inch layer of this in the back of your box and it’ll stop most pellets under 20 foot-pounds.

outers .22 trap

If you don’t like messing about with clay and peeling off the layers of flattened lead that form, you can always use a commercial steel pellet trap of the sort sold for .22 rimfire guns. There are traps sold specifically for pellet use, but many tend to be very light weight, designed for low powered guns. The Outers traps I use cost me $50 some years ago. Today, they’re more like $70-$80, but they are a lifetime investment. And I see that Midway has a “Champion” brand trap for $55.

The fired pellets collect in the bottom of the trap, along with a lot of pellet fragments and lead dust, and so care should be taken when emptying them out. I generally do this outdoors, into a bag or container held downwind. I then give the lead to a friend who casts bullets, and is happy to have the pure lead. If you don’t have a friend who casts bullets (or fishing weights) and you don’t do this yourself, most counties have a site where hazardous waste is collected. Sure, you could just toss it in the garabage, but proper disposal is so easy there’s little reason not to do it right, right?