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Inaccuracy: maybe you’ve got a screw loose

Maybe You’ve Got a Screw Loose

Can’t hit the broad side of a barn?

It happens to the best of us—for some strange reason the airgun won’t shoot worth a darn. Before you go ripping that new scope off and sending it back to the factory or throwing out a whole bunch of new pellets, start by looking for the simplest solution — loose stock screws on your air guns.

Although there are many possibilities, loose stock screws on air guns are probably the most common and most easily corrected cause of inaccuracy in airguns. There are usually two screws in the forend and one through the trigger guard that hold the receiver to the stock which must be kept snug. NOTE: Use a properly fitting screwdriver or allen wrench when working with air guns. Common screwdrivers have tapered blades and can cause great damage to gun screws—use a tight fitting “gunsmith” screwdriver with parallel faces. Phillips screw slots come in various sizes—the tip should not wiggle in the screwhead. Allen screws also come in a variety of sizes and a proper fit should not wiggle in the head — air guns made outside the U.S. are likely to use metric screws (save any wrenches that come with the gun). DON’T OVERTIGHTEN: Seat the screws firmly and quit. Too much pressure can crush the wood fibers under the screw and agrivate the situation. Always follow any instructions supplied with the airgun. Frequently there are screws on opposite sides of the forend of the air gun stock; these should be tightened to equal pressure.

Screws can loosen due to the vibration of firing, cocking, or changes in the wood due to humidity. Check the screws on your air guns frequently, and check them FIRST if there is a sudden change in accuracy. If the problem recurrs frequently, clean the screw threads threads (on both the air gun and the screws) with a little degreaser or alcohol and apply one drop of thread sealer to the screw. Thread sealer is available at any hardware store — Loc Tite or similar product–follow the package instructions.

If you’ve determined that the stock screws on your air guns are properly tensioned, continue by checking the scope mounting screws. If the airgun has an attached scope mounting rail make sure that it is not loose — you should be tell even without removing the scope by trying to wiggle the air gun mount.

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