Repairing Spring Piston Air Rifles & New York 7 Round Magazine Gun Law

17 Jan

The other day I dug out an older Feinwerkbau 124 sport model air rifle I’ve had for about 25 years. I pulled the trigger and poof and shake. The pellet hit six inches low. I must have not been thinking clearly, because I wasn’t sure if it was me or the rifle. I fired a second shot and the pellet remained in the barrel.

I could blame it on crummy German engineering and quality control. But that wouldn’t fly with anybody who knows the name Feinwerkbau. It was my fault. It had been years since I used this gun or even cleaned it. With older spring piston air rifles, the piston seals can dry out and fail. This is a problem I’ve known about for decades, but you get busy with life and neglect things.

A great blog I stumbled upon ( has a nice motto: “Stupid Costs Money.”  If you have something nice, spend the time to maintain it. If you neglect mechanical things, they fail sooner. That will cost you money.

A spring-piston air rifle is a simple contraption. A spring pushes a piston, which pushes air, which pushes a .177 caliber pellet down the barrel. There are many web pages to explain how to service, “tune,” or repair spring piston air rifles. Below are a few. The last two discuss the Model 124 history.

Here is the piston seal part:

Other FWB 124 “power plant” options:
A spring compressor
This page has a sweet 13 part section about tuning spring piston air rifles.

If you do this sort of work yourself, remember these rifles have powerful springs. Springs are inherently evil–Garage door springs, air rifle springs, even the smallest spring can jump up and pop you in the eye. Large springs can rip flesh if they catch you.

The links above show several spring compressors that can be made of wood or metal and which allow you to slowly release the tension in the spring as you take the rifle apart.

Failing mechanical things can provide financial opportunities too, if you know how to fix them. A guy might try to sell you a car on the sly because it has a failing intake manifold gasket and he was probably quoted thousands of dollars to fix it. If you know what’s wrong and know you can fix the problem yourself for only the cost of gaskets, you might get a good deal.

The Department Of Homeland Security suggests we disable Java from our computers to protect ourselves from hackers. The next link shows you how to do it:

New York has passed a new gun law which bans future pistol magazines of more than 7 rounds. There is a nice discussion of this on

Here is a link to the new law.  If you own an AR-15 or similar rifle, you have one year to register it or it becomes illegal.

Quote: ” Within one year of the effective date, all weapons defined as assault weapons under the new “one-feature” test, as well as weapons grandfathered in under the original assault weapons ban, must be registered. Current owners of these banned weapons may transfer the weapons only to a firearms dealer or transfer to an out of state buyer. All registered owners will be subject to a review of disqualifiers by the State Police.”

If you have magazines greater than ten rounds, they will be banned. If you have magazines that hold up to ten rounds, you can keep them, but you can only load seven shots.

Quote: “This bill prohibits possession of all magazines with the capacity to contain more than ten rounds, regardless of the date of manufacture. Going forward, individuals will only be able to obtain magazines that can contain up to seven rounds. “

This law discriminates against older guys with fading memories. Loading the magazine: One, Two, Three, Four…sip a cup of coffee…where the hell was I, three or four? …click, click, click, click….start counting again One, Two….

The new law affects ammunition purchases.

Quote: ” (1) that sellers of ammunition register with the superintendent of the State police (2) that prior to a sale of ammunition, a seller must run the buyer through a State-created review of disqualifiers to ensure that the buyer is not prohibited by law from possessing ammunition, and (3) that ammunition sales are electronically accessible to the State.”

Quote: ” In order to prevent circumvention of these new controls, this bill requires that any seller–whether located in New York or out of state-ship the ammunition to a dealer within New York for in-person pick-up.”

Last but not least, the new law creates a statewide gun license and record database.

I said before that the push for a new federal online sales tax collection scheme would allow tracking and taxation of online ammunition sales. In time, higher registration fees or taxes could drive many away from gun ownership and shooting. How much would you pay per year to keep your AR-15? Would you pay $30 a year registration fee? Probably. What about $1,000 a year? How much could you afford to shoot if there was a 50 cent tax per bullet?

As a gun owner what concerns me the most is the plan of some to push to convert semiautomatic rifles into Class 3 weapons, which would make it easy to ban them in many states. They want to lump semiautomatic AR-15s with sawed off shotguns and machineguns.

The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning (link to prepper book on Barnes & Noble)  is now available for $9.95 as a Nook eBook.

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