O. Schaefer from Sweden emailed me the pictures below of his build using the
Buckley's new reservoir design. He has sent some pictures of his building.
Quote from his email, "There is also a pic of my bench lathe. All machining
was done on this lathe, including the milling operations. The headstock of my
lathe has 150mm of vertical travel, this gives all three axis when milling. I just
bolt the workpiece on the cross-slide when milling. Takes some time..."
Air Rifles Accuracy - In Schaefer's words - "When shooting from a bench at 10
meters I can put all shots in the same hole (well, close to anyway..) I have only
shot one 5 shot group at 20m so far (winter here...) and that measured
17mm c-c (~5/8"), 5 shots, not from bench - gun only supported under forend."
Specifications of Build
*Barrel Length = 450mm or 17.7 inches
* Caliber = Weirauch .22
* Air Source = Airvolume 280cc, buddy bottle from BSA airgun
* PSI = Fill pressure 3000 PSI
* Weight = 3050g = 6.7 lbs
* Overall Length = 870mm or 34.25 inches
Schaefer sent some target group pictures before he went on holidays. These are his words.
"I did shoot some groups at 20m before I went. Best result was with the FX 5,52mm pellet,
the JSB wadcutters seems to open up a bit more when shot at high power and longer ranges
(super at 10m, low power), JSB exact 5,51mm gives slightly bigger groups than the FX...
All groups in the pics are 5 shot, bipod - not full bench rest." Schaefer also sent
some 10m group shots. Almost looks like one holers.
Finished Air Rifle Pictures - Feb 20-09
Mr. Schaefer sent a few more pictures of his airgun. I have posted them here
at the top for all the review. The barrel has been blued and Schaefer has made
a new adjustable trigger.
Older Pictures of the Buckley design Air Rifle
Schaefer's Airgun Building Pictures
All work on the air rifle is done on his lathe which has a vertical
Below Mr. Shaefer describes in his own words, how he made this airgun.
I think it's a bit unfair to let Pedro do all the writing here... so here is the
story behind my build. Eighteen months ago I got a small bench lathe. The lathe had
belonged to a relative, who had sadly passed away. The lathe ended up in my garage
since I'm the tool "monkey" of the family. Since I had no previous experience with lathes
or milling machines I spent a good deal of time trying to understand how things work, and
then produce some chips. I've always been interested in shooting and it seemed like a natural
thing to try to make my own gun. Considering the gun laws (in Sweden) airguns are about the
only guns I can build without a lot of trouble doing paperwork etc. I then found Mr. Buckley's
first book, "The Modern Pneumatic Airgun". What a book! The book has loads of information for
someone like me that has no experience regarding PCP guns.
I started making some airgun parts and got kind of stuck after a while. I did not trust
my thread cutting abilities enough to make my own air tube. I was also lacking some of
the tooling needed to complete the build. Anyway, I had the process spinning in the back
of my head for a while, and then one day I got an e-mail from Mr. Buckley. He informed me
he had a new book coming out, "The Modern Stock Reservoir Airgun."
I ordered the book right away, and YES! This was a build that could pull off with
my tools and no need to farm out the work. I started gathering material and pestered
my friends for materials. I looked through all my piles of bits 'n' bobs for what
could be used and found and second hand air bottle on ebay. I ordered a barrel blank.
By the beginning of December 2008 I started making chips. First step was to drill two
holes 150mm deep, straight and parallel in what was going to be the receiver. The piece
was drilled on my lathe, I bolted the work piece to the cross slide. Since my lathe is
small I had to go easy on the drilling. I think I spent almost 3 hours on drilling those
holes. Also had to make my own boring tool to be able to bore out to 22.8mm. After that
reaming the holes was a breeze. Then started with the valve that I turned from a piece
of brass I received from a friend (thanks Dennis!).
This is one of the alterations I made from Mr. Buckley's drawings; the valve housing
is held in place by means of grub screws since I have difficulties cutting internal
threads in the receiver because I do not have a 4 jaw chuck. After finishing the valve, I
went on with the striker. I milled two notches on the striker for the sear to engage, one
full power and another for low power (for indoor plinking). Sort of a poor man's power
adjuster but works really well.
Machining the bolt was a straightforward job. I made it with interchangeable "transfer
pipes" so that I can change transfer port size in order to adjust power output. I have
actually made two bolts. The first one made of aluminum, with transfer pipe made of
brass. Reason for making it from aluminum was that I had no brass rod available at the
time. I think the pictures shows the alloy bolt.
The trigger mechanism took some work with the old file to function properly. I also added
an extra spring-loaded plunger to take up the slack. If I had followed the drawings, I guess
that spring wouldn't be needed. The night I made the trigger I had left the book at my clinic.
The first test firing of the airgun I made was by putting the "airgun" in my bench vice,
loading a pellet in the barrel and tap the valve stem with a hammer and a piece of nylon rod.
Safety goggles and hearing protectors on! I had also placed a piece of 2x4" at the estimated
point of impact... I really didn't know what to expect as I have never fired a PCP- airgun or
even seen one in real life before this. So I was a bit nervous. Anyway, everything worked out
well! The airgun fired, and pellet was stopped by the 2x4".
After milling the outside of the receiver I made a frame for the stock. The frame is made
from 6mm aluminum plate I sawed the aluminum on my brothers band saw. My brother also provided
a piece of plywood (that was intended for his boat) I glued the plywood sheets together and
milled a slot for the stock frame.
The wooden parts are bolted to the frame by means of what we call "furniture buttons". At this
point I'd like to point out that the gun is still not finished. I am still not satisfied with
the trigger guard and have drawn a new one. The barrel still is not blued and I cannot decide
between bluing or parkerizing. If possible I would like to get the receiver and butt-plate anodized.
Whenever I think I am finished with the airgun, there is always something else! Anyway the gun
works really well and I think it shoots better than me! The accuracy varies with pellet choice.
As a kid a always used Eley Wasps pellets in my spring gun. This barrel seems to like RWS Meisterkugeln
best. They shoot hole in hole at ten meters. I have only shot the airgun once outdoors at 20m and got
17mm c-c (center to center) groups. I shot 5 shots with cheap ammo and no bench rest.
Well that's about all I have to write about this build…
What I have learned from this is that common sense, simple tools, creative thinking, and
a good set of drawings goes a long way! Anyone with a bench lathe should be able to build
a gun like this. Just get a vertical slide for the milling operations. And as always go for
good quality tools. I used Dormer and Sandvik drills I received from a friend which cut a
million times better than the cheap "yellow coated" drills from the warehouse.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my build and that it can inspire more people to build
their own PCP airgun.
Want to build your own air rifle? Click link below to get the Buckley design book.