The VFG barrel cleaning kit.
This is to follow up Radicai's post regarding the VFG barrel cleaning system, i have used this kit for a few years now, it's not cheap...or at least i didn't think it was when i bought it as it cost me £50 about 8 years ago and possibly more, but it is the best. When you consider most airgunners don't even think about cleaning their barrel and those who do, like i used to, will use a pull through and some form of cloth perhaps with a bore solvent like Ballistol,this can be made or bought for a fraction of the price.
So, i've finally got round to doing some pics and getting this step-by-step guide together to show what i use and why.
The test bed for this is my HW100, the barrel hasn't been cleaned for a while but accuracy is still good.
First off you need to have access to the breech to use the VFG kit, with my HW97/77 it's just a matter of cocking the rifle and then VERY carefully inserting the rod down the bore from the muzzle and attaching on the felt wads, the obvious problem here is the rifle is cocked and you're going to have to place your fingers in the breech.This would normally be done whilst holding the underlever when loading pellets but with this system you haven't enough hands to hold the rifle and use the rod. If you can't summon any help the only safe way is to unscrew the back block and release the mainspring tension, it's YOUR fingers, you have been warned.
With my Steyr i can leave the barrel on the rifle or remove it, it's very easy to do. With the HW100 you have a choice of either splitting the action block apart to gain access to the breech or as i prefer removing the barrel. For the purpose of this guide i removed the stock, scope, and air cylinder and silencer.
If you're taking the barrel off it's best to mark it's position with masking tape and a line from barrel to front half of action block.
With the barrel out i could also see the mark left by the grubscrew.
Whilst i was at this stage i also decided to split the action and replace the 12x1.2 breech o-ring with the 12x1 recommended by POK.
Ok, so you've removed the barrel, now just as a test i decided to clean the barrel with my pull-through first. It's a home made one that cost a couple of quid for the plastic coated wire trace, and less than a tenner all in with a box of Napier rifle clean cloth. I cut the cloth into strips approx 50mm in length and thread the wire down the bore from the muzzle end. If you have an early model HW100 or a HW97 with the bonded on silencer, place a drinking straw down the muzzle first to help fit the wire easier. The fold over the cloth twice on it's self and pass it through the wire.
The last three of nine patches came out with a very feint mark on them, the first one is obvious...
The VFG kit with the rod, case, intensive cleaning felts, regular felts, bore cleaning compound and teflon grease.
The rod is passed down the bore from the muzzle and an intensive felt screwed onto the thread, just on far enough to cover the threads, any further will start to expand the felt as it is pulled onto the collar of the rod.
Then coat the felt with some blue cleaning compound, and pull the rod to fit the felt flush with the bore. Be VERY careful with the paste...it will remove bluing!
Next, you have to slide the black handle upto the muzzle and tighten the white plastic locking screw, there's a slot on the screw to allow use of a screwdriver but i'd resist the urge as it's only plastic...i've never found it necessary to use anything other than my fingers.
Twist the white rod that exits the black handle to screw the thread into the felt and expand it into the bore, half a dozen turns should be enough, then you hold the handle and carefully avoiding catching the white screw, pull the rod out from the muzzle to a distance of approx 100mm. This is recommended in the instructions as it's this section of the barrel that is most at risk...when the precharged system works the air it has a freezing effect that attracts moisture from the atmosphere that settles as condense water.Within days corrosion will occur. From now on layer and layer of lead will cover the corrosion.(Taken from the instructions).
Pull the rod out using the handle to a distance of 100mm and push it back again, the white screw will twist as the felt grips the rifling even though the barrel and handle are kept straight, this shows it's working as it should. Do this half a dozen times, re-tighten the white rod by turning it a few more times and repeat a couple more times.
The felt came out like this, and that's after i'd "Cleaned" the barrel with the pull-through.
I put another intensive felt covered in paste through the barrel and then two intensive felts without any paste on them, the one on the left is the second with paste(You can make out some blue on the felt)the middle one is brown in colour...THAT'S RUST!!! And the one on the right is an intensive felt that came out with just a slight trace of grey markings,
Then it's time to use a regular felt coated in the teflon grease, this coats the bore and helps protect against rust, if the felt comes out covered in equal colour grey markings then all is well, if there's any black or uneven black marks the process has to be repeated.
Mine came out good. The instructions recommend firing a clean felt with a pointed pellet behind it to finish but i've never found this necessary.