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AA T200: Bought in haste, now repenting at leisure..

Discussion in 'Gun Gallery' started by cloverleaf, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I'll try and keep this short, although there's a lot of crap to whinge about so it'll probably turn out to be another epic :rolleyes:

    So.. as some of you may know, I've been loving the Air Arms / CZ 200 recently and have been looking for one to tweak.

    The hunt was on for a Target version on account of its adjustable stock, since the standard item is somewhat diminutive and can feel quite cramped in use for anyone over about 5ft tall.

    Since Air Arms no longer sell the T200 (target) variant of the S200 the choice boiled down to a used T200 or an imported CZ200T - the latter of which would need some bits replacing to get it up to 12ftlb.

    I'd kept my eyes open but most used examples I'd seen had been butchered, abused, neglected and / or were overpriced. Eventually I spotted what appeared to be a reasonably unmolested example, and after some hassle went to view it last night.

    This proved to be a nightmare as I promptly got lost / stuck in traffic and eventually arrived about an hour late. Very conscious of this I hastily checked the rifle as best I could (reasonable cosmetic condition, some light damage / signs of fiddling in places, no apparent leaks, no rust or major damage to the action, no bolt jump on firing..). It seemed a reasonably honest example in reasonable nick for a 12yr old gun, so I gave the guy the asking price as he was very helpful and I felt bad for being so late and brough the gun home.

    Upon my return last night / earler today in the cold light of day I had a chance to discover all the sh*tty little surprises it had in store - here is the extent of my folly so far in words and pictures.. :(


    The gun was stripped down to its major component parts for inspection. Apologies to all "exploded diagram" afficiandos - it had to be arranged so it'd all fit in shot:

    SMALL_IMG_1796a.jpg


    The butt assembly - viewed like this it's evident that quite a lot of additional work and parts go into the adjustable version. One thing that's nice about this stock (compared to Air Arms stocks that use the same spacer system) is that the bolts to secure the spacers are long and have corresponding holes on the opposite sides of the bosses they screw into in the stock, hence you can use the same bolts for any number of spacers (within reason). Conversely the AA stocks don't have rebates for the bolts - meaning you need a range of different lengths, and using a bolt that's too long for the depth of spacers you're using results in damage to the stock.


    SMALL_IMG_1798a.jpg


    The barrel looks to be the usual quality and in good nick - the rifling at the crown appearing crisply defined and even. There's a bit of damage at the flat on the top, but I've seen worse:

    SMALL_IMG_1800a.jpg


    The all-important 3mm diameter transfer port at the breech end. I believe the 7.5J version of this rifle sold in Europe has a smaller port, so really an import would have required a replacement barrel:

    SMALL_IMG_1801a.jpg


    Being the Target variant this gun has a gauge at the front as opposed to a quick-fill, necessitating refills via the back of the removable cylinder courtesy of a DIN adaptor. The gauge scale is clear, large (relatively speaking), easy to read and apparently pretty accurate. Ideally I'd like to get a quick-fill setup made in brass that retains the original gauge:

    SMALL_IMG_1804a.jpg


    Now the horrors begin :(

    I'd noticed that the accessory rail had been crudely counterbored during initial viewing, but that was where my powers of observation ceased. When I got home I noticed that the rail was sitting proud at the front - the first indicator of a little trail of indicators of the previous owner's ham-fisted stupidity.. evidently he'd over-tightened the CSK bolt that secures the barrel band (like every other screw in the gun - fugging ape :mad:), stripping the thread in this plastic part (which admittedly is a fairly common problem).

    He'd evidently attempted to solve this problem by fitting a longer bolt - problem being that it was too long, so he crammed a washer between the rail and the forend:

    SMALL_IMG_1805a.jpg


    Removing this washer made everything look 100% better - note the cracked wood at the front of the forend, between the rail and barrel band though:

    SMALL_IMG_1806a.jpg


    Of course, with the overly-long bolt now poking through the band into the cylinder aperture, I checked the cylinder and my heart sank when I found the inevitable:

    SMALL_IMG_1847a.jpg


    Typically the same level of excessive force had been needlessly applied to the rear forend fixing bolt too, causing similar damage in this area:

    SMALL_IMG_1808a.jpg


    Everything holds but I don't like knowing the damage is there, so I'm considering trying to force some wood glue into the cracks to add some strength. The bolt that secures the butt to the side of the action had been replaced with a stainless button item (which looked crap tbh) and had also been over-tightened - although thanfully not as badly as those on the forend:

    SMALL_IMG_1810a.jpg


    Some damage on the pistol grip that the owner pointed out - tbh he seemed honest enough, and really I'm more angry at myself than him for not spotting all the damage and beating him down / walking away..

    SMALL_IMG_1811a.jpg



    The stock retaining stud and nut have seen better days:

    SMALL_IMG_1849a.jpg


    One initially positive point was the nice black ally bolt handle.. which was quickly removed once I found that it's stupid square-based shank was preventing the bolt from closing properly, marking the stock in the process..

    SMALL_IMG_1823a.jpg


    The adjustable butt pad is an earlier version of the one that AA still use on the Ultimate Sporter and HFT500. One nice thing is that the square clamp nut that sits inside the stationary part of the pad is a lot larger on this rifle than the modern ones - preventing it from pulling into / damagiing the plastic base when the bolt is nipped up:

    SMALL_IMG_1825a.jpg


    Thankfully the block is in good nick, barring a few small marks on the bolt dog channel. It is / was covered in some nasty residue - I think probably what's left of previous applications of WD40. It wouldn't shift with oil, but 0000 wire wool and oil got rid of some of it earlier. The block will have to wait for a full spring-clean until I get the time to strip it completely.

    SMALL_IMG_1828a.jpg


    LHS of the block showing the exposed mech that links the striker and loading bolt. This is a nice touch as it gives the bolt a mechanical advantage over the striker - allowing the cocking load of the shortish striker stroke (c. 8.4mm) and stiff spring to be reduced and spread over the longer stroke of the bolt:

    SMALL_IMG_1830a.jpg


    The RHS again. We also have a genuinely nice brass loading trough, which I've found nowt to complain about - yet!

    SMALL_IMG_1832a.jpg


    The gun came with some bundled goodies, some of which I'll probably flog off in an effort to recoup some of the excessive amount I paid for the rifle. 10 shot mag conversion and spare:

    SMALL_IMG_1834a.jpg


    Original loading tray and nasty floppy plastic handle - which has now reluctantly been re-fitted in place of the ill-fitting ally alternative:

    SMALL_IMG_1835a.jpg


    The DIN adaptor:

    SMALL_IMG_1836a.jpg


    A brass trigger guard - I think this can probably go as the steel one is perfectly adiquate and I'm no fan of functionless bling:

    SMALL_IMG_1837a.jpg


    The rear of the air cylinder, showing the cross-shaped section of the "firing valve gate", which screws into the rear of the exhaust valve seal:

    SMALL_IMG_1840a.jpg


    The previous owner had evidently bought a load of spare spacers (the gun usually comes with two - one 4mm thick and one 8mm - probably the unbranded ones in this pic):

    SMALL_IMG_1844a.jpg


    The funky BRNO/CZ logo:

    SMALL_IMG_1843a.jpg


    Aperture sights are cheap and basic, but do the job. Since I now have the facility, I'm half tempted to try them out at 10m, but I suspect I'll lose interest very quickly :p

    SMALL_IMG_1846a.jpg

    Continued in next post as I've hit the per-post image limit!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    The Robin likes this.
  2. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    All back together with a more appropriate number of spacers added. Tbh I'd have liked to have crammed the one remaining 4mm item onto the butt, but as it stands I've only got around 4-5mm of thread engagement left on the bolts:

    SMALL_IMG_1850a.jpg


    Nice arse!

    SMALL_IMG_1851a.jpg



    Detail of the RHS - the stainless button bolt has since been replaced with a correct slotted, blued cheese-head, while the poorly-set trigger was adjusted to give a proper two stage release:

    SMALL_IMG_1852a.jpg


    Front end:

    SMALL_IMG_1855a.jpg


    LHS detail:

    SMALL_IMG_1858a.jpg


    I fitted a basic little EB 4x32 scope I had kicking around. I thought it'd suit the austere and minimal ethos of the gun, but IMO it looks crap and I'll doubtless replace it with something bigger soon enough. I was hoping that being able to lengthen the butt would allow me to mount the scope further back (hopefully avoiding use of the dovetail block on the barrel and allow it to free-float) - however even with all the spacers on the butt, the scope still needs to be mounted very far forward:

    SMALL_IMG_1860a.jpg


    So, that's as the rifle stood at the end of last night. Today saw a quick hour's tinkering - mainly getting sweary about the damage and attempting to sort some of the gun's shortcomings. As previously mentioned the RHS of the block was cleaned of the gunk clinging to its surface in places, the side buttstock bolt was replaced with a proper item and the trigger was set. The gun was cleaned a bit and played with over the chrono to see how suitable it is for use with a reg - the results of which I'll post in a bit, providing I can get them done before I fall asleep at the keyboard!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    pjgtech, The Robin and foxtrott like this.
  3. green_rizla

    green_rizla Donator

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    That's a blinding result..... and it's helped me immensely as I have to service the S200 I've been given. Luckily mine has never been apart so It just needs O Rings, Some Oil and a bit of Grease.

    Cheers
    Peter
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  4. Scott

    Scott Moderated user

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    Never really been a big Air Arms fan, but I do like the S200 I don't know why but something about the design and shape just appeals to me.
    I suppose your astonishing quality photographs help too....
    Wishing you many hours of fun with it Mike :up:
     
  5. Squirrelking

    Squirrelking Donator

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    Bodges, dontcha just love them!

    Seems like a similar story to when we bought our house, bit rought round the edges but solid till you start peeling the edges back... Thankfully underneath it all that's not a dog, shame about the cracked wood though, that's not so easy to fix but could probably be done easily enough with the right knowledge and expertise.

    Love the explodey shot.
     
  6. themadspread

    themadspread Donator

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    your the man to sort it mike;)
     
  7. den77

    den77 Donator

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    Love reading these posts of yours great explanation and pictures. Pictures are always so clear nice one
     
  8. Squirrelking

    Squirrelking Donator

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    I know, he says he doesn't have time to do magazine pieces but if I'm honest it's as good or better than most of the my bike/car/whatever columns in mags.
     
  9. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Cheers guys :)


    Good stuff - glad you found it of use :)

    Which O-rings do you plan on replacing? If it's not leaking I'd strongly advise against attempting to strip the cylinder as they're a s**t to get apart, even with the right tools. The O-ring at the back of the cylinder that seals to the action will be superglued in (so again is a pain to remove so best left alone if in good nick).
    The breech seals are easy to change (if you have some decent picks) but generally last OK unless the gun is used with a poorly-setup mag, in which case they get shredded very quickly.

    Later guns (late Mk2 onwards) have the AA T-bar filler which is easy to remove and service (once the cylinder is empty!). How old is yours - have you got any pics up yet? ;)


    A few things have happened since I acquired the rifle. The 4x32 scope was re-px'd to 20yd but proved to be pretty useless for my accuracy testing needs, so it was swapped for a 6-24 Digi Nite Eye I had floating around.. it's a bit incongruous on the tiny T200, but perfect for bench rest and adds some frontal mass for when I actually get around to some offhand shooting.

    I did spend a frustrating half an hour trying to shoot some groups on Monday night - results were very poor but I later discovered that the cylinder was very loose (maybe half a turn to a turn) following some fiddling earlier in the day, so I suspect this might have been to blame.

    I also cleaned the barrel - the first oiled patch showing a fair amount of lead at its front but hardly any at the rear, while a second patch showed practically no fouling. A testament to the quality of the barrel's internal finish, and a refreshing change from the patch after patch required to get my shonky BSA barrels somewhere near clean :rolleyes:


    I've also chrono'd a few complete shot strings through the gun at various settings and with various pellets.

    This process was basically to ascertain how the gun performs at the extremes of its settings:

    One which favours a higher operating pressure
    (ideal setup when unregged) with the striker spring preload adjusted to maximum (or 3/8 turns shy of) and the port choked down to give just under 12ftlb muzzle energy

    One which favours a lower operating pressure (ideal setup when regged) with the port opened up to maximum and the striker preload reduced to give just under 12ftlb of muzzle energy


    Each of these setups were tested with both 10.34gn Daystate FT Heavies and 7.87gn Air Arms Express:

    2016.09.23%20Velocity%20Testing%20T200%20A066780_Energy.jpg


    Observations

    - With the higher operating pressure setup the rifle gave around 25 shots within 1.5% of max velocity (actually more like 3% due to massive inconsistency) with Daystate Heavies, within an operating pressure range of around 166bar down to 129bar (depending on how fussy you are about the odd low velocity shot) at an average muzzle energy of 11.57ftlb.

    - With the higher operating pressure setup the rifle gave around 30 shots within 1.5% of max velocity (actually more like 2% due to some inconsistency) with AA Express, within an operating pressure range of around 182bar down to 134bar (depending on how fussy you are about the odd low velocity shot) at an average muzzle energy of 11.59ftlb.

    - With the lower operating pressure setup the rifle gave around 15-20 shots within 1.5% of max velocity (actually a shade under 2% due to some inconsistency) with Daystate Heavies, within an operating pressure range of around 111bar down to 85-90bar (depending on how fussy you are about the odd low velocity shot) at an average muzzle energy of 11.78ftlb.

    - With the lower operating pressure setup the rifle gave around 15 shots within 1.5% of max velocity with AA Express, within an operating pressure range of around 115bar down to 95bar, at an average muzzle energy of 11.92ftlb.

    - With the higher operating pressure setup the rifle gave a shot to shot consistency of 18ft/s with the DS Heavies and 8ft/s with the AA Express.

    - With the lower operating pressure setup the rifle gave a shot to shot consistency of 7ft/s with DS Heavies and 12ft/s with the AA Express.


    Conclusions

    I can't be arsed to go through everything above, however there is a slight leak at the port adjustor which I think might be responsible for the inconsistency - particularly with the heavy pellets at high pressures - which should have given far more shots and less spread with these settings - plus more energy than that achieved by the lighter AA pellets. Perhaps I'll try and sort some thread sealer and repeat the test.

    The low pressure tests suggest an ideal reg pressure of around 100-110bar, however this won't be exact (not least because of the potential problems mentioned above, although these should be minimised at lower operating pressures), on account of the presence of the valve pot in the cylinder which will act as a restrictor and increase ideal operating pressure range... on the other hand depending on size of the plenum in the reg, the regged setup might be no better.

    While I had high hopes from this testing, having had a chance to review the results shows that something's wrong somewhere and no real conclusions can be reached until this is sorted.

    The plan is now to look at sorting the leak at the port, then I suppose it's on to getting some tools sorted to get the cylinder apart..

    I'll try and make the next post more interesting with more pictures and less words :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  10. stew87

    stew87 Certified

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    wow great write up shame about the stock though :( be interesting to see this develop, hopefully you have a good rifle with a little more fettling, had a s200 myself my only foray into the pcp world brilliant gun and very accurate but i just prefer springers, ive never seen anyone mess with a pcp so im looking forward to future instalments

    atb
     
  11. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Donator

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    Cracking job, Mike - but I have to say, all that science makes my brain hurt!
     
  12. 177

    177 Donator

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    I have some 2 part golf shafting (no sniggering at the back) epoxy.

    I use clear or black, for bonding knife handles. It's one of the strongest and toughest epoxy glues there is.

    Reason I mention it is:

    1. I'd be happy to send you some
    2. If you warm it up it sneaks into cracks in wood like you wouldn't believe
    3. Once it cures it's going nowhere. Ever

    Would make short work of those stock cracks...

    Very informative thread Mike - thanks for sharing :)
     
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  13. Funky Diver

    Funky Diver Donator

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    Usual exemplarary photos :thumb:


    Same here, reminds me on the L96A1
     
  14. Funky Diver

    Funky Diver Donator

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    Oh and that hole in the barrel band. Milliput! Sets rock hard and you can re-thread it, finishes really well with a bit of spit whilst it's still malleable and smooths over beautifully with regular wet n dry.
     
  15. katluke

    katluke Donator

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    Titebond do a range of instant glues with the thin version designed especially for running in hairline cracks,repairs and stabilising small sections of timber. hth
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  16. 177

    177 Donator

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    I use Titebond lll for laminating bamboo or hickory backing strips onto longbows :)
     
  17. katluke

    katluke Donator

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    Im a Joiner by trade and that's the main glue I use,Titebond III is very good stuff. :up:
     
  18. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Thanks and yeah - you're no the only one whose brain this POS is giving a hammering :(


    Thanks and ta for the heads up - that's very generous of you!

    Following yours and Katluke's input I've been looking onto low viscosity cyanoacrylate wood glues - looks like titebond do one that's not far off the viscosity of water, so I think that's the kiddie to go for :)


    Thanks - tbh though I think I'll either go with a thread insert (if I keep the plastic support) or more likely use this as an excuse to sort a nicer alternative that allows the barrel to float.


    Thanks for the suggestion - as above, after a bit of research this appears to be the ideal stuff to use :)



    So.. as much as I'm spurred on by (and very much appreciate) everyone's enthusiasm, things certainly aren't getting better for the T200. I've just returned from the club following a "proper" group test.

    Conveyed in the most optimistic manner possible, it's utter, utter sh*te :(

    Over 20yds you'd struggle to keep 10 AA Express under a 2p, while DS FT Heavies fared a bit better at around a 5p size group.. still bloody awful since they should all be going through the same hole at this range.

    It's an odd one - loading a pellet is somewhat stiff and notchy, however having previously inspected the barrel there are no obvious issues at the usual places (burred transfer port for example) there is damage at the mouth of the breech where the previous d******d has evidently dug around with something for some reason, however this doesn't appear to be affecting loading or sealing. There are several stages to this notchyness and I intend to find out what the cause is, but I suspect the only real solution is to replace the barrel.

    Tbh I'm not sure as I want to keep chucking money at this sh*tter and am wondering whether I'd be better to cut my losses, take it down the bottom of the range and torch the f*cking thing :mad:
     
    The Robin likes this.
  19. Scott

    Scott Moderated user

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    Tart it up aesthetically and sell it on... one of those proseco brained southern softies will take it off your hands cos it looks so pretty ;) :p ;)

    Well that and the fact that it is a good weapon at the end of the day
     
  20. 177

    177 Donator

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    If in doubt, part it out.
     

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