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Advice Colchester Gamekeeper / Airgun Doctor

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by mr zero, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. mr zero

    mr zero Newbie

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    My 22 year old Colchester Weapons Workshop .22 Gamekeeper pcp having suffered a recent valve malfunction and being in need of a full overhaul was sorted out in no time flat and for a very reasonable amount of cash by Simon at Airgun Doctor (01543 876800 / www.airgundoctor.co.uk). After an initial phone discussion with Simon I sent the rifle down to him to have a look at. He rang me after he had examined it and gave me a detailed quotation based on his diagnosis. This guy really knows what he is talking about and has a wealth of technical expertise with airguns - very friendly and very confidence inspiring. The Gamekeeper came back a few days later repaired, overhauled and working perfectly. I was seriously impressed by the quality of service provided by Airgun Doctor and would recommend this firm to anyone looking for expert airgun repairs or servicing by an outfit that won't rip you off and actually cares about their customers - a refreshing change these days ... :)
     
  2. hounded

    hounded Honorary Member

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    Simon is a smashing guy :)
     
  3. SteveB

    SteveB Busy Member

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    Simon is not on the forum, and is a good buddy of mine, I am always popping in for a cup of tea. I will pass on your comments and give you a thanks on his behalf!!!
     
  4. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    had one for years now and still in its box as the valve is non working ....to be truthful even with new seals which i have tried it still leaks.
    considering they are rare and sought after i might revalve it and possibly use it or sell it.
    is simon still working on these?
     
  5. TORNADOS7

    TORNADOS7 Pro Poster

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    Crickey mate, you ought to rename yerself 'The Relic Hunter' as you managed to unearth this thread, seems to me like there's a website and phone number for him in the op's post, might be worth giving it a shot... :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  6. Blackmax

    Blackmax Pro Poster

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    Be a very positive step to get him on the forum for his technical knowledge.
     
  7. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    lol read the thread years ago and kept on looking in now and again.
    you find me mostly on the other airgun forum but will start using this as well even though i only have the defunct gamekeeper and 3 brocock / saxby palmer tac rifles that uses air.........all legal and on ticket
    oh i contacted simon this morning so awaiting reply
     
  8. ped

    ped Post Whore

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    I must sort my gamekeeper out it works but leaks over time infact same as a couple of alros m400's I have just never enough time to do everything
     
  9. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    interested in a pic of your valve if you ever take it out.....live in leeds too whinmoor area
     
  10. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    You might like to have a look here http://www.airgunforum.co.uk/forums/showthread.php/236091-PCP-valve-design and here http://www.airgunforum.co.uk/forums/showthread.php/178819-Colchester-Gamekeeper-PCP
    To date I have stripped maybe 6/8 different Gamekeepers and no two have had the same valve. This was always the rifles weakest point and most, over the years, will have had someone try to fix the problem with varying degrees of success. The root of the problem seems to lie with the way the main body of the rifle was machined, it's a pretty solid chunk of steel and it seems to have been machined from both the front and the back which usually results in a degree of misalignment between the valve guide and valve seat. Any permanent fix is likely to require some machining to get the parts to line up properly.
    If anyone does have pictures or drawings of the internals of a rifle I would be very interested to see these posted, I have quite a few dimensioned sketches and photos of various parts which, at some point, I'd like to tidy up into an archive.
     
  11. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    hi terry
    i will take some pics of the valve later today as i am away from home and take some measurements.....it does lookl crude compared to modern valves.
     
  12. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    look forward to them, thanks.
     
  13. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    serial number is 00141
    need to pop to garage lol to get long nose pliers to pull out valve then suss out to post pics
     
  14. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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  15. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    there is 1 o ring on the left and on the right is a larger piece of rubber which i not trim to fit which slips inside and protrudes out i presume to seat against the receiver
     
  16. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    sizes are unknown or oring material...i can measure the shannels where they fit.
    as you know many orings were used in different valves so what sizes i been told might fit theres but not mine
     
  17. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    And yet another different valve :confused: I think you will find that if you unscrew the valve from the stem (the silver part to the right in your photo) you will find that it is a hollow cup and the original valve seat material would have fitted in there, the black material looks as though it's probably an attempt to get it to seal. What does the seat left in the rifle look like? Some are machined into the actual body, some (like mine) have an insert screwed into the body and with others there is a larger piece (likely to be Nylon of some sort) which is a press fit inside the body of the rifle. I suspect that yours may have a screw-in top hat shaped piece similar to mine which has flats on the larger diameter part so that it can be unscrewed. The part to the left in your picture with the O ring runs in a bore and the O ring stops the high pressure air from getting back to the hammer area - these parts sometimes have a screwdriver slot but my one has a cap head socket screw which must be threaded into the part somehow although I've not stripped it that far to date.
    I know the designer of the Gamekeeper quite well, he made 3 prototype rifles before leaving the company. These were well received and performed well especially since they were only prototypes and were made quite quickly, mainly to see how the ideas would work. The idea was that the concept would be developed and refined but when he left the guy who remained (John Payne?) decided to make the rifle as a copy of the prototype and started to advertise and sell rifles on the strength of the favourable reviews. Unfortunately he did no further development and to keep up with the orders he took short cuts and had unskilled labour assembling the parts using whatever parts he could source. This is why the fit and finish are crude and no 2 guns seem to be the same. The valve seems to be the area where differences are likely to be found but hammers vary as well. The hammer is cocked by means of simple screws in the pellet probe and the hammer and all those that I have seen have been bent which is likely to cause cocking problems when you can't actually pull the hammer back far enough to engage the sears.
    In spite of the problems the rifle does handle well and is quite nice to shoot. I have made an additional .25 barrel assembly as mine came with just the .22 one. Some rifles were sold with .177, .22 and .25 as a set in a case, sometimes with an additional air bottle. For a (large) premium you could order a special serial number but numbering seems to have been sporadic and random and not all have numbers.
    I am looking at how I can machine theaction such that the valve top hat insert is aligned with and at right angles to the bore that the valve runs in but setting the action for machining isn't going to be simple. I am considering putting it in a 4 jaw chuck with a ground bar through the valve bore and mounted between centres on the lathe which would allow me to take a skim cut across the face where the top hat locates but I am still thinking about other possible methods. Once I decide on how to clean up this face I will then have to decide on the form for the new valve, wherever possible I like to leave collectable rifles as original as possible and keep all the old parts with them for any future owners.
     
  18. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    as promised pic of the receiver where the valve slides in and rear seal rests against..[​IMG]
     
  19. loiner1965

    loiner1965 Member

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    only issue i have with mine is not the rifle but the charging adapter on the bottle.
    many years ago i decided to fill the bottle which i was told is from a s16?
    anyway i went to many gunshops taking my gamekeeper bottle with me and none of the steel adapters would screw onto it.
    finally i took it to my gunsmith mate aaron wheeler who said dont worry we will make one as a last option.
    he tried all his stock and none fitted either but he had the same one but in brass which screwed perfectly on and filled from my bottle.
    sad ending to my story was i lent the bottle / whip / charginga adapter to a mate to fill his rifle and he kept it for a couple of years.
    i was in no rush to have it back but he moved and i dont know where.....i now need another adapter lol
    couple of years ago i tried to put seals in and it leaked when i screwed the bottle on so i stopped.
    the rifle buddy bottle will still have air in as i first filled it about 8 years ago and 6 years later it still had air in so my bottle holds air perfectly
     
  20. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    Best Fittings do a fill adapter although I don't think it's a stock item. I fitted mine with a quick fill unit from Dr Bob as I didn't have the proper adapter and thought it would be simpler to go the quick fill route.
     

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