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Old Style Webley Breech Seal

Discussion in 'Vintage collectable airguns' started by Dan1978, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Dan1978

    Dan1978 Engaging Member

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    Hello

    Webley used to use an old, odd style of breech seal in their over lever pistols and the Excel and Vulcan rifles too I think

    I'm talking about the kind which fits into the breech block rather than barrel

    Flat on one side, convex/rounded on the other

    On a Hurricane pistol is there a particular specific way of fitting these other than seat them evenly and fully with a smidgen of silicone grease?

    My old breech seal was squashed out of shape and looked awful

    I've put a brand new one in from Knibbs and found it impossible to seat it evenly and fully without removing the barrel pivot pin to give me full access to persuade it home with a wooden dowel and tap from a rubber mallet

    The gun is, surprisingly and disappointingly not performing as well as before when the 25 year old squashed breech seal was in

    Should I expect a settling down/running in period due to the peculiarities of this Webley Hurricane chamfered barrel and convex breech seal arrangement or do I need to remove, re-order and replace?

    Can anyone with experience of the Tempest and Hurricane breech seal and overlever barrel arrangement give me any basic advice on the correct method (flat side to breech block rounded side to barrel?)

    Is it a simple case of requiring a period for the barrel and new breech seal mating surfaces to mould to one another so to speak?

    I am not asking anything about power, velocity or performance enhancement, simply clarifying the correct procedure for replacing like for like the OEM factory standard part, old for new and if its normal for this to have an initial negative effect on the efficiency/air seal tightness of the set up

    If forum rules mean answers are best sent by PM then I'd be sincerely grateful to hear from someone in the know as I love my 25 year old Hurricane with Beeman rosewood target (!) grips!

    Thanks in advance to anyone who takes time to reply

    Danny

    Screenshot_20190919-112324_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190915-144900_Chrome.jpg
     
  2. norman

    norman Donator

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    Hi Danny & welcome to the collectors section..:thumb:

    Fitting a new breech seal shouldn't have reduced the power...you have replaced it correctly...if you PM me your address I will send you some samples of seals/material that might help you.

    Great grips by the way...what caliber is it?
     
  3. ggggr

    ggggr Crap old gun tinkerer and wine maker

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    There was/ is a tool for fitting the washers -------------If anyone wants to make one for me ? ;) But normally whenever i fit a new breech seal to a Webley pistol, I remove the barrel to get better access and to not risk trapping my fingers:eek: I use a small screwdriver to compress the edges of the washer and work round it and finish at the top. You are right that the rounded side faces the barrel.
    I'd be tempted remove the seal and check there is no debris preventing it from seating properly or any in the transfer port. Maybe you have got it slightly off centre and part of the transfer port is covered?
     
    Dan1978 likes this.
  4. norman

    norman Donator

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    It should be mentioned that it's a .22....are those figures/ft.lbs about right? (3.2 from 3.6ft,lbs.)

    The old leather breech seals had a brass insert to stop the leather from restricting the flow of air..these new types can get "crimped" as Guy has suggested...:down:
     
    Dan1978 likes this.
  5. flatrajectory

    flatrajectory Posting Addict

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    I find that some replacement rubber seals are too deep, this means that when you close the barrel you actually squash the seal and close up the air hole ....hence low power.
    I usually cut the rear ( flat) end down by about 10 thou.

    Pete.
     
    Dan1978 likes this.
  6. Troubledshooter

    Troubledshooter Active Member

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    It often helps to use a trace of lubricant on the leading (flat) edge when fitting these 'Nitrile' breech seals, even if using the original leather and brass fitting tool.

    If someone has the capability to turn one of the breech seal tools, I can loan one as a pattern. I did give exact measurements on the other forum some time ago, but I don't know if anyone ever turned one.
     
    Dan1978 likes this.
  7. norman

    norman Donator

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    Like the new avatar Pete...you look in "good condition".....who's the strange bloke in the hat..:rolleyes:
     
    flatrajectory and Dan1978 like this.
  8. Dan1978

    Dan1978 Engaging Member

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    Thanks all

    Appreciate your input

    It is a .22

    New seal ordered plus kind offer of an alternative in the post from a member here

    3.6ft/lb before seal swap

    3.2 after brand new one replaced 25 year old one.......!!!


    Doh!
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  9. Dan1978

    Dan1978 Engaging Member

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    Having removed the new breech seal that I had such trouble getting properly seated I've discovered some damage to its outer, rear edge

    I've pulled it out a little further to exaggerate it for purposes of the photo but cannot imagine this has helped even though the old talcum powder test didn't seem to reveal any air escape to the naked eye 20191006_215612.jpg 20191006_215704.jpg 20191006_215545.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  10. flatrajectory

    flatrajectory Posting Addict

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    "Oooh you are awful ... But I like you"...slaps Norman in the chest.



    Alfie the Springer.
     
    norman likes this.
  11. johnbaz

    johnbaz Big Poster

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    From memory the old leather seals had a brass tube with a flange (Like the bit of a pea shooter that you put to rour mouth!), These were inserted between the seal and the transfer port, It stopped the bore of the seal being closed when pressure tried squeezing the seal when closing the barrel!!

    I think the brass 'spreader' can be seen in this pic in the middle of the seal :thumb:

    [​IMG]


    John :)
     
    Dan1978 likes this.
  12. Dan1978

    Dan1978 Engaging Member

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    Gotcha

    However the Hurricane (and Tempest) use synthetic (non leather) one piece seals
     
    johnbaz likes this.
  13. Troubledshooter

    Troubledshooter Active Member

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    The leather and brass breech washers for the pistols have a brass insert pressed into the leather, unlike the Service Rifle which used a flanged machined insert.
    I've enclosed a photograph of both leather/brass and 'Nitrile' breech washers along with the insertion tool originally designed for the leather/brass breech washers. Webley Breech Washers + Tool.JPG
     
    johnbaz, Dan1978 and norman like this.
  14. Dan1978

    Dan1978 Engaging Member

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    Excellent thanks

    That seating took looks handy

    Also makes me feel better about struggling to swap out a simple breech seal!!!!


    I completely stripped the pistols last night

    My first home DIY service/tune endeavor!

    I have another breech seal on the way

    I'll be replacing the ptfe piston seal with a like for like new item from Knibbs

    Retaining the same spring and guide

    Once the old piston seal is removed
    (what's the best method?) should I clean the bare piston with white spirit, give the rear skirt a very light polish (with Autosol?) and reassemble or should I clean out the compression cylinder too?

    If so, manually with lint free cloth on a wooden dowel or by washing it out with white spirit or similar?

    Is there any benefit to polishing the solitary trigger sear?
    (if so which edges/sides)

    Any advice for a total novice gratefully received

    The goal is to refresh the old gun and have it shooting smoothly and consistently


    No interest in raising power and no expectations of winning any medals target shooting either!!!


    Cheers
     
  15. ggggr

    ggggr Crap old gun tinkerer and wine maker

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    I use meths and then a bit of isopropyl alcohol after to clean the bits--including the cylinder. For the cylinder the important thing is to make sure you dont leave a bit of kitchen towel or whatever down there or it will get into the transfer port and stop the gun firing (more than one person has made this mistake:oops:) . Regarding polishing things up with autosol or similar, I dont think you will achieve much but it is up to you. Maybe you can put a stainless washer in the piston and over the guide or see if someone can make you a couple of delrin washers for the job?
    The piston washer is a split ptfe ring and should come off easily enough and the new one back on. You may want to put some dry lub in the cylinder and on the bits, BUT I would use some thickish mineral oil as well as this seems to stop the piston digging in the back of the cylinder. I use chainsaw oil which is SAE 30 ( I think).
    If you take a couple of coils off the mainspring you dont really lose much power and it makes the gun a bit easier to use.

    Regarding trigger tuning--try this https://forum.vintageairgunsgallery.com/webley-pistols/webley-tempest/#post-233

    My mate up in Scotland did his and could not belive how good the trigger was---------and said he wish he had known 30 odd years ago.
    You can fit a weaker trigger spring or cut a few coils off the exisiting one.
    After you have put about 20 shots through the gun, clean the barrel out. That makes a difference.
     
  16. Troubledshooter

    Troubledshooter Active Member

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    I'm enclosing a strip article from 2001 that may assist you. Webley Hurricane - 09-01 - 1.2.jpg Webley Hurricane - 09-01 - 2.2.jpg
     
    Dan1978 likes this.
  17. johnbaz

    johnbaz Big Poster

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    Who was it in the airgun rags that proclaimed that a Gat pistol wasn't an airpistol because it relied upon inertia to 'throw' the pellet out?

    I know he got more mail about it than father Christmas leading up to chrimbo!! :rolleyes::D

    Anyone that has ever stripped a pop out pistol will have seen the small tp in the barrel, The pellet probe places the pellet in front of this so that the air is pushed out behind it!! o_O

    John :D:D
     
  18. Dan1978

    Dan1978 Engaging Member

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    Fantastic gents

    I'm extremely grateful for this info

    Titan make some delrin or ptfe washers that sit on the spring guide which I've bought via Knibbs

    I shall study all the info you gentlemen and scholars have kindly supplied me, particularly the trigger info

    Thanks again

    Danny
     
  19. Troubledshooter

    Troubledshooter Active Member

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    Go on then, I'm sure you are dying to tell us who it was, and what's that got to do with the subject matter in this thread.o_O:confused:
     
    Dan1978 likes this.
  20. johnbaz

    johnbaz Big Poster

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    I can't actually remember who it was, It was a writer for either Airgun World or the Airgunner mag, I read it, Also read his follow up in a later edition when he had to admit he was wrong!!

    I can't rememember for the life of me who it was though! :confused:

    EDIT- When I saw the 'Bulmer does a strip' It just reminded me of it as I used to buy both mags regularly but I stopped some years ago, It just popped in my head and wondered who it was!


    John :thumb:
     

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