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Why I Think The Umarex "walther" Rm8 Is An Utterly Worthless Piece Of s**t

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by cloverleaf, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    My opinion of this rifle has long-rubbed some up the wrong way.

    While I never deliberately set out to cause offence, doubtless telling things as I see them with no sugar-coating is a hard pill to swallow for some. Again I stress that this post is "only" my opinion and motivated singularly by observations of this gun's design and construction.. and if you get offended, that's of course your right; but not my problem.

    I'm familiar with the general construction of these guns since they're essentially an "Airmagnum" modified to run on air rather than the CO2 they somewhat confusingly were designed to consume.

    However, it took until today for me to actually see inside one first hand and witness, with abject disgust, the true horror of what lies within.


    I was asked to sort a leak on a six-year old example, so today began the usual process applied to any rifle with which I'm not totally familiar; strip, measure seal sizes (in the absence of any existing data), gauge the need for any specialist tools then hopefully set to work fitting new seals to the gun and setting up as necessary.

    Things started off innocuously enough; I found the leak (between bottle and bottle valve, which was fun but that's another story and the least of it tbh). Given the state of some of the seals inside I continued working through, measuring seal and component dims and fitting what appeared to be correct-size metric replacements since a google search had turned up scant info on working on the gun full stop.

    I thought I'd done a pretty decent job, having replaced all the nitrile O-rings outside of the reg; which I elected to leave alone to avoid the prospect of causing further issues. At this point I was almost looking forward to getting another example to repair with reg issues, to give me an excuse to strip the reg and potentially get a pressure tester made up to allow me to fully re-seal and set up these rifles in future.

    I couldn't pressurise the system due to one O-ring I'd not got a replacement for, so elected to spend some of the evening compiling the sizes of the O-rings I'd replaced into a spreadsheet for future reference. It felt like time well spent.

    It's always good to have part numbers so I looked on Knibbs' site; only finding one seal so I googled it's part no. in the hope that it might lead to more info / dimensions for other seals.

    That's when I came across this very infomative exploded diagram; which I'd not seen before. Working through it to harvest the O-ring data it slowly dawned on me how absolutely, disgustingly, intentionally flawed this gun is :(


    Extremely Cheap Materials and Construction

    No surprises here as the gun has been attracting criticism for this reason since it was new, and not without reason. Pretty much every non-pressure-bearing part of the gun is made from die-cast zinc or aluminum-based alloy, which is soft with poor mechanical strength.

    Many wear surfaces are made of this cheap, inferior material meaning that with use there's a very strong likelihood of the gun literally wearing out - potentially becoming sloppy and unreliable in operation to the point where it's no longer fit for purpose.

    To make matters worse the two halves of the action's clam shell are held together by four small, semi-self-tapping screws that have little thread engagement. This suggests that they'll only stand a finite amount of assembly / disassembly cycles before the threads wear away, are damaged by the swarf still present from the screws cutting their own path upon initial assembly, or simply strip out due to the effects of fatigue.


    The Regulator Pressure Cannot be Adjusted with the Unit Assembled

    Pretty much every reg in every decent gun incorporates some form of external (to the reg) adjustment to allow it to be fine-tuned to suit its application and account for the usual tolerances and variations in components.

    It appears that the only way the output pressure of this reg could be adjusted in principal would be to shim it, however anyone attempting to do so is likely to encounter further problems due to the issues below...


    The Regulator Output Pressure Cannot be Measured

    Again, most guns allow the testing of their reg output pressure; either by attaching a gauge to a test port on the gun or by removing the reg and fitting it to a test rig. Unfortunately (going by the diagram) it appears that the RM8 has no such provision.

    I'd expected to be able to remove the rear of the reg housing (which also contains the exhaust valve in this case) and screw in an adaptor to measure output pressure. However, it seems that there is no O-ring sealing the rear sections of the reg together; suggesting that the seal is achieve with sealant.

    This effectively prevents the repeated disassembly and re-assembly required to a) adjust the reg with shims and b) test the effect of this work on output pressure.. meaning the output pressure is both unknown and non-adjustable.


    The Regulator Appears to be a Sealed Unit

    In addition to the apparent use of sealant on the rear end of the reg / valve assy, it appears that the front end is not intended to be stripped either. It seems that the front section is screwed onto the mid-section by locking it to the captive steel collar that sits around it with a grub screw or similar to allow the two parts to be rotated as one.

    While this potentially isn't the end of the world if the front and mid-sections can be easily separated, judging by the lashings of retaining compound elsewhere on the gun I think this is highly unlikely.

    This means that the reg isn't intended to be stripped and in the inevitable event of a failure (of something as seemingly inconsequential as a 50p O-ring) the prescribed course of action is to replace the whole item en-bloc - at considerable cost no doubt.


    Conclusion

    So there we go.. if my observations about this rifle's design and construction are correct they validate the thoughts of many that this gun:

    - Has been made to be as absolutely dirt-cheap as possible to produce
    - Has been designed to fail in one of a number of ways within a finite and pretty short prescribed lifespan
    - Is intended to be non-third-party repairable in the event of such failures
    - Is intended to be economically non-viable to repair in the event of a failure


    Effectively this means that within a relatively short space of time (IMO 5-10yrs) after purchase, any one of a number of small (and on other guns easily repairable) issues could turn the RM8 into a very expensive paperweight.

    I know the deplorable practice of "built-in obsolescense" and the drive towards increasingly disposible products with ever-shortening lives has been a thing for many years in wider manufacturing, however this is the first time I've seen it executed in such a ruthless, complete and uncompromising manner in an air rifle; and not a particularly cheap one at that (it's hardly an £80 springer).

    To say I'm utterly disgusted is an understatement, and based on todays sorry discoveries I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that, for the consciencious / long-term owner at least, the RM8 has to be one of the worst PCP purchases on the market today :down:


    EDIT (i): Some Pictures

    While stripping the gun I'd taken some pictures for my own reference, however I'll share a few here in an effort to illustrate my reasoning. These are in no way meant to be definitive (I only chose to / could only disassemble the gun so far) but might be of interest.

    The barrel removed - it's held in with a single steel roll-pin, which is hardly a promising start :facepalm:

    [​IMG]


    The front of the breech block showing the barrel retaining roll pin (top right), reg/exhaust valve assy (bottom right), and transfer port adjustor screw (middle-ish, with orange paint):

    [​IMG]


    All the permanent pressure-bearing parts (bottle, inlet valve & gauge assy, reg and exhaust valve assys) removed from the breech block (it just unscrews):

    [​IMG]


    Bottle removed (which was unfeasibly tight) and inlet / gauge block removed from the reg / exhaust valve assy. In order to account for the need to orient these parts in a particular way when attached to the threaded reg assy, the inlet assy mounts to the reg via a captive steel collar that's free to rotate when the two retaining bolts are slackened off:

    [​IMG]


    Complete reg and exhaust valve assy viewed from the rear. The valve retainer (with the two pin holes either side of the valve stem) appears to have been fitted with retaining / sealing compound; hardly surprising considering there's apparently no O-ring between the two parts:

    [​IMG]


    Reg assy from the front, showing the steel collar that attaches it to the inlet valve assy. This appears captive between the two front-most parts of the reg; potentially making it very difficult to remove / separate these parts (should access be required to the inlet valve or other parts of the reg):

    [​IMG]


    The action block with the side plate removed. Where to start... pretty much everything inside is cast alloy or plastic, with the odd steel part where absolutely necessary (pins, springs, the safety lever). Even the bloody trigger sear appears to be cast alloy :facepalm:

    I struggle to see how you could make this any cheaper / to a lower standard.. IMO this really is plumbing extreme new depths when it comes to quality of a £500 PCP..

    [​IMG]


    To round off, one of the four nasty little self-tapping screws used to hold the side plate on. Note the ally swarf on the tip; serving to illustrate both the shallow depth of engagement and bloody mess that can be found inside these guns..

    [​IMG]


    :facepalm:

    EDIT (ii): A little deeper:

    @the logun-ator very kindly sent me one of the queer-sized seals required (thanks Mick!) so today I re-assembled the rifle, and it still leaked.

    Closer inspection revealed that it was leaking from the front and mid sections of the reg; two parts I'd previously stated looked like a s**t to get to bits, but at least thankfully sealed with an O-ring rather than sealing compound.

    I locked the rotating steel collar to the front section of the reg assy with an M5 bolt and predictably it wouldn't move (bending the bolt in the process!). Judicious application of heat liberated that sweet smell of threadlock cooking off, after which point the parts came apart relatively easily.

    The O-ring inside quickly confirmed its reasons for leaking; being so dry that it cracked into pieces upon removal - hardly splendid for a 6yr old item (I've seen them last at least double this in other applications). I'm not sure if it was just s**t quality, embrittled by the threadlock or just had a harder time given the gun's relatively high fill pressure.

    Sorry for the cack focussing!

    [​IMG]


    Here we have the front portion separated from the rest of the reg:

    [​IMG]


    ..and the reg inlet valve; worthy of note due to its slightly unusual design with captive O-ring valve seat and boss that runs inside the reg piston. Can't comment too much on this design as it's pretty novel; although I'm not a huge fan of the O-ring sealing as I've seen issues with compression set affecting reg output in other applications..

    [​IMG]


    So... to be fair I take back a little of my previous bile since I managed to strip the rifle a little further than I'd expected possible, however most of my comments still stand.

    It does indeed appear that the reg is effectively sealed (thanks to the lack of O-rings) which is a bit of a pain but not insurmountable if you just want to strip it and replace the O-rings to cure a leak or output pressure issue.

    However you still have absolutely no way of quantifying or adjusting output pressure so it's pretty much impossible to optimise the gun's setup and chances are most are running a reg pressure that's some way off what it really should be.

    I'm a little less disgusted with these rifle now and a little more optimistic about the potential to repair them (despite the fact that this has evidently been made intentionally difficult); however on the whole I still think they're cack and would strongly recommend against buying one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  2. Wing Commander

    Wing Commander Busy Member

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    :up: Thanks for the "heads up" on this rifle.
    Sounds like it is definitely one to avoid.
     
    cloverleaf likes this.
  3. mrtho

    mrtho Engaging Member

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    That exactly echoes my sentiments towards the original Co2 version of it,the laughably moniker'd, AIRMAGNUM.My example has always been a cheap as chips POS!The monkey metal construction of it is better suited to the lower pressure of Co2,of course rather than HPA! lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
    cloverleaf and Blue BSA like this.
  4. the logun-ator

    the logun-ator "can i,? wey aye man!"

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    ive said this for months...there poop,but no one seams to take any notice of me.
    the main problem with them is the regulator leaking,ive done a few,ive even made a manual on how to and supply the correct orings for the job(size and shore rating) in a kit i sell on the bay of 'e',sold 6 in the last month.
    the reg is adjustable,a grub screw on the outside of the main body locks the adjustment,but yes you,or at least us joe public cant measure the output only set it back to factory(1/4 turn)

    oh and have you seen sometimes the probe will push the pellet in the barrel then pull it back out and it either goes back in the mag or it drops inside the gun jaming up the guvins so the side has to come of....then theres springs and leavers flying all over
    still....keeps my buzy :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
    genesis, Rat reaper, Matool and 5 others like this.
  5. jesim1

    jesim1 Kit bitch to the Stars

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    I have no knowledge of the internals of these, but after having shot two, and having to help newbies remove pellets which have dropped inside the gun or become stuck in it's barrel, I concluded it was cheap and nasty and built down to a price. It's not something I make a big deal about, because they are still a fair bit of money, and often bought by keen new comers who don't need me taking the wind from their sails, but they are what they are, and that is not a good gun to be recommended to people entering the sport :oops:
     
    WR14210 and cloverleaf like this.
  6. Blister

    Blister Busy Member

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    i call that cheap alloy metal chinesium
     
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  7. jesim1

    jesim1 Kit bitch to the Stars

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    You can't say that, it's wasist.
     
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  8. Blue BSA

    Blue BSA Keyboard Hero

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    But, but they are so, so, so pretty.

    [​IMG]
     
    ibo7, rmcn82, talent and 2 others like this.
  9. the logun-ator

    the logun-ator "can i,? wey aye man!"

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    on the plus side.....it should be super accurate,providing they use there own barrels that is lol
    well super accurate for as long as it holds air,when it starts leaking from the vent hole on the side of the reg body its time for a reseal.
     
  10. Neil Dobson

    Neil Dobson Engaging Member

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    Fantastic news , my local shop highly recommended the RM8 ultra compact and although I like it reading this is very concerning I even asked him at the time about parts and servicing all of which I was told “no problem at all” , I know and trust the shop and this was my first pcp rifle having had springers and other guns from them over the last 15 years or so. I have two potential buyers with cash willing to take this 2 month old RM8 off me this week , I was hesitant on selling it as I would be losing money but it would appear to be the most cost effective way forward at this moment.
     
  11. rich79

    rich79 Lovin the smell of cordite in the morning

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    Umerex, Walther, Rws/dynamit Nobel, they're all part of the PW group so I'd guess bought out by venture capitalsts.
    I have heard that Walther (proper) is left alone but the name is used (evidently) for any old sh1te.
    Probably why the new Airking etc is viewed as not being as good as previous models as well, as for upsetting people, well if they've spent their cash on something then most will defend it & subsequently themselves from looking like they bought a lemon, its only natural but I'd imagine it's hard to argue with evidence like this.
     
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  12. Neil Dobson

    Neil Dobson Engaging Member

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    Far from defending it I am actually pretty peed off that I was recommended to buy it , knowing what I know now from this post i would not have brought it. I knew it’s place in the market from the price but I did not know it’s basically a throw in the bin job if/when it breaks. I have listed mine for sale (not on here as I would imagine no chance of selling it now) and have two strong enough offers that it will be sold this week. As for my next rifle I did fancy an R10 ..!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
    cloverleaf likes this.
  13. DJP

    DJP Busy Member

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    It's certainly not news to me. I owned the CO2 version and thought that was pretty poor. I certainly wouldn't spend £400 plus on a PCP based on the same action.
     
    talent, cloverleaf and foxtrott like this.
  14. Neil Dobson

    Neil Dobson Engaging Member

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    Have you shared that knowledge on here before .. could of saved a few folk including me buying one:thumb:
     
  15. Bunny-on-Bunny

    Bunny-on-Bunny Busy Member

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    :shrug:
    Mine feeds me and has paid for its self as a rig / filling kit.
     
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  16. Trampilot

    Trampilot Keyboard Hero

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    And this was the rifle I almost broke my pcp virginity with!

    I shot off a few rounds at the range with one. Loved the stock. Loved the weight. Loved the action. Then I did my usual diligence and aside from the usual leak stories there were a few stories about its general construction. So I decided to mull it over a bit more. Then came more stories about the risk of actually wearing it out. That isn’t my kind of thing.

    I’ve now decided to get a .22 97 or 77 instead.

    Thanks @cloverleaf .
     
    cloverleaf and hairyarms like this.
  17. rich79

    rich79 Lovin the smell of cordite in the morning

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    If you want a reliable bottle gun then you can (and have) done alot worse than a Rapid 7, even though secondhand because they haven't been made for years they proved how it should be done.
     
    2506sendero and Blackmax like this.
  18. Neil Dobson

    Neil Dobson Engaging Member

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    https://www.futureevents.uk/greatbritishshootingawards/shortlist2020

    Why are they shortlisting the RM8 in these awards , this is very misleading for those new to the sport/hobby , I am not arguing with cloverleafs findings at all , he has had the gun open and seen what’s in there , I just can’t understand how such a “s##t” rifle ends up on that shortlist is it just done on sales figures? Are these gun magazine reviews bulls##t also?
     
    WR14210 likes this.
  19. Neil Dobson

    Neil Dobson Engaging Member

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    He didn’t have a rapid 7 in stock at the time and I hadn’t heard of it before ..
     
  20. JayP

    JayP Active Member

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    So glad I went for a used S410 rather than a new RM8
     
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