Who works on vintage Air Arms sidelevers?
I have an Air Arms SE-90, my first adult air rifle. This is a side lever, spring piston, tap loading .177. It was a lot of fun when I used it regularly.
I have not used it for many years. It has been sitting partially disassembled and packed away.
I would like to resurrect it but the first outfit I called declined to work on it. Given its age and unknown availability of parts they did not want to tackle it.
The gentleman I spoke with also suggested that for the cost of the rehab I could acquire a much better, newer, air gun.
I would still like to find someone willing to at least evaluate its condition and advise of cost to get it back in shape.
Thanks for any info.
well the good news is the rifle should have enough value to repair it
and there are some parts for the side lever rifle at T.W. Chambers
so you have a job first figure out why you took it apart to the point it's at find the parts that are warn or damage and then see if they are available still and if so buy them
with broken rifle and new part you might get someone to repair it but wait a minute those part were taken off by you, you could fix it
but if the parts can't be found the rifle is in trouble
a smith doesn't want a basket case that they have to spend an unknown amount of time looking for parts that might not be there to be bought
so you will have to do the looking, the finding and maybe the fixing but with parts in hand all of them maybe someone will help
it will either be a shooting rifle again or a parts gun and that is going to up to you
just a note I'm a string believer of owners repairing there own rifles and pistols, I know it's pie in the sky but if you don't try how will you know you can't, some have tried and amazed themselves
so this is my opinion and a little help
and a beautiful rifle they are
Thanks for your thoughts.
By disassembled I meant that I separated the stock from the action. The rifle was working when I took it apart. I had an ill advised idea that I could customize the stock. I started on that but never got very far, other priorities took over.
I have no doubt that I have the ability to take it apart and get it back together. I would like a pro to work on it because I don't have enough experience to evaluate the internal condition in any meaningful way.
I don't have a spring compressor that will allow me to safely disassemble the action. Last time I rotated the tap I noticed the oil film was brown. My concern is that it may be rust, or, it may just be old grotty oil. Either way, I am not an expert and am looking for a mechanic with more experience than I have to disassemble, evaluate and report back on the wisdom of spending more on it.
I don't have enough years to be an expert or even seriously knowledgeable about everything I am interested in. For this project I am willing to trade some cash for expertise, time and effort.
I'll keep looking.
Airgunwerks works on the AA sidelevers. But I am in the process of rebuilding a Mistral and have a copy of a strip guide in pdf form I got from a member of Airgun BBS. If you want a copy pm me and I can send you a copy. I just ordered some parts from Knibbs and Chambers has some. You will have to put some $ into it but in my opinion, if it's not trashed it's worth it.
Just curious, do you know of a specific mechanical issue with the gun? You didn’t mention anything, beyond the brown stuff on the tap (which is likely crusty old oil as you described; if it were rust the tap might not have rotated). If it was stored in a decent dry place, with no obvious deterioration to the exterior surfaces, it’s unlikely the insides have rusted. And of course with tap-loaders, there’s no breech seal to worry about.
If it were mine, I’d take the tap out and clean it up (I like Ballistol for such jobs). Then if the tap rotates freely, and the gun will cock and uncock smoothly, it may need nothing more than a drop of chamber oil down the tap overnight, and a little exercise.
No specific problems evident with the rifle. Exterior is beautiful except for a couple nicks in the stock
You are probably right about the oil on the tap. Everything seems to operate smoothly but it has been close to 20 years since it was last used.
Planning to send it off for a clean and tune.
Once I have it back, I will start thinking about finding a walnut stock for it or perhaps getting one duplicated.
The SE90 was my first rifle, taught the children to shoot with it.
Now living in a place where I can shoot on my property without generating complaints so planning to crank it up again.