I just finished installing the insert a couple of hours ago. Pete's guide was very helpful and Pete himself was kind enough to give me some tips during what turned out to be a more involved process than I had anticipated.
Last week I put a tiny scratch on the barrel on my HW03S. With that my gun was no longer mint so I decided to go ahead and install the insert. I'd been holding off because I didn't want to ding it up. Now that it was "broken in" I could take it apart without worrying.
(BTW, Van's Instant Gun Blue is awesome! Fixed the scratch.)
To install the cocking lever insert I initially followed Pete's instructions very carefully. However, when I removed the pin from the lever support bracket and broke the barrel I noticed a little bit of roughness in the breech block/pivot bolt area. I knew the breech block wasn't lubed properly because it would start squeaking every once in a while I all I could do was run some gun oil or other thin lubricant down in there. I decided since I already had it out of the stock to go ahead and pull the pivot bin out and I was glad I did.
What I found was some galling where the thrust washers (pivot shims) were pressed up against the breech block, a small burr in the pivot hole on one side, and a small tear and kink in the very thin thrust washer on the same side. Both sides were almost dry as well. When I tried to hammer the washer flat it tore even worse and became unusable. Dang. Back to the insert...
First a pause while I talk about the insert. When I first received it and saw how long it was I (wrongly) assumed that you put a 3" to 4" piece in the lever arm. This is not the case. Pete shows in his instructions that a 1" piece is all you need and this was important in my case for a couple of reasons. First, the lever arm only contacts the tube in one small area--at least on my gun. And second, the more you have in there the more friction you're going to create. Even with moly a long insert under pressure will not *glide* like you might think. Back to my gun...
At this point I went ahead and installed the long flat piece of the lever insert into the lever. This was easy because I had complete access. I tried the upper piece several times, starting off with a piece about 2" long. Way too long. I shortened it to an inch like Pete suggests and started again from there. What I found was that on my gun anyway, the tolerances of the lever arm against the tube are very tight. I don't think in thousandths like Pete so I started off with about 1/16" of insert above poking out above the arm. WAY too much. I halved that to about 1/32" better but still too much friction when cocking. Much more than you might think. I took some more off. I repeated this a couple more times and each time there was still more friction on the cocking lever than I wanted. Finally I took too much off and the insert didn't even touch the tube. Fail. At this point I knew I was going to be taking the gun apart again to install new shims when they came so I buttoned everything up and just left the lower piece of the insert in place.
I got the new shims yesterday (Pyramyd is the only place in the US I could find that had them in stock and they're a Beeman part number--BN Pivot Point Spacer - PY-A-3759 $5 ea). They're the same thickness as the originals but about 1/8" larger in diameter, which worked at well in my case because they completely covered the galling on the breech block.
Armed with my shims and a few hours to spare I started in on the repair again last night. I quickly got the shims installed with a thin coat of moly everywhere it was needed. Cool, properly lubed breech block pivot assembly. I reattached the barrel and it was time for the shim--this time using Pete's method almost exactly.
I PM'd Pete a couple of times during the past week while I was waiting for my parts and found out there was one thing that Pete did that I didn't, and that was taper the sides of the top of the insert so the full 1" of insert isn't contacting the tube. That was the key in my case. I still ended up removing and installing that pin about 20 times while I tested the insert for correct height. Pete stressed in his guide to take your time and you really need to. I ruined a couple more small pieces of the insert by taking too much off. The margin for error in my case was very very small. Pete mentions 10 thousandths or less. For those of us who think in fractions that's a little over 1/128" and less would probably be better.
Eventually I nailed it. I should have taken a pic but by then I was just ready to be done. My insert is about 1" long and tapers on the sides and front and back. A sharp taper on the front and a long taper on the back. The result is that only a very small section of the insert--about 1/4" long and just over an 3/16" wide actually contacts the tube, and this small section is just *barely* proud of the lever sides. I suspect that there is some variation here from gun to gun because I haven't read of anyone else having such tight tolerances but maybe they just didn't mention it.
The end result is that when I tighten the pivot bolt to the point where there's no side to side play but the barrel still moves freely, that very small contact patch on the cocking lever insert will hold the barrel in place in any position after cocking. The additional force needed to cock the gun isn't noticeable. Unlike when I had a large area of the insert contacting the tube, this small patch (with a coat of moly on it) glides on the tube instead of dragging.
Everything is back together and it's driving tacks again. Pete's guide was extremely helpful but Pete himself turned out to be even more helpful, offering advice and insight. Great guy! Thanks Pete!
Sorry this is so long--just thought it might help someone else. Of course if you follow Pete's guide closely you'll be fine.