22mm Skirtless Conversion



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Offline Nitrocrushr

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22mm Skirtless Conversion
« on: February 17, 2018, 03:42:57 PM »
As promised, here is a quick overview of the 22mm Skirtless Conversion from Tony Leach.  I received my kit this past week and installed it this morning in my TX200HC .177. 

Here are some pictures showing what is included in the kit, and some comparisons to the stock components.

First off, Tony does not yet sell compression tubes, but at some point is planning on it.  All he needs in order to manufacture his conversion kit for you is a stock MK3 compression tube.  Tony supplied the threaded piston rod and the spring.


Included in the kit is;

MK3 compression tube, sleeved to 22mm

Skirtless Piston - includes a 22mm non-parachute style main seal, similar to the Vortek Vac-Seal

Tony manufactures his own threaded piston rods and they are Nitrided, making them stronger than the factory AA rods

The spring is a TX200 MK3 sub-12fpe.  I measured this spring and it is .115" (2.94mm) diameter wire - thinner than my previous JM QX4600, which is .120", and much thinner than the factory .130" spring

Also included are several spacers of various thickness so you can fine tune to the energy you are looking for, and a small container of Moly 70% WS2.  This is Tony's own blend that he mixes himself.

Tony tests each kit in his own rifle before sending them off to customers, making sure that he is able to achieve a minimum of 11 fpe

Here is the completed kit as it arrived;




Here are some comparisons of the stock piston to the 22mm skirtless piston







Comparison between the factory compression tube and the 22mm sleeved compression tube




The 22mm sleeve is cross hatched like the factory compression tube




Comparisons between the factory compression tube/piston assembly and the 22mm Conversion






The 22mm Conversion reduces the stroke to 90mm.  As a result, the rifle now only used the first 2 notches of the compression tube.  This is barely noticeable when cocking the rifle.  As you can see in the comparisons below, the difference in cocking handle position when the rifle is cocked is minimal;

Handle position with the full stroke from the factory





Handle position on the 22mm Conversion






I ran about 100 shots through it so far, and this kit is already giving single digit Extreme Spread, and it is perfectly balanced.  Both the JSB 7.87's and the 8.44's are coming out with the exact same fpe;

JSB Express 7.87
Weighed at 7.90 grains
799fps
11.20fpe

JSB Exact Diabolo 8.44
Weighed at 8.44 grains
773fps
11.20fpe


It was too windy to do any good outdoor testing, but here is a quick 5-shot group at 20 yards




In summary I will say that this 22mm conversion makes a big difference in the overall smoothness of this rifle.  It is easier to cock, and much smoother on the shot with greatly reduced recoil. 

From the factory the rifle had a powerful jump to it.  When I tuned it down to 11.3fpe with the JM QX4600 spring it reduced recoil and smoothed it out quite a bit.  Switching to this 22mm Conversion kit took this even further.  It is now putting out the same energy with a thinner spring, MUCH lighter piston, and reduced stroke.  Cocking effort and recoil reduced even more ;)

Comparing this kit to the way the rifle came from the factory would be like night and day, just no comparison 8)

I will continue to put this kit through the paces outdoors.  For now I will leave it set for 11.2 fpe, but final decision on that will come after I can stretch it out a little more outdoors 8)





If anyone is interested in learning more about the 22mm skirtless conversion, you can reach out to Tony Leach on his FB group "Airguntech", or in the group "Lost Volume"

https://www.facebook.com/airguntech/


https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447138175311176/


Also on his blog;

https://www.airguntech.com


Tony has been very helpful in answering all of my questions, and I am very pleased with his work 8)





Steve

« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 06:46:52 PM by Nitrocrushr »
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Air Arms TX200 .177 Rifle - 22mm skirtless dual seal conversion from Tony Leach

HW98 .177 - Vortek 12fpe


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Offline broachoski

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2018, 04:18:15 PM »
Thanks for such a great detailed presentation Steve.
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Offline AmBraCol

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 04:38:57 PM »
Thanks for posting this.  Fascinating.  His blog's not been posted to since 2013, however...

The Lost Volume group looks interesting, don't know if they'll OK my joining or not.  Look forward to learning more about the concept and execution.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447138175311176/
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Offline Gear_Junkie

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 05:58:40 PM »
Thank you for the detailed report and the great pictures!  I'm looking forward to hearing more.  BTW, how do you always get those amazing groups?  Are you using a bag, rest, bipod, etc.?
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Offline Nitrocrushr

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 06:49:18 PM »
You're welcome guys ;D

Paul - Thank you for posting the link to "Lost Volume".  I was running out of time when I first posted this and forgot to include that link.  I revised my post and now have it included at the bottom.  Lots of great discussions in that group, much to learn 8)
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Offline Nitrocrushr

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2018, 06:51:33 PM »
Thank you for the detailed report and the great pictures!  I'm looking forward to hearing more.  BTW, how do you always get those amazing groups?  Are you using a bag, rest, bipod, etc.?

Hi Zack, Nothing special.....I use a single caldwell bag placed at the balance point.  Shifting the rifle back and forth about 1/4" at a time will eventually show you the sweet spot for a given rifle ;)

Steve
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Air Arms TX200 .177 Rifle - 22mm skirtless dual seal conversion from Tony Leach

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Offline Gear_Junkie

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2018, 09:28:12 PM »
Thank you for the detailed report and the great pictures!  I'm looking forward to hearing more.  BTW, how do you always get those amazing groups?  Are you using a bag, rest, bipod, etc.?

Hi Zack, Nothing special.....I use a single caldwell bag placed at the balance point.  Shifting the rifle back and forth about 1/4" at a time will eventually show you the sweet spot for a given rifle ;)

Steve

Man, you must have your springers shooting ultra smooth.  None of mine shoot particularly well off a bag/rest.  If I put a folded towel over the bag, and support the butt of the rifle absolutely the same each shot, I can get nice groups.  It's hard to be consistent though.
  • Nevada City, CA
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Offline Yogi

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2018, 10:07:50 PM »
What a beauty and beautifully chronicled!  Thank you. :-*

Did you get a chance to weight the different pistons before you put them it.  I'm assuming that the weight the you took out of the piston is almost matched by the increased weight of the sleeved compression tube.  Of course one is moving and the other is not.

-Y
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Online Paul E

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2018, 12:04:55 AM »
Really looking forward to your outcome when you stretch that target out to 50 yards and let the lead fly. Talked to Tony on lost volume and he said the kit works well in .22 which is what I have.
Thanks, Butch
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Offline Nitrocrushr

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2018, 11:43:36 AM »
What a beauty and beautifully chronicled!  Thank you. :-*

Did you get a chance to weight the different pistons before you put them it.  I'm assuming that the weight the you took out of the piston is almost matched by the increased weight of the sleeved compression tube.  Of course one is moving and the other is not.

-Y

The only scale I have is a small one for weighing pellets, so I was unable to compare the two from a weight perspective.  I would say you are close when you mentioned the weight saved on the piston is cancelled out by the sleeved compression tube.  But having the weight off this piston totally transforms the rifles ;D

Steve
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Offline Nitrocrushr

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2018, 12:01:24 PM »
I was rushed for time yesterday when I posted my overview and forgot to mention the thickness of the included spacers.  They are as follows;

4.14mm
3.22mm
2.47mm
2.26mm

This gives you a nice range to fine tune to your desired sub 12 energy level. 

This morning I did some more experimenting and removed the 4.14mm spacer I had installed, replacing it with the thinnest 2.26mm spacer.  The result was as follows;

Before
4.14mm spacer
11.20 fpe

After
2.26mm spacer
10.84 fpe

This equates to about 0.19 fpe per mm of preload

Based on some previous tuning with the factory pistons, as you start to drop into the sub 11 fpe range, the weight of the factory piston becomes more apparent, slowing down the shot cycle.  The rifle feels smooth, but shot cycle is slow and can make the rifle finicky on target, actually tougher to maintain the tiny little groups consistently....so you speed the shot cycle back up, into the 11 fpe range to get your consistency back.

With this small diameter, lightweight 22mm set-up, you can drop into the sub 11fpe category and still have an extremely fast shot cycle.  This little piston is quick! 8)  What this means is that you can continue to soften the shot, while maintaining the quick shot cycle.  On target this means it is easier to hold those tiny little groups ;)

Here is a 10-shot group at 20 yards.  Yes you still have to do your part with good form, breathing, etc.....but this group was in no way difficult.  One shot after the other was dropping right into this tiny little hole 8) The more I shoot this rifle, the more impressed I am with this 22mm kit.  I am going to let it right where it is and just shoot ;D





Steve
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 12:03:16 PM by Nitrocrushr »
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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HW98 .177 - Vortek 12fpe


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Offline Gear_Junkie

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2018, 01:07:19 PM »
As usual, very impressive shooting Steve.  And thank you for posting the energy level per mm of preload, that's helpful.
  • Nevada City, CA
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Offline Sfttailrdr46

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2018, 01:32:23 PM »
Be very sure to post when you have become bored with the TX I will be very happy to give it a loving home especially with that beautiful walnut stock
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Offline Yogi

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2018, 01:14:43 AM »
I was rushed for time yesterday when I posted my overview and forgot to mention the thickness of the included spacers.  They are as follows;

4.14mm
3.22mm
2.47mm
2.26mm

This gives you a nice range to fine tune to your desired sub 12 energy level. 

This morning I did some more experimenting and removed the 4.14mm spacer I had installed, replacing it with the thinnest 2.26mm spacer.  The result was as follows;

Before
4.14mm spacer
11.20 fpe

After
2.26mm spacer
10.84 fpe

This equates to about 0.19 fpe per mm of preload

Based on some previous tuning with the factory pistons, as you start to drop into the sub 11 fpe range, the weight of the factory piston becomes more apparent, slowing down the shot cycle.  The rifle feels smooth, but shot cycle is slow and can make the rifle finicky on target, actually tougher to maintain the tiny little groups consistently....so you speed the shot cycle back up, into the 11 fpe range to get your consistency back.

With this small diameter, lightweight 22mm set-up, you can drop into the sub 11fpe category and still have an extremely fast shot cycle.  This little piston is quick! 8)  What this means is that you can continue to soften the shot, while maintaining the quick shot cycle.  On target this means it is easier to hold those tiny little groups ;)

Here is a 10-shot group at 20 yards.  Yes you still have to do your part with good form, breathing, etc.....but this group was in no way difficult.  One shot after the other was dropping right into this tiny little hole 8) The more I shoot this rifle, the more impressed I am with this 22mm kit.  I am going to let it right where it is and just shoot ;D



Steve

Steve,

You have proven once again that "less is more"!  I would not want to have to face you in Hunter FT. :D

-Y
  • San Francisco, CA
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Offline Pappy

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2018, 09:58:49 AM »
Steve ....nice work .... and review .... and as always, proven with springers ..... "SPEED KILLS".
 ;D

Pappy / Allan
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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2018, 11:38:19 PM »
Steve,

Glad to see a one of these conversion's make it over! You stepped in it so all the pressure is on you! lol

What type, where and how much lube to did you end up using on the conversion? Any chance of a video showing the difference in shot cycle between your factory tune and short stroked skirt less? Also curious to see how a stronger spring or more pre-load effects shot cycle and performance. Maybe not much to gain due to the working volume?

Regards,

DT
  • Shawnee, KS

Offline Nitrocrushr

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2018, 10:11:34 PM »
Steve,

Glad to see a one of these conversion's make it over! You stepped in it so all the pressure is on you! lol

What type, where and how much lube to did you end up using on the conversion? Any chance of a video showing the difference in shot cycle between your factory tune and short stroked skirt less? Also curious to see how a stronger spring or more pre-load effects shot cycle and performance. Maybe not much to gain due to the working volume?

Regards,

DT


Hi Dan, Tony ships the kit fully lubed, along with a small container of his own blend of moly 70.  However, I scrubbed everything up for pictures and used the lube that I have found to work best in my rifles, which was the Vortek Moly 70+.  At some point I will test the lube that Tony shipped with the kit.  I burnished a small amount into the walls of the comp tube as far down as I could reach, then smeared a tiny bit around the edge of the main seal, making sure not to get any in front of the seal.  I also smeared a light film on the piston rod, and onto the spring guide.  Outside of spring was smeared with a very light film of moly as well.  Being that there is no skirt, it is important not to mix any lubes...if moly, then moly all the way ;)

I would like to do a video with a measurable demonstration of the recoil differences between a stock rifle and this kit.  I can tell you the difference is substantial.  The difference in cocking effort is also substantial.  Comparing it to the recoil after I had tuned it down to 11.3fpe with the JM QX4600 spring was also a very noticeable improvement.

Tony would have to answer questions regarding heavier springs and this kit.  How far could you push the energy levels with the skirtless?  I don't know.  I could easily push 12 fpe with this kit and the spacers provided.

Steve
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Offline Pappy

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2018, 08:20:35 AM »
We all know ..... the BEST lube is a 60/40 blend of Moly 70+ and KRYTOX!  Stir the two together until you get an oatmeal consistency, which won't take long.  Apply a liberal amount ..... shoot until the piston actually seizes!!!!!!!!!!

OF COURSE, I AM KIDDING!!!!

Not kidding ..... never use Krytox on an airgun, and never let it come in contact with another lube ..... it doesn't play nice with any kind of lube.

Pappy / Allan
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Offline Nitrocrushr

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2018, 09:02:41 PM »
We all know ..... the BEST lube is a 60/40 blend of Moly 70+ and KRYTOX!  Stir the two together until you get an oatmeal consistency, which won't take long.  Apply a liberal amount ..... shoot until the piston actually seizes!!!!!!!!!!

OF COURSE, I AM KIDDING!!!!

Not kidding ..... never use Krytox on an airgun, and never let it come in contact with another lube ..... it doesn't play nice with any kind of lube.

Pappy / Allan

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain ;D
  • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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HW98 .177 - Vortek 12fpe


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Offline DanT

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Re: 22mm Skirtless Conversion
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2018, 10:23:58 PM »
Steve,

Glad to see a one of these conversion's make it over! You stepped in it so all the pressure is on you! lol

What type, where and how much lube to did you end up using on the conversion? Any chance of a video showing the difference in shot cycle between your factory tune and short stroked skirt less? Also curious to see how a stronger spring or more pre-load effects shot cycle and performance. Maybe not much to gain due to the working volume?

Regards,

DT


Hi Dan, Tony ships the kit fully lubed, along with a small container of his own blend of moly 70.  However, I scrubbed everything up for pictures and used the lube that I have found to work best in my rifles, which was the Vortek Moly 70+.  At some point I will test the lube that Tony shipped with the kit.  I burnished a small amount into the walls of the comp tube as far down as I could reach, then smeared a tiny bit around the edge of the main seal, making sure not to get any in front of the seal.  I also smeared a light film on the piston rod, and onto the spring guide.  Outside of spring was smeared with a very light film of moly as well.  Being that there is no skirt, it is important not to mix any lubes...if moly, then moly all the way ;)

I would like to do a video with a measurable demonstration of the recoil differences between a stock rifle and this kit.  I can tell you the difference is substantial.  The difference in cocking effort is also substantial.  Comparing it to the recoil after I had tuned it down to 11.3fpe with the JM QX4600 spring was also a very noticeable improvement.

Tony would have to answer questions regarding heavier springs and this kit.  How far could you push the energy levels with the skirtless?  I don't know.  I could easily push 12 fpe with this kit and the spacers provided.

Steve

Thanks Steve. Sounds like a very nice set up. Keep us posted as you break it in.

By the way..was the TP changed at all with this conversion?

Regards,

Dan
  • Shawnee, KS

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