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Author Topic: GBB Gun/Mag How To: Regular maintenance, fix leaks, improve efficiency, etc  (Read 44486 times)

ryanm

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GBB Gun/Mag How To
Regular maintenance, fix leaks, improve efficiency, etc

Intro
A Few Words About Grease And Oil
Regular Gun Maintenance
Hopup Mods/Upgrades
Gas Mag Parts
Oiling Your Magazine
Fix Leaks
Efficiency Mod

more to come




Intro
This is just a general "how to fix and maintain your gas gun/mag" post, because I know some people know how to do this and some don't, so to save those who don't having to buy replacements, here it is. This will be a work in progress as I add more stuff to it. The gun and magazine in the photos are an HFC P226 and a KJW P226 replacement mag. This mag is supposed to be compatible with KJW, HFC, TM, and other P226 GBB pistols, but, as I found when I tried to use it, it performs rather poorly in anything but a KJW. Until I performed the mods below, that is. This should apply to any similar guns and mags, e.g. any 226 blowback, many 9mm models, etc. Some of the features/options may be different, but you should be able to get the gist of it from the pictures and figure it out on your own gun.



A Few Words About Grease And Oil

White lithium grease has to be the slipperiest substance on earth. However, the debate rages on as to whether it damages o-rings or not, and my thing is: why take a chance? I'm not going to argue with anyone about whether or not lithium grese does damage seals, I don't care about your experince with lithium grease, the fact is, silicone doesn't damage seals. So, on any parts that don't touch seals, especially where you have serious metal-on-metal friction, lithium grease would, without a doubt, be the best lubricant for the job. However, you'll notice that I don't use it in this guide, and there are 3 reasons for that. First, some of the parts I'm greasing come into contact with rubber or plastic parts, and I just don't see the advantage of using a grease that might possibly in some way degrade them, when pure silicone grease won't. Second, even on parts that don't come into direct contact with rubber or plastic parts, grease spreads, that's it's job, and why use 2 incompatible greases for a single job, when one does the job just fine? And three, white lithium grease is white. My gun is black. That means when a little bit of grease manages to work its way out of the gun onto the outer surface, or when you fire and the slide racks back and you see the outer barrel, you'll see white grease on my gun. It's perfect for AEG gearboxes, but in a GBB gun, I'll stick to silicone. The kind I use for these kinds of applications is made for use in pool filters and pumps, and is actually sold as a seal conditoner and lubricant. You should be able to find it at the hardware store, or at any pool supply store.



To apply it, I use my finger, or a toothpick, or a popsicle stick, or whatever is handy and will reach the places I need to reach. Don't use anything hard or sharp like metal, because you might scratch something that shouldn't be scratched. Anything like wood or plastic should work fine.

As for oil, I usually use a silicone/teflon mixture that comes in an areosol can by DuPont, called, coincidentally enough, "DuPont Teflon/Silicone Lubricant." It's safe for rubber and plastic, it's nice and thin but provides good lubrication, and it's inexpensive. I use it below for lubing the mag seals, but I use it for cleaning barrels too.


Gun Maintenance

Depending on your gun, it may break down differently, this is how the GBB P226 breaks down.

With the slide locked back and the magazine removed, flip the breakdown lever


With the lever down, pull the slide forward until it seperates from the body


Remove the barrel parts from the slide so they can be maintained






I'll leave opening the hopup and cleaning the barrel for another day or another guide. Suffice to say, you should clean your barrel regularly, and you need to remove the hopup before you do it so that you don't get your hopup bucking oily. And yes, I teflon modded my pistol's hopup.  ;D

Now turn your attention back to the slide, so we can remove the loading nozzle assembly. There are three screws, one in the side of the slide, the others through the top, which actually also hold on the sight on this pistol.


Take out the loading nozzle and put a thin coat of heavy grease all over the outside. Then put quite a bit of grease on the little "rails" on the side of the nozzle. Spread it better then the picture, but get enough on there that it will get on the parts inside the assembly.


I also put a thin layer of grease on the cylinder cup, just for a better seal and less friction. Put the cup back on and the nozzle into the assembly, but before you screw it all back into the slide, work it back and forth in the mount where it will slide when the gun is fired. If you pull it back out, the grease should've spread out and gotten on the inside of the assembly. If there are any large chunks of grease still on it, wipe them off. You want a thin layer covering pretty much the whole nozzle. Then screw the loading nozzle assembly back into the slide.

Next, put grease in the slide rails. The rule here is, any place that shows paint wear gets grease. If you have a silver slide, use your best judgement, and grease any place where metal rubs on metal. I tend to grease liberally, and then remove whatever is left over.


I also grease the outer barrel, where it rubs on the slide. Again, look for paint wear to know where it rubs.


With that done, put the slide back on the pistol, and without a mag in, rack the slide quickly and repeatedly 8-10 times. There should be no stiffness or rough spots that you have to pull through. There may be some grease that has worked it's way out of the seams, wipe it off and do it again until no more grease works its way out. Your gun is now greased. That does it for regular maintenance. Once a year or so you will want to get into the trigger parts and regrease those, but they don't move nearly as much as the slide, so they shouldn't wear nearly as much as the slide parts.

After I've done this, I like to put two mags through it, for several reasons. The first I actually learned a long time ago as a musician: if you show up for the gig and your amp don't work, you don't get to play.  :-[  You don't want to wait until you need it to fire to find out you forgot to put the hooziewhatsit back in the thingamajig. So make sure everything works, and hopefully better than before you lubed it. Second, grease spreads and thins and works it's way out of seams. You also put oil in your magazine, which is going to blow out in the first few shots of the first mag. It may get oil on your hopup rubber. So, put a couple mags through the gun, make sure it's working, make sure you've blown any excess oil out of the mag and pushed any excess grease out of the slide and nozzle assembly, and wipe it down well before you put it away.


Hopup Mods/Upgrades

I'm going to do two things at once here, because I wanted to replace my hopup bucking, which will require me to retape it, so I'll show you both at once.

Barrel/Hopup assembly


I'm going to replace the stock bucking with a Nineball bucking, which is as simple as pulling the old one off and putting the new one on. When you put it on, make sure you have the little ridge on the inside of the bucking lined up with the notch in the barrel.


Run a single wrap of teflon tape around the entire bucking and end of the barrel, starting from the bucking side, until it's far enough to show outside of the hopup unit when it's reassembled. If you have trouble reassembling the hopup, like the barrel is too thick, that means you used too much tape. Remove it all and try again. A single wrap means each wrap around covers half of the previous wrap, so the next wrap covers the half that isn't covered yet, etc. You should end up with exactly 2 layers of teflon tape, one overlapping the other halfway, except at the very ends, where you'll get an extra half-wrap where you straightened out the tape. The important part is the very middle, where the bucking steps down to the barrel, that is what you are trying to seal.


Here you can see the teflon tape showing outside the reassembled hopup unit


This serves a couple of purposes. One is to keep gas from escaping from the back end of the hopup bucking, where it is just sitting on the barrel. Pressure from the hopup unit should keep that from happening, but ACM tolerances being what they are, gas escapes. A decent bucking will get a better seal and keep gas from escaping out the front, and some teflon tape will keep gas from escaping from the back side of the bucking. The other purpose it serves is it makes the bucking more rigid where the nozzle connects, getting a better seal. With a decent bucking that shouldn't be necessary, a good bucking should be rigid enough, but if you have a stock bucking, you'll probably see a noticable difference after taping the bucking.




Gas Mag Parts
The important parts are shown here.

Fill Valve


The lip, floating valve, and bb feeder




Oiling Your Magazine

There are really only a few parts to the mag, and the seals are all that need to be oiled. If your mag or gas came with an adapter that has an oil valve on it, follow the instructions that came with it, because your seals will be oiled every time you fill the mag. For "dry" gasses, like propane, you'll need to lube your seals maybe once a month if you use the gun a lot. The more gas you put through the mag, the faster your seals will dry out. For this, I use an silicon/teflon mix areosol spray.

Start with the fill valve, you want a few drops in the valve well, like this:


Then use a propane adaptor (not attached to a tank) to work the valve open and closed 8-10 times. After that, wipe the excess oil off.


Then oil the floating valve the same way


And work the valve with your finger. Afterwards, wipe off any excess oil.


That's it for regular maintenance. On a less frequent basis you'll want to lube the chamber o-ring, assuming your particular mag has one. You can see how to get to the o-ring in the "fix leaks" section below.



How To Fix Leaks

Leaks in these mags are most likely to occur because your chamber o-ring isn't making a good seal. If the leak is bad enough, you'll actually be able to hear it right after a fill. The mag in the picture had an audible leak when I first got it, so I did the thread mod, which works like this.

Remove the chamber screw


Seperate the halves of the chamber


Remove o-ring and wrap thread around where the o-ring goes. This should cause the o-ring to stand further out, creating a better seal. While you have it open, a little silicone lube or gasket conditioner is a good idea. Hint: the thread will soak up the lube, so go ahead and put some lube on the thread so that it feeds lube to the o-ring instead of stealing it.




How To Improve Gas Efficiency

Improving gas efficiency means getting better use of the gas that is coming out. You won't be getting any more gas out of the mag, but you'll gain a bit of speed/power and your blowback will be noticably harder.

Start by taking the top of the mag off, by removing the pin


With the pin out, you should be able to tilt the top forward, and pull it out of the mag


What you'll see inside is the lip, or the seal from the floating valve to the gun itself.


Pull the lip out, and you'll see the space where it goes underneath. What you're going to do is make a shim to put in here.


To make a shim, I used the plastic that comes from a 6-pack of bottled coke. Anything that is under 1mm thick is good, you don't want it to be high enough to cause it to lose seal at the bottom. You also want to use some kind of plastic so that it doesn't swell or absorb lube or anything.


Using the lip as a template, cut out a peice of plastic that is the same size as the base of the lip


Then cut out the middle to approximately the same size as the base of the lip


Try it in the mag and trim as necessary to get a good fit


When you put it all back together, the lip should stand just a little bit higher off the top of the mag, giving you a better seal with the lip in the blowback unit. If it's not enough, if you still lose more gas than the gun puts to use, add another shim.


After I did this, my 226 kicks like you wouldn't believe, and it hits noticably harder than before. I don't have a chrono to give you real numbers, but the increase in power and kick is definitely noticable, and the whole gun functions better with the mag working more efficiently. You still use gas at the same rate as before, you would need a replacement floating valve to make it use less, but you're putting the gas you use to better use now.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 03:46:11 PM by RLB »
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deucegunner

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Excellent pics and tips! I'm doing inventory on my gas gun collection right now and shooting some guns that haven't been shot in awhile. I'm sure your tips will come in handy. Keep up the good work.
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ryanm

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Thanks. I'll try to update it as I come up with other fixes and upgrades. Also, anyone who has other suggestions, let me know, I'll try it out, take pics, and post a how to.

ryanm

DeltaForce404

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O0o0 Pictures I just love pictures, usually what would happen is I would look at the pics then decide if its worth reading about it, lol I'm slow I know.
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Matthias

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about how many shots per mag are you getting with this mod?
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ryanm

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about how many shots per mag are you getting with this mod?
You still use essentially the same amount of gas per shot, because I didn't modify the valve with this mod, so you still get essentially the same number of shots per fill, which, with these mags, is anywhere from 20-35, depending on the individual mag and the gun (QC at KJW is not great, at least in my admittedly limited experience). With a couple of "however's".  ;)

With this mag before I would have problems with the blowback not being hard enough (especially after the mag was half empty), because the seal sucked, and the valve would sometimes stay open longer, or it would double tap with the valve open, or the loading nozzle would stick forward, letting half a mag's worth of gas out all at once. That doesn't happen anymore, now that the slide racks back hard enough to make everything cycle properly. Prior to the 2 mods I wrote about above, not only did it leak audibly, emptying a the gas out completely in about 20 minutes, but I usually only fired about 10-14 bbs per fill, because after about 8-10 shots it would start to double tap or the nozzle would stick forward, and almost all the gas would blow out at once. The first time I loaded and fired this mag, I felt robbed and figured it was a $40 paper weight, becqause it was useless as a magazine. The last time I fired this gun (after the mods) I fired a full 25 round mag plus 5 more before I ran out of gas, and it cycled and loaded a 6th bb, it just didn't have any gas left to shoot it. I've put 10 or so 25 round mags through it since the mods, and it doesn't show any performance degradation so far.

For my usage, that's perfect, because in a game I would use one fill per mag. Gas expense isn't a worry because I've filled at least 40 times out of a single propane tank that cost me $2.35 at wal mart (that's about a nickel a fill ;D ), so I'd actually rather get just over a single mag from a single fill: just enough to fire the full mag and lock the slide back so I know I'm empty. I press the valve and dump whatever's left in there before a refill, since propane is so cheap.

In this case, I used 2 "coke-bottle 6-pack" shims under the lip. I tried with one, and the difference was noticable, but I added the second to see if it got any better, and it did. Kicks even harder, cycles even faster, hits even harder, etc. I can't tell you FPS because I don't have a chrono, but I can tell you that it's punching through cardboard targets at 20 feet now (with straight shots, angled shots still usually deflect), and it wasn't before.

Remember, this is only a gas usage efficiency mod, it won't directly give you more shots per mag, it will only make better use of whatever gas the mag releases on each cycle. However, because a lot of the performance problems with gas pistols are directly related to how efficiently the gas is used, it should make the whole pistol function better. When the slide racks fully and properly, and at a high speed, the loading nozzle tends to get cycled back rather than sticking, the hammer gets cocked properly every time, releasing the firing pin from the valve button sooner, making for shorter gas releases from the mag, giving you overall better perfomance and lower gas usage. Now, when I say shorter releases, we're talking about a very tiny difference in the length of the release, but the faster the cycle, the shorter the gas release time, so it does go down slightly. Part of the reason the plastic slide pistols perform so well is because it doesn't take much gas to rack the light slide, so even with low-pressure gas the firing cycle is fast. Improving your seals will help a pistol with a metal slide perform more like a pistol with a plastic slide. The slide is still substantially heavier and therefore takes more energy to rack than a plastic one, but better seals should help you get comparable cycle times and muzzle speeds with the heavier slide.

ryanm
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 06:29:12 PM by ryanm »
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Akimbros

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Very Very Nice! as soon as summer rolls around and i have time away from college searching i will be doing some of this.

I would like a basic maintenance with pics though. I know where to lube on the slide, but i am unsure where else to go and feel as if i am missing some vital location.
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ryanm

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Will do. Unfortunately, that kind of thing will be rather model specific, while the gas mag fixes I mentioned here work for any gas mag with a similar design (which includes any sig 226/229, most 190s, and many M9s). I guess the parts are similar enough that people can figure it out. I'll try to get a basic maintenance guide up this weekend.

ryanm

FenrisWolf

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I had to fix a few of my M190 mags in a similar fashion.  Didn't do the shim thing, but instead of using thread I just wrapped some teflon tape around that area (one or two wraps) then put the oring back on, and added a few more wraps on and below it.  Works perfect.
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ryanm

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I had to fix a few of my M190 mags in a similar fashion.  Didn't do the shim thing, but instead of using thread I just wrapped some teflon tape around that area (one or two wraps) then put the oring back on, and added a few more wraps on and below it.  Works perfect.
I used thread for the thickness. Anything that makes the o-ring stand higher out of the groove should work. Depending on how bad the leak is, you just add more material under the o-ring.

As for the shims, some clips don't need it and won't benefit from it. I know the HFC mag that came with the gun is designed in such a way that the lip is as high as it can possibly go without any shims, and of course I never had any performance problems with that mag, I just had a fill valve problem that coulnd't be fixed and required the valve to be replaced, and I still haven't replaced that valve.

ryanm

ryanm

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Sorry about the double-post, I wouldn't normally do it, but I wanted to bring this post back up for the people who wanted a gas gun maintenance guide. I've added a brief guide, skipping over barrel cleaning, and if there is anything I forgot or that you think should be different, feel free to let me know.

Hope that helps,

ryanm

cheech_sp

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Great guide, I will try the shim mod.
I was getting a small gas leak from the inlet valve of my TM Hicapa.  I simply tightened the chamber screw next to the inlet and it stopped the leak.
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Dr Burke

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For the shim mod (I think that is most popular lol), all magazines are compatable, correct? I have a TM 1911 and I just want to be sure before I open in it... it's my life basically... yes, I know that is sad. lol.


Also, I vote sticky.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2008, 01:08:55 AM by Dr Burke »
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ryanm

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For the shim mod (I think that is most popular lol), all magazines are compatable, correct? I have a TM 1911 and I just want to be sure before I open in it... it's my life basically... yes, I know that is sad. lol.
Assuming it works the same way and is built in a similar way: a rubber lip on top of the mag that uses a pressure seal to connect to the blowback unit. Assuming you can get to the lip, of course. Any mag that works that way and isn't built in a way that prevents the lip from being raised or gotten to to be worked on should benefit from that mod. I do have an HFC mag for my 226 that the mod wouldn't help any, because the way it is built, the lip cannot go any farther up. But that mag never had any seal problems, so it doesn't need the mod.

As with all mods, they may work better or worse in different models, from different manufacturers, and the results will vary by the materials you use and the materials you are modding. The concept is sound, though. There's nothing complicated about a gas mag. It's a chamber with 2 valves and a spring in front of it to feed the bbs. I take apart all of my guns to see how they work, though, and you may not be comfortable doing that.

If you post a pic of the top of the mag I might be able to tell you.

ryanm

Dr Burke

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Ok will do.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 12:22:51 PM by Dr Burke »
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ikoala

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does the magazine mod increase the performance of higher end pistols (TM, KWA, WA, etc.) since those pistols generally have a pretty good seal? great guide by the way. the part on fixing leaks will definitely solve a lot of people's problems
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ryanm

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does the magazine mod increase the performance of higher end pistols (TM, KWA, WA, etc.) since those pistols generally have a pretty good seal? great guide by the way. the part on fixing leaks will definitely solve a lot of people's problems
Without looking at the mag in person it's hard to say. However, if you want to send me a couple high-end pistols to play with, I bet I can come up with some performance mods.  ;D

If it gets good seal you probably don't need to do it, but you might see some improvement. The way to tell if it will even work is to take the cap off the top of the mag and see how the rubber lip fits in there. If there's space for it to move higher or lower in the cap, then the mod should work. If it can't possibly move up because some part of the cap is physically in the way of the lip sitting any higher, then the mod won't work. The HFC mag that I got with the gun is that way; the way the lip fits into the cap it can't possibly go any higher. Both of the KJW spare mags I bought benefitted from the mod, though.

I don't know how much it helped because I did several mods at the same time, but teflon taping your hopup bucking might make a difference too. It's just one more place for gas to escape, so any place you can seal up where gas might leak should improve efficiency. If you need a guide for that, look in the snipers perch, everybody does that with bolt action rifles.

This good enough?
More like the last pic I in the original post above, so you can see how much the lip sticks out from the top of the cap.


I added changing the hopup bucking and the teflon mod to the GBB guide.

ryanm
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 04:48:26 PM by ryanm »
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Dr Burke

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You triple posted. You *may* want to try and edit them together so it doesn't get picked up on the radar.

As for my picture, it's coming as fast as it can.
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ryanm

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Yeah, the first one was a couple days before so I didn't even notice. Fixed!  :P

ryanm

Collector64

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Thank you for the information ryanm, I have a KJW SIG-226 and since day one, the magazine leaked gas like crazy and was totaly unreliable. The gun had some double-feeding issues tha where corrected by polishing the blowback chamber and aside from the leakin mag, it was like a dream because I love that SIG model.

 Now the mag can handle 48 BBs before needing a refill, so...THANK´s A LOT
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ryanm

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Thank you for the information ryanm, I have a KJW SIG-226 and since day one, the magazine leaked gas like crazy and was totaly unreliable. The gun had some double-feeding issues tha where corrected by polishing the blowback chamber and aside from the leakin mag, it was like a dream because I love that SIG model.

 Now the mag can handle 48 BBs before needing a refill, so...THANK´s A LOT
Glad I could help!   :)

What did you polish to help the double-feeding issue? Are you talking about part of the loading nozzle, or some place where metal touches metal, to cause less friction when it cycles?

ryanm

Collector64

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 The loading nozzle is the part that I polished; that part actually is the feeding nozzle-blowback chamber and is a part made by injection moulding, the way it is made leaves sometimes "plastic flash"(I am a long time plastic military modeler and know about plastics alot). In my gun there was some "flash" that was removed and the whole thing polished on the outside with fine sandpaper 1200 grit and a plastic polishing compound called Novus, the guide rails you mentioned too.

  Care must be taken no to overdo the work or you end up with a non workining feeding-blowbak chamber. I still get a doublefeeding once in 5-6 mags, but that is a lot better than 2-3 times on every mag.I think that this problem is a desing flaw and you can improve on it, but will not leave you, but hey, a shotgun efect once in a while is kind of neat... :-D
... and the gun performs even better now.

  Hope it helps

 Collector64

   
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gboidy88

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"Remove o-ring and wrap thread around where the o-ring goes. This should cause the o-ring to stand further out, creating a better seal. While you have it open, a little silicone lube or gasket conditioner is a good idea. Hint: the thread will soak up the lube, so go ahead and put some lube on the thread so that it feeds lube to the o-ring instead of stealing it."

Ok, so I never use forums so you will have to excuse me if i do not know all of the ettiquette...

anyways. I have a KJW sig 229 GBB which seems from your pitcures to be very similar to the KJW 226 with regards to the magazines. I have had 2 magazines now for this gun and returned the first one to airsplat when I noticed a leak after a few days. Now I am on the second mag and have noticed another leak that was preventing the gun from working because it was such a bad leak. I tried your thread mod for it and it worked fairly well for the most part until I went to use the gun again and could hear the audible leak again. So my question now is, should I try like teflon tape or plumbers tape around the o-ring area or do you think that the actual O-ring itself may be damaged. Then, if I were to replace the o-ring is this even possible to find on the market or would I just have to dump the magazine? Any suggestions/help is greatly appreciated!

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ryanm

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anyways. I have a KJW sig 229 GBB which seems from your pitcures to be very similar to the KJW 226 with regards to the magazines. I have had 2 magazines now for this gun and returned the first one to airsplat when I noticed a leak after a few days. Now I am on the second mag and have noticed another leak that was preventing the gun from working because it was such a bad leak. I tried your thread mod for it and it worked fairly well for the most part until I went to use the gun again and could hear the audible leak again. So my question now is, should I try like teflon tape or plumbers tape around the o-ring area or do you think that the actual O-ring itself may be damaged. Then, if I were to replace the o-ring is this even possible to find on the market or would I just have to dump the magazine? Any suggestions/help is greatly appreciated!
Inspect the o-ring and make sure it's not damaged. Look for cuts or breaks or thin spots. If it's damaged, you'll need to replace it. You should be able to find one at the hardware store, although a chain store may or may not have it. Take the old ring with you and try to find one that matches both the size and thickness, or if possible, slightly thicker. Look in the plumbing section. If the o-ring is not damaged, try wrapping more thread. Teflon tape may help also. You may want to do both.

Something else to chek out is the place where the o-ring sits. Is it straight and even, or is it ragged at the edges? If it's not straight and even, there may be nothing you can do. You need the o-ring to press firmly and evenly against the outer shell of the mag in order to get a good seal.

You'll know when it's got enough thread/tape when it takes a bit of work to get the mag back together. That means the o-ring is standing out far enough that it's making good contact with the body of the mag, so you should get a good seal. Also, make sure you lube the o-ring while you have it out, because if it gets too dry, that can cause it to lose seal too.

Post a pic if you can't get it working, the closer the better. I may be able to tell you from looking at it what you can do to fix it. Really, unless part of the metal sheared off or was just badly manufactured, these mags are almost always fixable. I know, you shouldn't have to fix a mag you paid for, but that's the way it seems to be with all things airsoft.

ryanm

gboidy88

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Ok, so after my last post I got to work on the mag again. Tried the thread again unsuccessfully and then went on to try the teflon tape. The first try with the teflon tape did not work which seemed because I used too much silicon oil which made the tape see-through and not as plyable. When I tested the mag the leak was horrible. However, on the second try with the teflon tape it fixed the leak. What I did this time was wipe off all excess oil around where the o-ring goes and then wrap the teflon tape around the dip for the o-ring 4 or 5 times and made sure there was not any tape hanging out of the o-ring dip as to prevent a bad seal. Then I placed the o-ring back into place and put the mag back together and filled it successfully with no leaks. I then shook the mag around a little and shot through 2 clips of rounds with still no leaks. I greatly appreciated the advice on this ryanm and thanks alot for the quick response!

next to try is the shim mod of yours... I will likely post pitcures when I do this as the p229 mag differs slightly from the p226 mag.

Best Regards,
Greg B.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2008, 02:08:32 AM by gboidy88 »
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