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111-40 Optimum Leather Plunger Seal diameter ?

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undertaker View Drop Down
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    Posted: October-13-2021 at 7:34pm
I bought a 1940 111-40 copper band RR and found that it was only shooting at just above 200 FPS. The seller told me that it had been resealed so, when i took it apart, the new plunger seal measured .820". I felt that that was a little too large so I reduced the size to .800". Im now getting around 275 fps. Is that about the maximum speed for these guns or can it do better? Id like to keep it in its stock configuration. Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cobalt327 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-13-2021 at 9:13pm
I have a copper band, bought it as a basket case. Rough, but all original and all there. It shoots 355 fps with good BBs, 340 fps with everyday WM BBs. The performance you are getting is what I would expect from a current production model 1938B Red Ryder, not a 111-40.

Is the spring straight and not rubbing on the plunger tube? I would be very interested in hearing the specs of the spring. That will tell if the spring is original, and if it has sacked if it is original:
Wire diameter
Free length (uninstalled from the plunger tube assembly)
Total number of coils

0.800" is as small as I would go on the seal OD- unless there's undue friction when the piston is slid up and down the compression chamber.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote undertaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-13-2021 at 10:29pm
The spring is questionable. Has a small kink in one end and feels weaker than I would expect fo this year model. It is copper plated so, I assume its original. I dont have it in my hand at the moment but when i take it back apart, I'll give you the specs. I did try one of your Cobalt springs in it but it was shorter than the original and shot even slower. Your spring and enlarged air tube did wonders for my 1938B's and 1938. They all shoot in the 375-385 range.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckmister704 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-14-2021 at 5:50am
As a newbie to the forum I just wanted to add my 2 cents to your challenge.  After restoring dozens of 111-40's I found that if you thoroughly clean the air chamber and then use a piece of abrasive pad (Scotch green pads work great) on a jag, place rod and jag in a drill and run it through the chamber that will polish the metal.  I've also found that if the abutment washer is slightly larger than the piston seal that will have a tendency to constrict the hole for the air tube to slide through. I have several 111-40's pushing 375 fps by doing this.  Regarding the spring, Cobalt 327 is right on!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cobalt327 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-14-2021 at 8:00am
Originally posted by undertaker undertaker wrote:

The spring is questionable. Has a small kink in one end and feels weaker than I would expect fo this year model. It is copper plated so, I assume its original. I dont have it in my hand at the moment but when i take it back apart, I'll give you the specs. I did try one of your Cobalt springs in it but it was shorter than the original and shot even slower. Your spring and enlarged air tube did wonders for my 1938B's and 1938. They all shoot in the 375-385 range.
Don't bother with the specs because if it's copper washed, it's original. Not good that it's kinked, but not a deal breaker as long as there's no undue friction when the spring is slid on and off the plunger tube. My concern was that the original spring had been replaced with a later model (weaker) Daisy spring of some sort.

The photo shows why my spring is shorter than an original 111-40 spring, although in my experience no appreciable power is lost when replacing an original spring with my spring- in an otherwise correctly working 111-40. 

FWIW, in cases where the installed spring length is longer than a rubber piston plunger assembly, a spacer can safely be used to make up the difference. Regardless, I tend to use a rubber seal set when using my spring in a 111-40. That way, no spacer is needed. And the only time I would recommend using rubber seals instead of leather is when the leather assembly is beyond repair. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cobalt327 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-14-2021 at 8:03am
Originally posted by Buckmister704 Buckmister704 wrote:

As a newbie to the forum I just wanted to add my 2 cents to your challenge.  After restoring dozens of 111-40's I found that if you thoroughly clean the air chamber and then use a piece of abrasive pad (Scotch green pads work great) on a jag, place rod and jag in a drill and run it through the chamber that will polish the metal.  I've also found that if the abutment washer is slightly larger than the piston seal that will have a tendency to constrict the hole for the air tube to slide through. I have several 111-40's pushing 375 fps by doing this.  Regarding the spring, Cobalt 327 is right on!
Thanks for that tip, I'll give it a try next time I'm inside one that's shooting slower than expected. It kind of reminds me of using a flex hone to break the glaze on a cylinder wall.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote undertaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-14-2021 at 8:41am
Thanks guys! I'll play around with the spring today. I have a few that I can swap to see if it affects the speed. I'll report back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote undertaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-14-2021 at 1:20pm
Well, after many spring swaps and spacer installations, I cant get better than 260 out of it now. I have new leather seals coming and will give them a try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cobalt327 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-14-2021 at 3:27pm
Strange. Please keep us posted, and good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote undertaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-14-2021 at 8:14pm
So , after letting thing sit with more oil, it started shooting in the 290 range but dropped to 260 after about 20 shots. Does that tell you anything? Im thinking its a seal issue. Its hard as heck to cock. My Buzz Barton which is easy to cock is shooting 260 consistently.
By the way. Does it matter which way the leather seals are installed, smooth side, rough side ?
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