22mm Skirtless Conversion Review

Forums Springers, Pumpers, C02, & Replicas 22mm Skirtless Conversion Review

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    Nitrocrushr
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    Member

    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.
     
    Thickness of the included spacers 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. 
     
    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.  After a few shots you no longer notice.  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 factory stroke length
     
     

    Handle position with the 22mm Conversion shortened stroke


     
     
     
    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
     
    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

     

    Update;
    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
    11.20fpe
     
    After
    2.26mm spacer
    10.84fpe
     
    This equates to about 0.19 fpe per mm of preload

    As good as the rifle was yesterday, it is even smoother now!!
     
    Based on some previous tuning with the factory pistons, as you start to drop into the sub 11fpe 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 11fpe 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!  What this means is that you can continue to soften the shot, dropping into the sub 11fpe range 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 from this morning.  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.
     
    The more I shoot this rifle, the more impressed I am with this 22mm kit.  I am extremely pleased and am going to let it right where it is…..and just shoot.


     
     
     
     
     
    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.  To my fellow springer target shooters….Tony is in our corner!
     
     
     
    Steve
     

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    intenseaty22
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    Member

    Very nice job Steve, thanks for sharing. I had a question. Would this type of tuning work just as well on a .22? I hunt with my airguns, so was thinking 22 instead of 177. Your thoughts? Thanks. and again, just beautiful work on that TX. 

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    Nitrocrushr
    Participant
    Member

    “intenseaty22”Very nice job Steve, thanks for sharing. I had a question. Would this type of tuning work just as well on a .22? I hunt with my airguns, so was thinking 22 instead of 177. Your thoughts? Thanks. and again, just beautiful work on that TX. 

    
Thanks!  Yes, this will work on 22 caliber as well.

    Steve

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    spysir
    Participant
    Member

    Too funny!  Nice. looking work indeed, just strikes me as funny because I’ve heard more than one person talk about how the TX was ruined to suit the power desires of certain foreign countries. And, they were darn right.   The original with short stroke was a fine utility indeed. MK II was a start towards and the MK III the finish design of the power crazy (  mostly ) U.S. market and it is no where near as nice a rig as the original silky smooth precise shooting utility. 
     Heck of a lot of work to get back to the original performance and congratulations on getting it done.

    John

     

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    Nitrocrushr
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    “spysir”Too funny!  Nice. looking work indeed, just strikes me as funny because I’ve heard more than one person talk about how the TX was ruined to suit the power desires of certain foreign countries. And, they were darn right.   The original with short stroke was a fine utility indeed. MK II was a start towards and the MK III the finish design of the power crazy (  mostly ) U.S. market and it is no where near as nice a rig as the original silky smooth precise shooting utility. 
     Heck of a lot of work to get back to the original performance and congratulations on getting it done.
    John

     

    Thank you John, and no doubt some of the changes made to the MK3 were a give and take.  If the TX200 came like this from the factory it would be a whole new ball game.  So smooth, easy to cock and extremely efficient.  That little 22mm piston is super fast and efficient, no wasted energy on the shot, everything counts.

    Steve 

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    PhatMan
    Participant
    Member

    Steve,

    I fitted my Tony Leach 22mm TX200 innards a couple of weeks ago.

    Totally superb :)

    Have fun & a good weekend :)

    Best regards

    Russ

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    DrPutz
    Participant
    Member

    Nitrocrusher,  I wanted to see how the 22mm conversion was still performing?  It looks like there may be a threaded in conversion that could come to the market shortly (based on the FB page).  I am interested in getting something less hold sensitive than my HW97s.  They're doing 12.5 to 13 fpe, but I have to do everything perfect to avoid the shot sequence (piston ramming home) from upsetting the shot.  I can do it, but it is not reliable enough for competition FT. 

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    Nitrocrushr
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    DrPutz

    Nitrocrusher,  I wanted to see how the 22mm conversion was still performing?  It looks like there may be a threaded in conversion that could come to the market shortly (based on the FB page).  I am interested in getting something less hold sensitive than my HW97s.  They're doing 12.5 to 13 fpe, but I have to do everything perfect to avoid the shot sequence (piston ramming home) from upsetting the shot.  I can do it, but it is not reliable enough for competition FT. 

     

    The kit continues to perform flawlessly.  You still have to do your part in the shot, but it is noticeably better than stock for ease of shooting.

     

    Yes, Tony is working on a modular kit that you can purchase and assemble yourself.  I am not sure if he is offering them up for sale yet or not.

     

    Steve

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    Pauly5
    Participant
    Member

    Hi Steve,

     

    Can anyone purchase a kit, even internationally? I am coming to England next year, from NZ, ut a long time to wait.

     

    Thanks

    Paul.

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    Nitrocrushr
    Participant
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    Pauly5

    Hi Steve,

     

    Can anyone purchase a kit, even internationally? I am coming to England next year, from NZ, ut a long time to wait.

     

    Thanks

    Paul.

    Yes, just contact Tony Leach using one of the links in my original post.

     

    Steve

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    Jonnes
    Participant
    Member

    What's the price of this conversion @nitrocrushr? Sounds interesting for my TX200 in .22.

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    JamesD.
    Participant
    Member

    So, by making this kit, Tony has essentially eliminated the need for any type of buttoned piston also? I believe that's one of the many upsides it provides, as you so finely showed here. I thank you as it's a gorgeous rifle. I miss the 3 I had. I might forget a new PCP & just get a set up like yours. Save money for that target bow I want, LOL.

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    Jonnes
    Participant
    Member

    I bought the kit yesterday. Tony offers a DIY kit including a new spring and shipping to Europe for just 150 pound sterling. The rebuild will take some effort because of the loctite on the compression tube and piston rod, but nothing that you can't do yourself. Here are some instructional videos:
     

    My TX is the MKIII HC FAC (14,7 fpe) and it gives quite the kick. Tuning it down to the 11fpe range with this mod will undoubtedly smoothen things out and make it more manageable. I can't wait to do the rebuild and will post my experiences also here.

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    Jonnes
    Participant
    Member

    @Nitrocrusher, you haven't lied a word in your review so far. I did the rebuild today on my .22 TX200, it's been a hassle free job that took me an hour at most. Tony delivers a complete kit with spring, 3 different sized washers, the piston head with seal, and a delrin spring guide. I put the rifle back together again, and the cocking takes less effort compared to the original FAC spring. It's dark now here, so I'll be putting some lead on target tomorrow to see how it shoots. Can't wait. 💪

    Tony has been very helpful with tips on what to look out for (great guy by the way).

     

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    Nitrocrushr
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    Jonnes

    @Nitrocrusher, you haven't lied a word in your review so far. I did the rebuild today on my .22 TX200, it's been a hassle free job that took me an hour at most. Tony delivers a complete kit with spring, 3 different sized washers, the piston head with seal, and a delrin spring guide. I put the rifle back together again, and the cocking takes less effort compared to the original FAC spring. It's dark now here, so I'll be putting some lead on target tomorrow to see how it shoots. Can't wait. 💪

    Tony has been very helpful with tips on what to look out for (great guy by the way).

     

     

    Hi Jonnes, Glad to hear everything went well with your install.  The 22mm kits are even more impressive in the .22 caliber TX’s.  I now have 22mm kits in both of my TX200 rifles, one in .177 and the other in .22 caliber

     

    As you can see in the results from my recoil sled testing, my .22mm TX200 .22 cal is the softest shooting with only 8.5mm total preload.  Impressive on target too.

     

    Steve

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    Jonnes
    Participant
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    Impressive numbers @nitrocrushr. That basically comes down to the perfect balance between a regular springer and a PCP air rifle. Yes, the rebuild was quite easy, I also gave me the opportunity to polish some of the moving parts to a nice mirror gloss and do some regular maintenance, which might also help smoothen things out with the shot cycle.

    My spring is 205mm and I have all three washers installed at this point. I'll let the rifle settle in first before playing with the preload and see what gives the most stable results. This afternoon I'm going to do some shooting to see how this new setup handles. But for what I've seen so far, it has become a completely different rifle in the extremely positive sense of the word.

    I do wonder though, what might happen when the piston and rod is made of high-grade aluminium or titanium even. I'll ask Tony about this.

    Keep you updated!

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    Jonnes
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    Okay, yesterday morning I took 10 shots with the TX200 before the modification at 25 meters. Mind you, this was with a Titan FAC spring and standard internals. I always found that this TX200 shot a rather disappointing with the FAC spring, the 12 Ft/lbs version a friend of mine has, shot much better. This morning I did the same but with the 22mm conversion, and the results are truly amazing! After first letting the rifle settle with a 50 somewhat shots, the groups were closing. The last 10-shot group is the "after" picture. These are 10meter ISSF air rifle cards, for reference the little 10-dot in the middle is 0.5mm in diameter. This thing shoots a whole lot better now!

    I noticed that the recoil was not what I expected at first, it didn't even pass the pellet-on-scope test (the thing bounced right off), so I removed all three washers (except for the protection washer on the delrin guide rod). After that, it got a bit better though, but still not what I saw is some YouTube movies. Maybe it needs some more time to settle in. The chrono measured a rather constant 600Ft/s and 11.73Ft.Lbf at the muzzle with 14gr H&N Field Target Trophy pellets. Very happy with that so far, and I can't complain about groups like these.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Jonnes.
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    Nitrocrushr
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    Good results on target Jonnes.  I’ve found that the shots are softer with less movement when zeroing in on desired energy level with all spring as opposed to using stacked spacers to get there.  For example, I recently set up a 22mm kit in a .177.  Initial set-up was a spring cut and settled to 208mm along with 4mm of spacers.  On target the rifle was a little touchy for a 22mm conversion.  Shot was quick and snappy.  I then changed to a freshly cut spring at 214mm length and no spacers.  Noticeably softer on the shot and HUGE difference in shootability on target😎.  The springs usually settle several mm’s so it’ll end up around 211-212mm and no spacers and softer shot, better shootability and less total movement at same energy level.

    You’ll notice that the .177’s require more spring to achieve same energy levels as compared to the .22 calibers.  The .22 calibers make energy with ease at much lower total preload with the 22mm conversion.  I’m very impressed with how soft the shot is on my TX200 .22 cal rifle👍

    Steve

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    Jonnes
    Participant
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    Thanks for the tip Steve, I'll give that a try. I still have the original 12 Ft/lbs spring lying around here somewhere, for what I understood that one is a little bit longer than the 205mm spring that Tony supplied the kit with.

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    Nitrocrushr
    Participant
    Member

    Yeah measure that one and see what it is.  You definitely don’t want them too long (full length) in the 22mm kits.  But cut back the spring slowly till it settles to the fpe you are looking for.

    What fpe are you getting right now with your 205mm spring and no spacers?

     

    Steve

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