A few days ago my Norica air rifle's trigger started feeling very light on some shots and it began breaking at a different point than I had become used to. I ignored this for a few shots as it otherwise seemed to be shooting just fine. A few more shots on, I started noticing that the rifle was taking two or three tries to catch at the end of the cocking stroke and it began to dawn on me that this was probably the start of a major problem. A few more shots later and the trigger was slipping on every cocking stroke and it was clear that to try and continue would be dangerous.
Once inside, I removed the stock and a glance at the trigger revealed that the plastic spring guide at the trigger end of the spring was deformd backwards in a v shape at the point where the trigger engaged the piston to hold the spring in the cocked position. The spring guide is part no. 715 in the diagram below:
With the action out of the stock like this and without removing the trigger unit and spring, I could see that the reason for the spring guide deforming was that the steel washer (part no. 213 in dagram) was missing from the rifle, so the end of the plastic spring guide was bearing the spring tension of every shot unsupported against the trigger assembly.
I had bought the Norica second hand and I had it taken apart and lubricated by a local guy who knows some gunsmithing; I'm guessing that this is when the washer was left out. So now having seen the cause of the malfunctioning trigger, I had a choice from two options, either take it back to this guy or do the repair myself. It was an easy decision to do it myself. Just by looking at the plastic spring guide I could tell that the spring and trigger should never have been assembled without a supporting washer and I couldn' take a chance that something else might be mucked up again this time.
It took me about a day to figure out my spring compressor layout, made from a car jack and a sawn-down crutch with some inelastic cord and cellotape. By some great luck I managed to get a replacement Norica piston seal and spring,after months of waiting, the day after the trigger started malfunctioning. As it turns out my repair guy didn't notice the rip across the side of the piston seal, and his solution to the honking sound the seal was making was more grease and motor oil on the spring, piston and seal.
Yellow arrow- broken off piece of the spring guide. Red arrow- the tool I had ground to compress the spring with.
The end of spring guide was in two pieces when I got it out, I got a qoutation from a machinist to have a steel spring guide made for B$10.00, about 195 rand, but I opted for them to machine a washer for instead for B$2.00 which I then bonded to the spring guide pieces with epoxy glue. I was worried that a metal guide would change the rifle's vibrations and recoil possibly damaging the spring as well(?). In any case I was in a bit of an anxious state about my favourite rifle and didn't feel like experimenting at that particular time.
The original spring top, new spring below; new washer at left, old washer at right note the burn marks from over lubricating on the old seal, Norica don't recommend oiling their seals through the transfer port. The original spring guides at right, the plastic rear guide now has the steel washer bonded into place. The (somewhat heavy weight) piston bottom left.
I decided to use the original spring on reassembling the Quick because both the spring guides fit more tightly to it than to the new spring. The rearward end of the spring was slightly bent due to the flexing of the previously unsupported rear spring guide, so I reversed the spring to have the bent end in the piston since there is a metal spring guide in there. I put a quarter teaspoon of green lithium grease inside the piston and on the guide to (hopefully) compansate for putting the bent end in there, and light coatings of the same grease on the piston and spring.
I finished the assembly at around 9 pm, and I simply had to try out the rifle right there and then, so I loaded a pellet and went outside. Instanltly I could feel that the cocking stroke was smoother and quieter than before. The trigger also engaged the piston firmly without any sloppiness. The trigger pull was rather firm, something the Norica Quick is infamous for, and it now broke with a reasurring crispness. The sound of the rifle on firing is best described as a pleasant, light phooosh sound, with just the lightest of recoil,which came as just the greatest of suprises to me.I didn't need to test fire a second time, I knew from that one shot that this repair had gone quite well.
I may eventually take up the machinists offer to make me a set of steel spring guides in future, to snugly fit the new spring but for the moment I'm just enjoying the rifle as it is. If anyone has any doubts about doing some work on an air rifle you just need to do your research and have a plan before going in; I won't say that it's the easiest thing to do, but does add greatly to the satisfaction and enjoyment of our sport.
Some disallowed "targets" have been coloured over.