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Author Topic: SPA CP1m Review Part 2  (Read 1470 times)

Online Mintie

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SPA CP1m Review Part 2
« on: June 06, 2017, 10:27:32 PM »
CP1m Review, Part 2 - Taking an in depth look inside.
Over the last few weeks I had noticed a bit of an issue, when pushing the bolt closed to seat the pellet it was requiring quite a bit of force and had a distinct crushing sound which probably also explained the rather below average grouping I was getting. Queue a work bench and some tools! …Actually in the end it was a hotel room table and only 4 allen keys, that is all it takes to strip this pistol down all the way to a table full of parts!
One screw at the rear of the wooden grip and one in front of the alloy trigger guard see the grip separated from the body of the pistol – be slightly vigilant that none of the 3 trigger pins fall out at this point as they are not held in place once the grip is removed, they shouldn’t fall out as there is a light amount of trigger spring tension holding them in place but it would be a pain to misplace one!
The breech is held in place with two screws. One coming up through the back of the tube and rear block, this will release the alloy rear block, hammer spring and alloy hammer spring guide. Then there is a small countersunk screw going down under the mag/loading tray. With those two undone the breech is easily removed from the tube leaving just the tube with the hammer, valve, transfer port and trigger assembly.
The brass transfer port lifts right out at this point, it has large, good quality orings on each side of it and there is plenty of meat in it if you wanted to bore it out a bit but you would need to match that diameter in 3 other components – valve, breech, and barrel. The hole cut into the top of the valve to sit the transfer port into was the first place I noticed a QC issue but I will explain that soon.
The steel hammer has a steel bolt with a nice little brass rolling washer to make sure it moves smoothly and doesn’t wear the bolt or the guide out, not what I expected to see in a fairly cheap pistol! The hammer itself is a well thought out design with two small contact surfaces front and back to reduce friction. I polished these two surfaces up to reduce friction even more – a quick 2 min job that reduces lock time and makes the shooting cycle feel “snappier”. The sear engagement area also got a quick polish up. The ends of the hammer spring had been flattened out in the factory but a quick polish up here will also help to smooth out and speed up the shooting cycle a bit.
As mentioned before there are 3 pins holding the trigger together, pushing them out is easy and don’t worry it’s really easy to get it all back together again if they fall out accidentally. There is a small grub screw on the trigger blade that adjusts the distance between the blade and the sear – basically the length of pull before it lets off, the problem here is that the head of the grub screw is the contact area between the trigger blade and the sear which is half the reason the trigger feels so gritty and vague. To improve the trigger I have cleaned all the parts to remove any dirt, rounded off and polished the head of the grub screw, polished the section of the sear that the grub screw rubs against, polished the sear engagement edge and polished the ends of the trigger spring which had sharp edges and was the other half of the reason for the gritty feeling. Smooth as silk now and with some careful adjustment you can actually get a 2 stage feeling by having the grub screw and the trigger blade both contacting just as it reaches the lets off point.
The breech and barrel are separated by removing the 3 grub screws above where the barrel meets the breech. This can be done easily at any time as there is nothing else holding the barrel in due to the transfer port flowing through a hole in the breech, great for clearing any jams, swapping out different length barrels or even for a quick change between a pellet shooter and an arrow shooter etc. The grub screw in the middle should be the first to be done up when reassembling as it has a small dimple for it to sit in to help with lining up the transfer port. The stainless steel bolt is nicely finished and has another fancy brass rolling washer on it but it’s slightly sloppy when open because of a large tolerance fit, when closed the oring in the end of the barrel holds it still nicely.
Now we come to the last two components, the barrel and the valve which both had disappointing QC issues but were fairly easily fixed.
The top of the valve has a small circular area cut out for the transfer port and one of its orings to sit down into for a good seal, at the factory when the mill was cutting this area it looks like the tool has slipped and not made a clean round hole. The end result of this error is that the transfer port doesn’t sit square and the seal is a bit squished, not a huge deal really but certainly worth tidying up when I am home and have the correct tools. The 2 piece alloy body of the valve is a nice fit in the tube and is well finished, the stem is steel with a delrin seat and a brass cap. The valve has a very short stroke and with the hammer spring being pretty stiff there is a bit of valve bouncing going on, I will add a small washer to the valve spring at some point to try and reduce this which should help with efficiency. There is plenty of scope for the valve to be bored out and have the port angled etc. but that will wait for the full tune report another day. The only mod I have made so far to the valve is a quick polish up of the spring ends to help speed the lock time up a wee bit.
The barrel had some pretty bad tooling marks and just generally wasn’t finished well. The way the barrel sits in the breech is very similar to the QB design, there are 2 orings either side of the transfer port to ensure it seals nicely and another seal right in the end for the probe to seal up against. This particular barrel had issues with the way the forcing cone stepped into the rifling, it was off center slightly and had some nasty edges on it which was causing the pellet to clip it as you closed the bolt, and this was taking chunks out of the head of the pellet which obviously isn’t good for accuracy! Once I removed the muzzle brake by undoing the grub screw underneath I found the inside edge of the crown also had some nasty cutting marks so out came some fine sand paper and about all the patience I could muster! Rolling the sand paper up into very small tubes I was able to shape and polish the forcing cone and make sure the edges of the transfer port were nice and smooth and the crown got the same treatment (very carefully!) to clean up the tooling marks. The before and after photos attached are a little hard to see the difference made but I am very confident that cleaning up the tooling marks at each end of the barrel is where the accuracy has been gained from this strip down.
Reassembly is very straight forward with the only trick being not to lose any of the trigger pins, after finishing this review I noticed the co2 capsule seal was a bit leaky, stripping it back down to replace it took me less than 1 minute, I only needed 4 tools and there is no need to re zero the scope as the breech and barrel weren’t disturbed!
Results – The trigger improved immensely (although I will need to reset it and locktite it as it shifted mid group), the lock time and shooting cycle feels snappier but it is still bouncing a little so I need to add the washer to the valve spring. Over all I am very happy with the results a quick tune up on these can achieve.
Grouping has reduced from about 3” down to well below 1” at 10m but I see a huge amount of potential here. The grouping I got in the picture is a full 9 shots from the magazine, at 10m with a pretty cheap no magnification red dot, the trigger adjustment I had made changed half way through the group and to be fair I’m just not a particularly good pistol shooter yet. Of the 9 shots 5 are in one hole (should have quit while I was ahead!), 2 are just outside that hole and then there are 2 fliers which was likely me. The group was done using Crosman Premier 10.5gr which seem to go well in this but so far I have only tried 2 other pellets. Full pellet testing will be done in the last part of this review where I will also look at further tuning options. Stretching the range out a bit was fun, there was a metal gong set up at 50m and I put about 80 shots at it hitting it with pretty much every shot freehand easily!
In the last review I promised to talk about the magazine, I have used it a fair bit now so I am used to its little quirks. It is loaded the same way as most FX mags, you spin the front plate around until it stops and then load the first pellet in from the front face skirt first, then you slowly spin the front plate around exposing the holes one by one to drop the other 8 pellets in nose first from the back face. They have a bit of a known issue where the screw holding the front face on unwinds as you spin it but there is an easy mod to fix this that I will get around to with the last part of the review.
To summarize this pistol is very well designed, capable of good groups, at the upper power range for co2 pistols, very suited to anyone starting out with modding or tuning and there are features inside it that I would expect to only find in much more expensive or highly modified pistols.
















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Offline Pauly5

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Re: SPA CP1m Review Part 2
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2017, 10:47:21 PM »
Superb Mintie!
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Offline Novagun

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Re: SPA CP1m Review Part 2
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2017, 09:03:53 AM »
Impressive review quality and a nice little pistol.
Did you import that pistol from Spain.
I note the SPA people make a good range of guns. The one that caught my eye was the SPA 700. looks like a pumper but the words indicate a PCP with built in pump.
I wonder if it is really a MSP and the translation from Spanish becomes PCP.

I suppose you could say all guns using air for propulsion are PCP if they store a charge of air.

Online Mintie

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Re: SPA CP1m Review Part 2
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2017, 04:40:35 PM »
This one came from Gun City in Christchurch Nova. I have seen pics of the SPA 700, looks interesting but its more like a pcp with a built in pump from what I can tell.
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