16th Aug 2016
How to Fix a Leaking Airsoft Gas Magazine
It’s the morning of the skirmish and you’re just about to gear up. Your boots are laced, your rig is buckled and your eye-pro is on. Just as everything looks to be ready, you hear that tell-tale sign, the hissing from the magazine that means it’s not holding gas.
A leaking gas magazine can spell disaster for your airsoft game if you are relying on your gas weapon as your main BB delivery method. Following this guide, we’ll tell you how to fix the majority of leaking gas magazines with limited tools and knowledge. It’s so easy you could do it in the field.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to fix a gas magazine with a minor leak is to fill it with Abbey Maintenance Gas. This gas is specifically designed to lubricate O-rings and help stop leaks. Having a bottle of this on hand will save you a lot of time and effort and storing your magazines with this gas will help prevent leaks from ever happening.
Before we begin dismantling your gas magazine, we’re going to go through the individual parts that make up the magazine and the tools you’ll need to fix it:
The parts of a gas magazine:
- Main Body
The main body of the magazine holds in the pressure of the gas and is the ‘primary’ component to the magazine.
The base plate is the hard, usually plastic, bottom plate of the magazine that seals against the body with an O-ring. This is one of the primary areas that can be prone to leaking.
- Fill valve
The fill valve is screwed into the baseplate and provides a port to fill and re-fill the magazine with gas. The O-rings within this valve can be prone to leaking.
- Dump Valve/Primary valve
This is the primary valve that allows gas into the gun to propel the BB. The O-rings in this valve are prone to drying out and leaking.
- Gas Router
This is the rubbery, rectangle seal at the top of the magazine that ‘routes’ (hence the name) gas from the primary valve into the weapon efficiently. Whilst this part isn’t integral to gas storage, it does partly determine the efficiency in which gas is transferred into the gun and should be kept from drying out.
- Feed Lip
The feed lip aligns the BBs at the top of the magazine so that the airsoft gun can fire them. This part has no bearing on how well the magazine holds gas, but it’s important to keep this part pristine to ensure consistent firing.
The Follower is the plastic part that goes beneath the BBs, pushes them upwards and ‘follows’ them to the top of the mag. These parts can be fragile, so take care when removing.
The spring pushes the follower up from the bottom of the magazine and feeds BBs into the airsoft gun.
- Assorted Allen Keys
Commonly baseplates are held in place by a single Allen bolt.
- Assorted Screw Drivers/Valve Tools
The valves on a gas magazine require specific valve removal tools, but can often be removed with a large flat head screw driver.
This is what we’re going to use to rejuvenate any dry O-rings or seals.
- PTFE Tape
To seal any bolt and valve threads
- A bottle of Abbey Gas - you can’t test whether you’ve fixed your magazine without gas.
Fixing the Magazine
Fixing a gas magazine can be a trivially easy task. However, in the event that any O-rings or seals have deteriorated to the point that they have cracked or split, they will not be reparable and will require replacement. It’s not easy to tell whether this is the case before getting stuck in, but a split or damaged seal is much more likely if you’re experiencing a large leak.
- Empty the magazine
Before taking apart the magazine, it’s vitally important that you remove any BBs or gas that is stored in the magazine. Hold down the primary valve button on the back of the magazine to empty the magazine of stored gas.
- Remove everything from the magazine body
This includes all valves, gas routers, bolts and followers. This will allow us to get a good look at each individual part and clean them thoroughly before lubricating and putting back together.
- Clean each part
Using Abbey Degreasing Spray, clean each part of the gas magazine to remove any contaminants, dirt or debris that may have built up and is preventing the magazine from sealing properly. Pay particular attention to valves, O-rings and Bolt threads.
- Examine and lubricate seals and O-rings
Take a good look at the O-rings and seals on each of the parts of the magazine. The primary valve and fill valve are the obvious ones but there is a hidden O-ring around the baseplate that seals against the magazine body. Ensure that these O-rings do not have any cracks, cuts or tears in them that may allow gas to escape past them. Providing that each O-ring is in good condition, coat them in Abbey Silicone Gun Oil or Abbey Silicone Gun Grease to keep them lubricated and well sealed.
- Wrap bolt and valve threads in PTFE Tape
PTFE is a sealant used for plumbing but it works exceptionally well in these applications. A layer or two of PTFE around the threads of your valves and bolts will stop them allowing gas past them and leaking in a worst case scenario.
- Re-construct your magazine
Put your magazine back together, paying particular attention into making sure that you don’t cross thread any bolts or damage any O-rings. Don’t forget to put the spring and follower back in.
- Fill your magazine with gas
Listen out for any hissing noises that might indicated a leak and where it’s coming from. Use the location of any sounds to help you track down the offending part. If the magazine holds the gas without letting any go, you have successfully fixed the leak.
To prevent your magazines from ever leaking, follow our guide on how to properly store your magazines when you’re not using them.
In the event that an O-ring or seal is torn, you will have to find or purchase a replacement.