How to fix YOUR 22SG
I suggest as little as possible. Remember, you could void a warranty, or worse (like me), screw it up where you HAVE to take the extensive steps that led to my Franken-rifle. If you shake your rifle, and you hear the barrel rattle around, then I would start with the front sight. With a small screwdriver, GENTLY pry around the front sight's lower button to get it to slide out of the sleeve (try not to bend the sleeve so it will go back in place good and snug). Get some duct tape and tear off a piece roughly 1/2" by 3/4". Fish it down into the sleeve and wrap it around the muzzle tip, then re-insert the front sight. That should eliminate the rattle. If you suspect your wooden grips to be loose, tighten them VERY gently. The wood grips are relatively soft, and the screws will work their way down in it. If they have already worked their way in too deep, you will have to remove the grips for repairs (of which, I will cover later). If you plan to use the rifle sans grips, then the screws will have to be cut down so they don't chew into the pump handle like mine did. These basic steps should cure most problems of inaccuracy, and tests should be done with good, secure sighting and firing methods.
Section 2: Other Mods
Hindsight being perfect, I can see that it was not necessary that I cut down the barrel as is shown in Figure 1. Not fully understanding the sleeve movement caused by the loose handgrips, I began to think the muzzle had a poor crown. Although the crown was not the problem, it was poor. It looked as though the factory just reamed it out with sandpaper attached to a drill, to 3/8" depth. I cut that section of the barrel off with a pipe cutter and gently re-crowned it with a ball rasp on low speed. It looks and works good. Having cut the barrel, I did away with the front sight (all of this I did with the outer sleeve removed). I obtained a couple of tube shaped foam Nerf darts, cut the ends off, and slid them down the barrel at even intervals to minimize mid-barrel vibration, then wrapped the barrel end (fat section) in Duct Tape (temporary). I reinstalled the sleeve and put a spring-clamp on the front to hold it.
What I plan to do in the near future is drill out the hand grip screw holes, ream out a place for a washer on the inside of each, and JB Weld the washer to the hand grips and reinstall them to the rifle (after trimming the edges away from the pump handle). I'll probably add a dab of RTV silicone sealant on the rear screws to keep them from backing out, and the front I may try to Pop-rivet them in (preferably with an aircraft grade pop rivet that has a locking ring) to keep them and the sleeve secure. The muzzle I'll probably re-work to make more permanent, though no actual plans on materials yet.
Overall, I may purchase another air rifle, but I may also continue to use my rifle to tinker and test on, or perhaps just leave it as is. At the beginning of my mod-work, I was prepared to write-off the weapon, but now I see that it's better quality than I imagined. The 22SG is still a good rifle, and it's VERY good for the price. One can just hope that they might correct the problems that I've found. It seems a lot of good companies go from, "How can we make it work..." to "How can we manufacture it cheaper...". I hope they'll fix this in the future. I'll keep posts on any future mods I do with it or the old beater .177 caliber 880. I also have a 24 inch STEEL barrel from an old (unidentified) .22 air rifle I may tinker with as well. Perhaps with some work, maybe I can work it to fire actual bullets at a super-sonic velocity.
Questions? Email me at tarsch AT hotmail.com