FWB 124 air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB 124
This FWB 124 Deluxe is not the exact gun I’m writing about, but it is the same model.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • A question
  • Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets
  • Tuned
  • RWS Hobby
  • JSB Exact RS
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • Other indicators
  • What does this mean?

A question

I’ll start today’s report with a question. If you buy a used airgun — something vintage like the FWB 124 I’m writing about today — who is to say it wasn’t tuned by somebody before you got it? In other words, should you tear into a vintage airgun before you test it to know where it is, in terms of performance?

I think I know what your answers will be when I ask the question that way. But have any of you ever jumped into a project like this with both feet, before you knew what was going on? Maybe you haven’t. I wish I could say the same. I have been impulsive in the past, and it’s not a trait I am proud of. But, rather than confess my personal sins to you, let me tell you what I have seen during my airgun writing career.

I have seen people buy a vintage airgun and have it shipped directly to an airgunsmith before they ever fired one shot out of it! In fact, one such gun was actually an FWB 124. The guy bought it at an airgun show and handed it to an airgunsmith who had a table there without firing one shot through that gun. I understand the convenience of not having to ship the gun one way, but what was he overlooking? Did the gun already have a drop-dead gorgeous tune that was being disregarded (and soon to be changed)?

I know of another case where a buyer bought a new breakbarrel and had the retailer drop-ship it to a tuner who he also told to remove six inches of barrel and re-crown the muzzle. That one had a funny follow-on. When the owner finally got the shortened airgun he complained that it took over 70 pounds of force to cock it. He then listed it on a sale website! So — maybe a dozen shots at most were fired through a completely remodeled (and wrecked) brand-new airgun!

I don’t want to do that with this rifle. Today’s test is therefore structured to tell me what, if anything, needs to be done to this airgun. If I discover it’s running sweetly, I’ll leave it alone. Let’s get started

Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets

First up are Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets — the so-called Premier “Lites.” In a 124 I tuned these averaged 744 f.p.s.. I have no data on what this pellet will do in a new 124 because when I owned mine new 124 the Premiers were still 15+ years in the future.

In the test rifle Premier lites averaged 727 f.p.s. That’s a little slower than the tuned gun. Where it is compared to a new rifle I can’t say, but I think it’s pretty close.

The spread ranged from a low of 716 to a high of 737 f.p.s. That’s 21 f.p.s. difference. At the average velocity this pellet generates 9.27 foot-pounds. I would have expected 10.5 foot pounds or higher, so it’s a little off.

Tuned

Without question I know this rifle has been tuned. The first shot in this test told mne that, because a factory 124 buzzes a lot. This one is quiet. Looking through the cocking slot with a flashlight I can see grease on the mainspring and what looks like moly on the rear of the piston. Also, the trigger is breaking much lighter than a stock 124 trigger. I’ll say more about that in a bit.

RWS Hobby

In its day the 124 would have been tested with something light like the RWS Hobby pellet. Hobbys averaged 757 f.p.s. in the test gun. In a new 124 I would expect them to average close to 800 f.p.s.

The spread was from 735 to 773 f.p.s. — a total of 38 f.p.s. At the avewrage velocity the Hobby generates 8.91 foot-pounds. I would have expected slightly over 11.

JSB Exact RS

The final pellet I tested was the JSB Exact RS. This pellet did not exist in the time the 124 was new, which is a shame because it seems so well-suited to it. These averaged 798 f.p.s. with a tight spread from 791 to 804 f.p.s. That’s just 13 f.p.s.

At the average velocity the RS pellet generates 10.37 foot-pounds. I imagine a stock 124 would get over 11 foot pounds.

Trigger pull

The 124 trigger is not a complex mechanism. It is not that adjustable and cannot be tuned too low without safety issues. My Queen Bee trigger released at one pounds, which is the best I’ve ever seen in about 25 124s. This trigger breaks at 1 lb 8 oz and is set to a single-stage pull. I find it useable but not as precise as some others like Rekords.

The safety operated perfectly during the test and this is often an issue with 124 triggers that have been “tuned.” Whoever did the work on this rifle knew what they were doing.

Cocking effort

A staock 124 cocked with 23-26 pounds of effort. Once broken in that might drop to just 20 pounds. The test rifle cocks with 18 pounds of effort, which means it has been correctly lubricated, plus the mainspring might be getting a little tired.

Other indicators

I am nearly certain the piston seal has been replaced. No original would have lasted so long. They will rot just sitting on a shelf!

The breech seal, which is a o-ring, appears new. I wouldn’t replace it.

The barrel pivot pin is slightly loose. Once the rifle is cocked the barrel will not remain in place at any angle.

What does this mean?

This rifle is in fine shape, but it is a little tired. It could stand a tune, though one is not required. And that answers the question I posed at the beginning. I don’t know what I will do yet, but my plan it to proceed to the accuracy test next.

94 thoughts on “FWB 124 air rifle: Part 2

  1. BB,

    Should this not be Part 2?

    The old girl does sound like she is a little tired and if someone was planning on shooting her a good bit, she could probably use a new spring.

    Unless you know a vintage air rifle has an issue like I did with my 1906 BSA, I would have to at least carefully check it out to see if it is functioning properly before opening it up. If you are inexperienced with the disassembly of sproingers, you can get yourself into quite a pickle. The flip side of that is how do your gain experience with the disassembly of sproingers. Finding information on the disassembly and assembly of antique and vintage airguns is nigh on impossible.


  2. I can relate to “jumping in with both feet”,.. and I do not even swim! It helps to have a bit of an ego regarding your perceived mechanical aptitude (real or not). Second,.. do your homework. We are so lucky with internet and You Tube and forums, like this one. Imagine what it used to be like before all of that? Third,.. it helps to have some patience (or a lot of it) and a good dose of the ability to show perseverance. Fourth,.. while mechanical aptitude is something that can be made up for, or learned, attention to fine details is something that must be maintained. Knowing just what the “fine detail’s” are, refers back to part 2,.. do your homework.

    On the other hand,.. if your tool “kit” consist of a hammer with a loose head, a pair of rusty, worn out pliers and one of those (+) stripped tipped screw drivers, then tearing into air guns, (or anything for that matter),.. is probably ill advised. Oh,.. I left out the (-) blade screwdriver/pry bar. But heck, who needs that when a butter knife out of the kitchen will work just as well. Also,.. if your first solution to something not working is to whack it with a hammer and then when it still does not work,.. you go for the “Big” hammer,.. please step away. 😉

    It is fun and what once took a half a day, can now be done in a half an hour. Like Ridge Runner said,.. how else are you going to gain any experience?

    Good Day all,… Chris


    • Chris, you left out vise-grips – how can you possibly disassemble anything without vice-grips??? LOL!

      Besides knowledge, properly fitting screwdrivers are probably the most important (and lease expensive) part of a tool kit.

      The interchangeable bit system is great – I make up a kit for every rifle and will custom fit the bit to the screw if needed. These bits are only used for the gun they are assigned to so they are always in excellent condition and fit perfectly. A good fitting screwdriver will allow you to torque the fastener properly, not damage the screw head and minimize the chance of the tool slipping and damaging the rifle.

      Another good piece of equipment to use is a digital camera – take lots of pictures during the disassembly to help putting things back the way they were. Many parts can be mounted in several ways but only one way will be right 🙂

      I use an old muffin pan to collect parts as I remove them so I can see the sequence they were assembled in and so they don’t get lost. The pan cavities are numbered and I refer to those numbers when I make my notes.

      Hope this helps. …Back to work (where did I leave my hammer???) 🙂

      Happy Friday all!!
      Hank


      • Hank,

        I’ve always thought that vice-grips fell into the “advanced” tool category as they require proper adjustment prior to usage. And in case you did not find your hammer,.. just use the vice-grips! 😉 A solid built 8″ set will put a serious whack to something.



        • I actually have around here somewhere a pair of vice grips that I welded a small scaling hammer tip onto, I used them when welding and the hammer tip was for knocking the flux slag, etc. from welds.


          • Cobalt327
            I asked you this question when you first started commenting on the blog and never got a response. The reason I’m going to ask is what you said about the vise grips. And there’s a reason why.

            I asked when you first started commenting about your blog name. I ask if you messed with hot rodding cars.

            And the reason why is my hobby since before I got my driver’s license has been cars and drag racing and some road course twisty racing. Actually it has been a passion. Well more of a addiction through out my time. And no regrets either. 🙂

            But your blog name makes me think the old 327 small block Chevy combined with the new Chevy Cobalt’s. And what you have mentioned over time with your blog posts related to air guns.

            So you mess with cars? I’ll ask again.


            • Gunfun 1

              It’s a small world- our backgrounds/experiences are similar it seems! I’m sorry I missed that question, trust that I wasn’t avoiding answering it. My background IS in automotive-related things, and this goes back to when my Dad started a repair shop slash junkyard in my small hometown in central FL when I was 8 y/o. Long story there, for another day.

              I would have liked to have tried road course racing like you did, and I like the technology involved, but after racing karts for a couple years it became clear to me very early on that my skills were better suited to wrenching, not driving.

              Dad was a circle track builder/driver (he knew Hank “Smoky” Yunick, raced against Glen Roberts among others) and some of my earliest memories were of him starting up his stock car at my grandparents’ house. I became enamored w/all things automotive but especially drag racing (Don Garlits was from FL) and Bonneville land speed racing (Mickey Thompson’s Challenger 1 was tops with the Arfons’ Green Monsters a close second. Breedlove’s jet was blasphemy! haha). The annual Hot Rod Yearbooks and each issue of HR, etc. (including Dad’s many back issues) got poured over until they almost disintegrated!

              Anyway, the 327 in “cobalt 327” IS a nod to the venerable SBC 327- which was king when we first started the shop and I built several over the years. The “cobalt” part didn’t come about because of the Cobalt car, but is a reference to the rare earth magnets used in upper class slot cars that I raced in the ’90s- the only “twisty” racing that I was successful at!

              Sorry this was unnecessarily long, but once I get cranked up, look out!


              • Cobalt327
                This may sound weird to some people. But them people you mentioned were my heros when I was a kid growing up. And many others of off he time. Got to say I need to mention Shirley Muldowney with her being one of the first female drag racers. Now we got John Forces daughters driving.

                One of the things I remember most was around 1979 when I was a kid I was working maintenance​ at a local motel. The motel was about 5 miles from the dragstrip so the place was loaded with rigs pulling drag cars. What was cool is they got their cars out and had them up on stands running the engine’s. Even the funny cars and top fuel rails. All I can say is love the smell of nitromethane burning. But went over to watch Don Prudhomme also known as the Snake work on his car. They was changing the engine is his funny car right out in the parking lot of the motel. They were a little more relaxed than what I seen when they do it at the dragstrip. But Don came over to the crowd watching and started telling us they blew this engine up on their last qualifying run the previous night. I asked him if he had any broke engine parts I could have as a souvenir. He said not at the moment and went on talking. So basically went around checking out the other cars and was getting ready to go home and was by my car and Don came up to me and asked my name and said here you asked for something earlier and handed me a piece of the broken piston from the engine they were changing with his autograph on it. And the best part he goes nice car I had one of those. I had a 72 Z/28 back then with a big block and 4 speed in it. But anyway I do still have that peice of piston in a box packed away somewhere.

                And since you got me going one of my buddies still races stock car super modified. So yep been around that to all my life as well as motorcycles.

                And guess what. We had a slot car track in town when I was a kid and in the mid to late 90’s also. The track that we went to in the 90’s even had a scale 1/4 mile dragstrip with the tree and timing lights with a score board that would show the 1/8 th and 1/4 mile times along with mph and reaction times. We could even put the dail ins on or cars and the timing computer would start the tree after both cars staged and backet race. I even made my own wire frames and mounted the motors and the bodies for the drag and road race slot cars. Pretty fun stuff.

                But yep alot of good memories and got tons of pictures I took from back in the day at the dragstrip. How’s that saying go. Every picture tells a story don’t it. 🙂


                • The slot track you just described would have fit the track in Kissimmee, FL that I often went to. It was owned by a high school friend. Track was a beautiful Steve Ogilvie-built Blue King. He (the owner) built the drag strip and a small oval, the strip had all the electronics for timing. Sadly, it just never really caught on w/the masses. As a kid, the local track was at a sporting goods store, and was ran by my Little League coach. It was within bicycle distance of the junkyard so I was there as often as work allowed.


                  • Cobalt327
                    Sounds cool. And the track we had in town was about 2 miles away. We lived out in the country and rode our dirt bikes into town before we got our drivers license.

                    I bet kids now days would have no clue about how much fun the twisty turn slot car tacks could be. I have to admit I use to play Need for Speed on the play station we had and it was fun. But those slot car track were cool.

                    And my one buddy that does the supper modified stock cars. His dad owned a junkyard so we had all kinds of cool car parts and engines from all the way back in the 70’s all the way up to around 2000 when his dad retired and sold it. Oh and I kind of changed the word for junkyard to what they use around here now days. We started calling them salvage yards. I think that’s way more of a fitting name than a junkyard. It wasn’t no way junk as far as I’m concerned. It was more like hitting the jack pot with the find of our life everytime another car came in. There was a 70 Hemi Cuda that came in one time that got wrapped around a telephone pole. That motor went into my cousins 69 D Dart he had at the time.

                    Anyway to many story’s and not enough time or place to talk about it right now.

                    So what does the 327 stand for in your user name if it’s not the early legendary sbc Chevy 327. Maybe the new LS1 based 327? Ain’t it a 5.3 litre they call that newer engine?


                    • Yep- the 327 SBC was “THE” engine when the ‘yard was started. Later, we had a 327 in a ’65 Chevy 300, Dad put dual Carter AFBs on it, a Duntov solid lifter cam, mechanical tach drive dual point distributor from a ‘Vette, hand-made headers, and a POWERGLIDE (yuk). Dad bought from the county- it has been constable Dana Mapes’ car. He lived about 1/2 mile from the junkyard and he first introduced me to pellet guns as he had a CO2 pistol he’d shoot sometimes. It was messed up though, it dumped a carto in one shot so it didn’t get shot much!


                  • Cobalt
                    Now your talk’n. I had a “74” Nova SS hatchback around 81 that I put a 4″ bore small journal crank 327 in. Used I think it was a “64” 283 3″ stroke crank in it with 13-3/4:1 pistons and milled 461 heads on it. And also had the second design off road Duntov cam in it with the solid lifter rev kit. Had a 13″ dump truck clutch​ and extended bell housing in it with a 3400 pound Borg and Beck 3 finger pressure plate, Muncie M22 rock crusher and a 4:88 posi. It was a leaf spring car but had extended legnth​ ladder bars that went up under the front seats. Yep 5000 rpm launches and shifting into second gear at 10,000 rpm with the front wheels still in the air. And crazy thing is that was my daily driver back then. And could still get Sunoco 104 and 110 octane out of the gas pumps. Was one of many cars I had that was close to the 9’s at the track.

                    And you know what’s crazy. I was around 19 when I had that car. Got that Z/28 I talked about earlier when I was 16. Could ya see kids driving something like that now days. 🙂


                    • Even though cars are a lifelong thing, it wasn’t until I was an adult w/some years in as a professional before I had any really hot cars but all were built by me and not bought. My high school car was a ’55 post w/a 292 SBC (no relation to the Ford Y-block of the same displacement, this was a 283, bored 0.060″- I never bothered w/the few extra cubes from a “301” 4″ bore 283 because too often sand pits were hit during the overbore), it had a 3-speed that had the bad habit of chewing itself up after enough of speed shifting it- more the fault of the flimsy Ansen floor shifter (Hurst would come later). A 4-speed was out of the question at that time as they were still too new to show up in our junkyard, but otherwise I had run of the place (within limits) for spares. I learned a lot about car control driving it- it had welded spiders and a 4.11 rear gear. Real handful in the wet.


                  • Cobalt
                    I know what your talking about with the overbored 283. You should of seen the 305 I put together with a 400 crank and short rods with 347X heads. Had the old 30-30 cam in it. It was in my wifes car which was my girlfriend at that time. A 69 Caprice with a 3000 stall and a powerglide with a 3.73 posi.

                    And yes I remember people welding spider gears in the rear end. I used the mini spools and then regular spools in some cars.

                    But Oldsmobile was my favorite brand. But had em all. I was never like some of the guys that thought one particular brand was it. The way I seen it if you knew what you were doing they all could be made to run.

                    Oh and one of my buddies had a 65 Mustang back in the day with a 289 hipo and 3 speed on the floor with 4.33 gears. It ran it’s but off with that hi rev’n engine and 3 speed in it with those rear end gears. It seemed like it would just never stop pulling in each gear.


                    • I bought my GF (later became my wife and 30-odd years later still is) a ’77 Cutlass for a work car (I was a Cale Yarborough fan), it was nice- buckets and console, don’t see many like that. The little 231 Buick V6 it came with from the factory bought the farm and I moved her into a newer Regal. Left me w/a good Olds body/bad engine. Bought a Vista Cruiser wagon w/a 455 that absolutely roasted the tires, swapped the 455 into the Cutlass. Was a lot of fun but not that quick in the 1/4 (mid 13s), so I ended up selling it to a fellow who last I heard still had it as late as 2015.

                      Dad was a big engine guy. He had at different times a 401 Riviera, a ’60 413 cross ram Chrysler 300 (it was Carl Kiekhaefer’s personal car, he worked for Carl at Lake X which was in our county), a ’63 Pontiac 421 Bonneville (my favorite), a ’69 Impala 427 that I inherited after his death, and many others that are too numerous to mention here. He also liked the big Jimmy 6 engines, had one in a ’40 Pontiac that actually ran very good. He made a 4 barrel intake for it by brazing cast iron- no mean feat. Had Ford trucks galore but other than a ’53 station wagon my Mom drove when I was maybe 5, no other Fords. He even had a Jaguar at one time. So he wasn’t brand loyal either. I always went w/GM of one sort or another.


                  • Cobalt
                    I had 4 Cutlass. A 68 Canadian built 442 which came with a 455 instead of the 400 since it was built in Canada. Had 4 spd. with the Hurst shifter and it had a bench seat even with the round out spot for the shifter to clear the seat. Then had 68 W31 with the ram rod 350 and 4 spd. in it. Then a 72 W30 car that was a automatic. Had a 3000 stall in it and and the engine had a 1/8″ stroker crank in it and was .120″ over. No water passages between the cylinders on Oldsmobile. Had a solid lifter Mondello cam in it and I took and milled the bosses off the heads and put big block Chevy screw in studs and rocker arms so I could adjust the lifters instead of the Mondello adjustable pushrods. That’s what was a bummer about Olds with the bridges and bolts for the rocker arms. You couldn’t adjust the valves. But that car ran it’s butt off. 6500 rpm out of that big cubic inches. Was up around 500 cu.in. and Olds big blocks were usually only food for 5000 rpm if you were lucky. And the last was a 78 Cutlass that I put a 455 in. Oh and that 72 stroker engine is still in that car running today. One of my buddies owns it. That was around 82 when I built that engine.

                    Oh and you mention that little Buick V-6. I had 2 different Grand Nationals at different times. Those cars ran their butts off too. I remember ber at the dragstrip when they had class racing going on they made the GN’s run with cars double their cubic inches. Which I thought was funny because a good running small block could still out run a big block.

                    And I could keep going on. I had many many cars throughout time. But maybe we should get back to air guns. Oh and had a bunch of those already too. 🙂


          • Cobalt327,

            Good to hear from you. I shot the 499 (aka: Cobalt Magnum Tuned 499) 😉 yesterday and am still amazed at the extra power and having the groups improve. In retrospect, I guess that accuracy improving should not have been a surprise. After all, the slower something goes, the less stabile the projectile will be further out. I shoot it at 24′.

            I have not had the time to check into any 499 trigger mods.. The 1 link only showed line drawings of the components, which was good. The other one did not load at all. Like I said though, no big deal and will research the topic at some point in the future. I am not looking to “shave” or reshape trigger parts. I would be fearful of the parts being case hardened and removing the hardened surface. Then again, would a 499 even have anything in it that was case hardened? It is pretty darn good as is really.


            • Hi Chris
              As good as you’re shooting with your gun, I don’t see the trigger mod being all that necessary- but if you’re like me you will eventually want to see what the mod does and if it helps.

              The 499 trigger mods on the PilkGuns pages that have the line drawings are the only trigger mod instructions that I have personally found. But there’s a good chance something will be on YouTube that may be helpful- but that a guess. The trigger mod only requires two parts to be modified by removal of material. The best bet will be to order up a spare pawl ($0.25) and trigger ($0.50). That way, for 75 cents you have insurance in case something goes awry. Or if you’re a high roller you can order a spare complete trigger module ($5.00)! There’s no case hardening to worry about removing. In fact, the parts that are modded are plastic and don’t ‘feel’ full spring pressure- that’s the job for the steel parts that are not touched during the mod.

              I’m going to PM you over at THR later. Talk more then.

              Mark


            • Forgot- a member over at THR has his Red Ryder shooting just a smidgen under 400 fps- using the stock spring w/3/4″ preload. It has other mods, too, but I think that’s outstanding performance from that platform- nearly a 50% increase in MV.


        • Chris USA,

          For really serious soldering a six inch pair of vice-grips, especially needle-nosed ones, make a good heat sink. I have on occasion used four inchers as heat sinks when I solder certain power tube and power supply connections in guitar amplifiers to protect components downstream. I do this only when I figure alligator clips, which are what I usually use, might not provide enough dissipation.

          Michael


      • The muffin-pan is good, sometimes an ice-cube tray is even better for the really teeny screws and phantom parts. You know the phantom parts, right? The ones causing you to say, “Hey, weren’t there six near invisible micro-screws here instead of just five?” Because of this, I’ve actually attached the muffin/ice-cube trays to a larger board to minimize dumping the whole shebang on my office floor. (You know, the one with all cracks, crevices and light-sucking impedimenta designed to help critical very-small-parts rotate into alternate dimensions, never to be seen by a human again.)
        Just in case, I also keep a industrial strength magnet stuck to my duty safe, which saved the “lost, irreplaceable mystery component” day a number of times.
        One has to treat that magnet with care, as I’ve learned as it’s strong enough to nearly pull the safe over, magnetize your mechanical heirloom watch, and significantly raise the nails holding the floorboards down. Works pretty good. I once recovered eight teeny screws, a mystery cog, an expended Russian steel shell casing, and an ‘I like Ike!’ political lapel button in a single pass with that thing. (The last two left by former owners ’cause I didn’t leave them.)
        When you put it back on the safe/’fridge, be carefull not to get your fingers between the magnet and the door. If you do, be sure to be within reach of the phone so when you call the fire department to come get you loose you don’t have to stretch too much. They’ll laugh, but just grin and bear it. They’ve seen worse and much funnier.
        A roll of wide packing tape works a bit better than duct tape and won’t pull the paint or tiles up. Since it’s clear it’s likely easier to find your lost treasure, too.
        Avoid real, honest-to-God Gaffer tape as the micro items can be very difficult to recover from that stuff and my female EMT neighbor says it will definitely lift your nail polish off, if not necessarily your nails themselves.
        The world is full of unanticipated hazards.
        I also put a narrow strip of wood along the front, protruding maybe 1/8 or so above the desktop, which shortstops almost all rolling teeny nuts, bolts, ball bearings, contact lenses, hearing aid batteries, and the like and is a big help preventing unnecessary wear and tear on aging knees while you (sometimes) repeatedly crawl among the dust-bunnies under the desk looking for the sproingee you launched moments before, right before you said, “S***!”
        My over the shoulder editor asks me, “Where the hell did you get a magnet like that?)
        Answer: One of the SiliconeValley surplus remaindered/disposal sale outlets, across the street from a…certain well known Acronym site in Sunnyvale. Relax, it’s not there anymore…I don’t think.
        Maybe.
        At the time they said it was for mounting landing lights on a B-58 hustler without having to bore holes in any structural member. Look up B-58 for a grasp on what that claim entailed. Yikes.
        Later I found out really it was for mounting red/blue lights flashers on “Special Event” Highway Patrol Police Cruisers, considering we’re talking somewhere north of 150 MPH, that was no small feat in itself.


        • An alternate dimension – that explains where those parts went!

          Yeah, micro screws. …Then there are the fuzzy screws that go in the fuzzy holes in my glasses because I need the glasses I am fixing to see the tiny parts I am trying to see to do so.

          Hey David – you ever fixed/cleaned a laptop computer? Love them… 15 – 20 small screws in 3 – 4 different sizes in a random pattern with some hidden under labels and (always) a couple that are stripped and now won’t come out of those deep cavities. Then the plastic springs to its relaxed shape and fights you when you try to get everything back together (here is where the duct tapes helps). Bet that half of the UFO’s reported are partially disassembled laptops 🙂

          Magnets are lots of fun, but then I am easily entertained. Got to go, the Missus just gave me a can of pellets and suggested that I go get rid of the dandelions in the yard… be back in a couple of hours 🙂

          Have a great weekend!

          Hank


  3. Good Friday to all.
    I also like to put a towel down or an old, large piece of carpet on my workbench. This not only protects the piece I am working on but if a small screw or other part drops or flies out of my hand, it will land on the towel/carpet and not roll onto the floor and be almost impossible to find. A good light such as a flashlight attached to my head is also great for looking into dark crevices when you are examining the next piece to remove. Once you are in the reassemble stage, don’t forget to keep a large roll of duct tape handy too 😉

    Bob


    • B-I-L

      I usually find that part that I dropped by using a rare-earth magnet attached to a stick and probing the best hiding spot available – its amazing how far a screw will travel to hide! Plan “B” is the 18″ bar magnet that I drag over the floor to pick up small parts/hardware.

      Yup, duct tape is great to have near by. Sometimes a small gob of tacky grease is useful to hold a small part in still while assembling the other parts that hold it in place.

      Hank


  4. Hey B.B.,
    Is it possible this ol’ gal was tuned for smoothness and accuracy for someone who didn’t care about power?
    It will be interesting to see the accuracy tests. =>
    take care & God bless,
    dave


  5. B.B.,

    Might you at least tighten the pivot pin before testing this 124’s accuracy? :^)

    I would’ve sworn my FWB 124 two-stage trigger breaks lighter than a pound, but perhaps it is just so crisp and predictable that it feels much lighter than it is. (I probably should invest in a trigger gauge.) I know mine has been tuned well because it is smooth as can be, no vibration at all, and the cycle seems so fast, I never would guess by shooting it that it is a long-stroke design. I haven’t chronied it since I purchased it, but I vaguely recall Hobbys being about 780 fps. I was not used to shooting a spring air rifle that was that smooth but also had a respectable bit of zip! Actually, my 124 and my TX might be the only two, now that I think about it. It is easy to forget how much power the 124 has.

    Michael



      • That is a great idea B.B.!

        I’ll make one up tonight. Have a bunch of fishing “egg sinkers” in 1/2 to 3 ounce sizes that should be great for the job.

        Love stuff made from coat hangers.

        Hank



          • B.B.

            I did a quick google and saw the wire gauges that you mentioned. They looked pretty well like what I imagined they would.

            I have always done my trigger adjustment “by feel” and never had a need to know what the actual trigger pull was. Now I am curious what the numbers are.

            Thinking about the design of a gauge, a coat hanger hook attached to the neck of a plastic bottle so that there is a direct pull on the trigger would probably work fine.

            To calibrate, put the bottle on a scale and add water a bit at a time and mark the water level with the weight.

            To use, hang the “gauge” on the trigger and add water (gently) to the bottle until the rifle fires then read off the weight.

            Sounds ok in theory 🙂

            Hank


            • Hank,

              Or,… get a 70$ trigger gauge. ( I do admire the “do-it-your-self” attitude and am inclined in most matters to do just that) The digital readout from the Lyman gauge is nice,.. and hey,.. it is made to do what it supposed to do. However one chooses to do it,.. you have to quantify the data in some manner. I did like the fishing sinker idea from above.

              3 oz. ehh? That is some serious weight. I have used railroad spikes when fishing near low head dams for catfish in the past. 50# braided with a 8# drop/break away for the spike. That is a tricky mess to cast from shore.


              • Chris,

                $70 would buy a lot of pellets and you know how much I like coat hangers. 🙂

                I should show you the wind indicators that I make out of bead chain and coat hanger, have them every 5 yards on my range.

                Water is readily available but could be inconvenient – wouldn’t take much to case up a couple of 1/2 and 1-pound weights and use the sinkers for fine tuning. May do that.

                I have an “egg sinker” mold and cast the sinkers right on a wire (a piece of coat hanger of course) to make heavy “bottom bouncer” sinkers that I use for trolling for deep walleye and lake trout. They work great when the fish are hugging the bottom.


                • Hank,

                  🙂 I have trolled very little, but I am familiar with the described rig.

                  One of the most innovative rigs I ever saw involved 2 rods. Both surf. Worked best from a pier. Cast one rod with an 4-8 oz. (weight only). Anchor that rod. From that,.. another rod,.. lower a live bait fish down the slopped line, attached to a breakaway snap. Let it down to the point that the bait fish “bobs” up and down in the surface “chop”. Cobia was the quarry.

                  While you might get some strange looks from fellow anglers,… I think that it would work well on a still lake for predator fish. Kind of like,.. “ringing a dinner bell” so to speak.


            • Hank
              Pretty much me to on the trigger pull. I make it feel like how I want for that paticular gun.

              And mind you I had a few FWB 300’s which can be adjusted rediculously​ light.

              But have no idea how much the actual pull number is. And to be honest I actually don’t care. 😉


      • B.B.,

        Good tip, thanks. We even have a bunch of wire coat hangers that have a rubberized plastic coating as padding. Oh, and I should mention it is all I can do right now to not uncork a cheesy Joan Crawford joke.

        The first thing I’ll do is use our digital postal scale to weigh the hanger.

        Michael


  6. BB
    Your velocity is a little low, but not too bad.

    My 124, serial #8237, purchased prior to 1980 from Beeman San Anselmo, had the piston seal replaced in March 2010. That was before I knew how to rebuild airguns. To my knowledge, only the piston seal was replaced as the invoice does not list a new main spring.
    This morning, Hobby pellets averaged 861 fps with low of 857 and high of 868.
    Benjamin 7.95 grain HP, actual weight, averaged 800 fps, low 789 and high 814.

    I know you have written many blogs on the 124, but there is no such thing as too many. And as I said a couple weeks ago in Part 1, please write a book on the 124 much like you did for the R1. It will sell.


    • Jonah,

      Thanks for your numbers. All I have to go on are the guns I have owned in the past and tested.

      I think yours is a hot one, but I know they do exist. I tuned one for my friend, Mac, and got velocities of 860-870 with Hobbys.

      B.B.


      • BB

        I have a 124 that I bought new and it is ser# 47249. Don’t remember what year I bought it in but it would have been in the 80’s. It’s never been apart. I just fired a 10 shot string of RWS hobbys over my chronograph and got these results.

        High 835.6
        Low 820.3
        SD 4.1
        MAD 3.1
        ES 15.3
        Avg Vel 829.1

        Do you know if FWB used more durable seals at some point or do I have a gun that’s going to fail soon (maybe breaking a spring when it does) Should I shoot it ’til it gives out or just go ahead and replace the piston seal ? Don’t really want to mess up a gun that is shooting fine right now OR have it get really damaged when the seal finally goes. The gun has less than 1000 shots through it. I know from your other 124 report that the seals don’t wear out but, instead, degrade over time. Could the light usage be keeping this one shooting?


        • Halfstep,

          You have a very late 124. Maybe FWB did change their piston seal material late in the game, but if it is the old type it will disintegrate with just time. It should be gone by now. Shooting has little to do with it. Oiling accelerates the rotting.

          Your rifle seems spot-on for a new 124. It’s where most of the new ones I have handled have been. It should be a bit buzzy, which Tune in a Tube can fix.

          B.B.


          • BB

            Spot on about the buzz. Think I finally understand what you guys are talkin’ about on that front and I’m gonna try Tune in a Tube. Even though the buzz doesn’t bother me that much, I may find myself in the company of airgunners who know what my gun SHOULD sound like and I don’t need THAT embarrassment. Seriously, I’ll try it because, no point in listening to the buzz if I can disappear it so easily. Are you advising that I should continue to shoot the gun and if the seal fails, it’s not likely to break the mainspring on that first failed shot ? Just want to know what BB would do if it was his gun. Kind of goes back to your opening remarks, now that I think about it. Also out of curiosity, is Pelletier pronounced like Riviter, or Muskateer or like the French with a silent R ?


    • Jonah,

      Thanks for posting the numbers!

      I’ll check mine this weekend to see what I am getting. Think I am running around 775 fps with JSBs.

      I’ll second that 124 book request!

      Hank



        • GF1,

          I have been shooting JSB 8.44s in the FWB124 mostly because I have a good stock of them – the FWB300 and the HW100 shoot them well so I always have a couple of cans handy.

          Plan to do a lot of testing this summer so I have been stocking up on other brands and weights of pellets to try.

          Weather is supposed to be wet and windy all weekend so I will likely spend some time weighing/sorting pellets.

          Hank


          • Hank
            Did you ever try out the JSB 10.34’s?

            And I should mention that I’m having pretty good luck with wadcutters out of my Wildfire out to about 40 yards. Have got several starlings with it now. That flat nose hits them and you can see it thump when it hits. They don’t even flutter. DOA. But I think the Wildfire is making just the right velocity for those flat nose to work at that distance.

            You should try some.


            • GF1,

              The 10.43s are on the list to test in the 124. I’ll also be testing the JSB Exact 7.33; 13.43 and the H&N Cuda and FTT pellets.

              I have a couple of tins of the SHCaK wadcutters that I use in my FWB603 so I might try them as well.

              I’ve had a couple of purchase opportunities and good deals come my way recently so I am a bit back-logged in my testing. Hoping for some half decent weather to get to it!

              Hank


            • GF1

              Can you still see a bird at 40 yds with the scope you use on the Wild Fire ? I noticed that it has a 5 MOA dot and was wondering what your sight picture looked like at that distance.


              • Halfstep
                I call it a red dot. It’s only 1 magnification. But I guess thinking about it could be called a scope. It’s this one. I posted it the other day but I’ll post it again in case other readers are wondering what we are talking about.
                https://www.amazon.com/Tasco-22-Rimfire-1x30mm-Riflescope/dp/B000UI0VE2

                But yes I can see a bird very good at 40 yards. Just to note I’m a low magnification shooter. I got my 1/2 mildot Hawke scopes set at 4 magnification on my air guns. And that’s even when I shoot my .25 Marauder out at a150 yards and more.

                What I found with this paticular red dot is the size of the dot changes with the brightness setting. It has 11 positions of brightness. And at 40 yards I would say the feild of veiw is close to 20 yards. And on the 9th brightness position the red dot will just cover my 1-3/4″ steel spinner paddle.

                So a sparrow will be covered at 40 yards pretty much when I aim center mass of the bird. A starling will have it’s head and feet not covered by the red dot if I aim center mass. And so on. The bigger the object I’m shooting at that distance the less the dot covers. And likewise. In closer the more of the object I’m shooting is not covered by the red dot. The farther out the object is the less of the object is exsposed.

                And what’s kind of deciving a little bit with a red dot is. That if you zero it at say 35 yards and depending on how flat the gun shoots the pellet. The less you have to worry about hold over or under. I do a lot of test shooting at different distances and see how close to the center of the bullseye my pellets impact at. That gives me a idea of what size object I can shoot at those different distances and still make a effective shot.


                • GF1

                  I said scope but I meant to say sight. I looked at it after you posted your reply to RidgeRunner yesterday morning . At that time I thought a 5 MOA dot would be too big, but then you said you were hitting birds at 40 yds with it so that’s why I asked about the sight picture. The info about the 1 1/2 ” spinner being covered at 40 yrds told me exactly what I needed to know . Thanks.


                  • Halfstep
                    Was a 1-3/4″ spinner but yep you got it.

                    And I even size my targets for mildots at a given distance. Me and Chris did a 100 yard competition at home one time. And that’s what I did.

                    I took a piece of white copy paper and Drew a circle on it and colored it in red. It was pretty well exactly the size of my scope mildot at 100 yards on my 4 magnification I shoot at. So it made it pretty easy to keep the scope dot on target when I shot.

                    That’s a big thing I think people don’t realize when they shoot.


      • the numbers I promised…

        After its winter nap my 124 is doing 730 fps with JSB 8.44s and 794 with JSB 7.33s.

        It looks to be shooting 25-30 fps slower than normal but then it is due for a new breech seal, cleaning and lub job.

        Hank



  7. B.B.
    Good article. Yes when buying an old air gun the first thing I would worry about is the integrity of the seals. Unless the gun is new or you have been inside or you know who has been inside. You never know about the seals.
    My Diana 6G sat in my Mom’s basement for 25 years. First shot through after 25 years, no problem. Second shot, PROBLEM!

    When buying a used car with no maintenance history, I check the condition of the oil. If they do regular oil changes that is at least a good sign…

    -Y


  8. Yogi
    You are right about the seals. Was given a S&W 79G a couple of months ago that had sat for who knows how long in a shed. First CO2 cartridge, gun shot great. Second CO2 cartridge, big problem. Leaked out in about five or six seconds. Complete reseal put it back in shooting condition.


  9. Hello B.B.
    I recently acquired the 124 Sport (non-Deluxe) I mentioned a few weeks ago in another of your blogs. It has apparently been sitting in a closet many years, and seller thinks it had never been shot(!). He got it from his friend, the original buyer. Anyway, I was wondering whether to try shooting it, but am fearful of somehow causing some harm to it. When looking down the barrel I see what looks like little black spikes of grease(?) on all surfaces of the barrel, all pointing toward the center… don’t know if this makes any sense to you, but wondering what if anything to do short of sending it to PA as you suggested, for new seals, and ask them to inspect and perhaps clean. I am still something of a novice, so am still a little nervous about messing with things. Thank you, I look forward to your reports on the upcoming tune!
    Dixon


    • Dixon
      Maybe for this one sending it to Pyramyd AIr like BB suggested would be the smart way to go.

      But on the other hand I like to tinker with stuff. So I would say follow BB’s advice on this gun. But hang out here on the blog and get you a air gun that is possibly a cheaper more non collectible gun as what you have. Then get some of the tools needed and try to do one yourself.

      And I’m just going by your reply on what I said. You never know you just might surprise yourself if you do a little research and tear into one yourself.

      And as it goes if you do there is people here that can help one way or another.



        • RR
          Cool options but not what I’m looking for in a HW30s.

          I like the base model. That’s what I’ll be getting. The reason why is I want to try the open sights it comes with. But if I can’t get my eyes to cooperate then I’m putting one of these on it when I get it. And it will still keep the gun a bit lighter than a scope. I have mine on my Wildfire right now with real good results. Also had it on my TX for a while with good results. Well and a bunch of other guns throughout time.
          https://www.amazon.com/Tasco-22-Rimfire-1x30mm-Riflescope/dp/B000UI0VE2

          And another reason why I’m not interested in that gun is because of the scope that comes comes with it. Probably a good scope. But if I’m going to put a scope on it I want my Hawke scope with the 1/2 mildot reticle. The many hold points gets you spoiled and make for some very repeatable accurate shooting.

          And last thing is the silencer. Don’t care for that either on it. That HW50s I had was quiet. I’m betting the base model HW30s without the silencer is going to be pretty quiet right out of the box. But on the other hand the silencer might act as a muzzle weight to some extent and help with bench rest shooting. But I plan to have my HW30s as a plinker and occasional pest and woods walker gun. So I want to keep it as light as I can.

          So that’s my thoughts about the two HW30s models. And I’m ready to order me one now. Got the money saved up. Just waiting for Pyramyd Air to have a sale. Maybe they will have a 13% off plus free shipping for a mother’s day special this weekend. Hint, hint Pyramyd Air. 🙂



            • RR
              We already talked about the other place on the left coast. I will be getting mine from Pyramyd Air. Their closer so I get it much faster than the other place.

              And mine will be .177 caliber. I bet the HW30s in .22 caliber would be a little slow in velocity for what I will use it for. I bet around 450 fps and with a lighter grain pellet even. So yep .177 for me.


      • Hi Gunfun1,
        I like to tinker with stuff too, but I am just a scaredy-cat when it comes to airguns. Maybe I’ll break through that little wall sometime, since I love to see/figure out how things work. Sometimes my curiosity gets me in too deep, so that adds a little fear of making a mistake… anyway thanks for your response.
        dw


        • Dixon
          If you like to tinker I think you will have no problem messing with air guns.

          The best thing to do is search up a diagram of the gun your going to work on and study it a bit before you tear into your gun. Have the diagram with you so you can access it while your working on the gun.

          You know how it goes. Hands on is the way to go. If you do start messing with it or other air guns. Give a reply on the current days blog. I’ll keep my eyes open and will be waiting to see how it goes.


    • Dixon,

      I would be most curious to find out what that is in the barrel. Like using a Q-Tip to pull some of it out to see if it is grease. “all pointing inward” is most intriguing. Perhaps it is factory rust prevention, or someone could have done it themselves for that reason, for storage. Spider webbing?

      Either way,.. it has been mentioned that some guns were made with seals that will surely fail in the future and then later in production they used a different seal material that will be just fine. If that is the case with yours, perhaps the serial # or mfgr. location could help ID a time frame. If it is determined to have a failure prone seal, I would at least do that, or have it done.

      As for tearing into something yourself, that is a personal decision. It is daunting at first, I will admit. I base that decision on how much I can find out through pics and videos via the internet and then make the call from there. I have picked up some new tools along the way, not to mention the hands on experience. That will make you much more confident going forward on any other projects that may arise.

      Good luck and I hope that you have it up and shooting soon.


      • Chris U
        I just made a reply to Vana2 about wadcutter flat nose pellets I been using in the Wildfire out to 40 yards.

        You should try some in your .22 spring guns and the Maximus too. They sure put a thump’n on pest birds at that distance out of my Wildfire.

        Oh and a wadcutter is designed basically to cut a clean hole in target paper. You might actually find that you get better groups at a reasonable distance with them because of the holes cut clean in the paper. You mentioned a couple times you use your Maximus as a critter getter out to about 40 yards. Well try them wadcutters on a tin can at 40 yards and see how that can goes flying. And not a aluminum can. A tin can.


      • Hey Chris,
        Thanks for your thoughts and advice. I think I will get a dowel and wrap some cotton around one end; kind of a long q-tip – and see what comes out. I keep telling myself I should try to take a photo and maybe post it for anyone interested to see. I will certainly try to shine some light in the barrel as BB suggests to see what color these little stalactites/stalagmites really are. I’ll come back here and report what I find out – I’m pretty slow on the ball since I’m involved with the kids (2) and their stuff, but I’ll get to it sooner or later. San Rafael is stamped on the gun, btw. I forget what year I deduced from the serial # – I wrote to FWB and asked but they didn’t respond (yet). I think it was made sometime around 1978, based on others who’ve posted their info at other blogs I’ve checked.
        Thanks again,
        d


    • Dixon,

      Use a tactical flashlight in the barrel to look at those spikes. I’ll bet they are brown, not black. They sound like particles of the piston seal that has crumbled. And if they are, your gun has been shot.

      Don’t shoot it before someone takes it apart to examine the piston seal.

      B.B.


      • Thanks, B.B.. I just looked again (no tactical flashlight yet – ordered one) through barrel, and tried focusing my eyes at a couple of distances – I must say, I don’t quite see what I thought earlier – not big pieces but more like a scattered deposit of I-don’t-know-what, but I will send to Gene and company, at PA and let them clean, re-seal, and check spring. I will ask them what they found; I’m overdue for an eye exam, too. Thanks again!
        dixon


    • Dixon,

      Sounds like you have found a real gem – the 124 is a real nice shooter!

      The rifle you have is quite old and as others have said it probably needs new seals and fresh grease. Since you are new to airguns I recommend that you have the rifle looked at by an experienced professional and have them bring it up to shooting condition.

      If you are so inclined and like to take things apart I’d recommend starting with an inexpensive rifle to get experience with before working on a beauty like a FWB124.

      I’ve had my 124 for over 35 years now – it is still my favorite!

      Cheers,
      Hank


      • Hello Hank,
        Yes, I was pretty thrilled bringing the 124 home. Haven’t had much time with it, and just today I was trying to take a closer look at everything. It’s got the plastic trigger (couldn’t believe it, but then I put a little magnet on it and it fell off), and the rear sight’s adjustable portion is also plastic. Anyhow, I will send to Pyramyd Air when I get the chance, and let Gene & Co. do their magic.
        Did you purchase your 124 new? That’s neat – I hope to leave mine to my son. btw, just curious if you know your model’s year of manufacture. I’ve written to FWB, but no response – they’re probably sick and tired of people like me bugging them about little stuff like that. Anyway thanks for your comments and encouragement – really appreciate.
        Dixon


        • Hi Dixon,

          Yes, I purchased my 124 new. Back then, my friends thought I was nuts to pay $220 for a “bb-gun” because you could buy a shotgun or deer rifle for around that price. IMHO, it is worthwhile to buy quality.

          The trigger on mine is plastic. No big deal, its a sport trigger and never had an issue with it. It doesn’t compare to the trigger on my 300 and 603 target rifles but those are in a class of their own. If you ever get a chance to shoot/own a FWB 300 I suggest you pounce on it – its awesome shooter!

          Yeah, I have written FWB a couple of times and not received a reply. Keeping in mind that their focus is on Lamborghini class rifles and pistols they are probably tired of getting hundreds of emails about a rifle they have not made for decades. Google “FWB 124 serial numbers” and you will get some hits that might help.

          Enjoy your 124 Dixon!

          Hank


  10. A sheet of thin clear plastic from a cheap drop cloth is good for covering the receiver area ( where most of the teensy tinys live )will catch the spring loaded stuff that might normally go flying across the room. The clear plastic covers that overwrap RWS pellet tins can be separated easily from the cardboard and stapled together to make really handy parts trays.

    Vise grips are for measuring the thickness of small objects and pipe wrenches are for larger thicknesses. If you guys keep using them as hammers you’re gonna throw of their calibration .




      • GF1

        I had a large stone busted up in my kidney on Monday, and I’m still a little under the weather from it. I plan to install a second valve in the gun but I’m not in a hurry right now since I know that pumping it up is going to make my back and abdomen spasm.They left a stint in my ureter and it irritates my urinary tract if I move around too much. I’ll post my results ,don’t worry. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


        • Halfstep
          Bummer about the kidney stone. Hope they got it broke down good. And I had a stint from my kidney to my bladder after a operation. That was no fun. Almost worse than the operation.

          And ok I’ll be waiting to hear about your Wildfire.

          And yep definitely enjoying the weekend. Beautiful wether yesterday and today. Low 80’s sunshine and blue sky’s. A very mild wind today and was dead calm yesterday. Suppose to be the same for the next 4 days and I’m off tomorrow too. Took a vacation day at work since it was mother’s day weekend.

          So will be waiting to hear from ya.


  11. Marauder, Gen 2, .25 caliber, question for the blog community….

    Today I had a jammed shot in my marauder. I found a clear O-ring stuck inside my pellet magazine. I don’t think it’s part of the mag. I have to think that it came off the bolt probe and got pushed into the mag when loading a pellet. The manual that came with the rifle does not show the detail I need to see where it needs to go.

    Does anyone have a more comprehensive schematic that would give me a clue ?

    Anyone else ever had this happen ?

    Randy


    • Randy
      It is the o-ring seal for the probe. But it’s not on the probe. It’s in the breech.

      You know where the probe pushes the pellet into the barrel. It’s in the breech about maybe a 1/16″ in. Replacing that o-ring is kind of a pain in the butt. I slide the new o-ring over the probe. Then use a a tooth pick to push the o-ring in the seat while I keep the probe in the right position with the other hand with the bolt. You have to kind of use the tooth pick and bolt probe together to get the o-ring in it’s groove. A little RWS silicone oil helps on the o-ring too.

      And I can’t remember right now what o-ring I put in it. It’s a black one I found at work that is the same outside diameter but a smaller inside diameter so it holds in place and seals the probe better. My modded .25 Marauder started blowing them out when I turned the power up on it.



  12. Gunfun1,
    Thanks for the info !
    I could see what you were talking about. It didn’t look damaged and I got it pushed back into place.
    I’ll be back behind the scope tomorrow.
    Randy





        • GF

          Was starling shooting a couple weeks ago, and violated one of my rules . Used the S500 without shooting it first . Had been sitting unfired for a while .
          First shot was very weak . Pellet bounced off the big maple tree out back and bounced off the side of the house . Starling died anyway .
          Following shots were full power .
          So far, all of my PCPs will have a weak shot if they have been sitting . Sometimes just overnight .
          Exception is the FWB, but I loosen the air tube and depressurize the gun when not in use .

          tt


          • TT
            At least you got that starling.

            And you know what. That Wildfire needs the valve bounced 3 times before it’s at full power when it sets overnight. But after that it’s fine all day when I shoot it.

            Now the Maximus ain’t so bad. It needs one shot to wake it up after sitting overnight. The the Marauder it’s fine. No bouncing the valve on it. Or it’s just making so much power I never notice it. 🙂


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