FAS 6004 Part 2 Part 1
Chiappa’s Single Shot Pneumatic Target Pistol
By Dennis Adler
Italian armsmakers have a slight advantage over American armsmakers, and even over most European armsmakers; the Italian firearms industry is more than 500 years old. The earliest written reference to Italian gun making is dated April 21, 1459.  Beretta, the world’s oldest gunmaker, has been in business for 493 years, and thus it is safe to say that the Italians know a little bit about making guns. Chiappa has only shared in 60 of those 559 years of arms making, but has carved out its own niche among the most respected gunmakers in Italy. I have written thousands of words about Chiappa over the years, but never a word about airguns until now, and the FAS 6004, which is, in its own right, very much a “niche” airgun, with very few contemporaries as a single stroke pneumatic 10 meter target pistol.
A few good guns
If we count the FAS models built in Milan before Chiappa’s 6004, there are still only a handful of air pistols in this category of single stroke (or multi stroke) 10 meter target models; the (spring piston) Beeman P1 and P11, at $450 and $525, respectively, the Beeman P3 single stroke pneumatic at $240, Weihrauch HW75 at $460, and the Air Venturi V10 (Gamo .177 caliber Compact) at $300. That puts the FAS 6004 at the higher end with an MSRP of $470 for the standard model with ambidextrous walnut grips. The Match models with adjustable target grips, left or right hand, large and medium sizes, are priced higher. The Russian-made IZH 46M (which is an under lever design) is also in this class and sells for around $650. The closest competitors for design and handling are the Weihrauch HW75 and Air Venturi V10. So let’s begin there.
All three are over lever designs using the slide as the charging handle. They all have walnut grips. In terms of styling, the FAS has the cleanest lines. The Weihrauch uses a manual safety like the Beeman, while the V10 and FAS are a closer match for operation (10 meter target pistols do not have manual safeties) but are further apart in price. The Beeman P3 is a totally different style that’s closer in design and balance in the hand to a semi-auto pistol, rather than a 10 meter target pistol.
The Weihrauch and FAS grip contours are similar to centerfire match pistols with flared grips and thumb rests. And like many of today’s centerfire competition pistols with extended magazine wells to aid in reloading and supporting the shooting hand, the flared base of the one-piece walnut grips on the HW 75 and FAS provide a similar level of support for the bottom of the shooting hand. The V10 excels in this latter comparison with standard adjustable match grips, which are extra for the FAS.
The HW 75 has an overall length of 11.0 inches (and 6.7 inch match grade rifled steel barrel), a height (base of grips to top of rear sight) of 6.125 inches, frame width of 1.125 inches, sight radius of 9.5 inches, and weight of 38.5 ounces. The FAS 6004 has an overall length of 11.0 inches (and 7.5 inch button rifled steel barrel), a height (base of grips to top of rear sight) of 5.25 inches, frame width of 1.125 inches, sight radius of 9.68 inches, and weight of 32 ounces. The Air Venturi V10 measures 12.5 inches in overall length (with an 8.375 inch rifled steel barrel), a height (base of grips to top of rear sight) of 6.0 inches, frame width of 1.875 inches, sight radius of 9.75 inches, and weight of 32 ounces. The V10 is made in Spain, the HW 75 in Germany, and the FAS 6004 in Italy; that covers three of the world’s oldest and most respected countries for gun manufacturing.
Breaking them out
The new Chiappa FAS 6004 comes in at the identical length and width of the Weihrauch HW 75, with a lower overall height, lighter overall weight, longer barrel, longer sight radius, and better trigger adjustment. It is Pyramyd Air priced at about $40 lower ($420 vs. $460) than the HW 75. In comparison to the Air Venturi V10, the FAS stacks up as a smaller gun. The V10 has the greatest overall length, longest barrel and sight radius, and largest grips (adjustable match) of the three, as well as the lowest price at $300 (and is currently on sale for $269.99).
It’s all in the trigger
All three airguns have two-stage adjustable triggers, the Chiappa FAS 6004, has the most adjustments to custom tune the trigger to an individual shooter. That’s the purpose of an adjustable trigger like the V10 and HW 75, but the FAS has more adjustments, a total of four screws to set the weight of the trigger, stroke and position of the trigger, and adjust the drop point of the first stage and break of the second stage. In total you can move the trigger further forward or further back within the triggerguard to adjust for hand size, as well as trigger pull.
In Saturday’s conclusion, I’ll set the trigger, adjust the sights and see what the FAS can deliver at 10 meters.
 The World of Beretta – An International Legend by R.L. Wilson, Random House, Inc.