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Education / Training A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 1

A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Before I start today’s blog, I want to let you know that Pyramyd AIR has slashed the price of the Hammerli Pneuma…by almost 30%! It’s dropped from $495.95 to $349.95. This is a huge deal and a great way to enter the PCP arena without spending a fortune. I don’t know how long the price will stay at that level, so don’t hesitate if this is a gun you’ve been eyeing. Now, on to today’s blog.

When I lived in Maryland, I had many friends who were airgun enthusiasts. We not only met at the local airguns shows, one of which we ran in Damascus in August each year, but we also competed in field target matches and 10-meter pistol matches throughout the year. One day, while waiting for my group to shoot in a match down in Rockville, a friend showed me something he had just acquired. It was a long wooden case that any gun owner would know had to contain a gun.

When he opened the case I saw a sight that quickened my heart. Inside was a like-new FWB 124 and accessories, all in like-new condition. I had to own this rifle, so I immediately set about building an acceptable trade for it. Fortunately, the man who owned it is a good friend and went relatively easy on me, though he didn’t have to. I wanted this gun so bad I would have given almost anything to own it. I still probably gave too much for it, but there really are no equivalents to compare to.

This FWB 124 was enshrined for all time by its former owner. If you look carefully, you can see that there are three padded projections in the box lid that press down on the rifle when the lid is closed. These projections prevent the gun from moving.

One thing my friend made me promise is that I would document the rifle so everybody could share in the experience he and I had when we looked in the case. I had no problem with that request, for indeed, that was part of the reason I wanted the gun–to be able to research it and discover just what it was. When I got it home, I immediately set to the task.

I examined every accessory inside the case, as well as the case itself. It was custom-built of pine for this rifle and all the items inside. The wood was of cabinet quality, which is to say clear and free from knots. But it was nothing special or out of the ordinary. The larger pieces were made from plywood. You’ll notice that the compartments are asymetric.

The wood was painted a flat brown and fitted with utilitarian hinges and clasps to hold it closed. The man I got the gun from had removed the center clasp and replaced it with a carry handle, which was a nickel-plated drawer handle, so the box now does not close as tightly as the maker had intended, but it’s easier to carry. Obviously, the maker had not envisioned transporting the gun as much as simply storing it, which was a big clue as to what was going on. All eight corners of the box are reinforced with brass edge protectors. The workmanship of the build is top-quality.

The rifle was very early. I could tell that by the older-style black plastic trigger that was offered only in the 1970s, and by the address of the Beeman company stamped on the gun. San Anselmo was their very first address, when the Beemans were operating out of their home.

The San Anselmo address on this 124 marks it as sold from the original location of Beeman Precision Airguns.

When I examined the contents of the box, I was struck by their age. These items had been purchased from the Beeman Precision Airguns company back at the start of their existence! They bore the image of Boswell Bear, something that went away very early in the life of the company. I knew these labels because I had been a Beeman customer almost from the start in 1973, but I had not seen labels like these for two decades! Clearly, this gun and its accessories were very old, yet they looked like they were brand new.

Boswell Bear was on the earliest labels. This one has a San Rafael address.

I contacted Robert Beeman about the San Anselmo address on the gun and the Boswell Bear labels. He told me these were the very first labels his company ever used.

However, there were also some anomalies among the things in the box. When the FWB 124 first came out in about 1972, it had a plastic trigger blade. Oh, how the airgunners of the time complained about that! Why would a top-quality maker like Feinwerkbau put a cheap plastic trigger on any gun they would make? They complained throughout the decade of the ’70s. About 1980, the company finally brought out an aluminum trigger blade. First, the guns came out with it installed, and then several years later it was offered as a replacement part that Beeman sold as a retrofit.

The aluminum trigger blade was made to replace the earlier plastic blade. This one is a retrofit part but was never installed.

So, there was an aluminum trigger blade in the box with this rifle that had to have been added years after the box was built. Obviously, this set was a work in progress. No attempt had been made to update the trigger in the rifle, since the original plastic trigger was (and still is) in the gun. And I know from experience with many other 124s that the plastic trigger will not break in normal use, so why did the owner buy the aluminum blade?

Canopic jars
When Egyptians mummified a body, some of the organs were removed and placed in canopic jars, each with its own separate guardian. There were no jars inside the gun box, but there were separate sections that housed fresh vitals for a renewal of the powerplant. A new replacement mainspring was housed on a rod set into the box lid and no fewer than three fresh piston seals were in a special compartment of the box, where they awaited the day of renewal.

When I was a kid, I played cops ‘n’ robbers a lot. The imaginary gun I used never ran out of bullets. It was becoming clear to me that the original owner of this 124 wanted the same thing from his gun–a spring gun that never failed. He stockpiled the parts that he knew would wear out over time. When they wore out–presumably from use–their replacements were on hand to keep the show rolling. Only–this rifle was never used!

Plugged up
Unlike my cops ‘n’ robbers weapon, a well-used right hand with a two-finger barrel that fired tens of thousands of times, the owner of this 124 never fired a single shot with it. He couldn’t have, for the barrel was completely plugged with grease!

When I went to chronograph the rifle to ascertain the state of tune, I was surprised to find the bore completely obstructed. A patch pushed by a cleaning rod pushed out many inches of petroleum grease, the common kind used for general lubrication. It took some time to clean out all this worthless grease, and I was adamant to do it before the barrel was ruined. What the first owner did not understand was that plain grease is not a good preservative. Over the years, it dries out and hardens. It then allows moisture to enter and collect against the metal and the barrel would have rusted slowly from the inside out.

Cosmoline is a military preservative that’s often used on guns put into long-term storage. It provides a moisture barrier for a period of time, though it, too, has a definite period of useful life beyond which it offers no protection. While it resembles regular grease, it’s not the same thing at all, and grease is not an acceptable substitute fort it. You’re far better off with a clean bore lightly coated with oil, the way the military tells you to store firearms. But the grease in this gun was a big clue about what was happening.

He may have shot the rifle a few times, but the finish on the barrel near the muzzle wears quickly from handling and this one is still like new. So, not many shots (if any) were ever fired. I’ve also shot it a few times, but I don’t take it out that much, either.

The status of the gun
The rifle was like new in unfired condition when I got it. The bore was plugged with grease. The rifle was surrounded with the parts needed to keep it operating for over 20 years of hard use, yet it had seemingly never been used. It looked like the original owner had cherished this rifle without ever actually using it. He entombed it in what he had hoped was a very protective cocoon to guarantee its survival into the future, and yet it was a future that didn’t include him.

I obtained the gun just after the new century began. The first owner had passed away, which is how the man I bought the gun from got it. So, this gun, which was preserved for all time, had now outlived its first owner–it’s creator, if you consider the whole package.

In our next look, I’ll show you other strange things in the box and will chronograph the rifle for you.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

111 thoughts on “A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 1”

  1. BB,I don't think you get much better than this.What an estute decision the first owner made.I wonder how he was at picking stocks??To quote you"you are a lucky guy"!

  2. lubricator,

    I thought the same thing when I read it, so I did a search. I found that he previously used the image of the gun in the box and wrote a little bit about it, but he never wrote the whole story til today.


  3. Great gun and an amazing story. The original owner knew from early on that the FWB 124 would become a classic. If someone walked up to me with that box I'd probably faint when it was opened. A true time capsule.


  4. That is a beautiful gun from what I've seen so far, but I have to admit that the box is half the draw for me. For some reason it really appeals to my inner little boy. If it had a secret compartment, I think I would faint!

  5. BB; I think I know what may be going on with your 124 set up as it is. It was stored as a "Survival Gun" against the day that it was needed to provide food and eliminate pests. Back in the 70's and early 80's there was a strong survivalist movement (There is still a smaller one today). The FWB 124 was one of the airguns recommended for long term use and storage. Another was the Sheridan "C" model.

    Good choices for both and of course that work for other things too!

    I own both types, the FWB 124 was my dad's. BTW, are the seals still good? As you know, some of the early ones break down over time.


  6. Does anyone know a good trick for finding all the obsolete or "not currently available" guns that Pyramyd has hidden away on its website? For instance, often when I hit a link in one of B.B.'s older blogs it'll bring up the gun, but if you do a direct search for it, you come up empty.


  7. BB,
    Don't shoot that rifle! Don't do it for us. Don't do it for anyone! Let us dream. Let us use our imaginations. Let us hear what your best guess is, but do not defile a remarkable icon that represents what we're all about. As I catch my breath, I pray I caught you in time.


  8. FWB 124
    Appears that the rifle was intended for survivalist needs. The small utilitarian box, spare parts, cleaning supplies and amateur attempt at long term storage all point to this. Perhaps the owner listened to “Eve of Destruction “ one too many times. For you young pups, paste this link. http://noolmusic.com/youtube_videos/barry_maguire_eve_of_destruction.php

    I had forgotten about the Boswell Bear, he was stamped on my R-1… Okay, its official, I miss my first R-1.


  9. Edith,

    Thanks. That's too bad. There's such a wealth of information hidden there that it would be a great resource for us. Maybe they'll come up with some way to make it more readily accessible.


  10. Morning B.B.,

    Truly magnificent and intrusted to the right person. Who else caould have just shared this jewel from the past with 20,000 other people with one posting.

    What do you think of Mike's theory?

    Mr B.

  11. What a classic!!
    If I could have this rifle, the 1969 Alfa Romeo Guila I used to own and the vinyl record collection I stupidly gave away in the early 90's I'd be a happy man.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  12. Mr. B,
    I would pretty much bet the ranch.

    Sorry, I was not trying to steal your thunder. I read the blog, drank some more coffee, answered natures call and then posted my comment without rechecking. I also spent a bit of time looking for a good link for the “Eve of Destruction” The contemporary ones kind of p… me off. This was written in the mid 1960’s and should be portrayed as such.

    Now throw in my slow typing skills along with the urgency of the unemployed and you should be able to understand the lag time. My goal today is to shower before noon: attainable, measurable and challenging – I will let everyone know if I make it.


  13. BB: (Off Topic)—A while back you did a fine blog on the Air Arms S 410 Sidelever. I recently purchased one in .22 cal and the trigger's first stage seems quite loose. It seems like there really isn't a first stage. The gun shoots ok but no other air rifle that I have has such a loose trigger. The manual urges caution in any trigger adjustment so I'm hesitant to do anything.

    My question is: Is this normal with this rifle?

    Thanks, —D.G.

  14. Alan in MI,

    Do you tumble your pellets in a rock tumbler, a reloading tumbler, or do you tumble them by hand? i haven't noticed lead flakes in the soperdomes, but they are probably closer to the bottom of the tin. Blowing air over them is also a good idea.

  15. Just Curious,
    Was it common for this style of case to be used for gun storage at one point? My fathers mentor was a wooden boat builder from the 1930's through the 1980's and when he passed away my Dad inherited his 1894 Winchester. It was in a case similar to this. I always assumed that he did this because he was a wood worker, but now I am wondering if this was just something that was done on a regular basis way back when.


  16. Blowgunner,

    I only tried this once for my current tin, and it seemed to work well.

    I simply tumbled the pellets around in the tin, and then shook the pellets out of the orignal tin slowly into another one while blowing them with air from my compressor (not at full force), and then again on the way back into the original tin. I did this outside near the garage to keep the flakes out of the house. If you don't have shop air, a can of compressed air like dust off would probably work.

    I imaging tumbling by itself would work well too, but that is not what I did.

    It did remove a lot of the lead flakes.

    Alan in MI

  17. B.B.

    Wow, thanks for sharing that special package with us… I agree we don't need to know how fast it's shooting..

    but it brings up a question…
    Is it better to never shoot a collector piece? or just occasionally?


    The instructions are pretty easy to follow on the adjusting of the three screws on the Air Arms S410 trigger. It's just the first paragraph the lawyers had them put in. .. skip it and study the actual instructions!

    Of course don't have any pellets in it as you adjust.

    That's the cool thing about the PCPs.. you can dry fire all you want!

    You can get the trigger so nice, you'll never want to shoot anything else!

    Wacky Wayne, Match Director,
    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  18. D.G.,

    Re: Loose trigger on your AA S410

    Do you mean the trigger is loose when the gun is uncocked? If so that's normal.

    Do you mean there's a lot of slack/travel before you feel the first stage? If so, then you can adjust that out.

    Follow this tutorial about adjusting the trigger in your gun and ignore all the aftermarket polishing/shimming if you're not inclined to take your triggers adjustment to this level. Just use the 3 adjustment screws and follow the tutorial:



  19. D.G.

    Let me add that you can adjust so far the gun won't cock… that's ok.. just go back a little until it does cock and stay cocked when you bump the end of the gun firmly… then a little more for safety!..

    But that can be very crisp and light, with no, or very little creep.
    I take the action out of the stock and nest it on some bags… adjust, cock and touch the trigger… adjust, cock, try.. etc.. soon you'll have it safe and perfect for you!

    Wacky Wayne

  20. B.B.

    Very nice, but strange to me that such a nice gun has hardly been fired at all. There is the pure collector motive which I don't fully understand. The suggestion about a survivalist gun makes sense. I would have thought that a .22 rimfire is the ideal survivalist caliber, except I believe that you can't reload for this caliber. In that case a springer looks pretty good, even compared to centerfire.

    On the subject of cases, I believe I'm going to drop money for a new one. The plano cases from PA are good and cheap. However, on a recent trip to Hawaii (by way of Oregon), the case was open when I picked it up. The plano cases have detachable snaps that had come undone. The only thing that kept the contents from spilling out were the three masterlock padlocks. They only allowed the case to open about an inch, and I had enough foam wrapping stuffed inside to cover everything, so there was no harm done–other than some rust on the M1. That rainy weather in Oregon is something. Nevertheless, an open case is unacceptable. I'm going to pay double for something that closes securely and has wheels.

    Derrick38, I wouldn't actually throw the Ka-Bar since it's so nice. But the literature says that it is balanced for throwing, and it certainly feels that way. For throwing and hard use I would probably use my Cold Steel Bushman. Here is one fantastic knife that is incredibly durable and sharp–it's a spear point design with a lot of belly for slicing. And wonder of wonders, it is perfectly balanced for throwing. It throws much better than dedicated throwers, and all for $20 a couple years ago.

    In other news, the samurai sharpening method is forging ahead of the traditional method I've been using. Actually, it's basically the same thing except that the samurai method has the edge pointing towards you. For coarse grinding, the blade is pushed back and forth. For honing, it is only moved away from the edge. There are some other details, but that's pretty much it. Frank B. did tell me about moving the knife away from the edge awhile ago, so I should have listened more carefully.


  21. Matt61,

    Pelican makes good cases, waterproof and with a pressure relief valve for altitude compensation, but they're expensive and heavy. There is at least one model made for guns, which they sell primarily to the military.


  22. Mike,

    A survival gun? That is the best call I have heard yet. I think you may be right.

    And Mike, SOME early 124 seals don't break down. They ALL break down. You must replace them. If you oil the seal it will immediately start to break down.


  23. rikib / anonymous 2240 guy?

    OK, here is what we know so far. You are on a budget. You don't care about hunting. You do care about target shooting, and plinking with aluminum cans. Also the wife doesn't like guns, so I assume you have been on your best behavior and using gentle persuasion (wear your safety glasses, she will feel better). You also mentioned a range of 125 ft, which comes out to a little more than 41.5 yards. I think you will probably want to make it an even 50 soon, perhaps further?

    First off, you want a rifle. A pistol won't cut it at this range. Secondly you want .177 caliber. It is a good bit cheaper than .22 cal, and will have more variety of pellets to choose from, and are more readily available from local sources should you run out. Last but not least .177 will have a flatter trajectory.

    This means it will be easier to be accurate over a longer range of distances. The 'arching' you were talking about before requires judgment and technique and therefore error. It relates to the distance at which you zero the rifle, and the resulting holdover required for other distances. Flatter trajectories make things easier.

    Some other things to consider when recommending a rifle are:

    Do you plan to scope it? (eventually?)

    How big a boy are ya?

    Scoping options and the cocking/pumping difficulty, weight of the rifle, and length of pull issues are not to be ignored. Its all about ergonomics. You will be happy with a rifle that fits you properly.

    Based on what we know so far I will give my suggestions, humbly submitted.

    First is the Air Venturi Bronco. $126. This is a lower powered, easy cocking, easy loading, break barrel, coil spring-powered air rifle. I have one, and it is light, easy and accurate with a good trigger. Its dimensions are on the small side, which is good if you are small, or the wife wants to shoot it, or well supervised young-uns? It would be easy to mount a scope should you decide to do so. Auto-safety. At longer distances the power will be dropping off.

    My second recommendation is a Benjamin 397. $160. This is a multi-pump pneumatic, bolt-action air rifle. You can pump it anywhere from 3 to 8 times, depending on the power you want. They have been around for many decades, and the old ones shoot as good as the new ones and vice-versa. Manual safety. If you want to scope it, you will have to install Crosman's steel breech with 11mm dovetails or buy separate 'intermounts'.

    PA has 3 different kinds:



    My third recommendation is the Air Venturi Avenger 1100. $160. This is an adult-sized, magnum-powered, coil springed, easy loading break-barrel air rifle. Auto-safety. They have a nicely checkered stock with Monte Carlo cheekpiece. It will have plenty of power to make those aluminum cans jump at longer distances (fill them half full of water for best results) These guns have a great reputation for smoothness and accuracy, once you break them in properly. Ask Wacky Wayne. He had two of them.

    Don't use PBA pellets to chase higher fps. Its a waste of time.

  24. Wayne,

    There are some collectibles that should never be shot. The gorgeous Kentucky flintlock the NRA presents every year to some deserving gun writer or mover/shaker is one of those.

    But I believe that a run-of-the-mill collectible like mine suffers nothing by being shot occasionally. And if the piston seal were ever to disintegrate, I would replace it and take the opportunity to install a Maccari spring, too.

    What I won't do is mount a scope and start shooting the gun as a general shooter. Not this one. I guess I need another FWB 124, huh?


  25. Matt,

    The case you want is called a Starlite case. You can run over it with an 11-ton armored personnel carrier and the stuff inside will survive. You can submerge it to 400 feet and the inside will stay dry.

    Had mine for many year. Pricey, but worth it.


  26. BB

    What I want to know is, will the Starlite case survive UPS?

    I once shipped a bicycle made out of aerospace-grade steel tubing (Reynolds 853) in a hard case with many inches of egg-crate foam. They managed to destroy both the front fork and put a HUGE dent in the thickest and strongest tube. They then proceeded to try and deny my insurance claim. (TRY) This was after the whole kit and kaboodle was shipped ground instead if air, which I had paid for. That means the package arrived the day after I had already left it's destination! Awesome. What a vacation.

    Yikes. this turned into a rant against UPS rather than a comment on hard cases. I guess my point is that in my experience, if I have absolutely any choice in the matter, its FED-EX all the way. When it absolutely positively has to get there, overnight. Bless those companies that give customer service a good name. PA is one.

    Needless to say, when UPS refers to itself as "Brown", I am thinking of something else than the color of their trucks.

  27. Missed the 12:00 pm goal but made it by 12:20, I started a focus group with myself and my Cockapoo as the primary members to achieve the needed improvement. He seems to think I spend too much time at the PC and not enough time scratching. I tried to fault the darn programmable thermostat, it drops to 62 degrees at 8:30 with the expectation that the house will be void of humans until the afternoon. I think I have him fooled into believing I am cold blooded.

    Slinging lead,
    I don’t see the question you are answering?

    If you want the rod and reel store credit is fine by me.

    You are still $50.00 over the completion.

  28. BB,
    I understand your fascination for that rifle and that case. I have always dreamed with being some kind of archaeologist. Like Kevin said, a true time capsule. And, by the way…
    What pellet do you consider the best for the 124? I think it loves the H&N Silver Points , (they remind me the Silver Jets)…


  29. Anthony,

    I competed in field target with a 124 for part of a year and I used the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellet. Of course we didn't have JSB Exacts at that time, so I would have to try the 8.4-grain Exact pellet, too.


  30. Volvo

    "At February 28, 2010 2:34 AM, Anonymous said…

    I have a couple questions that will probably sound stupid to most of you. It has been about 40yrs since I owned an airgun, about a month ago I bought a 2240. I know it is rated at 460fps but at what max distance can I really expect penetration on a tin can with 15gr pellets? Would moving up to Gamo TS-22 pellets be better, their ad states an increase of 20% velocity and impact. I want impact at a distance. I'm retired military but wife will not allow any "real" handguns in the house. I sorta manipulated her into this now I want power without her noticing.

    At February 28, 2010 3:50 AM, Anonymous said…

    Okay the last post was mine also. I normally plink at about 25ft, but I was wondering, if I shot from the back of my house approx. 125ft. with my 2240 stock would I have to arch the shot to hit the target? Probably would not penetrate anything but paper right? Sorry must be annoying to most of you out there. Also I plan to purchase a IZH Drozd pistol any thoughts on this airgun?

    At March 01, 2010 7:21 PM, Blogger rikib said…

    adding to last post. Not ready to make big investment yet. I know there are better guns out there but very expensive on my budget. for a hobby, I don't shot animals only targets and cans."

    Volvo: I am reasonably certain this is the same person.

    Also me and the cockapoo have been trading emails and we have reached the conclusion that indeed, salesmen need to ABC. Also the first shower didn't take.

    My fiance likes to turn the thermostat down at night, when she's under the electric blanket. So its 60 degrees when I get home from work.

  31. Volvo

    In business school, I was told more than once that a good salesman with the right opportunity writes his own paychecks. I have a feeling you fit into this category. Good times are comin' round the bend.

    Personally, I couldn't sell ice-water in hell, even if I had a monopoly.

  32. Slinging Lead,

    Okay, thanks, got it.

    I guess I don’t feel so bad about my lag time now.

    Yellow, red and blue. Sorry about that, but I was just answering a question from 1968 about the colors I used to make my tie dyed shirt.

    Looks like the challenge is if the dude really wants to shoot at 40 plus yards, a rifle is the best answer as you suggest. Assuming he likes CO2 and .22 cal since that is what his pistol is, I would go with a QB78 or a Crosman 2260.

    However, it would not hurt to have a little more info.

    Slinging – I have a really hard time deciding what “voice” to use when reading your writing. Just when I think I have it figured out…By the way the cockapoo enjoys a good roll in rabbit poo, so take his smell feedback with a grain of salt.

    P.S. I had an uncle that wrote his own checks and made his own money, but he ended up doing 7-10 for that. : )


  33. good god b.b.!!
    You had a Giuletta??
    I remember in jr high…I would have been about 14…my love affair with Alfa's started. In the school library was a book (the name of which is long forgetten) about a school teacher who was a little old lady who had a Giuletta that she slalomed on weekends.
    That book, along with 'Dirt Track Summer' (a true classic in the mid 60's) started my love affair with automobiles.
    Along with the Alfa I've owned a number of rally prepped Volvo 142's and a Lotus Cortina (which went like stink until it rained…at which point the electrics just…stopped).
    But now I is a minivan kinda guy.
    About a month ago a staff member who knew I used to be into cars came into my office and told me I just had to see the car in the parking lot.
    Turned out to be a brand new Lotus Elise…something that would have had me salivating 10 years ago.
    Instead I looked at it and my first thought was…"but there's no room to put a rifle anywhere".
    How life changes!!
    CowBoyStar Dad

  34. Volvo

    When trying to decide what voice to use when reading my writing, please believe it never comes from malice or negativity. Only my meager attempts at humor or gentle teasing. Mostly I try to give whatever help I can offer. I enjoy posting to this blog, but will try to keep my posts more on-point from now on.

    I am sorry if I have said anything to offend you. I have always valued your input to the blog.

  35. BB,
    That is a neat find. I'm with the others (Mike, Volvo, etc.) on survival gun/storage case. That case looks a lot like something my dad would have built "just because" back in those days, even down to the brown paint. Nor would the grease in the barrel wouldn't have been a reach for him — if it moved, it got grease through the fitting; if it didn't move, it got grease on it:).

  36. Thanks, Slinging Lead and Volvo for the welcome to this blog with your post on March 2 @ 2:17pm. Sorry I'm a newcomer to all this I did try to say my post were from me although listed as anonymous. I have a name now didn't at the time, sorry. I guess newcomers with a lot of questions are not welcome here. I'll find somewhere more welcoming to newcomers.

  37. CBSD – Lotus Cortina, eh? With Lucas electrics, no doubt – you remember Lucas, don't you? The Prince of Darkness (quite literally)???

    Why do the British drink warm beer?

    In a slightly related vein, I used to be into those old Ford (Mercury) Capri's – pre '78, mostly Mk I's, but a few Mk II's. Certainly related, mechanically, to the old Cortina. Time-trialed the 2.0 and 2.8 versions, and road-raced a 2.0 for a few years with EMRA. My second date with my now-wife was a trip out to Bridgehampton to retrieve the car I rolled the weekend before.

    My street 2.8 used to make usable power to about 7500 and had a nitrous kit on it. Blew up clutches with ANNOYING regularity.

    Now… let's start talking about the MIDLIFE crisis I feel comin' on…


  38. rikib,

    I'm sorry if you're offended by Slinging Lead's comments. This blog, above all chat places, is known for being friendly and not tolerant of offensive behavior. We welcome all questions and strive to answer everyone in a tone that's friendly & encouraging.

    Can you direct me to the comments that are offensive to you?

    I'm B.B.'s wife & my request is genuine. I look forward to your reply.


  39. Slinging lead,

    First and foremost, please relax. You have in no way offended me. Please allow me to clarify my confusion. By “voice” I meant your persona or image. Right or wrong, I picture Bg farmer as a gentle giant in overalls, Kevin must look like Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark and so on. I build these images and corresponding voices from what they write, once again – right or wrong. But I just can’t seem to get a picture for you that remain the same.
    As far as keeping posts point on, nix that idea as it is ever so boring.

  40. CSD,

    When I saw the movie Grand Prix (six times in Cinerama) my poor Alfa's engine almost came apart from revving! I still have the gearshift knob.

    When I sold the car, the buyer never registered it, did something VERY BAD for which I was arrested and the charges dropped before I was transported. I visited my abandoned Giulietta on a side street in Santa Cruz, but the engine was blown and I had no money to do anything about it.

    But I still have the wooden enameled gearshift knob, so they can't take that away.


  41. Rikib,you must not have noticed the long thoughtful and comprehensive answer that SlingingLead posted to you today.I don't know what made you feel unwelcome.The more questions you ask,the better we can and always do answer them.You wouldn't believe how helpful and welcoming this blog is.You clearly have the wrong impression. Frank B

  42. rikib,

    I hope you are still here. I don't know what all this is about, but you are welcome to ask anything at any time. And you don't have to identify yourself, if you don't want to.

    If he is not still here, this is one of the few times a person has been driven away from this blog. The other time I did it and I was happy they went. That was years ago and they were spoiling for a fight. This guy just has a lot of questions, which is what this blog is here for.

    Let's all adjust our sensitivity for the newcomers who want to find some answers.


  43. Edith,I think it was a weird coincidense.Rikib must not have read the answer{well written}adressed to him.He must have read where SlingingLead later answered Volvo's post asking what question[s] he was answering.Then he assumed he was being mocked,because he never saw the great answer that was posted first.I hope he reads this,it must be what happened…..

  44. BB, you say in your Hammerli 490 review that it didn't take "trick" pellets. I am the one whose mother doesn't like lead. Would any Skenco's (plastic saboted pellet) or Heavy Skenco's work? Thanks


  45. BB, it's a sad situation,because in my opinion SlingingLead truly went above and beyond at every turn.I hope he wasn't typing with one digit like I have to!!!!

  46. BB,I have a FWB 150 that never saw club use.The stock has several moderately deep impressions and the buttpad has gone way south…from a collector standpoint should I deal with these issues,or leave them alone??

  47. BB,

    In responce to HK's question – do you know anything about H&N's .177 Field Target Trophy Green pellets? They are listed as 5.56 grains, but are out of stock right now at PA. At that weight I'm guessing they must be an alloy.???

    David H.

  48. Like others here my first thought was that this gun was meant for survival. I've seen several stories on using such a gun to quietly put meat on the table when times are bad.

  49. Slinging Lead,

    Great job trying to help rikib. I only hope he will return and read your lengthy, well thought out reply that addressed his questions.

    Your response to him on this blog at 12:45PM was spot on.


  50. For what it's worth, I've never felt more undeservedly welcome anywhere, than on this blog. It never ceases to amaze me that all you guys (and gals: Jane & Edith!) with years and years of experience, at the highest echelons of this sport and hobby, uncomplainingly put up with rank greenhorns like me. Rikib, you've got it wrong– stick around and you'll see.

    Volvo, ahem, what voice do you have for me… dare I ask?!


  51. Yes Frank B., I did feel that I was being mocked by SlingingLead and Volvo for my on going questions. I'm new to this, enjoying my 4 week old 2240 and already looking to purchase another more powerful gun. Some questions may sound really stupid to those who have been around along time, but I can only ask them as they come to mind and after I have read other reviews, I look for the expertise here. I'll stick around for now and try to take responses with a grain of salt as they say. Sorry to all for my over reaction.

  52. Glad you are back!Total misunderstanding!!!!!!!!Check just after noon today,the guy you thought was mocking you was the guy who wrote a whole book answer! Welcome….. Frank B

  53. The best way to post ANY question is on the current day's blog.You didn't have any way of knowing this,but only a few volunteers are able to see new posts to old blogs.SlingingLead was the VOLUNTEER who was retyping all your questions where the group could see them,so we could answer them!Just an honest misunderstanding……Frank B

  54. Rikib, that sort of misunderstanding happens… and it's generally very easy to assume the worst. But please be patient with us. Most of us are very well acquainted with the taste of our own feet, so if we say something that sounds like a put-down it probably was just, er, badly worded.

    Go ahead and ask all the questions you want. Please. Makes us feel good. Gives some of us the chance to pretend we know something! On many other forums basic questions might be answered with a snooty "Use the search function!!!". But not here. We always encourage your comments on the latest blog.

  55. rikib,


    You may have been away from airguns for awhile (40 years?!) but you're asking great questions.

    Your fortunate to have up to 125 feet to shoot.

    Your 2240 should be a lot of fun and have decent enough accuracy for the 25 feet you usually shoot. Hope you're using pellgunoil on every new CO2 cartridge. It will extend the life of your gun. Have you mounted a scope on your 2240?

    Not knowing the temperature you shoot at (CO2 is temperature sensitive and has a direct affect on velocity) it's tough to know what fps your gun is actually shooting and therefor tough to answer the question about penetration of tin cans at longer distances. I doubt the gun is doing 460 fps with the 15 grain pellets you're shooting.

    Specs from manufacturers are usually inflated and IF they're correct they used very lightweight pellets in order to boast about velocity. Unfortunately, lightweight pellets are seldom accurate. They shoot all over the place. Wouldn't hurt to try a little lighter weight pellet like the crosman premiers in a cardboard box.

    I second what Slinging Lead said in his answer today at 12:45PM and vote for a rifle at your longer distances. The new bronco he recommended sounds like a winner but the other guns he recommended are great guns for the money.

    Looking forward to hearing about your progress. Keep asking these great questions since this is how we learn. No one, including B.B. has all the answers.


  56. Does anybody know where I can rent an RWS 48 or 52 for a week or two? I just want to get a feel for shooting with recoil as opposed to none with my 54, with essentially the same gun. I just don't know what I'm missing. I want to know that I have really mastered the artillery hold, which is something I cannot really determine with my 54.


  57. Thank you all for your kind comments back. As for a "voice", persona, I'm 6'1" 200lb disabled veteran 50+yrs. I have about 200 ft clear from my backporch to railroad tracks. Right now I walk off about 8-10 paces to fire my 2240 at paper targets mounted on old sofa cushion or soda/beer cans hanging from tree branch. I don't hunt although there is a lot of game around here, my wife an I are serious animal protectors (nothing against anyone out there). Today I was looking at the Avenger 1100 and the Mendoza RM-2800 on the net, anyone got any thoughts? Thanks and sorry again about the misunderstanding.

  58. Rikib,I have a good idea that will conform to the criteria you have laid forth,money,wife's radar,distance…You really need to visit the Crosman website "custom shop".You see,unique to the Co2 gun,barrel length equalls additional velocity.A longer barrel gives a longer sight radius…for more aiming precision at 125Ft.The longest barrel on your 2240 will solve most of it,and be quieter and you can sell that to mrs.______!If you opt for a steel breach,you will get a solid scope mount and barrel mount on the gun….add a carbine shoulder stock and your shot groupings will really tighten up.That ought to really make you smile for less than 150$ Frank B

  59. Rikib,By the way….don't count out that 2240,it will hit the bottom of a soda can at 25 yards[facing you,]10 times out of ten!!!Warm weather speeds up Co2 guns,space your shots about 15-20 seconds apart.Each shot produces a little cooling in the valve and can rob velocity.That will cause the shots to hit at different heights.Let us know what you decide.We get excited anytime someone gets something new.

  60. Rikib,

    Welcome. We are always happy to have new blood here and the more questions the better. Springer’s are very satisfying to shoot, but do require anywhere from light to high exertion for every shot. If you open the specifications for the Mendoza you will see every shot needs a 48 lb effort. That is on the high side for plinking and targets. Just something to consider.

    By the way, thanks for the visual clues, but it did remind me that I need to loose weight.: (

    I am still working on your profile and the image is a little foggy. But my early vision has you on an above average height frame with little excess fat. For the time being I also add in dark hair and a mustache.

    Perhaps on B.B.’s next facebook excursion we could try and match faces with names as a game? Certainly something more than asking questions which we do every day, winning gift certificates would also be a plus.

    No one rents rifles that I know of, but if you just want to try something with recoil there are a bunch of choices. What’s really great is airguns can be bought and sold so easily with minimal expense. In time you can have shot just about all of them and made some great friends at the UPS store.

  61. Rikib,

    While I do agree with Frank B., I suggest you take his advice but but flip the order. The biggest bang for the buck in terms of improving your accuracy (and flexibility) is the 1399 shoulder stock. Get that first for only about $25 and then you can easily convert from pistol to carbine rifle (and back as the mood hits you) and then decide what you want to do next. I have one that I use with my 1322 and I just love it – but it is a pistol right now for indoor winter target practice. I find I use the stock a lot in the summer time outdoors plinking. Here is the link from PA:


    Once you have some experience with this, you can always go the custom parts route, but you may find that once you have your 2-in-1 carbine/pistol that something like the easy shooting Bronco is a good next step (I don't have one, but I wish I did!).

    Welcome, and I sincerely thank you for you service to our country.

    Alan in MI

  62. Thanks Frank B, what do you recommend for quality ammo.? What ammo. should penetrate or at least embbed in 3/4" particle board at 20-25', with my gun I purchased Gamo Magnum spire points but they just bounced back at me (not fun). I prefer not to use a shoulder stock as I have long arms, always had problems adjusting in military with rifles, pistols always seemed my game. Thanks for your consideration.

  63. I can't in good conscience tell you about hypothetical penetration of one pellet over another until we discuss safety and making a safer target.What if the ricochets are because your particular 2240 isn't shooting up to par?With household stuff you can adjust your backstop to be much safer….can you get a couple boxes worth of cardboard,or an old blanket?We're looking for something to get between you and that partical board,because it clearly isn't working safely alone!

  64. rikib,

    Before you get a more powerful rifle (or in the interim), you might also consider different reactive targets. The Beeman silhouette animals, for example, are a lot of fun for me. The ram goes to 45 yards, I think, for rifle (reduced for pistol) and doesn't take much power to send flying. For fun you can use whatever range you want. At one point I enjoyed trying to hit the chicken at 50 yards, every once in a while:).

  65. Rikib,

    Hey, nice gun choice! I've got 4 or 5 2240-type Crosman guns.
    A longer barrel will equate to higher velocity in a CO2 gun. With the 2240,
    barrel changes are simple and can get you another 50+ fps easy to flatten the trajectory.
    Crosman sells longer barrels directly in the $14 or $15 range.

    Crosman also offers a
    steel breech kit for around $35 that adds rigidity and lets you mount optics on the machined dovetails.

    Ck Crosman's website for the breech. You'll need to call their customer service if you want a longer barrel.

    If the Gamo Mag. pellets bounced back, it may just be that you need a much more powerful gun to do the job.
    I'm not sure that any of my CO2 pistols could penetrate completely through a 3/4 inch particle board.

    As far as pellet choices, most tend to use wadcutters like the H&N to punch clean holes in paper and domed
    heads for distance.



    Of the 2 rifles you mentioned, the Avenger is much easier to cock. Take a look at the specs on the rifles
    and look at cocking effort. Higher numbers usually mean that you won't fire the gun as much.
    The Mendoza is listed at 48 pounds of force. That's high by spring gun standards and you'll
    know you're doing some work after 30 shots. .177 cal will give you a higher velocity and therefore a
    flatter trajectory compared to a .22 cal from the same rifle and may be more fitting for banging those targets at distance.
    Less hold over/under if you know what I mean.

    If I was looking around the $200 range, this would also
    make my short list:


  66. I already considered safety. I used the particle board the first day I got my 2240. Realizing it would not penetrate it (maybe it was the angle) I started using an old 4" sofa cushion as my backstop. I was just wondering if spire points are too soft? What about pointed, domed, hollow point and wad cutters. As I said earlier I am new to this and I am only shooting cans (sometimes plastic bottles) and paper targets (would like to penetrate plywood but not a necessity). On another note I want to buy a steel breech, I am rt. handed and would prefer the cocking (I think that is what you would call it) mechanism to be on the left vs. right, so I don't have to reach over the gun each time I want to load a pellet. By the way someone mentioned earlier that CO2 operates better at higher temps, is that true? Hope so, I live in SW Georgia so maybe I'll get even more power out off my 2240 as the months go by.

  67. after a lot reading here and reviews of airguns I think I have what I need for the time. I am enjoying my 2240, to start with mods I am thinking of going with crosman's 14.6" barrel. Is this an easy swap out or do I need special tools. I thank you all for putting up with all my questions. I think it is best that I work more with what I have (about 4wks) before buying another gun. I really like all the info on this blog. Just a reminder is the barrel swap out fairly easy, that was my real question.

  68. Rikib,

    Crosman doesn't make a 2240 steel breech that has the cocking bolt on the other side, but there are 3rd parties that do. The Airgun Artisans website lists some makers under "Aftermarket Breeches".


    I own a 2300KT (the Crosman custom shop version of the 2240) with a 14.6" barrel and I remember pellets sticking into 1/2" weathered plywood with domed pellets at 60 feet. Wadcutters would have the most tendency to bounce off.

    CO2 does provide more power at higher temperatures within reason. You can get something called valve lock if the temperature gets too high. See the following article by BB for more info on valve lock.


    Welcome and have fun!


  69. Thanks A.R. Tinkerer., I'll check it out.
    yeah awake all night, dogs (4)being annoying. If I camber a pellet and leave it there cocked, ready to fire overnite does it harm the pistol or empty the CO2? Okay I'll go to sleep now almost 4am. NO I'm not going to shoot at the dogs.

  70. Rikib,

    Yah, our dogs sometimes wake us up in the middle of the night. We're out in the country so it is generally deer, fox, coyotes, racoon or 'possum (or another dog). I always check though. One time it was a black bear!

    The barrel change is fairly simple. Here is a website with some disassembly instructions.


    More information is also in the blog comments here.


    Leaving the gun cocked won't make it leak, but it might weaken the hammer spring. Of course it also is a potential accident. Even without a pellet, the rapid release of CO2 from the "dry" fire could be harmful if pointed in the wrong direction.


  71. A note on survivalist theory for airguns in the 70s – 80s. One of the reasons for recommending a .177 and the FWB124 in particular is that you could get a lot of pellets for very little money then. I got 5000 silver jets, and can barely bring myself to shoot a single one now. Though now long since unavailable they are, as far as I'm concerned, the premier pellet for the 124. At any rate, the survivalist idea for owning one was partly for harvesting small game, but also because (as many of you know) it takes about 5000 – 10000 shots to become a reasonably good shot. This rifle was accurate enough to provide the feedback a beginning-through-expert apprentice shooter needs, and, given how cheap the ammo was, it could have been used in a social-collapse situation as the way to train other family shooters without using up high-power ammo that you would really need for big game and self-defense.

  72. Simon,

    Your comment suggests a test of accuracy. I have some Silver Jets that I will test for accuracy against some Crosman premiers and perhaps some JSB Exacts.

    I find the Silver Jets to be wonderful 1970s-era pellets, but I don't think they can stand up to Premiers in a 124.

    Anyway, we shall see.


  73. B.B.,

    If you're planning an accuracy test in that fine FWB 124 don't overlook Beeman FTS pellets.

    They were the most accurate pellets in all 3 of my guns.


  74. Kevin,
    WOW! That's some shooting! Oh, crap, where did I put my credit card? Beep boop beep – beep bop beep – boop beep beep bop. Hello, PA Customer Service…? What? No FWB 124s? When will you be getting them in…? When Hell does what?


  75. Owned a 124 Bought new in 79,Owned many different rifles(air)since now can win my heart from the fwb124.Passed rifle down,my friends ask often remember that air rifle you had with peep sights? I'll never see mine again.got sold

  76. Thank you all for such interesting reading and information. I have a FWB 124 which is quite old because I inherited it and a lot of other armament from my foster dad when he died. He would have gotten this one from Beeman's in maybe 1968 or thereabouts. It's been in my safe a long time and looks just like new, but it doesn't look like the ones in your pictures. Slightly older model, I think. Anyhow, I'm oiling it up very carefully and am going to start shooting it again. It's beautiful.
    –John Lathrop

  77. John,
    Please join us at:


    This is the newer and always current address for this blog.

    We will be interested in your opinions of the FWB.

    Do not be afraid of being off topic with any questions or info on your FWB.


  78. John Lathrop,

    Your FWB 124 may not look like the one in the pictures because you have a plainer stock? This is a common version called the "sporter stock" and the one in the pictures has a deluxe stock. Guns have the same actions.

    The series on the FWB 124 has now grown to 14 parts. Each one has interesting info. The most important being that the FWB 124 was made with a synthetic seal that deteriorated quickly. I'm guessing that since your gun has been sitting so long without being shot that your seal is a crumbling mess. If you read this series of articles you will learn what part I'm talking about, how to remove it, where to source new parts, where to source the proper lubes for installation (do not use oil), etc.

    You'll need to copy and paste this link in your browser. The link takes you to part 14 but by clicking on the parts 1-13 listed at the top you can read them in order:



  79. just obtained one of these guns as it was giving to me in non working condition.I got all the tune up parts from Jim m.Only problem is nw that i have teken it down i have noticed the trigger is cracked and am wanting to know where i can get the replacement for it? Any help greatly appreciated, Thanks Darrell

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