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Education / Training A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 3

A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

My enshrined 124.

Before we start, I have an announcement. I’ll be on Facebook answering questions again on April 8th at 8 p.m., Eastern. The last time was during the work day, which may have been inconvenient for many people, so we’re giving this time slot a try. Please join me if you’re able. I’ll be answering airgun questions on Facebook on this Pyramyd AIR Facebook page. To see the discussion and ask questions, you must have a free Facebook account.

Today, I’ll start the tuneup on this rifle, and I have some very interesting things to show you. I’ll get through the disassembly in this installment, and in the next part I’ll tune the rifle.

I purchased a Maccari Mongoose tune kit that includes the mainspring and seal. I also bought a new breech seal to replace the new one in the box that had hardened over the years. Finally, I bought some of Jim’s Heavy Tar and his moly grease, because I’m getting low on those supplies.

This is the kit and lubes.

Step one in disassembly is to remove the action from the stock. That’s two forearm screws and the front triggerguard screw. The moment the action was out, I saw clear evidence that this rifle had received some kind of tuneup in the past. I could see that the mainspring was coated with black tar, a product they didn’t even know about in the 1970s when this rifle was new. For a few minutes, I thought maybe I had done it and had forgotten I did, but as the gun came apart I saw proof that I had never been inside.

Once the action is out of the stock, it goes into the mainspring compressor. Blog reader Vince said that he doesn’t use a compressor, but the 124 is one of those rifles that really needs it. And here’s a big tip. When you adjust the compressor to receive the rifle, leave a lot of adjustment room on the screw that backs off the spring tension. You really need the room there.

The single bolt in front of the trigger blade holds the 124 action together.

Leave lots of room for the mainspring to back up.

I use a heavy cardboard pusher to avoid damaging the rifle’s finish.

The trigger assembly and safety slide came out without a problem, as did the mainspring. It was in very good condition; but I’ve purchased a replacement whose pedigree I know for certain, so I’ll replace it anyway.

With the tension off the mainspring, the trigger unit moved almost two inches back. It will need an extra inche to install the new spring.

The trigger unit contains the mainspring guide. The old spring is in pretty good shape. That’s the assembly bolt that held the rifle together.

Before the piston will come out, it must be disconnected from the cocking link. For that to happen, the barrel has to come off the action fork. When I pulled off the barrel, I saw no evidence of moly grease on the sides of the baseblock or on the pivot bolt. They were lubricated with a light machine oil. That’s a clear indication that I’ve never been inside this airgun.

The cocking link fits into the cocking shoe that is held captive inside the piston until the barrel is disconnected from the spring tube.

The pivot bolt is the large screw on the right. Take it out and the baseblock separates from the action fork.

With the barrel off, it’s possible to slide the cocking link far enough to the rear of the cocking slot that the FWB cocking shoe can be removed. There’s a widened spot in the cocking slot just for this.

Now the spring tube is disconnected from the barrel and the piston slides out easily. When I saw this one, I knew the seal was gone. Just look at the picture!

A classic case of a disintegrated piston seal, with the new one for comparison. This happens to FWBs, Walthers and Diana recoilless guns made during the 1970s.

Usually, I can pop out an old 124 seal in a few seconds. This one took an hour. Although the top part had disintegrated, the bottom was still fresh and strong and fought me at every point. I finally had to cut it into four sections to pry one of them out.

Took me an hour to cut the old seal up. Hardest replacement I’ve ever encountered.

This is the action fork I mentioned earlier.

Okay, with that much disintegration of the seal, there will be lots of seal parts inside the compression chamber, as indeed there were. Use something sharp and pointy to dig them out of the corners, where they will have impacted over time. I used a patch extractor on the ramrod of my Thompson/Center Hawken. Then, I wrapped paper towels around the end of the rod and soaked them in denatured alcohol to clean the compression chamber. There was no moly there–another indicator that I have never been inside this rifle. Clean until all the seal particles are out and the compression chamber sparkles.

All the oil needs to be cleaned off the baseblock and the action forks. They’ll get a coat of moly grease when they go back together. The pivot bolt will also get a coat of moly, but I’ll describe all that in detail when I tune the rifle.

That’s as far as I will go today.

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.

129 thoughts on “A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 3”

  1. BB,
    Thank you for all of these fine reports. I've become an avid reader and I really enjoy the community that has been built around this blog.

    I'm hoping that someone can help me with some data on my Remington Summit .22.

    I've done my best to sight in and learn the artillery hold.

    I don't have access to a chrony so my ballistics data is just guesswork. The box claims 950 fps nonlead and 800 fps lead. I'm assuming that will translate to 700-750 fps with Crosman 14.3 grain Premiers. Can anyone help with this?


  2. The Canadian Field Target Nationals are being held July 10 & 11 at the Pt. Colborne & District Conservation Club in Ontario. If you're interested in shooting, check out this article. Here's the sponsoring club's website. Once there, click on the link for "Shooting Sports" & follow the link for 2010 match schedule. Contact info is also given on the "Shooting Sports" web page.


  3. Bill,

    I have the Crosman Sierra Pro which I think is the same rifle as the Summit. My .177 caliber was advertised at 1000 fps and the chrony consistantly shows low 900's using JSB Exacts which are of similar weight as you mentioned. What I found most important is consistancy of the readings over time to the point that I only chrony it seldomly. I have put more than 2500 shots through it and has become very smooth and surprisingly accurate. I use it for plinking but always seems to be my go-to gun for squirrel control. The only problem is that it is very hold sensitive as most springers are. My technique has been the artillary hold ending with a completely relaxed hold and a slow exhale right before sqweezing the trigger, I mean this gun just floats in my hands when I fire it. Accurracy has been very consistant at 30-35 yards and yes, I have never cleaned the barrel as of yet. Hope this helps.


  4. Morning B.B.,

    Nice looking spring compressor. I've been looking at your cut up seal and cann't figure out how you cut it into those four pieces–please, how did you do it?


    Mr B.

  5. Mr. B.,

    I used the thick Tanto blade of a Gerber multi-tool. I sharpened the blade on my Warthog and it sliced through the material well, though it took a long time.

    As strong as the blade is, I was able to use it to pry, though I used screwdrivers mostly.


  6. BB

    The bluing appears flawless. In the last photo, I notice the mirror finish on the inside of the action fork. No faults in any of the other photos either. I am hoping there is no photoshop trickery involved.

    I wish I could come to the Little Rock show and see it in person, and meet that handsome devil Tom Gaylord. Its only an 11 hour drive…

    WV: gollys

  7. BB – Based on my limited experience with the FWB 124, I would bet that a little Pellgunoil sprinkled on that seal would have caused it to disintigrate into tiny pieces 🙂

    AlanL – About shooting the "wrong" pellet in a springer, the best philosophy I've heard is that you're going to have to replace the spring eventually. Dry fires and pellets that aren't exactly right just mean that you may have to replace the spring a little sooner. Shoot what you like and don't worry too much about it.

  8. B.B.,

    Considering the flawless condition of the exterior of that gun I'm shocked to hear that someone had been inside.

    Looks like close to 100% deterioration of the seal. Any galling in the compression chamber?

    This is another strong case for the ownership of a chrony, even for springer only guys.


  9. Slinging Lead,

    Well, I drive to Roanoke, Virginia every year, and that's a 16-hour drive. So come to the Arkansas show!

    Yes there is a tiny flaw on the top of the spring cylinder. It must have come from a bump, and I don't know whether I did it or it was always there. Other than that, no marks of any kind that I can see.

    None of the photos were Photoshopped. I only do that with targets. ; )


  10. Kevin,

    The compression chamber seems to be pristine. We will see the results when I chronograph it tomorrow.

    I was shocked to find the rifle had been opened. It's like discovering that the virginal girl next door who you always had a crush on had two illegitimate children by the time she was 14. I had never even had the stock off that I can recall, so this came as a complete surprise.

    I don't feel so bad about what I am doing anymore, though.


  11. B.B.,

    Having trouble typing. LOL!

    Your analogies always seem to hit the bullseye. That's 134 for 134 and counting.

    Your pristine FWB 124 would have more value to me with recently installed macarri parts. Even though I wouldn't shoot it often I would still want the option to know it could be shot without any internal damage.


  12. Kevin, B.B,

    What is so special about a Feinwerkbau 124 that all you guys go on and on about it, and even fixed and retuned you don't want to shoot it much? Is she that delicate? It sounds like B.B.'s quasi virgin next door being put on a pedestal to stare at, when what she really wants is to be hardly used (pun thoroughly intended.)


  13. AlanL,

    She doesn't want to be hardly used. She wants to be used hard.

    The reason this one is on the pedestal is because of the pristine condition.

    By the way, Alan, THIS is the spring rifle YOU are waiting for. You just don't know it yet.

    The 124 with a good tune is the spring gun of your dreams.


  14. AlanL,

    I've owned 3 FWB 124's. Only one was in a condition close to B.B.'s and because of its' near 98% condition I didn't shoot it much. Trying to preserve pristine collectible condition.

    The other two got shot. A LOT.

    Rare to find an FWB 124 in 98+% condition since they are such fun guns to shoot and therefor got shot a lot with rare exception. In their day they were considered the pinnacle of a magnum springer and got used for hunting in the field as well. These weren't just plinkers that were babied.


  15. They are very nice. The one I have was my Dad's. He only shot it from time to time to get rid of unwanted pests. It's about 98% plus and has never been opened. It still works, BB said to shoot it as long as it does. So, I'll keep a note on the parts needed for a tune for when the time comes. I would probably have someone else tune it since I don't have a spring press and have not tuned a springer before. It's been my "Go To Gun" for Squirrels in the bird feeder.



  16. B.B,

    "Hardly used"– yes, that is what I meant exactly! 😉


    Gotcha. Hmmm, let's see if I can pick one up some day. I'm getting ever more tempted by Arkansas, but my wife frowns on road trips without the family along, but it's school time…


  17. Mr. B, Volvo,

    Thanks for the advice about Wonder Blue. The spot on the end of the muzzle is small, but yes, lamentably it did affect the crowning. I feel like kicking myself every time I think about it. I'm going to try at least restoring the blueing but the scrape will have to stay forever.


    I could not find that Wonder Blue kit on PA's site. May I ask where you bought it?


    B.B. twice used acetone to degrease despite your warning that it leaves a film behind. He didn't say whether he used the diluted commercial kind, or even nail polish remover. I had intended to use chemically pure acetone that my wife can get at the microbiology clinic. But if you advise against this, then I will try Koinsolv, which I know from experience is a superb degreaser, harmless to finishes, but expensive.

    See: http://www.vcoins.com/us/kointainer/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=545


  18. If you take care of it there is no reason not to use it IMHO. Yes collectible but there are lots of them around in excellent condition – I have found. I just might be lucky and have a bunch around me however. I tuned 7 different 124-7's so far and I have used the Mongoose and Old School kit as well as 3 other versions of JM's 124 kits. Some have short top hats with a spacer in front that help the spring rotate as well as the rear spacer in steel that goes on the guide. I like the Standard OS kit but prefer the accuglide or super kits a little more but they run up to $100 or slightly less when or if JM decides to builds them. They usually go in short order from the Todays Specials in less than an hour however. I also have the new Everest Mag. kit for the 127 but Have not had time to put it in yet. Next rebuild I will.

    KevinTK (different Kevin)

  19. AlanL,

    First of all, it's Blue Wonder–not Wonder Blue. Buy it at any good gun store. Or online.

    Don't use acetone to degrease. Follow the Blue Wonder directions to the letter. My .17 HM2 barrel still looks wonderful.

    By all means come to the Arkansas show. I will have the 124 there and you may be able to shoot it. For certain you can cock it.


  20. I almost super-skimmed this post because I don't have a 124 nor do I ever expect to get one (yeah, heard that before). But I didn't. I read it with interest and came away with an inkling of how to dissemble a springer. My greatest fear is ending up with a $500 pile of metal and plastic I can't get back together. Each one of these kinds of posts leaves me with just a little bit more confidence that, yes, just maybe, I can do it.

    Thanks for the article BB.


  21. BB and Others – What do you think of the 17 Mach 2 as a shooter? I just picked up a cheap marlin 917 Mach 2. I probably won't have a chance to shoot it until this weeekend. I don't have a 17hmr, but I've got a couple 22lr's. and the mach 2 seemed like a natural step up, and has some potential as a small game hunter. (Where I would consider the 17hmr only a varminter) The thing I read that made it most appealing to me, is that you can sight it in at 100 yds and it shoots flat enough that you are pretty much right on at distances in between. I think the specs say a .7 rise at 50yds when zeroed at 100. Has that been your experience? Also, how does it do in the wind? Scope reccomendations?

    Thanks once agian for your time and experience!


  22. Mike with the FWB 124,
    Not to be an alarmist, but I think you should get the rebuild parts you need now while they're still readily available. We're very fortunate that Maccari has made the effort to build and sell this kind of stuff. If he closes up shop tomorrow, or gets hit by the proverbial bus, we're collectively in big trouble.

  23. Aaron,

    I pay no attention to published ballistics. I always check the actually ballistics of my rifles/.

    I have a .17 HM2 that a friend built for me. We have shot 0.18" five shot groups with his at 50 yards. Mine having peep sight has done 3/4" groups.

    I like it much better than the hotter .17 HMR. I think it is the cartridge worth having, over the HMR.


  24. Chuck, I might suggest that some of the worse things you can do with a springer are (in no particular order):

    a) force something when you're not sure it oughta be forced

    b) throw up your hands and quit without asking for help

    c) not pay attention (or better yet, not take pictures!) as you're pulling the gun apart.

    d) don't clean the parts adequately

    e) overlube

    f) starting the job without having the foggiest notion of how the gun comes apart.

    Most of these things are pretty easy to avoid. Sometimes that last thing can't be helped if you're working on something oddball. But for the vast majority of guns you'll be able to find something on them.

  25. B.B.

    Feinwerkbau/Oberndorf eh? I believe that Oberndorf is where they polished up the 98 Mausers to a high level of quality so that's quite a pedigree.

    I'm also collecting uses for the tanto blade design that is supposed to be so popular. It's sold as a combat design, based on its history, so that's not really relevant to me. Looking into the tanto as a samurai design, I see that it was optimized for thrusting, the preferred combat technique favored by the Roman Gladius (and combat daggers generally). The tanto design actually allows the blade to remain very thick right up to the tip to facilitate punching through armor–also useless in my case. However, the strong tip does make it useful for prying things as you did. That would leave a Gerber Mark II with a broken tip. I haven't found anyone who gives a rationale for the secondary point. Even the samurai sharpener advises grinding it off to get a continuous cutting edge, and one source claims that it is a latter day affectation–not something from the original design. I've found the secondary point very useful as a box cutter. As for the Gerber Mark II, beautiful and historical it may be, but there doesn't appear to be any use for it besides ripping things open–other than watching Spartacus with it.

    Here's a quiz question. Does anyone know a use for the clip point on the ubiquitous Bowie knife design? Why not keep the top edge straight like a traditional spearpoint (Cold Steel Bushman!) design for a stronger tip? The only answer I've found is that the clip point enabled a combat technique known as "backcutting" where you could do a rapid reverse cut without turning the knife over. It has some antecedents in medieval swordfighting in techniques of the using the "short" (inside) edge of the blade. However, this advanced combat technique is not something that is used now or even taught, and most Bowie knives that I've seen do not even sharpen the clip point.

    AlanL, your wife's question about why do you need more than one gun is something I've heard from my Mom. My reply that I've worked up is to ask her why she needs more than one recipe. She loves to cook. Let us know how your wife likes the air pistol. Interesting that she would like it since a pistol is intrinsically more difficult to shoot and potentially more dangerous than a rifle.

    Chuck, I've also had nightmares about disassembling guns or cars and helicopters, for that matter, and not being able to put them back together again. But in the case of springers, I'm sure you could send everything to Mike Melick or Rich Imhoff, and they could put it back together again. So experiment away. Just make sure that you keep track of all the parts.


  26. BB,

    I'm with Chuck on this post. The subject is marginally interesting, (personally). That is to say that I really never had an interest in doing the stuff you talk about here to a springer, let alone an old one that apparently is something that I will probably never run into. Until you start reading the comments and the shared knowledge and experience. And then BAM! you go and post up a link on how to tune a springer!! Now I'm thinkin'…

    You definitely gave me something to read over with that 13 part link. Thanks.


  27. Bill,

    I have a similar gun (Quest 800), and the biggest lesson I have learned from my chrony is that you can't acurately predict muzzle velocity for a pellet based on weight alone. The muzzle energy varies for every type of pellet, primarily baed on fit to the bore. Consider the following data I have got with mine, all for Crosman 14.3 grain pellets:

    Premier 14.3g – 696 fps
    Pointed 14.3g – 660 fps
    Hollowpoint 14.3g – 713 fps

    That is a range of 13.8 – 16.1 ft lbs.

    So I think the forecast of around 700 is about right, but you won't know unless you find a way to truly check it. The fit to the bore matters so much. For example, I found with JSBs that they don't fit my bore very well, and if I flare the skirt a bit I can pick up 2 ft lbs. I never would have learned that without a chrony.

    Alan in MI

  28. Matt61,

    I'm a single dad with three kids who would never ask a person who was going to cook for me why do you need more than one recipe cause I might not get to try even that one. LOL.

    Mr B.

  29. Sorry to pipe up again.
    I use my old Dental Technician hand drill with multiple 'bits' for all sorts of jobs.
    Extracting that seal would have been a piece of cake using a router'bit'in my drill.It's thinner than a matchstick and very precise.Using the wafer thin 25cent size cutting disc'Bit'you can do very precise cutting as well.
    'Dremmil'sell a small hand tool and bits similar but I found them about 25% too big compared to what I'm used to.
    If you asked your local Dental Laboratory if they have any old cable driven motors,handsets for sale they might let you have them for nothing, as any modern Techie would not be seen dead with one.

  30. Randy,

    Nice! Unfortunately (or fortunately!), she's pretty good about not buying too many shoes, so I can't use the 'Imelda' approach with her. But I think once she starts shooting that customized 2240 she'll come around pretty quickly to the rest. Some day B.B. has to tell us the story of how he "trained" Edith to be such an exemplary wife (or was it the other way around, Edith? ;-). If you've never read B.B.'s post on how he trained his ex-father-in-law to like pistols you're in for a treat…


  31. derrick38

    I think you are right about the parts, do you have the link?

    Also, Matt61, you are right about using the sharpened clip point on a Bowie knife. One reason you don't see it from the factory is that some States would make it illegal because it becomes a "Double Edge" fighting knife.


  32. BB,

    This is pcp4m again. And again blogger is being quirky and not allowing me to log on.

    I have a question about beeman pellet guns.

    I recently had a chance to buy a real beat up FWB 124 for $40 and passed it up.

    Then some one told me that I should have bought it as they have a life time warranty and I could have sent it to beeman for repair.

    The gun did not look like it had been abused….but it did look like it had about 500000 rounds shot through it. A screw was missing as it had loosened and fallen out. I am sure the spring and seal were long gone.

    If you tell me I could have sent it to beeman and had it repaired for free I am going to be kicking myself. But I do need to know for future reference.

    And if I could not have it repaired by beeman for free, would it have been worth paying to have it refurbished at $40 purchase price? Or could a gun that worn have even been refurbished?

  33. pcp4me,

    The beeman lifetime warranty needed to be purchased separately. The "free" repair was extended to the original owner but for a small fee also applied to subsequent buyers.

    Not sure of the value of lifetime repairs when you consider the recent changes at beeman and the value of their repairs, in my first hand experience, was even questionable back when. Long story about an R8.

    You should still kick yourself since B.B. is taking you through the paces that you could have followed to get that $40.00 FWB 124 shooting again.


  34. pcp4me,

    Is that FWB124 still available? If you don't want it, I'll pay you to buy it for me, as I definitely would like one at that price. I'll cover the cost of the gun and shipping plus a little extra to make it worth your while.

    I'm very serious about this.



  35. AlanL,

    We had mice in the first house we owned. Edith didn't want the cats to kill them because they played with them, so I showed her how to use my Sheridan Blue Streak. She killed all the mice, nine rats and at least one snake with that rifle, which is now hers. So I don't sell all her airguns–do I?


  36. BB,
    Now that seal makes a chinese leather seal look good:). Also, looks like perhaps you need a slot (cutout for the trigger units) in the cup for the endcap on your spring compressor — if the spring is strong enough to need a compressor, the spacers and bumpers you have keeping the endcap out of the cup looks "suboptimal":).

  37. B.B.,

    It is my general understanding that when one company purchases another that is not bankrupt, it takes over all of its assets as well as its liabilities. This would imply that the new owners also take over the responsibility for honoring all lifetime warranties that the original Beeman Company had on its books. I don't get it… are the new owners refusing to do this?


  38. BB, Vince, Alan,
    Thanks for your feedback on the Remington Summit question I posted. The gun is stock from Dick's and it shoots where I aim it and I'm getting more consistant with better technique. Until I find a chrony I can test with I'll work with the numbers you've estimated. Practice has given me a feel for holdover/under but I'd like to hunt (squirrels) with it and humane kills are important. That FPS data will help me calculate projectile energy And confirm my obervations on ballistics so I can hunt as desired.


  39. The question is what did Shanghai Air Gun actually buy? The rights to use the Beeman name, and parts of the company's operations, or the whole company? I suspect that they mostly bought the name, and the designs of non-Weihrauch guns.

    In any event, I looked at the 'lifetime warranty' for my C-20. Their interpretation of 'lifetime' and mine seem to be a bit different.

  40. Pete,

    Shanghai bought the entire Beeman operation. Air Venturi will be taking care of all claims for European guns.

    But you have to understand your Beeman history. Back in the 1970s and most of the 1980s, Beeman sold real lifetime warranties. Then in the late '80s/early '90s, they started putting limitations on the time and what they were responsible for. You have to have paperwork to go along with your claims and that paperwork spells out the specific responsibilities.


  41. As I remember it–and I'm going by memory from 1980's here, the Beeman lifetime warranty cost a buck or so and was nothing more than a guarantee that Beeman would be able to work on the gun for it's lifetime. There was never a "free repair" offer attached to it and you would have paid normal repair costs. This was instituted as a marketing tool to convince people to buy a Beeman marked gun rather than a gray market Weihrauch or Feinwerkbau.

    Mike with the 124,
    Jim Maccari stuff:

  42. Bill: I also had a Remington Summit in .177 though, and it was doing about 900fps until I shortened and recrowned the barrel. I did that because it had a big nick/burr in the crown, and was inaccurate. After that the velocity actually went up to around 950fps with the 7.9 gr. Crosman premiers and accuracy was very good at 30yards. I later sold it to a friend ,and he likes it better than his 34 ,in .22 for squirrels.
    BB: I had the same reaction to the .17 HMRF as you did. The .22 mag is better for hunting the bigger pests in every way. It's both cheaper and more powerful. The .17 HM2 though, is a better rimfire for squirrels than the traditional .22LR. The trajectory and accuracy are more useful for that purpose, and worth the extra expense of the ammo. Robert

  43. Well is it getting close to that time of year, snake time down here in SWGA. Well it's hardly ever not. I was wondering what you all think would an air pistol repeater such as a Crosman T4 OPS work or should I just go to Wal-Mart and by a shotgun. They say you are only supposed to kill the poison snakes, but sorry I don't go and ask them if they are or not

  44. Robert,

    Speaking of ammo, I just bought a brick of HM2 from ammunitiontogo.com They are here in Texas. $48 for a brick of Eley and no HAZMAT fee (for anyone). Eley primes all the HM2 cases and they use Hornady ballistic tipped bullets. Great stuff!


  45. I just looked at Crosman's website. They are going to have the Marauder available in .25 caliber sometime in April. I'm wondering if they will also have a .25 caliber Crosman Premier domed pellet to go with it. If so, I don't suppose you'd have the time to test both of them out sometime in the future would you? This is the very thing I've been waiting for.


  46. Rikib,

    Don't even THINK of shooting a pooisnous snake with a T4Ops. If he ever found out that you did, you would be in deep doo doo.

    Rickib, The T4 Ops is an air pistol. No power. Get one if you want, but don't try to justify it beyond shooting pop cans. It's a friggin' BB gun!

    Now a powerful breakbarrel fifle will kill a snake reliably. I've done it many times. Point the barrel at their head for several seconds, make sure they see you and the pellet will go between the eyes. That's the snake's doing, not yours.


  47. Hey B.B.,
    That spring compressor looks like the one BSquare used to make.
    I got one of the last ones before they dissappeared off the new market.
    It has not dissappointed me yet. Excellent build quality and application.

  48. As soon as I get the plywood on top and set up the targets I'll include that picture.

    I almost got it all done today but wouldn't you know it, the bolts I got for the plywood were 1/4" too short. Now I have to drive 15 miles to get longer ones. Gotta spend $2 for gas to get $1.20 worth of bolts. Maybe later.

  49. BB,
    I think you misunderstood me. The compressor itself looks great. What I was alluding to as suboptimal was the fact that you don't have the endcap inside the cup on the compressor to keep it from squirreling out possibly. My surmise was that was because you didn't want to damage the trigger unit, and that a slot in the compressor cup would be a nice improvement. Probably I'm just wrong — I drove myself crazy designing a spring compressor that covered everything, then got so fed up with it I just set the rifle down on the floor and popped the pin:).

  50. OK BB….what springer rifle (steel spring) would you chose to shoot if you could only shoot one ever again…..with a budget of 600 or less? Used/rebuilt air rifles included.

    Also, what airgun do you shoot the most (if different than the first answer)?

  51. Vince,
    You will know this, I think — can stores still sell acid core lead solder? I ran out of my stash and bought some of the new lead-free stuff while I was at Tractor supply. Either I just need a refresher course in soldering or it doesn't work like the old stuff. Soldering brass, I'm afraid the piece will catch on fire before the solder will flow!

  52. BB,

    I know some of the Beeman history; but not enough, obviously. I know that the paperwork with my $1.00 warranty on my C-20 means that I better not expect the company to do much for free… I was reading some of it last night.

    Glad Shanghai got the whole shebang. Maybe they can do something good with it! They could, for example, bring in their version of the FWB-65 match pistol as shown on their website http://www.airguns-china.com, and their remake of the FWB-300s too. Also in the catalog.

    And speaking of Beeman, I was going through old papers and found a couple of the mid-90s catalogs, #17 and #18, I think. And I have a spare of the latter that could go to a good home. I also found a slew of the black and white slim product update brochures they sent out about every six months the next year or so. No spares.

  53. AlanL

    Quit beating yourself up. If you actually shoot your airguns, and you are a member of the species Homo Sapiens, you will some day damage your airguns in some small way. Wear it as a badge of pride.

    An analogy from the mountain bike community: Upper-level quality mountain bikes sell for several thousand dollars. 5 grand is not an uncommon number to spend. The whole purpose of these damned things is to hurl them down a steep, rocky, often treacherous mountain side, with the pilot barely in control. If you do not go ass-over-tea kettle every once in awhile, you are doing it wrong. Damage is a certainty.

    Sometimes I am tempted to throw everything nice I have down a concrete staircase just to get the inevitable over with. I have a TX200 story that illustrates the same concept. Stop flogging yourself.


    Tom zinged you. You aren't going to let that go are you? "This aggression shall not stand." BTW my wife has NAMED all the squirrels in our backyard.

  54. I just got freed up to read todays blog….Very interesting to any FWB owner/prospective owner!I saw this late las night on the ARH site's Daily special;FWB 124/127 piston seals 3 for 55$ while they last!Normally 35$each FWIW

  55. Matt61

    In my nightmare, the more I take something apart the smaller and more frail each part of the thing becomes. Every single part inexplicably breaks down into ever smaller parts. Then, as I grow more and more frustrated, the parts grow legs and start darting around like cockroaches. I think I need to increase my meds.

  56. BB,before you put it back together,can you possibly show the "safety spring" if in fact this model has one??I understand they are easy to loose….
    SlingingLead….might I suggest you chew your pill?

  57. Matt61

    I really liked your recipe analogy for justifying airguns and would dearly like to use it. Unfortunately, I know my wife too well, and it would only result in me eating one recipe.(Hot Dogs) She is very shrewd.

  58. Okay B.B.,
    For killing the snakes is a breakbarrel better than a shotgun. I'm on a limited budget being a disabled vet. The breakbarrel I was looking at was the Gamo Whisper CSI Camo .177 (rated at upto 1200fps with PBA's) on PA's Closeout/Sale Site. But for around the same price I can get a shotgun and maybe just blow the hell out of the snakes. I have a 2240 but from what you've said that would be useless anyway.

  59. BB: thanks for the ammo link.
    BG Farmer: I remodel houses and do a fair amount of residental plumbing. To my knowledge there isn't any of the old lead solder sold except for maybe rosin core for electronics/auto repair use. It's illegal to use it in any plumbing today. You shouldn't have a problem if your joints are clean and fluxed well. I also usually use Mapp gas instead of regular propane, but plain propane works on soldering dry, clean stuff OK. Have also used the electric clamps in tight spots also without problems,on water pipes and brass valves, with the lead free stuff. Robert.

  60. rikib

    I hate to say it, but I would get the shotgun over the airgun. A nice shotgun is like a shovel. Good for dozens of uses over and above what they were designed for. They are an indispensable tool. You couldn't possibly go wrong with a Remington 870. I like the marine magnum myself, but I like to buy things that are out of my league. Only my opinion, humbly submitted.

  61. BGFarmer,modern 95/5 solder should melt and flow into a joint well before the copper anneals[changes color to reddish]….perhaps something is sinking heat away from where you want it?Are you applying flux to your clean bright surfaces??

  62. Chuck,

    That is one BIG and good looking stand you're putting together. I suppose you didn't glue the fittings together, right? I think you said you wanted it to break down easy for travel. Looking forward to seeing it all finished.


  63. Slinging Lead,

    Thanks for the encouragement. Still, I can't help but be bummed. Only 150 shots through it, and I discover it cocks with 51 lbs of effort and bang up the muzzle all in one sitting. Not the happiest 5 minutes.

    Hey B.B, who needs Blue Wonder– a black Sharpie marker does wonders, in just seconds!


  64. AlanL,
    No nothing glued yet. Why? I can't find the @#$% can of PVC glue I know I have somewhere. Dang! Have to go back into town tomorrow and get some. Is it just me or does anyone else waste 80% on runaround time for the last step?

    Only the vertical pieces will be glued. The plywood table top will just lift off the stanchions and the end parts, the legs, can then just be tapped off the horizontal stabilizer bars and stored flat.

  65. CJr,just go for a temporary fit…With your luck it will take a come-along to get it back apart!!!
    AlanL,shhhh!!! please don't give the folks in ShangHi any bright ideas about metal finishing. :]

  66. CJr,just go for a temporary fit…With your luck it will take a come-along to get it back apart!!!
    AlanL,shhhh!!! please don't give the folks in ShangHi any bright ideas about metal finishing. :]

  67. AlanL, rereading your post about the 50+lbs of cocking effort with your 350, I'm wondering if you've got a friction problem. I once got a cosmetically just-about-perfect 'refurb' M34 from Umarex, and IT probably cocked with close to 50lbs. I knew enough about the model to know that this was waaayyyy high. Glenn Seiter offered to let me return it, but it was such a looker that I kept it.

    I tore it down – and the piston had a small bump in the metal on the top rear, right where it rubs against the inside of the compression tube. I stoned the bump out and put the whole thing back together with the usual lube and tar. Smooth as butter after I was done… and cocked a heckuvalot easier.

    If you have an internal issue like that, you may well be damaging the gun if you keep using it.

    BB, Edith – if his cocking effort really is that high and might be caused by a defect in manufacturing, is there any chance of pyramydair taking it back? Assuming that's where he got it (I don't remember).

  68. RikiB,

    keep in mind the cost of ammo and the noise. What are a box of 12 ga. shotgun shells going for versus a tin of 500 pellets? Plus, you definitely need hearing protection with the shotgun (I think a Mossberg 500 is fine – no need to spend $700 on an 870) but I'm sure you'll have much more fun with the air rifle and you can always use it for target shooting in the back without disturbing anyone.

    My opinion.

    Fred PRoNJ

  69. Slinging Lead,
    Thanks for the info about the Remington 870. Where can I get an approx. price all the links I try just give me parts? I used to love skeet shooting with my friend's 20 gauge but alas he passed away 18 mths ago to cancer. Haven't been skeet shooting since as it was on his land. I know this is a airgun forum but any ideas on a nice 12 or 20 gauge would be nice. Used to love the riot guns in the military.

  70. Chuck,

    I'm playing catch up and had to read 116 emails including the blogs.

    Your pvc target stand looks great. Portable.

    Does the plywood (table top?) backer worry you when you consider richocet's? Did I miss something?

    Maybe stapling some carpet padding and carpet to the face will minimize it?


  71. Now for a word for our other blog sponser.

    Vince B.

    Vince has been a stalwart on this blog answering questions with great enthusiasm only equaled by their knowledgable contact backed my hands on experience. In addition, Vince has written many guest blogs mostly about airgun repairs and tuning tips. Do a search.

    Vince worked wonders on one of my diana 27's. In the past few days he's been in my corner helping me decide on a direction with another new to me airgun acquisition.

    Thanks Vince for all you do on the blog and all you've done for me.


  72. rikib,

    Understand why you may want to kill the poisonous snakes but why kill all snakes.

    Snakes are our friends. They're better at reducing the pest population than almost any predator except the Gaylords cats.

    Anymore, you don't even have to buy a book. Lot of great information on the internet about identifying snakes so you can be more selective.


  73. I just made an arm for a record cleaning machine using small brass tubing and lead free solder. A good soldering station makes all the difference in the world when it comes to soldering. I recently purchased a new Weller WD1002T to replace a discontinued model I bought 10 years ago. This thing can dump some heat into a joint cranked up to 850 degrees. I've resoldered grounds on chassis that a Radio Shack 150 watt soldering gun couldn't even melt. If you find yourself needing to solder often enough, it's a great investment. Otherewise, on larger jobs I'd go with the above suggested torch or whatever you have available. Clean everything and use a flux paste to get the solder to flow.

    Electronic solder with rosin core flux should work. The type with lead melts at a lower temperature and flows a lot better. You can pick that up at Radio Shack. They haven't quite gotten around to getting rid of lead solder for electronic use here in the US like in the European Union.


  74. AlanL,
    Here you go, Ta! Da! Finished product (at least Hollywood style). Look at the last picture.


    Frank B,
    I owe you a debt of gratitude. In an effort to please you I decided to see if it would hold up without the glue. In the process of cleaning up and removing the old cardboard boxes I found the PVC glue. Tomorrow I will glue it. When I put all that duct seal on the table top the whole thing hunkered down about four inches.

    I'm a better shot now. I don't have to worry about hitting the edge. 🙂 Seriously, Yes, I'm concerned about ricochet off the front of the plywood, and the PVC also when the grandkids are here. The resettable Gallery needs something done behind it, also I'm going to redo the carpet backdrop and use some of it for the table edge. Maybe I can fashion it so that it drapes to the floor and covers the whole front. I am also thinking about just covering the edge with duct seal pugs instead of carpet. Neither of these options sound pretty though. Maybe I'll just put it outside and picnic on it.

    I have visions of the whole thing collapsing in the middle of the night tonight because it's not glued.


  75. Robert, FrankB.,
    Thanks for the lead-free solder info. It's not pipes, its relatively thin brass plate, cleaned and fluxed. Seems like the old stuff would flow more readily when tinning the parts, but this stuff just tends to ball up; might work better for sweating pipes. Looks a little crappy (good thing its buried in the forestock) but holds OK now:). Was using propane, which always did fine before.

  76. This is pcp4me again,

    Sorry guys no the FWB 124 is not for sale. Saw it at a garage sale. Went back later that day and the guy said he sold it. No idea who bought it.

    Dunno what can be done with em but it had obviously been shot a lot and dragged through the brush a lot also.

    All places where human skin touched it had the bluing completely worn off. I would say bluing was no better than 50%. The stock was dinged, scratched and otherwise bruised.

    The hinge pin had slop as did the trigger and most any other moving wear surface. It shot, but you could tell way underpowered.

    So that is why I was reluctant to pay $40 for it. It needed a lot of tlc and I simply was not willing to put that much time into it.

    Had I known I could have bought it and turned a profit on it I would have done so.

  77. BGfarmer,OK,now I think I know what the difficulty was….When I read "balled up" and thin sheet brass,it made more sense.The new solder has a higher heat /melt threshhold.The melted solder follows the heat,for better or worse.It will defy gravity on a fluxed surface,allowing a plumber to fill a pipe fitting that faces straight down.The thin brass wasn't able to hold sufficient heat to cause "flow",that caused it to ball up.A flame spreading tip may help you in the future to keep the new stuff flowing without overheating it.

  78. Kevin,
    About the snakes, I'm not gonna look close enough to see if they are poisonous or not. Most are taken care of by our 11 cats and 4 dogs all indoor outdoor. All rescued animals that have been neutured or spayed. They keep our rodent problems to a minimum, even brining us prizes into the house (jeez thanks). But early last fall wife said there was a 4-5ft snake going up the side of the shed. I could not find it, maybe she imagined it. But I want to be able to kill it if I see it

  79. Fred,
    The Mossberg sounds good. I know I would enjoy an air rifle more as I love my 2240. The thing is if trying to shoot a snake for example an you miss your kinda screwed. Shotgun you don't miss, at least I never have with skeets well almost never. Is there a such thing as a decent repeating air rifle with power?

  80. rikib,

    If you must shoot snakes then my vote would be a .22 caliber pistol loaded with bird shot.

    Not sure you want to shoot a snake crawling up your shed with a shotgun.

    Even if it's not on your shed it seems like overkill to me.


  81. Hello BB, I have a Beeman R10 marked San Rafael. Did the location markings change when the Beemans moved to Santa Rosa?
    what im getting at is the R10 wasnt built till 1985 or 86 2-3 years after they moved. also what are the differences between the R10 Deluxe and the RDB version?
    Thank you for your time.
    Happy Shooting
    PS bring back the itunes podcasts

  82. Kevin,
    Don't get me wrong not against all snakes though can say I like them but basic grass snakes I recognize and just scoop with a shovel and toss over the fence. It's the multi colored or banded ones that I'm not going to check out to close. We also have rattlers around here. Even celebrate with a what they call "Rattlesnake Roundup". So if ain't no grass/garden snake it better high tail it before I kill it.

  83. Frank asked about a catalog. I've sent him a private message via regular e-mail.

    When I hiked the New Mexican mountains, I always wanted a snake gun. The scoutmaster said he could do it with a .22; me, I would have matched the diameter of the snake's neck to the diameter of the pattern. They don't play by our rules! I could have dispatched one with a 4.5mm pellet, cleanly, but from too close range. And after shot #1, what was I going to do for shot #2 with an angry snake? Run??

    And in Spitsbergen Norway every person leaving the settled areas has to carry an 'appropriate' firearm. By law. info handed to you when you disembark from your plane. What's carried? Rifles, shotguns, big pistols. Nothing you can miss with. Every couple of years some southern tenderfoot finds out why he needed that heavy high-powered dinner-preparer. We never saw a bear; others had, as we finished off the last of the frozen bear in the kitchen freezer of the top restaurant in town. (circa 2001 or 2002). Some of our folks were scared of the gunners; others asked for info..

    Wilderness is where homo sap is not at the top of the food chain.


  84. rikib,

    You asked:

    “Is there such a thing as a decent repeating air rifle with power”

    This in .22 cal is about 11-12 ft lbs which is good for pests:

  85. rikib

    There are a multitude of places to get a Remington 870. For the best price I would check a gun show first. Are you familiar with the Eastman gun shows?


    They have one every month or so somewhere in our state of GA, I'm up here in Powder Springs. The next one is in Savannah, at the Civic Center. Isn't that down your way? They have them in Macon and in Perry sometimes. You shouldn't have to pay much more than a couple hundred for a good 870 Express in 20 gauge. A shotgun is also the last thing a burgler wants to stare down when breaking into a house.

    It will be loud. But being a vet, nothing that you haven't experienced 100,000 times.

    I agree about the snakes. I like them. I like spiders too. Hell, I even like squirrels. I don't crawl up in their trees and hang out. If they come into my house or too close to it, they will be D-E-D dead. Nothing wrong with that.

    Thank you for your service and sorry about your friend.

  86. Vince,

    Pyramyd AIR would take back a gun within their 30-day return period. After that time, AlanL will have to deal with Umarex. However, I wonder if Umarex would be willing to exchange the gun. They seem very willing to please their customers.


  87. rikib,

    I agree with Slinging Lead…get a shotgun. I've dispatched a few snakes with airguns…not a pretty picture. I don't think it's humane.


    Kill only poisonous snakes? I've killed only NON-poisonous ones…the ones that insisted our basement was their home! That's a problem we had with our house in Maryland. I don't know if snakes "home," but it certainly seemed like they did. I discouraged them with lead poisoning. I don't know what it's like in your house, but I don't share mine with snakes slithering in & out of the basement, even if they ARE non-poisonous.


  88. R10 Deluxe,

    Well, now you understand a little more about manufacturing. Such as the fact that things don't change overnight. Why abandon a perfectly good stamp just because an address changes?

    As for what constitutes a Robert D. Beeman version of the gun (that's what the RDB stands for), I don't know. You need to find some Beeman period promotional literature and research it.


  89. Mrs Gaylord,

    Snakes are not welcome in our houses but welcome around our houses as long as they're not poisonous. We've only had a couple incidents but they are picked up and placed back outside. My daughter is fascinated by garter snakes and even at 5 years old was able to catch them on her own. She also learned quickly to grab them firmly close to the head with one hand and the other immediately on the end of its tail (below the you know what). Tough to wash off the stink if you don't do it right she learned.

    Her mother on the other hand would be content to kill them all.

    Rattlesnakes, primarily diamondbacks, are plentiful here especially at lower elevations. No free pass for them.


  90. Fred,

    No, I never shot a snake indoors. Tom did one time but used an airgun. It was a small snake, though. Know what it's like to go down to the basement to pick up some cans of food and notice out of the corner of your eye that a snake has raised its head to the strike position? I felt like I was being stalked.

    I have shot snakes that were trying to crawl under the basement door to get into the house. After several such instances, every snake near that door died of lead poisoning.

    I had a wonderful organic vegetable garden, too, and the snakes frequented it. I recall being out there when I noticed a rather largish snake (4+ ft) was curled around a tomato plant. I finished picking tomatoes & then ran inside & jumped up & down with the heebee jeebees! Just writing about it gives me the willies!

    The worst one? We'd just come home from a Las Vegas vacation. Tom went through the house to make sure everything was still in order. When he came up from the basement, he told me we'd had a visitor while we were gone. In the doorway between two rooms of the basement was hanging the shed skin of a very long snake. The visible part of the skin was 6 ft long. There was more to that snake than I care to think about! I'm surprised I was able to live in that house and go into the basement after that!


  91. oh noo…and I thought I was the only one who used a sharpie on their airgun. I did as a quick fix until I get around to fixing it the right way….but that day never comes…..so go sharpie!!!!!

    I have black sharpie mark that's been on my motorcycle for over 3 years.

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