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Accessories A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 11

A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 11

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 10
Part 9
Part 8
Part 7
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Well, here is our old friend, the San Anselmo Beeman 124, again. Today, I’ll address the scope problems I was having the last time I tested the rifle for accuracy.

You may recall that I suggested that the front and rear rings be swapped to see if that would alter the amount of down angle the rifle appears to have. One reader was appalled that anything manufactured could be that far off from true, but believe me, it doesn’t take much. I’ve seen this trick work many times in the past. However, I failed to mention that three inches is a bit excessive to try to correct this way. This trick is more for those who optically center their scope and have a half-inch problem at the first point of intersection.

However, I did remove the rings and swap the front for the rear. Because these are two-piece rings I could also turn one ring at a time, giving me six different permutations of the setup, I believe. But three inches of change is so major that if it doesn’t come by swapping positions, you might as well look elsewhere.

Well, I was right. Swapping the rings did make a big difference. Only the difference went the wrong way. Now the pellet was striking the target four inches below the aim point, using the exact same scope with no adjustments. So, this set of rings was history. No amount of shimming would ever be able to make up an angular difference that large.

However, I had an ace up my sleeve. I’d visited the AirForce factory and asked to borrow a BKL drooper scope mount, and they happily complied. So, now I had the BKL 260 with .007 drop compensation to try out. This is a one-piece mount and it comes with simple instructions for which way to mount it. However, I did encounter a problem. This BKL mount is too low to allow the 50mm scope I had been using to clear the 124 spring tube. And you’ll recall that I have to use a BKL mount because of the 124’s non-standard scope stop system. I have mounts that will work with it, but you can’t buy them, so I’m not testing them here.

The solution was to use another scope, and all I was trying to do was ascertain that there was a scope mount and ring set in the world for this rifle — a vintage 124 with a large barrel droop. So, I picked a BSA 3-9×32 scope that didn’t have parallax adjustment. As a result, I had to run it at five power or the target was too blurry to see well.

The BSA scope fits well in the BKL drooper mount. I could have gotten away with a 40mm objective, if I’d wanted.

Even with all that disadvantage against me, I proved the concept. The 124 and this new scope adjusted on target perfectly with no problem of adjusting the elevation knob too high.

So, I shot one group of 10 Crosman Premier 7.9-grain pellets and then another. Sure enough, the problem has been solved.

Good group, properly centered and 10 tight shots at 25 yards with Crosman Premier lites.

I’m removing the scope from the gun, because the only reason I scoped it in the first place was to conduct the Silver Jets accuracy test. That’s over now, so the 124 can go back into its sarcophagus, except for one more tuneup that will employ the newest Pyramyd AIR 124 piston seal.

66 thoughts on “A shrine built for a Feinwerkbau 124 – Part 11”

  1. This is one accurate gun …Now about my bitter experience wit heavy pellets to be precise gamo TS-22 they was a preasent (well some preasent 🙁 ) heaviest 22cal peletts a have ever seen, i like them but my gun have a different opinion .They are i am sure great for high power PCP or even RWS 350 or 48 but for Diana 34 well ….it is better to melt them for a fishing lead ,my Slavia 634 never stop amazing me just the another day i shoot plastic crate of beer ,can t say that it was an accident i kinda wanted to know will pellet go through tough plastic so from 10 m distance all could hear is glass shattering ,crate was no longer full … 🙂

  2. I have question B.B. and all -here it goes, does gun stock have any affect on hold-sensitivity in another words will stock with more wood absorb some of “kick” ,as i understand the “least” hold sensitive high -power air rifles from Diana are 48 and 54 but they have a big chunk of stock!?? ….unlike Diana 34 classic she is shaped like a stick 🙂 -this shape is great for home protection and even baseball 😉

    • A heavier stock can help with hold sensitivity for a lot of reasons. Heavier metal parts also help.
      A heavier stock does soak up some of the gun’s vibration due to it’s increased mass just as more metal in the gun does the same. More mass and inertia for a given amount of vibration energy will limit the amplitude of the vibration through the gun.
      The extra mass also helps offset pressures imparted by the shooter.

      There are also other considerations…
      Different stock shapes and materials will resonate differently. When energy is transferred to the stock, some of the energy is absorbed and resonating energy gets transferred back to the gun. This can throw in another completely different vibration pattern for the gun to deal with.
      I would think that a stock made to be ‘dead’…non resonant …would be best.

      Adding weight alone makes a gun more stable. This helps.

      How weight is distributed makes a difference. Front heavy usually is more stable.

      Look at some of the super heavy bench rest guns. You would not want to carry them around, but from a bench they are incredibly accurate.


        • My great english -“eyes opening stuff “i ment to say 🙂 😉 now i have something to do throughout the winter- new stock for 34 ,or maybe i ll just buy one from somebody that actually knows how to make stock ,i dont know gotta think about that…

        • I should really be more careful about how I use the words mass and weight since they are not the same thing.
          Most will get the picture though.

          There are other considerations in stock design that may or may not help.
          The size and shape of a gun does not look right if the stock is not in what would normally be considered to be in good porportion to the metal part.

          There is also a feel to how it carries and handles. A gun that feels right will usually be easier to shoot because it feels more natural, but it may not be the best for accuracy compared to a gun that is made more with the thought of accuracy in mind. You have to adapt to the feel of a gun that may at first feel completely wrong to you.


          • Twotalon you are right i guess that Slavia s just spoiled me, but they are not magnum powered so i should not compare those guns .Sometimes i am more accurate with Diana 34 off hand than from bench and sometimes it is opposite i guess shooter is the main factor and right performed artilery hold …..

            • Milan,

              twotalon gave you great answers about the heavier stocked guns.

              Bear in mind when you compare the Diana RWS 48 and 54 models that when shooting the model 54 the shooter is insulated from the recoil by a sledge-type anti-recoil mechanism built into the stock. The 54 is among the least hold sensitive because of this anti-recoil mechanism which is similar to the FWB 300. Although the model 48 & 54 stocks are both “big chunks” the model 48 is more hold sensitive since it lacks the anti-recoil mechanism.


              • I have a 48 and was not thinking about the 54.
                The 48 is still a hand full, and the side lever on top of it makes shooting or carrying it very strange because of the extra width. Something you have to get used to.
                Mine is not very hold sensitive compared to some others I have.


                • The sidelever also makes it unbalanced. Very difficult gun for me to shoot offhand. Also went through the briar patch getting a scope to stay put on my 54. Although the gun is recoiless to the shooter the sledge system is a nightmare for scopes. The leapers UTG base that B.B. helped design was a godsend for this gun. Nonetheless, I sold my 54.


  3. That’s some good shooting gun.
    I have trouble holding that steady from a bench most of the time. I wobble a lot.
    I can get groups that are about equal to my wobble with some rifles as long as I don’t get twitchy.
    Sure would like to have a few dead steady days so I could see what a few of my rifles could really do.


  4. About scope rings; BB said…”One reader was appalled that anything manufactured could be that far off from true”

    Unless the rings were line bored as a matched set or, a one-piece set was honed after machining, I imagine that the typical mfg. tolerance for these rings is in the + / – .0005″ range at best? And .0005″ projected out at 50 yards (angularity from the scope mount to target) can make a big difference in POI for that pellet.

    Even with line boring or honing, it still assumes that the dovetail in the receiver has a true position or alignment with the axis of the barrel of less than .001″. For any break barrel, this would only be a theoretical alignment, as the strength of lock-up and other mfg. tolerances in the break barrel system would be greater than the barrel to dovetail relationship.

    Question for BB; it seems that RWS guns have this droop effect more than others by their own admission, what’s up with that? It seems as if they “admit” that this is inherent to their guns. Is it actually a tweaked barrel + lock up issues? or…?

    • Brian in Idaho,

      Excellent point on the manufacturing tolerances. I wonder what the selling price would have to be for line bored or honed rings/mounts?

      Now that you’ve brought it up, put me on the list for the answer to your last question.


      • Mr B, I would guess that truly precision rings would be double the cost. I have seen them for firearms, a friend has a Weatherby rifle with the Burris rings engraved with F-1 and R-1 and a match mark where the split ring upper mates to the lower (front and rear matched sets that have been line honed)

        I don’t think that was a Burris offering, I think the Weatherby folks did that work?

    • Brian in Idaho,

      Can’t speak to manufacturing tolerances for rings/mounts. It’s common enough that rings/mounts don’t align correctly with the bore that lapping the rings is done frequently. Switching the rings, then turning the rings, etc. is a quick fix that works well most times.

      Barrel droop on airguns is common for a variety of reasons:



      • Kevin,
        Thanks for that link to the barrel droop article. It was a good one. It does explain how droop is introduced. I thought it would answer my questions but it didn’t. In my opinion, lax manufacturing tolerances can’t be the whole answer or else the cheap rifles would always have droop/rise/left/right complaints, yet only a few rifle models get complaints on that, from my experience, and as BB points out, some very expensive ones get complaints, too. (Maybe that is due to my limited experience but I don’t think so.) And it’s not always just a few random rifles, it’s a certain brand/model that always gets complaints. Therefore, I suspect there’s more to this issue than merely chance.

        • I wonder if droop isn’t on purpose, to lower the front sight, which — were it higher (i.e. no droop)– would need to be ridiculously short to accommodate springer trajectories. A taller rear sight would do the same thing, but would not be acceptable in many cases, especially if provision is made for mounting a scope.

          • BG_Farmer,

            Many airgunners have made the same good argument you did for barrel droop being on purpose. It does make sense since many of the guns “infamous” for regularly having barrel droop have a lineage stemming from target guns. Barrel droop helps with open and aperture sights on airguns.


            • One thing about droop that may be functional…
              As the hinge pin and the breech surfaces wear (on a break barrel), there will be progressively less droop (downward). Eventually there will be zero droop. Finally droop will be upward. At some point in upward droop, the sights will become unuseable.
              Starting with low droop and ending up with high droop should make a gun last twice as long compared to a gun with no droop.


            • I may have seen some of that on the YF a couple of years ago or so, when I was looking for ways to bend the barrel of my 36-2 :). What really got me thinking was Chuck’s pointing out how consistent it seems to be, and it must be so, if the couple of models of compensating mounts that Leapers sells covers the intended market pretty well. TwoTalon also has a good point about wear, although underlevers and sidelevers are just as prone to droop as b’barrels, from what I can tell.

  5. Anyone,

    Does any one know where I can get a good pair of high adjustable mounts/rings? I bought one such pair from PA about a year or so ago, need another now, and can’t find one available on the PA web site?

    Not even sure what brand the set I have now is, but I really like it as I can optically center my scope and then sight it in using the mount adjustments. Worked like a charm.

      • Kevin,

        Thanks but I forgot to mention I need two piece adjustable mounts. One piece won’t work on a pcp gun.

        And I did find the sportsmatch 2 piece adjustable, but they are $129 before shipping and taxes! Way out of my price range.

        The ones I have now cost me no more than $45 shipped and all if I recall.

        Did find a sun optics adjustable two piece mount for $45, but don’t know if it is adjustable for both windage and elevation.

        Btw…any one here have any experience with sun optics scopes? I am told the 3 X 9 X 40 scope which comes with the Air Force condors and talons is made by them. So if any one has the scoped version of the Air Force pcp’s let me know what you think of the scopes.


        • pcp4me,

          I have the Talon SS and I like the scope that came with it but I thought it was larger than 40mm. I’m not home now so I can’t check it. I don’t know if it is made by Sun Optics. I bought my Talon about 1 1/2 years ago.

          On your Sun Optics ring question: I bought adjustable ones for a 30mm scope tube because PA didn’t sell them in that size, and they looked just like the fully adjustable 1″ B-Square ones that PA used to sell. At the time they were a lot cheaper than the B-Square ones. The Sun ones I bought are fully adjustable, too. I also own the B-Square rings. The B-Square one I bought over a year ago seems to be made of harder material than the more recent Sun Optics ones I bought.

          I own some Sun Optics scopes that I like because they have the built in levels and work well for my 10m shooting. They are the ones that have 30mm tubes.


  6. BB:
    Looking at that target, I can see where the term ‘on the money’ comes from 🙂

    Oh,to scope or not to scope?that is the question with a break barrel springer like mine.
    What would have once been a ‘must have’ accessory,now I am not so sure.
    Have I become an air gun fundamentalist?
    Yours sincerely,

    Forgive my ignorance of American history BB.
    Booker T Washington didn’t write ‘Green onions’ like I thought.
    That was Booker T and the MG’s.
    After doing a bit of research,I do know who Booker T Washington is now though.
    Always learning something new on the is forum.

    • “Worried” England 🙂 – i have a scope -i don t use a scope 🙂 To much hassle for off hand shooting and sure -gun is heavier ,but this is what i prefer you decide …

    • Don’t worry. In general, if you truly need a scope for the distances a springer is good at, it may not be safe for you to have a gun :). Once I got a little older, I fell into the scope trap, thinking my eyesight wasn’t good enough any more, but I finally realized I was just lazy and that it simply wasn’t as easy as it once was. A short time with my first air rifle, and I was back in the saddle; never used the scope from the package. Ironically, once you get used to open sights (again), the scope turns out to be more of a hassle than anything.

      As for the age argument, I shoot monthly with an 80 year old, and he does fine with open sights at 50 yards, although we’re thankful his shooting doesn’t depend on his hearing:). There is also an 85 and a 93 year old who still shoot occasionally, though they are slowing down a bit.

      • BG Farmer and Milan:
        A massive consideration for me is cost,having blown all my cookies on this new rifle.
        That sure focuses your mind on what is necessary and what is not.
        All things considered,my rifle is a break barrel,12ftIb springer.Used for plinking,and vermin at 40yards max.
        I think I can live without a scope….for now 🙂

  7. Wow BB excellent shooting! That almost equals my Marauder! Ha,ha,ha! I’ll stop at three ha’s since I really don’t like laughing at myself that much. Seriously that is drool worthy 25yd shooting.

    On the question of barrel droop: Some rifles do and some don’t. Sounds like an engineering issue to me. How is that allowed to happen? The tolerances must be achievable because I never hear any complains on some rifles.

    Question: If a particular rifle model has droop problems and if there is a manufacturing run of, say, 5,000 rifles, will they all have barrel droop or will half of them be ok. And along that line, has anyone ever encountered as many rifles with a barrel “rise” problem as there are with a barrel droop problem (that aren’t the fault of the rings, of course)?

      • Mrs. Gaylord,

        Great! Not sure if you realize the number of people that are following this series. Many are not regular visitors here. Either they already own an FWB 124/127 or plan on adding one of these fantastic classics to their collection. Being able to search the site and find all the articles is not only critical now but the FWB 124/127 will remain a very sought after gun since they’re so easy to cock in relation to power and very accurate. With your help you’re creating a very important link to articles that will be referenced for a very long time.

        ps-you can reward me with hand made home baked bread when I see you.


  8. Scopes. I rarely leave home without them.

    I can target shoot with open sights but my groups are disgusting. Occasionally I like shooting with open sights. Lately my remington 550 has been shot alot and that’s one of my guns that can’t be scoped. I have a pest problem that requires the use of an airgun. My pests often only offer a target the size of a half dollar and 60 plus yard shots are the norm. I can’t do that with open sights.


    • Long range pesting is pretty tough with open sights.
      Close range pesting can also be pretty rough in my case.If I am going to wack sparrows off my bird feeder, I have to identify just what I am shooting at. A scope is necessary to prevent accidental kills of ‘good’ birds.
      Then there is the crabapple. It’s very thick, and it’s about impossible to tell if I have a clear shot without a scope. Experience tells me that if there is one tiny twig in the way, I will hit it.


  9. B.B., that gun doesn’t look like it needs another tune-up. You might make it worse.

    Kevin, thanks for your account of the show. Good shooters are decisive as David Tubb says.

    Frank B., well part of the fun is in the journey, and I think I am getting close to the shaving edge. That’s a good reminder about light pressure. I was thinking of how the stone grinds away metal and probably using more pressure than I should have.

    Reloaders, some gun writer wrote that factory ammo is getting so good these days that it is hard to beat with handloads. How can that be since one thing factory ammo cannot do is tailor itself to a particular gun? Can extremely tight tolerances etc. make up for this?

    I have found a name for my pain and it is lube. Not enough lube and you destroy your sizing die. Too much lube and you can ruin your primer or dent the case shoulder. If I get a handle on the lubing, I believe I’ll have this licked.

    On the other hand, B.B. you may recall my mentioning my M1 Garand manual saying that if you did not know the difference between cartridge headspacing and chamber headspacing that you were not qualified to reload for a semiauto? You said they were full of it, and I suspect that you’re correct. But I think I know what they are trying to get at. I understand that headspacing is the distance from a certain part of the cartridge (mid-shoulder for centerfires) to some part of the chamber. So the cartridge/chamber headspacing must just refer to the relevant parts of the cartridge and chamber for measuring. I think I’m beginning to hold my own here. 🙂


    • Matt61,

      I’ve attended firearm shows for many, many years. In the mid 1980’s until the mid 1990’s I regularly had tables at the bigger shows in Colorado. You got to know the other dealers and we would buy, sell and trade amongst ourselves regularly. We had mutual respect but were at the end of the day competitors.

      The Roanoke airgun show was very different. Meeting the people there, whether they had tables or not, was a gathering of friends that all had something in common. We really like airguns and the hobby. For this reason it was far and away the best gun show I’ve ever attended.

      It may be different for me in years to come if I become viewed by some as a competitor or if I alienate airgun veterans with my views but at this show I was an innocent with some name recognition since I post on several forums. It was so much fun putting faces to names and talking airguns.

      Meeting B.B. was a thrill. His enthusiasm for guns is contagious. He just exudes a passion for what we talk about here regularly.


  10. Calling all Airforce Talon/Condor/TalonSS owners… TwoTalon gave me lots of great tips as a TalonSS newb (Thanks TwoTalon), but brought up one issue that has me concerned. He mentioned the Airforce guns tendency to have some POI shift when using different tanks. I like to take day hikes and plink through my woods, and the Talon is great in that I can carry a spare tank in my pack. TwoTalon indicated that there is no way to tell what that POI will be, as it’s different gun to gun and tank to tank, understandable. I really hate the thought of needing to rezero the scope everytime I swap a tank, and I really don’t want to be limited to a single tank (again). The ability to easily swap tanks was one of the selling features for me. I understand that the POI can shift with different tanks, and why is happens.

    So, my question to all you guys who shoot Airforce guns… If you swap tanks, what sort of shift have you seen? Has it posed an issue for you? Thanks.

    • The only swapping has been between the micro and the standard tanks for my guns. I have two guns, three standard tanks, one micro, and one Condor tank (newer valve).
      I bought the extra standard as a spare, but got one that is dicked up. Would not shoot worth crap and finally found that the valve stem was threaded cockeyed. Have not gone to the trouble of fixing it yet.
      If you are only going to plink then it might be good to make a mental note of any poi change that you consider significant along with any change in power wheel setting and use kentucky windage.
      Just be sure to label the tanks so you know which one you are going to shoot.


    • Bristolview,
      I like your question about swapping tanks but I can’t answer it. Even though I swapped CO2 tanks I never paid any attention to it. I really don’t remember any problem. I’d love to test it but my backup CO2 tank was damaged by the idiot who last filled it. I have since converted to HPA and only have one HPA tank. (Hmmm…wonder what would happen to poi if I switched between full HPA and CO2? ) WooHoo! A challenge when I get home. I can test that. Gimmie a week or so.

        • twotalon/bristolview,
          This brings up an interesting point. I only changed tanks. With CO2 you never mess with the adapter. It stays where it is and does not affect the tophat which stays where it is. If you’re talking about HPA it’s the same thing. Only the bottle comes off and the other stuff is not touched. I’m mising something here.

            • Oh… maybe when I get back home and look at what I have I’ll know what I’m talking about. Now that you mention it the HPA tophat does come out with the tank. I’m having a difficult time understanding how that affects poi, though. I guess I don’t understand how the tophat interacts differently with the direction of the pellet as it slides down a 12″ barrel.

              • The barrel interracts with the pellet,. The pellet does not interract with the tophat.
                The problem lies here….
                The breech is in contact with the barrel. This is the gremlin.
                You have a whole lot of moving parts that if were in perfect alignment would move straight backward and foreward without causing any lateral force to be applied to the barrel.
                Well, in real life this does not work out. None of the parts are in a perfectly straight line, and surfaces that contact each other transferring energy from the hammer strike are never perfectly flat and square to each other. The result is that lareral motion from the breech slide that is caused by these off center forces is transferred to the barrel.
                Something to note…
                Even locking the breech to a different side is reported to change poi. Why does this happen? The parts do not fit together the same way and the lateral forces applied to the end of the barrel have changed.


              • CJr,

                I switch between CO2 and HPA on a regular basis with my .22 caliber Talon SS. Most of my plinking and pest control is done on CO2 at 10 to 30 yards. (starlings, English sparrows, cow birds and the occasional crow) However, the larger critters, i.e., raccoons and opossums , are dispatched running HPA. The gun is sighted in running CO2 with the power wheel on number 4 ,my Leapers Mini Swat set on 5x and shooting JSB Diabolo Exact Jumbos. Changing to HPA its one mil dot low, but dead nuts horizontally.

                Let us know how Mr T responds to switching between the two gases. By the way, the top hats on both valves are factory stock.


          • As TwoTalon says, we’re talking about standard HPA tanks. I have 2 CO2 tanks and have tested swapping them while leaving the adaptor in place. Since I use CO2 only for shorter ranges, a minor POI shift is less evil. I only looked at this up to 30 yards, and it was -not- a problem.

            HPA tanks are used for everything from short to long distances. A minor POI shift can really throw off a 50 yard shot. As the range increases, the more visible that minor shift becomes. This is what I’m concerned about. I like being able to grab my Disco and head out over my lunch hour for some shooting, and trusting that it will be consistent. If the Talon experiences a POI shift between tank swaps, I may need to head out over lunch and re-zero the scope, and have less time to shoot. I only have one HPA tank right now, as I just purchased the Talon and need to wait a bit before purchasing an expensive tank. If that’s not going to work well, I need to know now and possibly consider a different choice.

            • You should be able to get 30 good shots at fairly long range if you are not wasteful of air. Power will be about equivalent to your Disco.
              Do you really need more shots?


              • Yes, on an afternoon plinking hike or even shooting spinners, I often go through 100 shots or so. A couple of tanks would be ok, but one is very limiting. For the occasional pest control, 30 shots is more than enough. Walking a mile or more back to my house, then pumping it up is a major time killer. I tend to pump at night when the family is sleeping; to not impact family time and not impact shooting time. The limited number of shots on my Disco has always annoyed me, but was not a deal breaker.

                My “new” gun when I was shopping needed to keep the great attributes, but also address the Discovery’s shortcomings (for my needs anyway). Must be…
                01. Quieter; Talon SS-check
                02. Higher shot count; Talon-check: with multiple tanks or C02 at lower power
                03. Variable power; Talon-check: with power adjustments and different Tanks; HPA; Micro Value, CO2
                04. Highly accurate for precision shooting; Talon-check: with excellent barrels and numerous users confirming
                05. Nice to have: Open sights; Talon-check: with 2 optional add-on sight systems
                06. Nice to have: Repeater; Talon-Bzzzt: Nope

                The first 4 are extremely important to me.

  11. BB,

    I would like to see you do a blog on “If you could own only ONE pellet rifle and ONE pellet pistol what would it be?”.

    And have readers post their answers with reasoning in the comments section.

    Should be interesting.

  12. BB —
    Great seeing and talking with you in Roanoke. I’ve really enjoyed the Shrine blog series and I am eagerly awaiting what you learn about a certain rough-cocking FWB-124 you hauled off with you. If it ends up shooting a target like the one above that wouldn’t be too bad!

  13. This article which I finally read all the way through has taken me down memory lane. I purchased a 124 back in 79 along with Silver Jet pellets. The Silver jet pellet I remember looked like it was lathe turned and was made in Japan. I never really tested them that much back then, and I would say I would have liked to seen a comparison of the Silver jets against other pointed pellets which are currently produced. HIgh quality Match wadcutters like RWS R10 or H&N finale match with a pick of the best head size diameter for the gun also. Very nice article though about a gun that was top notch back in its day and a classic now.

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