FWB 150: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The FWB 150 is a classic target rifle from the past. It’s also the father of the FWB 300.

Today, I’ll get to play with an old classic. This is our second look at the FWB 150, so of course we’re looking at velocity. As I told you in Part 1, this rifle was rebuilt by Randy Bimrose, so we can expect it to perform like a new rifle.

The other day I was interviewing Robert Beeman for the May podcast, and I asked him which modern airgun was his favorite. He said he couldn’t pick just one, which makes him a true airgunner in my book, but the four guns he said he would not want to do without are the Beeman R1, the Beeman P1 pistol, the Beeman R7 that he liked to shoot just because it was so light and easy, and the FWB 300. When he talked about the 300, you could hear the smile in his voice. He went on and on about the recoilless sensation and the trigger that’s so light that you “think it off.” It was reassuring to hear a man who has owned most of the airguns in the world talk about the ones he didn’t want to part with — one of them being the offspring of today’s rifle.

Since the last report, I’ve attended the airgun show in Malvern, Arkansas, where this year Scott Pilkington brought dozens of target rifles that had been purchased from clubs. Among them were many FWB 300s and one or two 150s. The availability of an affordable version of this rifle or one much like it has never been better than right now.

Firing behavior
The 150 isn’t really recoilless in the same sense that the RWS Diana model 54 Air King I reported on yesterday is not recoilless. The shooter doesn’t feel the recoil because the barreled action is separate from the stock and moves on rails under recoil that the shooter cannot feel. The FWB 150, being just a fraction as powerful as the Diana 54 moves very little. Because of this, we say these rifles are recoilless, but I want to differentiate this kind of recoilless operation from a true recoilless action, like a Diana 75, which uses the Giss contra-recoil dual piston system, or the Whiscombe’s dual opposing piston system — both really do not recoil at all.

The next observation is that this particular rifle has no buzz to it. Despite the 150’s reputation for being a bit buzzier than the 300S, which has dual counter-wound mainsprings, the rifle I’m testing today is very calm when it fires. Randy Bimrose did put a new mainspring in the gun, so maybe that’s what did it. Whatever the cause might be, I find this 150 quite smooth and calm to fire.

Trigger
I tried to measure the trigger-pull for you, but my RCBS analog trigger-pull gauge doesn’t go that low. By interpolation, I can say that it’s around 6 oz., but that’s as close as I can get. It’s certainly very light. Now, on to today’s testing.

H&N Match Pistol
The first pellet tried was the H&N Match Pistol. This is a light pellet, weighing about 7.6 grains, so it’s no surprise that it averaged 615 f.p.s. That’s faster than a modern 10-meter rifle would shoot, but these old vintage springers always were the magnums of the competition-type rifles. The spread ranged from 613 to 620 f.p.s., so only seven f.p.s. for the whole string. That’s tight for a springer. These pellets fit the bore very well and felt like a pellet I should shoot for accuracy.

H&N Match Rifle
The next pellet I tried was the H&N Match Rifle pellet. They weigh about 8.2 grains and should be somewhat slower. In this rifle, they averaged 606 f.p.s. Sure, that’s slower, but not as much as I anticipated. They ranged from 598 to 610 f.p.s., so a total spread of just 12 f.p.s.

RWS R-10 Match Pistol
Next, I tried the RWS R-10 Match Pistol pellet, which weighs only 7 grains. They averaged 627 f.p.s. and went from a low of 621 to a high of 633 f.p.s. That’s another 12 foot-second spread.

RWS Hobby
The final pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby, which can usually be counted on to be the fastest lead pellet in any gun. They didn’t disappoint here, either, averaging 661 f.p.s., or 34 f.p.s. faster than the R-10 Match Pistol pellet of the same weight. These pellets ranged in speed from a low of 654 f.p.s. to a high of 668, so the total spread was 14 f.p.s.

Conclusions
I said at the beginning that the 150 should shoot like a new gun, having just been rebuilt. Well, the velocities I recorded certainly support that. While I know there are airgunners who look at velocity first when evaluating all airguns, the 150 isn’t one you want to do that with. It’s a target gun, pure and simple. It’s designed to stack them all in a tight little hole and nothing else. So anything beyond about 575 f.p.s. is wasted. However, the gun doesn’t suffer for it. It’s just as smooth and slick as can be and you don’t notice any drawbacks from the power.

The consistent velocity and smooth shooting behavior are both evidence that the rebuild was successful. That’s why I didn’t attempt it myself, even though the owner’s manual does give step-by-step instructions on how to dismantle the action.

We’ll take a look at accuracy next. Some time in the future, I’ll do a similar report on my FWB 300S and link back to this series for comparison. When all is said and done, I’ll link all the vintage 10-meter spring rifle tests so you can evaluate them together.

77 thoughts on “FWB 150: Part 2

  1. I wish everyone could have one or at least shoot one.I know,it’s not a ubermagnum.But the cocking
    is absolutely effortless.Compared to an R7,it’s even easier to cock,IMHO.I bought mine from a very
    nice man at a local flea mkt.He had purchased it in Germany,while in the service…..and brought it
    back to Alabama for his brother to hunt squirrels with.It was outfitted with a Bushnell Scopechief II,
    which we might think is small and inadequate.I promise you the squirrels in 1970 thought otherwise!


  2. I think all the FWB’s are mouth watering rifles. I especially like the style of the newer wooden stock ones from the 500 on up.

    Curious observation, BB, the Hobby is faster by 34fps than the R-10 and they’re the same weight?! Do you recall the fit of each? I wonder if one is tighter than the other? Also, I suspect you didn’t actually weighed them but just looked at the numbers on the lid? We both know some tins aren’t very close to the weights stamped on the lid. I wonder if one of these tins fall in that category?
    -Chuck


    • Chuck,

      The Hobbys definitely fit the breech tighter. Yes there are weight differences, but in tenths of a grain. So I don’t think it was incorrect weight that explained the difference in speed, but the bore fit.

      B.B.


  3. One comment??!! Where is everyone?

    I wish I could let everyone on this blog shoot one of my fwb 150’s. Yes, they’re great 10 meter guns but don’t mentally keep them in that box. An fwb 150 feels and performs better than most medium powered sporters.

    I’ve had guys over at the airgun shoots I host that have shied away from 10 meter guns because they were mistakenly under the impression that they’re only good out to 33 feet, they were concerned that you can’t find parts for them and they never learned to use match sights. They mentally put these guns off limit.

    Once they learn that parts are easily sourced, experienced tuners abound to do the work if they’re not inclined and after they receive a little instruction on the match sights they’re hooked since they’re much more accurate than the sporters they shoot with open sights. Then I hand them an fwb 150 or fwb 300s that has a scope mounted. When they start drilling bullseyes out to 30 yards with air arms falcon pellets they look over at me with a big grin. Without exception these guys also comment on the triggers since they’re not used to a match trigger.

    B.B. will probably cringe at that last part since he has a self imposed rule to only shoot match pellets in match guns and I know it’s sacriligeous to mount a scope on a gun that already has excellent match sights but some of my local airgun friends now own match guns that they never considered buying before shooting mine.

    kevin


    • Kevin,
      I’ve never shot a 150, only the 300s model. I absolutely loved the 300s, and had some moderate success with it in competition. I had no complaints whatsoever with the 300s. I loved everything about it. Is the 150 a lighter, or smaller version than the 300s, or are they about the same in size? I would imagine that they feel similar.
      Victor


      • Victor,

        Both of my fwb 150’s lack the barrel weight/sleeve and neither has an accessory rail. They do have the notch in the end for a bipod. The lack of this weight along with the more curved stock lines vs. the blocky/match stock design of the fwb 300’s make the 150 feel sportier. The ultimate in this series, for me, is an fwb 300 mini I have. It has a stepped stock design (narrow forend like the 150 but a nice blocky area just forward of the trigger guard large enough for a flat palm but no excess) that eliminates excess stock weight, no barrel weight/sleeve (technically the lack of a bull barrel design like my fwb 150’s) and the OAL is about 3″ less than the 150/300 models. Therefore commonly called a “Mini”. Sporty little gun.

        kevin


        • Kevin,
          The accessory rail was a big plus for me, because it allowed me to practice 3-positions, which required a sling. How does the accuracy of the 150 compare with the 300? Similar or same barrels?
          Victor


          • Victor,

            Even off of a rest the 150’s and 300’s are more accurate than I am. Last week we shot the scoped versions out to 50 yards since we had a calm day. They’re such great guns. I don’t know for certain if the barrels are the same on the 150 and 300 but I’ve never owned nor have I heard of a bad barrel on an fwb 150 or 300.

            kevin


        • The notch in the front of the stock is to accept the factory front stock weights. Two different sizes were available. The early guns and Tyroleans were weighted at the front of the stock and the stock is therefore not clearanced enough for a barrel sleeve weight to clear the stock. These weights continued the forward contours of the stock and were painted a dark gray / black hammer forged finish. They are a seldom seen and mostly forgotten accessory but pictured in the original owners manuals for the FWB 150.

          Jon F.


    • Kevin

      I accept you and Frank B’s invitations to shoot your respective FWB 150s. Just let me know what time you will be coming by and I will pencil you in.


      • Slinging Lead,

        You can either borrow my guns to shoot or I will drive to your place and be your guest. You can’t have both. Let me know your choice.

        kevin



  4. B.B.,
    I had no idea this gun had a similar slide arrangement to the 54. Designers looking over each other’s shoulders?

    Victor,
    I posted the additional info about scopes and such on my 54 that you asked about on yesterday’s blog. I forgot to put in there that the 54 MIGHT have broken the first scope I put on it. I hate to perpetuate an urban legend like that, but I know the scope that was on there (an RWS scope) is in the broken pile, and I forget how it happened.

    Lloyd


    • Lloyd,
      Yes, I read your additional comments on yesterdays blog. Thanks!
      No, I wouldn’t want to give the 54 a bum rap, I was more concerned with how owners of the 54 might have overcome their scope issues. I guess it all comes down to buying scopes that are air-gun rated, like the leapers. But are there other scopes besides Leapers that would work fine, without breaking? Regarding Leapers scopes, could one assume that if the scope has the TS (True Strength) label, does that guarantee that it will not break? It’s a shame that RWS scopes would break, since that’s what these rifles come with. That doesn’t help the guns reputation.
      Victor


      • I don’t think that RWS scopes are bad. I have a RWS 4X AO scope on my 48 that I’ve owned for three years now and have thousands of shots on it. Still works fine ,as does the compact RWS 4X that I have on a B-3 Chicom tool truck underlever . The one on the B-3 even has a dented tube where someone tightened the rings to tight. I got that one in a trade I made for some JSB monster pellets I wanted, and it was included.


      • Victor,

        You just pushed the button on a subject that has been talked about for years….”..how owners of the 54 might have overcome their scope issues.”

        Many have used the dampa mount to try to soften recoil to the scope. Very few were successful for very long. Others have purchased 30mm rings, inserted thin pieces of rubber inside the rings (shock absorbers) and then installed their scope with a 1″ tube. Minor success compared to all the messing around.

        Based on my personal experience if you choose the right scope, base and mounts you won’t have any problem scoping a diana 54. Buy the UTG base that was designed (with B.B.’s help) for the diana 54. I had problems with aluminum rings on my 54 so I ended up using warne steel rings. Buy a scope that has been proven to work on magnum springers. Two caveats regarding choosing a scope for a 54:

        First is all about physics: “For every action there is a reaction.” In other words, a large, heavy scope on a diana 54 is not wise. Keep it as small and lightweight as possible while still having the magnification you feel necessary.

        Second is that there are retailers of airguns and airgun accessories that list scopes that they claim are rated for magnum springers (PA IS NOT ONE OF THESE I’M REFERRING TO). It’s common on these sites to see bushnell elite 3200 and 4200 models listed as well as leupold listed. The diana 54 has killed many bushnell elite 3200 and 4200 and leupold scopes.

        My list of scopes, in no particular order, that would be suitable for mounting on a diana 54 are:
        leapers TS
        Some Centerpoints have done well on diana 54’s. Usually the smaller ones.
        Hawke scopes
        Bushnell Legend (has been discontinued but nib are on ebay now). Great scope for the money
        Weaver V series

        kevin


        • Kevin,
          Wow! Sounds like the 54 is really demanding! Is this one of those air-gun that gets smoother, less harsh, with use? I often read reviews in which owners of some magnum air-rifle say that you should shoot so many hundred shots before mounting a scope. Is that the case with the 54?
          Victor


          • Victor,

            The 54 is smooth TO THE SHOOTER right out of the box. There isn’t any “harsh” to the shooter. As B.B. said earlier the 54, 150, 300 etc. aren’t truly recoiless but the shooter feels little to no recoil. Since the actions moves during the firing cycle the gun isn’t recoiless to the scope. The scope takes the full brunt of recoil.

            I’m sure that the 54, like all spring guns, gets smoother after a break in but the shooter won’t tell the difference. The scope might.

            Don’t make a big deal out of mounting a scope on a 54. If you follow the advice you won’t have any problems. It’s not that demanding. Choosing the right scope and mount for ANY MAGNUM SPRINGER should be well thought out. Owners of the diana guns have it easier than most since there’s now a base that allows use of weaver/picatinney rings (best in the business) vs. just the clamping pressure on a dovetail.

            The diana 54 is an airgunning marvel that is still available new in the box.

            kevin


            • Kevin, When I read your second post, I thought you were chewing out the guy who wrote the first cautions, and that was you, too. ha, ah, ha. Anyway, I agree that it shouldn’t be a big deal so long as an appropriate scope is chosen.
              I explained in yesterday’s post about how I modified the mount base to keep the scope optically centered. I don’t know enough about the inner workings of scopes to know if adjusting the elevation to the extreme limit makes a scope susceptible to failure.

              Anybody know?

              Thanks,
              Lloyd


            • Kevin,
              I wouldn’t make a big deal about mounting a scope. I think what you’ve advised is what some buyers might have lacked (i.e., a good plan). I think that the smoothness of such a gun makes it all worth it. I appreciate your detailed responses.
              Thanks,
              Victor


          • What makes the m54 so “deadly” is that the scope is getting double shocked… Recoil to the rear as the action slides back while the piston moves forward, and then the sudden forward stop when the piston travel ends. Even though the rifle is in the 9lb class (the stock nearly challenges my A-Bolt with the laminated beaver tail for width of fore-end), the mass of stock does not buffer the initial rearward travel. So… one has initial recoil to rear, may have a jarring stop if the action travels completely to the rear before the piston slams home in the forward direction.

            Hmm, wonder if I should tighten the rail-pin some on mine; a few milliseconds of recoil applied to the whole system before the ball comes out of the detent might be a factor for longevity. I suspect such an adjustment probably should be made to adjust for the mass of the scope used.


        • Kevin,

          When Pyramyd Air brings in scopes from a mfr they’ve not carried before, the first thing I do is contact the company’s tech support department & ask if the scopes are rated for air rifles. Usually, the answer is “definitely.” Then, I pull out these 2 questions:

          Is the scope braced for the 2-way recoil of a piston that would be the equivalent of being tapped soundly with a rubber mallet?

          Is your scope shockproof?

          Crickets chirping….

          So, you’ll see some scopes listed on Pyramyd Air’s site that state they’re not suitable for spring guns.

          Most mfrs don’t think in terms of scopes taking a beating from a violently ascending & descending piston. I’m happy to open their eyes so the customers don’t end up with a broken scope, blame PA for selling junk and PA having to return boxes of scopes to the mfr.

          They do list some unsuitable scopes that don’t have that waiver, and that’s because I just haven’t gotten around to the ones that were listed before I could get to them πŸ™‚

          Edith


          • Edith,
            I have a question regarding Leapers versus Center Point. Aren’t they really manufactured by the same people? Leapers scopes explicitly say TS. Does Center Point have something similar? I have seen Center Point scopes that say “Torture Tested”. Is that suppose to be the equivalent of TS, or are Center Points in another class as far as being air-gun rated like Leapers and TS? Put it another way, how do I know that a Center Point scope is suitable for a magnum springer?
            Thanks,
            Victor


          • Edith,

            One of the many reasons I like shopping online with Pyramyd Air. The descriptions of items are most of the time not just a recording from the manufacture. In addition, with many items, there’s a link to the latest buzz/article. I also like PA’s return policy although I rarely use it since the descriptions and pictures are accurate.

            Conversely, several years ago I was forced to do business with one of the OTHER airgun retailers since PA didn’t carry the scope I wanted. The scope (around $400.00) was and still is listed as rated for magnum springers. When the scope broke after less than 100 shots I called them for a refund or an exchange. They said I’d have to send it back to the manufacturer myself since that was who gave the lifetime warranty. Refund was not an option.

            There have been many reports of this same line of scope not holding up on magnum springers but this retailer hides behind the manufacturers warranty without involving themselves in any way to satisfy their customers. I’ll never do business with them again.

            kevin



      • SL,
        I don’t know if its in the nature of Germans to make anything as free spirited and frivilous as a throw-away scope.
        That’s a joke !! (kinda)
        Lloyd


        • Lloyd

          Mmmmm. Are the RWS scopes made in Germany? I have no real reason for it, but I am skeptical. RWS sells a great many things, none of which they make. I tend to think a scope that comes with a cheap combo package will be made in China. And not at the Leaper’s factory, which has a pretty good reputation for durability, if not world-class optics.

          Sorry if I seem nervous. Your celebrity status is intimidating! It is somewhat hard to believe I can so easily correspond with a person of your caliber. I am not blowing smoke up your butt. It just seems weird that a game changer is so accessible. I hope that Crosman has supplied you with a Rogue or two for further testing.


          • SL,

            What makes you think Leapers has a scope-making factory? Their scopes are made in either China or Taiwan. I would say they’ve got a good handle on what happens on the production line that makes their optics, which are definitely very good.

            As far as I know, virtually all scopes are made in China or Taiwan. Some Leupolds are made in the U.S.

            To the best of my knowledge, the RWS scopes are not made in Germany. I’m sure that there are still some German-made scopes, but I don’t know for sure which ones they are.

            Edith


            • What I didn’t make clear was that the factory is not THEIR factory. Leapers, like just about everyone else who buys from the Chinese, uses production facilities already in place but makes them adhere to whatever quality assurance levels they require.

              Edith


              • Hi Edith,
                I hope you ARE going to tell me that the owners of Leapers (David Ding and his wife [?? sorry, I forgot her name]) make regular visits to the factory in China to ensure the quality of the product. We have always heard that keeping a visible and committed presence at Chinese factories is the real way to insure quality. I had the pleasure of meeting them both at the Shot Show, and they are definitely hands-on folks who know their products intimately inside and out. When I talked to them their enthusiasm and commitment was oh so obvious. I didn’t realize just how big their product line is outside of airgun optics and the innovations they were presenting ahead of many other optics companies.
                Thanks,
                Lloyd


                • Lloyd,

                  David & Tina Ding are on top of everything. They are incredibly responsive to new ideas, maintaining top-notch quality for their products, and are highly interested in customer feedback and ideas for improving their products.

                  But, they’re not the only company that does that. Crosman does the same thing. The frequency of visits to Chinese factories is mind-boggling. Their commitment is astounding.

                  Edith


          • SL,
            Thanks for the kind words. No, I am just an average guy who could be your neighbor, and who occasionally gets obsessively into projects. Just ask my wife !! At work, there are fixtures and mechanishms scattered about that I’ve designed over the years, and luckily, it has been noticed. For this project, all of the planets came perfectly into alignment, and BB was one of the planets. I still have to pinch myself sometimes, but in general, regarding airguns, their are a LOT of people who know a LOT more than I do, and I learn something on this blog every day. You are a pretty sharp cookie your self, as are all th efolks here, and we all have our niches where we really shine. Doesn’t matter who it is, if we have just a modicum of pride, there is something special there.

            The Rogues are still on strict ration, and I had my week of posession a month ago ( you may have seen my impressions on the Crosman site). There is a long list of folks who are ahead of me now.
            I still am in the garage almost every night trying something new or different. Playing with shrouds right now, and back to the real big calibers. A .510 without hearing protection?
            I do love to talk about the project because it was secret for so long but it is time for the pros to do their thing and see how well Crosman has executed.
            Best regards,
            Lloyd


          • I have the RWS 4xscope and it is definitley Chinese.
            Still, for $75 (what it goes for in Canada) it hasn’t been bad. I’ve got it on a Slavia 630 (not magnum by any stretch), but it has literally thousands of shots on it.


            • CowBoyStar Dad,

              I received an RWS scope on an old vintage gun I purchased quite awhile ago (don’t remember which gun it was). It was an auction site with typical pictures (read poor focus and minimal light) and a brief description. The RWS scope was mentioned but in my mind it didn’t add any value.

              When the gun arrived I glanced at the scope, threw it up to my eye and was amazed by the thin reticle and clear glass. It’s a 4x marked RWS Made in Japan. MUCH smaller and lighter weight than the current versions. I don’t care much for the current RWS scopes that are made in China? but the made in Japan versions are terrific.

              I had alerts on several auction sites for RWS scopes but got tired of sifting through the current versions. I did buy another one on ebay and although it’s dinged up on the outside the scope works perfectly. There’s one of my secrets for you.

              kevin


  5. I bid on one of these on GB, but got outbid. If I had been awake when the auction was up I may have responded in kind. A real shame, as it had nice grain, perfect bluing and original match sites.

    What kind of maintenance is required for the sliding mechanism? Does dirt and dust get in there, or is it sealed somehow? Also, is the technology the same as the Diana 54 or are there some fundamental differences?


  6. So, Robert Beeman is still holding out for his R1 as well as his brace of other products and no pcps either. There is surely some bias there….

    B.B. I don’t know what the different calibers of the RWS 54 and TX200 says in view of their accuracy test. The .177 is supposed to be flatter-shooting and intrinsically more accurate. So does that mean that the 54 would be even more accurate in the smaller caliber?

    Duskwight, I don’t doubt your explanation of the Brandon Lee incident and am not disappointed either. πŸ™‚ Your version actually makes a lot more sense than the story I heard with the fusillade of blanks. So, if I’m understanding this, the round was discharged into the barrel with the force of a primer. Then a blank was used with an extra powder charge and no bullet? Yikes. A stuck round is my ultimate nightmare that turns any gun into a bomb. The question is how to prevent it. Surely there is a difference between the feel of a full power discharge and one that get’s stuck. Is it enough to catch your attention while shooting? That (and safe ammo practices) are the only thing that keeps one from disaster. So how bad could it get for the shooter with a stuck round who fires again. Would he or she die? Lose eyesight?

    And on the subject of the Mosin, I’m trying to figure out the worse case scenario if the round goes off before the bolt is closed. You would certainly get hot gas and shrapnel from the destroyed case. but what about this business of the bolt getting blown into one’s face? That would be much more severe and almost certainly fatal. I suppose it’s possible but much less likely.

    A search on Google for “Mosin firing pin protrusion” turns up my comment yesterday on the second page or so of results, so you see the state of knowledge out there. πŸ™‚ It’s really an unfortunate circumstance but risking the danger of an exploding rifle is not something I care to share with the Russian women snipers or a lot of their other experience either to be perfectly honest. But that hasn’t stopped me from more obsessive reading. Consider that the Eastern Front of WWII bids fair to be one of the worst fighting environments of all time with its weather and extreme savagery based on ideology and a certain amount of history. The account of a German grunt in The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer makes me think that things could hardly get worse. And yet snipers needed to endure even greater ordeals by definition in order to outlast and surprise the enemy. In addition, the regular stress of combat was ratcheted up considerably with the stress of stalking and the accompanying awareness that a malevolent force was gunning for you personally. One woman writes about a duel with an enemy sniper that lasted a week and claimed that “I could feel his presence and he could feel mine.” I don’t suppose that leaving the region was an option, so it had to be one or the other. It goes without saying that snipers had to be capable of long shots, but what is surprising is how many accounts have snipers shooting each other. The legendary Simo Haya, ultimate sniper of all time was taken out by a Russian sniper who caused a severe facial wound with an exploding bullet before Haya jumped up and took him out (with seemingly half his head gone according to witnesses. Even with reconstructive surgery the effects were frightful.). This kind of exchange of fire must have taken place at short range, so there was an aspect of the quick draw gunfight too. Incidentally, it is very puzzling how this could be. You would think that experts in concealment with long range weapons would take out their opponent without them knowing what hit them. No doubt this did happen in a lot of cases, but the number of short range gunfights still seems disproportionate. How? I attribute this to the strange phenomenon of somehow knowing that someone is watching you even if you can’t see them. It is a circumstance that seems mundane with familiarity but utterly baffling. PeteZ, you who do not believe in ESP, do you have anscientific explanation for this that truly seems like action at a distance? I’m not necessarily a believer in ESP, but I do believe that there are a lot of things out there, including the capabilities of the human mind and body, that are not only outside of the reach of science in its current form but may always be. Anyway, the larger point is that these sniper duels, combining the elements of just about every other shooting situation whether it is the Quigley long shot or the Clint Eastwood gunfight (and Boondocker Saints!) in horrific circumstances seem like the most intense shooting challenges that I have ever heard of. I don’t know if anyone knows of any that can surpass them.

    Slinging Lead, in the sniper’s beauty pageant, I’d say Roza Shanina has got some competition. Have a look at Natalia Kovshova, especially in her schoolgirl portrait with the little sailor suit….

    My attention has also been caught by Russian women fliers of WWII, especially the so-called “Night Witches” who flew bombing missions at night in biplanes without parachutes. There’s an inspiration for your rc flying especially with regard to flirting with disaster.

    Matt61


    • Matt, you worry too much . Just look at the millions of Mosins made , and realize that if you make millions of anything , someone ,somewhere is going to have problem. It’s just Karma. The fact that there were no wholesale failures of Mosin rifles in those horrific battle field conditions,speaks to the inherent durability of the design.
      Simo Haya, used the Russian sub-machine gun for most of his kills in the winter war between Finn land and Russia. He was more a hunter than a long range specialist. I have a one of the Finnish Mosins ,and have owned five others ,and can say that they are very fine weapons and as accurate and safe as any of the battle rifles fielded then. Of all the battle rifles ever issued in the two world wars , I believe only the Ross rifle was truly a unsafe design , and only because the bolt could be assembled incorrectly.


      • I tend to agree with you Robert. That’s one of the two things I have with the net…someone has an issue with a product, posts it and gets ‘X’ amount of responses. Let’s say 50 people have the same experience out of a few million (the number of Mosins out their). In reality you probably have less of a chance of having one fail in your hands than of being hit by lighting or falling down and killing yourself in your bathtub.
        But because of the way the ‘net works, you google ‘Moisins catastrophic failures’ and you get 3 or 4 pages of results. Whoo-boy, that’s bad!!!
        You’re still more likely to die in the bathtub, however.
        (the other thing I hate about the ‘net…how people say ignorant things to others that they’d never have the guts to say in person)


        • Matt

          Do you have any links to Ms. Natalia Kovshova? My searches came up empty. You may have infected me with the female Russian sniper obsession syndrome. (FRSOS)

          Competition for Roza eh? What about the swimsuit competition? Yes, I AM shallow.


    • Matt,

      I respect Robert Beeman more than most people do, but when it comes to “inherent” accuracy of the .177 pellet, he and I disagree. I even wrote a long diatribe in The Airgun Letter that addressed the subject. I said the only reason .22 caliber pellets are not used in world competition is because they are not permitted to. All the scoring equipment and software has been developed for .177 caliber.

      So I always find it amusing when the .22 beats the .177 fort accuracy. That’s not to say that I dislike the .177, because I don’t. I use whatever gets the job done best.

      On the subject of the Mosin Nagant, Matt, there were almost 20 million model 91/30 Mosins made, not to mention the other models. That’s more battle rifles than the United States has made for its military since the 20th century began.

      How do we know the guy on the internet didn’t just overload his gun?

      B.B.


      • Matt: If you would like to read a book about the shortcomings and positive attributes of bolt action rifles from the perspective of a well known gunsmith and writer who lived during the golden years of surplus rifles and of remodeling them. I can suggest the book “Bolt Action Rifles ” by Frank De Haas,ISBN#0-910676-69-0. It was published by DBI Books Inc. 1971 (1984, is the revised edition). He goes into great detail about the differences,strengths, and desirability of the various military surplus and modern rifle actions.
        I will also say that the only rifle I ever saw blow up ,while I was present , actually right next to me on the firing line,was a Winchester mod (pre-64 ) 70 bolt action ,chambered in .270 cal. The gentleman who was in his late 70’s at the time had inadvertently loaded a bullet for a 7mm (7×57,.284 dia) into a .270 cartridge case. The fact that he was wearing shooting glasses saved his eyesight. The stock blew out at the magazine ,the floorplate of the magazine blew out , and the bolt handle had to be hammered open. The bullet left the barrel , but there were brass shrapnel pieces embedded in the mans face, and wood slivers in his arm. He did say the cartridge chambered very hard. So, it goes to show that most gun failures are due to a personal error , very seldom not the design of the weapon. That event had a big effect on me, and showed we are all human and we can make mistakes.


      • I respect Dr. Beeman on many different fronts. While many people second guess his marketing efforts, I tend to wonder what the state of American airgunning would be without his influence. He has a good eye for quality, and made it easier for Americans to acquire the best airguns on the market. I will be looking forward to this podcast.


    • Matt,

      I can say that magnum springer’s mainspring in case of rear pin failure is capable of breaking human skull.
      When you take a path, you must understand its dangers.It’s all about figures – e.g. basic risk is 1:100000, by smart choosing your rifle you make it 1:1000000, by proper checking your rifle every time you make it 1:10000000, by using proper ammo you add another zero, good maintenance and handling add another zero and so on. Risk of bolt blowing your head off never disappears. It just becomes smaller and smaller. Catastrophic failure in this case must be a sign that you’ve really ticked some angels off.

      As far as I know Mosin, it’s quite hard to cycle it keeping it shouldered. You’ve got to take it a bit away from you, so risk of open bolt discharge is much smaller, you’d rather have your hand or your side damaged. You can use heavy leather shooting jacket and adequate sight protection.
      As far as I know some enthusiasts in US reload 7,62×54 rounds making them very hot. And still Mosin shoots that OK.

      duskwight


    • Matt,
      You said,”do you have anscientific explanation for this that truly seems like action at a distance? I’m not necessarily a believer in ESP, but I do believe that there are a lot of things out there, including the capabilities of the human mind and body, that are not only outside of the reach of science in its current form but may always be.”

      You might find interesting a new up comming documentary type movie called “I Am”. It addresses the questions you are asking.
      -Chuck


      • Chuck

        By the way, a man who taught me some tricks on using rifle always told me – “In case you ever hunt a man, never aim a man. Aim a pocket on his uniform, a button, a spot of dirt on his back etc. Human beings feel it and those who are in war have heightened senses and sharp instincts”.
        Grandpa described to me that feeling of being targeted and he told me, that it can really be sensed.

        duskwight


        • Amazing! Thanks for that. I never hunted a man but I’ve hunted 60 at once in their submarines. The only time I ever felt like I was being targeted was when I could see Russian destroyers guns and/or missles as they tracked my plane. ΡΡ‚Ρ€Π°ΡˆΠ½Ρ‹ΠΉ !
          -Chuck



            • duskwight,
              Thank you very much for the nice compliment but I’m not that young, but close. No, the Orion came in after I was out. I flew in the P2V Neptune. Strange looking aircraft, I know. They weren’t pressurized like the Orion and if we went over 8,000 ft we had to go on oxygen. I think the Navy kept them for as long as they did because they were expendable. If we ever had to nuc a sub we probably would never have outrun our own blast but the sub cost 1,000 times more than we did with a much larger crew. πŸ™‚
              -Chuck


  7. BB:
    Off topic , but there is an article about the Sheridan Knocabout pistol in the current May/June issue of “Backwoodsman ” magazine. Nothing that you probably don’t know but a nice little story, and interesting in the fact that very few things are ever written about these pistols. There is also a good article on the Stevens little scout rifles which were of the same vintage as the Winchester 1902 single shots you and CSD were talking about the other day on the blog.


  8. BB

    Matt reminded me that the review of the AA S200 was interrupted by your unfortunate medical problems. Now that you are healthy as a horse, is there any chance you will be revisiting this rifle?

    As it is a small rifle, maybe Edith’s input would add dimension to the review.


  9. Alan in MI,

    Yup, I’m still here– thanks for thinking of me! My .22 RWS 54 is nestled gently in the closet in its case with UTG mount and Leapers scope, all rubbed down with Ballistol, just as I left it every time I shot it. It’s got 200 shots through it and probably will never get another. Too heavy. I’m just too lazy. And you know I like that shoulder pounding recoil (gulp!- ignore that, B.B.) and the joy that still hitting the target in spite of it gives me. I’ve been quiet on the blog lately only because I had nothing meaningful to say (not that I ever did when I did anyway.)

    I just kick back and enjoy S.L., Kevin, TwoTalon, Matt61, Chuck, and all the old greats. And Duskwight is pretty cool too- amazing how much diverse experience this bunch brings together. Alright, enough meaningless blather. I’ll crawl back into my cave now.

    AlanL



      • Kevin,

        Never sold anything on the yellow before, not sure of the mechanics of it. I’ll look into it. I’ll probably sell the 54 and the brand new Blue Streak, even though B.B. says it’s the best survival gun of all, but in my humble only for 350 lb gorillas who can pump it 6 times. If the weather’s nice this weekend I’ll photograph everything. I plan to keep my 350 and HW30(S). Those are the ones I enjoy shooting the most, and the 2240.

        AlanL


        • AlanL,

          Have you considered placing a WTT (Want To Trade) ad on the yellow classifieds for the gun you would prefer owning?

          The yellow classifieds have a search feature that is a valuable resource to view the models of guns you’re thinking of selling that have already sold. Searching by “date” rather than “match” will reveal the most recent sales. Better than the blue book in many cases. gunbroker.com is also a good resource for this. On gunbroker limit your search to the “air rifle” catagory.

          Good pictures = Good prices.

          Like many auction sites a link to your good feedback puts buyers at ease. The more positive feedback on internet auction sites you can direct buyers to the better. Do you have positive feedback on a site like ebay? It’s not absolutely necessary but helps.

          kevin



        • AlanL,
          I enjoy following everyone’s progression in air gun ownership, as predictable as it is. Certainly opinions vary but the righteous path is well travelled. The Blue Streak as you learned is a wonderful tool, but only if you need to club zombies or are 16 years old, at least in my opinion.

          If I may be so bold, an R9 or R1 would seem to be a more perfect complement to that HW30S than the 350, albeit both will offer a bit less power. The benefit of having the exact same trigger on both rifles cannot be understated. I hesitate to offer as this may be misconstrued as simply a long sales pitch, but I have an R9 with JM internals that you are welcome to for $300 plus shipping. It is however a scope only configuration.

          Lastly, if you need assistance selling on the yellow just let me know.


        • AlanL–I am not a 350-lb. gorilla, yet I can pump the Blue Streak 6 times. I did some of my best rat killing with it…off-hand.

          Volvo–You’ve just given us another reason to like the Blue Streak: zombie-killing. While I don’t believe zombies exist, those who DO believe will now see it as another reason to buy it πŸ™‚

          Edith


  10. About a month ago I asked if anything could be done with my Winchester 1000X ( a turd). It was not much fun to shoot, rough and twangy with a creepy trigger. Thanks to suggestions from Kevin and Twotalon, along with some inspiration from Wulfraed, I decided to attempt my first tune. After acquiring supplies from Mr. Maccari and following BB’s 13 steps, I got the job done. I also found a site that showed how to modify the trigger assembly. The rifle now cocks and shoots smoothly. The trigger is fairly crisp and predictable. The velocity increased by about 80 fps.( CPLs were used before and after to check this) So I guess you really can polish a turd. Thanks guys ! Toby


    • Toby,
      That is a great success story for your first try! Of course, now you will become hopelessly hooked on airguns and have build a spring compressor and get more supplies so that nothing you own will go untouched. LOL I really love being able to work on airguns and occasionally even making them better.

      Good work!
      Lloyd


    • Toby, keep an eye on that. I’ve had a couple of Powerline 1000’s (same action, I believe) and found them to be extremely unpleasant to shoot, but very powerful and accurate. On both guns, however, even mild attempts to improve the trigger resulted in good results at first, but eventually both became unreliable and would release on their own.


      • Vince Thanks for the heads up, I’ve only put around 100 pellets through it since the work was done, so far so good. Taking them apart and fooling with them adds a whole new dimension to this sport, I think Lloyd is right….time for more supplies and a home made spring compressor.LOL Toby


    • Sometimes you can do some good, or even a lot of good….then there are times that things are not so hot.
      I dread looking inside some guns because of some of the things I have seen, and I have not been inside very many compared to what others have.

      twotalon


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