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Accessories FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 1

FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

The FWB 300s is considered the gold standard of vintage target air rifles.

I’ve danced around writing this report for the better part of a year, and some of you have asked me when I was going to get around to it. Well, today is the day we’ll begin looking at Feinwerkbau’s fabulous 300S — considered by many airgunners to be the gold standard of vintage 10-meter target air rifles.

Today’s blog is an important resource for those who are interested in fine vintage 10-meter target rifles, because I’m going to give you the links to all the other reports I’ve done.

FWB 150
Haenel 311
Walther LGV Olympia
HW 55 Tyrolean
Diana model 60

There are plenty of vintage 10-meter rifles that I haven’t tested for you yet. The Diana 75, the Anschutz 380, the Walther LGR, the Anschutz 250 and the Gamo 126 all come to mind; but if you want to split hairs, there are numerous similar models like the Walther LG55 and the Diana 65 that also belong to a very long list of classic oldies. But the guns we’ve looked at thus far are a fair representation of the classic era of target air rifles. Today, we’ll look at the rifle many consider to be the pinnacle of achievement during that period.

You probably know the history, but if you don’t — first there was the FWB 110, a sidelever target rifle that recoiled! Yes, it recoiled. What’s more, Feinwertkbau didn’t make too many of them. The 110 is considered to be a very desirable airgun collectible today, and many advanced airgunners, including me, have never even seen one. According to the Blue Book of Airguns, fewer than 200 were made from 1962-1964.

The FWB 150 followed the 110 and introduced Feinwerkbau’s anti-recoil system. I reviewed the FWB 150 for you last June. I found it to be easy to shoot and compellingly accurate, but it wasn’t everything it could be. That honor awaited the 300S that I’m reviewing for you today.

The FWB 150 is the predecessor of the 300S. It shares a more sporterized stock profile with the interim FWB 300.

A footnote deserves to be inserted here, as the first edition of the Beeman catalog, a collectible in its own right, also mentioned an FWB 200 model, existing at the same time as the 300. A short line in the Blue Book says the model 200 was similar to the model 300 but lacked the recoil-compensation system. Until I researched today’s report, the model 200 was unknown to me and I’ve certainly never seen one. Is it as rare as the model 110? Has anyone ever seen one? These are the curious things that pop up as we research this fascinating hobby, and they’re what keeps the collector in me in a permanent state of anticipation.

The model 300 was much like the 150, in that it has a single coiled, steel mainspring and a thinner, more sporterized stock, yet it was definitely labeled a 300, rather than the 150. You don’t see as many straight 300 rifles as you do 150 rifles these days. Perhaps that’s because when the 300S came out it overshadowed the 300 and drove it from the marketplace in fairly short order. The 300S was a very different gun.

If you’re like me, you never paid much attention to the difference between a 300 and the 300S. What’s in a letter designation, after all? A lot of things, as it turns out.

Let’s start with the mainspring. The 300S has two coiled steel springs that are wound in opposite directions. It’s said they cancel the slight amount of torque at firing, though I cannot say that I’ve ever noticed any torque in my 150. The RWS Diana 48 sidelever does have noticeable torque upon firing, and you’ll feel a definite rocking to the right after the trigger is pulled. Since the sidelever already unbalances that rifle, the feeling is magnified; but the 150 doesn’t have the same feeling. At least — my rifle, which was recently tuned by Randy Bimrose, doesn’t.

The 300S stock is shorter than the stock on the 300/150. It also has a more vertical pistol grip to enhance the offhand hold. A slight flare at the bottom might go unnoticed in the catalog photos; but when you hold the rifle, the pistol grip grabs you right back.

Anti-recoil mechanism
So, how does this rifle block the recoil? Well, for starters, it actually doesn’t! All the FWB spring-piston target rifles do recoil; but in the 150 models and the 300-series there’s a special system in the stock that isolates the shooter from the movement. A set of steel rails set into the stock allows the action to move while the stock remains still. The shooter doesn’t feel any recoil and only the slightest vibration in some guns. But you do notice the movement of the action, because of the eyepiece that’s close to your sighting eye. The movement is very short — on the order of a quarter-inch or so — but if you’re close to the rear sight you’ll notice it. A rubber eyecup helps take up the shock and prevent your eye from banging into the rear sight disk, and I find it necessary to use this accessory with this model rifle.

This system is called the sledge system, after the name for a dry-land type of sled whose runners make it easy to drag heavy loads. It’s completely different from the Giss anti-recoil system, in which a counterweighted piston actually has no discernible recoil.

This mechanism is very refined compared to a similar system found on the RWS Diana model 54 Air King. Of course, that magnum spring-piston rifle has to deal with three times the power in a rifle of similar weight, so it’s actually doing quite a good job of canceling the recoil. Still, when the 300S lever is retracted, there’s no “levering” of the action required at the end of the cocking stroke like you have with the Diana 54. The ratcheting anti-beartrap safety that prevents the sliding compression chamber from smashing your thumb during loading does not need a separate button to release the cocking lever after you’ve loaded. The only extra step the 300S does have is a small locking latch on the sidelever that unlocks the lever at the start of the cocking stroke. The 150 and 300 cocking levers both have an end section that pivots outward to unlock the cocking lever and achieve the same thing.

Press down on the cocking lever latch to release the lever for cocking and loading.

The sidelever on a 300S is also much shorter than the one on the 150, yet the cocking effort remains as light. Obviously, some geometry was changed when the model was updated.

Daisy gun
My 300S is a Daisy gun. While many were imported and sold by Beeman, many more came into the U.S. through Daisy when the company was trying to establish itself as a target gun company. The FWB name trumped the Daisy name, however, and a Daisy FWB is exactly the same as one from Beeman or one imported directly from Europe.

This 300S came from Daisy.

No piston seal
Another odd but not unique feature of these rifles is the lack of a conventional piston seal. Instead of a traditional seal, they use a metal ring much like those found on an automobile engine’s piston. These rings will last for millions of cycles, as some club guns have demonstrated, though other parts like the breech seal will eventually have to be replaced. And the coiled steel mainspring set needs occasional replacement, as well.

Many Webley pistols and a couple of the older Webley rifles have the same design, so piston rings are not unique in the airgun world. They are, however, features that are found only on guns of quality.

When the 150/300 was new, American airgunners were not used to light target triggers as a rule. They were accustomed to a 3-lb. pull being considered light. So, when they encountered the FWB trigger that releases at ounces rather than pounds, they were astounded. In fact, if they’d been accustomed to shooting the older target rifles from the 19th century, like Ballards, Maynards and Winchesters, all of which had fine double-set triggers, they would have been less impressed.

The 300S trigger has a nominal pull weight ranging from 3.5 oz. to 17.7 oz. (an optional trigger spring boosts that range from 10.6 oz. to 52.8 oz.). In target rifle terms, even the lighter range is not very light, though I find it just right for me. The trigger on my rifle releases at a satisfying 4.4 oz. It’s a two-stage pull with stage two being very definite. With practice, you can get on target and “think” the trigger off as the sight picture becomes perfect.

The 300S trigger also adjusts for position, cant and first-stage travel — all things that the 150 trigger does not do. Although the 150 trigger is just as light and crisp as the one on the 300S, you can’t reposition it. It’s also curved like a sporting trigger instead of straight like the target trigger found on the 300S.

The trigger of a target air rifle has no lower limit, the way a target air pistol does. In the ISSF rules for air pistols, a match pistol trigger must break at more than 500 grams (17.64 oz.). This is done in the interest of safety, as the muzzle of a pistol is too easy to move while on a firing line. But a rifle like the 300S is more obvious and easier to control, so there’s no lower limit. Some target air rifles today are releasing at less than 50 grams (1.76 oz.) of force.

Stock configuration
The stocks of the vintage target air rifles show a fairly broad latitude of design, but they stop short in a few important areas. Tyrolean stocks are not permitted in World Cup and Olympic matches, nor are butt hooks. Today’s rifles are studies in ergonomics applied against these rules. Today, a 300S looks fairly normal to eyes that are accustomed to wild aluminum stocks with numerous adjustments; but when it was new, it seemed to push the envelope of possibility. I suppose it’s equivalent to how the finned cars of the late 1950s appeared when they were new compared to how we see them today.

Another drastic measure was taken at the World Cup level in the realm of target sights. For a brief time, the tube-type rear aperture sight was used, but complaints that it gave an unfair advantage caused a ruling that it was no longer permitted. This is very odd, since tube-type sights have been in use since at least 1776 and were in widespread use in target matches throughout the 19th century. But the ruling was made, and today’s rear sights cannot use tubes to enhance the sharpness of the sight picture.

FWB target rear sights looked as exotic as a Rolex watch when they were new in the 1970s. Today, they seem almost simple, but they still do the job. The click detents are nowhere close to the thousandth-inch measurements of the Vernier scale peep sights I showed you recently; but since you’re shooting 10 meters instead of 1,000 yards, they’re more than adequate for the job.

Unfortunately, these rifles were also sold without sights for a slightly reduced price, and many buyers mounted short scopes on their 11mm sight dovetails. While they may have been pleased with the gun that way, they created a shortage of sights for the future that is difficult to resolve. Until five years ago, you either had to install a hoplessly crude rear sight made either in Spain or China and live with the problems of adjustment backlash, or you had to pony up almost as much money as you paid for the entire rifle just to buy a set of precision sights.

AirForce corrected that lack for you with their adaptive rear target sight that fits most 10-meter guns. For about a third of what a German rear sight costs, you get a unit that’s the equivalent of the vintage FWB rear sight; and as a bonus, it looks at home on any rifle. An additional feature that never seems to get mentioned is this sight can be removed from its base and installed in a standard one-inch scope ring — multiplying the possible applications greatly.

The front sight looks more conventional and is of the globe design with replaceable inserts. On the 300S, it’s part of a larger aluminum barrel sleeve that makes it proprietary. When the globe on an Anschütz or Weihrauch target rifle slides onto a dovetail, this globe actually fits only the 300S barrel.

The front sight on this HW55 attaches to two dovetails of standard width. All Weihrauch rifles that have dovetails can use this sight.

The FWB 300S front sight globe is integral with an aluminum sleeve that fits over the barrel. It’s either this or nothing!

The front sight is pinned to the barrel through the sight base. On some versions of the 300S, like the Universal and the later Match, this pin is at the bottom of the barrel. On my rifle it’s located at the top.

You may have also noticed that the 300S has a blued barrel sleeve that’s slenderer than the one on the 150. Only toward the end of the barrel does it swell a bit. That’s because the 300S barrel is longer than the one on the 150, so there has to be less sleeve material to balance the weight correctly.

But the real test of this airgun comes with shooting. I’ve already shot this rifle several times, so I know what’s in store. You should feel eager expectation for the next two installments, because this rifle wants to shoot!

116 thoughts on “FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 1”

  1. B.B.,

    THIS is the rifle that I grew up on! I absolutely loved this rifle! And it’s accuracy impressed me as much as any other rifle that I’ve ever had the pleasure to shoot. My smallbore rifles were all Anschutz: 1411 Prone, 1407 Standard, and 1413 Free Style.

    On my very last tournament before ending my competitive marksmanship career at age 17, I dropped only 14 points over my last 7 of 8 targets (5 bulls, one shot each). That’s an average of 2 9’s and 3 10’s for each target. This of course was by older rules, so I probably was wearing jeans, low-cut flat boots, and a thin, very flexible, leather jacket. Of course, this was all in the offhand position. In the prone position, this rifle could shoot near-pinwheels all day.

    I’m sure it’s possible that someone might wonder what happened on my first of eight targets. I dropped 17 points. Something happened during the beginning of the tournament that really upset me. In any case, I still won the match, but just missed a national record for a junior by a few points. Yes, it would have been nice to have had another attempt, but that was not to be after I started college.

    At that time (the 70’s), three-position air-rifle competition didn’t exist, like it does today. I wish it had because it would have made competitive marksmanship accessible to more people. The FWB 300S was the perfect rifle for this because it also had an accessory rail, so you could shoot it with the same sling you might use on your smallbore rifle. I was curious about it’s performance, so I did shoot it in the prone position at 50 feet using standard NRA 50 foot targets. At that time I could shoot X’s all day indoors in the prone position, and found this to be the case with the FWB 300S as well.

    I don’t recall if my model was stamped “Daisy”. I knew very little about this as a machine, I just knew that it was on the same class as my smallbore rifles. These are guns that the shooter does exceed (at least not me, or anyone that I knew of). I loved this rifle!


    • I remember the 1407. I had one myself and it lives on in my 1907 that I have now. The purpose of getting the 1907 was in part to leap over all talk about high-end guns by having the best ever of its class, and so it has proved to be. That lock up and trigger are…jewel-like. I can only marvel at the kind of performance you are talking about. My 1407 was beyond my capabilities. When you scratch targets including some in prone, you know something is really wrong…


      • Matt61,
        I think that “Standard Rifle” competition is the ultimate test of a shooters real abilities. I don’t know about now, but when I competed, the rules were ultra strict. No hook butt-plates, weight limitations (had to be relatively light), no thumb-hole stocks, no pistol grips, essentially no adjustability, other than sights. They put everyone on the same level playing field. It was primarily targeted at women and juniors, but I think it should have been a class in it’s own even for men. Again, the 1407 had the same feel as the FWB 300S because it had essentially the same stock.

  2. I have been sorely tempted by one of these. So much so that I might even consider trading my FWB 601 for one of these and an Edge (have to take care of the grandson).

    • Ridgerunner and nowhere,

      To have an FWB 601 or a 602 single-stroke pneumatic was always my dream, so don’t feel slighted in the least by your rifles. Yes they are newer and yes, they may not look like the classic 300S, but they are classics in their own right.

      I have owned a Walther LGR, and, while it is a remarkable rifle for its era, the FWB 601 I tested was the better target rifle. Feinwerkbau had improved the cocking linkage and taken several important pounds of effort from the pumping effort. And nobody can fault the FWB barrel!

      Rejoice in the rifles you own, because they are tops.


  3. Everyone,

    I knew this rifle would tug at your heartstrings, because it does mine, as well. This is the gun Robert Beeman became so fascinated with that he founded the Beeman company to share his love of airguns with the rest of the country. And, according to what he said during an interview last year, this is the only non-Beeman gun he would want to keep if he was suddenly forced to choose just a few airguns from his collection. The others were an R1, R7 and a P1. He couldn’t live with just one airgun, he said.

    I have a lot more to say about the history of the 300S as well as recording the performance of this one rifle, so this should be a satisfying report for many of us.

    I didn’t mention it in the report but Mac has been a collector of the FWB 150/300 rifles for many years. I believe he still has about seven of them remaining — despite selling a few at Roanoke last year. He plans on getting them resealed, so if you want one there will probably be a couple coming to Roanoke this year. I may sell my 150 there, as well, because it is so much like the 300S, yet I like the 300S best.

    So plan on coming to the Roanoke airgun Expo in October, if you can.

    Mac will be feeding me facts and perhaps some photos of variations of the 300S that few have ever seen — like the Running Target model. This should be an enjoyable report.


    • B.B.,
      Yes, the running boar model! I remember when the target systems were being demonstrated along with the modified 300S’s. Man! I would have loved to have gotten into that kind of competition, but it was a shooting sport that simply wasn’t getting traction here in the states. At that time, it was a huge sport in some Latin American countries, and was dominated to the extend that US simply had no one to put up an serious challenges. It’s a tough sport, and amazing how these guys are shooting at a two-headed boar with a target (scoring rings), and actually going for 10’s! Of course, the real competition was with smallbore and shot at 50 meters, but everything existed for 10 meters with the FWB’s.

      For those who may never have seen this, the target shot across from left to right, or right to left, and the shooter had to start with the rifle held down by the waist. When the “running boar” was released, the shooter had to bring the rifle up and shoot. I tried it. It was fun, but seriously challenging if you wanted to score at the level of real competitors.

      Oh, the memories! Almost forgot about this. THANKS!


      • There’s a very interesting Yellow post on Running Target:


        The poster picked up an air rifle RT machine for free from the old Beeman warehouse as the company moved out. The post describes how he fixed it up, and includes some great descriptions and videos on how the machine works. Ingenious stuff like adjustable target speed, and video cameras to show the target after it reaches the end of its run.


        • GenghisJan,
          That’s a great video, followed by actual competition footage. Interesting that the targets changed. Back in the 70’s, the targets actually had a two-headed picture of a wild boar with bulls at each end.
          Something like this, , where the 0’s are the bulls with scoring rings and the ‘s are the faces.

          • Heh. Like B.B. said, we wouldn’t want folks to lose their Big Mac appetites at the thought of firing upon a vaguely animal-shaped paper target. Truly vicious, depraved stuff that.

    • Looks like fun. Skeet shooting with a rifle. But the expense for the facilities will be considerably greater. Is there ever a (responsible) hunting situation when you will actually try to shoot a running animal? I thought you were supposed to wait for it to stop or let it go. If the boar is charging, it is only a threat if it is coming at you. I don’t mind boars charging at right angles to me.


      • Matt61,
        That’s what I thought. It is like shooting skeet with a rifle. Yes, you’re right about shooting an animal when it’s still, but apparently wild boars are known to be aggressive and attack. The smart boar would attack you by attacking in a circular by decaying orbit around you, as opposed to straight in.

  4. One day, one day I WILL own a 300S! And a Diana 75, and an LGR… Those match air rifles just seem so classic and elegant. I’m satisfied with a 602 for now though. I don’t think it’s as pretty as the trio I mentioned above but it certainly shoots far beyond my capabilities!

    • Hey Volvo!

      Thanks for the link. Considering my lack of shooting skills I’ll be watching for when this technology is brought to market.

      Hope all is well with you and especially your daughter.


  5. B.B., I too love posts on these classic guns. Although, this one was likely not in the ARH or Beeman catalogs in the the latter ’70s, it is certainly like the ones I drooled over. In your post about getting your father in law to shoot your target pistol you named it and included a picture of the pistol you used in competition. Its name escapes me but I remember that I thought it was the cat’s meow.

  6. You know, B.B., the the videos I linked to last evening were filmed before you joined the Army but they might bring back memories (or they might be entertaining). Not that I think you have must time for it.


  7. What a neat rifle. I think the 300 that Rex has been using at DIFTA is the Running Target version. I’m not even sure what the difference is. Is it perhaps more scope-friendly?

    I was blown away to learn how usable these ultra-light target triggers can be. The first couple of tries with a few-ounce trigger, you’re touching off shots just trying to get your finger onto the trigger blade. Then, once you learn to touch the blade without tripping it, the tiniest coffee jitter sends the shot downrange. But with just a bit of practice and concentration, you’re soon able to actually feel a first and second stage, and start reaping the benefits on target. It’s amazing how precise these mecanisms need to be to deliver that sort of lightness so predictably, repeatably, and safely!

    Like many others here, I must eventually add a true target rifle to my inventory. And these classic rifles seem like a great way to get there: terrific value, and lovely aesthetics (all due respect to all-metal space-guns, which look great in their own ways).


  8. The accuracy, and the fact that it has an accessory rail, make the Challenger the best entry level target rifle, in my opinion. If I were bringing up a young person to be a competitive marksman, I’d get the Challenger, and all of the equipment (mat, jacket, spotting scope, etc.) that they’d later need to enter into smallbore competition.


  9. When I saw the title of todays article and the picture a big smile came across my face.

    I like vintage 10 meter guns for many reasons. Primarily their ease of accuracy in general. The quality of wood and metal finish also trips my trigger and is further evidence of how shallow I really am.

    At one time I owned 14 vintage 10 meter FWB’s. Type I’s, Type II’s, Tyroleans, RT’s etc. My favorite configuration is the RB/RT. Every one was accurate. FWB made great barrels back in the day and their powerplants were on average much hotter than the typical 10 meter gun. 600++fps with a light pellet is common. This is probably the reason that not many shooters or tuners messed up these guns. It was common practice back in the day to punch ports and enlarge leades which over time screwed up these guns. I’ve seen this in many 10 meter guns but never in an FWB.

    The typical higher velocity that FWB 10 meter guns generate have made them very popular with the sporting crowd. There are many airgunners that only own one 10 meter gun and it’s an FWB sledge gun. These guns aren’t difficult to scope but require a proprietary mount with the hardened cross slot to marry with the groves on the FWB receiver. Sportsmatch still makes these mounts. Not sure if the airforce rear adaptive sight that B.B. mentions in todays article has a stop provision for an FWB.

    Harry (Yraah) did some lengthy shooting with his FWB 300 at 100 yards and posted the results on the internet. You could cover his 10 shot groups with a half dollar. I’m not as good a shot as harry but have shot many of my FWB’s out to 50 yards and in calm conditions the groups are amazing. Almost without exception my FWB’s preferred the air arms falcon pellets for long range shooting. Great BC for a lightweight pellet.

    Here’s my RT:



      • Victor,

        Thank you. Guess you now know that I get bored just shooting at paper targets. The moving targets are a hit with everyone it seems. I like the paintballs on golf tees you can see in the back on my newer saw horse. 🙂

        I think we would have a great time shooting together.


        • Kevin,
          It would be an absolute joy to shoot with you! I know I’d learn a great deal. Plus, you have lots of goodies to make it the mostest fun. I’m building my own assortment of targets, but that’s all on hold these days.

    • Wow, Kevin. What a great rifle, and an intriguing scope. Am I recalling correctly that a dedicated RT scope like yours has a couple of dedicated, individually adjustable reticles, one each for when the target is moving left v. right? Thanks for sharing.


      • GenghisJan,

        You are correct. The B. Nickel Running Target scope has 4 adjustable turrets on the tube of the scope. They’re located at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 o’clock on the scope tube. The reticle is two parallel perpendicular lines. The reticle is designed to “frame” your moving target. The 4 turrets are to adjust the width and height of the lines. Each line can be adjusted individually.


    • TwoTalon,you could call me…….or Email.
      Kevin,your RT is very sweet,my knees are knocking about that scope!
      BB,would you like to shoot the 110?? All I ask is that you find me a 200….PLEASE!
      Vintage 10 meter rifles are the single malt scotch of airgun collecting IMHO,followed by parlor guns.
      I “tuned” a H.M. Quackenbush model 1 last night,and made a new rawhide seal.It is .21 caliber,smoothbore,with a loading trough.I figured out the secret to loading it!! It cocks by pushing the barrel in until the adjustable sear catches.Then you slide the barrel back out until the trough is exposed……(it is 1″ long to accomodate parlor darts) after you load the ball,extend the barrel to the shooting position.Then you need to seat the ball using a rod down the barrel until it rests against the transfer port! Doing that last part tripled the velocity.I think it’s shooting over 200fps with a 14.3gr lead ball.The weather today won’t allow me to chrony it.Now to make some .21 darts….

      • Frank B.,

        You own a 110? All I ask is that you take some good pictures of it so we can show it to everyone. I’ll let you describe how it shoots. Maybe do a test target or two.

        What the heck — how about a guest blog on the 110? 😉


      • Yikes! Maybe I’m missing a step or two but it sounds like you’re sticking a rod down the barrel of a loaded and cocked gun?! That would make me very nervous.

        • Chuck,you are,of course 100% right! However,I’m using a pencil lead sized bamboo skewer WHILE the muzzel is pointed safely downrange.It is absolutely the only way to seat the ball safely.I have set the sear to its maximum engagement and performed many bump tests.Setting a mousetrap or even assembling this 100yr old gun is considerably more dangerous.Think of it like I’m loading a black powder gun.Even after saying all of that…..You are completely right!

      • Frank..

        I really don’t know what I would do with one. It’s just that every once in a while that evil B.B. shows something that I really like the looks of. That’s how I ended up with a few HWs.
        Speaking of that, I shot a .115 group in the basement a couple hours ago with R7#1 (the order in which I got it…not the s/n). At least half of that was my fault. Bench rest…I would be lucky to hit the pellet trap half the time standing.


        • You & I both need that rest to shoot from.Exceptional group w/ the R7 my friend.Better than Dr.B even claimed possible.They are another fantastic buy used! Mine stays right by the back door and never needs dusting.It used to belong to Brad Troyer,he set up the first airgun website & longest running.I got to meet him AND leave with a pristine R7….talk about a banner day! Very nice guy too,he only accepted $280.Thanks Brad!

          • Both of my R7s are about the same in their ability to shoot well at close range (about 10 yds). They are not too fussy about pellets at that distance.
            The first one was not as good right out of the box as the second one. Had about the worst bore I have ever seen. As if it had been hammer forged around a small chain saw file. Did not want to send it back. It was a gift from my wife. Decided to fix it myself at my own expense….without telling her. Took about 6 months for the new barrel to come from Germany.

            Exact RS get about the best power and consistency on the chrono and on target at 25 yds. May find something better later. Got too many rifles in too short of a time and need more time to work with them all.


  10. B.B.

    Aaaah… there’s the rifle. One day I’m going to get one for myself. It’s an incredible piece of work of the finest quality possible.
    But enough dreams, let’s get to reality. I must say it gets brighter by the day.
    Today I’ve received my pistons: [IMG]http://i40.tinypic.com/eqyro1.jpg[/IMG] and right now I’ve got the whole thing in front of me, making the first tests. Houston, we’ve got compression 😉


    • duskwight,

      Man, those pistons are beautiful! The last pistons I saw that were that nice were in a Walther LGV, and they weren’t a clean-looking.

      And you have compression. How thrilling. Now with each new part that gets integrated your plans will come that much closer to completion.

      The Duskcombe will live! 😉


      • A tiny update: not only we’ve got compression, but we’ve also got synchro. Pistons move in perfect aligntment, with their heads (seals removed) meeting right in the middle of the 3.4 mm main hole, divided, as planned, by 0.75 mm, 0.375 per side. It can be seen using my LED “barrel light” – just like screw head from above 🙂 – and 0.75 round probe gets caught softly, without leaning to any side, which means both piston heads touch it simultaneously.
        And it required no filing of the space tuning washers (it can give me 1 mm muzzlewards or buttwards free space if needed to move my “meeting point” ). That’s what I haven’t expected at all. First shot – and I hit the bullseye. I feel myself a little bit drunk from happiness. 2 years, my friends, it took me 2 years to get to this moment and it means that finally I’ve got forehead stronger than the Wall.

  11. B.B., so, is this super spring gun a breakbarrel?! Perhaps the recoil system eliminates the sensitivity. Interesting to hear about the sideways torque of the RWS 48 you had mentioned before. I haven’t noticed that yet in my B30.

    So, if one if going to imitate a TX200 (B40) and make it better at a cheaper price, how in the world would they do that? You can make the stock much cheaper. Otherwise, it would be hard to improve on the Rekord trigger. You can’t neglect the fitting of parts too much and retain performance. That leaves the barrel. Is it possible to make a barrel that much better than the TX200’s?

    Victor, glad to hear that your condition is under control and that there is a plan. FrankB., I hope you’re feeling better too.

    Regarding gun ownership by those who are not suited for it because of their ineptitude or barbaric behavior, perhaps the thing to do is to create a filter in the form of significant educational requirements to own a gun and to hunt. These would be different and almost opposite from the punitive and irrational laws one sees whose purpose is to deny ownership at all. The education requirements would be the sort of thing a responsible owner would want to know anyway, and they would breeze through. Those who aren’t ready would probably not stay the course. So, you would have education and training built into ownership.

    Robert from Arcade, thanks for the .303 reference. I understand that the Lee-Enfield is still issued to the Mounties.

    Now then, do you realize we may be at the threshold of the end of marksmanship!? Have a look at this.


    This smart bullet doesn’t just explode at a particular time. It weaves its way around to land on target up to a mile away. The heart of the mechanism is laser-designation that is at work in a lot of smart weapons already, but how they are applying it is something of a mystery. Presumably, there is a fire and forget capability where once the target is laser-designated, you don’t need to maintain a sight picture. But, since the dart projectile has no propulsion of its own, how can it hit the correct elevation angle while also adjusting to stay on target? Apparently, there are people smart enough to figure this out. Meanwhile, we may go the way of the longbow archers. 🙂


    • Matt61,

      The FWB 300 is a fixed barrel. Sliding compression chamber for loading. Look at the third photo. B.B. took a good picture of it.

      Make a TX200 better at a cheaper price? Cheaper yes. Better No. Even with the recent price increases the real TX200 is a bargain. I had an early B40 and it was a piece of junk. I know these had a cult like following but mine had a horrid trigger and terrible barrel. 4 inch groups at 30 yards was good. The later models supposedly had better triggers but the barrels were still hit or miss. Rekord trigger? Neither the TX200 nor the Bam B40 had a rekord.

      If you want a cheaper TX200 copy keep your eye on the new Crosman MAV77. The stock is a pretty big upgrade in itself: better wood, amidextrous, raised comb. They also reengineered the ratcheting system for the cocking mechanism as well as made some dramatic trigger improvements. There’s supposed to be an upgraded barrel and the package will include a 3-9×32 scope w/ mil-dot.

      Looks promising and the package supposedly will be around $350.



    • Marksmanship won’t go for a long, long time. These systems are so expensive that only a military organization can afford it. Even for them, it’s too expensive to use on a wide scale. Perhaps someday but we still shoot long bows!


    • Matt,

      The problem with trying to implement your gun law idea in this country is that gun ownership is a right we are born with. It is not a privilege the government grants, like a driver’s license. This right is guaranteed to the inept and barbaric, until they screw up badly enough to get it revoked.

      Better to make the education classes for gun ownership voluntary. Notice I am referring to gun ownership, not hunting. Hunting definitely should require hunter education classes.


  12. It bears mentioning,the FWB 110,150, & 300s that I have ALL can be cocked with my index finger! To me the ratcheting of the lever is music to my ears.If you have a really good dream about a side lever air rifle……it must be one of these three!

    • Frank B,
      That’s a very good point! The FWB 300S was absolutely effortless! I don’t understand how an issue can be made about the effort, and why it’s so inferior to using a latest and greatest PCP. I have an FWB 700 ALU, and you still need to cock it to load the next pellet. The difference is pretty small, I think. For it’s time, the FWB 300S was as near perfect as any gun could get.

  13. B.B. triggered my memory of shooting at a running target with the compound bow. This leads to my thinking that a crossbow set up could be used as the engine to power a piston airgun. I abandoned that idea long ago (not that it ever had any commercial value).

    However, now we have reverse crossbows like the Horton Havoc. It still has no commercial value in my estimation, but I kind of like the idea of the reverse crossbow powering a piston air rifle, no internal spring or gas ram to drive the piston.

    Well, I kind of like the looks of it; might look nice hanging above the mantel.

      • Perhaps I wasn’t the only one who could see no commercial value in the Rambow.
        I am sure many people have ideas but little money to turn ideas into products (and others may not be interested in investing).

        • Kenholmz,I have seen a recurve bow outfitted with a pellet shooting apparatus on Youtube.I think I did a search for “Airbow”? I’m currently working on a barrel for my Condor to shoot arrows.It will be awfully loud.I think I’ve figured out a way to have the fletching slide foreward on loading,yet arrive at the back & gripping the shaft upon firing.I had considered felt around the shaft to act like a sabot
          and eliminate the need for fletching.The rifling would impart the spin.The potential for power & accuracy is there……almost scary power / range.

          • Frank B, your project sound quite interesting. When anyone is working on a project I can only wonder where it will go.

            When I was a little younger I read one of the Boppsey Twins books. In it there is an episode where they speak into a microphone and the finished product is sent to the attached printer. I thought this was ludicrous (not that I knew that word yet). Today, I show students how to use Dragon Naturally Speaking by speaking into a microphone …

            When I started archery in earnest in 1977 I could still buy wood and fiberglass arrows (I think there were some carbon arrows at some point but I could never afford them). By 1980 aluminum was king. I read a few articles during that time that stated that Mr. Easton had been told his effort was doomed to failure.

            I never say never (except for the one exception that proves the rule).

            Best to you,

        • Les,

          No.The Rambow is a crossbow without limbs that uses a gas spring to propel its bolts. It was invented by Davis Schwesinger, the owner of Air Rifle Specialists, but the development cost too much to pursue. I believe he needed at least 250K to take it to production, and it was too much of a gamble for an improbably return.


          • B.B., although my idea is as unfeasible as the Rambow it is not the same. I was actually speaking of an airgun that has bow limbs as the power source, cocking and shooting the air rifle would much the same as it does when shooting a crossbow bolt, but the limbs would power the air rifle piston instead.

            The reverse crossbow design appeals to me because it changes the balance point and the limbs, when the trigger is pulled, move away from each other to dampen recoil.

            Well, the more I think about it the less enthusiastic I am. I think I just like to have a very nice airgun or two and a very nice crossbow (or two).

            • Ken,

              I have owned a crossbow for a couple years and have yet to shoot it for the first time. The draw weight is only 150 pounds, which is considered light, but with my medical problems it has proven too much for me. However I have been doing upper body bodybuilding for about the past half year. Maybe now I can finally cock it, using a cocking assist of course.

              They are romantic arms, but when you finally have one you realize, just like a magnum springer air rifle, the darn thing has to be cocked. There are a few that have a windlass cocking device built into the bow and that might be nice, but it might also be another cruel joke. I don’t know enough about them to know.


              • B.B.

                I used to have a crossbow . They are a pain to cock and carry around. The limbs stick out the sides and get in the way . You also have to watch out that you don’t get your fingers in the way of string/cable travel or you will lose them.

                Someone made a crossbow with a battery powered cocking device for cocking and uncocking them. A winch of sorts.


  14. “It’s called the Rambow and it’s patented but has never been produced.”

    Aw, shucks. Of course countless other great minds thought of this and one patented it.

    I’ll have to look that up.

  15. BB, I need for you to write a really negative blog about the FWB 300S. I just sold my third one. I buy them, never shoot them because they are heavy, sell them and then want another one. I do the same with the quality pumpers such as the rocker safety Sheridans.

    You could start with some of these reasons:
    1. They are so heavy they need wheels and a pull handle like an airport suitcase.
    2. They are too accurate! How can you tell how many times you have shot if all the pellets go though the same hole.
    3. They last too long. Maytag repairmen aren’t the only ones that need work.
    4. They are too cheap. It might as well be stealing to pay such a low price for quality match guns. We should have to pay at least $1500 for guns with this quality of construction.
    5. We should not be swayed by the seductive classic lines of this gun. A gun should be chosen on other factors instead of looks.

    Remember, I need a similar blog on the quality pumpers too.

    David Enoch

  16. First, let’s all wish Duskwright “congratulation”. BB, we absolutely need a blog and photos from Duskwright on the creation and final product on the “Duckcombe”. Second, as you remember, I bought a 300 from Mac at Roanoke. I’m on a business trip but I don’t think the front sight on mine mounts on an extension but can’t be sure now. Finally, do you know if the 300 won a gold medal or was it only the 150? I seem to recall the 300 lost out to an Anschutz PCP?

  17. Thanks, BB and all. I just got one more piece of “Unobtainium” coming and now I have to worry about another. At least, sometime in the future I’ll worry about getting that 300s. It looks worry of the effort…! 🙂


  18. This is more of a request than a comment. I have a FWB 300s Daisy, which I purchased new. Since I’m not a competition shooter, maybe 500 shots have been put through the gun over the years and it hasn’t been fired for ay least 4 or 5 years. I’ve been told that since it has steel rings it needs little or no lubrication and it’s OK to shoot it. I’ve also been told that it should not be shot until it’s been checked over by a competent repair person. Who would be the best person to work on this gun? Thanks for any info you may have. GS

    • GS,

      Pyramyd AIR has the technicians who are trained to work on your gun. But before you do anything, let’s see if it needs anything. I’m betting it doesn’t

      Get a pellet ready to load and then cock the gun in a place that is safe to shoot. Leave the lever back a moment and shine a flashlight into the opening on the gun where the pellet is loaded. Shine the light on the front of the sliding compression chamber and look at the synthetic breech seal. It is cone-shaped and has a hole in the center. That is where the compressed air comes from and it’s called the air transfer port. You are looking for any cracking of the synthetic breech seal. Is it whole, or have parts broken off?

      If the seal is whole, and not cracked, the rifle is probably fine. Either way, load the rifle and fire it in a safe direction. Please wear eye protection when you do this. If you have any modeling clay, shoot the pellet into it. It should penetrate almost one inch into cool clay. If you shoot into duct seal, the pellet will go in about a quarter-inch, in total.

      If it is doing that, and if there are no cracks in the breech seal, your rifle is fine and you can just keep shooting it as it is.


  19. Wow, thanks for the rapid response. I appreciate your straight forward comments. I’ll follow your suggestions and will contact you if the seal looks other than intact and smooth. Thanks again, GS

  20. I just came across a Feinwerkbau Oberndorf/N 300 Cal.4.5/177

    I haven’t been able to find much on the price of the gun. Seems to be in pretty good shape and has been stored in a metal rifle cushion case. From reading the replies im assuming the 300 was the predecessor to the 300s. How many years is that? does this make the 300 a vintage air rifle? Does it make it worth more then the 300s?
    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Joseph,

      The FWB 300 is, indeed, an earlier gun than the 300S. It has a single mainspring rather than the 2 counter-wound springs of the 300S and in performance is more like an FWB 150. Which is to say less refined than the 300S. It’s not as smooth and there is often a buzz felt when they fire.

      A straight 300 is less common than the 300S. but is worth about the same money. In excellent condition an FWB 300 would bring around $500. In average condition (well-worn) they bring about $250.


  21. I realize this is a little older, but I have a 300 s being shipped to me this week. I traded for it and I just hope its all the seller claims. I was wanting to see how it stacked up. it will be fun to lay it beside my hw-55 1969 year of build. my dad got me when I was 13 . and be more interesting to see both shooting paper at 10 meters . id say both guns are excellent guns for paper, time will tell

    • Robert W.,

      I will make a prediction. You know your HW 55 and it shoots so well for you. But the 300 S will shoot even better the first or second time you shoot it. It’s that good.

      I’m writing a special feature for the November “Shotgun News” color edition about owning these fine older rifles, and the 300S will be my lead photo.



  22. I am hoping to get that issue when it hits the news stand. my fwb 300s is supposed to be here Wednesday 9-24. and from what the weather claims, its to be a nice weekend. I am hoping to get the hw and fwb on the bench and compare at 10 meters. its not a safe queen but was assured its fine internally. I can stack pellets with my hw and it isn’t pellet picky either , shoots them low priced daisy points as well as expensive pellets. the old 55 finally got a new leather piston seal last summer. its been shot a lot as dad got it for me in 1969 and I know just how much its been shot. its too bad we cant get that fine of a gun nowdays, how many bad air rifles have you encountered from that era bb? I bet the returns weren’t near as many back then . but my old gun dealer told me I was like a dinosaur wanting from the past . from what you say it sounds like im going to be spoiled on the fwb

  23. I am Secretary of the Ballina R.S.L. Air Rifle Club
    We have 3 X 300s Feinwerkbau Air Rifles and
    3 X J.G.Anschutz, superair 2001 These originally being used in the Melbourne 1956 Olympics.
    WE have about 70 Members and enjoy shooting on our 10 metre Indoor Range.
    Shooting average 46, 47 & 48 out of 50 and 7 & 8mm 5 shot Groups. Perfect scores awarded medals.
    We exist as Australian Shooters have to do four Target shoots per year to retain our Firearms licences.
    We have problems having firearms serviced.
    we enjoy the accuracy of the 300s

    Regards Edgar

    • Edgar,

      Welcome to the blog. It’s good to know that some FWB 300s are still being used for serious competition. Club shooting is so enjoyable. I am reminded of the days when I shot air pistol every Monday evening! Wish I could go back to that.

      Keep reading!


    • Hi, ill introduce myself first.
      Im from Holland and my name is Jos.
      Ive been shooting all my live, started as a 8 yo with my Diana no.5 and finale became a multiple .22 rimfire 3 positions champ at 50 meters, offhand .22 rimfire 50 meter champ, running boar 25 meter winner and the most WORST trapshoot clay pigeon shotgun shot ever……Ive never managed tot hit even one Clay pigeon.
      After I quit rimfire target shooting, I was asked tot join the 10meter airgun selection team. I was twice the age of the other members, but had a great time at the team. They all shot the fwb 601/603, but I liked the 300su better.
      4 years ago I quit competition alltogether.
      I now own 3 airguns
      .177 Custom Fwb 300s (1976) r10 match pellets 4.50 mm
      .177 Weihrauch hw 85 h&n baracuda match pellets 4.50 mm
      .22 Diana 350 magnum classic feuerkraft h&n baracuda match pellets 5.52 mm
      I use them for target shooting and hunting crow and rabbit.

      My advice: buy the 300s! It LL be the best buy ever.
      I live on the german border and have good contacts with german and dutch gunsmiths.
      In Holland they cost between 220 and 275 euro. A total reseal and new mainspring costs 80 euro’s. If you also need a new “puffer” (i dong know the name in english)….the thing that pressures the air into the pelletchamber, you ll pay 125 euro alltogether for the complete workover. Ofcourse this includes lubrications too.
      1 euro = 1.3800 dollar ….so BB hits the prices right……bit high maybe, but prob right for US.
      10 4.5 mm pellets will produce a 5mm hole at ten meters. This gun will outshoot most of its shooters.
      If you can afford it….buy the gun.
      If you dont know where tot rebuild the gun, just ask me (dont know how though….am a forum first-timer), Ill help you contact german gunsmiths who literaly done 100000s of fwb 300, 300s/su/rt/rb.
      Good luck!

      • Sadly the gun is not for sale, and i don’t think it will be anytime soon.
        I actually have tuned a spring air rifle in the past, a crosman quest. Polished everything, did a lube tune, some trigger work, re-crown, and refinished the stock. It shoots 10x better now, even though accuracy hasn’t changed (barrel lockup is horrible) I plan to put open sights on it one day since the plastic OEM sights fell apart.
        if I were to purchase the FWB 300 I would replace the seals and give it a lube tune, if it needs it.
        You said you are (or were) a 3P 50m champion….very cool! I like shooting 50m 3P especially outdoors.
        I also have state records in 10m air rifle sporter class, air pistol records, and a few others I forget.

        • Im sorry to hear its not for sale.
          Theres a lot of 10m shooters who will make the step to precharched pneumatics.
          Sometimes my dutch gunsmith will sell the pcp and buys back a 300/s/su/rt/rb/junior in return.His retired dad can do the nessecery internals. He sends airguns all over europe.
          Its a big store/shop…so hes 100% trustworth. He even sometimes sends me gifts per mail…free peepsightsrings and stuff.
          If you want me to….I can ask him to look out for a fine specimen.

          I also know a 300s for sale. Buildnumber somewhere in the 17000….so that will be mid/early 70s.
          He’s the president of our local pistol and revolver club. He asks 275 euros for the rifle.
          But I dont wanna post his email here on the blog.
          Just let me know if youre interested.

          • Just talked to my dutch gunsmith, he ll be willing to send you airgun(s).
            But he NEEDS to know witch state it has to be send to.
            He says its quite difficult to export to the us (customs). If you tell me the state, he ll check what’s possible, what can be done. He also has some exeptional used underlever weihrauchs, I beleve you call them beeman. Its stainless and fully custom tuned to 12 footpound.

          • Thank for you very much for the offer, but as of now I’m not interested.
            I’m in the US, so shipping would cost a fortune anyway.
            PCP’s have some nice characteristics, but I prefer a nice spring rifle. Something about the heft and not having to worry about refilling makes them a joy to shoot.

  24. dutchjozef,

    Welcome to the blog!

    The “puffer” is what we call the piston seal. It compresses the air that pushes the pellet.

    Those prices are better in Europe than in the U.S. because you have so many more FWB rifles there. A complete reseal costs about $250 in the U.S. now, which would be 183.33 Euro at your conversion rate.

    Like you I am a bad shotgunner. But I’m not as good as you are with a rifle. I used to shoot 10 meter pistol in competition. While I can still shoot okay, I don’t have the competitive edge anymore.

    I hope you will join us=on the regular blog located here:



    • To BB.
      Thanks I certainly will join and follow the regular blog.
      Im sure you re far more than a capable rifle shot!!!
      I thought Id introduce myself and make clear Im not a Hatsan fanboy.
      Though…I didnt have the intention to show “mine’s bigger than yours”.
      I didnt wanna brag about my shootingskills.
      Just wanted to be clear about the fact Im serious airgunner.
      Ohh …..and about that shotgun trapshooting: having been a runningboar competitor and a runningboar tournament winner…..I thought “how can that be any difficult? Just stay in front of the pigeon….adapt the speed and shoot the d@mn thing. One shell….hundreds of shreds been fired….Bob’s your uncle”

      Boy……how wrong could I have been! Hahaha

  25. Thanks for this article. Very interesting. I have a 300S that looks to be configured exactly like the one pictured in this article. In the late 70’s and early 80’s my wife worked for Beemans Precision Airguns in San Rafael. Her dad was a gun collector, firearms not Airguns. She bought the 300S for him for Christmas one year. He probably only fired it a few times. She inherited it when he died. It’s still in the styrofoam shipping case. It appears to have one issue. It freezes about halfway through the cocking motion. Could you point me to a good repair shop to have it repaired? We currently live in Memphis.

    • Jim,

      Welcome to the blog.

      Vintage FWB rifles aren’t exactly mainstream items, so as you might imagine, repair stations are not everywhere. I advise you to contact Pyramyd AIR. I think they fix the 300 and have all the parts.


  26. Great article, as always!

    Tom (or others) can I please have some help! I know my Gecados pretty well but no clue on these!
    About to get one of these for my mate and looking at a few models.
    300s vs SU whats major differences? SU have the metal piston seal? Do the S have a rail? seems older ones maybe no but new possibly? Please tell me none of them have auto safety’s.Can be dated from serials at all?
    Thanks in advance for the help and sharing from my mate and I, will post pics and groups when it happens!

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