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Accessories โ€บ FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 5

FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 5

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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

This is a test I said I would do the next time I got a calm wind day at the range. That day came last Friday, and I took the opportunity to test the FWB 300S at 50 yards with a scope. This test was designed to see if there is any discernible accuracy difference between pellets that are sorted by weight and those selected at random from the tin. If you read part 4, you’ll see that I was surprised to find that these JSB Exact RS pellets I selected for their accuracy had such a variation in weight. I sorted through almost 40 pellets to find 20 that weighed exactly 7.3 grains. Though the weight difference was only four tenths of a grain, it was more than expected and more pellets were affected than I thought.

The JSB Exact RS pellet was chosen because of previous performance demonstrated in part 3. And I had to choose a domed pellet because out at 50 yards no wadcutter can possibly be accurate — I’ve proven that on many occasions in the past.

In part 4, I tested the rifle at 50 yards using the target sights that come on it, and I got two groups of 10 shots each. One was with random pellets taken from the tin. That group measured 1.689 inches between the centers of the two widest shots, while the other was 10 weight-sorted pellets that grouped in 1.363 inches. I didn’t feel that test was conclusive, so I wanted to return with the rifle scoped to see what it could do.

Not only did I mount a scope on the rifle, I also installed a scope level, and on every shot the bubble was leveled. That eliminated the possibility of any cant, so the rifle was always shooting in the same orientation.

The scope hangs over three-quarters of the loading port, making loading a chore. Notice how close together the scope rings are, yet they occupy the entire length of the dovetails. The 300S is not made for a scope! Notice, also, the scope level that was consulted on every shot.

I mounted a Leapers 3-9×50 scope with AO. It’s an older version of the one I linked to, but the specs are mostly the same. Notice in the photo that this scope was almost too long for the rifle, even though it was mounted at the extreme rear of the spring tube.

Where I had used a 3-inch bull target with the aperture target sights, I switched to the smaller 10-meter target when using the scope. The pellets were falling off the target paper anyway and onto the plain backer paper attached to the target frame, because of the large drop of this pellet at 150 feet.

Perfect day
I couldn’t have asked for a better day in which to shoot. Since I was at the range very early, there was absolutely no breeze. The sun hadn’t risen very high, so I didn’t need to shield my non-sighting eye. The rifle rested in the bunny bag dead calm, so altogether this was as perfect a test as I could have run.

Bore already seasoned
Because the bore had been shooting JSB Exact RS pellets last, it was already seasoned for this test. Still, I did shoot the rifle a few times to wake up the action. Then, I began the first group of unsorted pellets.

This time, the pellets did very poorly — grouping 10 shots into 3.152 inches at 50 yards. The group is very elongated, looking like a large velocity swing. The group measures just 1.178 inches wide, which is less than half the height.

Ten unsorted JSB Exact RS pellets strung out vertically at 50 yards. The rifle shot much better with target sights! Should I have warmed the gun more?

Next, I shot the pellets that were sorted by weight. Ten went into a group measuring 1.606 inches across. This group is fairly round and well-distributed, so it makes me wonder all the more about the first group. Perhaps the gun needed longer to warm up for the first group than I allowed?

This group of 10 weight-sorted RS pellets is much rounder, but it’s no better than the best group shot with target sights.

Test is not conclusive
I’m declaring this entire test invalid. I think I’ve stretched the FWB 300S beyond its capability, and the results are not telling me what I need to know. I’m aware that others have shot 10-meter rifle at 50 yards and say they’ve gotten good results, but clearly I’ve not been able to do the same with this rifle.

I think the test itself is worth pursuing, but with a rifle better-suited to accuracy at 50 yards. Pushing the FWB 300S outside its comfort zone was not a good idea. But I have several accurate air rifles that are all capable of grouping well at 50 yards. That’s what I need to rerun the test.

58 thoughts on “FWB 300S vintage target air rifle: Part 5”

    • I will agree with you Victor with certain qualifications. It is difficult to hit a groundhog in the head at five hundred yards with iron sights. Not impossible mind you, but they would have to be extremely fine. Many scopes nowadays lack fine enough cross hairs for the task.

      And then there is the fact that my eyes are not what they used to be, although the aperture sights on my FWB 601 have proven to be a wonderful surprise to me. I wish I had experienced these type of sights years ago. I need to pick up some smaller apertures for my front sight, perhaps even an adjustable one.

      • RidgeRunner,
        Yes, smaller apertures have always worked best for me. The general rule is that smaller is better for steady positions, like prone shooting. A larger aperture is preferred for less steady positions, like offhand. I like small for all positions. If you’re steady enough, then one size fits all. If you aren’t very steady in a particular position, then a small aperture makes it difficult to acquire your target. So it’s up to the individual. In any case, for targets, as oppose to other types of objects, I like aperture (target) sights at least as much as scopes.

        Consider that Olympic shooting uses aperture sights, and not scopes.

    • I have a FWB 300s I used for training when shooting competitively for the Army and University of Minnesota. I now use it to shoot sparrows that try to kill my bluebirds. I now have the problem that the cocking lever is stuck in the closed position. Any advice? I don’t feel comfortable disassembling this fine instrument myself.

  1. I have tried to shoot my FWB 700 Basic at 50 Yards using 3 different pellets , JSB Exact RS 7.3 grn.,JSB Express 7.87 grn. and CPL 7.95 grn. Pellets.The average velocities at the muzzle were 613,609 and 568 fps respectively ,with a 10 shot spread range of 5.7,4.8 and 6.9 fps respectively.
    The wind was calm and I have used a front rest and a small rear sandbag.
    Using a generic target of approx 3.5″ Black area and a 3.5mm front aperture I have shot two 10 shot groups for each of the unsorted pellets.The groups were CTC ” as follows : 1.424 & 1.531 for the RS Pellets, 1.305 & 1.414 for the Express and finally 1.320 & 1.452 for the CPL ‘s.

    Due to the constraints of the cocking lever I could only use a small Leapers Bug buster 6X – 32 AO scope. I was not comfortable with the relatively thick cross hairs but overall it was not bad.

    with my FWB 700 scoped this time, I shot two 10 shot groups of each pellet;but this time one was with unsorted pellets and the other I used sorted pellets.The result were as follows:
    The JSB RS groups were 1.296″ for the unsorted pellets and the sorted pellets group was 1.103″ CTC.
    The JSB Express groups were 0.786″ for the unsorted pellets and 0.689″ for the sorted pellets.
    The CPL groups were 1.135″ and 1.053″.

  2. B.B.

    Are you talking about redoing the test with the same pellets? A higher powered springer or a PCP ?
    If talking about higher powered springers, you could run into problems. My stronger HWs (R9, 97K) hate RS, Falcons, and 8.4 Exacts. My .22 rifles (R9, 48) also hate the light JSB/AA pellets. The power plants go nuts.

    The RS .177 have a B.C. of around .018 if I remember right. They may be slowing down enough to lose a bit too much of their drag stabilization at 50. Might be worth looking at somewhere around 25-35 yds on a calm day.


      • I was wondering the same thing. If you’re switching guns, what exactly is being tested? You’ve done plenty of 50 yard accuracy tests with various airguns that have performed extremely well.

        It was surmised many blogs ago that shooting at 50 yards with an airgun was like shooting 500 yards with a firearm and shooting 100 yards with an airgun was like a 1000 yards with a firearm. This was for magnum style airguns. So what would be the equivalent firearms distance for shooting a ten meter gun at 50 yards? Considerable, I would think.


  3. Ok, so 50 yds is too much for this 300s. doesn’t make it ugly. That’s still one of the nicest looking guns around!

    TT, at 50 yds maybe a heavier pellet would group better in this gun?


    • This particular rifle will probably not like a pellet much heavier. The power plant would not be likely to operate with a smooth and consistent pressure curve. That leads to more vibration and less consistent velocity.

      B.B. did not show us the velocity spread for the RS pellets or the FPE generated. From what I have seen so far, you can’t base much on different pellet weights alone. Unexpected things happen. Just finding the pellet that makes the power plant the happiest does not guarantee that the pellet is going to shoot the best. The best shooting pellet may not be the one that makes the rifle happiest. As far as I can tell so far, you have a better chance of having the best accuracy when the rifle is the happiest
      provided that it is with very good quality pellets. First the rifle has to hold up its end of the whole thing. After the pellet leaves, it is up to the pellet to hold its end up. Some times both work together, and sometimes they don’t.


        • You understood that ? I hardly understood it myself. I tried to keep it as short and simple as possible, but sometimes I don’t get things worded quite right, leave out too much, or put in too much.

          I did a bunch of testing a couple months or so ago on six rifles with a bunch of pellets. Unexpected things happened. There were also some things that generally tended to be consistent.
          Since it was only six individual rifles, about the best I could say is that certain things may or may not happen, or probably would or would not happen. Even if I had tested a dozen of each and every kind of rifle made, I would not not go as far as to say that certain things would ALWAYS or NEVER happen. And this was only done indoors with a chrono. I did see that pellets that I already knew shot the best related to what the chrono was telling me, along with how much vibration I could feel. In some cases, the pellets that looked the best on the chrono and had the least vibration were some that either would have been poor choices for shooting at distance, or I had previously found to suck. I ended up with a best to worst list (for each rifle) for actually shooting based on what the chrono was saying. In some cases that were based on actual shooting at distance, I was going to have to settle for second or third choice.


  4. The groups shown in the link above are five shot groups, so I think that BB’s results are in line with what Harry did. While 50 yards is a stretch for the FWB,what the test shows in my opinion is what a quality barrel and pellets will do when proper shooting technique is used. Lets see what the more powerful Hatsan gun from yesterday’s blog would do at that range? A long range test really shows what a shooter and gun will do, so I’m glad for this test.

    • You are so right, Robert. In my one Bench Rest competition shooting .22 rimfires, I received an excellent score at 50 yards. Moving to 100 yards really separated the men from the boys – trying to dope the wind (even though BB didn’t have any, at least at the bench position), hoping the bullets would shoot accurately out of the 521T I was given with a Tasco scope and just trying to get used to a whole new sport, rifle and range dropped me right down to the bottom of the scoring. However, my group was not bad -but was at the outermost ring of the bull! I was holding at the extreme lower left of the target paper and just managing to hit the upper right outer ring and that was waiting for the gusts to stop which they never did out at the target.

      Fred DPRoNJ

    • That’s the “official” group size reference dime. Not to be confused with the “official” group size reference dinner plate that is used for testing some rifles.


    • derrick,

      I found that dime in change, and since I am a treasure hunter and look for such stuff, I recognized it and decided to keep it around. I have four dimes in my desk drawer that I use for scale, but I like this one best.


        • Why stop there? How about a Standing Liberty Quarter? In Treasure Hunting or Metal Detecting, I’m still looking for my first pure silver coin. Working in NYC, I find more coins on the blasted sidewalk then I do with my metal detector in NJ! This weekend, I took the trusty detector out and found a circa 1950 beer can. I think it’s a Rheingold. Read as a coin on the meter. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Fred DPRoNJ

          • Hot Wheels also look like silver dollars to some detectors. Can be a real disappointment.
            Beer cans just seem to be too big to be individual coins, but there is also the possibility of a pocket drop too.


          • Having just bought a vlf Garrett ace 35 0 with tofuthe dual coil set, I’ve been finding plenty of nails, buried oil filters, scrap steel and bolts in my backyard. Finally found a penny today! My first hard cash find under the sod! ๐Ÿ˜€ It gave me the right sound for a penny and one notch below the penny graphic. Can’t read the date on it but it’s newer, having Lincolns memorial on th back.

              • Congratulations, Dave. The Garrett ACE 350 is a real neat detector. I started out with the ACE 150 and finally, late last year, moved up to the Garrett GTI 1350. It’s enabled me to avoid many junk targets but here in the People’s Republic of NJ, the soil in North Jersey is heavily mineralized, especially with iron (first iron ore mines in the US were here and Navy Anchor chains were specified to be made with Jersey ore back in revolutionary times – I’m told) so my detector is always going off on “hot spots” and “hot rocks”. It’s a real thrill when you find that first coin, isn’t it?

                Fred DPRoNJ

                • Fred,

                  It was a nice surprise to see that penny! I wasn’t expecting to find anything other than construction trash since my house was built 33 years ago on a filled in lake during the late 70’s construction boom… I was just practicing and clearing out a space for a test plot to get familiar with it before heading to the playgrounds and roadside pull-outs/camp grounds in the mountains.


                  • ?Dave,

                    That’s always how it happens! Edith and I found a gold class ring when I was trying to dig as many pull tabs as possible one day.

                    And I once wrote an article titled “Carpet of nickels” about how Edith and I searched a 10 by 10-foot piece of ground over 2.5 hours. Found lots of tinfoil balls, but a handful of nickels, too. Some were even buffalos!

                • I haven’t kept up with the Garrett stuff… My first “decent” detector (I’m not counting the RatShack branded Bounty Hunter) was a GTAX-400. I then graduated to a White’s DFX, and currently own a White’s V3i (it was a V3 but White’s offered a $100 firmware update).

                  Back in the Bay Area, White’s was the most common detector — apparently Garrett’s weren’t that good on the mineralized beach sand of the west coast, while White’s could balance them out.

                  I do, however, consider the claim that the V3i uses “three frequencies” rather ad-copy heavy… Given that two of the frequencies are just harmonics — 2.5 base, 7.5 mid, and 22.5 high.

                  Never really found much of value — it took time to get to the Santa Cruz beach from Sunnyvale, which meant the locals had cleaned it out by the time I got there. And the local cities were rather strict (Sunnyvale: no probes or digging instruments — if you couldn’t get the item with your bare fingertips you couldn’t get it at all; San Jose: needed a $$ city permit, probe permitted but no digging [supposedly, the club’s “how to hunt parks” did teach digging techniques — when I questioned the use of a digging tool in the park the instructor said it was just a “large probe”])

              • Now if I would just be able to get rid of some of my other “addictions”…. I know one thing for sure. If I ever get to retire I won’t ever be bored….


          • Wilfraued,

            Whites is supposed to also have superb equipment. Once per month, Garrett sends out their newsletter and talks about these absolutely astounding finds from around the world – roman coins, rings, jewels, Civil War rifles (I’m kidding here but plenty of minie balls, belt buckles, and so on), hand grenades, unexploded ordinance shells, various jewelry, gold nuggets. I got kicked off a National Park beach here in NJ once (Sandy Hook) and told by the Ranger metal detecting is not allowed in National Parks. I told him it was a darn beach, not a battlefield. No go.

            In my career so far, I’ve found one wheat penny or wheatie and that was squished down in one of those machines from an Industry show in 1933 in Chicago! My most impressive find was an art deco lipstick container from the 30’s. That’s why I’m glad I got into air rifles!

            Fred DPRoNJ

            • At least you were only chased off…

              I believe they can confiscate the detector at major National Parks.

              My “best” finds turned out to be cheap trinkets: a mood ring, and another ring that took a week-end of web browsing to figure out. It had a two word marking, but in a typeface I didn’t recognize (some letters were okay, others were odd). Turns out the words were “Addis Ababa”…

              Most of my “good stuff” came from the treasure club monthly raffle… Back when gold was $400/oz top prize was often a half-eagle coin. With gold at $1500, top prize became slabbed silver dollars (and the raffle ticket sales dropped so much they couldn’t afford much for prizes period… My monthly $80 of tickets became 10% of the ticket sales!)

            • FGrede,

              If you will remind me after the NRA show, I will do a blog (just one) about my metal detecting. I started with the first commercial instruments and grew up with the technology.

              Want Wheaties? I have about five pounds of them!


    • Derrick,

      what BB forgot to include in his response is that it’s a pure silver dime. All coins today are clad coins (mix of silver and copper I believe are the metals used now).

      Fred DPRoNJ

      • Sorry — modern clad have NO silver…

        Kennedy half dollars since 1971 have outer layers of 75% copper/25% nickel on a core of 100% copper.

        Dimes have been that since 1965.

        {65-70 halves were some silver: outer 80%/20% silver/copper over inner 20.9%/79.1% silver/copper)

  5. Do you know that this is a 10-meter gun and the rifling and the power produced don’t allow the pellet fly toward the 50 yard target without tumbling? Yes, if you look at your paper target, some of the pellets are hitting it by the nose of the pellet. So why bother testing it at 50 yards?

    • HP,

      I tested it because so many people say that a 10-meter match rifle can be accurate at 50 yards. Normally I would not chose such an airguns for this task.

      If you look at the links David Enoch has given you’ll see one example of such claims.


  6. These are exactly the results I got last year with my 631 Slavia.
    At 30m I had it down to 10 shot 3/4″ groups. When I tried 50 yds (our range has a weird mix of imperial and metric distances) I was expecting inch and a quarter groups or thereabouts.
    But it seemed the best I could do was about 3″.
    I thought about sorting/weighing pellets…but I think that it really is a case of the mechanics. The diablo shape at low speed (say it has slowed to 400fps at 50 yds) just isn’t that accurate.

    • I had the same results with a scoped IZH-46M and domed pellets. Tiny groups at 10 meters, .3 inches at 25 yards, but 2 to 3 inches at 50 yards. The slightest breeze made things hopeless.

      Paul in Liberty County

  7. B.B.,

    Thanks for taking the time to do this weighed vs. unweighed pellet test at 50 yards with a scope on your FWB 300. I’m sure that most of the reason you waited for a clear day to conduct this test was your fear of being struck down by lightning since you were shooting a SCOPED 10 meter gun at 50 yards! LOL!

    Have to admit I’m shocked at the results. I expected your group shot with the scope and sorted pellets would be slightly better than your best group with the match sights at 50 yards. Personally I don’t think the pellets were tumbling. Maybe the first group had velocity issues since in part 2 you showed that 10 shots on your gun were necessary to wake the gun up. Maybe it was just the wide variation in pellet weight since the group is more vertical.

    Maybe a 10 shot group size of 1.6″ at 50 yards is enough accuracy out of a springer like an FWB 300 that is so easy to cock, benches well with very little hold sensitivity and has such a wonderful trigger.

    To exemplify my point here’s a fun shooting game. Hang a plastic golf ball using parachute cord in front of your favorite pellet trap. Place the trap at 50 yards. Challenge your friends to bring their favorite springer to the shoot. No limits on velocity. Any hold they want. Bench rested is fine with front and rear bags. You’ve proven that you will hit the golf ball 10 out of 10 times using weighed and sorted pellets whether you shoot with the match sights or the scope since a golf ball has a diameter of 1.67″. Do you think your friends, with their favorite springer, will hit the golf ball 10 out of 10 times? My experience with this game has taught me the answer is NO. Accuracy is relative IMHO.

    Nice FWB 300 you have with a fresh Bimrose tune. Ain’t life good?


  8. BB, Thank you for doing this test.I’m sure it went against your grain to mount a scope.My question is did you feel comfortable with loading the pellets? I know it must have been a little different with the loading port so crowded.

    • Frank,

      It was very difficult to load the pellets. There wasn’t enough room for my fingers, so I had to hold the rifle with the sliding compression chamber back and roll each pellet into the breech from the side. I dropped a lot of pellets before learning the technique.


      • Don’t feel too bad….I have that problem WITHOUT obstruction.Even my Whiscombe can be difficult with some pellets/calibers.Fortunately I always leave the port lever open until after cocking it.I still remember that warning from your first blog about Whiscombes!(back when I first resigned to owning one)

  9. Duskwight, so the name of the samurai book in Ghost Dog is Hagakure? I didn’t know that. And you actually have a copy to read just like the movie character?! Oh, oh. Why am I not surprised. ๐Ÿ™‚

    PeteZ, 2X normal radiation sounds like a bit much for me, but you would know more about that. The Japanese monk story can be found by Googling “Atomic flame trinity.” You’re right that admission to the base was a big problem. This was a particular challenge to the monks since refusal to enter would have meant shame and loss of face and monks though they were this was still a sensitive point. They went ahead anyway with one monk who was over 80 and hiking along with some kind of very serious stomach ailment. Most of the film is actually about the monks encountering Americana as they hiked along. In one scene, a fellow with a cowboy hat switches headgear with them and proclaims, “That’s as close to a monk as I’ll ever get.” He he. Then, he buys them drinks. And when he hears that they are hiking through Death Valley, his eyes bug out and he says, “Well, you sure picked the right time of year to do that.” Anyway, as the monks marched onward, the decision to let them into Trinity went all the way up to the then president George W. Bush who kicked it back down to the base commander. At this point, the monks had arrived and…the gate swung open! No doubt the long hike evoked some sympathy. Anyway an all-around interesting story, and I’m all for closing the cosmic circle and decreasing nuclear threats by whatever means.

    Chuck, the full-auto bullpup caught my eye too. But I have a deep suspicion of the bullpup design. It creates problems with the trigger mechanism, and for firearms, it places the chamber detonation right next to your face. But maybe these aren’t problems with airguns.


    • Matt

      “Hagakure” is a sort of samurai rulebook well worth reading by any man ๐Ÿ™‚ Quotes from the book are used in the movie on black screens and it seems GhostDog follows the rules written there.
      The book GhostDog reads in the movie and gives to Pearline to read is “Rashลmon” by Akutagawa.


    • Matt61,

      The other issue with a bullpup design is cheek weld. I’ve shot an edgun. Very accurate airgun. The blow by from the breech and ackward cheek weld take getting used to. I don’t care for a cheek weld on sharp metal.


    • Matt, 2x background is very small,. You do much worse than that in an airliner. Trinity Site is said to be about 10x background, which is still safe for a long stay.

  10. BB,
    I don’t think you need to feel bad. Yes, somewhere, somebody can beat your groups under some conditions, but yours are (I’m certain based on similar experiments) better than the average person can get under average conditions with the same equipment and methodology. Before the internet made 1/10 MOA mandatory (and apparently easy for anyone with a gun right out of the box) for everything from cork guns to dangerous game rifles, 1″ or so at 50 yards with such a rifle would have made you a local celebrity in some cases. I don’t see any point in proving another air rifle can do better (unless it is similar power), but I do think you could educate us and challenge yourself by trying to beat MOA or the like and tell us what it takes to do that. Having challenged myself similarly (but more with .22LR’s), I believe the answer is not only meticulous attention to every detail, but also PERFECT conditions (incl. temperature consistency) and no small amount of luck.

    Also, I’m a skeptic about most air rifles being truly useful past 35 yards. Yes, it is possible and often fun and instructive to shoot them at long ranges, but that is sufficient for me. If I want to do a workmanlike or sportsmanlike job at 50 yards, I’ve got .22LR’s, which I also antagonize some by calling useless past 75. Yes I shoot them farther, but not when it absolutely, positively needs to get there fast. My “needs” past 75 yards are so limited that I usually just jump to the old reliable, .30-06. If I had a lot of intermediate range work, other options would be worth considering, and if I had a lot (or any) past 275, I’d need something more suitable. Before people jump on me — keep in mind that when I’m not shooting an open sighted air rifle offhand at 80-100 yards for fun, I’m likely shooting a flintlock for precision. In other words, don’t argue with a crazy person :).

      • Mike,
        You’re right of course, but I was talking about MPBR as it is typically sighted in with the ammunition sitting nearby ready for use. The projectile itself is quite deadly “way out”! I haven’t played around with it, but I assume you could move the zero, use a lighter bullet, etc. and extend the range significantly (although losing some capability at close range). Is that what you mean? I would be interested in hearing it if you use the .30-06, as I feel like a dinosaur sometimes talking about it, but it is still a very useful all-around cartridge. Just not flashy enough for most, I suppose.

  11. Hello BB and friends. Just curious if anyone is attending the ‘Flag City Toys That Shoot’ show that was mentioned a few weeks ago? The show looks to be in a small place so I should probably say hello if I bump into you. While I’ve been following the reviews and discussions for > 8 months I haven’t posted. My shooting skills (and collection) are pretty meager so I didn’t want to bore anyone with my banter. Besides, I don’t know much about karate, Russian literature or even subatomic particles. I guess you guys are my Cliffs Notes on those subjects while educating, entertaining and using science to debunk airgun myths. Thanks!

  12. That is good groups for a springer rifle.I would like to find a 10m target rifle at the air gun show in Windsor CT in june.Im happy if I hit a 2liter soda container at 200′ with any springer.I can shoot better with open sights for some reason.Most of my guns like JSB exact 8.4,but its hard to be consistant all the time. Ill shoot good with one gun and pick a different brand and Ill be way off I shoot most of my springers at metal knock down squirrel with 2inch bulleye at 33 yards.If Im not mistaken BB you shot a Talen ss at 50yards with dome pellet with amazing groups a while back. Your test are informative and educational to us and needed.

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