by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Falke model 70 is a quality breakbarrel spring-piston rifle from the 1950s.
Today, I’ll test the velocity of the .177-caliber Falke model 70 breakbarrel. In its day, which was the early 1950s, this rifle was rated at 450 f.p.s. But pellets have improved a lot since that time, and I also believe this powerplant has been rebuilt. So, the numbers may not be the same as a factory gun.
The first pellet I tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lite. For the first test, I seated the pellet flush; but given the probable power range of this rifle, I felt that some deep-seating would also be worth trying. Premier lites averaged 634 f.p.s. in the initial test (seated flush). The range went from a low of 621 f.p.s. to a high of 646 f.p.s. So, the spread was 25 f.p.s. That’s not bad, but I’ve certainly seen better. At the average velocity, this pellet generated 7.05 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
Next, I tried the same pellet seated deep with the Air Venturi Pellet Seater. This time, the average velocity climbed up to 651 f.p.s., with a spread from 640 to 660 f.p.s. So, greater velocity and less variation with this pellet seated deep. At the average velocity, this deep-seated pellet generated 7.44 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
The next pellet I tested was the RWS Hobby. This one I seated deep from the start. The average velocity was 704 f.p.s., and the range went from a low of 684 f.p.s. to a high of 721 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 37 f.p.s. in just 10 shots, which is getting a little large! At the average velocity, this pellet generated 7.71 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
Because the velocity spread was so large, I figured I would also test this pellet seated flush. But after shooting just 4 shots, I had a velocity variation of 49 f.p.s., so I stopped. Obviously, the Hobby doesn’t like to be seated flush in the Falke 70.
H&N Baracuda Match
The last pellet I tried was the heavy H&N Baracuda Match. Weighing 10.65 grains, this pellet might seem too heavy for a spring rifle in this power class, but I’ve seen pellets like this shoot very well in some of these guns. In case that happened here during the accuracy test, I wanted to have the velocity on record. These pellets were seated flush.
Baracuda Match pellets averaged 508 f.p.s. in the Falke, and the spread went from a low of 503 to a high of 515. That’s just 12 f.p.s. — the tightest spread of the test. Because they’re so tight when seated flush, I decided to not bother testing them seated deep. I’m pretty sure I will shoot them seated flush.
At the average velocity, this pellet generated 6.10 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. So, the Falke 70 followed the classic spring gun pattern of heavy pellets being less efficient and light pellets being the most efficient.
The single-stage trigger is adjustable, but the adjustment is of the sear-contact area type. So, I’m leaving it alone. It’s light enough as it is right now, breaking at just 1 lb., 15 oz. The letoff is vague, but the pull is free from creep, so the rifle doesn’t move around a lot when you shoot.
I mentioned in part 1 that the rifle seems to cock easily until the last part of the stroke, when the effort rises significantly. Well, the scale confirmed it. The first part of the stroke is 20 lbs., then the effort spikes up to 37 lbs. to complete the stroke. It’s way more than one might expect from a rifle in this class. That leads me to suspect that an aftermarket mainspring has been installed in an effort to increase the power. I may have to correct that some time, as it’s just too much effort for a plinker like this.
Blog reader RidgeRunner asked me if the rear sight blade had a small spring under it, so I took it apart and told him I would provide a picture of the assembly in this report. Not only did I find the spring he was talking about, I also saw that the elevation wheel is marked off with numbers, so you can keep track of adjustments!
The rear sight blade slides into the base, and the elevating wheel fits into the cutout. The spring fits inside the hollow elevating wheel.
I didn’t notice these reference numbers before taking apart the rear sight. They allow you to record and track your elevation adjustments. Airgunners love neat little features like this!
Seeing those numbers on the elevation wheel made me smile. They’re so unobtrusive and easy to overlook. They’re an airgunner’s version of a secret garden. It’s like knowing how the Coke machines get filled at Santa’s workshop!
Overall, I like this rifle very much. It holds well, locks up tight at the breech, thanks to the breech lock, and the firing behavior is smooth. I even like the trigger. I have a feeling this one will be a keeper!