Feinwerkbau Sport air rifle: Part 4
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• Selecting scope mounts
• Which scope?
• Air Arms Falcon pellets
• Shooting behavior
• JSB Exact 8.4-grain pellets
• Crosman Premier lite pellets
• Crosman Premier heavy pellets
• Conclusion to this point
Today, I’ll shoot the scoped Feinwerkbau Sport air rifle at 25 yards. We should see the rifle’s real potential.
Selecting scope mounts
You know the FWB has those half-round scope stop holes (see in Part 1) that require special scope mounts. I didn’t have any that fit. I thought I did, but mine were made for the UK-made Webley Patriot, and the two pins on the bottom are out of line with the FWB grooves. Fortunately, I did have several BKL mounts that hold with clamping pressure, alone. I selected the BKL 30mm high rings. Although they have only 1 strap with just 2 cap screws each, they held perfectly throughout the test.
For a scope, I selected an older UTG 8-32x that’s no longer stocked. The scope is 16-1/2 inches long and cleared the barrel by half an inch when the gun was cocked. The optics were clear and sharp, but I think a 4-16x would have done just as well.
When I mounted the scope I put one shim under the tube on the saddle of the rear ring to give me a little droop compensation. That was not enough. The test rifle is shooting about 12 inches low at 25 yards, and no amount of scope adjustment will correct for it. I should have used a BKL mount with droop compensation. AirForce calls it drop compensation, but it’s the same thing. But the scope has mil-dots, which I used to compensate as I shot. As you’ll see, they worked well.
Air Arms Falcon pellets
The first pellet I tried was the Falcon dome from Air Arms. It was used to sight-in the rifle and then to shoot the first 10-shot group. Ten Falcons went into 0.419 inches at 25 yards. I think that speaks well for the FWB pedigree.
Knowing I was shooting an FWB breakbarrel, I used a classic artillery hold with my off hand just touching the triggerguard. The looser I held the rifle, the more it shot to the exact same place. This is also how I hold a vintage FWB 124. Given the additional power of the Sport, it felt like a good place to start. I never changed throughout the entire test.
The rifle is still in the process of calming down. It buzzed less in this test, except for one pellet that I’ll mention when I get there. The recoil is surprisingly small, given the power, and the trigger is incredible! The Sport is a very easy rifle to shoot accurately, as long as you use an artillery hold.
JSB Exact 8.4-grain pellets
The next pellet tested was the JSB Exact 8.4-grain dome. The second shot went wide and high, and I thought the test was finished, but the next 8 pellets landed together with the first one. So, 10 pellets made a 0.661-inch group, but 9 of them are in 0.410 inches. Not too different than the Falcons, except for that second pellet.
I decided to use a mil-dot farther down on the vertical reticle to raise the group a little, and I also dialed in 5 clicks of left adjustment for the next group. I was not seasoning the barrel with shots prior to each group. I switched from one pellet to the next and recorded every shot.
Crosman Premier lite pellets
Next up were the Crosman Premier 7.9-grain domes. When the first shot went through the center of the bull, I knew I’d gotten the sight picture correct. This pellet seems to be the best of the 4 I tested in this rifle. But shot 8 went wide to the right and away from the group. It wasn’t called as a pull, but it does seem strange when you look at the other 9 shots. So, 10 are in 0.726 inches between centers, with 9 of them at 0.356 inches!
Crosman Premier heavy pellets
The last pellet I tried was the Crosman Premier 10.5-grain dome — the one we call the heavy. I thought these would do just as good or better than the lites, but from shot 2 onward, I knew they weren’t going to. First of all, they landed way to the left of where the lites were hitting, though the same sight picture was used. And they gave me a scattered 0.782-inch group. If I’d been testing a Chinese springer, I’d be dancing in the street with a group like this, for it does show a lot of potential; but I think you can see from the other groups I shot that it doesn’t do the Feinwerkbau justice. It’s true that 8 shots are in 0.473 inches; but with the other three pellets to choose from, I don’t think I would use these.
This is also the pellet that vibrated the rifle more when fired. That probably means the piston is bouncing, and that isn’t good.
Conclusion to this point
The new FWB Sport is just as accurate as we all hoped it would be. It’s a breakbarrel springer, which means shooting technique has to be used, but you’ll be rewarded with results. Be cognizant of the barrel droop when selecting scope mounts.
Vibration continues to decline, though I doubt it’ll ever go away completely. A tune is in order. The trigger is one of the best sporting triggers on the market, though not as refined as the Rekord or the trigger on an Air Arms springer. But the shape and size of the Sport rifle is just about as good as it gets — at least for me.
I think this rifle has earned the right to a 50-yard test, so there will be one more report coming. Stay tuned!