Feinwerkbau Model 2 target pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB model 2 pistol
FWB model 2 target air pistol.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Getting started
  • Filling the tanks
  • Attach a reservoir to the gun
  • Adjusting velocity with Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Switched reservoirs
  • Discussing these problems helps new shooters
  • Read the manual
  • Tried other pellets
  • What is happening?

We are looking at a used FWB model 2 10-meter target pistol that runs on bulk CO2. I found this pistol for reader Mitch, who asked if there were any good target pistols for under a thousand dollars. I told him to look at used guns, and to look at the best brands. I found this one on the American Airguns classified ads page and, when Mitch decided to pass on it, I bought it. The whole story is in Part 1.

Not only was this a super buy, this is the very first FWB target pistol that had modern features. The target pistols prior to the model 2 were the FWB 65/80/90 which all had spring piston powerplants. They were great for their day and are still fine airguns today, but the refinements of the model 2 are a more adjustable trigger, adjustable power and better weight and balance.

Getting started

Today we will test the velocity of this pistol. It came with a CO2 adaptor that couples the two removable CO2 reservoirs to many bulk CO2 tanks, such as 20-pounds tanks (that’s the weight of the product they hold — not their gross weight) that will be found in soft drink dispensing equipment and fire extinguishers. But the FWB adaptor that came with the gun has a built-in filter to trap dirt. That filter makes it necessary to modify the CO2 bulk tank valve to accept the filter.

The center of the tank output valve has to be drilled out to accept the FWB adaptor. Otherwise, the adaptor will not attach to the tank. A half-inch drill bit is perfect for this job, but we found the cutting angle had to be reduced from 45 degrees to a very shallow angle of perhaps 10 degrees, to keep the bit from seizing when cutting the soft brass of the valve. I say “we” because my shooting pal, Otho, did the drilling for me. I don’t own a half-inch hand drill.

FWB model 2 pistol adaptor
The FWB CO2 adaptor has a filter in the center that traps debris. But that filter cannot enter a standard CO2 tank valve fitting.

FWB model 2 pistol CO2 tasnk valve output
This standard CO2 tank outlet is too small to accept the filter of the FWB fill adaptor.

FWB model 2 pistol CO2 tasnk valve output drilled out
By drilling out the center of the outlet on the bulk CO2 tank, the FWB adaptor fits perfectly.

Filling the tanks

Once the adaptor is fitted to the bulk tank it’s time to fill the pistol’s 2 reservoirs. The FWB manual tells you to put the removable reservoirs in the freezer for 30 minutes to cool them to accept a full fill. I did this, then screwed each reservoir to the fill adaptor and opened the bulk tank valve. It takes only a couple seconds to fill each reservoir, and when they are filled you turn off the valve on the tank and just unscrew the reservoir. An exhaust port in the adaptor bleeds the residual gas that’s trapped and the reservoir comes off easily.

CAUTION: It is possible to overfill a reservoir. You must weigh the empty reservoir before filling. Use the degassing tool to empty it completely. Then weigh the reservoir after filling to make sure you only added 53 grams or less of CO2 liquid. If more was added, use the degassing tool to release down to 53 grams.

FWB model 2 pistol reservoir filled
Open the valve for a couple seconds and the chilled reservoir is filled full. Weigh the reservoir before and after to ensure no more than 53 grams of CO2 have been put into the reservoir.

Attach a reservoir to the gun

Now simply screw one of the reservoirs on the gun and you are good to go. Take the dry-fire switch off the dry-fire mode and the gun will fire.

FWB model 2 pistol CO2 tasnk valve output without reservoir
The pistol without a reservoir. A vintage protective cap came with the gun to either seal the gun as it is here or to put over the threads of the reservoir that’s not in use.

To cock and load the pistol, lift the cocking arm on the left side of the receiver. The bolt will retract for loading. Place a wadcutter pellet into the trough, nose pointed forward and close the lever. The pistol is now ready to fire.

Adjusting velocity with Qiang Yuan Training pellets

I began with Qiang Yuan Training pellets. I had been playing with the power adjuster, so the first velocity was low, at just 341-360 f.p.s. So I turned the adjustment screw in a turn and a half and got an average 532 f.p.s. That was too fast, so I adjusted back down again. I was looking for an average around 460-480 f.p.s.

FWB model 2 pistol power adjustment screw
The power adjustment screw is a slotted screw at the top of the grip. Below that is the trigger overtravel adjustment — also a slotted screw. Don’t make a mistake or the gun may not fire!

It took me about 4 tries to get the pistol shooting at the velocity I wanted. The reason is because the pistol requires several shots after each adjustment to settle down again. Until then the velocity varies widely — as much as 60 f.p.s. I also discovered that when the gun is first fired each day the valve needs several shots to wake up. Since this gun is entirely new to me, I decided I would test this phenomenon.

After getting the velocity with Qiang Yuan Training pellets stable at 477-487 f.p.s., I put the pistol up for the day. The next morning I got it out and shot it again. Nothing has been changed since the day before. Now, however, the velocity varied between 483 and 542 f.p.s. — obviously a shift upwards.

I adjusted the power down and got the velocity between 407 and 505 f.p.s. Yes, it’s really spreading them out that much! I have a theory about what might be happening, but allow me to continue for now.

Switched reservoirs

I adjusted the power again and continued to shoot. The velocity dropped to 399 f.p.s. on one shot and I wondered if the reservoir was out of gas. I used to shoot a Chameleon CO2 target pistol that used CO2 cartridge or was filled from a bulk-fill tank. Bulk-fill was how I used it. I got about 70 shots on a good fill from that one and I figured I’d get at least 150 from these larger reservoirs. But I switched tanks anyway at this point.

However, at first the new reservoir failed to fire! No gas was coming out. So I tapped the valve pin that releases gas when the reservoir is screwed on the gun and I got a pop. The reservoir had gas — it just wasn’t coming out. I reinstalled the reservoir and tried firing again, but again nothing happened. So I removed the reservoir and used the FWB degassing tool to exhaust some gas from the reservoir. Plenty came out, and when I installed the reservoir again, it worked. Now I was getting velocities between 411 and 475 f.p.s. with the Qiang Yuan Training pellets.

Discussing these problems helps new shooters

I am explaining all of this for the benefit of new shooters who may encounter the same problems. I know this sounds like a downer, but I hope to get the gun up to spec before this is over.

Read the manual

At this point I read the manual and discovered that the reservoir should get 53 grams or less of CO2 liquid with a fill. Compare that to what’s in a 12-gram CO2 cartridge and you see how much gas this gun carries. It should get 150-200 shots easily with that much gas.

Tried other pellets

Leaving the pistol on the same power setting that gave me 411 to 475 f.p.s. with the Chinese pellets I now tried RWS R10 pistol pellets. These spread out between 445 and 502 f.p.s.

Then I tried some H&N Finale Match Pistol pellets with 4.50mm heads. They ranged between 387 to 442 f.p.s.

What is happening?

Clearly this pistol doesn’t want to shoot any target pellets with consistency. And I may know why. When I was buying the gun Carel told me he had gone through the powerplant and cleaned and lubricated the parts. That sounds good, but FWB target pistols don’t need much lubrication on their powerplant parts. Excess lubrication could be causing the wide velocity swings.

The pistol is also very old. It could just be that the parts haven’t been used in such a long time that they just need to be broken in again. I shot it over 100 times for today’s report, but it’s still giving me broad velocity ranges.

Whatever the cause, the pistol isn’t functioning like an FWB target pistol should function. But here is the good part. Feinwerkbau target airguns are made with the same care and precision as Rolls Royce automobiles. They are built to last, and unless this pistol has some modification that is irreversible, it should be able to be brought back to specification.

We are going to find out whether that’s true, because I plan to have the gun looked at by a top airgunsmith.

39 thoughts on “Feinwerkbau Model 2 target pistol: Part 2

  1. That’s really an interesting looking gun, my first thought was that it looked like some kind 1860’s dinosaur! I have a couple of questions . When was that model first introduced ? Also, how was the gun cocked and breech opened?
    Bruce



  2. Hi BB,

    Glad to see you are back testing this pistol. Just a little note on the lubrication; The pistol was cleaned and lubricated and after lubricating the parts were wiped dry with a cotton cloth again, so no excess lubrication gets left behind. So I would say this is not the problem, though it should be shot a couple hundred times to get things run in etc.

    If the gun will not fire there is simply too little tension on the hammer spring (or the tanks are overfilled or the temperature is so high the hammer can not open the valve at such high pressure, but you weighed the tanks and you are not shooting in the hot sun so we can exclude these as the problem).

    During testing the pistol did very well when the power was turned up a little. These are the biggest FPS swings I ever saw in any FWB match air gun. I suspect you have the power turned down so low the valve is not consistently opened. I know you would like a lot of shots per fill but it looks like you will need to be a little more spendy with the CO2 in order to get consistency.

    Best regards,

    Carel


    • Carel,

      You know, that is very good advice. Yes, I was trying to shoot this pistol at 460 to 480, but maybe it was never meant to go that slow. I will crank up the velocity and see what happens. As I noted, there ids a lot of gas in those reservoirs, so I’ll still get plenty of shots.

      Thanks for telling me about the lube. I feel better now.

      I will let everyone know how this turns out.

      B.B.


  3. B.B.,

    You are not helping the age old argument of: Men start a project, get in over their head, and (then) read the manual. 😉

    And on Carel’s comment above,..Wow,….Talk about service after the sale! 3rd. comment no less. Best of luck getting the bugs worked out and running smooth.

    On “getting things woke -up”, I always do a few shots with my springers needed? or not. I think it is more to wake ME up and get into doing things right again. Finger too far in on trigger, hold too tight, breathing not correct, knowing the feel/breakpoint of the trigger again, not following through on trigger pull, etc., etc.. Then I settle in and start shooting groups.



    • If my memory serves me correctly, the FWB 2 came out first, and then the FWB 100. BB definitely needs to pick one of the 100 series from Carel. My favorite FWB pistol is the 103.


      • The problem with getting your hands on a FWB 100 series pistol is that though you can occasionally find one for sale, it is not at a great price. These pistols were so well made that they are still competitive up to and including Olympic level shooting. A FWB 100 series pistol is probably the only air pistol that I would consider parting with my Izzy to own.



        • B.B.,

          If you do decide on a P34, I would recommend the short version, (I have a P34 kurtz and it shoots and feels great) and if you’re fond of the P44, get the long version.



            • B.B.,

              FWB decided to drop the barrel shroud on the P44, because their predecessors (P34 & P40) were too heavy and not well balanced, that’s the reason why I recommended the short version for the P34, you could always add more weights up front if you wish or you’d rather prefer a longer sight radius on the long version?



  4. I’m hoping the valve is actually in the pistol itself and not part of the tank.
    It’s a good thing you’re not in the middle of the season and actually have time to devote to ironing out the wrinkles. I like the gun but would put it through it’s paces before entering a competition, 65fps ain’t no small thing.


    • Ah there is the rub, Reb. On the model 2 the valve that needs to opened is the tank valve.. So some tank to tank inconsistency, sadly, is to be expected. That is exactly what Feinwerkbau improved in the design of the FWB C10(among other things), their next model CO2 pistol. The valve to be opened became part of the pistol on the C10 so would always be the same.

      It is not a big thing though if you can get 150 shots per fill you can just always use the one tank that works best for you…

      Could also be a potential answer to the fail to fire issue with one tank and no issue with the other, one tank valve spring could be tighter than the other one. Still means the hammer spring is set really weak and it JUST opens the valve on the one and JUST NOT opens the valve on the other.

      Carel




      • Reb, believe me, you’re going to have to spend a small fortune to wear out the target barrel on the FWB. The traditional H&N pellets are made of pure lead, while the crosman’s have a mix of lead, tin, and antimony.


        • But who knows what the econs are made of?
          I just know they don’t deform like a pure lead pellet and they must be adding something else to the mix so I’ve stopped shooting them in anything that I care much about and given more away than I’ve shot ever since.


  5. Everyone,

    Carel was right! I was arbitrarily trying to operate the FWB model 2 pistol at a velocity that was outside its operating range. When I cranked up the power, it stabilized. I just shot 10 of the Chinese training pellets with a 10 f.p.s. spread.

    I will return to this pistol next week and update you on the performance, but for now know there seems to be no problem with the gun, as long as it is operated in its performance range. What a lesson this was!

    B.B.


  6. Talked to a couple guys that have a cleaning service about if they run across a scuba tank or Co2 extinguisher today. Actually sounds like I May get a Oxygen bottle at least.
    My issue is Co2 storage.
    I’m getting ready to ship some perishable goods and the post office is still recommending dry ice but it only comes in 9# blocks around here so I’m trying to figure out what to do with about 7#, got a maintenance guy on fire extinguishers and these two neighbors that fill up the dumpster on occasion.


  7. Lubrication is an interesting question. To clean the Mauser of corrosive salts, I squirted water from a squeeze bottle down the chamber at the range as a first step. But to my surprise, not only did the water come out the muzzle but also out of other parts including the barrel band area. Kind of a mystery but perhaps my angle was not right. Anyway, now the rifle has water in all the cracks and crevices. This is not just my problem. Some people clean their guns of corrosive salts by taking a shower with them. So, how do you remove the water so that the gun does not rust? Disassembling it is not an option for me as I cannot get the barrel bands loose, and I don’t think regular disassembly is good for the gun anyway. I just flooded the gun with Ballistol. Going back to basic chemistry, I’m guessing that the oil-based Ballistol as a non-polar solvent cannot blend with the polar water. And since two bodies cannot occupy the same space the Ballistol should chase the water out.

    Here by the way is my full technique for cleaning corrosive salts. At the range, pour water down the barrel followed by a generous shot of Ballistol. At home, pour boiling water down the barrel. Then clean with a patch soaked with Windex. That’s it for the corrosion. Then, I clean with a copper fouling solution followed by Hoppe’s #9. This is basically an amalgamation of various cleaning strategies that I’ve read under the belief that more is better. It is also inspired by a record version of the movie Love Bug that I listened to as a kid. Tennessee, the mechanic, is restoring Herbie with loving attention and finishes off with a long drink of gasoline. Glug, glug, glug. The way I picture it, the old rifle awakens from long decades of sleep from an armory in Yugoslavia with vague nightmarish memories of the Eastern Front and now finds itself treated to absolute luxury in my hands.

    Incidentally, I’ve learned more about the surplus ammo I was shooting. My question was why the heck the Romanian army was manufacturing 8mm ammo in the 1970s. The answer, apparently, is for machine guns. Just what kind is unknown, but that does explain the light weight of 150 gr. You don’t need a heavier weight for machine guns since they induce shock from multiple hits. And this way, you can make the Mauser a more enjoyable experience without the usual punishing recoil.

    Chris USA, as I ponder airgunning, I think that if I couldn’t figure out why pellets yaw in the first place, I don’t have much of a chance of figuring out why they return to the correct orientation. But there is an analogy of the way an arrow from a bow will yaw back and forth a bit before straightening, and I suspect that is happening here. The onrushing air has a way of minimizing the cross-section of the projectile in a hand-waving energy argument. As for why it yaws in the first place… In the case of archery, no doubt that is due to the movement of the shooter. With airguns, I suspect not. To create the microscopic effect of tiny amounts of consistent yaw at extreme speeds seems to me beyond any human control, which would include type of hold. The key elements are the pellet and the barrel and their relationship to each other. Possibly, there is some imperfection in the rifling. For the pellet, I would guess there is some irregularity of weight distribution that might be consistent among type of pellets or lot number. This could be some irregularity along the axis. Off-axis, the axial symmetry of the pellet means that it doesn’t matter in what direction off the axis the irregularity might be, but it could matter how far from the axis it is. Those are my best guesses anyway.

    Michael, you’re right that staying alive in a gunfight is the first priority and a reason to drop the gun. Alternatives are to practice a lightning fast reholster like Bob Munden. Or, you can rely on the dynamics of the gunfight. If you survive you can pick up your gun and the dead guy’s too. If you don’t, it won’t matter anyway. As Shakespeare says in King Lear: “If you miscarry, your business in the world hath so and end and machinations cease.” Anyway, those would be reasons to drop your gun.

    Matt61


    • Matt61,

      Thank you for your thoughts on the matter. Early on, I shot 10 of one type and moved onto another brand. As I remember, it was the same pellets and remembering thinking that “something broke”. I have all my targets in notebooks, so I may have to go back and try to find that particular target and see if I switched pellet types.

      It was “odd” enough that it has stuck with me to this day. It may have been down range wind, but that would be odd as the range is sided on 4 sides with woods and 1 of those is the house with the woods behind it. An up top wind at 20 is a 5 at ground level, if that.


  8. BB,
    One suggestion on bulk filling bottles. I found that with my LD that if I put the tanks in the freezer I overfilled them. But, putting them in the refrigerator was almost perfect. I don’t know if that will work for you but it works for me.

    David Enoch


  9. B.B.
    Love the article! Wondering which gunsmith you are going to send it to?
    If you wanted to convert the FWB 2 to air, what would be involved? Would this be a good mod?

    Thanks,
    -Yogi


  10. B.B.

    Thanks again for doing this series, I’m really enjoying it. I wasn’t the guy that passed on this pistol though you got the model 2 before we talked, it was somebody else. I probably would’ve bought it if it was me. I’m glad it wasn’t though because I ended up finding that NIB FWB P30. My P30 got here today actually, its amazing. I’m absolutely loving it, it feels so nice. Big step up from the Gamo Compact lol. I can’t wait to get to the club to shoot a match with it. It shoots amazingly and the grip is perfect. I really like the way the dry fire works too. And the trigger, wow, its superb and it adjusts so many ways. I’m so glad I asked you about stepping up from the Compact. Thanks again Tom, looking forward to more 10m pistol stuff.

    Mitch


  11. B.B.

    Just shot the P30 some more and had to add a little more lol.

    I’m loving my P30 so much, FWB makes some really amazing airguns. I started liking FWB partly because I’ve heard you say such great things about them. So thank you for that, it influenced my decision to buy the P30 and im very glad I did, I almost bought a Walther CPM-1 instead. After some thought, I’ve decided I’m going to save up for a P44. Should take me long enough to save up that I’ll have plenty of time with the P30, if I put away $100 a month it will only take a little more than a year lol. I want to buy me an SSP though so it will probably take longer than that. I almost bought an Izzy for a back-up but I really want an FWB 103 or Walther LPM-1 or maybe a Pardini K58. So many decisions, looks like I’m gonna have to start a 10m pistol collection lol. Thanks again Tom!

    Mitch


  12. Mitch,

    Another plus for FWB, is the excellent aftermarket service and availability of parts and seals for their older guns which other brands don’t maintain in inventory. I am quite happy with my collection of match pistols, eventhough the powerplants and action are the same, (e.g. IZH46M and FWB 103) each one has its own uniqueness, and it is a delight to shoot them. Just one more thing, don’t let the high end pistols spoil you, I still enjoy my Compact and P17 from time to time.

    Are you PDX_Air in the Pilkguns forum?


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