FWB P44 10-meter target pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FWB P44
FWB P44 target pistol is Tom Gaylord’s dream airgun!

FWB P44 10-meter target pistol: Part 1
Morini 162MI Part 1
Morini 162MI Part 2
Morini 162MI Part 3

This report covers:

  • RWS R10 Pistol pellets
  • Read the manual
  • Backup
  • Adjusting the velocity
  • RWS R10 Match
  • Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets
  • Gages don’t agree
  • Summary

It took me a while to get back to this pistol. First there was the filming of American Airgunner, then I had the incident with the retina detachment. But I’m back at it today. Just as a reminder — this isn’t just a test of this one pistol — I’m also comparing it to the Morini 162MI 10-meter target pistol I tested for you earlier this year. That’s why I have linked to that series at the top of the report.

Last time I said I was going to adjust the pistol (the grip and possibly the trigger) in this part, but I got curious about the power, so today will be velocity day as Part 2 normally is. There will be some adjustment, however, as you shall soon learn.

RWS R10 Pistol pellets

I started the test with RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets. The pellets I used have a 4.50mm head and the tin was brand new. I normally like to use RWS Hobby for a pistol velocity test, so this 7-grain target pellet seemed like a suitable substitute.

The average velocity was 602 f.p.s. and the spread went from 598 f.p.s. to 605 f.p.s. So the spread was 7 f.p.s. — about what can be expected from a regulated PCP. But 600 f.p.s. is too fast for a 10-meter target pistol.

Read the manual

I read the manual, looking for the instructions about how to adjust the power. But they aren’t in there! In a somewhat haughty way, the manual tells you that your pistol has been carefully adjusted at the factory to give the optimum velocity that will get you maximum number of shots on a fill of the air tank. Baloney! I think 600 f.p.s. is too fast for a 10-meter target pistol, and Feinwerkbau agrees, because they say the pistol is set to deliver pellets at 150 meters per second (492 f.p.s.). They don’t mention which pellets they used or even their weight, but at least I have a ballpark number to refer to.

That’s the sort of velocity I expected from this airgun — 492 f.p.s., not 602 f.p.s. Granted the R10 is a light pellet, but the gun was still set way too fast in my opinion. However, nowhere in the manual does it tell you how to adjust the velocity — it just tells you not to do it, because the gun has been set by the factory. So, I had to figure it out on my own.

Backup

I wanted to bracket the power, so I also tested some 8.2-grain Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets. I think they are too heavy for a target pistol, but I do plan to test them for accuracy in the P44 because of how well they have performed in other accurate airguns. They averaged 556 f.p.s. on the factory setting, with a spread of 6 f.p.s from 554 to 560 f.p.s. That’s way too fast for such a heavy pellet!

Adjusting the velocity

Off came the grip, exposing the action. A large slotted screw at the rear of the receiver seemed to be the power adjustment, so I turned it out (counter-clockwise) just a little. The velocity with R10s dropped a little. I kept turning it out until the R10s were clocking 536 and the Qiang Yuans were running 489 f.p.s. That was about two full turns out and seemed like a good place, so I stopped adjusting and started the velocity test. I should add that the report of the pistol went from a loud bang to a quiet pop at the reduced velocity. Clearly it had been wasting air!

FWB P44 power adjustment
The manual doesn’t tell you that this screw (arrow) adjusts the power, but it does. It turned hard!

RWS R10 Match

The first shot from the gun with this pellet went out ast 519 f.p.s. Shot two registered 533, which told me that like most PCPs, the FWB P44 needs to wake up before it settles down. I disregarded the first shot and made a mental note to always fire a shot before shooting for record.

The average was 530 f.p.s. The 6 f.p.s. spread went from 527 to 533 f.p.s. This is very stable, and highly representative in my experience with regulated airguns. I’ve heard tales of guns that don’t vary by over 1 f.p.s., but the best I’ve ever seen was a TX200 that varied by around 4 f.p.s. And, it’s a spring gun!

Vogel pellets

Scott Pilkington is a source for all target shooters — both airgun and firearm. Scott was the repairman to the U.S. Olympic team for many years, plus he is a world-famous engraver! He makes and sells his own brand of target pellet called the Vogel, so I tried them next. I’m shooting Vogels with 4.50mm heads and the weight is 8.3 grains. Vogels averaged 466 f.p.s. in the P44 with an 8 f.p.s. spread from 461 to 469 f.p.s. If they prove to be the best pellet for this pistol I will adjust the velocity up just a bit, to around 490 f.p.s.

Sig Sauer Match Ballistic Alloy pellets

Sig Sauer’s Match Ballistic Alloy light 5.25-grain pellets were going to be the fastest in this test. They averaged 583 f.p.s., with a 14 f.p.s. spread from 578 to 592 f.p.s. If they prove to be the most accurate pellets I would adjust the power down, to get them around 525 f.p.s. That’s arbitrary, of course. I would expect to get the best accuracy at that speed, but if not, I’d adjust them to wherever that was. The goal is to have a pellet that doesn’t go too fast and waste air. But accuracy trumps everything.

Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets

This heavy Chinese target pellet averaged 481 f.p.s. with a 14 f.p.s. spread from 476 to 490 f.p.s. I expect them to do well in the accuracy test and, if they prove to be the best, I would leave the velocity set where it is.

Gages don’t agree

The manometer is a gage on the P44’s air tank that tells you how much air remains. When I filled the tank to 3,000 psi as indicated by the gage on my carbon fiber tank, the pistol’s manometer read about 160 bar (2,320 psi) instead of 206 bar. I will trust the gage on my carbon fiber tank, because I know from experience that it’s pretty accurate. This sort of thing drives some people up the wall, but I have pointed out many times that small pressure gages seldom agree.

Summary

I had planned to adjust the grip angle and perhaps the location of the trigger blade today, but the adjustment of the power band and then testing it took up my time. But don’t worry, I plan on giving this pistol a very thorough test!

45 thoughts on “FWB P44 10-meter target pistol: Part 2

  1. What did we expect them to say?
    Don’t touch the magic screw!
    And then an arrow saying THIS ONE!

    We all know some yahoo without a chrono, and a fat wallet would try to make this a “magnum” air gun.


  2. BB
    Just as a note my local CMP range still uses the Vogel pellets for their youth shooters and for the pellets supplied to the public on the Tuesday and Thursday open to the public nights. I have used them at the range as well and they are indeed accurate at 10 meters and at home out to about 25 yards as well. The containers do not have the weight marked on them so was always curious about that but I now know that they are 8.3grs. They are quite reasonable as well at $8.75 per 500 including tax.

    Thanks

    BD


  3. Ok BB I know you knew somebody would ask.

    When a 10m target pistol shoots at a higher velocity than you say you like. What happens that you you don’t like? Accuracy suffers? Shot cycle gets more noticeable?

    You mentioned pretty strongly. So what makes you like the lower fps?


    • GF1,

      It simple, really. Economy. It doesn’t take 600 f.p.s. to be accurate at 10 meters. World Cup matches are won with guns that shoot at 500 f.p.s. Why waste air, when slowing the gun down gives you more shots per fill that are just as accurate?

      B.B.


      • BB
        Ok I see that point. I just thought maybe with the gun pushing more air it might of gave the gun a undesirable shot cycle.

        And yes that’s why 2 different transfer port orifice come with a 1720T. You can get a bunch of shots at a little lower velocity if you put the smaller transfer port orifice in.

        It’s just like adjusting the transfer port screw on the Mrods. Turn it in and more shot count with less power. Turn it out and more velocity and less shot count.

        It’s nice to have that adjustment for air flow to the barrel that’s for sure.


  4. HI BB and the group. I learned something new from this post. The proper velocity of a 10 meter target pistol. Learned something else, you can spend $1700 and get q pistol not properly adjusted for air flow and no instructions in the manual telling you how to adjust it. That would really leave a bad taste in my mouth and would temper my further observations of this pistol.
    Best wishes
    Harvey


    • Harvey,

      I didn’t want to criticize FWB for this too much. The P44 is still a world-class airgun. I just thought that sending it out adjusted so hot and then not giving the instructions of what to do to correct it was wrong. It adjusted just fine and I have enough experience with 10-meter pistols that it presented no challenge, but now I have perhaps helped others who may not know about the power adjustment.

      Other 10-meter guns do tell you how to adjust the power in their owner’s manuals. The Morini 162 manual, for example, gives very clear instructions on exactly what to do.

      B.B.


      • OK BB, hopefully other buyers of this pistol have your years of experience to correct the problem. There was an old movie and for the life of me I can’t remember the name of it, but it was about a early airplane race and there was a German pilot who had a Kaiser Wilheim mustache and he was always saying “Do it by ze boook” . How the heck can you do it if ze boook doesn’t tell you how ? Regardless, hope you enjoy further tests of this target pistol.
        Harvey


  5. My experience with Feinwerkbau has been that you are real lucky that they tell you how to adjust the trigger and grip in the manual. Once they read this blog you will likely receive official notification that your warranty is null and void as the adjustment was not performed by an officially certified service technician.

    When I was rebuilding my FWB300s I contacted Feinwerkbau in an attempt to obtain a detailed diagram of the trigger assembly and they informed me that I should not do such myself and were quite insistent that I was incapable of such and should take it to one of their authorized service facilities.

    I hate stereotyping, but that has been an attitude I have seen from Germans on more than one occasion. Likely it comes from the fact that most German products are over engineered and if you touch anything, you will throw it out of whack and you will have to take it to them to have it fixed. When it works, it works great. When it gets just a little off, it is kaput.


    • I was going to say that B.B. is a brave man for going inside a Feinwerkbau. I’ve heard that their mechanisms are among the most complicated. And I believe you’re right that there is a German tradition behind this. I read that the world-beating German tanks kept breaking down on the Eastern Front. Also, I hear the same criticisms about Jaguar automobiles. Overall, I was very lucky with Anschutz which hasn’t needed any adjustment. In fact, it is with great gratification that I see that after years of collecting, I finally have a firearm collection that never, ever jams.

      Matt61


  6. Hello B.B.,
    You mention that the power adjustment screw turned hard. Any chance there’s a set screw lurking somewhere in the bowels of the pistol? Though it would make sense to have it visible/accessible with the amount of disassembly you performed. (Note that you are dealing with a by-the-book, tried-and-convicted manual reader here! I’m definitely over-cautious!)


  7. RR
    While I agree with you on the German thing of if it needs fixed it should be done by a authorized service center but my manual for the 300s I have also tells you how to adjust the trigger very thoroughly with what all of the 4 screws do and in what order to adjust them for the desired settings.

    I have also corresponded with Sarah Siepmannn at FWB Online sales a good bit when obtaining parts for my 300s guns and she was more than helpful with answering all my questions as far as parts and servicing of the guns although in the sales invoice it does have their recommended service center listed as well.

    I have never been one to let others do what I am capable of doing and since a 32 valve overhead cam variable valve timing Northstar Cadillac V8 is far more sophisticated than the 300s ever dreamed of being it is only a matter of careful examination and tinkering with the trigger assy of the 300s to figure out how and what makes it tick so to speak and is really quite simple once it is understood how it all functions.

    Having 4 of them now including the two you built I have become quite familiar with them in all aspects of their design and working so they are no mystery as to working on them and performing adjustments to them.

    I have in my career worked on model from as simple as a VW bug to a 1938 Bentley 4 door roadster and all makes in between from the 30s to the 2000s. then became a research and development mechanic at Harley where I had no manuals or literature to use to diagnose and repair the new model bikes and even more limited engineer support since they understood very little of the new model V-rod bike at the time that they were designing. my 25 years with Cadillac and computer controlled fuel and ignition systems is what got me the job there since at the time they had no mechanics with any fuel injection experience at all and were just beginning the very early stages of testing of the V-rod platform. I had to digress 15 years in my knowledge of fuel injection and ignition systems since the V-rod was a very simple Alpha-N system that used only three sensors to determine fuel and ignition system setting to run correctly and was where GM was at in the mid 80s and this was in 1998 with Harley.

    Everything is relative to being able to understand its proper operation and functions to be capable of working on it successfully.

    I never have nor ever will allow someone else to do something I am capable of doing myself.

    BD


  8. I will have to say as well that the Germans and more specifically engineers are a very proud people and with that do make very high quality products but are not always open to being shown or experience the ability of others to understand and perform repairs on their products as good or better than they can themselves.

    The V-rod engine in the Harleys was a joint venture between Harley and Porsche and as such I was involved with several German engineers at various times over the 11 years at Harley. I remember one instance when I was sent to the Kansas city production facility to help setup the engines production lines assembly sequence operations since we had more time in engine disassembly/assembly than anyone else at Harley from our 3 plus years of prior testing before mass production strategies had even thought of beginning.

    My lead mechanic and I were sent there to help sort out the proper steps involved to assemble the engines from just a bunch of parts. There was a German engineer there named Wolfgang that I had worked with before and we never truly clicked, but he was working with an engine on the line trying to install the shift drum in the step at that station and was not having any luck in doing so and my lead mechanic ( knowing our tension when working together previously ) sent me over to see if I could help him get the shift drum installed. Having done so more times than I could remember it was second nature in doing so and when I asked if I could try it he begrudgingly stepped aside and I proceeded to remove the jammed shift drum and reposition it in the case correctly and installed it in a matter of seconds without issue. He looked at me and turned around walking away cussing me under his breath ( I took German in high school and honestly all I truly learned was how to count and cuss in German ) so I knew exactly what he was saying. He was not happy that a to him lesser educated individual had just shown him how to install his part that he had devoted years of design time on yet new nothing of the actual process required to install and assemble it in the engine.

    I do miss that job.

    BD


    • There was a time a few years ago when Germany got over its shame of WW2 and started to take a more prominent role. I believe it was after the reunification of Germany. And some attribute it the tennis star, Boris Becker. During that time there was a lot of reflection on the German personality, some of it by the Germans themselves. Their own conclusion was that Germans tend to be respected but not liked and it bothered them. Maybe they should think about the reasons why. 🙂 Well, I certainly love their products like the Mauser 98K and the Anschutz rifle. As for the people, my experience has been that while they are not what you would call a laid-back people, they can be very affable and exuberant. My impression has been more of jolly German type than anything negative.

      Matt61


      • Just an FYI. Edie and I have German parents. We were fortunate that our family was able to come to the U.S. in 1948 as refugees. We were granted citizenship in 1955.

        Bob


        • B-I-L
          I am glad it all worked out for your family in the 40s and that you were granted citizenship in the 50s as well.

          This country is truly made up of all immigrants so its why its so diverse and as great as it is. I myself while being born in England on a US Air Force base so in a sense am an immigrant as well and when I turned 18 and registered for the draft had to declare my citizenship to either England or America. Since I was in England only my first 6 months of course I declared US citizenship.

          My only issue today with immigration and those who seek it is that they also seek to change this countries culture to what they gave up to come here. There is no middle ground in my opinion as you either come here to become an American citizen and assimilate to our culture or you choose to reject citizenship and if so then you should be given no aid or quarters of any kind and sent back to where you came from as we have no room for people who don not want to live as Americans.

          BD


      • Matt61
        Wolfgang was a likeable person most of the time and most all the other German engineers I worked with were easy to work with as well so I was not implying that they are not good at what they do or pleasant people.

        I was just relating to one incident of where Wolfgang could be difficult when things did not go as he expected or intended. I was not trying to make him mad by going over to help him with the shift drum but rather show how it needs to be positioned and installed since I had done it a hundred times but he did not interpret it as help but rather an insult.

        My brother was adopted from Germany while my father was stationed there since my parents had been told my mother could not get pregnant and two years later I was conceived.

        Sorry if I gave the impression I did not like or respect them as its just the opposite.

        BD


  9. B.B.

    Just a side bar for reference – the recommended setting for my FWB 100 is 494 fps. The pistol likes the JSB SCHaK pellets.

    Intresting that you had to go inside – the adjustment screw on the 100 is readily accessible without removing the stock.

    Hank




    • GF1,

      I ordered a set of the rotary pellet clips last night to try in my 357 Python. My Python is an older one that I purchased used so I have no idea if the pellet clips will work in it. I’ll let everyone know.

      Jim


      • Jim
        Makes me wonder if they did change design or if it’s still the same on current models.

        If it does work I would like to see what your result are with pellets. I’m only going to shoot pellets out of mine. So really the only groups I can compare to is BB’s with the Brodax and bb’s. I hope the pellets group better than the bb’s. Like I said I hope.


  10. B.B., I take it by the eyesight test that you are going to shoot some dramatic targets, and I am looking forward to that. As for the value of eyesight, I think it’s hard to deny that superior vision can only help. If there’s anything to the principle, “Aim small, miss small,” good vision can help you see smaller. And I seem to have read that elite shooters have better eyesight. That was certainly true of Clint Fowler, two-time winner of the Nathan Hale Trophy at Camp Perry. On the other hand, the extent to which a lack of vision can be compensated for is unknown. An eye doctor once told me that your vision is determined not just by the input from your eye, but what your brain makes of it whatever that means exactly. I suppose this could come from experience. When I was on a ship, one of the crew pointed out a seagull to me that was invisible until she told me exactly where to look. And I understand that the so-called “birdbrain,” while lacking certain cognitive functions of the human mind, can process visual information much faster and more efficiently. This is seen in the ability of Goshawks to fly at 40 mph through dense forests without hitting anything. So, I think you have some powerful allies in this vision test.

    Gunfun1, thanks for the ideas about a private range. You all who have space to shoot in don’t appreciate the luxury you have. My mind is filled with ideas. I had not thought of the ping pong balls. They are a nice size, but I don’t know about this quality of being so light that pellets bounce off of them. I’m sort of looking for evidence of impact. Right now the plans call for throwing up pine cones and trying to hit them with my Crosman 1077 and my Walther Nighthawk. My friend has clay pigeons that he will lay against a berm. I have bought one of the resealable polymer targets with which I will try the game of chasing the can across a yard. With this and other targets of opportunity, I will try rapid fire, tactical drills with rifle and pistol that are strictly forbidden at the range. I might also try some prone shooting since the angle is not right at the range. And there’s more beyond guns. I’m trying to figure out a good target for archery. And I’m already constructing in my head a sort of miniature door to use as a target for knife and ax throwing. And I’ve even chosen the throwing ax that I will buy. Nothing like the shooting sports to make you young again.

    Matt61


    • Matt 61

      That sounds exciting! It is a blessing to have a place big enough to play with. I am currently renting, which I do not care for but my yard is large enough to do all the fun things I want to on it. Keep us posted as it sounds like your really building something fun!!!


    • Matt61
      I do appreciate where I live. Took me a while to finally get here. I use to shoot where I had neighbors before I moved out here in the country last year. But I was lucky enough to have neighbors on each side that did shoot also. But it was restricted compared to here where I’m at now.

      But yep when you do end up in a place where its ok to shoot it sure opens up different avenues.

      Heck maybe you can get one of those can launchers now that you can shoot at that throws the can in the air. That’s what I would like to get for the Brodax.

      But that would be a cool blog where everybody could list different types of things they came up with to shoot at.


    • Matt61,

      One of my favorite targets with my 1077 is the small V8 juice cans (about 5 ounces?). Lay the can on its side broadside to you and try to hit just the edge. The can will spin and fly all over the place. I find it a lot of fun.

      Jim


    • Matt61
      Agree on shooting keeping me young!
      I line pieces of tubular foam insulation intended for pipes for rolling along the ground or swinging on the end of a rope. Less noise for discreet shooting and they bounce! The Daisy 74 BB gun is neat for aerial targets, or an airsoft. Fun to shoot like Ed McGivern without miles of space! What a great hobby! So many things to explore
      Fido3030



  11. B.B.
    Super article! I was always told that 500fps was the magic number for 10m shooting. I assumed that faster than that was less accurate. Would it be possible to crony the pellets at the 10meter mark? That way we could work out the ballistic coefficient for each pellet. I assume that high BC’s would help with accuracy as well. My Diana 6 G shoots 7 grain wadcutters at 491 fps, I always believed that I was 9fps short….

    -Y




  12. Pingback: FWB P44 10-meter target pistol: Part 4 | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

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