FWB P44 10-meter target pistol: Part 3
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Trigger is first
- Trigger length
- Adjust the grip
- Gun orientation
- Over time changes may be needed
Part 2 was the velocity test of the FWB P44 10-meter target pistol. If you read it you know that I turned the velocity down from where it was when the gun came from the factory. Until I shoot the gun for accuracy we won’t know if the arbitrary velocity setting I chose was the best, or not. It was just a lot more conservative of the compressed air. The proof will be in the accuracy testing. First I need to find the best pellet, and after that I need to find the best velocity for that pellet. I tell you this so you understand that nothing is certain until it is tested.
Before I get to the accuracy test, though, I do want to adjust the pistol. I had planned to do this in Part 2, but the high velocity I discovered sidetracked me.
Trigger is first
The first thing I adjusted is the trigger. First I adjusted the overtravel stop, so the trigger stops exactly at the release point. FWB calls overtravel “…the creep after releasing the shot.” Obviously they don’t have a gun person writing the English portion of their manual. Overtravel has been a standard trigger term for over half a century. I’m not showing that adjustment here.
Once the overtravel was perfect I adjusted the trigger release point, which has to be greater than 500 grams. I set stage one at 440 grams and the release at 510 grams, though I must tell you that testing the release weight is something of an art. I can test it so it releases at anywhere from 460 grams, all the way to 510 grams — depending on how I conduct the test. This is another adjustment I’m not showing.
At a match the most common trigger test is to lift a 500-gram weight off a table, when the weight is suspended from the trigger by a thin wire. This has to be done carefully or the trigger will fire even though it is set correctly. You don’t jerk the pistol with the weight on the trigger in this test!
But there is even more to it than that! Leverage comes into play with the trigger and we are talking about very small amounts of weight, so it matters exactly where you pull on it for the test. Because of that, all world-class 10-meter pistol trigger blades have a deep groove that runs across their center. The wire that suspends the test weight must rest in this groove when the test is conducted, for the test to be official.
It was a mistake for me to adjust the trigger release at this time (before the trigger position was adjusted), and the FWB manual warned me against it, but I did it anyway. After two additional trigger position adjustments, the release weight changed, though it was still within limits and did not need to be reset.
The next trigger adjustment is the length of the trigger blade. As the gun came from the factory the length seemed perfect to me, but my finger was contacting the blade on one side, only. There is an adjustment that allows the trigger blade to be pivoted to the right (I’m right-handed) and I have always adjusted my 10-meter pistols that way. So I did it to the P44 trigger blade, too. It now feels perfect!
Now that the blade was in the right place for me, it was too close to my hand and had to be pushed out farther. I slid the trigger forward until it felt perfect, then snugged the screw down.
After these two adjustments I retested the release weight and found it had lightened. Stage one now topped out at 414 grams and stage two releases at 504 grams. That is a razor edge that would be too close if I were in competition. I used to compete with my trigger set to 518 grams, just to be safe. I will continue to shoot the gun with the trigger adjusted like this, but if I ever go to a match I will have to increase the release weight a trifle. The worst thing that can happen before a match is to have to adjust your trigger. That can really unnerve a shooter!
Adjust the grip
With the trigger sorted, I turned to the grip next. The sliding shelf had already been adjusted. That was the first thing I did — even before dry-firing the gun the first time.
The owner’s manual fails when describing the grip adjustments. I hope it makes more sense in German, because in English, the descriptions are a little vague. But I will try to reword them for you.
The first adjustment is one that not all 10-meter pistols have — the orientation of the gun. In other words, when you are holding the gun with a perfect shooting grip, is it aligned perfectly so the sights line up for you? There is only one way to tell. Grip the pistol like you would to shoot and raise the gun to a shooting position. Are the sights lining up for you? Does the front sight naturally align with the rear notch, or is the front sight off to one side, forcing you to twist your hand slightly to align it? When I checked, the front sight was slightly off to the left. It is so small that there is a natural tendency to just twist your hand to correct for it, but that puts the hand in a slightly unnatural position. Better to adjust the grip, and there is an adjustment for this.
There are two small screws that control the orientation of the gun. They only have 1.5 turns of adjustment in each and the total angular adjustment is only 3 degrees, but that should be all that you need. I read the directions carefully several times and adjusted the screws perfectly on the first try!
The grip can also be twisted to the left and right by 10 degrees. Fortunately it is exactly where I want it, so I’m leaving it alone. I have now adjusted the gun as much as I am going to.
Over time changes may be needed
As I become familiar with the gun I may want to change these adjustments. I found that to be the case with my other pistol when I competed before. As I became more familiar with the gun I found it necessary to tweak the adjustments slightly. Fortunately, this P44 has all the adjustments I will need.
There is one final thing I may tweak after shooting for accuracy, and that is the recoil compensation device. But it will take some careful target work to know whether an adjustment is required. So stay tuned.