A vintage FWB 300S tests new pellets

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

FWB 300S
My FWB 300S is the most accurate 10-meter target rifle I own.

This report covers:

  • Background
  • Essentially sighted in?
  • The test
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet
  • Sig Match Pb pellet
  • Sig Match Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Olympic
  • Sig Pb target pellets
  • Summary

Before we begin I need to explain why a test of three current pellets is in the history section. Besides airguns I have a lot of other things I need to test and report, and pellets are one big category. I also have some .22 caliber pellets from Sig that need a test, as well as those samples of the new Baracuda Field Target that I received at the Pyramyd Air Cup. If I don’t stop and make the time for these tests, they will never happen.

When it comes to target pellets, my most accurate 10-meter target rifle is an FWB 300S — a spring-piston target rifle that is decades out of date. But it’s the best I have, so I used it. Since it is no longer made, I put the test that used it in the History section.

Background

Today is a straightforward test of three target pellets. It was shot at 10 meters. The last time I thought I had used this rifle in a test was in the series titled, FWB 300S vintage target air rifle. That was back in 2012. In that series I finished by mounting a scope on the rifle and shooting it at 50 yards. So when I began today’s test I thought I had just remounted the rear target sight but not sighted it in again. If the rifle could hit anywhere close to what it was aimed after doing that it would have been incredible. But I had not looked to see if there were any articles about an FWB 300, the model number without the S. And there was one. In 2016 I did a one-time test that was titled, Shootoff between the TX200 Mark III and the FWB 300. Since I left the “S” off the rifle’s model number in the title of that report, it wasn’t found in my first search. Naturally I had to sight in the FWB for that report, so today I began with a rifle that was essentially sighted in.

Essentially sighted in?

That deserves some explanation. I do not adjust the sights in these tests unless there is a very good reason. As long as the pellets are hitting inside the bullseye, that’s good enough for what we are doing. We are looking at group size, not the score. If I were after the best score I would have to fine-tune the sights for a particular pellet, and even for how I hold and sight the rifle when shooting for competition. Unless you do that you will loose points in a match, because you do not hold and sight a rifle that same offhand as you do when it’s on a rest.

The test

Let’s get started. I had what I thought were three target pellets that had never been tested in my 300S. Once again, that 2016 report that turned up later proved me wrong, because one of the three pellets I will test today was also tested then. But that’s a good thing because we can compare my results from then and now.

I’m shooting off a sandbag rest from 10 meters, so the only thing getting tested is the rifle. The 300S has a sledge anti-recoil mechanism inside the stock that isolates the barreled action from the stock — a sort of built-in artillery hold. So, a bag rest is best. I’m shooting 5 shots per target.

Qiang Yuan Olympic pellet

The Qiang Yuan Olympic wadcutter is a target pellet that has given us good results in some guns in the past. They are always worth a try.

Five of them made a group that measures 0.199-inches between centers. For the record the best 5-shot group this rifle has ever produced at 10 meters was 0.097-inches in the 2012 test. A good pellet in this rifle will put 5 into something smaller than 0.15-inches. That means this group is on the large side for this rifle. This is the pellet I had tested before and didn’t remember.

Qiang Yuan Olympic wadcutter
The FWB 300S put 5 Qiang Yuan Olympic target pellets into 0.199-inches at 10 meters.

The last time I shot this pellet in this rifle under similar conditions (the 2016 test), 5 of them went into 0.17-inches at 10 meters. That’s better, but still not great.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet

The next pellet I tested is one I’m pretty sure I have never tested in the FWB 300S — the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet. We have seen this lead-free pellet do remarkably well in some other airguns, and today we get to see what it can do in my most accurate 10-meter rifle.

Five pellets went into 0.142-inches at 10 meters. That’s better than the average good pellet and good enough to bring out the trime. For those readers who don’t remember, the trime, or silver three cent piece, is the smallest American silver coin ever made. Where an American dime measures 17.9mm or 0.705-inches in diameter, a trime is 14mm or 0.551-inches in diameter. I use it for comparison whenever I get a very small group.

FWB 300S Sig Match
Five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.142-inches at 10 meters.

Sig Match Pb pellet

Next I tested the new pellet that really prompted today’s report. This is a target pellet that’s so new Pyramyd Air doesn’t even have it listed yet. It’s a lead wadcutter that weighs 8.18-grains, according to the package. I weighed 10 and five weighed 8.2-grains. Four were 8.0-grains and one was 8.1-grain. That makes them okay for training but not for serious competition.

Five of these went into 0.213-inches. That was the largest group thus far in the test.

FWB 300S Sig Pb
Five new Sig Pb wadcutters went into 0.213-inches at 10 meters. The FWB 300S doesn’t seem to like this pellet very well.

Discussion

At this point in the test I could have shot more different pellets or I could have done something else. I decided to do something else.

Were the results shown above correct, or were they just lucky flukes? There was just one way to find out. I decided to shoot all three pellets again. This is where 5-shot groups pays off, because I haven’t tired yet.

Sig Match Alloy

First up were the Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. I wanted them to show me that first tight group was not just five lucky shots. This time five of them went into 0.089-inches — besting the previous best group (0.097-inches in 2012) I ever shot with this rifle!

FWB 300S Sig Match2
It’s trime time again. This second 10-meter group of 5 Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets went into 0.89-inches between centers.

With this second group I have to consider the Sig lead-free target pellet to be a good match for this rifle. Consistency is what I’m after in a target pellet. These load quite firm, which I think is part of their reason for success. Of course the sights would need to be adjusted to raise the center of the group, but notice how round both of these groups are.

Qiang Yuan Olympic

Next up were the Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets. This time 5 of them went into 0.078-inches at 10 meters. That’s a new record for this rifle! Isn’t it strange that their first group was so much larger (0.199-inches)? Before I would consider a pellet with this much variation for a rifle I would have to shoot several more groups. The variation is probably me, but I would need to know for sure.

FWB 300S Qiang Yuan Olympic wadcutter 2
The second time I shot them, 5 Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets went into 0.078-inches between centers at 10 meters. That is the smallest group of this test and also the record for this rifle with me shooting.

Sig Pb target pellets

The last target I shot was with the new Sig Pb target pellet. This time 5 went into 0.191-inches. That’s consistent with the first target, which was 0.213-inches.

FWB 300S Sig Pb 2
This second group of the new Sig Pb lead wadcutter pellet is quite similar to the first group. It’s consistent, but not that accurate in this FWB 300S.

Summary

This was a test of a new pellet — the Sig Pb lead wadcutter. Just because it didn’t do well today, don’t automatically rule it out as a target pellet. Until you try it in the gun you intend using, you will never know for sure.

I used today’s opportunity to baseline two other pellets in the FWB 300S. There are more pellets I need to test as well, so I plan to do this again soon.

43 thoughts on “A vintage FWB 300S tests new pellets



    • Birdmove,

      Happy Birthday to you as well! Are you sure you are not Ridgerunner in disguise???? 😉 That ol’ RR is always hitting B.B. up. You might have to step up your game though as ol’ RR has that whole wayward, orphanage, group home thingy going on. 🙂

      Chris


  1. B.B.,

    You didn’t mention it, but what was your gold standard pellet for this rifle? I know you are testing these pellets but what did you use before? That might give an indication of how quality may or may not have improved in comparison with today’s pellets.

    Siraniko


  2. That’s some great shooting!

    I beat Siraniko to this one. The group size in this sentence

    Next up were the Qiang Yuan Olympic pellets. This time 5 of them went into 0.78-inches at 10 meters!

    should be 0.078.


  3. B.B.,

    Fine shooting. I was surprised to seen you mention weight in regards to the SIG Match Pb pellets. That is not something that you often do. I was also surprised to see the 8.0, 8.2 and 8.1 was not considered suitable for competition.

    So while you do not often weigh, or mention weighing,.. your comment leads to me believe that you place a great importance on it. At least in cases of competition. Then, there is the topic of head sizing.

    Just an observation.

    I am glad that you used your most accurate rifle for testing. It is nice to have a go to rifle that you can trust like that.

    Good Day to one and all,…… Chris


  4. BB,

    You seem to have an issue with decimals throughout this blog, including the picture headings.

    Obviously, this old gal needs a vacation at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns. Perhaps that will help you to focus on your writing more without her as a distraction.


  5. B.B.

    Nice article. Do the SIG pellets only come in one weight? Many target wad cutters come in a lighter pellet for pistol shooting and a heavier pellets for rifles.
    Different head sizes?

    -Y


    • Yogi,

      As far as I know this is the only weight. The tin is not marked rifle or pistol. This is a lead pellet and Sig started their line with lead-free, so this may be the start of a line of lead pellets. They also have some lead pellets in .22 caliber.

      B.B.


  6. I am not a collector, but every time i see a nice FWB 300S i feel a pull like no other rifle. I am also not a 10m competitor or any other type and i am not a into PCP. I know people like all kinds of figuring in a stock or fancy checkering for me it is engineering and mechanical perfection of a form and the FWB 300S is just the pinnacle of its class. I just cant imagine anything being more fun than destroying aspirin glued to string or a bug buster that can pull off a head shot on a grasshopper at 10m.

    We hunted bugs as kids and if i had one other wish UTG would make a bug buster scope with an etched reticle. Perhaps some day for both things. Any excuse at all is good enough for me. Show me any old FWB 10m spring piston i will never get tired of it.


    • Mike,

      I lusted for a FWB 300 for 30 + years before I got my hands on one – all I can say is that you won’t be disappointed if you pick up a nice one. I scoped mine and it is an awesome shooter.

      If you get a chance, check out the FWB 600 series of SSP rifles as well, I have a 603 and it is a dream to shoot.

      We hunted bugs as kids as well, being in my second childhood I like to put out some bait and shoot wasps. Great fun! You can go through a can of pellets pretty fast 🙂

      Hank


      • Hank,

        Thirty plus years huh? That gives me hope to get one by the time I retire. They are as rare as hens teeth over here. The only way to get one here to my knowledge is at an estate sale.

        Siraniko


        • Siraniko,

          Carvel (think that is how you spell his name) is one of the blog readers and he often has target airguns for sale – you might want to contact him and see what you can work out. He is in the Netherlands but will ship rifles. B.B bought a target pistol from him so he would have contact info.

          Oh, my FWB 300SU, within it’s effective range (about 25 yards), is the best target, plinking, sniping and pesting rifle I have ever shot.

          Hank


      • Vana2/Hank,

        I don’t think I have the wherewithal to purchase from Carel. Weapon importation (even an airgun!) into my country is strictly controlled and even if I was able to produce the necessary papers I will still have to deal with the tariffs and other fees that the Bureau of Customs can think of. I do know some people who have one in possession and I may just have to patiently wait for the proper time.

        That FWB300SU is the running boar version isn’t it?

        Siraniko


        • Siraniko,

          Sorry to hear that it is so difficult for you to import a rifle. Hope that you can find a 300.

          The FWB 300S rifles were available in a variety of stock options. If I remember correctly, The “Running Boar” version has a has a through hole stock and an adjustable cheek-piece.

          My rifle has a basic stock to which I added a couple of spacers to adjust the LOP and I replaced added a faux silencer to cover the front sight mount. I have a nice piece of maple put aside to make a “Sport Stock” for it.

          Hank


          • Wow! What a beauty! I’m not sure about the details of the 300 Running Boar configuration but the 1994 era Beeman catalog I have includes a running target version of the 601 and C60 that has a very tall adjustable cheek piece, a long barrel sleeve, slimmed-down fore stock and some small changes to facilitate scope mounting (no sights were included). Going by that, your recollection sounds about right. I also find it interesting that FWB was still making and selling at least two versions of the 300 concurrent with the SSP 601 and CO2 C60. A testament to how great a rifle it must have been. I’m very happy with my 602 but a 300 is still on my “gottahavit” list. The Diana 75 is on their too – I find its counterweight anti-recoil system fascinating.

            I’m also curious about what differences there might be between the SIG lead free pellets and H&N’s green line. Finale Match are what seem to work the best in my 602 but their wadcutter Greens are a very, very close second. Close enough that my own ability and consistency make a far bigger difference to group sizes than the pellets do (a friend who is a VERY good shot showed that the Finale Match consistently make a slightly tighter group in my rifle). Until recently my “range” was a room and corridor in my house that, although it was closed off when shooting was frequented by cats, dogs and children much of the time so I preferred to not use lead pellets. Now that I have a private place in the basement I’ve just kept on using the Greens anyways though.


            • Nowhere,

              Agreed, Feinwerkbau does make some really fine airguns!

              I have a FWB 603 (with one of those funky red/green/blue laminated stocks) that I use for indoor shooting in the winter – I can manage an honest 10 meters in the basement so I am good to go. You have peaked my curiosity, I will have to look into getting some of the lead-free pellets to try out.

              Yeah, like the 300, if the pellet didn’t land where you intended then there is no doubt as to where the “problem” lies 🙂

              Hank


          • Hank,

            That is a beautiful rifle. What you have planned for it with the curly maple blank would probably be a sight to behold. Have you finished the FWB 124 stock already? Hopefully it will be the star in your guest article which I hope to see someday.

            Siraniko


            • Siraniko

              I am planning a “regular” stock with a more angled grip and less mass for plinking. I tend to shoot quickly and the target stock grip interferes with that. The maple I have is more of a tiger-stripe and I will be using Aqua-Fortis to bring out that character.

              I did finish the FWB 124 stock and it is also designed and balanced for fast shooting. Attached is a picture for you.

              I am working on the stock making guest blog and it is 75% finished. Fall is a busy time for me as I am getting ready for winter (we have already had 6 inches snow!!) but I hope to have the blog finished before too long.

              Hank




                  • Hank,

                    Initially I had misgivings about the trigger guard bring made of wood, but then I realized that this stock looks like it was made from a laminate so it should have sufficient strength.

                    Siraniko


                    • Siraniko,

                      You are correct about the trigger guard piece, I have laminated it up with 6 layers of maple veneer and it is 1 5/8 inches wide. I’ll confirm that it is very strong – it takes a serious amount of pressure just to flex it slightly.

                      My 124 likes an artillery hold and being supported close to the trigger. One of the beauties of making your own stock is that you can do what ever you want to…

                      The width of the trigger guard, the angle and it’s curve fits exactly to my open palm when my elbow is braced against my chest. I designed the butt section so that the balance is a bit forward of my supporting hand. Overall, I’m pleased how it turned out as It shoots real well for me with the light hold/touch that I prefer.

                      Fun stuff 🙂

                      Hank



                • Thank you B.B. – so kind for you to say so!

                  I am hoping that my stock making guest blog will encourage others to carve their own personalized stocks and share pictures here. It’s not difficult to do.

                  Hank


  7. B.B.,

    Excellent shooting, as others have written.

    It seems that the groups shrank as the test progressed. I have no idea whether or not this was a factor, but my 300s (and 150, as well) warm up as I shoot them if I haven’t done so in a long time. It takes anywhere from 15 to 25 shots, but the power increases about 5 percent, the already quiet air rifle becomes even quieter, the light cocking gets smoother.

    All of that could affect accuracy to the small but nevertheless significant degree your test demonstrated. I do still consider the test entirely valid, knowing that you shot each brand of pellet many times over many groups.

    Michael

    Michael



    • Michael,

      Often times,… it is (me) that needs the warming up. 🙂 Most time throughout the Ohio outdoor shooting season,… I only get to shoot 1x per week. Getting in a rhythm helps. Eventually,… the eyes tire from focusing. Overall,… the longer I shoot in a session,… the better I get, to a point.

      Chris


  8. B.B.,
    I had to chuckle that you had to do a similar spelling search to find an old post. You have told us to do that many times when searching. A teaching moment.
    Gerald


  9. BB

    I am thrilled with this report. This and other old vintage competition 10 meter rifles are still somewhat affordable if tack driving in the backyard is your thing. While probably too heavy for hunters to carry my FWB300S is also the most accurate air rifle I own out to 25 yards and likely more.

    The point I would like to get across to the air gun industry is to focus more on accuracy and noise control if back yard target shooters are a significant market.

    Deck



  10. I bought the Hatsan 135 .30 cal and I must say I am impressed. I have been hitting 3 inch steel disks at 42 yards with iron sights. I have about 60 pellets through it so far, and it is quite the challenge to cock it compared to my other break barrels. Going to mount a scope on it today and try that. So far it seems to prefer the 50 grain JSB pellets. I only have the JSB and the 44 grain Vortex pellets to try. Wonder when the H&N pellets will show up?



  11. Thanks for the nice update. It caught my eye since I just bought a very nice 300s a week or so back. I have been collecting 70/80’s vintages 10 m Target rifles lately and it took a while to find a 300s that was not worn hard. Its fun to see what you can do with the old 10 m target rifles. Now to fine a good 55 CM.



      • I did like. it. I have a Beeman 400 (Dianawork 75 clone) that I chose over the 55CM when I competed.

        I have since picked up a 55 Champ and next I am hunting up a 55 CM. I figure it will be the hardest to find one like you reviewed in good shape.

        I find it funny how 40 odd years ago I was sweating over the 400 vs. the 300s and the 55CM and I picked the rarest of the bunch I believe to compete with. Great rifle. I was shooting my 400 last weekend and it still will drop a pellet right where I want it. Now that I have a nice 300S, I need to really get it set up and tuned to my body shape and stance and see if I can do better than the 400.


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