FWB 110 recoiling target rifle: Part 1
This report covers:
- FWB 300S
- FWB 150
- FWB 110
- BB’s purchase
- 110 cocking lever catch frailty
- Trigger remained the same
- Stock and metalwork
- Needs new seals
I’m going to start this report backwards.
We all should know the FWB 300S 10-meter target rifle, as we talk about them all the time. The 300S and its variants was Feinwerkbau’s high-water mark for recoilless spring-piston target rifles. They were available new into the 1990s. Reader GunFun1 talks about his all the time and even I drag mine out occasionally.
But a lot went on before the 300S closed out the chapter on FWB recoilless spring-piston target rifles. The major design before the 300 series was the 150. While the 150 was also a recoilless target rifle that used the same sliding rails inlet into the stock, however it looked more like a sporter — a very heavy one!
The FWB 150 was also recoilless, but it’s stock was cut more on the lines of a sporter.
But before the 150 and before FWB knew how to make a recoilless spring piston target rifle there was the FWB 110 — a recoiling spring piston target rifle that competed with the likes of the Walther LGU (the old one from the 1960s), and the HW 55. According to the Blue Book of Airguns fewer than 200 were ever made from 1962 to 1964, making the production smaller than the number of Colt Walkers that still exist. Now, a fine Walker Colt will fetch upwards of a million dollars today. And the Blue Book puts a fine FWB 110 at $1,800, which is several orders of magnitude less.
In truth I doubt a fine 110 will change hands at that price because too many airgun collectors want to own one at least once in their lives. So, it’s worth what someone will pay for it. If Sheridan Supergrades are selling for $2,400 and up, then FWB 110s have got to be higher than $1,800.
I was recently offered a super-fine FWB 110 by reader Frank Balistreri, and I jumped at the chance to own one. This is just the second FWB 110 I have ever seen. The first was brought to the Texas airgun show several years ago by reader Jerry Cupples and is owned by his brother, Tommy. I got to photograph and shoot it at the show, and then Tommy shot it for accuracy and sent me the target images for the blog. They offered to let me keep the rifle to test, but given the value I declined. I didn’t want to be responsible for something that unique and valuable.
But this one is mine, so I get to do everything with it. Hot dog!
110 cocking lever catch frailty
The 110 has a sliding compression chamber just like the 150 and 300. But unlike those two the barreled action is mounted rigidly inside the stock. It doesn’t slide rearwards along hardened steel rails when the rifle fires. Now that rearward slide causes me some discomfort when the peep sight shade bumps into my sighting eye. The shade is rubber so it’s tolerable, but it isn’t the most pleasant target rifle to shoot. But the 110? Well, we’ll see.
And the 110’s cocking lever is held shut by a catch that has a rather flimsy pin holding it against spring pressure. The way to cock the rifle is to use the catch to release the lever, then slide back on the lever so the tiny pin isn’t put under pressure.
The FWB 110 cocking lever is held shut by a spring-loaded catch. Don’t pull on it to cock the rifle, for the pin it rotates on is tiny and could be damaged.
The FWB 150 also has the same cocking lever catch. Feinwerkbau changed the cocking lever catch on the 300 series rifle so it would be sturdier.
When the 300 was made Feinwerkbau changed the cocking lever catch so It wasn’t as fragile.
Trigger remained the same
The 110 does have a target trigger. I doubt it is exactly the same as the 150 or 300 trigger because of their actions sliding in the stock, but it is an adjustable target trigger and not insignificant.
Though the 110 isn’t as sophisticated as the later target rifles, it’s trigger is right there!
The 110 also has the same multi-toothed ratchet to catch and hold the cocking arm as it is pulled back, so no accidents can happen. I think that’s going to feel strange for a while, since the barreled action isn’t levered forward at the end of the cocking stroke.
As the cocking lever is pulled back the ratchet catches the lever in small steps — just like it does on the 150 and 300.
Stock and metalwork
The rifle has a dark walnut stock with an accessory rail under the forearm. The curved pistol grip is hand-checkered on both sides, but the forearm is bare. There is a palm swell on the right side of the pistol grip.
The thick curved rubber buttpad slides up and down, held fast by a single large screw. The metalwork is brightly polished and deeply blued, as any Feinwerkbau target rifle from this era should be. The overall condition is perhaps 95 percent, all things considered.
Needs new seals
Frank told me that the rifle needs a new breech seal and no doubt a piston seal, so that is in the works. Fortunately Pyramyd Air stocks those parts and I ordered them. They should be easy to replace — if a bit fiddly. Feinwerkbau never used one part where 15 would do.
Okay we got us a real rare bird here and old BB plans on shining the bright light of inquiry on it.