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Education / Training FWB 110 recoiling target rifle: Part 1

FWB 110 recoiling target rifle: Part 1

FWB 110
FWB 110

History of airguns

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
  • Summary

I’m going to start this report backwards.

FWB 300S

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.

FWB 300S
FWB 300S.

FWB 150

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!

FWB 150
The FWB 150 was also recoilless, but it’s stock was cut more on the lines of a sporter.

FWB 110

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.

BB’s purchase

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!

Build a Custom Airgun

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.

FWB 110 lever catch
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.

FWB 300 lever catch
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.

FWB 110 trigger
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.

FWB 110 ratchet
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.

Summary

Okay we got us a real rare bird here and old BB plans on shining the bright light of inquiry on it.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

32 thoughts on “FWB 110 recoiling target rifle: Part 1”

  1. B.B.
    Typo-” fewer than 200 were ever made from 1962 to 1864,” change the 8 to a nine.
    “likes of the Walther LGU ” U or V?

    So between the FWB 110, the Walther LGV, the Diana 75, and the HW 55 which won more contests?
    And the winner is:__________________________?

    -Y

    • Yogi,

      Since you didn’t specify the level of contest I can tell you that as far as I know, only the HW 55 ever won at the World Cup level.

      And I corrected the typo. Thanks,

      BB

  2. BB
    It will be interesting to see how it comes apart and what’s inside. If it’s like the 300 they are a little tricky taking apart and putting back together.

    And I wonder if it has 2 counterwound springs with a spacer between the springs like a 300 has. I belive it is said that was done to help cancel the rotation movement of the action.

    But yep the 110 is a nice looking gun. And yes I love my 300.

  3. BB,

    I think the information that the 110 was the predecessor of the 150 might not be correct. I think I read somewhere that it was introduced at the same time as the 150 as a budget option, but few people ordered it (I can’t find the source right now).

    Their (archived) company history seems to confirm this. It basically says that the first gun they developed was an airgun with a patented slide system:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20070227182615/http://www.feinwerkbau.de/ceasy/modules/cms/usage.main.php5?cPageId=106

    I will try to find a better source, though.

    EDIT: This is where I read it: A German forum thread discussing the FWB serial numbers. Somebody mentioned how the 110 was the budget version and the serial numbers on page 1 seem to confirm it, as both rifles were apparently produced in parallel.
    https://www.co2air.de/thread/9155-feinwerkbau-herstellungszeitr%C3%A4ume/?pageNo=2

    BTW, cool how much interest my idea for informal competitions generated. I’d take part in any discipline I can shoot (spring piston rifle with and without recoil, spring pistol with and without recoil, CO2 pistol and SSP pistol). I don’t have a shooting range longer than 10 meters and nothing more powerful than 7.5 joule. I would say just mix things up and people who have the right equipment can join for that round.

    Stephan

  4. BB,

    I am glad you are the one who snatched that up. Makes for a nice collection, eh? I was tempted, but had to pass on those.

    “Feinwerkbau never used one part where 15 would do.” This isn’t just Feinwerkbau, this is typical of all German engineering. It is absolutely awesome when everything is working properly…

  5. B.B.,

    This is not to shade you in any way. I get so much good learning from the folks who participate in the blog comments. To be certain, I will never own any of the fine German airguns that are discussed, though I did have an HW55 for a short time. However I do appreciate excellent design and skilled workmanship. Those are on display, both from commercial sources and from the commenters here. Clever target systems, beautiful and innovative stocks and just generous folk. In all, a particularly special community to which to belong.

    Thanks to all.
    Dan

  6. Congrats on the FWB 110 BB!

    I’m really curious about the insides of the 110 – looking forward to watching while you change the seals 🙂

    Yeah, the FWB 300 is an awesome airgun. I scoped mine and it sees a lot of use well beyond the 10 meters it was designed for. Quarter-inch groups (benched) at 25 yards are not a problem.

    Hank

  7. In my experience the FWB 150 doesn’t bring much more $ in the market than a 300 in similar condition. Some of the FWB RT’s/RB’s (Running Target/Running Boar) bring good money if in good condition. Here’s a FWB 150 Tyrolean I owned:

  8. When I turned 11, I joined a airgun shooting club in Germany. In the first years I received almost no shooting training. We kids went in, said hi, went to the shooting range and the adults were mostly playing cards and drinking beer.
    In the shooting lane were several metal closets, and they were just filled with every kind of Springer match airgun from Feinwerkbau, Anschütz, Diana, Walther. The adults, at this time, were shooting pneumatics such as the FWB600. We kids just took any of the spring guns and shot.
    Now 30 years later I appreciate how many vintage Match airguns I has shot.

    And just in case someone is business oriented: I guess there is still a many German airgun clubs having closets full of old timers, and no idea what to do with them.

    • Mel
      Kind of what happened with me.

      We had a farm with land. There was other farms with lots of ground around too. So I could shoot pretty much were I wanted. Of course we had to watch what was going on different times of the year.

      But my dad was a member of the local range which was his buddy’s. Yep one of the other farmers that owned locking ground.

      Us kids shot on Friday night while our dad’s sat back and supervised. It was very fun. And I got to shoot a bunch of different air guns. Yep some good air guns. Don’t know how they was there. But I remember.

      Just can’t explain how much fun it was. I had free rein of the farm. But I loved that shooting range. I felt it was fun. At the farm when I shot for the most part it was for a reason. Pretty much always pests. But we did manage to sneak in fun shots like blasting dirt clods. It separated it all. We always turned it into fun. Even the work we did on the farm.

      Those as I know now was very important days of my life. Very happy I lived that life.

  9. I’ve never had a 110 or a 150, but have had a few 300S. I really think the Industry Chinese B42 (similar but different to Fast Deer) was a copy of a 110 style gun. Leather seal, side cock, and the trigger was based on a Mauser 98 style design. I had done several two stage trigger jobs on 98s, jumped right on the B42 made a nice fun gun. Hard to believe, not well machined, but that gun accepted a lot of improvement.

  10. B.B. and Readership,

    Need your input.
    So I have the DAQ Camp & Garden .410 shot pistol ordered and have been reading up on load development for the small bore shotguns. It is a new area for me since all my shotgun experience has been with 10 and 12 Gauge and a great deal of that was shooting slugs or really big shot.
    If any of you have tips for small bore loads I would greatly appreciate your input!

    So far i know my hull is Brass and i will need to get Wads, overshot cards and possibly Mylar wrappers. I’m thinking that 1/2 oz. Loads of #4,5,7.5 & 9 are of interest depending on what pest/game I’m going for. I have looked at the Lawrence company’s web site for possibilities for Copper plated shot and it has been educational; they even have bulk (10 lb) bags of airgun (.175″) Copper plated shot at what works out to be pretty reasonable prices. I don’t think i’ll be loading the airgun shot but it might be of interest to those of you that shoot lots of bb gun.

    One more time I’m asking for your help and knowledge on small bore shot loads.

    Thank you,

    shootski

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