0

FWB 110 recoiling target rifle: Part 2

FWB 110
FWB 110.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • History update
  • First string is a surprise
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Shooting behavior
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • What’s next?

Today we test the velocity of the FWB 110 recoiling target rifle, and I think Frank Balistreri, the reader who sold it to me, is in for a surprise.

History update

Reader Stephan from Germany told us that Feinwerkbau sold the 110 and 150 at the same time and the Blue Book of Airguns agrees with him. As Stephan states, the 110 was probably offered as a less expensive alternative to the recoilless 150. The 110’s run was cut short in 1964 and the Blue Book estimates fewer than 200 were ever made. I think the production number is probably correct because the late Robert Beeman was friends with the owners of Feinwerkbau and travelled to see them several times. He might have had access to those numbers.

First string is a surprise

Okay, Frank — are you reading this? Here is the first string of RWS Hobby pellets.

Shot…….Vel.
1…………..516
2…………..515
3…………..553
4…………..592
5…………..566

Stop!

I expected the first two velocities but not the one I got with shot number three, and certainly not shot number 4! This rifle is shooting well. It seems to need a little oil So I pulled the lever all the way back to open the sliding compression chamber to receive oil and I dropped 5 drops of Extreme Weapons Lubricant down the air transfer port. Before you guys start getting anal about what oil to use I will say this. Rifles like the 110 have lower compression than many spring-piston air rifles and almost any oil can be used, in my opinion. It’s very similar to oiling a rifle that has a leather piston seal. Just be sure to use a high-quality oil, and EWL is one of the best. RemOil would work well, too.

Now, let’s continue with the string.

6…………..Did not register
7…………..603
8………….730
9…………..652
10.………..638
11..………..647
12..………..637

The rifle did diesel several times after oiling, although there was no explosive detonation. I could see smoke coming out the muzzle.

By shot 12 it seemed that the rifle had settled down to shooting in the mid-600s, which I believe is where these rifles are supposed to shoot. So I started a new 10-shot string. I will show all of the next 10 shots. I’m still shooting Hobbys.

Shot…….Vel.
1…………..646
2…………..628
3…………..646
4…………..635
5…………..642
6…………..650
7…………..645
8…………..637
9…………..643
10..………..622

The average for this string is 639 f.p.s. and I think this rifle is doing fine. It doesn’t seem to need new seals, although I have bought them, so I will install them anyway. Another good thing is that the mainspring seems to be right where it should be.

At the average velocity Hobby pellets develop 6.35 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. The spread went from a low of 622 to a high of 650, which is a difference of 28 f.p.s. That’s high for a target airgun.

Qiang Yuan Training pellets

Next up were some Qiang Yuan Training pellets. They weigh 8.2 grains, so I expected them to shoot slower than the 7-grain Hobbys. That was surprise number two. Ten pellets averaged 650 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 647 to a high of 655 f.p.s. That’s an 8 f.p.s. difference. What that means is the rifle “likes” this pellet, as opposed to the Hobby. That has to be the fit of the pellet to the bore, because the Chinese pellet is 1.2 grains heavier than the Hobby.

At the average velocity this pellet develops 7.69 foot-pounds of energy. For sure I am testing this pellet for accuracy when the time comes.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

Well, Sig has dropped the Match Ballistic Alloy pellet from their line of pellets. They were selling them for $35 a tin, which is $10 higher than comparable lead-free (tin) pellets. It’s expensive but this is an accurate pellet and I will lament its loss.

These averaged 742 f.p.s. with a spread that went from a low of 735 to a high of 752 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 17 f.p.s. At the average velocity this 5.25-grain pellet generates 6.42 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Shop New Products

Shooting behavior

I was quite curious about how the 110 feels when it shoots. This was my first time examining one up close for a prolonged period. At the start of shooting I felt the rifle had a small amount of buzz, but after the oiling it seemed to calm down. However later when I shot it after testing the cocking effort I felt the buzz again, so there is a solid reason to open her up! As powerful as the mainspring is, I think it will tolerate a thin coat of Tune in a Tube grease to quiet that buzz.

Trigger pull

The trigger is two-stage and adjustable. Stage one takes 6.8 ounces and stage two breaks at 9.6 ounces. The stop at stage two is positive. That is ideal for me.

The trigger seems fine to me, so I’m leaving it where it’s set. I held the rifle to my cheek when I fired a couple times and quite honestly, I feel no recoil. There is a thump in the butt but no movement that I can detect. Of course that will come under closer scrutiny when I shoot it for accuracy. Now I own several other recoiling 10-meter rifles like a Walther LGV and a Weihrauch HW 55 SF, so I can tell when a rifle recoils lightly. I think this 110 might just be a champion.

Cocking effort

All sidelever spring-piston FWB target rifles cock easily, but the 110 has the benefit of not having to push the action back into battery. That removes several pounds from the process. It cocks with 10 pounds of force until the lever passes the midpoint, then the effort drops back to 7 pounds for the remainder of the stroke. This is one of the lightest-cocking air rifles I have ever tested. Even my Walther LGV Olympia cocks with 17 pounds!

What’s next?

I had planned to tear into this rifle after testing the velocity but that was based on the premise that it needed seals. It doesn’t, so I think I’ll test accuracy next and then tear her apart.

44 thoughts on “FWB 110 recoiling target rifle: Part 2”

  1. B.B.,
    It looks like you got a real peach from Frank. He offered me some great guns from his awesome collection (guns I would have loved to have), but I told him I could only afford “the plinkers.” He had a nice set of those, too; but I settled on the Haenel model 1 in .177 (based on your review of the Haenel model 1 here: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/04/haenel-model-1-part-4a-compulsive-airgun-buy/ ).
    I would have liked to snag his FWB 110, but I’m glad it went to someone who could really appreciate it…not to mention someone who could report on it to a wide audience…Divine Providence, I say; the rifle is where she belongs.
    And she is a beauty, too; enjoy! 🙂
    Take care & God bless,
    dave

    • Yogi and Siraniko,

      It is said that FWB300s that are not broken produce at least 8.5 joule of muzzle energy.
      BB’s result with the Hobbys matches that almost exactly (8.6 joule). BB’s result with the Qiang Yuans (7.69 foot pounds = 10.43 joule) is significantly hotter than that, of course.

      In Germany, airguns that you may own without a license have been limited to 7.5 joule since 1970.
      There is probably some room for tolerance there and it also depends on the pellets you use.
      Also, kids who want to do dumb stuff with airguns would probably not have bought one of these very expensive target guns. So maybe that was a consideration when somebody said “just slap the stupid [F] on it and be done with it”.

      Other explanations might be that it had a stronger spring from the factory (it was made well before 1970) or that somebody souped it up… or it just doesn’t waste any power on the slide system the 110 doesn’t have…

      Stephan

    • Siraniko,

      Back when spring-piston guns were poopular, these velocities were normal. When PCP guns came around the designers started conserving air by slowing them down.

      BB

  2. Hi folks,

    it doesn’t totally surprise me that this gun likes the Qiang Yuan pellets.

    I shot the best 10 shot group I ever shot with a pistol with a FWB LP 80 and the QY Olympic pellets – and it wasn’t even my own gun.
    A friend bought one and we tested it sitting and from a bag rest at 10 meters with H&N Finale Match, RWS R10, the QY Olympic and other stuff. The best result I got was with the QYs. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best for this gun (as I am not the most consistent shot). But we can probably say that they work pretty well…

    I was quite happy with the result 🙂

    Stephan

  3. BB,

    I just adore those old Feinwerkbaus. You have snagged a jewel here.

    Let’s see, a FWB110. a FWB150?, you do have one do you not?, a FWB300 and now a FWB600. When you add in the others, you have quite a collection of 10 meter airguns.

    GF1, I want it back!

    • BB,

      good idea, they seem to be a great value. Airghandi has tested cheap wadcutters some time ago and got the best value from the Excites: https://airghandi.de/der-grosse-diabolotest/

      I used to like the RWS Gecos but they sometimes seem to mix two different types of pellets in one tin, ones that have the ring around the bottom of the skirt (like clubs) and ones that don’t. The Basics seem to be the same story.
      I like to know what I’m getting so I now buy the Clubs which are just under € 5 a tin if you buy 11 tins. That’s affordable enough for me…

      For rifles, I like the H&N Sport which also did well in Airghandi’s test.

      I only use higher quality pellets for benchrest shooting as I am just not good enough to justify the cost otherwise 🙂

      Stephan

      • Stephan,

        Yes, I agree. But if they are as good as Roamin says, they need to be tested.

        I shoot only good pellets most of the time too. For the same reason.

        BB

        • I have to send you a copy of the chart that I made when testing pellets through the Umarex Embark and the Beeman R7. Look for it over the weekend, along with a few targets. It is a work in progress, but it really shows where the “value” is in the pellets tested.

          And I’m thrilled to be able to contribute is some small way to the blog, and to B.B.’s wonderful work here.

          • OK, here is a copy of a chart I made a while back when initially testing pellets. I’m sorry for my clumsy file conversion, I hope it is legible.

            I will admit that I was not too good of a shot, yet at that point, but I was not deterred by that. This was before I discovered peep sights and before I really broke in the trigger, and of course, I am improving. But I shot many 10 shot groups of each pellet, using different holds, and these were the best groups I had up until that point. The whole concept was to find the best pellet for the money, with respect to the pellets that were in stock (not too many at the time). So I basically decided to take the best group (smallest outside spread, center to center) and multiply that times the pellet’s per shot cost to come up with a factor. Then I charted the pellets by those two basic criteria. While the JSB SCHaK and H&N Match Green gave me the best groups, their cost significantly exceeded the next most accurate pellet…the H&N Excite Econ II, which in turn outperformed all the other pellets in its price range.
            Of course, this is a work in progress, as are most things, but I had all these pellets and all these targets and this is how I made sense of them. I envision a 45 degree line running up and to the right from the origin point of the graph like this: \ and the first pellet it touches is the best value (price vs. accuracy).

            P.S. I know I have some crazy pellet choices, but it was slim picking for a while and I ordered a few sampler packs, so I shot them up. Note to self, don’t shoot those copper plated pellets at a plywood backstop. They ricochet if you miss the trap!

            So now, I have an even larger selection of pellets but an air rifle with an offset bore. Oh well, I guess I can keep shooting and things will sort themselves out.

        • BB,

          I just bought the Excite Hammers in .177 and .22. I have been wanting to try them myself. I also picked up a tine of H&N Baracuda 15’s in .22, Crow Magnums in .22 and the new Crosman Essential Domes in .22. Now that I have finally ditched the sling, it looks like I have quite a bit of shooting ahead of me.

          I was going to get the Crosman Essential in .177, but the PA site says they are pointed. I checked with PA and they are really domed. I will have to pick up some of those with my next order.

        • TG: You will like the Excite Econ wadcutters at 7.48 gr (as I remember). I have shot tens of thousands of them and they are quite precise, clean and uniform. They are my go-to pellet in the basement range. Particularly good in my Hatsan M-25 Super Charger, RWS 5-G TO1, RWS M-24J (my son’s first rifle, a youth rifle), my Gamo P-45. I might have to switch to them in my RWS 430L since the H&N Sniper line is being reduced/eliminated.

      • Stephan, I just read that article from AirGhandi. Very interesting. I note that there is a slight difference in that he tested H&N Excite Econ pellets and my experience is with Econ II pellets. Other than that, I am wondering how many of the pellets he tested were really rebranded from the various manufacturers. One may never know, but I really doubt Browning, or AirGhandi’s own merchandising division for that matter, make their own pellets. Would be funny if all his testing was really only 3 or 4 varieties of pellets just rebranded. Then of course, the competitive shooters who weigh and sort will also want to know if the same pellet will perform well from one lot to the other, so that’s another layer of inquiry. For me, as a hobbyist, I don’t really care to weigh or sort pellets. I just figure if a really cheap pellet shoots better than an expensive one, I’ll shoot the cheap ones all day and have a few extra bucks in my pocket…to buy more pellets! :o)

        If I ever get competitive enough to buy a pellet gauge or a super precise scale, well I’ll have to add a few columns to my spread sheet!

        • Greco,

          Airghandi uses H&N pellets for his line and that’s not much of a secret. His “Training Master” pellets are Excite Econ II and his “Finest” are Field Target Trophy. He likes them and buying them is a way of supporting his work.

          I’m almost certain that most of those Diana, Mauser, Browning or whatever pellets are made by one of the big players, too.

          Stephan

          • Stephan,

            They most certainly are. Diana and Mauser pellets are made by RWS. The new Crosman Essentials are made in Brazil, likely the same company that puts out the Sig Sauer pellets. FX and Air Arms pellets are made by JSB. Daisy, Browning, etc., who knows.

            There are not really that many players out there in the pellet industry. In many countries lead is highly regulated, for good reason. If done wrong, casting your own bullets can be deadly. Just handling lead can be a bad thing if done wrong.

  4. I am so very thrilled this rifle is performing seemingly well for you. If I can get my FWB 150 FWB 300 SU type 2 shooting this well….. It will make me feel better about selling the 110.
    I’m on the edge of my seat….. Like with all your reports Tom!

      • I agree, but for an Air-bow.
        “Balistreri Name Meaning
        Southern Italian (Sicily): occupational name from Sicilian balistreri ‘crossbowman’, ‘crossbow maker’. Compare Balestrieri.”

        Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

        • Roamin Greco,

          wow, that is specific. I just recognized something resembling “ballistics” in there.

          Fun fact: The modern German word for crossbow (“Armbrust”) makes very little sense. The literal meaning is “arm chest” (as in the two body parts). Apparently the Latin “arcuballista” was misheard and morphed into the nonsensical term which over time replaced the logical name “Kreuzbogen” (crossbow) 🙂

          Stephan

        • Whoa! Both eyebrows raised…way up!

          But wait…there are several if one scrolls down, gangster, police officer, teacher, musician, and others. Popular name, it seems.

          Still, a cool name, Mr. Slick. ;o)

          • I kind of prefer Mr fancy pants
            These days.
            Interestingly even the middle initial is the same.
            We occasionally had visits from uncles I didn’t know.
            I remember noticing my parents were rather uncomfortable.I do have a box set of The sopranos autographed to me by James gandolfini before he passed.
            Also a copy of Goodfellas signed by Ray liotta to me. Forget about it LOL

  5. BB

    My favorite report subject, vintage 10 meter rifles with those fabulous triggers!

    Interesting consistency using QYT pellets. I have gotten away from shooting them somewhat and for no good reason. I even have a few boxed trays of QY Olympic pellets in inventory that need using. A few years ago my HW30S shot its all time best group at 10 meters using the Olympic. That performance did not carry over to 25 yards.

    I’m expecting good accuracy from your FWB110. Maybe even deserving a shoot off vs your Walther LGV Olympia (my LGV Olympia with heaviest sleeve weight has the most pleasing shot cycle of any rifle I own and no kick that I can feel).

    Hope your report is as much fun for you as it is for me.

    Deck

  6. Update on the Silent Pellet Trap experiment: You may recall I bought a 16″ X 18″ X 18″ box at Lowes and filled it with shredded rubber tire mulch. Although the box said it held 3 Cu. Ft., four .8 Cu. Ft. bags of mulch failed to fill it. A fifth bag topped it off nicely without much need to pack it down. If you decide to try this, buy five bags of mulch. Altogether I think I have something like $50 into this experiment (including my 10% veteran’s discount at Lowes).

    Ups: It IS quiet. And, nothing in the way of pellet guns that I’ve shot into it has come out the back. I don’t shoot firearms in my house, so that’s not likely to be part of my experiment in the near future.

    Downs: It is HEAVY. This is not exactly a portable pellet trap. I put it on a wooden stool with a half sheet of plywood behind it and the bottom of the box is sagging. I’m going to have to cut a scrap piece of plywood to the size of the bottom of the box to support it better.

    I used to live in Akron in the mid-1970’s (yeah, I know, that means I’m old!). This was while that town was still in it’s heyday. Goodyear, Firestone, and Goodrich were still making rubber tires there (no tire production there today, I believe…major industry in town is now Akron State University). I distinctly remember the smell that permeated pretty much the whole town back then. You know how smells can take you back in time? My basement range is repeatedly reminding me of the days when I met and courted my wife in Akron. Yeah, smells like rubber tires.

    More later…

    Motorman
    St. Louis, MO

    • Motorman, thanks for the update. I would suggest 2 pieces of cardboard to make 3 compartments of mulch the entire width and height of your box, so you can test and see how far your pellets are penetrating over time and if you can get away with a thinner box (same height and width, but less depth) and therefore lighter.

      My rubber tire smell has dissipated as the dampness has evaporated. My mulch was damp from being outside in Lowe’s outdoor garden center.

    • Wow! Check out the ballistic gelatin page! Check out the ballistic rubber sheets! I wonder what they do with the blocks when they are full of bullets. Are they able to melt down the rubber and reclaim the lead and copper?

      • Roamin Greco,

        I do like their Ballistic Gelatin since it is re-moldable, NATO as well as to FBI Standard and NOT animal based.
        If a block is made from Rubber that has been Vulcanized (thermoset) then it can not be melted. You can only pulverize it to recycle it into other products. There are other ways to bond natural rubber that might be used in some of their products. Most of the tactical shoot houses where live ammo is used are redone on a regular schedule. Many more questions to ask these folks on IF their products work for the modern airgun requirements: bb, bolt pellet and bullet(slug) in Lead as well as no Lead ammo.

        shootski

        • I would be a little worried that a solid rubber block might cause pellets to bounce back. I am having such good results from the rubber mulch in my basement target range because the pellets go in and get slowed down, and even if they penetrate completely through the trap and hit the backstop and ricochet, they will have to come back through all that rubber mulch again. And as I demonstrated in a prior blog comment, reclaiming the lead is fairly easy. But I am still open to trying new things, like a ballistic cloth curtain or a big piece of old carpet or sheets of polycarbonate.

          • Roamin Greco,

            I am with you on your concerns about bounce back of bb and pellets. I have seen ballistic rubber absorbing high velocity FMJ rounds with no ricochet.
            It is funny how companies like this one get involved for the $$$$ using misinformation, breeding fear, and government regulation to make money!

            https://mt2.com/blog/4015-best-practices-for-preventing-bullet-ricochet-at-firing-ranges-and-protecting-shooters-and-range-employees/

            I have used old bath towels to act as a bounce back preventer for bb and airsoft bb…works very well. I have used steel traps with semi soft wax to trap Lead, old unrepairable oriental rugs for secondary backstops in front of 6×6 stacks of lumber (as tertiary stops) to keep my medium to Big Bore shooting safely contained. I’m researching range design for my State-of-the-art 100 meter underground range; that will get built right after I win the lottery…or that long lost relative’s Executor finally finds me. LOL!

            shootski

Leave a Comment