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FWB 110 recoiling target rifle: Part 3

FWB 110
FWB 110.

Part 1
Part 2

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sight-in
  • RWS R10 Match Heavy
  • RWS R10 Match Heavy โ€” second time
  • Why?
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Qiang Yuan Training 
  • Shot cycle
  • JSB Match
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • What is learned?
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the FWB 110 recoiling target rifle. After seeing the velocity, I just had to see how she would do.

The test

I shot the rifle from 10 meters with the rifle rested directly on a sandbag. Given the negligible recoil, that seemed best. I shot 5-shot groups so I could test more pellets, and I had a slew of them to test.

Sight-in

It took 10 shots to get the pellets hitting close to the center of the bull. When using non-optical sights hitting the center of the target is fine because I can’t see details from where I’m shooting. And the use of aperture sights front and rear means I can’t shoot out my aim point until the entire bullseye is gone. That ain’t a-gonna happen in 5 shots.

RWS R10 Match Heavy

The first target was shot with RWS R10 Match Heavy pellets that were also used for sight-in. They went into a group that measures 0.219-inches between centers. Not a bad start!

R10 Heavy 1
On the first target the FWB 110 put 5 RWS R10 Heavy pellets into 0.219-inches at 10 meters.

The pellets are fairly well-centered, but not perfect. If I was competing with this pellet I would keep refining the sights until I was shooting a 10 every time. But since I’ll be shooting other pellets, I decided not to adjust the sights after sight-in.

RWS R10 Match Heavy โ€” second time

This wasn’t supposed to happen. These were supposed to be R10 Match Pistol pellets but I picked up the wrong tin. So this is a second target with R10 Match Heavy pellets. The group measures 0.104-inches between centers and is the smallest group of the test. It earns the celebrated gold dollar for size comparison.

R10 Heavy 2
The second group of R10 Match Heavy pellets is less than half the size of the first group. It measures 0.104-inches between centers.

Build a Custom Airgun

Why?

Why was the second group half the size of the first group? Who knows? All I can say is don’t try to explain it. It just happened. We need to shoot lots more groups to know anything for certain. At the end of this report I’ll discuss this pellet in this rifle a little more.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The third target was shot with five Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets. Five of them went onto 0.275-inches at 10 meters. I was also going to try some other lead-free wadcutters, but I didn’t on this day.

Sig Match Alloy
The FWB 110 put 5 Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellets into a 0.275-inch group at 10 meters. Probably not right for this rifle.

Qiang Yuan Training 

The next pellet I tried was the Qiang Yuan Training pellet. Sometimes these do surprizingly well, but this was not one of the times. Five went into 0.347-inches at 10 meters. Ugh!

Chinese Training
Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets made a 0.347-inch group at 10 meters.

Shot cycle

Does the FWB 110 recoil? Not really. Shooting at targets is really the only time this assessment can be accurately made.

When the rifle fires I feel a thump in the butt and there is a torque to the left that’s very consistent. But there is no real rearward or forward movement. I shot with my glasses next to the rear sight peephole and it didn’t move.

JSB Blue Match

The fifth target was shot with JSB Blue Match pellets. I don’t shoot these a lot and when I do I haven’t found them to be equal to R10s and H&N Finale Match, but I thought I’d try them. Since I don’t know the FWB 110 at all I need to try different things.

They didn’t do bad, but the group wasn’t as small as I would like. Five went into 0.234-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Match
Five JSB Match pellets made a 0.234-inch group at 10 meters. It’s not terrible, but in light of what the R10 Rifle pellets did, it’s probably not worth pursuing.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The last pellet I tested was the RWS R10 Match Pistol. This is the one I thought I was testing on the second target. Five of them made a 0.366-inch group at 10 meters. It’s the largest group of today’s test. This is definitely not the pellet to use in the 110!

R10 Pistol
Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets went into 0.366-inches at 10 meters.

What is learned?

So far only the RWS R10 Match Heavy pellet has shown any real promise. I was going to shoot a final group of them but by this point in the test I was tiring. I didn’t want to bias things that way. And who is to say that the JSB group wasn’t also affected by that? I don’t know, but there are many other pellets I want to try, so for now I’ll just stick with the R10 Heavy.

Of all the groups shown here, the R10 Heavy gave me the two smallest groups. That says something on its own. In my opinion, the FWB 110 “likes” this pellet. I think I will keep on shooting them even as I test other pellets.

Since my FWB 300S is incredibly accurate with almost every pellet, I expected this 110 to be, as well. I don’t know why I would think that โ€” I’ve owned FWB 150s that weren’t that accurate. I guess I was just hoping.

Talk about tiring! After 10 sighters I had to concentrate for every shot in this test! It sounds easy, and on some days it is, but not on this day. I really worked to get what you have seen.

Summary

I’m not finished testing the accuracy of the FWB 110 rifle. I have many more pellets I want to try. So there will be at least one more accuracy test before we open her up and dive inside.

50 thoughts on “FWB 110 recoiling target rifle: Part 3”

  1. B.B.

    I find “finding the right pellet” to be such a pain in the you know. That keeps me from buying more airguns. My last purchase was a HW 50 in .20. There are only 3 pellets to test.
    You found the perfect pellet right off, and you want to test more??? Maybe it is just an excuse to shoot the accurate old girl a bit!

    -Y

  2. Nice shooting B.B. I hear you about getting tired. I just wrapped up for the day and have been wanting to shoot all week, so come down an shot the H&N Excite Econ IIs for you in the Unmarex Embark, 10 shot groups at 10 yards, and I was having a tough time too. Between being tired and a very pesky floater, I was having a tough go of it. Still, I turned in these two groups, which I was very pleased with. My overall average for the night was 0.5598″ center to center, extreme spread, but these two were the best of the bunch, one was .3395″ and one was 0.149″ for 9 out of ten shots, but shot #4 opened it up to 0.3605″.

        • Greco,

          agreed, those groups look very good. I shot some 10-shot groups with the FWB 300S with the Excite Econ II and H&N Sport and my group sizes looked similar to your right target (I shot at 10 meters which is probably close enough to 10 yards for comparison)

          Now, if we keep in mind that the Embark seems to be a very affordable springer and the 300S used to be a world-class rifle, your results look *very* good.
          What sights did you use by the way? I used the stock diopter sights. If I get really bored, I might mount a scope which will probably improve my accuracy a little bit when shooting rested.

          Stephan

          • Thank you, Stephan, for the encouraging words. The Embark comes with a hooded blade front sight that looks like a thin rectangle. The rear sight I used is an Air Venturi peep sight. I removed the stock rear sight, which wasn’t bad, but not very precise (I think the SAR youth shooting competition, for which this is the official rifle, is meant to be shot offhand). So I’m really trying to wring all the accuracy possible out of this little rifle. My sight picture usually looks like a fat, lowercase “i”. But I discovered something interesting last night. On the target on the left, which was positioned very close to the edge of my pellet trap, imagine the target paper lined up at a 45 degree angle, and I lined up on the lower right side of the target, which was the lower right point of the diamond (which would look like a square now), and I put that line in the middle of my front post, if you can imagine that.

            So that just reminded me of another reader’s sight-in target, which is essentially an upside down capital “T.” I may try something like that next to see if my consistency gets better.

    • RG,

      Wait a minute here. It was not too long ago that you were whining about what a lousy air rifle that Embark was. Then you show us these two targets. Even with an overall average for the night of .56″ at 10 yards ain’t that bad dude. What was that, sixty shots? With a sproinger?

      “Beware the dude with but one sproinger.” or some such like that. You have the time to get to know that airgun, firearm, whathaveyou that you can do things with it others dream of. When all I owned was a Gamo CFX, I would shoot groups like the one on the right all day long at 25 yards.

      Now I have so many gals clamoring for my attention and no time for any of them, I have become quite a sloppy shooter. I am doing good to even hit a feral soda can at 25 yards.

      • “Now I have so many gals clamoring for my attention and no time for any of them”
        RidgeRunner, how unfortunate! ;o)
        Seems like a shame to have so many gals be starved for attention. You could send one here for a change of scenery for a while. Like a vacation. Hint, hint.

      • RidgeRunner, thank you for the encouraging words. BTW, I didn’t think I was whining, but I initially really struggled to get good groups and consistent groups from session to session. While the stock rear sight was a good one, I had it adjusted pretty far left. When I “graduated” to a peep sight, the first one self-destructed, and the second one couldn’t adjust far enough to the left. I’m on the third Air Venturi peep sight now, and this one has a bit (and only a bit) of leeway to adjust left (Predator GTO wadcutters, which this rifle was made to shoot in SAR competitions, shoot to the center of the bull at 10 yards. Then of course, there’s the horrible trigger. And because of the mis-aligned bore, I don’t dare shoot at 9 yards or 11. I guess I AM whining, but the rifle I chose to train my kids on has become a challenge for me to work on instead.

        • RG,

          You really should try bending that barrel a little. Not much. Bend it just a little bit and then try it again. Do not worry about any S curving or anything like that.

          Even better, contact me directly at burke93attdsdotnet.

          • You’re right, of course. I need to either find a cotton wood tree or a c-clamp first. Ha! I love this blog! I was going to build a barrel bending jig per B.B.’s design, but my HoneyDew List is getting pretty long and I really need to get back to work. Talk to you all later.

  3. A shout out to Vana2 today. I was looking at his homemade target and was trying to figure out what might be a good “universal” target to use for Stephan’s shooting contest. I came up with a concept that incorporates a diamond for use with a scope reticle, and a bold circle to use with a 6 o’clock hold. I used the latter with a post front sight and an aperature (peep) rear sight, so I just turned the target 45 degrees so the round part of the bull was on the bottom. If I had a aperature front sight, I would scale the target down a bit to be the same size as the official NRA size bull. A final touch will be to add scoring rings if needed.

    Anyway, here is my experimental target in case anyone wants to try it and provide feedback. I printed on the back of a 5 bull-10 meter target, so it would be on target paper and cut cleaner holes. But you can print it on any kind of paper. Have a great day everyone.

    • Roamin
      Let’s think about this. Selecting a certian target for everybody to use for the contest is like telling everybody we all have to use the same pellet for the contest in our guns. Let’s see how that would work out.

      • No problem. While that was my thought, at the end of the day, it was me riffing on Vana2’s design, which was really meant for scope users. I was trying to find a compromise target that scope users and iron sight users could use. For the contest, it may be tied to group size only, so the style of the target may be irrelevant, but if Vana2 and Davemyster like my design, that would be justification enough for me, and would be my way of saying thanks to them for all their advice and encouragement. Also, it sounded like we wanted to vary the contest anyway, so we can get participation from different groups of folks. So whatever works. I have no pride of authorship. I’m also working on a new spreadsheet to log the results, if that proves to be helpful to anyone.

        In any event, I can’t wait to get started. My goal is to get my average extreme spread down closer to my best group.

        • Roamin
          Different target choices are cool.

          But I would think by now that most of the blog readers know what target works for them. If not it makes me wonder why even more.

          And yes I’m all for target choices. But entering a competition and trying something new is really not the place to experiment. When you go to competition you are already suppose to be very familiar with how you will shoot at that competition. Right?

          • Definately, maybe.

            GunFun1, I know I’m new around here, so about the only thing I know for sure is that I don’t even know what I don’t know, y’know? However, I can say with confidence that I may be one of many newbies who doesn’t know how they would shoot in a competition beyond how I shot last night. I sincerely mean no disrespect to you, but we haven’t even heard any reaction yet from B.B. regarding Stephan’s suggestion of a competition, have we? I was just throwing something out there to see if folks like it and to see if there is any feedback. If it is useful for the competition, or some part of it, or whatever, that’s great. If it’s garbage, which it probably is, because it’s something I cobbled together, well that’s OK, too. In my mind, every competition I know about, the players follow some standards: regulation sized football, to a certain psi, ahem; a track of a certain distance; same size clay pigeon…. Same size target? Not all of the readership have access to an official NRA copyrighted target.

            How do we have an airgun shooting competition and include as many folks as possible from around the world, who all have different capabilities and resources and make it interesting and FUN for the most people? That’s what we should be discussing, and then agree to follow B.B.’s lead and make adjustments and improvements from there.

            Right?

            P.S. I would like to know what you really think of my target design, but only after you shoot them. I’ll have a white background for easier printing a bit later.

    • Hey Roamin!

      Nice targets!

      I have a variety of targets that I use in different applications.

      For iron sights I typically use conventional round black bullseyes of various sizes.

      For scopes, as you’ve seen, I like a solid black diamond with a white circle (one inch or half inch in diameter) and a small (.125 x .050) “donut” in the center as my aim point.

      The heavy diamond is easy to see, the small aim point gives me something to focus on and the white target shows the pellet holes well. I like the instant feed-back (POI relative to the sight picture) that the white background gives.

      The target that I use for tuning and testing pellets is an 8 x 10 matrix of small diamond targets (1/2″ circle). The matrix is nice as I can zero on the target below the one I’m shooting at so I never lose my aim point. I’m just in the process of tweaking that target (adding row and column headings) to make it easier to make notes.

      Fun to make your own custom targets. I have one that is just a bunch of flies.

      Hank

        • Roamin,

          I enjoy shooting bugs with a low power springer – especially this time of year when there are tons of grasshoppers around. Used to do that a lot as a kid, great practice!

          My “bug target” has a bunch of 1/4″ to 1/2″ flies scattered randomly across the paper. I use them as “focus points” to practice mounting the rifle and shooting off hand (quickly). Self adhesive dots or dots drawn with a felt marker work just as well. Shooting at “flies” just adds some entertainment value ๐Ÿ™‚

          After practicing on static targets I go mobile and suspend Honeycomb, Cheerios or Froot Loops cereal on strings to blow in the breeze. Love reactive targets!

          Fun stuff! Yeah, I know …I’m easily entertained LOL!

          Hank

  4. BB,

    Not bad at all. I have found that the RWS R10 Match series have given me good results. My Izzy loves the Pistol. How did these fit the bore? They are a little on the small side, are they not? That may be why you had trouble with them and did so well with the RWS R10 Match Rifle.

    I have never heard of the JSB Blue Match pellets before, but of course with JSB I am always looking at domes. Like I said, my Izzy loves those R10 Match pellets, so I stopped looking for another wadcutter for it. I have a few other wadcutters I am going to try in other airguns, but they are not top shelfers so I do not really expect much out of them. You never know though.

    • RR,

      Yes, the pistol pellets are on the small side. I think the 110 needed the weight of the heavier pellet to do well, but in the next accuracy test I will be looking at that.

      BB

  5. Good Morning BB and Readers,

    I have been wondering about the procedure and order of operations when evaluating a new airgun in order to both select an accurate pellet and determine the best way to hold the airgun to promote accuracy. Which variable do you isolate first?

    While there may be trends, as regards behavior and performance for certain models of airgun or type of pellet, it seems to me the consensus is that every airgun is an individual when it comes to the โ€œbestโ€ pellet and the nuances of holding the airgun to promote accuracy. Perhaps you may not see the accuracy potential of a given pellet if you have not yet found the most accurate hold for the particular airgun. Inversely, it may be difficult to figure out how the airgun likes to be held if you are shooting a pellet that doesnโ€™t group well- though I imagine some useful information would still be observed.

    Should one choose a quality pellet then experiment with varying the hold to find the hold that promotes best accuracy, then use that hold to evaluate other pellets to find the best ammunition for that particular airgun?

    Could it be possible that each different pellet would require a different way of holding the airgun to be accurate in that particular airgun? For example, have you observed, or is it feasible, that a particular airgun might like to be held a certain way with heavy pellets and another way with lighter pellets? I find this question interesting- is the best hold for a particular rifle pellet dependent, or consistent across pellet selection?

    Sometimes it feels like I am making too many changes to my set up or technique when trying to learn how to shoot a new airgun. Can anybody help put some method to this process?

    Thank you for any suggestions.

    • AOB,

      I recommend that you cut right to the chase and start with the best premium pellets first. They come in this order from JSB, H&N and RWS.

      Then try various head sizes of the pellets that seem good to narrow it down.

      BB

      • BB,

        Thanks for the reply and recommendation on pellet brands and sizes.

        I still wonder about how experimenting with the hold (especially with springers) works in conjunction with pellet selection in the pursuit of accuracy. So many variables makes controlled testing complicated.

        Thanks again,
        -Airman

        • Airman
          Basically like BB said but I’ll just say it a different way.

          Shoot how you shoot. Yes hold and all those other variables will show. But putting it on the paper is what will tell the story no matter what.

          Start shooting and have fun. Write notes on your target for what pellet you use, wind direction and mph, and distance and so on.

          Compare those targets with the different pellets and gun.

          You will see pretty quick what works and don’t work. And read through the reviews of what pellets has worked in a gun for the different people. If you do that with using common sense and you will start seeing what info is best.

          It’s all about time and exsperiance.

    • To: Mr. Airman:

      The great thing about your question is that the answer requires shooting…a lot.

      I had the same exact question last year, when I got re-introduced to this sport. Here is how I answered it, after reading many old blog entries from B.B. But of course, I defer to B.B. and everyone else more experienced than me (which is practically everyone).

      First, I think you need to differentiate between springers, which are generally (but not always) hold sensitive and other power plants, which are generally not (but can be sometimes) hold sensitive. My experience was with a low powered springer, which had a fair bit of recoil.

      When I started, I only had a few pellets to test–so many were on backorder at the time. I had the inclination to test each pellet with many different holds. Look at the right-most column from my chart attached to last Friday’s blog post.
      You will see that I recorded what hold gave the best group with each pellet. What I found was indeed different pellets shot slightly better using a different hold, sometimes remarkably so. However, you can also see that generally, the gun preferred the artillery hold and also generally (but not always) preferred to be held at the rear of the forearm (which was the gun’s balance point, coincidentally). So you start to get a feel for how the gun likely wants to be held.

      I think your answer also depends on what degree of accuracy you are looking for and how much time you want to put into finding the golden pellet and the golden hold. “Minute of Popcan” is going to be easier to achieve with lower quality (less consistent weight and head size) pellets than “Minute of 10 ring.”

      I would also note that after I applied a second light application of Tune in a Tube to the mainspring coils, the shot cycle smoothed out considerably and the gun became much less hold sensitive. So much so that now I shoot the same rifle directly off a sandbag at its balance point, and last night I put nine of ten shots in a very small hole. Time to update my chart, which means more shooting. Yippee!

      If I were starting all over, I would start with a pellet that is known to be consistent in weight and head size, and shoot a bunch of targets to see what hold that gun / pellet combination likes. If I was shooting for hunting accuracy, I would use holds that I would typically encounter hunting, such as the artillery hold (when shooting with the gun in your hands), off a tripod, etc. Then you have a baseline for judging other pellets. Some pellets will be so bad that you can reject them, and others might be worth a more in-depth tryout.

      And don’t forget, that another variable is how deep you seat the pellet. More shooting experiments!

      Eventually you find what pellet and hold your gun generally likes, and if you are satisfied with the results you are getting, you are done. Then you hope that stays true from tin to tin.

      Of course, all of the above assumes that the shooter has the skill to achieve the desired accuracy. Finding the right pellet or the right hold can’t cure all problems.

      I hope this helps. I have no pride of authorship, so again, I defer to anyone else’s wisdom.

      • Hi Roamin,

        Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on my questions. I like your suggestions and will consider them further. I appreciate you sharing your data and will go back for a closer look at the chart you reference.

        -Airman

        • Mr. Airman:

          In my tome that I was so eager to type up for you, I missed the most essential piece of advice, but GunFun1 got it right: “And read through the reviews of what pellets has worked in a gun for the different people.” The shortcut to all this is to read the reviews from the gun or similar guns, especially, B.B.’s reviews. That gives you the best starting point regarding pellet choice, hold, etc. That will save you a lot of time, and should at least get you to a good baseline pellet to make comparisons with.

    • Airman of the Board,

      “Which variable do you isolate first?”

      That IS The QUESTION!

      AoftB you have gotten some good answers to your Fundamental QUESTION. I’ll give you my opinion based on deep thought and reading of the thoughts of folks far more experienced than me:
      What airgun powerplant?
      Is the airgun broken in and functioning properly?
      Adjustability?
      Shooting Environment?
      Ammo availability?
      You need to answer those five questions first before you do anything more. Next you need to answer at what distance or range of distances. Finally you need to determine the required PRECISION (accuracy is not the question at this point since that is total system to include two of the biggest variables, the SHOOTER and the WIND, desired.

      After that you need to answer the technical questions of what equipment you have to measure and document your effort(s) at testing.

      Get out your CHRONOGRAPH!

      Is the gun velocity stable with the chosen pellet?

      Now the fun begins but only if you can control the testing environment from test to test.

      If that sounds like Mission IMPOSSIBLE that’s because it nearly is!

      So use a well planned, equipped, and executed test. But don’t let it EVER NOT BE FUN!

      shootski

      • Shootski,

        Perhaps my question was naรฏve, and can only be asked or answered in relation to very specific context, if at all. You certainly have illuminated a variety of factors that add complexity to the evaluation and pursuit of better airgun performance. I appreciate the suggestions and food for thought. Thanks for the reply.

        -Airman

  6. Everyone:

    For what it’s worth, here is a black and white image of the target I put together. You should be able to more easily print this one because it is not a picture of a printout on cream-colored paper. It is a black and white image. The bullseyes are 2.25 inches from point to point, so you can scale the printout accordingly. Have fun with it and please don’t hold back on the suggestions!

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