FWB 600
The FWB 600 10-meter target rifle.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • RWS R10 Match Heavy
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • Discussion
  • Pump effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Front aperture
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity of the FWB 600 single stroke pneumatic target rifle. You may remember that I bought this from Scott Pilkington at the 2021 Arkansas airgun show. And Scott had resealed it after acquiring it from its former owner, Robert Mitchell, the USA Shooting Team coach and former Army Marksmanship Unit shooter. 

The Blue Book of Airguns says this rifle should shoot at 585 f.p.s. Today we shall see.

RWS R10 Match Heavy

Before I did any chronographing I shot the rifle three times to wake up the powerplant. Yes, I did shoot it with pellets all three times. The first pellet velocity I tested was the 8.2-grain RWS R10 Match Heavy pellet. It’s a heavy pellet for a single stroke powerplant, but let’s see what happens.

Ten pellets averaged 542 f.p.s. from the 600. The low was 539 and the high was 547 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 8 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 5.35 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Given the weight of this pellet, I knew the rifle was performing as it should, and a lighter pellet would be around 585 f.p.s. Let’s now see.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

For a lighter pellet I chose the RWS R10 Match Pistol pellet that weighs 7 grains. Ten of them averaged 595 f.p.s., so the rifle is performing on the high side of where it should. The low was 589 and the high was 598, so the spread was 9 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet generates 5.5 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

A word to the wise about this pellet. It comes in different head sizes and as this report is written Pyramyd Air has them in both 4.48mm and 4.50mm. I shot the 4.50mm pellets.

This rifle is performing exactly where it should. But at the time when it was made, which was 1984-88, they didn’t have any good lead-free target pellets, so it never shot lighter weight tin pellets. That is going to make a difference.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The final pellet I tested was the 5.25-grain Sig Match Ballistic Alloy pellet that has sometimes proven very accurate in my testing. Ten of them averaged 657 f.p.s. in the 600. The spread went from a low of 655 to a high of 660 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 5 f.p.s. Not too shabby! At the average velocity this pellet generates 5.03 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

Discussion

I wasn’t surprised by today’s results. This rifle seems to perform like it’s new, despite an age that hovers around 35 years.

One little thing that I noted while testing. If the pump lever isn’t returned home the breech cover can’t be fully closed. I confirmed this by watching through the slots under the cover. When the pump lever comes back to the stored position a mechanism moves up in those slots. I don’t know if the designers intended for this to happen or if it just did. And I can’t see a good reason for it. I doubt a competitor would ever try to shoot with the pump lever extended, which they would certainly notice because the lever throws the rifle off balance when it’s out to the side.

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Pump effort

Here is the little test many of you have awaited. Several of you are comparing this rifle with the Walther LGR single stroke and we learned in Part 2 of its test that it requires 19 pounds to close the pump lever. The FWB 600 lever closes with 14 pounds of effort. Not only is that less than the LGR, the way Feinwerkbau has positioned that lever fulcrum makes the 600’s pump stroke much more convenient.

Trigger pull

The trigger is two stage and very crisp — as in match rifle crisp. Stage one takes 4.8 ounces (136 grams). Stage two breaks at 5 ounces (141.75 grams). That sounds very close, and it really is, but the stop at stage two is so  positive that I don’t find it challenging. Maybe after I shoot the rifle for accuracy I will revise my opinion, but for now it’s fine.

Front aperture

I have installed a clear aperture in the front sight, in preparation for the accuracy test. I’m not sure the hole I selected is large enough for the bullseyes, but I will wait and see.

Summary

The FWB 600 is stacking up to be a wonderful target rifle. I’m very curious to see how it does against my FWB 300S and also against the Walther LGR.