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Air Guns The great target rifle shootoff!

The great target rifle shootoff!

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Many caveats
  • The test
  • Start with the FWB 600
  • Shoot for the center of the bull
  • Get ready
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy
  • RWS R10 Match Heavy
  • The FWB 300S
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy
  • Shooting behavior
  • Trigger
  • H&N Finale Match Light
  • Not satisfied
  • FWB 300S second time
  • RWS R10 Match Heavy
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy
  • FWB 600
  • Conclusions?
  • Summary

Today is a day many of you have been waiting for — the day we pit the FWB 600 against the FWB 300S. It’s the battle of the Feinwerkbau(s)!

Many caveats

As I shot this test I realized it won’t be what it sounds like. Both of these rifles have done very well in past accuracy tests, with an edge going to the FWB 600. But on any given day either one of them could come out on top.

Instead of the test to see which one is more accurate this is more a means of evaluating both rifles, side-by-side to see how they feel. As the report continues I think you’ll understand.

The test

I shot both rifles from 10 meters with the rifles resting directly on a sandbag. I shot 5-shot groups with each pellet.

Start with the FWB 600

I started with the FWB 600 and I did not try the new front sight riser with the BKL rear sight riser in place as a reader suggested. I didn’t want the day to go in a different direction, so I just removed the FWB rear sight and riser and installed the AirForce Edge target sight. I knew that sight would work — as flexible as it is for elevation. I adjusted it up quite a bit to compensate for the new FWB front sight riser. And my second shot at 10 meters hit inside the bull at which I aimed. Some fine clicks of elevation and I was on target, which was the ten-dot of the bullseye.

FWB 600
FWB 600.

Shoot for the center of the bull

I decided to adjust the rear sight to hit the center of the bull, since with a peep sight I’m not shooting my aim point away. With a peep sight the entire bull is the aim point. I would do this for the first pellet but not for the second one, since I’m only really interested in the size of the groups that I shoot.

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Get ready

To get ready I went back to the past tests in which the rifles were shot and looked for the two best pellets. I will give those group sizes as we go.

H&N Finale Match Heavy

First up with the FWB 600 was the H&N Finale Match Heavy pellet. In Part 5 of the FWB 600 test five of them made a 0.094-inch group at 10 meters. Today five went into 0.21-inches at the same 10 meters. I know that’s a lot larger, so maybe it gives you an idea of how BB was shooting on this day.

600 Finale Heavy
The FWB 600 put five H&N Finale Match Heavy wadcutters into a 0.21-inch group at 10 meters.

RWS R10 Match Heavy

The second pellet that the 600 was great with was the RWS R10 Match Heavy. In Part 5 of the 600 test five of them went into 0.091-inches at 10 meters. Today the 600 put five of them in 0.184-inches, which is good enough for the silver trime. It’s twice the size of the Part 5 test group, and that refines our baseline of how BB is shooting today.

600 R10 Heavy
The FWB 600 put five R10 Match Heavy pellets into a 0.184-inch group at 10 meters. Good for a silver trime.

The FWB 300S

Now it was time to test the FWB 300S. Until I got the 600 this was my most accurate 10-meter target rifle. Since it was still sighted in I didn’t bother with a sight-in but went straight to shooting groups.

300
FWB 300S.

H&N Finale Match Heavy

Back in February of 2012 the 300S put five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets into 0.097-inches at 10 meters. Today it put five of the same pellets into a 0.303-inch group at the same 10 meters.

300 Finale Heavy
The FWB 300S put five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets into a 0.303-inch group.

Shooting behavior

Like I said earlier, this isn’t as much as a rifle-against-rifle accuracy test as it is a comparison of how the two rifles behave. The 300S is quite a bit harder to cock than the 600, but because the sidelever is short I can leave the rifle on the sandbag when I cock it. I have to take the 600 off the bag to pump it because that pump lever goes so far forward.

I really dislike the fact that the action comes back when the rifle fires. The 600 is neutral when it fires, but the 300S barreled action comes back and the peep sight hits my glasses. I had the rubber eyeshade on both rifles, so I could get close to the peephole, but I still don’t like feeling that action coming back.

My 300S peep sight has a Gehmann eyepiece with a multi-colored filter. The yellow filter was dialed in. I don’t find it any easier or harder to sight because of it, but I did have the target lit with a 500-watt photo lamp. Without that I think the yellow filter wouldn’t work.

Trigger

The thing I was most interested in was the trigger. Before this test I was positive that the 600 trigger was lighter, but after shooting the 300S I think they are identical. Feinwerkbau did that one right!

H&N Finale Match Light

Back in 2012 the next best pellet in this 300S was the H&N Finale Match Pistol, but that’s a pellet that was taken off the market. Today I shot the H&N Finale Match Light, which is heavier than the obsolete Match Pistol pellet. Back in 2012 five Finale Match Pistol pellets went into a 0.117-inch group at 10 meters. Today five Finale Match Light pellets made a 0.341-inch group. Big difference.

300 Finale Light
Five Finale Match Light pellets from the 300S made a horizontal 0.341-inch group at 10 meters.

Not satisfied

These results didn’t satisfy me, so I vowed to shoot more groups the next day, which was Saturday. Let’s see how that went.

FWB 300S second time

The second time I shot the 300S I dialed the yellow filter out of the Gehmann attachment so the target appeared bright white. I also added the R10 Match Heavy pellet to the test and dropped the Finale Match Pistol pellet.

RWS R10 Match Heavy

I started with this pellet that was the best one in the FWB 600 — the R10 Match Heavy. The rifle was sighted in so I shot all my groups from both rifles and never looked downrange until it was time to retrieve the target.

Five R10 Match Heavy pellets went into a group that measures 0.189-inches between centers. That’s certainly better than anything shot with this rifle yesterday.

300 R10 Heavy
On day two the 300S put five R10 Match Heavy pellets in a 0.189-inch group at 10 meters.

H&N Finale Match Heavy

Next I shot a group of H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets from the 300S. Though this group appears larger than the last, it measures smaller — just 0.186-inches between centers.

300 Finale Heavy
The 300S put five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets into a 0.186-inch group at 10 meters. It looks larger than the last group but it measures smaller.

Well, the FWB 300S has redeemed itself a little. Apparently BB was shooting better on this day than on the last.

FWB 600

Just because I was set up to shoot I also shot one group from the FWB 600. I didn’t want to embarrass the 300S, I just wanted to know where I was on this day.

Five RWS R10 Match Heavy pellets went into a group that measures 0.197-inches between centers. It is the largest group of the second day. Embarrass the 300S, my foot! The 300S seems to be able to hold its own and it actually out-shot the 600 this day.

600 R10 Heavy
The FWB 600 put five R10 Match Heavy pellets into a 0.197-inch group on day two.

Conclusions?

I conclude there is very little difference in accuracy between the FWB 300S and the FWB 600. I like shooting the 600 better because it fits me better and it doesn’t poke me in the eye when it fires, but downrange it’s difficult to call a winner.

Summary

After this test I’m all jazzed to shoot more 10-meter rifle-against-rifle tests. Someone suggested pitting the AirForce Edge against the Crosman Challenger 2009 PCP. Since I don’t have the new Challenger to test I guess that will be my next 10-meter rifle test.

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.

38 thoughts on “The great target rifle shootoff!”

  1. BB,

    As some know, I have owned an FWB601 and an FWB300. I now own neither. I have thought long and hard about the FWB300. Though the FWB601 can hang with today’s PCP 10-meter rifles, I would prefer the FWB300. Just saying.

    Huh? I think your decimal may be in the wrong place if this is so.

    First day, FWB600.
    RWS R10 Match Heavy
    The second pellet that the 600 was great with was the RWS R10 Match Heavy. In Part 5 of the 600 test five of them went into (0.091?) 0.91-inches at 10 meters. Today the 600 put five of them in 0.184-inches, which is good enough for the silver trime. It’s twice the size of the Part 5 test group, and that refines our baseline of how BB is shooting today.

  2. BB,

    I was waiting for this one! Thank you for not giving it up!
    I would say, they are so at the high end level that… there is probably no winner, only one different than the other. I’m glad, that the trigger of the 300s seems not to be far away from the 600. Do you agree, the trigger is “same quality level” on both of them?
    Recently I do a bit 10m training with my 300S and after shooting like 3000 pellets on the weekend I did one more check.
    As the system is moving I checked the screw tightenning. And gues what! They were not very tightened! I think it has some influence on accuracy, however it might by placebo. Just for your information, perhaps you may check it also to be sure it was the top performance on 300s.
    Anyway many thanks! I’m glad you would like to do more such testing. I will be always waiting for it!

  3. Wonderful, report, B.B. Beautiful rifles, and great shooting. So one is a springer and one is a single stroke pneumatic, right?

    You mentioned the 600 was harder to shoot from the bench, but neither of these are meant for the bench, right? Aren’t they 3 position guns? In that case, would one have any advantage over the other for that purpose, assuming they are equally accurate? The closest thing I can get to this match-up at my house is my Beeman R7 vs. My daughter’s Daisy 753S. Both are more capable than me in the precision department.

    I was wondering…always dangerous…if there were ever any spring piston guns that cocked in the normal way, either by pulling a barrel or lever towards the rear, but had the piston move in the opposite way, and the effects on recoil or accurracy.

    • You’re right about benchrest specialty rifles. Benchrest air rifles have a long, flat forearm rest and longer buttplate extension capability, and a longer rear sight rail, to bring the sight back to the eye in the sitting position. Current 10m PCP’s from the big manufacturers come in benchrest versions.

      Neither the 600 series SSP (single stroke pneumatic) or the 300 are really designed for three position. Each requires a major cocking or charging stroke which cannot be done in prone or kneeling positions without disturbing the position. They were designed for 10m unsupported standing competition, each in its own era. In previous posts over the years, Mr. Pelletier has written authoritatively on this evolution.

      The ISSF rules have evolved over the past decades and allow more latitude in air rifle adjustments. I have added accessories to my 602 to take advantage of some of these changes. Mr. Pelletier may be interested in the sight risers, front and rear, to bring the sights up to a heads up position, but also allow more flexibility in front sight/rear sight matching.

      Only recently, with the prevalence of PCP’s, can 3 position shooting for airguns be accomplished. You can do it with SSP’s and springers, but it will require a great deal of effort and inconvenience.

      JE
      See attachment, click to enlarge.

  4. Good morning, everyone.

    I was shooting the Crosman 362 a bit last night because I bought a part from JG Airguns for another gun but it wasn’t enough to get to their minimum order amount. So I had to purchase some Prometheus pellets to round out the order. They did very well in .22 in the 362, giving the best groups, about 0.25 inches, on 6 pumps. However, some old RWS Superdomes did outstanding. I will purchase some new Superdomes and test again, but those old Superdomes performed wonderfully on all numbers of pumps, from 4 to 8, which is what I was looking for: the best pellet at all power levels. Most pellets do well at one or two different power levels, but then the groups open up at all the others. I have to say, though, for plinking, it does just fine, but I am hoping to find more precision for the occasional pesting duty. Next will be the steel breech! The thing I noticed with the 362 is the trigger travel after the shot. I am going to try Gunfun1’s hot glue trigger stop and see if that helps. Also when you are really working on target shooting with it, sometimes the hammer strike will move the gun on the bag and for me that usually makes the shot go left. That is a reminder to me to make sure I am pressing the trigger consistently.

    B.B. did you ever test the 362 with a steel breach?

  5. Thanks for this comparison BB!

    Think that at this level of accuracy, consistency of pellet and shooter are the determining factors. Guess that sorting pellets and clamping the airgun in a vise would be needed to see which is more accurate.

    As far as I’m concerned, I consider my 10 meter airguns as being “perfectly accurate” and accept that any deviation from stacked pellets is my fault 😉

    I’m not a “trigger snob” and can get used to most any trigger that is consistent but I really prefer match-grade triggers. Have to say that the Feinwerkbau 10 meter rifle and pistol triggers are superb!

    Don’t remember who said it but they were right… “Only accurate (air) guns are interesting”

    Happy Monday!
    Hank

    • What I think is happening for me is that the Crosman trigger is rather heavy, so at the shot, the trigger suddenly lurches back. Even on a sandbag, sometimes, the movement of the trigger occasionally causes me to pull the shot. I originally thought it was the ever so slight motion of the hammer, but the more I shoot it, I think it is my fault of putting too much meat on the trigger plus the overtravel. Last night I saw the 362 sights clearly move left at the shot, spoiling an otherwise very nice group. I am very interested to see BB.’s report mañana.

      • Roamin,

        If your 362 is as light as my 392 the trigger could move the rifle. I’ve had the same problem with my lighter airguns (392, Maximus and HW30) and found that squeezing the whole grip to break the shot helped.

        I plan to make a new stock for the Maximus just for that reason as I find the plastic one to be too light.

        Most of my airguns are heavier and with the scopes weight enough (8 plus pounds) that they are not inclined to move much as the trigger breaks even with the relaxed grip I use.

        Good luck with that!

        Hank

    • Hank,

      Fully agree, the power doesn’t matter if you can’t hit what you aim. Match rifle is something which turns off any kind of discussion. I’m so glad I was able to find top condition 300s. It is my favorite equipment, I will never give it away.

  6. B.B. a few more questions for you. The Daisy 230 (Milbro 23 / Diana 23) that I recently purchased had a missing barrel pivot nut. The nut I received from JG Airguns fit perfectly, but it is a round nut with a slot on its face and the hole for the barrel pivot screw through the center. Do I need to grind a bit for that or can I find the right bit somewhere? I tightened it as much as I could, and now that little gun is giving me 1/2 inch groups at 10 yards with RWS Superdomes! What a lovely little rifle! I can’t wait to receive my replacement front sight and the full size stock (the original stock was cut down to fit a small child).

    Second question, there is a raised rail of sorts attached (looks like riveted in some way) to the top of the spring tube. The rear of that rail steps out to be wider than the rest of the rail in what looks like a scope stop of sorts. Is that for some type of peep sight? I can discern no other purpose for that rail. It does not have the characteristic Diana perpendicular ridges.

    Gunfun, I think you will appreciate this. For a temporary front sight, I used a broken tooth of a small hairclip (they remind me of Venus flytraps) that one of my daughters discarded, hot glued in place. It was the perfect width when looking through the rear sight. But I can’t wait until the replacement front sight arrives, any day now.

    • Roamin,

      Yeah, you need a bit to tighten that nut, or perhaps you can justgrab it on one side with a screwdriver. I have bits like that in one of my cheap tool sets, but grinding a bhit is also a solution. That’s why I buy screwdrivers at pawn shops.

      That rail does sound like a peep sight stop. Milbro did things to the Diana designs that the Germans never intended and I haven’t see one like you describe, but that’s what it sounds like.

      BB

      • It had a broken off front sight. When I tried sighting it with the little nub it shot very high, even with the rear sight on the lowest setting. I’m going to try your hot glue trigger stop trick on a couple of my airguns and report back.
        The new sight should be on my doorstep as we speak.

  7. Y’all consistently rave about the storied FWB 300…and, it is a nice gun. Not much chat about the Diana 75, tho. I have both and if I were forced to sell one the FWB would leave. The Diana has a wonderful trigger, doesn’t smack you in the glasses when you shoot and, in fact, is dead still. It should be at least the equal of the FWB 600 series. Anyone else have one of these Diana 75’s?

    Motorman
    St Louis, MO

    • Motorman,

      it is very hard to find a real good working D75ve. I’m still looking. It is a high end match rifle. I’m so excited, they did a really high end stuff without using any kind of 3D virtual software stuff for simulation and design.

  8. Hay folks,

    In case you had not noticed It seems that Pyramyd AIR is now offering the Alkin compressors, a bit more expensive that their other offers but the Alkin provides breathable air, which should be much dryer than the other compressors. /search-results-ext?keyword=alkin

    Nice if you are also a SCUBA diver and can handle the price.

    Mike

  9. Motorman, I own a Diana 75 too. It was as you describe.

    It’s been a while since I last used it but I seem to remember a smooth action and satisfyingly accurate results down range. Actually, my Diana 75 fits me better than my Feinwerkbau 300S with tyrolean stock. Less head tilting and cheek squashing to line up with the sights.

    Sadly the seals have disintegrated and so I have put the Diana 75 aside temporarily – it’s only been a few years so far! 🙂

  10. BB, Guys,

    May be a bit strange, even stupid question. Nevertheless, from your experience: which size groups would be on the olympic level? I mean just for some reference, if you are below 0.2inch, where are you compared to the best pro’s? And same by 0.3inch group?

    • tomek,

      World class shooters should keep all their pellets under o.2 inches. I was doing it most of the time with a pistol, and I wasn’t world class.

      BB

      • Thank you BB, it will be mine new target for my training. When I will be able to group like this I can say I’m competitive. At the moment my best average is around 0.3inch without stupid mistakes which still happen. Somehow I know shortly before when I’m going to take this one group-destroyer-shot and… it happens anyway.

  11. I read all your posts relating to 10m equipment and respect all the work (and fun you have) in preparing them. To push the comparative accuracy observations along, I have attached the factory test targets for four of my Feinwerkbau rifles/pistols. Each is 5 shots, fired from a rest (or vise (?) at the factory, and provided at time of new sale; the oldest, the FWB 300S, is about 30 years old, the newest, the 800W is less than a year old. I still have each of the rifles and pistols.

    What is obvious is the inherent accuracy of each of them, with an almost imperceptible variation off of perfect. What that seems to say is the each airgun can deliver a near perfect shot each time. When tested by us in real life, we get no such results. The pistols are always more difficult to group tightly; the rifles groups never approach their potential when fired by me.

    When groups vary from rifle to rifle, or from day to day, unless the equipment is damaged between exercises, the differences are the result of different conditions the shots were made from, or the technique of the shooter, or both. For example, their is significant movement in the action of the 300S; there is much less movement in the firing sequence of the 602. How that movement and inconsistency in the hold, aim, trigger release, and followup of the shooter, supported or not, is the reason for the group differences. The test targets demonstrate the rifles themselves are not the cause of the group differences. That being said, how each rifle delivers in real life, not in a fixture, is what we are interested in, hence the value of your tests! You fully appreciate that observation when you point out your shooting varies from day to day.

    (Note the test group of the FWB 300s is slightly larger than the FWB 602 – The 602 is potentially more “accurate” in principle, if not in expression.)

    Click to see the picture in larger version-

    • Goodenuf,

      Thank you! Great information you provided. It proofs what I was thinking about the Feinwerkbau match rifles sofar, they do not do mistakes. If the pellet is OK they will put it in the middle each time. Even this slight bigger 300S hole is small enough 😉 for no discussion who is not accurate. Definately not the rifle.
      Not each pellet will provide one hole group. I find out, that I’m not gilty of this miserabble groups when shooting the RWS Basic pellet. It just don’t work with mine 300S. But for example not expensive H&N EconII is fantastic. I also weighed many pellets and found out they are very consistent regarding mass (around 0.48gramm). The velocity is stable around 617fps! Very well for 10m match.
      Now I would really like to shoot the 100% stable bench and check which pellet is the best. I’m not able to achieve one hole group from sand bag. Maybe because my table is high so I have to stand during shooting.

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