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Overhauling an FWB 124: Part Four

FWB 124
The FWB 124 I am overhauling.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • Old business
  • Trigger pull
  • Cocking effort
  • Sight in
  • The scope
  • Not that accurate
  • Switched pellets
  • Summary

Today I shoot the resealed FWB 124 for accuracy and prepare to return the rifle to Glenn.

Old business

In the last report I tested the velocity of the tune and discovered that this is the fastest FWB 124 I have ever tuned or tested. It now shoots at over 900 f.p.s. with lightweight lead pellets (RWS Hobbys). Today I want to make sure that it’s still shooting as accurately as it should. But first I have two things to tell you that should have been in the velocity report — the trigger pull and cocking effort.

Trigger pull

This trigger on this rifle is a definite 2-stage trigger. Stage one is very short and stops at stage two with 1 pound 8 ounces of effort. Stage two breaks crisply at 1 pound 15 ounces. This is a very nice trigger!

Cocking effort

Before I tell you about the cocking effort I need to tell you that I tightened the pivot bolt to the point that after the rifle is cocked the barrel will stay in any position into which it is put. The barrel was loose after I resealed the rifle but now it’s adjusted exactly as it should be. That’s why I do these tests.

The rifle cocks with 30 pounds of effort. Actually that 30 pounds was just a one-time spike. The effort at the end of the stroke was 27 pounds. That’s a little higher than other 124s I have tested and may be due to the peculiarities of this specific rifle, the tightness of the new piston seal and the individual mainspring I installed. It may lighten up a pound or two as the reseal breaks in, but I don’t think it will change more than that.

Sight in

I started by sighting in with the open sights from 12 feet — just for safety. After one shot I could see it was safe so I backed up to 10 meters and shot a 5-shot group of 7.9-grain Crosman Premier domes that are no longer made. I had researched past 124 accuracy tests I had written and came up with this pellet and one other.

The open sights were adjusted as low as possible — probably to get out of the way of the scope. So the rifle shot low. I adjusted the rear sight leaf up as far as it would go and shot again. This time five shots went into a 0.427-inch group at 10 meters. That told me that this rifle is performing exactly as a 124 should. There is no hidden damage, so I knew it was time to mount the scope that came on the rifle.

124 open sights Premier
With open sights at 10 meters the FWB 124 put five Premier Lights into a 0.427-inch group.

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The scope

You may remember from Part 1 that the scope that came on this rfle is a Weaver C4 rimfire scope. It’s cheap and has what used to be called tip-off scope mounts that fit the 3/8-inch grooves on the receiver of a .22. That’s close enough to the 11 mm dovetailed grooves on a 124 that the mount fits. I didn’t have much confidence it it, because it has no provision for a scope stop. Therefore I would watch the position of the scope mount to make sure it didn’t walk backwards from recoil. If it did, though, there isn’t anything I can do about it because scope rings for an FWB 124 are difficult to come by and none fit cheap rimfire scopes like this one. I think BKL rings are your only choice today for scopes with one inch and 30 mm scope tubes. This rifle is now as smooth as I can make it, so, except for the recoil, it should be okay.

The scope’s lenses were filthy. I cleaned them and the image became much brighter and clearer.

I sighted in the scope from 12 feet and the rifle shot low on the target paper and in line with the center of the bull. So I backed up to 10 meters because I thought the pellet would rise. It didn’t rise as expected, but it didn’t drop much, either. Could have just been the spread of that particular pellet.

Not that accurate

I shot three groups at 10 meters. I was testing different versions of the artillery hold, because I was sure the 124 needed it. My final group measured 0.34-inches between centers, and was centered on the bullseye, left and right. I figured that was good enough to back up to 25 yards.

124 scope Premier
With the rifle scoped I put five Premier Lights into 0.34-inches at 10 meters.

Switched pellets

At 25 yards I switched from the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier dome to the JSB Exact 8.44-grain dome. This is another pellet that did very well in the past in other 124s. But no matter what I did I couldn’t get the groups smaller than about three quarters of an inch. Then I tried something bold. I rested the rifle directly on the sandbag and didn’t use the artillery hold. Presto — five shots went into 0.544-inches. That was good enough for me.

124 scope JSB 8.44
At 25 yards and resting directly on a sandbag the rifle put five JSB Exact 8.44-grain domes  into 0.544-inches.

A 124 recoils a lot for a breakbarrel, but this one now shoots without any vibration. Maybe that’s why it shot so well.

With a good scope and more work I’m sure I could get the groups down to about 0.3-inches at 25 yards, and that’s where a 124 should be. But I’m not testing this as a 124; I’ve done that many, many times. You might want to read my longest test of an FWB 124 which was the report titled A shrine built for a 124. I’m testing this rifle  to be certain that everything that needs to be done has been done and this rifle is ready to be returned to its owner.

Summary

In this series you have seen a very cosmetically nice Feinwerkbau 124 go from not shooting at all to shooting over 900 f.p.s. with a lightweight lead pellet. You have seen the cleaning that was done and hopefully you picked up some tips from that.

My thanks to Glenn who trusted me with his rifle that is now tuned to perfection.

38 thoughts on “Overhauling an FWB 124: Part Four”

  1. B.B.,
    I think Glenn will be well-pleased with the work you’ve done on his rifle. Perhaps he will read up on some of your other posts, and get something like the UTG BugBuster 3-12X32 scope that you used to test the Dragonfly Mark2; I think something like that would wring some good accuracy from this rifle. Great report; thank you. πŸ™‚
    Blessings to you,
    dave

    • Dave,

      I picked up the UTG BugBuster 3-12X32 scope at the last NC Show I went to. It is a wonderful little scope. It receives the coveted 3R award. I hope to pick up another one this year.

      • Thanks, RidgeRunner, between you and B.B., you have convinced me that (especially since the fixed 6X is no longer available) the UTG BugBuster 3-12X32 is the next scope I need to get. πŸ˜‰

        • FM has also been convinced. For the next airgun he convinces himself to adopt, assuming it requires scoping. Never say never, but wish to shoot the HW30, when it arrives, with the fixed sights.

          • FM, I shot my HW30S with the iron sights with which it came, and then added a peep sight on the rear, and I shot it that way for quite some time before putting a 6X BugBuster (sadly no longer made) on it. You will love that rifle. πŸ™‚

          • FM,

            I second Dave. There is an HW30S here at RRHFWA. It has a TruGlo front globe sight and a Williams rear peep. It is an awesome plinker! It does not miss!

            Warning! Because of its accuracy, shooting it may cause boredom.

  2. BB,

    Golly gee whiz, I sure do wish one of these would come to RRHFWA for a while. More sproingers need to be made like this one. Forget the power, go for accuracy.

    Oops!

    The scope
    You may remember from Part 1 that the scope that came on this right (rifle) is a Weaver C4 rimfire scope.

  3. BB,

    Nice job on a fine airgun!

    Think it needs/deserves a better scope and mounts though.

    Can’t remember when I last benched my 124 but IIRC it would shoot dime-sized groups at 25 yards when we were having good day.

    The trigger sounds good; is it factory stock or something aftermarket? I should take a close look at mine as it is still adjusted to when centerfire rifle triggers were my reference.

    The 124 is still my favorite walk-about rifle though the HW30 has become a strong contender in that category – especially since I’ve gone back to iron sights on it. Hmmmm… have a Williams peep for the 124, thinking about going back to that.

    Happy Monday all!

    Hank

  4. BB,
    I have observed recently that PA has become very very loose with the information that they are giving out. It is difficult to do meaningful comparisons between airgun models. They leave out certain critical bits of info from some of the models. It’s either trigger pull weight, cylinder size, fps or fpe. A few days ago I chatted with a sales rep about why the the Benjamin Marauder Semi Auto and the Benjamin Armada Semi Auto are showing the same size air cylinders. He told me that that is the info Crosman gave them and why should I think otherwise. I suggested that he make a comparison by looking at the supplied photos. I then sent him a link where Hardair Magazine discussed the cylinder size difference with Crosman manager Philip Guadalupe.
    https://hardairmagazine.com/news/benjamin-armada-semi-auto-pcp-air-rifle-now-shipping/
    His response is that they will contact Crosman.
    Well I do not know if they did or not. What I did see this morning is that PA has removed the cylinder size from the Benjamin Semi Auto Specification on their website. Isn’t that a little disingenuous? Why would they not want customers to do meaningful comparisons? Sorry for ranting but I have spent thousands of $ at PA

      • I don’t think I have wasted the money I’ve spent at PA at all. I am just a little peeved that I am getting a string of incorrect info from them lately. A couple of months ago I asked them why they have stopped selling BSA guns. The prompt reply was that PA has not stocked BSA guns for several years. That is incorrect as their catalog had them in stock just last year and I almost bought one from them this year but changed my mind because they were only in 177.

  5. B.B. and Readership,

    This shootski RANT is ONLY for those who have at least a passing interest in shooting BULLETS (slugs) out of airguns.
    You have probably read a multipart HAM series or soon will have.
    Please read this: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2007/08/bullets-and-pellets-what-gives/?swcfpc=1
    it is OLD but will help you see some of the issues that can effect folks’ understanding of the Internal Balistics of bullet shooting. It will also let you have a little understanding of the impact on the External Balistics of mangling a soft lead projectile and how that might effect the BC down range.
    Take a good look at the photograph of the projectile that got STUCK IN the barrel of a totally unsuitable test platform! Look at the projectile nominal diameters given (and the ones that are unknown?) as well as all the assumptions made along the way.
    What are the bore dimensions of the “Test Platform” both Grooves and Lands. How do you think that projectile would have flown had the “Test Platform” been powerful enough that it made it down the barrel and out of the muzzle?
    Remember it is spilling air over those indentations far faster than the forward velocity creating an incredible amount of turbulence and Skin Drag.
    We really need to STOP having the mostly blind leading the blind scenario playing out over and over again in the airgun community!

    shootski

  6. BB, my FWB 124 shoots very well with Air Arms Diabolo Field 8.4 gr pellets with 4.52 head diameter. Also H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 gr also with 4.52 pellets shoot just as well. This rifle was resealed by Pyramyd Air about 5 years ago. I also used Tune-In-a-Tube to lube it. That got rid of all of the vibration.
    Mike

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