Overhauling an FWB 124: Part Four
The FWB 124 I am overhauling.
This report covers:
- Old business
- Trigger pull
- Cocking effort
- Sight in
- The scope
- Not that accurate
- Switched pellets
Today I shoot the resealed FWB 124 for accuracy and prepare to return the rifle to Glenn.
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.
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!
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.
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.
With open sights at 10 meters the FWB 124 put five Premier Lights into a 0.427-inch group.
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.
With the rifle scoped I put five Premier Lights into 0.34-inches at 10 meters.
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.
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.
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.
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