FWB 127. It’s the same rifle as the 124 only in .22 caliber.
This report covers:
- The test
- Surprise number 2
- Velocity test
- Air Arms Falcons
- H&N Baracuda 15
- JTS Dead Center 18.1-grain
- Trigger pull
Today we look at the velocity/power of the .22-caliber FWB 127. There are some interesting things to discover today.
I tested the rifle with three pellets — a light one, a middleweight and one on the light edge of heavy. This is a short test but there are things to learn.
This is the first time I have examined this rifle closely since I received it weeks ago. And when I cocked it the first time — what to my wondering eye should appear but a flattened and perished breech seal!
That breech seal is shot. There goes a lot of velocity! The bore could benefit from a deep cleaning, too.
When the breech seal looks like this I do the tissue paper test and this time it was blown up pretty far. Only the lightness of the paper kept it from going higher than 4-5 inches above the breech. In a rifle of this power that’s an easy 30-40 f.p.s. lost with lighter pellets.
The tissue paper test means laying a small piece of tissue paper over the breech and firing the rifle safely. If the paper is blown up, air is leaking at the breech. Now it was time for the velocity test.
Surprise number 2
When I cocked the rifle there was very little resistance. I guessed it was less than 20 pounds. An FWB 124/127 should be about 24-28 pounds of effort to cock. This one tested at 19 pounds. That’s another 40-60 f.p.s. loss with a lighter pellet.
So off the bat I have discovered two things that are robbing the power of this rifle. It needs a new breech seal and a new mainspring. Add to that the black grease I see on the mainspring (mentioned in Part 1) and I think we have found the cause of this rifle being underpowered. Remember, the seller told me the piston seal was too tight? Maybe it isn’t. We will find out when I take the rifle apart.
Next comes the velocity test. A nice .177-caliber 124 puts out almost 13 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. I expect a .22 to be around 15 foot pounds.
Air Arms Falcons
Ten Air Arms Falcon pellets averaged 584 f.p.s. The low was 574 and the high was 591, for a spread of 17 f.p.s. At the average velocity this 13.43-grain pellet develops 10.17 foot-pounds. That’s about 5 foot pounds low. After I overhaul it I hope to see something around 710 f.p.s. with this pellet.
H&N Baracuda 15
The 15.89-grain Baracuda 15 averaged 494 f.p.s. for a string of 10. The low was 484 and the high was 503 f.p.s. That’s a difference of 19 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet develops 8.61 foot pounds of energy. Heavier pellets usually develop less energy in springers than light ones, so this one should get up to 13.5 foot pounds when the rifle is at its peak. That would be about 620 f.p.s.
JTS Dead Center 18.1-grain
The JTS Dead Center averaged 394 f.p.s. in the FWB 127. The low was 381 and the high was 410 F.P.S. That’s a spread of 29 f.p.s. At the average velocity this pellet averaged 6.24 foot pounds at the muzzle. I will note that these pellets loaded very hard, so there was doubtless some drag as well that limited them.
The trigger is two stage. Stage one pulls with 1 pound 5 ounces. Stage two breaks at 2 pounds 6 ounces. It seems pretty crisp but we’ll have to wait for the accuracy test to know for sure.
I plan to disassemble that powerplant next. We’ll see what is needed to get this old girl back in the game. After that I’ll do the accuracy testing.
The .22-caliber FWB 127 is a rare and unusual air rifle that I feel privileged to test and work on. I’m certainly familiar with the .177-caliber 124 which should stand me in good stead for this series, but we shall see.