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Education / Training FWB 127: Part Two

FWB 127: Part Two

FWB 127
FWB 127. It’s the same rifle as the 124 only in .22 caliber.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Surprise!
  • Surprise number 2
  • Velocity test
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • H&N Baracuda 15
  • JTS Dead Center 18.1-grain 
  • Trigger pull
  • Next
  • Summary

Today we look at the velocity/power of the .22-caliber FWB 127. There are some interesting things to discover today.

The test

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!

FWB 127 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.

Velocity test

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.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

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.

Trigger pull

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.

53 thoughts on “FWB 127: Part Two”

  1. Ooh, I just can’t wait to look over your shoulder as you disassemble this one. My 124 needs a new piston seal for sure. Don’t worry, I’ll re-read all the blogs about the 124 as well.

  2. “We’ll see what is needed to get this old girl back in the game.”

    For sure; with those JTS Dead Center 18.1-grain pellets, she’s got less energy than my HW30S.
    She’s a real beauty, well-deserving of a nice restoration. 🙂
    Blessings to you,

  3. BB,

    Now you have me rubbing my hands together in anticipation!
    A nice cleaning, replace a few parts (as needed), a little lubrication and you can take this ‘belle of the ball’ out to see how well she can dance.
    Fun times!
    I think that historic airguns are my favorites.


  4. B.B.,

    Nice start to a likely interesting and informative series of blogs.
    I hope at the end of your labors this old gal will be happy to tell her age while showing her well TUNED Legs!


  5. About that breech seal. I know that leaving springers locked tight or cracked open is a very contentious subject BUT for the last ten years I have been leaving my break barrels cracked open and have seen good results in breech seal life. Under levers are a little harder to deal with but I try to do the same with them.
    Over the weekend I tried some JTS Dead Center 18.1-grain pellets in two of my PCP rifles and they shot great and in both at 60′ went 1.5 inches low and right of CPHP’s. Have not chronographed them yet.They are very nice clean and uniform pellets.

    • ssc,

      That is indeed a most contentious subject. I myself do both. My Webleys are left open, however some of my break barrels are closed all of the time. Maybe I should rethink that a bit. Fortunately, the breech seals of most break barrels are easy to replace.

      The smashed breech seals also help us old geezers pick these “old gals” up for a little bit of nothing. 😉

  6. On the first day of my retirement
    I got up
    And I brushed my teeth and turned on the coffee pot
    Then I read my Days of Praise from ICR
    And I came to this blog


    I was about to say you have no idea how I feel about these “old gals”, but I think you do. So often they are given up for being “past their prime”, but with just a little TLC they once again show they can dance with the best of them, quite often much better than the “young’uns”.

    There are a few of those young whippersnappers around here, mostly PCPs, but here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns I always try to insure these “old gals” have a place to stay, even if those young whippersnappers have to find another place to call home. 😉

    This “old gal” is a beauty. With a little of your TLC, she will shine again. I am really looking forward to your working your magic on this one. If you ever decide to let go of that one, you know where to send her. 😉

    • “If you ever decide to let go of that one, you know where to send her.”

      Yeah, RGIFAA (Roamin Greco’s Institute for Airgun Appreciation)! :o) she can keep company with an FWB 124.

      Congrats on your retirement. Hurry up and claim some “me time” for yourself before everyone else in your life starts asking you to help them out here and there. Mrs. RR probably has tripled the size of your “honeydew” list.

    • RR,

      Congrats! Welcome to the club!

      So, are you going to change your moniker from RR to RRR (Retired Ridge Runner)?

      I’ll second Benji-Don’s comment about having less time. Remember all the times you said “When I retire I’ll… (** fill in the blank **)”? Well, now’s the time buddy!

      An airgunners blessing to you : May you never run short of pellets!


    • RidgeRunner,

      Congratulations on your new career! Retirement
      I have retired three times and on this round i think i can declare it a success.
      Don’t let them talk you into returning regardless of how good the terms offered sound with one exception; you need to take that job because you cannot make ends meet any other way!
      My wife gave me a T shirt for my birthday: it has a beaver with a hardhat and it says: Another Dam Project!
      The pool behind it is already rising… mutter, mutter, mutter.

      Do block out time everyday just for you (the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 is an outstanding concept to borrow from a certain secret society)…you will be less of a curmudgeon for it!



    • RR,

      Congrats, indeed!

      A wonderful milestone. I can’t wait for it, myself.

      I am pleased we will have more of your time and comments from RRHFWA. I enjoy reading your posts. Keep ’em comin’!


      • SR,

        As long as the Good Lord is willing to let me hang around down here and pop off a few pellets now and then, you guys will have to put up with me.

        You may rest assured that you will be “hearing” more out of RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns in the future. You guys will probably get sick and tired of me.

  7. Amen Ridge and Bou coup congratulations on retirement. Old gals can be new, I saw last night that a certain overseas company has more or less new original (old stock style) HW 35’s. I see one in my near future, the sickness does not end .

  8. RR,

    congratulations on your retirement. I know you have one serious hobby – airguns – but a few more won’t hurt. Have a great time! I never looked back when I got retired.

    Fred formerly of the Demokratik Peeples Republik of NJ now happily retired in GA

  9. Wow, what a nice .22 FWB! I would be happy to have 300s in .22 with a bit more power – and I think if you get 15fpe out of it after tuning – should be a great pleasure to shoot it. I think the accuracy will be… damn good 🙂

    Retirement – I think I will not gonna make it. :/

  10. RidgeRunner,

    Congratulations on your retirement! A warning derived from personal experience.

    I retired a few years ago from a long career as an R&D EE and – to totally change gears – I decided on something relaxing and completely different, woodworking. A little stool at first, then some rough cabinets for the garage tools, then . . . now my “to do” list includes a new kitchen island.
    To relax from the hobbies I am again working a few hours a week as an EE, but now at my own pace.
    Back to the island.


      • Yes, I had to do that too after a life waking up at 5:00AM. It took a bit of time to forget the alarm clock, but being able to sleep until ready to get up is one of things I value most of the R life. That and having no mandatory meetings, particularly Safety and Training. “Do not use the hair drier while in the shower” kind of stuff. It dulls the mind.

        Again, congratulations and enjoy your hobbies. More than one is better, IMHO.


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