HW 55 Custom Match: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


Is this Custom Match the best HW 55 ever made? Read the report to find out.

Today, we’ll begin a look at a variant of the HW 55 that was not produced in great numbers. It was supposed to be the high-water mark of the HW 55, and it came into being just after the end of the era when recoilling spring-piston target rifles had dominated the world stage. Shooters were moving en mass to the newer recoilless designs like the Diana 60-series, the FWB sidelevers and even the single-stroke Walther LGR.

An HW 55 won the gold medal at the European Championship in 1969. When the Custom Match hit the market in the 1970s, it came just after the summit of success. Little did they know at that time that there would be no more major championships for recoiling air rifles of any make. It was similar to the last gasp of the Offenhauser front-engine Indy cars when Ford got into Indy racing in 1963. read more


FWB 150: Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1


The FWB 150 is a classic target rifle from the past. It’s also the father of the FWB 300.

Today, I’ll get to play with an old classic. This is our second look at the FWB 150, so of course we’re looking at velocity. As I told you in Part 1, this rifle was rebuilt by Randy Bimrose, so we can expect it to perform like a new rifle.

The other day I was interviewing Robert Beeman for the May podcast, and I asked him which modern airgun was his favorite. He said he couldn’t pick just one, which makes him a true airgunner in my book, but the four guns he said he would not want to do without are the Beeman R1, the Beeman P1 pistol, the Beeman R7 that he liked to shoot just because it was so light and easy, and the FWB 300. When he talked about the 300, you could hear the smile in his voice. He went on and on about the recoilless sensation and the trigger that’s so light that you “think it off.” It was reassuring to hear a man who has owned most of the airguns in the world talk about the ones he didn’t want to part with — one of them being the offspring of today’s rifle. read more


Feinwerkbau 150: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Photos by Earl “Mac” McDonald

A couple months ago I told you that I lucked into another FWB 124 during a transaction at a gun store. The salesman owned it, but the seals had finally failed, as all original 124 seals will do. So, I bought that gun and resealed it as a report for you. Well, one of our readers happened to mention in passing that he had recently acquired an FWB 150 target rifle, but he really wanted a sporter to keep the squirrel population down. His gun was in good condition except that, like the 124, its seals had finally rotted.

I took the initiative and contacted the reader, asking if he would like to trade for an FWB 124. After I resealed it, it would be a fine gun again. With a modern seal, he would probably never have to worry about fixing it again. I reported on the results of that job in part 15 of the 124 report that has become the longest report I’ve ever done. Not only are modern seals made from everlasting material, but I installed a Maccari mainspring in the rifle that will probably last for the next 20 years. So, I hope the reader was happy with his new rifle, because I sure am pleased with the 150 he sent me. read more


Testing 4 vintage 10-meter air rifles

by B.B. Pelletier

Well it’s Friday again, and it’s time to have some fun. When I tested the TF 79 competition air rifle, I mentioned that I also shot several vintage 10-meter rifles the same day, just to make sure I was still able to shoot a good group. Well, we heard from a lot of readers who apparently like these oldsters just as much as I do, so I thought I would take today and report on how they all did.

I’ve owned most of the better-known classic 10-meter target air rifles over the years, but I didn’t hold onto them because I was always chasing some other dream. Long-range accuracy or big-bore prowess were always competing with these quiet target rifles, and there’s only a finite amount of money to go around. So, over the years I’ve both shot and given up some real vintage beauties. read more