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No Love Left for The FWB 124--Did I Miss Something?  

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ekmeister
( @ekmeister )
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 603
2020-01-28 21:05:46  

Hi everyone. I wanted to ask a question,  because of an ad I've seen sitting there for awhile on the classifieds:  Are there still any fans left of the FWB 124D/Deluxe out there? I have a good reason for asking the question.

I've tuned quite a few of the 124's over the years. When they're done right, they're a really nice spring-piston rifle. (You know, for those who still like springers). While the original OEM piston seals always need replaced after so many years, once you replace one with a new seal from ARH, it's probably going to last virtually forever. And, when you use one of the ARH mainsprings, the twang goes away, and the power increases to about the level of a factory power R9.

The 2-stage trigger it sports is also very-nice when it's tuned and adjusted properly, and even better if you get a custom-made steel trigger blade, so it never breaks, which can occasionally happen with the plastic blade.

The reason I'm mentioning this, is because I've seen an ad just sitting there in the classifieds for a while now. I don't know why nobody's jumped on the deal. If I had the spare cash this week, I would do so myself, plain and simple.

Since I can't buy it, I've decided I'd like to try to enjoy a vicarious purchase experience by watching someone else by it, then help them get all set up with the right parts and labor to bring the rifle up to modern specs.

I want to make something clear: I don't know the seller at all, and we've never had any dealings. And, I won't you getting any kind of kickback from him if you make the purchase. I've definitely seen his name before. But, you should make your own judgments there, as to from whom you want to buy. (No offense intended or implied. I'm just an interested third party here. But, I did find a good BOI reference for him). And, we haven't discussed this, either. But, here I sit, once again, with no project to do right now. I hate it when I don't get to do any tinkering.

I want to clarify 'a thing or three' that prospective buyers might not have noticed:

1. In the ad, it says the trigger's broken. I'll bet some people never read any further. I say that because, if you just read a little further, you'll find that a brand new ARH premium steel trigger blade is already included with the rifle (that part price is normally ~$100). And, once you replace the broken blade with the new one, you'll never have to do it again. When I looked at the photos, I couldn't tell for sure if there was an adjustment screw in the old trigger blade, or not. Even if you need one, JM sells them for about $25. But, it might already be there. I think I see a slot for a screwdriver in the photo. (Since it doesn't say otherwise, I'm assuming all the rest of the internal trigger parts are there).

2. In the ad, you'll find a photo of a rifle stock that has a crack in it. But, that's NOT the stock that's on the 124. It's the stock on another rifle in the same ad, a BSA model. So, you don't have to get a cracked stock repaired.

3. The FWB 124 has a checkered stock, and two sling studs. That means we're talking about the 124 D (Deluxe) version here. That's the extra-nice one!

Now, there is a medium-sized dent in the stock, but the photo shows it's really not all that bad, at least in my opinion. You can have a look. It doesn't appear that it has even broken through the finish. If you know how to do a little woodworking, you can always save that 'finesse' project for a rainy day, if it even matters to you.

The price is $365, and that shipped! There's one on eBay right now for twice that much, And I don't even think the bidding's done yet. This one looks like a pretty good deal to me.

Your part of this: You decide if the offering appeals to you, you buy the rifle, and you have it shipped to you, so you can inspect your purchase. I don't want to get caught in the middle of that. You'll need to buy the new JM/ARH piston seal, and have it shipped to me. It's about $25, plus $6-8 freight from ARH.

My part of this:  I'll do my best $185 tuning job on the rifle for $175. BUT--you won't need to buy a mainspring or a spring kit. I'll include a brand new $35 JM 'Twister' mainspring, and I'll throw in another spring for a spare (you'll probably never need the spare). In other words, you get the springs for free with the discounted tune...

The trigger gets a full tune, and, of course, your new trigger blade gets installed and adjusted.

I have breech seals here, so you won't need to buy one.

If the barrel crown needs refinished for the best accuracy, I'll do that at no extra cost.

(No stock work is included).

Shipping to and from me, with insurance, is not included, same as always. You pay for that.

I'm going to put the link here. It looks like it's still for sale to me. Again, This is ONLY about the FWB 124. (Not the BSA rifle. I'm not working on those at present).

The link:

https://airgunwarriors.com/classifieds/show-ad/4913/wts-fwb-sporter-124-bsa-stutzen-177-and-more-a-few-old-projects-that-i-am-not-going-to-get-to/airguns-springers/

(By the way, if you decide to take me up on my offer, please let me know as soon as you decide. I want to keep a slot open for you and the project. You can email me at the address in the link below, or you can message me through this forum. Thanks).

(If you need a scope, the Tasco 2.5-10 x 42 AO Mil Dot scope that Amazon sells for less than $40 is a great deal. Other places sell it, too. Prices vary. I have two of them, and I like them a lot.  I consider them pretty unbelievable for the price).


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bf1956
( @bf1956 )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 132
2020-02-06 08:18:37  

@pilkguns

That sure is a nice cabinet.

 


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bf1956
( @bf1956 )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 132
2020-02-10 18:31:53  

Are the 124s choked? If not would it be bad to shorten? The sights are missing, bought it that way and want to make a carbine out of it.


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ekmeister
( @ekmeister )
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 603
2020-02-10 21:07:10  

@bf1956

Yes, they're choked-right at the end of the barrel, as it should be on a springer.  As many others have found out, you'll be sorry if you shorten it. If you cut off the choke, velocity and accuracy usually go down, and you wind up with a harsher shot cycle on top of it. That's harder on you, and harder on your scope.

Now, if the length that's choked at the end of the barrel is 1" long, you can probably get away with cutting off half of it, and still do all right. But, that's a lot of trouble to go to for just a 1/2" reduction in length--as well as taking a chance that it might not shoot quite as well as it would have, before the modification.

The 124's already have what's considered a carbine-length barrel. (For instance, the carbine-length barrel on the HW95 is 16 in" long, measured from end of the breech-block to the tip of the barrel--compare that to the full length HW barrel, which is 19" long).

So, trying to make it an 'ultra-carbine' gun would not be to your advantage, for the reasons, I just mentioned. Its barrel length is already-optimized for velocity, accuracy, AND handiness in the bush, where you might want to make a quick turnaround, to take your shot.

So, you bought that one? Good for you! I hadn't been following this for a week or so. But, I just looked, and the ad's gone. It looks like someone got it. Maybe it was you.

If so, please remember that I'm the guy who offered a special deal on getting the gun tuned, and all put back together. I'll even knock another $25 off the price, and give you a two-week turnaround time.

That's a one-time-only deal. No matter what impression you might have gotten from some of the posts in this thread, my successful work history with them is excellent, on at least a couple dozen of them. And, even my regular prices are very good. 

My email address is in the link right below this post, or you can private message (PM) me here on the forum. Just click on my  at the top of this post, and the private message app should pop-up.

Best wishes on the outcome of your project gun!


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scratchit
( @scratchit )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 166
2020-02-10 21:33:24  

I wouldn’t cut the end off it unless it was really buggered up.  Then I would probably try and find another one.


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RedFeather
( @redfeather )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 95
2020-02-10 23:17:50  

A lot of shooters have bobbed their barrels. IIRC, the optimum length for most springers is a actually about 13". Beyond that the pellet is slowing due to friction. But it's one thing to shorten a Diana or HW. If you don't like what you end up with you can usually find a replacement barrel. Not so with a 124. And, should you eventually want to sell it, you're likely taking a big hit. As to choke, there was a spate of barrel bobbing at one time on the forums and some guys had come up with devices to re-choke them. Since your gun, if it is the one which started this rather lengthy thread, is already in pieces, you might want to get a JM kit and redo it yourself.


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ekmeister
( @ekmeister )
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 603
2020-02-11 01:08:32  
Posted by: @redfeather

A lot of shooters have bobbed their barrels. IIRC, the optimum length for most springers is a actually about 13". Beyond that the pellet is slowing due to friction. But it's one thing to shorten a Diana or HW. If you don't like what you end up with you can usually find a replacement barrel. Not so with a 124. And, should you eventually want to sell it, you're likely taking a big hit. As to choke, there was a spate of barrel bobbing at one time on the forums and some guys had come up with devices to re-choke them...

No argument there. A lot of shooters have bobbed their barrels.

But, with talk of barrel lengths and how they affect velocity, you've opened up what could be a deep subject. Let me make some comments as to what I've seen here in-person, and keep them as simple as I can.

You mentioned a 13" barrel length as optimum. If you're talking about velocity and springers, that's not what I found in my actual testing of about half a dozen rifles, over a period of 20+ years. I know my 'headcount' of specimens there is very close. Now, I think you may be quoting a good number. I just think it may be about something else. (I'll get to that).

Those springers were actually tested and chronographed with two different length barrels. Those lengths were usually 16" and 19 in". My findings here?

If it was me, and velocity was a concern, I'd stick with the 15-16" barrel length that Is common to many carbine-springers as my lower limit. The full length version that's typically available is right at 19". The longer barrels shot faster in my tests. (I'll also get to more about that in a few seconds).

As to 16" and 19", I'd be talking about mostly Weihrauch/Beeman guns, or Diana/RWS guns in quoting those 2 lengths. Both manufacturer's chose to standardize on them in their typical catalog offerings.

I had occasion to do that testing, because it's not terribly-uncommon for someone to want a barrel swap done at the same time as they get a tune. So, I got to test the exact same receiver assemblies or power plants, with both barrel lengths.

When decreasing the barrel length from 19" down to 16", there was already a velocity loss.  Again, it was the longer barrels that shot faster. 

You mentioned 'pellets slowing above 13" due to friction'. I do seem to remember reading that same comment about that same length. But, I think you may be remembering something that applies to PCP's, NOT springers. Could that be possible?

As to shortening a barrel down to 13", based on what I saw with the two barrel lengths I mentioned above, I would expect the velocity to be even less than what is was at 16".

That part's not guesswork, either.

One of my customers had two different Diana/RWS 350's on which he had the barrels cut down to more like 14 and 12 in. He even had them rechoked. Still, the velocity loss was significant. They were also louder than with longer barrels, and the shot cycle was harsher.

The physics is simple. Don't think of a springer as a simple, one-step pellet 'spitter'---think of it as a more-intricate pellet accelerator. That is, up to a point, the longer the pellet is in a bore, the greater the acceleration that takes place. Longer time in the barrel means a more-efficient utilization of the swept volume of air produced by the piston.

OTOH, if a pellet leaves the barrel too soon, some of the air is never utilized, and it never has a chance to accelerate the pellet. Instead, it leaves the muzzle after the pellet is already gone. That's where the noise comes from, and the harsher shot cycle. That is, the pellet wasn't there to block the noise caused by the exiting air, OR to cushion the final resting place of the piston. My tests proved it really does work that way.

I've read the forums for years. I remember the man who made his own barrel choking dies, and a lot of the details about his manufacturing and application processes of those dies. I don't think he reads here anymore. In any case, properly-choking a springer barrel is a specialty, and lies outside of the skill set of most DIY air gun tuners or mechanics.


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Hooligan
( @hooligan )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 113
2020-02-11 01:18:23  

bf1956, 

In some custom work done to the 124's the barrel is shorten and a 3/4" blued shroud is added. Looks sharp providing the whole gun has been customized. But here again, the end product, it's not a carbine length. PM me and I'll give you a person to contact if you are seriously wanting to cut the barrel for a carbine length and let him advise you.

Cheers


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bf1956
( @bf1956 )
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 132
2020-02-12 12:32:49  

@ekmeister After further review I am not going to chop the barrel. Really appreciate every ones input. And I did not get TJs 124, that one was a tough consideration and with EKs offer. Again thanks to all, you are very kind.

 


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Hector J Medina G
( @hector-j-medina-g )
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 362
2020-02-12 16:08:22  
Posted by: @ekmeister
Posted by: @redfeather

A lot of shooters have bobbed their barrels. IIRC, the optimum length for most springers is a actually about 13". Beyond that the pellet is slowing due to friction. But it's one thing to shorten a Diana or HW. If you don't like what you end up with you can usually find a replacement barrel. Not so with a 124. And, should you eventually want to sell it, you're likely taking a big hit. As to choke, there was a spate of barrel bobbing at one time on the forums and some guys had come up with devices to re-choke them...

No argument there. A lot of shooters have bobbed their barrels.

But, with talk of barrel lengths and how they affect velocity, you've opened up what could be a deep subject. Let me make some comments as to what I've seen here in-person, and keep them as simple as I can.

You mentioned a 13" barrel length as optimum. If you're talking about velocity and springers, that's not what I found in my actual testing of about half a dozen rifles, over a period of 20+ years. I know my 'headcount' of specimens there is very close. Now, I think you may be quoting a good number. I just think it may be about something else. (I'll get to that).

Those springers were actually tested and chronographed with two different length barrels. Those lengths were usually 16" and 19 in". My findings here?

If it was me, and velocity was a concern, I'd stick with the 15-16" barrel length that Is common to many carbine-springers as my lower limit. The full length version that's typically available is right at 19". The longer barrels shot faster in my tests. (I'll also get to more about that in a few seconds).

As to 16" and 19", I'd be talking about mostly Weihrauch/Beeman guns, or Diana/RWS guns in quoting those 2 lengths. Both manufacturer's chose to standardize on them in their typical catalog offerings.

I had occasion to do that testing, because it's not terribly-uncommon for someone to want a barrel swap done at the same time as they get a tune. So, I got to test the exact same receiver assemblies or power plants, with both barrel lengths.

When decreasing the barrel length from 19" down to 16", there was already a velocity loss.  Again, it was the longer barrels that shot faster. 

You mentioned 'pellets slowing above 13" due to friction'. I do seem to remember reading that same comment about that same length. But, I think you may be remembering something that applies to PCP's, NOT springers. Could that be possible?

As to shortening a barrel down to 13", based on what I saw with the two barrel lengths I mentioned above, I would expect the velocity to be even less than what is was at 16".

That part's not guesswork, either.

One of my customers had two different Diana/RWS 350's on which he had the barrels cut down to more like 14 and 12 in. He even had them rechoked. Still, the velocity loss was significant. They were also louder than with longer barrels, and the shot cycle was harsher.

The physics is simple. Don't think of a springer as a simple, one-step pellet 'spitter'---think of it as a more-intricate pellet accelerator. That is, up to a point, the longer the pellet is in a bore, the greater the acceleration that takes place. Longer time in the barrel means a more-efficient utilization of the swept volume of air produced by the piston.

OTOH, if a pellet leaves the barrel too soon, some of the air is never utilized, and it never has a chance to accelerate the pellet. Instead, it leaves the muzzle after the pellet is already gone. That's where the noise comes from, and the harsher shot cycle. That is, the pellet wasn't there to block the noise caused by the exiting air, OR to cushion the final resting place of the piston. My tests proved it really does work that way.

I've read the forums for years. I remember the man who made his own barrel choking dies, and a lot of the details about his manufacturing and application processes of those dies. I don't think he reads here anymore. In any case, properly-choking a springer barrel is a specialty, and lies outside of the skill set of most DIY air gun tuners or mechanics.

Thanks!

Well said.

MOST probably, the "myth" of the short (10" to 12") barrel came about with small compression chamber UK rifles.

In MATCH guns the rationale is to minimize the effects of the shooter's "sway" but it has nothing to do with internal ballistics.

DIANA uses 16" in the fixed barrel rifles, 19.5 " in the powerhouse breakbarrels, but that is due to the cocking effort needed. For carbine length 34 and derivatives (AM03) there are barrels as short as 13.5". For my own Premium/limited run of 34's I chose 15" as a good compromise between cocking effort, handling, performance, and potential accuracy (a short barrel is stiffer, and therefore, potentially at least, more accurate).

For the new EMS 34 LG, we are planning on a 15" barrel that, with the addition of the moderator/HT (that adds an inch) can achieve the cocking effort we expect of about 37# with the NTec gas spring for 20 ft-lbs power output in 0.22" using GTO pellets (11.75 grs).

My own FWB124 (old school), has a 19.5" barrel with the addition of an air stripper/resonant cavity built on a slim JM muzzle weight.

image
image

Would I cut it? Absolutely not. One of the most accurate offhand rifles I have and very comfortable for silhouette shooting.

Again, thanks for dotting the i's and crossing the t's!

 

 

 

 

 

HM


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ekmeister
( @ekmeister )
Member of Trade
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 603
2020-02-12 17:31:46  

@hector-j-medina-g

You're welcome.

I understood what you wrote about shorter barrels being less subject to sway or shooter movement from trigger pull until the pellet leaves the end of the barrel. And, thus, it's connection to better accuracy.

Sometimes I mention it in my posts in this category. But, my posts already tend to be pretty long. So, I left it out this time. I'm glad you mentioned it. It deserves due consideration.

The 15" barrels you mentioned are so close to 16", that I see your rationale in the way of a compromise. The 1" difference will probably-have only a minor effect on velocity. The trade-off you get in the way of improved accuracy seems easily-justifiable. I WOULD say it probably needs evaluated in the way of an actual test. But, it sounds like you've already taken care of that, and then some!

I don't think I remember ever seeing an FWB 124 with a 19.5" barrel. But, with a closer read, I think you're talking about the total length of the barrel including all of the goodies on the end. That, I can follow.

Interestingly, I once had a machinist friend of mine make me an aluminum muzzle brake for my R1. I showed him a photo of the Beeman Universal muzzle brake in the catalog. And, I told him he could pattern the new break after that. I gave him a piece of 1" diameter, ~10" long aluminum scrap rod to use that I bought from a metal supplier.

Well, he did a great job alright. But, I should have been more specific, LOL. He used the full length and the full diameter. When it was done, I had a real beast of a black anodized brake. But, at that size, Its weight offered the barrel stability that aluminum usually doesn't offer. The R1's accuracy was great. I sold that rifle several years ago.  The new owner said he never saw one like it. But, he said he thought it was a deluxe version.

I'm sorry, it seems I've strayed here. But, your comments about barrel length and it's onnection to accuracy obviously hit my 'play' button. 🙂


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