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Feinwerkbau FWB 300

Back in the 1980s there were two revolutionary target rifles that immediately raised the stakes for competitors at the top level. One was the Walther LGR, and the other, the Feinwerkbau 300, and the reason both were so revolutionary was that they were the first high-end recoilless target rifles on the market. Before then, target guns were mainly refined, low-powered version of the same guns used by field shooters and hunters with target stocks

FWB300

In a way, the LGR was the more futuristic gun, as it used a single-stroke pneumatic powerplant, something that other gun makers didn’t pick up on for another decade. But the Feinwerkbau was the far more successful gun, and it used a unique- yet time-tested- system to achieve recoilless operation.

Starting in the late 19th century, the makers of artillery discovered that they could mount bigger guns by the use of a sliding, recoil absorbing carriage, and that’s exactly what Feinwerkbau did in the 1980s. The receiver and barrel of the 300 wasn’t fixed, but slid back and forth on rails. It didn’t slide far- but it didn’t have to counter that much recoil energy.

After cocking the spring mechanism of the 300, you tilt the rifle forward, and you can feel the action slide forward a fraction of an inch as it locks into battery. On firing, the action and barrel move slightly backwards. It’s less noticeable than you might imagine, but it’s enough to make shooting completely recoilless.

The 300 revolutionized target shooting, and before long every competitor needed a 300 to be competitive. Other companies started making recoilless rifles. RWS designed a dual opposed piston system used in a number of their competition pistols and rifles. Others came out with CO2 systems, then single stroke pneumatics, and finally the compressed air systems that now dominate competition at the highest levels.

Since the 80s only two other rifles have used the recoiling receiver system. One was the RWS/Diana model 54 rifle, which was a modified version of the popular high powered RWS 52. It was not a terribly successful gun (especially compared to the 52) and was plagued with mechanical problems. It didn’t last long in the marketplace. More successful has been the Chinese-made Tech Force BS4, and not surprisingly- it’s an exact clone of the FWB 300.

UPDATE:

The 54 is indeed still in production- see comment below- and here’s an interesting site on the 54 from an owner who’s done a number of tuneups to his:

http://www.eddiecolwell.tzo.com/RWS-54.htm

24 Comments

  1. Steve wrote:

    The Diana 54, while not as popular as the 48/52, has carved out its own niche and is still very much in production! By most accounts, the recoil absorption system works well.

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 10:28 pm | Permalink
  2. mje wrote:

    Thanks for the update. Was it reengineered at all? Back when it came out, users reported a lot of difficulties, poor accuracy and uneven performance. I was under the impression it had been discontinued.

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
  3. Charlie wrote:

    I have inherited an older Feinwerkbau model; SPORT 124. It is a break barrel springer, and I am in desperate need of a new cylinder pressure spring seal and if anybody can point me in the proper direction it would be sentimentaly apreciated. PARTS!!!

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  4. mje wrote:

    Charlie- try http://www.airrifleheadquarters.com.

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  5. i have a like new FWB 300 that i bought new in 1980 its in like new cond would like to know what its $

    Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  6. Also have a Beeman # 75 S#4030 in new cond sold to me on 3-1-79. would like to knw $ on this one.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  7. mje wrote:

    I’ve seen FWB 300s selling for anywhere from $200 to 400 depending on location.

    Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink
  8. .I am interested in buying a FWB 300 or Walther LGR.Please send info. Thanks Bill

    Friday, June 18, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  9. Paul G wrote:

    I’m interested in an LGR, FWB300 or Diana 75.

    I’d really like to get one with where there is a known history of it, rather than just buying one that looks “pretty”.

    Please send any details of one for sale.

    Thanks,

    Paul

    Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  10. Bill M wrote:

    I just purchased a Feinwerkbau 300s and would like to know who sell parts. The gun shoots well and has tight groups but I would just like to clean it up a bit.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink
  11. Col Bill wrote:

    I need some clean-up and repair work on my
    Feinwerkbau 300 – Looking for a contact -
    Thanks

    Monday, July 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  12. SonnyM wrote:

    if anyone is interested I have a FWB300q for sale in SoCal.

    http://s773.photobucket.com/albums/yy15/maddesignphoto/fwb%20300s/

    asking $600obo skb case not included
    thanks

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink
  13. Fred wrote:

    Is the FWB 300 still for sale?

    Thanks, Fred

    Monday, July 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  14. SonnyM wrote:

    yes it is.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  15. Carl Griffin wrote:

    I have a 1979 vintage FWB 300S Universal. the metal is near perfect but the stock needs to be refinished. I would like to here from anyone who has done this task to learn 1)The best way to strip old finish. 2)How to refinish to black stippled grip areas. Thanks.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink
  16. mje wrote:

    You can see my page on stock finishing here: http://airgunner.org/?p=32
    I think your FWB was finished with lacquer, so you may find the easiest way to proceed is to start with a commercial “refinisher” liquid that melts and blends the existing finish. It can also be used to remove the finish with repeated applications using 0000 steel wool and rags or paper towels. The black stippled area was probably painted with black dye after final sanding and stippling, but before the lacquer was sprayed.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
  17. Ed wrote:

    I have a L.G. Mod.
    Feinwerkbau 300 S Cal. 4.5/177 for sale. Now the thing is there is no stock,trigger shoe or sites. Dated to about 1977 by ser. I thought someone could use it for parts or something. Bit of surface rust but should clean up and look good if blued. Offers?
    Thanks,
    Ed

    Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink
  18. Kirk wrote:

    I have FWB 300S that I purchased from Beeman around 1982. At the time there was a local indoor range that hosted competitions, but a year afterwards the range closed. I did some indoor shooting at home for a while, but astigmatism finally did me in wrt targets. The rifle has remained in its padded case for the past 25+ years until yesterday.

    We have had squirrel(s) raiding the bird feeders this summer, so I decided to shoot one today from the window. The squirrel was not killed but definitely left the scene in a hurry.

    I was using a wadcutter pellet. If I were to get some hunting pellets, does this rifle have enough power to kill a squirrel at 8-10m distance (head shot)?

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
  19. mje wrote:

    Target guns are not suitable for hunting anything other than perhaps very small birds. The FWB 300 has a muzzle energy of a bit over 6 foot-pounds, and at 10 meters it’s significant less. If you want to go squirrel hunting, you might sell that 300 and buy a scoped pellet rifle in the 12-20 foot-pound range. Used 300s seem to sell for around $525, with very clean ones selling for significantly more.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
  20. Dan wrote:

    any FWB 300 for sale in So CAL ?

    Monday, July 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  21. mje wrote:

    Try the airgun classifieds at http://www.network54.com/Forum/79574/

    Monday, July 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
  22. KURT Johnson wrote:

    I’VE GOT ONE IN NC. NEW IN 1970 AND PERHAPS FIRED LESS THAN 1000 TIMES, LIKE NEW

    Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
  23. don wrote:

    hello, i am interested. if available please call 816 255 8902. thanks

    Sunday, September 4, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink
  24. mike gorman wrote:

    I recently bought a used FWB 300s Was actually was able to cut a playing in half edgewise at 30 feet,using a rest and cheap “tasco” scope. HONESTLY, COMPLETELY IN HALF . USING 7.7 GR MATCH PELLETS, THIS GUN IS AMAZINGLY ACCURATE Was able to hit thunbtack at 70 feet {half inch drop} crazy accurate

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

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