The FWB SPORT – ANOTHER PRETTY FRAULEIN IN THE HOUSE
Ahhh hobbies. You gotta love em’. How else are we to waste copious amounts of money on superfluous and silly toys and still be able to justify them in some way. Car guys know what I’m talking about. There is nothing like the thrill of finding a $1000.00 classic that you put $50,000 into to restore to perfection and then sell it with pride for $10.5K.
Shooting is my hobby. I have LONG crossed that bridge where I feel the need to give a reason for a new purchase so we will just say I am at the point where I simply have more money than brains and I wanted it and for quite some time I have wanted the newest iteration of the FWB sport. I just really liked its lines.
Originally I was going to wait to scope this rifle before writing up a review but honestly I think I have decided not to. The iron sights are excellent, It shoots great and I really enjoy both the lines and the shooting without a scope so I, believe this one will stay slick topped for the time being.
As always I want to reiterate that I am not a writer, nor a warrior, nor a competitor nor a skilled or truly knowledgeable shooter in any way. I am just some idjit on the interwebz who has been blessed enough to have quite a wide range of experience with all types of pointy things with triggers. All of my thoughts and opinions are my own and I try to base them on my other experiences. Doesn’t make me right, just makes me right for me and remember “just some idjit on the interwebz”. So in my best “Jerry” voice…..”Here we go!”
When I talk about value I try to speak in terms of an items contemporaries. A $500.00 air rifle is just plain loony talk to the vast number of people and I understand that so keep in mind I am trying to judge based on other crazy people air rifles.
Initially when the Sport was first released it was a very expensive spring gun. It was also plagued with reports of spring noise and vibration not befitting the FWB name or the price point. I cannot speak to those rifles at those prices. I can only speak to my rifle which was bought at $495.00. At $495 this rifle is a wonderful purchase. It is Weihrauch money but, in my opinion, is a much better rifle out of the box. The action is perfect, the sights were dead on out of the box, the sights themselves are some of the best I have seen on an airgun or really most rifles and stock is nicely done. I truly think as of early 2021 these rifles are at the very least a very solid value.
FIT/FINISH/APPEARANCE - 3
A 3 may sound harsh especially when I just gave a 5 for value. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the rifle and its performance is top tier. My issues really surround a few personal desires as well as a couple things I don’t think are befitting to the Feinwerkbau name.
First I would prefer a different wood for the stock. The stock is very nice and finished well but I would prefer a walnut or nicer wood. This is just personal preference.
Second there are some pretty noticeable tool marks ahead of the rear sight. I would expect better in the finish department.
Third I have some stock rubbing near right breach pivot. This causes no issues shooting but it’s worth noting.
Fourth, the bluing looks just fine. It’s very nice and even and on par with any Weihrauch. It’s just not that high gloss gorgeous Air Arms old school Colt look.
Here is a comparison against a Weihrauch HW35e
Finally the plastic trigger guard. It looks great, it feels great and its…….PLASTIC. Come on Feinwerkbau, plastic has no place on a rifle like this. I am nit picking here but again these are my personal thoughts.
All in all it is a VERY nice rifle and frankly compared to most air rifles it’s a solid 4 but I just feel FWB should be held to a higher standard even if that standard cannot match something like Air Arms.
TRIGGER - 5
I am going give this a 5 out of the box mostly because it is so good I don’t have to think about it in any way and I had no learning curve. It is easily the equal of its contemporaries such as the Rekord, Air Arms triggers or a good T06. The blade is very nice in both appearance and feel. It’s just a very nice bang switch.
ACCURACY – 5
Accuracy is one of those values a rifle has that is so difficult to quantify without locking it down in a rest. You are at the mercy of the skill, or lack thereof in my case, of the shooter as well as any environmental factors. All of that said shooting this rifle with only iron sights I am VERY pleased with its performance. It is not pellet fussy in any way, doesn’t appear to be hold sensitive, as a great trigger, great iron sights and puts pellets into very nice groups even with my questionable skill, iron sights and generally crappy eyesight. So I have to believe with a skilled shooter and glass this would be a tack driver.
JSB's were printing a little right.
ERGONOMICS – 5
This is another subjective measure of course but I love the way this gun feels and handles. It is so nimble feeling and light weight, comparatively speaking, yet doesn’t appear to exhibit and real hold sensitivity. The somewhat flat bottom of the stock is excellent for benching yet still feels great in the hand. The safety is wonderful and may be my favorite I have experienced on an air gun. The FWB Sport feels like a more nimble HW95 even though it is a bit longer.
RECOIL/SHOT CYCLE -5
Generally speaking I have always said that Air Arms is king of the shot cycle, I might have to put this FWB on equal or better footing here. The shot cycle is so fast with so little vibration and noise that of all the air rifles I have shot this one feels the most like shooting a .22 long rifle. The actual shooting of this rifle is wonderful. I really cannot say more than that.
For a rifle that is so easy to shoot well it has a fair bit of power behind it. I don’t have a chronograph but I can tell you that based on my target impacts and the published information she is sending a .177 pellet down range with some anger. This is certainly not a 10m only gun.
SIGHTS – 5
I like iron sights, although I don’t generally like leaf sights as much as aperture sights. That said the sights on this FWB Sport are some of the best leaf sights I have ever used in any capacity. Very nice adjustments, very well made, very versatile and they look great to boot. Add to the fact that they were dead nuts on out of the box and I find myself deciding I am not going to scope this rifle. It just looks and feels so good running with the irons.
-The packaging was excellent. An outer cardboard box surrounding a robust Styrofoam cocoon.
-As I have said the rifle seems to like just about any pellet I run through it and that is without a ton of pellets through it yet.
-Initially the cocking stroke had a fair bit of crunch/spring noise. It wasn’t the most pleasant feeling or sounding cocking stroke I had ever felt. Over time however it has largely smoothed right out. I can only guess that whatever spring lube was used has worked its way around from use.
-While the cocking stroke is fairly easy, in the vein of an HW95/R9, The initial break of the barrel requires quite a whack. I added some grease and with use it seems to be loosening up but breaking the barrel does require a little effort.
-The barrel lock up is like a bank vault and makes the most satisfying SNICK noise ever.
-I cannot stress enough how fast the shot cycle is and how much like shooting a .22LR this feels like. It is similar to an HW35e only faster.
-The rifle has a crack to it. It is not a quiet gun. It is however quieter then some folks have made it out to be. It is about on par with my HW35e in .177 which also has a fast shot cycle.
I don’t generally have a ton negative to say about the guns I review. This is generally because if I don’t like a gun I either sell it or simply cannot muster enough energy up to bother putting proverbial pen to paper. With that said I have been on the fence with this rifle since before it was released. I loved the lines. Initially the price and bad press pushed it to the back of my mind. Even with the price drop I had some trepidation in my mind at this purchase and had thought about buying another “known quantity” I decided, however, to take a chance both because the price was right and I very much like Champions Choice, the vendor I used and the folks who run it. I am so glad I took the chance because this has quickly become one of my favorites of many air rifle choices that I have. Is it perfect, of course not. Only Glock is perfect…….or so they say……but I digress. It is however one heck of an air rifle for a very reasonable price in 2021 and I whole heartedly recommend it and I really feel this is a 5 star rifle overall.
Take care, shoot safe and try not shoot your eye out kid.