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FWB 124D

Posted By: mp44

FWB 124D - 03/28/21

I picked this rifle up recently. It was purchased new in late 1980. Over 40 years old and looks more like it was a well taken care of, 4 year old rifle. Consistent 1/2" groups at 25 yds, which is pretty good for a springer in my hands.

Anyone else own one of these classics? Pics?

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Posted By: centershot

Re: FWB 124D - 03/29/21

I had one. The Deluxe version. It was stolen out of my pickup while my brother and I were fishing. That was about 1985, still pisses me off.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 03/29/21

Originally Posted by centershot
I had one. The Deluxe version. It was stolen out of my pickup while my brother and I were fishing. That was about 1985, still pisses me off.



That sux!!!
Posted By: Montivagant

Re: FWB 124D - 03/30/21

Nice 124!

Original owner of a beautiful 124D. Some years ago, had a retired machinist pard CNC mill the piston skirt for 3- 13% PTFE Delrin buttons and I also installed a Maccari spring kit. Have a target with three touching holes at 50 yards with 8.4gr JSB Exact pellets. It also stacks the 10.4gr Exacts. 10X mil-quad SWFA in double-strap BKL rings with parallax ranges noted from 13-55 yards. Shoot outdoor Field Target with it on occasion. Starlings fear it....

If your 124D was new to my hands, I'd tear it down and replace seals (check out Air Rifle Headquarters) and lube with Krytox GPL 205 as a minimum. James' spring kit is a very nice upgrade that really smooths/quiets the shot cycle. Then you'd know for sure the condition of the piston seal, particularly if it is original and potentially failing. Decent groups at 25 paces is a good indication it's still OK. Also, lay a piece of toi-toi paper over the breech seal when fired to check its integrity. If you end up with confetti, that needs to be replaced too as noted below.

As a final note for those that aren't savvy to springers, NEVER dry fire one, use one with a damaged breech seal or use a flammable lube in the cylinder. They are designed such that the piston will stop just before the end of the cylinder as the pellet begins its forward movement down the bore, allowing the piston to slowly settle against the cylinder's end. If there's no pellet or the breech seal is toast, the piston seal will be pounded to death in short order. The air in the cylinder follows gas laws where as the pressure sharply rises as the cylinder volume correspondingly decreases, the internal air temp rises rapidly just like a diesel engine.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 03/30/21

The owner said it was resealed in 2016 by a Beeman authorized dealer and then fired around 20X. Velocity over the chrony is very consistent. It was on the low side when I first received it, 700fps with 8.4 AA, but it has such a nice shot cycle plus I have PCPs for power, I probably will not bother with it for now.
I have put around 100 shots thru it and need to monitor the velocity to see if the seal is breaking in. I am also wondering if they only had the seal replaced and the rifle still has the 40+ year old spring in it as I only saw the seal mentioned in the hand written notes I received with the rifle

I do have a new spring and seal on the way.
Posted By: kragman1

Re: FWB 124D - 03/31/21

Oh, I suspect it will do better than 1/2" at 25....
Wind, pellet selection, "shooter variable", etc can all be improved (unless you're shooting indoors).
And there's a lot of fun in working it all out.

Enjoy your new 124!
Posted By: Montivagant

Re: FWB 124D - 03/31/21

A couple more hints....

As an addendum to the shot cycle physics noted above, don't oil the bore. Oiling will allow the pellet to move forward prematurely and not stop/slow the piston before hitting the end of the cylinder.

Might consider running a .22 patch tied in the middle of some 80# dacron fishing line or similar back & forth through the bore with a dab of JB Bore Paste to clean the lands/grooves and old pellet wax build-up. Clean out the resultant goo with a few patches moistened with isopropyl alcohol until they emerge clean and she squeaks her approval. Should tighten up your groups if old pellet wax had gummed up the bore's grooves....

Use some of James' moly lube on the barrel pivot and snug up the screws so the barrel doesn't droop under its own weight after being cocked but moves smoothly with your help. That will help keep the barrel from ever so slightly pivoting downward when the air pressure pushes against the pellet/breach. If you're getting any vertical stringing of your groups, might be the cause.
Posted By: 65BR

Re: FWB 124D - 04/01/21

Good info and advice. Yes, found one at a LGS, years ago, the gun shot HORRIBLY slow, had a friend who was an avid airgunner, took it apart - cleaned chamber and spring and relubed. A few years later the seal blew......bits were coming out of the chamber hole.....I replaced the seal, not overly difficult but the 124 can be fickle on re-assembly and it can get a key screw stripped if not precisely done.

That said, after the re-seal, as good as new, shot TIGHT......

124s, especially the D model are a Gem........wonderful triggers, modest cocking effort and SMOOTH shot cycle, oh VERY accurate. IIRC, they shot close to the FWB Match rifles which had a fixed barrel.

Enjoy! If your's does not get much over 700, you might decide on a new spring, and I might find a professional to do the job, just to avoid that risk noted above.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 04/01/21

I guess I should mention this is probably my 10+ FWB 124 I have owned over the years. I am not much of a spring piston guy but I have been thru dozens and dozens of springers from Webleys, HWs, Beeman branded HWs,, Dianas, and Air Arms I purchased this last 124D out of nostalgia. It shoots so nice at the 9 fpe it almost seems like this is what the factory should have shot for ( pun intended ). Unless I suspect any damage I am going to leave it the way it is and actually enjoy shooting it but if I need some extra power I will pull out my .25 Air Wolf.
Posted By: Alaninga

Re: FWB 124D - 04/02/21

Original FWB 124 factory piston seals are not made of a good material. Several aftermarket piston seals are much better material and should last much longer. If your 124 was resealed, it may not last long IF the new seal was of old stock oem seals, it may not last long at all. I’ve had a few 124’s both deluxe and sporter versions. The original seal just was of poor quality, but then it was developed in the early days of high performance spring piston rifles using synthetic materials instead of leather piston seals. The FWB is a high quality rifle, it just had this one part that is best when replaced with any of the new redesigned seals.
The AirGun Letter had a very good article(s) on some of the newest piston seals for the 124.
If your 124 has poor velocity, STOP shooting it! You may be hammering the piston face into the end of the receiver tube. Get it resealed and maybe a new spring. It’s nice to get a fitted mainspring guide and new lubricants too!
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 04/02/21

It was replaced in 2016 so I suspect it is a newer material. It also shoots smooth and consistent.

A few years back I purchased a 124 that was supposed to have been recently rebuilt. It was shooting slow so I took it apart and it had new parts but the seal needed to be fitted to the cylinder. I would sand a bit then re-install. With each sanding, the velocity crept up. after a few sandings, the velocity was up to factory specs.
Posted By: Alaninga

Re: FWB 124D - 04/02/21

One of the 124 piston seal replacement articles in the AirGunLetter had to be fit that way. It had no compression groove (lip?) so the fitting was an important step. In fact I think Tom Gaylord may have burnt his first attempt at fitting this piston seal (too tight) and did a second. Was it a Maccari seal??
I wish I had kept my complete collection of AGLs, they were carry useful, especially since TG did so many spring and seal rebuilds for the R1.
Posted By: kragman1

Re: FWB 124D - 04/02/21

FWIW, I had John in PA reseal my 124 with the Maccari full power kit.
I would recommend both to anyone.
Posted By: jkingrph

Re: FWB 124D - 04/04/21

I have one bought new back in late 1974 or early 75 from the old Air RIfle Headquartes in W. Va. It has been through two piston seal replacments/rebuilds in these years, the most recent last winter. My son and grandson were coming over and the grandson was wanting to shoot so I got it out after too many years of inactivity. It would only move the pellet a couple of inches and seal material was coming out of the cylinder vent hole. I sent it off to David Slade at Airgunwerks.com and it came back better than it ever has been. We were out shooting it this afternoon and my arm got sore from all the cocking. I had one of the Beeman Blue Ribbon scopes on it probably close to 40 years and went back a few weeks ago and put the Williams receiver sight back on that I had for a short time before the scope. Even at 75 years old I seem to have more fun with peep sights than with scopes, plus this rifle just handles better with iron sights.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 04/04/21

I have had David Slade rebuild two FWB65s. He does wonderful work. One of the FWB124D I purchased a couple of years back had the seal ( original by the color ) coming apart. I took it apart with the intention of rebuilding it myself but I could not get all the seal material out of the front of the tube. The center of the seal came out but the outside edge had adhered to the tube. I had to box it up, along with the Maccari parts, and ship them to Scott Blair at airguntunes.com. He is also great to deal with.
Posted By: Lou_M

Re: FWB 124D - 04/13/21

I purchased my FWB 124D in the early 80's, at the source (Beeman's store in San Rafael), with a 2.5x Blue Ribbon scope. Lots and lots of stories associated. Some years it gets shot lots. Other years rarely. It has accounted for lots of ground squirrels and a couple of opossums. And the turkey. Love it.
L
[img]https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/galleries/15988299/fwb-124d-takes-turkey[/img]
PS I hope I did the image posting procedure correctly!
Posted By: Lou_M

Re: FWB 124D - 04/13/21

Oh and I meant to say that I have that same exact article from Peterson's Hunting somewhere in my files too! "Great minds think alike."
Posted By: deerstalker

Re: FWB 124D - 04/14/21

[Linked Image]

Lou's turkey
Posted By: pacecars

Re: FWB 124D - 04/14/21

I remember that article also. I read it when it came out when I was 15. Always wanted a 124
Posted By: Lou_M

Re: FWB 124D - 04/15/21

Thank you for the help posting my photo Deerstalker.
A good friend of mine lives a bit south of Bonners Ferry.
I am hoping to get up to that beautiful part of the country this summer.
Lou
Posted By: Timbo

Re: FWB 124D - 04/15/21

I still have a 124D that my father purchased for me new in the 70's. I replaced the spring and piston seal years ago, but it's still running strong. When the 124 came out, it was the magnum of it's day.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 07/29/21

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/yellow/viewtopic.php?p=1437237#p1437237
Posted By: ChrisF

Re: FWB 124D - 07/30/21

There's a thread in the "Ask the Gunwriter's" forum on Jim Carmichel running right now, and I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned Carmichel's classic article "The Great Jonesboro Pigeon Shoot" which featured the FWB-124 very prominently.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 07/30/21

Originally Posted by kragman1
FWIW, I had John in PA reseal my 124 with the Maccari full power kit.
I would recommend both to anyone.



I just sent my 124D pictured above to him along with a Maccari spring and seal.

I said I liked the shot cycle of the rifle and would probably leave it at the 9fpe it was shooting but the rifle was in such nice condition it bothered me it wasn't to factory spec.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 08/12/21

I just received my FWB124D back from Precision Pellet, It was shooting 700fps with 8.4gr JSBs, now it is shooting in the 780s. Rick said the seal and spring that were in the rifle were fine and looked barely used. I do not know why it was shooting at 9fpe, maybe the seal was not fitted to the receiver??? The seal that came out looks like a Maccari seal.


Beeman 1981 Catalog
Posted By: FWP

Re: FWB 124D - 11/15/21

Guys, I just found this post. I have a few questions.

I have a 124. I purchased it new in the late 70's.

What is the difference between a 124 and a 124D?

Mine needs new seals. Who would you recommend for service?

Thanks!
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 11/15/21

The D ( deluxe ) has a checkered stock, cheekpiece, and sling swivels

Precision Pellet.
Posted By: kragman1

Re: FWB 124D - 11/16/21

FWP - like I said I would recommend John Thomas in PA. His contact info is easy to get online but I can forward it to you if you PM me. There are certainly other air gun smiths, but many people speak very highly of him. His work on my rifle is first rate.
Beware that when the original seal goes it creates a nasty mess in every internal nook & cranny of the gun, and that creates some extra labor compared to a normal reseal so expect to pay a bit more.
I really like the "full power" spring & seal John installed as well. Buttoned the piston, etc as well.
Posted By: Timbo

Re: FWB 124D - 11/16/21

Replacing the spring and/or seal on the 124 isn't really that difficult. Unlike some of the newer higher power rifles you can even do it without a spring compressor. It's a two man job though without spring compressor.
Posted By: FWP

Re: FWB 124D - 11/17/21

Originally Posted by kragman1
FWP - like I said I would recommend John Thomas in PA.



Thank you! I just looked up his contact info.
Posted By: FWP

Re: FWB 124D - 11/17/21

Originally Posted by mp44
The D ( deluxe ) has a checkered stock, cheekpiece, and sling swivels

Precision Pellet.




Thanks mp44. I remembered there was D model available when I bought mine but I think I passed because of the additional cost. Its been a long time.
Posted By: FWP

Re: FWB 124D - 11/17/21

Originally Posted by Timbo
Replacing the spring and/or seal on the 124 isn't really that difficult. Unlike some of the newer higher power rifles you can even do it without a spring compressor. It's a two man job though without spring compressor.


Thanks

I'm afraid to take mine apart but I would like to learn more about them.
Posted By: Dinny

Re: FWB 124D - 11/23/21

I had a deluxe and in a time of weakness let a friend talk me out of it. Many regrets but that one still hurts especially now that my son is learning to shoot.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 12/11/21

I added two more FWB124Ds.

This is the 2nd one after it came back from Precision Pellet. (The 3rd is on the way there, pic to come) The scope is a vintage Korean Bushnell Sportview 4X32 in Sportsmatch FWB 124/300 specific rings. They have the crossbar that mates to the cross cuts in the receiver. ETA: By the serial #, this is a 1982/83 rifle

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Posted By: jkingrph

Re: FWB 124D - 12/12/21

Originally Posted by mp44
I added two more FWB124Ds.

This is the 2nd one after it came back from Precision Pellet. (The 3rd is on the way there, pic to come) The scope is a vintage Korean Bushnell Sportview 4X32 in Sportsmatch FWB 124/300 specific rings. They have the crossbar that mates to the cross cuts in the receiver. ETA: By the serial #, this is a 1982/83 rifle

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Nice I had my 124D set up like that for well over 40 years, and after getting it back from having new seal and mainspring installed, took the scope and "muzzle brake" off, put a front sight that takes different insers, and my old Beeman/Williams receiver sight back on it. The way the stocks aree made, they just beg to be shot with iron sights,
Posted By: buttstock

Re: FWB 124D - 12/25/21

I remember reading the posted article when I was a teenager, and falling in love with the concept of shooting a high quality pellet rifle.. I lusted after the FWB 124.

I shot varsity rifle in college ( smallbore 3-position with an Anschutz 1413, and air rifle with a FWB 300 ).
Life got busy for a while after college, then I finally bought a (used) quality pellet rifle ( .177 Beeman HW77), and later (recently) a RWS 48 (0.177).

It all started with that article about the FWB 124. Fond memories were resurrected with the OP's entry. Thanks. Enjoyed it.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 12/29/21

#3

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Posted By: kragman1

Re: FWB 124D - 12/31/21

Mine is the standard Sport model - beech stock, no sling swivels.
Trigger is pretty decent, the rifle is light, has an excellent shot cycle and is wickedly accurate.
I do wish that mine had the sling mount in the pivot block the way the Deluxe models did.

I dont know what it was like before John "tuned it up" by scrubbing out the remains of the old synthetic piston seal and went to work with a Maccari kit and some TLC. Its a fine rifle now, and I'd like to have a 127 (.22 version) to go with it.

That said, and this is difficult to say, but the HW95 / Beeman R9 is probably a better rifle.
The 124 is lighter & handier, and many can wear a sling. A little easier to cock too.
But the HW / R9 has a markedly better trigger, and more power. Enough to use heavy pellets that might not be so desireable in the 124 (I'm getting around 800 fps with 10.65's from my R9).
Mechanical and manufacturing quality of both is genuinely excellent, so I consider that to be a wash.

If I were forced to have only one .177 rifle, the 124 would have to be a close second to my R9. Very close.
In fact, if I knew that it would only be used for recreation, I might just choose the 124 over the R9. The 124 trigger would be the only real concern in that scenario.


Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 12/31/21

I agree. My 124s are for plinking and nostalgia. I use PCPs for "serious" work. If I had to use a spring-piston rifle for pest and hunting I would get a TX200 or similar.
Posted By: 65BR

Re: FWB 124D - 01/01/22

I dropped a squirrel running on a powerline about 70 yds...........got the drop and lead just right - on the 1st shot. Had the Beeman short scope, about a 3x IIRC. Nothing wrong with a 124 wink

Also enjoy the R9 - but yes they are harder to cock.

Something about the 124 that makes it a real pleasure, perhaps a softer/smoother firing cycle.
Posted By: kragman1

Re: FWB 124D - 01/02/22

Nice!

That's an Annie Oakley point right there.
Whenever I manage something like that, I call it 50/50 luck vs skill. But its usually more like 80/20 for me..... 😂
Posted By: Scott_Thornley

Re: FWB 124D - 01/03/22

So, on the topic of the F124, I thought I was going nucking futs - I could have sworn my buddy Alan and I made the drive up to San Anselmo in '76 so he could buy an "F-12". Now for years and year and years, it's been F124 this, F124 that, and occasionally F127. But I just managed a peek at a page out of the Beeman's sixth Edition, and right there on the F124 F127 parts page is "F-12" in parenthesis.

So yeah, my buddy and I were shooting an F124 before it was known as the F124...
Posted By: Timbo

Re: FWB 124D - 01/03/22

I believe it was always the 124 as far as Finewerkbau was concerned. I believe the F12 and F120 were names used by the importer, Air Rifle Headquarters, before Robert Beeman started importing them.
Posted By: mp44

Re: FWB 124D - 01/03/22

Air Rifle Headquarters
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