Feinwerkbau 800x FT test w/ Thomas Bristow

Thomas Bristow manages to get through lockdown by borrowing a friend’s Feinwerkbau 800x FT – and very much likes what he sees.

Adjustability is key for the Feinwerkbau 800x FT, with the trigger and hamster just two of the features that can be tweaked

Since the early 2000s when Field Target and Hunter Field Target became increasingly popular in Europe, manufacturers of precision 10m match air rifles started to produce 12 ft-lb rifles in order for shooters to compete in these disciplines.

Prior to this, British manufacturers like Air Arms would dominate the HFT and FT scene – and they continue to stand their ground today. In 2017 German manufacturer Feinwerkbau offered its FWB 800x FT to the Field Target and Hunter Field Target world, promising new standards of quality, functionality and performance – carried over from their Olympic rifles. 

During lockdown I had one of these incredible rifles for a short time to test, running it through its paces in the wintry conditions my garden presented.

It’s important to consider that the majority of rifles within this price range have similar specifications and features. It is essential for the shooter to feel comfortable behind the rifle. The choice the shooter makes is down to personal preference and which rifle fulfils their individual needs.

Having said that, the FWB 800x FT exceeded all my expectations. After spending some time with the rifle, I have found it to be amazingly comfortable when shooting it – more so than other rifles I have tried previously. 

The aluminium stock compliments the rifle nicely, making it well balanced and surprisingly lightweight at 10.14lb, and it also impresses visually. One thing that should be taken into note is the length of the rifle, at just 37” the FWB 800x FT is relatively short in comparison to its competitors. 

This target rife differs from many others in terms of its paddle cocking lever and its overall length, being considerably shorter

I was able to sustain a fairly comfortable position with the rifle for several minutes before putting it down.

There are endless amounts of adjustability to accommodate any shooter: the rear of the stock can angle both ways, the cheekpiece has two faces (square or round) and can be rotated by 180°. Moreover, the cheekpiece is adjustable in height, shiftable and can be pivoted. A black grip set attached to the rifle is also extremely comfortable and guides the shooter into the correct trigger position for each shot, bringing ease and simplicity.

Unlike most PCP target rifles, the FWB 800x FT is equipped with a precisely engineered vertical “paddle” cocking system. Much like the usual sidelever, the system is extremely smooth and requires little force. I believe this doesn’t have any benefit over the usual sidelever, but with it comes a new shooting experience. 

The “paddle” cocking lever of the Feinwerkbau 800 can be adjusted by 360°, and pivoted and adjusted inward or outward to suit the shooter, offering even more adjustability to match the rifle to your personal shooting style. 

The trigger is excellent. With very little adjustment needed the FWB 800x FT offers a match trigger as standard – something you would expect of a rifle with this kind of price tag. The blade can be attached to one of two rails on the underside of the rifle offering left and right adjustment, and it can also be moved forwards and backwards to suit the shooter. 

Sneakily hidden by the trigger guard lay two exposed screws. These alter the weight of the first and second stage and are easily accessible without the need for any Allen keys. Much like its rivals the trigger is exceptional, crisp and smooth with very little creep between the two stages – perfect for a consistent shot release.

The FWB 800x FT has a vertical “paddle” type cocking system instead of a more conventional sidelever, but it’s just as slick to operate

Situated at the rear of the rifle is a fully adjustable butt pad/hook – perfect for FT, as the name suggests. The matching hook is used to take some of the weight of the rifle and keep it steady. Much like the rest of the rifle, the hook is adjustable to sit comfortably in the shoulder of the shooter. Supplied with the rifle comes a matching scope riser and adjustable hamster/forend composed of two lightweight aluminium blocks positioned along the accessory rail on the underside of the stock. 

The hamster can be adjusted in height and angle to bring more comfort and stability to the shooter.

The FWB 800x FT is unbelievably accurate. More than capable of producing single-hole groups at 25 yards, the rifle is ready for competition straight out the box. Once adjusted to the shooters’ desired position these rifles are a formidable opponent on the competitive shooting circuits. The FWB 800x FT certainly delivers when it comes to accuracy and performance, and is more than capable of producing 80 shots before needing to be filled. 

No matter how well you shoot, you will never outgrow the FWB 800x FT. 

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