The Steyr LP10 is clearly a world class competition 10 meter rifle and not for everyone. What makes it so? Well, let me give you my humble opinion. First off I want to state I am far from any type of top competitor, and it has been a few years since I moved all the furniture in my apartment so I could have a 10 meter range for day and night practice. My gun of choice has been the FWB C60, from which I will compare the Steyr.
Right from the outset the Steyr is striking because of the multi-color laminated wood stock. I have heard this construction gives the gun great rigidity and protects against the dangers of humidity. Maybe so. It has no checkering or texturing on it's surface and is really quite smooth. I find I need a forward hand shooting glove and a cloth to cover the cheek piece to avoid slipping in these contact areas. This is not a problem since this is the way most shoot anyway. The cheek piece is adjustable for plenty of height, cant, and level, via three elevation screws all via an allen wrench from below. The butt plate has the usual plastic arch piece which slides up and down and tightens in place with a flat head screw driver. I guess you can use a coin too. This demo gun hd a butt spacer and an angled spacer as well. The grip is quit full (fat), and again very smooth. in front of the trigger guard is a level area I use to support the gun, and in front of that the standard anschultz type rail.
I would like now to comment on what I consider to be one of the most important features of a 10 meter or any rifle: balance. It is a rarity to find a target rifle with a built-in moveable weight system; and when it is present it is only designed for small adjustments. This basically means a rifle's balance point is set in the design stage, and often a shooter ends up prefering one gun over another because he/she likes it's balance. This is often refered to as :"I really just like the way it feels...". The balance point of the Steyr is about two inches in front of the trigger guard. This is impressive considering all the pneumatic hardware up front. My C60's point is slightly foward of the Steyr's. The diference was noticable in a standard 10m offhand position. I would still prefer it back further though. There are two barrel weights: one on the tip of the barrel around the front sight, and one doughnut shaped weight that can be moved along the barrel to change the above mentioned all important balance point. There is no removable stock weights such as that which installs under the C02 cylinder of the C60. You can always add weight via the rail below the stock.
Cocking the rifle is easy and can be done all day. It has a nice ratcheting mechanism, and the loading gate flips up at the end of the stroke. There is the ability to dry fire the gun to practice trigger control. Why can't they put this feature on field target rifles? The usual match grade multi-adjustable trgger is a fine example of just how light you can make such a thing. The peep sight was another standard feature of high quality, though the mounting rail was quite shorter than the FWB's.
Overall the rifle was quite comfortable, olympic quality, with a handy pneumantic power plant.
By Jerry Gardner, edited by Rick O'Shay.
The Feinwerkbau C60 is a .177 caliber CO2 match air rifle designed primarily for international 10 meter competition. Imported from Germany by Beeman, it's a nearly identical twin of the FWB 601 rifle--only the power source is different. Overall construction and workmanship are impeccable. This rifle looks and operates like it was made in a Swiss watchmaker's shop and its twin, the FWB 601, won most of the medals at Olympics in 10M air rifle, in it's day.
The C60 has a laminated hardwood stock. It is constructed of thin slices of alternating hardwood and hard rubber glued together. The wood component is very light in color--almost white--and contrasts sharply with the black rubber component. The effect is quite striking, but may not appeal to purists. The spring-loaded cheekpiece is adjustable as is the buttplate. The finish is very smooth--almost slippery. You can see in one of the pictures, there is a cloth over the cheek piece to solve this problem. The pull can be increased by 10mm by attaching a plastic spacer. Overall weight is 10.6 lbs.
Although the C60 appears to have a 25.5" barrel, this is not the case. The actual rifled barrel is 16.9" long and fits into a 25.5" sleeve. The pellet never touches the last 8.6" of the sleeve. This reduces shot time while providing a reasonable sight radius. Since air rifles do not rely on gas produced by the burning of a powder, the shorter barrel does not lower muzzle velocity. It does, however, shorten the time the pellet takes to traverse the barrel, and this tends to increase accuracy (less time for the shooter to jerk the rifle off target). This is important in an air rifle since the pellet travels much slower than the bullet in a typical firearm.
The C60's power system consists of an interchangeable 73 gram CO2 cylinder that screws into a slot in the forearm under the barrel. The cylinder (two are provided with the rifle) is inserted and removed using a 5mm allen wrench. The cylinder holds enough CO2 for approximately 250 shots and is refilled from a larger (typically 5 lb.) CO2 tank and adapter. The filling process takes about 6 minutes (5 minutes of which is cooling the cylinder in a freezer). Lacking a freezer, the cylinder may be cooled by partially filling it and bleeding off some of the CO2 with the supplied bleed valve. Maximum fill is determined by weighing the cylinder. A special valving system provides consistent velocity at any ambient temperature. The cylinder may be removed from the rifle in any state of charge.
Pellets are loaded by thumbing the charge lever in front of the loading gate, which raises the loading gate and exposes the bore, and inserting the pellet directly into the bore. There is enough room to use a pellet seating tool, if desired. During the loading process, a gate pops up and obscures the rear sight and the trigger is locked, effectively preventing discharge while out of battery. The loading operation is completed by flipping the load gate closed. There is no manual safety--the gun is ready to fire as soon as the loading gate is closed.
The C60 has a two-stage match-style trigger. Most common (and several uncommon) trigger adjustments are provided (something one rarely sees on firearms with their lawyer-designed triggers). The trigger weight adjustment is a knurled thumb wheel at the front of the trigger guard that can be adjusted with a finger at any time. As it comes from the factory, the C60's trigger can be adjusted from 500gm (~17.7 oz) to 100gm (3.5 oz). The trigger itself is silky smooth with a takeup stage followed by the actual letoff stage. The C60's trigger is the nearest thing to a "thought operated" trigger that I've ever seen.
Factory sights are the standard FWB match aperture set. The rear sight clamps onto the grooved receiver in one of six eye relief positions and is adjustable in 1/4-minute increments. A rubber eyeshade is included. The front tunnel sight comes with several interchangeable inserts and is mounted on an aluminum barrel weight. The factory sights may be replaced with a scope. Mounting a scope on the C60 requires a set of high-profile scope mounts and replacement of the loading gate with a special shorter version. The barrel weight and front sight are removable for scope use.
Shooting the C60 is a simple and effortless. Loading and charging the rifle are especially easy as there is no cocking or pumping required. This feature can be very important in formal matches--any arm strain is sure to adversely affect scores. The loading process takes about five seconds and the loading gate and trigger lock prevent any attempt to fire the rifle until the loading gate has been closed. There is no perceived recoil and the discharge sound is a mild "crack". Certainly not objectionable even in an urban backyard. Heft, balance, and accuracy are nothing short of spectacular. From a benchrest at 10M, I was able to get 0.2" ten shot groups using bulk match wadcutter pellets and the factory sights. I'm told that top match shooters can approach or exceed this accuracy firing offhand, but I'll just have to take their word for it! The trigger must be experienced to be appreciated. It's silky smooth and at the lowest weight settings, it takes just the slightest touch to release.
I highly recommend the FWB C60 to anyone looking for a competitive match rifle, and anyone else who desires the finest in accuracy and craftsmanship, and doesn't want/need recoil and muzzle blast.
Rick O'Shay update 2012: Well, after sitting for a decade with only occasional use, all the seals seem to have failed. I will get a reseal kit and report on that process.