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I Am Considering a FWB AW93

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mikemyers
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Post by rkittine 8/18/2020, 7:53 am

First topic message reminder :

I currently have a High Standard Victor, a Smith and Wesson Model 41 with 7 3/8" barrel and mussel break, a Colt Serives 70 Gold Cup with a Target model .22 Conversion kit and a Buckmark Bull Barrel Target .22 LR.

Is the AW93 that much better than these for Bullseye? Champion's Choice has them in stock. Reading through some post, it seems like some do not like the grips nor the trigger.

I just got a set of Rink Grips in Small for one of my pistols, which was the size they suggested. I have been able to adjust them open enough to use, but I think I would have been better off with Mediums, which they say have plenty of lattitude for adjustment. My longest finger is 85mm and the distance across my knuckles on the back of my hand is 84.7mm. So since Champion's Choice has these with Small or Large grips and nothing in between, what would you think would be best? CC is telling me that the large will adjust down enough.

Thanks, Bob
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Post by -TT- 4/16/2021, 11:47 am

mikemyers wrote:
Is there anything that "feels" different, as you're shooting this and your other guns, or do they all "feel" identical??

The AW-93 feels quite different when shooting. The biggest things I notice are the recoil, and the trigger.

Recoil-wise, it's "softer" in the hand, I think because the slide itself is relatively light, and it travels at a slight upward angle as it moves back. The effect is subtle, but the gun seems to cancel out its muzzle flip with a sort of cantilever feeling. Other pistols have a straight-back feeling, which is dampened by their recoil absorbers, but in a different way. The AW-93 sort of nestles in the hand under recoil, and I find it requires a different gripping strategy, at least from my other guns with similar ortho grips. If I execute that properly, I guess I find the results to be similar, just different in feeling.

Trigger-wise, there's no comparison. The AW-93 trigger always feels different, it's longer and it rewards rhythm and followthrough. At the same time, it punishes you if you don't execute those well. I have had good results from tweaking the half-dozen trigger adjusting screws, but it was really ugly at first with the factory settings. I am still getting my head around what is best for me.

I've been going back and forth between my Benelli MP90S and the AW-93 recently, and also switching hands. Strangely, I find I shoot the Feinwerkbau better left-handed, and the Benelli right-handed. I suspect the reason is my triggering strategies are so different between my two hands. But results on both sides are still recovering, after shoulder surgeries. Until I recover a bit more, it's hard to say which pistol gives the better feel.

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Post by Froneck 4/16/2021, 2:25 pm

I do own the AW93 I have had issues with it, some I corrected. However when talking with my son Adam he told me AMU tried them but are not using them. He also mentioned when Benning is running an International Pistol shooting match if 100 shooters are on the line 95 of them will be using the Pardini. In addition I was talking to Sanderson, he told me just about all the International Country shooters are using the Pardini including Russia and Germany. France not very good are using MatchGun. That was a few years ago so things might have changed but the Best of the Best that can shoot any gun are using the Pardini and not one Country that I know of in International shooting is using the AW. On the Other hand Hemphill and Zinns both use the AW 93.

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Post by WesG 4/16/2021, 3:58 pm

I'm fairly sure my scores will be better with the FWB than my M-41. If for no other reason than all the rds will make it down range ;-)

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Post by mikemyers 4/16/2021, 4:20 pm

WesG wrote:I'm fairly sure my scores will be better with the FWB than my M-41. If for no other reason than all the rds will make it down range ;-)
If both guns were set up by an experienced gunsmith, are you saying shots from the Model 41 might not fire properly, while all the shots from the FWB would do so?

Is this an issue with your specific gun, or with all Model 41 guns?

To get your Model 41 to be as reliable as your FWB, are aftermarket parts and gunsmithing required?
If so, what is needed?

And, if someone were to buy an FWB today, what parts and/or work is needed to get it to shoot this well?
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Post by Sa-tevp 4/16/2021, 5:00 pm

I shoot iron sights (10 meter Air Pistol, 50 meter Pistol, Standard Pistol, CMP 22 EIC, CMP Service Pistol, NRA Distinguished Revolver) and all my FWB AW93 needed for me to compete with it was Rink grips for my hand shape and a 2mm taller front sight for Center Hold on the target. I thought the factory trigger settings were good but not as giggly as my coach's AW93 settings.

While looking at non-English target shooting websites outside the US some firearms shops in Europe sell the AW93 without grips with the expectation that the customers will source their own. (I didn't get along with the factory grips)
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Post by -TT- 4/16/2021, 5:15 pm

The factory AW-93 grips are not very good. But many retailers install Nill or Rink grips as their default. The Brenzovich ones came with Nill so there are a bunch of those out there. Rink offers the upswept palm shelf, which Nill does not. They are both top notch choices. The Nills fit my hand maybe a little better, but I'm using Rink now.

The rest of the gun needs nothing to shoot competitively, unless you want to mount an optic.

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Post by WesG 4/16/2021, 6:02 pm

That was mostly a joke, but ...

My 41 was just fine, as long as my supply of SK Magazine, and then Eley Trainer (yellow box) held out. CCI SV will FTE within 5 rds even after burning through several magazines of the SK or Eley. They'll both cycle it with a limp wrist hold, BTW. Limited testing, a couple matches, with RWS Target Pistol hasn't been great either. Played with springs. And the sloppy chamber factory barrel isn't any different from my custom with a Bentz chamber.

Note, I do not, and will not, put a drop of oil in every loaded magazine. That's a common 'fix' for a lot of 41 owners it seems. There are proper fixes, but I haven't had the interest in shipping it off somewhere. I may play with it myself at some point.

The FWB has jammed a couple times, mainly failing to clear the last rd from a magazine. The sight mount I made that hangs over the 'ejection port' may be a contributor. That should read, the 1st sight mount I made. It used an Aimpoint clone that I didn't care for. I haven't had a chance to shoot it with the new version. But overall I trust it to run as it should. Overall, it's a better feeling gun (I have relatively small hands), with a MUCH better trigger. I think it points better as well, and I like the weight distribution.

The 41 needs a CMM adapter, or custom grips, for smaller hands. The trigger is kind of way out there for me.

Mounting a sight isn't as simple as a 41. The available options didn't tickle my fancy so I designed my own. I have a dovetail base mounted to the barrel, and a removable mount for a Match Dot. It hangs back over the rear of the gun for balance. Most use a mount that replaces the rear sight with an Aimpoint style sight.  The other requires removal of both sights, I believe, and bridges the ejection port making slide removal for cleaning impractical. The rear sight stays on mine so I can shoot with irons with a minute of work with a hex wrench.

I didn't like the grip it came with either. Not that it mattered, it was RH and I needed a left. Used a CMM kit for awhile, and then found a used factory LH grip for it. The shape is a bit different, and I like it fine. Or my hands don't match ... I thought I had read somewhere that FWB didn't make the LH grips in house, that they were sourced from one of the aftermarket companies. So I had a glimmer of hope it might be a better shape. It's not as nice as the grip on my P8X though.

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Post by thessler 4/16/2021, 8:53 pm

My aw93 is the cats meow. Never shot a better gun. I should mention my previous gun was a 41 that constantly jammed and it turns out it has a bad barrel. As soon as I got my 93 my scores went up quite a bit,  and I love the trigger.

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Post by Sa-tevp 4/16/2021, 9:11 pm

Yeah, I have some focus/concentration/trigger issues to work out. I stopped scoping after the first shot.

Shot in competition last month, first match of the season. SK Pistol Match.

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Post by mikemyers 4/16/2021, 9:34 pm

If I had the ability to "win", and wanted a 1911, from what I've been told I can't just go out there and buy one from a store, and start competing.  It needs to go to a Bullseye Gunsmith, who will make the necessary changes to satisfy the best shooters, and even then, the person buying it needs to tell the 'smith how to build it - trigger, and all the rest - so it works the way the buyer prefers.

I think the reason why the Pardini and the AW93 cost so much, is the special attention they get to make them into a competition gun, and even then, there seem to be things such as the grip and the trigger that the shooter still needs to adjust to his preference.

Going to a Model 41, or a Ruger, or other "off the shelf" guns, for them to really compete, don't they need the same amount of attention, and precision adjusting, to make them ready for competition at the highest levels.  I'm not a good enough shooter to realize all the benefits, but just switching the stock Model 41 barrel for a Clark barrel made a huge difference in my own shooting.  I bought the gun in the 1970's, and allowing my gunsmith to go through it for a clean, lube, and adjust made the gun all that much better and smoother.

An AW93 sells for $2,650.  A Smith 41 sells for $1390, or $1,740.  Add $300 to $600 for a Clark barrel.  If we bought a Model 41, and sent it to a gunsmith to fine tune it, as they do for 1911's, would the 41 be inferior, equal to, or better than these European guns?

I never asked before - do Jon, Dave, Roddy, Ken, and the other experts at making fine 1911 bullseye guns also work on 22's ?

Does this page apply to rimfire guns for competition?
http://www.bullseyepistol.com/cstomgun.htm
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Post by Sa-tevp 4/16/2021, 9:47 pm

mikemyers wrote:If I had the ability to "win", and wanted a 1911, from what I've been told I can't just go out there and buy one from a store, and start competing.  It needs to go to a Bullseye Gunsmith, who will make the necessary changes to satisfy the best shooters, and even then, the person buying it needs to tell the 'smith how to build it - trigger, and all the rest - so it works the way the buyer prefers.

Buy a Pardini GT45 and a case of Atlanta Arms 185JHP Match AMU ammo and go punch out the ten ring. Listening to people doesn't work for everyone.
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Post by WesG 4/16/2021, 10:06 pm

At some point, no matter how much money you put into it, it's not going to be 'the same' as another gun in terms of ergonomics, balance, trigger, etc. But if you're a 'god' with a 1911, maybe a conversion would be a better way to go.

And, yes, 'people' work magic of 41's. And Rugers. And whatever else you can imagine I suppose.

Roddy put up pictures of a 41 he worked over sometime back. He had some tricks for the trigger, but the thing that interested me the most was a reshaping of a set of Herrett grips for it. I was tempted ...

Maybe still.

I put a lot of time into making a custom barrel for mine from a leftover scrap of a Lilja barrel. It groups a bit better than the oversized bore, and possibly ringed, factory barrel. Mainly, I didn't have to hack any of the original parts to put a dot on it. Either way, it's capable of shooting far better than I will ever be able to. But it's still what it is. It doesn't 'fit'. But whaddaya want for $250?

Average of 1k for a hard case with 4 handguns I bought about 40 years ago. Wish I hadn't sold the Colt Trooper .22. Kinda wish I'd held onto the High Standard HD Military too.

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Post by mikemyers 4/17/2021, 8:16 am

Interesting reading, many of the custom 22 competition guns that were/are available:

https://www.ssusa.org/articles/2015/9/15/the-best-22-caliber-pistols-for-nra-bullseye/

For bullseye shooters, how important is it for a person using a 1911 to pick a 22 with the same grip angle?  That was one of the benefits of using a Model 41.  I doubt that either is better than the other, but it seems logical that a person would do better without having to accommodate two different grip angles.
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Post by chiz1180 4/17/2021, 9:05 am

mikemyers wrote:For bullseye shooters, how important is it for a person using a 1911 to pick a 22 with the same grip angle?  

Depends on the person and goals. 

In regards to goals? What do YOU want to do? Shoot awesome target guns? Competitively shoot 2700's (outside of matches at your local range)? That answer may help dictate the answer. 

If you want to shoot 2700s, you will need to shoot a 45. Arguably the best option from cost and support, is a 1911. To many it makes sense to keep a similar feel with the 22.

Can you shoot 2700s with guns having different grip angles and ergonomics? Absolutely. Is it the best option? Depends on you. 

I have shot AWs, Pardini's, and 1911 conversions(my preferred choice) back to back, honestly the AW and Pardini were not magic to me. Pardini's are nose heavy, that takes some getting used to. AW's have a trigger you either love or hate.

As an aside just from observations, it seems that many people who shoot Pardini's and AW's seem to struggle with the 45. Could be various reasons for this but something to consider.

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Post by mikemyers 4/17/2021, 11:02 am

(To answer your specific question directly, I want to get good results at our once or twice a month bullseye match at our local club, any bullseye legal gun is allowed, but we only get to shoot that one gun/caliber.  It is 1/3 of a "2700".  I don't care if I'm using an "awesome" gun or not - that's irrelevant.  I can bring one of my 22's, or my Model 52, or my Salyer/Springfield, but I always end up taking one of my 22's, for various reasons.  And currently I do best with my Model 41 with Clark barrel, stock stocks, and a one inch Ultradot.)

I do have one gun with the angled grip, an old High Standard.  It feels OK, but the Victor I bought from Roddy Toyota "feels" much better in my hands, probably because all my other guns have the 1911 style grip angle.  After reading lots of discussions here, I got tempted to buy a Pardini, but lost interest in that idea.  Your post here reinforces something I already suspect.  

(I should add that I greatly prefer a gun that I mostly understand, can disassemble and re-assemble, is easy to maintain, and has fewer "things" that allow it to be fine tuned.  And it means a lot to me that if I get "stuck" with an issue, it's relatively easy to find a gunsmith who is familiar with that gun, and usually seems to know it inside and out.)

I guess I should stop asking questions here.  I've got a very open mind, but the only 22 that had me really interested in was a Pardini.  Regardless of that, it's fascinating to me to read why different people here feel about different guns, in this case the AW93.  Who knows, maybe I'll get a chance to try one some day in the future......


Last edited by mikemyers on 4/17/2021, 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Post by Froneck 4/17/2021, 6:06 pm

There is a lot to consider when buying a target pistol. There is a reason why the very best chose what they did. International shooting is usually a one gun competition. You don't see shooters shooting the same venue. Rapid fire shooter shoots only rapid fire and Free pistol shooter the same so the international guns tend to be built for each particular shooter. Here in USA the most favored high accuracy shooting is Precision (Bullseye). Minimum 2 guns required and some shoot 3 but in most cases the top shooters are shooting 2 guns. You will see that many claim they shoot better with the 1911! Probably because they shot it more and when switching to the .22 it's different in build. My son and quite a few AMU shooters were shooting Hamerllis that were modified and fitted with 1911 grips so as to have a one gun feel! I have a 208 though my older son "borrowed" it, an AW 93 and MatchGun 2. My AW has 1911 grips and I'm having a set of grips printed for my MG2 so as to get 1911 feel. In addition I have a Nelson conversion that I'm somewhat coping so as to make my own conversion. I want the one gun feel!
 Now understand you are not going to buy a score by getting the best pistol there is! It will take time and practice to learn to shoot a great score But you will never learn with a gun that don't place a bullet in the location you aimed it! If you shoot an X the gun must put the bullet in the X ring that's also true if you shoot a 7. You learn from the experience! Granted you didn't want the 7 but if that's where you placed the shot you learn what you did. Same with the X but if you shoot a 7 and the gun puts the bullet in the X you will learn nothing and actually become confused. My thoughts are that you will be better off buying a .22 conversion that I'm told are shooting accurately and gain the experience needed to select a better .22 than ask others. Asking about a guns function and accuracy is one thing but the choice is up to you to determine which gun will preform best in Your hand! Your now getting to the Ford/Chevy question or which flavor ice cream is best!

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Post by mikemyers 4/17/2021, 6:44 pm

Froneck wrote:.......There is a reason why the very best chose what they did.....
Not that it matters, but I agree with everything you wrote, but the one sentence above caught my attention.  I used to be very involved in international radio control car racing, traveling around the world to document the events and capture good photos of the race, the cars, and the people.  I also raced myself, but not on this level.  One of the things I learned was that the "best" racers had all their expenses covered by the manufacturers of the cars, equipment, travel, housing, and so on, and would get a large financial bonus if they won.

Since then, I would pay much more attention to what the "better" (not best) racers used, as they were trying to move up, and would pick the gear that they felt was best for them.

A good friend of mine, Jerry Cyrul, raced these cars in Michigan at the same places I enjoyed going to.  Another racer who Jerry beat said "you've got the better batteries".  They traded batteries, and Jerry won.  Then they traded motors, and Jerry won.  At the end, they traded cars, and Jerry still won.  This memory got burnt into my mind long, long ago - it's not the equipment.  


It wouldn't surprise me if Brian Zins walked into a gun store, bought "something", and used it in the next day's competition, and won.  
I don't think it's the (car/gun/whatever), I assume it's mostly the person "behind the wheel".
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Post by Froneck 4/17/2021, 8:23 pm

Mikemyers; I agree! that is what I was trying to say. Pistol scores have to be earned from hard work learning how to shoot! BUT you can't learn if the equipment used can't meet the requirements. Like trying to win the national championship with a out of the box production gun. Equipment matters, length of trigger pull, group size, the way the gun fits the hand and trigger movement to mention a few are selected by the shooter to help him shoot better but without the acquired skill of the shooter the gun will not make a champion. The AMU has a team of gunsmiths to adjust their guns to the way the shooter wants. They have the money to modify a new pistol like the 208s to how the shooter wants but will do it only for a top shooter.

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