There is something about full-out competition equipment that gets my blood moving faster and my heart pumping quicker.
I once got to drive an SCCA national class winning MGB sports car (complete with roll cage, teensy front windshield, five-point harness, and an engine that didn’t even start to breathe deeply until it revved over four grand) and by the time the ride was over, a little voice in my head had begun whispering, “Hey, maybe you need one of these.”
And so it is with the FAS 609 precharged pneumatic match air pistol. This is a pistol designed for 10-meter international/Olympic style competition. It stretches 16.54 inches from end to end and weighs 2.09 lbs. It is a single shot competition pistol, designed to launch match-grade .177 pellets at about 500 fps.
At the extreme aft end of the 609, the most prominent feature is the highly ergonomic righthand walnut grip. Available in three different sizes (and lefthand version as well) the grip, which has an adjustable palm shelf is designed so that it exactly fits the shooter’s palm and fingers. The finger slide around the grip and seem to just naturally fall into place. The result is that it feels not so much that you are gripping this pistol, but that you are wearing it.
Forward of the grip is the silver-colored metal trigger, which is adjustable for fore-and-aft position, trigger stop, something called trigger “trim,” first stage weight, first stage length, second stage weight, and second stage length. Forward of that is the black metal receiver, which wraps around the trigger slightly to form a trigger guard.
Moving forward again is the silver air cylinder, which has a gauge at the end and which unscrews for charging. Above the air cylinder is the match grade Lothar-Walther barrel which has a compensator at the muzzle that also serves as a mount for the blade-type front sight which can be interchanged with other optional blades to suit the shooter’s preference.. Moving back along the barrel, on the left side of the receiver is a black lever with a silver tab at the end. Lift the tab, and the breech opens for loading.
On the right side of the receiver is a tiny black metal lever. When the breech is open for loading, this lever can be pulled to the right, and the FAS 609 will be put in dry-fire mode. At the aft end of the receiver is the notch-type rear sight which is, of course, adjustable for elevation and windage. Like the front blade, the rear notch can be changed with optional inserts that the shooter prefers.
To ready the 609 for shooting, unscrew the air cylinder and attach it, using the special fitting, to your pump or SCUBA tank and charge the cylinder to 200 bar. Re-attach the cylinder to the pistol. Pull up the loading lever, place a pellet in the breech, and return the lever to its original position. Take aim at the target, ease the first stage out of the trigger, squeeze a bit more, and the shot goes downrange. Ten meter pistols are usually set up to break the shot at .5 kilograms or about 1.1 lbs.
The accuracy of these 10-meter match pistols is usually staggeringly great. With its Lothar-Walther barrel, I suspect you could clamp the FAS 609 in a vice and put shot after shot through the same hole at 10 meters. I would expect nothing less.
I do, however, have one complaint with the 609: the manual. When you spend 1.3 kilobucks on an air pistol, you ought to get more than four pages (half of which is in Italian) of explanation of how to use and adjust the thing properly. Come on, FAS, an excellent pistol deserves an excellent manual!
Having whined about the manual, I find the actual FAS 609 an entirely worthy air pistol that any 10-meter competitor or casual shooter ought to enjoy for a long, long time.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott