The Chiappa FAS 6004, a well-made bargain

Monday, August 18, 2014

G12 Chiappa FAS 604 004-001

My first thought when I opened the case for the 6004 FAS by Chiappa Firearms was, “Wow, this is a nice air pistol.”

And, indeed, it is. I’ve been reviewing air rifles and air pistols for a while now, and everything about the Chiappa 6004 says to me: “This is a serious air pistol, made by people who are serious about quality.

The 6004 comes in two models, the standard, which has an ambidextrous walnut grip, and the match, which has a match-style grip with adjustable palm shelf. Other than the grips, I believe the single-stroke pneumatic powerplants for both models are identical. Airguns of Arizona sent me the standard model for test.

G12 Chiappa FAS 604 006

The 6004 stretches 11 inches from end to end and weighs just two pounds. At the extreme aft end of the pistol is an ambidextrous walnut grip that I found extremely comfortable. It seems to grip my hand with a small shelf at the top of the grip and another at the bottom. There are sculpted finger indentations which seemed to fit me “just right,” and the finger indentations and the back of the grip (where the palm wraps around) is stippled for easier gripping.

Forward of the pistol grip, the lower part of the receiver forms a black metal guard around a black metal trigger that is adjustable for trigger weight and position and pull. Plastic must be some sort of dirty word at the Chiappa factory in Italy, because I couldn’t find a scrap of it anywhere on the 6004, with the exception of a tiny o-ring at the breech end of the barrel.

Underneath the receiver, you’ll find the caliber, “Made in Italy,” and a serial number, all inscribed in white lettering. On either side of the receiver, also in white lettering, you’ll find 6004 FAS by Chiappa Firearms. There is a pin, secured by e-clips, for a pivot point at the extreme forward end of the lower receiver. Above that is the upper receiver, which has an inset opening for the muzzle and, above that, a blade-type front sight that can be swapped out if needed or desired.

G12 Chiappa FAS 604 007

At the extreme aft end of the upper receiver is a micro-adjustable notch-type rear sight with knobs for adjusting windage and elevation. On the left side of the upper receiver, just forward of the rear sight is a latch for releasing the upper receiver for loading and cocking.

That’s all there is to the 6004. The fit and finish are excellent, and everything smacks of quality. The only addition that I would make to the 6004 would be the inclusion of a small dovetail on the top of the upper receiver so that a red dot or scope could be added if the shooter desires.

G12 Chiappa FAS 604 011

To ready the 6004 for shooting, press the latch on the left side of the upper receiver in. This releases the upper receiver so that the aft end can pivot up and forward so that the upper and lower are open almost flat. This exposes the breech end of the barrel for loading. Slide a .177 pellet into the aft end of the barrel. Return the upper receiver to its original position – this requires about four pounds of effort – and this pressurizes the action for shooting.

Take aim at your target, ease the first stage out of the trigger. This required 1 lb. 9.2 oz. of effort on the sample that I tested. At 3 lb. 2.5 oz. of pressure, the second stage trips, and the shot goes downrange with a mild “pop.” Depending upon the weight, the 6004 launches pellets up to 400 fps.

With the right pellet, the factory claims accuracy of 0.08 inches center-to-center. That’s plenty good enough for 10-meter competition, air pistol silhouette, and high-precision backyard plinking. Because of its low velocity and low power, the 6004 would not be suitable for pest control, except possible mice or hornets at close range.

Now here’s a surprise: because the 6004 is produced in a modern firearms factory with efficient manufacturing techniques, the price is actually much less than I had expected; the standard model is under $400. That strikes me as a bargain for a pistol that, based on the quality of its construction, promises to deliver decades of shooting fun with occasional replacement of seals.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

23 Comments

  1. RidgeRunner says:

    It is about time someone came out with a nice quality air pistol that was also reasonably priced. If I did not have my Izzy, I would very seriously consider one of these. If I had some way to try one out head to head with my Izzy, that would be fantastic.

    I also looked at the 609 while I was surfing at AOA. With air pistols like these, why do people pay as much as they do for the other top brands? I guess it is ego.

  2. Bob Todrick says:

    I’ve been looking at these on the ‘net.
    No one in our area has physical stock however.
    I know you liked the Gamo Compact when you tested it.
    I’m considering bequeathing my Gamo to my son and have been wondering how the FAS compares…they seem awfully similar.

    1. Larry says:

      I also have the Gamo Compact. I have been wanting one of the FAS 6004 pistols. I like that I can practice weak hand shooting with it. Im thinking about pulling the trigger on one soon.

  3. John DiRocco says:

    I have just purchased the match version of the FAS 6004. Superb pistol in every which way. Workmanship is top notch, and you get exactly what you pay for and then some! I would recommend to anyone that is looking for a good looking, quality pistol.

  4. Curt Hottinger says:

    I saw the FAS-6004 on the AOA website and even though I’ve always wanted a HW-45 I ordered the 6004. I just got back from the first shooting and am very impressed with this pistol! It is built solid, like a fire hydrant. Cocking and loading are easy and it is super accurate. The trigger is like silk. I’m used to recoil but there is none. My recycler better get used to seeing dozens of mutilated cans!
    .

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Curt,

      Enjoy your new pistol and many happy hours of can mangling!

      1. Curtis Hottinger says:

        After 6 months and several thousand shots this pistol is my favorite! I did wind up buying the HW-45 too and that one is very tricky to get used to. The FAS-6004 is simply the easiest and most accurate pistol ….period!

      2. Jock Elliott says:

        Curtis,

        Thanks for your comments.

  5. Sergio says:

    Hi, I bought a Fas 6004 and it shot about 5′ high at ten meters. I had the down adjustment bottomed out and couldn’t get it to lower point of impact.
    AoA replaced the pistol for a new one. The new one shot just as high with the rear sight adjustment all the down. I started filling down the front sight with no success. I just discovered that placing a small piece of business card on the rear sight where the blade folds back solved my problem. Now the pistol shoots great and I’m happy.

  6. Bruce Van Deuson says:

    Jock,

    Not having previous experience with single stroke pneumatics (all previous was with springers) I wondered about the ability to safely dry fire the 6004. Much time spent web crawling did not come up with a definitive answer, except regarding typical 10m competition pistols.

    I finally contacted Chiappa and they said yes, the pistol can be cocked and dry fired safely and without harm. That means I can practice trigger control, breathing and sight picture while pointing at a bullseye on my computer or wall.

    I thought it strange this feature was not touted in the advertising or listed in the owner’s manual. Is it possible this is simply assumed with SSP guns?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Bruce,

      The ability to dry fire is a normal feature of SSP guns. I don’t know of any that won’t tolerate dry firing.

      1. Bruce Van Deuson says:

        Thanks Jock,

        Along with the dry fire mode, goes the ability to adjust the trigger pull while not actually loading and firing the pistol.

        Chiappa’s trigger pull adjustment instructions are pretty thin, as well. In spite of being a gunsmith for over 20 years, I had quite a time doping out how to change one long pull into a proper 2-stage pull with a nice, clean break at the end. In comparison, adjusting the Beeman R-1 and FWB 300s were a piece of cake without instructions.

  7. Bruce Van Deuson says:

    Jock, one other question: Whenever i fire the pistol against a dark background, I’ve always noticed a puff of a mist come out behind the pellet. It is not as noticeable when dry firing but it’s still there.

    The only places I’ve oiled the gun have been the outside pivot points and a tad of grease on the cylinder shaft. It’s about 8 months old and there’s been about 1000 pellets through it, with two or 3 dry felts pulled thru once in awhile.

    Is this something I need to be concerned about?

  8. Chris Barker says:

    I want to remove the grip from my FAS 6004 Standard to make modifications to the grip. What tool do I use for the bolt, and will any parts fall off when I pull the grip off? Please let me know, Chris

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Chris,

      Sorry, I don’t know the answer. You might try emailing Airguns of Arizona directly.

    2. Randy W says:

      The tool you would use is a 3mm allen wrench.
      I don’t think you will find anything other than a
      washer in there..

      I really like my 6004 feels so much better in the
      hand than my other pistols. Very low center of
      gravity.

      Randy

  9. Michael says:

    Seeing a small amount of “mist” or condensation is typical of pneumatic guns, particularly in humid conditions. As the air leaves the gun, the pressure drops, cooling the air (Bernoulli’s law) and causing moisture to precipitate out of the expelled air.

  10. Joe G says:

    As nice as the Gamo is as a low cost entry level target the FAS is better in every aspect. Better and more solidly built, much better trigger, really an excellent shooter and value. I would never get rid of my FAS AP604 the forerunner of the 6004 was in production longer than any other match pistol and for good reason. I used to have two 604’s but felt sorry for a friend who really lusted after one. Hi Jock, long time no see, hoping all is well with you. Joe G.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Joe,

      Thanks for your comments. Good to hear from you! All good here.

  11. Ed Kuryla says:

    I would like to see a special edition with a 11mm rail, would definitely purchase one.

    1. Bill says:

      The FAS 6004 is a pleasantly affordable 10-meter match pistol that is a joy to shoot. Its balance, sights, and trigger are excellent and ideal for offhand 10-ring chasing. Unless you have a serious vision handicap, there would be no gain from putting an optic on it.

  12. Fred says:

    How would you compare the Chiappa with the IZH Baikal 46M? Both are match SSP pistols and appear in the same price bracket.
    Aside from the differences in design, how would you rate them both in terms of accuracy and build quality? (i have heard people complain about the seals on the IZH 46)

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Fred,

      The Chiappa has nicer build quality. You have to make sure the seals on the IZH are firmly seated before shooting the first time; I have indeed blown them into the fourth dimension. A lot of air pistol silhouette shooters like the IZH. I no longer have either pistol in my possession so can’t comment further.

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