[Closed] Welcome to the Falke Forum! April 30th 2009
Welcome to the Falke Forum! April 30th 2009
I first became interested in Falke airguns when I bought a Falke 90 on a whim from a German auction site a couple of years ago. I knew nothing about Falke except I had seen various forum posts suggesting the Falke 90 in particular was highly prized.
Since then, I've got steadily more interested in the brand, my curiosity tweaked by the fact that in its 12 years of existence the company was in production for less than a decade, between 1951 and 1958. In that time it seems likely that fewer than 200 of the flagship model 90 were made and under 400 of the sporting version, the model 80, although thousands of other Falke models (airguns and firearms) were produced.
Finding hard information on the Falke rifles (or the single Falke model 33 pistol) beyond the basic specifications is not particularly easy. WHB Smith, in his 1957 book "Gas, Air and Spring Guns of the World", wrote quite a bit about the Falke range and enthused about the underlevers that "there are no finer nor more powerful spring-air rifles made than these. Quality throughout is that of fine firearms manufacture."
Many subsequent references draw on information provided by Smith but some more recent contributions by the noted airgun author John Walter, Dr Trevor Adams in New Zealand, Frank Korn in the Netherlands and Prof John Griffiths (on the Falke 33) have moved knowledge of the Falke company and its guns forward. In the UK, Vic Turner has also published detailed findings after researching quite a large number of Falke underlevers and other models.
On the internet, apart from the excellent American "Vintage Airguns" forum (www.vintageairgun.com), which has some very good threads on Falkes, one or two threads on the UK Airgun BBS (www.airgunbbs.com) and a little on the German site Co2air.de, there isn't a great deal to be found.
In the Resources section of this Forum are scans of a number of original Falke brochures, a user manual, a price list, contemporary adverts and a couple of extracts from reference books. There are also magazine articles on the Falke 90, the model that seems to generate the greatest interest due to its high quality, performance and rarity.
I have also transferred most of the photos I have collected of Falke airguns into the Gallery section. If anyone has photos that haven't appeared already, please feel free to post up links to them.
A number of Falke airguns seem to have been exported beyond Europe, especially to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Why Falke was so successful in exporting to these countries at a time of near-global economic austerity I don't know. Perhaps there was an appetite among farmers in those countries in particular for powerful, rugged air rifles that wasn't satisfied by other guns on offer at the time? Maybe Falke let them go too cheaply as loss-leaders when trying to build their export business; perhaps even a mistake that contributed to the company's demise?
Answers to these and other questions about the Falke's business operation would be very welcome if someone out there has access to such information. Any additional materials that you may have and want to share by exhibiting it in the Resources section would also be very welcome.
Anyway, enjoy the resources I've posted up and if you have anything to add or want to discuss, please go right ahead!