Feinwerkbau Modell-65 - Earliest model (1965).
These pics are of a pistol from December 1965 (source: Feinwerkbau), serial 1239.
The FWB65 was first introduced in November 1965 (source: John Griffiths Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols) and serial numbering started at 1040 (source: Feinwerkbau)
Note that this 1965 pistol has engraved lettering, whereas later models - and all others I've seen apart from one of the very first made - have embossed lettering.
These early models differed from the later versions of the FWB 65 in a number of ways, notably in that they had a small, sprung rearsight, a narrow blued steel trigger, a fixed element front sight, and hand-chequered grips.
Also, the first examples had a very short 'tang' or 'spur', above the web of the hand. On later 'early' models this feature was extended a little rearwards, to bring it roughly level with the vertical sight adjuster knob.
See also a comparison of the early and late model 65 here.
Later embossed lettering:
Feinwerkbau Modell-65 - Short-barrelled model (Kurtz, Junior).
This is a mid-production 65 with a short tang - the projection of the frame above the web of the hand - and with the earlier pattern narrow fixed rearsight.
These short-barreled pistols (the barrels were 35mm shorter than usual) were sold in small numbers in Europe (with both short and long tangs) and were imported, apparently in quite large numbers, by Robert Beeman in the USA. Dr Beeman dubbed them the 'Mark 2' - never a designation used by Feinwerkbau itself, which labelled them the 'Kurz' (short) or 'Junior' model.
This is a later production short-barrelled model with a long tang:
Feinwerkbau Modell-65 - Comparison of early and later models.
The three pistols in this comparison are:
1. A first model 65 (chequered 'sporter' grip, fixed front sight, narrow blued trigger, and sprung rear sight) with a tapered sleeve barrel weight.
2. A short tang (the projection of the frame above the web of the hand), short-barrelled model (35mm shorter than usual), which has a sleeve barrel weight, narrow, static, cam-adjustable notch rear sight and front sight with replaceable elements. It has an anatomical match grip with adjustable palm shelf fitted although it came originally with sporter grips.
3. A long tang final shape model with no barrel weight and the third-pattern wide rear sight. It has the match grip.
Feinwerkbau said in 2001 that the production dates of the mod 65 were 1965-1998 and that about 145,000 were made. The change from short to long tang frame is thought to have been made around the 99,000 mark.
The 65 was produced before, during, and after both the mods 80 (1977-86) and 90 (1982-92).
Various versions of the pistol came with match, stippled sporter, and even black plastic grips.
The two match grips shown here were made to a slightly different pattern. In the earlier pattern, the thumb rest shelf terminates in a curve whereas in the later pattern, the shelf is horizontal along its length.
After the FWB 80 came in, in 1977, Feinwerkbau added a second inner spring inside the mainspring to the mod 65.
The mod 65 was based on the design of the sidelever FWB 150 match rifle. The manufacture of the internal parts of this model was remarkably consistent throughout the 30+ years of the 65's manufacture. The service parts (breech seal, piston bumper, trigger safety actuator, steel piston ring) were all interchangeable, as were other parts.
In these pics, note the two different types of match grip. Differences include the shape of the thumb rest shelf and the extent of stippling, for instance to include or exclude the adjustable shelf.
Feinwerkbau 65 - 33rd example made
With thanks to Dave for these pics. According to Feinwerkbau, the serial numbers started at 1040.
It seems to confirm that the earliest FWB65s made had engraved, rather than embossed, inscriptions. See the 199th (200th?) example made, serial no. 1239 (click here).
Feinwerkbau Modell-65 stripdown and assembly videos
With thanks to Richard B.
Video by the author of Newtown Naughty Boy.
Videos by German vlogger Nebelbrett: