Feinwerkbau Custom Sports
Feinwerkbau - Airmasters Mastersport.
Richard Welham posted this on the airgunbbs.com:
"Airmasters was started by my father John Welham and his brother Dave.
"Frustrated with the hopelessly unreliable targets we were shooting in the early days of field target my dad decided to design a target that was as close to 100% reliable as possible. The consequence of this was the company ‘Knok Down Targets’ formed in 1982. These they made together in my dad’s garage until Webley showed an interest and Dave then found a CNC producer to make them.
"We were quite successful at Field Target, and it was not long before Dave was taking on tuning work. This led to the development of the Mastersport at the end of 83. Dave did all the tuning work on the FWBs and he was fantastic at it.
"Dave developed a silencer, the alloy ‘Phantom’ and with the targets selling reasonably regularly through Webley they took the plunge and decided to go full time, this was at the end of 84.
"They found premises in Hibbert Street in Luton and me and my Dad fitted it out in March 85 opening in May 85, Airmasters was born.
"By this time Dave was fully focussed on manufacturing accessories. Trigger shoes, steel silencers, trigger guards, cocking aids and finally scope mounts. I had just finished a City and Guilds engineering course so was in an ideal position to take over the mechanical work on our custom guns.
"My father, John, was the stocker, in my opinion he was the most innovative, and technically the best that there’s been. I took over the mechanical side of producing custom rifles in April 1985, finishing in January ’89. By '85 most of the work required was on HW77s, so practically all the custom 77s we produced were made by myself and my dad which is a really nice thing. The shop was closed and Airmasters wound up in 1990. Essentially, we just didn’t make enough money.
"The three of us put everything into our work, perhaps too much sometimes, sweating the details beyond what was really necessary at times. But we did get some nice results.
"‘Stalker’ was our designation for anything ‘sporting’ with a shortened barrel. So you can add ‘Stalker’ to any of the break barrels.
"We made all sorts of one offs, but in addition to Mach’s comprehensive list I can add the following that were offered on general sale.
"We made one Original 45 Stalker, I would love to find that, it was beautiful. Several Vulcan and Victor Stalkers and at least one Mastersport Tyro 335.
"There were also the AA Shamal FTS, FTX and FTXS"
A custom rifle sold by Dave Welham of Airmasters.
Feinwerkbau - Custom Parts.
Modified o-ring piston head and floating spring guide by John Bowkett
Modified piston with brazed bronze (?) rings at the rear, by Airmasters/Dave Welham in the FWB Mastersport
With thanks to Jules for these pics:
Breech barrel lock by John Bowkett