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Definitive Guide to FAS 6004

The FAS 6004 target pistol is a definite shooter's delight. Sporting a solid trigger and very comfortable grip, the performance on paper speaks for itself. It may not be the fastest match pistol on the block, but its sleek and easy-to-operate design are sure to catch the eye of new and experienced shooters alike. If you’re looking to get into 10m shooting, plinking in the backyard or just want an accurate pistol at an affordable price, the FAS 6004 is the one for you!
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Detailed Review
There are certain facets of the airgun industry where we see rapid growth and lots of new entries like CO2 and PCP airguns. Then there are the areas that don't see a new gun for years on end. Single stroke pneumatics is one of those categories. We don't often see new single stroke pneumatics (or SSPs) come to market and when we do they are usually on the lower end of the price and quality spectrum. The FAS 6004 pistol is anything but! And while not necessarily new (they started trickling into the states late 2014), with PCP's dominating the target pistol market, the 6004 breathes fresh air into the lungs of an all but dying breed.



FAS has a storied history within the 10m shooting sports. FAS, short for Fabbrica Armi Sportive (which translated to Sporting Guns Factory), was created in the early '70s with their focus on providing state of the art 10m shooting tools for the competition market. FAS has been associated with everything from the local European competition circuit all the way up to International & Olympic levels.



In 2014 FAS took their then hand made model AP 604 and teamed up with Italian firearm company Chiappa to mass produce the new model 6004 with the goal of retaining the high levels of care and quality that FAS has been known for. But at a more friendly price so more of us can enjoy this fine Italian made pistol.

The Basic Anatomy of the FAS 6004
The FAS 6004 is a mostly carbon steel, standard single stroke pneumatic that comes in a foam lined, hard case with a full manual that even has a schematic of the gun should you need it. It features a slick release lever on the left-hand side of the action that blends nicely into the body of the pistol. Depressing the lever and pulling up slightly brings the overlever design up and out of the frame.



You will hear a slight hiss from the air intake when you bring the lever to full extension. Then you load a pellet directly into the barrel. This is typically the worst part of overlever SSP pistols since there is little room to actually get the pellet in. On the FAS though, there is plenty of room to load. Then it's about 20 lbs of effort to get the overlever closed and get the gun into battery, meaning it's ready to fire. Typically 10m target pistols do not have safeties and the FAS is no exception.



The grip is ambidextrous which means right handed and left handed shooters will be able to comfortably shoot the FAS. I would recommend looking at the large match grip if your hands are on the large side. For size, we measured a few shooter's hands and asked how the pistol fit. The measurement was taken from the tip of the middle finger to the end of the heel of the hand. The largest size that found the pistol comfortable was about 7.5"; those measuring longer than that found discomfort from their hands extending below the base of the grip.



The trigger pull on the FAS is two stage adjustable, but is a tad on the heavy side for my liking. Out of the box it broke cleanly at 1.8 lbs. The trigger was nicely adjusted to offer a little take up for the first stage before coming to a nice defined stop that let me know the second stage was about to break.



As far as match pistols go, 1.8 lbs is quite heavy. However, most shooters will find the trigger quite manageable due to the excellent feel and crisp break. The manual clearly details the various adjustments and how to achieve your desired feel. I was able to adjust the second stage weight down to about 12 oz. and removed most of the first stage take up. While many higher end match guns will go lower than 12 oz., I found the FAS trigger to be very smooth and predictable on the FAS.

How the FAS 6004 Compares
Comparing this gun to the competition you only have a few options. One is the Beeman P3. The P3 has been around for a long time and is priced much lower than the FAS. It is a synthetic frame so it is on the light side. The P3 really only exceeds the FAS in one area, and that is the trigger. The P3 trigger definitely can be taken down lighter than the FAS, but that is going to be a matter of personal preference.



The P3 also sports an automatic safety which is something the FAS does not have (in fact, there is no safety at all). Safeties are fairly uncommon on match guns, and in my opinion, it takes away from the overall usability of a match gun. There is no worse feeling than getting the gun up and into position, pulling the trigger and finding out that the safety is engaged. It totally ruins the experience at that point.



Another gun more in the price range is the Weihrauch HW 75. Again, the trigger can be made lighter than the FAS. The gun is full metal with a wood grip, but the grip does not have the same contours as the FAS. The finger grooves on the FAS grip gave it a nice feel and help the shooter settle into the pistol; I prefer it to the HW. The texturing on the grip is also fantastic. It's not too abrasive, but just enough to give you some feedback and keep sweaty hands from slipping.



There is also the Gamo Compact, but the trigger on the Compact doesn't hold a candle to any of these pistols. It's certainly accurate, but not nearly as user-friendly. The adjustable grip is really the only benefit it has over the FAS.

Grip Angle
Having shot my fair share of match pistols, one reason I believe the FAS 6004 will be a shooter friendly pistol is the grip angle. This is often overlooked by many shooters when selecting pistols. In my experience many of the higher end match pistols have grips that make the shooter feel like they are pointing the gun downward. This is really just a function of a grip angle that is intended to lock the shooter's wrist in place. You'll notice that the shooter below has an almost flat wrist.



To see what I mean hold your shooting hand out in front of you with your thumb up. In that position angle your hand down by bending at the wrist; your pinky finger should now be pointed towards the ground at a downward angle. This flattens the top side of the wrist and locks it out. This is the position many match pistols put you in and it's one that I find a bit uncomfortable. That may be a function of bad wrists more than anything else, but it can be a bit awkward for new match shooters to get used to the position.



The FAS is not so demanding, it allows the shooter to maintain a more natural wrist position. The shooter holding the FAS 6004 above has a slight bend at the wrist and is in a much more natural grip position. This allows anyone to pick up the FAS pistol and shoot successfully, from a new junior shooter to an experienced match pistol competitor.

Accuracy
FAS rates the pistol at about 400 fps. I am not sure what they tested the gun with, but it did not achieve that mark. With a 7 grain pellet the gun topped out at 325 fps. While this is a little slow it's not really a concern because when we talk about match guns all that matters is accuracy. The overall spread over a 10 shot string was only 7 fps with the H&N Match Pistol ammo. This is perfect as far as I am concerned and lets me know that the powerplant is working consistently.



Another thing worth mentioning is that the manual suggests RWS R10 match pellets in the pistol. They may work well, but I tested RWS Meisterkugeln, Hobby and Basic pellets and managed to get the gun to actually fire one time. All three RWS pellets were so tight in the breech that the gun could not push them down the barrel! This was a bit of a shock to me, but that is why there are other pellets available. H&N Match Pistol and H&N Sport pellets both shot without an issue; I also had some Gamo Match pellets around and they also performed well.

The gun was no trouble to sight in off of a sand bag although the rear sight adjustment does leave a little to be desired. You can use a coin or screwdriver to adjust the windage and elevations slotted screws. The one downer for me though was the lack of positive clicks when turning the screws. While you can see the sight moving, it does not snap into place like I would expect with each adjustment. Sometimes you get a positive click into position and other times you do not.



On the front sight I found the blade to be too wide for precise use. The spacing between the front post and rear notch was also a little too small for my liking. I found that the width of the front post in the notch gave me trouble when trying to focus on my target. Using a “pumpkin on the post" (AKA 6 o'clock) hold, I had trouble discerning when the front sight was centered because of its width. When shooting a 10m match this is something that cannot happen. Acquiring a good sight picture is crucial to success and no matter what I tried I struggled to do so with the FAS. If I was to use this pistol in a match setting, I would definitely file down the sides of the front post to make it a bit thinner.



When it came to accuracy this gun delivered! Printing tight groups despite my issues with the sights. A few groups off the bag and even a few freehand standing groups proved to me that the pistol is far better than I am. As you look at my below groups note that my freehand groups showed definite promise, but the shooter is a little out of practice. Each group shows that four of the five shots were placed in a tight group (around 1" respectively), with one shot straying from the group. That one shot is most definitely the shooter, not the gun folks!



The sleek look and relatively light weight of the FAS 6004 give this gun mass appeal. From the aspiring 10m target shooter to the firearm shooter looking to get accurate practice in, this gun will fit and perform for most everyone.



As a quick recap here are what I see the Pros and Cons to the FAS being:

Pros:
  • Clean trigger pull with crisp let off
  • Ergonomics (comfortable grip position and angle)
  • Easy for new shooters to adapt to
  • Simple and sleek design
  • Consistent velocity
  • Fit and Finish
  • Accuracy
  • Shoots a few brands of pellets well


Cons:
  • Lower velocity than stated
  • Front sight width
  • Lack of positivity in rear sight adjustment
  • Did not fire RWS pellets
  • No mounting option for optics
An Italian Legend Reborn FAS, short for Fabbrica Armi Sportive (which translates to Sporting Guns Factory) is a Italian target gun maker who is world renown for making handmade 10m guns since the early 1970s. In 2014 FAS teamed up with Italian firearms manufacturer Chiappa to take their model Domino AP 604 and bring it to the masses at a more affordable cost while retaining the precision, quality and care that lives up to the name FAS.

Perfect Entry Level 10m Pistol 10m Air Pistol shooting is an international sport culminating at the World Championships every 4 years, and at the Olympics every 4 years alternating. The premise is simple, 60 shots within 75 minutes at 10 meters on official 10m pistol targets. All shots must be made one handed from a standing unsupported position. Match level guns used these days are usually high end PCP pistols such as the Feinwerkbau P44, Morini 162, Hammerli AP20, and other such PCP pistols with an average cost well over $1,300. The Fas 6004 gives a more affordable way to try out the sport. It’s one of the easiest, year round shooting sports anyone can try in their backyard or in their house. Anywhere you have a clear 10m to practice!

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