FX Cyclone, a review by Jay Holiday

I recently received my FX Cyclone in .22cal from Airguns of Arizona. It took one week to get via UPS since I live in Pennsylvania. Why did I get the Cyclone? I didn't need a new airgun but it's my chosen hobby and I wanted the best shooting experience available.

Let me give a brief history of my airgun experiences so you will understand how I worked my way up to a fine PCP air gun:

Childhood. I had a lever action Daisy BB gun that was plenty of fun. When I was around 11, my Dad gave me a Benjamin pump rifle chambered for .22, it was a great little rifle that bridges the gap between 'toys' and adult air rifles. I got many squirrels with this unit and it is still mass marketed to this day.

Spring Piston Adventures. I bought a RWS #34 in .177 about 10 years ago to shoot pigeons in a cement plant where I serve as the engineer. I shot several hundred pigeons with this budget minded yet reliable rifle. I sold it to friend. I then purchase a Beeman R9 in .177, it was nicer and I liked it fine. I gave it to my retired father, he uses it regularly on squirrels. I then bought a BSA Super Sport in .22. I had Airgunwerks install a Theoben gas ram in the BSA making for a sweet shooting rifle, it's the only magnum-powered rifle that is also lightweight. I wanted to try an underlever rifle and chose the Beeman HW-77. This HW-77 is very accurate and reliable, it delivers on all the marketing promises made of it. Then I bought an Air Arms Pro-Elite in .177. The Pro-Elite has the best build quality I have seen to date and its very hard hitting, down side is its heavy and not as accurate as the HW-77. On a whim I purchase a RWS #48 in .25. The #48 is as well made as the Beeman R series offering in my opinion. The accuracy and reliability have been excellent, like the Pro-Elite, it is heavy. These days since most of my shooting is at my range in the basement of my house, I wanted something nice for that service. I chose a Beeman R7 and it has become my favorite spring rifle. The R7 is accurate, reliable, easy to cock, quiet and most important to me, its lightweight and handles like a .22LR with mild recoil.

My gripe with spring rifles, especially magnum power class units, is they are heavier than I like and they are only single shot. The R7, HW-77, and RWS #48 have all served well and never need any repair work even though they have fired many pellets, I'm also happier with the accuracy of these three.

.22LR. I purchase a pair of .22LR to complement my collection of air rifles. I have a Remington 597 with a 3x9 power scope. It has a 10 shot clip and is semi-automatic. The other .22LR is a Browning Grade 2 lever action rifle. Both are fine. I shoot low powered CB's in the basement, they aren't much louder than the air rifles. I also use 90ftlb sub-sonics and high velocity hollow points for raccoons and such. I love the way these rifles handle and shoot, but there use as indoor guns is limited, and they are much more dangerous than air rifles.

CO2 Match Rifle. I want to try something different so I ordered a Tau 200 match rifle with left-handed stock. This rifle is more accurate than the spring guns, Tau didn't cut corners on the trigger unit, its really nice. The gun points very nicely for target shooting, and there is no recoil. The only drawback of the rifle is the materials of construction are average at best. But it is value priced.

PCP Air Rifle. My first PCP gun is the FX Cyclone. I wanted an air rifle with the power of the magnum spring guns, the fine shooting action of a recoilless match rifle, and the ergonomics of a handy .22LR with multi shot capability; the Cyclone exceeds these three demands.

Because a guy only needs so many air rifles, I negotiated a trade-in of my Pro-Elite with Airguns of Arizona. I chose the Pro-Elite over the RWS #48 because it had a greater trade value and was chambered in .177. Also the RWS #48 has a more ambidextrous stock suitable for a left-handed shooter and it is chambered in .25.

The Cyclone has a revolver style magazine chambered for 8 .22 cal pellets, it comes with four magazines. The lever action and safety are simple to use. The FX weighs just over 5 lbs and handles wonderfully. I ordered an extra air cylinder for field use. I also ordered the moderator, it threads on to the end of the barrel and helps muffle noise at the high power setting. The trigger is easily adjustable, though I have left mine as supplied by the factory. Its light with a clean break.

Before I got my PCP Cyclone, I was concerned about variation in velocity depending what the charge is. This is really nothing to worry about, at least for the kind of shooting I do. From 200BAR down to 120BAR, I was fully satisfied with the performance and accuracy. I don't micrometer my groups, I just get up and go look at them, either I like the grouping or I don't. With the Cyclone I am very satisfied with the tightness of the grouping, proverbial one-holers are common. Accuracy is on par with the match rifle mentioned above. Cyclone is very easy to shoot with accuracy because there is no recoil or vibration, this fact alone has made me a better shot. Also the lock time (the amount of time from when the trigger is pulled to when the pellet exits the barrel) is much less with a PCP rifle than in a spring piston rifle; short lock time makes for improved accuracy. The scope is a Simmons ProAir 4 power scope and Beeman 5030 two-piece mount.

Cyclone has a three-position power adjustment knob for power setting at 12, 20 and 27 ft/lbs. This feature was very important to me because I usually use low power for target shooting but also want high power for pest control, I'm not sure when I'll use the medium power setting. I have only shot the Cyclone in my basement, a 10 meter range, as I toggle between the power settings, the impact point of the pellet remains the same, this was a concern of mine because I don't want to adjust my scope whenever I change power settings. The rifle came with chronograph test results at the three-power setting using 16 grain domed pellets. No airgun review is complete with out technical data, here is some:
Low Power 620fps average +/-1fps 13.66 ft/lbs
Med Power 744fps average +/-5fps 19.67 ft/lbs
High Power 887fps average +/-3fps 27.96 ft/lbs

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have an air gun that will do what the manufacture says it will do. Anyone that has been around airguns any length of time knows about the velocity games, most manufactures advertises '1000fps', but they use light weight pellets and the performance does not quite live up to the marketing hype.

The synthetic stock is a quality unit. Synthetic helps keep weight and PRICE down so I say synthetic is just fine in this application. My extra money was better spent on accessories like the moderator, scope and mounts, and the extra air cylinder.

The quality of the gun is excellent throughout. There is no vibration or recoil to break parts or cause wear and I fully anticipate this gun will be much more reliable than any spring sun has a chance to be. FX packs a lot of performance in its products at a reasonable price. FX has clever inventions and solutions to age-old airgun problems. That clever inventor is Fredrik Axelsson (founder and initial namesake of FX). Axelsson is a lefty so all the FX stuff is fully ambidextrous.

I charge my rifle with the FX hand pump. It takes 3-4 minutes to pump from 120 Bar to 200 Bar, it is not strenuous for a medium size guy like me. I would buy the compressor if I thought it necessary, but so far I'm fine with the hand pump.

The only down side of the rifle is that its easy to use a lot more pellets compared to a single shot rifle, that problem I can handle.