To get the Bobcat ready for shooting, first charge the air reservoir to 200 bar (not quite 3,000 psi) using a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump. Be sure to use the fitting that comes with the Bobcat because it can be difficult to get a grip on a normal (shorter) fill fitting.
Next, load the12-shot rotary magazine. To do that, first, rotate the clear plastic face plate counter-clockwise as far as possible. Now, while holding the face plate in position, flip the magazine over so you’re looking at the back side. You’ll see that a port has opened in the back of the magazine. Load a pellet backwards (tail first) into the port. This will lock the spring and keep the inner wheel from turning. Now, flip the magazine over and load the rest of the pellets by dropping them nose-first into the magazine while rotating the transparent cover so that the hole in it opens each of the pellet “bays.” Once you have filled the magazine, rotate the transparent cover back to its original position.
An aside: The magazine is self-indexing. In other words, the spring inside the magazine causes the inner mechanism to rotate so that the next shot is lined up to be moved into the barrel by the bolt. That’s why you have to rotate the clear plastic face plate; you are, in essence, “winding up” the spring. I mentioned that I actually prefer rotary magazines that are not self-indexing because they have no spring, are easier to load, and there is little to go wrong with them. However, the good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com pointed out something really important. To wit: if you are going to use a rotary magazine, you have to get it to rotate somehow, which means either a spring built into the magazine or some sort of mechanism to rotate the magazine built into the receiver of the rifle. If a self-indexing magazine has a problem, you just swap magazines, but if the magazine-indexing mechanism that is built into the rifle has a problem, you have to send the entire rifle back for repair.
Now back to our story: Pull the breech lever to the rear of the receiver to move the bolt back. Now slide the magazine into the breech. Push the breech lever forward to move the first pellet out the magazine and into the barrel. Take aim, slide the safety off, and squeeze the trigger. On the sample I tested, it required only 14.2 ounces to take up the first stage, and at l lb 7.7 ounces, the shot goes down range.
On high power, the Bobcat launched the 16 grain JSB Jumbo pellets at an average of 933 fps generating about 30.9 (average) footpounds of energy at the muzzle. The report is a loud pop. On medium power, the same weight pellet cruised downrange at 680 fps, generating 16.4 footpounds of energy, and the report is more subdued. And on low power, the Bobcat averaged 534 fps, for 10.1 fp of energy with a very mild report.
Accuracy was what I have come to expect from FX airguns. At 32 yards, off a casual rest, five JSB pellets fell into a group where all the pellet holes touched each other. It seems to me that the state of the art in precharged air rifles is now very high. It has been quite a while since I have shot a precharged air rifle that did not deliver similar results. They all seem to be wickedly accurate.
The bottom line is that the FX Bobcat is small, easy to handle, relatively quiet at medium and low power, very accurate, and a lot of fun to shoot.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
- Jock Elliott