To get the FX Ranchero ready for shooting, charge the cylinder up to 200 bar (you can do this on or off the pistol). Put the safety in the non-fire position (full back). Pull the cocking lever full back, now pull the magazine release knob back. You’ll find that, with the exception of the cocking lever which has a small click-detent when it closes fully, everything moves smoooooothly, like it is on oiled bearings.
When the magazine release knob is fully back, the magazine will slide out of the breech. Load it with the nose of the pellets facing toward the flat side of the magazine. Slide the magazine back in place and push the cocking lever forward. This will also return the magazine release back to its original position with the first pellet slid into the barrel, and the magazine locked firmly in place.
Now you’re good to go. Take aim, flick the safety off, ease the first stage out of the trigger and squeeze gently on the second stage, and, at about 14 oz. of pressure, the shot goes down range. Pull the cocking lever back, push it forward again, and you’re ready for the next shot.
Now, an aside: when I was ready to trigger my first shot with the Ranchero, I was all ready to flinch. Why? Because I have had experience with other precharged pneumatic pistols that were raucous beasts that annoyed my ears. But I was shooting the Ranchero on low power and that, combined with the shrouded barrel, made the report remarkably docile. It wasn’t dead quiet by any means, but it was much quieter than I had expected and quieter than even some CO2 pistols I’ve shot.
I tested the Ranchero at ten meters, shooting with a rifle scope mounted and off a rest. I found I was getting the same kind of accuracy you’d expect from a target pistol: shot after shot through the same hole. And the two-stage trigger was crisp and clean, making it easy to get really good results.
In the end, I found there was a whole lot to like about the Ranchero: target accuracy, an excellent trigger, a neighbor friendly report on low power, a pressure gauge (PCPs without pressure gauges force me into counting shots, which I’m not good at), interchangeable cylinders, and the ability to mount a rifle scope, pistol scope or red dot, as your needs dictate. And, yes, it does come in a lefthand version with the action reversed, making it truly left handed..
A pistol like this could take “defending the bird feeder” to a whole new level!
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott