To get the FX Gladiator Tactical ready for shooting, charge both reservoirs up to 200 bar. You can do this by inserting the charging adapter into the port on the front reservoir. Be sure to fill slowly and that it will take a lot longer than usual because there is a lot more volume to fill than on most PCP airguns. If you try to fill too quickly, you may get an indication from the gauge on the GT that the reservoir is full, but then the charge in the front reservoir will slowly bleed to the rear reservoir until the pressures in the two reservoirs equalize.
Put the safety in the non-fire position (full back). Pull the cocking lever full back, now pull the magazine release lever back. When the magazine release lever is fully back, the magazine will slide out 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 slides the first pellet into the barrel. Now return the magazine release lever back to its original position, and the magazine locked firmly in place.
Now you’re ready to shoot. Take aim, flick the safety off, ease the first stage out of the trigger (13.2 oz) and squeeze gently on the second stage (1 lb 10 oz), and the shot goes down range. In stock trim, the high, medium, and lower power settings are for 32 footpounds, 24 fp, and 14 fp in the .22 cal version.
Pull the cocking lever back. You can push it forward again or you can simply let go of it and it will return to its original position on its own. Now you’re ready for the next shot.
Shooting JSB Exact Jumbo Express .22 pellets at high power, I put five shots into a group at 35 yards that I could cover with a dime. Then I decided to flip the power switch all the way down to low power. I put 5 pellets into a group that measures barely .5 inch edge to edge. That works out to just a bit over a quarter inch center to center.
Even better, the report was extremely muted, making a kind of “ching!” sound every time a shot goes off. The GT isn’t dead quiet, but it doesn’t sound like anything shooting either.
In the end, I liked the GT a whole lot. It gets a ton of shots per fill, has an excellent trigger, is a bona fide tack driver, and has a neighbor-friendly report. It puts all the good stuff together in one package, and I give it my hearty recommendation.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott