Wow, it has been a long, hard winter here in Upstate New York. In fact, we had the fifth snowiest winter since they have been keeping records. Last winter was different – I was able to get out and shoot every few weeks. But not this year: from November to March, there was enough snow to prevent me from shooting. Most of the time, my shooting lane was under nearly four feet of snow.
Before the snow flew, Airguns of Arizona and I had conspired to beat Old Man Winter. Near the beginning of November, AoA sent me a “CARE” package with four guns in it. The notion was that I would test them really quickly and then write them up at my leisure, but it was not to be. The snow arrived too soon, and like an uninvited guest, stayed waaaaay too long
But on March 17, the snow had melted enough that I could actually set my pellet trap down in the shooting lane without it disappearing under the snow, so I pulled out the gun that I was most curious about, the FX Royale 400 Synthetic in .177 caliber.
I’ll say it right at the outset: this is a very likeable gun. It weighs just 6.8 lbs without scope and stretches 40.25 inches from muzzle to butt pad. At the extreme aft end is a soft rubber butt pad that is adjustable for vertical position. Just loosen a single screw and slide it up or down to the position you like. Ahead of that is a black synthetic thumbhole stock that is decidedly right handed. There is a raised cheek piece on the left side of the buttstock that is complemented by somewhat of a hollow on the right side of the buttstock. The hand grip is fashioned with a thumb shelf on the left side. In short, I don’t think this is a stock design that lefthanders would feel comfortable shooting.
The base of the pistol grip has molded-in “checkering.” The back synthetic stock material forms a guard around the black metal trigger, which is adjustable for first stage length of pull and second stage weight of pull. Moving forward again, underneath for forestock ahead of the trigger guard, you’ll find a single allen bolt that secures the action into the stock, a one-inch pressure gauge, and a male foster quick fill fitting for the charging the air rifle. On either side of the forestock, the FX Royale Synthetic is adorned with additional molded-in “checkering” in which can been seen the letters “FX.”
The forestock extends as a kind of shelf beneath the first half of the large air reservoir. Beyond the air reservoir is the free-floated barrel which is equipped with a very effective, permanently-attached moderator. Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find the receiver for the FX Royale Synthetic. It has a shiny black finish and reads “FXroyale” in white letters. The top of receiver, both fore and aft of the breech, has dovetails for mounting a scope. On the right side is the bolt lever and, below that, a lever-type safety. Push it forward to take the gun off “Safe.”
In Part II, we’ll see how the FX Royale 400 Synthetic shoots.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott