Every so often a company comes along with a product that makes a huge wave in the airgun industry, and when you have been around as long as we have, you get a sense for it when you first see it!
A couple years back, FX Airguns was pressured into the bullpup market by the shouting mob of American customers! Prior to that, FX had no intentions of building a bullpup because they already had some extremely short and compact models like the Verminator Mk2 and the Ranchero Carbine. So FX took to their best design at the time, the Royale 400, and began to design a bullpup around this platform. What they came up with was the Bobcat, which was met with mixed opinions and over the years has been a popular model! It was and IS a great rifle, but never was a true bullpup. Even FX’s owner, Fredrik Axelsson, called the Bobcat a semi-pup from day one. The Bobcat was a quick response to a need, while FX continued to grow and develop a true Bullpup design.
In the fall of 2014, we had a small team from AOA visiting the FX factory in Sweden, and we looked over the design that would eventually become the FX Wildcat. We knew from that moment how great it would be and gave our input into the cosmetics and features needed for the US. FX went to work and by March of 2015 at IWA in Germany they had produced a final prototype that took the show by storm. The rifle had amazing features, compact and slim design, and what shocked everyone was how FX was able to produce this model at a much lower price point than everyone expected. Those in attendance left the show buzzing about the new Wildcat, and we all waited for production to prove out just how the rifle really would perform.
So today, we are going to run through the results and see if the new Wildcat lives up to all the hype that everyone has been hearing! We’ll start with the outward specifications:
The Wildcat in .22 caliber weighs in at just 6.1 pounds and measures only 29.9 inches long! The barrel is 19.7 inches, and is concealed inside a full length shroud that not only looks cool, but it reduces the noise down to a quiet “puff”. The most obvious feature to a bullpup fan is the location of the side lever cocking arm. It is right where it should be, up in the middle of the action near where your hand is already positioned when shooting. This makes for easier use when cocking and loading. The magazine is dead simple to load as well, and holds 8 pellets in a rotary wheel. The air tube is 230cc, which will allow the Wildcat to give a full count of shots expected from a proper length rifle. How many shots? Lets find out:
As you can see in the chart above, this amazing little bullpup is giving a full 75 shots at an average of 894 fps with a JSB Exact Heavy .22 pellet weighing 18.1 grains. And it does this with an extreme spread of less than 20 feet per second across the whole fill. That is over 32 ft/lbs on average for 75 shots! So does the Wildcat .22 perform? You can decide for yourself! We have seen popular full length rifles that cannot get half as many shots as this Wildcat, and nowhere near the consistency like this regulated airgun is showing. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the fact that the FX Wildcat is fully regulated, and that is a standard feature, not an upgrade!
Ok, so it looks great on paper…but how does it shoot…on paper? Before we look at that, we should say that the Wildcat sports the proven FX Smooth Twist barrel, so accuracy will likely match everything else in the FX range. Let’s go straight for the real test…50 yards:
As you can see from these quick groups shot at 50 yards, the FX Wildcat .22 holds up in the accuracy department as well! On the day for testing, the Arizona heat was already breaking over 100 degrees and there was a bit of a gusting breeze. So, these groups could likely improve with better conditions and a cooler head behind the scope! But even as shown here, the rifle is performing exceptionally well. When you consider that the Wildcat as a bullpup was never intended to be locked down on a bench, it is exceptional for a hunting rifle with design around being compact and discreet. These groups are more than acceptable for any hunting application, and the rifle will do its job in the field.
So, as far as bullpups are concerned, FX has a real winner of a design in this new Wildcat. It will quickly become a favorite amongst shooters. Both for its features like shot count and accuracy, and for its lower price point in the category of high quality bullpups.
Until next time,
Get out and shoot!