By my own admission I am not a great shot, and I believe Fredrik Axelsson has discovered a secret he builds into his air rifles. I’ve shot a number of the FX models and they are so easy to shoot accurately it seems like they have the built in ability to correct the shooter’s shortcomings. That is conjecture on my part, but the facts of the Wildcat are it is a sleek bullpup, side-lever cocking design weighing in at slightly over 6 pounds and sporting a 19.7 inch match winning Smoothtwist barrel, all mounted in a very handsome thumbhole stock. My particular sample came in the gray laminate wood variation and it is impeccably executed, right down to the logo that is laser cut into the forearm. A walnut version or synthetic “soft touch” coating version are also available.
Atop the black anodized receiver sits an 11mm rail for mounting optics. FX sells their own brand of scopes and my sample was the 6-18x44mm unit with illuminated duplex reticle. The scope is also adjustable for parallax via a side turret which can be fitted with a large sidewheel. 30mm FX No-Limits adjustable scope mounts provide independent vertical adjustments for the most precise bore alignment when mounting the scope.
A number of companies produce bullpup designs and the biggest obstacle was coming up with a trigger that wasn’t’ really heavy or gritty because of the extra linkages, etc. necessary to place the action so far behind the trigger. The trigger on the Wildcat was a thing of beauty – crisp, smooth and light. The curved, smooth-faced match trigger is adjustable for length of pull, pull weight and cant. The trigger trips the valve driven by a precision air regulator designed to give consistent shots and deliver a large number of high power shots per fill.
The Wildcat uses an 8-round rotary magazine redesigned for easier loading. The magazine will not accommodate the longer hunting pellets such as Predator Polymags. Its barrel is fully shrouded, reducing the sound signature to a mild “pop”, which still might be a touch too loud for backyard plinking/hunting in a suburban environment. The solid rubber buttpad is fixed, and for a gun in this price range my thinking is an adjustable buttpad should be standard equipment. The non-removable air reservoir is mounted below the barrel with a manometer gauge mounted in the end. A fill port is covered by the rotating collar on the end of the air reservoir. A male fill probe inserted into the port will give a fill to 3300psi (230 bar).
The side lever is directly above the trigger making for easy cocking without having to fully remove the shooting hand from the pistol grip or raising the head from the cheek weld. Because there is no double-feed prevention on the Wildcat, the owner’s manual recommends leaving the bolt open and only closing it when ready to fire. A minor detriment from my point-of-view is the manual safety being situated at the rear of the rifle. I prefer to snap the safety off once the gun is mounted which is awkward to do with the FX.
The Wildcat retails for $1599 without optics. The FX scope retails for $379 and the No-Limit rings for $80. It comes with a one year warranty and well done owner’s manual illustrated with multiple quality photographs. For more information please contact www.airgunsofarizona.com. Otherwise, stay tuned for part two where I will put the Wildcat through a few paces.