Posts Tagged ‘FX’

We asked a good airgunning friend of ours, who lives in the UK out in the wilds of East Anglia, to give us a regular flavor of life there. Here is his latest post.

Farm

Mid April 2016. There’s been warmer weather at Home Farm in Norfolk. It’s party time in the garden for our visitors who have been buzzing with excitement recently. The birds, who visit our feeding stations around the garden, are in a frenzy. All through the winter we have tried to understand why some feeding points are so much more popular than others, when the same mix of seed and suet goes into each. Some are emptied immediately; others take all day to be finished. “You need an Avian Feng Shui Consultant to explain it” laughs one of our more human visitors. Well, to be frank, I would think that an AFSC, if such exists, is the last person whom I would sit down with to learn the mysteries of the natural world. Whichever restaurant our birds prefer, they are always welcome here. So many regulars: yellow hammers (ten or more); green finches; blue tits; great tits; sparrows; starlings; blackbirds; collared doves; moorhens; lesser spotted woodpecker, Mr & Mrs Jay, the robin and El Magnifico (our friendly cock pheasant who lives at #1 the Ditch) – they are all here, waiting for us, half an hour after sunrise. Meanwhile, somewhere in the tall ash tree, our thrush is singing, as bright, loud and as sweet as you can possibly imagine, saying to us “Welcome. It’s another great day”.

Our winged guests are messy eaters. The smaller birds throw out a lot of grain on the ground as they sift for the tastier morsels. Alas, this attracts in rats from the adjoining the fields. This is where airgunning comes into its own. I don’t even need to leave the farmhouse to make sure I have a good and safe shot. The rat may see the back door of the house slowly swing ajar, spot a shadowy shape inside hunching over slightly… “but, hey, let’s not worry too much when there’s so much food around here, right beneath my nose”. The rat’s eagerness gives me my opportunity and –wham– the airgun has done what it was made for. The FX Verminator has lived up to its name. Time for me to tidy up the corpse, wash my hands and have a mug of hot tea on this sunny, uplifting, Spring day.

Yellowhammer taking off

Yellowhammer taking off

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

We asked a good airgunning friend of ours, who lives in the UK out in the wilds of East Anglia, to give us a regular flavor of life there. Here is his latest post.

Farm

Easter 2016. It’s been chilly weather at Home Farm in Norfolk. The winds have been blowing in from the south with an unexpected vengeance, cutting straight across the county’s flat fields, skimming across the huddled backs of wood pigeon which have flocked down onto the fields. Yesterday we had a hailstorm. The oil seed rape has been growing well, but this has drawn in pigeon to feast on the burgeoning crop. They have been devastating field after field. One of our neighbours, a farmer, knocked on our door in the last week – “Airgun or shotgun, don’t really care. Please just spare some time to take out some of those pesky pigeon.” So midweek finds me trudging across wide open fields to one of three very small woods which will afford me enough cover to take some shots. I have a trusty old FX Verminator (I really should upgrade to something more 2016) and an Italian Fabarm 12 gauge, over and under. This was my first ever shotgun bought 26 years ago and still going strong.

Snuggled down in the wood, facing the wind, with a few pigeon decoys tucked in the lee of a hedge 70 yards away, the waiting begins. As the pigeon drop in, I keep a keen eye but a still hand. Finally, I have around 40 or so in sight. With the airgun, I pick out several single birds on the outer edge of the group, closest to me. The noise of the wind and the excellent Huggett moderator on the airgun combine to mask the shots. After 10 minutes, I have enough pigeon for the pot and it’s time to do my proper job and move them all on. The shotgun is readied. My movement disturbs a ‘sentry’ who, unseen by me, has flown into a nearby tree. The flock lifts and my two last-gasp shots miss, but still, I scare them off. Switching between rifle and shotgun is not so easy as it was in earlier days.

As the light starts to fade, I head for Home. By now the fire will be lit and a strong cup of tea will warm me up. But there is one last treat as the great indoors beckons. I walk quietly past Home Meadow, and there, with her back to me, is our wild barn owl, getting ready for her hunting time.

owl

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

Every year in March, the European version of the Shot Show takes place in Nürnberg Germany. IWA, as it is referred to, is where manufactures from all over the world gather to showcase their goods and release the new products that have been painstakingly developed in the previous years and are now ready for public admiration. Factory managers, design engineers, and marketing gurus come together with anxious excitement in hopes that their customers will be equally excited and fill the order books.  The 2015 IWA show brings exciting news to those finding there way to the stands of Daystate, FX Airguns, Weihrauch, and Brocock. These fine factories have each done their work to provide the airgun enthusiast new reasons to add to their collection.

Daystate LTD


The firm that has pioneered the modern day PCP airgun and is credited by most in producing some of the finest airguns made in the world today.  The centerpiece of their new lineup will include the all new Pulsar Bullpup. This all new air rifle has years of research and design experience behind its creation. Specialists from many technologies have been brought together to build this elegant and advanced shooting machine. The Pulsar represents the next generation of quality and engineering for Daystate. Those that are fortunate to own one of these masterpieces will cherish it for years. The Pulsar sports features found on no other airgun such as a built in laser, an all electronic firing system with regulator, three tuned power levels, and a stock crafted by Italian masters that screams quality and elegance with interchangeable components to design the look of your choice.  The four current popular calibers .177 .22 .25 and .30 will be available. The new Pulsar represents a new benchmark in quality and design that will be hard to match.

FX Airguns

FX Wildcat Bullpup

This innovative airgun company has been very busy. The FX factory has moved and expanded into a new larger high tech facility with the most modern equipment and resources for design, manufacture, and assembly to provide the highest quality airgun products possible. The FX design team has worked literally day and night to bring to market the most exciting models ever to come out of the factory. First, the all new Wildcat Bullpup is a high power, light weight, short, and quiet tack driver that sports a FX made synthetic stock. Additionally, the new Impact air rifle ,although a Bullpup by definition, handles more like a AR15 live fire rifle with features such as external adjustable regulator, power adjuster, hammer, and valve adjustments with a quick change system for the caliber of your choice in minutes. The rifle will be available in .177, .22,  .25 and .30 calibers with maximum power of 90 ft/lbs on the big .30. Light in weight, short in length, and with the option of any production AR15 style grip, this new accurate wonder gun will definitely make an “Impact” on the customer’s choice. These two new models represent some of the highest levels of airgun design from one of the worlds best.

Brocock LTD

Brocock Contour XL G6

With the acquisition of Brocock by Diana holdings come fresh energy and investment from this British firm is famous for its production of small light weight rifles and high power field pistols. This year Brocock is proud to announce the new G6 Contour air rifle. This little gem sports an all new Italian made ambidextrous stock with a olive green soft touch all weather coating. The G6 includes top quality build with features normally found only on more expensive units. The list starts with the fitment of a highly accurate Lothar-Walther barrel, a six shot magazine system, and a Huggett moderator that turns the report into barely a whisper. The G6 along with its stable mate Elite models are a first choice for the shooter that desires a light compact quality target and pest control rifle.

Weihrauch Sport

Weihrauch HW100 Carbine Laminate

This German airgun company is world famous for its consistency, quality, and design. For more than 100 years, HW products have been proudly passed down from grandfather to father to son.  With years of experience in old and new world designs, the craftsmen at HW have few peers. HW is pleased to add new stock designs and innovative features to their rock solid line up. HW will continue to perfect the fine HW100 PCP model for the 2015 season.

G12 FX t12 001

To ready the T12 400 for shooting, slide the cap off the foster fitting, connect a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump, and fill the reservoir to 220 bar. Replace the cap, fill the rotary magazine and slide it into place, and you’re good to go. Or you can do what I did (since I was feeling lazy) and load a pellet at a time into the aft end of the barrel. The beech is deep enough to allow single pellet loading, but a single-shot tray would have made it easier.

G12 FX t12 007

To load a pellet or index the rotary magazine, you have to pull the bolt back until it clicks. This requires a fair amount of effort. I was not able to measure exactly how much effort is required, but I am fairly certain that it is above the 12 pounds that my digital trigger gauge could measure. It is enough effort that I had to take the T12 400 off my casual rests, cradle the air rifle in my lap, grip it with my left hand and pull back hard with my right hand.

Once the action clicks, the bolt will stay in the back position until you push it forward, or you can lock it in the aft position to prevent it from moving forward. This is the only form of safety on this rifle, and you need to remember whether you have inserted a pellet into the breech.

G12 FX t12 004

With the T12 400 loaded, take aim and squeeze the trigger. The first stage requires only 7.9 oz of pressure, and at 12.6 oz, the shot goes off. The report is remarkably subdued, considering the power of this air rifle. It doesn’t boom and it is not raucous, but it is noticeable. This would not be my first choice for shooting repeatedly in a quiet neighborhood, but I suspect that a handful of shots for pest control would be tolerated.

The T12 400 launches 25.39 grain JSB King .25 caliber pellets at 824 fps (average), generating a touch over 38 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. In my mind, that is certainly enough power for hunting anything (raccoons, for example) that I might reasonably want to take with an air rifle.

The T12 400 is equipped with a smooth twist barrel. They enjoy a reputation for being relatively pellet in-sensitive. The barrel on the sample that I tested was decided unhappy with JSB pellets, but gave me a very nice 5-shot group at 32 yards – one-half inch, center to center – with Gamo Pro Magnum pellets.

In the end, if I wanted to hunt small to medium sized game or control small to medium sized pests, the FZ T12 400 in .25 caliber would be very high on my list.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight,

–          Jock Elliott

G12 FX t12 005

Over the years as an airgun writer, I’ve heard or read or seen some wild and wooly tales relating to wound ballistics and airgun lethality. An airgun manufacturer had a video showing a wild pig being killed by a .177 magnum breakbarrel springer. On one of the forums, a fellow claimed to have killed a coyote instantly by putting a .177 pellet in the coyote’s ear canal. A trusted source told me that he had inadvertently killed a deer with a cheap Chinese springer. He was trying to shoot the deer in the behind, to chase it off his ornamental plants. The deer turned, the pellet went between the ribs, a pneumothorax resulted, and he found the deer dead in the flowers the next morning. So, yeah, you can kill really big game with really small pellets. (Along the same lines, archer Howard Hill once killed an elephant with a long bow.)

But then you have to ask the next questions: Is it a good idea? Is it recommended? Is it a “best practice?” The answer, in my view, is emphatically: NO! (If you are the Howard Hill of airguns, then you already know what you can and cannot accomplish with various calibers and power levels of airguns; this blog is addressed to the rest of us ordinary mortals.)

In general, if you want to hunt small to medium sized game and/or do pest control with an airgun, you want enough power to penetrate deeply into your quarry and a wound channel that is big enough to damage organs and cause lots of bleeding. Incidentally, the only sure way to cause instantaneous death in any creature is to disrupt the central nervous system. That’s why police snipers will, in general, aim for the brain stem – the spot where the brain connects to the rest of the nervous system.

And that brings us to this week’s airgun, the FX T12 400 Synthetic. www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me one to test, and I have to say that I am impressed. First, I just plain like the way this air rifle looks. It’s clean, purposeful. No frills, no foofaraw – just the stuff you need and everything in its place. It stretches 39.75 inches from end to end and weighs just 6.5 pounds before you mount a scope. It’s available in .22 or .25 caliber. I tested the .25 version. The T12 400 is a “bottle” gun, that is, it has a large bottle-type air reservoir that, in this case, holds 400 ccs of air. That’s where the “400” designation comes from.

G12 FX t12 003

At the extreme aft end is a thick rubber butt pad that can be adjusted vertically after loosening a screw. Forward of that is a matte black ambidextrous synthetic stock that has a fairly vertical pistol grip and thumb rests on either side at the top of the pistol grip. The finish on the entire stock has a soft rubbery feel that is pleasant to touch and easy to keep a secure grip on.

Forward of the pistol grip is a black metal trigger guard that surrounds a black metal adjustable trigger. Forward of that, on the underside of the forestock, is a pressure gauge to let you know how much pressure is left in the air reservoir. Moving forward again, at the end of the forestock you’ll find the air reservoir. Above that is the barrel, finished in black with a sound moderator permanently affixed to the muzzle end.

G12 FX t12 006

Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find a steel sleeve that brings additional rigidity to the barrel for improved accuracy. Aft of that is the receiver which has a large breech slot that accepts a rotary magazine. On top of the receiver are dovetails fore and aft of the breech for mounting a scope. On the right side of receiver is a large bolt handle which has two positions: locked closed and locked open. Also on the right side of the receiver, forward of a breech, is a male foster fitting that is used for filling the reservoir.

Next time, we’ll look at how well the T12 400 shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight,

–          Jock Elliott

FZ200 FX Bobcat 008

To get the Bobcat ready for shooting, first charge the air reservoir to 200 bar (not quite 3,000 psi) using a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump. Be sure to use the fitting that comes with the Bobcat because it can be difficult to get a grip on a normal (shorter) fill fitting.

Next, load the12-shot rotary magazine. To do that, first, rotate the clear plastic face plate counter-clockwise as far as possible. Now, while holding the face plate in position, flip the magazine over so you’re looking at the back side. You’ll see that a port has opened in the back of the magazine. Load a pellet backwards (tail first) into the port. This will lock the spring and keep the inner wheel from turning. Now, flip the magazine over and load the rest of the pellets by dropping them nose-first into the magazine while rotating the transparent cover so that the hole in it opens each of the pellet “bays.” Once you have filled the magazine, rotate the transparent cover back to its original position.

An aside: The magazine is self-indexing. In other words, the spring inside the magazine causes the inner mechanism to rotate so that the next shot is lined up to be moved into the barrel by the bolt. That’s why you have to rotate the clear plastic face plate; you are, in essence, “winding up” the spring. I mentioned that I actually prefer rotary magazines that are not self-indexing because they have no spring, are easier to load, and there is little to go wrong with them. However, the good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com pointed out something really important. To wit: if you are going to use a rotary magazine, you have to get it to rotate somehow, which means either a spring built into the magazine or some sort of mechanism to rotate the magazine built into the receiver of the rifle. If a self-indexing magazine has a problem, you just swap magazines, but if the magazine-indexing mechanism that is built into the rifle has a problem, you have to send the entire rifle back for repair.

FZ200 FX Bobcat 002

Now back to our story: Pull the breech lever to the rear of the receiver to move the bolt back. Now slide the magazine into the breech. Push the breech lever forward to move the first pellet out the magazine and into the barrel. Take aim, slide the safety off, and squeeze the trigger. On the sample I tested, it required only 14.2 ounces to take up the first stage, and at l lb 7.7 ounces, the shot goes down range.

On high power, the Bobcat launched the 16 grain JSB Jumbo pellets at an average of 933 fps generating about 30.9 (average) footpounds of energy at the muzzle. The report is a loud pop. On medium power, the same weight pellet cruised downrange at 680 fps, generating 16.4 footpounds of energy, and the report is more subdued. And on low power, the Bobcat averaged 534 fps, for 10.1 fp of energy with a very mild report.

Accuracy was what I have come to expect from FX airguns. At 32 yards, off a casual rest, five JSB pellets fell into a group where all the pellet holes touched each other. It seems to me that the state of the art in precharged air rifles is now very high. It has been quite a while since I have shot a precharged air rifle that did not deliver similar results. They all seem to be wickedly accurate.

The bottom line is that the FX Bobcat is small, easy to handle, relatively quiet at medium and low power, very accurate, and a lot of fun to shoot.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

FZ200 FX Bobcat 001

If you have been reading this blog for any time at all, you know that I like airguns. Airguns deliver potloads of shooting fun in a package that can be shot in a lot of places where discharging a firearm will get you in a world of trouble. Lately, I have been particularly enamored of smaller air rifles that aren’t too long, and are relatively light and easy to handle

The FX Bobcat fills the bill on all counts. A bullpup design, it stretches just 29.5 inches from end to end, weighs just 7.8 pounds before a scope is mounted, and is available in .22 caliber, .25 caliber, or .30 caliber. The factory says the .22 version will generate 30 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle on high power; the .25 caliber version, 46 fp, and the .30 version, 75 fp. The good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me the .22 version to test.

FZ200 FX Bobcat 004

At the extreme aft end of the Bobcat is a soft rubber butt pad that can be adjusted vertically. It is attached to a one-piece matte black stock that is molded from engineering polymer. Just forward of the butt pad, there is a hole in the stock. It can be accessed from the righthand side and used to store extra magazines. Forward of that on the left side of the stock is another hole which contains a clearly marked air gauge. Forward of that on the bottom of the stock is a male Foster fitting for filling the on-board air reservoir with a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump.

FZ200 FX Bobcat 005

Forward of that is a pistol grip with finger indentations and the trigger guard which surrounds a black metal trigger. Forward of that, the forestock is unadorned except for the extreme forward end, underneath which is a flat spot that looks like it could be set up with a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories. Above the forestock is the air reservoir, and above that, the shrouded smooth twist barrel.

At the end of the barrel is a fitting that can be unscrewed, allowing the attachment of a barrel shroud extension. Moving back on top of the barrel, you’ll find a long dovetail assembly for mounting a scope.

On the left side of the receiver forward of the breech, there is a wheel that allows the power to be set at one of three levels. Just to the rear of that is the breech, into which a rotary magazine is inserted. Aft of that, on the left side, the rear of the receiver is covered with a smooth metal cheek rest. The Bobcat is a decidedly right-handed air rifle.

Just aft of the breech on the right side of the receiver, you’ll find the breech lever and a lever type safety. That’s it.

I liked the fit and finish of the Bobcat. I particularly liked its no-nonsense, all-business looks and smooth matte black finish on the stock.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Bobcat shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

FX Indy 007-001

To get the Indy ready for shooting, first charge the air reservoir to 200 bar (not quite 3,000 psi) using a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump. Be sure to use the fitting that comes with the Indy because the male Foster fitting mounted on the Indy sits deeply in the hole in the stock and it can be difficult to get a grip on a normal (shorter) fill fitting. Alternatively, you can, of course, pump up the Indy using the on-board pump. I did this, and if I counted correctly, it took roughly 50 strokes on the on-board pump to get from empty to full charge. I don’t have any good way of measuring the amount of effort that the pumping requires, but I would estimate it to be around 30 lbs.

The rotary magazine slides into the breech from the right hand side.

The rotary magazine slides into the breech from the right hand side.

Next, load the12-shot rotary magazine. To do that, first, rotate the clear plastic face plate counter-clockwise as far as possible. Now, while holding the face plate in position, flip the magazine over so you’re looking at the back side. You’ll see that a port has opened in the back of the magazine. Load a pellet backwards (tail first) into the port. This will lock the spring and keep the inner wheel from turning. Now, flip the magazine over and load the rest of the pellets by dropping them nose-first into the magazine while rotating the transparent cover so that the hole in it opens each of the pellet “bays.” Once you have filled the magazine, rotate the transparent cover back to its original position. Pull the breech lever to the rear of the receiver to move the bolt back. Now slide the magazine into the breech.

Push the breech lever forward to move the first pellet out the magazine and into the barrel. Take aim, slide the safety off, and squeeze the trigger. On the sample I tested, it required only 13.9 ounces to take up the first stage, and at l lb 4.1 ounces, the shot goes down range.

Over the course of 10 shots on high power, the Independence launched the 18.2 grain JSB Jumbo Heavy pellets at an average of 864 fps (high 888, low 832), generating about 30.2 (average) footpounds of energy at the muzzle. The report is a loud pop. With the shroud extension in place, the report is quieter but is still distinctly audible. Perhaps some additional baffling could be placed in the barrel shroud extension to knock the report down even more.

Accuracy was what I have come to expect from FX airguns: excellent. At 32 yards, off a casual rest, five JSB pellets fell into a group that measured just 5/8 inch edge to edge. That works out to .4 inches center to center.

This receptacle in the butt stock will hold a couple of spare magazines.

This receptacle in the butt stock will hold a couple of spare magazines.

While doing research for another blog, I called Airguns of Arizona and found myself talking to Kip. He is an avid hunter, and he offered the opinion that the FX Indy could be the ultimate answer in the quest for an airgun survival rifle.

The case he made was this: “If you are in a survival situation, and you have a springer, you need to carry an extra spring and seal. When it comes time to fix it, you need a spring compressor or another person to help you safely disassemble and reassemble the gun. With the Indy, all you need is a small packet of o-rings and a couple of hand tools, and you can take care of it yourself.”

And that leads me to another thought: maybe someone (Airguns of Arizona perhaps?) could offer a seminar for FX Indy owners on how to maintain and rebuilt your airgun. It would have to be real hands-on stuff. Seminar participants would actually tear down and rebuild their own airguns so that if they ever needed to make survival-type repairs, they would know what to do.

The bottom line is that the FX Indy may well be the ultimate air survival rifle. Of one thing I am certain: it was a lot of fun to shoot!

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

FX Indy 001-001

I never expected the good folks at Airguns of Arizona to try to pull a fast one on me, but apparently they have.

Here’s what happened: Brown Santa (the UPS guy) shows up the other day with a long slim package. This is a fairly normal occurrence at El Rancho Elliott. I lug it down to the basement, decant the packing peanuts, and pull out a black box. It says “FX Airguns. Made in Sweden.” It’s a bit shorter than the normal FX boxes, but I am unconcerned.

I am unconcerned, that is, until I open the black box and see what’s inside. It doesn’t look like any airgun I have ever seen. The only thing that my scrambling mind can come up with is that it must be a Photon Pulse Rifle straight from the weapons shops on Tatooine. Or, if by some outside chance the object in my hands is, indeed, an airgun, it just simply has to be the air rifle of a Jedi Knight. And the guys at www.airgunsofarizona.com are trying to pass this off as an air rifle from Sweden . . . Hah! They can’t fool me.

Well it turns out that Uncle Jock was wrong on all counts. This new rifle is indeed from Sweden; it’s the brand-new FX Indy, a bullpup air rifle with an on-board pump. It stretches just 29.5 inches from end to end, weighs just 8.7 pounds before a scope is mounted, and is available in .22 caliber, .25 caliber, or .30 caliber. Factory specs say the .22 version will generate 30 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle; the .25, 46 fp, and the .30, 75 fp. I tested the .22 version.\

This view shows the adjustable butt pad, the slot where extra magazines can be stored, the air gauge, the cheek rest on the top of the receiver, the breech, and the power adjustment wheel, just slightly ahead of and below the breech.

This view shows the adjustable butt pad, the slot where extra magazines can be stored, the air gauge, the cheek rest on the top of the receiver, the breech, and the power adjustment wheel, just slightly ahead of and below the breech.

At the extreme aft end of the Indy is a soft rubber butt pad that can be adjusted vertically. It is attached to a one-piece matte black stock that is molded from engineering polymer. Just forward of the butt pad, there is a hole in the stock. It can be accessed from the righthand side and used to store extra magazines. Forward of that on the left side of the stock is another hole which contains a clearly marked air gauge. Forward of that on the bottom of the stock is a male Foster fitting for filling the on-board air reservoir with a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump.

Forward of that is the nearly vertical pistol grip and the trigger guard which surrounds a black metal trigger. Forward of that, the forestock is unadorned except for the extreme forward end, underneath which is a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories. Above the forestock is the air reservoir, and above that, the shrouded smooth twist barrel.

At the end of the barrel is a fitting that can be unscrewed, allowing the attachment of a barrel shroud extension. Moving back on top of the barrel, you’ll find a long dovetail assembly for mounting a scope.

On the left side of the receiver forward of the breech, there is a wheel that allows the power to be set at one of three levels. Just to the rear of that is the breech, into which a rotary magazine is inserted. Aft of that, on the left side, the rear of the receiver is covered with a smooth metal cheek rest.

The right side, showing the on-board pump arm and shroud extension fitting.

The right side, showing the on-board pump arm and shroud extension fitting.

On the right side of the receiver, stretching back from the front end of the air reservoir, there is a long side lever that can be used for pumping up the air reservoir. That’s right: with this rifle, you are independent of the need for an external pump or SCUBA tank if you don’t want to use one. Hence the name: Indy.

Just aft of the breech on the right side of the receiver, you’ll find the breech lever and a lever type safety. That’s it.

The Indy is clearly one of the most unusual airguns I have ever seen, but it seems to be a case where form is driven by function. The Indy appears to be extremely solidly built and ready to face whatever challenges may present themselves.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Indy shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The FX Royale 400 Field Target with benchrest plate shown below.

My experience to date with FX air rifles is that they are wickedly accurate. I cannot remember shooting one that was of merely average accuracy. As a general rule of thumb, you can figure that virtually any FX rifle with the right pellet under decent condition will put 5 shots in a one-inch group at 50 yards. In my mind, it has gotten to the point where I sometimes wonder if I really need to test an FX rifle for accuracy because they are so darn consistent.

Yet, despite FX’s richly deserved reputation for producing accurate air rifles, there have been those of you in the airgunning community who have requested that FX produce a full-out competition air rifle.

The flip side of the FX FT.

The FX Royale Field Target series of rifles is the answer to that request. The FX FT series is designed for bench rest and field target competition and is available in three variations: the Royale 200, available in .177 and .22; the Royale 400, also available in .177 and .22; and the Royale 500, available only in .25. The number after “Royale” tells you the capacity, in CCs, of the air reservoir. All models weigh right around 10 lbs. (some a bit heavier, some a bit less) before a scope and mounts are added. The overall length of an FX FT ranges from a bit over 41 inches to around 48 inches, depending upon the model, the caliber, and how the stock has been adjusted.

The butt stock and cheek piece of the FX FT are readily adjustable.

All of the FX FT models have a number of common features. Chief among these is a fully adjustable alloy stock with adjustable grip, cheek piece, length of pull, and butt pad. Basically, these guns are designed so that you can tweak the ergonomics so that you can feel completely comfortable, whether you are shooting field target or bench rest. In addition, each of these air rifles includes a precision air regulator that keeps the velocity of the pellets extremely consistent from shot to shot. Each Royale FT also features a multi-shot magazine that is self-indexing, a three-position power wheel, a pressure gauge and highly effective sound moderator. Finally, each FX FT includes a match trigger that can be highly adjusted to the shooter’s preference, all the way down to a few ounces.

The model that I tested was the FX Royale 400 Field Target in .22 caliber and was fresh from the Extreme Benchrest competition. It was fitted with a Hawke 8.5-25 sidewheel scope, and the entire rig was impressive. I don’t think the fit and finish could be improved upon, and the whole thing felt incredibly solid, as if it had been machined out of a solid block of metal.

The moderator is highly effective.

It launched 15.9 gr. JSB pellets at an average of 928.5 fps, and the report was remarkably subdued for an air rifle that was making slightly over 30 foot-pounds of energy. It makes a kind of “fap” noise that doesn’t sound at all like a shot and should not annoy the neighbors.

Included with the rifle was a machine rectangle of metal that could be attached to the front rail for benchrest shooting, but I didn’t mess with that. Instead, I laid the forestock in the crease of my Caldwell Tackdriver bag and started launching some pellets. At 13 yards, the results were predicable: a tiny group, but what really surprised me was that, at 33 yards, the FX FT would usually put three out of five 18-grain JSB pellets through the same hole! I tried a couple of times to pull off a 33-yard, 5-shot, one-hole group, but I couldn’t quite manage it. Either I would yank a shot ever so slightly or the wind would kick up (I was shooting in early December), and the group was “ruined.”

I really enjoyed shooting the FX FT. I think it would be a lot of fun to shoot in competition, and I also think it would be a delight to shoot as a long-range varminter.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott