Posts Tagged ‘FX’

 

I find the FX FT very pleasing to the eye.

To ready the FX T12 FT for shooting, attach the filling probe to your high pressure pump or SCUBA tank and charge the reservoir to 200 BAR.

To load the magazine, begin by turning the transparent lid to the magazine counterclockwise until it stops. Put one pellet in the open slot on the rear (black) side of the magazine so that the tip of the pellet is pointing out of the hole. This locks the magazine spring in place.

Next, turn the magazine so that the transparent lid is facing you. Turn the lid clockwise one slot at a time and fill the slots with pellets with the tip of the pellets facing into the hole. When all the slots have been filled, slide the lid back into its starting position.

Pull the bolt lever all the way back and insert the magazine, black side toward the muzzle, into the breech from the right side. When setting up the FX T12 FT, make sure the scope mounts are high enough that no part of the scope interferes with the magazine sliding fully into place. If you are purchasing an FX T12 FT and scope from Airguns of Arizona, the good folks there can make sure you have the proper height scope rings.

 

The trigger is light and crisp.

Now you are ready to shoot. Push the bolt forward, flick off the safety, and squeeze the trigger. The first stage required only 10.4 ounces of pressure on the sample that I tested. At 1 lb. 4.4 oz., the shot went down range. This is an excellent trigger that is a pleasure to shoot, and while it is adjustable, I really can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t be delighted with the trigger just as it comes from the factory.

The built-in moderator subdues the report of the FX FT.

The FX T12 FT launches 18.2. JSB pellets at average of 836 fps, or 28.1 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle  and delivers 50 shots per fill with a 35 fps spread. Even with the built-in barrel, there is a significant POP when the shot goes off, but it is not nearly as raucous as one would typically expect from a .22 caliber PCP generating this kind of power. Still, this is not the air rifle you want to be shooting in the back yard while your neighbor is catching up on his sleep from the night shift. But this a hunting gun and out in the field the report should be just fine.

I have yet to test an FX rifle that was anything but a tackdriver, and the FX T12 FT is no exception. At 13 yards, from a casual rest, the FX T12 FT will put pellet after pellet through the same hole. At 30 yards with JSB pellets and fitful winds, I put 5 shots into a group that measured just .625 inch edge to edge. That works out to well under half an inch center to center.

The FX T12 FT is a handsome air rifle that shoots as good as it looks. It should put a smile on the face of any air rifle enthusiast.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

The FX T12 FT is one handsome bit of goods.

I try not to get emotionally involved with the airguns I am testing. I have learned – the hard way, I might add – that beautiful rifles that make my heart go pitty-pat can also break my cardiac organ when it came down to shooting them. And I’ve seen ugly airguns that suddenly became beautiful based on their performance on the firing line. As the hot-rodders say: “There’s show, and there’s go, and the two don’t always walk hand in hand.” So I try to stay dispassionate when I crack open the box of a new airgun.

The FX T12 FT, however, snuck up on me. When I lift the lid on its carton and slid away the foam insert that cradles it, I said, “Wow, that is one good-looking air rifle!”

The cheek piece is adjustable.

And indeed it is. The T12 stretches 44.75 inches from end to end and weighs just 6.8 lbs. At the extreme aft end of the T12, you’ll find a rubber butt pad that is vertically adjustable. Just loosen a single screw and slide it up and down as needed to achieve an optimal shooting position. Forward of that is a black plastic spacer and, moving forward again, an ambidextrous hardwood stock which features an adjustable cheek piece. All you have to do is loosen a couple of set screwes and slide it to the position you want.

 

The forestock has checkering on either side.

 

Moving forward some more, the nearly vertical pistol grip has checkering on either side. Ahead of that is a black metal trigger guard which encloses a black metal trigger that is adjustable for first stage length of pull and second stage weight of pull. A couple of inches forward and underneath the forestock is a single Allen head bolt that secures the action in the stock. The forestock extends forward and has checkering on either side for a secure grip.

Beyond the end of the forestock, the air tube extends another seven inches. There is a pressure gauge at the end of the air tube and a port for a filling probe just behind it. Above the air tube is the .22 caliber Smooth Twist match-grade barrel with built-in moderator.

Moving back along the barrel toward the receiver, there is a gold colored section on the barrel where it fits into the breech block. The bolt probe is also gold colored, as is a spacer between the air tube and the receiver. On top of the receiver, fore and aft of the breech, are dovetails for mounting a scope. The breech is wide enough to allow – with a bit of fiddling – single loading of pellets but is designed primarily to accept the 12-shot self-indexing FX magazine.

The black metal bolt protrudes from the right hand side of the receiver, which is equipped with two slots for locking the bolt in either the forward or aft position. That’s it. The T12 FT is a very smart, efficient-looking air rifle, nicely highlighted with gold accents in a couple of places.

But the most important question is this: does the FX T12 FT shoot as good as it looks? Next time, we’ll find out.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at length by telephone with Fredrik Axelsson, owner of FX Airguns. This is the second part of that conversation.

JE: So what happened next?

FA: In 2001, I called Ingvar Alm and asked him who should I deal with in America? He said try Airguns of Arizona. Robert Buchanan agreed to have one or two samples of the FX2000 and the Excalibur, and he was over the moon about them. The accuracy is fantastic, he said.

JE: How do you achieve that accuracy?

FA: When I set out to design an airgun or something for an airgun, I don’t look at other people’s stuff at all. When I made my PCP rifle, all the ideas came from myself, and what I came up with was a very small valve and very small striker. That makes a difference. When you pull the trigger, you have very little mass moving inside the gun, compared to other designs. Some of the others have very heavy hammers and valves, and they are almost as bad as a springer when you pull the trigger. As a result, you need to build a heavy gun to compensate for all the mass moving inside it. An FX gun can be relatively lighter because you don’t need to compensate for a heavy valve and striker.

JE: What are some of the other things that have happened during the evolution of FX as a company?

FA: One key event was that I got fed up with the Italian company that was supplying us with stocks, so we started making our own synthetic stocks. That was very hard; we had to select a material that would do the job and build the machines that would make the stocks. At the beginning, that was a big negative, because nobody wanted synthetic stocks, but I didn’t care because at last I had a reliable supply of stocks.

JE: What else?

FA: Later we came up with the power adjuster and interchangeable air tubes. I made the power adjuster for hunting. I wanted to do the ultimate hunting rifle, one that would be quick for reloading and that you didn’t have to shoot at the same power all the time. Here’s the basic idea: at 50-60 meters, you shoot high power; at 30 meters or so, medium power; and if you are shooting pigeons inside a barn at 15 meters and don’t want the pellet to go all the way through, you use low power. Because you’re simply changing the orifice that the air flows through with the rotation of a wheel, you don’t have to fiddle with all the adjustments that you do with some other guns.

JE: How important is the US market to you?

FA: The US market is getting more and more important for us. We look to that more than anything else right now. I think the attitude toward airguns in the US is changing, and the market is growing quite dramatically. I love America because you don’t have restrictions on airguns at all. That’s not the case in Sweden where we are based.

JE: What is your philosophy when it comes to designing airguns?

FA: I do things that appeal to myself, and they seem to appeal to Americans as well. I love to build guns that a harmonious. They are light, quick, and everything works together well. The guns you love are the guns that deliver great accuracy and handle well. If you turn up the power too much, it’s a completely different feeling when you fire it. If you aren’t happy with the power of a .22, you should go to a .25. If you’re not happy with the energy of a .25, you need to go to an even bigger caliber. If you go too fast, you ruin accuracy. I refuse to do bad rifles.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at length by telephone with Fredrik Axelsson, owner of FX Airguns.

JE: How did you get involved with airguns?

FA: I had my first airgun when I was five years old. I have been told that I had problems operating that rifle because I was a little too weak, but about a year later, I was an expert and a good shot.

JE: So how was it that you got into the airgun business?

FA: I started making things for the airguns at the end of 1989. I had purchased a .22 caliber English air rifle that was supposed to be a very good one, and I was very disappointed. I wanted to use it for shooting pigeons in a tree (I use a shotgun for flying pigeons but didn’t want to use it for sitting birds). After a couple of months of hunting, the spring broke, and I had done very little actually shooting – a lot of the time you spend sitting and waiting.

So I had the idea of making my own gas ram. I made it, and it was working quite well, but I didn’t like the recoil. So I started thinking about other kinds of air rifles. I did a lot of experiments with CO2 rifles that I made myself, including a 9mm rifle and a 20 gauge air shotgun with replaceable chokes. I also started doing pump-up rifles, then I moved to PCP rifles. I was very interested in air rifles, and it was a natural progression. I’m not Einstein, but I am very interested.  Now I work with airguns every day, and I don’t get bored with it; every day that I get to work with airguns is a good day!

JE: So then what happened?

FA: In 1994, I made the original design for the Independence rifle. I made five of them, I think, and Ingvar Alm had one of them. One of the first problems that I addressed was that with PCP air rifles, you need a diving bottle. Here in Sweden, there isn’t a lot of SCUBA diving. I came up with a three-stage hand pump that opened the door for everyone here to enjoy PCP airguns.

In 1995, I took my ideas to a company in the area where I live, and we started production of the hand pump. Then I took the pump off the Independence, and it became the Axsor rifle, and we sold it to Webley & Scott, and we also made the Timberwolf.

In 1999, I was so fed up with that company that one morning in May, I told the owner “I quit!” and I just walked away, leaving all my patents and everything . . . but I was convinced that air rifles were what I wanted to work on.

JE: Was starting FX Airguns the next chapter in the story?

FA: Yes. In 1999, I started FX Airguns, and I’m very happy about that, because I am in total control. I contacted Webley & Scott, and they said “We have 3,000 Axsor stocks, so whatever you make must fit into that stock. I made the FX2000, and it fit into that stock. In a sense, it wasn’t the rifle I wanted to make then, but it was the rifle I was forced to make by the opportunity that was at hand.

In 2000, I came up with a patent on a new pump and an electrical compressor that year as well. In 2001, we developed the Cyclone.

Next time: FX Airguns coming to America.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

If you think that Airguns of Arizona is content to rest on its laurels, quietly baking in the Arizona sun, think again.

Recently I spoke with Robert Buchanan, president of AoA, about the company’s international connection. “At least once a year, I go to Europe. Frequently, it is to visit the IWA Fair, which is the European equivalent of the SHOT Show. All the major manufacturers display at IWA, and we have important meetings.”

“Some of the time is spent talking about how we can work together better,” Buchanan says. “The airgun manufacturers usually have some things they would like AoA to do better, and we usually have some requests of them. We try to work through those issues and find out what going on for the next year in terms of product, pricing, and so forth.”

He notes that the American market appears to be rising in importance for the European manufacturers. “Things appear to be worse in the European economy than they are here in the US, and the European airgun manufacturers are apparently looking to us for growth. Right now, AoA is on a track for very good growth.”

Buchanan sees a change in the way the Europeans are approaching the American market. “For most of our history in working with them, when they designed a new gun, they would first design it for the 12-foot-pound European market and then later they would see about boosting the power to meet the demands of American consumers.”

“Now, however, we’re starting to see some companies look first to the US when designing a new model. The Daystate Wolverine is an example. It is a big, powerful air rifle, two years in the making, and it was designed clearly for the American market. Sure, it will be sold in Europe, but its first market is the US,” Buchanan says.

Among frequently discussed topics on Buchanan’s overseas visits to manufacturers are customer service and parts. “We have tens of thousands of dollars in parts inventory at Airguns of Arizona, but we don’t have all parts at all times. I usually press manufacturers to be quicker about responding to request for parts, because American customers are pretty much accustomed to ‘instant’ customer service. And of course, we always stress the need for the highest quality products and quality control,” he says.

He adds that visiting the factories helps AoA to understand how and why some of the air rifles and air pistols are made the way they are. “Some of the top end elite air rifles are every bit as exotic as a Ferrari,” Buchanan says.

Every other year, AoA sends some of its employees overseas to train at the factories to learn how to service and repair the air guns that AoA imports. “We learn how to service a particular gun in a particular manner that is quicker and more efficient and also less stress on the components. Sometimes there are specific torque values on individual bolts that will bring out the best performance,” Buchanan says. “It’s no longer good enough to tighten everything until it is snug. You have to get it right.”

Sometimes the international connection works the other way. “Fredrik Axelsson of FX visited us a couple of months ago and was extremely helpful. Stefano Gervisoni of Daystate came over for the SHOT Show. It was educational for all of us.”

The bottom line for Buchanan, though, is that the international connection has helped, and will continue to help, Airguns of Arizona to deliver better airguns and service to its customers.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The left side of the FX Royale 200 .25 caliber

To ready the FX Royale 200 Synthetic .25 caliber for shooting, attach the filling probe to your high pressure pump or SCUBA tank and charge the reservoir to 200 BAR.

Now it’s time to load the magazine. Begin by turning the transparent lid to the magazine counterclockwise until it stops. Put one pellet in the open slot on the rear (black) side of the magazine so that the tip of the pellet is pointing out of the hole. This locks the magazine spring in place.

Next, turn the magazine so that the transparent lid is facing you. Turn the lid clockwise one slot at a time and fill the slots with pellets with the tip of the pellets facing into the hole. When all the slots have been filled, slide the lid back into its starting position.

The left side of the receiver.

Pull the bolt lever all the way back and insert the magazine, black side toward the muzzle, into the breech from the right side. Helpful hint: make sure the scope mounts are high enough that no part of the scope interferes with the magazine sliding fully into place. If you are purchasing a FX Royale 200 Synthetic .25 caliber and scope from Airguns of Arizona, they can recommend the proper height scope rings.

Now you are ready to go. Push the bolt forward, flick off the safety, and squeeze the trigger. The first stage required only 11.1 ounces of pressure on the sample that I tested. At 1 lb. 5.3 oz., the shot went down range. This is an excellent trigger that is a pleasure to shoot.

NOTE: The section below has been corrected. I had the wrong shot string. JE

FX Royale 200 Synthetic .25 caliber launches 31.1 gr. H&N Barracuda pellets at average of  800fps, or 44.20  foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle and will deliver 35 usable shots from a fill. Even with the shrouded barrel, there is a significant POP when the shot goes off, but it is not nearly as raucous as one would typically expect from a .25 caliber PCP generating this kind of power. This is clearly not the best choice for stealthy plinking in the back yard without disturbing the neighbors, but for a hunting gun it is just fine.

 

One other thing I notice while shooting the FX Royale 200 Synthetic .25 caliber is that this air rifle is generating enough power that you can actually start to feel some recoil when the shot goes off. Not some heavy-handed slam in the shoulder, but a gentle push that reminds you that Sir Isaac Newton was right: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. You don’t put .25 caliber pellets down range with the kind of power that this rifle generates without getting some push in the opposite direction.

Like all FX air rifles that I have tested, the FX Royale 200 Synthetic .25 caliber delivers the goods when it comes to accuracy. At 30 yards from a casual rest with JSB Jumbo pellets, I put 5 shots into a group that measured just .625 inch edge to edge. That works out to well under half an inch center to center.

The FX Royale 200 Synthetic .25 caliber is a powerful, handsome air rifle that does everything well. I think any air rifle hunter would be pleased to own one.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The FX Royale 200 Synthetic .25 caliber is handsome and powerful.

FX airguns enjoy a well-deserved reputation for excellence and accuracy, and the FX Royale 200 Synthetic in .25 caliber is no exception. It is a big airgun – 45.5 inches from end to end – that weighs just 6.7 lbs. and delivers a tremendous wallop, nearly 44 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

The butt pad is adjustable vertically.

Starting at the extreme aft end of the .25 Royale, you’ll find a black rubber butt pad that is adjustable vertically. Just loosen a screw and slide the butt pad up or down to meet your need. The butt pad is attached to an ambidextrous matte black synthetic stock that has a raised comb, cheek piece on either side, and a pronounced thumb notch.

Here's the trigger, breech, and magazine.

Forward of the butt stock, the pistol grip is flared at the end and has ribbing on either side. Moving forward again, the matte black synthetic material of the stock forms a trigger guard that surrounds a black metal trigger. The trigger is adjustable for first stage length of pull, second stage weight of pull, and, if you have tinkered with the trigger adjustments, the safety catch adjustment. The manual warns that “Failure to adjust this screw (the safety catch adjustment) after altering the trigger can result in a non-functioning safety.”

Just ahead of the trigger guard is an allen head bolt that holds the receiver in the stock, and forward of that is a black and white air pressure gauge that is about 7/8 of an inch in diameter. Beyond that, the forestock is relatively unadorned, except for ribbing molded into the polymer on either side.

The air reservoir protrudes nearly a foot beyond the end of the forestock. At the end of air reservoir is a port into which a filling probe is inserted for charging the reservoir. This is the only thing about the .25 Royale that I didn’t like. I personally prefer that air reservoirs be equipped with male Foster fittings. In my experience, they work pretty well, providing a quick and secure connection for filling PCP airguns. I don’t understand why a special filling probe was required but then again I am not an airgun engineer, just an airgun shooter.

Above the reservoir is the fully shrouded barrel. The shroud stretches 25.5 inches from muzzle to where it meets the receiver, but the specifications say that the .25 caliber barrel itself, which is inside the shroud, measures 23.6 inches.

At the aft end of the shroud is the receiver, finished in shiny black with white lettering. On top of the receiver, forward and aft of the breech, are dovetails for mounting a scope. In the middle of the receiver is the breech, which is just barely deep enough to allow loading single pellets by hand and which allows the 11-shot self-indexing .25 caliber rotary magazine to be slid into place.

On the right hand side of the receiver, you’ll find the toggle-action bolt. You cock the action and ready it for the next shot by pulling it full back and then sliding it fully forward again. It’s smooth and easy. Just below the aft end of the cocking lever is the safety.

That’s all there is to the FX Royale 200 Synthetic in .25 caliber. It’s a handsome air rifle with a utilitarian and purposeful look about it. As a .25 caliber, it is most likely to be used as a hunting rifle, and I like that there is no wood to worry about scratching or damaging with moisture. This is a serious tool designed to withstand inclement conditions without serious concern.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the FX Royale 200 Synthetic in .25 caliber shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The left side of the Gladiator Mk II

To ready the Gladiator Mk II for shooting, attach the filling probe to a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump, slide it into the filling port at the end of the forward air tube, and slowly fill the Mk II to 220 bar.

The spring-loaded 12-shot magazine is self-indexing.

Next, load the rotary magazine. You’ll notice that the Gladiator now uses the same magazines as the FX Royale. Start by turning the transparent lid to the magazine counterclockwise until it stops. Put one pellet in the open slot on the rear side of the magazine so that the tip of the pellet is pointing out of the hole. This locks the magazine spring in place.

Turn the magazine so that the transparent lid is facing you. Turn the lid clockwise one slot at a time and fill the slots with pellets with the tip of the pellets facing into the hole. Lock the lid in its starting position.

When selecting scope mounts, make sure they are high enough to provide clearance for the magazine.

Next, pull the bolt lever all the way back and insert the magazine, black side toward the muzzle, into the breech from the right side. Now, this is where life got interesting for me while testing the Gladiator Mk II. When I mounted the first scope, the magazine hit the “saddle” of the scope (the bulge where the elevation and windage knobs are mounted) when I tried to slide the magazine into the breech. So, down into the workshop again and I mounted another scope. This one slide into the breech slot, but I couldn’t get the bolt to work properly. I called Airguns of Arizona, and Kip helpfully walked me through the process until I could finally figure out that the magazine was hitting the tube of the scope so that it couldn’t be seated all the way home (almost, but not quite). Finally, a third scope with higher mounts fit properly, and the magazine slid into place.

Push the bolt forward, flick off the safety, and squeeze the trigger. The first stage required only 9 ounces on the sample that I tested. At 1 lb. 2.2 oz., the shot went down range. This a phenomenal trigger, light and crisp, that feels a lot like a match trigger.

On high power, the Mk II launches 18.1 gr. JSB pellets at average of 855 fps, or 29.38 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle; medium power, 655 fps and 17.24 fp, and low power, 499 fps and 14.42 fp. The good folks at Airguns of Arizona tell me that the Mk II will deliver 95 shots per fill on high power and an astonishing 190 shots on lower power.

At 30 yards, shooting from a casual rest, the Mk II delivered this nice group.

And the accuracy? Well, the accuracy is just fine. At 30 yards with JSB Jumbo pellets, I put 5 shots into a group that measured just .625 inch edge to edge. That works out to well under half an inch center to center.

Yup, if I were in the vermin control business and needed an air rifle that required a minimum of ancillary equipment for a day’s shooting, I think the FX Gladiator Mk II would be number one on my list.

Til Next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

The Gladiator Mk II is a tackdriver and, thanks to two air reservoirs, delivers an enormous number of shots.

If I were a professional pest controller who needed an airgun to do his job, I think I have just found the air rifle that would be Numero Uno on my list: the FX Gladiator Mk II.

Before we take a look at the Mk II, a couple of items. First, I reviewed the FX Gladiator Tactical a while back, and if you want to check out those blogs for comparison, you can find them here http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/10/the-outstanding-gladiator-tactical-%e2%80%93-part-i.html and here http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/10/the-outstanding-gladiator-tactical-%e2%80%93-part-ii.html.

Second, I love shooting precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles. They have, as a group, a bunch of admirable qualities. Most will shoot one inch edge-to-edge groups at 50 yards with the right pellet, and often they will do substantial better than that. They have no nasty whiplash recoil to deal with, as do springers and gas-piston guns. Many offer a very neighbor-friendly report, and they are just plain easy to shoot well. Buuut, most require the shooter to have a SCUBA tank or a high-pressure hand pump handy to refill the air reservoir when all the usuable shots have been consumed. For me, that diminishes the pleasure of shooting a PCP air rifle; the less ancillary gear I have to drag out the door when I got shooting, the better.

The new FX Gladiator Mk II gets around the ancillary gear problem with a couple of slick tricks: a very easy-to-use power adjustor and two – count ‘em! – air reservoirs. As a result, the Mk II delivers a shot count that should allow the overwhelming majority of shooters to go out the door with the Mk II and a tin of pellets and not have to worry about refilling the Gladiator until they get back home from a day’s shooting. We’ll talk about that some more in a while, but first let’s take a walk around the Gladiator Mk II.

The Gladiator Mk II stretches 44.25 inches from end to end. With the rear air reservoir/buttstock unscrewed, the receiver and barrel assembly measure about 34 inches. Without a scope or rings attached, the Mk II weighs 8.5 lbs, and it looks – to my eye, anyway – just great. With the exception of a couple of teensy spots where dots of red paint appear, the Mk II is a symphony of matte black metal and matte black engineering polymer.

The rear air reservoir angles downward and makes for a comfortable shooting position.

At the extreme aft end of the Mk II, you’ll find a soft rubber butt pad (which can be adjusted vertically) attached to a polymer cheek piece assembly that slides over the rear air reservoir. The good folks from FX have wisely designed the Gladiator so that the rear air reservoir angles down slightly from the line of the receiver. This allows for a comfortable shooting position.

Just ahead of the trigger guard is an easy-to-read air gauge.

Moving forward, most of the rear half of the receiver and barrel assembly is swaddled in another engineering polymer molding that provides a pistol grip, trigger guard, and forestock all in one piece. This assembly secures to the receiver with a single allen bolt. The pistol grip has grooves on either side for better gripping and so does the forestock. Inside the trigger guard is a black metal two-stage trigger that can be adjusted for first stage length of pull and second stage weight of pull. Forward of that, you’ll find an easy-to-read air gauge on the underside of the forestock.

The power adjustor on the lowest setting.

At the end of the forestock is the forward air reservoir with a filling port at the end. Above that is a fully shrouded .22 caliber barrel. At the rear end of the barrel is the breech assembly, which is the same breech assembly used in the FX Royale air rifle. On the left hand side of the breech is a black metal wheel which is the power adjustor. Turn it to change the power setting: one red dot means low power, two dots means medium power, and three dots is high power.

In in the middle of the breech is a slot for receiving the 12-shot rotary magazine, and on the right side of the breech, you’ll find the breech lever and a lever style safety. That’s all there is to it.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Gladiator Mk II shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

You don’t have to read this blog for very long to figure out that Your Humble Correspondent is a beady-eyed, slavering, unrepentant, not-in-the-twelve-step-program, airgun junkie. Put an airgun in my hand and chances are that I’ll find something to like about it. I just plain love airguns. I love that they cost just pennies a round to shoot, that by and large they don’t generally make much noise, that I can shoot them in my back yard, and that they are just plain fun.

In many ways, I think we are living in the Golden Age of airguns right now. So many manufacturers are making such great stuff that we airgunners have really a wide selection of excellent air rifles and air pistols to chose from.

What follows are some of my current favorites.

The RWS 34 Meisterschutze Pro Compact. This air rifle surprised me by turning out to be one of the most accurate break barrel air rifles I have shot in a long, long time. With one of these, a shooter could hunt, plink, shoot air rifle silhouette or field target without breaking the family budget. You can read more about it here http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/12/the-tackdriving-rws-34-meisterschutze-pro-compact.html

The RWS Model 56 TH. This is a big, heavy, wickedly-accurate sidelever springer air rifle with an excellent trigger and a recoilless action. If you can put up with the weight, it is a certified tackdriver. You can read more about it here http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/03/big-kahuna-rws-model-56-th-part-i.html and here http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/03/big-kahuna-rws-model-56-th-part-ii.html

The HW35E is an absolute classic break barrel springer, available new today. What sets it apart from all other break barrels currently available – apart from its euro styling – is the breech latch that makes sure the barrel and breech have returned to the same position after loading for greater accuracy. The HW35E shoots great and looks terrific. For more info, look here: http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/08/hw35e.html

When it comes to precharged pneumatic rifles, two spring readily to mind. The first is the Gladiator Tactical. It has enormous storage capacity, gets a huge number of shots between fills, has power levels that can be adjusted at the flick of a lever, is a fast repeater, has a very neighbor-friendly report, and is satisfyingly accurate. You can check out more here http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/10/the-outstanding-gladiator-tactical-%e2%80%93-part-i.html and here http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/10/the-outstanding-gladiator-tactical-%e2%80%93-part-ii.html

For a PCP rifle that you could use to hunt just about anything you might reasonably want to hunt with an airgun, I’d pick the .25 caliber Marauder. It delivers over 40 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle and, with its Green Mountain barrel, will deliver dime-sized groups at well beyond 50 yards. You can get more info here: http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/08/25-caliber-marauder.html

When it comes to pistols, I am very fond of the RWS LP8. You can learn more about it here: http://198.154.244.69/blog/2009/06/rws-lp8-classic-in-making.html But any of the HW45 pistols are enormous fun to shoot and extremely well made. You can check out one example here: http://198.154.244.69/blog/2009/04/hw45-stl-looker-and-shooter.html

If you want a rifle that embodies everything I prize most in an air rifle: accuracy, quiet, fully self-contained, repeater, and powerful enough to dispatch any small game or pests you might want to take with a pneumatic rifle, the FX Independence has it all. Here’s a link to my review: http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/06/independence-day.html

Finally, if you absolutely forced me to choose just one airgun as my overall favorite, the one that would be the absolute last one I would be willing to give up, I think it would be an HW30. It’s light, easy to cock, fully self-contained, a delight to shoot, nicely accurate and capable of taking small game out to about 30 yards or so with proper shot placement. Here’s a link to my review of the HW30 De Luxe http://198.154.244.69/blog/2010/09/hw30s-de-luxe.html

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott