Posts Tagged ‘Ranchero’

The Ranchero has it all: an excellent trigger, match pistol accuracy, neighbor-friendly report at low power, and it's a repeater.

To get the FX Ranchero ready for shooting, charge the cylinder up to 200 bar (you can do this on or off the pistol). Put the safety in the non-fire position (full back). Pull the cocking lever full back, now pull the magazine release knob back. You’ll find that, with the exception of the cocking lever which has a small click-detent when it closes fully, everything moves smoooooothly, like it is on oiled bearings.

When the magazine release knob is fully back, the magazine will slide out of the breech. Load it with the nose of the pellets facing toward the flat side of the magazine. Slide the magazine back in place and push the cocking lever forward. This will also return the magazine release back to its original position with the first pellet slid into the barrel, and the magazine locked firmly in place.

Now you’re good to go. Take aim, flick the safety off, ease the first stage out of the trigger and squeeze gently on the second stage, and, at about 14 oz. of pressure, the shot goes down range. Pull the cocking lever back, push it forward again, and you’re ready for the next shot.

Now, an aside: when I was ready to trigger my first shot with the Ranchero, I was all ready to flinch. Why? Because I have had experience with other precharged pneumatic pistols that were raucous beasts that annoyed my ears. But I was shooting the Ranchero on low power and that, combined with the shrouded barrel, made the report remarkably docile. It wasn’t dead quiet by any means, but it was much quieter than I had expected and quieter than even some CO2 pistols I’ve shot.

I tested the Ranchero at ten meters, shooting with a rifle scope mounted and off a rest. I found I was getting the same kind of accuracy you’d expect from a target pistol: shot after shot through the same hole. And the two-stage trigger was crisp and clean, making it easy to get really good results.

In the end, I found there was a whole lot to like about the Ranchero: target accuracy, an excellent trigger, a neighbor friendly report on low power, a pressure gauge (PCPs without pressure gauges force me into counting shots, which I’m not good at), interchangeable cylinders, and the ability to mount a rifle scope, pistol scope or red dot, as your needs dictate. And, yes, it does come in a lefthand version with the action reversed, making it truly left handed..

A pistol like this could take “defending the bird feeder” to a whole new level!

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

Recently I had the opportunity to play around with a pistol that I had been curious about for some time: the FX Ranchero.

Right off, I’ve got to tell that I liked the Ranchero a whole lot, and we’ll get to the reasons why in just a little while, but first let’s take a walk around the Ranchero.

It’s a big pistol, stretching 18 inches from end to end and weighing 3.3 pounds without scope or red dot. The version that I tested had a beautiful sculpted walnut grip with a stippled pistol grip, palm shelf, and walnut trigger guard. The two-stage match trigger is adjustable, and just forward of it, underneath the forend, you’ll find a gauge that tells you how much air pressure is left in the reservoir.

Moving forward again, there’s a lip at the end of the forend. Above that is the air cylinder which can be unscrewed when it runs low and replaced by another so you can keeping on shooting during a day afield. At the end of the air cylinder is the quick-fill charging port, and you can fill the cylinder on or off the Ranchero. Above the air cylinder is the shrouded Lothar-Walther with a threaded muzzle for mounting a silencer where those are legal.

Moving back along the barrel, you’ll find the receiver, which is handsomely finished in gloss black and has scope dovetails along its full length except for the breech opening. At the mid point of the receiver is the breech, where a removable 8-shot magazine slides into place (in only goes in one way, so you can’t get it in backwards).

The left side of the Ranchero, showing the cocking lever and the power adjustment lever.

On the left side of the receiver, just forward of the breech, is a small power adjustment lever. Push it all the way forward, and the Ranchero is on low power (around 8.5 fp for the .177 version, about 9 fp for the .22). Put the lever in the middle, and the pistol is on medium power (12 fp for .177; 13 fp for .22, and when the lever is all the way back – bingo! – high power (15 fp .177, 16.5 fp .22). Unlike many other power adjustment systems, which rely on changing the loading on the hammerspring, the Ranchero varies power by changing the size of the transfer port through which air flows to the barrel. The result is very high shot-to-shot consistency, regardless of what power setting you select.

On the left side of the receiver just aft of the breech is the cocking arm. Pull it straight back, and it cocks the pistol and rotates the next pellet in the magazine into position. Push it forward, the action closes, and a bolt probe pushes the pellet into the barrel. At the tail end of the receiver, you’ll find two brass disks. The first slides back and forth as you activate the cocking arm. The second you pull back to allow the magazine to be removed from the breech. On the right side of the breech is a forward-and-back safety lever.

Next time, we’ll talk about shooting the Ranchero.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

Is this a spicy southwestern breakfast, or a really cool new pistol? Yes, I know, it’s a pistol. Picked up my pair Saturday morning, all that I could hope for and more. The brainchild of AOA, basically the action of the FX Cyclone with a shortened barrel and a diminutive air cylinder, set in a custom pistol stock designed by all the guys at AOA. When I first ordered mine from drawings, about 6 months ago, I envisioned a pistol shooting at 32 ft/lbs with about three shots. Yes, I could have lived with that, just enough shots for the wily pigeon. But, thankfully, they outdid themselves. With a new valve system and three power settings, 3–6–and maybe 8 of the eight-shot magazines are possible. The barrel is shrouded, with a ½” UNF threaded end. (The usual power wheel), and a gauge so you know what’s left in the cylinder. I mounted a Burris Compact riflescope on one, and a compact Leupold on the other (mine). As this pistol is not the slender, light 10-meter type, it has a substantial grip and stock to hold the basically full size action. For me, this doesn’t leave a straight-arm stance for a pistol scope, thus the riflescopes. I hold the pistol grip with my right hand, and a comfortable thumb rest, and cock the left hand flipper bolt with my left. Then, it is necessary for me to support the front of the gun with my left hand or use the left arm as a rest. The pistol has a modest pop with just the shroud. I mounted a compact Daystate C/F mod on one, and just a “phuuut” is heard. I mounted a full size mod on the other, and nothing is heard. As I only have a 30-yard range along side my house, I sighted them both in at that range. Within a few test shots I had them both making more or less the same hole. As I wanted to see what the pistol could do, I used a rest, and the pistol shoots better than I can. Nice…REALLY Nice! It’s like shooting my Cyclone, but in a much smaller package. I plan to carry it in the car…you never know!

Availability??? Ten units came in Friday PM; ten were gone by Saturday AM. Get on the list for the next shipment; I’ve already got mine, so go for it! Prices, pictures, and Chrono shot data should be coming from AOA. My Chrono died and I’m waiting for the replacement.

This is the ONLY pistol of its kind!

Best to all – ART SR. – HAPPY-ADDICT