The FX Gladiator Mk II – Part II

Monday, November 14, 2011

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


  1. Jackie Fielder says:

    DIANA RWS 34 Meisterschütze Pro .177 w/3-9x40AO Scope Combo

    On November 4, 2011 I purchased a Diana RWS 34 Meisterschütze Pro from AOA and I wished that AOA had a place to share our reviews. This rifle is unbelievable!

    I received the rifle on 11-14-11, and it was late in the evening so I did not check it out.

    On 11-15-11, I took it out of the well packaged, doubled boxed, package and I was very impressed with the German workmanship and the finish. Now I am 63 year old and it takes more to impress me than it use to and I have been around air rifles for most of my life. It has a beautiful European hardwood stock and a matte black finish and I noticed what was printed or etched on the top of the receiver. It read: DIANA RWS 34 TO5 CLASSIC PROFESSIONAL: and I guess that I was somewhat skeptical and did not know what to expect from this beautiful rifle. I noticed when I was unpacking the rifle, that the AOA inspection/coronagraph sheet was not enclosed and I was somewhat disappointed. I mounted the RWS 3-9X40AO scope on top of the RWS lock down 1-piece mount and that just added to the appearance and completed the looks of the now ready to shoot rifle. If it had not been raining I would have put a few pellets through it to at least get it on the paper.

    On the morning of 11-16-11, it was still drizzling a little but I could not stand it any longer. I grabbed a tin of Crossman pointed pellets, the cheapest pellets that I could find, and I placed a larger paper target than I would not normally use at 35 feet, hoping that on the larger target I would be able to see the point of impact easier. I do my shooting from a MTM Predator shooting rest.

    After the first shoot, I could not believe that the elevation was right on target and the windage was to the right 3 inches. I never adjusted the elevation and I made a couple of adjustments to the windage. After just 3 shots I was on target and I put the windage cap back on the scope. Then I fired 8 to 10 rounds and they were all in the same hole that you could cover with a dime easily and get change back.

    Keep in mind, this is from a rifle that hasn’t had a dozen pellets through it, and is not stabilized yet. Can’t wait for the weather to clear!

    I’ve owned and shot a lot of barrel break air rifles in my time, and I can truly say, that this is the best barrel break air rifle that you can buy for the money hands down!

    Thank you Airguns Of Arizona for the greatest purchase that I have made in a long time. Your expert advice lead me into the right direction in making the correct choice of an air rifle that I could not be more pleased with. I’m glad I got one while there’re still available in North America.

    Jackie Fielder
    Anniston, Alabama

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      Thanks for your comments. I’m sure that the folks at AoA are delighted that you are pleased. I know I am.

  2. Derek Goins says:

    Mr Elliott,

    I had a question over which of the Gladi8tors you preferred. Either the Tactical or the new MKII. I know you did reviews on both, and had positive things to say about both rifles. Overall I’m just wondering which one fit your fancy a bit more. Is this new MKII more quiet than the tactical? Mostly wondering because I can prolly buy the Tactical used, while the MKII is very new. Would appreciate hearing back from you here, or my e-mail is Thanks

    Semper FI,

    1. Jock Elliott says:


      I honestly think you’ll be pleased with either one. I supposed if you really pressed me, I might prefer the Mk II because of the fully shrouded barrel, but I would be darned happy to own either of them.

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