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