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