Part I The Pre-Hunt Work Up
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to shoot several guns from the Swedish manufacturer FX, using both the Gladi8tor and Vermintaor on multiple hunting trips, and have always been impressed with the design, quality of build, and performance associated with the brand. So when I received the FX Royale to use on an upcoming hunt out west, I was very excited to see what it could do.
Airguns of Arizona sent me the Royale in .25 caliber topped with the 6-18×44 SFIR FX scope. The gun wore a black synthetic thumbhole stock, with an inletted shelf on the left side to support the thumb for a very secure and consistent hold on the rifle during shooting.
This configuration yields an excellent sight alignment with medium profile rings. The manual safety is positioned to the rear and under the cocking lever, and can be easily manipulated without taking the gun off shoulder. I am sometimes critical of the fit and feel of bottle type reservoirs on field guns, but this is one of then best designed examples I’ve shot.
The metalwork is solid without being at all chunky; it is beautifully executed with a deep glossy bluing. The receiver has an incorporated 11 mm dovetail for mounting a scope, and a side lever cocking action with an ergonomic drop down handle. The .25 caliber gun I am shooting utilizes an eleven shot rotary magazine that automatically indexes as the action is cycled.
The weight without scope is 7.7 pounds, though it balances well and feels lighter due to the design of the stock. The overall length of this rifle is a very manageable 47 inches, with a 25 inch barrel dressed in a partial (and very effective) shroud. The Royale utilizes the smooth twist barrel which is proprietary to FX.
The Royales 500 cc bottle does not need to be demounted for filling, as it incorporates a Foster type quick release connector. The gun fills to 200 BAR (3000 psi), and yielded up about 75 full power shots per fill. I found that on my gun, the sweet spot was not reached until a couple magazines had been fired. So if getting the most consistency outweighs the most shots, it would make sense to fill to the top of the sweet spot rather than maximum fill pressure, But for me, I’ll keep ramping it up to 200 BAR for hunting.
The cocking action of this rifle is one of the slickest side lever actions I’ve used. It hardly takes any pressure or movement to pull the lever rearward, which cocks the gun and indexes the magazine. It has a smooth and solid feel, and a subtle nudge closes the action and brings it into battery. I find it one of the easiest cycling actions I’ve used on a hunting gun, allowing a quick follow up shot without taking my eye off the crosshairs.
The rifle has a really nice two stage trigger that can be set as low as a 6 ounce pull, with a crisp break and no appreciable over-travel. Every FX gun I’ve shot has a nice trigger, but even compared to its stablemates the Royale stands out! It’s almost like I think
When I’ve got accuracy, the next thing I’ll look at in my hunting guns is power, and the .25 caliber Royale offers that up. An honest 45+ fpe gun that I can knock a flea off the nose of a prairie dog at 75 yards .. now that’s something to take notice of. This gun generated more than enough power for medium sized quarry at even longer ranges, and would considering the accuracy, consistency, and power I’d feel comfortable doing head shots on larger game at appropriated ranges. Besides offering excellent accuracy and very good power, I should also mention how quiet this gun is. The shroud on this gun is one of the more effective I’ve used, making this one of the quietest of the powerhouse breed of PCP’s I’ve shoot.
The shootability of this rifle is truly superb; I find it fits my shoulder and points very well whether I am supine, kneeling, or shooting offhand. The fit is further optimized by the adjustable butt pad used on this rifle. The crisp trigger is light and the
I generated the 60 shot string shown above using JSB Kings with the muzzle of the gun positioned two feet from the chronograph. The gun was filled to 200 BAR, as my initial impression was that filling above this point with the gun set up for approximately 45 fpe didn’t enhance performance. Maybe if I tweak it for more power a higher fill pressure will make sense. I found that the JSB Kings yielded the best results when looking at retained velocity and accuracy at 50 yards.
The test target shown to the left demonstrates bench rested results at 50 yards, with 5, 6, and 11 shot groups respectively. Anyway you cut it this gun is a sub MOA tackdriver!