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Author Topic: FX Royale 400 (.22)  (Read 18488 times))

Offline jonnnyboy

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FX Royale 400 (.22)
« on: May 17, 2011, 03:57:35 PM »
I have been enjoying a return to airgunning as an adult now for over three years and over that time have had the opportunity to try a lot of airguns.  Recently, I decided to take a new step in this saga and sell almost all of my airguns to acquire just one that I have been dreaming about ever since it was released.  The FX Royale came on the airgun scene with little fanfare but has quickly become the defacto standard by which many other airguns are compared.  Admittedly, it’s price tag is high enough that most airgunners (like me) only dream of owning one.  That is, until a chance happening brought a wild new plan to my mind.  While writing a review of the Marauder Pistol, I happened to mention that I might be willing to part with my cherished Discovery.  No more than two days passed before one of our brothers here on the GTA called me on the carpet about my statement.  It was put up or shut up!  After a little while of thinking it through, I came to the decision that I was not getting any younger and I really did want that Royale.  Not only did I sell that Disco but I also sold my cherished M-rod, a fine 2250xt and a couple of other very special babies I had been holding back for such a time as this.  All this for a ‘high-falutin’ bb gun!!  Was it worth it?!?  Wait and see!



The official statistics from the FX website don’t do the gun justice:

“This is the latest creation with a robust mechanism and a new smooth operating side lever cocking system. To guarantee maximum performance there is an integrated pressure regulator available as an option. This specific model comes with a big 400cc bottle in front to assure many shot in every charge. Luxurious woodwork in walnut or high quality synthetic. Shrouded muzzle assures quiet and non disturbing shooting. Recoil free.”
Cocking system:   Sidelever
Magazine type:   Removable 12-shot magazine
(16 shot in calibre 4,5 - .177)
Stock:   Syntetic >   Thumbhole
Adjustable recoil pad
Walnut ME >   Thumbhole
Adjustable recoil pad

Calibre:   5,5 (.22)   
4,5 (.177)   

Barrel:   Lothar Walther >   Match Grade
Choked
Length 19.5in

Pressure gauge:   Yes
Trigger:   Adjustable Match trigger (400-700g)
Velocity:   Cal 5,5 (.22)   300m/s -1000ft/s
Cal 4,5 (.177)   300m/s -1000ft/s

Energy:   Cal 5,5 (.22)   48 Joule - 36 ft/lbs
Cal 4,5 (.177)   24 Joule - 18 ft/lbs

Air capacity:   400cc
Air cylinder:   Removable
Shot capacity:   Approx. 60 at full power
Fill pressure:   Max 220bar (3200psi)
Safety:   Manual
Optics:   11mm dovetail Scope mount
Muzzle:   Shrouded
Length:   40.25 in
Weight:   Synthetic >   6.3lb
Walnut ME >   6.8lb

Charging:   Quick charge system
Addition:   Pressure Regulator (available up to 24 Joule / 18 ft/lbs)


After selling almost my whole stable of special babies, I contacted Jim Stanis at Precision Airguns and Supplies (http://www.precisionairgunsandsupplies.com/ ) and explained to him what I wanted.  Jim was extremely helpful and excited about me getting my dream gun.  He shared that he had what I needed and then went on to answer all of my questions.  I asked him as a favor to air the gun up and shoot it himself to make sure it was operational and fully functional.  He said he normally didn’t air them up to ship but since I asked, he would be happy to shoot it for effect.  “Thank you, Jim!”  Jim also reminded me that I would need some high mount scope rings and he offered me a deal on some Accushot High Profile rings which I jumped on.  I also decided to pop for an extra magazine.  The Royale only comes with one in the box.



The order was processed by Precision on Monday afternoon and shipped UPS on Tuesday.  My tracking showed that it arrived in town Thursday morning and I quickly phoned a friend and intercepted the package on my way to work that morning.  Talk about a long day at work!  The office was full of people all day long and I couldn’t even get it out of the box to look at.  Jim double-boxed the Royale to perfection.  UPS did a little reconstructive work on the outer cardboard box, but the inner manufacturer’s box was pristine.  I couldn’t wait to get home with my new baby.



Unboxing the Royale was like opening that first long box on your 6th Christmas that you were hoping would be the new Red Ryder (“shoot yer eye out”) bb gun!  My wife watched with a contented smile as I joyfully examined every minute detail.  The manufacturer’s box is lined with eggcrate foam to further cradle the gun and I must say, it is warranted.  The bluing is a very deep almost thick black.  The lettering on the gun is crisp and white and all the edges look like they were lazer-cut.  My first impression on picking the gun up was it’s weight was too light to be a rifle.  At 6.5 pounds, the gun seemed lighter.  This is not strictly a rifle from an ergonomic viewpoint, it is a carbine that thinks it’s a rifle!



The second impression came when I could stand it no longer.  I cocked and dry-fired it.  WOW!  The side-lever is a single-stoke of butter-soft smoothness that ends at a distinct finish point and just as smoothly returns to battery position.  Raising the gun to shoulder, I was pleased that my cheek came naturally to rest on the synthetic stock with my dominant eye peering parallel to the barrel.  Placing my finger carefully on the trigger, I took up a very slight amount of first stage and felt the distinct second stage come into play.  Breathing softly, I began to apply the necessary pressure to release the shot and before I was ready, the gun fired!  The second stage of the Royale is as soft but definite as any gun I have ever shot.  I am sure the second stage is less than a pound but it is so definite and crisp that I feel more than comfortable using it for hunting.  I WILL have to retrain myself to not be heavy-handed when it comes to shooting as many of my previous airguns have required me to be.  The closest trigger on a stock airgun to the Royale has to be the Marauder which until now was the best I had ever shot.  If the Marauder is a 9 then the Royale is an eleven on smoothness and crisp release.  Imagine, sliding your finger across the top of an ice-cube and you get the sense of the Royale’s trigger.

The only glass I had in the house available for the new gun was an old Tasco 3-9X32.  Don’t laugh, it’s all I had.  But, it was enough to show that the gun was going to mean business when shooting.  I immediately slipped out in the darkening evening and shot a few magazines into the backstop just get the scope lined up and close.  It wasn’t until the next evening that I was able to spend any significant time with the gun.  Since then, with the help of advice from GTA friends I was able to get a Bushnell Legend 5-15X40 which has brought me one step closer to what for me is almost the ‘perfect’ gun.



Beware, I am not a benchrest shooter!  The closest I can come is to rest the gun forearm on a camera monopod and try to still my breathing and heartrate.  With that said, I can absolutely assure you that the FX Royale 400 will outshoot me on my best day.  It is that good!
At 20 yards, almost any pellet shoots within a ¾” group with the exception of the H&N Barracuda Match pellets which had an almost 2” group!  Not surprising to me was the JSB pellets that all Royale owners swear by.  At 20 yards, the JSB pellets are able to make one ragged hole which only slightly widens at 30 yards.  What was surprising was that the number 2 pellet for my gun was the Crosman hollow-point.  They were just as tight at 20 yards but only opened up a little wider than the JSBs at 30 and beyond.  Is it possible to have a plinking pellet and a different hunting pellet?  I think so.

JSB 14.3 gr

JSB 18.1 gr

Crosman Hollow-points


There is no doubt, this is NOT the best the gun can do.  But, I am pleased that this is a gun that I can grow with and as I learn to shoot her she will continue to shoot better and better.

Things I specifically liked about this gun:
Smooth as butter “Side Lever” cocking


Adjustable Buttplate


Standard Foster fill fitting and easy to read manometer


Well, I’ve had the FX Royale 400 in .22 for almost a month now and what do I think?  
I absolutely can find nothing wrong with the functionality of this gun.  It shoulders nicely and feels somehow right against your cheek.  The synthetic stock is definitely built for right-handed shooters which has been a complaint before.  The gun points naturally and I am very much looking forward to carrying it on some fall squirrel hunts.  With 12 shot magazines (.22cal), this Royale will go over five full mags before needing a refill.  I have been filling to 2900 and shooting down to 1000 before needing a refill.

One thing to note for those who have used the M-rod magazines.  The mag initially rotates counter-clockwise and at the end of the cycle, turn the mag over maintaining pressure on the faceplate.  The first pellet is inserted skirt first into the primary opening on the back.  Once inserted, turn the mag over face-up and begin to insert pellets in a normal manner.  Unfortunately, the mag-face is not numbered to show remaining shots available but that is a very minor negative.

Negatively, there are a couple of nit-picky things that I should mention.  First is the price!  This thing is expensive for a glorified ‘bb’ gun.  I know, I know, I know it’s an FX, but come on!  AND, the cost of an extra magazine is $90.  

Another thing I have noticed that I don’t like is the absence of sling studs.  Come on, for a gun of this caliber shouldn’t there by sling swivels?  This gun begs to be carried and used in the field but it seems no thought was given by the manufacturer for this use.  I’m now faced with the probability of drilling holes in the stock of a $1500 gun.  That is not a prospect I feel very comfortable with!  I probably will take it to my local gunsmith and have him do it for a nominal fee just so I know it is done right.  This gun deserves it.

Finally, there is no cover for the standard foster fitting which comes stock with the gun.  The end of the fitting stands proud of the opening on the underneath of the stock and I felt that left open will attract detritus which may migrate to the inside of the bottle during a fill and then to the valve itself.  This would be something easily rectified with a cover that the manufacturer could provide but they omitted.  I solved the dilemma with a standard fitting cover.  It still protrudes proud from the opening and will need care to not unduly bump while in use.  



There is one trade-off that you need to not only be aware of but to accept as part of the gun.  The lack of a full-barrel shroud is offset by the more than ample moderator permanently affixed to the barrel’s end.  This is necessitated by the 400cc bottle that holds almost twice the amount of air the M-rod does (400 vs. 212).  The 400cc bottle makes the Royale a long shot-count gun with at least 60 full-power shots and up to 100 with the power dialed down to midrange.  Sixty shots means that all but the most prolific hunter will be satisfied with only one fill per hunt.  As far as moderator functionality, this gun is quieter than my previous M-rod.  The closest imitation I can make is a very quiet “phuttt” with no trace of the normal valve ping.  “Neighbor friendly” doesn’t even come close.  ‘Rodent flatulence’ IS an accurate comparison.



Overall, would I buy this gun again knowing it would cost me five different guns of lesser cost but fine quality in their own right?  YES, by all means.  I am very happy with the performance and quality of the FX Royale 400 and would recommend it to anyone (except a lefty!) looking to get a high-end gun that will please you with it’s performance and graceful lines.  



Over the last 3 years, I have been honing my desire for the ultimate carbine and I think I have found it.  

Still shootin’
joe
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 04:02:08 PM by jonnnyboy »
"Welcome to Tennessee, the patron state of shootin' stuff!"  ex-Marine Gunnery Sgt. Bob Lee Swagger

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks."  Thomas Jefferson

Offline pjw

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 04:41:36 PM »
 Congrats on the new shooter, Joe nice. 8)

Offline WhitleyStu

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 09:01:46 PM »
jonnnyboy,

Does your Royale have enough space, where the magazine goes, to get your fingers in to load it manually?

Stu
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NRA Life Member since 3-15-89

Offline Addictedtoair

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 09:32:34 PM »
Glad to see another proud FX owner around who now knows just how sweet they are! It's so hard to explain to someone why one would spend the money until they have had chance to shoot one. Everyone who fired the Indy at the SC Shoot got up from it with huge smiles. Great job Johnny!!

Brett
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FX Independence .22

ChickenSlayer671

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 11:03:22 PM »
Great review! Have you tried any Predator Polymags in it yet? I'm wondering if they fit in the magazine. Now you got me thinking about this rifle.

Offline amb5500c

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 11:46:51 PM »
Congratulations on the new gun and great job on the review.
Richard
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MountainMan126

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 12:02:58 AM »
I am glad it was all worth it in the end. That is a great looking shooter, I agree with you on the sling studs on both counts . It needs some and I would consider having someone else do it, doesn't mean I wouldn't do it myself in the end, but I would definitely consider having some else do it.

Excellent write-up, and pics, really got a good impression of this rifle,
Ethan

AlwaysLearning

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 12:34:31 AM »
What a great looking gun. Good choice!

Offline jonnnyboy

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 05:58:49 PM »
Thanks guys, I sure am proud of her.

Stu, it's pretty tight to try to load singly but they do offer a single-shot tray.  Jim at Precision asked if I wanted one and I probably should have gotten one.

Chickenslayer, I didn't have any preds to try so I don't know if they fit or not, sorry.  I did not have any problems with the other pells I tried.

Thanks for the compliments, guys.
joe
"Welcome to Tennessee, the patron state of shootin' stuff!"  ex-Marine Gunnery Sgt. Bob Lee Swagger

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks."  Thomas Jefferson

Offline dk1677

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2011, 07:57:14 PM »
Congrats Joe! Nice one!
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Offline aack73

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2011, 08:39:15 PM »
you could have brought it to genes and let me slobber on it too.;D looks nice bro. yea i love my mrod and will not part with it, but i can say i think Brett's FX was a little quieter than the mrod and shot excellent. had a very nice feel to it. got me thinking............maybe ........... just maybe i could possibly own one of these.

looks like a nice piece.;D ;D ;D
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big a

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 11:15:37 AM »
Well Joe I told my son I am selling all the guns so I can get a Royale and he bought jumped out of his seat and said not the disco you cant sell the disco.Ok I wont sell the disco,but the fire is lit I need this gun,I have been wanting one for a long time and I think Im going to go for it.I hope you dont mind a few questions from time to time.

Thanks.Adrian

Offline grimlama

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 11:33:18 AM »
Beautiful gun.  Nice write up. Awsome and a bunch of other good words.  That FX Independence has started calling me again, and I'm just a noobie...

You're an evil, evil man! 
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Offline jonnnyboy

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 02:06:41 PM »
Hehehe, it is my pleasure, guys!  I've always wanted to be an enabler.

Adrian, I beg you, too.  Don't sell that Disco.  It will get a complex about being sold so the owner can acquire a Royale!  BUT, I know what you mean.  Was it worth selling 5 guns?  For me it was!  I'll try to answer any questions you may have; fire away!

Grim quote: "You're an evil, evil man!"
Maybe only a little evil!!  But I'm very happy with my Royale.  The FX guns, though on the expensive side, are very good guns and I would recommend saving up at least for one.  You owe it to yourself.

joe
"Welcome to Tennessee, the patron state of shootin' stuff!"  ex-Marine Gunnery Sgt. Bob Lee Swagger

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks."  Thomas Jefferson

big a

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 09:02:21 PM »
I think I have watched every youtube video and read every write up on this gun and I am 100% sold on it.Low noise,power, high shot count and just knowing you have one of the best built guns made.I cant wait.

Offline WhitleyStu

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2011, 01:07:19 AM »
The FX guns, though on the expensive side, are very good guns and I would recommend saving up at least for one.  You owe it to yourself.

joe

Joe,
After reading your review several times I ordered a Royale 400 from Jim on Monday afternoon and had it Wednesday morning.  I mounted the scope and spent no more than 15 minutes to get it sighted in.  Very pleased with my initial experience.  Thanks for the review, you enabler!!!
Stu
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Offline jonnnyboy

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2011, 01:55:30 AM »
Okay, Stu.  Tell everybody that what I said was absolutely true!  LOL!  What do you think?

Oh and buy a bunch of JSB 18 grainers and get ready to be totally blown away by your gun.
joe

Congratulations, bro.
"Welcome to Tennessee, the patron state of shootin' stuff!"  ex-Marine Gunnery Sgt. Bob Lee Swagger

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks."  Thomas Jefferson

Offline WhitleyStu

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Re: FX Royale 400 (.22)
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2011, 06:00:43 AM »
Okay, Stu.  Tell everybody that what I said was absolutely true!  LOL!  What do you think?

Oh and buy a bunch of JSB 18 grainers and get ready to be totally blown away by your gun.
joe

Congratulations, bro.
So far I think your review is spot on.  I ordered mine in .177 for strictly target use so it's on a diet of JSB 8.4gr and seems to be grouping nicely at 50 meters.  I will be interested in how it groups after 500 rounds or so go down the barrel.  As you stated in your review about selling off a few guns to fund your FX, well, I sold my Colt LE6920 to fund the FX and glad I finally made the move to PCP.  Now if the darn rain would just stop...       
  • NE Indiana
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