The Swedes know a thing or two about quality guns and how to design them. There is no denying that smooth twist air rifles like those made by FX Airguns are some of the most innovative, accurate and fascinating rifles to shoot. I have tested a few now, and although I am a dyed-in-the-wool ‘springer’ fan, I find these FX FAC rated-models, especially in the bigger .25, .30 and .35 cals, very appealing.

Key features include the new FX Smooth Twist X barrel system, which allows you to change the calibre of the rifle from .177 up to .30 cal. You can also change the liner to one with a different rifling twist rate. The barrel is fully shrouded for quietness and stealth, and a screw-on moderator can also be fitted. There’s a two-stage match trigger, upgraded magazine, 480cc buddy bottle, slick side-lever operation, twin pressure gauges, as well as adjusters for airflow and another for back-hammer spring tension. There’s even an adjustable regulator – an anorak’s dream!

side lever
The side lever is fast and reliably feeds the big .30 cal pellets into the barrel

The big difference with the new MKII version is the increased power potential due to new valving, porting and plenum space available. The plenum chamber, which is the compressed air chamber before it enters the transfer port, increases power by 28% over the older model. So working together with the porting and a larger 6.5mm valve, you have a big leap in performance overall with FX’s recommend filling to 250 bar (3600psi).

The FX Crown is at the pinnacle of air rifle development, with all aspects of the firing cycle adjustable to meet the needs of the most dedicated shooter


I like a good thumbhole design, and this Black Pepper version in lacquer finished laminate is not only good looking but also very comfortable and ambidextrous. Other colours, plus synthetic and a GRS versions, are available if you prefer. You have a small extended shelf beneath the buddy bottle, which is more than ample for a nice grip, fit a bipod attachment or hold the bottle itself. It’s up to you.

The thumbhole section is large for easy and quick access but the top strap is quite thin. I would prefer a bit more bulk in this area. The pistol grip is nicely angled and sufficiently profiled to give a bottle, which is more than ample for a nice grip, fit a bipod attachment or hold the bottle itself. It’s up to you. The thumbhole section is large for easy and quick access but the top strap is quite thin. I would prefer a bit more bulk in this area. The pistol grip is nicely angled and sufficiently profiled to give a very natural, unstrained hold aided by the finely cut laser chequering. You also have an elevating cheekpiece that’s operated by loosening a single screw inset to the right side of the stock. The butt pad is height adjustable as well.

Thirteen pellets in .30 cal is impressive, but it makes the magazine tall, so high scope mounts are needed

The magazine is fast to operate and reliable. After twisting and removing the clear cover, the sprung rotor can be turned anti-clockwise and a pellet inserted into the first hole. That holds the spring pressure so that the remaining pellets can be loaded into the empty apertures. It is big, though, and you have to use extra-high mounts to fit a scope. I would also like to have a single-shot tray if possible, as it would suit this calibre.

The action operation is the familiar slide-lever type. I still blow hot and cold about this method; I still like a bolt, but there is no denying the speed and smoothness of this impressive FX Crown as each big .30 cal pellet is manipulated.

Trigger-wise the match-grade, two-stage unit can be adjusted for  weight and pull. I liked the trigger blade, which is a shoe type attached to a steel rod dropping down into the trigger guard. It feels very precise and certainly contributes to the FX’s fast lock time and accuracy overall. The safety, inset into the stock above the trigger on the right-hand side, has two positions: up is fire and 90° to the right is safe. Simple and effective.

The matchgrade adjustable trigger is very good and contributes to the Crown’s overall excellent accuracy

The actual action is black anodised aluminium and has a full length integral 20 MOA Picatinny rail and Allen screw fixtures at the front end that allow barrel removal. FX rifles have that fantastic facility to change calibre as you like, making for a great onechassis- shoots-all-calibres type of rifle. You also have to change the pellet probe and mag.

The barrel itself comes in several lengths, but this FAC .30 cal model wore the 600mm version with its lovely full-length aluminium shroud. An additional sound moderator can be screwed to the muzzle end as with the Donny FL Fat Boy.

This Smooth Twist X barrel system uses the interchangeable liners, so you can change rifling twist rates if desired. Rifling is impressed into the liner from the outside, so the pellet rides on a ‘smooth’ internal barrel surface, a bit like a very shallow polygonal rifled barrel on a centrefire, but much finer.

Now the filling and operations. You have a buddy bottle system, which is a carbon fibre wrapped bottle of 480cc capacity that screws into the front of the action. You can fill it while it is in place, which is so much easier than having to remove it. It fills to 250 bar pressure and in .30 cal offers up to 45 shots per charge. By comparison a .22 FAC gives 145 shots.

There is the usual bottle pressure gauge and also a transfer-port valve pressure gauge. You can set the transfer port valve to high, medium or low power setting with an adjustment wheel. This can be used alone or in conjunction with another fineadjustment wheel, which controls the hammer spring tension and how fast and hard it strikes and opens the valve. There are 24 positions to achieve a perfect balance between power and consistency. The factory setting was fine for me but it does give the anoraks among you – me included – two adjustment wheels to twiddle with.


FX state that the .30 cal delivers 870fps and 75ft-lb. I had a choice of .30 cal pellets: JSB 44.75gr and 50.15gr, Polymag 44.75gr and FX Slug 44.5gr. I filled to a pressure of 250 bar as recommended.

With the power wheel on high, I shot the JSB 44.75gr pellet at 750fps average for five shots. I then adjusted the power to medium, which gave 726fps, and to low for 443fps.

With the same pellet I then set the front power wheel to high and the rear fine wheel to 23 for 750fps. On 13 it shot 599fps and on 3 it shot 451fps. Then back to 23 for 757fps.

Next I took the JSB 44.75gr pellet to see how many shots I could get on one charge. I refilled to 250 bar again and I got a better velocity overall of 790fps for 62ft-lb. I must have touched something! I got 36 shots before the pressure dropped too low.


That is very consistent performance with excellent accuracy across the board and decent shots per charge for the big .30 cal. I really had fun shooting this FX Crown. I am coming to terms with the myriad of adjustments and I hate to say it but I actually liked the pre-charge. Build quality is really very good with excellent technical support from Sportsman Gun Centre.