FX T12 Whisper multi-shot PCP
By: Pete Wadeson
Pete Wadeson tests the FX T12 Whisper multi-shot PCP in walnut thumbhole stock
FX Airguns has had quite an interesting (for want of a better word) history. In the UK we’ve seen them badged up by several companies, Deben Group Industries Ltd took the brand and now A.S.I have taken on the distribution. What this suggests I’m not even going to try to surmise, I’ll just get on with testing this nominally very quiet multi-shot PCP air rifle.
Edward King at A.S.I . kindly sent me a pristine FX T12 Whisper in the walnut thumbhole stock option. The FX Whisper is actually based on the standard FX T12, so you might think it’s just a bull barrel version, but you’d be wrong! Apparently a lot of thought went into developing this air rifle to bear the name Whisper… So a bit of hush as I detail the rather clever stock. Incidentally, as standard they still come with synthetic stocks and this walnut thumbhole is the alternative - or upgrade you might say.
It does appear quite sleek and slender but that reservoir and barrel shroud dominate, so I think no stock can detract from the fact you’ve got a lot of metalwork on this rifle. Much of the metal is treated to a matte black finish, and for the amount of metal exposed it’s very practical for the hunter. The cheekpiece is quite substantial yet the comb at the top slants back over to the left and rises up at a slight angle. If you look from the right it’s a definite right hand stock as the wood is recessed on that side for your trigger arm to almost be guided to the grip. However, thanks to the comb, it’s obvious that a southpaw would have no trouble using this rifle, so intentional or not, it’s useful.
As I scrutinised the stock I noticed a few features on the action that would mean I’d need to drop the sliding rubber butt pad as low as it’d go, and hope I could mount a suitable scope to clear the magazine that protrudes the highest off any action block I’ve encountered. In my case I scoped up with one of the new AGS COBALT Redi-Mount models, the 4 – 16 X 50IR PA.
The lengthy slab sided forend has a slightly curved underside and tapers slowly upwards to end in a rather attractive yet angular Schnabel tip. There are two well cut chequered panels at both sides of the grip and single panels, set either side of the forend it has two full wood fleur-de-lys inlays extending into the panel from either side and the letters ‘FX’ are boldly left in high relief at the centre of the panels.
Once I’d set the correct scope on the rifle and dropped the butt pad to its lowest point I could now fully appreciate the grip and thumbhole configuration as two broad recesses neatly run either side out from the thumbhole towards the trigger.
Quick fill cylinder
Virtually all FX’s use a similar charging procedure and unit. The Whisperer is no different and the inlet valve is found under the air reservoir directly behind the barrel band. Using the quick fill probe supplied I soon had the required 200-bar fill. These rifles give approximately 100 full power shots in .22 calibre (as per test rifle) and around 65-70 in .177 calibre.
To cock the action, the short straight pull teardrop ended bolt is turned up from the original position in a keeper slot in the action, pulled fully back to drop into the rear keeper slot.
The magazine can then be removed from the right. Its Perspex fronted, has 12-chambers and is spring loaded. To fill with pellets you need to rotate the magazine’s Perspex plate anti-clockwise. The first pellet is dropped skirt first into the rear of the magazine. Then turn it around and load conventionally keeping the Perspex plate held under tension and allowed to re-wind until another chamber is empty and load all as normal. It’s a different system but you get used to.
Loading requires you place the magazine into the action from the left, this slides in to mate up with a protruding brass boss at the breech that holds it secure. With the magazine back in its housing I lifted the bolt and probed the first pellet out of the magazine into the 19.5” match grade Lothar Walther barrel that hides under that humungous barrel shroud. It was here I noticed the barrel must extend from the breech to the front of the barrel band which is more a shroud band. So in the extra 6” of the shroud that extends forward something lurks - but does it work? I was soon to find out.
Bags of hush
I was getting so fascinated by the rifle and the shroud that I fired a few shots into a safe backstop. Now that was quiet. The dubious thoughts I had that this was little more than a cosmetic exercise flew out the window and had me zero in for 25-yds using Daystate Li pellets.
The familiar shaped metal trigger blade indicates an FX 2-stage adjustable trigger unit is fitted, and by the feel and performance it is. I soon began producing ragged .22 calibre size clover leaf groups at my set zero, pushing out to 30-yards they opened to less than half an inch c-c so accuracy isn’t a problem.
I didn’t think I’d like this rifle, the request to review was the claimed quiet operation without a secondary silencer. As it measures 42 ½” from butt to muzzle I’m grateful of that. The muzzle has a screw off end cap that reveals threads, I presume there’s a unit for it but trust me, you don’t need any more sound reduction. The FX T12 is a rifle that won’t suit everyone’s taste but one that has a unique quiet character of its very own.
|Model||FX T12 Whisper|
|Type||Bolt action, Multi-Shot PCP|
|Calibre||.22 on test (.177 available)|
|Stock||Walnut thumbhole stock upgrade (Synthetic stock is standard)|
|Weight||7.3lbs with walnut stock (6.6lbs with synthetic stock)|
|Sights||No open sights but grooved for scope mounting|
|Barrel||19.5” with full length ‘shroud’ containing silencer|
|Price||Walnut as featured £802 Synthetic £655; Spare magazines £50|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates