FX 4-stage Turbo Pump
- By Pete Moore
- 3 Comments
- Last updated: 19/12/2016
Having reasonably recently introduced myself to the world of PCP air rifles, with the acquisition of an FX Wildcat Bullpup in .22, FAC-rated, 30 ft/lb format, I swiftly realised I would need to keep it full of air. I picked up a 4-litre/300 bar cylinder from Henry Krank & Co Ltd, filling the reservoir is quick and easy, but lumping that bottle around is less so and the rate I go through air I’m always getting it filled!
So what about a manual air pump; light, easy to carry and a constant source of air wherever I am? FX offer two pumps; a 3-Stage and the larger 4-Stage Turbo model; on test. It’s a conventional stirrup-type design and comes with a screw-on foot plate and a 0.5m, Kevlar micro hose with DIN adaptor and 1/8” thread.
The Turbo offers a gearing system that allows the user to select high or low volume (300 or 200 cc) with low and high pressure operation accordingly. Both have their advantages in terms of effort required, which, as I discovered, is a big consideration! The pump comes with an integral pressure gauge, moisture trap, particle filter (replaceable), and bleed valve. All you do is hook up the right connector.
The air line out is in the base along with the pressure gauge and bleed valve. In the middle of the T-handle, which connects to the piston rod, is what looks like a secondary bleed valve but is in fact the switch between high and low pressure/ volume operation.
With my FX filler connected and plugged in, I started with the high volume low-pressure approach (valve in the T-handle screwed in). It’s important to do a full-length stroke to suck in enough air and push it into the gun. It seemed with the 230 bar fill on my Wildcat it would never fill up, so I switched to low volume high pressure, which certainly speeds up the delivery, though in the process I thought I was lifting weights, as it takes some effort. I shot the gun down to its minimum of 100 bar then filled it up to its maximum 230, which took me about 140-strokes and numerous pauses to recuperate.
The pump does its job but I did find it hard work if going from empty to full and far better for keeping the system topped up after about 10-20-shots. The 0.5m hose is very short, meaning the rifle needs to be right next to the pump, so on the floor, a 1m hose would be better!
Truth is, filling using a pump is a very physical affair that takes some time and you have to be aware that filters will need changing, as if not, impurities will get into your air reservoir.
PRICE: £170, (3-stage £150)
CONTACT: A.S.I. Ltd; www.a-s-i.co.uk