FX T12 Whisper
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- Last updated: 27/01/2017
FX Airguns, based in Sweden, has really developed as a brand, and their modern, energized, and innovative approach continues to be a breath of fresh air in the market place. The range of models produced is frankly bewildering, but one thing is for sure- there’s something for everyone, among the line-up. Whilst they do offer top end walnut stocked versions of many of their models, it is perhaps their quirky, and rather slick synthetic stocks that they’re best known for!
When I first caught sight of this revised version of the Whisper, with its newly extended main air cylinder, I was reminded of those long menacing arms carried in Planet Of The Apes, and the profile is striking to say the least. ‘A full sized, adult configuration’ best describes the Whisper, and with that full length barrel shroud, over-sized cylinder, and extended thumbhole stock, this is one rifle that’s easy to pick out in a crowd. The multi-shot specification includes a side bolt action, and either a 16 shot magazine, in the case of my .177 test rifle, or 12 in .22 calibre. A two-stage match trigger, Smooth Twist barrel, and adjustable butt pad, complete a mouth-watering specification; so let’s give it the once over and see how it stacks up.
The first thing that really stands out with this model is just how light it is! With all those chunky components and over-sized sections, the brain is fooled into expecting quite a weighty tool! Yet pick up the T12 and it really is a big surprise. As 6.6lbs is nothing in the big scheme of things, and the result is a gun that feels ultra manageable and practical, for a day’s shooting!
FX are the masters of synthetic stock design and the majority of their range have a ‘black’ option. With many manufacturers opting for ambidextrous furniture these days, the Whisper bucks the trend, sporting as it does, dedicated right hand grips. For the record, I found the thumbhole area just a little snug, but I do have large hands. Overall though, it’s a lovely piece of design work, with an unusually long forend, well defined cheek piece, and an adjustable rubber butt pad. With no sign of a seam to the moulding and a lovely grippy, almost warm feel to the synthetic material itself, the end result is extremely impressive.
All the metalwork – barrel shroud, main cylinder and action gets a matt-anodized finish that actually feels quite robust. The side bolt is neat and comfortable in use, with only minimal effort to cock the action. However, I still reckon the bolt could be just a little bit longer as it just seems tight to the side of the action. With the bolt locked down in the reverse position, the magazine can be removed from the right side of the action. With the clear cover towards you, turn the front cover clockwise, all the way round, then the first pellet can be loaded in ‘skirt-first’ from the front. Now turn the mag over, and drop pellets head first into each chamber in turn until full. Push the full magazine back into the block, close the bolt and the Whisper is ready for action. Sounds Heath Robinson, and this style of mag is more fiddly than others, but in practise, it all works very well.
Mounting a scope is easy, courtesy of the two part rail, (fairly short here at 5.25” long), spanning either side of the magazine housing; but with conventional 11m rails generously cut into the top edge of the block, the process is straight forward. With glassware in place, getting air on-board is the next consideration. FX design the T12 Whisper to be charged via the probe method, and here, the adaptor supplied needs to be inserted straight into the inlet valve at the front of the cylinder. Fill pressure is 220bar, and as with any probe design, care needs to be taken to ensure that it’s fully inserted, and stays so after the initial pressurization. As for the open inlet valve, FX really do need to offer some kind of plug or valve cover to keep dirt from the system. With the hose bled, and the airline withdrawn, I was finally in a position to see what this slick looking rifle could do!
Initial testing needs the sights to be roughly zeroed, and it’s this quick first session that allows for an overall feel of the rifle in operation, before serious evaluation takes place. One point that instantly hits you with this T12 is that stunning trigger, and all I can say is; I’m fussy, and I consider this genuine match grade! It’s a fully adjustable unit, but as it was supplied, it had the lightest first stage, and a light and totally predictable second stage release. The blade is nicely shaped, and overall feel was excellent!
I was interested to gauge noise levels, since this model is fitted with that huge shroud. Plus the clue’s in the name as they say! Well, in operation, you can’t really say it’s a whisper, due to significant hammer/ mechanism noise, but the harsh crack so synonymous with PCP’s, is clearly absent! FX have persisted with the concept of Smooth Twist barrels, devised by Ben Taylor of Theoben fame, (where the barrel is effectively smooth bore, save for the last couple of inches that are rifled), and certainly the barrel on this T12 Whisper is beyond reproach.
It works too with ¼” groups centre-tocentre at 25yds, and 3/8” clusters over 35yds! Daystate Rangemaster Li pellets made a clear statement of intent, but it was the ease with which this level of accuracy was come by that really impressed. As for the chronograph figures, 112-shots within a 38-fps spread, showed the advantage of that extended cylinder- a feature of the latest spec.
So what do we think overall? Well, FX have often come up rather expensive when compared to much of the opposition, but this T12 Whisper seems one of the more competitively priced models in the range, and the presentation, performance, and genuinely unique feel left me seriously impressed. Excellent trigger, large shot count, serious accuracy potential….super light weight, non-tiring format….....the list goes on!
£705 inc magazine and fillingadaptor
Options Walnut stocked version £890
Anglo Spanish Imports,01728 688555, www.a-s-i.co.uk