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FX Verminator MK II

FX Verminator MK II

When I was asked to test this newly revised version of an established FX model, I was keen for several reasons. Firstly, FX airguns are normally unorthodox in their approach, which guarantees a quirky rifle, and secondly the original Verminator is probably the only rifle in the company’s line-up that I hadn’t previously got to grips with. This was to be the perfect opportunity to put that right.

FX are based in Sweden and with the highly innovative Freddie Axelson at the helm, they have a reputation for dynamically styled pre-charged airguns, crammed with features.

Take Down

FX supply this rifle in its own protective box, and opening the curiously small transit package revealed a rather neat 15.5inch x 21inch x5inch deep, high impact plastic carry case, which perfectly cossets the new model.

The new Verminator MKII is a buddy bottle fed multi-shot pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) with an impressive specification sheet. As for the take down aspect, the buddy bottle and main action unscrew, as well as any additional silencer. The carry case has padded cut out sections which allow for the constituent parts to be stored snugly away, as well as some extra compartments for the odd accessory here and there; and the design has clearly been well thought through.

So just what sets the MKII version of the Verminator apart from the original? Well for a start, a full length barrel shroud is now fitted, which gives the rifle that chunky ‘bull’ barrel look. In addition, and probably the most fundamental change, concerns the replacement of the old two part action, with a single piece design.

Compound

FX are the masters of black synthetic furniture, and this new Verminator sports a superbly comfortable handle, which incorporates a full drop down pistol grip in the design. The moulding is super precise, and the space age material is soft and almost warm to the touch, giving the Verminator a comforting and reassuring feel. The stylish integral trigger guard and deep fore end all add to this rifle’s stark profile, but more importantly, they feel right too.

The fairly large capacity 400cc buddy bottle sits inside another moulding; this time forming the cheek piece and butt pad assembly, and with the pad being adjustable on its axis, via two Allen bolt fixtures, the rifle stock can effectively be set to suit the individual.

It should be noted here that the prominent cheekpiece is not only fully ambidextrous, but also perfectly shaped to fully support the cheek in the aim. FX now fit their ultra smart and beautifully finished breech block from the Royale range to this rifle, and the result is that this new Verminator MKII is easily the best finished gun from the FX stable that I have encountered. The rich deep chemical blueing of the block undoubtedly adds a touch of class, yet contrasts perfectly with the subtle matt black coating applied to the rest of the action. This combined with the matt black of the stock material, and the obvious practicality afforded to this gun in a hunting scenario, should not be underestimated.

Compact

As standard, the action is fairly stubby, with a super short barrel, barely 12inches in length; sitting beneath the shroud. Whilst some of the rifle’s report is processed by venting the gases around the shroud, an additional silencer can be purchased, which having tested, I highly recommend on two counts. Firstly, its effectiveness is immediately felt, with the modest muzzle report reduced to a mere whimper, and if this gun is to be utilized in a hunting environment (its raison d’etre after all) then maximizing stealth mode must make sense. Secondly, the way it fits perfectly flush, is just a delicious piece of design work, and aesthetically pleasing in the extreme.

This is probably the point at which it should be made clear that this Verminator MKII is fitted with one of the new breed of ‘Smoothtwist’ barrels, devised by Ben Taylor, and whole heartily embraced by Freddie Axelsson. I’ve been told that FX are now fitting Smoothtwist tubes to ALL their guns, which is a bold move indeed, and certainly an endorsement of the highly innovative design. More of which in a moment.

Further attention to detail comes with the fact that the action of this Verminator is totally free floating within the stock, save for the breech block, which is a perfect set up for stable PCP performance in my book.

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Charging

As with any pre-charged pneumatic, the shooter has the option to fill the air reservoir from either a dedicated hand pump, or divers’ air bottle. However, in the case of the Verminator’s impressively large 400cc buddy bottle, the practicalities of topping up the air supply dictate that a divers’ bottle is the preferable route.

Early buddy bottle designs required the bottle to be unscrewed from the action and directly connected to the charging gear. Several later designs, and this Verminator offers a quick fill option, whereby the action is charged with the bottle in situ. To charge the Verminator, the nylon valve cover needs to be pulled from its housing at the front of the action, and the air line connected via a Daystate style valve connector. The action/ buddy bottle can then be charged to 220bar. An on-board pressure gauge allows for the residual pressure to be kept an eye on too.

Final Adjustment & Preparation

Trigger wise, this rifle comes fitted with an extremely good 2-stage semi match unit, which at the tweak of a couple of screws, can be fully adjusted for 1st and 2nd stage characteristics. I left it as it came, since the precise let off was very acceptable from the outset, but further alterations are best made with the stock removed.

In addition, the superbly shaped match trigger blade can itself be adjusted, so the final position suits the individual. Just slacken off the tiny grub screw, and rotate the blade around its support rod. Straight facing or off-set left or right; the choice is yours, and with additional fine height adjustment, an added level of sophistication is afforded.

FX supply the Verminator with their cassette style magazine, and whilst these can be a little fragile, once loaded and in place, they work a treat. To load the magazine, first remove it from the action, by pulling the cocking lever all the way back and sliding the mag out of its slot from the right hand side. Then with the clear plastic cover facing, twist the cover anti clockwise right round until it stops, then turn the mag round and push a pellet in backwards, into the one exposed chamber. Now the mag can be turned round and pellets pushed into each chamber in turn in the normal way. A little fiddly yes, but once filled and chambered, the system works extremely well

High Shot Count – 350 at Full Power

FX design flair continues with the way they fit these rifles with a power adjuster, allowing for three power levels, 7ft/lbs, 9 ft/lbs, or full power. I left it on high power, after checking that the new style adjuster wheel worked, and I can certainly vouch for the manufacturers figures. Lower power means higher shot counts of course, and when you consider that I recorded in excess of 350 shots on full power, this Verminator’s versatility is clearly something to shout about.

The Twist

So what of that Smoothtwist technology? For those unfamiliar, it’s a revolutionary process of making barrels, by crimping (crushing) only the last few inches of the tube, and by so doing, effectively imprinting the rifling on the inside. The advantage theoretically, is that the pellet travels down a smooth tube for the majority of its journey, encountering minimal resistance in the process, and therefore expending minimal energy. The short length of fairly shallow rifling at the muzzle end is then enough to impart a twist /spin on the projectile, for a stable flight path to the target.

To date, I’ve tested several rifles with Smoothtwist barrels and not been overly impressed, but this Verminator on test, was different again. Indeed performance overall was superb. The side cocking lever is so subtle and perfectly weighted, and minimal effort is needed to cycle the magazine after each shot. The super slick firing cycle allows for incredibly fast shooting too, if required, and on test, over an extended session, I didn’t experience a single jam or malfunction, which is unusual for multi shot design

Groups of just over quarter inch at 30yds using FX branded JSB Diabolo pellets, was all the proof I needed that this new Verminator MKII was indeed capable of exemplary performance, and the confidence that this brings is a huge asset in the field, where this rifle undoubtedly belongs. Kneeling shots on test were confidently taken, given the fine balance, although standing shots, ever the real tester, would benefit from more weight at the muzzle in my book.

Summing Up

So if you haven’t guessed by now, I was extremely impressed with this new MKII version of the Verminator, and despite my usual reticence to get too involved with buddy bottle style PCP’s, I’m pleased to report that this gun has to be the best FX model I have shot to date. The best finished by miles, and easily the most accurate.

Flawless mechanics and loading operation is always attractive, but this really is a serious tool, fit for purpose! Still a bit pricey though, but it does have a unique feel, not easily matched by its rivals, and for that, if this style of airgun appeals, then the highly capable Verminator MKII shouldn’t disappoint. GM

  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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  • FX Verminator MK II - image {image:count}

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gun
features

  • Model: Verminator Mk2
  • Manufacturer: FX Airguns
  • Country of Origin: Sweden
  • Type: Multi-shot PCP
  • Calibre: .22 on test/ .177 avail
  • Weight: 6.38lbs
  • Overall Length:: 30.5 inches without silenc./ 37with silencer
  • Barrel Length:: 11.75inches Smoothtwist
  • Magazine: 12-shot rotary (16 in .177)
  • Stock: 2 part synthetic compound
  • Trigger:: 2-stage adjustable semi match
  • Power Source:: External pump/ bottle External pump/bottle On board capacity 400cc buddy bottle
  • Fill Pressure: 220bar
  • Shot Count: 354shots on test
  • Average Velocity: 553fps with .22 FX (JSB) pellets
  • Overall Spread: 38fps
  • Energy:: 10.9ft/lbs (7 and 9ftlbs settings also available)

7 Comments

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    Default profile image
    kneeque
    03 Jul 2020 at 04:21 AM
  • I don’t want to sound like my Dad, but That cost more than my first car, much more..

    Default profile image
    Lance Miller
    30 Jul 2018 at 09:51 PM
  • thanks for your response. I was curious about weither or not "FX" will anytime in the near future create a 25Cal. in the FX Ranchero, I have that in 22cal. which is somewhat noisy because the pellet is traveling out-bound at such high speed I get that "crack" sound when I use it, I hate that, as that's not neighborhood friendly.

    Default profile image
    tony deleano
    09 Nov 2014 at 03:40 PM
  • Hi Tony,

    Well, I admire your determination to be different but trying to use a Verminator (minus the buddy bottle) as a pistol would be very difficult!

    The 'pistol' would be terribly balanced and you'd obviously have to block off the buddy bottle connection professionally and safely- after all, you're playing with 220 BAR and you don't want some bodged effort going bang near your face!

    You'd be much better off getting an FX Ranchero pistol as you'd end up with the best multi-shot PCP pistol ever made. Why am I so keen, well, as soon as I got my hands on one years ago, I bought it and have loved it ever since. They are expensive but they are also superb. What's more, they're made at the factory, so there are no safety issues from home made parts.

    All the best,

    Default profile image
    Troll Hunter
    09 Nov 2014 at 08:06 AM
  • can I just use the smaller bottle under the barrel instead of the 400cc bottle designed in the rifle stock, I want to use this as a pistol if possible ,tell me if this idea will work for me. And will FX sell the additional silencer made to go on the end of the barrel ?

    Thank you for your efforts.
    Tony

    Default profile image
    tony deleano
    09 Nov 2014 at 03:12 AM
  • The Verminator is based on the larger FX Gladiator air rifle, which has a long tube reservoir under the barrel and also a buddy bottle reservoir for the butt.

    The Verminator's front reservoir is obviously very small, to make it the compact carbine that it is. The filler probe goes in the end of the stubby air reservoir for charging and the two air chambers are linked via a small tube.

    I've used the original Vermonator and loved it and the new version appears to be even better!

    Default profile image
    Troll Hunter
    08 Nov 2014 at 09:47 PM
  • I'm interested in buying the "Verminator MK2", but then I noticed that the extended portion of the gun is where the ext. pump bottle is located? is that correct ? Then what am I seeing in the photo, just under the barrel,there appears to be a compressed air bottle is that correct? Does this gun have 2 sources of bottled air ? or is this something else ?

    Default profile image
    tony deleano
    08 Nov 2014 at 08:16 PM


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