Rabbiting: FX Cyclone .22 air rifle

ShootingTimesUK 11 322 subscribers

Rabbiting: my instrument of choice is a FX Cyclone .22 air rifle (24ft/lb). It is quiet, can be easily reloaded while I continue to look down the sight and has adjustable ft/lb. It has seen a lot of action and rendered my rimfire redundant. My friend, Steve, shoots the same model but sub-12ft/lb and in his preferred calibre of .177. I looked at my rifle and scope. Unfortunately, my scope has been removed and re-fitted to my rifle a few times lately. After the last fitting I had noticed a deterioration in my shooting. It was time to give it a proper examination. Watching some video footage of myself, I noticed that I had started to cant my rifle, especially at night from my vehicle. Canting is an angular deviation: leaning left or right instead of being completely vertical. Due to the curved trajectory of my .22 rifle, this was affecting my accuracy, which was annoying as I was missing rabbits I knew I should be hitting. Time spent practising shooting your rifle is always time spent well and, after looking round several game fairs, I found a cheap and accessible solution to my problem: a spirit level. I ordered one that fitted on to the top of my scope mounts. I could shoot unhindered and, if required, take a glance to see if I was square or not. I didn’t need any fancy computerised gizmos, just a plumb line. I dropped this 20 yards in front of my rifle, which was sitting in my MaxBox, thus safe and secure. The bolts were loosened — I fitted a NiteSite camera to the scope for ease of use and to aid this film — and I could see it was out, albeit only just. I then corrected the alignment and ensured the bolts were evenly tightened back up. With the scope now corrected, and after a quick re-zero, I rechecked my rifle in the position I would be shooting, which would be from the MaxBox on the back of the truck. It is also important to marry up the right grain and make of pellet to your rifle. I was using 15.8 grain and Steve 10.34 grain. Both pellets produce fantastic results on paper, fur and feather. My rifle was zeroed at 40 yards and Steve’s at 20. I was now ready to do a comparison at varying distances between two of the same rifles, but with one being a .22 at 24ft/lb and the other a .177 sub-12ft/lb. The reason for this comparison is that I am always asked about why I prefer to use a .22 FAC air rifle and not a sub-12ft/lb .177 or .22. I had markers to aim at, from 10m to 50m for Steve and 80m for myself, these being the distances we feel are the boundary of our respective rifles. I measured the wind using an anemometer; it was an undulating wind between 2mph to 5mph. After we had finished our exercise, Steve’s and my opinions on the differing calibres remained the same. The .177 had a fairly flat trajectory out to its ideal range of 40 yards before dropping rapidly. If the pellet drops rapidly so does its energy upon impact. The .22 discharging 24ft/lb had a larger curved trajectory due to its increased power and pellet size. The insight we gained by running these tests was vital because, with such a curve, every metre is crucial in compensating the reticule to place the pellet in the inch-square zone. In the right conditions I consistently take out rabbits at 70 yards to 80 yards, while a friend’s 30ft/lb FX Bobcat will go to more than 100, though the averages are 40-60 yards and 60-80 yards respectively. When you know your rifle’s limitations as well as your own, you can shoot accordingly.

14 Comments

  • I have my .177 zeroed to 35 yards and on rabbit sized kill zone I'm practically holding dead on from 10-40 yards. Even 50 yards is just about 2" holdover. I'm curious why this one was zeroed at 20?

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  • Make 50 yard 5pillot group shot

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  • Great video ,thanks for sharing .

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  • This also shows how you need to adjust your zero distance to get the best maximum point blank range for your target size...

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  • can you explain my problem ? I zero my Bobcat .22 FAC at 33 Yds. then I shoot at 12 ,23 Yds. At 23 yds I must hold over 2 mil. and at 12 yds I do a hold over 3 Mil dots! Isn´t it other ways ? I thought at closer hold I had to hold under.??????? Thank´s

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  • absolutely superbly illustrated. simple to understand for newcomers ..... +1 for youre subscribers list Simon

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  • There is no comparing a .22 @ 24 foot pounds and a sub 12 foot pound .177.

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  • thanks for video 👍

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  • those trajectories aren't quite right, at close range the pellet will strike low as the barrel is lower than the sightline, it has to climb to the first zero.

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  • wouldn't it make more sense to zero at 25 ?? crossover at 50 and drop of as normal works for me

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  • Did you buy or build the platform on top of your pick up ? I would love one just not sure if I have to make one or if I can buy one where can I buy it from ?

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  • great video.

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  • thanks sir, for this good realistic test.

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  • you would have got a better result with the 177 if you had zeroed at 35 yards

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