Monday, November 1, 2010

Took The Royale For A Walk In The Woods

I've always liked the Royales for what they are not. They are Not Loud, They are Not Long, They are Not Heavy, and being a Premium Air Rifle they come in at a good price point.

 The picture shows my FX Royale .22cal Smooth Twist. It is used as a Demo Gun for customers and is always gratifying to see customers smile when they achieve good groups and comment about the ease with which they are able to do this. When I  first set up the rifle it had a Leapers 3-9x50 on it, and as long as I have a definite target to reference, orange dot or black ten meter bull I can still usually shoot very tight groups with this rifle at 50 and 55 yards.

Here are a couple of 5 & 10 shot groups. The black target shows a full mag shot @ 60 yards, which might have actually been 12 shots not 10 shots. My buddy Rich Coughlin was testing his Royale just was before dark and the air was clam when I grabbed my Royale I fired one clip using 18g JSB's first shot hit low - cold barrel, me, or whatever, but the rest of the shots went through a ragged hole that can easily be covered by a dime. So impressed with the group, I quickly fired a second group with 14.3 JSB's, either it was too dark, me, or the gun simply didn't like the 14.3's, still a decent group for 60 yards, but no comparison to the 18g JSB's. Other Orange dots show 50 and 55 yard 5 Shot groups.

Based on all of the above intel, I decided to give the Royale a go as a walk about squirrel shooting rifle.  Wanted to play to it's strengths and keep it as light as possible, so I mounted an old Leupold 2-7 compact. I bet I have had this scope close to 25 years, back in the day, it was one of the few scopes that would hold up on recoiling Springers.  I had Leupold reset the parallax to 30 yards and with a low 2-7 power, should prove be a good close medium range hunter. I took a walk to the back of my hunting property and sat down near a cluster of tall chestnut trees. I believe these are the American Chestnut Trees, they grow tall and straight and tend to be a good draw for the local squirrel population. Sitting patiently, for about 15-20 minutes brought sight of a nice grey squirell. He climbed and took a low perch on a tree approximately 25 yards away in perfect profile form. While I was sitting leaning against the tree, and he was foward and slightly to my left,  which made for a perfect Fiedl Target Shot. With the gun steady and resting on my knee, I held just a little low on the head,  eased through the first stag of the trigger - Concentrate - Squeeze -pop - then almost instantly a second WHOP as the JSB hit the side of his head and sent the squirrel tumbling out of the tree. While moving forward to grab this squirrel, I saw a second one, heading for some brush, So I took a  sitting position against the tree where the grey had just fallen, scanning above the brush I spotted him. He had climbed one of the bigger trees and presented another perfect profile shot.  I could clearly see the outline of his body and most importantly his head. Guessing the range to be about 35 yards, held just a tad high and touched off another shot. The same click and whop and down goes number 2!

Hated to leave the woods, things were just getting going, but work comes first. At least I had the chance to prove that the Royale was a capable small game getter as I knew it would be. 

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