FX Crown Continuum Air Rifle Test Review .22 Caliber
May 9, 2020
FX Airguns USA
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VALUE FOR MONEY
The FX Crown Continuum is the latest iteration of the Crown platform. It’s notable for including two barrels – of the same caliber but different lengths. The longer – 700 mm (27.6 Inch) barrel is specifically intended for benchrest and other types of long range shooting.
HAM tested the gun with the short (380 mm, 15 Inch) barrel. This is advised for hunting and similar situations where manoeuvrability is important. The included moderator can be attached to either barrel.
Compared to the original Crown tested by HAM in Summer 2018, the Continuum in this review has a number of additional improvements. One is the new, latest and greatest FX Smooth Twist X barrel rifling.
The barrel itself is mounted in a much more substantial manner. There’s no less than five setscrews to secure the barrel in place. One is on top of the breech, with two each side (photo below).
The Crown Continuum also includes the new “Side-shot style” magazine which HAM covered recently.
So there’s a number of worthwhile improvements compared to the previous Crown. Also the two-barrel flexibility of the FX Crown Continuum is provided at a price just $100 higher than that for a “non-Continuum” Crown model.
HAM Tester Doug Rogers was so impressed with the 2018 review Crown that he purchased it himself! He clearly sees the improvements in this Continuum and feels that it represents outstanding value, even at $2K.
In Doug’s test notes he wrote: Yes it’s expensive, but you get so much value in the adjustability and versatility of interchangeable barrels.”
So, HAM’s value rating is made based on the opinion of an existing, happy Crown owner!
|HAM Test Rating||99%|
|Value For Money||If you have the money, this is a perfect air rifle.|
|Best For||Hunting, long range target shooting|
|Best Pellet Tested||JSB Jumbo Monster 25.39 Grain|
|Street Price at Time of Test||$2,099.99|
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SPEED AND ACCURACY
As can be seen below, the FX Crown Continuum tested by HAM achieved peak Muzzle Velocities of 1109 FPS with alloy pellets and 1027 FPS with lead.
However, most purchasers of this air rifle will be much more interested in the 35.39 Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy produced using the 25.39 Grain JSB Jumbo Monster pellets. What’s better is that these pellets also delivered the best accuracy. At 25 Yards, we had a pretty-well one hole group for 10 shots!
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||1109.12 FPS||26.50 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||1109.42 FPS||27.41 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||1027.78 FPS||27.91 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||975.36 FPS||30.21 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||980.10 FPS||30.61 Ft/Lbs||Excellent|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||973.67 FPS||30.86 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||843.46 FPS||33.40 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Monster 25.39 Grain||792.26 FPS||35.39 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best tested.|
As is expected from FX air rifles, the overall level of accuracy produced with (almost) all the HAM test pellets weighing 14 Grains and above was extremely good. Only the H&N Field Target Trophies seemed not to the taste of this air rifle.
HAM has no reason to expect that the long barrel will deliver accuracy results that are less stellar than this – and at much longer ranges.
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The trigger pull of the FX Crown Continuum tested by HAM was outstanding. The first stage is incredibly light and smooth. On pulling back further, you encounter a very clear, distinct “stop”. That’s the second, release, stage.
That second stage has absolutely no creep or slack, there’s not a trace of “mushiness”. Instead a small amount of additional pressure trips the sear with no additional movement. This really is a “glass break” trigger.
The trigger blade itself is beautifully shaped and finished. It invites the ball of the finger to apply pressure in just the right way. Overall, releasing the trigger of the Continuum is a joy in itself.
Trigger pull weight of the Crown Continuum tested by HAM was a very light 1 Lb 5.4 Oz. It felt – and was – incredibly consistent when tested with an electronic trigger pull gauge.
Of course, the trigger is adjustable for pull weight of both the first and second stages. But the HAM Team can think of no reason why anyone would ever want to change the factory trigger settings on this gun!
The only missing feature from this trigger is the ability for the blade to be moved forward or back, to accommodate particularly long or short fingers. But that didn’t matter to the HAM testers, it was ideal for us!
The trigger can be de-cocked by holding the cocking lever back, setting the safety to safe, and pulling the trigger at the same time as pushing the cocking lever forward.
The safety lever is conveniently placed on the right of the stock, just behind and above the trigger blade. It works precisely and easily.
As expected, the side lever action was buttery smooth. It was light and easy to operate. Cocking effort was a little over 12 Lbs – somewhat more than the Crown tested in 2018, but still very acceptable.
This is the level of excellence in trigger and cocking action that you expect from a $2,000 air rifle. Again, the FX Crown Continuum delivers!
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
As with any PCP air rifle, the Muzzle Velocity and shot count per fill will depend on the power settings. The FX Crown Continuum tested by HAM had its regulator set to approximately 110 bar (1,600 PSI). The power wheel was set to Max and the transfer port set to “.25.30”. This is how we received it.
The result is that this – even with the shorter barrel – is a “hot performing” gun. (As with all PCPs, using a longer barrel will increase the power, too).
FX Airguns specs give a Muzzle Energy of up to 32 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber for the Continuum. The gun tested by HAM far exceeded that, producing 35.39 Ft/Lbs with the 25.39 Grain JSB Jumbo Monsters.
But – as always – more power is gained at the expense of shot count. The FX Crown Continuum tested by HAM produced 65+ consistent shots, as can be see from the shot count graph below. This compares to the 145 shots per fill given by FX specs.
HAM has no reason to doubt that the Continuum could be tuned back down to a lower power and a correspondingly large increase in shot count per fill. Our previous test of the Crown further reinforces that expectation.
The FX Crown Continuum tested by HAM delivered the predictably excellent level of consistency. We expected nothing less!
The trigger pull weight was so close to uniform that HAM Tester Doug Rogers had to resort to measuring differences of one tenth of an Ounce to detect any inconsistency from shot-to-shot. The average trigger pull weight was 1 Lb 5.4 Oz and no pull registered as much as an Ounce different from this average. That’s very close to perfect consistency!
The average Standard Deviation across the HAM pellet test suite was just 3.35 FPS. This is an incredibly low figure and one of the best we’ve ever seen in HAM testing. Obviously the AMP regulator plays its part here.
Using 14.66 Grain H&N Field Target Trophy pellets, the FX Crown Continuum tested by HAM delivered 65+ consistent shots from one fill of its 480cc carbon fiber HPA tank.
As can be seen from the rear (right) pressure gauge, the regulator was set to about 110 Bar (1,600 PSI).
With its shrouded barrel and moderator, the FX Crown Continuum was extremely quiet. The Continuum is one of the quietest air rifles HAM has tested. It’s certainly backyard-friendly by any standards.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
As is expected with any high-end air rifle, the FX Crown Continuum is supplied without sighting equipment. Everyone will mount a scope, of course, and the HAM Team installed an Aztec Optics 5.5-25×50 First Focal Plane scope for this review.
Although the Picatinny scope rail is not the longest we’ve seen, it provides sufficient flexibility to allow for almost any combination of optic and shooter’s individual eyesight.
You will almost certainly need to use high rings for the scope installation, in order to gain clearance for the magazine. However the stock’s adjustable comb and buttpad ensure this can still be combined with an excellent cheek weld.
The FX Crown Continuum air rifle scores high marks for shootability as well!
This is an surprisingly light air rifle. FX specs give the weight as 6.5 to 6.85 Lbs – one Pound lighter if fitted with a synthetic stock. The test gun weighed-in at only 8 Lbs 7 Oz with a full HPA tank, empty magazine and with mounted scope.
HAM Testers found that the Continuum shoulders well and points intuitively. The short barrel is definitely advantageous for rapid target acquisition.
The thumbhole stock provides an ideal position for the firing hand: the trigger finger falls into place naturally. The point of balance falls directly through the natural position of the forward hand, just forward of the trigger.
Both comfort and cheek weld are facilitated by the adjustable cheek piece. The rubber buttpad is vertically adjustable using a 5mm hex (Allen) wrench.
As described in a previous post, HAM Testers find the new Sideshot-style magazine far easier to load than the previous mag. This is a definite contribution to improved shootability and completely overcomes one of the few dislikes we had for the original Crown.
The high capacity (18 shots in .22 caliber) is also an obvious benefit for long shooting sessions.
Overall, the Crown Continuum is one of the best-handling air rifles the HAM Team has shot. Combining this with the delightful sidelever action and great trigger makes shooting the Crown Continuum a delight.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Let’s cover the easy one first. The quality of fit and finish on all metal parts is flawless.
The Minelli-manufactured stock also exhibits the highest standard of finish. There’s beautiful stippling in the right places, combined with a luxurious satin finish over the remainder of the stock.
The overall design of the FX Crown Continuum is just beautiful too. In fact, HAM Publisher Stephen Archer feels it looks even better with the short barrel. The “chunky”, compact look is very pleasing to the eye.
But the stock color is where Doug and Steve disagree! Steve loves the bold, almost startling “Yellowjacket” colors of the laminated wood stock. Doug doesn’t. He much prefers the more subdued blue/black laminate of his own Crown!
Fortunately the FX Crown Continuum is available in a choice of stocks, so the issue of color can easily be addressed by the buyer 🙂
BUYING AND OWNING
The FX Crown Continuum is readily available online from an increasing range of dealers. You may be lucky enough to see one in person at one of the specialist airgun stores around the country.
Another improvement since our previous HAM Crown review is that the gun is now supported by a 3-year warranty. And even the case is improved – it’s now much easier to open than the previous version!
Talking of the case, about the only negative is that the Continuum case is long enough only to hold the gun with short barrel and the moderator removed. A removable section of foam allows for a fitted scope to be carried, however.
But if you want to case-up the Continuum with the moderator in place, or with the longer barrel installed, you’ll need another hard case…
The Owner’s Manual supplied with the test gun is beautifully illustrated, printed and written (in English only) as usual. However it was not current with the gun – it refers to the old-style magazine, for example. This may not be true of guns that ship to customers, however.
10 YARD TEST TARGETS
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FX Crown Continuum Yellowjacket
This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.