FX Streamline Air Rifle Test Review .177 Caliber
Testers: Sean McDaniel, Stephen Archer
Model Number: Streamline/Laminate
Test Date: 9 May 2017
Serial Numbers: fx s 170795
Source of Supply: Purchased by Sean McDaniel as his own gun.
Easy sidelever cocking
We Don't Like
Magazine loading is something of an acquired art
No shot counter on magazine
Not much else!
- Value for Money 90%
- Speed and Accuracy 90%
- Trigger and Cocking Effort 90%
- Comparison to Makers Claims:100%
- Consistency 90%
- Noise Level 90%
- Sights 100%
- Shootability 90%
- Appearance and Finish 100%
- Buying and Owning 90%
HARD AIR MAGAZINE TEST CONCLUSIONS
The FX Streamline air rifle is delightful to shoot. It has a perfect trigger and cocking is slick with the side lever action. Accuracy of the FX Smooth Twist barrel is outstanding and the gun is not pellet-picky.
In .177 caliber it’s an ideal tool for Field Target shooting. In larger calibers, it would be a great hunting air rifle, within its power level.
The regulated action with easily-selected variable power settings provides consistency of muzzle velocity at multiple levels. Appearance and finish are flawless. The light weight makes it easy to carry and shoot.
For all these reasons, and more, the FX Streamline air rifle justifiably earns a coveted HAM Gold Award.
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a starting Street Price of $999, the FX Streamline air rifle is not exactly cheap. However, it is the lowest-priced model in the range of Swedish-manufactured PCP airguns.
The Streamline is available in synthetic, laminate and walnut stocks. There’s also a choice of calibers: .177 cal, .22 cal and .25 caliber. As is normally the case with airguns from this manufacturer, the .25 caliber version of the FX Streamline air rifle has a larger air capacity to account for the greater usage associated with this caliber.
The subject of this test report is the personal property of HAM reviewer Sean McDaniel. It’s in .177 caliber and has the laminated stock. This option costs $1,199.99. But that’s not all. Sean mounted a Hawke Airmax 8-32 x 50AO scope using Sportsmantch rings. That brings the total Street Price for Sean’s FT rig up to a cool $1,710.
In this review, we’re taking Sean’s opinion as a guide to the gun’s value for money. After all, he spent his own money on it. There’s no doubt about that, he is extremely happy!
Here’s what Sean wrote in his review notes. “My expectations were very high for this gun. It delivers everything I expected from an FX gun. You can’t go wrong with this gun. The pellet speed can be easily adjusted, the accuracy is excellent, quality and workmanship are great.”
We’ll take that as confirmation that the FX Streamline air rifle offers excellent value for money for the right buyer…
|HAM Test Rating||93%|
|Value For Money||Light, accurate and beautiful!|
|Best For||Field Target competition|
|Best Pellet Tested||JSB Exact Diablo|
|Street Price at Time of Test||$1199 + scope|
|RateAGun Score|| |
Easy to Shoot
Note. Sean purchased this Streamline for use in Field Target competition as a step-up from his long-serving, customized Marauder. He’ll be campaigning with it this season.
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SPEED AND ACCURACY
The highest Muzzle Velocity recorded during HAM tests of the FX Streamline air rifle was 1,198 FPS. This was achieved with the 4.7 Grain Gamo Platinum PBA pellets. Maximum Muzzle velocity with lead pellets was 1,001 FPS. This was recorded, as anticipated with the light, 7.0 Grain RWS Hobby pellets.
Of course, serious users of the Streamline will be using heavier, domed pellets. Here we see Muzzle Velocities in the 900 to 940 FPS range with the power selector set to high – three dots. This gives Muzzle Energies in the 15 to 17 Ft/Lb range. This is ideal for strong performance in Field Target matches where there’s a maximum Muzzle Energy limit of 20 Ft/Lbs.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 4.7 Grain||1,198 FPS||14.98 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain||1,134 FPS||15.9 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|RWS Hobby 7.0 Grain||1,001 FPS||15.6 Ft/Lbs||Fair.|
|Crosman Premier HP 7.9 Grain||932.9 FPS||15.3 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Exact Diabalo 8.44 Grain||905.6 FPS||15.4 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain||938.9 FPS||16.9 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 10.65 Grain||812.8 FPS||15.6 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested|
As you can see from the test targets below, accuracy was excellent with most of the standard HAM test suite of pellets. FX’s unique Smooth Twist barrel is definitely doing its thing here!
Only the RWS Hobby pellets really scored lower in our tests, but then a light wadcutter pellet is not the ideal choice for use in any air rifle which propels it at 1,000 FPS…
Best results in the FX Streamline air rifle tested by HAM were obtained with the 8.44 Grain JSB Exact Diabalo pellets. These are Sean’s choice to use for Field Target competition with this gun.
The FX Streamline air rifle is fitted with an adjustable power level system. There are three power level settings chosen using a simple sidewheel. All our testing was undertaken at the Full Power setting as this is how most owners will leave it set. The low power setting could, however, be very useful for short-range practice in a short, basement range, for example.
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TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
As always, this FX Streamline air rifle was tested with the trigger as set from the factory. In this case, it felt just perfect. There’s a very light first stage. Then the sear release is felt as a clear, crisp and consistent increase in pull weight. It’s very easy to know when the FX Streamline air rifle is going to fire!
Average trigger pull weight is “feather light” at just 15.2 Ounces. That’s perfect for FT competition and Sean has no plans to change it, although adjustment is easy for the owner who feels that he/she can improve on perfection! “Right out of the box the trigger is set up really well”, he wrote in the testing notes.
Cocking is achieved using the side lever action. As anticipated, this has a delightfully light and easy action. In particular, the push close to load a pellet is very light and easy. It’s a pleasure to operate.
There’s a manual safety on the right of the action, immediately below the cocking lever. It’s easy to use, precise in function and works well.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
As with most high end products, the number of hard claims made by the manufacturer for the FX Streamline air rifle is very low. Products like this are not purchased for their ability to achieve a Zillion FPS Muzzle Velocity, for example, but for other, less-tangible, reasons such as quality and accuracy.
However FX does make a few claims for the Streamline. One is that the trigger pull weight is 500 Grams (17.6 Ounces). The FX Streamline air rifle tested by HAM has a trigger that is significantly lighter even than that claim, at 15.2 Ounces.
There’s also a claim for Muzzle Velocity. This is said to be “up to 980 FPS”. The gun tested by HAM easily exceeded this number with all the standard HAM test pellets weighing 7.0 Grains and below.
Airguns of Arizona gives a Muzzle Energy claim of “up to 18 Ft/Lbs”. Although the highest Muzzle velocity recorded in HAM testing was 16.9 Ft/Lbs, it’s very likely that this could be obtained using an ultra-heavy pellet, as PCP Muzzle Energy tends to increase with pellet weight.
The FX Streamline air rifle demonstrated excellent consistency in most respects.
Accuracy was excellent with most of the pellets tested by HAM. This rifle is definitely not pellet-picky!
Also, Muzzle Velocity was well controlled in the accuracy testing, with an average Standard Deviation (the measure of shot-to-shot consistency) of just 6.2 FPS. Outstanding!
The trigger pull weight varied by only about one Ounce either side of the 15.2 Ounce average. Again, outstanding!
Shot-to-shot consistency was pretty similar.
As the FX Streamline air rifle is regulated, we should expect to see a pretty straight, horizontal line that continues out until the regulator pressure is reached. At this point, it’s normal to see the FPS drop away rapidly.
It certainly looks as if this will be true for the FX Streamline air rifle tested by HAM. Unfortunately, we ran out of JSB 8.44 Grain pellets before finding the regulator pressure point and the publication deadline was upon us. Aaaagh!!!!!!
Here’s what we have for 67 shots, shot “straight from the tin”.
The average Muzzle Velocity over 67 shots was 898.3 FPS. The Extreme Spread (the difference between the fastest and slowest shots) was 22.5 FPS, equating to a Standard Deviation of just 4.9 FPS. This is very satisfactory performance that would show no point of impact variation downrange.
Shot side-by-side with HAM’s “gold standard” for quietness, the Benjamin Marauder, the FX Streamline air rifle was subjectively slightly louder. But not much.
The Streamline is quiet enough to shoot indoors without ear protection, at least if you avoid using the very light alloy pellets that exceed 1,100 FPS, the Speed of Sound. At such Muzzle Velocities, any air rifle will be very loud as the pellet creates its own sonic boom that no shroud or silencer can mitigate.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
As is expected with high end PCP air rifles, the FX Streamline air rifle is supplied without iron sights or a bundled scope. This is specifically to give the discerning owner the chance to select his/her own sighting system.
HAM tester Sean McDaniel has chosen to outfit his FX Streamline air rifle with a Hawke Airmax 8-32 x 50AO scope, supported by Sportsmatch rings. It’s a great combination!
The Hawke scope gives an excellent, clear image with an excellent reticle for Field Target shooting. The sidewheel focusing is also pretty essential for FT work. It operates easily, with focus snapping “in” and “out” clearly at the range of the target.
This scope is also not too big and heavy to overbalance the rather light FX Streamline air rifle.
The total weight of Sean’s FT Streamline rig is just 9 Lbs 1 Oz. That’s a considerable reduction compared to his previous Marauder and very light overall for this class of PCP air rifle.
Overall, just sublime!
The FX Streamline air rifle was described by Sean in his testing notes as “Wonderful. The gun is light and just feels good in your hands”.
It’s difficult to disagree with this overall assessment. And the light weight and outstanding ergonomics make the Streamline feel delightful to operate. However, there are a couple of detail areas that could be improved, primarily the magazine and single shot tray. Both are shown in the photograph below.
The 13-shot magazine works well and has a high capacity. Good. However, it requires some practice to feel completely confident in loading the first pellet backwards – skirt first – into the magazine. And the magazine itself has no counter indicating the number of pellets yet to be fired. This a very common feature on magazines from other manufacturers.
Inserting the magazine into the gun is simple, however it does not click into place as with some other mags. After all pellets have been fired, the magazine blocks the bolt, preventing further shots until the magazine is reloaded. However – as with the majority of PCP air rifles – there’s no double feed prevention system.
Although high capacity, the magazine fits conveniently under the scope, as you can see below.
The single shot tray is hard to install and remove. It also requires some practice to use easily. But practice does make perfect!
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Finish of the FX Streamline air rifle tested by HAM was – in Sean’s word – “flawless”.
There’s a complete absence of machining marks on all metal surfaces. All black surfaces are perfectly blacked and the engraving is all sharp and clear.
The gray laminate ambidextrous stock is also beautifully-finished, with quality checkering in all the right places and a mirror-smooth surface elsewhere. These are all characteristics of stocks manufactured by the Italian stock-making firm of Minelli.
Appearance is, of course, a personal matter. However the HAM team all agree that the FX Streamline air rifle is a beautiful-looking gun. It is, indeed, streamlined in form, with a slim, stylish design. And it looks great with the laminate stock.
BUYING AND OWNING
The FX Streamline air rifle is very unlikely to be found in your local big box sporting goods store. But it’s readily available online from the Precision Airgun Distribution network of dealers including, of course, Airguns of Arizona.
As always, the HAM testers do not like the location of the pressure gauge at the end of the HPA tube. While we understand the engineering reasons for this location, it forces the shooter to look down the barrel to clearly see the cylinder pressure. That never fails to make us feel uncomfortable!
As always, the HAM team would prefer a simple, standard, male “Foster” fitting to charge the gun with High Pressure Air. The FX Streamline air rifle uses a probe filling system. While this worked well, it requires the owner to also source an adapter to connect the probe to the female connector on the tank line. And for those lucky enough to own multiple probe-filled PCP airguns, there’s no standardization between these probes . You always need to ensure that you have the right probe for the gun you’re shooting today…
The fill port is open in the photograph below.
The Streamline carries a one year warranty and the US importers carry a full range of parts, together with FX factory-trained technicians to provide warranty and post-warranty service, if required.
Spare magazines are somewhat expensive at about $64.00 each. But this is a $1,000.00+ air rifle we’re talking about…
The instruction manual is a generic publication that applies to all FX Airguns models. It’s beautifully printed but, like most such “multi-gun” manuals, somewhat complicated to find the sections that apply exactly to the gun you have. It’s in English only.
Above. Apologies for the mix-up in documenting the results of the test using Crosman Premier Hollow Point pellets. The target is correct, the Chrony printout is correct, but there was a simple mix-up in writing the results on the target.
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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.