Mick Garvey’s beloved ‘Lola’ is built to impress - and she does just that
Finally, I’ve got round to the final build up – well, maybe. I know from the guys on the FX Dreamline group on Facebook that one should never say ‘never’ when it comes to the FX DLC-Tac. The options for additional parts are endless, as are the personal requirements from the owners for that special individuality that makes their gun stand out from the rest. We have Donny FL making some awesome moderators for airguns, a personal favourite of mine, and from the same stable we have Saber Tactical constantly developing various accessories for the FX Impact. I have a few, and I can assume it will be only a matter of time before there is a range of Saber Tactical accessories for the Dreamline, to complement the couple of chassis already available, so maybe this won’t be the final build up … we shall have to see.
STEPS ONE AND TWO
First was the cheap, knock-off Atlas bipod; this had to be replaced, so following the Magpul theme already employed, I went for the Magpul composite bipod. This is a truly lightweight item and is available in M-Lok, Picatinny and QD Sling stud attachment variants. South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies didn’t have the Picatinny option in stock, so I opted for the QD and this will be fitted to my centrefire rifle when the Pic’ pod turns up. The QD requires an adaptor to attach to the underslung Picatinny rail, and also a Picatinny riser to allow the bipod to clear the air tube, so I had to get an engineering mate to machine the riser down to get a perfect fit. The Picatinny bipod won’t require any of these adaptors and will clean up the lines of the Tac and drop of a little weight, too.
Next step is the one-piece mount I fitted. I still wasn’t getting the right eye relief, mainly due to the short Hawke Airmax Compact scope. The eye relief is somewhat shorter than a standard Airmax, and as I hang off the back of the gun it needed bringing back. So, I sent for a set of Hawke 2” reach-back/forward mounts that would give me the eye relief I needed. The two-piece mounts now allowed me to fit the Magpul sling attachment further back, which lets the Tac hang vertically rather
“the netting was hanging in front of the scope, so next on the list was an extended sunshade”
than the near-horizontal position with the forward mounted sling attachment – things are coming together nicely.
I do a lot of shooting from a hide, and from the seated position behind the camo netting I was now finding that the netting was hanging in front of the scope, so next on the list was an extended sunshade. I’m a big fan of these because they help prevent glare to the eye, and also work toward eliminating sun flash to your quarry. I have also added a honeycomb cover for the end, to assist with sun flash – it looks a bit ‘trick’, too. So, with all these little additions fitted, I was set for the woods and the change made a noticeable difference straight away; eye relief was spot on, the scope now cleared the hide and the bipod even acted as a hamster, as used by target shooters, although I did fit it ‘backwards’ because I’m intending to try out an air bottle in place of the air tube (looks like the build-up isn’t finished) but this doesn’t affect how I use the gun at all.
A couple of sessions on the squirrels from the hide and a few pigeons from the fields told me that everything was perfect and a cloverleaf pattern for the zero check for a full mag’, and a
“The words came booming from the other end of the bench rest ...”
smashed spinner set on the side of a skinny feeder pleased me immensely, but how would Lola fare against some stiff competition? How would I perform under the scrutiny of a seasoned target shooter and the range officers of a new shooting range that I had been invited to visit?
You might have already read about my visit to the Foxcombe Shooting Range in Pembrokeshire West Wales. The place is brilliant and very professionally run by owners, Ceri and Steve, with range officer, Ryan. The layout of the range is perfect for anyone wanting to test their air rifles at ranges from 10 to 77 yards.
My invitation came from a good friend, Rhys, whose never-ending search for the perfect pellet is as legendary as his shooting ability. I would have a tough test, for sure, and all under the eyes of the owners and other users.
Rhys had brought his Daystate Pulsar, kitted out with the Pard 008LRF NV scope which has been causing quite a stir in the shooting world, along with the 007 scope add-on, so I was quite keen to see what all the fuss was about I have to say, and I was very impressed. He also had his Theoben TTR and the HW100 BTAS, all very heavily tuned, but all sub-12 ft.lbs. I had the FX Dreamline Tactical Compact in .22 and the FX Impact in .177, and they both instantly attracted the attention of my host and the staff. The tactical look made them stand out from the other rifles, and what most people found interesting was how smooth the cocking system was on both guns.
First off I did a zero check at 30 yards with both guns, and all was bang on, so I decided to go all in and try out the full distance of 77 yards with the DLC-Tac. This is new territory for both the Tac and me at this range, and some quick thinking and my best guesswork had me setting the very bottom of the crosshairs on a bright pink cup, way out at the top of the range. I could see there was a slight swirling breeze, and I found myself waiting for it to drop before squeezing of a 16gr Air Arms Diablo. The resulting crack and the sight of the cup spinning over the bar almost had me whooping, but I controlled it and sent another into it, which did make me snort while trying to stifle a laugh. The words came booming from the other end of the bench rest … “Who’s hit my bl**dy cup?”
“Me sir,” was my best schoolboy reply, “but don’t worry I’ll untangle it for you,” as I then span it off the support bar … dead silence …
A spot of light engineering.
Hawke Endurance ED monocular, a must have.
The dynamic duo.
Taking a few woodies with the Enforcer decoys.