Win­ner Takes It

Phill Price gets first look at an ex­cit­ing new ri­fle from Italy that you can win!

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price re­views the FAS611 from Armex. Of­fer your views and win one in a free draw

One of the great things about this job is that we some­times get the chance to han­dle new guns be­fore they hit the shops, and we’re fre­quently asked for our opin­ions on them. Just such a ri­fle is the FAS 611 you see here, and not only does the im­porter want our thoughts, but they’d like yours as well. You see, this ri­fle has many great fea­tures and some I be­lieve that could be im­proved, so read on and when you fin­ish, email us with your thoughts on ways the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer could make this sweet lit­tle ri­fle per­fect for your type of shoot­ing. If you give us your views, your name will go into a draw and you could win a FAS 611 in ex­change for help­ing de­velop it!

It’s clear from the first glance that the FAS 611 is based on a 10-me­tre com­pe­ti­tion gun, which is good be­cause they have many of the fea­tures I want from a truly mod­ern ri­fle. The ac­tion is pre-charged pneu­matic with a sin­gle-shot, sidelever cock­ing sys­tem. Be­low this is a highly ad­justable, lit­er­ally match-grade trig­ger cov­ered by an un­usual bolt-on alu­minium trig­ger guard, which looks great, adding to the al­ready stylish ap­peal of the wal­nut stock. This is in a pure com­pe­ti­tion con­fig­u­ra­tion with its ver­ti­cal pis­tol grip and deep, square sec­tion fore end. At the tip of the fore end is an alu­minium track that can ac­cept all kinds of ac­ces­sories, whilst at the rear there’s a deep sec­tio de­signed to ac­com­mo­date the clas­sic com­pe­ti­tion stand­ing hold. There are no che­quered pan­els at the con­tact points, even though there are plenty of laser-cut swoops and swirls along­side the com­pany logo and the ri­fle’s name cut into the wood.

FULL-SIZE RI­FLE

Of more in­ter­est to me as a hunter is the height ad­justable cheek piece, a fea­ture that ev­ery high-qual­ity ri­fle needs, in my opin­ion. Be­hind this there’s a height ad­justable, con­cave, rub­ber butt pad. Oddly, there’s a set of rather broad open sights fit­ted, al­though I can’t imag­ine why. No­body is go­ing to buy a ri­fle with the ac­cu­racy po­ten­tial of this one and fail to fit a scope. On that sub­ject, I noted that the scope rails are quite short, so I an­tic­i­pated the need for reach-for­ward mounts. This is com­pounded by an­other un­usual di­men­sion, which is the length of pull. At just un­der 13½” it’s over an inch shorter than the in­dus­try stan­dard. I asked the im­porter Armex, if this ri­fle was in­tended for ju­nior shooter, but they as­sured me that it’s a full-size, adult ri­fle.

To fill the reser­voir, you un­screw it from the ac­tion and use the adap­tor sup­plied to at­tach it di­rectly to your dive bot­tle. This seems a point­lessly pro­tracted ex­er­cise when ev­ery other gun in this cat­e­gory has some kind of fill­ing valve that ac­cepts a con­nec­tor. Fur­ther, re­mov­ing the reser­voir ex­poses key com­po­nents to dirt, grit and po­ten­tially dam­age. The pres­sure gauge is in the muz­zle end of the reser­voir, which is a place some peo­ple dis­like be­cause ef­fec­tively, you point the gun at your face as you read it. I was un­able to use it with

“Give us your views, and you could win a FAS 611 in ex­change for help­ing de­velop it!”

“It’s abun­dantly clear that the FAS611 has huge po­ten­tial”

my dive bot­tle be­cause it’s a 300 bar unit and the con­nec­tor was de­signed for use on 232bar ones. Luck­ily, I live near Bis­ley and man­aged to get it filled there.

NOT A BIG DEAL

The sturdy, 14mm thick bar­rel is kind of free-float­ing, but sup­ported by a syn­thetic cra­dle 8½” for­ward of the ac­tion block. This en­sures that a knock won’t bend the bar­rel, yet it re­mains un­af­fected by pres­sure changes in the reser­voir. At the muz­zle, there’s a bar­rel weight that’s also the base for the front sight el­e­ment. It’s eas­ily re­moved with an Allen key and I’m sure hunters will fit a si­lencer and the com­pe­ti­tion chaps will fit a strip­per, so I’d ques­tion the need for it to be fit­ted at all.

As an­tic­i­pated, I found that I needed a reach-for­ward front scope mount and the rear one needed to go in front of the load­ing slot so that I could get cor­rect eye re­lief. As ever, Sports­match had just the right so­lu­tion for my mount­ing needs, so thank you to them.

With the scope fit­ted it’s pretty tricky to get a pel­let into the load­ing tray and se­ri­ous pa­tience is needed. Rolling the pel­let into the groove is made yet more dif­fi­cult by the re­cessed screw heads on the top of the tray. At my club, the mem­bers all en­joyed han­dling the FAS and sev­eral were very im­pressed, so much so that they’re think­ing of buy­ing one. I was sur­prised that not one of them men­tioned the short length of pull, so per­haps it’s not as much of a big deal as I thought.

HUGE PO­TEN­TIAL

The trig­ger came set very light, in a sin­glestage con­fig­u­ra­tion, so I warned the other shoot­ers to ex­er­cise ex­treme cau­tion. I don’t like stupidly light trig­gers, so I need to dial in some more pull weight. Full in­struc­tions are sup­plied which is good, be­cause this is one of the most ad­justable trig­gers I’ve ever seen. An­other sign of the ri­fle’s tar­get ori­gins is seen as the lack of safety, which will limit the 611’s ap­peal to hunters.

A quick check over the chrono­graph was all I could af­ford be­cause I had just one fill of air and a rea­son­ably con­sis­tent 780fps was the re­sult. That’s just right, at around 11.5 ft.lbs so I moved on to ac­cu­racy test­ing. This again was in the ball park with the We­b­ley Mosquito show­ing best the per­for­mance of 1¼” groups at 50 yards on a near wind­less day.

It’s abun­dantly clear that the FAS611 has huge po­ten­tial as a light­weight field tar­get ri­fle and per­haps even more ap­peal as a hunter field tar­get gun. The lack of a mag­a­zine and a safety will make it less of a draw for hunters as it stands. Next month, I’ll re­port back when I’ve had a lit­tle more time with the ri­fle and have got to know it bet­ter. I

I find the stock too short, but most peo­ple don’t.

The highly un­usual trig­ger guard ap­pealed to many who saw it. This tiny sidelever op­er­ates the sin­gle-shot ac­tion.

Ad­justa­bil­ity is the fu­ture of air­gun de­sign. This open win­dow into the ac­tion could let dirt in.

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