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Definitive Guide to FX Wildcat MKII

Building on the phenomenal success of the original Wildcat, the FX Wildcat MKII ups the ante in the bullpup airgun game. Built from the ground up as a bullpup and never adapted from pre-existing designs, the Wildcat quickly became the best-selling bullpup airgun in the world. Now a great gun has become even better. The biggest change to the new Wildcat MKII is the inclusion of FX's new Interchangeable Barrel System, which allows the user to change barrel liners with varying twist rates. This new barrel system adds to a Wildcat that is now even lighter in hand. Other upgrades include an upgraded reloading mechanism, trigger, and updated airflow that obtains better consistency and shot count. The FX Wildcat MKII air rifle conquers many shooters qualms regarding the bullpup configuration and results in a rifle that has all the advantages of a compact design, a precision action, an internal regulator, and an exceptional trigger in one package. And on top of that, it's been released at a very friendly price point for such a high-end European rifle! The FX Wildcat MKII is, simply put, one of the very best bullpups out there.
Detailed Review
Yet another innovative design by FX Airguns creator Fredrik Axelsson, the Wildcat MKII comes to us from the state-of-the-art FX Airguns factory in Mariestad, Sweden. Like the other guns FX has produced, the Wildcat seeks to be completely unique and offers shooters top of the line performance and 100% reliability. And all of this at a very aggressive price. Let's dive into some of the features that make the FX Wildcat MKII a standout in its class.
The Basic Anatomy of the Wildcat
The Wildcat MKII weighs in at just 6 lbs in .22 and 6.5 lbs in .25. and being a bullpup, most of its weight is at the back of the gun. That makes this lightweight bullpup even quicker handling than one would expect. Bringing the gun to the shoulder is quick and natural. The pistol grip features finger grooves for a positive grip, combined with an all-weather soft-touch synthetic stock that makes the Wildcat ready for any conditions. The overall ergonomics of the Wildcat are phenomenal. The cocking lever is placed directly over the firing hand making charging the rifle easy and very fast. Follow up shots on game are not an issue for this fast cycling bullpup.
The .22 caliber Wildcat is very compact, measuring just 26.5" long. It has a fixed 230cc onboard air cylinder which should give you around 70 full-powered shots thanks to the regulator. The .25 caliber FX Wildcat is a longer gun adding another 8.5" to the length of the barrel as well as having a larger air cylinder (300cc). We'll cover the reasons why in our Power & Accuracy section, but basically this longer length ensures you get more power out of the more hunting oriented .25 caliber. At 35" long the .25 caliber Wildcat is still approximately the same size of other Bullpups, it's just in comparison the .22 caliber is extremely compact!
If you want the size of the .22 Wildcat with the power of the .25 caliber then the Wildcat MKII Compact is the gun for you! It takes all the power of the .25 and puts it in a package the same size as the .22. It has a 230cc air cylinder so you get fewer shots than the standard MKII .25, but the MKII Compact just may be the ultimate in compact hunting guns. To top it all off, the Wildcat MKII Compact also comes with a moderator to keep things exceptionally quiet. The MKII Compact is only available with a synthetic stock.
If a more traditional look is your style then the Wildcat can be had in both Walnut or a beautiful black-pepper Laminate stock as well. A question that comes up is if the Wildcat is truly ambidextrous or not? While the cocking lever and cheekpiece are right-hand configured there is a left-handed oriented Wildcat that FX makes, but it is currently not imported into the US (though we're going to look into seeing if that can change - we love to cater to our left handed shooters!) One of our favorite aspects of the design is that the cocking lever is placed right above the trigger. Like all FX rifles, the cocking action is extremely smooth and the rifle cycles easily for follow-up shots. We love side levers in general vs standard bolts. The placement is perfect and much improved over other bullpups we've fired that have the cocking lever placed all the way back by the shoulder which forces you to remove your cheek weld between shots.
The FX Wildcat's trigger is part of what makes it such a joy to shoot. The Wildcat is one of the few bullpup air rifle triggers that can truly be called match grade. The trigger is so good, in fact, it convinced us that Frederick Axelesson has sold his soul to the devil! There's no other explanation for a trigger like this on a bullpup. Out of the box it comes set with a single stage that breaks at 8 oz (there are few air rifles that can go that low!), and with the turn of a screw, the trigger can easily be adjusted to have a light first stage and crisp second stage. Now our trigger breaks cleanly at 12 oz.Bullpups are not usually known for having crisp triggers but the Wildcat is the exception. This is largely due to the fact that the Wildcat features a straight trigger actuating rod that connects the trigger and the sear.
Perhaps the most exciting new feature of the Wildcat MKII is the FX Interchangeable Barrel System. The MKII currently comes with an FX Smooth Twist Barrel liner, which means that the liner is only rifled at the final few inches. But if you so wish, you can buy Smooth Twist X barrel liners with different twist rates. This enables you to experiment with shooting different weights of ammunition, and of course, the most exciting thing about this is the potential for accurately shooting slugs instead of pellets! This new system is one of the most exciting developments in airgunning that we have ever seen! Note that you can't change the caliber by changing the barrel liner, just twist rates. The Smooth Twist barrel liner that comes with the Wildcat only has rifling for the last few inches of the barrel. If you just use JSB pellets with their very soft lead you won't have much of a problem with lead accumulating at the base of the rifling. But if you use harder lead pellets from other manufacturers you may notice accuracy start to drop off. If that happens, just clean the barrel, particularly where the rifling starts. If you switch a Smooth Twist X liner this shouldn't be much of an issue either way.
The Wildcat is filled by a probe rather than having a female foster quick disconnect mount like many other FX airguns. This probe inserts into the front of the cylinder and the onboard air cylinder fills to 230 bar. Note that the gauge shows up to 250, but you should only fill to 230 (or 3,300 psi).
Both the .22 and .25 cal Wildcats come with an 8 round clip that loads easily with one hand. The FX Wildcat also comes with an internal regulator. The regulator can be adjusted to fine-tune your Wildcat for velocity and shot count, though most shooters will find the factory settings to be to their liking (so don’t worry if adjusting a regulator is beyond your airgun IQ!). The hammer spring can also be adjusted to increase the power of your Wildcat. Simply remove the stock, and there will be a small access port for an allen wrench at the back of the action. Turning the allen bolt clockwise will increase power. Make sure to make very small adjustments as turning the hammer spring bolt too far may damage your rifle.
The FX Wildcat MKII also comes with an internal regulator so each shot will be very consistent over the full shot string.
Power Adjuster
The hammer spring can be adjusted to increase the power of your Wildcat. Simply remove the stock, and at the back of the action, there will be a small access port with a bolt that accepts an allen wrench. Turning the allen bolt clockwise will increase power. Make sure to make very small adjustments, as turning the hammer spring bolt in too far may damage your rifle. By turning the hammer spring one full turn in we were able to achieve 51 foot-pounds of energy with 33.39gr JSB Kings. Any more and power began to drop off. Of course, one of the most important functions of a power adjuster is to tune for greatest accuracy, and that may mean turning the power down a little.
The FX Wildcat MKII comes with a fully shrouded barrel that removes a nice chunk of the downrange crack you find on airguns without any sound suppression devices. The .25 cal Wildcat comes with FX's standard moderator sections, while the .22 cal relies on the barrel shroud to quiet the gun. The .25 MKII Compact needs to use more air to achieve the same velocity with a shorter barrel so the report is correspondingly louder. For this reason, it ships with the larger Impact style moderator units. The full shroud on the .22 displaces most of the noise, but we did find that there was a still a slight crack that we wanted to reduce further. Which FX was way ahead of with their option of additional Moderator sections.
The FX stackable moderator is the Lego of sound suppression. Unlike traditional firearms that need the ejecting air to be cooled, air guns really rely on volume of space to reduce report. So FX has created a simple system where you can fine-tune the amount of volume you add to your Wildcat, section by stackable section. To test the results, we decided to add two sections at a time and show the decrease in sound on a percentage basis. We only had the FX Impact Stackable Moderators in stock to test instead of the smaller Standard Stackable Moderators which are the typical ones for the Wildcat. So since the Impact Moderators have a larger volume, know that these results won't apply to the Standard Stackable Moderator. We started by adding just the two sections. This reduced the sound by 6 decibels.
Adding an additional two middle moderator sections reduced the sound by an additional 9 dB or a total of 15 dB from the rifle without these sections. This is probably the most common addition of moderators as aesthetically it looks the best and reduces a great deal of sound. But adding an additional moderator section (now totaling 5 sections in total) brought the sound down an additional 3 dB. Now we're starting to see diminishing returns.
We added more sections but they didn't really budge the sound down anymore. Only moving things by an additional 1-2 dB but at the expense of looking comically large. The only thought we could think of is if someone were to try buying those cheap dollar store hair curlers, wrapping them with cloth and inserting them into these larger Impact Stackable Moderators. Perhaps it would reduce things even further? Then again, at this level, it's already whisper quiet. The .25 caliber we tested measured 67db on our sound meter, which is extremely quiet, and adding additional sections hardly reduced the report at all.
Accuracy & Power
The FX Wildcat MKII in .25 is designed to shoot the best with the JSB 25.39 grain pellets and that is evident in the chart below. Although the JSB 33.95 pellets achieved a higher muzzle velocity they were not as consistent. In .25 cal expect about 55 consistent shots at the factory power setting, more if you drop it down. The JSB Exact Heavy 18.13 is the pellet of choice for the Wildcat MKII in .22 caliber, and again the chart below bears that out. In .22 cal expect at least 75 consistent shots at factory settings, more, again, if you drop the power down.
The Wildcat, along with all FX guns, has a reputation for accuracy but even so we were surprised with the results! We shot the standard MKII .25 with the Smooth Twist (not X) barrel liner at thirty five yards using JSB Exact King 25.39 gr. pellets and here are the results of the ten-shot group:
Center to center, that group measures 0.15 inches or 3.81 millimeters! That is insane! Seriously folks, you just can't ask for better accuracy than that. It's important to note that we have to credit these great groups not only to the FX Smooth Twist barrel but the Wildcat's superlative trigger that made it easy to repeat the same performance shot after shot. Whether you are a small game hunter or a paper puncher, the Wildcat puts lead where you want it every time.
The Wildcat MKII comes with an 11mm dovetail top rail for mounting your scope. The Wildcat MKII Compact has a picatinny scope rail and a pic rail on the bottom for a bipod, flashlight, etc. We found that medium to high rings will give you the best sight picture depending on the scope that you are using. FX also offers a picatinny scope rail upgrade for the standard MKIIs so you can take full advantage of optics choices available to you. We love the combination of a Wildcat with an ATN X-Sight for a compact night hunting rig! Both the .22 and .25 caliber versions of the Wildcat come with 8 shot rotary mags. These magazines are easily loaded with one hand and can be changed quickly to get you back shooting fast. Extra magazines are available and since the Wildcat is extremely efficient (we got up to 70 shots out of the .22's 230cc air tube!) you'll want to be sure to pick up extras so you spend more time shooting and less time loading. Smooth Twist X barrel liners will be available in a variety of twist rates so you can experiment with different weights of pellets and slugs.
Summing Up
The FX Wildcat MKII is perhaps the best bullpup airgun on the market. If you are looking for a gun that functions flawlessly and is light, compact, quiet, and incredibly accurate; and more than anything a gun that will give you a lifetime of shooting enjoyment, then the Wildcat MKII is the gun for you. Make sure to post your own review of the FX Wildcat once you've received it and shot some lead down range. We welcome your comments and questions.
Ground Up Design FX Airguns designed the Wildcat as a bullpup from day one. No adapting pre-existing actions, no retrofits. Rather a ground-up design engineered so that everything can work in harmony together. This solves many of the problems associated with bullpup airguns including the often subpar trigger. The Wildcat remedies this problem by using a straight connecting bar attached directly to the trigger as well as the sear; this means no mushy trigger, no long pull, and the ability to adjust your trigger to your liking.
FX Smooth Twist Barrel One of the great things about all modern FX airguns is that no matter what gun you get, you always get one of their precision Smooth Twist Barrels. The Wildcat is no exception. The FX Smooth Twist Barrel is essentially a smooth bore barrel for most of the length of the barrel, it's only rifled for a small portion of the barrel just before the pellet exits the muzzle. And technically it?s not even actually rifled by traditional means (instead the ?rifling" is introduced from pressing on the outside of the barrel in? a technical way of saying it?s even better than traditional rifling and has proven such in competition after competition). The results of this design is minimal friction as the pellet travels down the smooth bore barrel which adds higher ballistic coefficients, and then the perfect stabilizing spin introduced. This means less interference from wind speed as the pellet travels to the target resulting in more accurate and consistent shots.
Accuracy & Power Shooting the FX Wildcat is a true pleasure. The quality of the 2 stage match trigger coupled with the accuracy of the smooth twist barrel means that the Wildcat shoots absolutely lights out. Groups under 1 inch at 50 yards are not a problem at all for this little rifle. The regulated air system provides constant power for about 70 shots in our .22 caliber Wildcat, we were able to get velocities averaging 896 fps, that's just over 32 ft/lbs! The .25 caliber Wildcat (with its longer barrel) can achieve velocities over 900 fps and up to 50 ft/lbs of energy. All with an immense amount of precision accuracy.
Tunable Moderator The Wildcat is equipped to use FX?s stackable moderator system. This allows you to fine tune your gun?s sound moderations capabilities. If you are looking for the quietest shot possible, and let's be honest, who isn't? Then simply add the screw on, stackable FX baffles. If getting the barrel as short as possible is the end goal, screw them off to save some size. Without the baffles the Wildcat has a little bit of a bark so we recommend running at least a few to keep it backyard friendly. Note that you can use either the standard stackable FX baffles or the larger FX Impact Baffles will work as well as seen below.