FX Dreamlite precharged air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FX Dreamlite
FX Dreamlite PCP.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • New Dreamline manual!
  • First accuracy test
  • Mounted a scope
  • Drooper
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 4.53mm heads
  • JSB Beast
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • RWS Superdome
  • JSB Exact
  • What now?
  • Final group
  • What have we learned?
  • Summary

New Dreamline manual!

Pyramyd Air sent me a copy of the new Dreamline manual and it is far more specific! I was delighted to discover that I had actually guessed right on all my assumptions, and the work I carefully reported in Part 2 of this report is exactly how the Dreamlite should have been adjusted. I even got the location of the power settings correct — meaning that the power setting that points straight up is the one that is in effect.

There are 7 power settings that range from Min. to Max., with 5 numbers in between. The letters on the opposite side of the wheel are equivalent to the numbers opposite them, so number 1 and letter E are both the same low power settings and number 5 and letter A are both the same high power settings. Max. power is maximum of all the settings and Min. is the minimum for every caliber.

The air transfer port adjustment is specific to caliber, so I set it correctly. You are not supposed to change that setting when you adjust for a specific caliber. It’s there for when the barrels (liners) are swapped.

Isn’t it nice to finally know these things? I guess the manual was being made but didn’t catch up with the first shipments of rifles. That’s not good, but at least there is now a manual that makes sense.

First accuracy test

After all I went through to discover the performance parameters of the .177-caliber FX-Dreamlite I’m testing, I took a break today and switched over to the accuracy mode. Accuracy is normal for a Part 3 report, but given the complexity and flexibility of the Dreamlite’s adjustments, there is more to be tested there. I will come back and test more of that after I establish the accuracy of the rifle. Today’s report is surprising, so read every word!

Mounted a scope

There are no open sights on the Dreamlite, so I mounted a UTG 8-32X56 SWAT scope. This is the same scope I had used on the AirForce Edge for the test of the 18-inch barrel. That scope was shimmed in the UTG rings, so it should have been close to zero.

Drooper

But it wasn’t. The Dreamlite I am testing shot two inches below the aim point at 25 yards and had to be adjusted up. Since the scope was shimmed to begin with there seemed to be plenty of room to adjust it up — BUT — this scope adjusts in 1/8 MOA clicks and I may have gone up too far. When you see the results of today’s test I think you will agree.

JSB Exact Heavy

I sighted-in and started the test with the 10.34-grain JSB Exact Heavy domed pellet. At 25 yards 10 of them went into 0.528-inches. That surprised me because I was expecting to bring out the trime for this pellet and rifle.

FX Dreamlite JSB Heavy group 1
This first group of 10 JSB Exact Heavy pellets measures 0.528-inches between centers. I expected about half this size or less.

I had fired 6 shots during sight in so there were five pellets left in the 21-shot magazine and I shot them at a second target. This one was even more puzzling. Five shots grouped in 0.795-inches at 25 yards. That’s significantly bigger than the 10-shot group with the same pellet. Something was up but I didn’t know just what it was yet.

FX Dreamlite JSB Heavy group 2
Five JSB Exact Heavy went into 0.795-inches at 25 yards.

I did not adjust the scope from this point on.

H&N Baracuda Match with 4.53mm heads

I tried the H&N Baracuda Match with a 4.53mm head next. Ten went into 0.581-inches at 25 yards, but I noticed something strange this time. The first couple pellets landed apart from the main group and once the rifle began shooting into the main group, it remained there. So the target shows a couple separate holes next to a larger main group. I tell you that because it happened with almost every pellet.

FX Dreamlight Baracuda group
Ten Baracuda Match pellets went into 0.581-inches at 25 yards. Most of them are in the large hole at the upper left.

At this point in the test I decided to shoot 5-shot groups and only expand to 10 if the first 5 were good.

JSB Beast

Next to be tested was the heavyweight JSB Beast. For some reason I thought shooters had said the Dreamlite likes heavy pellets over lighter ones. Five of the Beasts went into 0.582-inches at 25 yards. The last three pellets went into the same hole, so something was definitely up. But I still didn’t know what it was.

FX Dreamlight Beast group
Five JSB Beasts went into 0.582-inches at 25 yards, with the last three going into one hole (beneath the pellet).

Air Arms Falcons

The next pellet I tested was the Air Arms Falcon dome. Five of them went into 0.562-inches and, while that is a smaller group, one look tells you it isn’t the right pellet for the Dreamlite.

FX Dreamlight Falcon group
Five Falcon pellets went into 0.562-inches. This is a very open group.

RWS Superdome

Next I tried five RWS Superdome pellets. They were promising! After 5 shots I had a reasonably small group, so I loaded 5 more Superdomes into the magazine and shot them at the same target. Ten Superdomes went into 0.585-inches at 25 yards and, curiously, it was the last shot that opened the group up. Without that one, 9 pellets are in 0.354-inches.

FX Dreamlite Superdome group
Ten RWS Superdomes went into 0.585-inches at 25 yards with the first 9 in 0.354-inches.

I was onto something, but I wasn’t sure just what.

JSB Exact

The last pellet I tested was the 8.44-grain JSB Exact dome. Five went into a small group, so I loaded 5 more and completed the 10-shot group. Ten of these pellets went into 0.504-inches at 25 yards. I watched through the scope as the group grew horizontally.

FX Dreamlite JSB Exact group 1
Ten JSB Exact pellet shot five at a time made this 0.504-inch group.

That group gave me confidence that I had found the right pellet. So I loaded 10 more of them into the magazine and shot a second group. I thought everything was solved until the last shot — once again — opened the group. It measures 0.457-inches between centers

FX Dreamlite JSB Exact group 2
Ten pellets are in 0.457-inches at 25 yards.

What now?

I still had no idea of what was causing these open groups from a rifle that clearly ought to stack them, but I started writing the report anyway. Then, as I was writing, it dawned on me — this is how a scope behaves when the erector tube is floating because the elevation has been adjusted too high. If one of you had reported the same thing do you know what I would have advised you to do? Dial your elevation down 60 clicks and shoot another group with your best pellet — which is this last one. I couldn’t resist the challenge — I had to know. Because, if that solves the grouping problem, all that’s needed is a scope mount with droop compensation.

Final group

I set up the entire range a second time and shot 10 more 8.44-grain JSB Exacts. Before shooting I dialed the elevation of the scope down 60 clicks to get some tension on the erector tube spring. Then I shot. The pellets went into a single hole that did not grow much — until shot 10. Nine are in 0.325-inches with ten in 0.445-inches. I think I have found the “problem.” True the group before this is almost as small, but I have a suspicion that if I ran the test again, all the groups would be smaller.

FX Dreamlite JSB Exact group 3
This group was shot with the elevation dialed down to put tension in the erector tube spring. Ten shots are in 0.445-inches.

What have we learned?

I can’t say much about the Dreamlite yet because most of today’s test is flawed. I can tell you the test rifle is a drooper, and to remind you that drooping isn’t just a problem encountered on breakbarrel springers.

I can also tell you that my fix for testing whether the erector tube is floating works. You just saw it demonstrated. I still need a different mount for this rifle, but at least I know the problem is with how the scope is mounted and not with the airgun.

Summary

Today was just a quick accuracy test. There is still more to be tested, plus we need to refine the adjustments a bit. I also want to test the sensitivity of the barrel to being hit from the side, because that’s something many readers have asked about.

So far the Dreamlite is testing out well. I haven’t seen any of the screamer groups that others have reported, but I’m shooting 10 shots and they mostly shot five. I could have stopped at five shots many times in today’s test and shown great results, but I want to know how accurate the rifle is — not how good it can be made to look.

64 thoughts on “FX Dreamlite precharged air rifle: Part 3

  1. B.B.,

    I am curious about how you held and the rest you used for the Dreamlite. It looks like it would take some getting used to.

    I can’t wait to see what happens with different scope mounts. The Dreamlite shows some promise on accuracy. You may need to try those heavy pellets again.

    Don



    • Don
      Remember I have my Maximus set up with a a 2240 pistol grip and 1399 butt stock. So it looks similar to the gun BB is reporting on today. Basically the round tube air resivior rests on the bag. It’s very stable as long as I shoulder the gun the same. It locks in nice.



    • Edw,

      More mounts are coming out with built in droop or adjustability. Like you said, it is not a flaw. You have to remember that all of the mounts, rings and scopes started in the powder burner world. As the popularity of the airgun increases, more manufacturers are designing for them.


  2. On several of the groups above, they were tight until shot 10, which opened the group up.

    Could you have a bur or a misalignment in the magazine on the number 10 pellet chamber?

    Just a thought.

    Ian.


  3. BB,

    These groups are indeed bigger than I would have expected out of this rifle. A “floater” can drive you nuts until you figure out the issue. For this reason I have several adjustable mounts. It is nice getting the rifle close before you start adjusting it off of “center”.


    • RR
      I think the flyer for now needs to be thrown out. It’s definitely something that needs to be figured out later.

      But my .22 Maximus and .177 Gauntlet shoots that size groups at 50 yards. And I’m talking the FX groups without the flyer included. And come to think of it I have had .177 and other caliber spring guns as well as pcp’s that shoot the FX groups at 50 without the FX flyer included.

      Guess we will have to wait and see what happens when BB gets more into it. Oh and are you sure you want to sale your RAW.


      • GF1,

        I have indeed been surprised by the size of these groups. I do believe there is something amiss somewhere. Hopefully BB will figure out what the issue is.

        Yes, it is time for the RAW to have a new home.


        • RR
          So you do still have confidence in the Dreamline enough to get rid of the RAW even after today’s report.

          Now that’s some cheerleading if I’m reading your comment right.

          All I know is that I had one good FX gun and one bad. Both were accurate. But one just didn’t want to work. I’m thinking the Dreamline will not have those issues. But then again it could. One of the FX guns would dump the air resivior after the shot went off. Couldn’t get it to stop. It would dump till it was empty. That gun went back for repair 3 times. Last time I told them 3 strikes and your out. I want a gun of equivalent price to replace my one week old gun that turned into a 2 month old gun I didn’t even have in my house. No more FX guns for me. To much money to be playing with my time and money now days for me. Anyway as it goes. Time will tell. Hoping for the best with the Dreamlite line.


          • GF1,

            Too many others have been reporting how well these shoot for this one to not be expected to produce better results than this. I myself would have finished this shooting session with a complete disassembly, examination and careful reassembly followed by another shooting session.

            Having said that, I cannot help but recall all of the examples of first run airguns that customers have been returning due to the product being rushed to market to meet initial demands. The Fortitude is a recent and prime example.

            It is not just airguns. Never buy the first year of a car model. Many products need a little time for the bugs to be found and worked out.

            Yes, I may be cheerleading, but I think this team is going to be a winner.


            • RR
              To expensive of a gun to be having to take it apart to see what’s wrong.

              But goes to show you that it’s not only the cheap guns that can have problems. The expensive ones can too.


              • GF1,

                So true, but the difference in this case is it is designed to be taken apart. I suspect the barrel, barrel sleeve and/or the shroud is not properly seated/tightened.

                Even someone assembling a Lamborghini can have a bad day.


              • GF1,

                On the flip side I have seriously considered buying a P-Rod and building it into what I would want, but after all is said and done I would have almost as much invested as a Dreamlite and I would have extreme difficulty changing calibers. .177 would be OK to have around, but I’d druther .22 and .30.


                • RR
                  True on it being designed to take apart. I keep forgetting that. But still why? So that will happen everytime you change a barrel. You have to figure out what to do to get rid of a flyer. You know how it goes when to much engineering gets involved.

                  And what the heck kind of mods are you going to make on a prod that will turn it into a $1200 gun? The prod I had was a very good shooter out of the box. Also it has the fully adjustable 2 stage trigger that is equivalent to the Mrod trigger. Plus fully adjustable striker and striker spring. It’s shrouded and has magazines or single shot tray. Plus very light. Oh and did I mention .750″ and under groups at 50 yards with almost every shooter that touches one.

                  Again what are you going to do to it to put 800 more dollars in it over the factory cost? You must know something I don’t. And yes I know Lloyd makes the double air resivior for it. But really $800 more into a prod. I want to see that gun when you get it built and if it’s any more accurate when it’s said in done.


                  • GF1,

                    LOL! Definitely want Lloyd’s P-Rod Double kit. Also an AR stock kit. Extra long picitinney rails top and bottom. Single point sling and mount. Bipod. Forward grip. Small Hawke scope and Meprolight M21 for close, quick shots.

                    Also, it is difficult to convert a P-Rod to .30.


                    • RR
                      Picatinny rails and a bi pod and rails and fore grip and so on.

                      To me you just made the prod into a gun that its not. The prod is a light weight easy to maneuver gun for woods walking. The dreamlite that BB is reviewing will never match the prod in manuverability in the woods. It might be lite. But it’s to long. I think the Maximus or Discovery would be more the size of the FX.


                    • Check out the FX Dream-Tac Compact. It is close in size to a P-rod tactical outfitted with donnyFL moderator, at little more than twice the price but regulated, larger air tube, available in various calibers, smooth twist x barrel, …


                    • RR,

                      I have the .25 M-rod in an RAI kit,… much of what you describe, bit it in a slightly longer format. Offset, adj. 6 position w/riser, fore grip matches the rear, P/W on 3 sides, nice bi-pod.

                      Let’s make a deal! 😉

                      Chris


                  • GF1,

                    Ah, but they are bringing out a compact model with a 500mm barrel. I can set it up long for groundhog hunting or long range target shooting or set it up short for the woods. .177, 22, .25 or .30. Stocked, bullpup, stripped down, tacticool, field target or somewhere in between. Long or short tube reservoir or CF bottle. Then we can talk about the custom parts and accessories that can be created for it.

                    As for the length, I have used many a long rifle in the woods. Not a problem once you learn how to use them.

                    Right now I own two PCPs and one modern sproinger rifle. I really do not want dozens of airguns laying around in the closet. This air rifle is THE ONE I have been wanting since 2005. The AirForce rifles were almost it.

                    Yes, the initial investment is hefty but the conversion kits are cheaper than another air rifle and they take up much less space.


                    • RR
                      I definitely like the idea that the Dreamlite can be switched around.

                      And you know I’ll be waiting to see what you do to yours when you get one.


                  • GF1,

                    I’m a tryin’. I am most likely going to have to sell my RAW first though. My financial advisor requires that I fund my new toys by selling off some of the older ones. As my new toys become more expensive, I will likely run out of old toys to sell before long.



    • Mildot,

      I didn’t think that a .177 would carry its energy well enough to shoot 1/2 inch groups at 50-60 yards. I kinda think of them as 20-25 yard rifles for springers and maybe 30-35 yards for PCPs in that caliber.

      Haven’t tried a .177 at long range as I usually will break out a .22 or .25 for shooting at anything over 40 or so yards because I am thinking in terms of “available energy” for pesting.

      You have me curious. Next (windless) shooting session I’ll give it a go.

      Cheers,
      Hank


      • with an LGU 177 I shot 3/4 to just under an inch at 50 yds. it was PCP accurate. without the wind it will do it. at almost 40 yds I shot tiny groups with FWB 300. I do not like killing animals any more but you should try it out for target. you know that they have monster pellets in 177. but you are right not to hunt past 25 yds with 177


        • Mildot,

          I have a can of the JSB Monsters and will definitely shoot some paper at long range with the PCPs.

          I’ll try the springers as well. I know my FWB 300 will shoot 1/4 inch groups at 25 yards so it will be interesting to see how far out it will hold dime-sized groups. Think my TX 200 might do better as it has about 200 fps more velocity than the 300. Will have to see.



      • Hank
        My .177 Gauntlet will shoot nice groups out past 50 yards. And there’s been others like the .177 Marauder, .177 Talon SS.

        Try it. You might be surprised. I know your a pretty good shooter from the time we have been on the blog. Maybe some might not get the groups we are talking about. But I’m very sure you can.

        But I will say wind does tend to give .177 caliber a problem more than .22 and .25 caliber that I have shot. But if you get a .177 caliber that shoots a good group in at 50 yards with a faster and heavier pellet that it will hold its own out at 65 yards and plus. Don’t go by what you hear or think. Try and see. I like being surprised in a good way rather than not knowing at all. You know what I mean.


        • GF1,

          My HW100s both have excellent barrels so I will be trying the .177 in a side by side comparison to the .22 caliber. Should be fun.

          My Dominator 1250 has a Walther-Lothar barrel on it so it should be interesting to test as well. Its shooting pretty hot so the JSB Monsters might be a good match.

          Hank


  4. Vana2,

    Hank, a stock, unmodified RWS/Diana model 48 in .177″ caliber can shoot in the 10-12 FPE range at 50 yards with the proper pellet. JSB Exact heavy diabolo 10.34 grain and H&N Baracuda 10.65 grain pellets will blow a 7/32″ hole completely through .130″ thick sheet lead at that range. Curiously, the Crosman ultra magnum 10.5 grain, which has the best BC of the three and supposedly a harder composition will not. Now, 1/2″ groups at that range is another story, especially with a magnum springer.

    By the way, I am not easily impressed but you do some BEAUTIFUL stock work! You are a true craftsman. Personally, I hate working with wood, I prefer metal because a friend of mine knew an old German who told him that wood is alive until you burn it and I firmly believe that. It shrinks, it swells and it warps, too many variables.

    Bugbuster


    • My FWB 300 would shoot .500″ groups at 50 yards with JSB Heavy 10.34’s.

      But really too soon to say about the FX. I think some more tuning and retrying pellets is in order. Then figure out if the gun will ever shoot 10 round after that. I’m good with 9 shot groups for now.


      • I have 2 FWB 300’s one with a scope other with irons I cant out shoot the iron site rifle with the scope. at 40 yds with the scope you can see the pellet lob in like a mortar round. amazing it can keep the group small. FWB 300 the best spring gun ever made.
        Gun Fun both my FWB’s make weird noises with heavy pellets. My FWB’s at 50 yds did the same as yours. did not want to say it being maybe not believable. glad you said it first


        • Mildot
          One of the 300’s I had I modified. The other was stock. Neither made any weird noises. They shot as smooth as can be.

          Well then again I had o-rings on both ends of the slides. So maybe you heard the action thunking with the recoil. The light pellets don’t show that in those guns.

          But also they act different than a normal spring gun. Remember the action slides free. So a heavy pellet in a normal gun usually dampens the recoil. But of course there’s a balance of weight and fit and power.

          The 300 and 54 air king slide free.

          So I say more to look at with the 300’s you have. Dampening wise. But yes they are shooters I remember Kevin saying there was a lady that had a modified 300 shooting longer range target with good luck. Like 70 yards and such. And of course that’s right up my alley and motivated me even more.

          Never underestimate anything unless you try and see yourself. That’s the way I been all my life. What can I say.


    • Bugbuster,

      You guys have got me going LOL!

      I have always grouped the rifles by their maximum effective energy range (for pesting and hunting reasons) and never pursued the maximum accuracy range angle. I’ll start exploring that side of the coin at first opportunity (weather is unsettled and very windy right now).

      Thank you for the compliment! I have to agree – wood IS alive. I make wood bows and when you draw one there is no doubt about that! Yup, lots of variables in wood.

      I do a lot of metal working as well and for the most part the material is homogeneous and true to its character – with the added benefit that the grain structure can be manipulated. A36 steel can be a bear to work with because of the hard inclusions though.

      Hank


  5. I don’t understand why the airgun industry, after all these years, continues to market products which do not solve the seemingly chronic droop problem. And this is not a flaw? What am I missing?


    • John,

      It does sound like an airgun problem because we talk about it all the time. But A-15s have a reputation for droop too. They even make drooper mounts for them. Their shooters just don’t talk about it as much as we do, I think.

      B.B.


      • I can live with a drooper mount. Thank goodness they make them.

        But maybe what mildot you use for sight in could eliminate the droop phenomenon or sight in distance for a particular gun

        Try sighting in at 35 to 40 yards and see what happens in at 25 yards. Bet you will have to hold under at 25 yards.


    • John,

      The droop is more pronounced in airguns due to their low velocity which allows the effect of gravity to be shown. Faster velocity in powder burners decrease the effect.

      Siraniko


      • Siraniko

        I respectfully disagree. The effects of velocity and gravity are inevitable ALL the time. Droop, however, is present BECAUSE the manufacturer did not bother to design it out…not that much of a design tweak is required. Even a judicious amount of barrel bending worked on mine. But there are more elegant solutions available on the assembly line. Don’t these people test fire their working models? Would any of US design, develop, produce, and market a product which displayed droop? I am amazed that the manufacturers are not more responsive and I claim it’s absolutely unacceptable. Of course, my “claims” have never put a bite of food on my plate. 🙂 Thanks for listening.


        • John,

          I agree that something should be done by the manufacturers. However, until those manufacturers hear enough about the problem by having poor or no sales of their products they will not fix the problem that we can plainly see in front of us. They can’t see the problem because they are fixed onto their sales figures. As long as the product sells they won’t make a change.

          Siraniko


          • Siraniko and John,

            Please have a little pity on us guys that still like to shoot our air rifles with open sights. If you take out all the droop the we would have to start complaining about how unreasonably high the stocks always are.

            Larry from Algona


            • LarryMo,

              I’ve resigned myself to shooting with iron sights when it comes to my springers. Although I do prefer using peep sights over open sights.

              Siraniko


              • Siraniko,

                Hey, me too! Trouble is that I don’t care for a peep sight with the glowy front sights, which means I have to find a replacement front sight before I can put on a peep. The rifles I have that I can’t find a replacement front sight blade (the majority) I have to be content with using the open sights. So far, it’s been a real challenge.

                LMo


  6. B.B.,

    Maybe fully filling the magazine would change the behavior of shot 10. There could be a “last pellet” magazine issue.

    Are you waiting the 8-10 seconds between shots for the regulator to fill (mentioned in part 2)?

    What are the gun settings (regulator, hammer spring, transfer port) and expected velocities?

    I wonder how accurate it shots lead free pellets (Predator GTO, Sig Sauer, H&N) at around 825 FPS. They are not as soft as lead.

    I want to thank B.B. and all posters for sharing your expertise. It is very helpful to someone new to airguns, like myself.

    Don425


  7. B.B.,

    Forgive me for the questions!

    The erector scope float/backlash came to mind.
    But one or two more thoughts entered my mind as a read your struggles with groups:

    IIRC, the barrel is held in the receiver by set screws (grub screws) are they torqued down correctly?
    Is there any evidence the suppressor tight on barrel or internally loose/clipping signs?
    Finally are the scope mounts properly torqued?

    Your Chronograph reported numbers spread have always bothered me on this REGULATED rifle. The MV (Muzzle Velocities) are in the most accurate band; granted at the bottom of the range but still well inside.

    Hope one of my observations rings the Accuracy Bell for you!

    shootski


  8. To All:
    OK, I’ve got a tip for everyone that’s been looking for shooting sticks. I get coupons via email from Big 5 Sporting Goods. Quite frequently they have some items at VERY good prices, especially on the “One Day Only” sales. Today on a ODO sale they had a pair of walking/hiking sticks that are adjustable for height, a rubber tip that can be removed to expose a steel tip, cork handles, and adjustable wrist straps. They normally go for $24.99 but on today’s ODO sale they were $14.99 (pr). If you run the tip of one pole thru the handle of the other and vice versa, the straps make a sling when you cross the poles like the old buffalo hunters. Also, don’t throw away the plastic clip that was holding the two poles together. You can snap them back on to help hold the crossed poles together. These are (of course) made in China so the instructions for locking the height setting is backwards. It’s just like you would loosen/tighten anything else – left to loosen, right to tighten (righty tighty).
    Larry from Algona


  9. B.B.

    Could the drooper be caused by the barrel liner of the way the barrel liner is held?

    If the “darkside” is going to tempt me, it better offer 1 MOA at 100 yards indoors.

    -Y


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