FX Dreamlite precharged air rifle : Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

FX Dreamlite
FX Dreamlite precharged pneumatic rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 1 UTG 4-16 OP3 Compact scope

This report covers:

  • Mounting the scope
  • Sunscreen
  • Clear, clear, clear!
  • First target
  • Target two
  • JSB Beasts
  • Crosman Premier Lights give strange group(s)!
  • Crosman Premier Heavy
  • Second attempt
  • Summary for the UTG scope
  • Summary for the FX Dreamlight

Today is really two reports in one. I’m covering the new UTG 4-16 AO Compact scope and this is also the fifth report on the FX-Dreamlite precharged pneumatic air rifle. I’m glad I got back to it because I found a second good pellet for the rifle today. But first the scope.

Mounting the scope

Because the FX Dreamlite is such a drooper I tried to use the Sportsmatch 30mm high adjustable scope mounts. The would have been ideal, but they don’t work because of the FX 21-shot magazine that sticks up so high above the top of the receiver. I ended up using the True Strength mounts that came with the UTG scope and I shimmed under the scope on the rear ring. The scope barely fit so the magazine can be installed. And yes, I am aware there is a Mini FX 10-shot rotary magazine available. I just don’t have one. But that’s what this rifle needs.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 scope
The new UTG OP3 scope mounted on the Dreamlite looks like it was made for the rifle.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 clearance
The 21-shot magazine just clears the scope. A 10-shot Mini Mag would be better.

Sunscreen

This UTG scope comes with a separate sunscreen that screws into the objective end of the scope. It’s three inches long, so it provides good protection from the sun. If you have never experienced it, when the sunlight falls on the objective lens it flares up as a bright spot that ruins your aim. You loose the reticle and sometimes even the target when this happens. But this new scope has you covered.

Clear, clear, clear!

Sight-in started at 12 feet and then moved to 10 meters. When I got back to the shooting distance of 25 yards I got the scope fully adjusted and the image was crystal clear. I could not see the thin black crosshair over the bull, so I turned on the illumination β€” exactly as I did with the Meopta Optika6! Then it was clear as a bell and I could also see the 10-dot of the bull. This scope is as clear and sharp as I told you yesterday. Now I’m going to switch to the report on the rifle, but I have more to say about the scope as we go.

First target

I sighted-in with 8.44-grain JSB Exacts that so far were the most accurate pellets for this rifle. So, the first target was a group of 10 of them. The group measures 0.454-inches between centers. It’s higher than the center of the bull to preserve my aim point. It’s also a little left of center.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 JSB 844 group 1
The first 25-yard group of JSB Exact 8.44-grain pellets measures 0.454-inches between centers.

Target two

I adjusted the scope several clicks to the right and several clicks down and shot the second group with the same pellet. This time 10 JSB 8.44-grain pellets went into 0.388-inches at 25 yards. This group is also rounder than the last. I think I was getting into the groove. The FX trigger is light and crisp, but I shoot so many airguns that I forget how each one likes to be held and shot, and it takes some time to remember them. The Dreamlite holds steady and the trigger is superb!

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 JSB 844 group 2
This 25-yard group of JSB 8.44-grain domes measures 0.388-inches between centers.

I would also like to point out that this UTG scope is displaying absolutely no stiction. When the adjustments are made the pellets go to the new location on the first shot. That is something I seldom see in a scope test. It usually takes one or two shots to jiggle the erector tube to the new setting.

JSB Beasts

I tried the JSB Beast pellet again. This time they were all over the place and only 4 of 5 hit the target paper. They measure 2.215-inches between centers, but without shot 5 they aren’t a real group. I quit this pellet after 5 shots.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 JSB Beast group
JSB Beasts are not for the FX Dreamlite.

Crosman Premier Lights give strange group(s)!

Next I tried some 7.9-grain Crosman Premier lights. Would their harder lead be better in the Smooth Twist II barrel? I only loaded 5 pellets after seeing what the JSB Beasts had done.
The first 5 Premiers went into 0.371-inches. Huzzah! Had I finally found the second good pellet for the Dreamlite? I do note that these pellets shifted off to the left on their own. The scope adjustments were not touched.

I then loaded a second five Premier Lights to complete the 10-shot group. The first shot hit the target paper an inch to the left of the last group. Huh? I had not changed a thing β€” and for those wondering about the barrel stability, I had not bumped the barrel when I reloaded.

These 5 Premier Lights went into an IDENTICAL 0.371-inch group whose center is about nine-tenths of an inch to the left of the first 5 shots. This is the strangest group I have ever seen and I wouldn’t believe it if I had not been there to see it! Obviously something is up, but I don’t have much to go on yet. I checked the air pressure in the reservoir and it was sitting around 180 bar at this point. That should be good. The 10 shots measure 1.158-inches between centers.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 Premier Light group
Twin 0.371-inch groups of Crosman Premier Lights are 0.9-inches apart at 25 yards. The entire groups measures 1.158-inches between centers. I have no idea what happened, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the pellet.

Crosman Premier Heavy

 
The last pellet I tested was the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier Heavy. Because of the previous strange double group I refilled the FX to 250 bar. I know from all the testing that’s been done that the regulator is working well in this rifle and I can trust it when it’s full.
I loaded 5 pellets and shot at the bull on the left of the paper. The first pellet barely nicked the left edge of the target paper. I shot the other 4 and got what appeared to be a tight little group that was right on the edge of the paper, but the pellet shift was noteworthy β€” very similar to that of the Premier Light.

Second attempt

I cranked a lot of right adjustment into the scope and shot a second group. This time 10 pellets were loaded into the mag. And, shot after shot, they kept going to the same place! After the fifth pellet I couldn’t see the hole grow any larger. Ten Premier Heavys went into 0.353-inches at 25 yards. Folks, we have a winner! This is the second pellet that the Smooth Twist barrel likes.

FX Dreamlite UTG OP3 Premier Heavy group
Ten Crosman Premier Heavy pellets went intro 0.353-inches at 25 yards. Yeah β€” that’s a group!

Summary for the UTG scope

The UTG Scope is everything I thought it would be. It’s clear, the reticle is very useful, the illumination works great (yes, I turned it off after shooting!), the mounts work great and the scope has zero stiction. The only concern is that this is a compact scope, so there are fewer placement options when mounting. Should you get one? Only if you are looking for a superlative small scope that won’t break the bank!

Summary for the FX Dreamlight

I am so glad I did today’s test. The Dreamlite is still sensitive to what pellets are used, but it now likes at least two.

The issue of the double group of Premier Lights needs to be investigated. I won’t tell you what I suspect so you can discuss it without any bias. But I do plan to test the rifle again to see if I am right.

If I hadn’t done this test I would have written the Dreamlite off, and that would have been unfortunate because there is a lot of innovation here. This rifle needs to be played with to sort things out as our friends in the UK would say. But there is a worthy air rifle here. It reminds me of my TalonSS with so many features and adjustments that it takes real dedication to get to know it. But the journey is worth the effort.

45 thoughts on “FX Dreamlite precharged air rifle : Part 5

  1. B.B.,

    That’s an odd thing to occur for two clusters to appear. If it’s not the pellets not the scope then it must be something with the gun. Probably the magazine will be the root cause. The only other factor would be how you cock the gun.

    Siraniko


  2. B.B.,

    Glad you got some good groups from the rifle.

    On the scope,… do you know if it using an new/improved glass,…. over and above previous UTG models?

    Good Day to you and to all,…… Chris


    • Chris,

      I have been using UTG scopes for over ten years now. Their optical quality has been improving as time goes on, most especially with their Bugbuster and SWAT Compact lines. You can get better optical quality but you are going to pay for it. I just acquired a 3-12X32 Bugbuster. I am very happy with it and give it the coveted 3R rating. If UTG puts this OP3 etched glass reticle in the Bugbuster line I will likely wet myself.



  3. BB,

    If this was my Gamo CFX I would say that your hold was different between the two groups. I could produce two beautiful groups by the placement of my trigger hand thumb. I could go back and forth between the groups.

    If one of these ends up at RRHFWA, I would have to have a couple of the smaller magazines.


  4. I agree with Siraniko. The mag is the problem. I’m sure you already have a 10 (13) shot mag on the way and will let us know how it does with the smaller magazine.Also I’m sure liking this scope.


  5. B.B.

    I shoot 5-shot groups and “rest” between groups. When I see tight groups with a POI shift it is usually because I have forgotten to adjust the parallax to the current range and I am not sitting or holding the rifle exactly the same between groups. That and I will check that all hardware is tight. Also seen this with my FX Royale when the magazine was not seated consistently.

    When target (bench) shooting I will fine-adjust my parallax but for hunting, pesting or plinking at random ranges I shoot off-hand (or leaning) with the parallax set to the pellet trajectory apogee (usually 30 yards) and leave it there. I do a lot of off-hand shooting sessions (on paper) to check if I am mounting/holding the rifle consistently – POI shifts are a real tattle-tale.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Hank





        • Thanks GF1!

          Excellent picture – don’t know if one of these would fit the Royale but I can work with this!

          Wish I had a 3D printer! Oh well, think I have a nice piece of brass that I can use.


          • Hank
            FX says Dreamline or Crown.

            And yes sir we need us a 3D printer.

            I already been dropping hints to Santa’s helpers that ole Gunfun1 has been a good boy this year. Hopefully Santa agrees and a brand spank’n new 3D printer shows up under the Christmas tree this year. Fingers crossed. πŸ™‚


            • GF1,

              With the new rifle on order I have used up all the “gift options” for the next decade or so LOL! Hoping to get (lots) of pellets for Christmas.

              Still, I might make canoe or two to sell and have enough cash to buy a reasonable 3D printer. That would be a next-summer project.


              • Hank
                You can get a pretty nice printer for around $200.

                The new engineer at work brought his $200 printer in and he has been making stuff left and right. It will print stuff up to 8 inches or so.

                This day and age I don’t know why everyone don’t have one.


                • GF1,

                  It’s been awhile since I (casually) checked into 3D printers and IIRC the finer resolution ones were $2,000 to $4,000. $200? …Time to check again.

                  As a kid, I used to carve my own fishing lures. Modern casting resins and UV epoxy clear coats have all kinds of possibilities so I am researching them and considering making my own lures again (I find $17 for one plug to be too expensive). A 3D printer might be ideal for making the molds for casting or some of the plastic parts on wooden lures.


                  • Hank
                    Got to ask. Did you paint your wood lures or shellac them?

                    My dad made wood lures when I was a kid.

                    Do you remember the Hula poppers. My dad made me some small ones that was about 2 inches long. Use to catch the heck out of crappy with them. He use to fly tie too. I got that stuff packed away somewhere. I’ll have to see if I can find it this winter when it’s to cold to shoot from my heated breezeway. πŸ™‚


                    • GF1,

                      Spray painted them with automotive lacquers over matt white sealer coats. Never did find anything to protect the paint without yellowing the colors so the pike would really tear them up. Used Testors enamel paints as well.

                      Yup, Hula poppers, stick baits, jerk baits, gliders and all kinds of diving plugs with metal lips – fun stuff to keep me busy.

                      Fly tying season is fast approaching – we’ve had some pretty good frosts already.


                  • Hank
                    Yep the yellowing.

                    And we had one frost last week. Tomorrow suppose to be a high of 35Β°F. and 25Β°F. for the overnight low with snow flurries in the morning. Them trick or treaters better have some warm costumes tomorrow night is all I can say. It’s been in the mid 50’s for the high up until this week. Falls a coming. The trees are starting to change color pretty good this week. I like when that starts happening. Pretty nice looking scenery. And pretty soon the farmer will be harvesting the corn. I like this time of year.


                    • GF1

                      Certainly my favorite time of year!

                      Our leaves are pretty much all down now. Spent the day out clearing brush and cutting trees. Way too windy for shooting but nice and cool for working outside.

                      No snow in the immediate forecast but they are predicting a lot of freezing rain and ice storm for this winter. I put in a stock of dry sand to be ready.


                  • Hank
                    Now they are saying on top of the snow flurries it’s suppose to be 16 mph winds with gusts up to 26 mph. Going to be just like a winter day.

                    And I’m waiting for the leaves to fall right now. I got some brush clearing to do too. Seems like always something to do.



  6. Well, the lights are not back on here in Cali. Really makes one appreciate springers!
    How about that nice compact scope on the Whiscombe? How much is one of those nowadays, anyway;
    speaking of nice shootin’ iron like the Dreamlight.. no compressor required.
    Sorry, the curmudgeon’s over cold showers. At least the internet works.
    Regards,
    Rob



  7. I suspect a slight change in hold or holding pressure accounting for the two individual groupings. Just the other day, I was shooting the Sig ASP20 and decided to rest it directly on a shooting bag (like we use in benchrest). I achieved a sub 1/2″ c-to-c group at 30 yards except for one pellet. On that one, I grabbed hold of the forearm and was rewarded with a hole 1″ above the main group. All the other shots only had my shoulder and trigger finger/hand in contact with the ASP.

    Of course, PCP’s are supposed to be immune to this type of thing but….

    Fred formerly of the DPRoNJ now Happily in GA



      • .22 using JSB Exacts. Its the synthetic stock model. Surprised me, too. I didn’t expect any consistency when I rested the rifle on the bag but, holy cow. That one shot above the group really annoyed me until I realized that I had unconsciously put my left hand out on the forearm past the bag and towards the muzzle. I have to say, Sig really has put out a great break barrel rifle. Can a PCP be far behind? πŸ™‚

        Fred – etc., etc.



        • Fred
          Very nice group with the bigger .22 caliber. And yep I seen what you was saying about how the poi changed when you added your other hand. My question is did you by chance try any groups with both hands like with that one shot that was different than the others?


          • No, I didn’t but that’s a good point. I had only fired the one pellet with two hands on the rifle. The thing is, I decided on a whim to use the bag to try and take my upper body wobble out of the equation to see how accurate the rifle could be. A BIG help was that there was absolutely no wind, a rarity for my gun club range, at the time.

            So now when I go back (probably next week, weather permitting), that’s something else to experiment with.

            There was one other shooter on the range shooting that new Ruger .22 bolt action high precision rifle with a suppressor. Using sub-sonic ammo, that thing was quieter than the Sig! Almost Hollywood quiet. Lots of fun to shoot, too. He said it “only” took 13 months to get the tax stamp approved by BATFE. So we were both shooting without “ears”.

            Fred etc etc

            Fred


            • Fred
              Hopefully you get some calm weather again and you can try some 2 handed groups.

              And I bet that was some fun shooting with the Hollywood gun. πŸ™‚

              A little while back the local Rural King got a bunch of the target round CCI low velocity 710 fps 40 grain long rifles in stock. They are a regular round nose bullet. They had them on sale for $2.25 a box of 50. They got about 18 bricks of 500 in. Which basically was $2.25 Γ— 10 for the brick of 500. So they was $22.50 for a brick of 500. I bought a fair share of them up and that was about a month or so ago. He called me last week and said he had about 8 bricks left and they wasn’t moving. I bought them for the same sale price of $22.50 a brick.

              All I can say is they are very accurate out of my semi-auto Winchester 190 and to say they cycle fine in it. And they shoot good out if my Savage 93 bolt action too.

              But very fun to shoot. And as it goes pretty darn quiet at that. And the big thing is I payed around $45 for a brick of 500 a few years back. So definitely happy about the find if you know what I mean.


  8. BB
    And I just looked. Those JSB Beast pellets are 16 grain. That’s some heavy pellets for a .177 caliber gun. Think a gun making more power/velocity is needed for them pellets.

    Don’t remember if you tryed the JSB 10.34 pellets. But I got a email just recently that was the choice pellet for the field target shooters at the PA Cup. If you haven’t tryed them I’m making a request to do so just to see what happens. I have good luck with them in my guns.



  9. B.B.,

    A fix in: Mounting the scope

    “Because the FX Dreamlite is such a drooper I tried to use the Sportsmatch 30mm high adjustable scope mounts. The (either, That or They) would have been ideal, but they don’t work because of the FX 21-shot magazine that sticks up so high above the top of the receiver.”

    And FX already has a fix for the large magazine clearance problem it is called the FX DreamLite Tactical:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/FX_Dreamline_Dream_Tact_w_moderator_AR_stock/4923 or the after purchase FX Tactical kit: https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/FX_Dream_Lite_to_Dream_Tact_Conversion_Kit/9100
    Looks better to me because that is so much better of a scope mount base system and you get to choose your buttstock!

    shootski


    • shootski,

      Yes, given the problems I have had, that would have been the better choice. Well, now a lot more people know that and exactly why.

      Sometimes what I find out helps people make decisions for reasons other than excellence.

      B.B.


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