I like plinking. Some of the happiest afternoons have been spent shooting targets of no great consequence — cheese puffs, spinners, little green army guys, bottle caps, tin cans, acorns and the like – in the company of my brother in law.
Now, a plinking rifle must have certain qualities that are different from what I would look for in a hunting or pest control gun or an air rifle suitable for, say, field target competition. It must be easy to shoot, not have any bad habits, such as heavy recoil or heavy cocking effort, and not require frequent fill-ups from a tank or pump. It must also be reasonably accurate. Power, frankly, isn’t all that important.
The Industry Brand AR2078A pretty much fits the definition of a plinking rifle. It measures 39.5 inches from buttstock to muzzle and weighs just a couple ounces shy of seven pounds without scope. The fit and finish of the wood and metal on the AR2078A is commensurate with an air rifle that costs only about $200, base price.
At the aft end of the AR2078A, you’ll find a rubber butt pad. The hardwood stock is setup for a right hander and has a deeply sculptured stock and nearly vertical pistol grip. Moving forward from the pistol grip, the trigger guard is metal and so is the trigger.
Moving forward again, the forestock is nearly flat underneath, the rounded edges. This makes the AR2078A easy to shoot from a rest. At the end of the forestock is the CO2 reservoir and above that, the barrel which has a tapered muzzle weight and a bracket that includes the front sight.
The AR2078A is a bolt action single shot, and the sample that was sent to me was a .177 caliber. The receiver has dovetails for scope mounting to the rear of the breech. The AR2078A comes with two rear sights: a notch-type sight and a peep sight. I mounted the peep sight for my testing. At the end of the barrel, the globe-type front sight features interchangeable inserts.
To ready the AR2078A for shooting, cock the action, unscrew the cap on the reservoir at the end of the forestock and drop in two 12-g CO2 cartridges; the first goes in nose-first, the second nose out. Screw the cap back down, fire the gun once, and you’re good to go.
When you lift the bolt handle, you’ll find that the bolt jumps backwards a little bit, driven by a small spring. Pull the bolt all the way back, drop a pellet into the breech, and return the bolt to its full-forward, closed breech position. It takes a bit more effort to return the bolt to its original position because you are working to cock the action. Ease the slack out of the trigger’s first stage, now squeeeeeze the trigger. Pop! The shot goes down range. Coming out of the box, the first stage is extremely light at about 10.3 oz, and the second stage measured about 1 lb. 14.9 oz.
The AR2078A launches 7.87 JSB pellets at an average of 571 fps and 5.5 gr. JSB lead-free pellets at 627 fps. JSB pellets produced roughly half-inch groups at 10 yards. In my view, that’s good enough for casual shooting at informal targets in the back yard. You can probably expect 60-70 shots out of two CO2 cartridges.
I found the AR2078A extremely pleasant to shoot. With the globe front sight and rear peep sight, I think this would be an excellent rifle for a kind of casual “air Quigley” which would involve seeing what’s the maximum range at which you could clobber a 12 oz. beverage can. It’s a pleasant, solidly-built air rifle that delivers a lot of fun for anyone who wants to have while away some pleasant afternoons shooting with the family in the back yard.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
- Jock Elliott