So how did the Cricket fare in my informal shooting tests? Pretty well — as you would expect from an airgun in this price range. Because it does not come with any optics, the bigger variable magnification scopes can quickly add some weight. By itself, the Cricket at over 7 pounds feels heavy to me for its size, but it is a solid little rifle that balances well in the hands.
The Cricket trigger was – in a word – smoooottthhh. One of those triggers that surprises you when it breaks, which is desirable so you can concentrate on the myriad of other items you are checking off in your brain when taking a shot. The wide blade metal trigger is adjustable, but requires the shooter to remove the action from the stock, which I don’t do with the guns loaned to me, so the trigger I shot was strictly as it came out of the box. The trigger pull broke at a little over a pound. As mentioned in Part One, there is no manual safety on the Cricket so extra care is in order whenever handling this rifle.
The Sun Optics scope paired with the Cricket was the 5-30x56mm Ultra Variable model with illuminated reticle and parallax adjustment down to 10 yards. This scope was right at home atop the Cricket and offers phenomenal magnification and a clear field of view in part because a larger 30mm tube. The glass etched reticle is described as a Micro mil-dot and it provides multiple aiming points for holdover and windage corrections. I did not shoot in low light conditions so didn’t make use of the illuminated reticle, however it offers both red and green options with 5 different brightness settings. It also came with flip-up lens covers and is covered by a limited lifetime warranty. It added 30 ounces to the overall weight of the package.
The 300 bar reservoir provided plenty of full power shots, in the range of 3 full magazines before topping off. The Cricket could digest anything that fit in its rotary magazine, including Predator International’s long Polymags. This one liked the Rifle Brand Super Mags at 18.36 grains giving an average speed of 928.2fps for 35 foot pounds of energy. The best grouping was with RWS Super H-Points in 14.2 grains.
A unique feature with the Cricket is the ability to have the magazine advance either manually or automatically. For automatic indexing upon cocking, the magazine bolt is retracted to insert the magazine and then pushed straight forward. If you see the indexing pin engaging with the recess of the magazine cog, you’ve done it correctly. If you wish to advance the magazine manually, simply push forward and down when returning the magazine bolt home. The purpose? Mainly for giving the shooter the option to dial to an empty chamber when de-cocking or avoiding double loading pellets. A hunter using the Cricket could also load multiple weights and styles of pellets for different game in the same magazine and dial up whatever the situation called for.
There always seems to be a tradeoff — you can’t please all of the people all of the time — and the drawback to bullpups is the cocking handle having to be at the rear of the stock. So if you prefer the compactness of bullpups, you most likely have to break cheek weld and/or your grip in order to cock the rifle.
The Cricket is an elegant European designed bullpup made with precision craftsmanship and this little gun would fit nicely into any collection. To make that happen, contact the fine folks at Airguns of Arizona: www.airgunsofarizona.com. For questions on the Sun Optics scope, you can reach them at: www.sunopticsusa.com.
CORRECTION: In the first installment I discovered that I mentioned the Cricket “should be capable of 900+ foot pounds with lead pellets”. Obviously, my proof-reading skills left me completely when I was doing a final read through. Of course, what I meant to say was that the Cricket is capable of 900+ feet per second with lead pellets. My apologies for any confusion.