Posts Tagged ‘pcp’

The Diana Outlaw - A Great Value PCP Air Rifle

The Diana Outlaw is a sophisticated entrant in the mid range PCP air rifle market. Its good regulated shot count, pleasant side lever cocking and consistent trigger make the gun a strong performer. It looks good and feels good in the hand too.

At $499.99, the Diana Outlaw is priced between the rash of $300 PCPs and the more traditional $1,000-ish starting point for the premium brands. It’s available in .177, .22 and .25 calibers.

Probably the Benjamin Marauder is the gun to beat at the price. Compared to the Outlaw, the Marauder has a better trigger, is quieter and can’t be blank-fired with a magazine in place. But the Diana has a far more consistent regulated shot count, side lever action and more sophisticated looks.

This comparison to the Marauder means that the Diana Outlaw offers very good value for money. That’s always been the Marauder’s strong suit and the Outlaw clearly trades punches with the long-established champion in performance, value and quality. Here they are together.

The Diana Outlaw - A Great Value PCP Air Rifle

The Diana Outlaw I tested was in .22 caliber. It achieved a maximum Muzzle Energy of 31.11 Ft/Lbs with the heavy, 21.14 Grain H&N Baracuda Match pellets.

The Baracudas also delivered excellent accuracy. At 25 Yards, the 10-shot test group was very respectable at about 0.3-Inches center-to-center using a scope at 9X magnification.

The Diana Outlaw - A Great Value PCP Air Rifle

The Outlaw has a two-stage trigger. However, the first stage is considerably heavier than is normal and it feels rather more like a single stage trigger with a degree of creep. Sear release is predictable, however, and the overall effect quite pleasant. Pull weight averaged a comfortable 1 Lb 11 Oz.

It’s quite possible that the trigger would respond well to a little careful tuning. It is adjustable for pull length and sear engagement. Both adjustments are achieved by using hex wrenches inserted through appropriate holes in the trigger guard.

The Diana Outlaw - A Great Value PCP Air Rifle

The Diana Outlaw has a manual trigger block safety. It’s actually in the trigger blade and has a side-to-side action. This safety has a red indicator for “off safe”. When engaged, the other side of the safety projects and prevents movement of the trigger by striking against the trigger guard itself.

This safety is simple to operate for a right-handed shooter. It’s less convenient for a left-hander, however, as a change of hold is required to operate by left-handers. It’s also too small for effective use in cold weather when wearing gloves.

The cocking lever works well and easily. It’s less slick than that of more expensive PCPs, but it’s definitely better than any bolt action I can think of.

The Outlaw has a regulated action. This produces a good, consistent Muzzle Velocity for 49 shots, as you can see from the graph below. From shot 50, pressure had fallen sufficiently that the regulator was no longer activated. The FPS then dropped steadily from shot-to-shot, as is expected.

This test was made using JSB-manufactured Daystate Rangemaster, 15.9 Grain pellets.

The cocking lever works well and easily. It’s less slick than that of more expensive PCPs, but it’s definitely better than any bolt action I can think of.

The Outlaw is supplied with a fully-shrouded barrel. This gives a fairly quiet report. It’s not “Marauder quiet”, however, it’s certainly backyard-friendly.

An interesting design feature is the series of tiny holes drilled in the rear of the shroud. Air can be felt exhausting from these holes whenever a shot is taken. It’s not a strong rush of air, but you can detect it with a hand in the right place.

As expected, the Outlaw is not fitted with any iron sights. In common with most higher-end air rifles, it’s not bundled with a scope either, thus leaving the choice of optics to the owner. I found the Aztec Emerald scopes to be a good partner for the Outlaw.

The Diana Outlaw - A Great Value PCP Air Rifle

The top of the breech is grooved with standard airgun dovetails. The magazine does protrude above the top of the breech. However, there’s still sufficient clearance for the scope above the clip, even when using medium height rings.

One issue is that the magazine is loaded from the left side of the gun. This may cause issues with large diameter scope sidewheels, so the new owner should check this aspect before selecting a scope.

The magazine is of an interesting, quite complex design. Capacity is 13 pellets in .177 cal, 11 in .22 and 9 pellets in .25 caliber.

The cocking lever works well and easily. It’s less slick than that of more expensive PCPs, but it’s definitely better than any bolt action I can think of.

It’s easy to load without the need to hold back a sprung cover plate, as is often the case with other rotary magazines, due to an internal ratcheting system.

However, it does not block the action when all pellets are used and there’s no pellet counter. This means that it’s necessary to keep count of the shots fired to avoid a blank discharge.

The magazine slides easily and slickly into the breech, being retained in place by a magnet. There are flats on the side of the rotating pellet holder in the magazine. When a flat is in the vertical position for the second time,  it’s a visual  indication that the magazine is empty.

The Diana Outlaw is also fairly light. The weight of the sample I tested was 6 Lbs 10 Oz without scope. This compares to the 7 Lbs 5 Oz of a synthetic Marauder.

Machining finish is very good, with most metal parts having a uniform, black matt  finish.

The stock has a simple design with no unnecessary curves or shaping. Wood finish is generally good and smooth, with areas of  machine-made “checkering” on the forend and pistol grip to aid a good grip. The expected rubber buttpad seemed well-shaped and comfortable against the shoulder.

I found the Diana Outlaw very easy and comfortable to shoot. The stock design worked well for me, even though there is no adjustable buttpad or cheekpiece, as is common in more expensive PCP air rifles.

The Diana Outlaw uses a probe filling system to charge it with High Pressure Air. This probe has a standard “Foster” quick disconnect on the other end.

The Diana Outlaw - A Great Value PCP Air Rifle

This design enables it to be connected directly to the standard female quick disconnect fitting found on HPA tanks and pumps without the usual, annoying need for an additional adapter. This makes it quick and easy to use, particularly for owners with other PCPs having a standard male fill nipple.

The cover for the fill port is spring-loaded. It’s pulled forward to insert the fill probe, then released back after filling. This is a far better solution than the more common separate screw-thread or push-in cover for the fill port.

The cocking lever works well and easily. It’s less slick than that of more expensive PCPs, but it’s definitely better than any bolt action I can think of.

Now there’s no chance of losing or dropping the cover and the fill port itself is automatically protected from the possible ingress of dirt. This is a first-rate feature that we have not seen on other PCP air rifles.

As you can tell, I liked the Diana Outlaw a lot. I think you will too!

In our photograph above, we see Robert Buchanan from Airguns of Arizona with the Concept Lite at its launch during the 2019 IWA Show in Germany. Now it’s available and shipping from AoA.

The Brocock Concept Lite is positioned as a ‘modular gun platform” – that’s a concept that started with assault rifles, and has now spread to airguns.

Customizing The Brocock Concept Lite

Brocock claims that the Concept Lite is the most solid platform available for building a true tactical, firearm-grade air rifle system. The full-length backbone “chassis” machined from a solid piece of aircraft-grade Aluminum has a lot yo do with that.

To check this out, I spent some time working with a Concept Lite and customizing it to my taste. Above, you can see some of the additions I made. Now we’ll look at them in more detail…

Of course we need a scope! One option is to mount a MTC Mamba Lite scope, as above. Or an Aztec Optics 5.5 – 25 x 50 scope with Sportsmatch rings, below.

Customizing The Brocock Concept Lite

Alternatively, the Leapers Bugbuster could be a compact choice to match the small dimensions of the Concept Lite. (It’s particularly compact when that stock is collapsed into the closed position).

Customizing The Brocock Concept Lite

A bipod is a natural accessory to mount to the lower Picatinny rail.

Customizing The Brocock Concept Lite

There’s horizontal and vertical sling slots in the sliding buttstock. Then all you need is a Picatinny-fitting sling swivel for the front and the Concept Lite is ready for comfortable carry in the field. (If you have no need for the side accessory rails, they’re easily removed using the visible machine screws).

Customizing The Brocock Concept Lite

The shrouded barrel is tipped with a removable barrel nut. Removing this, the very cool-looking Brocock ported Muzzle Brake would be an ideal upgrade!

Brocock says that the pistol grip accepts standard AK47-type replacements, should you wish. So, using a 5 mm Allen wrench, I removed the very nice factory pistol grip.

Customizing The Brocock Concept Lite

Just to prove the point, I then installed a Chicom grip from an old AK47 firearm. Yip, it fits, but I much prefer the look of the Brocock factory part!

And there’s many more possibilities for this versatile, compact, yet solid-feeling air rifle.

Step one – of course – is to get your own Brocock Concept Lite and take it from there!

The LCS SK-19 is a revolutionary PCP air rifle that will soon be available at Airguns of Arizona. It is a selective fire model which offers full auto and semi-automatic operation!

Coming Soon At AoA! The LCS SK-19 Full Auto Air Rifle

There’s a built-in 19-shot rotary magazine and Lothar Walther barrel with a choice of .22 and .25 calibers. The SK-19 is regulated, of course, giving a claimed 110 shots per fill in .22 cal and 90 in .25 caliber.

Coming Soon At AoA! The LCS SK-19 Full Auto Air Rifle

I have shot a SK-19. This gun certainly works! I found that brief dabs on the trigger gave accurate 3-5 shot bursts that were very controllable on the full auto setting.

Of course, the standout feature of this hammerless semi-auto and full auto air rifle is the high rate of fire! LCS Air Arms says that this air rifle can empty the 19-shot magazine in under 3 seconds. That’s a fire rate of around 6 shots per second in full auto mode.

The LCS SK-19 is claimed by the manufacturer to chamber the longest pellets and slugs in both .22 and .25 calibers without problems.

The barrels are supplied by Lothar Walther. They are covered with a carbon fiber style shroud and silencer for low muzzle report.

The regulator is adjustable using a small knob. This is located just above the rear of the 480cc carbon fiber HPA tank. Filling is by an industry-standard 1/8 Inch NPT quick disconnect.

There are two pressure gauges. One indicates the main tank pressure. The other shows the pressure of the regulated air.

Coming Soon At AoA! The LCS SK-19 Full Auto Air Rifle

In addition to adjusting the regulator, the power level can be altered using the wheel on the underside at the rear of the action.

As the LCS SK-19 utilizes a fixed magazine, safe gun handling is a priority! Of course – as with any gun – the emphasis must be on the shooter to be safe.

However, the manufacturer has provided this full auto air rifle with no less than two safeties. One doubles as the fire selector control, to switch between full auto and semi-auto mode.

Additionally, the design gives considerable access to the fixed magazine. After shooting, this mag can be rotated manually to check that it is completely empty and confirm clear.

The LCS Air Arms SK-19 full auto air rifle is being sold by Airguns of Arizona. They report that Muzzle Energy is up to 60 Ft/Lbs in .25 caliber. So this is also a powerful airgun.

In common with the tactical design of the gun, there are two Picatinny rails. The top one is for scope mounting, the lower for adding a bipod to the SK-19.

The bullpup design means that the SK-19 is fairly compact and not too heavy. Overall length is 35 Inches and weight 7.75 Lbs.

Finally, many potential customers will be pleased to hear that the SK-19 is assembled in the USA.

Currently, Airguns of Arizona is taking deposits for customer orders from the first delivery. I hear they’re going fast!

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

Yes, the Diana Outlaw PCP air rifle is good! I found it very easy and comfortable to shoot. 

At a Street Price of $499.99, the Outlaw is priced between the rash of $300 PCPs and the more traditional $1,000-ish starting point for the premium brands.

Probably the Benjamin Marauder is the gun to beat at the price. Compared to the Outlaw, the Marauder has a better trigger, is quieter and can’t be blank-fired with a magazine in place. But the Diana has a far more consistent regulated shot count, side lever action and more sophisticated looks.

In itself, this comparison to the Marauder means that the Diana Outlaw offers very good value for money. That’s always been the Marauder’s strong suit and the Outlaw clearly trades punches with the long-established champion in performance, value and quality.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

The stock design worked well for me, even though there is no adjustable buttpad or cheekpiece, as is now becoming common in similarly-priced PCP air rifles.

The Outlaw has a two-stage trigger. Sear release is predictable and the overall effect quite pleasant. Pull weight averaged a comfortable 1 Lb 11 Oz on test.

The cocking lever works well and easily. Again, it’s less slick than that of more expensive PCPs, but it’s definitely better than any bolt action I can think of. 

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

There was a definite roughness in chambering some pellets, primarily the alloys, FTTs and Baracudas. However, that clearly made no difference to accuracy so far as the heavier H&N pellets were concerned. Heavy, 21.14 Grain H&N Baracuda Match pellets turned-in the best accuracy of any I shot!

At 25 Yards, the 10-shot test group was very respectable at about 0.3-Inches center-to-center using a scope at 9X magnification.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

Muzzle Energy also peaked at 31.11 Ft/Lbs with Baracudas. However, it’s likely that many owners of the Diana Outlaw will choose to shoot mid-weight lead pellets in the 14 – 15 Grain range, they will see a Muzzle Energy of around 28 – 29 Ft/Lbs. That’s fine for much airgun hunting.

Accuracy was very good or better with 14.3 Grain and heavier pellets. As is frequently the case with quality PCP air rifles, the lighter pellets did not perform so well.

The Diana Outlaw has a regulated action. I tested this using JSB-manufactured Daystate Rangemaster, 15.9 Grain pellets. The result was a good, consistent Muzzle Velocity for 49 shots. 

From shot 50, pressure had fallen sufficiently that the regulator was no longer activated. The FPS then dropped steadily from shot-to-shot, as is expected and you can see in the graph below.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

The top of the breech is grooved with standard airgun dovetails. As there’s minimal recoil when firing, a Weaver/Picatinny mount is not required.

The magazine does protrude above the top of the breech. However, there’s still sufficient clearance for the scope above the clip, even when using medium height rings.

One issue is that the magazine is loaded from the left side of the gun. This may cause issues with large diameter scope sidewheels, so the new owner should check this aspect before selecting a scope.

Weight of the Outlaw I tested was 6 Lbs 10 Oz without scope. This compares to the 7 Lbs 5 Oz of a synthetic Marauder. 

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

This relatively light weight and svelte size of the Outlaw means that a mid-size scope – like an Aztec Emerald – is ideal. Bigger, heavier scopes run the risk of making the rig top heavy. 

The Outlaw’s magazine is an interesting, quite complex design. It has an 11-shot capacity in .22 caliber, one more than many competitive products. It feels robust and substantial in construction. 

It’s also easy to load without the need to hold back a sprung cover plate, as is often the case with other rotary magazines, due to an internal ratcheting system.

However, it does not block the action when all pellets are used and there’s no pellet counter. This means that it’s necessary to keep count of the shots fired to avoid a blank discharge.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

The magazine worked well in testing. It slides easily and slickly into the breech, being retained in place by a magnet. Capacity is 13 pellets in .177 cal, 11 in .22 and 9 pellets in .25 caliber.

The Outlaw is an attractive air rifle with an elegant look. Machining finish is very good, with most metal parts having a uniform, black matt  finish.

The stock has a simple design with no unnecessary curves or shaping. Wood finish is generally good and smooth, with areas of  machine-made “checkering” on the forend and pistol grip to aid a good grip. 

The expected rubber buttpad seemed well-shaped and comfortable against the shoulder.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

The Diana Outlaw uses a probe filling system to charge it with High Pressure Air. Personally, I’m not a fan of fill probes due to the lack of standardisation and potential opportunity for dirt to enter the gun through an open probe port. 

However, the Outlaw’s probe-filling system is by far the best I have yet seen!

Firstly, the probe itself has a standard “Foster” quick disconnect on the other end. This enables it to be connected directly to the standard female quick disconnect fitting found on HPA tanks and pumps without the usual, annoying need for an additional adapter. 

This makes it quick and easy to use, particularly for owners with other PCPs having a standard male fill nipple.

Secondly, the cover for the fill port is spring-loaded. It’s pulled forward to insert the fill probe, then released back after filling. This is a far better solution – in my opinion – than the more common separate screw-thread or push-in cover for the fill port.

The Diana Outlaw Is A Great Value Air Rifle!

Now there’s no chance of losing or dropping the cover and the fill port itself is automatically protected from the possible ingress of dirt! This is a first-rate feature that we have not seen on other PCP air rifles.

Overall, the Diana Outlaw may be the best $500 PCP air rifle in the market today. Airguns of Arizona has them in stock, so you can get yours today 🙂

BSA PCP air rifles have a long history of innovation and quality. But until recently the best and newest models from this famous British manufacturer were not available or supported in the USA.

This situation is changing, right now!

Exciting New BSA PCP Air Rifles Now Available From Airguns of Arizona!

Precision Airgun Distribution has announced that the company is officially importing a range of new BSA regulated PCP air rifles direct from the Birmingham, UK, factory into the USA. That means that they are available from your favorite local dealers – including Airguns of Arizona.

Among these models are the innovative and compact BSA Defiant bullpup. This has a midships-mounted side lever action and sleek walnut stock. The Defiant provides 26 consistent shots of up to 30 Ft/Lbs muzzle energy per fill of the HPA tube.

That’s the Defiant, below.

Exciting New BSA PCP Air Rifles Now Available From Airguns of Arizona!

Another interesting model is the BSA Ultra XL. This is a compact yet powerful PCP of conventional configuration. In addition, there’s the BSA Ultra JSR which is designed specifically for younger shooters of smaller stature.

Exciting New BSA PCP Air Rifles Now Available From Airguns of Arizona!

The BSA Gold Star SE (above) is bolt action favorite that’s now available with a new, improved match trigger. It comes complete with an adjustable palm rest (or “hamster”) for Field Target shooting. This is another model that will be available through Airguns of Arizona.

All these air rifles will be available in “full power”, US specifications, with Muzzle energies up to 32 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber.

The exception is the BSA Ultra JSR. This cute little air rifle is power-limited to 6 Ft/Lbs of muzzle energy . That’s due to its mission, which to appeal to enthusiastic younger shooters who are entering the exciting world of PCP air rifle shooting for the first time.

Exciting New BSA PCP Air Rifles Now Available From Airguns of Arizona!

“There’s a large demand for BSA PCP air rifles in the USA,” said Robert Buchanan, President of Precision Airgun Distribution. “This is because they combine distinctive design with high quality British manufacture. Now they will be readily available through Airguns of Arizona and Precision Airgun Distribution dealers across the country.”

Simon Moore, the Managing Director of BSA Guns Limited, endorsed this view. “We see a great future for the latest BSA PCP air rifles in the USA,” he said. “The Precision Airgun Distribution dealer network has many high quality, knowledgeable stores. They are a great resource to re-vitalize the BSA brand throughout the country and introduce our outstanding PCP air rifles to a new generation of enthusiastic airgunners.”

BSA PCP air rifles will be available in .177 and .22 calibers. They all benefit from the iconic in-house cold hammer forged barrel manufacturing that’s a specialty of this British airgun manufacturer.

Contact Airguns of Arizona for more details. These BSA air rifles are in stock today!

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

At the time of writing, there is a variety of upgrade possibilities available for the Diana Outlaw air rifle or soon will be…

Diana has taken a very enthusiast-friendly approach to their new regulated PCP air rifle. And you can benefit from it to make your Outlaw really your own. Some of these accessories are not available yet. However, check with AoA to find out the latest information on availability.

 

One. A Complete Manual For The Diana Outlaw.

Hard Air Magazine has produced a complete manual for the Outlaw that contains just about everything you want to know about your new air rifle. It’s available from Airguns of Arizona!

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

“Choosing and Shooting the Diana Outlaw” is a 94-page book full of useful information. It includes tips on filling, scope mounting and choosing pellets. In addition, the book covers maintenance and re-building details.

Now you will know what to do with all those tools and O rings that were included with your Outlaw!

 

Two. The Outlaw Enthusiast’s Kit

Precision Airgun Distribution – the US distributor of the Outlaw – has also developed an interesting upgrade kit for this air rifle.

The Diana Outlaw Enthusiast’s Kit comprises no less than 32 upgraded parts and tools. It allows the enthusiastic Outlaw owner to make a number of improvements to his/her gun. And all the information you need to use it are included in the “Choosing and Shooting the Diana Outlaw” book.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

All parts are higher quality replacements for those shipped on the gun. The screws and pins are all stainless steel and the O rings, US-made of VITON material. All parts are matched to original Diana Part Numbers for easy identification.

Using this kit you can…

– Upgrade the trigger and cocking lever pins. These precision-ground, oversize pins replace the factory parts and are much less likely to fall out by accident. The trigger pins also provide more consistent operation.

– Upgrade the stock bolt and other assembly screws throughout the gun with high quality stainless steel replacements for a more pleasing, professional appearance.

– Install a non-rotating cocking handle upgrade. Simply cut the rubber tube to length. This reduces double-loading problems caused by fingers slipping off of the cocking lever.

– Replace the barrel seal – two sets for each caliber are included. In addition, superior pointed, barrel adapter setscrews are provides, together with replacement barrel adapter O rings.

 

Three. Upgrade The Buttstock.

Diana plans to offer an alternative buttstock for the Outlaw. This stock is manufactured in Italy by Minelli and offers a more sophisticated design than the standard factory part. It will also be completely interchangeable, with no modifications required to fit it to the Outlaw’s action.

Diana’s replacement buttstock has a more rounded, flowing design. It’s stylish and offers possibilities for a more comfortable and consistent hold for the shooter.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

The rake of the stock’s wrist gives improved positioning the the trigger hand. The swelled, checkered forend will be easier and more comfortable to grasp, while the higher comb will give a better and more consistent cheek weld.

These are important benefits!

Anything that gives you a more comfortable shooting experience leads to greater consistency of positioning yourself against the gun every time you take a shot. And greater shot-to-shot consistency on your part increases the practical accuracy of your shooting. This can make a stock upgrade an important benefit for many shooters.

 

Four. Check Out The Trigger.

Many owners will be happy with the feel and operation of their Outlaw’s trigger.

However, a trigger upgrade is being developed by Diana and this will be regarded as a welcome improvement for owners using their gun for Field Target and other competitive shooting.

However Diana has designed a Match Trigger for the Outlaw. Again, this is a direct, drop-in replacement for the trigger that shipped with your Outlaw. It’s a significant difference!

Diana’s Match Trigger includes setscrew adjustments for both first and second stages of the trigger travel. These are the tiny setscrews visible just ahead of the trigger blade.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

Another adjustment possible with the Match Trigger is that it’s possible to move the trigger blade itself forwards or backwards. This provides flexibility for you to select the most comfortable and convenient trigger position. After all, we don’t all have fingers of the same length!

Adjusting the trigger blade position is a simple affair. Just use a thin-bladed standard screwdriver to slightly loosen the trigger blade. Adjust the position to your liking and re-tighten.

In testing, I found the Match Trigger to be a valuable improvement to the Diana Outlaw. The greater number of adjustments helped me tune trigger release exactly to my liking. It also provided a lower and more consistent pull weight.

 

Five. Add A Huma Regulator.

Understanding the Outlaw’s popularity, the Dutch regulator specialist company Huma has introduced an upgrade for the Outlaw’s regulator.

The Huma regulator is a high-precision assembly, made largely of stainless steel and brass. It provides you with the ability to adjust the regulator pressure of your Outlaw to match the requirements of you, or your favorite pellets, or both.

The factory regulator is pre-set at a pressure of between 130 and 150 Bar (1,880 to 2,170 PSI).

The Huma regulator upgrade comes pre-set at a pressure setting of 135 Bar (1,958 PSI). However, this setting can be changed easily and – unlike the factory part – the Huma regulator gives you a scale showing the different output pressures. Rotating a setscrew allows you to set a specific regulator output pressure.

Setting a higher regulator pressure will give you higher FPS and less consistent shots per fill. Within reason, of course.

Upgrading the Diana Outlaw PCP Air Rifle

To install this forthcoming Huma regulator, you’ll find full details in the “Choosing and Using The Diana Outlaw” book, of course!

 

As you can see, there’s lots of ways you can have fun upgrading your Diana Outlaw air rifle. Have fun!

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

I first saw this interesting new air rifle at the annual IWA exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany, in 2017. Then it was called the Nova Vista HP-M1000. It impressed me as one of the two most innovative airguns introduced at that show. The other was the FX Crown!

Below, that’s Mr Zhu, the designer of the Nova Freedom, showing me “his baby” at that show.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

Now this multi-pump PCP air rifle is available in the USA. It’s being imported by the distributor American Tactical and you can buy it from Airguns of Arizona. Its name is the Nova Freedom.

Firstly An Overview.

Of course, the idea of a PCP air rifle with a built-in hand pump is not new. Other air rifles have been produced in the past with a similar basic benefit – not needing to carry a separate tank or pump with you to refill your PCP air rifle in the field. The FX Independence springs to mind, of course.

However, the American Tactical Nova Freedom is a new model with some distinctly different engineering and it’s selling for just $379.95. Both .22 cal and .177 caliber models are available.

Below a Leapers Bugbuster scope is a good match for the Nova Freedom.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

The manufacturer is claiming some pretty impressive specifications for this air rifle. Apart from the built-in handpump, the American Tactical Nova Freedom can be filled from a HPA tank. Maximum fill pressure is 3,600 PSI.

There’s an adjustable, two-stage trigger and two power levels settable by a rotating knob.

Pellet feed is via a Marauder-style 10-shot magazine or single shot tray with side lever cocking. And yes, the 10-shot magazine is very similar to that found on the Benjamin Marauder and Umarex Gauntlet. In fact, they’re interchangeable.

Muzzle velocity for the .22 cal version is given as 900 fps or 700 fps – depending on power adjuster setting. In .177 cal, the claim is 1,000 fps or 800 fps.

 

Before Going Any Further…

Yes, the Nova Vista is inexpensive.

Yes, it’s rather “blocky-looking”.

Yes, it’s not designed or manufactured in Europe.

But don’t knock this one until you have tried it!

It is in fact a very capable all-round air rifle that – I believe – will surprise you with its capabilities.

Real World Shooting.

As supplied, the Nova Freedom is hard-hitting and accurate with mid-weight and above lead pellets.

If you’re hunting, set the gun to High Power and be prepared to pump every 5 or 6 shots. We found it produced 29.7 Ft/Lbs in .22 caliber with JSB Jumbo Exact pellets. That’s 965 FPS, higher than the manufacturer’s claims and very decent power!

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

Before shooting it, I expected the Nova Freedom to be rather “clunky” and unsatisfactory to shoot – entirely because of the built-in pump. But that’s actually not the case.

In fact, I found it comfortable and very stable to shoot offhand by holding on to the pump handle and bracing my upper arm against my chest, as shown in the photographs. The pump handle can be locked closed to avoid inadvertent operation in this kind of of use.

For target shooting or plinking, Low Power still gives plenty of FPS and a remarkable 20 good shots between pumping.

 

Pump And Trigger.

The built-in hand pump definitely works!

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

This means that owners of the American Tactical Nova Freedom can do without the cost and inconvenience of a separate HPA hand pump. In addition, it can be filled from an external tank or HPA hand pump if required, however, if you prefer.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

It also means that the user is able to re-fill the Nova Freedom while in the field. This overcomes the inevitable air anxiety (“Do I have enough air?”) that every PCP owner has experienced at one time or another.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom we tested had a trigger pull averaging 2 Lbs 10 Oz.

This trigger is a two-stage design, but the first stage was almost undetectable, feeling more like a little slack on a single-stage trigger. However, the trigger release was quite predictable and consistent. And it can be adjusted…

Adjustments for sear engagement, pull weight and pull length are all accessed from outside the gun using an Allen wrench. The instruction manual supplied with the Nova Freedom gives clear instructions for making trigger adjustments.

The American Tactical Nova Freedom - A New Multi-Pump PCP Air Rifle

 

I’m Convinced!

If you like this concept, there’s nothing else to touch the Nova Vista in the market at anywhere near the price. The only downside is a slight increase in bulk and weight compared to a conventional PCP.

Try it. I think you’ll be impressed too!

Stephen Archer is the Publisher of Hard Air Magazine.

Today we are going to do something totally new to the AOA blog! We are going to take a look at the latest and greatest tool for precharged airguns, which allows a shooter to be completely self sufficient. This tool is the Omega Super Charger Compressor. The Super Charger operates on 110-volt power, and has a user-set shutoff that can be set to any pressure up to 4500 psi. And best of all, the Omega Super Charger requires no outside devices to run, and no stopping mid-fill to service or bleed! It has a user-set auto-bleed device which can be set to the moisture level in your local air with the simple twist of a dial.

I know, right now most of you are still hanging on the first line of this blog. Why is a compressor review “totally new to the AOA blog!”? There have been reviews of all types of product posted to this blog over the past years. How is this one any different?

Here’s why…we are NOT writing a review. We are giving it to you in the form of a video. Enjoy!

G12 Hammerli AR20 005

I’ll tell you what my first thought was when www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me the Hammerli AR-20 to test: “What in the world do they expect to do with this thing?”

My days of attempting to shoot 10-meter match competition are some years behind me, and I wasn’t very good at it even then. (The experience did serve me well for the standing shots in field target, however.) Did the good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com really expect “Uncle Wobbles” to give this rifle a serious test as a 10-meter machine? I sincerely hoped not.

Sure, the AR-20 has a lot of the goodies that you would expect in a 10-meter competition rifle and it comes with match diopter sights for 10-meter competition. But then I noticed something: it has a scope dovetail that goes from here to Cleveland. Well, actually it extends from fore and aft of the breech and all the way down the length of the barrel shroud. And that gave me an idea. We’ll get back to that notion in just a little while, but first, let’s take a guided tour of the AR-20.

G12 Hammerli AR20 006

The AR-20 stretches nearly 40 inches from end to end and weighs 9 pouncs. Most of the receiver and barrel assemblies on the AR-20 are made of metal. Most of accoutrements – forestock handpiece, pistol grip, buttstock, and so forth – are made of plastic. At the extreme aft end of the AR-20 is a soft rubber butt pad that is adjustable for height and for length of pull. Forward of that, under the buttstock, are a couple of metal weights that can be removed if the shooter sees fit. Forward of that is a cheekpiece that is adjustable for height and that can be reversed for left-handed shooters. Moving forward again, you’ll find a plastic pistol grip that can be rotated to suit the shooter’s preference.

G12 Hammerli AR20 007

Ahead of the pistol grip is the trigger which doesn’t have a trigger shoe but is a ridged rod. It is, however, very comfortable to use. The trigger can be adjusted in a variety of ways – including weight, pressure point, stop and slack – to the shooter’s preference. Ahead of the trigger is a partial metal trigger guard and beyond that is the forestock handpiece which can be slid back and forth along a rail to the shooter’s preference.

The forestock enclosed the compressed air reservoir and above that is the shrouded metal barrel which has a dovetail on the muzzle end to accommodate a globe diopter front sight. Moving back along the barrel, we come to the black metal receiver, which features a generous breech and dovetails aft of the breech for mounting the competition peep sight. At the very end of the receiver is a t-shaped assembly which is the bolt.

G12 Hammerli AR20 004

To ready the AR-20 for shooting, you must unscrew the air reservoir, connect it to a special adaptor (included with the gun), charge it up to 300 bar from a hand pump or SCUBA tank, and then re-attach the reservoir to the gun. Hammerli claims 200 shots per fill when charged to 300 bar.

To load the AR-20, press the bolt release button in the center of the bolt handle, pull the bolt back, drop a .177 pellet into the groove in the center of the breech, and return the bolt to its original position. The trigger is extremely light and crisp. I measured the trigger pull: first stage, 3.8 oz; second stage 5.5 oz. No, that is not a typo – trigger weight was well under half a pound. If that is not light enough for you, I suggest trying a “psychic” trigger.

The AR-20 launches 7 grain match pellets at 577 feet per second. And the accuracy? Well, it’s just plain boring: at 10 meters from a rest, the AR20 will put pellet after pellet through the same hole. The presumption is that a properly trained 10-meter shooter could do pretty well with the AR-20.

G12 Hammerli AR20 001

And now we get back to my idea: what else is it good for? In 1984 Peter Capstick, big game hunter and African Correspondent for Guns & Ammo magazine, published an article that changed the outlook of many shooters. Entitled simply “Minisniping,” it related how Capstick and his fellow big rifle shooters were enjoying the delights of shooting at spent 9mm brass at 35 yards, from a rest, with Olympic style match air rifles.

Capstick and his fellow minisnipers shot with scoped match quality air rifles of their day: the Feinwerkbau 300s and others. These were recoilless spring-powered rifles that launched match pellets downrange at about 560-600 fps. At 35 yards, the velocity is well below 500 fps, and any bit of wind will push the pellet around with impunity. Using a low-powered, scoped, match air rifle at that range made minisniping both challenging and fun.

Capstick calculated that shooting at a ¾” high casing at 35 yards was equivalent to targeting an enemy sniper’s torso at over 1,300 yards. It’s a game that takes just a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master—and that’s where the true seduction lies. I would like to humbly suggest that the AR-20, which costs slightly less than $1,000 and is very easy to scope, would make a superb air rifle for practicing the fine art of minisniping.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

FZ200 FX Bobcat 001

If you have been reading this blog for any time at all, you know that I like airguns. Airguns deliver potloads of shooting fun in a package that can be shot in a lot of places where discharging a firearm will get you in a world of trouble. Lately, I have been particularly enamored of smaller air rifles that aren’t too long, and are relatively light and easy to handle

The FX Bobcat fills the bill on all counts. A bullpup design, it stretches just 29.5 inches from end to end, weighs just 7.8 pounds before a scope is mounted, and is available in .22 caliber, .25 caliber, or .30 caliber. The factory says the .22 version will generate 30 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle on high power; the .25 caliber version, 46 fp, and the .30 version, 75 fp. The good folks at www.airgunsofarizona.com sent me the .22 version to test.

FZ200 FX Bobcat 004

At the extreme aft end of the Bobcat is a soft rubber butt pad that can be adjusted vertically. It is attached to a one-piece matte black stock that is molded from engineering polymer. Just forward of the butt pad, there is a hole in the stock. It can be accessed from the righthand side and used to store extra magazines. Forward of that on the left side of the stock is another hole which contains a clearly marked air gauge. Forward of that on the bottom of the stock is a male Foster fitting for filling the on-board air reservoir with a SCUBA tank or high pressure pump.

FZ200 FX Bobcat 005

Forward of that is a pistol grip with finger indentations and the trigger guard which surrounds a black metal trigger. Forward of that, the forestock is unadorned except for the extreme forward end, underneath which is a flat spot that looks like it could be set up with a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories. Above the forestock is the air reservoir, and above that, the shrouded smooth twist barrel.

At the end of the barrel is a fitting that can be unscrewed, allowing the attachment of a barrel shroud extension. Moving back on top of the barrel, you’ll find a long dovetail assembly for mounting a scope.

On the left side of the receiver forward of the breech, there is a wheel that allows the power to be set at one of three levels. Just to the rear of that is the breech, into which a rotary magazine is inserted. Aft of that, on the left side, the rear of the receiver is covered with a smooth metal cheek rest. The Bobcat is a decidedly right-handed air rifle.

Just aft of the breech on the right side of the receiver, you’ll find the breech lever and a lever type safety. That’s it.

I liked the fit and finish of the Bobcat. I particularly liked its no-nonsense, all-business looks and smooth matte black finish on the stock.

Next time, we’ll take a look at how the Bobcat shoots.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott