WALTHER ROTEX RM8
You don’t have to be, to own the Armex Walther Rotex RM8 Varminter Kit
What do we need to go hunting and stand a good chance of success? We require a rifle producing sufficient consistent accuracy and muzzle energy to despatch our quarry cleanly, a reliable sighting device and mount, a stock that promotes comfortable control, and preferably, a silencer to keep everything efficiently discreet. A protective case to keep it all in would be handy, and what about a bipod for those intensive zeroing and pellet-testing sessions, or for when you’re plotted up in the prone position to ambush rabbits? One last tick on many hunters’ wish lists would be an overall price tag that didn’t make their eyes water.
The big news, fresh in this month is, Armex have decided to offer all of that, plus their renowned care package, for a penny under £500. This has to be worth investigating, so that’s what I’ve been doing.
THE ARMEX VARMINTER KIT
What we have here, is a Walther Rotex RM8 pre-charged pneumatic rifle, an Enfield 3-9 x 40 scope and mounts, a reflex Backdraft silencer, an adjustable bipod complete with Picatinny mounting blocks for lamp, laser or infrared illuminator, and a fully-padded rifle case in dark green, rather than the black one I’ve been using. It’s quite a package, then, especially for £499.99 all-in, but as we know, a bargain’s only a bargain if it does what we need it to do. There’s the next phase cued up nicely, then.
THE WALTHER ROTEX RM8
The rifle at the centre of the Varminter Kit is, not unnaturally, the Walther Rotex RM8 Varminter. This is the latest incarnation of Walther’s 8-shot, bolt-action sporter and features the familiar fixed, 200cc buddy bottle, fully-floating – fixed at the breech only – 19.7inch barrel, and an ambidextrous, black, synthetic, thumbhole stock. That stock is a pleasing thing to handle and to look at, blessed as it is with all manner of sympathetic curves, contours and moulded grip panels. Those panels are among the grippiest I’ve ever used, too, so full marks to the Walther designers.
The trigger is the tried-and-tested two-stage mechanism that offers an adjustable first stage and a factory set let-off pressure. Many airgunners would arch a cynical eyebrow at any modern PCP without a fully-adjustable trigger, but to them I’d say, see how you get on with it first. More of that later; for now I’ll finish the brief tour of the Varminter Kit.
Along with the Varminter itself, the Armex kit contains a Backdraft reflex silencer that slides over the rifle’s ½-inch UNF threaded barrel a full 6.5 inches, leaving just 3 inches protruding. The Backdraft is equipped with internal baffles and has all the volume required to swallow the RM8’s muzzle noise. This moderator is big, black and bold, but it somehow fits the whole package extremely well, and it works a treat, without messing up the rifle’s balance. I thought I wouldn’t like the Backdraft but it’s growing on me.
On the subject of balance, the Varminter Kit’s supplied bipod will definitely change the handling characteristics if you leave it attached and folded during general shooting duties. A swift twist with either a Phillips or flathead screwdriver releases the bipod from its Weaver-style mount, and the Varminter’s excellent balance is restored. As for the bipod itself, it sports height-adjustable, spring-loaded legs with squishy rubber feet and a couple of Weaver mount blocks for those attachments I mentioned earlier. This is a practical accessory that does its job extremely well, although I’d have preferred a quickrelease facility so I could snap it on and off as required.
The new Walther RM8 Varminter is an impressive rifle for an equally impressive price.