Milbro Magic

Phill Price re­views the Ex­plorer from SMK

Airgun World - - Contents -

When I was a young man, there were fa­mous Bri­tish brands that we knew and re­spected; We­b­ley and BSA for ri­fles, and Eley and Milbro for pel­lets. In re­cent years, the beloved old name of Milbro has been all too hard to find, but now it’s reap­peared on the side of ri­fles and scopes im­ported by those masters of value for money, SMK. The first to hit my desk was a large, break-bar­rel springer, called ‘the Ex­plorer’, although I have no idea why.

At 48” long and weigh­ing over 8lbs with­out a scope and mounts, this is a siz­able ri­fle and a proper hand­ful. It fea­tures a moulded-on si­lencer that adds to the muz­zle-heavy bal­ance on an al­ready long bar­rel. This is no ri­fle for young­sters, or those of a slight build! Although the black syn­thetic stock looks deep from the pic­tures, it’s ac­tu­ally quite slim, side to side. The pis­tol grip is well shaped with a stylish flare in keep­ing with the large build, and the reach to the trig­ger blade is best suited to those with long fin­gers. As on the pis­tol grip, the fore end has moulded, che­quered pan­els that are very nicely formed, with notably sharp points that re­ally do of­fer added grip.

LONG GUN

The fore end is very long, giv­ing a good choice of hold po­si­tions, and de­spite the Ex­plorer us­ing an ar­tic­u­lated cock­ing link­age, the cut-out is 7½” long, which is unusual. How­ever, in use I hardly no­ticed it at all. There are cheek pieces on both sides of the butt, mak­ing the Ex­plorer prop­erly am­bidex­trous, and be­hind this is a nice, thick rub­ber butt pad that gripped my shoul­der well. At 14¾” the pull length is a touch longer than av­er­age, adding to the im­pres­sion that this is a ri­fle built for the larger man.

Up front, the bar­rel and si­lencer as­sem­bly mea­sure 22”, mak­ing them a pow­er­ful lever with which to cock the main spring, and the force needed was no­tice­ably easy. The syn­thetic si­lencer ap­pears to be moulded onto the bar­rel per­ma­nently be­cause I couldn’t see screws for re­moval. On top, the fore sight el­e­ment is moulded in and of­fers a bright red, fi­bre-op­tic insert that com­ple­ments the green ones in the fully-ad­justable rear sight. Some peo­ple ques­tion the point of fit­ting open sights when al­most ev­ery­body uses a scope these days, but on a ri­fle in­tended for those just join­ing our sport, they’re a very good thing.

I found the fir­ing cy­cle smooth and quiet.

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