LOVE IT, OR HATE IT?
Ifirst saw this month’s exclusive test rifle last year, previewed by Lloyd of Blackpool Air Rifles during one of his countertop videos, and straight away, I dreamed of getting hold of one to do an exclusive review for you. As chance would have it, Lloyd recently invited me down to join him and Tony Belas on their cool, newish HotAir Airguns YouTube channel, during a recent family visit to Lancashire. That was a lot of fun and part 3 (of 3) included Lloyd showing off the new regulated EDgun Leshiy Mk2. My eyes lit up when he commented that he really should get someone else to review it because he’d be considered biased, being the exclusive UK importer. Naturally, I eagerly volunteered to do it.
A few hours later, I mentioned this to the top chaps manning the shop at BAR – and they only handed me a .22 example to review there and then! I’m not paid or sponsored to review anything, so this is what Lloyd wanted – an independent review, for an honest opinion. Leshiys arrive in the UK with Continental (FAC) power levels, so in addition to a UK legal anti-tamper, BAR now fit HUMA regulators, improving efficiency. Caution: Only Leshiys supplied by BAR have this facility.
The EDgun Leshiy – the name means ‘spirit of the woods’ – is nothing short of revolutionary in its concept, design and rock-solid engineering. EDgun is the Russian genius behind this rifle, and he’s come up with another original cracker of a rifle. You might love it or hate it, but trust me – handle it and you’ll respect it. It’s very handy and eminently pointable and it feels like you could hammer in nails with it.
This little rifle is still a full-power 12 ft.lbs. PCP single-shot alloy brick of a gun. It has a 250mm integrally suppressed Lothar Walther barrel, yet is only 350mm long when folded. Yes, you read that right – FOLDED. EDgun designed this from the ground up as a survivor’s/outdoorsman’s rifle, with a carabiner-style spring clip off the butt pad, intended to hang from a rucksack strap or belt, for true outdoors portability.
The Leshiy looks and feels very solid, being machined from one piece of alloy. Even scoped with the Konus it only weighs 2kg, and length folded is 30cm, unfolded for use is 633mm x 47mm (W) x 200mm (H); it cannot be fired folded. The solidity is reinforced when you cock the action and fire it. The slim buttstock is the air reservoir, and despite its diminutive size (volume 54 cubic cm/3.3 cubic inches) a 300BAR fill can power up to 90 shots. It’s filled via a standard, double ‘O’ ring sealed, fill probe, the opening protected by a detent-secured rotating synthetic collar.
The Leshiy’s push-button safety cannot be engaged until the rifle is cocked, a feature I love.
To cock the Leshiy give a ‘light punch’ (ED’s own words from the manual), to the left side of the action/stock linkup/hinge, fold the action in half until it ‘clicks’, which takes very little effort due to leverage working in your favour. Insert a
“The Leshiy looks and feels very solid, being machined from one piece of alloy”
pellet directly into the bore, and re-straighten the stock with another firm click. Once shouldered, your trigger finger will easily reach the safety button to disengage it, providing you’re right-handed.
At the back of the Leshiy’s slim stock/reservoir is a small button pressure gauge (manometer) facing your shoulder. Earlier versions had an analogue fitting, but the latest versions have a digital gauge. Press the shiny black plastic cover once and the gauge’s screen will illuminate, displaying: BAR/pressure, EDgun and the canine logo in vivid blue-green neon. I’ll be honest, this is nice, but does feel a little gimmicky, so if I bought one I’d be tempted to opt for an old-school analogue button gauge, even if simply to avoid possible technical hiccups further down the line. The fill range is 300-120BAR, and a warning displays on the gauge when the fill pressure is below the 120BAR regulator pressure.
Let’s be honest, unless you’ve got a compressor we only have a full 300BAR tank once or twice per fill. I got mine topped-up specifically for these chrono tests, and it was already 292BAR by the time I got home.
I managed 110 shots with a variation of 30fps from a 275BAR fill, and bought several brands of pellets for consistency and accuracy tests. Correspondingly, the power was a little down at 10.8 ft.lbs., and I got more variation than I expected, so perhaps the Huma regulator needs a little tweak because one of the lads at BAR has been getting nearer 90 shots at 11.7 ft.lbs. from his own rifle.
A 250mm barrel comes as standard, and a 350mm barrel is available. To change them, release the action’s fore-end barrel clamping bolts, unscrew the suppressor end cap and withdraw the plastic one-piece ‘hair curler’ baffle, but don’t lose the ‘O’ ring. Then swap the barrel for the longer version and reassemble. An extended fore end is provided with a second baffle, and reassembled by reinstating the same end cap/re-tightening the barrel clamp. The Leshiy is available in .177, .22 and .25, and was originally designed to offer around 18 shots per fill in .25 at FAC-power levels, for hunting.
The Leshiy can fold for transit, so I repurposed an alloy briefcase for range visits. Be aware that when folded, the striker mainspring is under tension, so I’d store it straight/uncocked to avoid spring wear over time. The rifle is scope-only because the open-sight radius would be too short and so useless, and has a 240mm upper length of skeleton Picatinny rail for this, with a 74mm lower length for a QD bipod, or illumination or aiming accessories. It does need a compact scope, and the Konus one fitted to my loaned rifle is ideal size-wise, although not parallax-adjustable, so perhaps not suitable for everyone.
The Leshiy’s trigger is single-stage and non-adjustable. It has a respectable pull length, which the manual lists as 3mm, and is very light at 12oz – measured with my Wheeler gauge, it barely registered on the scale. With the decent length of travel and light release, you’ll need to learn how to predict the point that the gun will fire, when you first shoot. Once you do that, you’ll really appreciate it.
One downside of the incredibly compact action is the relatively short pistol grip, so my large hand overhangs this slightly. The grip
can be swapped for some fantastic aftermarket laminate designs, via an Allen bolt in the base.
Visit https://woodfield-gcp.co.uk/product/ steven-brown-custom-stocks/ or check out Steve’s Facebook group for loads of cool Leshiy grip upgrades.
Another aftermarket upgrade I’ve seen is adding a ‘double-barrelled’ /second stock reservoir tube, for extra capacity, whilst keeping the dimensions compact.
Be aware that the bore is eccentric (low) to the centreline of the suppressor body, so the larger the scope’s objective lens, and higher the mounts, the greater the offset from line-of-sight to the pellet’s trajectory. Not a problem unless you engage closer-range targets. I attached a laser to the lower rail for that, aligned parallel with the Leshiy’s bore.
I also sourced some polymer QD Picatinny rings, to experiment carrying the Leshiy suspended from a Special Forces-style single-point sling, round a few confined space barns with pigeon problems, on my new permission. I currently ‘wear’ my Wildcat round my permission via a neck sling; this keeps my arms free for the crutches and trigger sticks.
For confined-space vermin work I just use an under-muzzle laser, aligned parallel to the bore, and aim off the laser dot accordingly.
Don’t assume this is close-range only, though It’s a 12 ft.lbs. rifle capable of very tidy groups at 50m. Three-quarters of an inch was my best group on an ‘average to breezy’ day at GARC’s Denwood range, off the bipod at 35m using JSB Exact pellets. Bipod-wise, a QD design is essential, due to the folded stock fouling bulkier non-detachable designs, especially when you pack it away.
“For confined space vermin work I just use an under-muzzle laser, aligned parallel”
Carried in a briefcase to my farm permission!
Andy at BAR demonstrates folding a rifle.
Observing range discipline whilst cocking.
Slim stock means no problem getting your eye behind the scope.
Direct barrel loading.
Down on the bipod.
Charging the diminutive reservoir stock.
Digital pressure gauge.