RUSS DOU­GLAS

LOVE IT, OR HATE IT?

Airgun World - - Contents -

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.

REV­O­LU­TION­ARY DE­SIGN

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.

FIRST IM­PRES­SIONS

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.

SAFETY

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.

PRES­SURE UP?

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.

CON­SIS­TENCY

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.

BAR­REL OP­TIONS

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.

COOL TRIG­GER

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.

ALIGN­MENT

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.

AC­CU­RACY

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.

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