MEETING A TRUE LEFT Is the new RTI Arms Prophet bullpup really nice - or is it really niche?
Welcome to the new-look Follow-Up test. I hope you like the format, but if you don’t, I’m sure you’ll let me know. Kicking us off, we have the new Prophet from RTI Arms in Slovenia. This is a high-capacity, hi-tech, ambidextrous bullpup, but amid the array of performance components, the standout feature is still its decided left-handedness. Yes, the Prophet’s stock design is ambi’, and this rifle has an ingenious magazine-swap capability, where you can flip the mag’ around and load it from the left- or right-hand side, as it suits, but that articulated cocking lever is a permanent fixture on the left-hand side of the action. Of course the southpaws out there love it, and a more-than-expected number of my ‘normal’ shooting friends got along fine with it, so am I making too much of something ... again? Possibly.
My own two months of fairly intensive shooting with the Prophet have taught me plenty, all of which is contained in the feature boxes below. I didn’t become fully accostomed to the position of that sidelever, but then I’m required to swap back and forth between rifles I’m either testing or helping to
IS THERE ENOUGH MOUNTING RAIL?
develop, all of which have their cocking levers on the right. Had I used the Prophet exclusively, I’m fairly sure its cocking system would soon become second-nature, and I’d stop obsessing about it.
The thing that’s impressed me most about this rifle is its pure shooting performance. Clinical accuracy allied to huge shot capacity, consistency of output and ease of use is a massively attractive combination and it’s no surprise that the Prophet is cause quite a stir overseas. Only time will tell if we Brits adopt it, but if it’s all about performance for you – you really need to check out the Prophet. I
All PCPs respond positively to a silencer and the Prophet is no different in this regard. Its barrel shroud somehow snuffs out much of the rifle’s muzzle blast, despite the lack of baffles within it, but I’d say the efficiency of the action is the main factor, here. Anyway, I’d recommend a compact, lightweight silencer for the Prophet, if only as a ‘stop’ between the shooter’s hand and the muzzle. I found the Prophet’s main Picatinny sight mounting rail to be plenty long enough for every scope I tried, plus it accommodated the eye-relief of everyone else who tried the rifle. There’s a 20MOA inclination built in to the rail, and zeroing/dialling was no problem either. I think RTI Arms have this component just right. A bonkers amount, thanks. The 500cc, carbon-fibre bottle on the test rifle can be charged to 300 bar, from which I get over 500 shots in .177 and 650 in .22! Remarkably efficient, actually, so hats off to the RTI Arms boffins for that. There’s an adjustable reg’ option available, too, which is worth looking at for FAC users. I’ve said it in the intro, but if you can get used to the placement of the Prophet’s sidelever, I’m sure it won’t be an issue, and of course if you’re a left-hander, it’s a major bonus. It requires more effort to operate than most, mind.