Sim­ply Plink­ing

Phill Price asks, ‘Just what do we need from a back gar­den plinker?’

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price tries out the Perfecta RS 26 – 6 ft.lbs. of fun from Umarex

Like many peo­ple in the great sport of air­gun­ning, I started my shoot­ing ca­reer plink­ing in my par­ent’s back gar­den. My first gun was a worn-out pis­tol given to me by a friend of my older brother, but as much as I loved it, I soon had the hots for a ri­fle. I was sure that all that ex­tra power would be bet­ter, but bet­ter for what? I bought a We­b­ley Vul­can MK1, which was a full 12 ft.lbs., and I soon learned that my old wooden back-stop wasn’t man enough as the pel­lets quickly ate a hole through it, and much more se­ri­ously, a pel­let that passed thought the in­ad­e­quate stop also went through my neigh­bour’s fence. Luck­ily, there was a con­crete garage be­hind and the pel­let was stopped be­fore it could do any more harm, but I had bro­ken the law and my neigh­bour’s prop­erty.

It was with this trou­bling event in mind that I picked up the Perfecta RS26, which is pretty much a full size-ri­fle, but it makes a claimed 6 ft.lbs. of muz­zle en­ergy, mak­ing it ideal for back gar­den plink­ing. The 6 ft.lbs. will still give a steel, baked bean can a good wal­lop, but at half the power of a hunt­ing ri­fle, it will do much less dam­age to any­thing it hits. A fur­ther ben­e­fit is that the cock­ing force needed is com­fort­ably low, so that long plink­ing ses­sions won’t tire any­body out.

GOOD FEEL­ING

De­spite its very mod­est price, this sim­ple break-bar­rel, spring-pis­ton ri­fle of­fers some fea­tures you’d only ex­pect from much higher priced ri­fles, as seen in the ad­justable and lock­able breech pivot bolt. This al­lows any wear to be com­pen­sated for and the lock­ing bolt en­sures that it can­not work loose in use. Not­ing this, I was begin­ning to get a good feel­ing about this ri­fle.

At the breech we also find an un­usual, manual lock­ing mech­a­nism to guar­an­tee that the bar­rel stays locked in line with the cylin­der, even un­der re­coil. It takes the shape of a formed steel lever that needs a de­ter­mined press for­ward to un­lock the

“quite su­perb and a deep em­bar­rass­ment to guns cost­ing very much more”

mech­a­nism. Af­ter this, the bar­rel is pulled down to cock, a pel­let seated into the bore and then the bar­rel can be swung home, mak­ing the ri­fle ready to fire. At first, the bar­rel lock was a bit sticky but af­ter 50 pel­lets it loos­ened up nicely and I found the right tech­nique to use it ef­fi­ciently. First, hold the muz­zle up and then press the bar­rel lock lever fully for­ward. The bar­rel will drop a few de­grees un­der its own weight and from there the short and light cock­ing stroke is easy to com­plete.

There’s no safety mech­a­nism, so leav­ing the bar­rel bro­ken is the ideal way to carry it. This al­lows the empty breech to be seen by your shoot­ing pals, of­fer­ing re­as­sur­ance that the ri­fle is in­deed in a safe con­di­tion.

QUITE SU­PERB

Al­though this is a low-power ri­fle, it’s only just short of be­ing a full adult size, with the butt mea­sur­ing 14” for pull length. It also shows a full-length bar­rel that has a syn­thetic cock­ing aid at the muz­zle, so there’s a fairly weight­for­ward bal­ance. The bal­ance point is some 4” in front of the trig­ger with­out a scope fit­ted, adding to the adult ri­fle feel. Adding a mod­est 3-9 x 40 scope did lit­tle to change the bal­ance, but I’ve al­ways felt that a for­ward bal­ance in a re­coil­ing ri­fle was a good thing be­cause it helps to man­age the re­coil and there­fore aids ac­cu­racy.

A good trig­ger can make a huge dif­fer­ence to ac­cu­racy, but in­ex­pen­sive guns quite rightly have their trig­gers set on the heavy side, to en­sure that in­ex­pe­ri­enced fin­gers don’t fire the gun by ac­ci­dent. The RS26 was set just this way, but had a very wel­come fea­ture which was that de­spite the weight, it broke cleanly. As long as a trig­ger is con­sis­tent and man­age­able it can be em­ployed well to de­liver ac­cu­racy. Af­ter a quick zero ses­sion and warm up, I moved the tar­get card back to 25 yards, which is a pretty stern test of a gun at this price point, and was de­lighted to see that the Bis­ley Prac­tice pel­lets I’d se­lected were shoot­ing groups that mea­sured un­der 1”! That’s quite su­perb and a deep em­bar­rass­ment to guns cost­ing very much more.

I could well see a ver­sion with a down-sized stock and a shorter bar­rel mak­ing an ideal starter ri­fle for ju­nior shoot­ers, but this is def­i­nitely an adult set of di­men­sions and with such a heavy trig­ger, it re­mains and adult ri­fle for now.

I’m im­pressed with this ri­fle and, for me, it seems a great choice for a true back-gar­den plinker. It feels well made, has very ad­vanced fea­tures and above all is ac­cu­rate, which is what ri­fles are all about. I

This adult-size ri­fle feels good on aim and has the ac­cu­racy to back it up.

Light cock­ing ef­fort makes for long and easy plink­ing ses­sions.

The trig­ger is very heavy but breaks cleanly, which is good. A syn­thetic cock­ing aid adds grip and re­duces cor­ro­sion.

This un­usual bar­rel lock is a wel­come ad­di­tion. High-qual­ity mounts are vi­tal for any re­coil­ing ri­fle.

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