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Opublikowany 2016-12-01 04:19:11

WOW!Whenever that’s the first observation I make when testing an entirely new airgun line, I know things are going to be interesting. I’m looking at two of the four models Stoeger makes—the youth model X5 and the screaming X50 at the top of the line. All four models, which include the intermediate X10 and X20 rifles, are spring-piston break-barrels, making them the salt of the airgunning earth. No technological surprises—just simple shooters. X5 first I have a soft spot in my heart for youth model air rifles—not because I like kids more than the next guy, but because youth models are easy to cock and can have the smoothest shooting powerplants of the entire spring-gun world. Those two attributes have been all but lost in the horsepower race that’s been ongoing in the spring-piston class for the past three-plus decades. But, at the end of the day, those two things are what make airgunning a rewarding pastime. The first thing I did after taking the Stoeger X5 from its box was cock and load it and fire it into my office pellet trap. I prayed that it wouldn’t go buzz with the rattle of an ill-fitted mainspring and piston. Well, it didn’t! In fact, it didn’t buzz at all. It shot with a solid thunk that usually costs an extra $100 to $250 to achieve through an aftermarket tuneup. The only other air rifle in the world that shoots this smooth right from the box is the Air Arms TX200, which costs over $550. Hence the “Wow!” To paraphrase the movie Jerry Maguire, “They had me at the first shot!” The X5 is a large youth rifle, and that’s good, because a lot of the yoots who shoot it will be on the sunset side of 50. The pull measures a manly 14.25 inches, and the weight of 6.5 pounds is just right for an all-day shooter for just about anyone over 12. The overall length of 40.50 inches seems short, but the wood stock is thick and proportioned as an adult rifle. What we have is a great compromise of adult size with a youthful ease of cocking. Cocking effort is a mere 18 pounds. I rate all guns that stay under 20 pounds as youth-ready, because that’s what it takes to pump a Daisy 853 target rifle, which is meant for youth competition. Guns this easy to cock can be shot hundreds of times in succession without feeling the strain. And for the 12-year-olds who want to shoot it, the X5 should be well within their capability. There’s no anti-beartrap mechanism, so the X5 can be uncocked manually. Just restrain the barrel (which you should always do with a break-barrel spring rifle), take the safety off and pull the trigger. The barrel can then be safely brought back to the closed position and the rifle is no longer cocked. The scope comes installed! Though the X5 has a nice set of adjustable fiber-optic open sights, it comes with a 4x32 fixed-power scope already installed. That’s a shrewd decision on Stoeger’s part, because U.S. buyers avoid mounting scopes like the plague. This one comes out of the box ready Stoeger’s AIR RIFLES By Tom Gaylord [Cont. to page 33] The Stoeger X5 is a youth rifle that any adult shooter could be proud of. It shoots like a tuned springer! On this combo model, the scope comes installed, a move Gaylord says is smart marketing. to go, and they’ll like that in Oshkosh. I focused the ocular lens for a sharp image at 25 yards. Heavy trigger The X5 is a delight to shoot, except for an overly hard single-stage trigger. My RCBS analog trigger-pull gauge goes up to 8 pounds, and it’s possible to extrapolate another pound, so 9 pounds is the limit. The non-adjustable X5 trigger breaks at about 8.25 pounds I think that’s too heavy for kids and even I had difficulty controlling the rifle for the best possible accuracy off the bench. We’re going to have our kids learning to pull triggers with two fingers, if we give them guns with pull-weights this high. Power This is a youth rifle, so we don’t expect high velocity. In fact, it’s the lower power level that makes the gun feel so stable. Gamo Match wadcutter pellets averaged 607 fps at the muzzle, and the spread for 10 shots was from 596 to 619. RWS Club pellets weigh 7 grains and average 622 fps, with a spread from 610 to 628. These numbers put the X5 on the fast end of youth rifles. Muzzle energy is just over 6 foot-pounds. Good accuracy After overcoming the trigger, though, I found good accuracy at 25 yards. Because the X5 is a break-barrel, it’s extremely hold-sensitive, so I had to use the artillery hold that allows the gun to recoil as much as possible when firing. And, of course, I did not allow any part of the gun to touch the sandbag. Laying the forearm on the flat of my open palm, it was possible to shoot five pellets into a group smaller than one inch. The smallest group measured .80 inches, center-to- center of the two widest shots. Given the heavy trigger I was fighting, I call that a great showing. The bottom line At about $150 scoped, the X5 isn’t the cheapest scoped air rifle by far. It’s about $40 above some of the bargain-basement name brand ...

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