Top positive review
356 of 366 people found this helpful
Outstanding entry level air rifle.
on February 7, 2011
This is my first air rifle, but i have been a gun owner for years. I am a 22 fanatic especially. I was shooting with a friend a while back and he busted out a break barrel air rifle. We took a few shots and it reminded me of all the fun I used to have as a kid with a friend and his little daisy 10 pump bb gun. I decided to get one but didn't want to spend an bunch of money it. I spent a few months researching these low-end air rifles. The Phantom seemed to stand out a little bit above the rest so i went with it. I found it at Wal-mart for $80 without the scope. The scope that comes with this in the combo pack was not reviewed very well by many sources. I also don't like using scopes and would not use it anyway so why pay for it. Also, there have been complaints by some that this was advertised as a 1200fps rifle and when they got it found out it is actually 1000fps. I have only ever seen it advertised as 1000fps with the option of 1200fps with high velocity pellets. On the actual packaging it clearly states this, although if you are ordering online you may not be able to see the packaging. I have not actually tested the velocity myself but have seen chrony tests online and it seems to come in right around these figures. Now here are my personal findings after a few months of shooting.
I must say I like this air rifle a lot. I don't have a lot of experience with these but this one seems to live up to all of the things i have found on it through my research. It is a very solidly built rifle. The synthetic stock is made of a very high quality material that would be very difficult to mark up never mind break. It feels like it is a solid piece and there is no ringing or reverberation in it when firing that would indicate any hollow pockets in it. The barrel is very heavy and appears to have a nice rifling. The reciever (or what would be the reciever on a firearm, the part behind the barrel) also seems well constructed. The steel on the reciever and barrel seem to be real firearms grade steel. the barrel is comparable to the barrels on most of my 22 rifles and my 17HMR rifle. The blueing on all of the steel is also very nice, looks like a high quality finish. The rubber recoil pad is also a very nice material and sits comfortably in the shoulder. The cocking of the rifle is not overly difficult but you do need to tap the barrel at the top to get the initial break, you can't just grab it and pull it forward. I would assume that this is a good thing, and from my research this is true of all break barrels. I read one review that said the barrel does not lock in place and bounces open. I had this happen 2 times, however I had to really slam the barrel up to get it to do it, which i don't normally do. Over all the construction and materials are top notch. If you closed your eyes and I put this in your hands you would think I handed you a full sized 22 rifle. I find it hard to believe that they make much money selling this thing for $80. The only 2 things left on the rifle to go over are the trigger and the sights. As far as the sights go they are cheap but they work fine. I tried to find a rifle that didn't use these plastic sights but it seemed like everything under $300 used these plastic sights. The front sight is all plastic but feels pretty sturdy and durable. It is a green fiber-optic sight and it is also fixed. The rear sight which is adjustable for windage and elevation feels a little lacking. The rear sight on the Phantom adjusts easily with nice sharp clicks and is a set of red fiber-optics. It amazes me that they make a rifle of this quality and then throw on these cheap sights. I physically went to stores and checked out many different makes and models and they all used this stuff. The worst part is that if you buy any of the $30 to $50 pump air rifles you get a nice set of metal sights. It doesn't make much sense. Oh well. I had never used fiber-optic sights before, and I have got to say I am not a huge fan. They do work well, but I would much prefer a basic set of metal sights. The biggest complaint about this rifle is the trigger but I didn't have any problem with it. I am not into triggers the way a lot of people are. there is nothing wrong with customising triggers, I am just not into it. I have always prefered to just learn the personality (for lack of a better word) of the different triggers of my guns. As long as the trigger is acceptable to me I wouldn't mess with it. I have shot some guns that had terrible triggers on them and if they belonged to me I would get some work done on them but I have never owned a gun that I felt needed anything done to it. For me personally I think this makes me a more consistant shot with a large variety of weapons and it usually doesnt take me long to get the feel of a trigger unless it is very bad. I found this trigger to be fine for me. It is adjustable but I did not even mess with it. There is a good bit of creep and the release is not super crisp, but I had no trouble with it afer just 3 or 4 shots. I do agree that it is does not feel like a 2 stage trigger and if you are into triggers you will probably find this one lacking as I have not heard anywhere that adjusting it makes it any crisper, just lighter or heavier. I have put many rounds through it and it is getting less noisy. After getting the sights where I want them I have been shooting 5 shot groups at 25 yards with open sights that are just bigger than a golf ball (shooting bech rested). I have also been shooting gallon jugs at 50 yards unrested both sitting and standing without many misses. I have not done any actual target work out past 25 yards yet though. I have been using different pellets and have not noticed much difference but I have mainly been using cheap Crosman domed pellets from Wal-mart (250 for $2). I am very impressed with the way this rifle shoots and am very happy with my purchase. Well woth $80. Sorry this was so long but I wanted to give a nice detailed description because being new to this type of product it took me a long time and a lot of leg work to find all of these little details. I have posted some pictures of the sights, trigger and recoil pad so you can really see them. Hope this is helpful.