There’s the practical and then there’s the flamboyant. Evanix has created something that sits somewhere in the middle. They’ve pushed the lines of “tactical” looking airguns and I’ve got a couple here in the shop that I’m having a lot of fun shooting. Let’s start with the Max ML Bullpup in .357.
Watch your cheek…
I’m a traditional guy by nature. I like things to be the way they have always been, i.e. change is not necessarily a good thing. I like my airguns with wood stocks and not a bunch of crazy accoutrements. At least that’s how I thought I liked them. I’m not going to say that I’m 100% sold on the Max ML Bullpup, but I’m no longer adverse to it either.
The first time I picked this up, I rammed the back of the receiver right into my cheek. It’s not padded. There’s a hard aluminum plate that covers the top of the magazine so watch it when you pull this thing to your shoulder for the first time. Fortunately, I learned quickly from that mistake and moved on.
There’s a 7 shot rotary magazine that feeds .357 caliber lead down the barrel of this beastly looking airgun. It’s cycled by the side lever on the right side of the gun. The action is smooth and very intuitive. The balance is very good with the weight over your trigger hand vs way out in front. All in all, I’m beginning to see what all the fuss is about with these bullpups.
I tried all the .357 options for ammo that I had on hand and in the end, the Max ML really loved the .35 JSB Diabolo Pellets. This is not a long range gun by any means, but it puts a lot of power on target out to 25 to 30 yards. I would top off after each 7 shots just to keep the shots relatively consistent. Once I understood the capabilities of the Max ML, I settled in and had a lot of fun.
The meanest looking airgun I’ve ever seen…
The most “tactical” looking airgun I’ve ever seen has to be the Evanix Tactical Sniper. This thing is simply beastly looking. The sharp edges in all black and then just a touch of dark grain wood really sets the looks of this rifle in a class all by itself.
My evaluation model is chambered for .45 caliber. I don’t know of any .45 diabolo pellets, so all I have to shoot are .45 caliber bullets and round ball. I was shooting 180 grain bullets this weekend and it’s just awesome to see big holes tear through the target and impact the sand berm some 35 yards away.
The Evanix Tactical Sniper .45 Cal uses a 6 shot rotary magazine that’s cycled with a side lever on the right side of the rifle. The action is very smooth and easy to operate. The heavy hammer spring makes the trigger pull a little stiffer than I would prefer, but it’s fully adjustable and able to be set to a nice crisp 2nd stage with no creep at all.
I was getting about 6 shots before needing to top off my air. The rifle seemed to hit in 3 shot groups with the first 3 shots hitting dead on at 25 yards and the last 3 dropping about an inch. Each 3 shot group had all the shots touching most of the time.
Unfortunately I ran out of air and time before getting to try the other ammo options that I had brought out to the range. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to take the .45 for a spin again later this year once the weather cools down.
Very practical if used correctly
Everyone has a different perspective about what’s “best” in an airgun, or what makes one airgun “better” than another. The truth is that you are the determining factor of what’s “best” for you. If you were looking for a 100 yard, 1″ accurate airgun, then none of the big bore airguns that I tested would be suitable. However if you were looking for an airgun to put a massive amount of energy on game accurately at close range, then just about all of them would be a good choice.
There’s something for everyone in the Big Bore airgun arena. Sam Yang has the traditional wood and metal with the more traditional stocks. Evanix has that as well, but they also have the modern, cutting edge, tactical look nailed as well. Each model will have its strong points and its weak points, the key will be to line up your needs with the rifle that best suits your “must haves.”
As I mentioned in Part 1, I’m new to big bore airguns. For me these are all really awesome airguns that I can’t wait to spend more time with, as the weather cools down and I can spend more time at the range, I’m sure that we’ll be able to take a look at them all in more detail.
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