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Sumatra 2500 Air Rifle Review
Thank Goodness for the Hares
The New Sumatra 2500 Air Rifle Accepts the Challenge
by David L. Bozsik
Nothing can compete with the frustration of a newly purchased rifle and no animals in season. There is the ever present paper target, but what to do after the pellets have been tested, drop in range calculated, and the urged to hike in the field for targets becomes overwhelming? I turn to Jackrabbits.
This past weekend provided me with such an opportunity, I couldn’t waste another minute. I purchased the new Sumatra 2500, in 25 caliber, PCP airgun last month. After familiarizing myself with its working parts, I was ready for a real test in the field.
Field tests are much more useful to me, as they provide a more accurate evaluation of results I require before I purchase any new weapon for the field. Punching paper is always great practice and also allows me to accurately sight in a weapon under controlled conditions, but it is the results in the field I tend to rely on heavily. Handling, transporting, follow-up shots, and reloading are a few of the criteria that are not easily replicated sitting on the bench.
A few things I noted right off. This airgun doesn’t come with much in the way of maintenance information. So don’t rely on documentation from the factory about the weapon. Make sure you choose a dealer who is willing to help you out with the weapon you choose after the sale as well. The pressure gauge on the bottom of the rifle utilizes its own system of measurements. The Logun hand pump I purchased, while of good quality, only reads air pressure in bars. The instructions included with the Sumatra suggested optimal pressure in the twin cylinders(400cc) to be 3000 psi (pounds per square inch). I was able to look up the conversion factor online before using the pump – finding the ratio to be 14.5 pounds/bar. Armed with this information, I filled the gun to its optimal pressure in short order.
Although it has a hefty feel, I am use to toting my Winchester Model 70 with a bull barrel most of the time. This particular weapon doesn’t weigh quite as much. I also shoot from shooting sticks, so having to hold on a target for an extended time isn’t much of an issue either. After the customary pressurizing, I found this rifle easy to balance in my hands and it shouldered smoothly. I think this airgun would be a bit on the heavy side for those of you who enjoy the freedom of off-hand shooting during the course of a full day in the field though.
The rotary magazine has the appearance of a six shooter revolving cylinder. The weapon comes with an extra magazine. They load easily, though I wish the pellets fit more snuggly. Having filled both magazines prior to entering the field, I found the pellets sliding out on the spare cylinder while in transport. There are probably many quick fixes for this, but I used a small reusable sealing plastic bag to transport the extra magazine and can of pellets. Having the reserve magazine and can of pellets in the same bag also reduces the amount of dust and debris from entering the weapon.
The lever worked smoothly. The magazine was installed into the rifle with ease and the lever action closed. There are stamped numbers corresponding to each cylinder. Ideally to aid in keeping track of the number of shots left in the gun. This I found interesting, but since the magazine doesn’t have any definite locator for first cylinder installation, I had to search for the number one and then make sure it lined up with the marking on the gun prior to shooting the first round. It was easier for me to just count the rounds fired in my head.
There are three power settings designated by both a color coding and different sized dots on the bottom of the gun just forward of the lever. I chose the medium setting for the hunt and will provide more information on the other settings in future articles. The sound level is high from this rifle, but at the medium setting, you receive plenty of energy downrange while maintaining an acceptable noise level.
The hunting spot of the day was an area of rolling gullies and rises spattered with patches of sage, punctuated with an assortment of desert grasses. Rabbits and hares were plentiful. Note that although Jackrabbits, or hares, are open all year round, cottontail rabbits in California and Nevada have a specific season. So jackrabbits were the choice of the weekend.
The first Jack of the day was very surprised by the impact of the 25 caliber pellet. The shot was only 25 yards, but it quickly dispatched the animal. Hare number two was a bit farther, 35 yards, and suffered the same consequence for not placing more distance between me and him. As I continued this test, I spooked Jacks deliberately to get them to run so I could attempt shots at more challenging distances. My shots ranged from 23 yards to 66 yards through the course of two days. All of them were one shot kills.
In summary, I found the rifle comfortable to shoulder and shot placements were very exact out to the 66 yards utilized on the farthest hare. Noise level was a bit more than I would enjoy for consecutive target shooting, but for field use the sound seemed to dissipate well into the open desert.
My accompanying two children were hunting with their compound bows while I was using the Sumatra. My 10-year-old daughter said she thought the Sumatra was an improvement from the sound of either the 223 or 17HMR we often use in the field for hares. It also possessed more knockdown power than my 22 caliber springer lending to cleaner kills– especially on larger animal such as the jackrabbit.
Again, field results are where I really measure the effectiveness of a weapon and this particular rifle measures up in many ways. I would definitely recommend this airgun for both price and practical field applications. And of course I thank goodness for the abundance of hares.