Back in March of 2014 I was visiting Umarex USA’s headquarters in Fort Smith Arkansas. They were working on the graphics for a brand new product. This was actually a pretty timely encounter as I was talking to them about the need in the market for something new for young shooters. It needed to be lightweight, affordable, easy to operate and of course accurate enough to encourage new shooters to get into the sport. It seems we must have all been drinking at the same water cooler because that’s exactly what they hand in mind as they were designing and bringing to market their new NGX APX Multi-pump airgun.Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Combo
Multi-Pump with a brand new twist…
At the forefront of just about every parent’s mind is the safety of their children. When it comes to any type of product that propels a projectile, the consideration for safety goes up several notches. Growing up back in the 70s we had the old Benjamin Sheridan pump rifles. You pump them, load them, and shoot them. Pretty simple stuff. That same basic design has been around for as long as I can remember. They have a safety on them, but they’ve always been manual and up to the discipline of the shooter to engage them as required. Truthfully, every shooter needs to know how to operate their rifle’s safety and use it properly. But, I’m not against young shooters getting a little help with that either.
This brings me to what’s new for multi-pump airguns, pioneered by the new APX from Umarex USA. This little airgun as an automatic safety called the “Safe-T-Matic.” The moment you pull down on the pumping handle, it engages the rifle’s safety. This makes the APX arguably the safest multi-pump youth airgun on the market.Pulling the handle down engages the automatic safety.
Let’s look at some other features…
The rest of the APX will be very familiar to anyone who’s ever shot a multi-pump, dual ammo, airgun. For ammo, the rifle can use either steel BBs or pellets. It does have a rifled barrel so shooting BBs may eventually wear out the rifling. Personally, I prefer more accuracy and energy on target, so I only shoot pellets from my APX. But, BBs are much less expensive and take out tin cans just as effectively. Just be aware that it could eventually have an adverse effect on the rifle over the long term.APX BB loading port
The stock is very “young shooter” friendly with a moderate to short pull length suited for younger shooters. It’s ambidextrous and extremely light. The complete rifle weighs only a mere 3.4 pounds. The sights are very basic with a fixed front fiber optic and a rear notch. The rear sight is easily adjusted for elevation, but left to right is going to take a screwdriver and some patience. The sight also moves a bit if bumped or brushed. Given that the APX is designed for back yard plinking and not 10 meter match shooting, the sights are just fine.
Umarex includes a 4×15 scope with the basic APX package. This takes me WAY back to my youth when having any type of optic was really “awesome.” Unfortunately, I was not able to get the little scope anywhere near zero on my APX. More than likely it’s just a dud scope. If you run into the same type of issue, just give Umarex a call and they’ll get you sorted out. The APX has been working extremely well otherwise.
How does it work?
So, if you are new to multi-pump airguns and you’re doing your pre-holiday buying research into figuring out what you may want to put under the tree, here’s what you need to know about shooting the APX. I’ve used the phrase “multi-pump” many times so far. That describes how you power the APX air rifle. The front handle is attached to a pump that can be cycled up to 10 times for maximum power. 5 pumps is more than adequate for basic target practice at 15 to 20 feet where 8 to 10 pumps will be suitable for 30 to 50 feet.
If you are shooting BBs, you pour them into a chamber via a loading port on the left side of the receiver which can hold up to 75 BBs. To load a BB into the breach simply tilt the gun upward and the BBs will line up to the left of the bolt. When you cock the bolt, a BB will be grabbed by the magnetic tip. Close the bolt, pump your desired number of pumps, aim the rifle at your target, release the safety and gently squeeze the trigger. While that sounds like a lot of steps, it quickly becomes second nature.BB in the Breach
Things work very similarly when shooting pellets. The only change will be in how you load the APX. Rather than tipping the gun upward, you’ll want to keep the muzzle pointed downward. Cock the bolt which opens the EZ-Load ramp, load the pellet nose forward and close the bolt. The rest of the operation is the same.Pellet in the breach
In part 2 of our look at the Umarex USA APX, we’ll take it out and do a little shooting and check out accuracy and velocity. I happen to know a little 7 year old who is itching to get a little trigger time with it!