Semi Auto, Full Auto, High Powered tackdriver!!
This innovative import from Korea offers capabilities no other airgun has been able to deliver in the past; an accurate, powerful, reliable semi / full auto gun designed for the serious shooter. In this article I will review the Speed, look at the specifications, run it through its paces on the range, and take it out for some fun on the range and plinking sessions.
Like a lot of airgunners Iâ€™d been following the rumors of a new semi automatic airgun coming out of the Korean based manufacturer Evanix. This company has been producing some fine rifles over the last few years: the AR 6 which was a powerful double action rifle, that although a little rough around the edges, was a fun rifle to shoot and to hunt with. They followed this with the Rainstorm and the action it shared with siblings Windy City, Monster, and Leopard; side lever cocking multishot guns that were refined, offer great performance, and an outstanding value proposition. While I believe these are excellent guns at a great price and loaded with features, they did not break new ground with respect to design.
But the gun we were hearing about was different; it was innovative, using onboard electronics to provide semi automatic and full automatic firing options. Then I started seeing the occasional video produced in Korea popping up, and was really getting excited about the gun. I spoke with my friends at Venturi Air to find out when the gun would be available, and was told they wanted a few refinements to the rifle before releasing it in the USA. Then one day the call came to let me know the Speed and the Conquest had arrived, with a question; which one was I interested in and what caliber did I want?
Iâ€™ve been shooting and testing a lot of .25 calibers lately, so this option was an obvious one for me. While Iâ€™ve been shooting a number of bottle guns lately that I really like, though my preference tends to gravitate to the more conventional designs. For this reason the Speed appealed to me, as it uses a standard Rainstorm type air reservoir. I reckoned most of the time Iâ€™d be shooting the gun in semi- auto so air consumption would be a minor issue â€¦â€¦ of course that was before I found out how much a full auto .25 caliber PCP rifle could be!
Out of the Box
This is a good looking rifle, which bears a strong resemblance to its conventional sibling, the Rainstorm. The Speed comes dressed in a well designed Monte Carlo thumbhole stock made of a nicely figured Asian hardwood. The raised cheek piece is ambidextrous and provides an excellent sight alignment; Iâ €™ve mounted a Hawke MAP scope in low profile mounts on the integrated 11mm dovetails. I found that I could get a solid and consistent hold on the gun, that is facilitated by the subtle thumb shelf and sharp laser cut checkering on the pistol grip and forestock. The adjustable rubber recoil pad covers the compartment which houses the 8.6 v rechargeable battery pack, and is removed to provide access for recharging. The wiring is run through a tunnel from the chamber to the action. Under the forestock is an online manometer for monitoring air consumption The selectable semi/full auto action is electronically cycled. The receiver is a bit higher and longer, and slightly bulkier than the Rainstorm. Two immediate differences between the Speed and its conventional stable mates that one notices; there is not a cocking lever on the gun and there is an on/off switch and a semi/full auto select switch. Besides the on/off switch there is a manual safety located right behind the select switch. A word of warning, if you feel inclined to remove the action from the stock it will be tethered by the charging cable, and if you pull it out it may take a little while to snake it back into positionâ€¦ guess how I know this? The rifled barrel is housed in a full length shroud which does quiet the report, though it is louder than the Rainstorm.
The air reservoir is the same diameter as that used on the Rainstorm but is a few inches longer and holds 290 cc of air, which is good for around 40 shots in the .25 caliber gun. The gun is charged using the proprietary fill probe which works fine, though Iâ€™d like to replace it with a quick release connector at some point.
The .25 caliber Speed uses a 10 round circular clip type magazine and digests every pellet style that Iâ €™ve fed it so far. Iâ€™m using two 10 round single magazine and a 20 shot dual shot magazine and all have been reliable. Iâ€™ve only put a few hundred pellets through so far, but the manufacturing is solid and the design seems very robust. The trigger is a two stage adjustable set up at about 2lb pull on my gun.
This rifle is ergonomic and very shootable, and comes to the shoulder naturally and comfortably. The gun weighs in at 8.0 lbs, the barrel length is 19â€�, and the overall length is 42â€™. I think it feels much more compact than the measurements might suggest, which I always think is a sign of good design.
On the Range
I took the gun out on several shooting sorties, and had a blast. But first things first; I shot a variety of pellets across the chronograph to see what kind of energy was being generated. The graph in the attached figure presents the results from five of the primary pellets is used; H&N Spitz-Kugeln, JSB King, Beeman Ram Jets, H&N Baracuda, and Benjamin Dome. This was one of the rare instances that the velocities achieved were over the manufacturerâ€™s claims using pellets Iâ €™d actually hunt with. The Speed .25 produces an honest 50 â€“ 60 fpe and provided approximately 40 shots per charge (2800 psi).
While a 50-60 fpe semi auto hunting gun that I can switch over to full auto for plinking is very cool, it only makes sense if you can hit your target. And this is where the gun really impressed me! First thing you’ll notice on a closer look is the red on/off switch. If the switch is on, the gun fires unless the manual safety is deployed.
Look on the other side of the receiver and you find there is no cocking handle or bolt, but there is a semi / full auto select switch. The manual safety is positioned right behind this control, and if the switch is on and you’re not shooting, should be deployed. The wiring is run from a compartment in the stock which holds the battery pack, to the action. The compartment is covered by the adjustable recoil pad and is accessed be removing the pad. H&N Spitz-Kugeln .25 4 Shot Group 1046 fps JSB Exact King .25 4 Shot Group 1007 fps Ram Jet .25 4 Shot Group 1020 fps H&N Baracuda .25 4 Shot Group 951 fps Benjamin Dome .25 4 Shot Group 1007 fps These targets were shot at 30 yards using a variety of pellets, with the gun on a bench rest in calm conditions. The Evanix Speed has shown a tolerance for a range of pellets it will digest. A thirty shot group in three 10 shot burst at 30 yards off the rest. Unlike full auto firearms I’ve shot in the past, there is not muzzle lift noted with this gun.
The targets shown in the attached figure are 30 yard four shot groups with the five pellets mentioned above. All yielded accuracy better than I can get from most of my traditional .25 caliber guns. As a matter of fact these were about the best groups Iâ€™ve ever shot with a gun in this caliber. As soon as I get the chance I will take all my .25s for some baselining, I am having a hard time getting my head around this level of accuracy from a semi auto and though Iâ€™ve seen it â€¦â€¦ need to see it some more.
The second target was shot in full auto, three ten round magazines in about 15 seconds; one second to empty each clip and a few seconds in between to reload! I keep saying this when talking about the Speed â €¦.. What a blast!! I went out and rented a couple standard air tanks to supplement my two carbon fiber tanks, and am going to keep shooting until I run out of pellets or go back to work. This is not a rifle you want to rely on a hand pump to keep filled.
Electronics in a gun are not every ones cup o tea, but it works and works well in the Evanix Speed. Time will tell how well the design stands up, but everything about this gun bespeaks quality. To those that want to start ripping the concept before they have had a chance to use the gun, it is not a gimmick, it is the real deal; very accurate, very powerful, very reliable, and very well made. As these guns hit the market and mainstream users get them, I believe the concept will prove out.
I donâ€™t intent to hunt with a full auto gun, but the semi auto is really a great capability in the hunting field (canâ€™t wait to go out after prairie digs with it), and for plinking at reactive targets, it just doesnâ €™t get any better. Take a look at the attached video to see a short snippet, more to come later. I will be taking this gun hunting over the next couple weeks (looking forward to that) and will add on to this initial report as I get more information. One of the guys Iâ€™ve been hunting with for a couples years now is a gentleman named Charles Peebles. Charles is a ranked sporting clays shooter, has hunted big game all over the country, and like a lot of us has gotten hooked on airguns. He has amassed a collection in a short period that would make even jaded airgunners envious. Charles bought and received one of the first Evanix Speed rifles in the country, and had been shooting it and collecting quantitative data along the way. He sent me an interesting email along with the shot string posted above, with the following note: Jim, Here is what I found on my rifle. At 2900 psi I got a straight descending shot string. Tried 3000 psi and made a curve, but not much of one. The following is what I got with a 3100 fill.
SEE Graph Above
Shot a second 30 shot string at 3100 fill and was just about the same. Started at 963, peaked at 978 and ended at 938. At an end of 27 shots you had a total spread of 30. I can live with that!! POI unchanged at 40 yds. Charles Peeble’s Shake Down with the Speed
Speed on Crow Hunt
I took the Speed out crow hunting on a very cold winters day (in the low 20’s). Called in a lot of crows and managed to shoot the few that landed. This one landed high in a tree, and my first shot clipped a branch but a fast follow up fired right on top of the first anchored him. The gun was accurate and worked well for me, but I did notice it seemed a bit sluggish compared to normal, meaning that slight delay I’ve mentioned seemed a bit more pronounced. Wondering if cold has effect, becuase later on my indoor range all was normal again.
FIELD NOTES, PROBLEM REPORTS, AND SOLUTIONS:
This is a new gun design and I am in communication with several guys around the country shooting the Speed and Conquest. Though in my experience the gun has been stable, problems will come up from time to time with any gun, and I’ll keep this section updated.
The Magazine is Jammed I had this happen on my gun, and have heard of it in a couple others. the way it is addressed is to remove the plexiglass covering the bolt window and tap the bolt forward, pull the trigger, and repeat until the gun cycles. Here is a video clip that demonstrates one solution