Evanix has been turning out several very cool models of guns using their proven side lever action. And this year they have released the manual version of the MAX, a bullpup design which up until recently had only been available in a semi-auto configuration using the electro-mechanical “Speed” action. I wanted to get an initial report of my experience with the gun as I prepare to use it on an upcoming prairie dog hunt
I’ve been waiting for what seems like a very long time to get my hands on the . 25 caliber version of the Evanix MAX- ML Bullpup…… Since the January SHOT Show as a matter of fact. I’d been shooting the MAX Semi-auto version of the gun in .25 since the early prototype was released, and had a lot of fun with it. As a matter of fact this gun was the Semi/Full-auto, and was responsible for almost singlehandedly emptying (what I’d thought to be) my five year supply of . 25 caliber JSB’s!
However, as much fun as I had with fast action plinking, I didn’t need full auto and the price of semi auto was too high for the conditions I hunt in. Those conditions are very cold weather and the price was sluggish performance all the way to failure of the gun to cycle when the temperature was in the low teens. I liked the compact size of the bullpup, and when I saw that manual side action version I knew I wanted the gun!
The sidelever action is the same as that used in my Rainstorm, Windy City, and Sniper guns; and this is a proven design for me. Using this gun in .22, . 25, .357 I have taken crow, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, prairie dogs, guinea fowl, bobcat, fox, coyote, javalina, whitetail, springbuck, and duiker. It is fast to cycle, reliable, rugged ……. And compared to the original MAX, is bullet proof when it comes to cold weather performance.
As mentioned, the MAX-ML is available in a range of calibers, the magazine capacity is dependent on the caliber; . 22/11 rds, .25/10 rds, 9mm/7rds. On all models the gun is powered by a 290 cc air reservoir that fills to a pressure of 200 BAR / 2900 PSI. I am getting about 22 shots per fill out of my .25 caliber gun, and shooting the 25.4 grain JSB Exacts I’m getting 890 fps for about 42 fpe. The barrel is shrouded and is effective quieting the gun down to what I would consider backyard friendly
The synthetic stock is a thumbhole (kind of) with a stippled grip and finger groves that gives a very solid and comfortable hold on the gun. I like it better than the hardwood on the original MAX in terms of aesthetics and function. The butt of the gun has an adjustable recoil pad, which can be moved vertically. The forestock is a metal cage that covers the air reservoir up to the fill port, not pretty but it works well and looks “right” on this gun.
This little bullpup has a Weaver dovetail, on which I mounted a Leapers 3-9×32 Bug Buster, using their medium profile quick release mounts. I started off with one of my favorite scopes, a 4- 16×50 Niko Stirling, but it looked bigger than the rifle and though it worked fine just wasn’t the right match. The bugbuster is compact and fits the gun well, and I’ll throw in a plug saying this is surprisingly good glass for the price. Due to the requisite trigger linkage that make a bullpup a bullpup, this type of gun can sometimes have a pretty rough trigger. I was pretty satisfied with the trigger on this gun, definitely not match quality, but only a little creep it breaks crisply and predictable, at 2.8 lb. out of the box. I find that the stock design, consistency, and trigger combine to make this little gun an accurate shooter.
Accuracy is quite good, shooting off sticks and over my backpack, at ranges from 25 to 50 yards I was averaging sub ½” groups that opened up to about 1” at 75 yards. Target shooters could do better I am sure, but under field shooting conditions and positions, I consider this quite good. So at first blush what do I think? Realizing that bullpups are not everyone’s ideal of a pretty gun, I’ll say that this gun is compact, ergonomic, rugged, it cycles very quickly, is reliable, and the accuracy and power are great for small and medium game (in my .25), and I’d imagine that based on my experience with the action in the Windy City, Sniper, and Rainstorm this should hold true in the other calibers as well.
I’ m talking the gun out tomorrow and will swap out the scope for a larger objective and higher magnification to prepare for an upcoming prairie dog shoot. I’ll stretch the range out to some 100-125 yards shots, and update the post with results after the hunt. Anyway you cut it, this gun is a blast to shoot!
Specs at a glance: Precharged pneumatic Sidelever .25/10 rds, 22 shots/fill Built-in pressure gauge 290cc air reservoir 2900 psi fill (200 bar) Shrouded barrel 2.8-lb. trigger-pull Weaver dovetail Ambidextrous synthetic thumbhole stock 2-stage non-adjustable trigger Manual safety Rubber recoil pad Two mags & fill probe standard