Posted By admin on August 6, 2014
CORRECTED ARTICLE to page 36 Summer issue Volume 18 SEE BLUE TEXT BELOW.
URGENT INFORMATION ON AIRGUNS AND AIR TANKS!
By: Ben Moody
For many, the availability of .22 rimfire caliber has caused an increased interest in airguns. Airguns have been an alternative for some time, but only in recent years have they become more powerful and accurate.
AirForce Airguns have created a platform that minimizes weight, reloading time, and prolongs the life of the airgun in their model, the Escape. The Escape was sent to me with the following accessories: with a manual pump, an air tank adaptor a 4-16×50 scope, and a 3,000-pound air tank (ONLY USE COMPRESSED AIR (scuba tank) OR DRY NITROGEN GAS.) The air tank takes about 30 minutes to fill with periodic breaks. Assembly is fairly simple: The rifle only has two major parts, taking 15 minutes to put together. The instructions are on a DVD, not in a book. This being a new model, the DVD was extremely detailed but not up to date for the air tank. As far as safety, the single-shot action and self-resetting safety are reliable, but it is your responsibility to make sure the gun is empty.
The Escape weighs in at roughly 5 pounds with the scope; it has a 24-inch barrel and comes in two calibers — the .22 or the .25. Finding the .25-caliber pellet was somewhat of a challenge since none of our local stores stocked it. I was able to find them on the Internet for $11 for 200 pellets, or approximately 5.5 cents a pellet; almost the cost of .22 rimfire bullets. There are many different types of pellets, including round nose, flat head, wadcutter, and even hollow points. I chose Benjamin’s Premier Destroyer .25 caliber, 28-grain, pointed hunting pellets for the brand name, but Beeman also manufactures the same caliber.
I had the opportunity to take the Escape out to our farm and use it to help control the population of rockchucks, which are destroying alfalfa fields. This caliber turned out to have awesome knockdown power and devastating effects on the rockchucks. I also had a chance to shoot at some pigeons that needed evicted from our storage cellar. My only missing once at a pigeon proved the rifle’s accuracy and the smoothness of the adjustable two-stage trigger.
I used a chronograph to measure the speed of the pellet leaving the rifle. The ammo I used was able to achieve 1106 fps at full power; yet, when the rifle air pressure dropped below 1,000 pounds, it loses 10 to 15 fps per shot. AirForce Airguns claims, with the right ammo, 1300 fps is possible. I fired into a piece of half-inch wood to show how far the pellet would penetrate. The only problem was it went all the way through! Rummaging around the shop, I found an inch-and-a-half thick 2×4 expecting its thickness to hold the pellet. Wrong again! Not only did the pellet fly through the board but through one side of the empty 55-gallon burn barrel that I was using as a backstop. The pellet finally lost velocity after penetrating the barrel and landed on top of a pile of ashes inside. By this time, other than being amazed, I was running out of wood, so I cut my remaining 2×4 into three pieces. Clamping these pieces together, I made a 4-1/2-inch block hoping that it would be enough. After almost shooting the clamp, I measured the penetration of the pellet at 1-3/4 inches, showing how powerful the Escape really is.
Sighting in the rifle was incredibly simple, taking less than ten minutes, and I was able to hold groups of 1 inch at 25 yards. Another feature is the variable-power adjustment above the forestock offering an almost unlimited option for velocity. The Escape also has an adjustable stock and is designed for left- and right-handed shooters making it very versatile.
In conclusion, the Escape is a great platform for those looking for an alternative to rimfire. It is ideal for small game or just a quieter gun. As far as looks, you cannot find a cooler-looking air rifle. There are a variety of different accessories available such as shoulder sling, iron sights, and bipods, thus making the Escape a more customizable airgun.
I would like to thank AirForce Airguns and Junior Shooters Magazine for the opportunity to review the Escape Air Rifle. This product is made from high-quality materials in the United States. I would highly recommend this rifle for beginner to expert shooters. It is a great rifle, and I enjoyed shooting it. Go to www.pyramydair.com and get yours now.