I love this gun, it’s very much old school for me as it’s a break barrel rifle. Break Barrel means you have to pull the barrel down to cock and load the rifle.
My “19” is .22 (5.5mm) calibre I don’t particularly favour .22 it’s just what they had available at the time, this rifle also comes in .177(4.5mm) calibre.
Here in the UK firearms are very strictly regulated to the point that it’s extremely difficult to own any gun that fires bullets and automatic guns are completely banned. (As an aside you can own Shotguns and certain single shot long guns such as .22 rimfire rifles but you need a Firearms certificate to own them and they are issued by the police only after very stringent background check, as an example if you have criminal convictions or a history of mental problems you wont get granted a certificate. There are of course illegal guns about, but not anywhere near the scale of other countries, so much so I have never seen one or know how I could even get one, that however is a different debate).
Air rifles in the UK are regulated in that you must be 18 to own or buy one and the power for rifles is limited to 12 ft/lbs or 16.2j (Joules) anything over that needs a firearms certificate to own. My “19” averages 11ft/lbs (14.9j) I say “averages” because there are a few factors that affect the muzzle velocity but more about these in another post, this is just to introduce this rifle.
It’s a Springer, no it isn’t.
A “springer” as they are colloquially known is an air rifle powered by a spring, when you break the barrel it compresses the spring. Most people call break barrel rifles “springers” because that’s how they have always been.
The XS19GR isn’t a spring powered rifle, it’s a gas ram powered rifle. A gas ram is like the tube in your chair or the rar door struts on your car that allow you to move them. The technology is simple instead of compressing a spring you are compressing a gas to move a piston which in turn creates a blast of high pressure air. The rifle is still cocked in the traditional way and the pellet is still loaded in the traditional way, in fact everything is done the same as a springer the difference comes once it’s cocked.
Springers cannot be left cocked if you do the spring will eventually deform, but in a gas ram you are compressing a gas so there is nothing to deform which means the rifle can be left clocked. There are also less moving parts in a gas ram so less to go wrong.
Once you pull the trigger the release is the same as a spring but the feel isn’t, with a springer you get a bit of a “twang” as the spring fully unwinds but you don’t get this with a gas ram.
The recoil is also also different and much more predictable on a gas ram rifle. All in all a gas ram rifle IMHO is a much better rifle to fire than a traditional springer.
Budget price, top class performance
The SMK XS19GR is priced at the budget end of the market and can be purchased for around £150, however don’t let this price fool you, you really don’t have to spend £1000’s on a rifle to be a good shot, this rifle is superb.
Out of the box it’s close to the UK legal limit so you have more than enough power, the wooden stock feels really comfortable and well made and the rifle is nicely balanced and feels good in your hands.
If you are used to springers once you get used to the different kind of recoil of gas ram you’ll love this rifle for a budget rifle it’s well made, feels good and is extremely accurate with the ability to put pellets on pellet on my 20m range.
I like this rifle, I like it a lot and when I just want to plink with little or no fuss this is the rifle I go to
The riflescope I use is an “In your sights” 9-24x50AO another budget purchase that is far, far superior to it’s price, but more on that In another post.