Gold Rush! Mat Manning gets to grips with the Cometa Goldeneye Kit – a head-turning package that promises a lot of bang for your buck
Test gun supplied by: John Rothery Wholesale
Model: Goldeneye Kit
Type: Multishot, rear-bolt PCP rifle
Barrel length: 470mm
Overall length: 1,035mm, including silencer
Magazine: 13-shot rotary
Weight: 3.9kg inc scope and silencer
Trigger: Two-stage, adjustable
Length of pull: 353mm
Safety: Manual, resettable
Power: 11.3ft lb
In terms of design, the Goldeneye is very similar to Cometa’s successful Orion SPR, although there are some obvious differences in its styling. The gold-coloured finish to the metalwork around the breech block, trigger, barrel ring and inlet cap is eye-catching. There’s no denying that it’s a standout feature, but whether it works or not is going to boil down very much to individual taste. Personally, I would much prefer less bling.
One distinctive feature I do really like is the dark stain that’s been applied to the ambidextrous beech stock. The resulting smoky finish is distinctly low-key, and the lighter-coloured bare wood where the chequering has been etched on to either side of the pistol grip creates a nice contrast.
Those neat bordered panels of chequering are very clean and feel pleasingly sharp in the hand, but they’re noticeably absent from the lengthy forend. Grip is, however, assisted by a groove running along the top edge on either side. This is a nice touch that not only adds to the aesthetic of the woodwork, but also helps to improve hold with your leading hand.
The adjustable cheekpiece provides a huge boost when it comes to tweaking gun fit. Slacken off the two locking bolts with the supplied tool and you can slide it up and down to achieve perfect eye-to-scope alignment before locking it back in place. The stock also has studs fitted. That may only seem like a small thing, but not having to take a drill to the woodwork is always a big bonus in my book – it also means that the gun comes ready for you to attach the supplied bipod or a sling.
Measuring just over 103cm with the moderator fitted, the Goldeneye is very much an adult-sized airgun but it still feels very manoeuvrable. It’s also relatively light, tipping the scales at under 4kg with scope and mounts fitted. It’s well-proportioned and, thanks in no small part to the attention that’s gone into the design of the stock, feels nicely balanced in the shoulder.
FEATURES AND FUNCTION
Cometa’s Spanish airgun heritage goes back a very long way, and all that knowledge and experience is apparent in the Goldeneye’s tidy engineering. The metalwork is cleanly finished, and there’s no sign of any corner-cutting to shave down costs.
Barrels are such a big deal to Cometa that it continues to make its own, to ensure a rigorous degree of control in the manufacturing process. They’re precision-drilled then cold-hammer-forged before being meticulously straightened. If you experience a loss of accuracy with one of these rifles, it’s unlikely to be down to a dodgy barrel.
The dovetail rails on the solid breech block are interrupted by the magazine, which stands proud by about 12mm, but they still offer sufficient clamping space to accommodate most optics. The supplied scope is a 3-9×40 model from the Richter Optik range. I’ve used these scopes a lot over the last year or so, and they offer great value for money. Apart from boasting variable magnification, this model has a mil-dot reticle and finger-adjustable 1/4 MOA windage and elevation turrets, plus you a get a free set of flip-up lens covers. Parallax is fixed, but I found it to be good enough over typical airgun ranges, though I did have to wind down the magnification to keep the sight picture sharp when shooting at very close quarters. The supplied two-piece mounts are of good quality, so there’s no risk of zero shifting should the scope pick up a knock in the field.
To fill the Goldeneye, you simply pop the snap-fit cap off the front of the cylinder and couple up the supplied adaptor to the inlet. A 200 bar fill gave more than 150 consistent shots at just over 11ft lb from the .22 calibre test gun. Keeping tabs on air reserves is easy, as there’s a clearly marked gauge sunken discreetly into the underside of the stock.
The Goldeneye’s multishot loading system works around a 13-shot magazine, and there’s a knack to loading it. With the clear plate facing away from you, rotate the main black case in an anti-clockwise direction until you reach the last chamber, drop a pellet in tail-first then flip the magazine back over and load the rest of the chambers from the clear side, nose-first. Turning the clear plate in a clockwise direction reveals the next chamber and gradually tensions the spring that drives the magazine.
The full magazine then pushes into position from the right-hand side of the breech, where that clear back plate enables you to see how many pellets you’ve got left as you work your way through the clip. The magazine is cycled by a rear bolt action, which also cocks the gun and probes the pellet into the breech. You need to be quite forceful with it, but the rugged teardrop bolt handle is more than up to the task.
Over hundreds and hundreds of test shots I did suffer a couple of jam-ups, which seemed to be down to a mismatch between the magazine and the supplied Bisley Superfield pellets. It worked an absolute dream with the H&N Field Target Trophy and Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets I tried, however, and UK distributor John Rothery Wholesale told me the package now comes with a better-suited pellet.
I’m very fussy about triggers, as I believe they can make or break a gun, and the one on the Goldeneye is surprisingly good. It’s an adjustable two-stage unit with a blade that’s best described as crescent-shaped. Straight from the box, the first stage on the test gun’s trigger was very short, but the second stage more than compensated for that – let-off was clean and predictable, with no obvious creep. There’s a manual safety catch positioned just in front of the trigger – a bit too close to the trigger in my opinion. It does its job, though – you pull it back to make the gun safe and push it forward when you’re ready to fire.
RANGE AND FIELD
The Goldeneye is a very capable air rifle. Thanks to its recoilless firing cycle, predictable trigger and that tidy little Richter Optik scope, half-inch groups at 30 metres are a mere formality when shooting from a rested position. And of course, the Bisley Rifle Bipod that comes with the package means you’ll never find yourself short of support – it even has length-adjustable legs of between six and nine inches, to keep it on the level when you’re shooting prone on uneven ground.
It’s not until you start putting a few shots through this Cometa that you realise just how effective that chunky tapered silencer is. It’s quite a meaty moderator and, apart from looking the business, does a fine job of hushing-down muzzle report. It’ll make a big difference to stealth when you’re out hunting, and it will also help to prevent backyard plinking sessions from getting on your neighbours’ nerves.
There’s no denying that the Goldeneye Kit is a very impressive package. The magazine-fed firing cycle makes for great fun on the plinking range and also ensures fast-follow-up shots for hunters – and this airgun certainly has the required punch and precision for tackling live quarry. To get such a versatile and solidly-made multi-shot PCP, plus scope and mounts, bipod, pellets, foam-lined hard case and silencer for under £550 really is extremely good value for money.
Overall Verdict: 78/100
Look and feel: 8
Build Quality: 8
“The Goldeneye is a comprehensive multi-shot PCP kit, incorporating a robust and well-engineered rifle complete with silencer, bipod, scope, mounts, pellets and case. Just add charging gear and it’s ready for the range or the hunting field.”