Although a relatively new name, South Korean-based Evanix has established a lead role on the world airgunmaking stage.
Yet while it exports a confusingly-large range of PCPs to all corners of the world, including big-bore, high-power and semi-automatic models, it’s never been able to secure a long-standing distribution channel in the UK.
That’s all changed now, however, with the East Sussex outfit of AC Guns having been appointed the UK’s sole importer and distributor of the marque.
As well as now well-established PCPs like the Blizzard S10 multishot and the carbon-fibre buddy-bottle Windy City, AC Guns has taken stock of a pair of avant-garde multishot rifles with a distinctive military look – the newly-designed Sniper and Rainstorm Bullpup.
Like ’em or loathe ’em, there’s no denying that both these Evanix airguns are beautifully engineered – and, indeed, they’re designed to be top-end performers, offering high shot-counts per charge, full power (with FAC options) and match-like accuracy from their recoilless actions.
The Bullpup is built around the chassis of Evanix’s conventionally-stocked Rainstorm rifle, itself a variation of the time-proven Blizzard range upon which rifles like Webley-Venom’s Sidewinder were based – except the Rainstorm secretes its sidelever cocked action inside a khaki-coloured, aluminium framework.
A synthetic dropdown pistol grip and military forend grip – both ergonomically shaped – bring the whole package together nicely in the shoulder, making for an extremely compact and fast-handling rifle. For hide work and shooting around the farmyard, it would make an incredibly practical rifle.
To achieve its ‘bullpup’ status, Evanix has pushed the Rainstorm’s trigger well forward via a linking rod, and though this does remove some of the feel of the excellent two-stage adjustable trigger seen on the conventional model, it’s still a good complement.
Cheek position on top of the Bullpup’s cushioned butt section ideally suits a ‘head-up’ stance – and our initial reaction is that high mounts (perhaps in conjunction with mount raisers) would be best deployed.
All fitting is via the Picatinny style clamp that runs pretty much the entire top length of the outer jacket, and there’s a small mount point under the muzzle for the fitting of an accessory, like a bipod, laser or flashlight.
Because of the Bullpup’s compact dimensions, operating the swing-out sidelever seems a little odd at first, with your right hand ‘wanting’ to always reach for the middle of the action, rather than just under your cheek – but a few minutes’ practice will soon have you familiar with the rifle, such is its user-friendly geometry.
Cocking automatically indexes the removable rotary magazine – an 11-round affair in .22, and 13 in .177. Evanix has recently completely re-engineered the breech/magazine designs on many of its models, and the latest incarnation the Rainstorm runs is very positive and flawless in terms of indexing.
As with many other components, the magazine is common to both rifles in the tactical collection.
Both the Rifle and shorter Karbine versions of the Sniper also have a similar plug-in probe system at the front end of the main air cylinder, which sports a rotating dust cover.
There’s also an X2 variant of the Sniper which sports a higher capacity, lightweight carbon-fibre buddy-bottle air supply system, and the Evanix tacticals all feature on-board manometers so you can keep track of your air reserves.
The Sniper offers Picatinny mounting rails for sights and accessories in abundance, and though its CNC-engineered aluminium chassis may look less ergonomic than the Bullpup’s, it’s the kind of rifle that surprises you with its balance when raised to the shoulder.
It points effortlessly – though the Karbine and X2 models are the easier to handle – with its ambidextrous hand grips offering plenty of control through the aiming process and shot discharge. Indeed, despite its unorthodox looks, the Sniper feels as good in the shoulder as any sporter.
Impressively, the Sniper has been engineered with a multi-adjustable butt that slides fore and aft for easy stowage and comfortable gunfit, and its wooden cheekpiece can be raised and lowered, and moved forwards and backwards to suit your head/scope position.
The Sniper’s push-button safety catch in the guard engages positively and falls to hand nicely, while the trigger operation itself is crisp, light and consistent… and adjustable if required.
Combined with the slightly-raked, dropdown grip, shooting the Sniper accurately is pleasingly easy – and into the bargain, both these models come equipped with precision-rifled barrels made from German blanks.
While the Bullpup’s muzzle is 1/2in UNF threaded for the addition of a silencer, the Sniper’s comes with the option of a compensator or threaded adapter. Their shrouded barrels double as reflex-style sound suppressors, however, so our opinion is a silencer is unnecessary.
Recommended fill pressures are 200BAR, with the Sniper Karbine returning around 130 full-power shots per charge in .22, and the Rainstorm Bullpup nearer 170 – impressive figures obtained courtesy of AC Guns’ collaboration with Simon Atkins, the Airgun Doctor who re-engineers things where necessary to maximise these rifles’ performance figures.
Although new arrivals, AC Guns report strong interest in the Evanix tacticals. Prices start at £790 for the Sniper range and £699 for the Bullpup, making them stiff competition for other PCPs at those price points – and although you’ll have to wait for a more detailed report on the Sniper, our initial impressions are very favourable.