by B.B. Pelletier
Yesterday, I tried the 850 with and without an optional muzzlebrake that is offered for the rifle. In England, they sell a silencer, but the American one is full of holes and does not quiet the report. After the test with the Talon SS, I wondered whether there might be an accuracy advantage to a muzzle brake.
First things first – the trigger
Several of you mentioned that I had forgotten to report on things like the trigger-pull, fit and finish and other things, so let’s do that now. The trigger breaks crisply at 36 oz. It’s a good two-stage trigger with enough first-stage travel to let you know when you’ve come to stage two.
Fit and finish
The rifle looks like quality all over. The blueing is deep but not highly polished. But it’s very even – the sign of a good job.
The bolt probe that seats the pellet in the barrel is very thin – a sign that the engineers at Umarex know what they are doing. Amateur airgunsmiths have been thinning bolt probes for decades for better gas flow. As far as I know, this is the first appearance of the feature on a factory-built gun.
The plastic stock is very evenly matte and smooth, with no mold lines visible. The black rubber buttpad fits well in an area that air rifle manufacturers often overlook. The one criticism I will level, however, is directed at the butt. It has a hollow, cheap feel and sound. Daisy went through the same thing in the 1950s, and they learned to inject sound-deadening foam into the hollow cavities of their guns. It added a subtle feeling of substance that their customers appreciated.
Installing the muzzlebrake
The muzzlebrake is huge – 5.5″ long and over 1.25″ in diameter. Only the size of the butt balances the look of the huge appendage. Being mostly hollow, it weighs next to nothing and does not change the balance of the rifle. Of course, the front sight had to be removed to install the brake, so I took off the rear as well. Two Allen screws in the bottom of the brake secure it to the barrel.
The optional muzzlebrake is large but exerts no influence on the pellet.
How does it work?
Once mounted, the brake is cosmetic, only. It does nothing to the muzzle blast, nor does the grouping change. I tested the rifle at 40 yards on a calm day, and it made no difference whether the brake was on or off, except that the point of impact changed slightly.
For those who wonder about how long an AirSource tank lasts, I’m still on the first one after 250 shots. Velocity hasn’t changed, and the rifle seems very consistent shot to shot. Of course, I am shooting on days in the high 80s and low 90s.
That’s my report. Now it’s time for all of you owners to let the rest of us know what you think of the gun.