by B.B. Pelletier
There is a new podcast up on the website.
It’s the first of August, and I’m back to the CX-4. Let’s take a look at performance downrange. Before we do that, I tried to mount an optical sight. I say “tried,” because at that point I discovered a problem with this design.
Pretty obvious why this scope doesn’t work. This is the UTG Tactedge 4x long eye-relief scope that I believe is perfect for this airgun, but taller mounts are needed.
The tall front and rear tactical sight housings are so high that they limit the scopes that can be installed. You will need ultra-high Weaver rings to fit a long scope like the UTG Tactedge 4×40 long eye-relief scope I tried to mount. I have such mounts in 11mm, but not in Weaver because it isn’t a traditional airgun scope base.
Next, I tried to mount a lower red dot sight with a Weaver base. It fit between the sights okay, but it was so low that the red dot could only be seen through the rear sight aperture. That wouldn’t work, either! And before someone beats me up for not remembering that the Crosman NightStalker kit that I tested back in February of 2006 also has a red dot sight – I tried that, too. Not high enough!
Nope! This one fits, but it’s so low that the red dot appears through the rear aperture!
However, legend tells us of an earlier time when primitive marksmen used those front and rear sight appendages that still come on many airguns to actually align their guns for shooting. It’s called the BS era, for “before scopes.” I reckoned that anything my ancestors could do I could also do, so I shot all my groups without the aid of an optical sight. I did wear my bifocals, though.
Comedy of errors!
Starting with the sight adjustments – the front sight adjusts rapidly on a cam, which the manual fails to explain. I broke a screwdriver tip finding that out. I’ve broken other Taiwanese screwdriver tips before, but never while adjusting a sight! The manual said the gun was sighted-in at 10 meters by the factory, but this one wasn’t.
Moving to the rear sight, my front sight experience sensitized me to make small adjustments – this time with a tiny Allen wrench – and nothing happened. So here’s what to do in the back. Treat the rear sight like a windlass and pretend you are raising a ship’s anchor. I wound it around completely three or four times before the pellet moved the required two inches at 20 yards.
Then, it was time to shoot.
The open sights didn’t do their job
All that joking about open sights, and these turned out to be the worst I’ve used in ages. At 20 yards and shooting from a benchrest, I never got a group smaller than one inch. I may not be a crack shot, but I can keep them inside a dime with good open sights at that range. I don’t think this was the rifle’s fault – I blame the open sights.
Pellets that performed…or didn’t!
I tried RWS Hobbys, RWS Superdomes, RWS Supermags, Crosman 7.9-grain Premiers and Gamo Match pellets. The Hobbys seemed to perform the best. In this case, “best” is a very relative term.
This is the best I could do at 20 yards. This was with RWS Hobbys.
In every target, there was a cluster of three or four shots that told me the rifle wants to shoot better than this. I think with optical sights I can do better.
Well, not too good, thus far. I don’t like the sights, how they adjust and the fact that you need tools to adjust them. Also, who makes front and rear sights that adjust with two DIFFERENT tools? That’s just crazy. But, I’m not finished with the CX-4 yet. I’ll get some kind of high scope mount, and we’ll see how well it can shoot with proper sights.
I do expect Umarex USA to come out with some kind of optical sight and mount for the CX-4. With that Picatinny rail sitting on top, they’d be fools not to.
One last comment. Where is that reader who said I never criticize airguns that Pyramyd Air sells, because all I’m doing is selling things through these blogs? Without the use of profanity, this report was about as critical as I get. I don’t load it with frownie faces to let you know how I’m feeling, but I don’t think there are any lines that you need to read between.