Mendoza RM-2800 .22 cal. repeater - Part 1
by B.B. Pelletier
Several of you have asked for this report on the RM-2800. This is Mendoza's largest, most powerful air rifle. It's a repeater, but also a breakbarrel, so it has to be cocked before every shot. Many will think of it as a single-shot, but it's a true repeater because it has a magazine. Think of it as a bolt-action repeater, and you'll be right on track.
The RM-2800 comes with a dark-gray painted wood stock. It's a thumbhole style, as well, so the styling is pretty far out. Although it's a long air rifle, it isn't as big as many on the market. The stock is pleasantly thin through the forearm, and, for some reason, it's very light. The rifle I'm testing weighs only 7 lbs., 4 oz., which is considerably lighter than the specified weight of almost 8 lbs. That puts it in the same weight class as the Beeman R9. So, this really is a lightweight, compact, powerful air rifle.
The bluing is better than that found on any Weihrauch springer and fully the equal of the British-made Webleys and BSAs. The sights, which I'll cover in greater detail, are superior to every other open-sighted spring rifle today, by virtue of the fact that they contain Mendoza's fabulous micro-adjustable rear sight.
If I sound like I'm in love with the gun, that isn't the case at all. I dislike painted stocks, can't stand thumbholes, plus I see no need for the repeating mechanism on a breakbarrel springer. But, the RM 2800 has so many superior features for such a great low price that I have to point them all out. And, I'm not done yet.
The more I see and experience Mendoza's two-bladed trigger, the more I like it. The blade on the right sticks out farther than the blade on the left. It constitutes the first-stage pull. When it comes back even with the other blade, you know stage two has been reached and the rifle is ready to fire. Right now, this trigger breaks crisply between 3 lbs., 2 ozs., and 3 lbs., 8 ozs., with absolutely no creep. It may break-in to a different weight, so I'll check it again.
Recoil is substantial, but there's very little vibration. Thankfully, Mendoza provides a proper scope stop. When the time comes, scoping it shouldn't be a problem.
Every Mendoza pellet rifle comes with a hang tag attached to the trigger. It has a shot group fired by the rifle and this one shows a larger group than I've normally seen with these rifles. The trigger-pull was measured at 1.11 lbs., but I think they meant kilos. The velocity was measured at 911 f.p.s. That's not bad for a .22, but we'll see what our chronograph says with several different types of pellets. I'll also check for a pellet that feeds well through the magazine.
All Mendoza repeaters use a linear magazine that has a coiled steel follower spring. Linear magazines mean the pellets must be a certain shape and length. Pointed pellets won't feed because they get their noses stuck in the bases of the pellets in front of them, and the length of the chamber in the pellet carrier determines their overall length.
On the other hand, nothing forces you to use the magazine. The rifle also functions fine as a regular breakbarrel. Simply leave the magazine empty and load directly into the breech
The sights are a square post with bead in front and a square notch in the rear. They both have fiberoptic inserts, but the front isn't bright and can be seen as a square post in most light. I consider that a plus, because a square post is more precise. The rear sight is Mendoza's super sporting sight that has crisp click detents for adjustment in both directions. There are reference scales on both windage and elevation, so you always know which way you're adjusting.
I've heard a few complaints recently about breakbarrel detents that are hard to open. We all know the Webley Patriot is a toughie, but I'm talking about RWS Dianas and other breakbarrels. Well, that's a problem this Mendoza doesn't have! Despite having a chisel-point locking detent, the barrel breaks open quite easily. Maybe it uses the pellet-feed mechanism as an assist?
I'm looking forward to testing this big Mendoza. If it can even shoot medium-weight pellets in the low 800s with some accuracy, it will be well worth the money.