Norica Quick - Part 1
by B.B. Pelletier
Well, here's another new one! The Norica Quick is a man-sized underlever spring rifle that I'll test for you next. The rifle should arrive in inventory later this month, but there are many new models, and I wanted to get started on them. The entire Norica line looks interesting, and the build quality seems to be on the plus side of good.
The Quick is certainly a big air rifle! It's a shade under 46" long and a hair over 8 lbs. Just holding it to my shoulder tells me this one is meant for adults, only, and those wanting a large hunting rifle. The length biases the weight toward the muzzle, so the rifle feels muzzle-heavy. The addition of a scope will take some of this back, but I think this rifle will always have a forward bias.
The stock is an evenly stained, medium brown beech with checkering on both sides of the forearm and grip. There's a low raised cheekpiece on the left side, but besides that and the breech cover the rifle is ambidextrous. The butt has a soft black rubber pad with grippy horizontal lines to grip shoulders. The overall fit of wood to metal is exact.
The metal is finished a matte black. Plastic on the outside is minimal, limited to the end cap, triggerguard and rotating breech cover.
The sights are fiberoptic front and rear. The rear sight has adjustments for both elevation and windage. And the 11mm scope dovetail is cut directly into the spring tube with a scope stop plate screwed to the rear.
The Quick has a breech cover that rotates up and to the left to gain access to the rear of the barrel. This is similar to the flip-up breech cover found on the RWS Diana 46 and the rotating breech found on the Gamo CFX. Like the Diana and unlike the CFX, this cover is not in contact with the piston, so it's free to open at any time, regardless of whether or not the rifle is cocked. Once up, it allows generous access to the breech, though lefties will find it less convenient.
To open the breech, a knob on the right side is pulled back, then the whole cover is free to swing up and to the left. The cover has o-rings on both ends of the transfer port that runs through its length. After a pellet is loaded, the cover can just be pressed closed and the latch will lock by itself.
The cocking lever is retained by a ball bearing detent located at the end of the cocking arm. It nests in a socket located under the muzzle at the end of the barrel. I can see no adjustment, but lockup is absolutely tight, yet the arm pops away easily when you want it.
The metal trigger appears to have no adjustments. It's a two-stage unit that breaks cleanly. I will weigh it during the velocity test. The safety is automatic and the rifle does have an anti-beartrap mechanism, so there's no manual way to uncock the rifle.
I could tell from the start that this one meant business, so I went right to the bathroom scale to measure the cocking effort. I cannot comfortably cock the rifle with one arm, and the 56 lbs. of effort needed to get the piston locked back is the reason why. Yes, you read that right. The effort goes up to 46 lbs. until the end of the stroke, then it jumps to about 56 lbs. as the sear engages. I even asked Edith to watch the scale as I cocked the rifle, because I didn't want to get the scale out a second time. The specs say the rifle is rated to 1,000 f.p.s., and despite the powerful mainspring that may be correct because of the long air transfer port. It's a medium-stroke piston, and a one-piece cocking link means a long cocking slot in the forearm. Still, vibration upon firing is minimal.
The Quick is a large air rifle, and the heavy cocking effort means it's best-suited to hunting. It's certainly no plinker. The quality looks and feels good. We should have some fun with this one.