by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier
Today, we’ll begin to look at the Evanix Rainstorm 3D bullpup precharged rifle — one of the most different air rifles we have ever examined. It comes in .177, .22, .25 and 9mm, and I’m testing one in .22 caliber. The serial number of the rifle I’m testing today is 12121-1013235.
When I first saw a photo of this rifle I called it a construction girder with a pistol grip; and now that I have one to hold, nothing changes that description. I am impressed by the weight of 7.8 lbs. without a scope. It feels like more because the whole rifle is only 27 inches long. Everything on the rifle suggests compact, so the mandatory scope should be a mini SWAT from Leapers or perhaps a Bug Buster.
In .22 caliber, the velocity from the 17-inch barrel is rated as 1,176 f.p.s. That’s pretty specific, and I’m thinking they used a very light pellet to get it. Perhaps even a lead-free pellet was used. I’ll be shooting the rifle/carbine/bullpup with the best lead pellets that produce the best groups, so the velocity may not be quite as high as the rating.
This rifle (it’s really a carbine because of how short it is) is a bullpup, so let’s start with that. Bullpups are rifles whose triggers are moved forward so their actions can sit at the back of the gun. The conventional buttstock is either eliminated or radically repositioned on the rifle. Instead of 14.50 inches of buttstock that does nothing but provide an anchor point for your shoulder, this Evanix Rainstorm 3D bullpup puts the action back where the buttplate is. That cuts a lot of length from the rifle.
In firearms, the bullpup design is a safety concern because your neck and head rest on an action where up to 50,000+ psi of pressure gets generated with every shot. If anything lets go, your safety glasses can’t protect you from the blast. I had a rifle let go last year, so I know what I’m talking about. My Nelson Lewis combination gun blew the nipple and hammer off the barrel when it let go. Had my face been there, I probably would not be writing this report right now. We never did find the nipple!
But a PCP airgun uses just 3,000 psi pressure or less — not 16,000 psi (approximate pressure on the black powder in my vintage gun) and more. So, the risk of an accident is virtually nil. If you’re going to have a bullpup, this is the kind to have!
Moving the trigger forward means all bullpups have a long linkage between the trigger blade and the actual sear mechanism. Because of that, they’re notorious for having creepy triggers. The test rifle has the long linkage, but I’ll evaluate the trigger-pull in my report of the accuracy because that’s when I really get to test the trigger.
The rest of the rifle’s action is mechanical. No electric motors or batteries are involved. The rifle is a bolt-action repeater with the bolt connected to a sidelever located at the right rear of the butt. The magazine is a spring-loaded circular affair that holds 13 pellets in .177 caliber, 11 pellets in the .22 caliber I’m testing, 10 pellets in .25 caliber and 7 pellets in 9mm. The magazine advances as the bolt is cocked, so all you have to do is keep working the sidelever. The safety is manual. Once the rifle is cocked and loaded, you’re ready to shoot.
I cycled the action to learn about the safety, and I can tell you the cocking stroke is easy and smooth. Unlike some sidelever PCPs, the Rainstorm 3D feels like a luxury sedan car door opening. Given where the cocking handle is located (at the rear of the gun), that’s an important point.
The 3D comes without sights, but a Picatinny rail runs almost the full length of the top of the gun, giving you nearly infinite choices for scope or dot sight positioning. I mounted a new 3-9X32 UTG Bug Buster scope on which I’ll report separately. I mounted it because I wanted to make certain that scope would be high enough to use, given the very straight line of the bullpup’s profile.
The new Bug Buster comes with medium-high scope rings that are UTG’s new Weaver quick-detachable model. This is a high-end scope ring that others might sell for $30 or more but is included in the package with the scope. I find them to work okay, but I know many shooters will want a high ring to raise the scope higher to their eye level. I use what others have called the bazooka hold, which is the bottom tip of the butt pressed into a hollow on top of my shoulder. Many shooters prefer to have the butt contact the shoulder lower, and that requires high rings. Just keep that in mind when scoping this rifle.
There’s no magazine clearance problem with the top of the rifle because the magazine is covered by a synthetic plate on top of the action. When you mount a scope, there are no clearance concerns.
This is an all-metal rifle. It has no wood on it anywhere. There are a couple parts made from synthetics, like the grips, but the main component is metal.The metal that isn’t blued is anodized an even medium brown, lending a very attractive high-tech look to the gun. The buttplate is covered with a thin rubber pad so the rifle can be stood up against something and not slip on the floor.
The barrel is enclosed within a fat shroud, and there appears to be a chamber in front of the muzzle that might help attenuate some of the muzzle blast. A rifle of this power is going to be loud, so let’s hope this chamber does lower the sound, if only a little. The barrel shroud is deep inside the girder-like framework of the rifle. You have to look hard to see what’s barrel and what’s reservoir.
The reservoir is filled with a proprietary quick-fill probe that’s supplied with the rifle. It has male screw threads that attach to a 1/8″ BSPP coupling that’s very standard on fill hoses today. The rifle is filled to 200 bar, which is 2,900 psi. Although there’s a pressure gauge on the gun, trust your fill-device pressure gauge for the fill because its accuracy should be well-established.
The Rainstorm 3D is a different precharged air rifle, make no mistake. The look, feel and operation all have to be tailored to the bullpup design. Even though the controls are all fairly standard, except for the bullpup trigger with its long linkage, this rifle will probably take some getting used to. Given its power and cost, I plan on testing it out to 50 yards for you, so this should be a very interesting report.