Umarex Forge combo: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Forge
Umarex Forge.

This report covers:

  • Different
  • Ballbearing detent
  • Power
  • Stock
  • Size
  • Picatinny rail
  • Scope included
  • Open sights
  • Trigger
  • TNT
  • Synthetics
  • Where is it made?
  • Many good things

Today we begin looking at an air rifle I have been waiting to review since first seeing it at this year’s SHOT Show. Every SHOT Show has dramatic new products that all writers scramble to review. Then there are the quiet new products that don’t seem to attract as much attention. But some things I am always looking for fall into this quiet group, and the Forge from Umarex is one such gun.

Different

The Forge is a different breakbarrel. For starters, although it develops an advertised 1,250 f.p.s. with lead-free pellets, it’s relatively easy to cock! Of course I will measure the effort in Part 2, but I’m estimating something around the specified 30 lbs. For a gas piston, that is remarkable! Easy cocking is one thing I am always looking for.

At present the Forge comes only in .177 caliber.

Ball bearing detent

The breech is held shut by a ball bearing. It’s got a powerful return spring, so you do have to slap the muzzle to open the breech, but it closes smooth and easy.

Forge ball bearing detent
The breech is held shut by a ball bearing.

Power

Pyramyd Air shows the Forge as a 1,050 f.p.s. rifle, while the box states 1,250 with lead-free pellets. I guess I will have to sort that out for you in the velocity test. Really, with this kind of power available, I’m more interested in what it will do with heavier lead pellets.

Stock

Then there is the all-wood stock. Yes, at a retail price of $150 the Forge has a wood stock, and it’s not what you typically see on a rifle at this price. Typically a wood stock on a $150 rifle is smooth and has an opaque finish over some nondescript hardwood. The Forge stock is dark beech with some grain showing, and the forearm is a semi-beavertail (flares out). There are panels of sharp checkering on both sides of the forearm and pistol grip. This stock has some shape to it, and it feels nice when shouldered.

Size

The Forge weighs 7.8 lbs., according to the specs. The rifle I am testing weighs 7 lbs. 10 oz., which is close to the advertised weight. The overall length is 44-5/8-inches long. Those dimensions make the Forge a large air rifle, but not a heavy one.

Picatinny rail

A full-length Picatinny rail that runs along the top of the spring tube. Actually the spring tube sits inside what Umarex calls the Nucleus Rail System. This will make mounting a scope much easier because these days Weaver rings (that fit a Picatinny base) are very common.

Scope included

The rifle is sold as a combo, so a 4X32 scope is included with the package. It may not be the last word in optical sights, but it comes bundled with the rifle, so you have a head start on scoping your new airgun.

Open sights

The Forge also comes with adjustable open sights! That’s another thing I look for in an inexpensive air rifle. And these sights appear to adjust very precisely. They do have fiberoptics on both front and rear, but the profile of the front blade is square, so with the right lighting (to kill the glow from the fiberoptics) I think I will be able to do some good work. We will find out in the first accuracy test. Open sights are another thing I want on an inexpensive air rifle.

Forge rear sight
The rear sight is precisely adjustable.

Trigger

The 2-stage trigger has an adjustment for the length of the first stage, but nothing for the pull weight. I will test the pull for you in part 2 and report on the trigger in greater detail in the accuracy tests.

The safety is automatic, unfortunately. But it is easy to release by pushing the lever forward, so it’s not a big distraction.

TNT

The gas piston in the Forge is something called Turbo Nitrogen Technology, or TNT for short. The name tells me they used nitrogen (instead of plain air) to pressurize the gas-spring piston unit and that’s what reduced the cocking effort.

Synthetics

There is a lot of synthetic material on the outside of the Forge. Besides the scope base rail that encloses the spring tube, the barrel ends in a huge synthetic muzzle brake that’s an easy grip for cocking. I looked inside the brake and I think I can see baffles. The sights are mostly synthetic and the triggerguard is, as well. The trigger blade is metal however.

I think the synthetics on the Forge are well done and suit the rifle very well. But I know there are some who will not tolerate any plastic on an airgun, so I’m telling you what’s there.

The buttpad is the strangest one I’ve ever seen. It is triangular in shape and occupies a significant portion of the rear of the stock. It’s covered with thin rubber that’s very grippy, so it accomplishes everything we want from a buttpad. And I think it looks sharp!

Where is it made?

To come in at this price the Forge has to be made in China. That used to be the kiss of death for an airgun, but in recent times airgun importers have learned that price doesn’t sell guns by itself. They have to work o0r they will tank. I won’t cut the Forge any slack in the test, but on first examination it appears someone who knows the market has had a hand with this development.

Many good things

The Forge has a lot going for it. The price is great; it has adjustable sights; the power is good; cocking is easy and the feel and aesthetics of the rifle are very stylish and nice. It looks and feels like a lot more than the retail price. There is just one more thing this rifle needs.

If it also turns out to be accurate, I think Umarex will have knocked it out of the park! I’m rooting for it!

78 thoughts on “Umarex Forge combo: Part 1

  1. BB,

    Your summary under Many Good Things has me interested in this rifle. Let’s hope that it is accurate.

    Is the two toned appearance of the stock in the opening picture an aspect of the lighting? If not, the appearance of the stock is unique.

    Jim


  2. BB,

    Could it be true? You stated that the safety lever is pushed forward to release it, unlike most other Umarex safety levers. Are they listening? Now if we could just get them to forget about glowy thingy sights…


  3. BB
    This rifle really looks good for the money. I would like to know if the cutouts in the Nucleus Integrated Rail Platform are exposing the actual gas piston assembly or the cylinder that contains the gas piston like a normal set up. Descriptions are a bit vague.

    In other words, is that a forged housing, with a rail, that replaces the cylinder that normally contained the spring piston assembly or new gas piston?
    If it is then is it safe to assume the barrel is attached to the forging with a pivot bolt or is it just a regular brake barrel set up slid into the forging?
    Seems like shock system installed behind it would make it operate like a small piece of artillery eliminating the need for the artillery hold ?



    • Looks like the stock from the Ruger Impact. That airgun is one Walmart always shows on the website. The stock looks great. The Impact is only available in .22 caliber.


    • Bob M

      In a Umarex video that I believe was filmed at SHOT or one of the other major gun shows, the presenter explains that they have “forged” a connection between the wood stock and the dissimilar polymer rail system, “hence the name” as he puts it. Kinda lame, IMO.


  4. BB
    Figured it out ……Reread your description and watched a u tube on it, must be tired or something, the rail top is not metal at all so it is the piston tube showing through, not the piston. Perhaps the name Forge threw me off ?
    Must be a tight fit in there to keep a scope accurate.



      • RidgeRunner
        I see what you mean. We have not determined the accuracy of the rifle yet and the scope that comes with it may be looked at by some as nothing more than a basic alternative for those with a visual impairment unable to use open sights effectively. Useful and adiquet for the job but not outstanding.

        It was just an offhand statement that if any scope were used with this rifle the piston tube would probably have to be tight in the rifle to get any accuracy. However in hind sight both it and the upper rail cover would both have to tight in the stock to stay in alignment.


    • Bob M
      Interesting. Wonder where they are going with it exsposed. Maybe to lube the piston with a little RWS silicone oil. Maybe a better way to lube the piston seal than in through the transfer port hole where dieseling or detonation can happen. Lube behind the compression seal and there should be not as much chance for that to happen.

      Maybe the designers are starting to listen. But repeatable quality and shooting results will tell the story.


      • GF1
        For some reason early on I thought the rifle was some new breakthrough that replaced the spring tube with a railed metal receiver that contained a gas piston and it was exposed for dramatic reasons. I think I was fanaticizing while reading.
        To be honest I think the openings are just a cosmetic thing dramatizing the fact that the spring tube is fully enclosed, with a little hint of an ejection port.



          • GF1
            Sorry for a delay I don’t use my phone with this blog, bad reception, I just check my laptop every once in a while.
            Yes I was talking about those two openings. Also looks like the railed top goes deep into the stock looking at pictures on the PA site. That also misled me.
            The nitrogen piston is not exposed. Its the tube the piston rides in. Don’t believe there are any openings in it, just the railed cover.


            • Bob M
              It’s ok on the response.

              And ok I see what you mean now.

              It looks like a big plastic peice that fits over the air tube and those are just cut outs.

              If that is plastic that the scope rings will mount on. It will get tore up. Almost every spring or nitro piston gun I had that was on the upper power end will knock the rings back. Not a good combination.


              • GF1
                Good point but a good long UTG slim metal riser, a multi screw one piece scope mount or better yet the new Bullseye ZR shock absorbing mount might take care of that possibility.

                Probable some space age polymer that may stand up anyway?


                • Bob M
                  I had a Tech Force M8. It’s not even a magnum gun.

                  I walked my Tasco red dot right of the back of the dovetail and smash d the back plastic end cap amost off. I didn’t notice till the safety started binding.

                  I ended up drilling and tapping a hole in the tube in front of where the plastic end cap was and putting a set crew in for a stop.

                  And don’t know if you remember when Crosman came out with the nitro piston 2’s that the picatinny rail was breaking the welds and the scope and rails were falling off.

                  Alot more force is going on with a spring or nitro piston gun than you can imagine.

                  And I just really can’t see some body buying the ZR mount for a $149 gun.

                  Anyway it’s just all speculation right now. But maybe not something that would be thought of when buying this type of guns.


                  • GF1
                    Your right on top of things for sure. Light weight pellets probably just add to the problem too. I wont use them in high powered break barrel airguns on a regular basis.
                    Dovetails are notorious for letting scopes slide. Don’t think they will come on high powered airguns much longer. Time will tell.


                    • Bob M
                      Dove tails ain’t bad as long as there is a hole for a stop pin or set to go in from the scope rings.

                      But the whole thing about the Crosman guns is that it broke the welds that held the picatinny rail to the guns main tube.

                      Like I said alot of force going on there with recoil.


  5. B.B.

    I alway thought that from cheap, accurate, nice trigger; pick 2. Hope I am wrong on this one.
    I assume that you could put a weaker spring in the ball bearing detent to make it less “slap happy”. Hurts my hand after awhile.
    Any idea what the stroke of the TNT is? I guess they can be made much shorter than springs(for the same power).
    The whole gas strut got me thinking, alway dangerous! Has anybody ever made a rearward firing piston?
    I would think you could make a double decker, underneath a rear ward firing receiver and then the barrel on top.
    Could make on interesting underlever cocking bull pump. Could the transfer port difficulties be gotten around?
    Man I wish I had an office to go into and just think….

    -Yogi

    PS Why do manufactures flirt with the sound barrier? For us suburban plinkers, that crack is a MAJOR annoyance. On one hand they advertise super sonic speeds and then they try and sell us barrel shrouded noise suppressing devices?????


  6. Well guys I got one as soon as they were avaiable……..I just can’t get past how hard the trigger pull is…..Bought a project I guess……Trigger needs help


  7. I see it get talked about each time an air gun has fiberoptics or as Ridgerunner calls them, “glowy thingy”. There is a simple cure for them that is to paint the end you look at with a sharpie. I would think that most people already have one packed with their range supplies.


  8. The Forge has some nice features for the price, will be interesting to see how accurate it is.

    If it can develop that kind of power with a reasonable cocking force it might make a good “hunter” though I would much prefer to trade some of that velocity for a .22 caliber version.

    Hank


  9. Why do you believe nitrogen in the gas piston would reduce cocking effort? Air is 78% nitrogen, so I am wondering how much difference that last 22% percent makes and why.


    • Steven,

      I don’t believe; I know. Nitrogen is well-known for reducing the compression effort required for gas springs. In the 1990s Beeman offered it in their Crow Magnum as “wonder gas.” And look at what Crosman used — nitrogen.

      Of course it’s also dry, which has benefits too, but ease of cocking is the number one reason it’s used.

      B.B.


  10. Wow. That’s a great looking rifle. Love the shape of the stock. Not excited about having to slap the muzzle to open the breech. That gets old in a hurry and is a draw back for me. It seems it would be best in 22 cal. with all that velocity. The scope base is plastic? argh….ugh. It will be an interesting report though.


  11. Everyone
    Yesterday I posted about Rick Eutsler at airgunweb.com. I’m sure most of you are familiar with his reviews. In any case, no one commented about my post so I am going to re-post it here again today. Rick is a victim of the Affordable Care Act and his family could really use some help with medical bills.

    BTW, I am sure many of the folks here in the forum have been to airgunweb.com and watched Rick Eutsler’s reviews. Rick has had some medical issues and ended up in ER with no medical insurance coverage. A “Gofundme” page has been set up for anyone wishing to help Rick out with these exorbitant hospital costs. I think we as airgun people should help Rick out if possible. Here is the link to his story and the page: https://www.gofundme.com/rick-eutsler



      • Yeah, it’s a pretty sad story too and I think too many people may be getting caught in this snare. Why can’t the politicians get this health care thing figured out? I think we should fire the whole bunch of them!


        • Geo791,

          I don’t really understand the Affordable Care Act very well because I have always had good coverage as part of the many contracts that my union negotiated with my company for. In a few years I will be faced with Government Insurance in the form of Medicare. Not looking forward to that Circus.


          • Halfstep
            You are fortunate to be working for company with a strong union. I was a union organizer years ago and tried several times to get a union into our plant but the vote never passed. I had very good insurance there when I started but as time passed the deductibles got bigger and the coverage was less. It makes me cringe when I hear the government talking about vouchers. I know how that works because our company began a voucher (credits) system in 1986 when they made the decision to become self insured. From 1986 until 2011, when I retired, those credits never got any larger but the premiums sure did. So every year our cost of insurance went up and the amount they allowed to purchase it stayed the same. Great program for the company…not so much for the employees.

            Now that I am on Medicare I purchased a Medicare Advantage Plan. I have dental and vision and my costs are actually much less for medical than when I was still working. My advantage program is through Priority Health and for extra dental visits, hearing, and vision, my cost is $32 a month. If the Republicans don’t muck it up, you will be fine on Medicare. Everyone’s situation is different though and if one has a lot of chronic health issues, the choices would be different.


            • Geo791′

              I’m even more fortunate to be RETIRED already from a company with a strong union ! My costs went up like everyone’s did over time, but the union at least gave us a voice and minimized those cost increases or traded them for benefits in other areas. I’m sure it would have been much worse without them. Maybe I’ll seek out your advice when the time comes to make Medicare decisions. (still over 3 years down the road)

              I made a donation to Rick’s fund and thanks again for the heads up.

              Speaking of heads up, you should look at PA’s review of the Diana “Stormrider” PCP if you haven’t already. After seeing Tyler’s accuracy results I think I now want to see BB review it instead of the QB Chief ! Or both! ( hint hint, again)


              • Halfstep

                Just finished watching Tyler’s review video. Wow! An entry level PCP with a multi-shot mag and exceptional accuracy for $199. It looks very promising and I will be watching for more reviews on it. It is a Chinese rifle, as is the QB Chief, so quality may be questionable. On airgun nation, in Steve’s review of the QB Chief he said that the bolt and breech were as rough as a porcupine’s butt and the bolt was sloppy. But those things did not affect it’s accuracy. Maybe the Stormrider will have better fit and finish. The 7-shot mag in .22 caliber makes it a standout in this price range. I wonder if it would be difficult to fill with a hand pump being that it is a 230 bar fill? The shot curve was not the best over 25 shots.


                • Geo791,

                  I think Tyler says it should be hand pump friendly owing to the 100 cc air tank. Also why the curve is so curved. The JSBs were shot in two consecutive strings starting at about 180 bar with no refill.


  12. I just received mine and it is a very nice rifle for the price, wood looks good and fits well. Will break in with the fiber optic sights. I have said it before , but one more time. Would like to see rifles sold with out scope or with bundles that offer high quality scopes


  13. B.B.,

    This looks like one heckuva air rifle for the money.

    And it comes with a picatinny rail! Yay Umarex! These days air rifles, especially springers, should have rails as standard equipment. And this also has iron sights. Gotta love that.

    Which reminds me, rifle and scope packages should always include an AO scope. Either that or just don’t include a scope and lower the price accordingly.

    Is the scope AO?

    Michael


  14. PERSPECTIVE

    It appears to me that the primary target market for the Umarex Forge is a first time airgun buyer. A firearm owner that needs an inexpensive solution to be able to shoot in his/her backyard, maybe he/she has a pest problem. A father that wants to buy his boy an airgun to learn how to shoot, etc.

    Umarex has done all the right things to increase the odds of the Forge being a marketing success:

    It has a traditional look
    It has a wood stock with checkering
    It has an advertised velocity of 1,250 FPS!! (you can’t do this in .22 caliber so the gun has to be .177)
    It’s lightweight
    It has open sights
    It comes with a scope!! A combo package!
    The trigger is adjustable
    It has an automatic safety
    It has a noise dampener
    It has TNT (Turbo Nitrogen Technology gas piston)!!!!!!!!!!

    All this for a price of $149.95

    This is a first time airgun buyer contender for sure.

    All the posters on this blog are well beyond this “first time buyer” point in their airgunning experience. This is why the chorus will complain about caliber, included scope, unknown accuracy, plastic, etc. Your points are valid, from your seasoned perspective, but it’s also important to understand the target market for an airgun, its’ pricepoint and then temper criticism from that perspective.


    • Kevin
      Well said. I remember contributing to the blog years ago saying just about the same thing and I believe it accidently went to junk but was retrieved.
      A basic simple tactical looking air rifle received a lot of what I considered unwarranted criticism from those who have moved on to finer airguns. Made note that this blog is on a web sight that sells airguns of all types to all types of air gunners . Some where along the way Edith enlightened us all and made it clear, everything has a place.


    • If it will stay together. I’m thinking there is plastic in the wrong places already.

      But yep very true. Pretty much what a first time air gunner would buy.




      • BB
        Ok I see up above where you said barrel attachment.

        Anyway if there is screws or bolts there. Then maybe this gun does have a chance at being accurate.

        But then again how accurate should a gun like this be and at what distance.



          • Sounds respectable if it will do it.

            I know this will never happen. Bt I would like to see the results of more than one of the same guns you get to test.

            I really would like to know if the higher cost German and English guns and so on higher quality guns perform with repeatable results. And what the other China based guns and so on can do from one gun to the next.

            Like I said probably would never happen.


  15. Hm. That adjustable rear sight looks remarkably similar to the rear sight on my B30 that broke after a very short time. Still, the rifle deserves a fair test. I’m eager to see how they made the cocking effort so easy. Perhaps they incorporated my idea of a counterwound spring on the cocking mechanism of my Gladius spring rifle…

    Hank, I saw your offer of targets. Thanks. With so few variables to work with, I’m definitely up for new targets. You can contact my at gufgo24@yahoo.com. To continue my research into the reticle/target interface, I’m warming to the idea of painting a square with a one inch black border that will inscribe a circular target the size of the bull on the official NRA target. This should work much better for my Garand post sight than the bull. I continue to wonder at the logic of the post sight. Since it was intended for combat, that’s how it should be judged. But if you are firing quick shots, you would seem to be better off with the triangle sight of the Mauser or even the thin post of the Enfield which seem to concentrate the vision on the aiming point. What do you get out of a broad post? I suppose you get a simple sight picture by using the post to divide the target in half for a center of mass shot, but that doesn’t seem consistent with any precision…

    I saw Dunkirk and was not overly impressed, but there were great shots of the period gear which was what I was interested in. In particular, there is a prominent scene with a rimjam in an Enfield rifle. But I think that gives the rifle a bad rap. Provided one loads the rifle properly, especially by not forcing the 10th round into the magazine, you shouldn’t have this problem.

    Matt61


  16. B.B.

    My RWS 34P was delivered this afternoon at 3:30 PM 7/25/17. It was scheduled to be delivered on 7/22/17 but I just missed the FedEx guy by a few minutes so I had to wait until today.

    I took a picture of the BKL scope mount. The rifle must have been jarred around a lot because the back ring appears to be slanting backwards. It is not loose so it must have taken a good jolt to move it. I will have to loosen the ring adjustments now so they can be realigned to my scope tube again. Darn shipping guys anyway 🙁

    Geo


  17. Mattr61—-The M1 Garand front sight post is designed to be visible in poor light. Thin and triangular front sights are harder to see in dim light. In particular, the pyramid front sights are prone to vertical stringing. If the M1 sight is too broad for you, replace it with the thinner national match sight. —–Ed


  18. Busy past week and had a hard time keeping up with the (great) blogs, so this one hearkens back to the Gamo Swarm . . . I’ll apologize because I’m sure you’ve answered this before but what’s your take on using super lightweight alloy pellets in springers like you did for that gun? I’ve heard repeatedly that such low-inertia pellets start moving down the barrel sooner than heavier pellets, reducing the gas resistance that the piston encounters at the end of its stroke and essentially resulting in a dry fire. Since you used such pellets I assume you don’t think they’re an issue.

    At the other extreme, I’ve heard that extra heavy pellets can damage guns with the opposite effect–essentially plugging the barrel because inertia keeps them there longer than average weight pellets. Thanks for your thoughts–I’ve seen a wide range of pellets tested but couldn’t recall (or find) your commenting on this.


    • Hiveseeker
      No on the heavy pellets and yes on the light ones.

      Think about it.

      Heavy a cushion of air.

      Light a hard slam into the metal piston cylinder chamber.


  19. I just picked up at WM what looks to be the same AR as the Umarex Forge in what is called the Ruger Impact Max.
    Has many of the same updated features and is in .22 weighting in @ 6# 1oz.



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