Umarex 850 M2 part 9

Umarex 850 M2 part 9

Into the field – paper, tin cans and varmints beware

By Dennis Adler

The Umarex 850 M2 has shown potential as a small game or pest gun that is quiet, fast handling and with theright pellet, can deliver 10 foot pounds of energy (FPE), which is effective on small game. Of course, you have to be working in fairly close for an very accurate shot, and 25 yards (75 feet) seems to be where the 850 M2 lives for consistent sub-1-inch groups. A pellet will travel much further, of course, but as distance increases accuracy decreases. I can definitely put a .22 caliber pellet from the 850 M2 on the target from 50 yards, but I can’t necessarily say where it will hit with the same accuracy. The trajectory of .22 pellets fired from the 850 M2 can actually be witnessed through the scope and the bowed trajectory can become predictable if you have the opportunity for consecutive shots as I did at 25 yards with the H&N Sport hollow points, and they gave me consistent 1-inch or smaller groups from a rested position with the Axeon scope.

And one last trip to the shooting range to test the 850 M2 and Axeon scope at 25 yards, this time with the Sig Sauer 16.6 gr. Zero Pb hollow points. The crux of this test is to first compare the Sig pellet’s accuracy with the outstanding H&N Sport 18.62 gr. Baracuda Hunter Extreme .22 hollow points from the previous range test, and secondly, to see how well the gun performs in the field firing from a kneeling position shooting at tin cans roughly the size of small game. The 850 M2 with cheek piece extension and the Axeon scope weighs 8 pounds, 4 ounces (empty; no CO2 or pellets loaded). Most .22 rimfire small game rifles are about a pound lighter, averaging 7 pounds, 8 ounces; a Ruger 10/22 weighs 5 pounds, the Hatsan Escort .22 LR (yes they make rimfire guns, too), is a bolt action with a synthetic stock and weighs 5 pounds, 9 ounces. So, like I said, the 850 M2 is a little heavier than most .22 LRs.
From the shooting bench with only my elbow for a rest, I put four Zero Pb hollow points in the red X and four at just under an inch in the 10 ring at 2 o’clock. The 850 M2 and Axeon are a perfect match for field shooting.

Today I am going back into the field with the 16.6 gr. Sig Sauer Zero Pb hollow points to see if that lighter weight lead round can do as well. With fresh CO2 (two 12 gr. cartridges in the 2×12 adapter), average velocity with the Sig hollow point again clocked 476 fps, which is 8 FPE, a little light for some small game unless you can deliver a very accurate shot. To test this I will be shooting at tin cans smaller than the average squirrel (and honestly I have nothing against squirrels, and have never hunted them, but a lot of people do with airguns and .22 rifles, so this is just an example to prove the 850 M2’s capability at 25 yards on a comparably-sized target suspended from a tree limb).

From a kneeling position I shot at small tin cans from 25 yards and never missed a shot. I fired at about 1 second intervals.

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On target and kickin’ the cans

It took only three shots to get the Axeon dialed in for the Sig hollow points, and I shot the paper target from the bench using my elbow to steady the gun. My total 8-shot group fired at about 1 second intervals had a spread of  1.75 inches which broke into two groups, four in the red X (one actually in the 10 just breaking the line) at 1.06 inches, and four grouped in the 10 ring at 2 o’clock measuring 0.81 inches.

Once you get into it the bolt action is quick to work. The only slowdown is the manual safety at the back of the receiver which automatically resets when you load the next round. Overall, it is a better safety idea than it is a convenience in the field when a quick second shot is needed.

For the tin cans at 25 yards, I fired from a kneeling position (pictured), again at around 1-second intervals, shooting four shots per can. There were no misses and the scope was zeroed in on the top third of the cans suspended from a tree limb. All shots were closely grouped with one completely piercing the heavy soup can, which measures 4.25 inches by 2.75 inches. I had four hits on one can inside of 1.5 inches. Clearly the Umarex 850 M2 in .22 caliber and equipped with the Axeon scope has proven itself a decent game getter, or at least a tin can killer.

Tin cans the size of small game were no match for the 850 M2 and Axeon at 25 yards. These are heavy soup cans not lightweight stuff, and the .22 hollow points did a number on them; one shot even went clean through. The 850 M2 and Axeon are ready for small game with the right pellets on board. Using the quick change 2×12 gr. CO2 adapter I easily shot the entire test, including chronographing rounds, on one pair of cartridges.

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