by B.B. Pelletier
Today is a second look at the general characteristics of this new Evanix Conquest PCP air rifle with thumbhole stock. I was surprised that a couple of you criticized the woodwork in Part 1, so today I’ll show you the butt of the rifle I’m actually testing. Neither FX nor Daystate has anything on this stock — it’s that good. Criticize the real faults all you want, but let’s evaluate the rifle on its merits and not on where it was made.
Since I have to show a lot of details, much of today’s report will be pictorial. The captions have as much info as the text, so be sure to read them.
Fully ambidextrous, the Evanix Conquest rifle stock is a thing of beauty. The woodwork is perfect, and the wood itself has deep, rich grain. The red switch at the upper left is the power switch for the gun.
Yep! Like an AEG airsoft gun, the Conquest is run by an electric motor that’s powered by a battery in the butt. Before you start asking all those voltage and amperage questions, this rifle works exactly the same as an AEG. Add amps, and the charge lasts longer. Add volts, and the motor turns faster. And also like all AEGs, there’s only so much room for the onboard battery.
According to the manufacturer, one charge is sufficient for about 500 shots, but that’s a variable that depends on many things. Cold weather decreases the number. As the battery loses its charge, it heats up, which is undesireable. And I would expect that full-auto fire would use up the battery faster than semi-auto because the motor runs longer in that mode. I’ll try to give you an estimate of how many shots I get on a charge when I know something. Thus far, I’ve shot the gun about 35 times and everything is fine.
I charged the battery pack for 8 hours before my initial use. The batteries do not come precharged.
The batteries fit into the butt, so the rubber buttpad must come off first. The batteries use single-wire connectors — red to red and black to black. From what I see, there’s just enough room in the butt for the wiring and the battery that comes with the gun, so I doubt battery upgrades will be possible, as space is a concern.
Once the battery pack is installed and the reservoir is filled, the gun is ready to fire. Turn it on with the red switch at the upper left rear of the receiver, insert a loaded magazine and you’re ready to go.
The .177 and .22 versions of the rifle have 12-shot magazines. The .25-caliber rifle has a 10-shot mag. All versions of the gun also have optional double mags available, but I mistakenly wrote in Part 1 that they come with the gun — and they don’t. They must be ordered as options. So, this .22 rifle would have a total of 24 shots when the double mag is used. However, after the first 12 shots, the mag has to be slid over to the left to index the second mag. So, it’s really 12 and 12 — not 24 without stopping.
The back of each magazine has two holes through which pellets can be seen. The hole on the left is where the pellets are loaded. There’s a coiled wire band spring that runs around the circumference of the drum to hold each pellet in its chamber until the bolt pushes it into the back of the barrel. When you drop in a pellet, the head stops on this band. Like all circular magazines and clips with this feature, you have to press in each pellet past the retaining band. Nothing works as well as a ballpoint pen. If the magazine didn’t have this band, pellets could vibrate out of their chambers and jam the action — especially with the vibration of firing full-auto.
This is the back of a single 12-shot magazine. Pellets are loaded through the hole on the left. Note the black tab that sticks down at the top of the middle hole. This is used to release the magazine spring when you want to unload the magazine, or any time you want to reverse the direction of the chambers. When the magazine is loaded, a ratchet catches it at every empty chamber, and this tab gives you control over that ratchet. When the mag drum is not under spring tension, this tab does not appear.
I’m going to show you loading in detail because it’s very important to the gun’s operation. Everything I say about loading a single magazine applies to a dual mag, as well, because it’s just two single mags stuck together.
And this is what a properly seated pellet looks like. This is a large JSB pellet, so you can see there’s plenty of room for big pellets in this mag. Now, rotate the mag drum one click counterclockwise and load the next chamber.
The magazine body has a small key or shelf at the bottom edge of the front side. This fits into a mating groove in the front of the receiver notch and prevents the mag from being incorrectly inserted. The front of the mag has a spring-loaded ball bearing that indexes the mag in the receiver. It’s important that the mag is indexed properly, because the bolt moves by electrical power and could damage the mag or the gun if not aligned with the hole that runs through the magazine.
Here’s the front of the magazine. There’s just one hole where the pellet can be pushed out of the mag and into the breech by the bolt. Notice the small shelf at the bottom of the mag. This is a key that prevents the mag from being installed incorrectly.
Because this gun fires electrically, DO NOT stick your fingers into the receiver magazine notch at any time. Every time the gun fires, the bolt first comes forward to push the pellet out of the magazine and into the breech. If your finger is there, the bolt will go through it like a nail from a nail gun! Never put your fingers into this opening, no matter where the safety and power switch are set. For this reason, do not let children or anyone who’s unfamiliar with the rifle handle it.
The double mag is two single mags joined together. In operation, you exhaust one side first, then slide the mag over to the other side — pushing from right to left. In .22 caliber, this mag gives a total of 24 shots.
I mentioned the fill coupling in Part 1. Today, I’d like to show you the available space where the gun is filled, which is why it has to be a proprietary quick-fill device and not a standard Foster fitting. Besides the fill connector, the pressure gauge is also in this space, which is tucked out of sight in a slot under the forearm.
This macro picture shows the fill port that accepts the quick-disconnect adapter. The manometer reads in bar for the first time! Although this looks like a lot of room, my thumb is just as wide as this slot.
Well, that was a long introduction, but a gun this novel warrants it. I probably have still not told you everything you wish to know about the gun, but we have both the velocity and accuracy tests yet to come, so there’s more than enough time. Ask your questions, and I’ll attempt to answer them as we go.