by B.B. Pelletier
The Evanix Conquest has features that set the bar very high for air rifles.
Today is velocity/power day for the Evanix Conquest PCP air rifle. In a reversal of the norm, I tested the rifle for accuracy first, and this is a follow-on to that. Of course, now we do know which pellet works the best in the test rifle, but I will also test it with a couple others to get the true power potential.
First test: JSB Exact 15.9-grain domes
The rifle was filled to 200 bar before the test began. The first pellet I tested was the one we know to be the most accurate — the JSB Exact 15.9-grain dome. Since this is the pellet I would chose for this rifle every time, the results of this test will give me realistic performance parameters of the rifle as I would use it. I’ll be testing velocity, which translates to power, and also the useful shot count. Velocity comes first.
The first string of 10 shots gave an average 955 f.p.s. The high was 960 and the low was 948, for a total spread of 12 f.p.s. At the average velocity, the rifle produces 32.21 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
Please notice that we already know the rifle is most accurate at this speed. This relates directly back to what we learned in the Pellet velocity versus accuracy test. Now we know that harmonics and not velocity are the most influential forces when it comes to airgun accuracy.
The average velocity of the second string of 10 shots was 948 f.p.s., with a spread from 943 to 954 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 11 f.p.s., which is one foot per second less than the first string. It’s still a good, tight velocity range; and we know from the accuracy test that the rifle is just as accurate on the second string as on the first. The full-auto group that amazed us all was fired on the second string of 10 shots. At this velocity, the rifle generated an average of 31.74 foot-pounds of energy, so not much difference between this and the first string.
The third string of 10 shots averaged 944 f.p.s., which is a small drop from the first 10. The low was 927 f.p.s., and the high was 949 f.p.s. The total spread opened up to 22 f.p.s. That’s still reasonable; but if you lump this string in with the first two, the total spread is now 33 f.p.s. That’s still a good spread for accuracy at 50 yards, yet the third string was where the groups opened up a little and also dropped on the paper a little. On this string, the average muzzle energy was 31.47 foot-pounds, which is still very respectable.
The fourth string of 10 shots averaged 924 f.p.s. and ranged from 915 f.p.s. to 932 f.p.s. This spread spans a total of 17 f.p.s. The average muzzle energy was 30.15 foot-pounds. Again, it’s a fairly tight string; however, if you throw it in with the first three strings, you get a total velocity spread of 45 f.p.s. That’s too much of a spread for a smallbore pellet rifle to be accurate across 40 shots at 50 yards. And it was seeing the results of the fourth string during the accuracy test that made me stop after 3 strings of 10. The point of impact dropped over an inch and the groups all opened up to twice what they were in the first 2 strings.
If you’re shooting the Conquest at 50 yards and going for the ultimate in precision, refill the rifle after 20 shots. But if you’re just shooting casually at 35 yards, you should be good all the way to 40 shots. After that, however, the velocity starts to drop rapidly.
After 43 shots, the onboard pressure gauge reads about 130 bar remaining in the gun. The gauge is too small to be more exact than that. When I refill the gun, the reservoir inlet valve opens at around 2,150 psi on the large gauge on my carbon fiber tank.
Okay, this first pellet has taught us a lot about the Conquest. We now know the power, the velocity and the shot count. But we’re not finished testing the rifle.
The Conquest has a shrouded barrel, and on the rifle range it is quieter than a .22 rimfire. But it’s not a quiet airgun. I rate the discharge noise at a solid 5 according the scale Pyramyd Air uses on their site. Nothing short of a big bore or an AirForce Condor is as loud — despite the shroud. So, this isn’t an air rifle for the suburban backyard or shooting in the house.
Second test: Eun Jin 28.4-grain domes
The second test was with the 28.4-grain Eun Jin dome. Because the Conquest is a pneumatic rifle it should give the highest power of which it is capable with the heaviest pellet. Being a magazine-fed repeater, also, we have to be careful to choose pellets that actually fit and work in the magazine, but that was already done at the range.
With a drum magazine, the fit we’re concerned with is the length of the pellet. Will it fit the chambers and not protrude on either end, which would tie up the action when the rifle tries to advance the magazine to the next pellet? The 28.4-grain Eun Jin both fits the magazine of the Conquest and works well. The accuracy was only acceptable — in the 1.25-1.5 inch range for 10 shots at 50 yards, so I wouldn’t use it in this rifle unless there was nothing better.
The rifle was again filled to 200 bar for this string. The average muzzle velocity was 697 f.p.s. for 10 shots. The low was 691, and the high was 707 f.p.s. At the average velocity, the rifle generated 30.64 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. That is lower than I expected, as PCPs generally become more powerful with heavier pellets — but that’s what it did.
Third test: Beeman Kodiaks
Next, Beeman Kodiak pellets were tested. In .22 caliber, these weigh 21.1 grains and would be ideal for a rifle of this power. But they don’t group as well as the 15.9-grain JSBs, and that has to be the most important criteria. Out to 50 yards, they’re okay. Beyond that, they can’t keep up.
Kodiaks averaged 819 f.p.s. for 10 on a fresh fill. The low was 813, and the high was 825 f.p.s. At the average velocity, they produced 31.43 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. Again, the heavier pellet wasn’t as powerful as the lighter one.
Fourth test: JSB Exact Jumbo 18.1 grains
The last pellet I tested was the 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo heavy pellet. They averaged 895 f.p.s. on a fresh fill, with a low of 891 and a high of 901 f.p.s. At the average velocity the rifle, produced 32.2 foot-pounds of muzzle energy with this pellet. So, it equals the 15.9-grain pellet for power, but not for accuracy, as we have seen.
The trigger of the test rifle releases at a very consistent 1 lb., 10 ozs., but the release is different than any other trigger I’ve ever felt. If you squeeze slowly, you’ll feel the solenoid fire an instant before the gun fires. It’s a small click before the boom. The actually firing is felt as a prolonged forward cycling of the bolt to push the pellet into the breech and back again to clear the magazine. The feel through the trigger while the gun fires is long and sloppy, but as you saw in the accuracy test, it works well and doesn’t affect the hold at all.
Bottom line thus far
The Conquest is stacking up to be a fine hunting air rifle. It’s powerful and amazingly accurate in the .22-caliber version I’m testing. And I’d like to mention that all the pellets tested fed through the magazine with no problem. Sometimes a rotary magazine like the one on the Conquest has problems accepting longer pellets, but even the big Eun Jins fit this one.
Without question, the one best pellet for our test rifle is the 15.9-grain JSB Exact dome. It’s not only more accurate than the others, it’s also more efficient, which was a surprise result. Test other pellets just the same, but make this one your primary choice until you find something better.
This was the fourth part of what would normally be a three-part test. I feel compelled to return to the range with a more powerful scope mounted on the gun and have another go at it. Maybe — just maybe, mind you — I’ll also take this rifle out to 100 yards. It will take a perfect day, but as I am planning to test other airguns at that range, I thought this one might be included.
37 thoughts on “Evanix Conquest PCP air rifle: Part 4”
Before you got to the part about taking this rifle out to 100 yards, that’s precisely what I was thinking, especially with the JSB’s. I like those pellets in .22 caliber.
Wonder how the 22 JSB Exact Jumbo Express 14.4gr would go? +1000fps and still accurate?
Yes, I think the 14.4 pellets might top 1,000 f.p.s., but I’ve never had any luck with them in the accuracy department. They seem to me to be one of the few JSB pellets I can count on to be an also ran.
If you’re talking about the jsb 14.3gr pellets in the blue tins……try them in your diana 54. I know you tested them for velocity in your 3 part series on the 54 but don’t think you tested them for accuracy.
I wonder – as it fires from “open bolt”, in a similar fashion to a machine gun, will its accuracy decline when shooting form offhand? I fear it does, as you have to hold the rifle still for a very long time.
Yes, this rifle does fire with the bolt in the rear position. And the bolt does go forward and then back during the firing cycle. But as you saw, it doesn’t affect the accuracy.
While I doubt I can shoot offhand as well as I did from a rest during the last accuracy test, when I was in Las Vegas and shot the 9 mm Conquest at 200 yours it was all offhand. And I hit the silhouette every time, once I found the range.
Thanks for the info! Personally, I would always prefer a single shot with short lock time to an automatic airgun with a long lock time, but that’s just my personal point of view.
This has turned out to be an interesting (accurate) air rifle and thankfully more expensive than my wallet can stand. I could do without the semi or full auto function myself, but I can see where others might like that. I can even see some guys making it into a “black” rifle. I just hope they do not cause themselves and others trouble with them.
I fogot until a few minutes ago that it also comes in a bullpup version, so the black rifle gang will be happy also.
This rifle is starting to sound like some of my springers….most efficient = most accurate.
Well, it does what it does.
I’d be interested in seeing those 100 yd tests, BB! Gives me something to dream about. I’m not surprised that the most accurate is also the most efficient in terms of power.
Here is a question sent in by Peter to the wrong address. I have posted it here for him.
Hi Tom! been trying to locate a replacement spring on line for about the last six months. What i have is a pre war Diana model 45, underlever. I have read on different blogs that springs from other gun can be used but when contacting these spring supplyers they say that if it not on their on line catolog its not available. At any rate there must be someone,somewhere, that would be willing to sell a spring and would work in this gun. What baffles me most is there must be hundreds of other people who have located springs for their old airguns, but in six months of searching have had no luck in locating their source.Tom, i need you help before i go completely bazonkoos!!! Thanks pete
There are two ways to answer this. First, you might get lucky and find a replacement spring for your pre-war Diana. I doubt it, but if anyone will have one it is this guy:
A far more likely scenario is that you get a mainspring that’s close to the original and either use it as is, or modify it to fit your rifle. I’m sure I did a blog on how to measure the mainspring, buyt since I can’t locate it, it will be in a special report in tomorrow’s blog.
Can you give us the dimensions of the spring that’s in there now?
OK, I’m a little irritated with myself. I got this new Slavia 634 and it was giving me some weird noises and too big of an extreme spread. I tore it down, found some obvious burrs, and a pretty dry cylinder and spring. Took care of the burrs and lubed with some moly grease (same stuff I used on my TF99 rework). The 634 shot great for about 150 shots and now it’s back to the same noise on cocking. Kind of a scraping, grinding noise. I must have missed something, so it’s back to the workbench with it, and maybe a little more drastic surgery…
Here is another question that came to the wrong address.
Dear BB and Edith:
I enjoy reading your blog and thank you for the important contributions that you make to airgunning. I am also a repeat customer of Pyramyd Air, whose already excellent reputation for customer service is enhanced by your association with it.
I wonder whether you’d be willing to provide some guidance at your website on how airgunners can do their part to minimize the impact of their sport/hobby on the environment. For example, I hope that you can provide guidance on the following:
(i) updating us from time to time on lead free pellets that can rival lead pellets in terms of accuracy, hunting efficacy, and minimal abrasion to airgun barrels;
(ii) best practices on handling used lead pellets (e.g. I collect lead pellets from my pellet trap so that I can provide them (as in recycling), once my collection reaches “critical mass”, in the future to someone who does reloading, if that person also commits to ecological handling of lead ammunition – is that a sound practice?); and
(iii) best environmentally-oriented practices on shooting lead pellets in the field (e.g. avoid shooting into bodies of water, especially those that harbor fish or could serve as sources of drinking water for animals or even humans; also, use care in shooting lead pellets on farmland).
I enjoy shooting airguns but I sometimes wonder what the environmental impact might be of millions of lead pellets being fired each year in the fields that could potentially contaminate the environment or at target ranges (be they home ranges or commercial shooting ranges) where the lead might not be recycled. I personally have tried to do my reasonable best, within the confines of my current knowledge, to minimize impact on the environment when shooting airguns, and it would be tremendous indeed if you could lend your support to the environmental conservation aspects of airgunning.
I apologize if you have already dealt with this topic in your past blogs but do believe that this is an issue that should be brought up from time to time to keep the topic fresh in your readers’ minds, especially since your blog likely attracts new readers all the time.
If you strongly believe that airgunning exerts minimal impact on the environment, I would imagine that at least some of your readers would be assured by such a view and would appreciate hearing it and the reasoning behind it.
Thanks and regards.
You have asked not one but several excellent questions that do need to be addressed in this blog. I have addressed them in the past, but the blog is now so large and we changed blogger software two years ago, so even I cannot find the old posts that might have covered them!
So these things do need to be addressed. This week’s blog topics are filled, but how about I start answering your questions next week? It’s always a good thing to have solid questions like yours to answer, because if one person wants to know, three hundred other do, as well.
RIP123, yeah, these are great questions. I invited a friend to my playground/forest where I shot, and she objected to the lead pellets I was shooting. She had this idea that the squirrels would eat them and die. My thinking is that if squirrels didn’t know better than not to put lead in their mouths, they would not be here. Animals have very highly-developed tastes and senses of what will make good food and what will not. (By the way, Edith and cat-lovers, what would you set out for a mewing kitten, scratching at your door on a cold night? The kitten would not give up, and the sound tore at the heartstrings. I really had no chance at all. The kitten tried a bit of some deli ham which I put out appealing to its carnivore background. But it would have none of the deli turkey (which I adore). It lapped up some of the milk I set out (thinking of cartoons I watched as a kid), then it finally went away never to return.)
Anyway, the point of shooting pellets into the water and having them devoured by fish seems like a problem. Fish don’t seem too discriminating about what they eat.
Neither are birds — after all, they use small pebbles as crushers in their crops…
This question was posted to a very old blog, so I’m reporting it here for everyone to see: It’s from Jason.
Hi I’m having problems with my gamo whisper x. I can not get a group of three shots. Please tell me anything I can do. I’m using a Nikko sterling scope and gamo pellets that weigh 7.35 grains.
First I need to know some things. Is your scope adjusted up very high? I mean the elevation knob, not how high the scope is on the rifle.
Second, what other types of pellets have you shot and how did they do?
Third, are you using the artillery hold? Are you familiar with that term/ If not you can read about it and watch a shot video here:
What distance are you shooting and what is the size of your 3 shot groups?
What were the best sized groups you’ve ever shot out of your gamo whisper?
When was the last time you cleaned your barrel?
When was the last time you checked to see if all your screws (stock, trigger guard, mounts, rings) were snug?
In addition to B.B. and Kevin’s questions, can you try at least one other pellet, like the slightly heavier Crosman Premier Hollow Points? They are readily available, and will likely shoot better than the Gamo pellets. By the way, which Gamo pellets are you shooting? In any case, it would be interesting to know if the issue is just ammo related. Otherwise, you may need to look at your hardware, as suggested.
Glad to hear this conquest is still performing well.
Well, this is quite the rifle. I had the idea that feeding problems forestalled any semi-auto pcp. Here we have a full-auto gun that is amazingly accurate. Yes, do take this one out to 100 yards! If that distance is really so difficult, I’m wondering about that video where the guy shoots coffee cans offhand at 100 yards with an RWS 350. The video didn’t actually show the can hit, just the guy shooting and saying he hit.
Mike, thanks for the hands-on review of the AR. I suspect that for the range that guards would have to shoot at, the .223 is no limitation, especially with the non-FMJ ammo. Otherwise, the AR is quite the elusive gun. There seem to be some design flaws–also some very good, far-reaching ideas–and overall, a service record that hangs in there enough to knock out any replacements. I was watching a video of the U.S. Marines in the Pacific War, fighting on New Gloucester in a driving rainstorm (accounts say that some fighting on Bougainville in the Solomons took place during hurricanes!), and there I probably would not want an AR. But for the prison environment, it probably works fine. Since guards are constrained from carrying weapons among the population, the stress seems to fall on unarmed techniques. Guards should get more intensive training than other kinds of law enforcement. What’s the story here? I understand the guards in Japanese prisons are Karate experts whom you do not mess with. However, they are supposed to be fair and not abusive.
Duskwight, thanks for the translation, the Russian was an insuperable barrier for me! Won’t argue with the Kalashnikov idea. And for when you don’t have your Kalashnikov, I was reading an article about a guy who said that three back-up handguns is the minimum… Flobert, what is a cornet? Actually, only years of martial arts training have given me the discipline and nerve to try playing the piano again. I found that to be incredibly demanding.
Victor, glad to hear your comments about the stela. Seeing how much the instructor was smacking his student and generally working him over, you couldn’t deny that there are many hard elements to this style. But I think this is also the case of how people can see different things in a style. I’ll also grant that there is a lot of overlap with other styles. In lesser hands than Vladimir and his teacher, Systema reduces to something that looks a lot like street-fighting and brawling. But even here, to my mind are distinct elements. In the part, where the fearsome mustached instructor is taking strikes up against a tree, there is the distinct wave-like body movement to dissipate the strike and set up the counter-strike which I don’t see elsewhere. In my training in Karate, the technique was to tense your body to harden yourself which is almost the opposite. And having taken a lot of licks from the Systema instructors I must say that I favor their method. There are blocks to the midpoint of the arm that resemble Karate blocks, but they are not delivered with an impact as I understand the hard blocks of Karate are supposed to do. There is a softer effect, and in one example that I’m thinking of the block sort of surfed over the arm and turned into a punch, and this integration of techniques where deflections turn into punches and kicks can become blocks and even throws is another distinctive feature of the Russian fighting styles.
You’re right that the apparent informality and randomness of Systema is one of its most salient features, and I have wondered about this myself. On the one hand, it gives these stylists great unpredictability. Looking at Vladimir in videos that I’ve seen before, I can hardly believe what I’m seeing. I cannot see what he is doing in many cases, and even when I know what’s coming, the acceleration and misdirection with strikes appearing out of the blue is chilling. I spoke to one of the Systema instructors who said the same thing. He transitioned to the style from Karate and he said when Vladimir took him on, he could only think, “Where/how the heck is he hitting me?” I’m kind of glad now that Vladimir did not take me up on my request to spar….
On the other hand, the random quality of the style poses a problem for training. It’s so elusive that you don’t know what to focus on or how to mark progress. I was corresponding with Michael Janich, a well-known combat instructor with a specialty in knives, and he said that while he admired Systema, he preferred a more logical system–like his own which he calls Damithurt Silat…. Vladimir himself addressed the informality of Systema by telling me that there are a million techniques out there and anyone who tries to build their style on technique will find it all collapse in battle like a house of cards that gets poked. The only way, he said, is to evolve your natural reactions working with other people. So to that extent, the approach is not unlike your Okinawan style, and as a matter of fact, there are some techniques to Systema in spite of what’s said.
But to try to understand the Systema approach, I’ve gone back to the German military theorist Helmuth Von Moltke who reorganized the Prussian Army and the general staff system prior to the Franco-Prussian War. His thinking, following from Clausewitz is that no plan will survive the fog of war. So, to make an army effective, you cannot rely on rigid procedure. Instead, you cultivate initiative at the junior level and inculcate a basic doctrine (always attack for example). This way, your soldiers will adapt to any circumstances but still behave in a consistent way that allows cooperation. This doctrine was maintained by the Germans through both World Wars and certainly did some serious damage. So, I would interpret Systema as a similar idea which also partakes of the Russian genius for the simple practical solution which you had mentioned earlier. Rather than building technique, they cultivate principles like relaxation, the “flying center of gravity,” unstoppable forward movement, sticking to the enemy, and wave-like movements to dissipate impact and generate strikes from every possible angle, and “thinking with the body.” Some techniques are incorporated, but it’s really the principles that drive the style. It works, but it does raise the question of how they and the Karate masters, who also have a great record of success, can say the opposite things and both be right. All I can think of is that one has to be consistent with one or the other style at least initially for training. If you try to practice Systema with specific techniques you will fail, and if you try to do Karate with informality and a principles-based approach that won’t work either. But at a high enough-level, presumably things come together.
In a nutshell, there is Karate, and there is Karate. A complete, formal, and traditional program, of which there are relatively few here in the states, is multifaceted, and will teach things that other schools simply consider “a waste of time”. Worse than that, because they don’t understand the theory behind each of the training elements, they tend to reduce their style to what appear to be shortcuts. Trouble is, there was a reason for the long-form. The motivation for requiring the long-form IS EXACTLY the same as for doing Kata’s to begin with. I’ll spare the details, but think dry-fire. And then going to the next level down, you have those who won’t emphasize Kata’s AT ALL.
On the other hand, all Kata, but little practical sparring, is also insufficient. You need to incorporate ALL elements into your training; kata, ipon-kumite, taiwasi, Kumite, cat-stance, etc. Furthermore, the training must be VERY physical and demanding. You have to be able to take hard blows, but your goal is to deliver hard blows to end a fight in seconds. Long-form form is very demanding. If done HARD (with kime), you’ll perfect your form, including your kumite short-form (practical fighting). It’s not unlike learning how to do quick-draw with a pistol, except there’s much more to it, because you’re required to move hard, with fluidly, in all directions.
Instructors of many different kinds of martial arts started out by studying their style formerly. But the paying customer wants “quick results”, so instructors jump right into “more practical methods”, ignoring the path that got them there. If you want to be a serious combatant, you have to be willing to train hard (not unlike any other discipline).
Okinawan Karate was designed by their military to be accessible to almost anyone. Special flexibility, or physical strength is not required by the novice. At the same time, having other training under your belt (e.g., boxing), won’t necessarily give you an advantage. It’s a strict developed style that the student can take as far as they want, but be prepared to sweat, lose the skin under your feet and on your knuckles, and feel your body and mind challenged. There’s nothing fun about it, but to watch it is a thing of true beauty. You either want it, or you don’t.
In any case, whatever the style, it has to be teachable, and accessible to the individual. Some people simply aren’t made for fighting. Hopefully they’re smarter about avoiding conflict altogether. If that is the case, then hopefully they have a gun that the know HOW to use, and more importantly, know WHEN to use it. We were taught to run at the first sign of conflict. But if unavoidable, …
Well, presuming the bottom of a coffee can is 6″ diameter, and that group spread is a linear function with distance…
Hitting a 6″ circle at 100 yards would be 3″ at 50 and 1.5″ at 25 yards… Rather large; most of us would be disappointed by that grouping.
Granted, wind conditions probably result in a larger spread at 100 yards, but still, if we assume a squaring factor: 6″@100 -> sqrt(6)@50 (2.45″) -> sqrt(2.45)@25 (1.6″)… Even worse…
Let’s try just a 4x spread for 2X distance: 6″@100 -> 1.5″@50 -> 0.38″@25
At 50 yards, and especially beyond, wind changes everything.
Airgunners: What do others think you do?
Did you do that?
I came up with the themes for each. Laura Nelson at Pyramyd Air found the photos/artwork and put it all together. She & I work together on many projects every week.
You’re an upper.
I really like your sense of humor. Seems it’s so easy to take this hobby so seriously but you’re the fresh air reminding us to keep it fun. Thanks.
Considering the loose nut behind the trigger that you married I knew you had a good sense of humor years ago and glad to see you haven’t lost it. 😉
That’s pretty good!
The Evanix conquest has an 11 mm rail, which is the standard for .22 guns. But the lower rail, does it work like a weaver/Picatinny?
Sorry, but no. Evanix didn’t cut the cross-slots that are needed for a Weaver base.