by Tom Gaylord, The Godfather of Airguns™
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• What’s different?
• What’s the same?
• Comes as a kit with a scope
As I was leaving the Ft. Worth airgun show, Umarex U.S.A. Marketing Manager Justin Biddle handed me a plain cardboard box that said, “Personal for Tom Gaylord.” It was a full week before I opened the box; but when I did, I found today’s topic air rifle inside — the Umarex NXG APX multi-pump that shoots both BBs and pellets. There are enough new features on this rifle that I’m going to cover them in this special Part 1. Justin said every kid will want one for Christmas, and I want to find out why.
For starters, the APX (I’m going to call it that from now on) is styled like a very modern air rifle. The synthetic stock has 2 cutouts in the butt that both strengthen the butt and eliminate the hollow sound most synthetic stocks have. The feel of the stock is conventional, except the cheekpiece is rubberized to resist cold and also to stick to your face. The rubberized portions extend to the buttpad and down to the toe of the butt, where there is actually a flat pad for resting on a bench. Not that the APX is meant as a benchrest rifle. No, this is a plinker, pure and simple. I see it as a modernized version of Daisy’s popular 880, only with potentially greater power. The box and manual say a maximum of 800 f.p.s. is possible, and I’ll look at that in greater detail in a bit.
A second big difference the APX offers is an automatic safety. The first time the pump lever is pulled away from the stock, it trips the safety that’s on the left front of the triggerguard to on. It stays back until you push the safety release with your shooting finger. The safety release pops out through the front of the triggerguard and has a release button in its center, so it can be easily taken off. This is one automatic safety you may not mind, because of how easy it operates.
The first time the pump handle is pulled down, the safety pops through the triggerguard. Push it off with your trigger finger before firing. This picture also shows the open BB reservoir door at the upper left, below the pellet trough.
The safety can also be manually operated at any time. The switch is on the left side of the triggerguard, and it goes on and off independently of the rifle being cocked. The APX is the only multi-pump that has an automatic safety, and Umarex is proud of it!
The rifle comes with sights that I’ll discuss in a moment, but the top rail also has cross slots similar to a 1913 Picatinny, though it’s not one. Weaver rings cannot be used on this rail as it’s only 11mm wide, where a Picatinny rail is 21mm wide. So, 11mm airgun scope rings must be used.
The last difference I see is that the pump head is massive! It looks and feels like the rifle will not lose any air as it’s being pumped. That may be why you get up to an extra 150 f.p.s. from the APX.
What’s the same?
The APX is a lot like other modern multi-pumps in a number of ways. For example, it’s a single-shot when shooting pellets and a 75-shot repeater when shooting BBs. The BBs are loaded through a door on the left side of the frame and come out into the loading trough one at a time through a hole in the trough. Cock the gun by pulling back the bolt and tilting the rifle to the right and a BB rolls out. A magnet holds the steel BB to the tip of the bolt.
Like other dual-ammo guns, you have to avoid that BB hole when loading pellets. The way to do that is to move the bolt forward so the tip covers the hole. The APX loading trough is wide enough for easy loading access and long enough to load pellets when the bolt is partially forward, covering the BB hole.
The barrel is a thin steel tube that’s rifled. It’s housed in a tubular sheetmetal shroud that gives it the look and feel of substance. The rifling looks crisp, but we will find out how good it really is in the accuracy test.
The sights are a post that has a red fiberoptic bead in front and a plain notch in the rear. The rear sight adjusts up via a sliding elevator and sideways via a locking screw holding the notch tight to the base, with an oval hole allowing the notch to slide in either direction. These are simple adjustments, but they’re effective.
The rifle must be cocked in order for the pump to compress air, and I must comment that the cocking effort feels stiff to me. I’ve never measured cocking effort in a multi-pump before, but this one feels hard. I think younger shooters may have some difficulty cocking it.
The rifle is light, as you might imagine from the use of synthetics. It weighs 3 lbs., 6 oz. and is 39 inches overall. The literature says it can make 800 f.p.s. with lightweight alloy pellets, which I assume are RWS HyperMAX pellets. It should do pretty well with BBs, too and maybe be in the mid- to high-600s with lightweight lead pellets. That long pump head conveys the feeling of power, and the pump strokes also feel like they’re doing a lot! You can pump the rifle up to 10 times, and you know I’ll be testing that for you with lead pellets, lead-free pellets and BBs, alike.
Comes as a kit with a scope
The APX will come as a gun with a 4×15 scope and rings and also as a kit that includes a 4×15 scope, rings, safety glasses, 5 paper bullseye targets, 500 pellets (250 pointed, 250 domed) and steel BBs. I’ll be testing the rifle with both the sights and the scope.
How do I like it so far? I like it! The rifle feels solid and somehow I get the feeling it’s going to be accurate. We’ll see. This may well be another gift for the upcoming Christmas season.