by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
• What is it?
• The rifle
• Trigger and safety
• What to make of this airgun
Today, we’ll start looking at the Black Ops Junior Sniper air rifle combo. I have to admit, this is a rather radical departure for me. I’m not fond of black rifles of any kind, yet there’s something about this one that draws me in. This rifle is made for kids! At least that’s what the styling, name and box graphics seem to convey.
What is it?
The rifle is a stylistic black rifle (based on the M16 platform). It’s stylistic because no black rifle has a hole in the forearm like this one. And the barrel leaves the upper handguard differently than an M16 barrel. And the sights are different. And so on. But the object is to appeal to those who like the black rifle look, and I think they did that.
This is a multi-pump pneumatic rifle that shoots lead pellets in a single-shot mode or steel BBs from a reservoir as a repeater. In that respect, it has much in common with a Daisy 880. The steel barrel is rifled, and the rifle operates with anywhere from 2 to 10 pumps. The advertised top velocity is 675 f.p.s. with steel BBs, but I’ll check that for you, of course. Before anyone asks me — yes, I’ll test this rifle with .177 round lead balls! The bore is large enough that there’s no danger of jamming, so why not?
The rifle has a lot of plastic on the outside, as you would expect in this price range, but the barrel’s sheathed in a rolled sheet steel jacket. The underlever for pumping is the reason the hole’s in the forearm.
The underlever is held in place by a spring-loaded detent. It’s tight against the rifle until you really pull down like you mean it.
The hole in the forearm is the handle for the underlever. Pull down hard to release it.
The butt appears to be adjustable, but it isn’t. It’s a one-piece molded plastic part. And the buttplate is solid with no trap doors for storage.
The sights are both fiberoptic, and they appear to be pretty bright. The rear sight adjusts for both windage and elevation. Though this came as a combo with a scope included, these sights are nice enough that I will first test them before I mount the scope.
This rifle weighs 4.41 lbs. The overall length is 39.37 inchesm and the length of pull is close enough to 14.5 inches that I’ll call it that. So, it’s a lightweight rifle that still fits an adult. In fact, young shooters may find the buttstock a bit too long. Since it’s hollow plastic, there’s no easy way to shorten it.
This rifle has a bolt action. The bolt handle, which withdraws the bolt for loading and also cocks the rifle, is located on the right side of the receiver. That’s the only thing on the gun that’s not entirely ambidextrous. The bolt features a cover that slides with it to close the loading trough to dirt.
I did notice that the few pellets I loaded just to see how the gun works were difficult to load. The loading port is a little narrow, and I lose control of the pellet before it reaches the loading trough. Ninety percent of the time, the pellets flipped around backwards on me during loading. I’ll look at that more closely during the velocity test in Part 2.
This combo also comes with a 4X15 scope and 2-piece mounts. Naturally, I’ll be testing it for accuracy with the scope as well as with the open sights.
Trigger and safety
The trigger is two stages with a heavy second stage that I’ll measure for you in Part 2. The safety is a strange one. It’s a combination sliding switch located under the front of the triggerguard, and an extension that intrudes into the triggerguard area when the safety is on. Push forward on the extension, and you can take the safety off. To put it on, you have to use the sliding switch. When the safety’s off and the rifle’s ready to fire, a red flag appears in a window on the left front of the triggerguard.
The beauty of this safety is that it can be applied and taken off by the trigger finger alone. It’s stiff when new, but it’s already wearing-in on the test rifle. Best of all, this is a 100 percent manual safety! You’re in charge of it — not a committee of corporate lawyers in the front office!
The safety is a sliding switch located under the front of the triggerguard. Slide it back to make the rifle safe. Notice the door in the upper left of this picture. That’s where the steel BBs go, and the reservoir holds up to 50 of them.
What to make of this airgun
Okay, Black Ops is a new brand to me. What do I think of the Junior Sniper rifle so far? Well, the dimensions are too large for a youth rifle, so this airgun is meant for at least young adults. If you like black rifle styling, this one may appeal to you.
I still need to test both power and accuracy; but if the gun tests out, you’re getting a lot of airgun for the price. We shall see.