by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- What’s new?
- Range of guns
- Fill to 250 bar
- Fill probe
- On the level
- Ambidextrous design
- Power adjustment
- Is there more?
Today I begin a series on the Galahad rifle from Air Arms. This is a high-end precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle that’s new this year. I announced it in this year’s SHOT Show report and told you I would be testing it. Today I begin!
Range of guns
The Galahad is actually a range of PCPs in both .22 and .25 calibers. They come with or without moderators (silencers) and they come in both carbine and rifle lengths. The stocks can be something they call black soft touch, which I believe is synthetic, or beech or walnut. So there are some decisions to make when choosing this airgun.
I think you need to think about how you want to use it. That should help you make the right choice. The rifle I am testing for you is a rifle length (19.4-inch barrel) .22 with a moderator and a walnut stock. I normally select the synthetic stock to test because the stock has no affect on the performance and I don’t need to tie up expensive inventory, but in this case I wanted to see how nice Air Arms made it. So I’m looking at a top of the line Galahad in .22 caliber with a moderator. The serial number is 900469, in case you want to buy it after I’ve tested it. I can tell you now that the wood is beautiful in an understate English way. It’s an oil finish that feels dry to the touch, and all the checkering and contours are perfect.
Guns without the moderator are available on special order, but Pyramyd Air doesn’t keep them in stock. I’m told by Tyler Patner that without the moderator the gun is not too loud except on high power. But you probably don’t want to shoot it without a moderator in your backyard.
Muzzle energy is 32 foot-pounds (for the rifle — 28 for the carbine), so this is not a super-powerful PCP. That means the accuracy should be easier to achieve and maintain, and also the shot count should be good. A regulator keeps the rifle steady and extends the shot count. Regs are found on more expensive PCPs as a matter of course and we should see the effect when I test the velocity. According to the information on the website, I should get 100+ shots per fill on low power and 45 shots on high. That would be astounding, and of course I will test it for you.
Fill to 250 bar
The Galahad accepts a fill up to 250 bar, which is 3,626 psi. I fill from a carbon fiber air tank that’s rated to 4,500 psi, which is 310 bar, so I’ll have no problem filling this one all the way, but you need to keep the fill pressure in mind. If you stop your fill at 3000 psi you will still get the same power, but the total shot count will be less. Perhaps I can test that for you, so we will all know.
Naturally there is an onboard manometer or pressure gauge to tell you where you are at all times. Once you learn your rifle you will know at a glance how many more full-power shots are available.
The biggest news, I think, is that Air Arms has put a quick disconnect full probe port on this rifle. It replaces what was the most complex and difficult fill adaptor in the industry. And the probe comes packaged with the rifle — along with a second magazine and 4 Allen wrenches to adjust the rifle.
At this price the rifle has to be a repeater. There are two 10-shot magazines that come with the rifle. Both calibers use 10-shot magazines.
On the level
At the rear of the receiver under the Picatinney rail there is a small bubble level built in! This is one more step towards the ultimate in accuracy.
I’m not sure how useful this level will be when there is a scope mounted. I will check it when I shoot the rifle for accuracy.
The Galahad is designed to fit all shooters. Most of the gun is the same on both sides, but the cocking lever fits either on the left or the right side of the forearm. Your off-hand thumb cocks the action by pushing the lever forward. Swapping the lever to the other side of the rifle is a simple task that’s covered in the owner’s manual.
The rest of the rifle fits anyone. The rubber buttplate moves up and down and also swivels from side to side to accommodate any firing position. I plan to set the rifle up to fit me!
By now you must have noticed that even though this Galahad is a rifle, it’s also a bullpup. That means the overall length is shortened by the receiver being located back near the butt. The trigger linkage has to be long to reach the sear. In the past bullpup triggers were a weak spot in the design. I have dry-fired the test rifle several times and, though stage one of the two-stage trigger feels heavy, it has a definite stopping point at stage 2 and stage 2 breaks crisply. I would imagine it will be liked by some but not by all. The trigger is adjustable and I plan to adjust this one for you.
All the Galahad PCPs are bullpups. The moderated test rifle is 35-3/4-inches long and weighs 8 pounds 12 ounces without a scope. That’s a chunk to carry afield, and there are no sling swivels. But a sling is still possible if you tie it to the stock and reservoir, front and rear. It’s a redneck approach, but it works.
The power is adjustable via a knob on the right side of the receiver, but the manual that came with the rifle I’m testing got the instructions a little wrong. The manual says the power has no specific settings, but on this gun there are five detent positions to the power knob. Also the test rifle is missing the graphics that tell you where the power is set, but you can gauge that by the position of the screw slot on the left side of the receiver. I will test this for you in Part 2. I might have to do a two-part velocity test with all the things this rifle has.
Is there more?
There probably is more to see. I keep finding new things every time I examine the rifle. But that will have to suffice for now. We have a long review ahead of us with the Galahad!