by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Underlever spring gun repeater?
- The rifle
- Fully shrouded barrel
- Trigger and safety
- Cocking effort
I hadn’t planned to write about the Umarex Synergis underlever repeater today but another gun I’m testing had a problem and I had to stop the test. I’ll tell you about that when I resume testing the gun, but today we start a report that several of you have specifically asked for — with my brother-in-law, Bob, being the first and also the most persistent.
Yes I’m aware that the rifle isn’t quite on the market as this is published, but it should be soon. This is one of the rare times that I will get ahead of distribution a little.
Underlever spring gun repeater?
The Synergis is not the first repeating spring-piston air rifle with an underlever. That would be the Haenel model V that I reported on back in 2009. What makes the Synergis different is, number one — it works. Repeating spring-piston rifles have only recently been reliable. The second big difference is the Synergis has a gas piston.
Repeating spring rifles are a very hot new concept, though they have been around for many decades. Today’s crop of shooters wants a repeater, even in the spring-piston rifles, and several companies have stepped up to give them exactly that.
The Synergis I’m testing is a 12-shot .177-caliber repeater. You cock it with the underlever each time you shoot and that also loads a pellet from the rotary magazine.
The rifle is 45-3/4-inches long, but the black synthetic stock has a very slim forearm that allows the rifle to sit low and comfortably in the off hand. The pistol grip is also quite slender, giving the rifle a very nice overall feel!
The stock is rough over the entire surface, with more aggressive roughness on the forearm and pistol grip. It’s a hard material, but it is not a bit slick in the hand. It seems good for all types of weather. The rubber butt pad is firm but not hard. It sticks to your clothing and will prevent the rifle from slipping.
The undelever has a wide synthetic handle that is pulled back to release the lever, I find it easy to pull back and still very secure when it’s locked forward. In fact, it took a moment for me to figure out how to release the lever. I have to give the designers credit for a smooth transition at the handle.
The rifle I’m testing weighs 8 lbs. 7 oz. That, plus the length and the cocking effort that I will measure in Part 2 give us a rifle that’s made for adults. I find it large but not a bit bulky or overpowering. The pull is 14-inches on the nose.
The rifle comes with 2 magazines. For a powerful air rifle at this price point I find that a welcome surprise. The magazines are the spring-loaded circular style that have become very popular in recent years. I have loaded one of the two magazines a couple times and so far they seem very reliable.
There are no open sights but the rifle does come with a 3-9X32 scope that I will also report on. And the Synergis has a long Picatinny rail that will accept either Weaver or Picatinny scope rings. This type of base is fast becoming the norm for spring-piston rifles as it solves the scope stop problem at the same time. Also, this base is controlled by a specification, where the older 11mm dovetails are not and vary widely in width plus both the depth and angle of the cuts.
Fully shrouded barrel
The barrel is fully shrouded. That keeps the discharge sound low, but the shooter will hear the powerplant through the bones in his skull that touches the stock, so to him only it will sounds louder. The barrel appears to be 18-1/2-inches long, but the shroud conceals the final 2-inches of space that’s ahead of the true barrel.
Trigger and safety
First of all, can we have a round of applause for Umarex? The safety is entirely manual. You decide when to put it on or not. That couples with the repeating function to make this rifle cycle between shots fast.
And the trigger? Let me just say, “Kowabunga!” And, it’s a good kowabunga. The trigger is not adjustable, but try a few shots and tell me whether you think it needs to be. Better yet, let me measure it in Part 2 and get back to you. I don’t think you’re going to believe it. I test airguns all the time and I don’t believe it!
The Pyramyd Air website says the trigger is 2-stage, but this one certainly seems like a single-stage . It may just take some time to break in before stage one can be detected. Anyhow — kowabunga!
Because the Synergis has a gas piston the question arises about how hard it is to cock. I have to say that the gas pistons and gas spring guns (spring is compressed gas but the piston is a separate unit) I’m seeing this year are quite advanced in this area. Even those that are less expensive are cocking easily.
Having said that, I want you to know everything. A coiled steel mainspring starts compressing in the cocking stroke with less effort and builds to the maximum. A gas spring starts at the maximum effort and stays pretty constant throughout the cocking stroke. So a gas spring always feels heavier than it is. If a coiled steel spring gun is set up correctly the maximum effort is reached at the point that the cocking stroke becomes the most efficient and cocking feels lighter than it is. I tried the Synergis at the 2019 SHOT Show and was surprised by how easy it is to cock for the power. Now that I have a production rifle to test I am still surprised.
We find out about accuracy in Part 3, so there is nothing to tell you yet except for one thing. In the box with the rifle Umarex also sent me a tin of JSB Exact 8.44-grain domed pellets. I’m no detective but I have a sneaking suspicion that Umarex wants me to try them in this rifle. What the heck?
One thing I want to dispel is that fixed-barrel spring rifles like this one are no more accurate than breakbarrels that are designed and built right. The stationary barrel adds nothing to the accuracy equation — nor does it take anything away.
However, the Synergis also has a rotary magazine. So, how does that work in conjunction with the barrel? In short — are the pellets pushed into the breech by a probe or are they just blown in by a blast of air? Well I took a “thousand-word picture,” just to show you.
The Synergis from Umarex brings us some new technology and a reliable fixed-barrel repeating capability that is very desirable and hasn’t been seen before. The price is good, so let’s hope that its accurate!