This is a guest report from reader Ian McKee whose blog handle is 45 Bravo. The subject is the new Airacuda Max from JTS.
If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at email@example.com.
Take it away, Ian.
The Airacuda Max
By Ian McKee
The .25 caliber Airacuda Max.
This report covers:
JTS announced two new air rifles at the SHOT Show in January 2022, the Airacuda standard that is unregulated, and the Airacuda Max that is regulated and has an adjustable stock, They will be available in .22 and .25 caliber. Both are expected to start retail delivery within the next few weeks. Today we will be looking at the JTS Airacuda Max in .25 caliber.
The Airacuda Max is a Price Point PCP, that is at the time of this writing expected to retail for $419. But unlike the other air rifles built to a price point, they do not use mass amounts of synthetic parts. [Ed. That’s just over the top limit of $350 that I have set for a PPP.]
JTS Airguns are based in Katy Texas, and their air rifles are all wood and metal. Yes — you heard that right, an air rifle built for us dinosaurs.
The air rifle shipped with a bag of o-rings and valve seals. These and the rubber buttpad are the only synthetic things I can find on this gun.
With an overall length of 41.5 inches, and an out of the box weight of 7.9 pounds it would be at home on the bench, or in the field hunting or pesting.
Starting from the back to the front, there is a nice firm grippy buttpad that is attached to a nicely finished wooden thumbhole stock.It is a dull finish that I think looks and feels great. The stock is an ambidextrous thumbhole stock that has laser etched checkering in the grip and forearm area, and sports an ambidextrous cheek rest that is adjustable for both height and forward or rearward angle.
Moving forward, it has a side lever cocking handle, that is large enough to get three fingers on, but it is soooo smooth and easy, it has a very positive feel and just “snicks” into place at either end of its travel.
Here you see the sidelever and the thumbhole pistol grip.
The trigger is a single stage affair that is adjustable, but has the feel of a two stage trigger. From the factory it was set at 1lb, 5oz with just a bit of creep, but it was smooth and predictable, with some minor adjusting it now breaks at 15 oz, with just a hint of movement.
Inside the metal trigger guard is a Marauder style safety that moves forward to disengage, and rearward to put it on safe (the way we dinosaurs like because it is ingrained into our brains from years of shooting M1 Garands, and M14/M1A’s). And really that is what the rifle reminds me of, as it feels solid and well made, without the weight and bulk of the aforementioned rifles. Everyone who has handled it likes the way the stock feels and shoulders.
The receiver is all metal with a Picatinny rail machined into the top. On the bottom of the forearm you find laser cut checkering to give you a positive grip, and two pressure gauges, one that shows the tank pressure, and another that shows the regulator pressure. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, this gun is regulated.
The degassing screw.
If you wish to adjust the velocity without adjusting the regulator, the hammer spring is externally adjustable by means of a flat head screwdriver.
The rifle has an 18-inch precision rifled barrel that is not choked. The barrel is housed inside a shroud. And the report is fully moderated by baffles inside the shroud.
The Airacuda barrel is well-crowned.
The shroud threads onto the front of the receiver, and the metal baffles stack over the end of the barrel to center the barrel within the shroud. The baffles stack onto each other, then an internal muzzle cap threads into the shroud, tensioning the barrel and baffle stack.
Airacuda baffle stack.
The muzzle cap that threads into the shroud is also metal, and it has a 1/2×20 UNF fitting for your favorite moderator, in case the internal suppression is not enough for your needs.
The threaded fill port cap is metal, as is the machined barrel band (I know you are tired of hearing me mention that word metal by now, but you just don’t find many airguns in this price range built like this.) Under the fill port cap is a standard male Foster fill coupling.
The guns will ship with two of the 10 shot magazines in either caliber, the magazines are all metal save for the soft rubber o-ring that retains the pellet.
The Airacuda Max magazine.
Speaking of the magazines, they will be available separately and are listed as fitting many popular precharged air rifles on the market. Yes, I have talked with another tester who has one in .22 and he says the .22 caliber magazine does fit his Marauder and his Avenger, so shooters that have guns that use that type of mag will have an option for an upgraded design.
By now, I know many of you are saying this rifle can’t be all roses. Somewhere there have to be some downsides that I am glossing over. You are right, there are, but in the overall picture and price point, you will see they are minimal.
My rifle is beautiful, don’t you think?
The thing most shooters will miss first is no sling swivel studs or rails to mount a sling, bipod or light if you are pesting at night.
The next thing is the fact that the regulator is internally adjustable, meaning you have to let the air out of the gun and remove the pressure tube to make the adjustment. Then attach the pressure tube and then refill the gun, and test your velocities. While this seems like a big deal, it really isn’t. Externally adjustable regulators are relatively new to the scene, and many airguns that are more expensive still have internal regulators. Once you find the happy place where the gun is most accurate, you probably will not adjust the regulator again.
The third issue may just be unique to this run of rifles as they are a pre-production run. The gauges read in MPA (Megapascals) instead of bar, or psi. The actual production guns may have a more conventional gauge for the American or European market, but the current gauges are marked in red where you need to stop filling. Also the conversion to bar is easy, just add a zero to the MPA number (15 MPA = 150 bar, 20 MPA = 200 bar and so on).
So — I want to know what everyone’s (including you other dinosaurs out there) thoughts are about an air rifle that offers these features at this price point.
I will tell everyone, I like it so much that I bought it. If it turns out to be a flop, at least I own one of the first 25 flops.
The Airacuda is an exciting new air rifle.
Shoot safe, have fun.