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Education / Training Norica Omnia ZRS: Part Two

Norica Omnia ZRS: Part Two

Norica Omnia ZRS
Norica Omnia ZRS.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • For Yogi
  • Cocking
  • Velocity
  • RWS Club wadcutters
  • Report on firing
  • RWS Superdome
  • Crosman Premier 10.5 grains
  • And now?
  • Trigger pull
  • Cheek piece removed
  • Summary

Today we shoot the Norica Omnia ZRS breakbarrel for velocity. Fill the coffeepot, guys, because today’s report will be somewhat STRANGE!

For Yogi

Some time back reader Yogi asked me to show how far the breakbarrels of airguns break open. Well the Omnia ZRS is probably the champion, because it breaks as far as I have ever seen a rifle open. 

Omnia broken
My eye puts the Omnia barrel at about 130-135 degrees when broken open. It does go even farther but that part is spring-loaded and the rifle doesn’t remain open all the way.


The description on the website says the Omnia cocks with 30 pounds of force. My bathroom scale says it’s 29 pounds. There is a spot at the end of the cocking stroke where the barrel levers the spring tube into the locked position in preparation for firing, because remember — this springer is completely recoilless. When that spot is reached you feel a bump but the cocking effort actually decreases.

And by the way, despite what the description says, the Omnia barrel doesn’t move. The whole spring tube that it’s attached to moves. That’s where the recoil goes. After the shot the spring tube remains loose until the rifle is cocked again. Look at what I mean.

Omnia tube back
The Omnia spring tube is pushed back as far as it goes in this view.

Omnia tube foreward
In this view the Omnia spring tube is as far forward as it goes.

When the rifle is cocked, that “bump” in the cocking stroke that I just mentioned levers the spring tube forward like you see in the image above. Once there it locks in position and cannot be moved until the rifle is fired. I think those two pictures show what happens when this rifle fires, though they don’t tell us how it works.

I’m telling you this because the other air rifles that have a sliding spring tube to eliminate recoil, which are the FWB 150 and 300 series target rifles, lock their spring tubes in the forward position when uncocked. You can feel the barreled action slide forward and then lock up after the rifle has been fired. With the Omnia the spring tube moves around when the rifle is uncocked. It’s no stranger than the FWB rifles — just different.

Of course the 11mm dovetail on top of the spring tube moves when the tube moves, so there is no difficulty there. The barrel does move in relation to the scope, if one is mounted, but only with respect to breaking open and closing again.

Do you find that strange? Well, we aren’t done. Now let’s look at velocity.


I said I asked to test the .177 Omnia because of its advertised velocity of 984 f.p.s. I thought that was down out of the clouds, so maybe this rifle is accurate, after all. We shall see. But now let’s look at the velocity — and get ready for some more strange-ness.

RWS Club wadcutters

The first pellet I tested was the 7-grain RWS Club wadcutter. If any pellet is going to challenge that 984 f.p.s. top end, I figured this could be the one. But something even stranger happened. Let me show you all 10 shots in the first string.

2……………968 fastest
9……………890 slowest

The “average” for this string is 938 f.p.s., but I didn’t believe it. I can see that the velocity is dropping with most shots. So I shot a second string of RWS Club pellets and this is what happened.

1……………874 slowest
3……………896 fastest
9……………896 fastest
10………….874 slowest

The average for this string is 884 f.p.s. and the spread is 22 f.p.s. The spread from that first string is 78 f.p.s. What I see happening is that the Omnia has broken in in very few shots. But I don’t trust that. Let’s continue to test before we make up our minds.

By the way, at the average velocity of 884 f.p.s., if that is really the average, this 7-grain pellet produces 12.15 foot-pounds of energy.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear

Report on firing

I was wearing my hearing aids while testing and if I guessed I would put the report of the rifle around 88-92 dB. But my sound meter said 104.0 dB. Maybe the report is too high-pitched for me to hear. But for certain I know the pellet was not supersonic.


RWS Superdome

The second pellet I tested was the RWS Superdome. The first shot went out at 850 f.p.s. but after that nothing was faster than 806 f.p.s. Excluding that first faster shot the average for 10m shots was 797 f.p.s. The slowest went out at 785 f.p.s and as mentioned the fastest was 806 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 21 f.p.s. At the average  velocity this 8.3-grain pellet developed 11.71 foot-pounds of energy. Now let’s look at a heavy pellet.

Crosman Premier 10.5 grains

The last pellet I tested was the 10.5-grain Crosman Premier. Ten of them averaged 710 f.p.s. The low was 702 and the high was 719 f.p.s. — a difference of 17 f.p.s. At that average this pellet develops 11.76 foot-pounds of energy.

What I would like to note right here is we have now tested three pellets and, except for the first 10 shots, they are all 17 f.p.s. to 22 f.p.s. apart — across a 10-shot string. That looks very much like the rifle has broken in before our eyes in just 40 shots, and really in just 10. I find that strange; how about you?

And now?

After shooting the Premiers I fired 9 more RWS Clubs that averaged 884 f.p.s. in the second string. This is how they did.


Yes, I goofed up and only shot nine times. The average was 898 f.p.s., which is 14 f.p.s. faster than the average for the second string. So maybe the break in isn’t as final as I thought. Maybe the rifle still needs to settle down.

Trigger pull

The Omnia has a two-stage trigger. Stage one takes 1 pound 5 ounces. Stage two breaks at 2 pounds 9 ounces. I can feel a lot of creepy travel in stage two (starting and stopping randomly) but it is tolerable.

Cheek piece removed

I mentioned that with the cheek piece installed I couldn’t see the open sights. I removed it and now I can see the sights fine — but only just. In my opinion, Norica didn’t research this point far enough..


The Norica Omnia is a strange air rifle — but it is completely recoilless as advertised. The velocity is right where I want it to be and now that I can see the sights I’ll start testing the accuracy next

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

41 thoughts on “Norica Omnia ZRS: Part Two”

  1. B.B. and Readership,

    shootski’s crystal ball showed: “Just another 4+ MOA airgun.”
    Based on the roving MV spreads good luck Tom on the accuracy report.


    • shootski,

      For its sake, I hope you are wrong, though you are probably right. I do like the power level and the fact that it has no felt recoil. I am afraid I would have to get a cootie shot every time I went to touch it though. That thing sure is bugly. Then they put the glowy thingys on it and give it a creepy trigger.

      • RidgeRunner,

        I don’t know. I have spent more time thinking about why I FEEL this way beyond the roving velocities and way to quick ‘break in” of a system as apparently as complex as the ZRS.
        See my comments to Tom down a way.


  2. I just realized that the plastic stock is a necessity because I believe a mass produced wooden stock would have a short life without significant inserts to maintain its strength against the recoil forces it is going to contain with every shot. I do agree that the rear half after the trigger guard needed a lot more thought before they committed to making the mold for it.


    • Siraniko,

      The FWB300 disproves your theory as its stock is only reinforced in the wrist because of the grain of the wood allows it to shear at that point so easily. Even with the reinforcement it can shear there. I have had them shear in shipping.

      It is true that the FWB300 has less torque and recoil to deal with, but this really is not a very powerful air rifle either. The Diana 54 is powerful and also has a wood stock.

      This air rifle likely has a plastic stock because once the mold is paid for, the stock is cheap.

    • “I do agree that the rear half after the trigger guard needed a lot more thought before they committed to making the mold for it.”
      That is very well said.
      I hope, if B.B.’s testing proves the rifle to be accurate, that the manufacturer takes that to heart and gives this rifle a stock that will do it justice. 🙂
      Blessings to you,

  3. BB,

    I know I am spoiled by these old gals around here, but IMMHO, the only things this air rifle has going for it is ease of cocking, no felt recoil and low power level. Now, if it had a more traditional looking stock, a better trigger and was accurate, they would have a real winner there.

    Of course, there are a bunch out there who will like the looks. There are a few who even like glowy thingys. Many out there are used to lousy triggers on sproingers. But, there are many who will not be happy with the relatively low power level. IF it is accurate it may be acceptable to many, but like I said, I am spoiled.

    P.S. Four hundred dollars?! I guess I have been living under a rock for a long time. My paycheck cannot stand that.

    • I am right there with you, I love the FWB 150/300 guns, and this gun is similar but different.

      it’s a power plant and recoilless system I want to see it succeed just because it’s different and its benefits you mentioned.

      But with its plastic stock, and its price point, I would just get an FWB for about the same money.
      And have a better trigger, a prettier wood stock, proven accuracy, and FWB reliability.


      • halfstep, I will attempt to upload a picture of some of my RWS Club wadcutter pellets.
        In case it’s too blurry to see details, my pictures often turn out that way – sorry – here’s what’s printed on the tin lids:

        RWS CLUB
        SPORT LINE
        0,45 g 7.0 gr
        Kal. 4,5 mm
        Cal. .177

        I remember being being offered these supposedly slightly higher quality, thus more expensive, RWS CLUB pellets, in place of my originally ordered RWS HOBBY pellets, that had sold out. I said: ok, I’ll take the Club instead. 🙂

        Having used them, I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference. Which means, I think they’re good too! 🙂

    • RidgeRunner,

      I’m with you. It is hideous, heavy for its power, glow worm sight, and yep, mediocre trigger. But if despite the squirrelly velocities it is accurate . . . But for $400? How many fine new springers can that buy? And how many superb used springers can that amount purchase?

      This is an example of an error in pricing, which is, frankly, a difficult part of marketing a new product. I can’t blame Norica. But the out-the-door price really should be $300-ish.


  4. B.B.

    Thanks for the cocking stroke diagram. Seems the “last bump” takes place somewhere around the 110 degree mark. Do feel the piston sear catch before the floating barrel catches? If so, could this rifle be fired both in the recoilless manner and in a recoil manner?
    Could the velocity variation be because of inferior OEM spring? Wondering if a quality replacement spring might cure the issue….Please keep testing. I want to like this rifle. Love the concept, just hope the execution is right.


    • Yogi,

      The sear catches the piston at the very end of the stroke, so no recoil shooting is possible. I think the velocity variation is due to the break in. Actually, once the velocity settled dow the variation wasn’t that large. Maybe we need a second velocity test later.


      • B.B.,

        “Maybe we need a second velocity test later.”

        “And now?
        After shooting the Premiers I fired 9 more RWS Clubs that averaged 884 f.p.s. in the second string. This is how they did.”. If my arithmetic is correct you got a 42fps spread on those 9 shots…WHAT would the tenth pellet have done?!?!


  5. For the money, this thing better be able to shoot well, but I suspect not.
    Credit to the maker for trying out something new, and maybe the design will get some improvements along the way, but it’s certainly not a looker, is it?

  6. B.B.,

    You wrote something I am having difficulty getting my head around: ” And by the way, despite what the description says, the Omnia barrel doesn’t move. The whole spring tube that it’s attached to moves. That’s where the recoil goes. After the shot the spring tube remains loose until the rifle is cocked again.”
    You go on to write: “Of course the 11mm dovetail on top of the spring tube moves when the tube moves, so there is no difficulty there. [The barrel does move in relation to the scope, if one is mounted, but only with respect to breaking open and closing again.]”

    So does that mean the barrel at the breech disconnects from the powerplant at some point during the shot cycle? It is difficult to imagine a breech block that could do that CONSISTENTLY without some SERIOUS design MAGIC.
    I’m dumfounded by your writings without a series of engineering grade drawings depicting the shot cycle….
    Or is it just me making the SIMPLE all too COMPLEX by overthinking it?

    I can see no way this rifle can be consistent in POA/POI with a scope. I foresee a problem with tolerance (in the ZRS) degradation over the Life Cycle of the airgun.
    I will also posit why you keep using: “…today’s report will be somewhat STRANGE!”.
    You just FEEL IT!
    Deep down that this rifle is actually a ZOMBI!


    • Agree Shootski, I thought that it was just me not understanding the ‘magic’. From the video it appears that the outer tube where the scope mounts does not move (in reference to the stock). Good for the scope. But then, the trigger cannot move either so, when the action moves, how is the trigger connected to it?
      Maybe it all makes sense in the end if the accuracy is there, but for now I am not too optimistic.

  7. Thank you so much for this review.
    I have been intrigued by this rifle ever since I first read about it.
    My air gun interests are very different that most folks.
    I don’t do much target shooting outside of occasionally checking zero on my scopes.
    I am a small game hunter and I think this rifle might make a good hunting rifle.
    I live in Minnesota and hunt from Sept. thru Feb. in the north woods.
    Fall hunting here is not bad but winter hunting is very cold and snowy.
    1. I like the rifle stock. I prefer composite over wood.
    2. I like the gas spring (ram)
    3. I like the zero recoil feature of this rifle.
    4. I like the weight of this rifle.
    5. I don’t use a sling so this rifle not having sling studs is fine with me.
    6. I think this rifle might preform well in a forest environment.

    I am interested in seeing the accuracy of this rifle.

    Best Wishes – Tom

    • A.K.A. Tommy Boy,
      I’m in line with your thoughts on this rifle; I used to do a lot of air rifle hunting, but now mostly plink for fun, but also do pesting; I think this might make a great go-to pesting rifle…as long as the accuracy is there. 😉
      Like you, also interested in seeing the accuracy,

  8. Just my thoughts,
    How about if the cocking lever was part of the firing action? It holds the barrel and cylinder forward after cocking and drops down on firing in conjunction with a sear enabling the barrel cylinder assembly to slide backwards as the piston moves forward and sort of cancels recoil by allowing the law of physics, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” to neutralize everything in motion within the stock.
    Once fired there would be nothing holding the barrel / cylinder forward until cocked again.

    Not sure if I should take a bow yet 🙂

    If you think about it, the cocking lever would not even have to be under pressure to keep the barrel cylinder in the forward position. Simply blocking it from moving back and aloud to freefall down out of the way with trigger action.

    • Or better yet!
      Perhaps that block that protrudes from the trigger assembly blocks the barrel cylinder assembly from sliding backwards and it drops out of the way when the trigger is pulled?
      Could that be the sear also?

  9. I bought this gun as something new out to give it a go. I got the .177 and so far I like it. Is it my tx200 no! I have tried 3 pellets so far, AIr arm 8.4 pellets, AA 10.3 pellets and H&N field target trophy pellets. It likes the H&N pellets the best but they are a extremely tight fit into barrel. I have not checked for speed with these pellets yet but the Air Arms 8.4 pellets were around 900 ft/sec. I have given the barrel 1 good cleaning with dry patches only. The trigger is good enough for like field target and much better than I expected. The pistol grip is great and very similar to the Steyr lg110 I used to own. Accuracy is hit/miss and I want to do some more testing, I have a utg 4-16×56 scope on rifle. It will fire 4 pellets in the same hole at 30 yards then throw one a inch somewhere else. So far I like the rifle and would recommend. I have owned everything out there.
    Pros: recoilless, trigger, grip, adjustable check piece, safety location
    Cons: very big and heavy for some. Would be an adult rifle. Accuracy so/so, looks ( I like but some won’t), long cocking to engage

    • You hit it right on the head, I shot mine today for first time. It is heavier, but I shoot off a stand so that’s a nil point. No kick is nice,but these are pellet gun and have no real recoil like a powder gun. I like the different look and all these snobs, I don’t care I kinda like it.

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