This report covers:
- First impression
Today’s report will begin the introduction to the Black Bunker BM8 survival air rifle, but this is such a strange air rifle that there is too much to cover in one report. It will take at least two reports — just to introduce this rifle. Don’t whine — you all know you want it that way.
How do I begin? Here we have a breakbarrel air rifle that doesn’t stop when the barrel is broken down for cocking and loading. If you want, it keeps right on breaking down and folding until it is a conveniently small triangular package that’s suitable for backpacking.
When somebody asked for this report in the comments I thought they were crazy! Why would anyone want something like this? Then, when I learned that it can come with a bayonet, I knew they were crazy. A bayonet on an air rifle is as useful as a nuclear hand grenade. Okay, so the Daisy model 40 came with a bayonet in 1914 — but that was a toy, based on the socio-political climate that existed around World War One.The BM8 is like a huge answer to a question nobody asked.
The optional “bayonet” for the BM8 is on the fringes of a true bayonet. It does fasten to the rifle just like a bayonet. But it functions more like a survival knife. It isn’t sold with the rifle in the US, but I’m sure there are ways around that. I personally don’t want one but I know there will be many who do.
How does the BM8 unfold? A small lever located in the stock hole just ahead of the butt is pushed forward (away from the butt plate), releasing the barrel from the butt. That lever isn’t shown in the top photo, but it is there. Apparently somebody photoshopped it out.
Looking at the triangular presentation of the stowed rifle one question comes to many minds — is the rifle cocked when it’s folded like that? The answer is no, it is not cocked. That’s possible because the cocking link detaches from the spring tube and is held under the barrel by two small rare earth magnets until it’s called for.
When you are ready to operate the rifle, unfold the coking link and push its wide end through the enlarged slot in the forend and the spring tube. Rotating that switch at the top right to the Locked position locks the cocking link in place to operate the powerplant.
I’ve spent all this time just showing you how the rifle goes from the stowed position to the operational configuration. Now a little about the rifle. It’s powered by a gas spring/piston and comes in both .177 and .22. The one I’m testing is a .22. I thought that caliber was appropriate for a survival air rifle, but there are also some locations where .22-caliber airguns are not legal and in the smaller caliber this one will be. Twenty-two caliber is great for my test because I returned from the SHOT Show with the new .22-caliber Benjamin domes (Benjamin Bullseyes). So I have a host of good pellets to test in it.
I already told you the specs say the rifle weighs 7.5 pounds. It felt heavier than that to me so I weighed it on a postal scale. The test rifle weighs 7 pounds 15.4 ounces — so just under 8 pounds.
The rifle is all steel and plastic. And the plastic is in strange places as you can see in several photographs.
There are 2-way adjustable sights on the rifle and there aren’t any fiberoptics to be seen anywhere. So you really can shoot this one to the limit of its accuracy potential. There are also Picatinny rails on the top and on both sides of where a forearm would be if this rifle had a conventional one. So a scope or dot sight is possible, as well as a flashlight or night vision device.
And I’m going to end my first report at this point. There are more strange things to see but I want to hear what questions you readers have before I get to them