Air Arms Galahad Bullpup Air Rifle Test Review .22 Caliber
22 December, 2016
Supplied by Pyramyd Air
Great ergonomics in a bullpup configuration.
No indication of shots remaining.
Cocking effort higher than we expected.
Can be fired on an empty chamber.
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a selling price of one cent short of $1,500, the Air Arms Galahad air rifle is far from cheap. This means that we’re well into the “luxury” end of the market. A value for money assessment must, therefore, be given with that understanding.
As with any luxury purchase, of course performance and features are important. But they carry less weight than less definable factors such as perceived quality, brand, looks and feel. The overall, lasting joy of ownership becomes the dominating factor.
When value for money is seen as being the price paid for a thing of beauty and perfection that will give the owner joy in use and pride of ownership for ever, the Air Arms Galahad air rifle is outstanding value. Most buyers of the Galahad will take the latter view and so this HAM rating is given in that light.
Of course, you’ll also need to add a top quality scope and HPA charging equipment to that price. But then you have something like the ultimate in airgun quality. And it’s still hugely cheaper than buying a beat-up Corvette (for example) – just to put things into perspective a little!
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Air Arms Galahad, Black
SPEED AND ACCURACY
The Air Arms Galahad air rifle tested by HAM gave strong performance and excellent accuracy with lead pellets.
Muzzle velocity peaked at 1,066 FPS with the light Gamo Raptor PBA pellets in .22 caliber.
As expected, muzzle velocity falls off with heavier pellets, but – as with most PCPs – the Muzzle Energy rises with increasing pellet weight.
Many shooters are likely to use mid-weight, domed or hollowpoint pellets with the Galahad. 14- to 15-Grain pellets produced muzzle velocities in the 920 – 940 FPS range, considered ideal by many knowledgeable shooters. This also gives Muzzle Energy figures in the 27 – 29 Ft/Lb range, which is ideal for many airgun hunting uses.
Maximum Muzzle Energy for the Air Arms Galahad air rifle tested by HAM was 31 Ft/Lbs, using heavy 21.14 Grain Baracuda Match pellets.
Accuracy was excellent with all of the standard HAM test suite of lead pellets. But – as is so often the case – lightweight alloy pellets gave poor results, even on our 10-Yard test range.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Gamo Raptor Platinum 9.7 Grain||1066.1 FPS||24.7 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||1045.6 FPS||23.2 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||988 FPS||25.8 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||939.2 FPS||28.0 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||923.4 FPS||27.1 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||938.6 FPS||28.8 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||812.3 FPS||31.0 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
The Air Arms Galahad tested by HAM was fitted with an easily-set power adjuster. This offers reduced muzzle velocity settings, if required for some specific reason – such as indoor target practice. As always, the HAM team tested the gun with the power adjuster set to maximum. Hey, we all want to most power possible, don’t we?
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JSB Jumbo Exact Pelelts .22 cal
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
Trigger pull for the Air Arms Galahad tested by HAM averaged 1 Lb 13.5 Oz. This light trigger has a very light first stage that ends at a clear “stop” as the second stage is reached. Let off is then very predictable and clean.
There is probably not quite that “glass break” feeling as when the sear releases on a conventional (non bullpup) Air Arms rifle, but the Galahad’s trigger release is still very good indeed This is in spite of the additional linkage between the front and rear sections of the trigger that’s mandated by a mechanical trigger in any bullpup air rifle.
As always, HAM testers fired the Air Arms Galahad with the trigger set by the factory. Yes, you can adjust it, but we found absoloutely no need to do so. For us, the trigger was perfect as received from the factory.
The manual safety is the traditional Air Arms “push across” button in the top of the trigger blade itself. This is unobtrustive and works well, but is rather better suited for right-handed shooters than “lefties”.
Cocking the Air Arms Galahad is definitely an unusual experience! The cocking lever is located at the front of the action.Pushing down on the lever makes it “snap” down through about 45 degrees. Then the lever has to be pushed forward through about another 55 degrees before it comes to a stop. This part of the action withdraws the bolt to the rear and then rotates the magazine, bringing the next pellet into position.
Oops! Sorry about the dust particles in the photo below…
Pulling the lever back brings the bolt back through the magazine, picking-up the pellet and positioning it into the barrel. The Galahad is now ready to fire!
This action is unusual. But it soon becomes second nature once a little familiarity is built-up with the Galahad. It’s very different to the experience of cocking some other bullpup air rifles where the cocking lever seems to be right next to your ear!
A huge benefit is that the cocking lever can be very easily moved from one side of the airgun to the other. This makes cocking very easy for both left- and right-handed shooters.
The effort required to cock the Air Arms Galahad air rifle is greater than we expected. It’s nowhere near as light as most sidelever actions, for example. but it’s not too stout and the HAM testers became used to it with time.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
Pyramyd Air’s website makes a number of claims for the Air Arms Galahad air rifle. They are taking these claims from Air Venturi, the US importer of Air Arms airguns. The regulated full-length version in .22 caliber – as tested here – is claimed to give up to 45 shots per fill. Muzzle velocity is 900 FPS and Muzzle Energy 32 Ft/Lbs, all recorded with 18.13 Grain pellets.
The Air Arms Galahad air rifle tested by HAM easily exceeded these muzzle velocity claims with light alloy pellets, of course. All except the heavy Baracuda Match pellets also exceeded the 900 FPS level, making the claims
Maximum Muzzle Energy achieved with the Galahad with the standard HAM pellet test suite was 31 Ft/Lbs. This was very close to the 32 Ft/Lbs shown on Pyramyd Air’s website.
The Air Arms Galahad air rifle tested by HAM also matched the claimed 45 shots per fill, as shown by the following chart.
Clearly, more actual shots can be achieved. But after about shot 45, the muzzle velocity – and hence the point of impact on the target – starts to fall away rapidly. Re-filling with High Pressure Air is required at that point. This shot curve was started at the maximum advised fill pressure of 250 Bar (3625 PSI, as near as we could judge from the filling tank’s gauge). By shot 50, pressure had fallen to around 1,450 PSI.
The Air Arms Galahad tested by HAM displayed strong consistency: as you would expect.
As we can see from the test targets, the Galahad displayed consistently good accuracy with all the medium-weight domed pellets in our test suite. These represent the type of pellets most knowledgeable owners will choose to use, of course.
Standard Deviation – the measure of shot-to-shot consistency of FPS – was also very well controlled with an average of just 8.41 FPS across the whole range of HAM test pellets. Surprisingly the JSB Jumbo Exact pellets gave by far the highest (= worst) Standard Deviation in this Galahad, an uncommon situation.
Consistency of muzzle velocity was also good – as shown in the chart above. The Air Arms Galahad tested by HAM gave FPS numbers that are – to most intents and purposes – consistent over 45 shots. The Standard deviation across 50 shots was just 9.63 FPS. This is a value very comparable to that of the Daystate Renegade tested recently by HAM. (That gave a Standard Deviation of 11.57 FPS over 60 shots).
Unusually for a regulated air rifle, the muzzle velocity tended to slowly decrease as more shots were fired. The HAM team would have expected the muzzle velocity numbers to have remained somewhat more steady before the regulator pressure was reached, somewhere just after Shot 40.
The trigger also displayed excellent consistency, varying at most 1.5 Oz from the average recorded in HAM testing. That means completely consistent, in anyone’s book!
The Air Arms Galahad air rifle tested by HAM featured a shrouded barrel. Noise levels were corresponding low – as anticipated.
While subjectively not quite so quiet as HAM’s “gold standard” for low noise, the Benjamin Marauder, the Galahad is certainly quiet enough to shoot indoors without hearing protection. It’s definitely backyard friendly in this respect.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
As is expected with high end airguns, the Air Arms Galahad air rifle is supplied without a scope. This obviously allows a wide variety of scopes to be used, to the shooter’s choice.
All Air Arms Galahad air rifles imported into the USA by Air Venturi are fitted with a Weaver/Picatinny rail. For PCP airgun use, this really has no benefit compared to the standard dovetail rails that are also available as an option in the “home market” UK versions. But it’s practical and modern.
The Leapers UTG 3-9 x 40AO scope used by HAM for this test review is not exactly the typical scope that Galahad owners will use with their air rifle. However, it had Weaver rings already fitted and was certainly good enough for our testing.
However, this scope did show up one aspect of the Galahad’s design that the HAM team feels could, perhaps, be improved. As you can see from the photograph, the front bell of the scope was very close to the top of the Weaver rail. This means that many scopes with large objective lenses may need to be used with high rings to obtain clearance, making the overall height of the “gun + scope” even higher.
A shorter Weaver rail would allow the bell of the scope to drop below the top of the breech, keeping the shooter’s eye line down lower to the barrel. In fact the sculpting at the front of the Galahad’s breech makes it seem as if that was, possibly, the original intention but that the scope rail was lengthened later on in the design stage.
The bubble level at the rear of the Weaver/Picatinny rail is another useful feature incorporated by Air Arms for practical shooting. A glance at this helps you to identify cant when holding the gun and to correct it as required. Yes, it may not be visible for all combinations of shooter eye relief and scope configuration, but it worked for the HAM testers who tried it.
Of course the Air Arms Galahad air rifle is a bullpup design and bullpups inspire very different feelings among shooters. Some love them, others, not so much…
HAM Tester Sean McDaniel summed it up this way in his testing notes. “Everything is a bit closer to your body than with a conventional rifle. So I think a lot depends on figuring out a hold that works best for you.” HAM Publisher Stephen Archer thought the Galahad’s handling was outstanding!
Certainly the Galahad is very tall for a bullpup, but the balance is excellent in the hand. The multi-adjustable buttpad makes it easy to gain a good sight picture through the scope and is an outstanding feature of the gun. Bullpup designs benefit significantly from adjustable buttpads and the Galahad’s is easy to adjust yet locks firmly into position.
Combined with this adjustable buttpad is a nicely-integrated cheekpiece. This has the same soft touch finish as the stock and gives an extremely comfortable and consistent cheek weld when shooting the Air Arms Galahad.
Cheek weld is an aspect of bullpup design that is sometimes less than perfect – just by the nature of the concept. But Air Arms has obviously put significant effort into the design of the cheekpiece. It’s integrated into the overall design of the gun and avoids the distraction of cozying-up to a cold, metal breech when shooting – as is the case with many other bullpup models.
This is one bullpup PCP air rifle where the cheek weld is really so good that you don’t think about it!
There’s a rail neatly incorporated in the forend of the Air Arms Galahad air rifle’s stock. This is a beneficial feature that allows a bipod to be fitted easily, if required by the owner.
And HAM tester Sean McDaniel reminded us that the standard Air Arms magazine featured in the Galahad is super easy to load and use.
But you do need to keep track of the number of pellets shot when firing a Galahad! Unlike many other high end multi-shot PCPs (and some not so high end, too), there’s no indication of the number of pellets remaining in the magazine. And – again unusually – it’s quite possible to fire the Galahad on an empty chamber. There’s no protection against firing the gun with an empty magazine.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Looks are definitely in the eye of the beholder!
It’s clear that the Air Arms Galahad air rifle generates very different impressions among people. HAM Publisher Stephen Archer just loves the look of it. He thinks that it’s the sexiest-looking air rifle he’s seen for ages! He loves the subtle curves that abound everywhere you look on both stock and breech. But others are not so keen. It’s your choice…
One area that is not in dispute is the finish. It’s everything that we expect from an Air Arms gun. “Flawless” is how HAM Tester Sean McDaniel described it.
All metal parts are beautifully-finished, with perfect machining, bluing and anodizing. The wood stock is equally beautifully-finished and the black “smooth touch” finish is pleasant to hold and practical for use in the field. As Sean McDaniel wrote in his testing notes, “This gun just feels great in your hands”.
The stock incorporates checkered grip areas around the pistol grip and ahead of the trigger. They’re in just the right places for hand contact and definitely contribute to that secure handling feeling.
BUYING AND OWNING
Almost all Galahad air rifles will be purchased from online dealers such as Pyramyd Air or Airgun Depot. You’re not likely to find this gun in a retail store near home. But this is not an issue as the Air Arms Galahad air rifle is available from many reputable, quality online airgun specialists.
There’s a reassuring limited lifetime warranty provided by Air Venturi, the US distributor. Air Venturi also holds a full range of spare parts available.
The instruction manual supplied in the US is – like other recent Air Venturi instruction manuals we have seen – a huge improvement over older versions. It’s comprehensive, informative and has been written by someone who obviously understands air rifles. It even gives easily-understood instructions on how to adjust the trigger – information that’s rarely presented in this degree of detail.
The one source of confusion is that on pages 8 and 9 of the Manual it states that the Galahad is covered by Air Venturi’s Limited Lifetime warranty, yet on page 10, we’re told that the product is covered by a One Year warranty. Duh…
We spoke to Air Venturi and they confirmed that the warranty really is of the Limited Lifetime variety. This is what’s stated on the Pyramyd Air website.
With the Galahad, Air Arms has made a change to the connector system it uses for PCP air rifles. No longer so we have the unique and unusual Air Arms HPA adapter. Now we have a more conventional-looking probe, although – as with all such connectors – the Galahad’s probe does not seem to be standard with any other fill probe we can find.
And – like all probes – you need at attach an adapter (not supplied) to connect the Galahad’s probe to the standard female quick disconnect at the end of your tank or compressor’s fill line.
The probe filling system works fine if you have just one PCP air rifle, but if you are fortunate enough to possess multiple PCPs from different manufacturers, the different fill probes make things unnecessarily complicated. In HAM’s opinion, a simple, standard “Foster fitting” is much to be preferred for that reason.
Fill pressure of the Air Arms Galahad is 3,625 PSI. This is beyond the ability of many of us to achieve with a hand pump. However, most Galahad owners will certainly have their own HPA tank systems, so it’s not really an issue.
And whatever the PCP air rifle, the HAM team still does not like having the pressure gauge in the end of the tube. Call us cowards, but we get really frightened checking pressure in this position as it means looking almost straight down the barrel of the gun! Yes, we understand the engineering reasons for having the pressure gauge in this position, but we much prefer it to be in the underside of the stock, or some similar location away from the muzzle…
And HAM Tester Sean McDaniel had an additional, very useful comment to make on the Galahad. It’s a very “tall” gun and – with scope attached – the lucky owner will need to do some measuring before ordering a rifle case for it. Many fabric cases, for example, are just not deep enough to accommodate the Air Arms Galahad with scope fitted.
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Air Arms Galahad, Black
This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.