Air Venturi Avenger Bullpup Air Rifle Review .25 Caliber
December 22, 2021
(Yes, seriously. We didn't know there were that many people in the World!)
Supplied by Air Venturi
Great value for money
Long trigger travel
Cocking lever position
Only 12 months warranty
The Air Venturi Avenger Bullpup air rifle is – in almost all respects – a shortened version of the full-length Avenger air rifle. This means that much of the functionality of the new bullpup parallels that of the “long” Avenger.
HAM made extensive test and posts about the full-length model in 2020. This included the ability of the gun to be tuned for dramatically different performance characteristics, based on the user’s requirements.
This tuning versatility is carried over intact to the Avenger Bullpup, so it is not covered in detail in this review. The most significant difference is that the “long” Avenger was reviewed by HAM in .22 caliber, while the Bullpup test gun is in .25 caliber.
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a Street Price of $399.99, the Air Venturi Avenger Bullpup air rifle is very attractively-priced. As HAM Tester Doug Rogers wrote in his test notes, “It has all the bells and whistles. It’s impressive what Air Venturi is able to do for under $400”.
In fact, there’s very few bullpup PCPs available for the price of the Avenger. Only the Hatsan Flash Pup and the Beeman Underlever are at the same price point – actually $50 less for the Beeman. But neither has a regulator, let alone the Avenger’s external adjustment and twin gauges.
So – as of December 2021 – the Avenger stands alone for value among bullpup PCP air rifles.
BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Air Venturi Avenger Bullpup, Regulated PCP Air Rifle 0.177
SPEED AND ACCURACY
As can be seen from the following table, the Avenger Bullpup tested by HAM in .25 caliber developed a maximum of 1027.35 FPS with Predator GTO alloy pellets. The maximum with lead was 970.84 with the 19.91 Grain H&N Field Target Trophies.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Predator GTO Alloys 16.54 Grain||1027.35 FPS||38.77 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 19.91 Grain||970.84 FPS||41.67 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|H&N Silver Point 24.38 Grain||899.39 FPS||43.80 Ft/Lbs||Very Poor.|
|JSB Exact King 25.39 Grain||894.82 FPS||45.15 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Equal Best Tested.|
|Predator Polymag 26.0 Grain||884.85 FPS||45.21 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|Benjamin 27.80 Grain||863.50 FPS||46.03 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|JSB Exact King Heavy 33.95 Grain||791.61 FPS||47.25 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Equal Best Tested.|
Best accuracy was clearly obtained from the test gun using JSB Exact King and Exact King Heavy pellets.
Stephen Archer was very pleased with this 25-Yard group of 10 shots under overcast conditions. The reticle of the UTG Mini SWAT 4-16×44 scope was illuminated and this definitely contributed to the good group!
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The trigger pull weight of the Avenger Bullpup tested by HAM was remarkably consistent at an average of 2 Lbs 0.7 Oz.
Combined with a clear first stage, this unexpectedly-light trigger felt good – with the exception of the very long pull of the second stage. HAM Tester Doug Rogers summarized this in his test notes: “Trigger was OK but travel very long. If trigger had a shorter pull, the groups would have been even better.”
The trigger itself is externally-adjustable for pull weight and travel. It’s possible that adjustment of the “travel adjuster screw” would have reduced that long pull. However – as always – HAM tested the Avenger Bullpup with the trigger as received from the factory.
The sidelever action was quite smooth. It was light mid-travel, but the effort required increased sharply at the end of the opening stroke as the hammer spring was compressed.
Compared to the trigger of the full-length Avenger tested previously by HAM, the cocking action was less “muddy” and felt pleasant.
As with the other Avenger, the safety lever is conveniently-placed and is easy to use.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
In factory tune, the .25 Caliber Avenger Bullpup air rifle tested by HAM matched – or exceeded – Air Venturi’s claims for Muzzle Energy with all our standard test pellets weighing above 25 Grains.
In fact, the 45 Ft/Lbs spec was handily exceeded when using 33.95 Grain JSB Exact King Heavy pellets. In this case the Muzzle Energy achieved was 47.25 Ft/Lbs, as we saw above.
The manufacturer’s Muzzle Velocity spec is up to 900 FPS in .25 caliber. Again, the gun tested by HAM handily exceeded this is factory condition with 970 FPS being achieved with 19.91 grain pellets and 1,027 FPS with 16.54 Grain alloys.
Air Venturi claims up to 24 consistent shots per fill for the Avenger Bullpup. Again, the HAM test results show that to be a very conservative claim. The 36 consistent shots achieved in HAM testing (see below) is no less than 50% greater than the manufacturer’s claims – and while exceeding the power claim at the same time!
Many airguns are marketed on the basis of extravagant performance claims that are rarely matched in practice. It’s pleasant to report that this is most definitely NOT the case for the Avenger Bullpup. If we could score this section of the test review at more than 100%, we would!
It’s clear that the Air Venturi Avenger Bullpup air rifle tested by HAM was outstandingly consistent. Indeed, the consistency displayed by this gun matched – or even bettered – the results we have obtained in testing some $1,000+ PCPs!
The Standard Deviation – a statistical measure of the shot-to-shot variability in a string – was just 3.03 FPS. That may be the lowest value HAM has ever recorded.
Adding to that, the trigger pull weight was also incredibly consistent. It varied by less than 1 Ounce across the HAM test measurements. Again, this is consistency to match that of the best high-end PCPs HAM has ever tested. WOW!!!
In factory tune condition and filled to 4350 PSI (300 Bar), the Avenger Bullpup air rifle tested by HAM delivered 36 consistent shots before the gun “fell off the regulator”. The shape of the graph below shows that the factory tune was very well-managed.
This is likely to be an optimum high power tune. For shooters who are happy with this power level/shot count and can fill to 4,350 PSI, we’d absolutely NOT make any changes!
However – as we know – the beauty of the Avenger is that it is so easy to make tuning adjustments. The regulator adjustment screw and degassing screw are to be found in the underside of the stock.
Just one thing. Be sure to completely de-gass the gun before reducing the regulator pressure. This is covered on Page 13 of the owner’s manual.
The Avenger Bullpup has a fully-shrouded barrel. While this does tame the gun’s report somewhat, most people would probably not consider the .25 model – in particular – to be backyard-friendly.
As you can see from the photograph above, the male quick disconnect has a threaded base. This allows the threaded cap to cover the nipple and is another good feature. Also visible is the sintered filter in the end of the 1/8-inch NPT nipple.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
As expected, the Avenger bullpup air rifle is supplied without a scope. There’s no iron sights either. However there is a very prominent, 10 1/4-Inch long, Picatinny rail provided for scope mounting.
This rail is bolted to a pair of metal mounts that fit around the HPA tube and shroud. The result is surprisingly robust and provides a flexible platform for mounting a riflescope.
For HAM testing we mounted a Leapers UTG 4-14×44 Mini SWAT scope. This produced a clear image, allied with a simple, fine, mil-hash reticle and side parallax adjustment. At 10 3/4-Inches long (plus lens hood), it also balanced well on the Avenger.
The bundled medium-height scope rings provided a scope eyeline that was a little low for the long-necked HAM Testers’ comfort. So we installed an UTG Universal Super Slim Riser Mount. The half-Inch model was ideal for us.
At an all-up weight of 9 Lbs 9 Oz, the Avenger plus scope was easily-manageable and well-balanced to shoot.
The adjustable cheek-piece is a nice feature while the location and rake of the pistol grip make for comfortable shooting too.
From a safety perspective, we love having the pressure gauges on either side of the breech. There’s no need to point the barrel at your face in order to check pressure, as is the case with far too many PCP airguns with gauges in the end of the HPA tube. And it’s easy to take a quick glance at the gauges when shooting, if you need to.
There’s a rubber buttpad with an extremely chunky surface. This offers excellent “bite” into the shoulder and – like the cheekpiece – is adjustable without the need for tools. Again good design!
Stephen Archer found a sling very useful both for carrying the rifle and for providing stability during shooting. The Avenger’s built-in sling swivel points allowed easy, secure sling attachment. The result was considerably-improved accuracy when shooting freehand using the “hasty sling” method.
He also felt the adjustable cheekpiece to be comfortable and – being plastic – it was not too cold to the touch in cooler temperatures.
However HAM Tester Doug Rogers is left-handed. He was unable to find a comfortable cheek weld with the Avenger. This was due to the locations of the safety and cocking lever. So left-handed shooters need to be aware of this issue. The cocking mechanism is not reversible. It’s not “lefty-friendly”.
Additionally, the position of the cocking lever makes it necessary to remove the Avenger Bullpup air rifle from your shoulder to cock it. This applies to all shooters, right- and left-handed. Really, this is the only aspect of the design that shows evidence of cost-cutting.
Such rear – operate by ear! – cocking levers are a definite “generation one” design for bullpups. The mid-mounted cocking levers featured on more expensive models from other manufacturers revolutionize that aspect of handling. They allow fast follow-up shots without breaking the shooting position.
But – given the Avenger’s price – most buyers will accept this shootability limitation. The HAM Team understands this design decision. A mid-mounted cocking lever would have resulted in a significantly-increased price, damaging the outstanding value proposition for the Avenger Bullpup air rifle. And low price/high performance is exactly what most buyers want!
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
The Air Venturi Avenger Bullpup air rifle reviewed by HAM is definitely well-finished. Metal parts are nicely-blacked and match very well against the black synthetic stock.
Plastic molded parts are also well-finished with crisp molding and well-controlled seams. From a manufacturing and production engineering perspective, the Avenger Bullpup is a well put together piece that provides a feeling of solidity and quality to the shooter. At this price, that’s quite an achievement!
There’s no doubt that it’s tough to make bullpup air rifles look attractive. Appearance judgements are always in the eye of the beholder, however HAM’s opinion is that this is an OK-looking gun.
BUYING AND OWNING
Most of us will buy the Avenger Bullpup air rifle online from Pyramyd Air or Airgun Depot. Buying online makes packaging important. In this respect, too, the Avenger shows well-designed, supportive packaging that’s likely to resist the best efforts of delivery companies to destroy your purchase as they deliver it to you.
Of course, many owners will want to tune the gun to their own specific requirements. The Avenger makes that easy. The hammer spring tension adjuster is ideally-located at the rear of the action, while the regulator adjustment and degassing screws are easily-accessed from the underside of the stock.
The user manual is simple yet comprehensive. It gives basic instructions on how to tune the hammer and regulator settings without going overboard on safety warnings. The only downside is that it’s in English only.
Other ownership benefits of the Avenger Bullpup include the provision of two magazine storage wells in the underside of the stock. These worked well in our testing, holding spare magazines in place securely, yet allowing them to be easily retrieved when required.
The provision of a “standard” Foster-type fill probe makes filling with HPA simple and easy. And yes, the high maximum fill pressure of 4,350 PSI can be intimidating, but we know from experience with the full-length Avenger that the gun can easily be tuned for use with fill pressures as low as 2,000 PSI.
So, if you want to charge this gun using a hand pump, that’s easily possible too.
One suggestion when buying the Avenger is that – in order to achieve maximum benefit from it – you really must either buy a Chronograph, or own one already. Without a Chrony, you’ll be missing all that tuning fun!
Finally, at a time when even some $100 (-ish) breakbarrel air rifles are provided with a 5-year warranty, the 12 month warranty provided with the Avenger is one of the very few aspects of this gun that’s not competitive with the market.
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.