My Favorite Airgun, the .22 Cal KalibrGun Cricket mini-Carbine
The .22 caliber KalibrGun Cricket mini-Carbine is the all-time favorite airgun of Mike Bricker. Mike won the 2019 EBR Speed Silhouette (Sportsman) competition with it and our heading photograph shows him at that event, just after he completed shooting. He was a happy guy!
In this story he tells us why he loves the KalibrGun Cricket mini-Carbine in his own words.
Note, Mike also shot his way to Third Place in the 2022 Extreme Benchrest 100 Yard competition, this time in Pro Class. (Don’t believe the dates on the checks. It really was 2022). Great shooting, Mike!
Based in San Diego, CA, he’s the Team Centercut Captain and posts as Centercut on Airgun Nation. Take it away Mike…
Before The Cricket
I’m going to start with a photo of the gun that WAS my favorite before I got the Cricket, and that’s the .22 Daystate Renegade. The photo below was taken during a ground squirrel hunt, which is/was my main use of the Renegade, and of the Cricket mini…
Below. 2017-ish .22 Daystate Renegade with ground squirrel.
It was a very good gun, and I took hundreds of ground squirrels with this gun out to over 100 yards.
Over time, my hunting method shifted from sit and wait to walk and stalk. So, although the Renegade was very accurate, it was also heavy, and I wanted something lighter.
Enter the .22 Caliber KalibrGun Cricket mini-Carbine.
Above. .22 Cricket mini-Carbine with carbon fiber shroud early 2018 soon after I bought it (used).
This gun turned out to be just as accurate as the Renegade, but much lighter. It shot JSB Heavy 18.1 pellets at 835 fps when I got it, and I shot it that way for a year.
It was always reliable, accurate, good looking, lightweight, quiet, great trigger, 14 shot magazines, what more would anyone want for a walk and stalk type shooter?
I could put it in the gun safe at 220 bar pressure, shooting 835 to 840 fps, leave it there for a month, take it out, still at 220 bar, and first shot would be 835 to 840 fps in the “X” at 50 yards, no POI shift, none. Amazing!
Below. The Cricket about the time of EBR 2018 with carbon fiber shroud. This is the configuration I had it in when I got DQ’d in the Speed Silo finals. ;(
Living With The Cricket
Over time, like all of us, I decided to tweak on the gun, to increase power to approx. 880 fps. I also added a carbon fiber shroud with internal baffles that was quiet enough so that an external moderator was unnecessary.
The internal and barrel transfer ports were opened-up a bit and polished, and a power plenum was added. But I was on the fence about the power plenum, so some photos you’ll see with it, and some without it.
Yes, it allowed a lower reg pressure for the same power, but it made the air tube longer than the shroud and didn’t really do much for efficiency.
The trigger is just about perfect, light first stage, super crisp second stage at around 6 to 8 ounces. I’ve also added a spacer to extend the pull length on the gun to fit me better.
I shot the KalibrGun Cricket mini-Carbine at the EBR 2018 Speed Silo (in Sportsman Class), using the “mag dump” method, and made the finals with it on that Sunday morning but didn’t do that well. OK, I did terrible and shot the first three targets on the lane next to mine, so I was DQ’d.
I shot the same event with the Cricket the following year (EBR 2019) and won! That’s about the time I started naming guns, and this one became Gonzo, after the cartoon character Speedy Gonzalez.
Below. Cricket and Mike at EBR 2019. Cricket without carbon fiber shroud but with DonnyFL Tanto. This is the configuration I used to win Speed Silo (Sports) at EBR 2019.
Throughout most of the time I’ve owned Gonzo, I’ve had a very good scope on it, the 3-15x Vortex Razor HD LH. IMHO it’s a perfect match for the Cricket mini.
Great gun plus great scope and great ammo equals many many dead ground squirrels. My off-the-cuff estimate over the past 5 years is well over 2,000!!!
I’ve gotten so used to this gun that my hunting buddies are usually shocked when I miss, at any distance under 120 yards.
Since EBR 2019, I’ve only used the Cricket for hunting, but at least once a month, sometimes more. Its my “go to” gun when I’m going to be shooting at under 120 yards.
Shooting JSB 18.1 grain pellets at 875 to 880 fps, it is as accurate as any gun I own. That includes my .25 Daystate Red Wolf that I recently came in 3rd with (out of 110 shooters) at EBR 2022 (Pro Division) or the .30 FX Bobcat Mk2 that I won EBR 2019 (Sports Division) with.
Without seeming to tell tall tales, this KalibrGun Cricket mini-Carbine, despite that 15.3-inch barrel, can shoot ten shot groups inside a dime at 50 yards. I’ve also shot 735 (more than once) with it at 25M benchrest at LDs range in Temecula, CA. And that’s off a bipod and rear bag rest.
Currently I own four Daystate electronic guns (Delta Wolf, Red Wolf(s), Pulsar), and various others like the .30 FX Bobcat Mk2, and .22 EdGun R3 Long, but if I could only keep one gun, it would be my .22 Cricket mini-Carbine…
For me, it just “works”, first time, every time.
Below. The Cricket mini-Carbine in its current form, doing what it does best – ground squirrel schwackin’.
Below we see the Cricket set up for night hunting, schwackin’ rats at the Pig Farm in Chino, CA. The first time my buddy Nick and I went there we got over 300 rats in two hours…
Mike, thanks for your great review. Ground squirrels beware!