RTI Prophet Test Review .22 Caliber
Jan 29, 2021
Airguns of Arizona
Maybe a little quirky-looking
Only one year warranty
Not much else
VALUE FOR MONEY
In this RTI Prophet PCP test review, we’re looking at an interesting airgun with some unusual features. It’s manufactured by RTIArms in Slovenia and is yet another example of the innovative, high quality airguns that are being developed in Central and Eastern Europe.
To be precise, this review covers the Prophet Performance model as sold in the USA by Airguns of Arizona and other Precision Airgun Distribution dealers across the country.
Selling at $1,680.00, this is clearly an air rifle priced in the upper range. However – for this price – you definitely receive an airgun offering power, accuracy and versatility. Available in calibers from .177 to .30 cal, our RTI Prophet PCP test review covers the “.22 caliber LR” model. The LR in this designation stands for Long Range.
This configuration has a custom Lothar Walther barrel that is deigned to be shot with 25.39 Grain, redesigned JSB Exact Jumbo Monsters out at 100 Yards. It’s specifically a long-range benchrest or hunting gun.
The Prophet definitely does not follow the crowd. It’s a product that’s not afraid to do things differently and makes no apologies for that.
As HAM Tester Doug Rogers commented in his test notes: “The Prophet looks simple but after spending some time with it, one can tell that much thought and engineering went into this. Everything works well.”
The result is a product that offers power, accuracy and flexibility matching that of several more expensive air rifles. For that reason, it is undoubtedly good value at this end of the market.
BUY FROM AIRGUNS OF ARIZONA:
RTI Prophet Performance, Black
SPEED AND ACCURACY
Make no mistake, this RTI Prophet PCP test review found that the .22LR gun was a fast-shooting air rifle!
Being set-up to achieve a high – yet still subsonic – Muzzle Velocity with heavy JSB Jumbo Monster pellets clearly means spectacular (but unnecessarily high) FPS with lighter pellets…
The maximum Muzzle Velocity achieved in this RTI Prophet PCP test review was 1,313 FPS with 10.03 Grain H&N Field Target Trophy Green alloys. It was over 1,000 FPS with all the other HAM standard test pellets, including the 21.14 Grain H&N Baracuda Match heavies.
The 975.24 FPS delivered with the heavy JSB Jumbo Monsters represents 53.63 Ft/Lbs of Muzzle Energy. That’s the pellet that the Prophet is designed-for. It’s also the pellet that the vast majority of 22 LR Prophet Performance owners will choose to use with their air rifle.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 Grain||1,313.79 FPS||38.45 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|Predator GTO 11.75 Grain||1,274.93 FPS||42.41 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|RWS Hobby 11.9 Grain||1,257.06 FPS||41.76 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|Crosman Premier HP 14.3 Grain||1,172.88 FPS||43.69 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Exact 14.35 Grain||1,204.88 FPS||46.26 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 14.66 Grain||1,175.51 FPS||45.00 Ft/Lbs||Good.|
|H&N Baracuda Match 21.14 Grain||1,042.72 FPS||51.05 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|JSB Jumbo Monster 25.39 Grain||975.24 FPS||53.63 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best tested.|
Accuracy was remarkably good across the range of pellets tested. However – as expected – the Jumbo Monsters gave the best results with a practically “one hole” group at 25 Yards.
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
One significant difference between the Prophet and RTI’s previous model – the Priest – is the method of cocking the action.
The Priest uses a straight-pull bolt action. In the Prophet, this has been replaced by a more conventional sidelever action. It’s still located on the left side of the gun. This is opposite to that of most sidelever actions. However it makes sense for right-handed shooters as – in this location – it’s not necessary to release the right hand’s grasp on the pistol grip between shots.
The cocking lever handle is well knurled and permits easy grasping with two fingers. After a long, easy “first stage”, there’s a short and quite heavy “second stage” where using two fingers is definitely beneficial.
Overall, the cocking action is smooth but it requires somewhat more force at the end of the stroke to operate than many other sidelever actions.
The RTI Prophet air rifle has a two-stage trigger that can be adjusted down to a pull weight of just over 10 Ounces, the company tells HAM. The pull weight of the gun tested by HAM averaged 1 Lb 12.1 Oz.
The first stage is long and very light, making it very easy to determine that you’ve reached the point of release. At this stage the “wall” is clear. In spite of almost no further rearward motion of the trigger blade takes place, the sear release is crisp – almost “glass break like”. HAM Tester Doug Rogers liked the trigger a lot and commented so in his test notes for this RTI Prophet PCP test review.
The manual, push-across safety is located directly behind and above the trigger blade. It’s easy to use yet is unlikely to be engaged unintentionally. You need to make a deliberate movement to either set or release this safety due to its location very close to the pistol grip.
Trigger adjustments are made – somewhat unusually – using a 1.5 mm Allen key inserted into the side of the action through the holes below the magazine well. They’re marked with + and – indications in the photograph below. Screw 1 controls second stage engagement, while screw 2 is used to adjust the pull weight.
As a target shooter, Doug Rogers would definitely lighten the trigger pull weight if this was his gun. But – as always – for this RTI Prophet PCP test review, HAM tested the trigger exactly as received from the distributor.
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
The manufacturer gives the following performance claims for the RTI Prophet.
|Caliber||Typical maximum Muzzle Energy||Typical shots per fill||Magazine capacity|
|.177||24 Joules (17.7 Ft/Lbs)||N/a||14 shots|
|.22||72 Joules (53 Ft/Lbs)||Around 70||12|
|.25||85 Joules (63 Ft/Lbs)||Around 70||10|
|.30||100 Joules (74 Ft/Lbs)||Around 70||7|
In this RTI Prophet PCP test review, HAM found a maximum Muzzle Energy of 53 Ft/Lbs and 108 consistent shots per fill. (However the shot count was achieved using the large, 500cc tank fitted to our Performance model. This clearly matches or exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications.
Consistent Muzzle Velocity is promoted by the built-in regulator and large plenum. The Prophet is equipped with dual pressure gauges. The one on the right in our photograph above gives the fill pressure for the HPA tank. The 500 cc carbon fiber tank has a maximum fill pressure of 300 Bar (4351 PSI).
The left gauge indicates the regulator pressure. This can be set by the owner to anywhere between 80 and 200 Bar (1,160 to 2,900 PSI). However the default factory setting is 125 Bar (1,813 PSI). This is the pressure that is held in the Prophet’s large 57 cc plenum. That’s the short tube between the regulator and valve, underneath and ahead of the magazine well.
In HAM testing, we recorded an average Standard Deviation of just 3.64 FPS across the complete range of HAM test pellets. This is a very low figure and is a strong indicator for how well balanced the Prophet’s design is.
The regulator itself is externally-adjustable and is easy to adjust without having to bleed air. As expected, hammer spring tension will also need to be changed when altering the regulator pressure. This is achieved by turning the larger (6 mm) setscrew in the rear of the buttplate.
As can be seen from the chart above, the gun featured in this RTI Prophet PCP test review delivered 108 consistent shots from a full fill of it’s large, 500cc carbon fiber bottle. The HAM Team considered this to be a very good shot count for a PCP of this power level in .22 caliber.
The Prophet has a shrouded barrel. However this is a powerful air rifle, expelling a lot of air with each shot. And generally, more air means more volume on firing. So, basically the Prophet is a LOUD air rifle.
So we took advantage of the removable 1/2-Inch UNF thread protector to screw-in a 0dB “airgun only” silencer. This calmed the report significantly, at the expense of a little additional length. Now we had a “backyard friendly” noise level and this is probably how most owners will configure their gun.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
As an indication of the Prophet’s long-range performance intent, the built-in Picatinny scope rail is machined at a 20 MOA angle. This makes it less likely that the scope will run out of elevation adjustment at long ranges. It’s an elegant solution compared to the need for adjustable mounts or scope shimming for long range shooting.
Given that the Prophet has no adjustable buttplate or cheekpiece, we used a Leapers UTG Super Slim Riser Mount to raise the eyeline of the scope a little. This worked well and produced a comfortable shooting position for the HAM Testers. The UTG Riser also has the finish to blend-in well with the gun, rings and scope.
For this RTI Prophet PCP test review, we used UTG Pro Medium height rings to mount the scope. Even though the Prophet PCP air rifle is a small gun – just 30.5 Inches overall length – we decided to mount a riflescope with comparable long-range credentials. The Sightron SIII FT 10-50 x 60 is just such a scope and a HAM Gold Award winner.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Sightron SIII scope did not over-balance the Prophet. In fact the combination felt comfortable to shoot and balanced well.
Needless to say, for such a long range shooting combination, support is required to achieve the accuracy potential. This is where the lower Picatinny rail is most useful, as a bipod can be mounted there.
We installed a Leapers UTG PRO “TBNR” bipod. This also fitted and worked well with the Prophet.
As a compact bullpup design, the Prophet shouldered well and is easy to handle. Balance was good, too.
Initially the HAM Team was concerned about the lack of an adjustable comb and buttplate. However, practical use revealed that such adjustments were not necessary – for the HAM shooters, at least.
One interesting feature is that the magazine has flexible positioning. It can be inclined to either the left or right side of the action, depending on the shooter’s preference.
The magazine itself is of a relatively simple design. It’s easy to load and provided trouble-free feeding during the course of this test. No single shot tray is available for the Prophet. However the magazine well is wide enough – at 0.7 Inches – that it’s quite easy to load individual pellets by hand, should you wish to do so.
One potential issue is that – with the exception of the pistol grip – the gun is entirely metal. This means that it feels cold against the cheek and hands when used in cold temperatures.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
When it comes to looks, the Prophet is something of a quirky air rifle. The minimalist approach probably plays a part here. But, hey, looks are a personal thing and a better assessment is probably made according to the old adage that “handsome is as handsome does”.
Using that analysis, the Prophet is a pretty handsome air rifle!
Finish is to a very high standards. HAM Tester Doug Rogers – himself a highly-qualified machinist – observed that “All black and metal machining is very good” in his test notes for this RTI Prophet PCP test review.
BUYING AND OWNING
As a specialist high-end airgun, most Prophet owners make their purchase online. That’s pretty-well par for the course at this price level. However the gun is available in several versions from Airguns of Arizona, so there’s a choice of calibers, finishes and “Performance/non-Performance” configurations.
The gun is supplied in a hard plastic case that’s large enough to contain the gun plus mounted scope. This is unusual and good – so often we find airguns supplied with cases that are not large enough to include the scope.
Here’s an unusual feature of the RTI Prophet! There’s a second fill port located in the underside of the receiver, just ahead of the buttpad. This allows the gun to be shot with a separate HPA tank attached by a flexible tube, as shown below.
This could be ideal for extended sessions of long-range benchrest shooting as it allows for the attachment of a much larger tank than the 500cc bottle that’s supplied with the gun.
To use the Prophet in this configuration, the conventionally-located front HPA bottle needs to be removed. This can give better balance for some users. However the regulator is bypassed in this mode of operation. A maximum pressure of 200 Bar (2,900 PSI) can be used when the remote tank is connected in this way.
The user documentation is in English only. It’s a little sparse, but explains its points succinctly and has clear illustrations.
One disappointment is that the Prophet is covered by just a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty. At a time when even some $100 air rifles have a 5-year warranty, this is an area that could be readily improved. Even if warranty coverage is not required – as normally, it’s not – it’s still good to know that extended coverage is available.
BUY FROM AIRGUNS OF ARIZONA:
RTI Prophet Performance, Black
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