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Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

Overview
Testers

Doug Wall
Stephen Archer

Caliber

.177 BBs and pellets

Model Number

2230004

Test Date

June 1, 2018

Serial Numbers

16311406005025

Source of Supply

Umarex USA

Condition

New

We Like

Multiple safety features for youth shooters.
Accurate with the right pellets.
Variable power.

We Don't Like

Clunky operation frustrates experienced shooters.
Heavy trigger.
Most will want a better scope.

HAM Rating
Value for Money
90%
Speed and Accuracy
50%
Trigger and Cocking Effort
50%
Comparison to Makers Claims
30%
Consistency
70%
Noise Level
80%
Sights
40%
Shootability
90%
Appearance and Finish
80%
Buying and Owning
80%
Hard Air Magazine Test Conclusions

The Umarex NGX ASP multi-pump air rifle is unashamedly a "safety first" youth gun. It's a strong candidate for parents who want to teach their son or daughter to shoot while supervising them in a safe and responsible manner.

If those parents also buy some high quality pellets to shoot in it, their youngster will also have a great chance to demonstrate marksman skills immediately, which everyone will love!

Because of this, the NGX ASP gains a HAM Bronze Award.

But this is not a suitable general purpose air rifle if you are an adult or have shooting experience. Those great youth safety features are exactly the same ones that will make shooting it a frustrating experience for you...

63%
HAM Rating
You have rated this
Full Review

VALUE FOR MONEY

The Umarex NXG APX air rifle was introduced in 2014. It continues to be a strong seller and at a Street Price of $59.99 including a scope, it represents one of the lower-priced air rifles available in the market today. As a multi-pump air rifle, it’s ready to take out of the box and shoot. It’s able to shoot both BBs and pellets. And it’s claimed to reach a screaming 800 FPS with alloy pellets (we all know that faster is better, right?).

The NXG APX is also smartly styled for an air rifle of this price.

As such, the NXG APX is just the sort of airgun that’s in the sights of many newcomers to airgunning. Either for themselves, or as a teaching tool for kids or grand kids – under supervision, of course! Umarex positions the gun clearly as a youth model.

It’s the cheapest air rifle  the HAM Team has ever tested. But is it also good value?

Well, the Crosman 760 and Daisy Red Ryder are cheaper. The 760X combo, with scope, is $10 less. A scoped Red Ryder is $5 lower. This means that the NXG APX is in the ballpark for price. It might just look like a slightly premium product compared to the other two for the additional few Bucks.

The multiple safety features give it the responsible parents’ edge as a first youth air rifle. That alone will justify the price in their eyes.

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Combo
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Umarex NXG APX Scope Combo

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

 

SPEED AND ACCURACY

Firstly we need to say that we tested the Umarex NGX APX with pellets rather than BBs. It shoots both, but pellets would always be likely to be more accurate.

Secondly, HAM Tester Doug Wall felt that 7 pumps was a good number for the Umarex NXG APX air rifle. This gave him very decent Muzzle Velocity, without the three additional very hard pumps. This was an important consideration given that he was making close to 100 shots for this test review!

Below. The pump handle fully open.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

In fact, going up to 10 pumps per shot didn’t make much difference to the FPS. Doug found that ten pumps gave a maximum of 697 FPS using the lightweight Gamo Platinum PBA alloy pellets. This was up from 672 FPS with 7 pumps.

In another comparison, Crosman Premier Hollow Point pellets achieved 586 FPS with seven pumps, compared to 614 FPS with 10 pumps.

Accuracy at 10 Yards was somewhat “ho hum” with the standard HAM test suite of pellets. It was the sort of accuracy we expected from such a low cost airgun. At least it was until Doug tried the heavier H&N Field Target Trophy and Baracuda Match pellets!

Both these gave outstanding accuracy for such a low-priced air rifle, making one hole groups of around 1/3-Inch CTC. That’s not at all bad for a 10-shot group!

PelletAverage Muzzle VelocityAverage Muzzle EnergyAccuracy
Gamo Raptor Platinum 4.7 Grain672 FPS4.72 Ft/LbsPoor.
H&N Field Target Trophy Green 5.56 Grain645 FPS5.14 Ft/LbsOK.
RWS Hobby 7.0 Grain599 FPS5.59 Ft/LbsPoor.
Crosman Premier HP 7.9 Grain575 FPS5.80 Ft/LbsPoor.
JSB Exact Diabolo 8.44 Grain560 FPS5.88 Ft/LbsOK
H&N Field Target Trophy 8.64 Grain553 FPS5.86 Ft/LbsExcellent.
H&N Baracuda Match 10.65 Grain504 FPS6.01 Ft/LbsExcellent. Best Tested.

So, accuracy can be excellent – at least at close range. But how many owners of this $60 air rifle will be willing to spend $13 for a tin of 400 pellets to achieve this accuracy?

Of course, BBs are much cheaper to shoot in the NXG APX air rifle. But accuracy will definitely take a back seat for those that do so…

Below. BBs are loaded through this port in the left side.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
H&N Baracuda match, .177 Cal, 10.65 Grains, Round Nose, 400ct
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
H&N Baracuda Match Pellets .177 Cal 400 Ct

TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT

There’s no getting away from it. Like many low-priced air rifles, the trigger of the Umarex NXG APX was very heavy. In fact we recorded an average pull weight of 7 Lbs 8 Oz in HAM testing.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

Yes, this is waaaaaay too heavy a trigger pull for most of us. HAM Tester Doug Wall noted that “the trigger has a long creep and is too heavy for most people”. But – as we can see – he was still able to produce some good groups from the Umarex NXG APX air rifle using the heaviest pellets.

Cocking effort is light and pleasant for the first few actuations of the lever. However, it becomes harder work as the internal pressure of the gun rises with additional cocking strokes, as the table below shows.

Pump NumberEffort For That Pump
17 Lbs
210 Lbs
314 Lbs
415 Lbs
516 Lbs
616 Lbs
718 Lbs
819 Lbs
920 Lbs
1022 Lbs

Below, With the pump handle open the air compressing piston is clearly visible from the underside.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

The automatic safety is claimed by Umarex to be a first in this segment of the market. It locks against the cocking handle and is automatically deployed as soon as the cocking handle is pulled down. If required, it can also be engaged manually. This may be a “trigger block safety”, but it’s definitely a “finger block safety” as it significantly impeded access to the trigger when on.

It’s very intrusive and will certainly never be overlooked, that’s for sure!

 

COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS

Unfortunately, the Umarex NXG APX air rifle really suffers in this part of the review.

The manufacturer claims a maximum Muzzle Velocity of 800 FPS with lightweight alloy pellets. The maximum achieved with the Umarex NXG APX  tested by HAM was 697 FPS with the lightweight Gamo alloy pellets.

The 2018 Umarex USA print catalog we received at the SHOT Show gives a trigger pull weight specification of 3.5 Lbs for the NXG APX. The gun tested by HAM averaged 7.5 Lbs!

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

Other claims are met, however. These include trouble-free loading, the ability to shoot both pellets and BBs and having modern styling.

 

CONSISTENCY

Consistency of the Umarex NXG APX air rifle tested by HAM was rather good!

The average Standard Deviation (measurement of shot-to-shot variation in FPS) was very low at just 4.11 FPS. This matches or beats that of some air rifles costing 10x the price!

Accuracy with the standard HAM test pellets was never terrible either. Most of the groups showed about 3/4-inch CTC for 10 shots at 10 yards – until we got to the Field Target Trophies and Baracudas, that is. We’ve certainly seen worse consistency in some other HAM test reviews.

Trigger pull weight varied by – 6 Ounces to + 11 Ounces around the 7 Lbs 8 Oz average. That’s more consistent than we expected, too.

 

NOISE LEVEL

Of course the Umarex NXG APX  is not fitted with any kind of noise reduction system. However, low power shots on – say – 5 pumps or less are subjectively very backyard-friendly.

Noise level increases with the number of pumps, becoming much louder, although not objectionably so. This is, after all, not a powerhouse air rifle and the noise level reflects that.

 

SIGHTS AND SCOPE

The Umarex NXG APX air rifle is a low-end model and the sights are in tune with this positioning.

The open sights are primitive. There’s a fairly-ineffective red fiber optic in the front sight. The rear sight has a ladder-type elevation system. Some windage can be obtained by loosening the rear sight screw and sliding the notched plate to one side or the other. They’re not good, but par for the course at this price level.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

Considerably better accuracy will be attained when using the bundled 4 x 15 scope. Yes, this is not a great optic. But what else would you expect at this bargain-basement price?

However, as we can see from the test targets, HAM Tester Doug Wall was able to make some very good shooting at 10 Yards, with the right pellets. Let’s put this down to Doug’s skill and suggest that any replacement scope will give an improved  shooting experience for most shooters.

 

SHOOTABILITY

The manufacturer positions the Umarex NXG APX squarely as a youth air rifle. So, safety is the Number One priority in shootability!

This means that many of its characteristics are intended to facilitate safe operation by young or first-time shooters, even if they are limiting or  off-putting to experienced shooters.

The HAM shootability rating has been considered with this in mind, as a “parent’s view” of the NGX APX for a safe youth gun in supervised use. This is very different from how we normally assess our shootability ratings.

Yes, at 39-Inches long, it’s a decent size for adult shooters. It shoulders well and points well, as HAM Tester Doug Wall recorded in his test notes. It also allows for very stable and convenient off-hand shooting if the leading hand grasps the pump handle.

The heavy trigger makes it more difficult to obtain accuracy – particularly in combination with the gun’s light weight. But that same heavy trigger will undoubtedly prevent a number of unintended discharges from over-enthusiastic youthful shooters – even under adult supervision.

Likewise, the increasingly-heavy pumping effort required for higher FPS may actually be a benefit by making it impossible for many younger shooters to go beyond 5 pumps or so. This restricts the power of the gun and the danger of over-shoots from the inevitable missed targets.

Below. The safety interlocks with the pump handle.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

The very invasive – and effective – automatic safety is, again, just the sort of thing to ensure that younger shooters don’t get too enthusiastic without due restraint. It takes a lot of effort to take the safety off so that the gun is live to fire. A good feature is that it can be operated with equal facility from either side . It’s also very easy to set manually.

One of the big pains – literally – with many pump airguns is the potential to have part of your hand trapped unintentionally between the pump handle and action. (Yip, we’ve all done it, haven’t we?) Here the Umarex NXG APX  scores very well. The pump handle prevents any chance of that happening with this airgun.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

BBs and pellets are loaded from opposite sides of the gun – another good feature for operational safety. However, operation of the charging handle is very heavy, this time for no apparent good reason.

Yet another safety-first feature is that the gun will not fire if the trigger is pulled, even with the safety off, until that charging handle is pushed forward. Again, this is a safety benefit for responsible parents of youth shooters, even if it’s not likely to be met with enthusiasm by experienced airgunners.

 

APPEARANCE AND FINISH

Appearance and finish were rated highly by the HAM Team for a low end air rifle.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

The Umarex NXG APX is a sharp-looking air rifle with a distinctive style. It’s arguably the most stylish air rifle in it’s price and type range.

Finish was pleasantly good, too. The plastic moldings are generally sharp and well done. Mold seams are less prominent than you might expect at this price point. And the contrasting, soft touch sections of the buttstock look good, feel good and are nicely finished, too.

 

BUYING AND OWNING

The Umarex NXG APX is widely available online and in big box sporting goods stores. It carries a 12-month warranty, however the customer needs to pay shipping both ways in case of work being necessary. As that shipping cost is likely to total a significant proportion of the purchase price, the value of the warranty will be reduced accordingly in the eyes of many owners.

Below. Fitting an alternative scope will be a great benefit in use.

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

There’s a comprehensive, easy to follow instruction manual provided with the NXG APX. This is in English only, but is accompanied by two sheets of safety information that are in both English and Spanish.

Overall, the finish looks likely to accept the beating the NXG APX is likely to receive as a youth model. The sheet steel covering for the thin, soda straw barrel will also be of benefit in this respect.

One final point. There’s really not enough power to hunt anything with this air rifle. So please don’t use it for that purpose as the only likely result will be wounded, agonized critters. And none of us want that…

SAFETY FIRST. If shooting the Umarex NXG APX with BBs, it’s doubly necessary to wear shooting glasses when firing this airgun. Also do not shoot BBs at hard surfaces or water. BBs tend to bounce off these surfaces and may hit you, or something other than what you intended. If in doubt, don’t pull the trigger!

 

TEST TARGETS

Umarex NGX APX Air Rifle Test Review

Umarex NGX APX Air Rifle Test Review

Umarex NGX APX Air Rifle Test Review

Umarex NGX APX Air Rifle Test Review

Umarex NGX APX Air Rifle Test Review

Umarex NGX APX Air Rifle Test Review

Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Test Review

BUY FROM PYRAMYD AIR
Umarex NXG APX Air Rifle Combo
BUY FROM AIRGUN DEPOT
Umarex NXG APX Scope Combo

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.