Which Is Best? Cricket 1 Or Cricket 2?

Matt Coulter is in the enviable position of having both these KalibrGun air rifles. So he’s ideally-placed to give his thoughts on which is best. Is it the Cricket 1 or Cricket 2? Take it away Matt…

This shooter is about 10-years into my airgun exploration journey. And it’s hard not to chuckle thinking that I have my wife to thank for this! It was she who suggested we purchase a BB gun for our two daughters.

Oh boy! We never could have seen where that first Remington (Crosman) Airmaster 77 airgun would lead…

In these years since that initial purchase, I have owned 15 different airguns. Of these, five have remained as “keepers”. And of these “keepers” two stand apart from the rest. These two airguns, which are made by the same manufacturer, represent interesting milestones in this maker’s history.

The airgun brothers I am speaking of are KalibrGun’s Cricket (left in our heading photo above) and newer Cricket 2 platforms (right, above and below).

I hope these observations, comparisons, and contrasts between these airguns of similar lineage will be a resource to other enthusiasts as they contemplate which airguns deserve to occupy slots in their gun safes!

Which Calibers? (And Why!)

A little backstory is necessary to explain my caliber selections. The first Cricket I owned is the original model in .25 caliber. I had familiarity with KalibrGun products since a friend has owned them and let me shoot a few of his models.

Having only owned .177 and .22 caliber airguns, I was excited to finally fill the empty quarter-bore slot and this trade for the .25 Cricket 1 seemed ideal. (Learn more about my experience bringing a previously owned gun up-to-snuff here.)

Confession time. I’m fan of the .22 caliber pellet. And here’s why…

Firstly, there is a greater selection of pellets in .22 cal. (in comparison to larger calibers, at least). They are also generally less expensive since they come in tins with higher counts than .25 caliber pellets.

Below. Matt shots these 50-Yard groups with his .22 caliber Cricket 1 and JSB Monster Redesigned pellets.

Which Is Best? Cricket 1 Or Cricket 2?

Therefore, it was an easy choice when the Cricket 2 was released in the US market in the Fall of 2020 that I was going to choose a Cricket 2 in .22 caliber. And there it was. A looming an epic backyard showdown coming between these Kalibrgun calibers. Which would be better: Cricket 1 or Cricket 2?

Below. These 5-shot groups were shot by Matt at 70 Yards. The .22 cal JSB Monster Redesigned groups from the Cricket 2 are the left two. The right two groups were shot with the .25 cal Cricket 1 with 33.4 Grain JSBs.

Which Is Best? Cricket 1 Or Cricket 2?

Does an airgunner really need such a similar platform in both calibers? One of these brothers will surely have a proverbial leg up on the other. Or will it?

Working from home during the pandemic has afforded me more lunchtime shooting than I could have hoped for. Across many days of shooting, varying weather conditions, temperature shifts, and tins of pellets in each caliber, I still cannot pick a clear winner in accuracy between the two guns!

I have a modest understanding (Matt’s waaay too modest, that should be an excellent understanding – Editor) of exterior ballistics and know on paper that the .25 should “win”. But my seat-of-the-pants experience has both guns shooting equally well out to 50 Yards.

Then at 70 Yards ( the maximum distance in my back yard) the diminutive .22 Cricket 2 typically ekes out tighter groups than its big-caliber brother, as the groups above show.

But when I visit the range and shoot at 100 or more Yards, the “OG” Cricket .25 cal. gains back any ground it lost and proves to be more accurate of the two.

Below. Here’s some 100 Yard Groups with the .25 cal. Cricket 1.

Which Is Best? Cricket 1 Or Cricket 2?

Forward Cocking – Yea or Nay? (And Why!)

Kalibrgun Crickets are “bullpup” style rifles since their action is positioned well behind their trigger.

Historically, this has meant that the mechanism used to cock a bullpup airgun is awkwardly positioned at the rear of the gun – practically at your cheek. Moving the cocking mechanism forward and positioning it near the trigger (and grip) is a welcome design trend across many airgun manufacturers.

Is this a slam-dunk in favor of forward-cocking? Yes: well almost…

If you are a hunter or someone who likes to shoot quickly – then 100% – the Cricket 2’s forward cocking has a HUGE advantage over the original Cricket.

But having lived with both platforms for some time and given the relatively slow-paced target shooting I do; the scale does not lean so steeply in favor of the Cricket 2. There is something cathartic about slower-paced target shooting.

While some may consider this a step backwards, I found the most enjoyment from single loading my Cricket .25 using a 3-D printed single-shot tray found on the MakerBot Thingverse web site. Given the old design cheek piece of my Cricket (not currently available from KalibrGun) where the magazine area is more open, top loading the tray is a joy.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite so convenient when used with the Cricket 2!

This is the first part of Matt’s thoughts on which air rifle he prefers – Cricket 1 or Cricket 2? Hard Air Magazine will have the second part to this story in a few days time. Keep checking back to find out.

Cricket 1 Mini Carbine WST
Cricket 2 WB