Why Is the American Tactical Nova Freedom The Best Airgun for Me?
Is the American Tactical Nova Freedom the best airgun for me? Well, of course, it depends what you want to do and what’s important to you! Let’s take a look at this interesting air rifle and see how it matches-up…
NOTE: As American Tactical is – sadly – out of the airgun business, it’s good to know that (almost) the same model is still available from Air Venturi. Branded as the Seneca Aspen, it differs from the Nova Freedom only in bundling a scope with the gun instead of including iron sights. The Seneca Aspen is also available in .25 caliber, which makes it ideal for hunters.
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Price And Specifications
Selling for less than $380, the American Tactical Nova Freedom is a pretty-much unique air rifle. This is because it’s a Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) air rifle with a built-in, high pressure hand pump.
It’s available in .177 and .22 calibers, weighs 8 Lbs and has an overall length of 43 Inches.
Muzzle Velocity peaks at about 1,000 FPS for the .177 model with lead pellets. In .22 caliber, expect to see maxima of 30 Ft/Lbs and 900 FPS.
The Nova Freedom is supplied with open sights. So if your budget is $380, this gun gives you a complete, shootable PCP with no need for any additional-cost accessories. That’s great value!
However, most serious airgunners will choose to mount a riflescope. As this is a PCP air rifle, any scope will be suitable so long as it can be focused close enough. Of course, a scope with a Mil-Dot or similar graduated reticle will be best, as it allows for holdover when shooting.
Key Features And Benefits
Obviously the key feature of this air rifle is the capability to charge it with High Pressure Air (HPA) without the need for additional charging equipment such as a compressor, pump or tank. This is HUGE!!!
This makes it ideal for anyone who wants to try-out PCP airguns without the need to spend hundreds of Dollars on charging accessories.
Another key benefit of the built-in HPA pump is that it completely overcomes the phenomenon of “air anxiety”. With any other PCP, it’s necessary to be sure that you have enough air pressure for that next shot. With the Nova Freedom: not so. Just make a few pumps.
Below. The side lever action is very convenient in operation. Here the single shot tray is installed. Most shooters will use the 10-shot rotary magazine.
Of course – like any product – there are some downsides. The Nova Freedom is a little large and blocky-looking. But then this is an air rifle AND pump combined. It may be somewhat of a handful for shooters of smaller stature.
More importantly, it’s not regulated. So the number of consistent shots is pretty small – at least in factory tune.
However, this issue is mitigated by two factors. Firstly, it’s always easy to top-up HPA pressure by using the built-in pump. So you can get back to full pressure – and on to the shot curve – at any time.
Also, if you have access to a chronograph, the Nova Freedom is very tunable. Although the factory tune is set for maximum power, it’s easy to obtain many more, consistent but slightly lower-powered shots per fill, simply by adjusting the hammer spring. You can read all about it in this HAM story.
The only other potential downside is that the Nova Freedom carries just a 12-month warranty. At a time when 3- or 5-year warranties are becoming commonplace for air rifles, this is, perhaps, a limitation. However, warranty coverage is only required in the unlikely event of an issue…
There’s only one other model currently available with a similar configuration – the FX Independence. That sells for north of $1,500, so it’s playing in a completely different segment of the airgun market!
Really, if you like the onboard pump PCP idea and have close to $400 to spend, there is no other choice! (The Seneca Aspen is the same gun under a different name).
Why Is The American Tactical Nova Freedom The Best Airgun For Me?
If you’re looking for a low-cost, low complexity way into the world of PCP air rifles, the American Tactical Nova Freedom could well be the best airgun for you.
If you’re worried about the possibility of running out of air and don’t want to carry bulky a HPA tank, hand pump or compressor, this is the gun for you. When air pressure runs low, just make a few strokes on the built-in pump handle and you’ll be back up to pressure.
This makes the American Tactical Nova Freedom the best choice for springer guys (and gals) looking to venture into the “dark side” of PCPs.
Also it’s ideal for hunters who want the power and convenience of PCP shooting but need to carry the minimum of equipment into the field.
And that built-in hand pump handle makes an ideal hold position for standing shots in the field. If you like to shoot standing, that’s another great practical advantage!
Finally, the .22 caliber model is powerful and accurate with 14.3 Grain pellets, as you can read in the Hard Air Magazine test review.
As a HAM Gold Award winner, the Nova Freedom offers a great combination of power, accuracy, versatility and value. That alone should put it on your shortlist for your new air rifle…