Top Gun Air Guns has done it again. They have a new air rifle on the American market from the Czech Republic. It is called Rifle Alfa CO2, and it is manufactured by Alfa Proj. Alfa Proj is a relatively new maker to the air guns and pistols. They are primary manufacturers of revolvers and semi automatic pistols. There is an article on topgunairguns.com about the pistol. But, back to the rifle.
The rifle is based on the pistol. At least the profile is based on the pistol. What does differ is the bolt mechanism. On the pistol it is a basic copy of the Tau-7, on the Alfa rifle it is a small bolt. It is only .400 long measured from the frame to the end. But what is neat it is spring loaded, so all it takes is a flick of the finger and it will open. Pellet loading port is rather short, only space for the pellet and maybe a couple of millimeters to spare. But even with my stubby fingers I did not have a problem. The bolt will be on the up side of the receiver making it easy to close. Spring tension is not too much so a shooter can feel the pellet go in easily. Then it just pivots closed to a 90 degree angle and to the right. Then all the shooter has to do is cock the mechanism and shoot. Cocking is done for those who are not familiar with the Tau-7 system is to push couple of buttons on the frame forward.
So much for the basics, lets get to the interesting parts. Let’s start with the sights. They are diopter type, or a shooter can switch them to a regular open sight. That is done by removing via two screws the diopter section and installing the open sight. There is also a option of widths on the open sights, just a matter of which side goes up. Also those sights can be placed on the shroud forward of the mechanism like regular sights. The diopter has another rail closer to the eye as it should be. The rail seems to be 8mm so at this time or at least the first rifles do not have an option of optics or electronics. I am sure there are enterprising enough shooters to prove me wrong. The directions on the diopter for shot movement are standard English and not the backward German type. Front sight is the standard globe type with inserts. There are round inserts of various diameter holes. All are nicely marked how many millimeters the opening is. There is also a single post insert which does not have how many mm it is across the flat. But I miked it at .118 not that it is that relevant since it is the only one available.
The stock is a laminate with adjustable cheek piece as well as length of pull. It is vertical type but done with the wood not the angle of the CO2 reservoir. In other words more wood/laminate to the front of the pistol grip. The stock is ambidextral this will make lefties just as happy with the fit. The forend tapers from 1.75 towards the muzzle to a nice wide 2.170 just in front of the trigger guard. There is a rail with a swivel for a target sling, the type that goes around the shooting arm. Not the type that you can carry over the shoulder. However, I am sure a shooter could install that one as well. The fore stock also is pyramid shaped tapering down toward the barrel. I found this stock surprisingly comfortable for almost all positions. It is also worth mentioning the butt pad will adjust vertically. A perfect set up for practicing some of the NRA type shooting.
Barrel is a long one at 18.5 inches with a long rectangular shroud that measures 26 inches. I could be off slightly on these measurements since I used a yard stick. But what I do know that is extremely quiet rifle. Out of the box I chronographed it at 425 feet per second. I managed to get 536 fps out of it before any more turns on the main spring locked up the trigger. At that velocity there is a CO2 crack out of any rifle or a pistol, mainly pistol. But out of this rifle all I could hear is a spring opening the valve but only faintly and almost instantly I could hear the pellet hit the paper. AND THAT IS IT. The report is certainly far less then the very quiet IZH 46 to give the target shooters a comparison. The shroud is .800 wide across the top. And 1.290 top to bottom and like I mentioned 26 inches long. That makes for a lot of space for the CO2 to dissipate without any baffles or obstructions. There is a round weight of sorts on the shroud. The reason I say of sorts is that it is rather light. It is a round band with a tension screw on the bottom. But what makes it light is the plastic inserts to go around the rectangular shroud. And it is 1.935 in diameter. I moved it from the tip to the front of the forend with no effect on accuracy. In fact when shooting offhand I did not notice any weight change in the rifle. But then this rifle seems to fit me so well it amazed me. I am normally partial to rifles that are closer to the 10 pound range and are front heavy. The balance point on this rifle is 2 inches in front of the trigger guard. The weight is listed at 2995 grams that comes to little over 6.5 pounds.
Trigger is the standard wonderful Tau-7 type with all sorts of adjustments. It was set so nicely from the factory I did not even attempt to adjust it. But I would rate it with any of the top of the line rifles or pistols in the 10 meter game.
As someone said "only interesting rifles are the accurate ones" so lets see what we have. The manual has a test target on the back. It looks like one hole to me but it is five pellets going through the hole. I measured it center to center and it is .018. The manual also said it is JSB pellet but not which one, no matter this is accurate. Also the manual rates the dispersion at 3mm at 10 meter range. That puts it right up there with the overpriced 10m rifles from the well known makers. But naturally I had to find our for myself what it can do. I tried these pellets;
Kovohute P. 7.3 grains .309 center to center
Kovohute R. 7.9 .203
JSB Blue 8.3 .248
JSB Green 7.2 .288
Voegel 8.1 .479
Finale Match 7.6 .127
RWS Super Mag 8.8 .540
Kovohute Lux 8.8 .146
Looking at the differences I am not sure I can offer an explanation of what was going on. At first it was looking good for the heavier pellets until I shot the RWS offering. And then the same weight Lux shot so great. All I can say it does seem to have a liking for the lighter pellets. But keep in mind it is my rifle and the velocity it is set for. The next rifle may have different preferences. And as far as Voegel is concerned the diameter I noticed on the bottom of the tin is 4.49. So I would definitely stay with the 4.50. I did not have any that are larger then the 4.50 so that is what I will stick with. But again with this kind of accuracy I am not sure I will experiment with anything else. The Lux being so much cheaper then Finale Match I think I found my pellet. I even shot the Bremen silhouette reduced targets at 10m and did quite well with a score of 27 and diopter sights. At least I consider it a good score for a old, blind, fat guy like me.
Also worth mentioning is the manual, it is in four languages. Czech, English, French and Spanish. Interesting enough German is not included, making me think the Germans have not ordered any to date. No matter English is still there. On the back of the manual there is the number of shots the rifle will give per fill. For example, using a 7gram bomblet and the rifle set at 125 meters per second (400fps) it will give 60 shots. Using the standard caplet at least here in the States it will give 100 shots. And using bulk fill it will also give 100 shots. Naturally this is still a approximation however, a close one, because it does not give the temperature this data was obtained. Some of the English is strangely translated but not to the point of not being understood. For example "setting the nozzle velocity" I am not sure what nozzle they are talking about. But I know they meant muzzle. I figure I can use some comedy no matter where it comes from, so just enjoy the fun.
This rifle looks so different I think I will purchase this one. Not only is it accurate, it looks business like, or at least just plain different, and mainly it fits me perfectly. All I need is some practice.