This column’s primary focus is having fun shooting paper targets and plinking. A big part of that is using airguns, so starting with this edition we will be having BB and pellet guns mixed in with all the others.
Our first selection in the air category is one for all ages. The Umarex NXG pump BB/pellet rifle comes in two versions and has one with and without with a scope. The NXG has a BB reservoir that holds approximately 75 rounds, eliminating the need to place a BB in front of the bold one at a time, but it is still a single shot. If pellets are to be used, then all BBs should be unloaded, including any in the reservoir. This will eliminate the chance of a BB being loaded into the barrel with a pellet. And never shoot two of anything in any combination in one shot. You can shoot both types of ammo in alteration if you load them one at a time by hand.
The NXG has a rifled barrel, so shooting pellets is favored over BBs. In fact, they are more accurate. I have done BB and pellet tests with this gun, and I can say that some of the best performance has come from Umarex recommended products, which are RWS pellets, Umarex Steel and Hornady Black Diamond BBs.
The gun fires with up to 10 pumps, at an advertised velocity of 800 fps. Never go over the 10; it won’t give the rifle more velocity but over time will damage the internal seals. In fact, the maximum that I have used was 6, and normally use 2 to 4, with an occasional 5. With that amount I have hit direct-center bull’s-eyes at 10 meters and at 20 to 25 yards, especially when shooting pellets.
Shooting without a scope is not problem with the front fiber optic and adjustable rear sights. With a scope, it can do even better. I’ve used the 4-by-15 scope that comes with the gun, and have done well. But I have switched to a Tasco (3-7 x 20) after zeroing in and have really punched some good center groupings.
A feature that I find interesting is the automatic safety. To pump the gun, pull back the bolt and start pumping. At that point the safety automatically engages, which makes it necessary to turn it back to the firing position before pulling the trigger. Pushing a button forward with the trigger finger on the inside of the trigger guard can easily do this.
The NXG is lightweight and just about the right size for any person. It’s also extremely easy to use, which makes it good to teach beginners, but it’s still a lot of fun for those of us who have been around for a few years.
It does have a lot of plastic, but it doesn’t seem all that bad. I like the rubber shoulder pad and how the gun positions when holding it to fire. It also has what could be called a “Space Age” or “modernized” design.
One of my top reasons for liking this gun is the ease of picking it up and shooting either type of ammo without the need to load CO2 when I want to do some quick test-firing or want to go out and have a short time of shooting fun. Also, being able to vary the amount of pumps/velocity is a big plus for many reasons including shooting safety in confined areas and any testing.
I’ve seen the Umarex NXG ranging in price from $44 to $64, so it’s good value for a quality gun.
In summary, this is a good, low-cost, all-around easy-to-use BB/pellet, multi-pump air rifle for any level of experience. It would be perfect for someone who has never shot any type of gun or for one who wants to get into the “fun” of target shooting and plinking. You do have to get use to the automatic safety—a good feautre to have—but it doesn’t take long.
If you would like to see a video on the NXG being shot, go to the Shoot ‘N’ Plink™ Facebook page or Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales on YouTube, which is Dan Galusha Productions, and has both shooting and fishing videos.
As said, this is the start of airguns for Shoot ‘N’ PlinkTM and there will be more regarding rifles, pistols, ammo, CO2 and others pertaining to this end of shooting. Of course, we won’t be leaving out my selection of “powder burners” and related subjects.