Sometimes, in life, you just have to be flexible and adapt. That's exactly what I did in this case. I was on the list to purchase one of the new Kalibrgun Colibri (AKA-Hummingbird) semi-auto bullpups, when they became available sometime during the spring or summer of this year. Well, in August, the factory decided that the gun just wasn't ready for primetime, and postponed production indefinitely.
I was a bit disappointed, but I have to give them credit for not shipping a product that was sure to come with problems. So, I did the next best thing, and decided to scratch a different airgun itch.
In January of this year, I purchased one of the Kalibrgun Cricket rifles in .22, and have been very happy with that gun. After shooting it, and hunting with it for a few months, I thought to myself, "man, I bet this thing would be a sweet prairie dog rig in .25." Soooo, the funds that had been designated for the Colibri, were instead used to purchase a Cricket rifle in .25.
I just received it about a week ago, and it looks just as impressive as my first Cricket in .22. A couple of differences, that I noticed immediately are, the .25 is 45 3/4 inches long, where the .22 is 42 inches long, and the stock is no longer walnut.
If I had to SWAG it, I would say the stock is beech. It's very nicely colored, and the finish looks very good. It's on a par with the beech stocks that were on the Beeman R-9, R1, and HW-97 springers that I used to own. Maybe even a little nicer. Not walnut, but still very nicely executed, and I have no complaints about the stock.
Another difference is, the air cylinder on the .25 is 21.25 inches long, where on the .22 it is 18.5 inches long. I believe that the barrel on the .25 is also longer than the barrel on the .22. By how much, I don't know, and I'm not going to take the guns apart to find out, but by just eyeballing them, you can see that the .25 barrel is longer than the .22.
The trigger is nice, but I did a bit of fine tuning to get it just the way I like on my hunting guns. Crisp but not too light.
I decided to try one of the AEON scopes on it, and picked a 6-24x50mm with their Field Target reticle. My initial impression is very positive. The turrets have 1/4 minute clicks, and feel very precise. The side focus control is nice and smooth. The optics are very clear, and I really like the Field Target reticle.
The reticle is etched into the glass of the lens. I like that feature in a scope because it allows the crosshairs to be made very fine. Like most scopes these days, it has a fast focus ocular lens. Also included are lens covers, and more importantly to me, a 2.5 inch sunshade.
Charlie, at Wild West Air Guns, mounted the scope, and zeroing it at 40 yards, shot three groups of five shots each using the JSB King pellets. Below is a picture of the groups, that also show the velocity of each shot. I think I have a winner here.
The gun, with scope, rings, camera mount, and reticle level all installed, is coming in at nine pounds five ounces. A great weight for a dedicated prairie dog rig. That weight gives me some ballast, in the inevitably windy conditions found in a prairie dog town.
The Cricket rifles are regulated. The expectation is, that they will have a low extreme velocity spread, and this one doesn't disappoint. She's putting the 25.6 grain JSB King's out at an average of 961 fps at the muzzle, for 52.5 fpe, and an extreme spread of only 8 fps. When I get a chance, I'll set up the chronograph and run a shot string, as well as chrono a couple of other pellets that I want to try in her.
This rig will make for a really sweet prairie dog gun. I've got a lot on my plate this week, but next week, I hope to get her out, with some wind flags, and zero her at 65 yards. I'm hoping to do a few p-dog hunts before they go into hibernation, for four or five months, this winter.
Stay tuned, more to follow. Until next time, thanks for reading.