Those of you who have followed Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales in the magazines and videos know that there is a sister column and video series called Shoot ‘N’ Plink. It is just as it says -- target shooting and plinking -- that means primarily small bore and air guns, with no hunting. From time to time, I will be including some of the Shoot ‘N’ Plink topics in my newspaper work, starting with this article about what I call a “quick pick-up dual shooter” when you just want to have some fun with air.
The gun is an Umarex NXG pump, dual ammo BB/pellet rifle, which comes in two versions -- one without and one with a scope.
The NXG has a BB reservoir that holds approximately 75 rounds. This will eliminate the need to place a BB in front of the bolt 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. 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.
Being that the NXG has a rifled barrel, shooting pellets is favored over BBs. In fact, they are more accurate. I have done BB and pellet tests with this gun, which will be in a later article. I can say that some of the best performance has come from Umarex recommended products, which are RWS pellets, and 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 pumps. 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 six, and normally use two to four, with an occasional five. With that amount, I have hit direct center bullseyes at 10 meters and 20-25 yards, especially when shooting pellets.
Shooting without a scope is not a problem with the front fiber optic, and adjustable rear sights. I’ve hit the bullseye, and plinked off some cardboard toilet paper center rolls at 25 yards using open/iron sights, with four pumps. With a scope, it can do even better. I’ve used the 4 x 15 scope that comes with the gun, and, done well, but switched to a Tasco 3-7 x 20, which, after zeroing in, 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 is also extremely easy to use, which makes it good to teach beginners, but it is still a lot of fun for those of us that 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, non-slip 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 just 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 – shooting safety in confined areas and testing is two of those reasons.
I’ve seen the Umarex NXG ranging in price from $44 to $64, so in that price range this is a very good airgun.
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, and/or wants to get into the fun of target shooting and plinking. You do have to get used to the automatic safety, but it doesn’t take long, and is a good feature.
Christmas is not far off, so this would make a great gift idea for the type of people previously mentioned.
If you would like to see a video on the NXG being shot, visit Shoot ‘N’ Plink™ Facebook page (www.facebook.com/shootnplink) or Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales® You Tube channel (www.youtube.com/dansfishntales), which is Dan Galusha Productions, and has both shooting and fishing videos.
Until next time, shoot safe and have a great day of plinking.