Cometa Fusion Star
Mark Camoccio puts some bunnies into orbit with Cometa’s Fusion Star break-barrel air rifle
I’ve tested a few spring powered models from Cometa over the years, and I have to say that I’ve become a big fan. The Fenix 400 was a firm favourite, and a shining example of quality Spanish workmanship, with a standard of accuracy placing it well and truly among the better spring powered rifles on the market.
But Cometa (manufactured by the family firm of Bascaran incidentally), have hardly stood still, and with this latest range of models, released under the ‘Fusion’ banner, they seem set to keep their brand firmly in the spotlight.
The new Fusion range features three models, all of which share the same basic configuration at the heart of the design - namely that of a full powered, break- barrel, spring/piston air rifle.
There’s the Cometa Fusion Black, complete with a black stock (well you didn’t think they would miss out on the current trend surely!), the Fusion Standard, and the Fusion Star. The stock on the Fusion Black is formed from wood rather than the ever popular ‘Tactical’ synthetics, with a black varnish sealing the grain, and the other two models share the same beech stock, which really is rather stylish.
My test rifle is the top of the range Fusion Star, and this differs from the ‘Standard’ model by the addition of an adjustable cheek piece, more of which in a moment.
The action fitted to the Fusion range is identical for each model, and sports some interesting and eye-catching features.
A solid bull barrel gives the rifle a purposeful look, and with the flared sides just forward of the breech, the overall impression is of a quality adult sporter. I say ‘solid’ barrel, but the chunky 3/4inch diameter looks to be bulked up by the use of a sleeve. Either way, it’s very well executed and finished. The barrel is apparently ‘Cold Hammered’ in the traditional way.
No open sights are present, and with the muzzle capped off with an alloy ported ‘tube’, the profile is nothing if not sleek. Cometa term this component an ‘Airstripper’, although whilst it looks great, and is precisely machined, I have my doubts as to whether it actually has any effect on the barrel dynamics, or indeed accuracy. Most effective ‘strippers’ would allow the pellet to exit the rifling briefly, then pass it back through a restricted tube to literally ‘strip’ away the excess air, before the pellet exits to the outside world. Cometa’s design is rather more simple, yet appealing nonetheless. As for the claims that recoil is reduced… we’ll see.
It’s always an encouraging sign with a break barrel, when the manufacturer fits a breech adjustment bolt, as Cometa have done here with the Fusion. A bolt runs through the breech, which, later down the line, if any play in the lock-up is detected, can be nipped up to tighten the whole arrangement. In addition, a ‘keeper’ screw sits inside the bolt to prevent any movement over time. All very neat, and a measure of the attention to detail that Bascaran invest in their products.
A single piece cocking linkage is utilized in the design, and coupled with a spring-loaded barrel détente, the integrity of the breech lock-up is not an issue.
The trigger fitted to this Fusion appears to be identical to that fitted to the Fenix models, which is no bad thing in itself, since despite an irritating plastic blade, which could easily be moulded to offer a much broader contact surface, it actually ‘breaks’ quite nicely in use, with a reasonably light pull.
The woodwork on this Fusion Star, as stated, includes the highly desirable feature of an adjustable cheek- piece, but when I unwrapped the test rifle on its arrival, the adjustable cheek-piece was locked in the closed position, and refused to shift. A small amount of rust around the adjustment bolts suggested that some moisture in storage had caused the problem. But with a few squirts of thread release oil, the adjustment mechanism ‘freed up’… panic over.
I have to say, apart from this minor incident, the cheek-piece cut-out and movement is very nicely finished, and I’d highly recommend this model over the others, although the privilege will set you back another forty to fifty quid on the asking price.
With a thick varnish uniformly applied to the attractive beech stock, still allowing the pleasant wood grain to show through, none of the natural beauty of the timber is lost. Add to this those striking ‘dot’ patterns applied to the fore-end and pistol grip, along with a refreshingly angular fore-end tip, and there’s no mistaking the Fusion Star in any line up. Not easily said of many springers on the market.
Range and field testing
On the range, the Fusion proved a very pleasant gun to shoot, whilst proving a little rough to cock at the outset. However, cocking the action requires minimal effort, and I did notice the action becoming smoother the more it was used. Since it is perfectly normal for many rifles of this type, to require a ‘bedding in’ period, persevering with the internals, until they have ‘run in’ so to speak, is par for the course. Having said this, the actual firing cycle was fairly slick and free from spring twang.
Consistency over the chrono was superb, using .22 calibre Daystate FT pellets, and with a mere 9fps variation clocked over 20 shots (18 shots of which were within an amazing 2fps!). So the power plant at the heart of this rifle seems well up to spec. Energy levels were set a little too near the limit for my liking, although this may just have been my test rifle, and not representative of the norm.
Unsurprisingly, consistency translated into discernable accuracy - and with sub half inch groups printing over 30yds, my confidence was high. This was clearly a good time to indulge myself with some further research regarding the larger .22 calibre for hunting purposes. So with the Fusion along with a tin of .22 Daystate FTs in the boot of the car, I headed for my local farm.
In the field, the Fusion didn’t let me down, and with a few sizeable bunnies bowled over, I left the hunt best pleased with the rifle, and if anything, it’s been instrumental in helping to shift my rather blinkered opinion of all things .22, as too awkward and demanding, given the more pronounced trajectory.
Maybe I’m just compensating for poor hunting skills, but the greater impact of the larger pellet seems to be returning cleaner kills at my end. Watch this space on that one.
With regards to the Cometa Fusion Star, it purely served as a reminder as to just why I hold the brand in such high regard. For the sheer enjoyment of the break-barrel format, this Cometa has to be on any serious shortlist.
|Model||Cometa Fusion Star|
|Type||Break barrel, spring/piston|
|Stock||Beech sporter with adjustable cheek-piece|
|Sights||No open sights, cylinder grooved for scope mounting|
|Calibre||.22 on test, .177 avail|
|Energy||11.9ft/lbs with Daystate FT pellets|
Spread 9fps over 20shots using Daystate FT pellets
|Trigger||2 stage adjustable|
|Price||Star model on test £250 approx. (the Standard model and the ‘Fusion Black’ are both priced at £200)|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates