By: Pete Wadeson
Pete Wadeson checks out the latest Kral Devil break-barrel air rifle with black synthetic stock – but camo and hardwood versions are available too
First off I must say that the Kral Devil does bear a resemblance to another modern looking springer sporter of Turkish origin, but the facts are that the importers Range Right had this model ready to go and designed to complement their under-lever Demon springer long before other lookalikes currently on the market had been seen in the UK.
It makes sense to add a break-barrel springer to their roster as though the under-lever Demon performed well, you’ll always have shooters who prefer the simplicity of this basic and tough design.
It’s a syn…
No surprises that like many new age springers of this type, the rifle is dressed in a black synthetic stock. However hardwood and camo versions are also available. Interestingly this handle is classed as an ‘anti-shock composite build’ - obviously inferring it’ll take some abuse.
The fully ambidextrous design has been well thought out as the slim stock has some good features, such as a nicely styled, if rather low cheekpiece and a thick ventilated black rubber butt pad. It’s fairly substantial at this point and features a moulded step down ridge on the underside of the cheekpiece.
The forend is slim and relatively lengthy with inset rubber gripping panels on either side with fluting above. These are exactly where they should be for a sensible leading hand hold, making this one of the better designed lower priced synthetic stocks I’ve tested. Less radical but just as effective is the pistol grip which has a generous amount of cast-in chequering. Look closely and you can also make out the finish has a ‘black granite’ effect about it, making the whole rifle look rather stylish.
The Devil features the now familiar and time tested ‘Tru-Glo’ fibre optic open sights. The foresight shows a red blade and sits on top of the chunky, ABS dummy muzzle break. Even here there are cosmetic flourishes, as the muzzle weight is ribbed and even railed! The rear has a square notch flanked by green rods. The whole design gives a fast and efficient line-up on target. As expected it’s fully adjustable for windage and elevation using the large serrated edge thumbwheels. I was pleasantly surprised at how precisely they could be used to set a zero for sensible ranges.
There are also some well-cut dovetails, but they are some way before the plastic end cap cover at the rear of the compression cylinder. I mention this as the Devil comes with a removable arrestor block attached. For mounting the Hawke Airmax 2 – 7 X 32AO scope I used on test I had to remove it to acquire optimum eye-relief. Due to experience I’d say this is likely to have to be done for quite a few other scopes.
The 2- stage trigger has a manual, in-guard safety lever - a design we’ve seen on many rifles before; to operate simply push forward with your forefinger. Where this scores over some similar designs is that the metal trigger blade is deeply curved rearward, which keeps the safety out of the way until needed. The guard is integral to the stock moulding and has a distinctive extended rearward facing spigot at its lowest point. Why this is I’m not sure, but at this area you also have a hole for accessing a stock screw - so maybe it’s for added strength.
The cocking stroke is smooth and near effortless, thanks to the articulated linkage with the dummy muzzle brake acting as a handy cocking aid. The breech has a solid lock up thanks to a wedge shape detente and the large seal makes for the all-important air tight closure.
The rifled, choked 17.9” steel barrel must be a good grade as it didn’t seem overly pellet fussy as I set my zero. Though recoil was low for a full power hunter, the muzzle report was in my opinion quite loud. However, I noticed there was some dieseling so the possibilities are this should calm down with use – many springers need a short ‘running-in’ period before you get the best from them.
Having said that, the .22 version on test has a good set of open sights for close range work and once scoped up and zeroed for 25-yd all quality ammo produced sub ¾” groups. Extending range on paper out to 35-yds showed the rifle capable of 1” groups but for ensuring clean kills on quarry I’d keep my distances to within 30-yds.
To sum up, the Kral Devil is a lightweight, accurate and easy to use springer sporter at a good price, which should be a good way of tempting younger shooters into hunting with an air rifle. Also, as it’s a mechanical recoiling action air rifle, they’ll learn from the beginning that gun handling and fieldcraft are the all important factors to success when hunting.
|Type||Break-barrel single-shot spring/piston air rifle|
|Calibre||.22 on test (.177 available)|
|Sights||Open sights included plus grooves for scope mounting|
|Price||£119 (Synthetic on test) £139 (Hardwood) £145 (Camo)|
|Contact||Range Right Ltd, tel. 01423 881919|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates