Magtech AR750 / Magtech AR7 400 “Junior”
Pat Farey looks at a couple of new Magtech air rifles all the way from the State of Sao Paulo in sunny Brazil
If you shoot a rimfire or centrefire rifle you may well be familiar with CBC Magtech ammunition, and this Brazilian company also make a neat .22LR semi-auto rifle which is available in the UK. In fact CBC (Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos) make a whole raft of military and civilian firearms, and Brazil has the second largest arms industry in the Western Hemisphere, with approximately 80 percent of their products being exported. All neat info to toss around at ‘nerds corner’ in the gun club - but did you also know that CBC made air rifles too?
I’m sure that I didn’t, until Viking Arms sent us a couple of Magtech break barrel air rifles; a full size ‘adult’ AR750 model and a shorter ‘mini me’ cloned junior version known as the AR7 400. When told the prices - £120 for the AR750 and £108 for the AR7 400 – I wasn’t expecting much, but I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.
Both test models were supplied in .177 calibre (.22 versions are available) and were mounted in hard wood stocks, although the first batch to go on sale in the UK will feature black polymer stocks. The shape of both wood and synthetic stocks looks identical, except that the latter may feature chequering on the pistol grip. In either case the price will be the same, no matter which stock type is chosen.
The woodwork is neatly done featuring a slightly raised cheekpiece, ventilated rubber pad, long forend and fluting extending almost up to the forward stock screws. It’s plain but functional, with good quality wood (that would polish up really well) and a design that – like so many others – is a compromise for use with either open sights or a scope.
The barrel on the AR750 is 17” in length while the AR7 400 is 14.13”. They both feature high visibility open sights consisting of a raised ‘fixed’ fore sight consisting of a single red fibre optic style dot and an adjustable rear unit with two green dots. This rear sight unit can be moved on its ramp mount to adjust elevation, while a screwdriver is required for adjusting windage. Once set to a desired zero point, these sights are highly effective, and in truth, they are all that is really required for budget priced plinking rifles like these. Nevertheless, many people will want to ‘scope up’, in which case the generous length of dovetailing on the cylinders will give ample room. The cylinder end cap will serve a double duty as a ‘recoil stop’, although in actuality there’s no real recoil to speak of.
All parts of the trigger unit that you can see, including the guard, are made of synthetic materials, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – many manufacturers are now following this route in budget priced airguns – and it certainly doesn’t seem to affect the trigger performance.
The trigger release is ‘faux’ two stage, having a slight take up pressure and a surprisingly crisp release. The safety catch takes the unusual form of a shaped plate protruding from the trigger guard that moves backward – into the guard – when the rifle is cocked. It is therefore resting just in front of the trigger finger, so it is easy to disengage by just moving your finger forward. The plate has a red stripe on its edge, presumably to make it easier to see, although you could hardly miss it! If you don’t take the shot for any reason, the safety can be re-engaged manually.
Cocking both these rifles was easy, although if a youngster (not yet a teen) was using the junior model, it might take an adult to ‘break’ the lock up détente, before returning it to the young’un to complete the cocking of the rifle. It goes without saying that if the youngster is struggling, it’s best for an adult to do the whole operation.
Using the AR750 from a rested position at 15 yards, it was possible to get a one hole group using the very efficient open sights. At 20 yards with care it was still capable of achieving a 1” group. Adding a telescopic sight will make this easier, but in my opinion this would be the absolute limit for pest control whichever sight was used. Of course for target shooting you could push the maximum distance much further.
The AR7 400 ‘junior’ model is accurate too, but obviously its lower power restricts the distance that it can be used (20 yards would probably be an absolute limit) for target shooting, and of course it should never be used for hunting or pest control.
I took these rifles down to ETL FTC, where Brett Wilkinson kindly put them over the club chrono. With JSB pellets the Magtech AR7 400 ‘junior’ model averaged 443fps or 3.67ft/lbs and the AR750 ‘senior’ model chronoed at 702fps or 9.29ft/lbs. These figures confirm that these rifles are best regarded as plinkers (informal target shooting) although the AR750 could also be used for close range pest control. These figures were gained by taking an average over five shots, and amazingly the AR750 had only an 8fps spread over the readings with three shots giving exactly the same velocity… and before you ask, the answer is no, the chrono wasn’t stuck. Using experimental pellets (which are now marketed by Daystate as ‘Rangemaster’) the muzzle energy of the AR750 went up to about 10ft/lbs with a spread of 2fps over five pellets (discounting one flyer, but even then it was only a 7fps spread over six pellets!). As can be seen, although not over powerful, these rifles were very consistent – and that’s the most important factor for accuracy.
These are remarkably good rifles for the money – far better than I would have expected - and I really have no complaints at all with the larger model. Likewise the junior model, although at 13.5”, the reach to pull may still be too much for some youngsters – but this could be easily remedied with a bit of DIY on the stock’s butt.
|Name||Magtech AR750 / Magtech AR7 400 ‘Junior’|
|Type||Break barrel springer / Break barrel springer|
|Stock||Hardwood (synthetic available) / Hardwood sporter (synthetic available)|
|Length||43.25” / 35.25”|
|Barrel length||17” / 14.13”|
|Weight||6lbs 10oz / 5lbs 6oz|
|Calibre||.177 (.22 available) / .177 (.22 available)|
|Price||£120 / £108|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates