Bruce Potts discovers a very cost-effective pre-charged pneumatic air rifle, the Sportsmarketing PR900W…
Sports Marketing has been synonymous for providing the British air gunner with value for money and market-entry point air weapons, not only for the beginner, but also for seasoned vermin shooters.
The new PR900W is an entrylevel pre-charged air rifle, aimed at the first time buyer really and as such offers a very cost effective, £200-ish rifle. It is available in both .177 and .22 calibres and is either a single or magazine fed action, capable of fine accuracy and power. It’s a lightweight no nonsense PCP with a beech sporter stock and able to produce 25 shots per charge.
Sporting a conventional layout, with a barrel over air cylinder layout, the barrel is attached at the receiver end and also via a supporting bridge five-inches from the receiver. This also houses the rear sight that is adjustable but has to be removed to fit a scope however. The barrel is slim and 22-inches long with a muzzle weight/come shroud/ come moderator, again with a fixed sight attached to the top. The moderator is five-inches long and one-inch in diameter and works well. The finish of both action and barrel are blacked and the action has dovetails cut to fit standard 11 mm scope mounts.
The bolt operation is via a polished bolt that has a small recess to lock down into, and then when raised, travels just 1.75-inches to cock the action with a positive feel. This all travels in a small receiver of only 4.25-inch length but there is easy access and no fumbling with pellets to load. There is a quick fill design with probe supplied and filling is via a conventional straight through access hole in the cylinder tip.
You have a handy, recessed pressure gauge fitted just forward of the trigger guard, to check for max pressure and when it’s time to refill.
SMK recommend a fill pressure of 19-Mpa/190- bar and that is what I tried, as well as 20- but 19- was spot on, see tables below.
The trigger is a single adjustable unit that can have the sear engagement and let off adjusted from 0.5-4lbs weight, this broke cleanly at 3.5lbs on the test but there was a lot of first travel before the second stage take up. Still a decent trigger though, with a slim smooth bright polished trigger blade. The safety is a simple cross bolt design, which I like, as nothing to go wrong and operates left to right for SAFE to block the trigger travel.
You have two options with the 900W with regard shot capacity. As supplied, you have a magnetic single shot shelf fitted that allows an easy access for pellet placement for the bolt probe to take up. Just push from the right-hand side and this tray pops out. Now you can slide in left to right the supplied seven shot .22 or 9 shot .177 rotary magazine, so the best of both worlds. I was more than happy single loading the SMK but the magazine makes for a handy vermin option, especially for barn use on rats or ferals.
What appears to be a very simple plain stock actually turns out to be a very pleasant handling one, albeit with very thin contours. The beech is quite light in colour and very plain but this is fine for a rifle that is going to be used and knocked about and not a wall hanger. Its overall design is pure sporter, with a nice cheekpiece to the right hand side with more than enough height for proper scope to eye alignment.
The length of pull is actually generous at 14.25-inches and there is a black rubber recoil but no sling swivel studs for sling attachment. The pistol grip is long, raked and swept back, which I like, as it makes it more open, and although slim in the hand, is comfortable to hold.
The forend is also very slim at only 1.25-inches wide and 12-inches long and a bit ‘boxy’, although there is an angled tip. Although is feels slim, it makes no difference to a good hold and accuracy was not affected. Both the pistol grip and forend have chequering but this is a very shallow diamond cut pattern that is more decorative than supportive.
Nice and lightweight and points very nicely and the muzzle report was subdued well. A fill pressure of 19 -Mpa/190-bar was spot-on and administered via the q/d probe and indicated air pressure gauge on the rifle and diver’s tank.
This gave an initial velocity of 537.1fps for 10.3ft/lbs energy using the AA Diabolo Field pellets. These rose up to 556.8fps/11.0ft/lbs for the second shot, where it hovered for about 20 shots where the velocity started to dip and at 25 shots you were down to 546.3fps and 10.6ft/ lbs and at 28 shots 530.6fps and an indicated 14-Mpa with 30 shots achieving 514.2fps., So realistically 25 shots maximum per charge, which is more than good enough.
I then shot a selection of differing pellets and styles over the chronograph, of which the FTT Green achieved the highest velocity, not surprisingly being lead free and lightweight Tin. These produced a high 666fps but for only 9.3ft/lbs energy. The RWS Hobbies were accurate but velocity was at 611fps and 9.8ft/lbs, whilst the lowest were the Bisley Pest Controls at 510Fps and 10.6ft/lbs.
Accuracy was very good, all the pellets shot well. The AA Diabolo Fields were very accurate with cloverleaf 0.40-inch five shot groups achievable at 30 yards and the Hobbies too were close behind this at 0.45-inches.
Overall, pellet of choice would have to be the Diabolo Field, as they were consistent, gave a good velocity and energy figure, combined to good accuracy.
When the SMK first arrived I must admit I thought it was just a cheap pre charged, being a died in the wool springer guy. But over the course of the testing and comments from the kids it really grew on me and actually the accuracy and light weight and simplicity design won me over. It’s not fancy but the price reflects this but it is consistent and accurate, which is all one needs from a £200 pre charged air rifle, nice one.
|Barrel length||22-inch including moderator|
|Calibre||.177, .22 (on test)|
|Magazine||Single shot or seven shot mag|
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates