Air Arms EV2 Mk2 With FT Stock
- By James Osborne
- 2 Comments
- Last updated: 13/12/2016
If he was alive today Charles Darwin would have been celebrating his 200th Birthday this year. He is probably most famous for his book ‘On the Origin of Species’ and his theory of evolution by natural selection. His theory attempts to explain the diversity of all living things and how they became adapted to their own environments. His works caused considerable controversy at the time and I believe still creates lively debate today.
It seems however that we can witness evolution for ourselves in the development of the Air Arms EV2. Now, the EV2 has been around for 5 or 6 years, nothing like the time scales that Charles Darwin was dealing with - which is fortunate for us shooters. During those 5 or 6 years the EV2 has undergone considerable change but the original concept clearly remains. The EV2 definitely seems to be adapting to its own particular environment… that being field target competition.
This brings me on to the latest changes. I had heard that there were to be changes made to the stock and indeed the new stock is now available. At first glance it doesn’t look at lot different to the old one and that is a fair point to make. This hasn’t been a complete ‘out with the old and in with the new’ exercise. The roots of the current stock can be traced back to the Air Arms RN10. Air Arms spent a good deal of time on the development of that original handle and it has turned out to be a good basis from which the latest version, which adorns the EV2 mk2, has been developed.
So when placed side by side with its immediate predecessor you could be forgiven for thinking it is some kind of spot the difference competition, place it alongside one of the original RN10 stocks however and you can see that over the years quite a lot has changed to get to the point where we are today.
When I first took this stock out onto the competition circuit the first thing most shooters noticed was the colour. The laminate is now a shade of deep blue (which I rather like) and replaces a greener shade. Overall the shape of the stock has remained the same with the exception of the adjustable forend. This has been made substantially longer and puts right one of the major criticisms of the previous version. It has been extended by 7cm and should be long enough to suit most shooting styles.
Move towards the rear of the stock and that is where some of the more dramatic changes have been made. Both the cheek piece and butt pad have been given far more adjustment than was previously available. This has been achieved by the inclusion of a ball joint in the adjustment mechanisms and in the case of the cheek piece a rail has also been added allowing for front to rear movement too.
This has changed the look of the butt, as now both the cheek piece and butt pad are only supported by one pillar each, not two as previously. The pillars are also thicker than the ones they replace, and as before the length can be adjusted by using an Allen key to loosen a clamp within the stock. A clamp consisting of two Allen bolts is used to secure the ball joint, which sits neatly under the cheek piece and on the side of the adjustable butt pad.
In The Field
For those unfamiliar with the stock that this version replaces there are a number of features that are retained and include a forend accessory rail, palm shelf and deep cut out in which to place your thumb if that suits your grip.
When I first received the stock on test I imagined all kinds of fun trying to adjust the ball joints with them either flapping around or refusing to move at all. In fact it was quite the opposite, it is easy enough to tension the clamps in such a way that it is possible to move them by hand without them moving when you are trying to check the position from your normal shooting pose.
Setting up the new stock I did cheat a little as I simply copied the set up of my usual stock. I then made use of the new adjustability with a very subtle movement of the cheek piece. The following day it was straight into battle at Anston FTC and their Championships which are held every year. Well talk about uncomfortable! It just shows how you get used to one particular set up and how the most minor of changes can affect the feel of a rifle, that and the fact that what feels comfortable in your front room at 11pm at night doesn’t necessarily translate in the field. This does at least show the versatility of a fully adjustable stock. I know that whilst something wasn’t right I can at least make alterations over time and get the ideal fit for my particular style of shooting. It will be interesting to see how my original stock feels after I get the new one spot on.
Air Arms then haven’t made dramatic changes here but have responded to feedback from their customers to try and improve upon their flagship rifle. Maybe some shooters would have expected a new stock similar in construction to many of the latest 10m match rifles, all aluminium and carbon fibre, but Air Arms have resisted this wholesale change. This may be down to economics as much as anything else. Times are both hard for producers and consumers alike, so with considered development the EV2 should stay at the top of its game whilst offering good value for money, especially compared to some of its latest rivals.
The latest EV2 Mk2 with new stock is priced in the region of £1149.