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Cometa Orion BP

Blimey, in case you haven’t noticed, we really are in the grip of ‘bullpup frenzy’. There’s the Korean-made Jkhan Noblesse B, Kral have bullpupped their Puncher, Daystate launched their electronic spectacular Pulsar, followed by the mechanical Renegade version, there’s FX with a multitude of options, Air Arms, with their top-end Galahad range… and then BSA finally took the plunge with the slick Defiant. But that’s by no means a definitive list!

Well now we have Spanish airgun maker Cometa, throwing their hat firmly in the ring, and on test here is the new bullpup version of their Orion pneumatic, the Orion BP, standing for? Yes… well done!

So, what’s all the fuss about? The idea behind the bullpup concept, stems from military circles, partly to do with perceived fast handling, but also where a compact design is required, for operating in confined spaces. Basically, the gun’s action is located much further back, almost to the rear of the stock, and by so doing, balance is dramatically altered. Centre of gravity will shift with weight distribution, and the end result is a gun that handles differently to normalwith much of the weight towards the rear. I could never get through this test without mentioning ‘personal taste’, and that of course plays a huge part. But for those that feel drawn to the bullpup layout, (clearly a sizeable number) or just fancy something different, this new Orion BP poses an interesting specification.

Well presented

Cometa supply this model in its own padded hard carry case, and whilst I initially thought it looked a bit cramped, once I’d locked a scope in place, it soon became obvious that there is plenty of room for a gun/scope combo, assuming the gun is stored in the case, upside down, to get around the central handle well. Four slide catches feature, and it gives this ‘BP’ a business-like feel.

Open up the case, and first impressions are of a well-appointed, well-specified pneumatic. My test model came supplied with a black stock, and whilst modern trend would normally dictate that this be synthetic compound of some sort, the stock here is actually beech, treated to a thick black varnish. Tap it, and it does resonate a little like plastic, but it is wood, and it’s fairly well finished. For the more traditional among us, (assuming this Orion isn’t a radical step too far!), then a ‘Natural Finish’wood stock is also available, an example of which was also supplied for the test period, with an identical configuration, save for the addition of the new cheekpiece panel.

The Orion BP is a multishot, magazine fed, bolt action pneumatic, with shrouded barrel, two-stage trigger, dropdown front grip, accessory rail, picatinny scope rail, pressure gauge and carry case. Plenty to mull over then, so let’s look in more detail, at what’s on offer.

Spec check

Finish wise, the main compression cylinder is treated to chemical bluing, which is done to a fair standard. The barrel shroud, breech block and scope rail assembly are all given a matt black parkerised finish, and this contrasts well with the matt woodwork; both aesthetically and on a practical level, if hunting duties are on the cards.

One consideration with this model is the raised ‘intermount’; synonymous with bullpups, where the rail has to actually ride up above the action, to give sufficient height for scope/ eye alignment. This is usual with this type of gun, but as Cometa opt for a picatinny style rail, that means that the picatinny style scope mounts with the right bases need to be used.

Preparation

With a scope onboard, we next need to charge the cylinder, and this is done by first removing the filler cap at the front. The cap is a push-fit design, and on the test rifle was a little stubborn; probably a result of the suction effect as its removed. A small hole applied at the front during the manufacturing stage, would prevent this, however. With the cap off, snap on the bayonet fitting adaptor (supplied) from the airline- be that pump or divers bottle and charge the system to 200-bar.

Next we need to fill the magazine. It’s actually very similar to Theoben’s original design, but with the quirky routine adopted by FX, where the perspex front needs to be twisted anti clockwise all the way round, until it comes to a stop. Then, whilst holding the front lid against the spring pressure of the mechanism, turn the mag over, and insert a pellet ‘skirt first’ into the one chamber showing. This stops the lid from moving, and the mag can be turned the right way up, and pellets chambered ‘head first’ in turn, in the normal way. With the mag full, it can be pushed home into its slot in the action, so the mag groove locates over the small side bar in the action. Now close the bolt, and the first shot is ready. As usual, the process sounds long-winded, but in practise, it becomes easy. Subsequent cocking of the bolt cycles each shot in turn.

Now we’re ready for proper evaluation.

On the range

Close scrutiny of this Orion BP reveals that much of the standard Orion action is here but positioned to the back of the bullpup stock. This means that that pleasantly silky bolt handle sits right at the back, and in practise, the gun has to be taken out of the aim to get leverage on the bolt and cock the next shot. It’s not the end of the worldit’s just that a side-lever would make the process far slicker.

Whilst highlighting minor negatives, why the butt section only gets a solid strip of material, and not a proper soft pad, remains a mystery. It certainly looks the part though, yet is in stark contrast to that wonderfully textured, and super comfortable drop-down pistol grip, where a soft rubber feel comes as standard. In the aim, that front grip also comes into its own, and the fact that it can be angled to suit, via a spring loaded button, or removed altogether from the accessory rail, all adds to the versatility on offer, and it’s a great feature to come as standard.

The two-stage trigger is adjustable, and the broad, nicely shaped blade is a good start. Nothing fancy here, and the unit is fairly unsophisticated, but it does a reasonable job. It seems a common feature on many bullpup rifles that the magazine/ breech area is positioned quite near the face; which can be a little disconcerting. Cometa originally released this model with no cover over the breech at all and shooting the black stock in this mode was fine but highlighted the benefits of the latest upgrade. At least Cometa listen to feedback, and all of the latest ‘BP’s now come fitted with the cheekpiece panel shown on the Natural Finish stock here, which at least adds a little comfort.

Performance

With any unregulated PCP, the routine is to charge carefully, and do some research as to the exact fill pressure the gun likes best. For the test, I filled to the prescribed 200-bar, and managed 48 shots within 30fps, and 64 shots within 40fps. Not quite in the league of the standard length Orion SPR I tested a while back, but plenty of shots for the duties this BP can expect. It should be noted that the action isn’t particularly quiet, although, the shroud/ silencer does take any harshness off the report.

Accuracy stems from getting things to feel right, and for me, normally favouring guns that are muzzle heavy, I would have to stick more weight on the front- easily achieved via that accessory rail. As for the bullpup credentials, I found that the central/ rear weight distribution made kneeling shots particularly favourable, with sub one-inch groups regularly forming over 30-yards, using Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets supplied. From the prone position, I managed typical groups around ¾-inch shooting the ‘BP’ as is. Tailoring the balance, I know would for me, benefit enormously.

Conclusion

There’s no doubting this Orion BP is a bold statement from Cometa; that they mean business and want a slice of the bullpup party. In terms of RRP, it has to be one of the cheapest options in this sector of the market too. But whilst it undercuts much of the opposition, as highlighted, it does lack some of the subtlety of design in certain areas. Admittedly those subtleties often come at a significant price- so ‘you pays your money, and you takes your choice’ as that slightly twee saying goes.

For devotees of military style hardware, and the general bullpup blueprint however, the Orion BP still represents a solidly built, entry level option, packed with features, and well presented.

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Cometa Orion BP

Cometa Orion BP

Blimey, in case you haven’t noticed, we really are in the grip of ‘bullpup frenzy’. There’s the Korean-made Jkhan Noblesse B, Kral have bullpupped their Puncher, Daystate launched their electronic spectacular Pulsar, followed by the mechanical Renegade version, there’s FX with a multitude of options, Air Arms, with their top-end Galahad range… and then BSA finally took the plunge with the slick Defiant. But that’s by no means a definitive list!

Well now we have Spanish airgun maker Cometa, throwing their hat firmly in the ring, and on test here is the new bullpup version of their Orion pneumatic, the Orion BP, standing for? Yes… well done!

So, what’s all the fuss about? The idea behind the bullpup concept, stems from military circles, partly to do with perceived fast handling, but also where a compact design is required, for operating in confined spaces. Basically, the gun’s action is located much further back, almost to the rear of the stock, and by so doing, balance is dramatically altered. Centre of gravity will shift with weight distribution, and the end result is a gun that handles differently to normalwith much of the weight towards the rear. I could never get through this test without mentioning ‘personal taste’, and that of course plays a huge part. But for those that feel drawn to the bullpup layout, (clearly a sizeable number) or just fancy something different, this new Orion BP poses an interesting specification.

Well presented

Cometa supply this model in its own padded hard carry case, and whilst I initially thought it looked a bit cramped, once I’d locked a scope in place, it soon became obvious that there is plenty of room for a gun/scope combo, assuming the gun is stored in the case, upside down, to get around the central handle well. Four slide catches feature, and it gives this ‘BP’ a business-like feel.

Open up the case, and first impressions are of a well-appointed, well-specified pneumatic. My test model came supplied with a black stock, and whilst modern trend would normally dictate that this be synthetic compound of some sort, the stock here is actually beech, treated to a thick black varnish. Tap it, and it does resonate a little like plastic, but it is wood, and it’s fairly well finished. For the more traditional among us, (assuming this Orion isn’t a radical step too far!), then a ‘Natural Finish’wood stock is also available, an example of which was also supplied for the test period, with an identical configuration, save for the addition of the new cheekpiece panel.

The Orion BP is a multishot, magazine fed, bolt action pneumatic, with shrouded barrel, two-stage trigger, dropdown front grip, accessory rail, picatinny scope rail, pressure gauge and carry case. Plenty to mull over then, so let’s look in more detail, at what’s on offer.

Spec check

Finish wise, the main compression cylinder is treated to chemical bluing, which is done to a fair standard. The barrel shroud, breech block and scope rail assembly are all given a matt black parkerised finish, and this contrasts well with the matt woodwork; both aesthetically and on a practical level, if hunting duties are on the cards.

One consideration with this model is the raised ‘intermount’; synonymous with bullpups, where the rail has to actually ride up above the action, to give sufficient height for scope/ eye alignment. This is usual with this type of gun, but as Cometa opt for a picatinny style rail, that means that the picatinny style scope mounts with the right bases need to be used.

Preparation

story continues below...

With a scope onboard, we next need to charge the cylinder, and this is done by first removing the filler cap at the front. The cap is a push-fit design, and on the test rifle was a little stubborn; probably a result of the suction effect as its removed. A small hole applied at the front during the manufacturing stage, would prevent this, however. With the cap off, snap on the bayonet fitting adaptor (supplied) from the airline- be that pump or divers bottle and charge the system to 200-bar.

Next we need to fill the magazine. It’s actually very similar to Theoben’s original design, but with the quirky routine adopted by FX, where the perspex front needs to be twisted anti clockwise all the way round, until it comes to a stop. Then, whilst holding the front lid against the spring pressure of the mechanism, turn the mag over, and insert a pellet ‘skirt first’ into the one chamber showing. This stops the lid from moving, and the mag can be turned the right way up, and pellets chambered ‘head first’ in turn, in the normal way. With the mag full, it can be pushed home into its slot in the action, so the mag groove locates over the small side bar in the action. Now close the bolt, and the first shot is ready. As usual, the process sounds long-winded, but in practise, it becomes easy. Subsequent cocking of the bolt cycles each shot in turn.

Now we’re ready for proper evaluation.

On the range

Close scrutiny of this Orion BP reveals that much of the standard Orion action is here but positioned to the back of the bullpup stock. This means that that pleasantly silky bolt handle sits right at the back, and in practise, the gun has to be taken out of the aim to get leverage on the bolt and cock the next shot. It’s not the end of the worldit’s just that a side-lever would make the process far slicker.

Whilst highlighting minor negatives, why the butt section only gets a solid strip of material, and not a proper soft pad, remains a mystery. It certainly looks the part though, yet is in stark contrast to that wonderfully textured, and super comfortable drop-down pistol grip, where a soft rubber feel comes as standard. In the aim, that front grip also comes into its own, and the fact that it can be angled to suit, via a spring loaded button, or removed altogether from the accessory rail, all adds to the versatility on offer, and it’s a great feature to come as standard.

The two-stage trigger is adjustable, and the broad, nicely shaped blade is a good start. Nothing fancy here, and the unit is fairly unsophisticated, but it does a reasonable job. It seems a common feature on many bullpup rifles that the magazine/ breech area is positioned quite near the face; which can be a little disconcerting. Cometa originally released this model with no cover over the breech at all and shooting the black stock in this mode was fine but highlighted the benefits of the latest upgrade. At least Cometa listen to feedback, and all of the latest ‘BP’s now come fitted with the cheekpiece panel shown on the Natural Finish stock here, which at least adds a little comfort.

Performance

With any unregulated PCP, the routine is to charge carefully, and do some research as to the exact fill pressure the gun likes best. For the test, I filled to the prescribed 200-bar, and managed 48 shots within 30fps, and 64 shots within 40fps. Not quite in the league of the standard length Orion SPR I tested a while back, but plenty of shots for the duties this BP can expect. It should be noted that the action isn’t particularly quiet, although, the shroud/ silencer does take any harshness off the report.

Accuracy stems from getting things to feel right, and for me, normally favouring guns that are muzzle heavy, I would have to stick more weight on the front- easily achieved via that accessory rail. As for the bullpup credentials, I found that the central/ rear weight distribution made kneeling shots particularly favourable, with sub one-inch groups regularly forming over 30-yards, using Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets supplied. From the prone position, I managed typical groups around ¾-inch shooting the ‘BP’ as is. Tailoring the balance, I know would for me, benefit enormously.

Conclusion

There’s no doubting this Orion BP is a bold statement from Cometa; that they mean business and want a slice of the bullpup party. In terms of RRP, it has to be one of the cheapest options in this sector of the market too. But whilst it undercuts much of the opposition, as highlighted, it does lack some of the subtlety of design in certain areas. Admittedly those subtleties often come at a significant price- so ‘you pays your money, and you takes your choice’ as that slightly twee saying goes.

For devotees of military style hardware, and the general bullpup blueprint however, the Orion BP still represents a solidly built, entry level option, packed with features, and well presented.

  • Cometa Orion BP - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Cometa Orion BP - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Cometa Orion BP - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Cometa Orion BP - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Name: Cometa Orion BP
  • Type: Multishot Bullpup PCP
  • Calibre: .177 on test, .22 available
  • Weight: 8.8lbs
  • Length: 27.75-inches
  • Barrel: 18.5-inches
  • Stock: Ambidextrous beech bullpup design- black or natural finish
  • Trigger: 2-stage adjustable
  • Power Source: Pump/ air bottle
  • Fill Pressure: 200-bar
  • Shot Count: 60-70 on test in .177
  • Velocity: using Air Arms Diabolo: Field pellets supplied: from 200bar fill First 48shots First 64 shots High 770fps 770 Low 740fps 730 Ave 750fps 745 Spread 30 fps 40fps
  • Energy: 10.5ft/lbs ave. on test
  • RRP: £799 guide price, inc/ rifle as seen, magazine, charging adaptor and hard case
  • Contact: Anglo Spanish Imports: a-s-i.co.uk

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Buy & Sell Online. Advertise your guns and accessories and be seen by 1000’s of buyers..... Buying a Gun or Accessory, Choose from 1000's of items for sale....

Helikon-Tex Training Mini Rig for Serious training session - see more
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