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Gunpower Edge

Gunpower Edge

With the shadow of the Olympic Games looming large on the horizon, interest in the featured discipline of Match Air Rifle, is set to increase. Whilst shooting over 10 metres may sound rather basic, remember that the top exponents can regularly hit a bull the size of a pin head at this range. Like any sport, maintaining this performance time after time, requires a level of dedication, with regular practise and the right mental approach, all playing a part within a strict routine. But there’s something else too. With shooting being an equipment based activity, results are unavoidably dependent upon the quality of the rifle, and with top (predominantly German) match rifles, leaving little change from £2000 these days, any budding Olympic champion needs to first sign away a significant sum of hard earned cash.

This kind of outlay can preclude many beginners from getting involved in the sport in the first place… yet gaining access to the ladder has just became a whole lot easier.

Matchmaker

Gunpower are better known for their rather militaristic, not to mention futuristic looking Stealth sporting rifles, which sell extremely well (especially in the United States incidentally). Their new ‘Edge’ model, on test here, is an obvious departure from their staple output, yet I am happy to report that this new model is a delightfully straight forward and well thought out product.

The Edge is a no-frills entry level target rifle, and if you look closely enough, it shares a large section of the aircraft grade aluminium chassis from other Gunpower rifles; giving it that distinctive brand identity, which is no bad thing. That’s where the similarity ends however, with the Edge offering a hatful of features, all designed to point any novice target shooter in the right direction.

Basically, what we have here is a rifle crammed full of features which you would expect to find on a full-blown match rifle, yet retailing at a fraction of the cost. Here just £499 buys you a fully adjustable PCP, dedicated to the cause, coming complete with Diopter sights - all included in the asking price. All that’s missing, as with any PCP, is the charging gear, which obviously has to be factored in to the overall equation. Allow another £100-£200 for a dedicated pump or compressed air bottle, and the Edge still looks great value for money.

So let’s take a look at what’s on offer, and then see how this rifle actually shoots in its natural environment.

Modular Construction

Best described as ‘modular’, some minor assembly is required when the rifle is first removed from its padded carton. Hardly overly taxing though. Simply screw the cylinder cheek-piece assembly into the rear of the main action, hand tightening the thread at the end. Then, using the Allen keys supplied, set the adjustable fore-end hand rest to the desired position. The same is required of the butt plate. In practise, nipping up the screws initially with the fittings in an approximate position, is the best option, with finer adjustment possible once the rifle has been shouldered and the correct target stance adopted. Bear in mind that the rear butt plate can be set at any point along the aluminium bar (in this case coloured red), and that the fore-end rest can be set anywhere along the 12inch long under-rail, and it becomes clear that this Edge model has considerable versatility built in.

Being able to fully adjust the dimensions of the rifle, for length of pull and so forth, is a huge advantage, guaranteeing the comfort of all who try it. In reality, if the ‘fist-up’ supporting hand position is adopted (when shooting standing) then the forward rest will almost certainly be set to the rear of its travel, providing a stable base just forward of the trigger. For three positional (3P) shooting, kneeling shots may well necessitate a longer reach up the front rail. Suffice to say - all bases are covered.

Gunpower have opted for a totally ambidextrous configuration, with the rather basic moulded pistol grip, still managing to be comfortable, if a little plain. Ditto for the wrap around cheek-piece, but the really clever part is the bolt arrangement, which can be switched from right side to left side in a couple of easy moves. Just remove the rubber cover, then, using a coin, unscrew the cocking knob from its metal anchor. Rotate the anchor to the opposite side of the action and carefully reverse the procedure. Gloriously simple, yet giving the Edge even greater appeal across the board.

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Aperture Sights

Match shooting requires specialized sights in the form of an open foresight (complete with interchangeable elements), and what’s termed a ‘Diopter sight’ at the rear. The sights included with the Edge, are extremely good, offering a very acceptable sight picture. The robust fore-sight housing contains a circular plastic element which can be changed for a slightly different spec by simply unscrewing the rear of the hood to release the plastic insert.

As for the Diopter, my initial attempts at adjustment made little difference, until I slackened the main side bolt to alter the height of the sight body. Subsequent adjustments then fell into place, but not having shot with a Diopter for many years, the complete lack of any instructions appertaining to the sight didn’t help matters.

One glance at the side profile of the Edge reveals an extremely long sight base, which is always a good thing. Add to that the fact that pellets are fed directly into the barrel’s rifling, enabling the shooter to feel either a sloppy or overly tight pellet fit, and I’d say the Edge is comfortably ticking the right boxes.

A cut-out channel to the side of the breech is clearly labelled, offering three anchor points for the bolt; push the bolt forward, then pull all the way to the back, and the rifle is read to fire; push up to into the top slot, and the action is parked in the safe position; push forward and down, and the trigger can then be dry-fired. In this position, utter safety comes for the sliding breech staying forward, thus temporarily disabling the air supply. All clever stuff.


Fill It Up

Charging the Edge is via a Daystate style valve, to be found at the rear of the cheek piece assembly. Bearing in mind the relatively short on-board air cylinder, around 100 shots from a 200bar pressure fill is pretty impressive, although of course the necessary low power level is a clear advantage in this scenario. 16fps variation over 95 of those shots is stunning however.

Not so stunning is the trigger, which despite a cursory mention in the instructions, I found to have little meaningful adjustment. In use though, I found it perfectly acceptable, and certainly no barrier to decent scores.

Indeed, with the rifle zeroed from a bench, it was clearly time to assume a proper target stance and evaluate overall user friendliness in this demanding discipline. Over the prescribed 10metres, I shot at official air-rifle target cards, and my first two cards were nothing short of remarkable. Not having shot ‘target’ for years, I had little expectations, yet with this rifle set up to suit, it just felt right from the off.

With highly gratifying results shining back at me, I was left with the distinct impression that Gunpower have something of a winning product on their hands. It wasn’t just the end targets that impressed, but the way in which the path was smoothed along the way, encouraging good results

Top target equipment giants Gehmann clearly share my view, having signed up to distribute the Edge, in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France, so Gunpower are clearly being taken seriously.

PRICE: £499

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gun
features

  • Model: Edge
  • Manufacturer: Gunpower
  • Country of Origin: UK
  • Type: Entry level target rifle PCP (Pre-charged Pneumatic)
  • Calibre: .177
  • Weight: 6.6lbs
  • Overall Length: 36- 41.75inches
  • Barrel Length: 12inches
  • Stock: Polymer/ composite
  • Power Source: Compressed air from bottle or pump
  • Fill Pressure: 200bar
  • Shot Count: 100 specified/ 95 on test per charge of air
  • Average Velocity: 537fps using H&N Finale Match pellets: Spread over 95 shots: 16fps
  • Energy: 5.2ft/lbs
  • Trigger: 2-stage adjustable 1.5lbs pull approx
  • Options: Blue action model available

10 Comments

  • Perhaps pswainsbury*msn.com is the clever way to make contact with me direct? (I've substituted @ with *)

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    Paul Swainsbury
    21 Jun 2015 at 02:22 PM
  • Thanks for th information again Paul.

    What a pity as it seems that Gunpower have not resoleved thse issues

    If you wish to make direct contact with me you could probably do it via the Altrincham club as this site does not divulge e mail addresses

    thanks again colin

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    colin horrabin
    21 Jun 2015 at 07:57 AM
  • Hi Colin, I have read your comments and I will re-read them upon my return home later today as it holds a lot of valuable data and it is an interesting read. I'm interested in the reference to pistol as I did buy a 1911 BB for fun.
    My Gunpower Edge was sent back with many Issues to resolve, all due to internal parts breaking and I was hoping for a refund. I bought a Weihrauch HW100KT in the interim and shoot a better score with that at 10M at the first attempt tan with much practise and weighed pellets using the Edge over several months. Fortunately the mail lost the Edge at Bristol, when it was returned for repair/refund and I'm awaiting a full refund from the Post Office! I have joined a HT/HFT club as at 8-30am today and I've entered the world of mill dot distancing and optimum zeroing decisions for shooting Targets fro 8M to 55M.
    I'll write again later to cover this subject in more detail, especially if in the interim you have raised any further points.

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    Paul Swainsbury
    21 Jun 2015 at 06:58 AM
  • To Paul Swainsbury

    Thanks for your recent comments Paul.

    I help coach the scouts at Altrincham rifle club on a Saturday morning to shoot air rifle and air pistol .

    My particular expertise is pistol shooting and my NSRA coaching qualifications go back to 1978.

    The club has a number of steyr pistols as club weapons but in my opinion the best out of the box match air pistol is the Pardini K10/K10 junior if anyone wants to spend serious money . I know quite a bit about grip design and a young lady who is a scout and not yet 13 years old shot 49/50 with a k10 junior at a training session for the scouts at the Altrincham club.

    I am friendly with Bob Clevely of checkmate guns and on a visit to him handled a K10 and persuaded him to bring it to the training session and everyone who shot it improved their score over the Steyr pistols.

    A club member who does not come down that often has a Gunpower edge target rifle which now cost around the £650 mark. It seemed to me the ideal rifle for the beginner because of the price its low forward weight .

    My daughter expressed an interest in air rifle shooting so I contacted Bob a couple of years ago to see if he could supply one.He put me off by saying there was reliability issues and factory support. I thought this was a great pity because as it was designed and made in the UK.

    However a club member who shoots pigeons for a council has owned the telescopic sighted version set to over 12 ft lbs for a number of years with no problems.

    Our club is in the market for a new club rifle so I am interested in your recent comments. Hopefully you have taken this up with the factory to sort it because this gun has a lot going for it if these quality control issues are sorted out by Gunpwer

    good shooting Paul

    Incidently I am now 73 and just after I won Class A in the Eley trophy at Bisley in 1983 I went down with a mystery illness and only came back to target shooting two years ago. I made the mistake of importing a Tesro PA10-2 air pistol from Spain because of its forward weight. However my experiments with grip design has tamed and helped the scouts shoot better
    with mods to the Steyr pistol grips. What I have found out in grip design is why I say that the Pardiini K10 is the best out of the box match air pistol that most people will find easy to shoot at a price circa £100

    colin

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    Colin Horrabin
    20 Jun 2015 at 04:47 PM
  • I have bought the Gunpowder Edge as at 3 days ago. I decided that in the pursuit of some serious shooting but without the need to join a gun club, I could achieve my goal within my garden at my convince. The Edge cost £650 through my local gun shop so I suspect this article is a little old?
    Anyway, I thought I'd mention the pro's and cons as seen from a 60 year old novice's point of view. Cons first. The front sight has a poor thread and it did not tighten after re-fitting. Thread tape solved the Issue. The Air tank has a poor mans regulator which is not explained with the poor literature accompanying the rifle. It needs the aluminium tip of the tank to be rotated and adjusted to the forward position, to make it sit well when the bolt is in the firing position. Mine was closed fully against the three rubber washers and that cuts of the delivery of the compressed air when you pull the trigger. The Bi-pod supplied from Gunpowder as per my request would not tighten to the 11mm under rail. I reengineered it to fit which at a cost of £75 I consider to be very poor quality. And now to the pro's, What a fantastic rifle. I am getting more fulfilment in my garden at 10 meters than at either of the Gun Clubs at Newquay and Tavistock. All the interest has been fulfilled by this comfortable, light and easy to use rifle. It shoots very accurately and I am now into weighing and washing pellets to increase the bulls eye scores into the area of Olympic decline for greater body control and mind control. Yes, I'm 60 years old and after 3 days this rifle has inspired me to really get serious in my garden. It's a combination of a wonderful design and a fantastic barrel. I'm recording every shot and I shall uses statistics to monitor the wearing in of the barrel. So on a final note, this is an entry level 10M Rifle and the overall quality IS very good. Just a few niggles, that is all. I recommend this rifle as a bye pass to the on-going costs of joining a rifle club. Good for the young and us oldies!! Special note, Use H&N Final Target pellets and avoid all the effort it takes to discover they work the best. Did I say get some diamond scales (under a tenner) and fight off all stray pellets for perfect results with every shot?

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    Paul Swainbury
    07 Mar 2015 at 09:07 AM
  • Hi Erwin,

    Nice to see someone from Down Under on here! The Edge has proved to be very popular and I've enjoyed the times I've shot one. I'm not sure who, if anyone, distributes the Gunpower range in Australia. Their website is http://www.gunpower.net and I'm sure they'll be able to help if you email them.

    All the best for Christmas and the New Year!

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    Troll Hunter
    22 Dec 2012 at 12:30 AM
  • I like what I see as a 10m target shooter.I would like more info into the possibilities of buying one for my partner.I live in Canberra AUSTRALIA.Hope to hear from you soon.p.s.will pass info of web site and hard copy to SSAA junior development group.Cheers Erwin

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    Erwin Rebolledo
    22 Dec 2012 at 12:22 AM
  • It would be nice if Gunpower could offfer the cylinder off this model on the Stealth rifles, it is a common problem that the sightline on the Stealth is too high due to the large diameter of the air cylinder. At 12 ft/lbs the loss in capacity would be a small price to pay to be able to get a lower sightline without resorting to an angled bottle adapter.

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    Rob Pollock
    12 Feb 2012 at 12:07 AM
  • i'd have tecnical news on gunpower "sss" cal. 4,5mm
    tanks

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    lucio
    28 Jun 2011 at 08:10 PM
  • I've tried this rifle once - it's cool! i'm going to buy it as soon as possible.

    Default profile image
    rifleman
    07 Feb 2011 at 11:34 AM


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