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Norica Spider GRS

Norica Spider GRS

As gas-ram frenzy grips the nation, an increasing number of manufacturers are testing the water with their own take on Theoben’s original theme, expired patents have left the door open and few are resisting the chance to try their hand at this innovative twist on the traditional style airgun.

Replacing the mainspring of a conventional spring powered airgun, with a sealed chamber of air or gas, gives the gun different characteristics, and it’s this departure from the norm, where the appeal lies.

Spanish manufacturer Norica are one such name to invest in this area, and this new Spider GRS (that’s Gas Ram System to you and me), is the result.

Conventional Looks

So far gas-ram models have centred around a break-barrel action, and this new Spider GRS is no different in this regard. Visually, from a side-on profile, there’s no indication that this model is a gas-ram. Take a peak underneath, past the cocking linkage, however, and you can just see the solid silver tube of the gas strut, where spring coils would normally show.

Build quality is fair, including some reasonable chemical blueing evenly applied to the metalwork, and use of plastics is sparing and fairly subtle. That curved cylinder end block passes on looks alone. The synthetic stock features some stylish contours and detailing, and the semi target style grip, and welldefined cheekpiece, combine to give this model a distinctive look in the rack. More positives come with that extended foreend, and soft ventilated butt pad. Not so good is that rather cheap looking silver Norica logo.

Fibre optic open sights come as standard, which do give a good bright sight picture… yet the rear sight here requires a screwdriver to adjust. Better no adjustment wheels than no sights at all, of course, and I for one will always appreciate what an asset open sights can be for beginners particularly. Don’t run before you can walk is a key rule in shooting, and learning the basics at the early stages can really pay dividends later. The red element foresight is an integral part of that stylish moulding at the muzzle, and this of course doubles as a cocking aid.

Feel the Difference

Norica fit a small arrestor block to the rear of the scope rails, (a welcome feature across their product line-up) so scope creep should be eliminated, as the rear mount is effectively prevented from moving under recoil.

story continues below...

At 45½ inches long, this is a full-length model, and a longer barrel again brings greater leverage where it matters. Cocking the action requires very little effort, and this is where the gas-ram scores – for the stroke itself is super smooth and free from, what we call in the trade, ‘graunch’. No spring means no metal to metal scraping noises as the piston engages, and the GRS system is very impressive in this regard. Barrel lock-up is positive too, and despite the rattling of the single-piece cocking linkage, the operation feels good.

Norica are hardly renowned for their triggers, but the one fitted here performs perfectly well. Okay, it is basic, and again, that’s par for the course in this price bracket. There is creep, and yes it does have a particularly long first stage, but overall, if I took up some of that initial sear movement, I could predict the release point, which is important. Final pull weight on the second stage wasn’t excessive either. An automatic safety catch is featured, which is that tab just forward of the trigger, and whilst its position is slightly too far forward, it’s a minor irritation. For the record, the mechanism can be de-cocked too by holding the barrel down, releasing the safety, and slowly allowing the tensioned barrel to return to its original position.

As for the firing cycle itself, the characteristics of the gas-ram include an ultrafast lock time, which in the case of the Spider is felt as a quick snap, with none of the ‘twang’ associated with spring powered designs. This action is pretty noisy however, and certainly on a par with a comparative spring powered specification. Shoulder the Spider though, and felt recoil is fairly modest. That semi target grip feels good, whilst the full-length forend again aids handling. Slightly sharp edges felt from the underside of the forend are a distraction, yet all things considered, I couldn’t help but like this gun.

As for accuracy, I managed groups of one inch over 30 yards, with a variety of ammo, which is fair for this grade of rifle. Kinetic energy in the region of 10.5ftlbs and velocities showing admiral consistency, (18fps variation over 10 shots using JSB-made pellets), proved the point. For the record, velocities were also close to those specified by the manufacturer, which is always reassuring.

Conclusion

scope, the Spider GRS has to represent good value for money. (That scope wasn’t submitted with the test model incidentally, but previous samples have been fine).

There’s something about the styling of this rifle that really appeals. But more importantly, a super-smooth, relatively easy cocking stroke, and a firing cycle free from spring twang makes for a satisfying rifle to shoot. That snappy shot release is maybe a little frantic, but it’s not overly violent as several gas-ram releases have been in my experience. Whether the Spider GRS system is an advance over spring systems is of course debatable, and I would have to say that little separates the two systems in terms of down range accuracy. What is certain though is that the firing cycle is distinctly different to a traditional springer; and for that reason alone, this type of gun holds much appeal for many.

PRICE: £249, approx. inc. 3-9x40 Mountmaster scope
CONTACT: Sportsmarketing 01206 795 333, www.sportsmk.co.uk

VELOCITY:
Using Air Arms pellets: (10 shot string)
High 753fps
Low 735
Ave 743
Spread 18fps

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Model: Norica Spider GRS
  • Type: Break-barrel sporter
  • Calibre: .177 on test/ .22 avail
  • Weight: 6.6lbs
  • Overall length: 45.5 inches
  • Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
  • Stock: Synthetic composite
  • Power Source: Gas-ram
  • Trigger: 2-stage non adjustable
  • Energy: 10.4ft/lbs

326 Comments



Norica Spider GRS

Norica Spider GRS

As gas-ram frenzy grips the nation, an increasing number of manufacturers are testing the water with their own take on Theoben’s original theme, expired patents have left the door open and few are resisting the chance to try their hand at this innovative twist on the traditional style airgun.

Replacing the mainspring of a conventional spring powered airgun, with a sealed chamber of air or gas, gives the gun different characteristics, and it’s this departure from the norm, where the appeal lies.

Spanish manufacturer Norica are one such name to invest in this area, and this new Spider GRS (that’s Gas Ram System to you and me), is the result.

Conventional Looks

So far gas-ram models have centred around a break-barrel action, and this new Spider GRS is no different in this regard. Visually, from a side-on profile, there’s no indication that this model is a gas-ram. Take a peak underneath, past the cocking linkage, however, and you can just see the solid silver tube of the gas strut, where spring coils would normally show.

Build quality is fair, including some reasonable chemical blueing evenly applied to the metalwork, and use of plastics is sparing and fairly subtle. That curved cylinder end block passes on looks alone. The synthetic stock features some stylish contours and detailing, and the semi target style grip, and welldefined cheekpiece, combine to give this model a distinctive look in the rack. More positives come with that extended foreend, and soft ventilated butt pad. Not so good is that rather cheap looking silver Norica logo.

Fibre optic open sights come as standard, which do give a good bright sight picture… yet the rear sight here requires a screwdriver to adjust. Better no adjustment wheels than no sights at all, of course, and I for one will always appreciate what an asset open sights can be for beginners particularly. Don’t run before you can walk is a key rule in shooting, and learning the basics at the early stages can really pay dividends later. The red element foresight is an integral part of that stylish moulding at the muzzle, and this of course doubles as a cocking aid.

Feel the Difference

Norica fit a small arrestor block to the rear of the scope rails, (a welcome feature across their product line-up) so scope creep should be eliminated, as the rear mount is effectively prevented from moving under recoil.

story continues below...

At 45½ inches long, this is a full-length model, and a longer barrel again brings greater leverage where it matters. Cocking the action requires very little effort, and this is where the gas-ram scores – for the stroke itself is super smooth and free from, what we call in the trade, ‘graunch’. No spring means no metal to metal scraping noises as the piston engages, and the GRS system is very impressive in this regard. Barrel lock-up is positive too, and despite the rattling of the single-piece cocking linkage, the operation feels good.

Norica are hardly renowned for their triggers, but the one fitted here performs perfectly well. Okay, it is basic, and again, that’s par for the course in this price bracket. There is creep, and yes it does have a particularly long first stage, but overall, if I took up some of that initial sear movement, I could predict the release point, which is important. Final pull weight on the second stage wasn’t excessive either. An automatic safety catch is featured, which is that tab just forward of the trigger, and whilst its position is slightly too far forward, it’s a minor irritation. For the record, the mechanism can be de-cocked too by holding the barrel down, releasing the safety, and slowly allowing the tensioned barrel to return to its original position.

As for the firing cycle itself, the characteristics of the gas-ram include an ultrafast lock time, which in the case of the Spider is felt as a quick snap, with none of the ‘twang’ associated with spring powered designs. This action is pretty noisy however, and certainly on a par with a comparative spring powered specification. Shoulder the Spider though, and felt recoil is fairly modest. That semi target grip feels good, whilst the full-length forend again aids handling. Slightly sharp edges felt from the underside of the forend are a distraction, yet all things considered, I couldn’t help but like this gun.

As for accuracy, I managed groups of one inch over 30 yards, with a variety of ammo, which is fair for this grade of rifle. Kinetic energy in the region of 10.5ftlbs and velocities showing admiral consistency, (18fps variation over 10 shots using JSB-made pellets), proved the point. For the record, velocities were also close to those specified by the manufacturer, which is always reassuring.

Conclusion

scope, the Spider GRS has to represent good value for money. (That scope wasn’t submitted with the test model incidentally, but previous samples have been fine).

There’s something about the styling of this rifle that really appeals. But more importantly, a super-smooth, relatively easy cocking stroke, and a firing cycle free from spring twang makes for a satisfying rifle to shoot. That snappy shot release is maybe a little frantic, but it’s not overly violent as several gas-ram releases have been in my experience. Whether the Spider GRS system is an advance over spring systems is of course debatable, and I would have to say that little separates the two systems in terms of down range accuracy. What is certain though is that the firing cycle is distinctly different to a traditional springer; and for that reason alone, this type of gun holds much appeal for many.

PRICE: £249, approx. inc. 3-9x40 Mountmaster scope
CONTACT: Sportsmarketing 01206 795 333, www.sportsmk.co.uk

VELOCITY:
Using Air Arms pellets: (10 shot string)
High 753fps
Low 735
Ave 743
Spread 18fps

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Spider GRS - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Model: Norica Spider GRS
  • Type: Break-barrel sporter
  • Calibre: .177 on test/ .22 avail
  • Weight: 6.6lbs
  • Overall length: 45.5 inches
  • Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
  • Stock: Synthetic composite
  • Power Source: Gas-ram
  • Trigger: 2-stage non adjustable
  • Energy: 10.4ft/lbs

326 Comments



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