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Ripley Elite

Ripley Elite

Almost any airgunner will have heard of Ripley Rifles. It’s a name that is synonymous with luxury class, hand-built, precision air rifles from talented, PCP expert, Steve Wilkins. So the first thing I need to clear up is that this Ripley Elite wasn’t made by Ripley. Instead this is the brainchild of Jim Hogan who in his time has brought us the Logun Professional and the DecimEater - one of the quietest air rifle silencers around. The Ripley Elite is also being marketed by one of the most active distributors currently operating in the UK; Highland Outdoors, so what’s the real deal?

While this project was ‘helped along’ by Steve Wilkins, it was Jim Hogan’s drive and enthusiasm that put the rifle into production. After unceremoniously being ‘let go’ by Logun, Jim was itching to get back into the business of making air rifles and silencers, and so he founded Hogan Firearms.

The plan was to make a less costly Ripley on a more production line basis, rather than as an expensive and bespoke item. However, there were to be no half measures though, and this is what makes the Ripley Elite so special, as it has all those familiar features that made the original work so well, but now with greater affordability.

First Impressions

Well, if first impressions are anything to go by then this is quite frankly one of the most practical and efficient air rifles to be launched since the Editor last got a round in – and that’s quite some time. As we tour around the rifle, you’ll notice some familiar looking features, but then you should, given those involved in its creation and production. So let’s check out this ripping new rifle.

On first look the Ripley Elite oozes class. You can’t fail to notice the workmanlike yet attractive, high grade, walnut thumbhole stock. Neither can you miss that ‘huge’ stainless steel cocking bolt or the thick set raised action block and when spun in place the optional but recommended DecimEater Silencer. Even down to the familiar looking layout at the front of the air reservoir, with its knurled, rotary filling port collar, coupled with the shiny stainless steel muzzle adapter.

At present there are two stock options available; a standard sporter and a thumbhole, which is how the test gun came set up. This boasts a high and chunky right hand roll over cheekpiece with a thick ventilated black rubber butt pad. The thumbhole and pistol grip layout are ideally positioned so the thumb is in-line when you make your firing grip. Here your trigger finger effortlessly positions itself on the set back, polished aluminium blade. The pistol grip is frugal and boasts a generous thumb channel should you prefer the ‘thumbs-up’ hold. Two panels of chequering adorn either side of the grip with two more in lengthy panels along the substantial forend that tapers down to a cut-back, semi Schnable tip.

The metalwork is classed as satin black, a semi matt finish which is just what a hunter needs. The chunky air reservoir takes a 200-bar fill via a filling probe at the front of the cylinder, and to keep dirt and grime out of the valve there’s a rotary collar to seal it off from the outside world. This fill gives approximately 85 full power shots in the .177 calibre test rifle and around 100 in .22.

Familiar Features

Shooting shows some more familiar features. The large rear mounted cocking bolt screams Ripley and Logun Professional. This slides back to cock the rifle effortlessly and smoothly, as now all it has to do is seat a pellet into the barrel, rather than operating a magazine system.

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There is no separate pellet channel as in this case the loading area is integral to the barrel with a cut-out section that forms what is termed as a ‘loading groove’.  So the pellet isn’t being delivered into the breech past brass collars or sealing rings, it’s simply being pushed positively into position, and then sealed when the bolt is closed. 

You may have also noted that there is no mention of an air regulator – a defining feature of other Ripleys. This is because the Elite doesn’t have one. Instead there are some clever, high efficiency internals that allow the pellet to be punched out with a consistency that would rival some regulated actions.

Range Time

The rifle came with a Nikko Stirling 4 – 16 X 50 Target Master – which is also distributed by Highland Outdoors. This is just one model in a new series of scopes I hope to test soon! My usual zero of 30-yds for a .177 calibre rifle was soon set and then shooting from a rested position the test became incredibly clinical with one-hole groups being the norm, then tight .177 size clusters right out to 45-yds. The Hogan DecimEater Silencer proved to be just the ticket for taming muzzle report, as well as looking the part.

Pushing the tape to just over 41 ¼” the rifle combo handled like a dream. Although feeling solid, its weight was deceptively light, and fully rigged it tips the scale at 7.5lbs and that’s with chunky Warne-style mounts. The trigger unit was certainly another star, with the nicely curved, adjustable, set back alloy blade residing comfortably in the integrated metal guard; it released shot after shot with unerring predictability.

Something Special

Without a doubt we are at the beginning of something special here, because the price to performance ratio is (for once) bang on the button. If you haven’t got the message already then I’ll spell it out. The Ripley Elite is a highly desirable, superior handling, devastatingly accurate PCP, which in single shot guise will be just at home on the HFT circuit as it will in the field. I’m now itching for a multi-shot version…

We Reckon:

Superb performer
Well priced for such quality
Where’s the multi-shot?

PRICE:
£719 for thumbhole version on test. Standard walnut sporter £649

OPTIONAL EXTRAS:
Hogan DecimEater Silencer £39.95p

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gun
features

  • Name: Ripley Elite
  • Type: Bolt action, PCP Single Shot
  • Calibre: .177 on test .22 available
  • Stock: Walnut thumbhole sporter
  • Sights: N
  • Grooved for scope mounting: Y
  • Barrel: 17”

6 Comments

  • Just upgraded from the Weihrauch HW77K springer and this is unbelievable. With the moderator / silencer it is like a whisp when you shoot it and fantastically accurate. Agree with the comments above on loading the pellets with scope in place. It is a struggle.
    Very nice stock and very easy to top up with air. Was initially interested in the air arms but the quality of the barrel finish put me off.

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    Simon
    19 Oct 2014 at 01:07 AM
  • have the 22 target rifle in walnut scope and suppressor for 3 years buy one of these you will never need to upgrade unless for fac in my opinion theres nothing out there better in performance looks and quality my only pet hate is loading ammo with the scope on i find theres not enough clearence to get it right way round 1st time big fingers syndrome the clever cloggs at riply could do with inventing a mag upgrade for the single shot unit

    Default profile image
    KENNY
    10 Jun 2014 at 02:54 PM
  • I love german and English airrifles I own an eliminator and wh97kt

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    OTILIO I GOELOE
    08 Oct 2013 at 01:05 AM
  • this gun is amazeing and so are the staff who slog all day building these excellent rifles this is not a toy i can hit marbles at fifty yards mostly every time well done

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    elite owner 29
    06 May 2010 at 01:24 AM
  • dont tamper with such a beuty full gun head shots 60 yds no bull rabbits 11.52ftlb

    Default profile image
    owner 29
    10 Feb 2010 at 12:56 AM
  • Can you tell me if these Elites are factory sealed with anti tamper?

    thanks
    Smithy

    Default profile image
    Smith
    26 Oct 2009 at 03:47 PM


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