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Norica Dragon Camo

Norica Dragon Camo

These days more manufacturers are offering air rifles in synthetic stocks and camo patterns. The Norica Dragon Camo ticks both boxes and also offers the option of a black/synthetic too (Dragon Black).

I decided to dress the rifle with a Richter Optic 3 – 9 X 50 E camo scope set in Hawke Match Two-Piece Medium Height APG mounts to give the overall combo a tad more concealment and complimentary look. Obviously air cylinder and barrel remain black but that could be sorted with suitable patterned tape. 

Middle Class Values

The Dragon Camo sits firmly in the middle to upper end of Norica’s spring gun roster. The standard model obviously costs less, but both share the same well-defined, medium height ambidextrous cheekpiece and ventilated rubber butt pad. The pistol grip and forend are surprisingly narrow, yet offer a decent grip thanks to four panels of large raised oval dots. 

The photo-realistic camo pattern is similar though not identical to the original Hardwoods with a foundation colour of light grey/green with darker colour branch and leaf effect overlay. Application is by dipping, which gives the furniture a non-slip and positive feel.

It’s worth noting that to accommodate the 50mm objective lens of the Richter Optic I had to set the medium height mounts onto Sportsmatch risers. I mention this as not only is this a solution to many mounting problems but in this case they back up neatly to sit flush against the removable arrestor strap that straddles the rear of the cylinder’s long dovetail grooves.

The rifle comes with the now almost obligatory Tru-Glo open sights with a raised red foresight protected by a vented hood to match up with the fully adjustable rear unit. This has a U-notch flanked by two green fibre optic dots for fast target acquisition. Windage and elevation are easily and precisely adjusted by two large numbered thumbwheels that audibly click around. Even though the sights are manufactured from a synthetic, I was surprised at how well they are built and perform.

story continues below...

Dejavu

It was while cocking the Dragon that I began to notice similarities between it and the more recently launched Norica Dream Rider, as they both share a very similar action and feel. Though the 18 ½” barrel might be a tad longer than the Rider’s it doesn’t use an articulated lever between itself and the head of the piston either. You might first suppose this would make cocking quite a chore, but nothing could be further from the truth. When you unlatch the barrel from the hold at the détente, thanks to its length the stroke and effort required isn’t strenuous and also very smooth in operation. After thumbing a pellet into the breech, the barrel swings easily back up to lock securely thanks to the large stainless steel ball bearing catch.

Though this rifle has been around a while it was good to see it’s been upgraded to feature the same 2-stage adjustable trigger unit and auto safety as fitted to the Dream Rider and Dream Hunter. However, while I like the in-guard safety ‘button’ and the trigger in general, on the Dragon I found myself reaching forward to not only operate the safety but to get a proper finger position on the blade. Just looking at the unit you can see how far forward it’s set in its ABS guard and how far back the pistol grip curves away in relation to the reach to pull. On checking I wasn’t surprised to find this measurement is a tad over 15”. This can and does make a lot of difference to how a rifle performs, particularly with the blade set so well forward. This had me bemused as the guard is very roomy so it could easily be remedied by moving the whole mechanism back or at least fitting a set back blade.

K-Zone +

Having got over this initial gripe and unusual length of the trigger pull I did manage some tasty groupings with the .177 test rifle. So adjust your hold accordingly and the rifle is capable of kill zone accuracy out to 30-yards.

I’m not ‘dissing’ the Norica Dragon Camo as it’s a nice rifle and there’s no denying at 6.5lb un-scoped and 45.5” long it’s an easy handling, lightweight and accurate performer. For those with long forearms and fingers the Norica could be perfect, but for many shooters I feel having to adapt to gain optimum trigger control could well have them look to the newer models from Norica. It’s a pity, as the rifle in this livery is very appealing especially when dressed up with a suitable camo scope and mounts. However, I do feel that if they have camoed the stock, then why not finish off the effect on barrel and cylinder too?

For those it suits, this is a handy lightweight hunter, but for the majority I think the camo is going to be seen as mostly window dressing.

We Reckon:
• Good general break-barrel
• Maybe a bit long
• Full camo finish would be better

PRICE:
£186.90p (£152.60p Black)

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Norica Dragon Camo - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

gun
features

  • Name: Norica Dragon Camo
  • Type: Break Barrel, Spring & Piston Single-Shot
  • Calibre: .177 on test, .22 available
  • Stock: Camo covered synthetic sporter
  • Sights: Y
  • Grooved for scope mounting: Y
  • Barrel: 18.5”

22 Comments

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    intoche
    09 Jun 2020 at 07:58 PM
  • I appreciate the recoil on my newly brought dragon, as it recoils back into your shoulder and doesn't vibrate like a gamo.
    However I do struggle with the trigger, it is very hard to squeeze.
    Is it adjustable? I brought this rifle here in New Zealand, but it came with no manual. Is there one avaliable on the net?
    Thanks,
    Grant

    Default profile image
    grant ashton
    01 Feb 2012 at 02:47 AM
  • can you give me details on trusted air-gun tuners as ive searched the internet and most are, well, a bit dodgy looking and dont give enough info on there products. i fitted an ox mainspring to my first norica but was not impressed with the results. with the norica dragon aswell i found the mainspring sits within an alloy sleeve that looks to be easy removed which in turn would allow for a wider spring altogether, so is there more power to be had from a wider spring compared to the narrower spring.


    thanks

    shaun wilson

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    shaun wilson
    04 Oct 2010 at 11:56 PM
  • If the gun is new you may find that as it 'runs in' it will naturally increase a little in power.

    If you just use a stronger spring to increase power output you will also increase the cocking effort and recoil.

    A professional airgun tuner should be able to balance the system - with new spring, refined components and correct lubrication - to give you the most practical power output (within the 12ft/lbs legal limit) while still retaining a reasonable cocking effort and recoil.

    Default profile image
    Pat Farey
    04 Oct 2010 at 11:04 AM
  • im now on my second .22 norica dragon, 1st had winter camo and my newest addition has summer camo, is there a main spring available that would give the rifle a bit more power as ive been made aware that some springs just give the gun more recoil without the power.

    thanks

    shaun.

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    shaun wilson
    03 Oct 2010 at 05:32 PM
  • Hi Pat,

    Thanks for your advice. I recently bought the MTC Viper 3-12x44ir scope which I'm very pleased with, but am having trouble finding camo mounts due to it's 30mm tube. Are you aware of any?

    Thanks again,

    Guy

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    Guy
    28 Aug 2009 at 01:38 PM
  • The scope is a Doctor Optic that can be bought in Advantage Timber (3 – 9 X 40)

    Alternative is to have the scope of choice dipped at Hydrographics but the cost is a tad high considering the scope you’ve mentioned

    No-Marc tape is the better option – easily wraps around the scope and just ensure any moving parts, ocular, zoom, AO etc... aren’t hindered for operation. Pete Wadeson

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    Pat Farey
    03 Aug 2009 at 11:29 PM
  • Great review - I got one on the strength of this and am very happy with it too. I'm currently looking to get a new scope to go with it and am considering the walther 3-9x40 ir which I tried and liked.

    I was wondering if you bought the scope camo or if you used tape (or some other method)? I have found matching camo scope mounts made by hawke, but was interested in the scope too.

    Your help would be appreciated.

    Guy

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    Guy
    01 Aug 2009 at 08:25 PM
  • The Norica Dragon is approximately 6.5lbs without a scope.

    Default profile image
    Pat Farey
    20 Jul 2009 at 11:38 PM
  • how heavy is the gun
    dwayne

    Default profile image
    dwayne
    20 Jul 2009 at 07:15 PM


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