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Follow-up gun test: Gunpower Stealth

PUBLISHED: 14:12 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:12 26 April 2018

Note how the left elbow is locked into the body to stabilise the stance. It makes an amazing difference.

Note how the left elbow is locked into the body to stabilise the stance. It makes an amazing difference.

Archant

The editor finds himself educated in the ways of Stealth enhancement

Read Terry Does’ first review of the Gunpower Stealth here.

I love being the old dog who learns the new tricks. There will never be any resistance from me when it comes to being taught useful things; I’m a ‘learn what I can, where I can’, sort of chap, and I had just such a learning experience a couple of weeks ago, during a tour of Armex headquarters in Birmingham. I was there to do a feature – you’ll see it next month – on the new Armex manufacturing facility that was being installed while I was there. As I watched, fascinated, as the eye-wateringly-expensive CNC machines were inched into position, the Armex owner, Alan Phelps, revealed that his company was now the UK distributor for Gunpower. Alan further revealed that Graham, his technical consultant, was a major Stealth enthusiast, and that Graham’s own Stealth was definitely worth looking at. So I looked at it, and arranged to take it with me, because I think it’s worth you looking at it, too.

The modified Stealth in its natural environment.The modified Stealth in its natural environment.

Transformation

Having tested the Stealth in the February issue, I was familiar with its ‘distinctive’ styling and ‘unique handling qualities’, so the comparison between the standard item and Graham’s transformation of his own Stealth was dramatic to say the least. I’m not one for saying the least, so here’s a detailed description of the sort of Gunpower Stealth I think you should seriously consider.

This Stealth handled better than any I've used previously - and for two important reasons. .This Stealth handled better than any I've used previously - and for two important reasons. .

Noting the changes

The transformed Stealth I took away is Graham’s ratting rifle, and he prefers it without the optional silencer, because some of the barns he goes ratting in are extremely confined and the additional 6” of silencer, in the dark, represents a real consideration. I just wanted to do a follow-up test of the Stealth, and that meant evaluating the purely practical benefits of what Graham had done to his rifle.

In addition to exchanging the Stealth’s standard fore end for a vertical, synthetic grip, courtesy of a 9-11mm to Picatinny adaptor, he’d fitted a red-dot sight, via another adaptor, and in return for allowing me to take away his precious ratter, Graham made me promise to test it with the red-dot on board, backed by the Enfield laser he’d also fitted, before swapping his sight for a scope. Here goes.

The standard Stealth already commands a significant army of fans, and their numbers are set to grow.The standard Stealth already commands a significant army of fans, and their numbers are set to grow.

Handle and handling

First, forget the sighting options for a minute; the difference that drop-down grip makes to the on-aim stability of the Stealth, is nothing short of amazing. Never one to under-analyse a benefit, I studied the cause and effect of using that grip, rather than a standard fore end. I discovered that holding the grip put my elbow within propping range of my hip, and thus created a targetised stance, especially when aiming downward, as we generally do when shooting rats.

This was a huge deal and I was raring to swap that no-magnification red-dot for a scope, but a promise is a promise, so I put 100 pellets or so through the modified Stealth, and amazed myself for a second time by achieving rat-standard accuracy out to 15 yards.

The grip plus adaptor rails. Two rails will be included with the Tac-1 Pac, but you can order more and fit other attachments, as shown here.The grip plus adaptor rails. Two rails will be included with the Tac-1 Pac, but you can order more and fit other attachments, as shown here.

Real advantage

Promise fulfilled, I quickly replaced the neat little Enfield 1 x 32 with a 4-16 x 50 and within seconds the increased stability dream was made real. That grip absolutely transforms the handling of the Gunpower Stealth, not least because it also transforms the geometry of the shooter’s body. Heaven forbid that I’d over-egg a point, but using that grip makes the most of everything the Stealth has to offer, including its adjustable pull-length and butt pad, and combines these with that ‘locked in’ stance to create a far more stable platform.

Making the most of it

To extract the full advantage from all this, you’ll need to take your time in setting up your tricked-out Stealth, and the good news is, this will be just about as easy as it can be, thanks to something called the Tac-1 Pac. After seeing what that grip and its adaptors can do for a Stealth, Armex has decided to offer an upgrade kit, and at a realistic price, too.

The Tac-1 Pac will contain two adaptor rails and a grip, with a retail price of £49.99. Other Tac Pacs will undoubtedly be developed, and the plan is to offer fully transformed Stealths as complete kits in the near future. As far as distributing Gunpower products goes, Armex has hit the ground running, and there’s much more to come.

Verdict

After testing the standard Stealth and an adapted one, I’d highly recommend any future and current Stealth owners to seriously consider that Tac-1 Pac option. The Stealth shoots straight, produces a ridiculous amount of shots per charge, and it can be taken down and transported easily and conveniently. It may be the ultimate ‘Marmite’ rifle, but thousands of shooters love it and I can understand why. With an upgrade like the Tac-1 Pac, there’s more to love about the Gunpower Stealth and I’m certain that many of its fans will be getting a grip in the near future.

Specification

Model: Stealth

Manufacturer: Armex

Country of origin: UK

Contact: 0121 643 4900

Type: Takedown, pre-charged pneumatic, single-shot sporter

Calibre: .177, .20 or .22

Cocking: Push-forward bolt

Loading: Direct to barrel, via sliding breech

Trigger: Two-stage unit. Factory-set pull-weight, trigger shoe adjustable for position

Sights: Scope rail only

Stock type: Hi-impact synthetic fore end and grip. Buddy-bottle butt. Fully ambidextrous

Weight: 2.4k. (5.25lbs. unscoped)

Length: 740mm (29 inches)

Barrel: 300mm (12 inches) Lothar Walther match grade

Power: 11-plus ft.lbs.

Options: Charging adaptor £32.95, Bi pod £79, Silencer £49, Laptop-style case £45

Tac-1 Pac, including two, 9-11mm to Picatinny adaptors, plus a grip, £49.99

RRP: £579.95 (rifle only)

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