Kalibrgun Argus 60 air rifle - test & review

This rifle soon inspires confidence, leaving the shooter to concentrate on making the most of the av

This rifle soon inspires confidence, leaving the shooter to concentrate on making the most of the available performance. - Credit: Archant

Airgun World editor Terry Doe finds a break in the weather to test & review the Kalibrgun Argus 60 from Blackpool Air Rifles; full review here!

Things became fairly intense between me and the Kalibrgun Argus 60 - enjoyably so, actually.

Things became fairly intense between me and the Kalibrgun Argus 60 - enjoyably so, actually. - Credit: Archant

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It has to be said, and here I am saying it, that I’m either cursed, or I’m a raging old queen who moans about the weather. Perhaps I’m a bit of both, but the other thing that has to be said, is that I’ve just finished shooting in back-to-back storms. Storms Alex and Aiden blew themselves into my working life, with the first pretty much wrecking last month’s Editor’s Test of this Kalibrgun Argus, and the second doing more of the same this time around, with the Daystate Delta Wolf.

Mercifully, between those storms, I had a precious few days during which I ventured into the great outdoors with the Kalibrgun Argus 60 (from Blackpool Air Rifles), and you can bet that I made full use of every dry, non-gale-battered minute. I even felt good enough about my capability with the Kalibrgun Argus 60 to harvest a brace of woodpigeons and a squirrel, although the latter was left on a fencepost for later collection, and was promptly stolen. I’m blaming the red kite I saw doing a bit of low-level soaring, just after I stashed the squirrel, but any scavenging fox, or even a sturdy crow could have been the culprit. Hey-ho, at least I bagged myself a dinner.

I felt sufficiently confident to hunt with the test rifle, which says a lot.

I felt sufficiently confident to hunt with the test rifle, which says a lot. - Credit: Archant

A BETTER WORKING RELATIONSHIP

The realisation that conditions could take a turn for the worse at any moment intensified my follow-up test of the Argus and I spent hour after hour with it, shooting it, operating it, carrying it around, and generally getting to know it better. This ‘compressed’ course is a good thing for an airgun tester, or a new owner, to do, and I thoroughly recommend it. For once, I was on my own, too, which meant that I had only me to consult when each of the rifle’s features were assessed. Frankly, I wish I could carry out every test in this way, and I’ll do my best to ‘concentrate’ my sessions whenever I can.

Angled shots are always a test of on-aim stability, and the Argus passed with distiction.

Angled shots are always a test of on-aim stability, and the Argus passed with distiction. - Credit: Archant

REGULATION ISSUE

As I said last month, the Kalibrgun Argus 60 is a well-made, sturdy, substantial (quite heavy), rifle with a precise trigger, a healthy shot count, and commendable shot-to-shot consistency, thanks to its factory-developed regulator. Last month I was unsure if the Argus 60 was fully regulated or not, but a conversation with the ever-helpful Lloyd, proprietor of Kalibrgun importer Blackpool Air Rifles, confirmed my suspicions. It turns out that all PCPs in the Kalibrgun portfolio have regulators, and that these devices have been keeping those guns regular for years. ‘Mature technology’, is the term for things that have worked well for a long time, and the reg’ in the test rifle has definitely grown up to be good at what it does.

Notice the build-up of condensation on the action. Breathing is fairly compulsory, so it's hard to c

Notice the build-up of condensation on the action. Breathing is fairly compulsory, so it's hard to come up with a fix for that niggle. - Credit: Archant

EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE

Here’s a random observation; shooting the Argus 60 as intensely as I did causes condensation to form on the action, and eventually to run down into the stock’s inletting. It’s a ‘warm breath/cold metalwork interface’ deal, and short of fitting a heated towel rail to the back end of the rifle’s reservoir, I can’t see a way round it. Maybe a seal of some sort between the action and the butt section might stop moisture ingress, but it’s probably not worth worrying about. Obviously, that wouldn’t stop me worrying about it, though.

I'd be having a comfy grip accessory crafted for that fore end, no doubt about it.

I'd be having a comfy grip accessory crafted for that fore end, no doubt about it. - Credit: Archant

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HAND-FRIENDLY FORE END REQUIRED

Another point I raised in last month’s test was my desire for a comfy, hand-filling fore end accessory that I could mount on the rifle’s lower Picatinny rail. I’m now a couple of tins of pellets into this intense relationship, and that desire is total. The first thing I’d do if I owned an Argus 60 would be to commission such a fore end enhancement. You may feel differently, but I like my supporting hand to feel comfortable, and a Picatinny rail was never designed to provide happy hand contact. It’s important to qualify this observation with the fact that it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker. The Argus 60 is a fine example of modern precharged-pneumatic technology, make no mistake about that.

Small but perfectly formed. The abbreviated butt pad works better than I thought it would.

Small but perfectly formed. The abbreviated butt pad works better than I thought it would. - Credit: Archant

OTHER OBSERVATIONS

The rifle’s multi-shot magazine system is as rock solid as the Argus itself, and loading those mags – two are supplied – becomes second nature in no time at all. Forget any concerns you might have about not being able to cope with running these magazines; you’ll be loading like a pro inside a few minutes.

I’m not a ‘fit a sling’ type of shooter, but this is a hefty rifle and some Argus 60 owners could well benefit from using one. There’s a facility at the rear of the butt where a sling could be clipped on, with the front attachment secured on a section of the lower Picatinny rail I mentioned earlier.

The abbreviated butt pad provides more contact-security than I thought it would, and combined with the rifle’s ‘neutral’ balance, on-aim stability is a major highlight of this model, and that goes for those awkward angled shots, too. I took both pigeons and the squirrel with ‘high’ shots, albeit one was rested against a tree trunk, and the cross hairs settled perfectly. Major points for stability, here.

OVERALL VERDICT

It seems crazy to say this, but at £1295, the Kalibrgun Argus 60 represents something of a bargain. Apart from a ‘less-than-classy’ stock finish – oil would look so much better than that varnish – there really is no compromise with this rifle and no shortcuts have been taken to save on production costs. The accuracy is genuinely impressive, as is the consistency of that regulated action, plus the trigger mechanism links the user and the Argus with total predictability and precision.

The supplier is a major factor, too, because BAR will provide all the advice and backup any purchaser could wish for. All in all, the best advice I can give, is to get the Argus 60 in your shoulder and give it the chance to impress you as much as it has me.