Tactical meets practical: Testing the TacPac 2
- Credit: Archant
Paddy Egan lines up a series of real-world shooting tests for the TacPac 2
Following my review of the Gunpower Stealth with the Armex TacPac 2, I took the rifle to my local gun club, the Greyhound, in Coventry, to continue with my testing to see how practical it is. I got there early to have the range to myself, and set up on their extensive plinking range, ideal for my first test with the Tac Pac fitted with the Enfield red/green dot sight and green laser. The is a wide range of targets, from animal shapes, square metal plates and bell targets, right out to 65 yards, and this is perfect for shooting one target then sweeping on to the next in quick succession.
I placed myself in the middle of the plinking range and got my eye in on the white rabbit with the first few shots with the dot sight. I tried all five brightness settings in both colours, but the dot was clear on the target in both red and green settings, so I kept it on red because that was just right for me.
As I mentioned in the previous article, head placement is vital. Take your time to find the correct placement for you, and then be consistent; that way you will be quicker to find your target, and the next one, too.
Once I was happy will my head placement I went on to some fast-firing drills. I loaded the rifle, and had it in a lowered position, then picked a target, raised the rifle to aim and fired, with some really good results. I then worked on quick-loading techniques for follow-up shots. This rifle could do with a multi-shot magazine to aid speedier shots, but I used a pellet pouch that holds 35 pellets inside a camouflage cover, slung round my neck.
This really helped me to shoot the various targets at speed, whilst standing with the Stealth because I could transition from one target to another, and hearing the pellets ‘ting’ off the metal plates that fast was rather satisfying.
I then turned my attention to the green laser and I was pleased to note that I could see the dot all the way down to the 65-yard targets. It took me some time to zero it in, but when I did I was able to hit the targets with ease. However, it is harder to aim off with the laser, I couldn’t get the bell at 65 yards and if I had it would have been a fluke!
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Targets in the trees
I did my initial testing with the TacPac 2 kit and am really happy with it. In the standing position, I was able to hit the targets and move on to the next with ease and speed – ideal for close-range ratting in closed environments like in barns, for example.
The other aspect I wanted to test was the Stealth with a scope fitted, hoping that I could take shots accurately at a greater distance. So, I fitted my 6.5 - 26 x 50 scope, zeroed it at 30 yards, and then spent some time in the plinking range getting used to the different aim points I’d need.
From the plinking range, I went to the excellent Greyhounds FT/HFT course, where they have lanes with targets in open grass, in the trees, and what I like to call their ‘jungle’, where the targets are nearly buried in the vegetation.
The first target I went for was a rat knock-down at about 25 yards, which I dropped first shot, re-set and dropped again and again. Simmo, the gun club owner came over and said, “What’s that then? It’s certainly different and definitely you!” I explained, and asked if he’d take some pictures for me. I went for the same shot, and in typical fashion for me, I missed it. Whoops, but then tried again and got it.
Into the jungle
After the banter with Simmo about me missing the initial target, we parted and I carried on my way round the course, taking shots standing, prone and kneeling. I went into the jungle and dropped the targets in the ‘bush’, where the compact size of the Stealth came into its own because I could move easily, without the hassle of getting the barrel tangled in bushes walking from lane to lane. So again, if you are using the Stealth as a hunting rifle in wooded areas you won’t find any difficulties in that department at all.
I don’t hunt – I don’t have a problem with it, it just isn’t for me, but doing this test in the HFT course showed what this rifle is capable of in the field, so to speak. For me, it did rather well and I am really happy with the Stealth TacPac 2.
Back on target
Once I’d completed the course, I went back to the plinking range, just to have some more shots with the Stealth – well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it? When I got there, a gentleman was plinking away with his own rifle and he asked the same question as Simmo had, “What’s that then?” Again, I explained and what I was doing, and after introducing ourselves properly I asked Paul if he would like to have a go, and he gladly accepted, firstly with the scope set up on the Stealth.
Paul really liked this set-up and the look of the rifle, and he commented on the compact size which he liked, too. I put the Enfield dot sight back on to show Paul the original TacPac 2 configuration, and again he was impressed with that. He was able to put the pellets into the barrel easily and didn’t suffer the ‘all fingers and no thumb’ syndrome that I’d had before, and he was pleased with how the cocking handle could go either side on top of the breech. Paul was able to get good sight picture with the dot sight, until the battery died due to someone leaving it on when swapping the Enfield dot sight for my scope earlier.
All in all, the Stealth TacPac2 is a great rifle with a high shot count so you can shoot all day on a range like the Greyhound that has plenty of targets.
Also, the compact nature of the rifle is great for enclosed spaces, whether that be in barns or wooded areas – this is a major plus for the hunter. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed my time with this outfit and I can see a space for it in my modest armoury. I’m not sure my wife will feel the same, but that won’t stop me trying!
Muzzle energy: 11-plus ft.lbs.
Fill pressure: 3000 psi/200 bar
Weight: 5.25lbs (2.38kg)
Length: 29 inches (74cm)
Barrel: 12 inches (30cm) Lothar Walther premium match
Calibre: .177 (4.5mm), .20 (5mm), .22 (5.5mm), .25 (6.35mm)
Trigger: Two-stage adjustable for position and over-travel
Sights: Green/red dot and laser sight
Air Tank Volume: 490cc
Safety: Automatic on cocking