The Next Generation’s Pumper
by Tim Smith
I started my airgunning decades ago with multi pump air rifles. To this day, pumpers are my preferred airgun power plant. This summer I learned of an upcoming air rifle from Umarex USA. To my surprise it was going to be a pumper! I anxiously waited for the Umarex NXG APX air rifle to be available this fall and to get my hands on one. The new air rifle is billed as “Next Generation Airguns for Next Generation Shooters”. With that in mind, upon arrival, I handed the APX to my 13 year old son, Ben, to do the initial testing to get his impressions. His findings are below.
The APX needs to be cocked before air can be compressed in the valve. Telling us that was a bright yellow “Quick Tips” paper packaged in the box along with the owner’s manual. Ben judged the cocking effort of pulling the bolt back as “medium effort” compared to other airguns he has handled. He suggested that it may become easier over time as the parts wear in.
The APX’s EZ-LOAD pellet ramp worked very well. It made for easy loading of a single pellet and reduced the number of incorrectly loaded pellets during our shooting session. Ben found the best way to load pellets was to move the bolt slightly forward to block the BB loading hole to prevent pellets from potentially falling in.
Using BB’s in the APX was extremely easy. Up to 75 BB’s can be stored in the APX’s receiver by opening a door on the left side. When the airgun is cocked, a magnet on the tip of the bolt grabs a steel BB from an opening in the EZ-LOAD design.
The large pump lever allowed Ben to put 10 pumps in the airgun. He mentioned that pump effort increased the most after pump 7. He found that 5 pumps was the compromise between pumping effort and power for backyard plinking. But said it was nice to know that he had the option of increase power if needed by adding additional pumps.
Before the trigger can be pulled, the SAFE-T-MATIC automatic safety needs to be disengaged. When the airgun is pumped the first time for each shot, the automatic safety is moved into the trigger guard just in front of the trigger. Ben found that using his thumb was the best way for him to disengage the safety before shooting. Once disengaged, the airgun can manually be put back on safe by sliding the safety lever backward. The automatic safety is unique and only found on Umarex pumpers.
Trigger pull on our APX was firm. Once gotten used to, Ben was able to anticipate when the trigger would break.
Using the fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight, Ben did well shooting objects from as big as tin cans and to as small as empty CO2 cartridges at 30 to 40 feet.
The APX also came with a 4X15 scope that was not tried during our testing. The scope would be mounted on the APX’s Picatinny style rail. The rail accepts 11 mm rings and not a Weaver/Picatinny mounts.
Ben liked the size and weight of the APX. At only 3.4 pounds, it’s a very light air rifle. An overall length of 39 inches fit him very well too. Being left handed, he found the design of the APX’s synthetic black stock comfortable and also liked the modern styling and rubberized cheek piece.
As for performance, we achieved a velocity of 623 fps on 10 pumps using 5.2 grain RWS Hypermax pellets. RWS 7.0 grain pellets produced 600 fps on 10 pumps, while steel BB’s chrongraphed in at 626 fps on 10 pumps.
We found our time together shooting the Umarex APX multi pump air rile very enjoyable. Being a multi pump airgun, it’s very economical to shoot as it just requires pellets/BB’s and air, along with safety glasses.
With all its features and a MSRP starting at $69.99, the Umarex APX was one of the most sought after airguns this past Christmas season. Pick one up for the next generation of airgun shooters.