If even two measly years ago someone walked into Baker Airguns and said, “I want a supremely accurate PCP air rifle with a side-lever, a fantastic fully adjustable trigger, a regulator that is externally adjustable with it’s own gauge, a hammer that is externally adjustable, a fully shrouded barrel, and I want it for $300″…..I would have asked him what he’s smoking and where he got it. Yet, here we are in the summer of 2020…and this is now a reality. Sure, it’s been an abnormally tough year for many reasons…but it’s not ALL bad. I give you the new for 2020 Air Venturi Avenger as evidence that all is not lost, and there is still good in the world. The link below is to the full review video that accompanies this written review. I suggest taking them both in for the full story.
When the Air Venturi Avenger was announced at SHOT Show earlier this year, I was skeptical. How could they cram so many top-end features into a $300 airgun? What would be the trade off? Where would corners be cut? When I received my .22 caliber Avenger to test and review (also available in .177 and .25), I was absolutely stunned. You MIGHT be able to make the case that the stock is hollow and “plasticy”, but this in no way diminishes the functionality of the gun or the pleasure you’ll get from shooting it. As far as I’m concerned, that is the ONLY thing about this gun that doesn’t feel and act top-shelf. On the flip side of that, the gun is extremely light at only 6lb. This is surely in part due to the stock construction, and I expect that the light weight will be very much appreciated by many users. I have given mine a bit of the rough treatment to test the durability of the gun’s construction, and have had precisely no issues whatsoever. What’s more is that the “hollow” nature of the stock helps to accomodate the double air tube design of the Avenger. That’s right. The Avenger is a double tube gun!
You might think that the overwhelming list of features I mentioned above are all I have to talk about, and you’d be wrong. There’s more. How about the fact that the gun comes with a metal top rail that will accommodate both Weaver/Picatinny style rings and Dovetail style rings? Sick of losing fill probes? That’s ok. The Avenger uses a male Foster Quick Disconnect fitting attached to the gun. Just hook it up to any female Foster Quick Disconnect fitting and you’re good to go. Then there’s the included lower rail for mounting a bipod, light, or whatever you choose. Want to mount a sling? No problem. The Avenger has two pre-positioned holes for mounting a sling. Want to add a barrel band for barrel support? No need. It already has one. You won’t need any special degassing tool either, as the Avenger has a simple plug that can be removed with any 3mm Allen wrench. Surely there can’t be any more….right? WRONG! The Avenger also comes with TWO Marauder style magazines (10 shot in .177 and .22, 8 shot in .25) AND a single shot tray, AND two spare bolt probe 0-rings, AND the 2.5mm Allen wrench to adjust the hammer spring tension. In case you were wondering….you heard me correctly. You get all of this for $300!
Granted, a list of features is meaningless if the gun doesn’t perform…so let’s get to that. First let me say that I could talk about the adjustability of the Avenger for pages and pages. There will be future content on how to adjust the Avenger, so for now let’s just say that it is supremely adjustable. For the purposes of this review, I tested two tunes. Bone stock, and maxed out. I have to admit that the stock tune is ok, but it’s not as efficient as it could be with a bit of adjustment. It will get you going and it will perform well, but a bit of tweaking can both flatten out and extend your shot string. Using the stock tune, I got anywhere from 55-60 good shots with an average extreme spread of a bit over 20fps and a standard deviation of around 5 fps using JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy 18.13gr pellets. This averaged 875fps and just over 30ft-lb. That’s not too bad. This was with the regulator set at the stock 2900psi, the hammer spring left alone, and filled to it’s 300BAR max pressure. My “maxed out” tune was with the reg set at about 2500psi, the hammer spring maxed out, and again filled to 300BAR. With this tune, I again got about 55-60 good shots, but with an extreme spread around 16fps and a standard deviation of around 4fps. That’s a little better. For this tune, I shot the JSB KnockOut 0.216″, 25.39gr slugs at about 820fps and about 38ft-lb. Just for the record, I also shot some JSB Redesigned Monster 25.39gr pellets…and they averaged over 39ft-lbs. The Avenger is capable of some SERIOUS power!
I’m sure that by now you’re wondering about accuracy. How accurate is the Avenger? Can it really group slugs at such modest velocity? Will that stock tune send a pellet where I want it to go? The answers are: Very, yes, and yes! I tested both tunes and both projectiles with 5 shot groups at 50 yards. While I shot many groups, the two you will see below are representative of the average group sizes I achieved. Both literally sub MOA!
Part of the reason that the Avenger is capable of such stellar accuracy is the unbelievably fantastic trigger. It is a metal fully adjustable two stage design, and is unquestionably the finest $300 airgun trigger I have ever used. Right out of the box it has a light easy first stage, a solid second stage wall, no movement in the second stage, and breaks crisply at just about a pound and a half of total pressure. That is INCREDIBLE, and the equal or better of airguns that cost literally 5 times as much. There is a bit more over-travel than I would like on a $2000 airgun trigger…but again…this is a $300 airgun. No complaints here.
While the Avenger does not come with a moderator, it does have a fully shrouded barrel that helps to subdue the report of the gun. There are no baffles inside the shroud, but the shroud alone keeps the Avenger fairly quiet. My testing produced a max reading of only 72.9dB outdoors. If you’re after even more sound moderation you can simply order a 1/2x20UNF adapter from DonnyFL (or call us at Baker Airguns), unscrew the threaded shroud plug, screw in the adapter, and attach any 1/2x20UNF threaded accessory you choose. I find that adding a DonnyFL Sumo to mine makes it nearly silent.
As I said earlier, just the tuning aspect alone is enough reason that there will be more content in the future on the Air Venturi Avenger. This review is already long enough, and I hope that I have touched upon the most important aspects of the gun for you. My excitement and praise of this gun is not feigned. It is, hands down, the finest $300 PCP air rifle I have ever shot. Nowhere else in that price range will you find such an abundance of features or such impressive performance. I like this gun so much that I will not be returning it. I’m going to buy it. I now have it tuned down to about 20ft-lb shooting the Predator Polymags with a DonnyFL Sumo on it, and it’s my new (suitably low powered and silent) backyard “critter-getter.” You can PREORDER the Air Venturi Avenger now on our website, and they should be in stock and start shipping the first week of July. You can also call the store at 937-660-9152 and ask about getting the Avenger with a couple available upgrades I mentioned above.
I thank you for reading. You all stay tuned, stay safe, and happy shooting!
Donnie Reed is our Sales Manager and general airgun guru here at Baker Airguns. He was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, and qualified as both a Rifle Expert and Pistol Expert. Donnie is now a competitive airgun shooter, focusing primarily on field target and benchrest competitions. He has won both PCP and piston class field target matches, as well as local benchrest competitions. Donnie also runs the Youtube channel and Facebook group ALL THINGS AIRGUN. His first college degree is in Mathematics and Sciences, but he is still pursuing another in Physics and Astronomy.