Reply To: Taipan Mutant

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zebra
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[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961)]A little more info on the Mutant for anyone thinking of buying one. [/color] Here’s some stuff I like: Check out the design of the action and how it interfaces with the in-letting on the stock:
   
The breach block has a flat underside along with the barrel bands and receiver block so it has more contact points with the inletting than other bullpups. The section under the breach in the Cricket stock is a hole (for the trigger mechanism) with no support which isn’t as stable. The trigger link rod and main trigger mechanism are raised in the mutant design so they don’t get in the way. Good idea. 

It has these tiny screws on most of the external components to allow you to either lock them in place or decide how tight you want them:
   
The screws help you make sure the shroud, barrel and power adjuster etc always go back to the same position and then stay locked there unless you are making adjustments. Also the fill port cover won’t become loose over time. The flip side is that you can’t adjust the hammer spring tension or remove the shroud without getting out your Allen keys but I don’t think that is something you’d be adjusting in the field anyway. 

 It comes with a “tool” to remove the end cap on the shroud to allow you to add extensions (not that it’s needed). It’s not welded on like it is on some. The key benefit I see (other than cleaning and replacing damaged baffles) is that you could probably move the components to a carbon fiber tube fairly easily to enjoy the same performance in a nicer looking skin.  

I checked the barrel. It looks the same as the CZ one on the 22 Cricket with those straight grooves visible at the muzzle end. I assume this means the “authentic CZ barrel” description is accurate. The barrel is approx 13″ on the shorty btw. The air tube has an outside diameter of 1 3/8″. The shroud uses a 30mm tube (1.181″), not that big considering how effective it is. I can see a little of the inside and the design looks different to what I have seen on others. I’ll open it up at some point to check it out properly (not that I understand what I’d be looking at…) 

Overall, the feeling you get from the Mutant action is that it’s very solid. There is no play or flimsiness. 

Now onto the bad and the ugly… There is a large gap between the quality of the stock and the rest of the gun. I am not just talking about the choice of wood or the roughness of it’s finish. When I took it out of the stock, I noticed that the screw hole over the pistol grip was damaged:
   

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Instead of the round hole it is meant to be, the edge is torn or stripped into this uneven oval (ish) shape. That’s not good on a new gun. If it’s like that on day one, it’s not going to be better after a year or two. I don’t know if this is damage or careless work in the factory but I intend to ask the seller to replace the stock. I’ll report on what they say. 

 The finish inside the stock is worse than the outside. It has no coating at all and feels like rough, unsanded bare wood. The wood is very thin at the side walls of the inletting too. Thin, delicate and uncoated is not a good combination in a wood stock. I would be thinking of pillar-bedding this stock if I intended to keep using it. Looking at the screw size, I believe Remington 700 pillars would fit. 

The disparity in quality of workmanship between the stock and the rest of it suggests that they are using a 3rd party for the woodwork. It might be time to find a new supplier. Their work is not good. If it’s made in-house, maybe time to find a 3rd party stock maker… I say this (as) constructively (as possible) because the gun is so good, it deserves a better stock.  

Also, for anyone thinking about re-shaping the angular stock design into something more attractive, you should know that there is not a lot of excess material to work with. You can’t tell from the pics but the fore-grip section is considerably thinner than the Cricket stock. It obviously saves some weight but you won’t be shaving much off without making it unstable. I would recommend painting it and adding material with epoxy putty to change the shape without causing more issues. That would also allow things like screw holes to be repaired without making it noticeable where you’ve been working. 

Perhaps the Shorty would be better with a grip frame and a recoil pad attached to the breach block instead of a stock (like on the FX Impact). The raised trigger link design means the little that is exposed could easily be covered and using the front of the air cylinder as a foregrip would probably work too. Metal-work seems to be a better skill-set for these guys than woodwork….