Reply To: Cricket or Wildcat .25

Forums PCP Airguns Cricket or Wildcat .25 Reply To: Cricket or Wildcat .25



“spinj”I don’t own a Wildcat, but I do have a .22 Cricket Standard bullpup.  I will not put in this post statements like “I’ve heard this about the Wildcat” or “According to the internet, these are the problems with the Wildcat” only because I have never even spent enough time, let alone own one, to provide you with fair input.  The only time I’ve ever gotten the chance to see and shoulder the Wildcat was when I was at AoA, but that was only holding the gun for a brief moment.  I have, however, put about 50,000 pellets (probably more, I think) on my Cricket.  Let me tell you this, it is one heck of a rifle.
First, the not-so-good things about the Cricket.  I am a lefty, and perhaps you know that the cocking lever on it is fixed permanently to the right side of the gun.  If you’re not a lefty, or shoot so that your left cheek isn’t on the right side of the rifle, this will not be a problem at all for you.  However, because I’ve positioned my scope in a way that the eye relief from the ocular lens to my eye is sufficient while still providing a good sight picture and allowing a comfortable aiming position without being hampered by the cocking lever, I don’t have a major problem with the lever’s location.  So, my cheek touches just the very tip of the lever, and the lever doesn’t feel like it’s an impediment at all.  I ‘ll just say that the cocking lever being an issue for a lefty shooter will be dependent on how the scope is mounted and how far forward or back the shooter places his cheek on the action.  
The second thing I don’t like about the Cricket is the cumbersome process of magazine removal and insertion due to its mechanism.  I also have an Air Arms S410, and I really like how easily and quickly I can insert and remove the magazine.  I can even do both while holding the rifle.  With the Cricket, though, I would have to lay it down, cock the lever back and pull the magazine-retention lever back while holding it in order to remove or insert a magazine.  Sometimes, the magazine will pop out and drop to the ground.  If you happen to have any pellets still in it they can fly out if the magazine hits the ground hard enough.   Further, often, when I reinsert the magazine the probe will slide forward and prevent the magazine from being seated correctly.  It is quite an annoyance, especially when the other hand is preoccupied with holding the magazine-retention lever back so that it too clears the way for the magazine to fit in place before releasing it to latch the magazine … before closing the cocking lever.  I understand that Kalibrgun perhaps has decided to keep this annoying system intact since it allows for single- and multi-shot mode.  But still, I think they can do better.  
With most things that you end up having and using, after a while, you get used to their quirks.  The Cricket is no different.  Although I still have to use both hands to load and remove my Cricket’s magazine, I can do it quickly now with a technique I’ve developed.
The above are just about the only negatives I can say about the Cricket.  Those aside, it is a magnificent performer.   A little heavier than the Wildcat, the Cricket still comes to my shoulder very well.  Since it’s a bullpup, most of the weight is shifted aft of the trigger guard.  This masks the heft of the gun compared to a traditionally styled rifle.  If you are skilled enough, the Cricket will impress you with what it’s truly capable of.  I say “truly” because combined with its design, regulator, and build quality, it is a precision instrument that exhibits performance that is only limited to the shooter’s skill.  
The Cricket has a very efficient and consistent regulator, which I believe is necessary for precision long-range shooting.  It is easily serviceable and can be tuned to the shooter’s preferences.  Because the trigger system uses linkages and rods, I am not at all let down since it has the potential to be tuned to feel like a match trigger.  After I spent some time adjusting it to my liking, the trigger feels so much better (to me) than the trigger on my Air Arms S410 and TX200 (obviously, this is purely subjective).  
My .22 Cricket uses a CZ barrel, which is cold-hammer forged and is thick.  You might want to check if the .25 version uses a CZ or Lothar Walter barrel.  Forged metal is stiffer and harder.  Take whatever that means to you however you wish, but it is as match-grade accurate as the best barrels out there.  Like I said, the gun’s performance is only limited to the shooter.  What I especially like about the barrel, in particular, is how it is mounted to the rest of the action—it is directly clamped on to scope rail midway to the muzzle.  This to me enables the scope to track the muzzle’s movement, or rather, the direction it is pointing at.  If you’re the type who worries about point-of-impact shift from a flimsy barrel, the Cricket’s design will eliminate your worry.  Yet it is impossible because the barrel is hammer forged and held by the scope rail midpoint of it—where there is less of a chance of bending, which still is impossible if you’re the type who worries about this too.  
The Cricket is a quiet gun.  For it to be putting out over 30 FPE, it is quieter than the all the other guns I own and have owned.  I would have to attribute this to the small spring and small hammer that it uses.  Rifles like the Air Arms S410 utilize a larger and heavier hammer.  When it smacks the valve open, the larger surface area emits a considerably louder sound.  When you couple the Cricket’s hammer size and shroud, what you get is a very quiet PCP compared to those like the S410.  
If you’re the type who likes to tinker with your gun or wish to strip and service it in the future, the Cricket will satisfy that need.  There are plenty of videos online that show you a step-by-step on how to disassemble and service it, but once you do it once you won’t need to refer to those videos again.  It’s a gun that is very easy to work on and not have to send to a gunsmith or expert to do it for you.  Even the magazine is made of aluminum and so easy and quick to speed load pellets into as it doesn’t use any moving parts.  Moreover, if you get the bulldog-stocked version, you get a magazine holder built into the rear of the stock that holds four magazines.  Overall, the Cricket is very well built and uses quality parts.  You won’t see any plastic on it at all.  It comes shipped to you in wood and metal, except for the paper cardboard it comes packaged in and the polymer magazine holder on the stock.
I better stop here as this is becoming more of a review.  But I hope I’ve provided enough information here to help you make a decision.  And let me just throw this in to speak of the dependability of the gun: after 50,000 pellets, an air gauge O-ring replacement, the gun still shoots like the day I got it.
Cheers and good luck! 

Look at this picture, this is some change in My cricket, which can let me replace the magzine with one hand.

And I want this tips is usefull for you.