EdGun Leshiy full review (after 5 months & 5K pellets)

Forums PCP Airguns EdGun Leshiy full review (after 5 months & 5K pellets)

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    PiterM
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    I’ve been posting some pics & thoughts about Leshiy on forums in last couple of months… so actually why not to add some more details and post a full review?  After five months and multiple tins of pellets through the barrel I think I can really say why I like it so much… because I do! Almost everyone here must have heard about EdGun before. But if you’re nit familiar with Ed I put couple of lines for you. And last but not least – I’m not English native speaker so don’t be too hard on my writing skills. Anyway, just enjoy!

    BACKGROUND
    Story behind EdGun company is almost like an ‘American dream’ which… actually happened in Russia. Eduard (founder of EdGun) wanted to build a gun, which would be compact, powerful and amazingly accurate. He started from scratch and after some time he showed to the airgun world the very first purpose-built bullpup PCP, the legendary Matador. That’s how the whole bullpup airgun craziness started. And today every serious airgun manufacturers offer at least one bullpup model. Still Matador was not compact enough for Ed so another one hit the scene, the Lelya, shortest (below 21” total length) full-power air carbine available at that time, delivering pellets accurately even beyond 100 yards! And when everyone was sure that nothing new would happen in this industry for years… Eduard did it again and unveiled something completely new at IWA 2016 show: it’s uber short, powerful, accurate, with easily interchangeable barrels and calibers and adjustable on the fly. Welcome the Leshiy, which means ‘forest gnome’ in Russian:

    CONSTRUCTION
    I got my Leshiy late Autumn 2016, about half year after introduction. EdGun is not a mass producer, it’s a state-of-the-art manufacturer with certain limits to ensure the top quality, so it’s not easy one to get, and not cheap as well. But when you score it you know that there is nothing else like that.Why it’s different? Well, it folds in half! Front part contains barrel with integral moderator, grip, trigger with valve hammer mechanism and two Weaver rails (for scope and for bipod). The back part is a high pressure unit and contains: air tube (up to 300 bar), regulator, actual shooting valve, manometer, filling port and butt-plate. The chassis is fully CNC machined out of big aircraft aluminum block, so is the hinge element to which pressure cylinder is attached. You wonder if such a gun can be any solid? Take my word for it – it’s more solid than any other PCP airgun I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot). In shooting position it’s just like one chunk of metal, uber-solid and overbuilt in each & every respect. It’s hard to describe without actually holding it. The main body (incl. top and bottom rails, fat moderator, hinge) is CNC milled from one big chunk of aircraft alloy. I’ve always considered my Lelya as solid… but Leshiy is a step above! 

    BARREL(S)
    The extremely interesting part of Leshiy is a multi-caliber nature. You can purchase Leshiy and keep it as it is, but you can also purchase a barrels in other calibers [.177 / .20 / .22 / .25] and change them anywhere, anytime! It takes 3 to 5 minutes and all you need is one allen key. No pellet probe change, no air transfer port change, nothing. Just ONE allen key. Fine-tuning the muzzle energy after such a change is also super-easy, just take 6mm allen key and insert into hammer adjustment screw hidden under a moderator. There are 6 clicks on each turn so you can make a note how much turns and in which directions you need after barrel change. Of course it’s just fine tuning of hammer spring, for real ‘global’ adjustment you need to play with regulator, which is also very easy (search on YouTube). But that’s not all! Except different calibers you can also change barrel length for better long range accuracy and lower air consumption per shot. Standard barrel is 250mm and long one 350mm so you also need to purchase 100mm extender for a moderator. Installation couldn’t be easier – change the barrel, screw-on extender, put baffled insert inside and close with a screw-on ring. All barrels are made by Lothar Walther especially for EdGun. Personally I just have to buy 350mm barrel in .177 one day… should be perfect for my 17J setting (local power limit for shooting in open field). Oh, almost forgot… as I said it’s a full power airgun and exceeds 50J in .25 cal, but in most countries in EU it requires formal registration and makes shooting in an open field prohibited. However, there are also countries (like US, at least some states), where high power air rifle is not restricted and treated as valid hunting weapon.

    MUZZLE REPORT
    At 17J power setting this gun is ultra-quiet and  neighbor friendly. Hitting a solid target is may louder than muzzle report. It’s similar level (or even a bit lower) than my 17J Lelya. And with 350mm barrel muzzle report should be inaudible at more than 10 meters. It’s so effective. At higher power settings expect higher muzzle report of course. Moderator insert plays key role in taming muzzle report, and it does the job really well. It’s easy to disassemble for barrel cleaning and also fits inside barrel extension when using 350mm barrel option. 

     WEVAER RAILS
    Top rail is obvious – you just put a scope on it. Just keep in mind that for a long(er) scope you need high rings as the moderator line is about 6mm above the scope rail. So it’s something to consider when choosing a scope mount. Just do your math. Bottom rail is generally for bipod installation. I tried Harris, tried a superlight tactical bipod and Atlas. The last one works best imho on Leshiy. What is important – you need a quick-detach system for a bipod as there is no space to keep bipod on and Leshiy fully folded – you can of course cock Leshiy with bipod on but you need to detach it to put Leshiy into your gunbag. So QD is a must – you don’t want to play with screwdriver all the time and every day. Of course you can use the rail also for a small grip. A micro-grip, which is used to anchor hand on a gun in the same spot every time, usually allows to close Leshiy’s stock completely so there is no need for QD attachment. Sometimes (like on mine, FAB Defense) a small file work is needed but it took me 3 minutes. And you can also put a full grip on the rail, in such a case QD is your best option (pictured is a FMA QD grip).

    SIZE
    First of all – it’s short, but it’s not a bullpup, which is quite good news as it shoots like a classic airgun. The pull length is just like on any standard rifle, so there is no need to squeeze the torso/arms position as it is very often the case with ultra-short bullpups. But it is also short so not as front heavy as standard rifle. As a result it’s really easy to aim, hold and shoot off hand. Another consequence is scope selection – actually you can slap on Leshiy any rifle scope (of reasonable size). Personally I think 32mm objective is max for my taste on Leshiy, but if you’d like you can even put SWFA 10×42 on it (looks a bit aesthetically unbalanced but work great). The key is again pull length, which positions head more or less 4″ from a scope. Usually the eye relief on a scope stays within 3 to 4 inches, so it’s just right. You can always install a scope a bit to front or back and adjust eye relief. On my favorite small real bullpup (Lelya) the head position vs scope is much more restricted and a lot of scopes just don’t work on Lelya at all. So the Leshiy will be much less scope-picky vs any ultra-short bullpup… and still shorter, easier to carry & more mobile. Here’s direct comparison with my Lelya in ‘ready to fire’ position and when folded. BTW, I still like Lelya a lot, very accurate for the size, different handling and… that slider a’la Colt 1911!

    BACKPACK AIRGUN
    When folded it can be carried inside virtually any backpack –  it’s small enough to be carried even in a Tasmanian Tiger ‘Essential’ pack which is rated as just 6L pack (yes, 6 liter). However I’d suggest a packs with separate back compartment, like Camelbak Mule (tactical) or Condor Elite ‘Fail Safe Pack’. Of course it’s possible to use single compartment pack (like the Mystery Ranch 1DAP) just remember to put Leshiy in some sort of a bag first, can be just a plastic bag. You don’t want small objects (like pen) to go into barrel or valve area. And that’s why I favor packs with slightly padded separate compartment – super safe for Leshiy and also easier to operate. So far my pick #1 is Prometheus Design Werx (PDW) SHADO pack. I adapted optional molle/velcro EDC panel, put padded pouch as a muzzle protector on it and single fixing strap (Velcro). That way Leshiy doesn’t rattle around and stays safe in its own compartment. Padded pouch protects muzzle and front end of my scope from contact with ground and it takes just seconds to open bag, undo velcro strap and draw. Fast enough for me. Additionally PDW SHADOW pack will be tall enough for Leshiy with 350mm barrel and adaptor (when I get it finally). 

    LOADING & SHOOTING
    Leshiy is a single-shot affair. Just break the stock to the left and it cocks hammer at the same time and resets safety (attention: you need to fold it fully 180 deg to reset safety). Load the pellet directly into the barrel and close the gun. You’re ready to fire. Reloading speed is the last priority for me. I like single loaders a lot as it make every shot count so I don’t rush my shooting. It’s not an airgun optimized for speedy backup shots, it’s like an old-school single shot rifle. One shot, one hit. Of course it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but if you dig guns like Thompson/Center Contender or falling-block single shots (as the one used by Mickey Rourke in ‘The Last Outlaw’ movie… awesome!) then Leshiy is perfect for you! Open it, load directly into the barrel, close. Aim, hold… and deliver single piece of lead at high speed! It’s like a traditional break barrel combined with PCP power and accuracy.

     

    A short note on Leshiy’s recoil: yes, there is one more very important factor, which makes Leshiy so shootable. It’s a character of recoil. A lot of guys think that PCP doesn’t recoil. Wrong! It’s recoilless… so it recoils… LESS. But at ranges of 50 meters or more (let alone 100+) even that small recoil plays key role. Leshiy is a lightweight platform at under 2kg (scoped) so compare it to Matador (above 3kg scoped) or FX Bobcat (above 4kg scoped) – yeah, especially at higher energy levels and calibers recoil becomes an important factor. Now let’s study recoil: on most PCP’s hammer strikes towards front of the gun and when it hits a valve -> a gun recoils to the front. But milliseconds later pellet travels up the barrel and gun recoils to the back. That change of recoil direction causes most problems on airguns. Of course this effect is proportional to a pellet weigh and speed (squared) and inversely proportional to the weight of a gun. Now a recoil of Leshiy: it is VERY different than in vast majority of other PCP’s as it’s one-directional, without this ‘whiplash effect’. Hammer strikes a valve towards BACK so Leshiy recoils initially to back, and when pellet accelerates towards a muzzle Leshiy smoothly continues to recoil in the same direction. It’s an unidirectional smooth recoil, and that combined with lightweight trigger (equipped with over-travel stop screw) adds a lot to a gun’s accuracy. And even if it was not a planned and just a consequence of a construction… I don’t care. It just works that way. And it works great! That’s IMHO one of the factors why Leshiy shoots so good off-hand. That effect should be even more important if you go for .25 cal set at high muzzle energy.

    SETUP ONE (AR-style scope)
    If you plan to shoot at distances up to 50m I can recommend a good AR-style scope like my  SWFA 1-4×24 with MilQuad reticle. Such a setup is NOT optimized for long range airgun sniping and anything anything past 50m is clearly crippled by magnification of such a scope. However, for general shooting and ‘power plinking’ fun it is just awesome and I really enjoy looking through it… an on it as well, lol!

    ammo: I checked JSB Exact Express / 16gr / 18gr, and all that in 5.50 5.51 and 5.52 so I really checked it well. Exact 16 grain and 18 grain in 5.52 works best for me. Actually 18gr seems to be just a hair better so for final testing I opted for 18 grain BUT for field plinking I’m gonna use mostly 16gr for more forgiving trajectory (not always I check distance with rangefinder). I tried also other pellets incl. HN Crow Magnum and Polymag Predator but (as expected) results were rather (polymag) or very (crow mag) disappointing.

    Also please understand that to shoot in the open field I had to stay at just below 17J of energy (about 12fpe), which is quite common limit in EU. I know it’s not massive power and Leshiy can produce massively more (especially in .25) but it’s still adequate for what I use Leshiy for – pure fun. I used solid Harris bipod, Vortex rangefinder / Strelok Pro / perfectly calibrated scope & turrets (SWFA scopes are dead solid in this regard) so the trajectory was not an issue at all. Just measure, dial in, and shoot dead center.

    Distance 25m
    – scope set at 4x is all I need at that distance
    – usual group about half inch c-t-c, some groups hair below 12mm. Of course not all of them as I’m not a shooting machine but overall accuracy is just perfect

    Distance: 50m
    – scope set at 4x and honestly, it was OK but on the edge of usability. SWFA 1-4×24 Classic Tactical has a very airgun friendly reticle with a diamond in the center. At that distance I could perfectly bracket the 2” Birchwood Casey targets in the diamond. So I was not aiming the center, I was bracketing the whole target. And it worked great, actually much better than expected. However, the size & shape of my targets helped me A LOT. It’d be much harder with smaller (below 1 inch) targets
    – usual group within one inch, some groups 20/21mm c-t-c

    Initial conclusions: 
    – Leshiy is my walk-around precise so for me shot count is more important than power delivered down range – as long as accuracy is not affected of course. And imho that level of accuracy is absolutely fine at both 25 and 50mm Of course it’d be hard to expect the same when shooting in the field without a bipod, so actually Leshiy has better potential than my off-hand shooting skills. 
    – Just FYI: airgun hunting is not permitted on my land so I’m just plinking and target shooting for pleasure. But at high power settings (up to 50J in .25 cal) I’m sure it can be a devastating hunting machine. 
    – I really like Leshiy’s new trigger – it’s just smooth, light and with overtravel stop screw. It’s best trigger I’ve had on my EdGun ever, incl. tuned & polished trigger on my Lelya. And of course that plays key role in accuracy. Oh, it’s single stage, but very smooth and nice single stage. It’s hunter’s trigger but for me works great for recreational field shooting. 

    SETUP TWO (precize parallax adjustable scope)
    Hawke Airmax 2-7×32 with ultrafine AMX reticle and parallax adjustment. The etched reticle is very fine, great for precise sniping. I’m not a hunter but I guess it’d be not a hunter’s dream, especially during darker autumn days. It’s very fine and would easily get lost when shooting late afternoon in the forest. Illuminated reticle would help a lot in such conditions. Turrets are firm but I’d not trust them as a dial-in instrument. Clicks are not well defined, especially compared to SWFA. Glass is good, picture is clear, bright & contrasty. Adjustable objective is a blessing and it’s an ‘internal’ mechanism so the first 1/2″ on the front doesn’t rotate… should work like a charm with Butler Creek covers. It’s not USO or NF but for my needs (and for my wallet) it ticks all boxes. However it’s surely not as sexy as my SWFA 1-4×24 Tactical… at least for me!  But target-wise that HAWKE is a better solution than 1-4×24 and it’s still quite compact. Yeah, looks good… btw, I put the bipod in reverse position to move legs as much forward as possible to make my shooting position even more stable. 

    I zeroed it for 30m distance and fired some 5-shot groups. With 7x mag, parallax at 30m and superfine reticle it was such a pleasure… and it’s easily visible in my groups. Outer diameters: 8mm / 12mm / 13mm which means c-t-c: 3mm / 7mm / 8mm. While the smallest one was surely shot with a bit of luck… it still counts. And even in other groups some pellets hit on top of another. Not bad for a new scope.

    So… did some more shooting (a lot actually), got used to Leshiy and Hawke, put also lower mounts (UTG) so now the clearance of scope-to-gun is just 1.5mm, put more precise bipod. That’s quite cool and aggressive looking combo now:

    50 meters check-day!
    The weather was perfect: dry, overcast, no wind. So did extensive 50m test with Hawke AirMax onboard and majority of my 5-shot groups were below 20mm diameter (which means about 14mm c-t-c). Plenty tight! I believe I can still shave 1-2mm with the optional 350mm barrel… time will tell, need to get it first. Also for 75m test I’d prefer to use a setup with longer barrel but definitely there is some serious potential in Leshiy. It may be small but it’s as accurate as full-size rifle.

    SHOTCOUNT & FINE TUNING
    Leshiy is quite easy to adjust for speed with both regulator adjustment and hammer spring fine tuning. I fill my Leshiy with air to 250bar. Why not 300? Sure, you can go up to 300bar but it gives only couple extra shots and with 300 bar in my big tank it would be impossible to fill Leshiy always to the same pressure – so every couple of fills I’d have less shots and I prefer one firm number. I tried 17J with about 110 bar set on regulator and got 40 stabile shots from 250 to 110 bar. If you fill to 300bar and allow for more than 5% Vo variance (me not) you can get even 50+. With about 95 bar on regulator I can get 46 shots with Vo spread below 4% from 250 bar fill. That is great performance considering the size of tank onboard. I’m sure I could get even more with pressure adjusted down to 90 or even 85 bar and the longer 350mm barrel but for now all I have is standard 250mm one.

    However there is one more option, which can increase this number even more – HUMA-AIR custom made regulator. With this optional Huma regulator (considerably smaller than very rugged and proven EdGun’s) I was able to get impressive 54 shots with Vo spread below 5m/s in the whole string, which is less than 3% variance. That means at 250 bar fill I got more than 50 perfect shots from this tiny setup. And it’s not something I got on paper from Ed or Huma, I measured it all by myself so I say that with full confidence. Regarding Huma vs EdGun regulators… the original regulator is time proven and very rugged. Huma is smaller (means more air in the cylinder) and very easy to set to required pressure and with good reputation. So it’s up to you to decide if additional about 20% of shots (8 shots in my case) is worth spending 100 EUR on it. For some probably yes, for some not. It’s your call.

     

    For extended field use I also carry a small 500ccm buddy bottle (250 bar so that’s also why I fill to 250 bar). Got mine from Best Fittings (UK) with micro-bore short hose and actually I quite like it. It works really great with Leshiy – I can fill it 4 to 5 times – of course each next fill is less effective (pressure-wise). And even if I fill to just 200 bar I’ve got still 30 shots, or more. So in case of Leshiy it gives additional 150+ shots in the field. Maybe even more. I didn’t count, it’s just my estimation. It was certainly more than enough for me for a single-shot gun. A side note – I’ve heard that high-pressure airgun pump can fill Leshiy in just 40 strokes… not bad backup option if you ask me! I’ll probably buy one and keep in my country cabin. 

    500ccm buddy-bottle pros:
    – just enough for 1-day trip with Leshiy or Lelya (gives additionally ca. 150 shots @ 17J )
    – very easy to carry around
    – it’s slim so fits most backpacks (easily!)
    – the valve is a joy to use
    – reasonable price

    500 ccm buddy-bottle cons:
    – not enough for the whole weekend (300+ pellets)
    – takes a lot of air from base tank at home
    – can be disappointing for airguns with bigger tanks like Matador, Cricket, Taipan, etc.
    – not enough air for serious FAC or big caliber

    (I have to take a new picture, this one is quite old with my Lelya Gen.1 but should give you an idea about size)

    COLD WEATHER?
    I didn’t notice any variance in Vo when shooting in moderate winter conditions. Shooting at 0 Deg C or even at -5 Deg C is not a problem if you don’t care about single loading with bare hands in slight cold. Just one piece of advice for winter time: get some GearSkin (http://www.gearskin.eu) and make use of it – waaaaaay better feeling in autumn & winter weather! I did that and it’s indeed awesome! Much nicer cheek weld now. I also put a soft grip on my Leshiy and that’s my current winter-ready setup:

    WRAP-UP
    It’s really not easy to describe Leshiy in just couple of words. Accurate and full-power. Plus it fits into a small backpack. It’s fun, and you can take it anywhere with you. Sunday walk in the wild, weekend in a cabin, extended camping or just afternoon fun in the field. And last but not least… looks sexy as hell!

    Hope you enjoyed!
    P

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    socaloldman
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    Such a fantastic review.  Single shot, falling block, Thompson, starts you down the path of a  serious  love affair with tradition and self reliance.  Add in all the wonderful detail both written and visual  make this review a must re-read again and again.    Thanks so much.     Nick     

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    OldFalc
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    Thank you for your outstanding review! It is now a reference for me. My Leshiy (.22 Cal) will not take Crow Magnums which I found a little disappointing; however, as you point out the gun more than delivers and will give more to those not afraid of tweaking its settings. I plan on purchasing another as soon as possible even though the 2nd generation is made of some plastic but Ed always gives the airgun world a great gun! 
    I am employing a local craft woman here in Honolulu to fabricate a leather case made for the Leshiy before she goes into the backpack, for the issue you pointed out of debris getting into the workings is the only thing that bothers me in carrying the Leshiy outside her own hard case (which was a big plus for initial buyers).
    Thanks again!
     

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    Paio
    Participant
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    Wow! That is a great review. Thanks for taking your time to write and post such a detailed info for us. 

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    Terryb00
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    Piter,
    Thanks for your review, well done.
    Where did you get your soft grip from?
     

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    ncstan
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    Great review.Thanks for sharing .Stan

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    Bennett
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    Outstanding review and photos, thanks.

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    Grin_Reaver
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    Pretty comprehensive review, considering you even captured a snap of the ghost of the jungle gnome that was sacrificed for making of this gun.

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    PiterM
    Participant
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    Forgot to show one important feature of the Leshiy… moderator insert. That is exactly why I can easily shoot it in my backyard. And I also tried classic EFR scope on my Leshiy. Update below but I’ll edit my original review as well.

    MUZZLE REPORT
    At 17J power setting this gun is ultra-quiet and  neighbor friendly. Hitting a solid target is may louder than muzzle report. It’s similar level (or even a bit lower) than my 17J Lelya. And with 350mm barrel muzzle report should be inaudible at more than 10 meters. It’s so effective. At higher power settings expect higher muzzle report of course. Moderator insert plays key role in taming muzzle report, and it does the job really well. It’s easy to disassemble for barrel cleaning and also fits inside barrel extension when using 350mm barrel option.

    OTHER SCOPES?
    As I said you can use your Leshiy with other scopes too, also full-size. Here’s my Leshiy with classic HFT scope – Leupold 3-9×33 EFR with Alumina covers and 1-piece Vortex mount. Not bad setup actually… I’ll keep it for long range 350mm barrel testing.
      

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    PiterM
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    slightly reworked and updated with 350mm barrel version on ITS Tactical. Enjoy!

    http://www.itstactical.com/warcom/firearms/edgun-leshiy-subcompact-air-rifle-serious-punch/

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    sillymike
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    Great review, thanks!

    I guess I’ll have to it youtube to see how easy it is to adjust power on that little gnome.

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    PiterM
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    Another update/upgrade… just put new Vortex Diamondback Tactical on my Leshiy. Superclear glass, 3-9×40, compact size with 1″ tube, perfectly tracking turrets with quick reset and very airgun friendly reticle. What’s not to like? No adjustable parallax maybe? Yeah, side focus would be cool but it’d crank up both price and size. So I use 3x up to 15y, 6x up to 35y and 9x for anything more than 35y. Crisp and clear.

    Oh, just fyi: 3/4 inch at 50 yards is easy at 9x with that scope onboard… the trick is to shoot 10k pellets through it first ;)

    (Sorry for not such a great photo, I’ll process it later at home. So far it’s just camera -> iPhone -> forum)

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    scrane
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    I think to equate the cocking action of the Leshiy to the Contender or a falling block rifle is a real stretch. Outside of being single shots none of these three have much in common with the others. The arc of the Leshiy’s folding action looks pretty awkward.  For me, the cocking action of the Leshiy is its main serious drawback.
    What kind of seal and engagement is there between the tank and action?  Will the seals be prone to contamination when the action is open?
     

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    PiterM
    Participant
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    Whatever works for you man… Matador is a cool one too! 

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    scrane
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    Yep, the Matador is a classic! Many Eastern European bullpup designs owe just about everything to the Matador. 

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    PiterM
    Participant
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    So finally found some time for a good pic of my Leshiy with Vortex Diamondback Tactical on it…yeah!

    And that Vortex fits a short version as well! Here’s a pic taken recenly on a sunny day in the field:

    Man, I really like this toy 

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    Jabba954
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    I cracked. Ordered one of the special edition ones in blue ano. Should be a fun back yard plinker. 

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    DanT55
    Participant
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    Great review and pictorial! 

    Vert grip on a shorty is ideal IMHO! 

    DT

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    PiterM
    Participant
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    Thanks!  Some bonus shots… summer sunset in the forest…

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    sirk
    Spectator
    Spectator

    what about the guys finger, curious if it is still there?
    you know the one who shot his finger accidentally… there was a thread about it a while ago?

    sorry guys i just remember this model by the shot off finger.

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