Stoeger X20 Supressor
The introduction of a brand new model however, was clearly a good excuse to get better acquainted with the brand; so my rifle on test here is their latest X20 Suppressor – and an elegant little number it is too!
It’s a traditional spring-piston powered, legal limit airgun, built around a conventional break barrel action; yet the main on-board feature of this rifle does set it apart from the crowd, in a fiercely contested sector of the market. The clue’s in the name, as they say, and the ‘Suppressor’ suffix stems from the fact that the barrel is shrouded over and above its full length by a synthetic casing. Plenty of technical wizardry is housed inside this area, forming the Suppressor, which obviously has an effect on the muzzle report of the rifle – and we’ll come to that later.
What also rather helps this rifle’s case is the fact that it comes as a package deal with the X20 Suppressor rifle supplied complete with a Stoeger 3-9×40 scope and mounts, all-in at the time of writing for a seemingly modest £195.
Looks and Handling
Onto the rifle, and first impressions of the X20 Suppressor with regards to looks alone, centre on a perceived over-use of synthetics, since the entire stock, and action forward of the breech, are formed from this material. Yet handle this rifle for any length of time, and any unfavourable preconceptions are soon put in their place.
For a start, this X20 feels reassuringly weighty, with a nice amount of that heft towards the muzzle. The stock feels dense as well as being well thought out, so overall balance and handling all feel right from the start. That sublime fore-end design means the leading hand just naturally cups the rifle on aim, and despite a cheek piece that is slightly too low, and a butt pad which is slightly too firm, I couldn’t help but warm to this model.
Overall finish is fairly good too, with the traditional blued main cylinder well up to standard.
With the Stoeger scope already mounted and sitting in roughly the correct position, (secured with an arrestor stud into the scope rail I might add), I could settle down to the serious business of performance evaluation.
Cocking the rifle requires the breech to be gently jolted open; which is more technique than effort. Once mastered, the actual cocking stroke that follows should be achievable by most, requiring as it does, minimal effort. With a pellet pushed home and safely flush with the facing edge of the breech, the barrel can be swung up – and at this stage with no resistance whatsoever, an incredibly subtle breech lock-up détente can be appreciated.
And so to that main feature. With manufacturers currently waging war by acronym, Stoeger are not to be outdone here. Air Flow Control (AFC) technology is apparently what lies behind this rifle’s headline grabbing spec., and let’s not forget the ‘Dual- Stage Noise Reduction System’, designed by silencer specialists Humbert CTTS. All sounds very impressive; so just how does that Suppressor shape up?
The manufacturers modestly claim that this rifle is the quietest airgun in its class, and whilst I lacked the technical equipment to scientifically validate this claim, I can report that output from the muzzle is noticeably muted, when compared to many other rifles of a similar specification. Bear in mind that this X20 is fitted with a carbine 10.5 inch barrel, and the fact that no ‘crack’ is emitted as the air exits the barrel, is a fine achievement. In the real world though, don’t lose sight of the fact that silencers play a far more significant and discernable role when fitted to pneumatics; with the noise generated by the mechanical action of a spring gun, arguably of far more relevance than that detected at the muzzle. So the X20 Suppressor isn’t whisper quiet by any means – just highly civilized.
Over a chronograph, the slick feeling action returned truly stunning consistency with a variety of pellets, along with full legal-limit power output across the board.
Accuracy testing revealed a trigger which is admittedly fairly basic in operation, and whilst technically two-stage, the amount of felt creep before the sear trips means a deliberate routine needs to be adopted to get the best results. I had a play with the adjustment screw, and whilst refinement wasn’t coming any time soon, if the creep was carefully taken up, the final feel before the shot released, was improved.
Using Daystate FT in .22 calibre, the X20 Suppressor printed groups of a little over an inch at 30yds. Best groups achieved were with Webley Xtreme ammunition, achieving clusters of just over half inch, yet 0.75inch seemed a more representative benchmark with this rifle.
In short, my introduction to Stoeger had been most enlightening. The feel, handling and overall design of this X20 Suppressor are reasons enough to take a closer look.
Bear that package deal in mind though, and this rifle has to make an ideal starter pack or budget medium range hunting outfit.