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Posted by Brian on 10/1/2015 to articles
The Taipan arrived last Saturday and I have spent the remainder of the week playing with the gun. The Taipan Mutant is made in the Ukraine and comes with two 12-shot magazines (.22), a single shot tray, a set of replacement O rings and an EDgun style fill probe. The gun has a 18 inch barrel and a 450 MM rate of twist (17 in 1). The airgun has a rear cocking lever akin to the Cricket. In addition, the Taipan comes with a factory shroud that is attached to a 1/2X20 UNF thread. It has a two stage trigger that is extremely crisp, and it comes equipped with a manual safety located inside the trigger guard. The a rubber recoil pad is included. There is a mil-spec Picatinny rail that is flat (there is no MOA added to the rail). The gun weighs in at 6.25 pounds and has an overall length of 28 inches with the shroud attached. The Taipan Mutant is offered in three versions, short, standard and long.

My first impressions were that the stock was made with an axe and the metal work was exceptional. The gun really appears to be a mutant of sorts; ugly wood and beautiful metal work. Due to this stark contrast, at first glance I did not like the look of the gun. I felt it was a poorly designed Cricket. The forend corners were too square. The finish on the wood is also poorly executed; it looks like it was painted by a Chinese toy company. The pores are not filled and the wood is low quality. However, I would put the metal work up to English and German standards.

Contrary to its ugly and grating look, shooting the gun was an absolute joy. The function is absolutely flawless. The Taipan is the smoothest cocking and indexing gun I have used since the Weihrauch HW100. The magazine works impeccably and the shooter barely knows the gun had indexed: it is nearly automatic. When the cocking lever is pulled a very satisfying suction sound is made from the perfectly fitted and polished metal. The gun is really that buttery smooth. The Taipan is well balanced, and although I don't like the wood work the stock is oddly comfortable. Similar to many Russian and Ukrainian guns function comes before form. As my time behind the trigger grew so did my affection for this ugly duckling Mutant. I was hell bent at finding a wood man to replace this abomination the first time I shot it, yet I now find myself actually enjoying the stock as it is very comfortable to shoot. The grip is the perfect angle and the stock sits in the shoulder pocket extremely well. Although I didn't like the stock at first I found the forend works really well on the bench. The generous flat spot aids in stability and there is plenty of room to add a rail if so desired. The trigger is excellent, one of the smoothest and most crisp triggers I have felt on a bullpup. The first stage is 2 ounces and the second is .6 ounces and it pulled a consistent weight each time. Often times because of the linkage on a bullpup the trigger is creeping and inconsistent, however this is not the case with the Taipan. There is quite a distinction between the two stages. The first stage is light while the second stage is crisp and positive; the shooter will know when it is engaged and this knowledge aids the shooterís accuracy. The barrels are made by CZ, and like the other guns so equipped, such as the Cricket and the Vulcan, the gun is very accurate.

I tested JSB 18.1, 15.89, Predator Polymags (16grn) and Baracuda 21 grain. As I predicted before I tested the Taipan, the gun hated Baracuda pellets. Iíve decided not to post photos of the group as they are a waste of time. The H&N were difficult to push into the chamber and they just donít feel right with this gun. The 18s and 16s flew very well, with the 18s putting up one hole performance at 50 yards. I chose to leave the 15.89 as an option if I wanted to turn the Taipan down to a sub-25 foot pound gun for the backyard as to retain some velocity while conserving air and reducing the gunsís report. The real shocker in my tests were the Polymags. For the first time any gun I have ever owned the Polys held zero. They actually had the same POI at the 18.1 and they were sub MOA at 50 yards. At times I had one hole performances with them. As a result, I feel they are a viable option for hunting. I found that the standard Polymags fit in the magazine, however they work best when the gun is configured as a single shot. I did not test the pellets past 75 yards but they worked quite well up to that distance. However, as the photos will show, the 18.1 are the superior pellets for this gun.

One of the most overlooked features on many PCPs in my opinion is noise reduction. I firmly believe many English and European manufacturers overlook the importance of a silent gun for Americans. Many of us choose to shoot pellet guns because they are silent and it allows hunting opportunity when a firearm would be too loud to shoot. Because of the NFA of 1934 most of us turn to PCP guns because they are powerful, accurate and quiet. Without that trifecta the PCP is worthless to most Americans. This Taipan has one of the most effective baffle systems I have used on a factory OEM gun. Shooting at 900 fps (18.1) I found the gun consistently recoded below 90 db at 3 feet and when the gun was detuned to 840 fps (18.1) the db sank into the high 70ís to low 80ís. Couple this feature with a $60 1/2X20 UNF male threaded cap from Hagan, this gun may be used even amongst the nosiest of neighbors with an LDC attached.

Tuning the gun is quick and easy. There is a small set screw on the left side of the action that locks the HST adjuster. A few turns and the HST screw is free to move. The gun is accompanied with a set of fat pegs and thin pegs that are used to remove the moderator cap and to adjust the HST. The small pegs are for the HST. Simply turn the screw to the left to decrease the speed and right to increase. The gunís regulator is so efficient that the shooter has more leeway with the HST than most guns. Most regulated PCP guns require the HST and regulator to work harmoniously. If not, the extreme spread (ES) and efficiency of the gun will significantly decrease. I found the Taipan came from the factory shooting 18.1s at 930 fps. I was able to turn the HST down to 780 and still maintain a 13 foot per second extreme spread with the standard deviation of 4 FPS. That is not optimum but it is still amazing since most regulated PCPs would need to have the regulator setting lowered to achieve similar numbers. The sweet spot for this gun was 880-905 FPS. I didnít test the regulator but I believe it may be set above 130 PSI. If this is the case then the Taipan Mutant is an incredibly efficient gun. At 900 FPS I achieved 62 shots with an ES at 8 FPS from 240 bar down to 120 bar. I settled on 840 FPS, and at that speed I achieved an ES of 10 fps and 78 shots from 240 to 120 bar. The Taipan was accurate at both speeds but the 18.1s do seem to prefer 26-30 foot pounds. I believe if I want to permanently reduce the speed I may need to adjust the regulator but thatís only because Iím obsessive compulsive about these things. I doubt is is necessary.

I do, however, have a couple complaints about the gun. Firstly, I do not like safeties on a PCP. These guns are not like H&H sidelock shotguns. That is, they do not have intercepting sears. This means if the shooter were to jar the gun enough the hammer may fall resulting in an accidental discharge. This has nothing to do with muzzle control or trigger control. Dropping the gun could end in disaster. For this reason I like to de-cock my PCP guns when the shot doesnít present itself. On the Vulcan, EDgun, and Cricket if one wants to de-cock the gun all that needs to be done is turn of the auto indexing and then pull the bolt, hold the trigger and gently release the hammer. Re-cock the gun, and the shooter is ready. I could not figure out how to stop the magazine from indexing every time the bolt is pulled on the Taipan. So on this gun one must waste a pellet or rely on the safety. Unless I missed something on this gun I think the auto indexing is always on. My other complaint would be that Taipan added some MOA to the rail so I could get a few more spins on my turret. Also, as I mentioned before the paint job and wood quality arenít great. After shooting the gun for a while I got used to the feel of the stock but I wish it was a higher quality wood and a better finish applied. However, in the scheme of things these are fairly minor issues.

In conclusion, the Taipan is extremely impressive. The gun is well balanced, light, smooth and fun to shoot. I opted to put a lighter scope on this gun (Vortex 2.5-10 PST FFP) to keep the balance. One of the coolest features is the single shot tray. It is so well made and when in place it becomes part of the gun. I forgot how much I liked a single shot from the bench. I got my gun from Jamie and I believe TOPGUN-AIRGUNS and WWAG will also be importing these guns soon. Even though it is not one of the new side bolt models offered by Vulcan and FX, I think this gun will be hard to beat. Itís ugly and functional but in the end is one really nice PCP. I Hope you enjoy the photos. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the review or the gun.

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