I have links with some really good companies, as some of you are probably aware. Not only in the U.K. but across Europe, Russia and Asia. So it’s Russia this week, sort of via a very good friend in Spain, so it’s probably only fitting that this weeks gun is the Matador, no it is, really, no Bull....
Now before I get stuck into the review of this little beauty, I should let you know that the Matador R5M and the EDgun Leshiy and a Leshiy 2 prototype are currently at Vector Air for people to take a look at.
So let’s do just that shall we, let’s take a look at this matador, as always, the walk around.
Like most EDguns it is pretty short, At around 70cm or 27.5” long and weighs in unscoped at 3.3kg or 7.3lbs. It is typical EDgun and is both radical and away from the norm in terms of design, there are no poor quality materials used in construction and the word to use when looking at any EDgun product is engineered, because they always are... not necessarily cheap, but you don’t get this level of engineering on a budget. That doesn’t mean you don’t get value for money though.
The stock on this particular one is honed out of a single piece of walnut and has a radical curve to it, sweeping from low at the front to higher in the middle then back down towards the butt. It is beautifully made and has no sharp or rough edges anywhere in sight. It is all smooth with no stippling, but I really don’t think it’s required because this sits so nicely in your hand and shoulder, it’s not about to move anywhere. The Grip has that, now becoming familiar, straight up and down Russian military feel to it and again, typical EDgun it has that cut out for your middle finger to slot into, adding stability and grip. It has a really flat bottom to the front, almost hamster style to be able to rest it onto the palm of your hand.
This is very much a true ambidextrous item and even has the bolt on both sides together with a full wrap over, what feels like, alcantara cheek piece. The 10 round magazine in this .22 cal version does drop in from the right hand side and does not in anyway get in the way when shooting left handed. Out in the front we see the offset moderator or silencer that is very EDgun in design and resembles the mk1 Leshiy pretty closely if a little more complicated in shape and design internally. It does however do a very good job of quietening this down, greatly. Behind this is the 16” or 406mm german made match grade lothar walther barrel. Underneath that is the filler port with twist dust cover and the electronic pressure gauge, which probably has more computing power than Apollo 11, giving far more information than just the pressure, such as average pressure per shot, temperature and much more. Given a choice, just a really good analog gauge would be my preference, but that’s probably just me showing my age. It is pretty easy to swap this out if you prefer.
Filling this to it’s max 300 bar fill is very simple, and should really be undertaken when your getting anywhere near 120 bar left in this ones 280cc cylinder. At this point, it is really difficult to say what it’s shot count is, but I can say at higher FAC power levels, it states around 60 good shots. So this sub 12 ft/lb for the U.K. market would produce substantially more, and could be up-to around 190 shots depending on calibre according to the spec sheets.
The scope rail on the top is pretty standard stuff but it does have a slot to put the spare magazine into, which is another nice touch. On top of this I’ve fitted this vector optics scope to which is a first focal plane and is a pretty amazing item and I am hoping for big things in the target section later.
The 2 magazines are, just as I like them, really simple and efficient, nothing fancy, they just work and loading them is a very simple activity and then dropping them into the gun is done from the right hand side and is engaged into place with the lever at the top. The bottom one being the safety catch, which is part in Russian, but it is up for safe and down for fire. Again simple efficient and it just works. With a reassuring click and feel and is left and right handed as it too is on both sides.
The side action is slightly different to other rifles, not only with the dual side option, but the feel is slightly different, and benefits from a firm but not overly aggressive pull back followed by a slight push forward to engage the pellet into the barrel. At this point, I should point out that it doesn’t need and really shouldn’t be pulled to cock it with both sides, just one side only. But you do have that all important choice around just how you choose to cock it, trigger hand or under arm so to speak.
Right at the very back, there is a really nice finish to the butt pad with raised soft bars and also a loop for a strap or the like.
The trigger is a two stage item and is ribbed and grippy and adjustable but when I say adjustable, I mean first and second stages can even be operated without a second stage. Making this particular triggers pull weight irrelevant because it can be personalised to suit the individual owner.
Loading the magazine is simplicity itself simply drop each pellet into the magazine, the o-ring holds them in place. To drop the magazine into the gun pull back all the way on the cocking arm drop into the rear with the blades to the rear and then lock the indexing arm into place, push all the way forward on the bolt and your ready to go.
Guided tour over, let’s take a look at this in action shall we.
Target work then, out at 40 meters...
A couple of takeaways here, yes it is accurate, I didn’t really expect anything else to be fair. And the scope in its first focal plane form is a real gem to use, maybe not as high a magnification as I would like for longer range target work, but none the less a real beauty.
Naturally this is the sub 12 ft\lb version but a full fac higher power version is of course available and it is also available in different lengths and as I have already said different calibres.
I admit to vastly becoming a bit of an Edgun fan, and even though I am probably a little late to the party with the matador because it has been around a while, it certainly doesn’t feel dated, I think EDgun are pretty radical when they first come out, which means they stay up to date and modern for quite some time to come. They are also less likely to be seen around which gives them that eliteness when out with your mates or down at the range.
This level of exclusivity and quality naturally doesn’t come cheap and prices start at €1750, which at current rates is around £1575 U.K. but remember quality does come at a price and I would look at this more from a value for money point of view and the quality, finish, accuracy and engineering certainly puts this in the VFM section in my view. Especially when you put it at the side of some other well known high end air rifles. It comes in synthetic, walnut and laminate stocks in .177, .22 and .25 calibres, so you aren’t limited when it comes to choice.
You’ve probably gathered I like this and it will be hanging around for a while and It is one I will be spending a fair bit more time with, just for the sheer pleasure of it.
Sometimes I really do enjoy my time with a gun, and increasingly EDguns are hitting the spot with me, I am very grateful to Francisco for kindly sending this for me to review and enjoy.
hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed making it. There are some really exciting things in the pipeline hopefully starting over the next few weeks, but That’s it for now, stay safe, shoot safe and hopefully I’ll see you next week.
Watch the full review here: