Our full review of the Air Arms ProSport
There’s no getting away from the fact that the ProSport is one of the most expensive spring rifles at around £700 for the walnut version – a price tag that encroaches on mid-level pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) rifles. Air Arms has taken the view that if budget is an issue there are plenty of cheaper springers around, but that if someone chooses to have a springer over a PCP they will pay for a premium rifle.
As you’d expect, the ProSport is superbly engineered with many components you’d normally see on a tuned rifle standard from out of the box. Thanks to the use of synthetic bearings to support the compression chamber and piston, the cocking stroke is smooth and the firing action is devoid of any clanging associated with many other spring rifles. The action is best described as ‘thuddy’ and recoil is limited to a gentle nudge in the shoulder that is cushioned by a ventilated butt pad.
The finish is excellent. The stock has ornate but tasteful patches of high quality chequering on the forend and pistol grip, which is finished with a rosewood cap and spacer. The cheekpiece is comfortable and the roll-over comb is perfectly aligned to give good eye alignment to a scope mounted on the long dovetail rails. Details such as the fact that Air Arms has used discreet allen studs instead of screws in the stock are typical of the thought that has gone into the rifle. The gold trigger is a little blingy but suits the rifle and is nicely curved, as well as adjustable for length and weight. The metalwork too is of the highest standard – a deep and even black. For some reason though, and I find this on most Air Arms rifles, the metal shows finger marks easily; you’ll be forever wiping it down, which isn’t a bad thing.
The flush fitting aluminium underlever requires no catch to release or lock home – another example of the ProSport’s engineering. Cocking the action automatically sets the safety button at the back of the rifle and helps ensure the underlever won’t fly up and your trap fingers if the trigger mechanism fails or is pulled inadvertently. In addition, an anti-bear trap mechanism ensures that even with the safety switched off, the rifle will not fire until the underlever is returned. Pulling the underlever down opens a wide loading port to enable pellets to be inserted directly into the breech. The fact that a fumbled pellet will drop straight through the rifle is something you’ll appreciate on a cold day or in the dark.
The slightly-less-than 15 inch Lothar Walther barrel is fully shrouded and contains an integrated moderator. The combination makes the ProSport extremely quiet to shoot.
All this makes the ProSport a rifle that is beautiful to own and very rewarding to shoot as it is more than capable of levels of accuracy that would flatter a top end PCP.