Tim Finley explores the sleek lines of the Stoeger RX-40 underlever rifle in this detailed test and review

credit: Archant

Stoeger Airguns was formed in 2008 in order to create an airgun division within the Beretta group, and unboxing the RX-40 rifle I was struck by its modern look and the long flowing lines, which I put down to the Beretta influence. It’s an adult-sized rifle with a pull length on the stock of 370mm. The feel of the synthetic stock is very tactile indeed, and the matte, soft-touch finish is not the only thing interesting about the stock. It has removable panels on the fore end and pistol grip areas, enabling the user to change the colour from the standard black to either bright blue or orange. 

credit: Archant

Stoeger RX-40 - underlever action
The RX-40 is a spring-powered air rifle, with the spring compressed via an underlever system, meaning the barrel is fixed in position. The lever is locked in position by a push-button, spring-loaded catch situated right on the very end of the lever. 

Upon cocking the RX-40, a steel pellet carrier pops up from the top of the action. Into this you place the lead pellet of your choice. It is sealed with an ‘O’ ring and cannot be pushed back down until the underlever is closed. It has to be manually pushed back into the action, so make sure you press it all the way down to seal the connection properly between the transfer port and breech. 

Another thing that happens when you cock the action is that the safety catch at the action’s rear pops out. It can be reset at any time, which is good. 

credit: Archant

Stoeger RX-40 - chronograph test
Over the chronograph, the Stoeger was much better than I expected, and a bit of a revelation, to be honest. Once it was settled in, it hovered consistently around the 800 feet-per-second mark and stayed there. This showed downrange when I shot it, but a bit more of that later. Running at 11.3 ft.lbs. that’s hunting rifle power.

The Stoeger has open sights fitted as standard; the front sight post has a red fibre-optic rod, protected by an opened-sided hood. The rear sight has two green rods, one on each side of the rear notch. The sight base is 405mm long. I did like the fact that is has windage adjustment dials on both sides of the sight, making it ambidextrous. It seems that the whole rifle is perfect for right or left-handed shooters; the stock, the cocking lever, the safety catch, the sights, all good for either hand, well done Stoeger!

The RX-40 comes with a Stoeger 3-9 x 40 scope and mounts. It’s a very useable scope with parallax adjustment and target-style adjustment turrets for windage and elevation and the clicks on these are positive. 

It has a 30/30 reticle and see-through lens covers as well. Being a spring rifle, the rear mount has a recoil stop pin, this indexes in a slot machined into the centre of the 11mm scope rail on top of the steel action. The rifle is quite light so it needs a recoil system for the scope and it works. 

credit: Archant

Stoeger RX-40 - stock
I do like the lightness, and I liked the rifle more and more as I shot it, but the stock was the major factor for me. There are so many designed-in contact points for all the shooting positions, standing, kneeling and even prone. I also liked the addition of the coloured panels. I fitted orange, of course, because that is one of my favourite colours. Stoeger calls it the MGS (Multi-Grip System) technology. It has MGS embossed on each interchangeable grip panel, you could even mix and match if that’s what you wanted to do. 

The ergonomics of the stock are outstanding and it is fully ambidextrous, including the safety catch. This sits at the back of the action and can be pushed in easily with the operator’s trigger hand thumb, no matter if they’re a right or left-hander. 

Another interesting stock feature is the area of what they call ‘pro-adaptive chequering’. All I know is that it gives superb grip just where you need it. It even has angled front stock screws, well, bolts because these are hex-key headed. Angling the stock bolts resists the recoil forces upon firing to keep them tight. 

credit: Archant

Stoeger RX-40 - test verdict
The RX-40 is a well-featured air rifle at a very reasonable price, considering what you get for your money. I enjoyed my time with it, that’s for sure. It’s capable of sub-20mm groups out to 30 yards, with compatible pellets, of course, and I’m sure I could improve on that with time and familiarity. This rifle definitely qualifies as a top-value gun!

Thanks to PSS for all their help in the production of this article.  

credit: Archant

Distributor: GMK Ltd
Manufacturer: Stoeger
Model: RX-40
Type: Spring powered air rifle
Barrel length: 440mm 
Calibre: .177 on test
Action: Under lever
Sights: None
Trigger: Two stage adjustable
Trigger pull weight: 2.2.kg 
Length of pull: 370mm    
Overall length: 1090mm 
Weight: 3.1kg 
Price: £220