|Biased Product Review: DAQ .308 Exile rifle|
If you're looking for an unbiased product review, try this article at reviewcentre.com. I hope you find my review useful and informative, but there are a couple of reasons I can't make this an expert and impartial review.
First, I am not a firearms expert or enthusiast. I am a gun owner but I am not knowledgable enough to write a thorough review.
Second, I am not impartial. Dennis Quackenbush is my father's first cousin. If I didn't think highly of this product I wouldn't write a review — I'd just keep my mouth shut. But who are you going to believe?
I learned to shoot a .22 caliber rifle as a youth. A boyhood friend (hi Lars!) once shot me in the chest at point blank range with a BB gun we thought was unloaded. It hurt for a while but our friendship endured.
So, I can load a rifle and hit the broadside of a barn, and I know firsthand that all firearms must be treated as if they were loaded at all times.
People with unusual names like Quackenbush take pride when we encounter our own name. As a consequence, I own an antique 1896 H.M. Quackenbush .22 caliber cartridge rifle and an 1881 H.M. Quackenbush .21 caliber spring-air rifle.
Dennis A. Quackenbush is an American gunsmith who manufactures high powered air rifles. His .50 caliber Bandit is prized by hunters and has become the standard by which other large bore air rifles are measured. I recently had the opportunity to try out his latest creation, the .308 caliber Exile.
My antique .21 caliber air gun fires pretty substantial slugs and is noticeably more powerful than an ordinary BB gun. I figured the Exile was just a bigger more powerful air rifle, a rung or two up the ladder, but still an air gun at heart.
I chambered a round, aimed at a suitable target, and squeezed the trigger.
I was NOT prepared for the results. The report was so loud I almost soiled my kilt. It was easily as loud as a police issue automatic. The slug went through my .22 strength backstop like is was paper and disappeared into the concrete wall behind it.
I expected a big powerful air gun. Until I fired it I never really processed the fact that this weapon is powerful enough to fire a 150 grain bullet at over 800 feet per second and accurate enough to take out a coyote at 100 yards.
After my heart rate recovered I started doing the math. Mach one is roughly 1100 feet per second at sea level so the Exile is still a subsonic air gun. No big deal, right? The lethal 7.65mm Walther PPK automatic pistol fires smaller 71 grain bullets at 900 feet per second. A skilled marksman can consistenly shoot ½" groups at 50 yards though the Exile's rifled 26" barrel. Dismissing it as a mere air gun is a mistake.
Sometimes classified as "pre charged" air rifles, these guns have bolt actions and two cylinders running the length of the barrel. The upper cylinder is a precision bored 26" barrel with a unique rifling profile optimized for air power. The lower cylinder is a high pressure air reservoir which is typically charged to 3000 PSI from a SCUBA tank.
These rifles get 3-5 shots before the pressure in the air reservoir drops and your groups start to dip vertically. At this point you do not recharge the entire reservoir- you merely add enough air to bring it back up to full pressure. You can do this with a high pressure compressor, an HP gas booster, or a SCUBA tank. Some people carry a small reserve tank or "pony bottle" into the field. Dennis also sells a 3500 PSI three stage hand operated pump that's small enough to be carried into the field.