That's quite the statement, so let me layout my argument as part of an interview with Ed himself on the inspiration behind the EDgun Leshiy.
Here's my suggestion for North American readers... as of the date of this article, a shipment just arrived of the EDgun Leshiy... go throw it in your cart, and then return to cement a great decision you're about to make.
ok, back to how I crowned this as the best! I wanted the perfect airgun. One in which I could shoot in my backyard with total anonymity (i.e. quiet as hell), accurate, flexible in power, multi caliber (not a deal breaker, but a plus!), tiny in overall size (so I could stuff into my closet or backpack.
This list lead me to a pretty short list of airguns... my search started in the low hanging fruit and into the bullpup style airgun. There are tons of great offerings, but although they are small, it wasn't small enough for me. The search continued.
Next up was the FX Impact. Before the FX police attack me, let me say the gun ticked almost every box. Very amazing airgun, but there were 2 big things that actually were not on my initial list, that later came to be... 1) reliable, and 2) can't be something visually that someone might see and think I'm shooting more than a pellet gun. I can hear the folks calling me a pussy already for that second one, and that's fine. For many folks shooting in their backyards, in urban'ish type environments this is a big deal. Ever wonder why people started requesting red and blue versions?? Yeah, looks like a nerf gun... neighbor goes back to watering their lawn. Net/Net, it What it was just too much. One big item here I'm not covering as I only experienced a small piece of this is the reliability. The airgun is very well made, but given the enormous flexibility it leaves massive room for human error. Basically... the thing is super easy to break (and expensive to fix). Service is such a big business, they created a Service Center and whole brand around the very talented Ernest Rowe... so yeah, tones of money in fixing it! For my limited experience though, this was not the airgun you can walk into the backyard with, unless you're backyard has barbwire to keep the cows in line.
I was now down to 2 airguns really, or the pistol route... but that's for another day / conversation. I was between the EDgun Leshiy and the Ataman M2R Carbine Ultra Compact. Both guns reviewed by Ted's Holdover, the defacto resource for what to buy. Ted kind of ripped (in a nice midwestern kind of way) the EDgun Leshiy on the accuracy front... and it ALMOST sent me the Ataman route. Long story short though, I thought accuracy, in the high-end airguns, had a lot to do with the person than the machine. The Ataman was loud, and that was coming from a guy who shot on farms... so yeah, that's out... EDgun Leshiy it is!
So let's go back to my list (now + 2 items)
1) shoot in my backyard with total anonymity (i.e. quiet as hell)
The Leshiy is totally backyard friendly... it took me awhile to figure out what that really meant though... and I took quiet to a whole new (obsessed level) more on that here: Chasing Backyard Friendly
As mentioned, Ted really didn't do this gun it's justice. I talk about that here (EDgun Leshiy Accuracy Secrets
), but I light matches at 20 yards. I'm not pesting baby ants, so that's good enough for me... box checked!
3) flexiblein power
yup. enormous flexibility in hammer spring and the regulator. Sub 12ft/lbs to 40+
4) multi caliber (not a deal breaker, but a plus!)
yup, and CHEAP! I bought .177, .22, and .25
hell yes. Crazy small package! folded it's the size of a airgun pistol (14inches depending on setup)
This brings me to my final point, and one where I leveraged Ed himself via an email interview. The origin and story of the Leshiy is what solidifies the iconic status the EDgun Leshiy has and deserves. The thought that went into this gun is extraordinary. Enjoy, and join me in saying, The EDgun Leshiy is THE GREATEST airgun of all time.
I gave Ed a few questions via his US dealer (Edgun West's Brian Meckler), and in typical "Ed" fashion, he answered them all in one authentic way... enjoy
How did you come up with the concept of the Edgun Leshiy… Inspirations? Is there a story behind it?
What’s the design process like? Do you have an end goal/vision that you reverse engineer everything to, or did you start with the simplicity of the guts, and design around it?
Leshy is a conceptually new rifle. The original idea was to make a rifle of the survivor. That is, a rifle in which the minimum of details, which is always ready for work, which is not afraid of any temperature changes, nor cold, nor dirt, nor heat, which will work always and everywhere. That's why the idea came that we do not need a shutter, we do not need a sender, we do not need a store. The ideal option is to make sure that the air from the valve blows right into the skirt of the bullet. To increase the efficiency of the rifle, it was necessary to avoid all the turns of the channel for the passage of air from the valve. Therefore, the valve should be deployed 180 degrees.
Then came the realization that in this case the ideal option would be to attach the tank to the rear of the rifle. In fact, it turns out Talon. But it does not fit into the concept of the rifle of the survivor, light, compact, but powerful. And what if you make the balloon foldable? Bingo! That is necessary, compactness, high efficiency, instant readiness for a shot.
Further, there were already details that were threaded on the finished concept, like beads on a string.
Mounting the barrel - originally wanted to go the same way, as on Matador R4 and Lele 2.0, the bushing for the breech trunk, tightening the nut through the moderator. Twisted the construct and so and so, it does not get compact, the rifle is heavily inflated in width, because of the folding loop of the butt. Then I remembered that on the first matadors, those that were with the two clamps, there was the problem of crimping the trunk with clamps, it turned out as if there were two chocks in the course of the bullet movement. And, what if we put a "one" yoke that will squeeze the end of the barrel? What the doctor prescribed! We take the barrel without a choke, attach it to the front, get a reliable fastening and a "soft" choke, which will improve accuracy, but it will make it possible to use heavier bullets (it's no wonder we fought for high efficiency in air consumption). And the dimensions immediately all in place rose. Plus, there is no thread on the trunk either in the public part or in the muzzle, which can not but have a beneficial effect on its internal geometry. This design of the trunk mount, together with the rifleless concept of the gun, allows changing the barrels "on the fly", moving smoothly from the caliber of 4.5 mm to 6.35 mm, without changing other parts of the rifle. For leveling the trunk in the area of the breech, there simply is a bushing.
Long fought over the length of the trunk. On the prototype was 200 mm, not enough! But what about the overall dimensions, if the task was to ensure that the rifle in the folded form was not longer than 350 mm? Eccentric! Exhausted design on previous models! It turned out to insert a barrel of 250 mm, which together with the improved efficiency makes it possible to obtain a very good result with quite comfortable sound. Speaking of "quite comfortable sound", I, as usual, are somewhat shy , the new moderator with a new design of internal partitions shows very good results, even at such a short length, in the 6.35 caliber the sound does not look like a shot, rather a thud, without a clear identification . About the younger calibers and no speech, there is still better.
Due to the fact that the barrel is only 250 mm long, it is not necessary to expect from this rifle the unearthly results on the range of fire, evaluate things realistically. In fact, this is Veles, only in a very unusual arrangement, and more convenient in carrying and shooting. That is, those who from Veles tried to make a carbine and shoot at rifle distances will appreciate the new product on its merit.
And since we abandoned our traditional scheme, attaching the moderator to the thread on the end of the barrel, we decided to make everything simpler. So, as this eccentric, it can take only one position, if it has two points of support. The first is the end of the barrel, which is simply inserted into the opening of the separator, and the second is the outer casing of the separator. It remains only to tighten the entire structure with an external stopper. By the way, this allows to "increase" the length of the barrel to 350 mm, using the same separator. So, as the rifle has the ability to quickly change the barrel, the separator is made immediately under the largest possible gauge - 6.35 mm.
By the way, my third replacement of the trunk, that is, without experience, but the speed of replacement can already be estimated.
In many countries, for the sale of rifles, they must be equipped with fuses. To stick it in any construct is not difficult. So, usually, and do, block the trigger and that's it. We decided to go a little different way. If you put the fuse on, it would be wise to block the SC, not the SC, but whispered to ensure that the rifle is already guaranteed to be shot. So, the fuse blocks the sear. It can be put in the "fuse" position manually, but if you fold the rifle's stock / tank to the end, the rifle automatically fuses. The rifle can only be put on the safety guard by the cocked one. The course of the fuse is short, clear, clearly understandable and is very convenient, just in the area of the front phalanx of an elongated index finger.
Unfortunately, in connection with the struggle for compactness, we had to abandon the already familiar for all the trigger in USM and return to the longitudinal-sliding drummer, but the layout of his location, platoon and work makes everything quite comfortable and reliable. From the "not documented" capabilities of the rifle - withdrawal from the combat platoon without stacking the butt.
Trigger hook is not adjustable in terms of stroke length or effort (it is still a simple design), but we found it necessary to put a stopper screw on the SC after the impactor break, which positively affects the accuracy. Instead of this screw, you can put a screw with a spring-loaded head, which will give some kind of "step" at the end of the stroke, before the breakdown. The descent turned out to be very predictable, soft, short (3 mm.) Stroke, controlled stall. Very successful.
There was a problem with fixing the nuts of the compression spring. Again, because of the dimensions, do not shove in the already familiar counter nut. In my opinion, the new solution should appeal to the user - a ratchet on a spring-loaded ball. It is possible to count clicks when setting up, and the sound is pleasant, "sexy", which is also important. And access to the clamp is not closed, at any time you can change the setting. The only "strange" way to tighten the springs is to turn the screw counterclockwise, and not clockwise.
The butt of the butt was decided to be made "evil", with powerful and sharp "teeth", so that it would cling well to any clothes and not slip. Insert rubber lining was considered a deviation from the concept of a simple, like an ax, rifles. Plus, they "played" with the radius of the butt. And it turned out that way, it fits perfectly in the shoulder, it clings very well for any clothes, not very sharp, to cause discomfort. The back plate is not one-piece in the plane, but with two grooves along its entire length, this is for weight relief and for better grip with clothing, and the strap can be inserted there, to anyone who wants.
The application also performs the role of a carbine, for which the rifle can be mounted on the details of equipment, backpack, bag, anywhere. If someone does not have the length of the butt, you can loosen the fixing screw and move the butt back.
A rifle is installed in the rifle, but there is no manometer. So, as the reservoir is so small, only 54 cm3, then reducing its volume by the volume of the manometer (and longer we can not do it) will reduce so small a volume. The rifle can be swung by all the pressure that there is in the standard 300-bar cylinder, and the transition to straight-through is perfectly audible by the sound of the shot. Initially it was planned to make a straight flow, but a straight flow without a manometer can not be used at all, it's still stopped on the gearbox. The reducer is new, the design and spring washers have been changed, they have become more powerful, but they have become smaller.
Of course, because of such a small volume of the tank, it is not necessary to expect any phenomenal results in terms of the number of shots from refueling, yet the original idea of this rifle is "to make several effective shots in case of urgent necessity", and not to be linked by hundreds in nature. From 250 bar is obtained about 18 shots in the caliber of 6.35. In 5.5 to 4.5, of course, a little more. The average expenditure for the first shootings was in the range of 9.7 cm3 / J, which is slightly higher than the rate that is considered normal, but for such a short barrel is quite good. And then I thought, I figured out what can be changed and by simple changes I got 18 shots from 250 bar at 6.35, King, at the same speed that made the flow equal to 7.5 cm3 / J, which is very good.
I will say more, even after the assembly, Leshy did not raise any questions at all, that is, the design was unequivocally recognized as successful and immediately ready for the series, I wrote a list of 26 points that will be taken into account when starting the rifle in a series, which will make it more more perfect.
There was an idea initially to make open sighting devices, but they did not fit in there in a normal way. Then they decided that it makes sense to try to equip the rifle with your sight, small multiplicity. Since the "standard" sight, for example with a lens of 40 mm. Just do not get a rifle, on the middle and low rings, because of the eccentric moderator. Finding a sight for a rifle turned out to be not easy, ideally approached Щ4х20, but the prospect of buying it in the quantities we need (the first series of 500 pieces) put a cross on it, we had to develop our own one in a similar tempo. That is, the rifle will go with the EDGun 5x20 sight, the EDGun 2.0 grid (without the digits on the grid), the backlight, the bracket with the back out or the rings on the vivert. The length of the sight is 200 mm, the grid in MIL, the price of the click is 1/10 mil.
I had a follow-up question for Brian as well... as I wanted to get his perspective on the whole thing
As a dealer, The Edgun Leshiy has reached this iconic status within the Edgun community, and now it's really starting to bleed into the EDC world. The “R” series is clearly the flagship, but has the Leshiy been the gun that crosses those market boundaries, and introduces Edgun to non airgun enthusiasts? Who’s buying this gun, and if different, what are you thoughts on why?
When Ed first told me about the Leshiy it was hard for me to visualize. When Ed opened the gun for dealers to order I had foolishly placed a small order not really understanding the cult like following this design would bring. Ed had offered me as many guns as I wanted but I still didn’t understand the impact this gun would make on the market. I placed my order with Edgun LTD and Ed announced the gun. Within two days of the announcement I was placed into a panic as the 100s of emails poured in requesting to be placed on the reservation list. The gun came to the USA in September 2016 and I got caught up with reservations in April of 2017. Customers were (and are) a real dichotomy, many were expert airgunners while almost an equal amount had never owned a PCP airgun. In my opinion the simplicity and robust nature of the Leshiy makes it a fantastic first choice PCP. The unique features, quality and weight makes the gun very popular. Many airgun companies choose to stamp parts, EDgun uses the best aluminum and aerospace CNC machines to manufacture the entire gun.
So you made it this far... what are you waiting for?? As of the date of this article, the EDgun Leshiy is NOW IN STOCK at Edgun West...