Tristar Viper G2 12 Gauge Semi-Auto Shotgun ReviewFeb 16, 2023
Welcome to my first-ever Tristar review! The one I have today is a compact 12 gauge with a 24-inch barrel. I believe this is supposed to be a gun that would be good for transitioning kids or smaller framed shooters into a 12 gauge if they've been using a 20 or something smaller. This is definitely a budget-line shotgun. Let's find out if it's worth it!
Tristar Viper G2:
- The current MSRP is $625
- This gun is intended for hunting and sporting purposes
- There are a couple of differences between the new and old BPS models - this new one is a matte finish. The old one is blued and with a gloss finish.
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- 12 gauge gas driven (Available in 20 gauge and 410)
- 3 Beretta-style chokes
- 3" chamber
- 24" Barrell
- Shotgun Weight is 5lbs 8oz
- 13" Length of pull (compact) Full Size is 14 ¼"
- You can tell right off the bat that this is a cheaper gun. Not the worst trigger I've pulled through
- The pull weight is lighter than most guns in this price range. I like this!
- 5lbs 9oz (Average pull weight)
- I am happy with this pull relative to other pumps I've shot
- This gun feels a little bit funky for me because it is a compact model that is too short for me or most adults
- The stock and forend are a black synthetic "soft-touch" material
- The rib is flat
- Single fiber on the front
- One thing I have noticed is that the bolt handle and release are super tight - definitely too tight for a youth shooter, in my opinion
- On the other side of that coin, the tolerances are all pretty tight and impressive for a budget gun
- Cross-bolt safety on the back of the trigger
- The recoil pad looks nice but has no flex. If I were to adopt this shotgun, I'd put a Falcon Strike on it. (CHECK IT OUT HERE)
- I really appreciate the milled-out loading port on this gun
- The balance of this gun is just a bit forward heavy
- The G2 comes with swivel studs for a sling
- The G2 also offers some cool customization. You purchase an adult stock with this compact model so it can grow with the shooter
- The G2 shot target loads just fine from the shoulder and from the hip. Average recoil so far
- The only consistent hiccup was from over the head, where it's usually not fully ejecting the 3rd shot
- Other than my hand hitting my face because the LOP is too short, the recoil was certainly straight back and manageable
- Shooting the Federal Black Cloud was definitely a large jump in the felt recoil. Not a fan! I think the gun's weight played a large role in this
BREAKDOWN/QUALITY OF BUILD
- This gas gun came apart easily
- The gas piston is unique and doesn't have any porting in it
- I had a lot of trouble removing the bolt handle
- I definitely appreciate the one-pin trigger group design
- The overall quality of the gun is good for the price - not high-end, but I think it'll hold up
- Something I did notice, however, is that there was a lot of carbon build-up after only about 20 shots; this could be the result of an inefficient piston
This evaluation is valuable because it tests how all the moving parts come together. I know you're not buying a shotgun to shoot as fast as possible. But when I'm against the clock, every element of the usability of the gun is tested, from the recoil to the balance, point-ability, the mount, literally everything we look for in a shotgun.
- I was able to smoke three hand-thrown clays in 1.30 seconds, including the throw. My splits were quick in that .18, .19 range
- What slowed me down the most was my mount, being that this gun is relatively short for me
- I was definitely impressed with this speed though
In conclusion, my first impression of these Tristar guns is pretty good! I definitely want to get a full-sized gun for myself and try it out.
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