I am a believer in you get what you pay for with many things in the airgun world and by and large I am not a big fan of the cheap airguns.
Having said that every so often you find the hidden gem, for me this has been a rifle known as the Remington Express.
Despite the prestigious Remington name tag, this is a Chinese built air rifle that has been badged for the American rifle maker and unlike some of the other badged items is actually a pretty decent air rifle.
The rifle is a fairly basic break barrel action, for once not a direct copy of anything else, but close examination of it shows it takes inspiration from the offerings of two respected German gun makers, Weihrauch and Diana.
Overall the action takes a lot of inspiration from the HW95, the barrel lock up system and breech face is more Diana.
It comes with open sights, these are fibre optic type and mostly plastic, functional but basic.
Trigger is a genuine two stage unit, not a direct copy of a Rekord, but clearly inspired by it.
Out of the box the settings are not brilliant but with a little adjustment it easily beats the hell out of any Gamo or Hatsan trigger, go a bit further with a strip, polish and re-lube and it gets pretty damned close to the HW trigger in performance.
The safety catch operates the same as an HW item, but the Express has a neat trick up its sleeve, you will note there is a lever attached to the safety button, rotate this up and rearwards and the safety re-sets.
A similar idea was made by V-Mach some time back so it looks like the manufacturer saw that and copied it into this rifle.
The firing action out of the box is actually quite respectable, but as with any halfway decent spring rifle, can be improved upon with a little light fettling and quality lubrication.
Barrel lock up is a ball detent system as per Diana air rifles and is positive without being ridiculously difficult to open.
Overall finish is very respectable, not high class super polished, but good and seems durable.
The stock is a simple design, it appears to take inspiration from centrefire sporting rifle styling with a good height straight comb that is usable with the open sights or a scope on low to medium mounts.
The reach to trigger is fairly long with the standard blade, but I have gotten used to it, however making a set back trigger blade would not be difficult.
In the UK, these rifles retail at around the £150 mark, it comes as standard with a 4x32 scope, mounts and a gun bag so a fair bit for your money.
One comment I would make is that the supplied mounts aren't great, so I added a better set of mounts to my rifle and changed the 4x32 for the 3-9x40 as seen in the picture above.
The 4x32 was actually OK but I prefer the slightly higher mag scope, hence the change.
So how does it shoot?
Well at 25 metres, shooting off a bench with a sand bag to rest my hand on, with JSB Exacts it easily keeps pace with my HW95K with groups of 10 shots running under 10 mm, I haven't tried it at longer distance yet but based upon my observations at 25 metres I think it will be a respectable performer.
I don't know if these are imported into SA but I would suggest someone should get them into the country as at the price they are a lot of kit for the money and in my opinion beat the hell out of the likes of Gamo for quality.