A review of SDB Xena

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sam 47
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A review of SDB Xena

Post by sam 47 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:48 am

Just before the Durga puja I had bought the new Xena rifle, for Rs 12500. after shooting it for a few days these are my opinions about it.
A) LOOKS:- Truth be told I was stunned when i first saw the rifle. It looked more like a German springer than an Indian one. The beech wood stock and deeply blued metal finish was exquisite. Never had I thought such a rifle would be made in India, least of all in kolkata.
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B) COCKING AND SHOT CYCLE :- Cocking was smooth , without any sound but just a tad stiff. The shot cycle bears testimony to the quality of the build of the rifle. There is no lateral vibrations( atleast I cant feel any), and the medial recoil is short and snappy when the piston surges forward. Overall cocking and shooting the rifle feels smooth and solid.
C) SIGHTS :- Both the rear sights and front sights have been improved from the ones I had in my early Artemis, and the narrow front sight helps in precision aiming.
D) POWER:- I no longer have chronoconnect app to measure velocity , but the gun punched through sheets of Galvanized tin easily at 18m, so I guess its definitely 14 fpe.
E) TRIGGER:- The main attraction of the gun is the two stage trigger. The trigger is true two stage and unlike any other I have ever fired, first time I have fired an Indian made spring piston with true two stage trigger.The trigger took the longest time for me to get used to. Once the auto safety is disengaged, the gun fired before I was ready , and me not being used to such light trigger.Alarmed I called up SDB and they said the triggers at Xena was being setup at 700- 900 gms, and that of Artemis is way more than I perceived to be. Once accustomed, the trigger is dream to shoot, and helps in unlocking the true potential of the gun. Its a charm to shoot, and has to be shot to believed. The trigger is fully adjustable for 1st stage , 2nd stage and weight.
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F) ACCURACY:- After about 100 shots , and getting accustomed to the trigger, I was able to get the gun to group.
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I understand that imported air rifles are available in India , but not many can afford to buy air rifles for 50k-60k, or have the means to import them. Here, this gun not only looks, but functions and performs to similar standards, at less than 1/3rd the cost. For me , I had long wished for a gun with such looks and functionality, and its providing an experience to behold.
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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by rover12 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:54 am

SDB air rifles have always been good by Indian standards. Used to have one many years ago before I passed it on to someone else who enjoys it till today...!

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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by Bishop » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:02 pm

Congratulations on your new buy sam47 .But the plastic trigger guard and buttpad feels a bit off to me. Do you think it'll hold the abuse.Nonetheless Xena is drop dead gorgeous.
Thank you for the detailed review.

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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by Vishnu2017 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:09 pm

Best wishes for your new toy, happy shooting
DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED (y) :D

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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by Basu » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:08 pm

Dear Sam,
Thanks for the review of your Xena.
Company claims to offer two features specially for Air gun lovers in India first time.

1) Beech Wood stock
2) Two stage Modular Trigger

My question from customer point of view is how far they are successful in delivering their promise.

Basu
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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by nmondal » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:28 pm

Only one thing i can say. You should try for Match Air Rifle shooting.
18 meters that grouping is out of the world. That is practically 2 times the distance of 10 M air rifle.
Bravo!

sam 47
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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by sam 47 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:05 pm

Thanks to all .
@poonacha1998 the trigger guard is of good quality plastic, and since trigger guard is not a place which does take a lot of abuse in normal use, I think it will hold up just fine.
Basu wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:08 pm
Dear Sam,
Thanks for the review of your Xena.
Company claims to offer two features specially for Air gun lovers in India first time.

1) Beech Wood stock
2) Two stage Modular Trigger

My question from customer point of view is how far they are successful in delivering their promise.

Basu
Basuda I don't understand much about wood but with the fit and finish of my Xena I am inclined to believe what the company claims.
Regarding trigger, I can verify that its complete two stage and modular. The trigger unit can be taken out of the gun , and can be cocked and fired(stimulated sear engagements) outside the gun, which helps even more for adjusting trigger to precise point.
1 more thing I would like to add is that the action of the gun is very smooth with only 700 shots through it.
"Aim small, miss small."

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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by Basu » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:15 pm

Dear Sam,
3 months have passed by so I wish to know is there any issues in respect of its performace....
Specially power, trigger mechanism and accuracy...?
I expect you to be frank enough......

Basu
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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by GNV » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:34 pm

Right now XENA is the best Indian made Springer and there is no doubt about it in power accuracy and consistent performance

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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by GNV » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:40 pm

Just because of lack of time to spend on airgunning right now because of my professional work load and some other legal problems I am right now unable to test the XENA thoroughly and post detailed review and a maintenance manual immediately. But I am working on them in small parts and when i complete them I will post full results and maintenance video also

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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by Basu » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:02 am

Dear GNV,
I have been trolled and abused in filthy language on social media/youtube by a handful of psycopaths for tellting the truth from my point of view. ROTFL ROTFL
I expect you to be rude enough in critiqing Xena and bringing truth to the member/readers from your point of view.
I believe any propaganda which is unture will finally deceive the end customer. :twisted:

Basu
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sam 47
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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by sam 47 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:03 pm

Basuda as GNV sir has stated , I find this to be the best springer I have ever laid my hands on.
I have fired around 6000 shots with Xena, had spring breakage thrice , with each individual spring lasting from 2000 to 2500 shots.
With the heavy 9.1 grains pellets that I use , power stays around 13.5 fpe. However towards the end of the spring's life , there is perceptible loss of power.
The blueing of the gun also can be improved , because despite my best efforts the end of the barrel which I grab to cock the gun shows signs of rust occasionally.
Disassembly of the gun is quite easy with only a locking nut needing to be removed. Although the finishing was not perfect, The quality and tight tolerance of the build was evident everytime I disassembled the gun. This was also the reason behind the smoothness of the gun. Apart from power and accuracy, the smoothness of operation of this gun is a real pleasure.
Accuracy can be termed as "boringly accurate ". After I zero the sights, I hit almost anything I aim at. I do believe however this gun deserves a better rear sight, with click adjustments for precision. 5 shot groups of or under half an inch at 20 yards is easily obtainable.
The trigger is the very best one I have ever laid my fingers on, even when compared to some imported ones. I have spent a lot of time adjusting mine, and for my needs, it breaks perfectly crisp.

Overall I am satisfied with my purchase and can't ask for anything more for the price I paid ......except for maybe a "little " more power.🤑 :mrgreen:
"Aim small, miss small."

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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by dalvipravin » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:22 pm

Hi Sam ,

Thanks for the update ,

how is the wooden stalk holding ? Did you find it prone for scratches very easily or it's hard enough to minor abuse ?

Blueing and machining seems to be similar to Artemis ? If yes then we get an idea about the same as I have one ..

Spring life is a concern right ? 2500 is too less for a Sprint to break down .. did you try same springs again or any options explored there ?

For my taste personally if Athena comes in wooden stalk classic style and with 2 stage trigger will be a very very serious competition to Xena as the machining on precihole rifles are better than SDB it seems

Looking forward to see 50 meter 10 shot groups !!

Cheers
Pravin

sam 47
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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by sam 47 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:59 pm

Hi pravin,
First things first , shooting with dyna A one pellets and a scope 5 shots groups in 50 meters are generally around 1.5 inches.
The stock doesn't scratch if used carefully, but a moderately hard bump on a rough surface will cause a scratch.
My Artemis is 4 years old , and I can't remember how the blueing was when new. About machining , I have to say this one is much much more refined and tolerances are tighter. I say tolerances are tighter because the piston sleeves of my Artemis are too tight in my Xena. The other thing is the smoothness of the shot cycle. I had to work a lot to get this kind of smoothness from my Artemis.
In Artemis I have tried Cherokee 27 , the SDB stock spring before typhoon and when typhoon came along I used typhoon. The typhoon in Artemis lasts 3.5k to 5k shots , I really don't understand why it is not lasting as long in my Xena.
About PH rifles having better machining , having used both rifles extensively, my humble opinion is that both rifles have same quality of machining, especially in the guts of the rifle. I have disassembled and worked on both rifles countless times, and really there is really no difference in the quality of the compression chamber or the piston in both rifles. The trigger is obviously better in Xena. To have a trigger with 3 levers and 3 adjustement screws, where even 1/4th turn of a screw produces perceptible difference is damn good machining to me.
What is better in PH rifles is their finishing and blueing and the rear sights.
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Re: A review of SDB Xena

Post by Mr.Shome » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:49 am

sam 47 wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:59 pm
Hi pravin,
First things first , shooting with dyna A one pellets and a scope 5 shots groups in 50 meters are generally around 1.5 inches.
The stock doesn't scratch if used carefully, but a moderately hard bump on a rough surface will cause a scratch.
My Artemis is 4 years old , and I can't remember how the blueing was when new. About machining , I have to say this one is much much more refined and tolerances are tighter. I say tolerances are tighter because the piston sleeves of my Artemis are too tight in my Xena. The other thing is the smoothness of the shot cycle. I had to work a lot to get this kind of smoothness from my Artemis.
In Artemis I have tried Cherokee 27 , the SDB stock spring before typhoon and when typhoon came along I used typhoon. The typhoon in Artemis lasts 3.5k to 5k shots , I really don't understand why it is not lasting as long in my Xena.
About PH rifles having better machining , having used both rifles extensively, my humble opinion is that both rifles have same quality of machining, especially in the guts of the rifle. I have disassembled and worked on both rifles countless times, and really there is really no difference in the quality of the compression chamber or the piston in both rifles. The trigger is obviously better in Xena. To have a trigger with 3 levers and 3 adjustement screws, where even 1/4th turn of a screw produces perceptible difference is damn good machining to me.
What is better in PH rifles is their finishing and blueing and the rear sights.
My humble two cents here regarding scratches on the butt. I had visited the SDB factory around a month back due to some issues with my Xena (nothing to do anything with this Post, especially, in terms of scratches). Anyway, the nice gentleman owner, himself expressed concern over the scratches (I have hardly fired 1000 shots and treated the gun delicately)...also, I didn't complain about the scratches to him. In fact, he was humble enough to say that it's an issue, which will be resolved soon.

Regards,

PShome

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