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Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge
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Author:  KT13 [ Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

I purchased this firearm through Davidson's Gallery of Guns. When it arrived I finished breaking it down the rest of the way when I unboxed it. I noticed that on the action rails where the bolt rode that some of the lack had been worn off and it was bare metal. Very small areas. I used Shooter's Grease on these areas as well as where the action bars attached to the action sleeve. There was no packing grease. It looked like the gun may have been broken down and oiled prior to shipping. Everything fit together jsut fine.

I had ordered some Carlson extended sporting clays tubes (SK and LM). The gun will be used primarily for skeet and sub-gauge sporting.

I was not going to spend money on 3 inch mags to break-in this gun. Instead I bought some high speed hunting loads (1425 fps) and some 1 oz loads at 1225 fps. Both were Federals. The high speed is a 3/4 oz load of #7 steel shot. The one ounce loads are #7.5 lead shot.

I put the skeet tube in and headed out to my club. I was alone on the sporting clays course so I had to use the solo feature. Push the button, it beeps three times and throws the birds. I am a premount shooter as the bulk of my shooting is trap. So, the first few stations it threw me off a little pushing the button, feeling like I was rushing to mount the gun. I did recover enough to break 22 of the last 26 targets I shot at.

The first ten shots were the high speed steel loads. The next fifty (for a total of 60 rounds) were the one ounce lead loads. The gun functioned flawlessly. This gun seems to point very naturally for me. If I had to speculate at this moment I would say that I will not change the shims. However, I do want to shoot a couple of hundred skeet targets before I make that final call. I have the G2 in 28 gauge in the 30" sporting model with extended tubes. This gun shoots very well. I have had it for three years and have not changed the shims.

This gun will get a workout through the season. I shoot registered in all three disciplines (trap, skeet, sporting) and wanted to get a 20 gauge for skeet since I had gotten rid of my SKB 85TSS skeet gun (also 20 gauge). I will use this gun for skeet and sporting. I will most likely keep a round count and will report any issues I have with the gun. I will periodically post an update.

Author:  Neanderthal [ Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

Thank you for your post!
I just ordered my G2 Bronze in 20 ga. today. I now have something to look forward to with anticipation till it arrives.

I admit it was hard to order what I really wanted instead of "settling" for a lower trim/finish level, or a Mossberg SA-08 (I think that is right), which I believe is the same gun internally.


I am looking forward to your next update posts on your shotgun, as mine will be used for hunting so will only fire a small fraction of the shells that yours will. {hs# I have watched videos that show a simple spring swap that lightens the trigger pull in these guns to a very acceptable level. It looks like I can do it myself without becoming a Bubba and really improve the gun.

Author:  KT13 [ Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

The trigger pull is heavy. I have never seen those videos about lightening the pull. Is that on here somewhere or YouTube? Thanks.

Author:  Neanderthal [ Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

It is on youtube. A very easy fix. The stiff spring is a CYA with some importers. I will be doing this to mine right away.


The website for the company is MCARBO. They sell spring kits for a lot of different firearms.

Author:  cynergygoon [ Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

Gave my son a youth 20 gauge sporting g2 for Christmas. I shot a box of 1425fps shell's through it last week and all worked fine. Yesterday he was shooting 1200fps target loads and it wouldn't cycle. Got some more 1425s to try in it tomorrow.

Author:  Patently Obvious [ Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

Link to site and video.

https://www.mcarbo.com/mossberg-sa-20-/ ... g-kit.aspx

Author:  rkittine [ Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

I bought the 2 Stock 20 gauge version with the youth and regular stock, 20" barrel and barrel extension. I got it for use as a Rain Gun, Youth Gun and lender. Put one box of heavy loads through it first as recommended in the included instructions and since then it has shot light target loads flawlessly.

Bob

Author:  cynergygoon [ Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

3 boxes of 1425fps shell's through it now. Cycles them just fine but bolt doesn't even try and move with 1200fps shell's. I'm not sure what to do.

Author:  rkittine [ Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

How thoroughly did you clean it before shooting it the first time?

Author:  oyeme [ Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

"I'm not sure what to do."

I think if you clean it and it still acts up; I would not hesitate to call Tristar. Your experience runs contrary to mine, and many others who have found the Viper G2 to be very reliable even out of the box.

I personally don't believe it is a cleaning and lubrication issue, but would give that a try first. I would take a pipe cleaner, i.e. the kind with the little embedded wires, and run that through both gas ports first.

If you do call Tristar, let us know what they say. They were very responsive to me when I broke a recoil spring. Not to worry, Tristar stands behind their products.

Good luck!

Author:  KT13 [ Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

I will be running some regular sporting loads through mine tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes. I did not run any three inch through mine and do not intend to. My 28 gauge I just ran a box of hunting loads through it with 1 oz of shot and it has never malfunctioned.

Author:  KT13 [ Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

Took the Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge out for a couple of rounds of wobble trap today. It was 33 degrees with a slight drizzle here where I was shooting. I told the guy running the club this morning that I was interested in function testing the gun so I would be loading two shells at a time. He said, “You know what you're doing so have at it...”

I took two boxes of Gun Clubs, the standard 7/8 oz, #8 at 1200 fps. Loaded it up, sent the bird and started firing. It has been more than five years since I shot wobble trap but I could do that under a roof. Did not want to get wet. I had put in the LM tube and had intended to shoot singles. It turned out to be fun (I mean you are shooting right, so going to be fun) and I saw how the gun would move on some of the extreme angles/ After both boxes had been shot, with many targets receiving two shots (if there was a big piece I would shoot at that just to practice really crazy angles), the gun had functioned flawlessly. No misfeeds, misfires or failures to eject. I looked at the counter and saw I had 9 birds left so I grabbed 10 of the ¾ oz #7 steel at 1425 fps and shot those birds. These shells functioned flawlessly as well.

I see a bit of rib when the gun is mounted so it shoots a little high. I have not patterned it but I have shot enough targets in my life that I can pretty much tell what the pattern is doing by the breaks I am getting. Like I said I want to shoot several rounds of skeet before I try any changes. I think the pattern is probably 70/30 and pretty much centered. Gun fits great (as does my 28 gauge).

I did not clean the gun after those initial 60 rounds. I will probably open it up and see what it looks like. But the way it functioned and the distance it was shucking the shells right now dirt is not an issue. I really like this little gun. Cannot wait to shoot skeet with it.

I am probably going to shoot it New Year's Day and will let you know how it did. Right now with this simple design I am not seeing how anything could really go wrong. Maybe get a gas port a little plugged or something.

I will make a remark about the trigger. Sitting in my gun room, dry firing the gun it does have a heavy trigger. Not extreme but heavier than many like on a target gun. I learned a long time ago to not think about the trigger pull and I must say that while I only broke about 35 out of 50 on wobble trap with this gun, none of the misses were due to the trigger. Most of them were a bad move on my part. The gun is very light and I swung it too quickly on most of those misses. But when I am shooting I do not notice the trigger. After some skeet I will decide but right now I think it will smooth out. It breaks crisp. I think that trigger return spring will begin to lighten up a little.

The upshot is that I really like the gun. I like the looks. The lines are clean and the wood is beautiful for a gun I paid less than $500 to buy. Like I said the design is so simple that there is not much that can really go wrong with these guns. I think it will be just fine.

Author:  oyeme [ Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

That's what I am talking about! Good to hear that the little G2 finally got its mojo working properly. I suspect your troubles are over.

I do recommend you register it with Tristar in case you need any parts or help, it makes the process quicker. Have fun!

Author:  KT13 [ Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

I never had any problems. It was the guy on up in the post.

Author:  cynergygoon [ Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

I've got 50 3" and 100 1425fps shell's through it. Cycles all of them fine but still won't cycle a target load. I won't be around the gun for a few day's unfortunately so cleaning it again is not an option right now.

Author:  Ulysses [ Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

cynergygoon wrote:
I've got 50 3" and 100 1425fps shell's through it. Cycles all of them fine but still won't cycle a target load. I won't be around the gun for a few day's unfortunately so cleaning it again is not an option right now.


What brand, type, and loading specs are these target shells that won't work? Some shells have a bad reputation for sticking in the chamber.

Also, have YOU tried shooting these shells, or has it been only your son that they won't work for? It could be he's not loading them fully into the magazine, or that he's not holding the gun firmly against his shoulder and leaning into the gun when shooting the gun.

Also make sure the gun is properly assembled, the forend cap is on tight, and the gas ports in the barrel are COMPLETELY open. Last, but not least, lubricate the bolt rails in the receiver, and light coating on the outside of the magazine tube.

EDIT: If the bolt doesn't even try to move, it's probably either clogged gas ports or gun not assembled properly.

Author:  Cigargoyle [ Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

Had a G2 12 gauge that had the same issue. Sent it back to Tristar, thay ended up replacing the piston. Prior to sending it in, the piston was a VERY tight fit in the gas bracket, very hard to remove/insert by hand. New piston inserts removes with no effort.

Author:  KT13 [ Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

Put another 30 rounds through it. The first 25 were the white box field and range. These are 1oz #8 shot at 1165 fps. They functioned flawlessly. No issues of any kind. Loaded two at a time on wobble trap for quick follow up on a miss. Then I had 5 shells left in the box of #7 steel, 3/4 oz at 1425. These functioned flawlessly as well. 150 rounds is not a torture test by any stretch but that is four different loads at three different weights and four different speeds that have been flawless. And remember I shot no 3” loads at all.

Author:  cynergygoon [ Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

Thanks for the help everyone. I called tristar and they said to use 1210 fps shell's and faster. I cleaned the gun again exactly like I had previously. This time it has cycled all the shell's we've put through it. It's only been 5 but I call it a win.

Author:  cynergygoon [ Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tristar Viper G2 20 gauge

cynergygoon wrote:
I've got 50 3" and 100 1425fps shell's through it. Cycles all of them fine but still won't cycle a target load. I won't be around the gun for a few day's unfortunately so cleaning it again is not an option right now.


What brand, type, and loading specs are these target shells that won't work? Some shells have a bad reputation for sticking in the chamber.

Also, have YOU tried shooting these shells, or has it been only your son that they won't work for? It could be he's not loading them fully into the magazine, or that he's not holding the gun firmly against his shoulder and leaning into the gun when shooting the gun.

Also make sure the gun is properly assembled, the forend cap is on tight, and the gas ports in the barrel are COMPLETELY open. Last, but not least, lubricate the bolt rails in the receiver, and light coating on the outside of the magazine tube.

EDIT: If the bolt doesn't even try to move, it's probably either clogged gas ports or gun not assembled properly.


I've been shooting Winchester and federal 1200 fps 7/8 ounce loads through it. Now we are trying Remington gun clubs and so far they have worked. I'm unable to shoot right now because of having a port put in so my daughter has been shooting the heavy stuff and my son shoots the light shell's. I'm right beside them as all this is happening. Like I said in my previous comment I cleaned the gun again (used different oil this time) just like I had before. It's cycled 5 of the gun clubs so we were happy. I hope for them to get to shoot soon and see what it does. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks for all the help.

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