TriStar Viper G2 T/W (Turkey/Waterfowl) Shotgun Review
Part 3 - External Features
April 24, 2011

TriStar Viper G2 Review

In this part of the review, I'm going to cover all of the externally visible features of the TriStar Viper G2 T/W (Turkey/Waterfowl) Shotgun.  In the next part of the review, Part 4, I will fully disassemble the shotgun and cover the internal features.  Throughout this review, you can click on a photo to bring up a higher resolution image to see more details.


Barrel End and Front Sight

The photo below shows the end of the barrel with the 4" barrel extension installed.  You can also see that the end of the extension has a choke tube installed.  The barrel extension screws into the barrel just like a choke tube would for this shotgun.  This is also your first close look at the Advantage camo overlay applied to the shotgun.

Figure 1
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The front sight is a fiber optic sight that measures about 1/2" in length.  In the photo below, the 4" barrel extension has been removed and the choke tube is now installed in the end of the 24" barrel.

Figure 2
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The photo below shows the surface texture of the matted sight plane (top of the rib).

Figure 3
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The front sight appears to be attached to the rib by a protruding pin in the lower portion of the sight that is bonded into a socket in the rib.  I checked the sturdiness of this attachment by trying to wiggle the front sight and it seemed solid.

Figure 4
TriStar Viper G2 Review


Barrel

The barrel of the TriStar Viper G2 T/W is a 24" ventilated rib barrel.  24" was the exact dimension that I measured from the end of the barrel to the bolt face.  These next three photos give you a general view of the barrel with detail views further in this section of the review.  The barrel is manufactured using a drilling method and is made of 4140 steel.

Figure 5
TriStar Viper G2 Review

Figure 6
TriStar Viper G2 Review

Figure 7
TriStar Viper G2 Review

On the right side of the barrel near the receiver is stamped "Viper 12 ga, 3 inch Made in Turkey by Armsan".  It looks like it was stamped with some type of dot matrix stamping machine.  Armsan is part of the Armsan Group which also consists of the Turkish companies Kahan Shotguns and ATA Arms.  Armsan is also a co-manufacturing partner of Mossberg, Verney-Carron and Weatherby.

Figure 8
TriStar Viper G2 Review

On the left side of the barrel near the receiver is stamped "Tristar-NKC-MO".  I believe this stands for "Tristar" (TriStar the importing company), "NKC" (North Kansas City), "MO" (Missouri).

Figure 9
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The next couple of photos show the end of the barrel with a different background having greater contrast with the camo pattern on the shotgun.

Figure 10
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The ventilated rib has a forward rake on the rib posts which give the shotgun an enhanced look.

Figure 11
TriStar Viper G2 Review

Figure 12
TriStar Viper G2 Review


Forearm & Magazine Cap

The forearm on the TriStar Viper G2 T/W is made from some type of polymer material and is tapered with checkering on both sides.  The taper gives the shotgun a sleek look and the checkering provides a positive gripping surface.  The forearm is coated with something they refer to as "Soft Touch" which gives it a rubbery feel.

Figure 13
TriStar Viper G2 Review 

Figure 14
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The magazine cap is ribbed and has a taper which continues to add to the sleek look of the shotgun.  The magazine cap also includes a sling swivel mounted on the end of the cap.

Figure 15
TriStar Viper G2 Review

 


Receiver and Trigger Guard

The next two photos show the right side of the receiver with the bolt closed and then the bolt open.  In these photos, you can see that the bolt release is located on the right side of the receiver.  Also the safety is a button safety and is located behind the trigger.  The rear of the trigger guard has a concave area which provides additional clearance between the guard and your middle finger.  This clearance reduces the chances that the recoil of the shotgun will impact your finger and also gives the shotgun a nice feel.  The receiver is machined from an aluminum alloy.

Figure 16 - Bolt Closed
TriStar Viper G2 Review

It is hard to see in the photos, but the TriStar logo is printed in grey over the camo pattern just above the safety.  I was also impressed with the rattle free smooth action on this shotgun.

Figure 17 -  Bolt Open
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The top of the receiver was plain (not drilled and tapped) and had a grooved sight plane.

Figure 18
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The trigger guard/plate is some type of polymer material (most likely glass filled nylon).  The shotgun serial number is stamped on the lower surface of the receiver.

Figure 19
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The button safety was very firm and had a distinctive click as it was switched from safe to fire or fire to safe.  The photo above shows the safety in the safe position and below in the fire position.

Figure 20
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The elevator is nearly flush with the bottom of the receiver and the magazine short spring cap is solid black.

Figure 21
TriStar Viper G2 Review

On the left side of the receiver, the TriStar logo is printed in grey over the camo pattern just above the safety  There were no other features on the left side of the receiver other than the end of the single receiver pin.

Figure 22
TriStar Viper G2 Review


Stock

The stock on the TriStar Viper G2 is made from some type of polymer (synthetic) material.  The drop at the comb measured 1.55" and at the heal measured 2.5".  The length of pull measured 14.3".  The stock comes with a rear swivel stud installed and also had checkering on both sides of the grip area.  The stock is coated with something they refer to as "Soft Touch" which gives it a rubbery feel.

Figure 23
TriStar Viper G2 Review

Figure 24
TriStar Viper G2 Review

Figure 25
TriStar Viper G2 Review

Figure 26
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The end of the stock is covered with a soft rubber butt pad that measured about 1" thick.  The combination of the rubber softness and geometry of the butt pad make me believe it will be effective in reducing the felt recoil of the shotgun.

             Figure 27                                              Figure 28
TriStar Viper G2 Review   TriStar Viper G2 Review


4" Barrel Extension and Choke Tubes

Since the 4" Barrel Extension and Choke Tubes are readily removable, I'm going to cover them in this part of the review which deals with the external features.  The camo portion of the barrel extension actually measured 3.88".  This extension has a male choke tube interface on one end and a female choke tube interface on the other.

Figure 29
TriStar Viper G2 Review

   Figure 30 - Female                                      Figure 31 - Male
TriStar Viper G2 Review   TriStar Viper G2 Review

During my review of the shotgun, the only issue I found was with the 4" barrel extension.  As you can see in the photos below, the inside of the extension appeared to be polished or chrome plated in one area only.  During my range testing, I could not tell that this condition caused any negative effects on the performance of the shotgun.  I notified TriStar about the condition and they are looking into it.

Figure 32                                                  Figure 33       
TriStar Viper G2 Review   TriStar Viper G2 Review

The TriStar Viper G2 T/W comes with three choke tubes, choke wrench and case as shown below.  I know this is probably the standard case that comes with most of the TriStar shotguns, but it would have been nice if they could have made the case a little larger which would allow the 4" barrel extension to be stored inside the case when not in use.  The choke tubes are the Beretta / Benelli style and measure 2" in length.

Figure 34
TriStar Viper G2 Review

The choke tubes provided with the Viper G2 were Full, Modified and Improved Cylinder as identified by the symbols on the end of the tubes shown below.

Figure 35
TriStar Viper G2 Review


Weight and Center of Balance

The empty shotgun without the 4" extension weighed in at 6.88 pounds and the 4" extension weight in at 0.22 pounds.

Figure 36
TriStar Viper G2 Review

Figure 37
TriStar Viper G2 Review

In the 24" barrel length configuration, the shotgun measured an overall length of 44.5" with a balance point about 21" forward of the rear of the butt pad.

Figure 38 - Balance Point in 24" Configuration
TriStar Viper G2 Review

In the 28" barrel length configuration, the shotgun measured an overall length of 48.38" with a balance point about 21.65" forward of the rear of the butt pad.

Figure 39 - Balance Point in 28" Configuration
TriStar Viper G2 Review

 

Thoughts

After taking a very close look at all the external features, I was very pleased with the feel, fit and finish of the TriStar Viper G2 T/W.  The shotgun shoulders well and has a look of shotguns much more than it's price.  The parts were tight and the action was smooth.  The only issue I found was the finish on the inside of the 4" barrel extension, but I I don't feel that this is significant enough to sway you away from this shotgun and may not exist on future shotguns.

You can view the other parts of this review by using the links below.


Please subscribe to be notified of future reviews

Or

If you would like to be notified about future Gunsumer Reports reviews via Facebook, make sure "You Like This" by clicking the Facebook "Like" button at the bottom or top of this page.  If it already says "You Like This" beside the button, clicking it again will uncheck the "Like" status and you will not be notified.

 
 
Share on Facebook

comments powered by Disqus

© 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018 Gunsumer Reports™, All rights reserved.
FTC Disclosure