Ghost One Year With The GHOST

Franklink

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This will be a bit of a summary of the last year.
The long version is here: BRK Ghost Review

As the title states, "taking delivery" last September, I've now been working with the BRK Ghost for one year. I'd hazard a guess that the one in my possession has seen as much (or more) use as any other Ghost out there. I've ran it in .177, .20, and .22. Recently adding 3 more empty JSB tins and a couple boxes of NSA slugs to the empty pile brings this Ghost's shot count up to around 15,000. This post will be a breakdown of the past year. I'll first give an objective accounting of the various configurations I've used it in, and how those did in "local" monthly competitions throughout this past year. I'll also go over the pesting fun I've had with it, as well as modifications I've made to suit my preferences, and the .20 projectiles I'm currently using. Finally, I'll conclude with my impressions and opinions on the platform.



PXL_20230924_013054083.jpg




COMPETITIONS
For the first couple of months, I ran the Ghost as received, a .177 Carbine. This was complete OEM, using a 300cc bottle and the 17inch 12 land and groove, choked Lothar barrel. I shot a 47/48 in the first field target match the Ghost platform probably ever competed in. That score was good for a match high tie, and was in October of 2022 near Flagstaff, AZ. The JSB .177/10.34 were used for that match, going about 890fps.

At at same Oct 2022 match, airgun buddy, @Arzrover lent me a 23inch .22 polygonal barrel, and passed me a custom shroud that he had machined (that's why this ones shroud has brass endcaps). From that barrel, I found the .22/25.4gr Monster RDs at about 930fps to be very accurate. So in Nov of 2022, I shot two matches in the same day down in Phoenix, using the .177 barrel in a sub20fpe field target match, and the .22 barrel in a high power/long range ft match. The Ghost scored a 39/48 in the low power match, for 4th place in the class, and a 40/48 in the high power ft match. The 39/48 was the worst it has done in competition, at least in my hands. The 40/48 with the .22 barrel in the high power match however, was good for a tie for 2nd place in the pellet class.

I competed with the Ghost in a high power ft matches in PHX again in January and February, shooting a 39/48 and a 33/48 respectively, good for 2nd and 3rd places. And only down a few shots from high score.

Sometime in early spring @Arzrover machined me a .20 barrel for the Ghost, and that is what has been in it since about April. I also acquired a 480cc bottle, which also has been installed since early spring. So, the .20 Ghost is most similar in specs to a Ghost Plus.

I used the .20 Ghost and .20/13.73s to win a silhouette match in Duncan, AZ in April, shooting a 39/40 at 1/5 scale silhouette targets out to 70 yards. The same configuration was used to shoot a 49/52 at the field target match that same weekend.

The .20 Ghost shot a 50/52 at a sub 20fpe match in June 2023 over in western NM (second highest score of the match)
The .20 Ghost shot a 45/48 at a sub 20fpe match the next week of June, but again near Flagstaff, AZ (second highest score of the match).
The .20 Ghost shot a 58/60 at a sub 20fpe match in July of 2023, back in western NM (overall high score).

For the sub 20fpe matches, the .20/13.73s have been shot at about 805fps.

In short, the Ghost has been very good to me in local competitions. In all of these outings, it has held its own against the best airguns that exist, up to and including custom competition airguns costing 2x what the Ghost retails for.

PESTING
In the last year the Ghost has been used to take Eurasian doves, house sparrows, pigeons, starlings, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs. One of the high points was an outing to a dairy, where an estimated 100+ euro doves were killed. It was also my first choice for the summer prairie dog season and killed a couple hundred prairie dogs this summer. The longest shot I've made with the Ghost was 265 yards, on a prairie dog and using the .20/15.89grain pellet at about 915fps. It is tough to laser something as small as a pdog at that distance, but I got close to him with it, and then used Strelok to predict 21mils of holdover. It required a combination of dialing and hold-over, and about 8-10 shots to walk it in to connect. It was a head/vitals shot though, because he dropped and did the death dance. Now, that distance has not been a common occurrence, but rather an exception. I have, however, killed 18-20 pest birds from the tops of the cottonwood trees behind my house, and they measure 160-174 yards away. Most of those were Euro doves, but a couple have been starlings. The first time I connected that far I thought it a fluke, but it has been repeated enough now to not be as shocking. When @Pesty3782 came up for a pdog hunt he lasered a couple at 203 yards that I connected on with .20/18.9grain slugs. And when @Nofilters and I were shooting pdogs I had a confirmed head shot on a pdog at a lasered 226 yards, again with the slugs. Those shots are outliers and the exceptional examples. More realistically and much more frequently, the Ghost .20 can hit a prairie dog or Euro dove sized target out to 140-150 yards with surprising consistency, using either the .20/15.89 JSB pellets or the .20/18.9grain slugs.

MODIFICATIONS
Other than the aforementioned .20 barrel and the shroud with brass endcaps...........I also swapped out the grip for a billet aluminum one, and more recently swapped both OEM gauges for WIKA gauges. I chose the brass WIKAs with the black face, and no covers so that the brass accents could play off the brass endcaps of the shroud. I mounted an Athlon Midas Tac 6-24x50 within the first few months, and that scope has a scopewerks.com sidewheel, to allow for using the Ghost in field target competitions. I also did some minor modifications to the plastic butt pad, namely a peg at the top, and some skateboard grip tape, both to help hold the gun in the shoulder pocket. The air stripper inside the shroud is also custom, being a bit longer than the OEM stripping cone. I choose to run the Ghost .20 without any additional moderators, mostly b/c at the fpe that I am putting out with any of the .20 projectiles, it is quiet enough to do so.

.20 "TUNES"
Regulator pressure is left at 128-130 bar for all three "tunes," relying on simply spinning the hammer tension wheel for each projectile. This method results in a higher than necessary reg pressure for the sub20fpe tune, which exacerbates the "cold" shot being slower than desired situation. For this reason I need to waste a couple shots prior to using the gun for the sub20fpe tune. This could probably be eliminated with a more appropriate reg pressure for the sub20fpe tune, but is a price I'm willing to pay for the convenience of not needing to go up and down on reg pressures as I go back and forth between pesting and field target.
  • At "MIN" on the wheel, the JSB 13.73gr pellets are the go-to for sub 20fpe field target work. I've never shot a full string but I'd estimate it is in the 160+ shots per fill. This is at 805fps, with the 480cc bottle. For this tune I use a BC of 0.044 for Strelok to match actual. These are shot straight from the tin, no cleaning, no lubing.
  • At "11" the JSB 15.89gr pellets fly at 915-920fps. These are stable out to extremely far ranges for a 30fpe pellet, boasting a measured BC of 0.048. Also shot straight from the tin.
  • At "MAX" the NSA .20/18.9gr slugs fly at 875-885fps, and are 1 of the top 2 best slug results I've ever seen. Measured BC (also confirmed with Strelok data) is 0.09. I am lubing the .20 slugs with Gunzilla, quite liberally.
IMPRESSIONS AND OPINIONS
I'll get my gripes out of the way first. I have three "complaints" with the Ghost.
  • The first is that the OEM trigger is about 1lb, 6oz, if only using intending adjustments. It CAN be further reduced to the 5-8ounce range, but requires more than simple adjustments.
  • The second is that I have had 3 valves leak, seemingly from the poppet. AOA has replaced each of them and the valve currently in the gun has so far been flawless. From discussions with AOA staff, the first two valves were from the same batch, with a handful of other owners experiencing the same problem with valves from that batch. I removed a buffer and shimmed the poppet return spring on the third valve, some combination of which probably created a self-induced leaker. The valve currently in the gun was installed 100% as OEM and has thus far not leaked.
  • The third is the slow first shot when the gun has not been shot for awhile. This is also mostly a self-induced problem, a result of my stubbornness at leaving the reg the same pressure for the various projectiles and power outputs that I'm using. Dialing in some hammer tension ALMOST eliminates the slow first shot issue (for example, first cold shot at max hammer tension with the slugs is 870ish, with all subsequent shots being in the 875-885range).
Outside of those three, the Ghost is simply amazing. This is the 5th or 6th? review that I've done for AOA and I knew after that first match with the Ghost that I wanted to buy it after the review. With the previous reviews of other guns I was tempted, but was able to return each of those guns without purchasing them. With the Ghost we had agreed on a 1 year review and so I revisited this with my AOA rep about two weeks ago. I was ecstatic when they told me I can keep the Ghost. It was implied but not stated, that the "payment" was all the time I've put into sharing my experience with it. Regardless, over the last year, I've been impressed enough with the Ghost that I was prepared to part with some cash to avoid returning it. I have mixed feelings about them "giving" it to me, as it feels like this suggests my opinions on the Ghost may have been swayed by that fact. With that in mind, I have shared all that I've learned about the Ghost platform in the last year, good and bad. Overall the good vastly outweighs the bad with the Ghost, enough that I wanted it in my collection and was prepared to pay to make that happen.

Based on a year's worth of collected experiences with the Ghost, I see it as THE PINNACLE of modularity in modern airguns. The same base (chassis/frame, valve, bottle, etc) can be used for anything from a dedicated benchrest howitzer in .25 or .30, to a short little low power plinker, to a mid-size general use gun. With the .20 barrel, the Plus-length shroud, and the 480 cc bottle, I view mine (kinda nice to say that it's mine) as the ultimate general use airgun. As delineated above, I've used it to repeatedly finish at or near the top of the pack in various field target and silhouette competitions, as well as some very high volume pesting. For a couple hundred bucks invested in a different barrel kit, a guy can have what amounts to a completely different airgun, and a quality one at that. Prior to this push to modularity in the industry, having two airguns with vastly different intended uses required spending money on two completely different airguns, With the Ghost, you can have "another" Ghost for only the cost of a barrel kit. And with the easily made adjustments, sometimes another barrel isn't even necessary. Again, as I stated above, I just spin the wheel and I've got a long range precision pest eliminator, spin the wheel back down and I've got a sub20fpe gun capable of winning field target matches.

I could go on but the ongoing review has been long-winded enough already. Suffice it to say that a guy gets a lot of quality airgun with a BRK Ghost.

PXL_20230924_012908331.jpg
 
Quite a nice in-depth real world write up. I’ve had my eyes and thoughts on the Ghost from when it first appeared on the market. Being that I have a diverse collection of AirGuns from AEA, Benjamin and FX, I can say that the BRK lineup would be welcomed in my airgun vault. This performance and experience review makes that decision even easier. Im thinking for myself that the carbine is where I will begin my journey with BRK. I do enjoy some HP performance however, so when the day comes to place my order I guess that’s when I will finally decide. Thanks for the great info. 👍🏻👍🏻
 
Thanks for the excellent review. Does anyone know if BRK is going to offer a factory .2 barrel or is this option all custom. I talked with another shooter using .2 in Field Target with excellent results. Thanks again.
 
Currently a .20 Ghost is custom.

You're probably bout the 10th guy I've had ask about it though. In my longer/ongoing review there's some discussion about this. @AOA ROB cryptically commented that they're watching. He's part owner of AOA and I believe Precision Airgun Distribution. As I understand it (maybe incorrectly?) PAD imports BRK into the US. Ie, he's at the decision making level (or at least involved in the discussion) on whether or not the market sees a .20 Ghost. So the powers that be are aware of how sweet a .20 Ghost can be, and aware that there's at least a handful of folks interested. The break-even point ($$$) of interest for it to happen may simply be decided by Daystate/BRKs bean counters.
 
This will be a bit of a summary of the last year.
The long version is here: BRK Ghost Review

As the title states, "taking delivery" last September, I've now been working with the BRK Ghost for one year. I'd hazard a guess that the one in my possession has seen as much (or more) use as any other Ghost out there. I've ran it in .177, .20, and .22. Recently adding 3 more empty JSB tins and a couple boxes of NSA slugs to the empty pile brings this Ghost's shot count up to around 15,000. This post will be a breakdown of the past year. I'll first give an objective accounting of the various configurations I've used it in, and how those did in "local" monthly competitions throughout this past year. I'll also go over the pesting fun I've had with it, as well as modifications I've made to suit my preferences, and the .20 projectiles I'm currently using. Finally, I'll conclude with my impressions and opinions on the platform.



PXL_20230924_013054083.jpg




COMPETITIONS
For the first couple of months, I ran the Ghost as received, a .177 Carbine. This was complete OEM, using a 300cc bottle and the 17inch 12 land and groove, choked Lothar barrel. I shot a 47/48 in the first field target match the Ghost platform probably ever competed in. That score was good for a match high tie, and was in October of 2022 near Flagstaff, AZ. The JSB .177/10.34 were used for that match, going about 890fps.

At at same Oct 2022 match, airgun buddy, @Arzrover lent me a 23inch .22 polygonal barrel, and passed me a custom shroud that he had machined (that's why this ones shroud has brass endcaps). From that barrel, I found the .22/25.4gr Monster RDs at about 930fps to be very accurate. So in Nov of 2022, I shot two matches in the same day down in Phoenix, using the .177 barrel in a sub20fpe field target match, and the .22 barrel in a high power/long range ft match. The Ghost scored a 39/48 in the low power match, for 4th place in the class, and a 40/48 in the high power ft match. The 39/48 was the worst it has done in competition, at least in my hands. The 40/48 with the .22 barrel in the high power match however, was good for a tie for 2nd place in the pellet class.

I competed with the Ghost in a high power ft matches in PHX again in January and February, shooting a 39/48 and a 33/48 respectively, good for 2nd and 3rd places. And only down a few shots from high score.

Sometime in early spring @Arzrover machined me a .20 barrel for the Ghost, and that is what has been in it since about April. I also acquired a 480cc bottle, which also has been installed since early spring. So, the .20 Ghost is most similar in specs to a Ghost Plus.

I used the .20 Ghost and .20/13.73s to win a silhouette match in Duncan, AZ in April, shooting a 39/40 at 1/5 scale silhouette targets out to 70 yards. The same configuration was used to shoot a 49/52 at the field target match that same weekend.

The .20 Ghost shot a 50/52 at a sub 20fpe match in June 2023 over in western NM (second highest score of the match)
The .20 Ghost shot a 45/48 at a sub 20fpe match the next week of June, but again near Flagstaff, AZ (second highest score of the match).
The .20 Ghost shot a 58/60 at a sub 20fpe match in July of 2023, back in western NM (overall high score).

For the sub 20fpe matches, the .20/13.73s have been shot at about 805fps.

In short, the Ghost has been very good to me in local competitions. In all of these outings, it has held its own against the best airguns that exist, up to and including custom competition airguns costing 2x what the Ghost retails for.

PESTING
In the last year the Ghost has been used to take Eurasian doves, house sparrows, pigeons, starlings, ground squirrels, and prairie dogs. One of the high points was an outing to a dairy, where an estimated 100+ euro doves were killed. It was also my first choice for the summer prairie dog season and killed a couple hundred prairie dogs this summer. The longest shot I've made with the Ghost was 265 yards, on a prairie dog and using the .20/15.89grain pellet at about 915fps. It is tough to laser something as small as a pdog at that distance, but I got close to him with it, and then used Strelok to predict 21mils of holdover. It required a combination of dialing and hold-over, and about 8-10 shots to walk it in to connect. It was a head/vitals shot though, because he dropped and did the death dance. Now, that distance has not been a common occurrence, but rather an exception. I have, however, killed 18-20 pest birds from the tops of the cottonwood trees behind my house, and they measure 160-174 yards away. Most of those were Euro doves, but a couple have been starlings. The first time I connected that far I thought it a fluke, but it has been repeated enough now to not be as shocking. When @Pesty3782 came up for a pdog hunt he lasered a couple at 203 yards that I connected on with .20/18.9grain slugs. And when @Nofilters and I were shooting pdogs I had a confirmed head shot on a pdog at a lasered 226 yards, again with the slugs. Those shots are outliers and the exceptional examples. More realistically and much more frequently, the Ghost .20 can hit a prairie dog or Euro dove sized target out to 140-150 yards with surprising consistency, using either the .20/15.89 JSB pellets or the .20/18.9grain slugs.

MODIFICATIONS
Other than the aforementioned .20 barrel and the shroud with brass endcaps...........I also swapped out the grip for a billet aluminum one, and more recently swapped both OEM gauges for WIKA gauges. I chose the brass WIKAs with the black face, and no covers so that the brass accents could play off the brass endcaps of the shroud. I mounted an Athlon Midas Tac 6-24x50 within the first few months, and that scope has a scopewerks.com sidewheel, to allow for using the Ghost in field target competitions. I also did some minor modifications to the plastic butt pad, namely a peg at the top, and some skateboard grip tape, both to help hold the gun in the shoulder pocket. The air stripper inside the shroud is also custom, being a bit longer than the OEM stripping cone. I choose to run the Ghost .20 without any additional moderators, mostly b/c at the fpe that I am putting out with any of the .20 projectiles, it is quiet enough to do so.

.20 "TUNES"
Regulator pressure is left at 128-130 bar for all three "tunes," relying on simply spinning the hammer tension wheel for each projectile. This method results in a higher than necessary reg pressure for the sub20fpe tune, which exacerbates the "cold" shot being slower than desired situation. For this reason I need to waste a couple shots prior to using the gun for the sub20fpe tune. This could probably be eliminated with a more appropriate reg pressure for the sub20fpe tune, but is a price I'm willing to pay for the convenience of not needing to go up and down on reg pressures as I go back and forth between pesting and field target.
  • At "MIN" on the wheel, the JSB 13.73gr pellets are the go-to for sub 20fpe field target work. I've never shot a full string but I'd estimate it is in the 160+ shots per fill. This is at 805fps, with the 480cc bottle. For this tune I use a BC of 0.044 for Strelok to match actual. These are shot straight from the tin, no cleaning, no lubing.
  • At "11" the JSB 15.89gr pellets fly at 915-920fps. These are stable out to extremely far ranges for a 30fpe pellet, boasting a measured BC of 0.048. Also shot straight from the tin.
  • At "MAX" the NSA .20/18.9gr slugs fly at 875-885fps, and are 1 of the top 2 best slug results I've ever seen. Measured BC (also confirmed with Strelok data) is 0.09. I am lubing the .20 slugs with Gunzilla, quite liberally.
IMPRESSIONS AND OPINIONS
I'll get my gripes out of the way first. I have three "complaints" with the Ghost.
  • The first is that the OEM trigger is about 1lb, 6oz, if only using intending adjustments. It CAN be further reduced to the 5-8ounce range, but requires more than simple adjustments.
  • The second is that I have had 3 valves leak, seemingly from the poppet. AOA has replaced each of them and the valve currently in the gun has so far been flawless. From discussions with AOA staff, the first two valves were from the same batch, with a handful of other owners experiencing the same problem with valves from that batch. I removed a buffer and shimmed the poppet return spring on the third valve, some combination of which probably created a self-induced leaker. The valve currently in the gun was installed 100% as OEM and has thus far not leaked.
  • The third is the slow first shot when the gun has not been shot for awhile. This is also mostly a self-induced problem, a result of my stubbornness at leaving the reg the same pressure for the various projectiles and power outputs that I'm using. Dialing in some hammer tension ALMOST eliminates the slow first shot issue (for example, first cold shot at max hammer tension with the slugs is 870ish, with all subsequent shots being in the 875-885range).
Outside of those three, the Ghost is simply amazing. This is the 5th or 6th? review that I've done for AOA and I knew after that first match with the Ghost that I wanted to buy it after the review. With the previous reviews of other guns I was tempted, but was able to return each of those guns without purchasing them. With the Ghost we had agreed on a 1 year review and so I revisited this with my AOA rep about two weeks ago. I was ecstatic when they told me I can keep the Ghost. It was implied but not stated, that the "payment" was all the time I've put into sharing my experience with it. Regardless, over the last year, I've been impressed enough with the Ghost that I was prepared to part with some cash to avoid returning it. I have mixed feelings about them "giving" it to me, as it feels like this suggests my opinions on the Ghost may have been swayed by that fact. With that in mind, I have shared all that I've learned about the Ghost platform in the last year, good and bad. Overall the good vastly outweighs the bad with the Ghost, enough that I wanted it in my collection and was prepared to pay to make that happen.

Based on a year's worth of collected experiences with the Ghost, I see it as THE PINNACLE of modularity in modern airguns. The same base (chassis/frame, valve, bottle, etc) can be used for anything from a dedicated benchrest howitzer in .25 or .30, to a short little low power plinker, to a mid-size general use gun. With the .20 barrel, the Plus-length shroud, and the 480 cc bottle, I view mine (kinda nice to say that it's mine) as the ultimate general use airgun. As delineated above, I've used it to repeatedly finish at or near the top of the pack in various field target and silhouette competitions, as well as some very high volume pesting. For a couple hundred bucks invested in a different barrel kit, a guy can have what amounts to a completely different airgun, and a quality one at that. Prior to this push to modularity in the industry, having two airguns with vastly different intended uses required spending money on two completely different airguns, With the Ghost, you can have "another" Ghost for only the cost of a barrel kit. And with the easily made adjustments, sometimes another barrel isn't even necessary. Again, as I stated above, I just spin the wheel and I've got a long range precision pest eliminator, spin the wheel back down and I've got a sub20fpe gun capable of winning field target matches.

I could go on but the ongoing review has been long-winded enough already. Suffice it to say that a guy gets a lot of quality airgun with a BRK Ghost.

PXL_20230924_012908331.jpg
Awesome rifle and a finely tuned machine. Looks incredible, I need to quit buying inexpensive PCP rifles and just save for one of these!
 
Awesome rifle and a finely tuned machine. Looks incredible, I need to quit buying inexpensive PCP rifles and just save for one of these!
Yessir. I've shot air rifles on and off for five decades. This last time around I dusted off the ol' R7, and it got me to thinking. So, I bought a Red Wolf, then a Ghost, a tx200, and the Delta Wolf should be here after Christmas. I gifted the R7 to a new shooter. Once you have a top shelf guns, it's hard to go back. I wish you well in your quest.
 
Derrick does exceptional work, and a great guy to boot.

If you're the do-it-yourself type, there's this....

If you appreciate and NEED a pretty good trigger, I don't think you'll be satisfied with what you get out of only cranking the intended adjustment screws.
 

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