U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- I’m into airguns. And the more I get into them, the more I only like accurate ones. When you’re hunting with an airgun, you’re hunting small animals or birds with small kill zones so if it’s not accurate then you’re just going to wound it.
A couple of things greatly affect your accuracy:
- Quality of the air rifle.
- Using quality pellets (I will write on this another day).
I don’t own any $2,500 airguns and you don’t have to, to obtain good groups. Some of my break barrels are fairly accurate but hands down, my most accurate air rifles are my Pre-Charged Pneumatics (PCP). So in my mind, if you want good groups then you’re going to have to get a PCP.
Another “for sure” deal is that a .22 has a whole lot better killing powers than a .177. I’ve held off experimenting with a .25 cal. just because I’ve got a ton of .177 and .22 ammo. But with all of this said, I recently had to break down and I got a Umarex .25 cal. Gauntlet last week.
I mounted the scope and then went out on the prairies to sight it in. The wind was semi-bad. I got a 5/8” grp. Then a couple of ½” groups. Good enough to hunt with but I had to see if it wouldn’t do better. I was getting blown, the target was getting blown and it wasn’t a good day to get your best groups.
I readjusted my sandbags and propped rocks against my target so it wouldn’t blow and bunkered down to shoot. One shot, a one-hole group. Second shot uh-oh, am I seeing things. I walked down to look. Wow! Still one hole. Now the pressure was on.
I went back to my bench and got ready. I slipped up my air rifle and got anchored. I took a deep breath, let out half and started my squeeze. The shot took off and landed true. I had a ragged one hole, 3-shot group. About 1/16” center to center. My new Umarex .25 cal. Gauntlet was going to be a shooter. I had a pigeon hunt lined up 4-days later, I think I found the gun that I’d be using. I’ll write more later about hunting with it but for now, let’s cover the ins/outs of the Gauntlet.
As stated above, it is a PCP and is offered in three calibers, .177, .22 and .25. They all utilize a rotary magazine. The .177 & .22 magazines are 10 shot but the .25 is only 8-shots due to the larger diameter of the pellets.
To charge the airtank is easy. You can use an air gunners air tank or something that I found last year was a portable compressor by Air Venturi. I love it because I can charge it out in the field. Either way just hook the hose up to the rifle and the air source and fill it up. It has quick disconnect fittings which are easy to connect. You don’t want to fill the rifle over 3,000 psi. (There’s a gauge on the rifle).
To load the magazine, slide the clear plastic cover around until the last hole is revealed. Make sure that the pellets are pointed forward. Drop in a pellet while holding your finger on the bottom so the pellet doesn’t fall out. Fill all holes and turn the cover back to its original position.
Pull the bolt back and push it down into the back slot to hold it in position. Slide in the magazine. Pull up the bolt and slide it forward. The last 1/2” it will stop. Tap it forward and lock it down. Make sure the safety is on. You’re ready to shoot.
Make sure when mounting the scope that you allow enough room to slide the clip in and out. I had to move mine ½” forward of where I had originally set it at because the magazine hit the bulge at the reticle. No biggee, just telling you this to save you from getting to the gun range and discovering that you can’t get the magazine in.
It has an adjustable comb and studs to attach a sling, which you will want as most airguns are semi heavy. For an MSRP or only $299.00, the Umarex Gauntlet is a deal. Some of my other PCP’s cost 2x’s that much and the Umarex Gauntlet has as many features and shoots better. I think I’ve just found my new love. And as usual, we’ll close with the specs.
Umarex Gauntlet Air Rifle
- 3,000 psi, 13 cu. in. removable tank
- 1,100 psi regulator (.177 and .22)
- 1,900 psi regulator for .25 cal
- Incredibly quiet – fully moderated
- Adjustable Single-Stage Trigger
- Height adjustable cheek piece
- Bolt action
- Pressure release key
- Includes 1 (10 shot in .177 and .22, 8 shot in .25) rotary magazine and 1 single shot tray
With the on-board regulator, the Gauntlet uses less air; improving accuracy, and the amount of shots per charge on its 3000 psi tank. Once the pressure is low, you can either refill the tank using the standard Foster quick connect fitting or simply unscrew the tank with the included pressure release key to switch out your tank. As long as the pressure gauge is in the green, your shots will stay consistent. Umarex tested both .177 (7.9 grain) and .22 (14.3 grain) lead pellets, achieving 60(.22) or 70 (.177) shots on a single fill! With a velocity of 1000 fps in .177 and 900 fps in .22, the Gauntlet has no problem sending lead downrange in a hurry.
Each caliber features a single shot tray and a 10 round rotating magazine so you can spend less time reloading and more time taking rapid fire bolt-action shots. The fully-moderated barrel quiets your shots, making it a perfect platform for backyard targets or eliminating pests. Its all-weather synthetic stock comes with integrated studs for the addition of a sling for convenient carrying in the field. A standard dovetail mount is ready for mounting the optics system of your choice.
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you're having trouble.”