Take a look at Umarex Air Guns’ product line and your inner kid will be envious of the air gun choices available. Their lineup is a great way to introduce a child to firearms and at the same time exciting the gun aficionado or hunter in each one of us.
Some of the licensed replicas they manufacture include the Colt Peacemaker, Glock 17, Heckler & Koch MP5, Walther PPK, and Beretta M9. Their Legends series includes replicas of the Mauser C96, Luger P08, and MP 40 to name a few.
Besides the reproductions, Umarex makes hunting/target rifles in both spring-piston break barrels and precharged pneumatics (PCP). Since I have a passion for bolt-action precision rifles, Umarex’s PCP-powered Gauntlet caught my eye.
Decked out in a sleek, black synthetic stock, the Gauntlet’s precision-inducing features include the ability to regulate its air pressure to provide consistent shots, an adjustable single-stage trigger and a height-adjustable cheekpiece. All for a surprisingly low $321.
Weighing 8.7 pound without a scope, the bolt-action Gauntlet is chambered for .177- and .22-caliber pellets and uses a 10-round rotary magazine for multiple shots a pellet tray for single-shot shooting. With an overall length of 46.75 inches, the rifle’s receiver is grooved to accept 11mm dovetail scope rings, but it has no built-in sights, making an optic purchase necessary.
Before mounting a scope to the Gauntlet, I ensured the scope rings I had were high enough for my scope to clear the rotary magazine, which is .40-inch taller than the receiver. I found 1-inch-high scope rings (measured center of scope to receiver base) worked well for both of my 30mm and 1-inch scope tubes.
When I get behind a rifle, I want the center of my shooting eye to effortlessly line up on the cross hairs of the reticle. The adjustable cheekpiece makes easy work of this. I extended it a half-inch, providing the right height for me to bury my cheek onto the cheekpiece and look into the center of the reticle. Correct alignment reduces fatigue and allows me to stay on target when a squirrel pops its head out of the ground.
The 3,000-pounds-per-square-inch (psi) air cylinder is 13 cubic inches (cu. in.) and is removable. It can be aired up via a standard Foster quick-connect fitting while connected to the rifle.
Filling up the air cylinder can be achieved two ways, with a high-pressure charging tank or a PCP hand pump. Don’t bother strolling out your air tool compressor or bicycle pump, they won’t come close to achieving the high pressures needed for air rifles. If you’re not ready to pay out the $300 or so for a charging tank, consider renting a scuba tank from a scuba shop. Renting at my local shop is about $15 per day. You’ll need a scuba tank adapter, with gauge and hose to get air from the tank