As part of Hard Air Magazine’s “Detailed Look” series at new airguns launched at the 2017 SHOT Show, today we’re looking at the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle. The Gauntlet is a 10-shot, bolt-action repeater with a regulated HPA tank and a market-leading MSRP of just $299.00.
This actual gun was one that was shown at the SHOT Show. It’s a pre-production prototype, so there are very likely to be minor changes from the gun we see here. And – as with the Beeman Chief – our friends at Umarex have asked us NOT to take it apart!
It’s clear from the outset that the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle has similarities to the QB78/9 design. However, close inspection makes it obvious that these two designs are not exactly the same…
The Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle is a long gun – close to 46-inches overall – and it’s definitely designed with the current “black rifle” look in mind. The sling is not included, neither is the Leapers scope. The HAM team just added them for these photographs.
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Umarex Gauntlet Regulated PCP Air Rifle
The black synthetic stock features an adjustable comb. This enables cheek weld to be set to the shooter’s requirements, a very important aspect of consistent, accurate shooting. Unusually, the comb height is adjusted by rotating a large knurled nut that’s easily accessed from both sides of the stock. This knurled nut has click detents that allow the desired height to be retained. There’s no screws to tighten, as is the case with many other stock designs.
The Gauntlet’s stock is also equipped with front and rear sling swivels. These allow a standard 1-inch wide sling to be fitted for convenient carrying in the field.
In fact, the stock of the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle is separable into two pieces. There’s a front section that wraps around the HPA tank and this can be removed to install, or change, the regulated HPA tank.
With a 14-inch pull length, the stock of the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle is surprisingly short. However, it’s still a comfortable gun to shoot and balances well with the leading hand pushed up to the front sling swivel.
The Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle is a 10-shot repeater. The sample we received did not include a magazine – obviously one will be included with production guns – but we fitted a Benjamin Marauder magazine and it worked just fine. Marauder rifle and Gauntlet magazines are clearly interchangeable.
Umarex tells us that the Gauntlet will also be supplied with a single shot tray, which will be welcomed by many Field Target shooters.
Up-front, a regulated air tank screws into a threaded block in the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle. Although this is a specific regulated HPA tank, it uses a standard paintball thread to attach to the gun. Filling is via an industry-standard 1/8-inch NPT (“Foster”) quick disconnect, so it will connect easily to most pumps and tanks without an adapter.
The tank itself has a 13 cubic inch capacity and fills to 3,000 PSI. However, the tank’s built-in regulator limits the pressure in the gun to 1,100 PSI.
This regulated HPA concept is unique to the Gauntlet at this price level. Umarex USA claims that it offers an outstanding, flat shot string with almost no change in FPS over a very large number of shots. This is another major contributor to practical accuracy.
The company claims that the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle achieves 60+ consistent shots per fill at 1,000 FPS in .177 caliber, or 900 FPS in .22 cal. It’s the regulated design makes that makes this possible.
Umarex USA says that a .25 caliber version of the Gauntlet will also be available later in 2017.
With the low, 1,100 PSI regulated pressure, it’s very likely that the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle will also work well using CO2 tanks, should the user require. This would be real “dual fuel” capability with no change required to the gun itself. And – as there is an externally-operated de-gassing capability – it’s a snap to unscrew the regulated PCP tank from the Gauntlet and screw-in a 9-ounce CO2 paintball tank. However, the stock forend will not fit over a paintball tank, due to its larger diameter.
The Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle has a fully-shrouded barrel and it’s pretty quiet: close to HAM’s “gold standard” Benjamin Marauder for noise level.
Umarex also says that the trigger pull weight of the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle is 4 Lbs. This seems unduly cautious to the HAM team. The gun clearly has a QB78-type adjustable trigger and this design is known to operate safely at pull weights much less than this level. There’s a manual safety, too.
Because this is a pre-production gun, we’re abiding by Umarex USA’s request to hold off on a comprehensive HAM test review until full production models become available. But we can hardly wait to start shooting a production gun for real!!!