The .177 Caliber Umarex Gauntlet – Field Target For Under $300
Chad Kentner gives us his thoughts on the .177 caliber Umarex Gauntlet. Then you can watch his YouTube video, too…
The hobby, or should I say sport, of airguns usually starts as plinking fun or pesting nuisance vermin in the backyard. However, it can soon grow into something much more.
Then you may begin to wonder how good of a shot really are you?
One avenue you can take to test your mettle is to try your hand at the sport of Field Target. The cost of equipment may seem staggering, but it doesn’t need to be.
Thanks to my good friends at Umarex, I have been given the opportunity to try out an excellent entry level PCP rifle that may be the ticket you need to give Field Target competition a try. Not only will this rifle give you the opportunity to be competitive, but it does so at a price point that your spouse can’t complain about when the new air rifle arrives at your doorstep.
What is this rifle you might ask? Well, it is none other than the .177 caliber Umarex Gauntlet.
Not only can the Gauntlet be had at a good price, but it also comes with features often found on higher end PCP airguns. These include an adjustable stock, pressure release tool, single shot tray, 10 shot magazine, sling studs, shrouded barrel, and a regulator to boot.
All in all this package can allow you to be competitive if you do your part.
Taking the .177 caliber Umarex Gauntlet straight out of the box, the stock was what I noticed first…
Although we see adjustable stocks becoming more prevalent, it isn’t happening often with sub $300 airguns. Umarex stepped up to the plate and put an adjustable cheek riser on the Gauntlet to help you achieve correct eye alignment with your scope.
This of course helps reduce the chances of parallax error due to improper head alignment and increases the chances of consistent head placement each time you shoot. Remember you want to be consistent when shooting Field Target!
The next thing I noticed was the aluminum bottle attached at the front of the gun. Although an aluminum bottle makes the Gauntlet a little heavier, it is the bit at the front of the bottle that novice field target shooters should celebrate.
The .177 caliber Umarex Gauntlet includes a regulated tank. The regulated tank that is provided with the Gauntlet, again helps with consistency which is good when shooting a Field Target event.
In this unmodified test sample (remember you can always tune the Gauntlet if desired), I was able to achieve 70 shots from 16.47 – 17.66 Ft/Lbs of energy from one 3,000 PSI fill. This all coming from a regulated tank with just over a half dozen fills under its belt.
Regulators can take some time to break in and with additional fills, the energy spread should begin to become even more consistent.
I believe that I am like most airgun shooters. After having taken a quick look over a new rifle; it is immediately picked up, shouldered and you slowly squeeze the trigger to get a feel for what it will be like out in the field. The Gauntlet experience was no different for me.
The trigger does leave a little to be desired, with a heavy pull and an ill-defined let off. My initial feelings about the trigger may have been little misguided, having most recently shot a high-end precision air rifle at the 10M indoor competition in town.
Please don’t misquote me here, as I believe that the trigger may be the area with the greatest need for improvement on this rifle. However, I was able to get the feel for the trigger and found the let off became slightly more predictable with time. This predictability again leads to consistency, which of course you want when shooting competitions.
All of the aforementioned points help lead to a great rifle in this price point, but only if it has a respectable level of both precision and accuracy. To determine if the .177 caliber Umarex Gauntlet has the precision needed for Field Target, I decided to shoot groups at both 20 yards and 50 yards with a variety of pellets.
It was time to scope up the gauntlet with my Axeon scope and head to Baker Airguns in Mount Victory, Ohio to begin my testing. Their 20 Yard indoor range was just the ticket to see what was possible. After shooting a variety of pellets, I found the JSB Monsters (Redesigned) to barely edge out the JSB Heavies with five shot groups consistently getting .181 – .218 inches center to center.
The 50 yard test took place outside on a cold, slightly breezy (6-7 mph) and sunny day.
At 50 yards, I was able to achieve five shot groups that would easily fit within the 1.5 inch diameter Field Target paddle you would need to hit at this distance. The best group of the day was with JSB Heavy pellets coming in at 1.102 inches center to center.
Although not the best group I have ever shot with a rifle, it is quite capable of being precise enough to enjoy the sport of Field Target for anyone wanting to give it a try..
Is the .177 caliber Umarex Gauntlet also accurate?
It absolutely is, being able to hit both a 3⁄8 Inch target at 10 Yards and a 1 1⁄2 Inch target at 55 Yards from sticks.
Is it as accurate as a high end ($3,000) Field Target gun? Probably not, but then again, this is an article for those interested in getting started in Field Target competitions at a price point that is easy on the bank account with equipment that you can experience some success with.
All in all, if you are looking to get into field target without breaking the bank, the .177 caliber Umarex Gauntlet might just be one of the best sub $300 PCP airguns out there.
There are also a variety of resources to help you get the most out of your new rifle. The rifle has a dedicated book titled “Choosing and Shooting the Umarex Gauntlet” that helps you really begin to understand your rifle.
There are also DIY options (attempt at your own risk) which can potentially improve upon out of the box specs. You can easily find these through a quick search on YouTube.
So, is the .177 caliber Umarex Gauntlet a way to get started in the world of Field Target competition? In my opinion, it certainly is…