Walther Reign UXT PCP Pellet Rifle Review .25 Caliber
Feb 24, 2021
Supplied by Umarex USA.
Great to shoot.
Compact, light weight.
REALLY needs a regulator!
VALUE FOR MONEY
At a Street Price of 1 Cent less than $600, the Walther Reign is an unusual player in the PCP air rifle market. There’s few other .25 caliber PCPs that are very close in price, although there’s some serious competition in performance from other PCPs at lower and higher prices.
Performance-wise, the primary competition for the .25 caliber Reign comes from the Umarex Gauntlet and the Benjamin Marauder. Both offer similar power levels and better shot counts. Both are much cheaper.
So how does the Walther Reign compete? Well, it’s a bullpup for a start with an overall length of just 32.5 Inches. That offers easier carry in the field and better maneuverability in confined spaces when hunting.
There’s a sidelever action, rather than the bolt operation of Gauntlet and Marauder. This is a clearly more sophisticated system and it’s easy to convert for left-handed operation. Not only that, but the magazine can also be loaded from either side of the action, making this a great choice for southpaw shooters.
Most people will conclude – like the HAM Team – that the Reign is a more sophisticated concept with better looks and a better finish than Gauntlet and Marauder. And – of course – it carries those coveted words “Made in Germany” on the breech. But that comes at a price…
So the .25 caliber Reign is most likely to be a specialist choice for a dedicated – and quite possibly left-handed – hunter who wants something a little different from the more popular choices. If you are that person and are not buying purely on price, then the Walther Reign is definitely worth checking-out.
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Walther Reign UXT PCP Bullpup Air Rifle 0.25
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Walther Reign UXT PCP Air Rifle
SPEED AND ACCURACY
The .25 caliber Walther Reign tested by HAM developed a maximum Muzzle Velocity of 1000 FPS with Predator GTO alloy pellets. The fastest lead pellets tested were the 19.91 Grain H&N Field Target Trophies. It’s interesting – and unusual – to see that the Muzzle Energy plateaus at just over 40 Ft/Lbs, however.
Typically PCP air rifles generate higher energies with heavier pellets. For example, the Umarex Gauntlet and the Reign have just about identical Muzzle Energies of 39 Ft/Lbs with the 19.91 Grain H&Ns. But the Reign tops-out at just 40.90 Ft/Lbs with the 33.95 Grain JSB King Heavies. The Gauntlet gives 45.8 Ft/Lbs with these heavier pellets.
|Pellet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Accuracy|
|Predator GTO Alloy 16.54 Grain||1000.27 FPS||36.76 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|H&N Field Target Trophy 19.91 Grain||941.38 FPS||39.19 Ft/Lbs||Excellent. Best Tested.|
|H&N Silver Point 24.85 Grain||856.16 FPS||40.46 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
|JSB Exact King 25.39 Grain||844.22 FPS||40.19 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|Predator Polymag 26.0 Grain||834.07 FPS||40.17 Ft/Lbs||Excellent.|
|Benjamin Lead Pellets 27.8 Grain||806.42 FPS||40.15 Ft/Lbs||Poor.|
|JSB Exact King Heavy 33.95 Grain||736.45 FPS||40.90 Ft/Lbs||Very Good.|
Accuracy was generally good. In HAM testing, we found the H&N Field Target Trophy pellets to give – just – the best accuracy. However hunters will be pleased to know that 26 Grain Predator Polymags were very close behind and also delivered strong groups downrange.
TRIGGER AND COCKING EFFORT
The average trigger pull weight of the Walther Reign tested by HAM was 4 Lbs 1 Oz. This is a good weight for hunting purposes and – after all – this not a gun that’s likely to be used for target shooting competition where a much lighter pull weight would be required.
The trigger of the Walther Reign tested by HAM felt somewhat “spongy”. It certainly feels like a single stage trigger! There’s very little take-up as you pull the trigger blade back, just keep pulling against the increasing resistance until the sear breaks.
However this is not inappropriate for a hunting air rifle trigger. It requires deliberate operation and is definitely not likely to release in an unintended manner.
As always, HAM tests triggers on an “as received” basis. The user manual describes how to adjust the trigger for sear engagement and pull weight. However these adjustments can only be made after removing one side of the clamshell stock assembly.
Be prepared! To do so, it’s necessary to undo no less than 17 screws (if we counted correctly) and detach the handle from the lever action. HAM will examine this in a future post…
The safety is a manual, push-pull type. It’s conveniently placed and is easy to operate as required.
The sidelever cocking action is smooth and well-located. It’s functional, practical and easy to operate. However, like most such cocking systems, it can allow double feeds
COMPARISON TO MAKERS CLAIMS
The manufacturer claims a maximum Muzzle Velocity of 970 FPS with alloy pellets, 870 FPS with lead. The Walther Reign tested by HAM easily improved on those claims.
The manufacturer also claims 40 shots per fill of the Reign’s HPA tank. As we can see from the graph below, HAM achieved a remarkable 90 shots per fill, comfortably exceeding the claim.
But most buyers are interested in the number of CONSISTENT shots per fill that actually enable them to hit the target – not the total number of times the gun can go bang from one fill. In this case, the Reign’s shot curve means that the maximum number of consistent shots is more like 20. As usual, HAM defines “consistent shots” as having an Extreme Spread (difference between fastest and slowest) of 40 FPS across the string.
Note that there’ is a few inconsistencies in the descriptions of the Reign that you will find on the web.
For example, you may find the weight given as 5.5 Lbs. It’s 7 Lbs. You’ll also find some claims that it’s regulated. The Reign for sale in the US not, although it may be in other markets.
And there’s a claim around that the conversion from right- to left-handed cocking can be done without tools. That should read “no special tools”. Only a few common hand tools are required to do the job, as is described in the Owner’s Manual. You can see details in this separate HAM post.
In HAM’s opinion, these errors are primarily due to the configuration of US market guns differing from the models originally exhibited at the 2019 IWA Show or just simple mistakes. We’re confident that there’s no intention to mislead…
The Walther Reign is an unregulated PCP, so it’s not realistic to expect a “flat”, consistent shot curve. However, it has to be said that the .25 caliber Reign has the “peakiest” shot curve the HAM Team has ever encountered!
What this graph shows is that the highest Muzzle Velocity is not obtained – as you might imagine – from a full 3,300 PSI fill of HPA (that was shot 1 on the graph above) – or anything like it. It actually occurs when the pressure has fallen to around 2,400 PSI.
So, if you fill the Reign to 2,400 PSI, the reward will be 10 or so consistent shots. With a 2,500 PSI fill, the gun will deliver approximately 20 shots within 40 FPS, which is close enough to achieve consistent grouping out to about 50 Yards.
The average trigger pull weight of the Walther Reign tested by HAM was 4 Lbs 1 Oz. This is a good weight for hunting purposes and consistency was good, varying by only +/- 2 or 3 Ounces either side of the average.
The Reign’s barrel is finished with a substantial, prominent and permanently-attached construction at the muzzle end. It looks as if this could be a noise-reduction system of some sort, but it doesn’t prevent the rifle from being LOUD!
So this is definitely not a backyard-friendly model – at least in .25 caliber. That’s just the way it is. If noise level is not an issue for you, obviously there’s no problem here. If it is, you’ll need to look elsewhere, unfortunately.
SIGHTS AND SCOPE
As expected, the Walther Reign is not supplied with iron sights. Instead there’s a metal Picatinny rail for scope mounting.
At 9 Inches length, this rail is considerably longer than that on many other bullpup air rifles. Together with its good location, this gives the Reign a lot of flexibility for mounting different sized scopes. It’s also a big benefit in making sure that you have the right personal eye relief for your individual eyesight/scope combination.
Shootability is a very strong suit for the Reign!
The Walther Reign UXT shoulders well and is very comfortable to shoot. It has great balance and the swell of the forend is very comfortable to hold.
These are attributes that have considerable practical benefit in helping to achieve “real world” accuracy in the field. It also allows the Reign to excel in use for the standing shots that can be required when hunting.
Unlike many bullpup PCPs, the synthetic clamshell stock is warm and comfortable to the cheek in the firing position. That’s a BIG benefit in cold winter weather.
The lower Picatinny rail is placed right forward under the forend. This allows convenient installation of a bipod yet does not impeded a comfortable hold for the fore hand, as you can see above.
Overall the Walther Reign is one of those guns that “just feels right” when you shoulder it. The substantial rubber buttpad gives excellent grip and the mid-mounted sidelever action is easy and intuitive to operate.
Then there’s size and weight. The Reign is very compact at just 34 Inches long. To put that in perspective, that’s a whopping 8 Inches shorter than the Gauntlet! At 7 Lbs 0 Oz, the “bare” gun is 24 Ounces lighter than the Gauntlet, too.
With a Sightron 3-16×42 scope mounted using Leapers UTG PRO rings, the Reign tested by HAM weighed-in at just 8 Lb 12 Oz ready-to-shoot. So, if you’re looking for a compact, light hunting gun, this could be the one!
The Reign’s magazine also has some strong benefits. This is without doubt the easiest-loading”enclosed” magazine in the market today. Unlike most magazines with an internal spring, it’s incredibly easy to hold the rotor in position for loading and the pellets drop in with supreme ease.
Not only that, but the magazine can be loaded into either side of the gun – whatever you choose at any time – with no need for modification or advanced setup. That’s probably an unique benefit for the Walther Reign.
To set against this, however, there’s no indication of the number of shots remaining. Nor does the magazine have any double-feed prevention capability. Walther obviously expects the Reign owner to keep careful track of the number of shots taken…
In .25 caliber, the Reign’s mag hold 9 rounds. It’s 10 for the .22 caliber version.
APPEARANCE AND FINISH
Yes the Walther Reign has a completely synthetic clamshell-type body. Some will think this low rent, others will see it as a practical and effective approach to design for a hunting gun.
However the synthetic material used for the body is of obvious high quality. It does not deserve to be castigated as a “plastic stock”. The quality of molding is very high, with many subtle curves and well-executed, grippy, areas of “checkering” in just the right positions of pistol grip and forearm.
No-one skimped on the tooling costs required for this stock, for sure!
The only exception to the high quality finish is the unexpectedly prominent mold lines marking the top and bottom of the gun.
The few visible areas of steel – barrel and cocking assembly – are well finished with a quality finish and good bluing.
The HAM Team considers the Reign’s design both attractive and functional. In fact, it’s one of those guns that looks better the more time you spend with it.
BUYING AND OWNING
Although Umarex USA (Walther is an Umarex brand) has excellent distribution in physical and online stores, you’re most likely to find the Reign available from a specialist airgun dealership such as Pyramyd Air or Airgun Depot.
Good news is that the Reign is better suited for filling with a HPA hand pump than might be anticipated from its maximum 3,300 PSI fill pressure. That’s because maximum FPS is achieved with a fill of just 2,400 PSI (as we saw above) – comfortably within hand pump filling for just about any owner.
Sure, you’ll want to top-up the pressure after 10 shots for maximum power and accuracy. But – realistically – how many shots do you actually take in a morning’s hunting? One 9-shot capacity magazine is probably plenty for most people’s needs.
Filling requires the use of the bundled fill probe. That fill probe is supplied with an adapter to match it to your standard 1/8-Inch NPT female quick disconnect that’s undoubtedly fitted to the hose of your pump, compressor or tank. That’s good.
That fill probe plugs conveniently into a port in the side of the action, right next to the pressure gauge. That fill port is protected from ingress of junk and other undesirable stuff by a black plastic plug. That’s all very well so long as you don’t loose the plug!
This plug would definitely benefit from some method of flexible attachment to the gun, even though a cord – or whatever – would spoil the lines of the gun.
As usual with Umarex products, the Owner’s Manual is well produced with plenty of explanation and illustrations. It’s in English, French and Spanish.
However, when the $325 Umarex Gauntlet is provided with a 3-year warranty, the $600 Walther Reign only carries a 12-month warranty. As both air rifles come from the same company, it’s difficult to understand why the upmarket, German-manufactured Reign has such limited coverage…
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Walther Reign UXT PCP Bullpup Air Rifle 0.25
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Walther Reign UXT PCP Air Rifle
This entire article including scoring, test targets etc is Copyright Hard Air Magazine and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the publisher.