What’s The Best $300 PCP For Me?

“What’s the best $300 PCP for me?” That’s been one of the most widely-asked questions in airgunning over the last couple of years.

To be more precise, the question really is “What’s the best regulated, silenced, magazine-fed PCP $300 air rifle for me?”

This is the market segment that was created by the launch of the Umarex Gauntlet. It’s become ultra-competitive as other manufacturers have introduced their own products with similar specifications for the magic $299.99 price point.

Let’s take a look at three top contenders in this market segment. They all won coveted HAM Gold Awards in our consistent, structured test reviews. This means they’re all great guns!

In this feature, we’ll summarize the HAM test data and conclusions on these $300 PCPs. Of course, everyone has their own specific requirements, likes and wants. You can use this to help you make your own choice of the best $300 PCP for you…

The best $300 PCP contenders are (in alphabetical order):

1. American Tactical Nova Liberty

2. Benjamin Fortitude

3. Umarex Gauntlet

American Tactical Nova Liberty

HAM tested this model in .22 caliber with a wood stock. The wood stock option pushes the price up to $349.99. But there’s an otherwise identical synthetic-stocked model at $299.99. The stock makes no difference to performance, of course!

The Nova Liberty gained an an outstanding 88% score in HAM testing and gained a Hard Air Magazine Gold Award. We found the best accuracy with heavy H&N Baracuda Match pellets.

Compared to the other models listed here, it is the only one with a sidelever cocking action. This is a definite advantage for operation compared to a regular bolt action used by the Gauntlet and Fortitude. It’s also the only one with a wood stock option and the only gun with open sights. (Naturally, you can also use a scope if required).

What's The Best $300 PCP For Me?

You can read the full HAM review here.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Sidelever cockingTrigger could be better
Wood stock available as an optionVery high fill pressure can cause issues
Includes iron sightsOnly 12 month warranty

Currently, the Nova Liberty is available at a special “20% Off” to HAM readers. Just click through from the ad on the HAM Home Page…

Nova Liberty PCP Air Rifle

Benjamin Fortitude

The Benjamin Fortitude is another HAM Gold Award winner. It scored 84% in HAM testing.

However, Velocity Outdoor has since introduced a “Generation Two” version of this gun with an adjustable hammer spring and other improvements. You can see the benefits of this in a second test we published here.

The result of the “Gen 2” modifications is to provide a greater shot count. It’s up to 70 consistent shots from 60 in HAM testing in .22 caliber. The trigger pull is somewhat better, too.

The Fortitude is the smallest and lightest of our three contenders. It also has the longest manufacturer’s warranty at 5 years. That’s best in class.

What's The Best $300 PCP For Me?

We LikeWe Don't Like
Light weightHeavy trigger pull
Adjustable hammer spring capabilityHeavy bolt operation
5 year warrantyNot much else
Benjamin Fortitude PCP Air Rifle, Regulated
Benjamin Fortitude Air Rifle

Umarex Gauntlet

This is the gun that started the whole “$300 regulated PCP” category. It’s still the one to beat as it combines a great shot count with power, accuracy and a long warranty.

For many buyers, the Gauntlet also has one overwhelming advantage – it’s available in .25 caliber. Our other top picks are not.

Unlike the others, the Gauntlet has an interchangeable HPA tank. There’s also a growing range of aftermarket parts, upgrades and accessories being made available for it. That’s a sure sign of large sales and an enthusiastic user base.

HAM has tested the Gauntlet twice. Each time it earned a Gold Award. In .22 caliber it scored 88%. In .25 cal, the score was 89%. These are great numbers for any air rifle of this price.

What's The Best $300 PCP For Me?

We LikeWe Don't Like
The only $300 PCP available in .25 calUnrefined trigger pull
Strong power and accuracyRather long
3 year warrantyNot much else
Umarex Gauntlet PCP Air Rifle, Synthetic Stock
Umarex Gauntlet Regulated PCP Air Rifle

So what’s the best $300 PCP for me?

If you want .25 caliber, it’s an easy choice. It has to be the Umarex Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is also a great choice in the other calibers, too.

For a sophisticated alternative that provides sidelever cocking and the option of a wood stock, the Nova Liberty heads the pack.

If you value light weight, the potential for adjusting the shot count/power ratio and the security of a five year warranty, it has to be the Benjamin Fortitude.

Because all three are HAM Gold Award winners, you can be sure that one of them will be the best $300 PCP air rifle for you. It’s your choice!

PS. You can check out the links in this review to access the full, original HAM test reviews for each model.