First PCP Advice  

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Tarasdad
(@tarasdad)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
2018-02-05 12:55:31  

Howdy, folks! I've been looking at getting my first PCP air rifle and would love some input from those with more experience. I'm a life-long shooter and hunter and have also done a lot of competitive shooting over the years - but only with rimfire and centerfire rifles and pistols. My last air rifle was a RWS Model 48 in .177 that I got in about 1992 or 1993 but no longer own. I do have a CO2 pistol that I won a couple of years ago but that's it.

Watching YouTube videos from various folks has given me an idea of what I'm after, at least to an extent. What I want is a rifle I can use for target practice, some plinking, and also for hunting small game (squirrels, rabbits, quail, dove, etc). One thing I do know is that accuracy is a must. I'm very much like Townsend Whelen in that "only accurate rifles are interesting." For me MOA accuracy is a starting point, not a goal. I will admit that my taste in guns tends to somewhat exceed my budget. While I'd love to  have an FX Crown or Daystate Wolverine my budget falls more into Umarex Gauntlet territory.

The Gauntlet is one of the models I've been looking at. Others include the Gamo Urban, Hatsan Flash and FlashPup, Kral Puncher Breaker Silent, and new Diana Outlaw and Skyhawk. Basically rifles up to the $600(ish) range. The one exception is the Brocock Bantam - if I can somehow wrangle the funds that is the top of my list. Calibers I'm considering are .22 and .25 with the former being first choice due to pellet choice and availability. I'm leaving .177 for a good springer or gas-piston rifle. Whichever PCP I choose will have to be hand-pump friendly as a compressor is simply not in the budget, nor is a good air tank for the same reason. Besides, living in the middle of the Mojave Desert it's kind of hard to find someone who can fill one! Sights are not an issue since any rifle I own is going to have a scope on top.

Given those parameters what do you fine folks suggest? I'm open to options that I may have overlooked.


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GLPalinkas
(@glpalinkas)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 83
2018-02-05 13:31:03  

Hi and welcome to the wonderful world of airguns. Lots of powder burners here. Things are much the same but your journey in the airgun world will be educational. It was for me and like you I am an experienced hunter and have been handling powder guns all of my life (70).

I just received a Umarex Gauntlet in .177. I won it at an airgun competition called the Pyramyd Air Cup held in Ohio, usually in late summer or fall. I shoot a higher end, very accurate airgun in competition (RAW or Rapid Air Weapons). I can tell you that I was so impressed with how accurate the Gauntlet shot that I am considering it for my backup at matches. $300 or a lot less with discounts but it is regulated and has other features found only on higher end airguns. I can’t speak about the .22 version but I have read lots of web reports from very satisfied customers.

The Gauntlet is very hand pump friendly (mostly because it’s regulated)

Hope this helps.

Gary in FL


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Bob in WV
(@bob-in-wv)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 127
2018-02-05 15:04:52  

Hi and I saw an Air Arms S 400 for sale on the Classifieds for $350.  That is a good buy on a fine gun.  Charlie Frear has the gun and Charlie is a great guy to do business with.

 

Good luck,

Bob in WV


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Tarasdad
(@tarasdad)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
2018-02-07 14:23:54  

Three more I might consider, Brocock Concept S6, Walther Rotek, and Walther MaximaThor.


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DavidEnoch
(@davidenoch)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 265
2018-02-07 15:47:08  

MOA accuracy is a lot easier attained at 20 to 50 yards with an airgun than it is a 100 yards.  Please do not buy an airgun and expect it to shoot MOA at 100 yards consistently or you will leave disappointed.  When the wind is down, you weigh and head size sort your pellets, and hold your tongue just right you will shoot some MOA groups at 100 yards.  But, that will not be the norm, even with guns that people post pictures of shooting their MOA 100 yard groups with.

I think you will need a PCP to get what you want.  I agree with others that have said that finding a used Air Arms 400 or 410 would be a great option.  Some of the older FX guns and BSA  can be had for that price also.  Don't be afraid of used airguns.  Everything I own was bought used.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

David Enoch

 

 


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Tarasdad
(@tarasdad)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
2018-02-07 16:47:31  

David, I fully understand the limitations of range for airguns. If I can achieve 1" or better at 50 yards I'll be more than happy. Doing that at 100 yards would be miraculous - especially with these aging eyes! Not as young as I used to be, and can't spot a .30 caliber hole in a 100 yard target without optics any more. Darn it.  ? 

When I had my RWS Mod. 48 I could never get it to shoot as accurately as I knew it was capable of. Back then I had never heard of the artillery hold or the need for a powerful springer to recoil freely for best accuracy. I always knew it was capable of better groups than I could get with it, I just didn't know how to get them. As much shooting as I've done over the last 40+ years I still am very much a newbie when it comes to air rifles. I accept that going in and look forward to the challenges involved. Especially since I do plan to get a decent break-barrel as well as a good PCP. Or two. Three?  ? 


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Tarasdad
(@tarasdad)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
2018-02-07 23:51:29  

Been watching a bunch of videos today trying to distract myself from a very painful arm (pinched nerve in my neck, darn it). What I'm seeing is that unless I want to spend WAY more money than I can really afford the Umarex Gauntlet is a solid choice. I'm still waiting on reviews for a few new guns but right now that's how I'm leaning. Doesn't hurt that it uses commonly available bottles, either. Means I could by a couple extra to carry when I'm hunting.

I still plan on looking at what I can find used as well. May be the only way I'm ever able to afford a really top-end rifle.


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James Perotti
(@jpsaxnc)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 75
2018-02-08 08:20:34  

Hi Tarasdad, Welcome, If your going to be hand pumping a PCP, it will be a lot more fun, and a lot easier on you and the pump, if get a gun or bottle with a reservior of less than 200cc's. I find I can pump a 100cc reservior, even with a few aches and pains. HTH


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Tarasdad
(@tarasdad)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
2018-02-08 10:23:56  

Yeah, that's one concern for me. I suffer from osteoarthritis of the spine which can make life...interesting at times. Then again using a hand pump might actually be good for me since I have a couple of other health issues where exercise could be beneficial.

One thing I'm watching is the new 4-stage pump Hatsan is bringing out later this year. Should be a vast improvement for guns with larger air reservoirs. 


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MMCM13
(@mmcm13)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 5
2018-02-08 10:31:57  

I recently got into pcp rifles as well. After some reading up, I decided on a used Marauder. I got a .177 gen I marauder off an auction site, under $300 to the door. The pump I picked was actually more than the rifle cost.  After reading the reviews  on hand pumps, decided to get the one with the best reviews. Lots of aftermarket for marauders, very adjustable, and in .177 and 25 had good reputation for accuracy. The 177 is mouse fart quiet and has good accuracy with the usual pellets. I bought a .25 marauder the same way, gen II, little over $300 to the door. The 25 is fussy, shooting only JSB/Predator pellets well. The .25 is also very accurate and not as quiet. Spare magazines are low cost and both of them have been pumped from empty to 3000 psi without drama.

I then found an S510 xtra FAC .22 in a pawn shop for a rediculously low price and bought it. Magazines are way more, and I discovered it wouldn’t pump up from empty with a hand pump.  It stacks 18.1 JSB at 25 yards, but outside name cachet and the better finish, it isn’t particularly better at accuracy at the ranges I use it at. The marauders have been excellent one shot tree rat terminators.

The new budget pcp rifles haven’t caught my eye, I’m not convinced that the bugs are worked out of them, and for the cost of one, a proven platform like a Marauder can be found used.

I wound up with about $1600 in 3 rifles, 2 hand pumps (one at the Son in laws place) and a small carbon fiber bottle I get filled at a paintball store.


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bullzeye
(@bullzeye)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 29
2018-02-08 11:25:32  

I'd like to get a woods walker as my first. Kinda pricey. Don't like the hand pump either so not sure what I'm going to do. Don't have the money now anyway

Rick


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Uriel
(@uriel)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 5
2018-02-09 09:08:18  

As a first PCP, I would highly recommend an Air Arms S200 or S4xx or S5xx. 

Rock solid build quality, accuracy far in excess of what you require (at 12fpe at 50 yards you will achieve pellet-on-pellet accuracy), cheap as a cheap thing in Cheapsville (2nd hand), and extremely simple to work on. An afternoon spent fettling one will give you a rifle that shoots as well as a $2000 one.


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Feinwerk
(@feinwerk)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 9
2018-02-09 09:41:30  

For My first pcp, I started with a Benjamin Marauder in 22 caliber and a Hill hand pump.

Be warned though that hand pumping may require anywhere from 50 to 100 Strokes to recharge your Reservoir. That puts a lot of pressure on your hands and wrists and will definitely get you out of breath if you are not exercising otherwise. If you have arthritis in your arms or wrists, you may be in trouble with hand pumping.

The hand pump effort is manageable up to 3000 psi, but I would be concerned about trying to hand pump to higher pressures.

My advice is to buy nice and not twice. Don't get in a hurry and buy the first thing that looks good. Read a lot of reviews, watch the videos Etc.

Lots of good suggestions here from experienced people in the hobby.

I guess it's okay to buy used, if you can be sure that that you are getting something that has not been hacked up. Myself I am rather shy of buying used online, unless it's from a dealer of known integrity.


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Tarasdad
(@tarasdad)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
2018-02-09 18:41:59  
Posted by: Feinwerk

For My first pcp, I started with a Benjamin Marauder in 22 caliber and a Hill hand pump.

Be warned though that hand pumping may require anywhere from 50 to 100 Strokes to recharge your Reservoir. That puts a lot of pressure on your hands and wrists and will definitely get you out of breath if you are not exercising otherwise. If you have arthritis in your arms or wrists, you may be in trouble with hand pumping.

The hand pump effort is manageable up to 3000 psi, but I would be concerned about trying to hand pump to higher pressures.

Hands and arms are okay so far, arthritis is primarily in my spine. Still something to consider of course.

My advice is to buy nice and not twice. Don't get in a hurry and buy the first thing that looks good. Read a lot of reviews, watch the videos Etc.

Lots of good suggestions here from experienced people in the hobby.

I guess it's okay to buy used, if you can be sure that that you are getting something that has not been hacked up. Myself I am rather shy of buying used online, unless it's from a dealer of known integrity.

I've actually been in the process of researching for a couple of years, but they keep changing the selection on me! Introducing new models, changing old ones - makes it hard for a procrastinator like me to zero in and finalize! I have no problem purchasing a used gun if I can find what I'm after. For instance, I saw a Kral Puncher Breaker in .22 elsewhere being offered at $375 as well as Mr. Frear's Air Arms S-400 Classic at $300. Of the two I'd be more tempted by the Kral for the simple fact that it's a repeater where the Air Arms is single-shot.

You are right about the good advice so far. Keep it coming, folks! It is very much appreciated!


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Uriel
(@uriel)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 5
2018-02-10 07:54:22  

Don't buy the Kral! The barrels are rubbish; you'd get better grouping if you threw a handful of pellets at the target! 


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dcw
 dcw
(@dcw)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 61
2018-02-10 12:09:33  

I go along with the Benjamin Marauder.

it was my second PCP.

it is: very easy to work on, easy on the wallet for first PCP (that does NOT include support apparatus) accurate, (at least mine is) and reliable.

I have done some mods to it that did not require a second mortgage to do. it does definitely deliver the goods.


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Shambozzie
(@tharris281sc-rr-com)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 107
2018-02-12 19:04:07  

Try to find a used cz/as s200 . In .177 it's a 12 fpe  lazor. Add a tko and you have a mouse cart quite fun that is brain dead accurate out to 50 yds. Need more ump the .22 version will do 20 fpe. Best barrel in the business and accuracy is its forte.


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Doug T
(@doug-t)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 19
2018-02-13 00:04:06  

I think a .25 Marauder would be just right.  Very good Green Mountain barrel, simple design, easy to work on and tune, tons of hop up and aftermarket parts, replacement parts are cheap.  My friend's shoots JSB and Benjamin pellets well and clobers pigeons and doves!

I've bought all my airguns used and never had a problem.  My current .22 Armada/Marauder was bought used and I put a LW barrel in it.  It's very accurate, approaching 1"  5-shot groups at 100 yards on a calm day. 

Don't let bottle/reservoir size be a determining factor on hand pumping.  It takes a certain amount of strokes for each shot.  A smaller tank just means MORE pumping sessions of LESS strokes. 

My first PCP was a .22 Hammerli 850 that I converted to HPA and did a bunch of mods to.  It was a very good gun but not beginner friendly to work on.


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Tarasdad
(@tarasdad)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
2018-02-18 22:43:49  

Hey folks, sorry to have seemingly disappeared. Been a bit busy around the house - and had a trip to the hospital for what looks like a minor heart attack. Just got home last night and haven't been up to doing much yet. Still researching my options on what to look at. Long, slow process.


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Airgun-Channel
(@air-gun-channel)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 509
2018-02-18 23:48:43  

Hope you feel better.

The choice should be clear to get an Umarex Gauntlet. ...in .25 if you can wait that long. (2-3 months).

Its only $300 and if you like PCP shooting you can go from there.

Until last year it cost you $1000 to get a gun with the features and performance of the Gauntlet. The 22 is great too. Here is my video review of the gun: Umarex Review and Accuracy Test

You can also get a PCP tank going off eBay or I'll sell you mine for $299 shipped so you don't have to use a pump.  

eBay tank video: How to get a PCP tank under $200

my tank for sale:

20180206 065057

-Nate @ kaylaindy@gmail.com

Find me anytime at http://www.Air-Gun-Channel.com


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Tarasdad
(@tarasdad)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 10
2018-02-25 22:43:30  

Okay, I've narrowed down my choices to the Gauntlet, Hatsan Flash, or Gamo Urban. I like the regulated power of the Gauntlet plus the ability to carry a couple of spare bottles rather than having to haul a pump or (WAY TOO expensive!) tank around. There are a couple of things I don't like about it but you can't have perfection at $299. The Flash previews I've seen are all extremely positive with regard to accuracy and the trigger. Much lighter than the Gauntlet, which is a big plus. Not as many shots as the Gauntlet is the major drawback. As for the Urban the current price through Walmart makes it extremely attractive. It's been one of my prime contenders since it came out. Not regulated (same for Flash) and also fewer shots in a non-replaceable tank. Single biggest drawback is the price of spare magazines at $49 or so each.

I have to admit the price for the Urban is going to make it very hard for me to pass it up. Need to come up with a scope and mounts for whatever I end up getting and that extra $90 would come in handy for that. The fact that it's only in .22 isn't that big a deal for me. Sure I'd like a .25 but ammo availability is something I'm keeping in mind. Far easier to find .22 pellets than .25 without having to order them.


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Talldog
(@talldog)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
2018-02-26 17:30:37  
Posted by: Shambozzie

Try to find a used cz/as s200 . In .177 it's a 12 fpe  lazor. Add a tko and you have a mouse cart quite fun that is brain dead accurate out to 50 yds. Need more ump the .22 version will do 20 fpe. Best barrel in the business and accuracy is its forte.

Agreed 100 percent. Awesome little rifle. IMO better than most of the newer stuff. Gotta love CZ, they have been doing this for a long, long while.


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