Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Umarex Throttle offers a lot for a little money.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • StopShox
  • Mount the scope
  • Accuracy
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Crosman Premiers again
  • JSB RS
  • Some other pellets
  • What next?

Today we look at the accuracy of the new Umarex Throttle air rifle. You may remember that I was very pleased with the performance of this new air rifle, up to this point. If it is also accurate, we have a winner.

StopShox

This rifle contains the StopShox mechanism that takes the sting out of shooting a gas spring. That unit works, because the Throttle definitely does not sting.

Mount the scope

The Throttle came with a 3-9X32 scope and 2-piece scope rings. The Throttle has a Picatinny rail they call the LockDown mounting system. It’s mounted to the top of the spring tube, and the rings are Weaver, so mounting the scope was fast and easy. The optics are clear and this scope has AO (adjustable parallax) that adjusts down to 10 yards.

Throttle scoped
I mounted the scope that came with the Throttle. The LockDown base and rings made this easy.

Accuracy

Let’s get right to the accuracy because I have a lot to tell you. I had no idea of which pellet to start with, so I chose .22 caliber Crosman Premiers for no particular reason. I shot one shot at 12 feet and it landed where I expected, which was 3 inches below the aim point — about the same as the height of the scope line of sight above the bore line. I was satisfied that the rifle would be on paper at 10 meters, so I backed up to the shooting bench.I shot with my off hand rested on a sandbag and the rifle rested on the flat of my open palm — the artillery hold.

I could not get Premiers to group while using the conventional artillery hold, with the rifle balanced just ahead of the triggerguard. So I switched pellets to RWS Superdome. They didn’t want to group, either, so I slid my off hand forward, from just in front of the triggerguard to the rear of the cocking slot. That tightened things up immediately, and I started shooting the first 10-shot group.

RWS Superdomes

This first group was doing okay until the last shot that landed very low. That opened the group up to 1.783-inches. Actually there were three shots that went somewhat wide of the main group. Seven landed in 0.472-inches. That suggested the rifle wants to shoot, but something wasn’t quite right yet.

Throttle Superdome target
Seven RWS Superdomes went into 0.472-inches at 10 meters. Unfortunately the other 3 pellets opened the group to 1.783-inches

Crosman Premiers again

I tried Crosman Premiers with the new artillery hold, but again there was no luck. When three pellets land in 2 inches, it was time to move on. The Superdome’s performance, however, gave me hope.

JSB RS

Given that the Throttle is reasonably powered and not over-powered, I thought JSB Exact RS pellets might be good. And they were — sort of. Ten of them gave me a group that was
1.783-inches between centers, which sounds terrible, but the group is also only 0.248-inches wide. Thats different than the first group, but it is also a tantalizing clue that this Throttle is capable of shooting better than it is at present.

Throttle JSB RS target
What a group! 1.783-inches tall and 0.248-inches wide. Clearly something is up and I haven’t got a clue what it might be.

Some other pellets

I then tried three other pellets that did not do well at all. First was an RWS Meisterkugeln that I hoped might surprise me. It shot a 2-inch group with three pellets, so I quit trying.

Next I tried a JSB Exact Jumbo 15.89-grain dome. I figured if the RS pellet worked, the heavier pellet might do better. But that was wrong, too. They were all over the place.

The last pellet I tried that didn’t work was the heavier 18.1-grain JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy. They were also all over the place.

What next?

Well, I changed the artillery hold and got an improvement, would the same be true of another pellet? What is the whackiest pellet I could think of to try? In recent months I have tried RWS Superpoints when all else has failed and they have surprised me. So I gave them a chance in the Throttle…

RWS Superpoints

…and they turned in the best group of this test! Ten Superpoints went into 0.987-inches at 10 meters. Okay, so that isn’t tight. It’s still the best group of this test and there are no strange anomalies.

Throttle Superpoint target
Ten RWS Superpoints made this 0.987-inch group at 10 meters. Okay — it isn’t that tight, but it’s the best group of this test.

What’s the verdict?

The verdict is, we don’t have one — yet. This Throttle has so much going for it that I don’t want to leave it at this point. I have learned a lot about it, but you can see that there are still things to be learned.

My plan is to back up to 25 yards and try again. At that distance the groups will be much larger, so I’m hoping I can make some sense of this test and apply it. If not, that’s as far as I will go.

I do like the Throttle, especially the LockDown scope rail and the StopShox anti-vibration device. I like the easy cocking, which for a gas spring comes as a surprise.

I don’t like the very hollow-sounding and flexible Throttle stock. However this rifle comes in at such a fantastic low price point that I think it deserves the extra attention.

56 thoughts on “Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 3


    • Jim and B.B.,

      That was my thought. It wouldn’t be the first springer to do well directly off the bag, although there are not probably too many for which that is true.

      And if directly on the bag that doesn’t work, how long has it been since you shot a springer with a death grip? Hey, if the rifle doesn’t make sense the way it is performing, maybe an unorthodox technique is in order.

      Michael



  1. B.B.,

    I am not sure what to say or think. To get those groups at 25 yards, I would be disappointed and would have been hoping for better, but at 10 meters? One thing for sure,.. I do admire your fortitude for not just tossing in the towel.

    Looking forward to the discovery and counter-measure process at 25 yards. This should prove quite interesting.

    Good Day all,….. Chris


  2. BB,

    Like has been suggested, you might want to lose the “artillery hold” with this one.

    For some time I had thought of this air rifle with the possibility of it becoming a member of my “collection”. The StopShox system has promise. It is a shame that it is an Umarex thing. The hollowness of the stock is something I can easily overcome, but that backwards safety…well. For me to own this, it would have to have superb accuracy and I would have to rip that safety out.

    Yeah, I know this is just my opinion. Others may not have a problem with that. As for me, I have enough problem with the automatic safeties on many air rifles without having one where the safety is backwards of the rest of them.




  3. B.B.,
    Might it be the Stopshox that is causing the problem?? A basketball player can jump high from a solid floor but put him on a thick piece of sponge and he won’t go as high as the sponge absorbs some of the energy to propel him upwards and might cause variations in each jump.
    The RS, the lightest pellet, gave a nice vertical string. Would one of those lighter green pellets do better?
    My other suggestion would be to take out the Stopshox and replace it with a blank- a piece of hardwood or 1 or 2 3/4″ pvc pressure pipe unions might work.
    If that doesn’t solve the problem then we have to look elsewhere.

    Pete


  4. BB,

    The StopShox may be an issue. It will depend on the tolerances allowed with the movement of the system. With the FWB300 the recoil mechanism is very tightly mounted to the stock and the tolerances of movement are very tight so as to eliminate any erratic movements. What kind of tolerances can this have, most especially if the stock itself can be flexed. Is there any rigid framing that this system rides in or is the stock itself providing the frame?



    • Halfstep,

      Thank you for that link.

      Belgrath04,

      My apologies! I was wrong and you were right. StopShox IS an anti-recoil system! And I now believe that there can be no greater accuracy with the rifle than we have seen. With the action moving like that it will not hold true.

      B.B.


      • Carriage systems should be perfectly accurate, the Diana 54 has no problems.
        Provided the optics are fixed with the action/barrel it should be a non issue.
        I’d swap out the scope to eliminate it (though nice to see parallax adjustment, at last)
        I had a Diana 38 that performed in a similar baffling way until I deep seated the pellets, I put it down to the breech clipping the pellets, if this has any Diana knock off in its doubtless Chinese blood line that may be worth examining



  5. BB,

    I saw two other videos where the tester got really poor results in .22 but loved the gun in .177. He speculated that the slow .22 speed had the pellet still in the barrel while some disruptive portion of the StopShox mechanism was taking place ( pellet was Zigging while the gun was Zagging ,as it were) and in the faster .177, the pellet was clear of the gun at this point. I tend to think that you got a lemon because I can’t believe that a company would market a gun that was that inaccurate ( My worst $30.00 chinese underlever shoots better than your sample) especially since all the engineering and marketing is geared towards “Look at how accurate our gun is ! ” Is it possible that the screws that won’t tighten are letting the whole system shift in the stock? Are you giving up on the Model’s potential or just this example of it ?( to be resumed after an “autopsy” or a conversation with the company?)


  6. BB

    As one reader, I would love to learn more. I freely admit that springers and the artillery hold have me licked and I’m anxious to hear about any system that removes or substancially mitigates that double recoil. Love the power and accessory-free nature of spring guns, just can’t shoot ’em worth a darn ! So “thanks” in advance if you choose to stick with this one.


    • Halfstep,
      Try securing a broom stick to your shooting bench. Put in a few screws at various heights on the stick depending on the distance and height of the target. Next, hang your sling on one of the screws while you hold the sling and the stick in your off hand ( I am assuming that you have a sling on the gun. If not , borrow the dog’s leash make a noose and slip the rifle through the noose ). You will have to correct for chanting.
      When the rifle fires it will recoil hanging from the sling- acts like a gun carriage .
      I use this technique when hunting in the Bush for pigeons except that I use a long thin sapling about 6-7ft. This make shift shooting stick takes the weight of the gun leaving me to concentrate on the sight picture and helps to steady the gun. It will also give you repeatability as the sling will be hanging from the same screw for every shot.
      Pete


      • Pete,

        Brilliant. That is one that I never had heard of. I took a new adjustable painters pole, added a few more holes to the ones that were already in it and added a top yoke/cradle. Yours however allows the weight to be distributed fore and aft as opposed to 1 rest point. Nice idea. Mine would do the same,.. just put the sling into the yoke and adjust the height. Chris


        • Chris U
          Remember some time back I mentioned tieing a string from a tree limb to another or across a door frame. Then hang the front of the scope on the string.

          It works very good.



          • Pete,

            It is a Sure-Line brand and has a large push button for the release. Red and black and very sleek looking. I drilled and taped the end that screws into the roller handle for the homemade yoke that is made out of 3″ aluminum conduit ring. Covered that with PVC tubing. Works great and doubles as a walking staff. 30″~60″ in 1″ increments.


      • Pete ‘

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll give it a shot(pun intended) when I’m able to shoot again. I’ve found that resting a springer on the back of a folding camp chair ( kind made from metal tubing and nylon canvas) allows me to shoot better. I think because it’s like laying across a hammock, the gun can recoil fore and aft in a repeatable manner. Only problem is that its hard to use in the field and hard to line up with your target because there is no height adjustment. End up shooting in a scrunched up position most of the time, but I seem to shoot better until I cramp up. 🙂 If I’m visualizing your suggestion correctly,( since I’m not using a sling, the gun would be stuck through the equivalant of a lanyard on a walking stick?) it should accomplish the same thing in a field friendly form.


  7. Today I thought about this gun and it performance. Getting home,.. I read the comments. In reflection,.. I am thankful FOR the innovations that we all see coming to market. I am thankful that the manufactures are making an effort and thinking outside the usual box. Some inventions may do great-things, some may do no-thing. I am just glad they are doing some-thing. Moving forward.

    Yes, it would be nice to see a “launch” backed up with lots of data and testimony from early testers. I think if many of us were to launch a new product/innovation,… we would expect nothing less of ourselves.


  8. BB

    Thanks for seeing this through. If this rifle is not accurate, I will stop wanting it. Halfstep may be alluding to a post you may have done about the larger pellet not escaping barrel before vibration starts.

    Decksniper


  9. I’m thinking more time needs spent with the gun. Need to figure out a different hold technique I believe.

    But if it’s a sliding action as it seems to be. Not exactly a 54 air king or a FWB 300. But sort of similar. I rested my 54 and 300 directly on the bag. Then took my pointing finger of my off hand and rested it on the top of the stock but not touching the action. Used that finger to keep some down pressure on the gun but not interfere with the sliding movement of the action. And it helped to steady the gun from side to side movement also.

    Well anyway it will be interesting to see what comes about with it.


  10. This rifle certainly seems to have an issue. But it brings up a question for me. If we took the .472 inch “group” at 10 meters, this would be about 4 MOA (understand this is forgiving several shots that would make the whole group more like 15 MOA). But I have this more general question. If we have an “average” springer rifle, with a pellet well selected, what MOA can we “typically” expect to see?



      • Yes, BB, was looking back at some of your tests on TX200. At 25 yards, a half inch group is about 2 MOA. And I agree, the venerable Model 34 has a long history of being a “pretty accurate” and consistently produced airgun. So, I will postulate, if the gun can do 2 MOA with ten shot groups, this is a “good” result. If it can do 1 MOA at 25, we are now in the excellent (TX200) category. The 25 yard seems to be a good distance – beyond that, we have so much influence from wind, pellet stability, etc. that it takes a powerful (i.e. PCP) gun and heavy pellet to put it downrange. I am going to look for examples of springers that can hold better than 2 MOA at 50 yds and beyond, perhaps they do exist.


  11. BB, I came across a YouTube video about pellet selection, and this gentleman was testing various Gamo pellets on a Gamo Whisper. This is what made me think – wait a minute, he thinks he has the “right pellet” and an accurate rifle. Well, we all have different frames of reference. Even with three shot groups, hard for me to accept that this rifle is anywhere near “accurate” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz8663NKygU&t=57s


  12. I have the 177 version. Like BB, there’s a lot to like about this rifle, but accuracy is not one of them. I think it is ok for plinking and is “fun”. The flyers will drive you nuts. Since I got this at a really low price, I have not had the slightest hesitation about replacing stuff. I found that the 2 screws on either side of the forearm are simply holding down a cover. Pull that off and you will see the screw on each side connecting the stock to the sliding action. At the end of the stopshox bulb, on the outside of the stock, you will see a hole that is partially covered. Pop the cover and you see that there is a pin connecting the rear of the stock to the action. Remove the 2 screws and this pin and it pulls out. I have replaced the sear with one advertised for the Octane and it reduced the trigger pull to under a pound. I also ordered a breach seal kit for the octane and installed the o ring on the throttle. Velocity went from 850 fps to 900 fps with JSB 8.44’s. The velocity readings are actually pretty consistent, so I looked at the barrel. I have no expertise here, but it looks like it was cut with a hack saw and has no sort of crowning at all. And, with the compensator on, you can’t easily get to it anyway. This week I prepped some pellets with Neco fire lapping compound and will see if that helps. If not, some youngster at the club will have an early Christmas.



  13. Our friend Rick Eutsler from AirgunWebTv did a video review of this gun on his YouTube channel. In the review there is slo-mo video of the action recoiling in the stock to perfectly illustrate the action of the STOPSHOX system. IMNSHO it is a much better show than Umarex’s own video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNgbF7EzAPU

    I think that what this video shows is that the artillery hold is redundant for this rifle and does more harm than good. This thing needs to be shot off of sticks, a bi-pod or directly off a sandbag. It seems to me the intention of the STOPSHOX system is to integrate the artillery hold recoil into the engineering of the air rifle itself.

    Most folks would wright off this airgun with gleeful disdain at this point. I applaud your dedication to expend your precious time to attempt to make this gun shoot.


  14. Since I did not know “what” this floating action was supposed to feel like, I took the loose right and left action play as normal. Looking at BB’s comments, I pulled off the stock (warning, the trigger pins will fall out if the rifle is tilted to the right or left. Use tape to secure them before messing with the action. Anyway, I realized that the screw holes that connects the action to the stock at the forearm is really a single piece of metal inletted into a slot in the action, beneath the cocking system. It is held in place by a Phillips screw, and is easily accessible by slightly breaking the barrel. It was about an 1/8 turn lose. It tightened and locktited it down and reassembled the rifle. Took around 2 minutes. Anyway, the barreled action is tight now with no movement. Much tighter than it came new. I’m taking it to the range tomorrow to see what happens.


  15. Long story short. I adjusted the 2 side screws in the forearm to be slightly snug, but not TIGHT, since the action moves around 1/4 inch with the recoil. Also, the POI changes with screw tightening, as it moves the rifle action right or left. In short, Slinging Lead nailed it. Results with artillery hold, or light hold, was not good. Some “groups” reached 8 to 12 inch at 50 yards. I was on the verge of giving up on it, when I decided to hold it like a 308 on sandbags. I pulled it tight into my shoulder. Groups instantly shrunk and shrunk considerably…good in fact. The wind began to pick up, so I left and will finish up tomorrow to see if I can repeat them. I have pics, but not sure how to load them.



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