Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Throttle
Umarex Throttle offers a lot for a little money.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Long time
  • Good trigger
  • Nice scope
  • Handling
  • The test
  • JSB Exact RS
  • What to do?
  • RWS Superdomes
  • Something different
  • RWS Superpoint
  • What now?
  • Conclusion

I’m back. I said at the end of Part 3 that I wanted to test the Umarex Throttle air rifle at 25 yards and today is the day.

Long time

It’s been a long time since I shot the Throttle, so I had to experience it all over again. First I note that the rifle cocks easier (28 pounds) than the 16-18 foot-pounds of muzzle energy would normally require. Umarex engineers got that part right.

Good trigger

I do like the trigger. Though it feels heavier than I’m used to, it breaks crisply, which helps accuracy.

Nice scope

I found that I like the scope, although I had to adjust it for today’s test. Once the parallax was set I discovered that the eyepiece was way off for me. The crosshairs appeared double on the target. I unscrewed the eyepiece at least a quarter-inch and everything sharpened up. My aiming was precise from that point on. For a scope that comes in a bundled deal, this one is surprisingly nice.

Handling

I don’t care for the hollow, isolated feel of the action in the stock, which is the Throttle’s main reason for existence. The whole purpose of the gun is to isolate the shooter from the recoil and vibration of a gas spring-piston air rifle. It works, but it also leaves the shooter with a strange feeling of isolation from the action of the gun.

The test

I shot off a sandbag rest at 25 yards for all of today’s work. Normally I tell you the one single way I shot the test, but today I had to change my shooting styles so many times that I will tell you about each of them as we go.

JSB Exact RS

For no special reason, I started the test with JSB Exact RS pellets. They were hitting off to the right, so I had to adjust the scope to bring them back. When I did they also shot low, so a lot of elevation adjustment was needed.

I was shooting with the artillery hold with my off hand back by the triggerguard and the rifle was scattering shots, so I moved that hand forward as far as it would go — to almost the end of the forearm. I was then able to place 6 shots in an incredible 0.305-inch group in the center of the bullseye , but there were 4 other shots that landed a long way from that. The 10-shot group measures 2.398-inches between centers because of the 4 wild shots.

Throttle JSB RS group
This group of ten JSB Exact RS pellets shows promise at 25 yards. Six shots are in 0.305-inches between centers, but all 10 landed in 2.398-inches.

What to do?

I decided that RS pellets might not be the best, but I also reckoned that maybe I didn’t know the best way to hold the Throttle. So for the next pellet I started with the artillery hold I just described (off hand extended as far as possible) but I also shot that pellet by resting the rifle directly on the sandbag. Several readers had asked me to try that.

RWS Superdomes

The pellet I tried all of this with was the RWS Superdome. As I said, this time I tried both the artillery hold and resting the rifle directly on the bag. Resting on the bag did not seem to work, although when I show you the best I was able to do using the artillery hold, you may wonder if I’m talking about that.

In general, with the artillery hold (off hand extended) I got two distinct groups. Funny thing is, these two groups did not happen in sequence. The pellets went to one place or the other on their own. Nothing I did that seemed to influence where they landed.

Throttle Superdome group
Ten RWS Superdomes made two groups. Five are in the center of the target (0.446-inches) and the other 5 are at the bottom of the bull (0.547-inches). The entire group measures 1.482-inches between centers.

Something different

Now it was time to try something else. Years ago, when I “discovered” the artillery hold with the Beeman C1 rifle, I was trying to see how bad that gun shot when held loosely. And of course it shot better. So now I grabbed the Throttle firmly like a deer rifle, since I had been holding it lightly. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it still was not as good as the artillery hold. I did all of this with the RWS Superpoint pellet pellet.

RWS Superpoint

The best group I got with RWS Superpoints was using the artillery hold with my off hand extended. Like the Superdomes I got another two separate groups — one higher and the other lower. Just like before the pellets went to these groups in random order. Nothing I did with the hold seemed to influence where they went. Ten pellets are in 1.831-inches. The top group of 5 measures 0.692-inches. The bottom group is 0.716-inches.

Throttle Superpoint group
Ten Superpoints in 1.831-inches. Top 5 are in 0.692-inches. Bottom 5 are 0.716-inches.

What now?

Time to break out of the box I’m in. I wanted to try the rifle with a pellet I hadn’t even thought to use. It would still be a premium pellet — just not one I would normally try in a rifle of this power. I selected H&N Baracuda Match pellets with a 5.53mm head. Please work! Please, please, please!

I think they did work. This time there weren’t two separate groups — just one elongated one. It measures 1.111-inches between centers for all 10 shots. Several pellets when though the same hole, unfortunately they did that in a couple different places. The one large hole at the top of the red center of the bull has 4 shots in it.

Throttle Baracuda group
The final group, shot with H&N Baracuda Match pellets with 5.53mm heads, measures 1.111-inches between centers.

Conclusion

One of two things is happening. Either there is some subtle thing I have not yet discovered about shooting the Umarex Throttle, or the Throttle has a degree of variability that’s built into the design of the gun. It’s easy to say that it’s the latter, but that’s what I think it is.

Notice that the group stabilized a lot with a heavier pellet. If you own a Throttle, that would be the way to go, I think.

There is a lot to like about the Throttle. It generates good power in a light-cocking gas spring action and the trigger is very nice. It also comes with a nice usable scope. It’s quite a package for the price. If you get one, prepare to spend some time learning what it likes.

30 thoughts on “Umarex Throttle air rifle: Part 4


  1. Interesting results. I would have to study the StopShox system and the entire setup in detail,.. but something is not returning back to the same spot each time,.. or if it is,… it can not maintain a stabile motion each time. I hate the groups that show themselves in 2 clusters. I usually chalk that up to me,.. but in this case I do not think so.

    Oh well,…. onto the next gun/test. From past comments,.. they sound as if they are piling up. Job security! 😉

    Good Day all,….. Chris


    • Chris,

      A while back I saw a video review of the Throttle and they had slow motion of the recoil system in action. It was really quite impressive how much it jumped around all over the place. Very likely the tolerances are a bit too loose. That coupled with a stock that has some flexibility will make for an uninteresting air rifle.


  2. BB,

    It is a shame, but it does seem that the recoil assembly needs a bit more refining. You would think that because the scope is part of the recoiling assembly, it would not matter if the assembly was in the exact position each time. That could cause variances in the recoil though, changing how the rifle reacts.

    Perhaps it is like my Gamo CFX I had. A very subtle difference in my thumb pressure would throw my groups off about an inch to the side.

    Actually I am glad there seems to be a repeatability issue with it. I have been tempted to acquire one, but that backwards safety would drive me bonkers to the point of removing it.


  3. B.B. Pelletier,

    The results you’re getting from the Umarex Throttle suggest that it is the StopShox that is causing the flyers. Is there an equivalent air rifle in Umarex’s inventory that does not have a StopShox installed? That might make a better comparison that would give a conclusion to this problem.

    Siraniko


    • Siraniko,

      I don’t know of anything equivalent in the Umarex lineup that has similar features, but your question does suggest a blog. There have been airguns that did what the Throttle attempts to do (other than the power) and in terms of performance they were stunning.. Time to get out some obsolete stuff and show the world what’s possible again.

      B.B.


      • B.B. Pelletier,

        You mean that there have been previous attempts? I would surely appreciate a walk down memory lane regarding the various methods that have been tried before to control/enhance airguns. Glad to be of help.

        Siraniko


      • B.B.,

        The Umarex Octane and Fuel seem to have the same powerplant but without the STOPSHOX.

        Have you examined the crown and moderator alignment?

        Michael



          • Like the Throttle the Umarex Octane and Umarex Fuel have the Reaxis piston, but they lack the STOPSHOX. Neither the Octane nor Fuel were tack-drivers in your 25 yard test, but they did significantly better than the Throttle. Hmmm.

            Perhaps Umarex, which does an awful lot right, simply has an “innovation” that has terminal issues this time. That disconnected/detached feeling you had with the Throttle, do you have that with the FWB 300s? Whiscomb? Diana 54? You have shot more models of air rifles than some other airgunners have shots, period. That this one felt alien to you suggests something quite unusual in my opinion.

            Michael


  4. B.B.,

    I bought one of these, and trying to break it in has been interesting. The first thing I noticed was a “wandering zero”. I have ruled out the scope as the problem and will now check the tightness of all screws, especially the pivot joint bolt. If that fixes the problem, I’ll be happy with the rifle. Your descriptions of the rifle’s other characteristics are accurate, as usual.
    I like the light cocking effort, the power, and the shot cycle of the rifle, even with the loose-feeling stock. I also like the scope considering that it came with the gun. While the scope exhibits noticeable barrel distortion and field curvature, the central portion of the field is sharp, and the aforementioned defects will not detract from accuracy. The manufacturer also used pretty good coatings, resulting in views have more brightness and contrast than one would normally expect.
    Also, I did get a Chrony. It has been an eye-opener, and has increased my enjoyment of the hobby. Some guns have shot slower than I thought they would and others faster than expected. It immediately corroborated my hunch that one of my older guns was shooting waaay slow, and I suspect a broken or worn-out spring.
    Thank you again for writing this highly entertaining and useful blog! Thanks, too, to you experienced shooters who contribute, as well.

    Walt




  5. Kind of off topic, but does anyone know of a place in the USofA that works on/has parts for BSA airguns? I have a BSA Hornet Multishot that started leaking air from the fill port in the front of the rifle. I top off the gun with air and as soon as I withdraw the fill probe, the air comes right back out. All of it. Im thinking bad check valve. I first called Airguns of Arizona (where I bought the gun from), and they dont carry BSA anymore or have parts for them. They suggested trying Pyramyd Air. No luck-no parts. Then PA suggested Gamo since they told me Gamo bought BSA. Didnt know that. Gamo also-no parts for BSA. Then Gamo suggested trying a place called JG Airguns, and a call to them revealed they dont work on PCPs-period. Any other suggestions? Anything would be much appreciated.


    • Reallead,

      I do not have any suggestions for your dilemma,… but it does drive home the point to: (question if parts are/will be available for whatever gun one is about to purchase.) It at least ought to be a consideration.

      I would bet that someone here will have some info for you. My first thought is to pull it and see if you can get it to free up. If it never had a slow leak before, it sounds as if it is just stuck open.


      • Chris

        Yeah I bought that gun from AOA several years ago. At one time the regulator in the gun failed, as I noticed a big drop in power. It was shooting at the 12 ft.lb. level (177), which is the power level limit in the UK. I almost didnt need the silencer anymore and took it off. Its normally supposed to shoot somewhere around 17-18 ft lbs or more (US version). I sent it to AOA and they fixed it, and fixed it good. When I got it back the power was back up to 17.5 ft lbs, or a Premier lite going at 1000 fps. I had to use heavier lead to get the velocity down where I wanted it. So thats why I kind of figured I could depend on AOA to fix BSAs. No way to tell when a dealer will drop a certain brand or model years in advance. I took your advice and took the gun apart-and fixed it without parts, as it turned out. It was a dirty inlet check valve that just needed to be pulled apart and cleaned. Got lucky on THAT one.


        • Reallead,

          Yea,.. I saw where you fixed it. That is great news. Other people here were helpful as well with the diagrams and all. This is a good place to be if you have a question or problem.




    • Reallead,

      BSA airguns have always been stepchild in the U.S. That’s because they were marketed helter-skelter. No one central importer like the other major brands. For example, Pyramyd Air sells the R10, but doesn’t support the Hornet, which is obsolete. Who does? Gamo owns them, but when it comes to support of certain models everyone points to the other guy.

      I’m sorry, but I have no answer.

      B.B.


      • BB

        Thanks for your reply. I had to take the gun only partially apart to get to the inlet check valve. Turned out to be be only a dirty valve. No parts required. Its an old gun since the links that Pacala and Mike in Atl shows a much different check valve design from the one in my gun. Its fixed and Im happy. Dont apologize for not having an answer as you have answered many questions for me and I have learned alot from reading the old Airgun Letters.The detail you went into with those stories is matchless.



  6. Sometimes certain company’s would be smart to stay away from gimmick products.

    Or maybe research the German or English air guns first before they try to incorporate something into a $200 gun. And as seen. A cheap attempt to try to make a anti recoil system.

    And in this case. Spend the extra money and get what you pay for with the German and English guns. It’s when company’s try to compete for gun sales in the lower catagory guns is when you see the fails happen.

    Pay once for a good quality gun or by multiple lower priced guns trying to find what you want.

    And at least PA does sell all types of guns and they do tell about the guns being sold. So definitely a thumbs up for PA.


  7. BB and Fellow Airgunners
    The pictures tell us that the light to medium weight pellets are forming two separate groups on the targets. Only the heavy Barracuda Match pellets are showing us a rather decent (for groups we are accustomed to expect), single group. When I see multiple size groups coming from my airguns with a pellet that has proven it’s accuracy, I immediately tighten the stock, and trigger screws, then check the scope for movement. Because the “new” StopShox system is a new, and unknown commodity, it must also be suspect. Maybe there is a way to temporarily disconnect this system to compare the results? The 4, or 5 reviews by Pyramyd Air customers all give the gun five stars. Maybe you were given a “Monday” Umarex Throttle to test? For those unfamiliar with this term, it comes from the automobile industry. A Monday automobile was to be avoided at all cost. The reasoning behind this thinking was the assembly line workers would show up for work hungover from a weekend of boozing, and carousing. A Friday vehicle was to be avoided also, as the workers would be obsessed with all the “partying” to come over the weekend, rather then making you a decent car, or truck. I know this sounds like nonsense to many of the blog readers today, but you must remember the cars and trucks of the 50’s, and 60’s era were built by hand, without the aid of computers, or robots.
    I have been rooting for this airgun to shine, as I enjoy seeing companies trying to overcome a problem, (in this case eliminating recoil) with unique solutions such as the StopShox. If proven successful, the airgun industry would be forced to sit up, and take notice with solutions of their own.
    I also remember the blog BB wrote concerning accuracy at this years filming of American Airgunner. Most people would be quite happy with inch and a half groups at 25 yards. I remember the same attitude shown to shooting groups in archery. It was just us competitive types who were obsessed with the tightest groups possible. All it took was hours, and hours of repetitive practice with a well tuned bow to shoot out the X in the ten ring.
    Ciao
    Titus



Leave a Reply