by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Cocking effort
- RWS Superdomes
- RWS Hobby
- H&N Baracuda Match
- Trigger pull
- Stock flex
Today we look at the velocity of the Umarex Throttle air rifle. As a quick reminder, I am already impressed by this rifle, just from the brief handling I did in Part 1. Today should advance that. Let’s get right to it.
It would be easy for me to measure the cocking effort, then “guess” in writing that it will be somewhere close to that. I don’t do it that way. When I guess, I haven’t measured it yet. Today is when we both discover what the real cocking effort is. I guessed it would be around 33-36 pounds of effort. When I measured it on my bathroom scale the number was 28 lbs. Less than I expected. I am impressed!
The first pellet I tried was the 14.4-grain RWS Superdome. No particular reason, other than it is a medium weight .22 caliber pellet and I wanted to start near the center of the weight range. The specs say the Throttle will get 1000 f.p.s. from lead pellets, and today I hope to test that for you.
The first shot registered 782 f.p.s. After that the next highest shot was 768 f.p.s. and I got a super-tight spread of 9 f.p.s., ranging from 759 f.p.s. to 768 f.p.s. If I include shot number one in the 11-shot string the average is 765 f.p.s. By eliminating it the average is 764 f.p.s. At that average the Throttle generates 18.8 foot-pounds of energy with this pellet.
I am impressed by the stability of this brand-new spring piston rifle with its gas piston unit that Umarex calls the ReaXis. It is smooth and vibration-free and the discharge sound is quiet.
I wanted to learn what the maximum velocity is with real pellets someone might actually use, and nothing is better suited for that than the 11.9-grain RWS Hobby. Hobbys averaged 806 f.p.s. in the Throttle, but the spread was pretty large, at 45 f.p.s. The low was 789 f.p.s. and the high was 834 f.p.s. At the average velocity, Hobbys generate 17.17 foot-pounds from the test rifle. This is an unusual case where a heavier pellet generates more power in a spring-piston rifle than a lighter one. Given the large velocity spread, Hobbys may not be the right pellets for the Throttle.
H&N Baracuda Match
The final pellet I tested was the 21.1-grain H&N Baracuda Match. I shot the one with a 5.51mm head, but I doubt the head size makes much difference to the velocity. Baracudas averaged 592 f.p.s over 10 shots, with a 10 f.p.s. spread from 589 to 599 f.p.s. Though the velocity is on the low side, Baracuda Match pellets sound like they are worth a try.At the average velocity this pellet puts out 16.42 foot-pounds at the muzzle.
Okay, this is an area several people have keyed on. The Throttle’s trigger pull is listed at 5 lbs., and that part of the trigger is not adjustable. I think it’s heavier than that, and again, I haven’t tested it yet when I say that. But the break of stage two is crisp, and that covers a multitude of sins. I once handed former reader Kevin Lentz my Wilson Combat 1911 pistol and told him to dry-fire it. He estimated the trigger at a pound when it was really 3 pounds. That’s what a crisp let-off can do.
The test rifle’s trigger breaks at 3 lbs. 15 oz. That’s less than 4 lbs., so I was over in my estimate. I think it’s fine for a hunting rifle and for general-purpose shooting.
One negative point needs to be mentioned. The synthetic stock flexes at the forearm and sounds hollow when handled. I tried tightening the forearm screws but the flex is still there. It’s not a deal-killer for me, but some of you are more sensitive to things like that.
I’m seeing features and quality that far exceed the Throttle’s low pricetag. I think we may have a winner here. It will all hinge on the accuracy test that comes next. I am not just impressed by the power — I am delighted! Here is a spring rifle with reasonable power instead of beating you to a pulp for that last foot-pound. This is a rifleman’s air rifle!