by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- Test strategy
- Premiers on the low power setting
- Noise on low power
- Premiers on the medium power setting
- Noise on medium power
- Premiers on the highest power setting
- Noise on high power
- The magazine
- Mag and action are stiff
- On to other pellets
- How fast?
- JSB Exact Jumbos
- Trigger pull
- Shot count
- Evaluation so far
You have waited all month for this Part 2. In the first part of the month I went to the Findlay airgun show in Ohio, and then last week to Ft. Smith to film “American Airgunner.” This is the first chance I’ve had to get back to the Kral Puncher Pro. However, I did shoot one at Ft. Smith, so I was exposed a little more than just today’s test. Let’s get started.
The rifle was filled to 2900 psi/200 bar for this test. I complained about the fill probe in Part 1, and reader GunFun1 pointed out that Pyramyd Air sells a male Foster adaptor to convert the probe. Well, at Ft. Smith Rossi Morreale showed me a whole box of adaptors for all kinds of fill probes. That reminded me that I tested one for you some time back. As it turned out, it was still attached to a probe (but not a Kral), and that probe fit this Kral and worked perfectly. So, all my complaining was for nothing.
This Puncher Pro rifle has adjustable power, so I thought the best thing to do was test several different power settings with a single pellet first. I see that this .22 caliber rifle is rated up to 975 f.p.s. I didn’t know whether Kral tested it with a lightweight pellet like most manufacturers do or if they chose a pellet people might actually shoot, like AirForce and Hatsan do. I selected the 14.3-grain Crosman Premier dome as the pellet for this first test.
The power settings do not have detents, but there are 5 white marks that show where the rifle is set. I chose to set the rifle at low power, then medium power and finally high power for this test. I was also listening to the discharge sound as I tested.
Premiers on the low power setting
The low string of Premier pellets averaged 365 f.p.s., but there were two warm-up shots in the beginning. Let me show you the string.
The last two shots hung up in the magazine and didn’t get shot. I have more to say about the magazine in a bit, but for now just know that this first string was only 8 shots.
The rifle is shooting very slow on the lowest power setting. That’s good for indoor shooting! Notice that once it settled down, the velocity ranged from a low of 368 to a high of 377 f.p.s. That’s very stable for a rifle without a regulator — especially one with adjustable power set to the lowest setting.
Noise on low power
The rifle is whisper quiet at this power setting. Many weaker spring rifles are louder than the discharge of this rifle on low power.
Premiers on the medium power setting
I set the power in the middle of the range for the next test. The average for 10 shots was 736 f.p.s. and the spread goes from 727 to 745 f.p.s. The valve was awake from the first shot in this strong. At the average velocity this medium setting produces 17.2 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The rifle failed to feed after 2 shots and I had to reload the magazine. More on that in a moment.
Noise on medium power
The sound of the rifle increased on medium power, but it was still very quiet. Very acceptable for backyard plinking.
Premiers on the highest power setting
On high power Premiers averaged 846 f.p.s. The low was 843 and the high was 851 f.p.s. So, the rifle was also very stable on high power. At the average velocity this pellet produced 22.73 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. However there was one failure to feed at the end of the magazine.
Noise on high power
The sound didn’t seem to increase from the medium power setting. It probably did increase a little, but so little that I couldn’t detect it. This Kral rifle is very quiet!
What’s up with the magazine? Well, it holds 12 .22 caliber pellets and on the surface it seems to be similar to the magazine that’s in the Benjamin Marauder, but for several reasons, it’s hard for me to get used to. I loaded it wrong at Ft. Smith and again in this test, whicxh is why I had to stop and reload it. Also the shape of the mag doesn’t seem to me to fit into the breech of the rifle in a natural way. I will say that by the third magazine in this test I had learned how it works, but I still got one failure to feed, which was the mag’s fault, I think.
Mag and action are stiff
I think the Kral mag is stiff when it’s new and needs a break-in. I will say the same about the action. The bolt wants to stop before the mag advances to the next round. And the bolt takes a lot of effort to cock, which is partly due to how close the bolt handle is the the rifle’s butt.
These are just my observations, they are not criticisms of the Kral’s design. I just don’t take to it as quickly as I do to other PCPs.
On to other pellets
Okay, at this point in the test there are 30 shots on the first fill — 10 on low power (yes, there were 8 recorded shots, but also 2 blanks), 10 on medium power and 10 on high power. Now, let’s test different pellets.
Given the advertised velocity of 975 f.p.s., I figured that the Puncher Pro must have been tested with lightweight pellets. So I loaded 2 RWS Hobby pellets to see how fast it could go, followed by 10 JSB Exact Jumbos. At 15.89-grains they are near the upper limit for the rifle, though perhaps not at the limit.
The rifle is still set on high power. The 2 RWS Hobby pellets went ou at 946 f.p.s. and 945 f.p.s., respectively. That’s close to the advertised maximum and also very stable. And at 945 f.p.s. the Hobby puts out 23.6 foot-pounds at the muzzle.
JSB Exact Jumbos
On high power 10 JSB Exact Jumbos averaged 846 f.p.s. The spread went from a low of 843 to a high of 851 f.p.s., which is extremely tight! That makes me think this might be an especially good pellet for this rifle! At the average these JSBs generated 25.26 foot-pounds at the muzzle.
By this point in the test I had become used to the trigger. It’s 2-stage with some creep in stage 2. I used the online manual that Pyramyd Air wrote and adjusted both trigger screws. Unfortunately I discovered the factory had it as good as it’s going to get. I mention the online manual because the one that came with the rifle isn’t nearly as clear.
The second stage broke at between 3 lbs. 4 oz. and 4 lbs. 1 oz. I will tell you more about it when I shoot for accuracy.
This rifle is VERY sparing with air! At this point in the test there were 52 shots on the first fill, with 32 of them being full power and the other 20 perhaps amounting to an additional 10 full power shots. So 52 shots thus far. Next I loaded 12 Crosman Premiers to see where we were and the first shot came out at 878 f.p.s., which is right where the average was. Over the next 10 shots I watched the velocity start to decline, but the decline was very slow. By shot 11 the Premiers were still going 864 f.p.s. Shot 12 stuck in the magazine and it was then that I determined that the Kral magazine does not like to feed Premier pellets. I loaded another 12 JSBs and fired 4, but the velocity was 839, 831, 827 and 820, respectively. So the rifle is off the power curve, but it’s degrading very slowly. I see no reason why you couldn’t fire the rest of this magazine, though I didn’t. I shot a total of 70 shots on one fill, and I think 80 are possible.
Evaluation so far
The Kral Puncher Pro rifle has power that’s very broadly adjustable, the velocity is stable on every power setting, the power is right where they claim it to be, the trigger is okay but not great, the woodwork is fantastic and the use of air is very good. I have seen the accuracy first hand at Ft. Smith, plus I’ve heard lots of favorable reports, so I already think this is a PCP you should consider.