by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gauntlet
Umarex Gauntlet.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • No velocity test
  • The tank
  • Getting to the trigger
  • The trigger
  • Single stage trigger
  • Adjusting the trigger
  • Assembly
  • Summary

Boy, do I have a lot to tell you today! Let’s get started!

No velocity test

There will be no velocity test today, because I first wanted a look at that trigger. Three hours later after starting that I have a blog’s worth of things to tell you. The velocity test will come next time.

The tank

Yes, the air tank does have to be completely exhausted before you can remove it. The manual doesn’t state it that positively, but it does say that, more or less. I had to remove the tank so I could remove the forearm and stock to get to the trigger, and I know now for sure the tank has to be exhausted. Umarex gives you a degassing tool and it works exactly as they say in the manual.

Since the tank was off I took a couple pictures to show you the design of where the tank meets the receiver. The rifle has a long probe that keeps the air tank exhaust valve open all the time, so the tank has to be degassed for safety before removal.

Gauntlet valve pin
That long pin in the Gauntlet receiver where the air tank attaches pushes the tank’s exhaust valve open continuously.

Gauntlet tank inlet and exhaust valve
When the tank is screwed into the rifle, the pin you see here (arrow) is pressed in by the pin in the previous picture.

So that is out of the way. On to the next item on the agenda — the trigger.

Getting to the trigger

To get to the trigger, the action has to be out of the stock. That’s why the air tank has to be removed — so the forearm and buttstock can be removed. There are 4 screws involved and I won’t get into all that — yet. The manual has good instructions on how to do this but the pictures are poor! They are far too small and dark to show the kind of detail someone unfamiliar with the rifle will need. Believe me — I have A LOT more to say about the manual and also the design of the Gauntlet’s plastic parts, but that’s still to come.

The trigger

As I suspected from the picture in the manual, this trigger is a very close copy of the Crosman 160 “crossbow” trigger. The safety is spring-loaded, which doesn’t help during disassembly from the stock because, unlike the Crosman safety, this one remains with the trigger. It must be aligned with a slot in the stock for the action to be removed and the spring pushes it out of alignment. So, stock removal is a little fiddly.

Gauntlet trigger housing
That’s the Gauntlet trigger housing.

Gauntlet sear engagement window
That’s the sear engagement window. When the gun is cocked, you can see how the sear engages the trigger.

Gauntlet sear cocked
This is what you see when the gun is cocked.

Once I had the sideplate off I saw the resemblance to the old Crosman trigger design. The Chinese have been copying this design for decades, ever since Henry Harn sent them a tricked-out 160 to copy and turn into the QB77. That then became the QB78 and that became the QB 79, so the Chinese have years of familiarity with this trigger. And the trigger is excellent, so that’s a good thing!

Gauntlet trigger
The trigger looks very similar to the Crosman trigger of the 1960s and ’70s.

Single stage trigger

I will admit when I make a mistake, and I made a huge one in Part 1. I said the trigger was 2-stage and reader Mike Ogden asked me if that was right, because both Pyramyd Air and Umarex say it is a single stage. When Mike asked me, I picked up the rifle and tested it again and then told him it was definitely a 2-stage trigger. Only, it isn’t.

Mike, they were right and so were you. The Gauntlet has a single stage trigger. What threw me was when I pulled the trigger I could not believe any trigger would have a first stage that long and creepy. Also, the trigger on the rifle I’m testing actually hesitates just before releasing. What was I supposed to think?

But why, then, did I also remember the Crosman trigger as being 2-stage, when it is exactly the same? Well, I now know why, and I also know how to adjust the Gauntlet trigger to make it a nice 2-stage trigger.

Adjusting the trigger

The Gaultlet trigger is adjustable — HOWEVER — the factory has cemented the adjustment screws so tight that they cannot be turned. I snapped off an Allen wrench in the sear engagement screw adjustment and now it cannot be turned without damaging it further. If I owned the rifle I would fix it, but I don’t — at least not yet.

But, knowing the screws were cemented, probably with Loctite, I worked on the overtravel screw for half an hour, turning it back and forth in small amounts and finally broke it free. Then I adjusted it so stage one stopped just before the sear was released. A light increase of pressure causes the sear to break like glass and my Gauntlet now has a VERY nice trigger! No, it is definitely not in the same class as a Marauder trigger, but for an inexpensive trigger this is as good as they get. I lubricated the sear with moly grease when the trigger was exposed and now stage one has almost no creep.

This may be the way I adjust Crosman triggers, which is why I think they are 2-stage. Because this one certainly is! The pull weight is 4 pounds 14 oz. with stage one taking almost 3 pounds of that. I’m sorry for the confusion, but my hard disk is getting full and sometimes I can’t remember things that happened recently. Things that happened back when I was six are very clear, but yesterday is a fog.

Assembly

Now, it was time to put everything back together and this is where things got ugly. It took me a full hour to get the plastic forearm back on the gun. I found the words in the manual to be very precise and correct but the pictures are worthless.

I finally figured out that the stock screws on either side of the forearm need to be a little lose, to get the forearm to connect. It was a matter of plastic hinges and parts fitting together, and I think it is a weak part of the rifle’s design. It reminds me of the Daisy 853 that gave me such fits for the same reason. I will never take to stock off again unless I have to. That answers the removable tank question, because this one will stay where it is!

Summary

It probably sounds like I don’t like the Gauntlet, but that’s not the case. I’m thinking that if this one is as accurate as some folks say, I might even buy it. I just want everyone to know about the trigger, the air tank and how disassembly and assembly can be a challenge.