Umarex Gauntlet: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gauntlet
Umarex Gauntlet.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This report covers:

  • Other items I’m testing
  • Mounting the P.O.I. rings
  • Precision is challenging
  • P.O.I. rings are precision-bored
  • Bug Busters are difficult to position
  • Perfect scope for the Gauntlet
  • Sight-in
  • Shim under the scope
  • Second sight-in
  • Magazine problem!
  • Found it!
  • Summary
  • Evaluation

What a report this is going to be! So many landmark issues resolved and explained!

Other items I’m testing

Although today is about the Umarex Gauntlet, I’m also going to cover the UTG P.O.I. rings for airguns, the new Bug Buster sidewheel and the new UTG 3-12X32 Bug Buster scope. This won’t be just another test day, either, because I had to solve numerous problems to get this far. In fact, although I will show you a target today, this isn’t accuracy day. That comes next time. Today we have issues to resolve. Let’s get started.

Mounting the P.O.I. rings

UTG makes the most precise scope rings I have seen. Although I have seen other scope rings that retail for $500, I have never seen a set that are any more precise as these. I wanted to use them for the remainder of the Gauntlet test, which is going to be a long one.

Precision is challenging

The first problem I encountered was the P.O.I. rings would not fit the Gauntlet’s rail! They are made to fit a wide range of dovetail widths, from 9.5mm to about 13mm, but they were ever-so-slightly too large for the Gauntlet rail when they were tightened all the way. Watch that when you mount a scope to this airgun, because apparently its rail is on the small side.

I fussed and fretted for an hour before arriving at the solution. On each ring I slid a thin shim in between the ring base and the dovetail jaw that moves, so they would clamp onto the rail. The difference I needed to make up is less than a hundredth of an inch, so no precision that you get with the P.O.I. rings is lost, and now the rings are clamped securely. However, the challenges were just starting!

P.O.I. rings are precision-bored

When you install a scope in these rings you are going to learn the meaning of the word precise. There is no fabric inside the rings and the hole that’s bored through them is exactly the same size as the Bug Buster scope tube. The scope didn’t just drop into the rings the way scopes normally do. I had to press down the scope using the ring caps, and then screw the cap screws (4 per ring) down before the scope actually fit into the rings. There was no forcing required — everything just fit exactly as it should!

I normally shim the rear ring when mounting a scope, to eliminate the possibility of a barrel that droops. Yes, PCP barrels droop, too. But the fit of these rings is so precise that I just installed the scope and let it go at that.

Bug Busters are difficult to position

One of the best features of any Bug Buster scope is its short length. But that’s also one of its drawbacks. The tubes that the rings attach to are very short on this family of scopes, and they limit the amount of back and forth adjustment you have when the scope is mounted. You get that by adjusting the position of the rings on the receiver — not by sliding the scope within the rings. When mounted, the Bug Buster appears to be too far back on the receiver, but it’s not. It’s just a short scope!

Gauntlet with Bug Buster
This is the thousand-word picture. Notice the front scope cap clears the magazine. The scope looks like it’s positioned too far back, but it’s actually in the perfect spot.

Gauntlet shimmed mount
The solution to fitting the P.O.I. rings to the Gauntlet was a thin shim (arrow) under the movable jaw on the ring’s base. The base appears slanted in this picture, but that’s just the lighting. The jaws are still square to the receiver!

Notice in the first picture, how both rings are mounted to the receiver behind the magazine? The short Bug Buster scope makes that necessary.

Perfect scope for the Gauntlet

I’m just pointing out everything there is to mounting a Bug Buster scope, so you will know how. Once it was on the rifle I found it perfect, and that was enhanced by that adjustable Gauntlet cheekpiece. I cranked it up several turns so my eye aligns with the scope the moment the rifle hits my shoulder. I don’t get to do that very often, but I’m going to test the heck out of this combination and I want this one adjusted as good as it can be. This was time well spent.

Gauntlet adjustable cheekpiece
The Gauuntlet’s adjustable cheekpiece was raised to position my eye for the scope.

Sight-in

Then I went into the garage to sight in the rifle. I shot JSB Exact Heavy pellets, because I thought they would feed through the magazine well. You may remember in Part 3 I mentioned a feeding problem I encountered.

The first shot missed the trap altogether from 12 feet. But I had a Bug Buster scope, so I moved up to 8 feet and fired again. Shot number two hit the trap but missed the cardboard target backer. Oh, oh! Where is the pellet going?

A new shooter might fret about this, but I know there is a 98 percent chance that the rifle is a drooper. So I cranked in several turns of elevation (a turn is one complete rotation of the elevation knob — I don’t bother counting the clicks when I’m this close to the target) and shot again. This pellet landed on the backer board 4 inches below the aim point. This Gauntlet is a world-class drooper! That doesn’t means yours will be, but let’s learn how to deal with it whenever it happens.

I took the scope caps off the rings to remove the scope, and they came off easily. The caps were now fitted to the scope tube and everything fits well.

Shim under the scope

I still wanted to use the P.O.I. rings very much, but they had to be shimmed. Is that even possible?

One piece of credit card plastic was placed beneath the scope tube on the rear ring saddle and the scope was remounted. The caps were then screwed back down, and this time they went quite easily. I didn’t tighten the cap screws that much, so the shim wouldn’t dent the scope tube. The scope is tight in the rings, but not as tight as it could be. Remember, the scope is now tipped forward, so the front ring doesn’t fit perfectly, either. Whine all you want — this is how it’s done — especially with a Bug Buster that is too short to fit in any of the one-piece adjustable scope mounts.

Second sight-in

This time the pellet hit the target much higher and I was able to back up to 10 meters. At that distance the pellets’ impact rose to just below the bull. I shot two shots at this distance, then adjusted the reticle a little and backed up to 25 yards.

At 25 yards I shot three shots that landed high and to the left. An adjustment moved the next round too far to the right. Another adjustment was followed by 5 more shots to confirm the zero. These were all inside the bull. They were not shot off a rest, but with the rifle rested on the footboard of my bed (I shoot from the bedroom through the living room into the garage to get 25 yards. The pellets hit in the center of the target, but the group isn’t very good. It will be better when the rifle is rested correctly, I hope.

Gauntlet target
This is the sight-in target the two holes below the bull were from 10 meters, once the scope was shimmed. The three at the upper left were the first three at 25 yards. Then, after an adjustment, the shot outside the bull at the right was next, followed by an adjustment and five shots in the center of the bull.

Don’t obsess over this target! Today was not an accuracy test. I was just sighting the rifle in so I can test accuracy next time.

Magazine problem!

What I’m about to describe happened when I was sighting-in the first time, but I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of what I was writing, so I saved it until now. The second shot in the magazine would not feed! I had this same problem in Part 3, but I thought using JSB pellets was the fix.

Gauntlet jammed pellet
This is the second pellet in the magazine. It failed to feed. I did force it a little, but stopped when I realized it wouldn’t feed.

I tried forcing the jammed pellet a little, but I had this same problem with Crosman Premier pellets back in Part 3. In fact, let’s read what I said.

“I had in excess of 10 pellets jam in the magazine during this test. One was a double feed that I shot out of the rifle. That probably just means the Premier Light is not right for the Gauntlet mag! Let’s try something else.”

I thought the problem was the Premier pellets, but after seeing Geo791’s problems with his Gamo Urban magazine, I checked the alignment of the second pellet in the Gauntlet mag and found it to be off. George published a similar picture of the other side of the magazine, showing the same misalignment.

Found it!

Sure enough, the second pellet in the Gauntlet’s magazine is misaligned with the breech! This was troubling because I didn’t know what to do. Then it dawned on me. Just don’t load pellet number two! This rotary magazine is spring-loaded, so if there is no pellet in the number two hole, it will move past to pellet number three that is aligned. Problem solved!

Other mags may be misaligned on other holes, though I doubt it. The tooling to make these mags is expensive and I’ll bet they are all alike in this respect. At any rate, if jamming is a problem with your rifle, give this a try.

Summary

Let’s review all that happened with the Gauntlet this day. First, I mounted the P.O.I. scope rings. We discovered that the Gauntlet dovetail is on the small side, but thin shims under the movable mount jaws fixed it.

Next I learned that the rifle I’m testing has a serious droop. I fixed it by shimming the rear ring under the scope tube. I also found that once the scope had been in the P.O.I. rings they fit perfectly. I was surprised that I could shim the P.O.I. rings because they fit so tight at first, but after taking the scope out and reinstalling it they worked well and also solved the droop problem.

I already knew that Bug Buster scopes require more care and thought to mount because of their short length, but I walked you through the process today and now you know what to do. By seeing how far to the rear of the gun the scope needs to be I hope you can understand why a Bug Buster won’t work well on some spring rifles that have scope stops positioned too far forward.

Finally, I found a workaround for the magazine misalignment problem that seems to be a common issue with these price-point PCPs. Sure the shot count is reduced by one, but the jamming problems go away. That’s worth it, as far as I’m concerned.

Evaluation

So far this Gauntlet is performing admirably. I have the trigger adjusted perfectly, which makes the rifle a joy to shoot. Now we will see how accurate it can be!

88 thoughts on “Umarex Gauntlet: Part 4

  1. B.B.

    Thanks for commenting on one of my soap box topics, check weld fit. How can a non adjustable stock have a repeatable check weld with peep sights; same stock with a 32mm objective scope mounted in low rings? Then you mount a 30mm scope with a 50mm objective in high rings and you check is all over the place!
    When will the new UTG rings be available?

    -Yogi


    • G’day Yogi,
      I agree with a “cheek weld” but I do not think it is as important with aiming a rifle as it is with pointing a shotgun. Lifting your head pointing a shotgun is probably the most common mistake causing misses….been there and done that to the power of “N”…and you don’t realize it!
      Cheers Bob



  2. B.B.,

    What material did you use to shim the mounts to the rail, paper or plastic? Considering that the magazines are mass produced the probability of manufacturing defects for these are high especially with the first production run. Would it be possible to slightly open up the hole to correct the alignment issue?

    Siraniko



    • My friend who mounted the scope on my target Marauder used strips cut from an aluminum soda can. Three of them stacked, cut in lengths that were progressively shorter at the top, to make the bottom shaped more of a curve. That scope mount held up fine for years. Seems to me that metal would be more stable. I was surprised that he did this on a new Marauder, but it worked fine, the scope zeroed quickly.


  3. My Mama always said,… “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.

    I did check 1 of 3 mags. on the .25 M-rod.. I poked out 1 pellet at a time and looked at the breech side for each pellet. Overall, it looked good. If the pellet looked off at all, there was movement against the spring that allowed the pellet to align better. So? It looked to me like if there was any issues, that the free play would allow the pellet to align itself. This was a (super quick) check, but I will explore it more later in the week.

    Good Day to one and all,….. Chris


    • Chris USA

      I was able to find JSB’s on Amazon! Hopefully between April 5 and April 16 I’ll have them and be able to give them a try. But also, March 15 here and still no Chrony and no Pelletgage.

      Benji Don made me curious so I shot a group at 48 yards and now am extremely impatient for the Pelletgage to arrive.

      Airfun


      • Airfun,

        Good to hear from you and that is great that you were finally able to track down JSB’s. The HN’s you said you found on the Walmart site are also good quality pellets, but all HN types have fit tight in my guns and JSB has beat them every time in every gun.

        Hang in there! It will all come together soon enough. Thanks for the update.


      • Airfun,

        I have to smile at your impatience on your new arrivals,… not arriving yet. We land locked folks that live in the country are often referred to as to living in the middle of nowhere. 🙂 You,.. on the other hand,… live in the middle of an ocean. It is a complete wonder to me that you get anything at all! 😉



        • Rambler,

          As you have probably seen in the past,… there is quite a bit of validity to reshaping the skirt a bit and having the rest of any defects blown out from the pressure, with little accuracy difference. Yes, not ideal. I had a few cans damaged. As they say,.. most of the accuracy lies within the head,.. which luckily suffers less damage than the skirts from rough shipping. Let’s hope for the best for Airfun.



            • Rambler,

              Me too. I have never received a bad tin from P.A.,… so that counts for something I suppose.

              All said,.. I wish never to shoot a damaged pellet. It just raises doubt in one way or the other,… validated or not.


              • Chris and Rambler,

                Wow. Sorry I’m late to this discussion. I’m not to worried about the pellets getting damaged. They are shipping from Airgun Depot. Weird if I order from them directly shipping is $62 but through amazon is only 7. Hope I don’t get bit by unseen charges. But amazon says if any extra costs pop up they will either auto cancel the order or get in touch for directions on how I want to handle the situation.

                Airfun


                • Airfun,

                  That 62/7 difference is astounding. A 500 tin of .22 JSB’s is $16.99 per the catalog. PA. has that buy 3 get the 4th free thing too. I have never ordered from Airgun Depot, but would if it suited a need. For reference, a $43 order from PA cost me +$8 in shipping, which is within the same state. Over $150 on an order is free shipping. I have only used Amazon a few times, but it sure does seem that (everyone) is using them these days,.. for everything. I am not sure about Amazon and free shipping, but I have heard that if you have Amazon Prime,.. that shipping is free regardless. Maybe not in your case though.

                  Hopefully everything will continue to work out and you will now have a new source for quality pellets. Thanks for the update and keep us posted.


                  • Chris,

                    PA is also on amazon but will not ship to my area through amazon. Can not seem to find 500ct. tins but I am finding a whole lot of crazy pellet designs. It seems JSB and H&N are leading the way in pellet Innovation. They seem to be striving for a “pellet” that does not rely on any drag for stabilization. Seems like they have engineers running numbers and coming up with very similar designs.

                    The quest continues. if I can get this tin of JSBs to function properly I will be looking into ordering i bulk.

                    Right now with the CPD tins my M-rod is running an ave. 810 fps. With s.d. of 6.4 in the first 30 rounds. After that shots 31- 50 will climb to around 822 and shots 51-60 will drop back down to around 798. Only plan on using the first 30 shots so its not to hard to get back to a full fill. 40 pumps is way easier than 80 Pumps

                    Airfun


                  • Hi Chris USA

                    Regarding Amazon, they are a great company to purchase from. You have 30 days to return merchandise and they make it very easy on their web site. If the return is due to a defect, they will pay return shipping as well. My grand daughter has Amazon Prime and buys a lot of stuff from them. Prime is two day delivery and free shipping. But not everything on Amazon qualifies for Prime. Some things on Amazon are sold through a third party and those don’t seem to qualify. Those UTG 30mm rings that didn’t work on my Urban, I bought on Amazon. I returned those and Amazon emailed the return label with return shipping included…no questions asked.

                    You can often find things on Amazon at the very best prices. I always check their prices and compare them to ebay and other online stores. I don’t have Prime myself because it cost $99 a year and I don’t buy enough to justify that cost. I tried to use my grand daughter’s prime account to buy the new BKL offset rings so I could get them in two days but they did not qualify for prime…so that didn’t work out. I did buy them from Amazon though and even with the shipping, they were the lowest cost. They arrived in three days, and most of the things I’ve ordered come in 3-4 days.

                    I’ve had very good experiences with Amazon. My first airgun, a Crosman Nitro Venom, was purchased on Amazon. I returned the first two for defects and kept the third one. In every case Amazon emailed the return shipping label with shipping and UPS came to the house and picked them up even. The UPS guy asked what was going on after he delivered the third rifle. Anyway, I highly recommend Amazon as a good online store to make purchases. And, you would be surprised at what’s available from them.

                    Just thought I would let everyone know what my experience has been with Amazon. I bought my Urban from them for $209 when everyone else was selling them for $299.

                    Geo


                    • Geo,

                      Thank you for that insight. My family (Mom, Dad, siblings) uses them quite a bit.

                      I am not sure of entire business model, (it works, obviously). They seem to make nothing, but rather act as facilitator between the company and the customer,… a middle man if you will,.. which in conventional marketing, usually drives the cost up. I think that it also has a negative effect on the brick and mortars. But,.. Amazon is still getting the stuff from the company, so maybe not so bad for the company. Yet, for Amazon to offer things at a lower price, the company must be giving them a better price,.. in lieu of added exposure and hopefully profits.

                      So yea,… I am just not sure how it all works. I guess though,… who cares? People can get want they want at the best price. I will have to give them more consideration in the future depending on what I am in the market for at the time. I for one am not rich and tend to be conservative with what funds I have. There is nothing wrong with stretching a buck! 🙂


                    • Geo,

                      Upon further thought,.. PA is sort of like a middle man. They bring it all together in one place and provide a lot of other good things (education, support for the air gun sports, videos and oh yea,… this blog). So maybe,.. while PA does not have a brick and mortar (walk in, retail store),.. they are the ones in the middle???? If Amazon buys direct from Air Arms, Gamo, etc.,… is there even a need for PA? I say yes.

                      A fellow at work who follows the stocks said that while Amazon’s profits rose by a huge margin in years past,.. so have their shipping cost. So much so that their own shipping service (like UPS and FedEx),.is in heavy consideration.

                      Perhaps B.B. could do an article on the impacts of the situation? Is Amazon good for PA? Do they benefit at all? If so, is it at a greatly reduced profit margin? What happens to a company like PA when we decide to spend our hard earned dollars at Amazon?

                      At least we might gain some appreciation and further realization of our purchasing choices?

                      Maybe it is blog worthy,… maybe not. Maybe cheapest is best? My gut says no,… but hey,.. what do I know?


        • I have received three different pellet orders from Amazon that were damaged due to faulty packaging. The last order was for Gamo’s that have a twist on lid. The lid and 250 loose pellets were in the box.But they were so cheap that I will probably order more. ( They do pretty well in my Gauntlet). I also got a bad tin of AA Fields from someone that we all deal with, but they replaced them no questions asked. Also got a bad tin of JSB 18.13 that were undersized. They shoot okay in the Gauntlet but not worth a dime in my AT44W-10


          • I have purchased several tins of JSB Exact Heavy 18.13g pellets from Amazon as well. I have commented here about the poor packaging. They will put the tin in a box that is too large and with no packing material whatsoever. The JSBs have all survived the poor packaging but I did have to send a tin of H&N FTTs back because the tin was dented. I didn’t even open the tin. The good thing is that Amazon has a very good return policy and they make it very easy to return items.


            • Geo,
              I think that I got the tin of FTT’s that you returned. They looked okay in spite of the very dented top. Unfortunately, they don’t shoot well in MY Gauntlet. Mine seems to prefer head sizes 5.51 to 5.52 – these are 5.53. Will probably be okay in my AT44 which likes the larger head size



        • Chris,

          Yes it did, and I am very happy with my numbers. I don’t plan on touching the striker adjustments. Only the metering screw when the JSB’s get here. I,m sure that at 18 gr. they will be running to slow in my rifle. But I will group them first before I touch the metering screw.

          Airfun.



  4. BB,

    Recently I have become quite spoiled. For some time now I have been using those Hawke adjustable bases on my sproingers and the Sportsmatch fully adjustable rings on my HM1000X. The long Hawke base allows me to use two piece rings on my Bug Buster and move it as far back as I need.





        • Jerry,

          There is no standard measurement for the width of a dovetail on an airgun. The angle of the grooves affect the depth to which ring jaws with sink in. When B-Square wanted to determine the most common airgun dovetail “widths” they used calibrated wires laid in the grooves and measured from the outside of one wire to the outside of the other. That gave them some standardization — at least a standardized method of measurement.

          I was part of that test and we tested as many airguns as we could lay hands on. We found groove angles that ranged from 45 degrees to 60 degrees, and all angles in between. If I gave you the width of the top of the Gauntlet dovetail, it would be a meaningless number, unless you know all the other measurements that go with it.

          B.B.


  5. I’m surprised that you are having issues with the Gauntlet. Mine is in .22 and not .177. I’ve had no issues.
    Magazines–I have seven and they all perform great, as well as six for my Marauder rifle and five for my Marauder Pistol. I can’t tell much difference, except that Crosman domed 14.3 are very tight going into the barrel. JSB’s feed smoothly in my Gauntlet.
    Scope rail-standard UTG rings fit perfectly, clamped tight.
    Barrel droop-none I could detect, had no problem sighting int without shims.
    Accuracy-in the .22 has been very good. JSB 15.89 and 18.13 both shoot to same POA and have the same accuracy. I don’t normally shoot paper except to sight in. I did shoot 10 shots at 25 yards with 15.89 pellets into .353″ group and 18.13 pellets into a .363″ group and I called one shot as wide for the 18.13 pellets.
    Overall, I’ve been pleased with the Gauntlet. It’s not as nice as my M-rod, but it didn’t cost anywhere near what the Marauder cost.
    Looking forward to your Gauntlet blogs.
    By the way, my Gauntlet is completely stock except for the bipod mount I put on the gun.


    • Jonah,

      There you go! That’s the variablity that made me temporize my statements.

      I’m glad this one droops, because it gave me the opportunity to show how to deal with it. It’s a common problem with airguns are firearms, alike. In fact, I have yet to encounter an AR-15 that doesn’t have a little droop, and some are bad!


  6. Hey B.B

    I was wondering how often do readers ask you to do an experiment for them? And how likely are you to do them, when you can find the time? I have been reading the articles on Rifle Twist Rate Vs Velocity and there is something on my mind that I’m very curious about.

    Airfun


    • Airfun,

      I do what I can, but I try to answer the questions that “everybody” knows the answers to. I want the new guys to feel they have legitimate concerns — and sometimes I am the new guy.

      I’m limited by time and resources, but if it is something that can be done and if there is a broad enough interest, I will try. What is your question?

      B.B.


      • B.B.

        I don’t have a question exactly. More like wanting to see results of the fast twist 1:12 with Premiers at a velocity of 583 fps at all three distances. I know this velocity is very slow for 50 yards. Near zero of 5 yard with apex at about 29 yards at 3.5 inches. But if it can be accomplished indoors or on an extremely calm day for all three distances I would like to know the results.

        There is another thing I would like to see with the slow twist 1:22, but from what I read the barrel length is too short to achieve the velocity I’m Interested in for the JSB’s working with the 1:22 twist rate.

        Airfun


  7. BB—-Here is my “whine”—-Why are you still shimming your scopes ? Please try Burris Signature rings with their offset inserts. They work for me and I am sure that they will work for you. ——Ed



      • I Googled “adjustable scope rings” and found the NC Star 30mm adjustable height ring. Once you have the correct height adjustment, there is a locking screw to prevent changes. The rings also come with a 1″ insert so these rings are “universal” as they can also be used for the smaller diameter scope tubes. I have not ordered or tried this item but they seem like a solution to the droop issue on many airguns and also firearms. I don’t know if you need to order one or two rings but they are cheap enough that I would just purchase a pair. No more need to search for or save old credit cards or other plastic items to use as a shim.

        I have also purchased rings that adjust for windage by loosening the screw on one side and tightening the screw on the other side. I had to do this for a scope that maxed out the adjustment to one side and I still could not hit the bullseye. I then turned the windage adjustment completely to the other end, counted turns, and then backed off 50% until the adjustment was in the middle. Then I adjusted the rings until I was shooting near the bullseye.and finally used the scope windage knob to fine tune my scope.

        As they say, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat(fish)”.

        Bob in Texas


  8. BB—-I will have to keep on “whining” until you try them. Years ago I had a friend who had moved to New Mexico. When I discovered “eye glasses binoculars”, ( long eye relief). I often wrote to him and told him about them in our phone conversations. After several years had gone by, I paid him a visit. When he tried my binoculars, he was astounded ! He kept saying, over and over “I don,t have to take my glasses off!”. That is what I have been telling you, for the last 5 years! He had to try them , to believe me. Yes, he ordered a pair that very day. ——–Ed


    • Ed,

      Thank you very much for that. I have astigmatism in both eyes and cannot wear contacts. When my wife and I were planning our trip to Belize, we ordered custom snorkeling goggles with prescription lenses. VERY sweet. Now if somebody just made eyeglass-wearers virtual reality goggles. . . .

      Michael


  9. Bob In Texas—-I have tried similar scope mounts. In my opinion, the more adjustments, the greater the chance that they will loosen up. If one ring is higher ( or lower ) than the other ring, won,t that strain or bend the scope ?—–Ed


  10. Zimbabweed Not Bob but…

    Although I certainly endorse KISS as a guiding motto the current crop of adjustable bases, mounts, rings have come a long way beyond shimming. Shimming still works for very minor adjustments but if you are adjusting for long-range shooting or big-time droop the adjustables are the way to go in my opinion. The final touch to avoid loosening fasteners that I use isr: PURPLE Locktite thread locker and some serious degreasing. If the modern bases are used the danger of scope bending/kinking is substantially eliminated as long as you use a torque wrench and correct value to avoid crushing the scope body and the internals.

    shootski


  11. Shootski,

    Sorry I didn’t respond last night but I fell asleep in the recliner watching a hockey game. This getting older is for the birds!!! Ah, for the days when we could go for a week with only catnaps.

    You weren’t far off about Ft Drum , go about another 30mi. north to a little town called Alexandria Bay. Cross the river onto Welsley Island and you’re there. I was Coast Guard not Army.

    Thanks for all the cold weather tips, but alas it’s all in vain. Got transfered to So. Maryland and the first thing the wife got rid of was my XCountry skis. Should have known right then and there I was in trouble after she told me I wouldn’t be needing them anymore.

    I’ll end this with something for you and BB. I used to hate the guys at Ft Drum in the summer. Every time you held summer night manuvers and put up illumination flares, our phones would ring off the hook all night long!! COMMS and the boat crews never got any sleep due to reported flare sightings. OW
    Finally: THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE With a handle of Shootski I’d venture to say you’re either retired Army or Marines. Have a good day!

    Bob F




        • Bob,

          My father died at the age of 75 back in 2010. However, I do talk to him every day, so if he can hear me, he’ll find out. :^)

          He served in the 1950s and was stationed in Chicago, Groton, Conneticut, on an island lighthouse on Lake Superior, and (drum roll) the Mackinac.

          Michael


          • Michael,

            Sorry to hear your dad is no longer with us. I fear the same thing is headed my way in the not too distant future. It’s the Catch22 of being over 60. It looks as though your dad had a pretty good run while he was active duty! A little ashore, a little afloat, but the one that really caught my eye was the lighthouse duty. I spent 03yrs on a lighthouse up off New Hampshire. Have to admit once you got comfortable with the schedule and the total seclusion it turned out to be the best duty I ever pulled!
            Two weeks on, two weeks off, subject to change due to weather or inspections I got to do more hunting and fishing for 05 months out of the year than any young person should legally be allowed to do! I get the feeling your dad was having a good time doing what he was doing!

            Sorry but I got to go for now. The wife is coming home from a weeks travel out in SanDiego and if I don’t get the dishes done before she comes in, it’s lights out for me!

            Hope to hear from you again, maybe the next time we should talk about airguns or BB will have us banned from the blog.

            Bob F


    • Bob F,

      Close on the Service, I did a career in the US Navy as an Aviator. I did instructor duty tour teaching USCG, Marines and Navy types to be Naval Aviators. After I retired I went back to being an Open Water Lifeguard and an amateur Biathlete (Ski and Shoot) along with hunting on ski or snowshoes in deep snow when almost no one else hunts . And, I still do!

      shootski


      • Shootski

        OMG another flyboy. No seriously, I hate to tell you this but your writing style comes across as either a Gunnery Sargent or Master Sargent, not an aviator. Wether thats good or bad I’ll leave up to you.Being a naval aviator I’m sure you know where Pax River NAS is. My small farm is about 35min. from there and now you know why skis are not relevant to my lifestyle anymore!

        Out of curiosity I have two more questions for you.
        1. How in the name of the all mighty did you come to the correct conclusion that I was talking about the
        Fort Drum area? By the way I was mightily impressed by that!
        2. Were you fixed wing or a rotor head?

        It’s been a pleasure to chat!!! Hope to do it again.

        Bob F


  12. BB
    So wonder what would happen at the 8 yards you shot at if lower rings were used if they could be. Do you think the distance between point of aim and point of impact would be closer together? Or as you call it would show less barrel droop.

    And this is me. No way would I put shim’s inbetween the clamps on the rings to the dovetail. I would get the right fitting rings. And I don’t even like the idea of shimming the scope under the rear ring. I have to agree with Zimbabwe Ed to use the Burris inserts if you need any shimming. There is a difference between modding and rigging. And that’s rigging.

    And again my opinion. But the Bugbuster scope is not right for the Gauntlet. Especially with the more forward loading area in the breech the Gauntlet has. The objective bell falls right over the magazine. If you use a normal size scope and by that I mean one with longer scope tubes you could use lower scope rings because you have more room to place the scope forward or backwards. And not have a problem with eye relief even. And then you will decrease the distance of poa to poi at your 8 feet. If you measure the distance from the center of the barrel to the center of the scope you will see what I mean. And of course you need to start with the turrets centered.

    Oh and on the 3 magazines I have for my Gauntlet there is no alignment problems. One is the one that came with it and the other 2 is from previous .177 Marauder’s I have had.

    And darn I thought I was going to see some group’s this report. To bad you had all those problems. I bet that does get frustrating when it starts interfering with your schedule. Oh have you tryed those rings on any other guns to see if they have similar problems on those gun’s.


    • GF1,

      8 FEET, not yards. It makes a huge difference.

      Lower rings??? Look how close the scope cap it to the receiver now.

      This is the first time I have tried P.O.I. rings. I will be testing them more in the future, but these aren’t even available for sale yet.

      B.B.


      • BB
        Here is parts of my comment. Read again.

        “And then you will decrease the distance of poa to poi at your 8 feet.”

        “And again my opinion. But the Bugbuster scope is not right for the Gauntlet. Especially with the ((more forward loading area in the breech the Gauntlet has)). ((The objective bell falls right over the magazine)). ((If you use a normal size scope and by that I mean one with longer scope tubes you could use lower scope rings because you have more room to place the scope forward or backwards)). And not have a problem with eye relief even.”

        So again I say. Bugbuster scope no for the Gauntlet. And yes longer tube scope and then yes shorter scope rings and you won’t interfere with the scope bell and magazine. And yes so called barrel dropped as you call it will be less at (8 FEET). And as you know the pellet will rise as the distance increases to a certain distance. So less elevation adjustment would be needed.


        • GF1,

          The pellet only “rises” (it NEVER really rises) when the angle of the scope points below the line of the bore. That was impossible with the Gauntlet I am testing because the barrel points DOWN in relation to the line of the receiver. That was part of today’s lesson.

          Yes, as you get farther from the target the pellet does appear to climb, but only when you correct the bore line, which I did with a shim. If I had left the rifle sighted the way it was without the shim, the pellet would have hit a foot below the trap.

          As for the use of the Bug Buster, it’s fine on the Gauntlet. It doesn’t add much weight and the mag is clear. Tall or short scopes are a personal preference, but make no difference when the rifle is shot at known distances. Tall scopes are more prone to cant and short scopes are more difficult to get a good spot weld.

          The Bug Buster will do fine on the Gauntlet. I’m also going to test the new Bug Buster sidewheel, so I get a threefer in this series — rifle, the scope and the mounts.

          B.B.


          • BB
            Well there’s a way to prove if your barrel does indeed have droop.

            Take the scope and rings off the gun and hold a yardstick standing up and rest it on the breech then extend it out over the barrel. Then compare the distance between the muzzle end and the yardstick to the barrel and yardstick at the breech end.

            If it’s drooping as much as you say your poi was low, you should have a pretty big distance between the barrel and yardstick at the muzzle end.


      • BB
        Here is a picture of my Gauntlet. It’s a Hawke Varmint scope. It’s even got a 44 mm objective lens. So it’s getting up there pretty big on the front bell. And you see I have low rings mounting my scope.

        Again long tube yes for the Gauntlet. Short tube no.


  13. B.B. and everyone,

    I was a little disappointed in the solution for the magazine feed issue. That would not work on the Urban’s magazine. All of the mag bores #2 thru #10 are slightly misaligned in a clockwise direction. GF1 suggested pushing the bolt forward slowly and that the pellet might center itself. I have done that on the last 50 or so shots and it seems to help. If the pellet doesn’t feed easily, if I wiggle the mag a little then the pellet feeds in smoothly. I have not had any more misfires either. So maybe it’s a matter of the rifle just breaking in too.

    Some of the Bugbuster scope issues were similar to my UTG 3-12x44SWAT compact scope’s issues. Like the Bugbuster, the my compact scope has a short tube and very little available movement within the rings. I moved my UTG compact scope back as far as possible on the rail and was not able to obtain the needed eye relief. The solution to my problem was to replace the UTG 30mm rings with BKL 30mm offset rings. The BKL rings are also a single strap which allowed a little more movement of the scope tube as well. The UTG rings were double strap.

    I had the opposite problem installing the BKL offset rings. The Urban’s rail was a bit too wide to accept the rings. But, the BKL rings have a nice feature to remedy this problem. There is an additional tapped hole in each ring and the clamping screw is moved to that hole. Then the screw is turned in against the opposite side which spreads the dovetail as needed to accommodate the scope rail. Also, the BKL rings are self centering.

    The Urban did not have the droop problem either. When I first mounted the scope with the UTG rings, my first shot at 15 yards was about 6″ low and 3″ to the right. I had the scope zeroed with another 3 or 4 shots. Then when I installed the BKL offset rings and shot at 15 yards, the first shot was 3″ to the right and 2″ low. The scope was easily re-zeroed from that point with no shimming or extreme adjusting required.

    I am posting the photo of my UTG 3-12x44mm compact scope mounted with the BKL offset mounts as a comparison to the Bugbuster scope mounted above. I am not sure from looking at the photo if the Bugbuster scope would give me adequate eye relief as it is set up. This demonstrates the limited adjustment with short tube scopes.

    Geo



      • B.B.

        No, I did not try it because #3 appeared exactly the same as #2. As I recall, when the problem with feeding the pellet occurred, it was at like #7 or #8.

        Oh great! Cant’ wait for your review of the Urban next week 🙂 My magazine problem is most likely an anomaly. I am enjoying your review, and problems, with the Gauntlet too.

        Geo


        • Geo791

          If you cannot get warranty on your magazine I’d be taking it apart. Seems to me you could solve the problem with an adjustment of sorts so all but number 1 line up correctly.


        • Geo
          I just realized something else when I was shooting my Gauntlet today.

          When I pull the bolt back I hold back for a second to give time for the mag to index.

          That’s even when I was doing fast firing at different targets. I still made sure I held back to give time for indexing.


          • GF1

            I have followed your suggestion of being deliberate when cocking the bolt and then pushing the bolt forward slowly to allow the bolt to center the pellet. This seems to have helped with the feeding problem. But if I feel any resistance pushing the bolt forward I stop and wiggle the magazine just a little and then the pellets chambers easily. The magazine indexing is off just a little but seems to be enough to cause feeding issues occasionally. Appreciate you helpful suggestions. Thanks.

            Geo


            • Geo
              I didn’t even realize I paused when. I pulled the bolt back. I guess just habit from doing it so long that I didn’t realize I even did the pause before pushing forward.

              Maybe the pause is more important than the push. Well along with pulling back far enough.

              Anyway as always give a update when you get more shooting time with it.


      • BB,

        I tried it on my Urban/BSA mags and it didn’t make any difference. I think they are constructed differently that the Gaunlet’s mags. I have posted my own suggestions to Geo since I have returned from my Georgia fishing trip. All my mags do the same thing but they feed fine. I can easily push the pellets through the mag with a toothpick though, so I suggested that Geo try it. His spring may be wound too tight.

        The edge of the pellet head will be the only thing that contacts the stop at first, then as the wheel continues to rotate clockwise under spring tension, some point on the waist or the skirt will also make contact with the stop, leaving the rear of the pellet canted slightly clockwise to the front of the pellet. This happens because the stop is a bar that extends through a slot in the bore of each loading port in the cylinder but it is only half as long as the pellet in that bore.

        That wasn’t easy for me to follow and I wrote it, so I’ll post a photo.


        • Halfstep,

          Excellent description and photo. I have reposted my earlier reply to you in this blog because this is the blog where magazine misalignment was discussed. It’s at the very bottom with the disassembled Urban magazine photo included. I think we’ve got this figured out now.

          Geo


          • Geo,

            With your permission I’d like to save your photo to my Urban folder for future reference. As always feel free to do the same to anything I post. That holds true to anyone reading this.

            Half


            • Halfstep

              You don’t need my permission to save my photos. There is nothing proprietary about them. I never considered that one should ask permission to save anything posted here in the blog for everyone’s benefit. I am happy you could use it. You certainly have helped me with all of your suggestions and photo too. Always interested in anything you post about the Urban.

              Geo



      • BB,

        I forgot! I’m anxious to see your review of the Urban also.

        I think your step-by-steps on overcoming the problems you encounter along the way in your reviews are going to help many readers and get their participation as they realize that your blog is for all levels of expertise in airgunning.

        Shaping up as another great report.

        Half


        • Halfstep,

          I agree, (in retrospect). With the recent trend (aka: onslaught) of new air gun offerings,… there is bound to be an “issue” or two. Having a place that can help to solve them is a (very) nice thing to have.


    • George
      One thing about the Urban I like is the magazine is below the scope dovetail. So that does help make it easier to position the scope and rings. And I had a couple Bugbuster scopes. They are nice scopes. But for the most part I won’t use them. The place that they do work nice in though are guns like the FWB 300 where the objective bell sits close or over the breech opening where the pellet loaded.

      And glad your magazine issue is getting better. Whatever reason it was.


  14. B.B.

    I have three Umarex mags for my 177 Gauntlet; the one that came with it and two that ordered at the same time. I have had no feeding problems with any of the mags (that were not my fault). I have double fed pellets on a couple of occasions but that was me.

    I am short a scope and I took my UTG 4-16 SWAT scope and rings off of my Crosman 2400KT and mounted it my Gauntlet. (I left the rings on the scope; I just loosened the rings; slide the scope off the 2400 and onto the Gauntlet.) I had no problems mounting the scope on the Gauntlet. Once I got eye relief set and tighten the rings down, I found that I was almost spot on at 10M. I’ve swapped this scope around several times and this was the closest it had been from rifle to rifle.

    This is the scope and rings that I used:
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/UTG_4_16x44_AO_SWAT_AccuShot_Rifle_Scope_EZ_TAP_Illuminated_Mil_Dot_Reticle_1_4_MOA_30mm_Tube_See_Thru_Weaver_Rings/3900

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Leapers_30mm_Rings_High_3_8_Dovetail/791

    I guess my comment is “Are you sure it’s not the rings that you used?

    Jim


    • Jim,

      I’m sure it is the rings. The P.O.I. rings are precise — unlike other scope rings. They are made to fit an exact measurement and, in the case of the Gauntlet, they just go in too far.

      But I really wanted to start testing these rings and I’m glad I was able to. I have a lot planned for the Gauntlet, and I wanted it to have the best rings I could find.

      B.B.


      • BB
        Maybe they ain’t the best for the Gauntlet if they don’t clamp right on the dovetail.

        I know you want these rings to work out. But the question is if there is issues like this on other guns or if people hear there is this type of problem they might shy away from trying them. And I’m sure they are not cheap.


  15. B.B>,

    Even though they are not adjustable, those P.O.I. rings look marvelous, very classy and smooth. (And you knew I would write that in the comments, didn’t you?)

    Michael


  16. Nice shooting. I’m paying more attention to this rifle. And you have to love those Bug Busters. They work great on my IZH 61 and Saiga.

    ChrisUSA, yes, genetics is critical. It’s why we can’t hope to keep up with the apes in physical contests. One effect of genetics on strength that is not appreciated is that your strength is not really based on the size of your muscles but on the thickness of your muscle tendons which is a genetic trait. So, someone with a normal build and naturally thick muscle tendons can be a lot stronger than someone with huge muscles. (Maybe this single fact alone explains the extraordinary strength of apes who are roughly our size but far stronger.) But, as with shooting, statistics rules all. Most people have similar sized muscled tendons, so they can only increase strength by building big muscles. It’s only the outliers who are exceptionally strong or weak by nature.

    The general theory is that it is an inextricable mixture of genetics and culture which determine human performance. So, some people can smoke and drink with seemingly no effect, but it will catch up to most. As another example, Muhammed Ali found out that among his many extraordinary boxing talents was a chin like granite which could absorb punches without effect. He even adopted the habit of letting people exhaust themselves by hitting his chin. His chin held up but that didn’t stop his brains from getting scrambled in the process. Anyway, things become more complicated by recognizing that statistical variation applies to both genetics and culture. Some people have certain genetic gifts. Some work much harder than others, and the results are all over the place.

    gettheledout, that is some power with your crossbow. Yes, I agree that sheer kinetic energy is going to do damage regardless of your projectile. As an additional factor, I expect in the historical instance of shooting armored knights that the charging speed of their horses actually caused more damage by imparting more energy to the collision. In modern aerial combat, the speed of the airplanes is high enough to be significant for the speed of the missiles they launch, and I suppose this also applied to charging horses.

    Matt61


  17. BB,
    Is that magazine manufactured with a defect, or is the spring tension too high, or perhaps too low? The simple Chinese mags I have can be adjusted and usually need a ton of shipping grease removed.


  18. B.B.,

    I have a proposition for you,…. What if you got one of those all in one weather stations that seem to go for 50-75 bucks? Add that data to your 25 and 50+ yard test. They seem very straight forward and would be just a simple matter of recording data at the time of the shooting.

    “The wind was 10 mph from my 2 o’clock on mag.#1. By the time I shot mag. #2,.. the wind had raised to 15 mph and was now coming from my 5 o’clock”,…. yada, yada, yada,….. You get the idea,…. 😉

    Chris



  19. B.B.

    I posted this comment in a reply to Halfstep in the blog “Umarex Gauntlet: Part 4” on 3/15/18. I thought I would repost my comments here because this is the blog where the magazine misalignment problem was talked about.

    “Halfstep,

    It’s interesting that you are seeing the same exact mismatch in your Urban mags. I see what you mean about only the head of the pellet contacting the stop. And I did as you and used a toothpick to push each pellet out, and all slide through easily. So based on that and your findings, I would say the magazine is fine. I have only tried the JSB 18.13gr so far. They appear to shoot very well but I have to take it outside and see what they do at 25+ yards.

    GF1 suggested that I push the bolt forward slowly and possibly the pellet would center itself. I tried that and it seemed to help. I haven’t had a feeding problem with the last 3 or 4 mags.

    Okay, my curiosity got the best of me. I had to see what that magazine looks like inside. I took some photos of it but they are a little dark and it’s difficult to see the insides. It’s a very simple design. There is no adjustment to it and the spring will only work in one position. The empty mag dot has to be located so after the last pellet is loaded the dot shows in the small hole.

    When I reassembled the mag I thought it felt like it was catching on something. I took it apart again and what I found was the end of the spring was slightly higher than the rotating piece and it was rubbing against the metal cover. I could see on the cover where it had been rubbing. I used a diamond file and filed about .030″ off from the end of the spring (this is the small straight end that enters the little hole in the rotating piece to hold it). Then is cleared fine and I rubbed a thin layer of silicone grease on the cover. It’s very smooth now. It’s a little tricky getting the straight end of the spring into the little hole in the rotating piece but other than that it was simple to disassemble and reassemble. I may repost this on today’s blog so it’s seen by others who might benefit from what we have found. Thanks checking your mags and comparing them to mine. That made me believe that there magazine was not defective.

    Geo”


  20. GF1

    When I inspected the disassembled mag I could see a mark where the end of the spring had been rubbing on the cover plate. I did not feel any rubbing before I took the mag apart though, so it wasn’t rubbing a lot. But after I put the mag back together I could feel a slight catching when I rotated the wheel. Maybe the end of the spring was pushed down slightly before I took it apart but it’s kind of compressed so I don’t see how it could have been. It’s silky smooth now though. I’m glad I took it apart and found the rubbing, even though I don’t think it was causing a problem.

    Before I put the metal cover on the mag I pressed the wheel down into position and I could see the end of the spring slight above the level of the wheel, maybe only .020 or .030″. So when the metal cover was put on it had to have been rubbing. I even swapped the spring around thinking that one end might be shorter than the other but it was exactly the same either way. Well, at least tonight when I go to bed I won’t have to think about taking the mag apart anymore 🙂

    Geo


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