Gauntlet 2 precharged pneumatic rifle from Umarex: Part 1
This report covers:
- First impression
- Air reservoir
- Bolt handle
- Scope base
- No longer a PPP
Are you ready for something new? Today we begin looking at the Gauntlet 2 PCP from Umarex.
I asked for and received my test rifle in .25 caliber. It also comes in .22, and if I was buying one that’s what it would be. But a lot of readers want to see the big quarter-inch bore more often, so here we go.
Wow! That’s my first impression. Even the box shows a lot of attention to detail, as it is light and made from cardboard products, yet it is as sturdy as it is possible to make.
Then I picked up the rifle and wow, again! The designers have done a lot to improve the rifle, yet I can recognize the Gauntlet at its heart. I’ll address the changes as we go.
The Gauntlet 2 weighs 7 lbs. 10 oz. I know the web page says more and so does the manual, but I weighed mine on a postal scale. There was no magazine in it at the time. Of course a scope will add weight and you have to scope it as there are no sights.
It’s 47 inches long, so this is a big air rifle. The barrel is 28-1/4-inches long, which means it’s going to get all the power the air can give.
This rifle is regulated. In the .25 I’m testing the reg is set at 2100 psi. In .22 it’s set at 1900 psi.
Both calibers of the new rifle fill to 310 bar, which is 4500 psi. Unfortunately that means you only get a single full fill from a carbon fiber tank, but perhaps the designers were thinking most owners would use a small compressor to fill. Now that those small compressors run on both house current and car batteries, they are as portable as the airguns. And you will still get many partial fills from that carbon fiber tank.
The air reservoir cylinder is removable and holds 24 cubic inches (393.29 cc) of air. That’s quite an increase from the 213cc of the first Gauntlet tank. That and the regulator give you up to 70 powerful shots in the .22 and up to 50 in the .25. The air cylinder sticks out several inches from the forearm, which it didn’t with Gauntlet One.
There is a small manometer built into the right side of the rifle, where the removable reservoir screws in. The left side features a Foster quick-disconnect, which is hunky dory with me.
Talk about power — in .25 this Gauntlet 2 is supposed to give up to 51 foot-pounds. In .22 the power tops out at 33 foot-pounds. That’s a significant difference.
The rifle comes with a degassing tool, if you don’t want to remove the air reservoir. There is a port for the tool on the left side of the stock, and the manual tells you how to do it.
The manual is written specifically for the .25-caliber rifle that I’m testing. I have to imagine the manual you get with the .22 rifle is specific to that caliber, as well. I don’t believe I have ever seen this in an airgun manual where the airgun comes in multiple calibers. It sure gives me confidence that someone was looking at a .25 when they wrote it.
If I had to pick the nicest feature it would be the slender parts on the synthetic stock. Both the pistol grip and where you put your off hand are quite slim.
The stock is synthetic, as mentioned, and I find it very ergonomic.The cheekpiece adjusts up and down, though all the way down is as high as I want it, with my fat face. The butt ends in a grippy black rubber pad.
Whenever I mention that a stock is synthetic a small number of readers go into low earth orbit over whether the butt is hollow. All I can say is it sure doesn’t sound like it.
There are two M-Lok slots on either side of the forearm, for those who want to add accessories.
I find the light green stock color pleasing. The contrasting black cheekpiece looks just right to me, because it matches the color of the metalwork.
The rifle is a repeater — 10 shots in .22 and 8 in .25. The magazine is rotary. In my 9-part test of the first Gauntlet the magazines jammed and caused lots of feeding problems, so I will be watching the two magazines that came with this rifle very closely.
The bolt will not go forward after the last shot. The magazine prevents it.
The rifle also comes with a single-shot tray. I will use it as well in the accuracy tests.
The bolt knob is cylindrical, fat and knurled. Like the first Gauntlet, the bolt takes a mighty pull backwards to cock the rifle, and the knurled knob helps out. The web page says the cocking force has been reduced by 15 percent but I have no way of testing that.
The trigger is a modified crossbow trigger like the one Crosman put in their 160 rifle. The website calls it a single-stage, but at this juncture I feel two definite stages. Perhaps when I air up the rifle that will change.
I will say this — I plan to adjust the trigger to my satisfaction, since I know how good it can be. I’ll probably do that after the velocity test in Part 2.
The Gauntlet 2 has a Picatinney base atop the receiver. The magazine does stick up above the top of the scope base, but only slightly. It’s also offset to the right side. Even so, two-piece scope rings will be needed. I had one heck of a time finding scope rings with bases small enough for the original Gauntlet that had an 11 mm dovetail, but a Picatinney rail is goverened by a military specification, so it should be right on.
The shroud is removable for cleaning and it does have baffles. The claim is an 8 dB noise reduction from the baffles.
No longer a PPP
The Gauntlet 2 is no longer a price-point PCP (a PCP that retails for under $300). At $430 it’s out of that category, though not very far. For all the features you get I have to say it’s still looking like a great value. And the beauty of that is, given all the other fine air rifles on the market, we don’t have to denigrate the others or make comparisons. The Gauntlet 2 can stand on its own merits.
We have a real opportunity here to test a powerful new PCP. When I tested the first Gauntlet I got talked into bumping the barrel for the stability of the point of impact. I’m not going to do that with this one. If it shifts while I handle it I’ll make a remark; otherwise I’m testing it like any other PCP.
This is a big .25-caliber rifle, and it’s also obviously a hunting rifle. With 50 shots available you can leave your buddy bottle in the car. Most hunting trips get just a few shots unless you are cleaning out rats or pigeons. Also, as powerful as it is, this rifle has to be tested out to at least 50 yards.