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Education / Training Umarex Gauntlet .30 PCP pellet rifle: Part 1

Umarex Gauntlet .30 PCP pellet rifle: Part 1

Gauntlet 30
Umarex Gauntlet .30.

This report covers:

  • Why a .30?
  • Couch commandos
  • Hunting
  • The rifle
  • No baffles in the shroud
  • Magazine
  • Summary

Today we start looking at the Umarex Gauntlet .30 PCP air rifle. We will all be interested in discovering what this giant of a precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle is, as well as what it can do.

This Gauntlet .30 is the largest caliber of the Gauntlet 2 series rifles. The Gauntlet 2 also comes in .22 and .25 calibers. The first Gauntlet is a price point PCP, but the Gauntlet 2 is $630 (or $430 — depending on who sells it and when you look at their website).

Gauntlet 2
The Gauntlet 2 is a PCP that is offered in .22 .25 and now .30 calibers. The .30 says Gauntlet 30 on the stock, unlike the other two calibers.

I have tested the Gauntlet 2 for you seven times so far. The one I’m still testing is a .25 caliber, and I’m so glad it is because that leads me to the first question — why a .30?

Why a .30?

There are several answers to this question. The first one is perhaps the most important. This rifle exists to compete at extreme ranges in benchrest competition. Ever since Gauntlets showed up in competition several years ago and surprised everyone by placing high against all-out competition PCPs there has been a demand for more. Those Gauntlets were .25 caliber, and, while those of us in the larger world of general airgunning consider the 6.35mm pellet to be supreme, it gets outclassed in windy conditions at 100 yards. The bigger heavier .30 is more stable when the wind blows.

If the wind is not a factor the .22-caliber rifles stand a good chance. But when she blows you need the extra weight of a heavier pellet, and that’s where .30 caliber comes in. But you don’t make production air rifles for a hundred guys and gals around the world. There has to be more.

Couch commandos

Extreme airgun sports are followed closely by the “here, hold my beer” crowd who participate as much online as at the range. Like NASCAR fans, they follow the sport closely and pay attention. There may be 30 drivers on the track, but 150,000 sit in the stands, watching. No, they can’t afford the megabuck investment for a competition-ready car/rifle, but they darn sure will shell out for one when the asking price is under $630! I say $630 because that is what several websites say, but what do they know? As this is published Pyramyd AIR says $430. And, they know they can shoot their Gauntlet .30 at stuff other than targets.

The prices for this rifle were changing as I researched this product. I saw prices of $430 and $630. Check with your dealer before you commit.

Hunting

The Gauntlet .30 produces a muzzle energy of right at 100 foot pounds. That’s close to what a .22 long rifle standard speed bullet produces and it’s within striking distance of the .25-caliber AirForce Escape! That’s a lot of bang for your $630. It doesn’t take a PhD to figure out that this is a fine air rifle for hunting. Maybe not so much in thick brush, but in places where you can walk relatively unencumbered, one of the Gauntlet .30s should dominate.

Given the power, the pellet weight and the reputation for wind-bucking, the Gauntlet .30 should even be a fine close-range varmint rifle. And the wide open spaces where prairie dogs and woodchucks live are perfect for shooting off a bipod or sticks.

The rifle

You can see from the pictures above that the Gauntlet .30 is similar to the Gauntlet 2, but they are not the same. The Gauntlet .30 says so on its stock while the Gauntlet 2 just says Gauntlet 2. The Pyramyd AIR website changed as I was writing this report and now includes the .30 caliber Gauntlet with the .22 and .25 caliber rifles.

Like the .25 caliber Gauntlet 2 this rifle is a big ‘un, at 47-inches overall and a weight of 8.5 lbs. Of course a scope that you have to have and any other accessories will increase that.

The air reservoir is the same 24 cubic inches as on the smaller calibers, but the reg is set to 2800 psi, where the .25 is set to 2100 and the .22 to 1900. That means way less shots per fill and this guy needs 4500 psi/310bar, so this is a job for a dedicated compressor. Forget using a hand pump! And a carbon fiber tank will get you just one full fill.

Umarex says you’re going to get about 25 shots per fill and several reviewers have already seen 24 good shots, so the shot count is acceptable. Come on, guys — this is really a big bore!

Hunting Guide

No baffles in the shroud

By making this rifle a Gauntlet 2, Umarex has confused the retailers with the other two calibers. Some of the specs apply to all calibers while others are specific to the .30. That’s going to take some time to sort ou, if indeed it ever is.

Umarex has not put baffles in the shroud of the .30, because there is too much air to deal with. Instead they have threaded the shroud with a 1/2X20 UNF thread for an airgun silencer. This is a big bore, folks. You need that “can” if you plan to shoot around civilization.

I watched Tyler Patner’s rteview of the .30 and noted that the muzzle blast was recording 121+ dB. Now, I don’t know where that was recorded, but it’s louder than a .22 long rifle standard speed. This ain’t a house gun guys!

Magazine

The .30 has a 7-shot rotary magazine that sticks out above the Picatinny rail on top of the receiver. The rifle comes with two of them, plus a degassing tool and a few small o-rings.

Speaking of that rail on top of the receiver, the one on the .30 is machined right into the receiver, instead of a separate part held on by screws. This is another small difference in the .30 and it gives at least the sense of a more solid base for a scope, for you benchresters.

The remainder of the rifle is identical to the other calibers.

Summary

This report changed several times as I was writing it. First, several websites were changing things like specs and prices right under my nose. And, as I discovered what the .30 caliber Gauntlet really is, I realized this is a big bore test. Well, from this point on, that’s how I will approach it.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

34 thoughts on “Umarex Gauntlet .30 PCP pellet rifle: Part 1”

  1. B.B.

    The long range guys at my range, 100-200 yards all talk about slugs vs pellets. Spin rate, barrel rifling ratio, ideal speed. Seems a 40 fps slower speed is better for some rounds and then others need the 40fps back+. Lots of variables to get Goldie Lockes right. Hopefully, you will do some of this “darkside” work to get the very best from this gun. Just picking up a gun and putting a pellet in it DOES NOT work for PCP’s. Also, you need to shoot this at 100 yards. See if you can qualify in two MOA groups.

    -Y

  2. Don’t have any airguns over .25 and thought this one would make a reasonable first. But I could not figure out what I could use it for. I won’t be doing any long distance target shooting and I don’t hunt anything bigger than pests. Looks like this needs to be used in situations similar to a firearm.

    • Bob M,

      Big bore is not for everyone, as you have pointed out. I have dabbled in that world a bit and I myself have decided it is not really for me either, at least not these “smaller” big bores. I would like something with a little more “authority” than the .30 or .357 offer. Something like a .457 Texan LSS would probably suit me better.

      But even then, I would not be shooting much. Most of my shooting is done with .177 and some with .22. Like BB said, for long range wind bucking the larger calibers are nice, but you have to decide how much of that you are going to do.

      • RR
        Yes I believe I would pull something out of my gun safe before getting a big bore airgun.
        If I did not have any firearms to fall back on I might consider it.
        Location would be another factor to consider. I could only shoot to the west with a firearm.

        • The investment can be considerable, most especially if you go with a really high-pressure rig. Even with something that fills up to 3000 PSI can mean a lot of hand pumping with a big bore. They are air hogs. Believe me, I know.

          The AirForce line is still pretty attractive to me. I would like to see a modern PCP made for a 2000 PSI fill. They used to make big bore hunting air rifles that operated on less than 1000 PSI. Why not do such again?

  3. I can see where this would be a good open ground varmint rifle or a good bench rester. Myself, I have the HM1000X in .357. I am interested in how this performs compared to it. The high fill pressure is something I would dislike. That is a bit much for me. The recommended max fill pressure on my .357 is much lower, a little over 3K.

    This is likely a good intro into the world of “big bore”, but once you start down that road… 😉

    Oops. First paragraph. We will all be interesting (interested) in discovering what this giant…

  4. BB,

    Will be watching this series out of curiosity as my preference is .22 caliber out of practical choice.

    There seems to be some sort of attraction to bigger and bigger pellets whether there is a real need for that energy or not. Like the guy who hunts rabbits at 10 yards but buys a .30 because he might get a shot at a coyote at 100 yards. His money, his choice and the Gaunlet is probably ideal for him.

    Think it’s great that Umarex is tabling a reasonably priced big bore for those who want to try that game.

    Interesting that the .30 caliber bench-rest guys are finding best consistency and pellet flight at modest velocities in the 870 – 880 fps range.

    Hank

        • Mildot52,
          Long Range target shooting or “long range” for airgun hunting?
          Probably not out to 100 for target shooting!
          Also not at these FPE.

          shootski

          PS: I have asked Tom to get us the barrel twist rate and that will help in the bullet (slug) vs pellet decision.

        • Mildot52,
          You are correct that a bullet (slug) typically is sold on a better BC. But that BC actually doesn’t belong to the bullet it belongs to the shooting system and the specifications when and how the data for BC was collected.
          A Yawing (wobbly) bullet has a BC that constantly changes (usually getting worse) and may not “Go To Sleep” before getting to the target.
          The learning curve on shooting big bore PCP is not just about all the fill setups but even more so about the internal and external ballistics. Diabolos make up for a great many sins committed by the manufacturers of airguns/pellet ammo, airgun owners, and many airgun writers.
          I find reading Tom’s blogs on Big Bores interesting since he has shot and owns Big Bore airguns. What I also find interesting is how quickly the readership drops discussion on Big Bores and moves on to other topics. I never understood this until I bought my first adult BreakBarrel airguns. They don’t have much you can do to change how they perform. The big task is to learn how to consistently hold them and then start searching for the perfect diabolo pellet.
          Simple! KISS writ LARGE!

          shootski

          • you might be right with what goes on in an air rifle. also it is what type of bullet cause my friend had one of those korean lever action in .45 and bought expensive cast bullets on line and they were bad inaccurate. I had a mold for the Ruger BP revolver measured his bullets saw they were very close cast him some and they shot great at about 80 yds. so you got to get lucky and find the right one. that rifle uses a lot of air. we used a tag team of 3 guys to pump it and pumped enough air to fill the Hidenberg lol

          • Shootski

            Time, once again, to show my ignorance. It has always been my thought that the BC of a bullet was completely dependent upon it’s shape. Of course, it would always be a “best case” number where perfect stabilization was achieved.

            Now, we know that this is not often achievable, tho we should always attempt to get to that point. The number is just,, or so my thoughts have always gone,, a baseline which a reloader can use to determine the ballistics of a load.

            Which brought another thought to mind. That being that when we are selecting pellets for different guns, we should give more thought to keeping the muzzle velocity the same for each. Because the velocity is what determines the spin rate of the projectile. I think that one of the reasons that most guns benefit from velocities between 800 and 900 fps is that most of our guns have very similar rifling where those numbers afford the optimum stabilization.

            OR,, I could be totally wrong…

            Ed

          • edlee, in reference to “..velocity is what determines the spin rate of the projectile..”: the way I see it is, while inside the barrel, the projectile will only spin as dictated by the twist rate of the rifling, ie it can not spin faster or slower, regardless how long it takes to pass along.

            Then, when the projectile exits, there is only air, which causes resistance and slows the motion.

            If my thoughts are correct, then no matter how fast the projectile travels, the spin rate given to it by the rifling will always be the same. 🙂

          • edlee, I take back what I posted earlier. My thinking was not clear, neither did my words make much sense. Sorry. 🙁

            You are right that the rotations per minute are higher, the faster the pellet is.

            ———-

            shootski, thanks for trying to clarify my error, and for those links which I yet have to explore.
            However, you’ll never get me to climb into one of those human cannons ! 🙂

            PS I was thinking in terms of rifling twist rate, which I’ve only ever seen expressed as rotations over distance. My mistake was to ignore the dimension of time. Thanks again.

  5. B.B.,

    Great introduction to a big bore LITE.
    What is the twist on the Gauntlet 30 barrel?
    Will you be shooting pellets only?
    Looking forward to your reports on this product; but the reviews on PA and other places will be VERY interesting to read. Some of the earliest are indicative of the steep learning curve the Dark Side imposes on those who don’t know better and where to get the correct guidance.
    Pray no one gets hurt too badly.

    shootski

  6. My largest caliber airgun shoots 0.50″ projectiles. Unlike the Gauntlet, my Alfa 1.50 is designed to be used at close quarters. It is where this self defence pistol most effectively delivers approximately 12 ft/lbs of discomfort (depends on choice of projectile) to an assailant for example. A neat solution is how, as well as 7 hard rubber balls, the little 12g CO2 bottle can be stored in the airgun for very long periods and yet it is always just one tap on the butt of the grip away from being ready to shoot. 🙂

    —————————————–

    Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier), I found some cottage cheese today, so, of course, a punnet of strawberries also went into my shopping trolley…

    • I think, blending at slow speed might be best, to prevent all the tiny strawberry pips from being pulverised (I imagine this made the blend taste a little mealy or dry).

      • hihihi,

        Your comment and conception about Twist Ratio and projectile rate of rotation in/by the barrel is FALSE.
        Unfortunately it is a common misconception among shooters both new and longtime. There are formulas that work to explain/compute it but I will try to build you a mind image.
        Now close your eyes…oh! You can’t keep reading…okay eyes wide open. Now Imagine shootski has loaded you in a human canon with 100 meter barrel and rifling 1:100. We shoot you out at 100 meters per second you rotate once before leaving the barrel = 1 RPS (Rotation Per Second) you will continue to slow your rate of rotation only very slowly AFTER you exit the canon muzzle. You liked the ride so much since we shot you into a springy safety net across the stadium and want to do it again.
        This time, however we will shoot you out 10 times faster!
        We load you in the breech and I set the regulator to launch you at 1,000 meters per second.
        BANG! you spin once before leaving the barrel just like on your first shot…BUT your barrel time was only 1/10th of a second this time! You are doing 10 RPS as you leave the muzzle on your way to the net!
        I hope you get how it works. It isn’t the rifling Twist Ratio it is the Time interval that determines the rotational number. Also, the length of the barrel has no effect on the RPS.

        shootski

    • an ice cream maker with built in compressor (it cools the bowl while rotating a paddle through the mix) speeds up the freezing process while keeping the mix creamy..

    • Thank you Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier) for your recipe for Edie’s Ice Cream, it was “yummy”, which in this case translates as creamy, fruity, not too sweet and moreish. 🙂

  7. BB
    Off topic and years later. I mentioned in the barrel droop blog that my Crosman MTR77 NP (AR15 clone) shot very low, well that was out to 50 yards or so. But this is a Magnum powered air rifle. Then just recently that blog popped up in the old blog suggestions.

    Sparked my curiosity. Had someone found the problem with it or found ways to correct it?
    Well after going through your four part blog that contained a lot of good suggestions from members apparently nothing was found to be a direct cause of the inaccuracy problem.
    An air rifle assembled from parts made on a hangover Monday or a leave work early Friday?
    I read all the reviews on PA and AGD and the majority of reviews seem to believe the hardcore AR replica fell from the Gods in Airgun Heaven. 🙂
    If it was that fine why did Crosman discontinue it instead of coming out with a .22 like everyone wanted? …. Along with a better scope with stronger rings, tighter screws etc. The same problems as other Magnums. Along with using specific pellets.
    Most seemed to agree a tighter hold was better than the Artillery Hold with this one and the barrel needed to be cleaned. Someone found a poor barrel lock up ball pin and there was a question about the stock hanging way out there beyond the breach possibly affecting the accuracy by gripping it out there? Way out of balance, too much weight fwd. and hard to insert a pellet…. Location or poor lead in with rifling ripping up pellets?

    There were a lot of them that shot great out of the box also ? Then there was a comment that gas pistons don’t react the same as springers with the artillery hold.

    This rifle configuration was a big change from the standard break barrel set up. Perhaps the way it is installed inside the AR setup has something to do with it? Moving too much inside ? Creating new pivot points inside ? Or just letting it vibrate too much inside no matter how tight it is held outside. Then there is the outer barrel sight mount and stuff at the end of it.
    I was so disappointed with it right off I put it away as another collectable.

    Now I’m thinking that any play, vibration or flex inside the AR housing , or outside the air tube could not be corrected with any sighting system that is actually mounted to the AR platform, housing. Not the air tube.
    Combine that with all the typical problems associated with low cost China made springer/gas types and you may have an insurmountable problem that requires a total redesign. A lost cause for sure.
    But it sure does present a most challenging problem to overcome or at least narrow down to most probable cause.. A dammed Evil Black Rifle ? 🙂

  8. Well it has happened. Seven people shot with a high powered pellet gun in northern California. He is facing 21 years in prison. Almost killed one. He shot from his car.

  9. B.B., (edlee and hihihi this post is a possibility for you two as well as others to grow in our) sport

    You have you WORK cut out for you as you will note in hihihi and edlee exchange(s) above.
    I suspect it will never be easy to get pellet and bullet (slug) spin understood by everyone.
    Just as getting the idea that Balistics Coefficient (BC) isn’t a fixed quantity. I think the problem STEMs from the differences in usage by Mathematics and Physics.
    A simple comparison can be found here: https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/coefficient
    Also: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_coefficient
    I will say that I totally agree with George E.P. Box, All Models are WRONG but some are useful.
    One part of which says most everything you basically need:
    Most ballistic mathematical models and hence tables or software take for granted that one specific drag function correctly describes the drag and hence the flight characteristics of a bullet related to its ballistic coefficient. Those models do not differentiate between wadcutter, flat-based, spitzer, boat-tail, very-low-drag, etc. bullet types or shapes. They assume one invariable drag function as indicated by the published BC. Several different drag curve models optimized for several standard projectile shapes are available, however.

    The resulting drag curve models for several standard projectile shapes or types are referred to as:

    G1 or Ingalls (flatbase with 2 caliber (blunt) nose ogive – by far the most popular)[60]
    G2 (Aberdeen J projectile)
    G5 (short 7.5° boat-tail, 6.19 calibers long tangent ogive)
    G6 (flatbase, 6 calibers long secant ogive)
    G7 (long 7.5° boat-tail, 10 calibers secant ogive, preferred by some manufacturers for very-low-drag bullets[61])
    G8 (flatbase, 10 calibers long secant ogive)
    GL (blunt lead nose)
    Since these standard projectile shapes differ significantly the Gx BC will also differ significantly from the Gy BC for an identical bullet.
    Sorry since I know you learned all this in training but many readers don’t have that background.

    shootski

    PS: READERSHIP! those of you that got this far please read the LINKED material (especially the notes at the end of the Wikipedia article) even if it is difficult and confusing. I find that the more i read things that are above my comprehension the more it gets easier to Get at least some of it eventually.

  10. hihihi and edlee,

    /blog/2017/05/ballistic-coefficient-what-is-it-part-1-2/?swcfpc=1

    Be sure to read part 1 first.

    Then type ‘Twist Rate’ in the search box above and get ready to read a lot!
    But only if you wana!

    shootski

  11. Watching this one as an interested spectator only. I am primarily a short range .22 guy due to the size of my shooting backyard area (max 20 yards) although I have a fair number of .177s as well. .22 is my favorite. As far as big bore…I went all in before I even really knew what was out there with a Dragon Claw .50 and a custom made can for it. I might have went Air Force if I had really researched it first but a friend bought a Seneca Recluse .357 and I fell in love with the look of these and jumped on the Dragon Claw.

    It’s a lot of fun but gets shot rarely as even with the huge can on it, I am still a bit leery of shooting it in the backyard due to noise and being overpowered for the setting. I have 2 compressors and backup hand pump, so it’s a heck of a preppers dream gun as it can take any game in North America with the arrows made for it. It scratches my big bore itch when it needs to be scratched.

    This .30 looks cool, not much for the plasticy look personally but I can sure see the appeal if it is accurate,.

  12. If it actually produces as much force as your average .22 LR, then it’s a pretty good bang for you buck. Probably would be good for varminting and squirrel hunts, maybe small predators. I’d still use something like 223 or 308 for hogs and coyotes since It doesn’t sound like enough force to me. If I end up gettin this, I can sell my stock of .17 and .22, sounds pretty good. Gonna be sitting on my 223 ammo https://gritrsports.com/shooting/ammunition/rifle-ammo/223-ammo/ though, sounds like I’m gonna need it(hogs are going rampant right now)

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