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Hunting Umarex Gauntlet .30 PCP pellet rifle: Part 2

Umarex Gauntlet .30 PCP pellet rifle: Part 2

Gauntlet 30
Umarex Gauntlet .30.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Hold air?
  • What a day
  • Labradar chronograph?
  • Did BB ever actually shoot the .30 Gaunltlet?
  • JSB Exact 50.15-grain pellets
  • JSB Exact 44.75-grain pellets
  • Seven more JSB Exact 50.15-grain pellets
  • Seven more JSB Exact 44.75-grain pellets
  • What’s happening
  • Shot count
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I report on the velocity of the Gauntlet .30 caliber precharged pneumatic air rifle. This test took a long time to happen because I had to test the rifle at my gun range.

Hold air?

You may remember in Part One that the .30 Gauntlet leaked down at the range last time. So I brought it home and put some silicone chamber oil in the fill nipple before filling it again. This time it held air as follows — overnight it held without any telltale leakage. Four days later it was down from 4,350 psi to 3,000 psi. Five days after that (a total of nine days) it was down to 2,500 psi. And today at the range (a total of 18 days) it had dropped to 1,900 psi. That’s a slow leak but I think it is exacerbated by the high initial fill pressure.

I topped it off at the range, but of course my carbon fiber tank that had filled it 18 days earlier was now down to 4,200 psi because the initial fill had drained it.

What a day!

I had a friend at the range and I was helping him get his new 22-250 rifle sighted in which took time. By the time I got to testing the Gauntlet, it was raining and within minutes we were in a downpour. The Shooting Chrony was out in the rain because the skyscreens had to see the sky and the range roof extended about fifteen feet past the firing line. So I had to use binoculars to read the chronograph and the rain was fogging them up. I switched to a different pair of binos that worked better. I didn’t have my Meopta binos at the range but I always carry a small pair in my range bag and another small pair in my truck. These are the El Cheapo mini binos that are almost giveaways, so I have them in many places.

By the time I got the better pair focused on the readout that was about 15 feet away, the raindrops had bolluxed up the screen, and I had to call a cold range to go forward to wipe off the plastic so I could read the numbers. What a day!

I used to have an Alpha Master Shooting Chrony that had a readout with a 15-foot cord. I could read it right at my shooting table while the skyscreeens were 15 feet away. But that one went belly up and the company no longer exists, so BB has to do with a regular Alpha model that he has to read wherever it is. Indoors it’s not a problem, but at this range, it is.

Labradar chronograph?

Ironically, reader Vana2 had communicated with me the day before about a Labradar chronograph that sits on your shooting bench and records velocities by doppler radar. Goody — except for two important things. First, they cost $600 and second they are sold out! BB didn’t want to spend that kind of money at this time and now he couldn’t if he wanted to. Pookey!

Did BB ever actually shoot the .30 Gaunltlet?

Yes, he did. In a heroic display of not caring what was transpiring, BB did test two .30 caliber pellets at the range. Here are the results.

Build a Custom Airgun

JSB Exact 50.15-grain pellets

Give the conditions of the day that were steadily growing worse, BB loaded a 7-round magazine of JSB Exact 50.15-grain pellets and shot them across the skyscreens. Here is every shot.

2………………..did not register

Remember, BB had to estimate where the skyscreens were from 15 feet away and he didn’t want to hit the chronograph. The average of the five shots that were recorded was 840 f.p.s. At that velocity this pellet develops 79.59 foot-pounds at 15 feet from the muzzle. That’s perhaps 82 foot pounds at the muzzle. The spread was 32 f.p.s.

JSB Exact 44.75-grain pellets

Next to be tried were seven JSB Exact 44.75-grain pellets. They delivered this:

3………………..did not register

The average for this string was 921 f.p.s. At that speed this pellet generates 84.31 foot-pounds 15 feet from the muzzle. That’s probably 86 foot-pounds at the muzzle

By this time the rain was a deluge and I left the range. But the next day I tried to shoot seven 44.75-grain Predator Polymag pellets through the chronograph in my garage. I did it at 4 in the morning so as not to disturb anyone.  I say I tried because Predator Polymags are slightly too long to fit into the rotary magazine. So instead I loaded seven more JSB Exact 50.15-grain pellets, and look what happened.

And by the way, the pressure remaining in the reservoir at this point was 3,000 psi. That’s according to the onboard pressure gauge.

Seven more JSB Exact 50.15-grain pellets


I thought that I had somehow mixed in a couple 44.75-grain pellets into this tin, but I don’t think that was the case. I’ll show you why in a moment.

The “average” for this string of seven is 877 f.p.s. at the muzzle. At that speed the average muzzle energy is 86 foot pounds at the muzzle. And at the highest velocity the energy is 103.94 foot-pounds at the muzzle.

Seven more JSB Exact 44.75-grain pellets

Now I’ll show you why I think that last set were all the 50-grain pellets. Look at this string.


I know these were all 44.75-grain pellets because I checked them. They look different on the outside, despite looking the same on the cover of the tin.

30 caliber pellets
The two JSB pellets look different on the outside. The 50-grainer is on the right.

The “average” for this string is 869 f.p.s. The energy at that speed is 75.06 foot pounds. The energy for that 996 f.p.s. shot is 98.6 foot pounds. The spread for this string is 167 f.p.s. What’s happening?

What’s happening

I think there are two things at work here. First, I think the rifle is slowly breaking in before our eyes. Second, I think the valve takes time to reset. At least that’s what it looks like to me.

Shot count

The onboard pressure had dropped to 2,000 psi after this last string, and the velocity had dropped quite low for the lighter pellet, so I’m calling it. More shots are no doubt possible, but with the broad velocity range (996 down to 829 f.p.s.) I think accuracy at any distance is iffy. Call that 28 shots or four magazines.


I think the accuracy test will be interesting. This rifle drains a 4500 psi carbon fiber tank on the first fill, which has to be taken into account. You do get a lot of shots at between 75 and 100 foot-pounds, so perhaps the use of air isn’t an issue. I plan to ponder how I will test for accuracy, since the rifle is so all over the place in velocity. I’m thinking shooting all first shots, by pausing for five minutes between shots. We shall see.


The .30 caliber Gauntlet is a repeating big bore air rifle, but it has less energy than a .25-caliber Escape from Air Force. The Gauntlet is a huge air rifle, so hunters need to take that into account. I don’t know yet what to think, but the accuracy test will hopefully push me over the line, one way or the other.

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.

47 thoughts on “Umarex Gauntlet .30 PCP pellet rifle: Part 2”

  1. BB,

    At first I was puzzled why you had to bring it to the range just to chronograph the pellets. Then I realized this was definitely not backyard friendly and the sound could not be practically muffled for the backyard or basement. Unless Tom invests in collecting a lot of big boxes to create a muffler capable of decreasing the sound these big bores make to a level that can be overlooked by neighbors.


    • Siraniko,

      My Quackenbush .308 has two to three times the power of the Gauntlet .30.
      With a DonnyFL Emperor III and the 6″ expansion chamber it is actually backyard friendly for sound level. Not that I would shoot something that is capable of well over 210 FtLb in my suburban backyard.
      I have done a number of urban deer control hunts with 135 grain Lead hollow points and the herd just stands there wondering why their herd mate flinched and fell over. It isn’t hunting (at thirty yards) since they have no clue that something exists beside vehicles that is going to kill them. I call them “Bumbies” really sad to see them eating McDonalds French Fries and other food items that folks throw out. Not to speak of seeing them alongside of the roads dead or running scared. My daughter (LEO) has done 4 or 5 humane dispatches just this year when the collision wasn’t immediately terminal.


  2. Hello! Sorry this is a bit off topic. As per. Sorry !
    Well….I needed a field dressing knife because of Air Rifle… and so I bought a SVORD peasant knife kit and sat it on my shelf, thinked about it for almost three years, I reckon that was the right amount of thinking. Made the grip in about 3 hours it ticks all the design boxes I set myself. and cheap. Very cheap. Bahco Carbon steel blade. Scrap alloy scales. Anyhoo it all came together utilising all the skills I honed making weird air rifle stocks etc. and I am pretty darned impressed. It’s no looker or show pony, designed for work and work only. : – 0 . But I like the simple minimal aesthetic.
    And yes that Guantlet does look huge. and a bit too Science Fiction for my taste. and probably way over my budget.
    Hope you are all safe and warm, it’s cold and wet here, very wet. RobertA. : – )

    • Nice work. Does it lock open? I don’t see any release. If not, be careful. I almost cut off a finger with a non-locking folder.

      The cool thing is, you can re-read all about sharpening things in this blog if you search.

      • RG,
        It’s a “straight razor” style knife. The “tang” is a friction fit in the handle and is pretty darn good fit. In theory you could have a nasty cut if you were all thumbs… but then skilsaws are so much worse… so hmmm…. target rifles with no safety, boomerangs etc. And you can one hand it open with out all those tacticool knobs and knurled widgets, buttons, springs etc. One moving part! RobertA. : – )

    • RobertA,
      I love simple knives, yours is a beauty. I need another project like a hole in my head. Iwill never finish all the ones I have lined up. You are really tempting me with that one. I have carried the same single blade folding buck knive for longer than I can remember well over 20 years I think. Yours looks like it could replace it. Is it a comfortable pocket weight?

      • BD, thank you.
        I have no idea what it weighs in grains… I could calculate by using balance scales and 8.2 grain HN pellets… it is light though. ALu alloy sides make is light, but still strong. It is a lot longer than a conventional folder but it van be flatter. I will show you on the next one. Also I will carve the next one, fleur de lis style. and more shape to it. The blade cost about $20 NZD. from here: svord@xtra.co.nz atten: Mr Baker. I think Maria works the factory shop ph NZ 092358846. They do a giant version as well. 10″ blade ??? With a little bit of skill I could whittle the thickness of the knife down to about 10mm which is pretty thin ( but still sturdy ). I also decided that the super high polish was a bad idea as it becomes super slippery. So yes, I will be making carving tools next, Silver Steel and some heat treating later… ! I will need to find my picture collection of guns with carving to get ideas. : -)

        • RobertA,
          Thanks to you, I have a lot to think about. I made some throwing knives as a kid but would really like a pocket knife to pass on to th grand kids. I see there are smaller versions.

          • BD,
            So that’s a grand total of four knives to make. The last one will be the best ! Good on you, I hope they are appreciated. Keep on keeping on! I best go and see how my father is doing in the Kitchen, making toast and coffee no doubt. And it’s cold outside! Brrr…! : – ) RobertA

    • RobertA-
      Those little Svord blades are great. I did the same. Bought one because I liked the old style tang. And the price. $12, if I recall. Perfect for carving, whittling, woodworking. The difference in quality between the blade and the plastic handle material was so jarring that I felt I had to dress it up. $20 blade, $.01 handle. I had some small walnut pieces lying around that were perfect.

      • PST,
        I just rang Bryan at SVORD and enquired about buying blades without the “taper” grind etc. He said no. Drat! So I have to buy the “kitset” with all the attendant packaging and whatnot which will go in the bin. Hmmph. They have a new website http://www.SVORD.com email ( bryan@svord.com )but the old workshop number still works! NZ 092358846 and you can speak to the man himself! He has that “no flim flam I am quite busy” phone voice… I wanted to chew the fat but no dice there. Top chap! Just knapped the blade and gave it a strop, came up razor sharp and mirror finish. I used a leather strap and the “blue” polish bar smeared on the leather. ( the blue bar is a light cut carborundum lanolin waxy stuff, super cheap and works very well. Grey is a heavy cut.)

        Nice work on your knife! Looks warm to hold. and nice to behold too. : – )
        Mine would be freezing in winter. But it’s thin… and I borrowed a leather sleeve for it too. lemme take a picture… and there we go. I’m not sharpening genius but I managed to dismember some onions and chop up the beef for a stew so it does in fact work. I’m sold. Carbon Steel is real steal. AND ( this is important ) it is not fully hardened like cheap Stainless Steel knives, so you can do a bit of the “bend test” and the blade will not snap. Prying things open with a fully hard blade has risks… etc etc. On ya mate! ( Kiwi slang ). RobertA.

        • RobertA-
          Good on you. There are certainly more expensive and complicated hobbies a guy could have (hrmm… maybe my airgunning would, ehem, maybe, fit that description… maybe) You can’t beat a nice, thin, carbon, blade- easy to put a razor edge on, easy to tune up. I’m a carpenter and that little knife shines when I need to scribe extra thin layout lines for cutting mortices or dovetails, places where I need a thinner line than even a utility knife blade will cut. It is also just perfect for whittling. Good working knife. I wipe it occasionally with Ballistol to protect it from surface rust.

  3. BB,

    The continued leakage and the velocity stability is very disconcerting. I am aware that a slight leakage is not unusual with a PCP, most especially with a new one. I always like to put a little silicone chamber oil in my PCP reservoirs from time to time to prevent such and lubricate the seals, but this continued leakage would have to go back. The velocity stability, or lack thereof, will stand a good chance of affecting accuracy. I would most definitely have “buyer’s remorse” with this particular air rifle.

    I am aware that others have given good reviews of this model. Perhaps you have managed to end up with a lemon? Can lemonade be made of this?

    You make it sound as if I would be better served with an AirForce air rifle. In my journey, it sounds as if I am going full circle. Maybe I can talk GF1 into working up a trade with me? 😉

    • RR
      I have been thinking pretty hard about letting some guns go.

      Problem is most I really don’t want to part with.

      I still can feel how it feels when a good one goes and I don’t have it anymore.
      Gunfun1 has ammo and guns.

      Now airgun is costing me nothing to keep shooting and enjoying them for some time to come. I’m thinking that’s how its going to go for a while. A long while. 🙂

    • RR-
      It may just need to be shot and filled once or twice to let the seals and o-rings settle in and seat. My Marauder did this after a reseal. Just needed a few mags shot through it and a refill.

      • Prof,

        That may be so, but this is starting to sound like it may need working on. With a big rush to put certain airguns together and get them out the door, seals can be damaged during assembly.

        By the way, nice folder.

  4. BB,

    Know that the long range shooters favor the larger calibers but I’m wondering what the PRACTICAL applications are for a .30 caliber 80-90 fpe airgun.

    Please pardon that my perspective is that of sub-raccoon sized game that is easily managed with a typical .22 caliber PCP.


  5. >>> my carbon fiber tank that had filled it 18 days earlier was now down to 4,200 psi because the initial fill had drained it. <<<


    Guess the the intent is to fill the 4500 psi airguns directly from a compressor or, maybe use a two-tank cascading setup.


    • Vana2,

      I use two big 100 cu ft CF tanks Cascaded for fills to 3,600PSI and that gives me enough air for a full ranges session with any of my DAQs. Fills to 4,500PSI could be done with a big CF tank and a small portable 4,500PSI 12Volt/line power compressor, available power outlet, or a marine deep cycle battery to top off without taking all day at the range.
      There are CF tanks that go much higher than 4,500PSI but they are REALLY $$$$ expensive €€€€!!!! Or a steel 6,000PSI Industrial Cylinder that weighs a Metric ton!
      So the old rule of you can have any two for reasonable cost/weight parameters but if you want all three parameters it will cost you or be so heavy the porters required will break the bank with pay, food, and transportation!


  6. I want a low pressure air rifle. Give me 1000 PSI. They used to have air rifles that only filled to 600-800 PSI. Bring those back at an affordable price and I will buy several.

    I just bought a .22 that only fills to 2000 PSI. Why do we need 10000 PSI?

    The manufacturers need to go back to the drawing board.

    • RidgeRunner,

      Long barrels are required for that to work as i’m certain you know already. Folks would wimper that they are too heavy and the back of the closet isn’t tall enough to hide it once they found out how difficult it is to shoot something with a barrel that long and slow to plop out the bullet accurately.

      I would love a modern Girardoni clone with .458 bore!


  7. B.B.,

    Lab RADAR reported to be back in stock by October. You could write it off as a business expense and it will make part of your reports much easier since you could do velocity and accuracy testing at the same time. There are lots of ways to display all that data that gets recorded both tabular and graphic!
    The learning curve really isn’t steep as some folks claim.


      • BB,
        We Kiwis like to “bollocks” things up so we can make up some tall story of how we recovered from the situation with hidden benefits… ie. We bollocksed up the engine swap and in the process of redoing it properly we found that there was borer in the flange gasket that would have blocked the oil lines/indicator fluid lines and caused a catastrophic failure in the near future. Lucky eh! and so on… usually over an very hoppy cold ale. : – ) RobertA.

  8. B.B. and Bob Ryan,

    There are two spellings that sound the same but, I think, have different meanings. Bolluxed and bollocks. The first, to mean rendered useless, the second a more crude meaning and use, testes.

    I’m old too and bolluxed has been in my lexicon for as long as I can recall. Bollocks is used more in England, I think.

    At least, that’s as I understand our ever changing language.


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