How the Price-Point PCP (PPP) has changed the face of the airgun world

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Gauntlet
Umarex’s Gauntlet was the first PPP to be announced, but several others beat it to the marketplace.

This report covers:

  • Gauntlet dropped!
  • For Hank
  • For the manufacturers
  • What is a PPP?
  • Cost
  • Required features
  • Nice features to have
  • Caliber
  • ALL BOATS ARE FLOATED!
  • Compressors
  • Other PCPs
  • Sig
  • AirForce Airguns
  • On and on
  • Summary

Gauntlet dropped!

When Umarex announced the new Gauntlet air rifle the savvy airgunning world was stunned. A precharged pneumatic (PCP) that was a repeater, was shrouded with an active silencer, had an adjustable trigger and stock, was accurate and came with a regulator — all for less than $300. They named it appropriately, because it was a huge gauntlet to drop on the airgun community. I’m sure this is exactly what Umarex had in mind, though the particulars of how it has and still is unfolding I’m sure have been as much of a surprise to them as they have been to others. read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 5

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Today’s test
  • Beeman Kodiaks
  • JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
  • Air Arms domes
  • Discussion
  • H&N Baracuda Match with 5.53mm heads
  • Second discussion
  • High power
  • Field Target Trophy pellets with 5.55mm heads
  • Last discussion
  • Summary

Today I move back to 25 yards and shoot some groups with the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP. Before I go there, though, I promised reader Decksniper I would show him the shim I used to tighten the scope mounts on the Aspen’s small dovetail. You need to remember that I used the UTG P.O.I. scope rings to mount the UTG Bug Buster 3-12X32 scope on the Seneca. That’s important because of the extremely tight tolerances those rings have. They fit so well that only a single shim was required. Look where I put it. read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Trigger adjustment
  • Scope mounting
  • Accuracy test
  • Air Arms domes on high power
  • H&N Baracudas with 5.53mm heads on high power
  • How is it going?
  • JSB Jumbo Monsters on high power
  • Low power
  • Air Arms domes on low power
  • Screamer!
  • JSB Monsters on low power
  • Impressions
  • Summary

Today we begin testing the accuracy of the new Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP with a built-in pump. I am so glad I did the extensive velocity test in Part 3, because it set me up for today’s test. There are almost limitless combinations I can test with a multi-pump that is also a PCP and has two power levels. By the time you factor in different pellets and distances, the possibilities are staggering. I need to test the rifle for accuracy but eliminate most of the peripheral possibilities. I need to find an accurate pellet, which power level it works best on and the distances at which the rifle will perform. read more


Benjamin Fortitude precharged rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Benjamin Fortitude
The Benjamin Fortitude precharged air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Setup
  • Pellets selected
  • The test
  • JSB Exact Heavy
  • Cocking and trigger
  • Discharge sound
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • Crosman Premier light
  • Discussion
  • Summary

We start accuracy testing the Benjamin Fortitude today. Sometimes I begin this test at 10 meters and other times at 25 yards. I’m starting at 10 meters today because the Fortitude is a significant precharged air rifle that I want to test very thoroughly.

Setup

I mounted a vintage UTG 8-32X56 SWAT scope on the rifle. The scope was so old it only parallax adjusted down to 25 yards, so I ran it at 8 power for this test. The bull was a little blurry but easy enough to see. When I get back to 25 yards the image should be crystal clear. read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Multi-pump
  • High power
  • Power
  • Coolest test
  • What you do
  • Low power with Kodiaks
  • Summary

Well, well. Lots of interest and discussion of the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP with a built-in pump. As well there should be. This is a ground-breaking air rifle that offers many features never before seen. However, it has confused people a little. For example, many readers are focused on the “PCP” part of its title, when it is the multi-pump aspect that dominates.

Multi-pump

Did you notice that I never filled from a tank in Part 2? I won’t today, either, and today is a continuation of the velocity test. It just is not that convenient to use a tank for the few shots that you get. I will fill from a tank at some point, but that will be after I learn the power curves of the rifle. And I did say curves, with an “s,” because every pellet you use has the potential of changing the maximum and minimum optimum fill pressure slightly. read more


Daystate Sportsman Mark II

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • “What they oughta do…”
  • “They” did!
  • Sounds nice!
  • How did it shoot?
  • History
  • Summary

This week reader Yogi asked me if I could write a blog about the Air Arms Pro Elite — a breakbarrel rifle that was built to the same quality level as a TX200 Mark III. I said I would look and see if I had enough information to write about them. I have owned two Pro Elites, a .177 and a .22, and I didn’t think much of either one. The build quality was excellent but they were hard to cock, recoiled harshly and were not that accurate, as I recall. However, thinking about that rifle opened another closet in my dusty memory, — one that related to the Seneca Aspen I started testing earlier this week. I’m referring to the Daystate Sportsman Mark II. read more


Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Seneca Aspen PCP
The Air Venturi Seneca Aspen precharged pneumatic air rifle.

This report covers:

  • Value-packed airgun!
  • Stock
  • Sidelever
  • Single shot and repeater
  • Sights
  • Filling
  • Overfill pressure release
  • Depressurization screw
  • No-fill
  • Safety
  • Power adjustor
  • Adjustable trigger
  • Features
  • Evaluation

I just received this airgun last week and I am bumping some other reviews out of the way to bring it to you today. This is the air rifle many of you have been waiting for — the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen PCP with a built-in pump! They won’t be available from Pyramyd Air until early December, so we should see a pretty full test before you have to make the buy decision, to get it by Christmas.

Value-packed airgun!

The Aspen retails for $400, so it’s not quite a price point PCP (PPP), but it has some features that few other airguns offer. Let’s look at them now. For starters this is a PCP that has a pump built into the airgun! What that means is you can fill it from a tank or you can pump it up yourself. This is exactly what the easy-chair engineers have been designing in their dreams for years. Then FX came along with their Independence that does exactly that and everybody changed their tune to —“I would buy one, if only it wasn’t $1,600!” Well, this one isn’t. read more