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Definitive Guide to Umarex Gauntlet

When an underdog goes up to a group of champions and smacks them in the face with a glove it's called 'throwing down the gauntlet.' When the underdog backs up the challenge with an accurate, repeating, regulated airgun that puts out 60-70 shots with up to 25 foot-pounds of energy for sub-$500 it's called the Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle. Known for their affordable breakbarrels and historically accurate (and incredibly fun) co2 replicas, with the Gauntlet Umarex has finally ventured into the PCP market. Boasting a slew of features usually only found on very expensive airguns, it is one of the most exciting guns to be released in years. With high shot count, power, and accuracy, the Gauntlet is a gun that every airgun maker will have to reckon with in the future. Now even the most budget-conscious airgunner can own a high-performance PCP.
Detailed Review
The Basic Anatomy of a Umarex Gauntlet
Starting at the front you'll notice a fully shrouded barrel. It isn't as quiet as the Bejamin Marauder or some of the heavily moderated high-end guns, but it is definitely backyard friendly. The barrel is fully shrouded, and the shroud extends a few inches past the barrel to enclose a baffle unit that reduces the report even more. The shroud unscrews easily, making cleaning the barrel a cinch. The barrel is fully floated in the .177 and .22 calibers, but the .25 caliber Gauntlet has a barrel band for additional stability. Between the barrel band and the shroud is a small insert that assures a snug fit.
The durable matte-black synthetic stock keeps the weight down and won't get scratched up easily. It doesn't have the cheap plastic feel that some synthetic stocks have. The forestock is a bottle shroud which is easily removed to switch out tanks. The grip, while not a true pistol grip, has about the same angle and comfort of one, and with the adjustable cheek piece, and the curvy stock this is an ergonomic gun that shoulders just right.
Every time we look at this gun, we want to kiss the designer that decided to put an adjustable comb on this sub-$500 PCP. That is just pure airgun generosity and yet another example of Umarex's determination to pull out all the stops and give you an airgun that competes in every way with guns costing much more. To adjust the comb, loosen the sling stud and move the adjustment wheel. Then tighten up the sling stud to lock it in place.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of the Umarex Gauntlet is that it has a regulator. This is huge! Some PCPs costing more than $1000 aren't regulated, and for a gun to be regulated at this price is unheard of. Umarex is really throwing down the gauntlet! Why is a regulator such a big deal? It ensures that each shot leaves the barrel at the same velocity. Consistent velocity is key for accuracy, and with the Gauntlet, you've got it. The only potential drawback to regulators is that they can fail, but the Gauntlet's regulator is attached to the bottle so no surgery is necessary to replace it. In the rare case that it does fail, you can switch out bottles in just a few minutes. (And at this price you really ought to buy a spare!) Another benefit of a regulator is that you don't have to fill your gun up to the full 3000 psi. This can be a real bonus if you are using a hand pump. The .177 and .22 versions are regulated to 1150psi so if you want to fill it to just 2000psi you'll still get a number of shots before they fall off of the regulator. The .25 is regulated to 1900psi so you can still fill with a hand pump, but you?ll need to fill it to 3000psi or close to it to get a good string of shots.
The 13 cubic inch air reservoir coupled with an effective regulator yields a lot of shots. In .177 you can expect 70 regulated shots, in .22 will get you 60, and in .25 you'll get about 25. This is very impressive. Many guns that cost a lot more don't get as many shots. A great feature of the air reservoir is the Foster Quick Disconnect Fitting. This makes it so easy to fill up the gun. No more keeping track of random fill probes. Just hook up your hose and off you go. We wish all PCPs came this way!
If there is one area in which the low cost of the gun shows a little, it is in the trigger. But the trigger is fully adjustable and, considering the price, it isn't bad at all. Out of the box, our trigger broke at 2 lbs 7 oz, which is pretty good. However, it had a long, creepy, unpredictable pull. But the manual has very clear instructions on how to adjust it, and we did so in just a few minutes. Now we are pretty happy with it. It is still a single-stage trigger, but the pull is shorter, it's very smooth, and it lets off consistently right at one pound two ounces!
The Gauntlet's self-indexing, rotary, 10-shot magazine (8 shots in .25) is the same one that has been proven on the Marauder. They are very easy to load and if you notice a bent skirt on a pellet as you put it in, you can easily tip it out. These magazines are extremely reliable and have numbers on the face of them to show you which shot you are on. (We really appreciate that.) They are so inexpensive you can pick up at least two extras, and then after going through them twice, you'll know it's time to refill the tank.
The features just don't stop! Your Umarex Gauntlet comes with a single shot tray for benchrest shooting or those times when you don't want to load a full magazine. Single shot trays help you squeeze the utmost in accuracy from your gun because there is no risk that the magazine is affecting the pellet as it loads.
Power & Accuracy
While it's not an extremely powerful PCP, the power on this gun is just fine for most purposes. In .22 caliber, lighter pellets will have velocities in the high 800s or above and heavier ones in the high 700s. For example, H&N Field Target Trophy Green 10.03 grain pellets averaged 960 fps for a muzzle energy of 20.53 fpe. On the other end of the spectrum, the 18.13 grain JSB Exact Heavies averaged 775 fps for a muzzle energy of 24.5 fpe. This is oodles for pesting and small-game hunting. It will also send lead long ways downrange for you competitive shooters.
Here are some other chronograph numbers:
  • Predator GTO Lead-Free (11.75 gr) averaged 930 fps
  • RWS Hobbies (11.9 gr) averaged 895 fps
  • JSB Diabolo Exact Jumbo RS (13.43 gr) also averaged 895 fps
  • Crosman Premier Hollow Points (14.3 gr) averaged 874 fps
The .177 caliber version will shoot the H&N Field Target Trophy pellets at about 1000 fps and on the heavy side of things, it will shoot the JSB 10.34 Heavies at about 905 fps, which is really cooking! That gives you 18.6 foot-pounds of energy in .177. The .25 Gauntlet has plenty of punch and sends a 25.39 grain JSB pellet downrange at about 880 fps, making 43 foot pounds of energy!
Of course, power and shot count don't mean anything if the gun is not accurate. But the Gauntlet is very accurate! And it isn't pellet picky. While some guns will only perform with one or two pellets, in particular, the Umarex Gauntlet air rifle will shoot good groups with a number of pellets. This gives you flexibility and pellet redundancy so you're not out of luck if you run out of your favorite pellet. Many pellets will give you groups under an inch at 50 yards. And with the right pellet, five shot groups of a half inch at 50 yards are easy to achieve if you do your part. We shot 10 shot groups (with gusting wind) and most were around 3/4", with the best being the JSB RS 13.34 gr. pellets, which put 9/10 in 0.62" with the tenth opening it up to 0.79" at 50 yards. At 80 yards ten shot groups were just over an inch, with five shot groups being considerably smaller. This gun is a shooter!
If you want to throw a spare in your pack, you can use Air Venturi?s HPA tank. The performance will be the same because it is regulated to the same pressure. The forestock covers the bottle and to remove it, just unscrew the sling stud. Included with your gun is the Gauntlet?s pressure release key. This will degas the bottle so you can remove the tank easily and safely. The price of the Gauntlet?s magazines is just right for the airgunner who is trying to not break the bank. And they are very high quality and will last. The Gauntlet comes with sling studs already installed so putting on a bipod is very easy. Just make sure that the bipod you choose has a sling stud attachment. UTG makes a Tactical Bipod and a Heavy Duty Recon Bipod that would be good choices.
With the Umarex Gauntlet Starter Combo a first time PCP air rifle owner has everything they need to dive into the world of pre-charged pneumatic airguns. This combo includes a 4-12x40 scope, rings, sling and the Air Venturi MK4 hand pump (manufactured by Hill pumps) to fill your Gauntlet with air. And the 13 cubic inch reservoir is perfectly suited to filling with a hand pump. Or, if you already own a pump or filling source, pick up a Scope Combo and get an upgraded Hawke Vantage 4-12x50 scope and rings at a discounted combo price. The only thing left for you is to decide what pellet you want to sling downrange and to carve out your next weekend to enjoy shooting all day! The Umarex Gauntlet PCP air rifle is in a class by itself. Never before has a gun come to the table with this array of features at this price. It has practically all of the features that the big boys have and accuracy too. And with Airgun Depot?s Combo pack you have everything you need to get started. Now for a fraction of the price of a high-end PCP, you can own a gun that doesn?t make sacrifices. Powerful, accurate, regulated?when you pick up the Gauntlet, you will understand why it bears the name. We'd love to hear from you! Make sure to share your own review of the Umarex Gauntlet below. We welcome your comments and questions.