You’ve finally decided to jump into PCP airgunning. What is the best first PCP rifle? Well, that will change depending on many factors.
So let’s break them down and help you get the best first PCP for you!
Determine Your Commitment
Most new PCP airgunners don’t jump right into the deep end. They want to dip their toe in, test the water, and then decide if going “all in” is what they want to do.
What if you’re one of those shooters who know PCPs are the way to go, and money is no object? Before you start looking at which airgun will be your first PCP, you need to start looking at how you will fill it.
Buy it nice or buy it twice.
There’s a YouTuber that uses the above phrase, and it’s really an excellent way to look at things. When you are looking at filling solutions, going cheap just means that you’ll be spending more money down the road, probably a lot sooner than you’d like.
If you are “all in” on the PCP front, then go with a reliable filling solution and resolve yourself to the maintenance requirements of your particular solution.
A good starting point is the Air Venturi 4500 PSI compressor system with the additional large AV filter. This solution is great if you are looking at a solution that can fill bottles as well as airguns over several years with proper care and maintenance. It’s also serviceable via rebuild kits, should you need to do so.
Best All-In PCPs
Even with an unlimited budget, you don’t want to spend all your time maintaining your first PCP. You want an airgun that works out of the box and keeps working for years. It may not be infinitely user tunable or have other advanced features, but it will work day one and still be working years later.
For this, we’d recommend a brand like Air Arms. They build exceptional airguns designed for use from generation to generation with minimal upkeep.
When you look to get your next airgun, you can start looking at brands like FX and others that offer some great features and can be customized to the ends of the earth but may require regular maintenance between shooting sessions.
Best Entry Level PCPs
Let’s just say it needs to be easy (and cheap) to fill.
With that out of the way, let’s look at how most shooters approach getting their first PCP. You still need to consider the way you are going to fill your airgun. The simplest way is with a hand pump.
Guns like the Beeman QB Chief only take 2000 psi, making them very easy to fill by hand. There are other options that are also easy to fill; just stick to guns that operate at 3000 psi and less.
The most popular PCP is probably still the Benjamin Marauder. It has the perfect combination of affordability, exceptional accuracy, match trigger, and sets the standard for “quiet” airguns when it hit the market over a decade ago.
Best All-in-One PCP
If you don’t want to do things piecemeal, then there’s only one option, and it’s the Umarex Origin. The Origin is a PCP that has everything but the optic in the box. If that was all it had going for it, it might not be that special, but it goes beyond just having all the pieces in the box.
It incorporates new technologies that make it as easy to fill as the QB Chief while delivering the power and accuracy of the Benjamin Marauder – only with better shot count and consistency.
The Origin uses an internal gas ram in their Ever Pressure System, which boosts the air in the air reservoir, creating a first shot pressure of over 1000 psi with only 13 pumps of the included hand pump.
Where other PCPs need 300+ pumps to reach full pressure, the Origin only takes about 140 pumps from zero to full. Topping off from 1500 psi to 3625 psi takes only about 80 pumps. If affordability, simplicity, and performance are what you are looking for in your first PCP, then the Origin may be a great option.
Before you pick your first PCP, decide on how you plan to fill it. If you have the budget to go with a compressor, it will significantly expand your options. But you’ll want to get something that’s simple vs complicated so you can spend more time shooting and less time maintaining your airgun.
If you are going to tiptoe into things, then a hand pump will be the right choice. From there, consider what it will take to fill your airgun. While hand pumps can reach 4500 PSI, it takes more work than you may be willing to do. You’ll want to stick to guns that operate at 3000 to 3250 PSI.
Picking a gun like the Air Venturi Avenger, which is an extraordinary and very affordable airgun for sure, may be more than you want to tackle with a hand pump as it needs 300 bar (4350 PSI) to operate.
Whenever you are ready to take the plunge, and if you need some help wrapping up your decision, just give us a call here at Airgun Depot, and we’ll be happy to help you get the right gun for you.