PCP Airguns offer the best in performance, power, and accuracy. But, unfortunately, they also come with a high price tag, right? Not exactly. While PCP may have been out of reach of many normal airgunners just a few years ago, we’ve seen a massive influx of affordable PCP’s hit the market in the last few years. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best budget PCP air rifles you can get in 2022.
Before we start, remember that PCPs operate on high-pressure air. As you are considering your airgun choice, also consider how you are going to fill it. While some guns only need 3000 psi, many now want over 4000 PSI for optimal operation. Most folks can hand pump 3000 PSI airguns, but it’s another story when you are trying to hand pump to 4000+ PSI every time you want to go pull the trigger. The money you save on a more affordable PCP may be well spent on a personal compressor or a better scope. Both of which can be used on your next airgun down the road.
Air Venturi Wood Stock Avenger
Hitting the US market with a vengeance, the Air Venturi Avenger delivers power, accuracy, and features usually only seen in airguns costing two to three times as much. The Wood Stock version adds a few bucks to the price and improves stability and rigidity to the action while still having a very affordable price tag. While we would not claim the Avenger is a true 100-yard target gun, many airgunners continue to prove us wrong, getting amazing groups out to 100 yards and beyond.
The accuracy and power of the Avenger are thanks to the 300 bar max pressure and onboard regulator. Where other airguns in this price point may also have a regulator, we don’t know of any that are easily adjustable without having to dismantle the airgun. The Avenger also has an externally adjustable hammer spring and a fully adjustable, two-stage trigger.
Umarex Gauntlet 2
Umarex was the first company to strike a serious blow in the budget PCP air rifle class. Their original Gauntlet combined a well-known platform with a regulated air cylinder, adjustable trigger, shrouded barrel, and adjustable stock. As with the Avenger, airgunners were routinely getting decent groups at 100 yards. But the original Gauntlet had its quirks.
Umarex released the Gauntlet 2 and incorporated many highly requested changes to the design and operation. The improved G2 is now easier to cock, quieter, gets even more power, and has up to 100 shots on the regulator. The power and shot count comes from its new 24 cubic-inch, 4500 psi aluminum bottle. You don’t want to be the one having to hand pump this airgun.
At the price tag, you may not be expecting much from the Gamo Urban. Well, this little PCP has a 4.9-star average customer review rating, with all but four reviews giving it five stars. Those other reviews all gave it four stars.
The Gamo Urban is a .22 caliber PCP that uses a moderately sized air cylinder, operating at 3365 PSI. Because the cylinder is not that large, it’s very easy to hand pump. It gets up to 800 FPS with a reasonable shot count. The Urban is a great package for new airgunners on a budget. It’s built well, has an integrated moderator, good trigger, is not pellet picky, and is very accurate out to 50 yards. It’s a great budget air rifle.
The last budget PCP on our list is for new airgunners that are just starting out. They want a PCP but don’t have a lot to spend on a way to fill it. Like with the Benjamin Discovery of old, the Umarex Origin continues down the path of everything in one box. You get a solid PCP and a hand pump right in the box. Then, add a good optic, some pellets, and you are good to go. However, the Origin has a very cool trick up its sleeve.
If you’ve never hand pumped a PCP from empty, you’re not going to understand just how big of a deal this next part is. A normal PCP has to reach optimal pressure before you can take any decent shots. This may mean that you are hand pumping for 150 to 200 strokes, or more with high PSI airguns, just to take your first shot. The Umarex Origin merges gas ram technology with PCP technology by taking a gas ram and boosting the internal pressure as you pump up the gun. With the Origin, you can take a full-power shot with only 14 strokes of the hand pump.
There are other benefits to the Ever-Pressure tank system. For example, rather than controlling the pressure with a complicated regulator and plenum before the valve, the gas ram pushes against the air volume in the cylinder as a whole, creating one big plenum. This delivers great consistency and a ton of shots for such a small cylinder. What’s even better is the price. Airgunners can add a reasonably priced optic and have a full shooting setup for under $500.
More PCP airguns on a budget?
A quick scan for PCPs under $500 shows that there is a wide variety available at Airgun Depot. All of these budget-friendly airguns have a lot to offer new shooters. Rifles like the Hatsan Flash Pup or the Avenger Bullpup continue to raise the bar for performance, accuracy, and build quality, narrowing the gap between budget air rifles and flagship air rifles.
If you’d like to know more about all the various options, just give us a call at Airgun Depot and we’ll be happy to help.