What do most new airgunners want these days? Specifically what do most new airgunners who are looking for alternatives to traditional firearms look for these days? I speak to a lot of them and they seem to be looking for that airgun that simulates their firearms but for a fraction of the purchase and operating costs. One of the immediate hurdles that they run into when they pick up their first powerful spring or gas ram driven gun is the how to overcome or at least manage the unique recoil produced by these airguns. It’s NOT like shooting their .22 LR. Or is it..?
The Umarex Fuel is bridging the gap and blurring the lines…
Earlier this year I had a wonderful time interviewing Richard Turner from Umarex about all their new airguns they were bringing to market in 2014. One of the products he was really excited about was the Umarex Fuel. This innovative airgun claims to solve the stability issue that harasses most new airgunners when they shoot spring or gas ram airguns for the first time.Umarex Fuel .177 Combo
I receive calls and emails all the time from new airgunners talking to me about accuracy issues only to find out that they are trying to treat their new airgun like a firearm. They are bracing it, putting it in a vice, strapping it down, resting it on sandbags, etc. In other words, not using proper technique. One of the worst things you can do is try and use a clamp on bi-pod that connects to the barrel. So, when Umarex showed me their new Fuel with the integrated bi-pod that folded up into the stock, I was cautiously excited.
Practice is practice is practice…
If you like to shoot firearms you know that there’s really no substitute for the real thing. But, what do you do when you can’t take the time or don’t have the resources to pull the trigger on your favorite powder burner. I found myself in this situation, as I’ve mentioned many times before. The answer is to find something that gets you close. Trigger time is trigger time after all. Break barrel and other spring / gas ram powered airguns fall short because of the recoil, PCPs are often “too expensive” for those just starting out. CO2 airguns, while a good alternative, have a lot of idiosyncrasies that can make them impractical or just not powerful enough to satisfy an itchy trigger finger. What we need is a break barrel that shoots like a firearm without the need for learning a new shooting “language” just to get in the 10 ring. This is the niche that I believe the Umarex Fuel fits into very neatly.Umarex Fuel’s innovative design Umarex Fuel’s Bi-pod legs in the stored position.
The Umarex Fuel .177 combo comes in a very nice, ambidextrous composite thumbhole stock, which sports 2 fold-away bi-pod legs. They are held in place by magnets when in the “up” position. The rifle’s action looks and operates very much like the Ruger Yukon, one of my favorite airguns. The Fuel is driven by the “Reaxis” Gas Piston and has the same adjustable trigger as the Yukon. It also has the “SilencAir” airgun suppressor built into the muzzle. My indoor tests measured a mere 94 DB making it one of the quietest break barrel airguns I’ve ever tested. Backyard friendly… Check!Umarex Fuel – SilencAir Airgun Suppressor
It has front and rear fiber optic sights and a weaver scope rail. The rifle ships with a basic 3-9×32 scope that’s ok to get you started, but does not measure up to the rifle’s potential. Picking up a scope with an adjustable AO would be my suggestion. Something in the Hawke Sport HD IR line like the 2-7×30 AO would be a great fit, improving the performance and aesthetics of this airgun.Umarex Fuel Trigger
Trying out the Umarex Fuel
So far I’ve just been working through the break-in period and I have to say that I’m impressed that there’s not a lot of drama with this gun. The bi-pod gives me the impression that I’m shooting at my bench with my .223 or my .22LR. The bi-pod is a little short, but I’m able to get comfortable enough to really enjoy the process.
In part 2 of my review of the new Fuel by Umarex USA, we’ll look at performance and accuracy which should make for a very interesting read!