Getting Started With a Pre-Charged Pneumatic
Right now the air rifle world is all abuzz with the words “Pre-Charged Pneumatic”. These “PCPs” are continually gaining in popularity for good reasons: they are quiet, they shoot with phenomenal accuracy, and they won’t rattle your scope to pieces. These three main advantages over spring powered air rifles are often enough to convert shooters from spring to PCP.
But there is a downside, or rather, a challenge to owning and operating a PCP. PCPs run on high-pressure air. This isn’t the kind of air pressure you can get with a typical garage style air pump. PCP’s air tanks are precise, heavy-duty devices that can hold 2,000-4,500 PSI. Most garage style compressors will only reach about 125 psi. We are talking serious pressure! A shooter will need access to a source of high-pressure air in order to enjoy a new PCP rifle.
If money is no object you can buy a high-pressure pump, air drying system, and several spare 97 Cu-Ft scuba tanks. It’s only money, after all.
For The Rest Of Us
There are some other options for filling your tank that don’t require the forfeiture of your retirement plan. One such option is the manual pump. I know this isn’t the most appealing alternative, but it certainly is the most economical, and if done right, living with and using a manual pump doesn’t have to encompass whole parts of your day.
Let’s talk first about who this is for. If you measure your weeks in tins of pellets shot, this is not for you. If you shoot 50-100 rounds in a typical week, then the manual pump option is an easy decision.
Filling up an empty tank the first time will take some pumping. But, once you fill it up, the smart technique is to top off the tank after 30 or 40 rounds shot. The tank’s pressure will not have fallen by a great deal at this point so a minimal amount of pumping will be needed to bring it back up to the maximum rated pressure.
Saving money is good and having a smart strategy for filling your tank is good, but what other benefits come from using a hand pump? Well, I’m glad you asked. A manual pump is a free spirit of sorts. You can take this portable device with you wherever you can take your PCP rifle. Want to show your new Gauntlet off to a friend that lives 100 miles from the nearest scuba shop or paintball field? No problem. Shoot to your heart’s content with the manual pump close by.
What if the lights go off? Or you want to take the rifle with you hunting or camping? The ultimate prepper’s rifle can go with you and be powered up independent of electricity.
Sold On PCPs Yet?
All air rifles are great fun, but PCP rifles are the ne plus ultra of the air gun world. Even mediocre shooters like the fellow writing this can stack pellet on top of pellet at ten yards. I’ve shot ¼” groups at 25 yards with one of our in-house .177 caliber Gauntlets. There was nothing special about that rifle at all. Just a rifle off the rack and a non-zeroed scope mounted. The point is, if you haven’t had a chance to shoot a PCP air rifle, you really don’t know what you are missing. And if you have and the bug to get a PCP has bit you, know that the entry fee to the world of PCP airguns is coming down. Rifles are improving and bringing top-notch features and performance into spring-gun price ranges. Don’t let the cost of an electric pump scare you away from furthering your love for shooting! Pick up a hand pump and apply smart strategy to keep the pressure up and those pellets flying!
Mark Davis, avid outdoorsman and family man, is the Social Media Specialist at Umarex USA.
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