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The Dawn of New Airgun Technology

Once upon a time Waylon Jennings asked in song, “Don’t you think this outlaw bit’s done got out of hand?” The 70s were wild and (good) Country music was rebelling from the “countrypolitan” sounds that had taken over Nashville.  The change was needed, although it wasn’t for everyone.  Some people will insist on the same old pablum they’ve been consuming for years and years. But sometimes you have to break a few rules, a few windows, or a few hearts to make something really good happen.  We think we have done just that with the Umarex Komplete™ Nitrogen Cartridge Rifle (NCR) pre-charged pneumatic air rifle system.  

Just this morning we announced a new product and its amazingly simple and convenient operating system and it will get the attention of the entire shooting industry. Moreover, we are strongly convinced that it will get the attention of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of shooters across North America and elsewhere. The single biggest obstacle an airgunner faces when it comes to making the jump to pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) airguns is sticker shock.  Even with a lower-priced rifle, a consumer still needs to obtain a way to fill the airgun’s tank. Whether that be a three stage hand-pump, portable electric high-pressure compressor, or external carbon-fiber tank– there’s a great initial cost to be paid. 

The advantages of PCP shooting are many.  To name a few, they are a pleasure to shoot.  There’s virtually no recoil associated with a PCP air rifle. As a result, a PCP is very accurate and needs no special airgun scope. Not only are PCP rifles very accurate, but with side-lever and bolt action receivers, PCP rifles offer multi-shot performance.  Our first PCP rifle, the Gauntlet, offered shooters an amazing value (It was the first multi-shot PCP under $300), a 10 round auto-indexing magazine and smooth bolt action. It made headlines and brought many airgunners into the PCP camp.

Conversely, traditional spring and CO2 powered airguns have their limitations. Most spring operated air rifles do not offer multi-shot performance and those that do require the shooter to move the rifle around in some way for the rifle to be re-cocked.  Additionally, spring type rifles create recoil force, but not like recoil from a powder burning rifle. The recoil impulse goes in two directions– both rearward initially and forward secondarily.  It is this forward recoil that can break even the most expensive of rifle scopes. But there is a second issue that can be problematic to some shooters, especially those used to shooting powder-burning rifles.  That issue is vibration. If the shooter tries to hold on or grip the rifle too firmly, the vibrations from the recoil impulses travel down the barrel.  As you might imagine, this can lead to disappointing accuracy. 

CO2 rifles have more in common with PCP rifles in their ease of use and accuracy, but one critical factor that CO2 can’t compare to a PCP rifle is power. CO2 turns into a liquid and stabilizes at around 850 PSI and can fluctuate based on temperature. Pre-charged pneumatics are often regulated at pressures well over 1,200 PSI. What this means is that caliber to caliber, a PCP will be shooting much harder than a CO2 rifle.  More air means a heavier pellet can be used and the usable range for the rifle extends greatly.  Beyond punching paper, CO2 pellet rifles have few fans.  

However, when many consumers reflect on the economics of the potential purchase (A + B = $$$) they decide either to forgo airgunning altogether or choose a break-barrel spring/gas piston platform or a CO2 powered platform in spite of the mentioned advantages listed above. 

All the Good of a PCP at the Price of a Springer

What Umarex USA has done with the Komplete NCR is eliminate a substantial secondary purchase right out of the box. Literally. The Komplete™ comes with a recyclable 3,600 PSI pre-filled nitrogen cartridge. Simply install the cartridge onto the rifle, load up the magazines and the rifle is ready to use. There’s no purchasing an expensive pump or even calling around to find a paintball store or dive shop that can fill your rifle up.

 In .177 caliber the Komplete™ will shoot over 45 shots before the pressure falls below the regulated pressure.  You can still shoot several shots after the pressure falls below the regulator, but you will want to stop before the velocity gets too low as there is a chance that a pellet can become lodged in the barrel. In .22 caliber, you will get over 40 shots above the regulated pressure.  The same cautions hold true for both calibers. 

The MSRP of the Komplete™ is $199.99. That is to say you can get your hands on this impressive air rifle for about the same cost as a nice spring/gas piston air rifle or for about half of the cost of an entry level PCP air rifle. This rifle does come with a NitroAir cartridge to get you started, but replacement NitroAir cartridges are sold in 2-packs for $24.99.  .

“But the rifle, how does it shoot?” 

I’m glad you asked.  The Komplete feeds from an easy to load auto-indexing 10-shot magazine.  Just poke a pellet in, rotate in the direction of the spring resistance and continue loading.  Once the magazine is topped off and you have a NitroAir cartridge installed, trigger time has arrived.  The Komplete™ NCR utilizes a smooth, easy to work side-lever action.  The rifle will be cocked once a new magazine is loaded, so be aware of this and utilize all safe gun handling practices from the start (engage your brain!).

If you are worried that the Komplete™ NCR is going to be a disappointment in the power department, let me stop you right there. The Komplete sends it with authority. In .177 caliber a 7 grain pellet is leaving the muzzle at 1075 FPS (18 Ft-Lbs)  and in .22 caliber a 11.9 grain pellet is exiting the muzzle at 975 FPS (25 Ft-Lbs). Whether you are looking to target shoot, plink, or hunt small game, the Komplete is up to the task.  The trigger has a very smooth take-up (take-up is adjustable) and breaks at a stated 4.5 lbs, but honestly, I think we sandbagged that rating. It feels much better than that. Shooting the Komplete inaccurately can’t be blamed on the trigger.

The Komplete™ does come with a 4X32 scope to get you started, but you will quickly find its limits.  A great optic to upgrade to would be the Axeon 4-16X44 SF scope with a mil-dot reticle

That, however, is secondary to getting your hands on the Komplete™ package.  You can do that right now, by clicking on this highlighted text or, if you are coming to the NRA Annual Meetings and Exposition in Dallas, Texas this weekend, you can see the Komplete™ NCR first hand and bend our ear about it all you want.  Oh, and hit up our website to buy one of our value packed Komplete bundles for yourself!  

The story is, if you have been that airgunner who has been on the fence about going to PCP, or have just been frustrated with the performance from CO2 or spring type airguns, the Komplete is the complete package for you.  Like most other PCP rifles, you don’t have to degas it for storage, and the NitroAir cartridges can be stored indefinitely in a cool, dry place, the Komplete™ is a winner to put back in the old prepper cache, but it’s also a winner if you just don’t want to invest big money into a full-scale PCP set-up. It’s hard to overstate what a winner this rifle really is. You need to see for yourself what we’re over here talking about!

* At this time we are not able to ship the Komplete Rifle to Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico. 

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