PCP air rifles are available in many different calibers. Logically, larger caliber air rifles consume more air per shot than smaller caliber air rifles and as a result those larger air rifles typically are sold with larger high pressure onboard air tanks. No big surprises there. However we often receive questions from people looking to get into a PCP air rifle about filling methods and air tank size. With that said, we will briefly address our PCP airgun line, their tank sizes, and recommended methods for filling each gun’s tank.
Umarex Notos .22 Caliber
Our “fun size” pcp, the Notos .22 caliber is small, cute, and cuddly. Well, maybe not cuddly. With a total bare-gun weight of 4.1 lbs, there’s not much there to complain about. It’s accurate, it hits with respectable authority, especially for such a compact rifle (so compact it can be configured as a pistol). The tank on the Notos is proportionately small as well. The volume of the tank is Notos’ tank is 66 cc’s and it is fully pressurized at 3,625 psi. With this in mind, the Notos is extremely easy to live with when you use a hand pump to fill. Shooters can expect to get about 24 shots before the velocity falls off too much. After three magazines, it will only take a minute or so of pumping to re-charge the Notos.
Umarex AirJavelin Pro
The AirJavelin Pro is a compact, but high performing air archery gun. In a super lightweight platform, the AJ Pro will launch a 170 grain arrow at 370 fps. The air power is stored in a 121 cc tank that pressurizes at 4,500 psi. Since it was designed with hunting in mind, you will want to keep the AirJavelin Pro topped off with air when afield. The good news is that with either a hand pump or a portable electric high pressure pump this is very easy to do.
Umarex Origin in .22 or .25 Caliber
The Origin was initially offered as an airgun for people looking to dip their toes into the PCP airgun world. The key to this idea was the Ever-Pressure pre-charged tank system. This tank allow the shooter to maximize their pumping efforts by automatically increasing the pressure against the volume of air that is in the tank. The Origin tank holds 140 cc’s of air and takes a maximum fill pressure of 3,625 psi. This volume and pressure will allow the Origin shooter to take about 33 shots before the shot string becomes unusable in .25 caliber and in .22 caliber, the shot string extends to 66 shots. Yes, bigger bore airguns do consume more air for each shot. Whichever caliber you choose, the Umarex Origin’s are easy to live with for hand-pump shooters.
Umarex Gauntlet (original)
While the original Umarex Gauntlet has been discontinued, it is not uncommon to see one available on the used market or within your shooting network. Initially offered in .177 caliber and later in .22 and .25 calibers, the Gauntlet was equipped with a 13 ci/213 cc’s tank that has a max fill pressure of 3,000 psi. In .177 caliber, the Gauntlet could shoot well over 100 shots before the pressure dropped below the regulator. In .22 caliber, the shot count dropped to about 75 and in .25 caliber the shot count comes in at about 30 shots. Here a shooter can start to see that opening up your fill options to something other than a hand-pump can be advantageous when opting for the larger caliber. That being said, hand pumping is still a viable choice for a rifle in these calibers.
Umarex Gauntlet 2 (current generation)
The Gauntlet 2 came out with a much larger tank and a much higher maximum fill capacity. With 24 cubic inches of air stored at 4,500 psi, the G2 upped the ante in every department, including regulated pressure. With more power and more shots on tap, the Gauntlet 2 has been a major force in the airgunning world for the past three years. The Gauntlet 2 is not available in .177 caliber, but it is available in the ever more popular .22 and .25 calibers. With 393 CC’s of air on tap, the 1,400 psi regulated G2 in .22 caliber will still achieve over 70 shots but will be making about 35% more power with each shot. For hunters or shooters looking to stretch out their range, this is big news.
In .25 caliber the G2 is once again hitting hard and maximizing performance. With regulated pressure boosted from 1,900 to 2,100 psi in the G2 .25, the big tank stretches performance into the 50 shot range before the pressure goes below the regulated pressure.
Since the G2 series has a much bigger tank capacity, the general consensus is that an electric pump, like the Umarex ReadyAir, or a high pressure carbon fiber tank system would be preferable. However if you are limited to a hand pump, strategy can be your friend, but only if you are disciplined to watch your shot counts. This strategy is to fill the tank all the way to the max fill pressure but only shoot X number of shots. This number will vary depending on the caliber and model of rifle you have, but the idea is to keep the pressure as high as possible, and top off to max pressure more often.
Another variation on this is to determine how many shots it takes from a certain point to hit the regulator pressure. The pumping will be a little easier with this method but it will leave you with the possibility of having the last shots of your magazine fall off the regulator if you are not careful. If you are going to try to live without an electric pump or carbon fiber tank system, being smart about shot count will help you and your rifle stay happy.
Umarex Gauntlet 30
Often lumped in with the Gauntlet 2 rifles, the Gauntlet 30 is really a different rifle altogether. Since it is really a hard hitting performer that lends itself to longer distance shooting and serious small and medium size game hunting, the G30 places performance at the top of the list. Like the G2 guns, the G30 features a 24 cubic inch tank (393 CC’s) and has a maximum fill pressure of 4,500 psi. With a .30 caliber projectile to push out of the barrel, the G30 is regulated at 2,900 psi and delivers up to 100 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle. Shot count, therefore, is limited to about 24 shots before the pressure falls below the regulator. This rifle can be used in conjunction with a hand pump, but it is really best that an electric pump or carbon fiber tank for quick fill-ups.
Umarex AirSaber and AirSaber Elite X2
These air archery guns are equipped with modest sized tanks that hold 14.6 ci or 240 CC’s of air volume. The single barrel AirSaber fills to a maximum pressure of 3625 psi while the two-barrel AirSaber Elite X2 fills to a maximum pressure of 4,000 psi. These guns were built with hunting in mind, not recreational sit-down-and-shoot-a-while use. In these scenarios we know that maximum performance is on the mind of a hunter and that this hunter will be shooting no more than two shots when afield without topping off the air tank again. Once again, with this in mind, filling with a hand pump is very doable. We did test the Airsaber’s and know that you can shoot at least 25 shots and still produce power plentiful enough to harvest a deer.
But we have learned that most AirSaber owners have either an electric pump or a carbon fiber tank system to get quick, easy fills.
Umarex Hammer and Hammer Carbine
When it comes to playing in the big bore sandbox, your hand is forced. That is unless you are a glutton for punishment. Filling a big bore air rifle like the Hammer or Hammer Carbine with a hand pump is technically possible, however once your start dumping massive quantities of air out when the shooting starts, The original Hammer features a 23 cubic inch carbon fiber tank while the new Hammer Carbine has a huge 35 cubic inch tank. Each time the trigger is pulled, however, 7 cubic inches of air are consumed. For these deep breathing big bore Hammer’s it is essential to fill with an electric pump or, ideally, a carbon fiber 4,500 psi tank.
Once again, these rifles were built with hunter’s in mind. Maximum performance is crucial for successful hunting with a big bore air rifle. Yes, they consume massive quantities of air and yes, the hunter will need access to a maximum of two shots for a hunting situation. This is what makes the Hammer’s so cool. You have access to an instant second shot. With either the Hammer or Hammer Carbine, you have at least 3 full power shot on hand with the gun’s air reservoir. Just so that you know, the Hammer Carbine has juice enough for 4 full power shots with its bigger tank.