UMAREX Gauntlet 2 – Overnight Airgun Adventure
Several months ago I reached out directly to Umarex USA with the hopes to acquire the New 2nd generation Gauntlet in .25 caliber. Through some previous work with them they agreed to send me the gun and to sponsor one of our adventures where we could document the experience through video. I received the rifle about a week later that came all in good order and was packaged well and ready for some field use.
UMAREX GAUNTLET 2
Umarex disrupted the airgun market with its feature-packed, easy-to-shoot, high-pressure Gauntlet. This affordable PCP gave many new shooters the opportunity to enter the Darkside of PCP Airguns. This year Umarex released the New Gauntlet 2 that has been upgraded to the original to get more shots, more velocity, and more energy on impact. The Gauntlet 2 provides a huge number of consistent, powerful, and accurate shots from just one fill of its tank that can be filled to 4500psi. Offered in two calibers using higher pressure air regulators and more air capacity you can get as many as 50+ in .25 caliber. The Gauntlet 2 is ideal for hunting, precision shooting, or just plinking around the yard. Umarex has thrown down the gauntlet again creating a new PCP air rifle many shooters will consider a must have.
GAUNTLET 2 STATS
|Max Velocity||985 fps|
|Scopeable||Picitinny & 11mm dovetails|
|Suggested for||Small game hunting/target practice|
|Muzzle Energy||51 ft/lbs|
|Cylinder Size||393 cc removable bottle|
For this trip Marley and I were accompanied by my longtime friend Evan who will be part of the “Airgun Survival Challenge” series of videos. I packed accordingly as I had expected some very low nighttime temperatures that most likely would sink into the low 20’s. The location I had picked was several hours from home and one of the most rugged and remote areas I frequent.
The area we were camping is nestled at just around 5200ft elevation and has some large Ponderosa pines with miles of rolling hills to explore. This year has suffered a dry year but the nearby creek still had pools of water that made some fun crossing in the Jeep and is always a beautiful place to travel through.
The cold weather and the fact this location is so remote and difficult to get into without a serious 4×4 I expected to have the area to ourselves. We were thankfully able to get the pick of my favorite spot that offered plenty of flat ground, shade, fire ring and picnic table. This area offers some amazing hiking opportunities along with some spectacular views of the stars at night.
Evan and I wasted no time unpacking the Jeep that was packed to the roof with a huge amount of gear and equipment we needed for camping and filming. For this trip I decided to bring my Pomoly Yarn Hot Tent that I outfitted with a WorkTuff Gear 380 stove, perfect for cold weather hunting camp.
Evan brought some new gear to test out including a Snugpack Scorpion 3 expedition tent that was a pretty neat setup.
Moving on I pulled out two rifles, both the Gen1 & Gen2 Gauntlets as I thought it would be cool to have both of them with one being something Evan could shoot. I spent a little time explaining the guns to Evan and showed him how to load the 8 shot rotary magazines.
This was Evans first time being exposed to a PCP Airgun and was kind of excited for him to get the bug. We set up a few cans and some pinecones at various ranges out to 110 yards.
While Evan had some fun plinking away I set up a target at 50 yards to check zero on the Gauntlet 2 and to make any adjustments I needed to the scope as well as the Tactacam 5.0 FTS Camera.
The new bolt handle on the Gauntlet is much larger and does make the gun a bit easier to cock, still a pretty tough one to pull back, especially when prone or from the bench.
The gun does fill to 4500psi but even for a guy like me that’s not always an easy task, especially in the field over several days of filming for several projects. I found that filling to 3500 still gave me a great shot count and to be honest I wasn’t exactly expecting to be making hundreds of shots at rabbits. The Gauntlet 2 is considerably quiet over the Gen1 model and could hear the extreme difference when Evan was taking some shots with both rifles.
Moving on I felt like the safety was a bit difficult and stiff to put on, not sure if that’s something that wears in but it was noticeably difficult. The trigger had a long somewhat creaky first stage but was very predictable and broke at 2lbs 3oz, I noticed it smoothed out by the 2nd day.
The large 393cc Ninja bottle is big and protrudes from the front of the forend making the gun a bit front heavy, fairly beneficial from the bench or off bags though. The regulator is set to around 2100psi and from my use filling to 3500 psi was able to get 37 shots before it fell off the regulator. The gun does make the claimed power and I was surprised how well it shot the 33gr jsb on average of 840 fps. I wish I had brought some NSA’s with me but didn’t have any that would work in .25 caliber unfortunately.
The lower target was 8 shots at 50 yards with one I pulled, mind you the wind was blowing pretty strong and the enclosed video will show. The upper target was me making some corrections but overall I was very pleased with the results of this gun right out of the box. I always like to check my zero before any hunt as those bumpy roads can sometimes knock the scope, barrel etc, out of whack pulling our zero off mark. By this time it was later in the afternoon so I decided to pull Marley away from her important stick work to do some hunting.
The plan was to head away from camp into the foothills where I had hoped to spot some Cottontail activity. This area is a difficult one to hunt with all the thick brush and the cold and dey weather wouldn’t make it any easier.
One of the main reasons we bring these guns into the field is to try and learn how they perform under rugged field conditions, how durable they are, will things break, how do they carry and shoulder. These are all things you simply can’t find sitting at a bench so I have always felt a need for this type of review work.
The Gauntlet 2 is 9.3 lbs with my Hawke Airmax scope and the Tactacam 5.0 camera mounted, not the lightest gun to carry around. I found myself having to move my hand further towards the front of the forend of the stock to offset the forward weight of the rifle when shooting offhand. The gun is fitted with a QD on the left of the rifle to to accommodate a sling as well as M-Loc for mounting accessories such as a bipod. With the constant setup of cameras I find myself most always just carrying the rifles with one hand, this really gives me a feel for the weight, especially over the many miles we hike each trip. The gun does shoulder well but I can see a smaller person having a very difficult time shooting this offhand.
Marley and I hiked a good 4 mile loop in some extremely rugged terrain, often bushwhacking through some thick brush to explore some new areas. Neither her or I spotted any animal activity although we did find a few spots that did look very promising. I really think the fact we had such a dry year has played a huge part in the declined rabbit activity, the cold weather I’m sure has amplified this as well. Several years ago this area was chuck full of animals, this trip we barley saw more than a few birds. It’s always nice to have success with the hunting but I have always tried to focus more on the entire experience and really have found the joy in just getting to do what I do. After enjoying a short break as the sun was going down Marley and I started our two mile journey back to camp through some fairly thick sagebrush and piles of fell trees.
Back at camp Evan was enjoying his first cup of coffee while enjoying the scenic quiet you can only find in some of these most remote locations.
Evan got a nice fire started as the temperature was dropping and we wanted to get some coals built up in the fire to cook some steaks for dinner.
It got dark really quick but we soon had a visitor rising up from behind the mountain to give us a bit of light for the evening.
Part of coming out on these camping expeditions is to enjoy some good food, this night was no different as I had brought plenty of good food to keep us full over the two days.
Nothing quite as mouthwatering is cooking some good pieces of meat over the grill, it’s a psychological necessity for me every once in awhile.
This is part of the experience as a whole that’s most important, my dog and a good friend sharing some good food and good old camp camaraderie. I encourage those who read this to get out, spend some time with family and friends, enjoy nature and don’t be afraid to explore! After our fantastic dinner I fired up the stove and made us up a pot of coffee to enjoy next to the campfire.
After some time the fire died down so we fired up the stove in the tent and hung out for awhile, it was now into the 30’s where inside the tent was about 80 degrees.
The following morning was cold and the wind much much worse than the day before unfortunately. I had planned to get up and do some hiking around but with the temperature being so low was just not motivated.
Marley and I made it through the night quite comfortably in the hot tent, that wood stove is simply a lifesaver when it’s that cold out. Evan survived the night as well but realized he needed a bit more insulation to keep things a bit warmer in his sleep system.
With the wind being in full force again Evan and I set some cans out at various ranges out to 110 yards and I set out a target at 35 to play around with.
The Gauntlet 2 is a very accurate rifle as long as I did my part, the trigger started smoothing out and I was feeling a bit more confident with the gun. I was able to consistently hit a can at 110 yards, even in the heavy wind we were encountering through the morning.
Even though I had no luck with the hunting it was still a fantastic two days out in such a beautiful location. All three of us had a great time and I was happy that Evan had a chance to do some shooting with a PCP rifle, he is definitely interested in getting one now.
I hope you enjoyed this documentation of our adventure and hope to share more with this gun in the future. I really want to thank Umarex USA for providing this gun to use as well as all of those who have donated to our work. Enclosed is my final honest thoughts on this rifle as well as our adventure in video form. Cheers
- Large Air Capacity
- Good Power
- M-Loc for mounting accessories
- QD for a sling
- Picatinny Rail
- Difficult to Cock
- 4500psi Fill (not ideal for entry level)
- Trigger (long first stage)
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