Pete Wadeson gives us 10 precision PCPs for the hunter and, although an eclectic mix, it’s a fine representation of what the market has to offer…
Like many hunters, I choose to use multi-shot PCP air rifles and, where possible, those that come ready supplied with a moderator or the facility to easily fit one. Due to their inherent lack of recoil, a silenced PCP is capable of very precise shot placement, offers a quick back up shot when and if required, plus is also deadly silent in use.
In this round-up, you’ll find rifles to suit all pockets and some of the more affordable models are quite frankly amazing value for money. Incidentally, some of those featured are also available with a regulated action. This means it precisely meters out the air for every shot, resulting in them being more air efficient and having a high level of shot to shot consistency. Because of this, I’ve specifically noted when and where this applies; if not, the rifle more often has what is termed a self-regulating valve system.
AIR ARMS S510K
The Minelli manufactured ambidextrous stock is available in Walnut or Beech and has a medium height, well-defined cheekpiece, ventilated rubber butt pad, slim neck and a steep, drop-down pistol grip with palm swell. The forend is relatively slim and ends in a semi-Schnabel tip. Laser-cut chequered panels are found either side of the grip and the fore section. A 190bar fill gives approximately 70-shots in .177 calibre and 90 in .22, this model is available with a non-regulated action only and an air gauge is recessed in the underside of the stock. A side-lever runs the 10-shot, un-sprung, rotary magazine and the 2-stage adjustable trigger unit’s black alloy blade has a manual safety ‘button’ positioned within. The semi floating Lothar Walther barrel is fully shrouded and holds a primary silencer, while the screw cut muzzle accepts a secondary unit. The Air Arms calibre specific ‘Q-Tec’ Silencer is highly recommended and ultra-efficient.
RRP: £799 Beech £899 Walnut
AIR ARMS ULTIMATE SPORTER
The company’s most radically styled hunter boasts an ambidextrous laminate stock that features a height/angle/ lateral adjustable cheekpiece and sliding, full rubber butt pad with length adjust spacers. The slab-sided forend curves upwards towards a straight section that has an angled back end tip. Here, an integral recessed accessory rail is set into the underside, plus it comes ready fitted with sling swivel studs. A mix of scalloping/finger grooves and stippling are seen both front and aft to aid grip. A recommended 190bar fill returns approximately 60-shots in .177 and 80 in .22 calibre from the unregulated version of this rifle, a regulated model is also available. There’s also a colour highlighted Digi-air gauge set into the underside. A side-lever runs the 10-shot ‘un-sprung’ rotary magazine and the 2-stage adjustable trigger unit’s black alloy blade has the usual manual safety button positioned inside. The semi floating, Lothar Walther barrel is fully shrouded and holds a primary silencer, while the screw cut muzzle comes ready fitted with the company’s Q-Tec Silencer.
RRP: £999 Black £1049 Laminate & Walnut
BSA GOLDSTAR SE
Available in three stock options of red/white/blue or black pepper laminate and walnut, its ambidextrous Minelli stock features a height/ angle adjustable cheekpiece and a nicely curved sliding full rubber ‘extending’ butt pad. This can also be adjusted to alter reach to pull or angled away from the centreline for a perfect shoulder fit. The slim neck has a thumb shelf and the steep, drop down pistol grip incorporates a palm swell. The forend has an adjustable hamster that can be lowered but also ‘shifted’ fore and aft. Twin panels of fine, sharp stippling are set either side at the grip. A recommended 232bar fill returns 75-shots in .177 calibre and 90 in .22 from the regulated action and a forward-facing manometer (air gauge) is on the front of the air reservoir. The Bolas bolt runs the 10-shot, self-actuating, removable magazine, held in its housing by a retaining catch while the 2-stage, adjustable, semi-match grade trigger mechanism has a manual safety lever positioned at the top left rear. The rifle comes supplied with an air stripper already spun up-front on the ½” UNF screw cut muzzle of the ‘Enhanced Cold Hammer Forged’ tube but hunters can spin this off to fit a silencer of choice.
BSA R-10 TH
Released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the R-10, the ambidextrous thumbhole walnut Minelli stock features a soft touch, height-adjustable cheekpiece, with a multi-adjustable full black rubber butt pad. The slim neck gives way to the steep drop-down pistol grip with palm swell while the well-proportioned forend tapers to an elongated Schnabel tip. Panels of well-cut chequering adorn the sides of the grip, forend and cover the underside. QD sling swivel studs are also pre-fitted at the factory. A recommended fill pressure of 232bar gives 280-full power shots in .177 and 340 in .22 calibre from the regulated action and a stylish button size air gauge is recessed into the underside of the stock. The Bolas bolt runs the 10-shot, selfactuating, removable magazine, held in its housing by a retaining catch, whilst the 2-stage, adjustable, semimatch grade trigger mechanism has a manual trigger safety lever positioned at the top left rear. The highly efficient CCS (Customer Configurable Shroud) suppression system works in harmony to ensure there’s an incredibly low report.
Available in either a walnut, synthetic or laminate thumbhole stocks, all have a dedicated right-hand roll over cheekpiece, adjustable full rubber butt pad and a very steep drop-down pistol grip with thumb channel. The forend is quite deep and slab sided with a slightly rounded, almost flat underside that continues underneath the buddy bottle , this is in a choice of either 400cc or 500cc options. Opposing twin sets of chequered side panels are found at the grip and forend. A recommended fill of 200bar from the 400cc version returns almost 400-shots in .22 calibre and approximately 280 in .177, plus there’s an air gauge deeply recessed into the underside of the stock. A side-lever runs a Perspex-fronted, sprung magazine that has a 12-shot capacity in .22 and 16 in .177. The 2-stage, fully adjustable trigger has a manual safety lever set on the top right of the action while the sleek, yet relatively lengthy integral silencer, is not only highly efficient but adds a level of cosmetic appeal.
RRP: £1047 - £1363 Depending on stock option & bottle capacity
DIANA P1000 EVO2
The company’s first and currently only PCP is available in two ambidextrous stock formats of Walnut and black, plus there’s a full combo package that includes a Diana Silencer and an Opti-Mate Scope. The Walnut stocked model features a high slight hogs back cheekpiece, adjustable, full rubber butt pad and generous thumbhole with a steep drop-down pistol grip. The forend has a well-rounded underside and the rifle has large panels of well-cut chequering both front and back. This lengthy and quite wholesome looking rifle takes a 200bar fill and returns 60-shots in .177 calibre and 80 in .22, plus there’s a manometer (air gauge) on the front face of the air reservoir. A sidelever runs the 14-shot wheel shape removable magazine that’s held in its housing by a slide retaining catch - the rifle also comes with a single shot clip. The free-floating barrel is screw cut ½” UNF, so will accept all popular silencers and the 2-stage adjustable trigger has an auto-safety catch positioned at the very rear of the action.
DAYSTATE RED WOLF HI-LITE
The Red Wolf is available in various models and two stock options, including Turkish Walnut or Black Laminate. The ambidextrous furniture features a height-adjustable cheekpiece and angle-adjust full rubber butt pad. The neck is quite slim, while the grip has forward finger ridging plus stippling with a black ABS end cap. The forend is quite chunky with a recess fluted channel, while the front extends under the 480cc CFC buddy bottle. A 223bar fill returns 475-shots in .22 calibre and 420 in .177 from the electronically-regulated, Mapped Compensation Technology (MCT) action. All functions and systems are clearly displayed on the LCD display screen built into the left of the stock. A side-lever runs the company’s latest 10-shot, auto-indexing, rotary magazine and the 2-stage electronic trigger has a manual slide-trigger safety positioned at the rear of the action. There’s also a mechanism integrated into the rifle that prevents doubleloading. The free-floating Lothar Walther tube is fully shrouded by a carbon fibre sleeve, while the front is threaded ½” UNF for fitting a secondary can of choice. Not cheap, but then again, Daystate’s never are!
WALTHER ROTEX RM8 VARMINT UC
This is the latest addition to the RM8 family and what a sibling it is! It shares the same ambidextrous black synthetic stock as its larger relative, featuring a high, well defined cheekpiece, ventilated black rubber butt pad, elongated thumbhole and steep drop-down pistol grip. The forend has a thickset profile with a rounded underside plus an alloy Weaver accessory rail. It’s also adorned with decorative, raised eclectic shaped panels of aggressive ridging along the forend and grip. The buddy bottle takes a recommended 232bar fill and gives 160-shots in .177 calibre and 180 in .22. There’s also an air gauge in the underside of the stock. The side-positioned, teardrop shaped cocking bolt runs an 8-shot drum shaped, removable alloy magazine that’s held in its housing by a retaining/slide catch. The free-floating barrel has been shortened and the ½” UNF screw cut muzzle now comes ready fitted with the very efficient Umarex Neo K3 compact silencer. The 2-stage adjustable trigger unit has a manual safety button positioned at the rear of the action, which has a double safety system.
WEIHRAUCH HW100KT LAMINATE
The ambidextrous thumbhole laminate stock features a height and position-adjustable cheekpiece, adjustable butt pad and a steep, drop-down pistol grip with aggressive stippling. The forend tapers forwards to end in an angled back tip, while finger scalloping has been crafted into both sides to aid grip. A recommended 200bar fill returns 50-shots in .177 and 75 in .22 calibre. There’s also an air gauge (manometer) on the end of the air reservoir. The side-lever action runs a 14-shot, removable rotary magazine that’s secured in its housing by a slide back retaining catch. A highly laudable feature of the action, is that it can’t double-loaded. The semi-free-floating tube is held and secured at the front by a chunky barrel band and comes with the company’s HE (High Efficiency) silencer already spun onto its ½” UNF screw cut muzzle. The 2-stage, adjustable, match grade trigger mechanism has a manual safety positioned on the right and at the rear of the action.
Weihrauch surprised us with their HW110 that takes a more radical approach as it uses a one-piece, high strength polymer, side-lever action complete with Picatinny rail. The ambidextrous stock is rubber-covered and features a well-defined and high cheekpiece with rubber pad, steep, pistol grip with thumb shelf and a compact forend. Feed is from a 10-shot, rotary magazine (2x included), calibre choice is .177, .22 and .20 (special order). Recommended charge is 200bar giving approximately 110-shots in .177 and 130 in .22. A filler probe is included, and the reservoir has a manometer at the end. A nice touch is the ambidextrous safety catch, but it’s a pity they did not extend this to the magazine release lever too. The barrel is 16.5” long and comes as standard with a Weihrauch HE silencer and semi-floating O-ring support. The 110 comes up as a compact and handy rifle measuring 35.6” long including silencer and weighing 6.8lbs (un-scoped). There’s now a Karbine option with a 12.5” barrel. Accuracy is excellent as is the 2-stage, adjustable, Match-type trigger, at 25 yards it’s shooting cutting groups and at 45 sub-3/4” is easily achieved.