Fancy a PCP for hunting? Mark Camoccio shows us a selection of what’s available
The lure of the pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) is for many, too great to resist, and having little to no recoil when the shot is released, means all of us can shoot to a higher level more easily. They’re not necessarily more accurate than traditional spring-powered models, but they are simply easier to shoot, with less technique required. On show here is a collection of PCPs designed predominantly for hunting, and my selection is a good cross-section, with a mixture of specifications and RRPs. So, something for everyone, whether experienced or just looking to get involved on a budget.
WALTHER ROTEX RM8 VARMINT
It was a looker from the start, but the trend for black tactical airguns inevitably lured Walther's design team down that route. This Walther is actually made by Umarex in Germany and a quick check of the specifications sees much the same action as the original spec. That means a totally free-floating barrel that's threaded, a ported muzzle brake, 8-shot rotary magazine, manual safety catch, 2-stage adjustable trigger, 200cc buddy bottle, manometer, Picatinny accessory rail, scope rail and bolt action cycling. This model even comes regulated and consistency on test confirmed as much. So yes, this new Varmint version of the popular RM8 certainly gets the thumbs up, as that new synthetic stock feels very different from the standard model. Slickly made, attractively styled and highly functional, sums it up nicely. Add in the super-sweet trigger, plus some halfdecent down range performance and this model starts to look great value. Accuracy - sub 1/2” at 35 yards.
Contact: John Rothery Wholesale - www.bisley-uk.com
DAYSTATE HUNTSMAN REVERE
The Huntsman is Daystate's best selling model and upgrading this mechanical classic with a silky smooth side-lever, instead of a bolt, was only ever a matter of time. The right-hand dedicated walnut stock is an exquisite piece of work, with wrap around laser chequering and an English-style rubber butt pad. There's a new gate-style magazine and at 6 lbs total heft, this is clearly the perfect tool for a day in the field. A full length shrouded Lothar Walther barrel gets ART (Airgun Research Team) spec credentials, where the factory liaises with the barrel manufacturer to fine-tune the design. The muzzle is threaded to take a moderator, there's a 2-stage adjustable trigger, sidelever action as mentioned, twin manometers, HUMA regulated action and the option of single-shot or magazine feed, with both included. All the metalwork is treated to matte black finishes too, so practical field use dictates play at every turn. Accuracy - sub 1/4” over 40yds.
Contact: Daystate - www.daystate.com
COMETA ORION SPR
Spanish brand, Cometa are an old family-run business, known more for their traditional spring-powered airguns. However, they now make several PCPs too, with the SPR perhaps the most traditionally styled among them. The conventional barrel-over-cylinder configuration comes with a multishot bolt action mechanism including cassette-style magazine, an adjustable walnut sporter stock, respectable 2-stage trigger, sling swivel studs, sound moderator, pressure gauge and quick fill air valve. The action here isn't technically regulated, but on test, consistency was outstanding, so end of story. The walnut sporter stock is very attractive and the inclusion of an adjustable cheekpiece and extended forend, means comfort and handling are well catered for. Laser-cut chequering adorns both the pistol grip and the forend, and this is both stylish and perfectly executed. Factor in how quiet this model is with that moderator in place, and all in all, it has much to recommend. Accuracy on test – 1/2” over 35 yards.
Contact: Anglo Spanish Imports - www.a-s-i.co.uk
BSA ULTRA CLX
BSA's brand new Ultra CLX caused quite a stir last year when it hit the market. At a quick glance, the profile may look familiar but this model actually represents a seismic shift in BSA's approach to engineering. It's all-new save for the Bolas bolt and trigger guard. At the heart of the CLX is the new receiver, which is effectively an exercise in precision CNC engineering. BSA's own Cold Hammer Forged barrel is fitted, along with that stylish new muzzle brake. Fancy a silencer? Then the 1/2” UNF thread allows for that. The CLX also features a large manometer and stainless steel pellet probe for added reliability. There's a new all-metal magazine and this features a small magnet to snugly locate it into the mag slot. There's also a shot count window in the facing side. Additional features include a rocker-style safety catch and the enhanced 2-stage trigger is fully adjustable. Accuracy – 1/2” over 40 yards.
Contact: BSA Guns - www.bsaguns.co.uk
AIR ARMS S510 CARBINE WALNUT
Winner of the 'Airgun of the Year' award at the British Shooting Show in 2020, this hunting machine from top British manufacturer, Air Arms needs little introduction. It's a multi-shot design that utilizes the company's well established 10-shot cassette magazine system, in a side-lever configuration that is about as slick and smooth in operation as it gets. The specification includes a fulllength barrel shroud, yet this model tips the scales at a modest 6.4 lbs, meaning, even scoped, the total heft is manageable. Again, that delicious walnut sporter stock is right-hand dedicated as standard and the eye-catching Fleur-de-lys chequering and graceful lines are backed up by a well-shaped, rosewood capped pistol grip. Air Arms always fit top-class Lothar Walther barrels and it's this, coupled with a consistent power plant and a genuine 2-stage trigger unit, that so often sets their models apart. Accuracy- 0.3” at 35 yards.
Contact: Air Arms - www.air-arms.co.uk
Reximex is a Turkish brand that began trading and manufacturing PCP airguns in 2015. The Myth is a very stylish little rifle and has an intriguing configuration since it sports dual air tanks. It runs a conventional air cylinder below the barrel up front, whilst the butt section is built around a rear-mounted buddy bottle. Both air supplies feed centrally and are filled from the one valve, at the front of the cylinder. The result, unsurprisingly, with a combined 380cc air capacity, is a sizeable shot count. It comes with a dedicated hard case, two cassette-style magazines, a singleshot tray, dual size scope rail, filling adaptor, Allen keys and even a power adjuster, for when low power and more shots make sense. The matte black finish is highly practical, as is the synthetic two-part stock, which allows for push-button adjustment of both the cheekpiece and rubber butt pad. Accuracy - sub 3/8” at 40 yards.
Contact: Range Right - www.range-right.co.uk
When Benjamin (part of the Velocity Outdoors group in the USA) launched their Craftsman Series a while back, three new models hit the market, all sporting rather smart Turkish Walnut stocks and a host of features for the enthusiast to get excited about. The Benjamin Kratos (meaning a God of war in Greek mythology) comes slickly packaged alongside two cassette magazines, Allen keys, a filling adaptor and even a small Picatinny accessory rail for the forend. Buddy bottle-fed, this model also comes fitted with sling swivels, a full-length barrel shroud, adjustable trigger shoe, in-guard safety, adjustable cheekpiece, side-lever and a power adjuster. On test, a large shot count proved pretty consistent too, but dial down the power adjuster and you can expect a huge number on low power, which is handy for practice sessions. Factor in the slick side-lever plus beautiful stock and the Kratos can't fail to impress. Accuracy - 3/4” at 40 yards.
Contact: Range Right - www.range-right.co.uk
WEBLEY RAIDER CLASSIC
branding, mirrors some of the stock features given to Webley's 'Classic' springers. The ambidextrous design includes a well defined, prominent cheekpiece on both sides. There's an adjustable butt pad and a form of stippling, laser-cut into the grip and side panels. The end result is not only attractive but impressively functional. Perhaps the most satisfying feature is the elevated thumb groove that's cut in the grip, and the clever bit is how the back plug of the receiver continues the support. All the metalwork gets attractive chemical bluing that's carried out to a good standard, and overall, the Raider feels good in the hand, with excellent wood to metal fit and a pleasing standard of finish overall. There's a neat little single-shot tray and also two magazines. Accuracy - 5/8” at 25 yards.
Contact: Highland Outdoors - www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk
The boldly styled, Gladius is the only bullpup in the lineup. It comes supplied in its own specially padded hard case that includes shaped recesses for the airgun and a scope. There are also storage wells for accessories and tools etc. The gun itself is a striking piece of design and comes crammed with features, including a fully adjustable synthetic thumb-hole stock complete with mag holders, side-lever action, 10-shot magazine system (4 mags included), full-length barrel shroud, sling swivels, sling, 2-stage trigger and even a detachable front grip. The height-adjustable cheekpiece acts as a cover that helps shield the face from the action, plus it sits right over both sides of the receiver, meaning left-handers are catered for too. More adjustment comes with the butt section, and here, the pad can be raised, but also, the length of pull can be altered by up to an inch. So, a great value option then. Accuracy - 5/8” at 30 yards.
Contact: Edgar Brothers - www.edgarbrothers.com/shooting-sports
When Weihrauch launched the original HW110, the radical use of ballistic polymer for the receiver was a massive departure for the company. It was a seemingly risky strategy, given their standing and perception as an ultra-traditional manufacturer. Yet, with its use now commonplace in the firearms world, the HW110 should be seen for what it is - a top-class hunting airgun and a modern masterpiece. The HW110K uses the same regulated action but shows a shorter cylinder. Obviously, the shot count is lower but the impressive consistency is still there. Weihrauch's own silencer comes as standard and with a host of other features aimed at the serious shooter, this model gets a good start in life. A super subtle 2-stage trigger, two 10-shot magazines, a side-lever and a Picatinny scope rail all make the spec sheet. As for the ambidextrous sporter stock, the black is actually rubber-coated wood that's cosy yet highly functional! Accuracy – 1/2” at 40 yards.
Contact: Hull Cartridge Company – www.weihrauch.co.uk