Umarex ReadyAir Compressor
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- Last updated: 07/11/2023
There’s a lot to be said for sticking with spring-powered airguns, and a huge advantage is their total independence. However, many of us consider pre-charged pneumatics worth the hassle, due to the stress and recoil-free shooting they deliver. The one big drawback with PCPs is their reliance on an external power source, and the fact that they need to be filled/charged up periodically is a source of irritation for sure.
Apparently, during the lockdown, spring-powered airgun sales dramatically increased, as a large number of PCP shooters suddenly found the local diving shop closed. With the air supply literally cut off, many felt vulnerable, and it made sense to switch to springers. However, the options for charging our PCPs are now greater than ever.
On test here is a brand-new air compressor from Umarex, and first impressions are of a very smart and robust unit, built to last. Unpacking the compressor is the first task, and it pays to familiarise yourself with the instructions, and what all the items are in the box, as safe operation is a priority whenever high-pressure air is involved. Inside the box are various adaptors, several different cables, spare seals, and instructions. The main filling hose is pre-fitted with the main Foster adaptor, and three other adaptors are supplied – 1/8” UNF, M10, and M10x1. This is a good starting point, meaning many of the most popular PCP airguns on the market are catered for. The system is specified and designed to be oil and water free, which in theory keeps things simple, but large onboard fans are designed to do the cooling when required.
Right, let’s get the basics in place and then we can get started. First, take the main hose line and screw it onto the large thread on the compressor. Gently nip it up with a spanner to get a good air seal. There are two power leads supplied – a UK and a European two-pin. Plug in the power lead into the power slot on the unit, and then plug it into the mains and switch on at the plug. At this point, you’ll hear the fans start up.
Now we need to set the digital display. Hold the ‘Set’ button down for five seconds, and then the display will start to flash. At this point, use the down and up arrows to cycle through what you need to change. The display can be changed to be in English or Spanish, and the working temperature can be switched between centigrade and Celsius. The cut-off temperature can also be set.
As for the key details, pressure can be digitally set to show as either bar or psi, and then the cut-off pressure can be input. On test, I selected my Impact Airguns GSX600 to charge, and this has a working pressure of 200 bar and a conventional air cylinder. It was sitting at 110 bar already, so I set the display to 200 bar. In normal use, this would be a classic top-up scenario.
The Impact has a Foster connector, so it was simple to connect the gun to the compressor, via the main Foster link on the hose. Otherwise, the other adaptor heads just snap into place on the hose. Press ‘ON’ on the display pad and the compressor fires into action. There’s a loud chug…chug…chug from the unit, as it goes about its business, and you can see the pressure figure rising on the display. Once the entered pressure has been reached, the unit is designed to automatically shut off for safety, and this all worked fine. A timer shows how long it has been in operation, and the working temperature is also shown. This is all handy further down the line, when it may need a service, and comparisons can be made, i.e., charging starts to take longer, and the unit gets hotter.
With the gun charged, switch off the unit and then the brass bleed valve can be safely opened to vent the line. In use, the Readyair is noisy, but not excessively so.
The marketing for the Readyair states that there’s an “easy-to-read pressure gauge and intuitive full-colour control panel for user-friendly operation”. I’ve no issue with that other than I did find that, as with most digital devices, try and operate anywhere near bright light, or near sunlight, and the display becomes awkward to read. Inside, away from daylight, all was fine. Last-used settings are remembered on the display, which eliminates the need for repeated input, which is good to see.
On test, filling my rifle from its residual 110 bar up to 200 bar took just 1.5 minutes, which is very fast indeed, and other specification states a 200ml/200cc capacity vessel should take seven minutes to reach 200 bar from scratch. The maximum fill pressure is 300 bar or 4,500psi (approximately), and that makes the Readyair extremely versatile, just factor in a few more minutes at the top end.
All pretty impressive. As mentioned, Umarex includes red and black leads to connect up and run this compressor from a car battery, or another suitable 12v battery, which brings versatility, but I reckon most prospective shooters will opt for running from the mains.
Simple to use, portable, and highly effective on test. Longevity and reliability will be interesting, but with a quality feel and impressive build quality, there’s no reason to question anything. As for periodic maintenance, the self-service kit of seals etc. is supplied, and a quick glance at the Umarex website reveals a guidance video on how to make use of them. All pretty comprehensive then, from a well-respected brand, bringing all-important independence to the PCP enthusiast.