Umarex Gauntlet .177

Umarex turned the industry on its ear with the release of the Gauntlet family of air rifles. While the company has since added more powerful .22 and .25 caliber models, the original was a standard .177 pellet offering. It’s perfect for safe and quiet backyard fun. The first thing you’ll notice about the Gauntlet is the generous 13 cubic-inch air tank in the forend. This is important as the 90-shot per charge capacity means more fun and less filling. The air cylinder is also removable, so you can pack a pre-charged spare or two for your shooting session.

With an MSRP of $200, you get a lot of bang for the buck. This rifle is regulated, so all those shots per tank are a consistent 900 to 1,000 feet per second depending on pellet weight, which leads to solid accuracy. Outdoors in the wind, the Gauntlet puts five shots into a quarter from 25 yards, even in windy conditions. When I bring the shooting indoors to my high-tech 10-meter range (read: garage) I get 5-shot groups of about 0.20. If you do the math, you can see the effect of the wind when outdoors. On a windless day, those 25-yard groups should be about 0.50.

Oh, last but certainly not least, did I mention the Gauntlet is quiet thanks to its shrouded barrel? If you live under the iron-fisted rule of an oppressive homeowners’ association, they’ll never know you’re shooting in the backyard.