PCP or Springer

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  • PCP or Springer

    Hi all

    Just new to the forum and would appreciate some advice. Looking at my first air rifle (well first for 30 years or so) and the landscape has changed a fair bit since hunting squirrels in Canada. Have decided on .22 cal as we have chooks and a bit of a problem with foxes and feral cats. But thats about as far as I got. The rest seems to be a minefield of pros and cons but I must admit its kinda fun doing a bit of research. I like the idea of the PCP's - you know the pros - multi shot, no recoil, accuracy, power and more but I am not sure about the refill. General consensus seems to be that hand pumps are for fit blokes (definitely not me). That leave Scuba tanks. From what I understand they need to be tested every year??? Also I live about an hour away from the nearest dive shop which would be a pain. And how many rifle refills would you get from one scuba tank filled say to 220 bar? So maybe a decent springer is the way to go. The nitro pistons seem to be catching on but not many are available here. Tried to get a Benjamin Trail NP XL 1100 but no go. This shrouded barrel legislation really sucks. Anyway thanks for reading and any help will be greatly appreciated.
    cheers Mike

  • #2
    Go with a GasRam.
    Best alternative to PCP, if you don't want the on going hassle of refills, tanks, pumps etc.
    About the only 'downer' is that they only come in single shot, unless you get lucky, and find a Theoben SLR98.
    The Weihrauch HW90 is the bees knees, and should do the job for you, no problem.
    (Alternatively, you could talk me out of my SLR98. Actually no, only kidding. )
    The most important thing in life is not knowing everything, it's having the phone number of somebody who does!


    • #3

      If you are wanting it to shoot Foxes & Cats, I would say that few .22 springers have the power to consistently knock over such ferals. A few magnum springers are capable but they are a real handful to shoot accurately.

      PCP's give you the benefits you mention + more power for taking out bigger feral species (.25 even better).

      As for hand pumps, the more efficient ones aren't difficult to pump. I'm of average fitness & can pump mine up from 100 to 200 Bar (about 50 shots for my .22 MRod) in 5-ish mins.

      Going slower stops the seals overheating & rest breaks give you time to load a few mags with pellets. Its all about technique & using your weight to drive the pump.


      Matt W


      • #4

        I would love to say to you just ring up Jeff at Hi Power and order a TF79 in .22 cal.......but Jeff hasnt got one.

        So my next little push would be a Umarex 850 in .22 cal.....plenty on the net about those to keep your little research fingers busy.

        Yup I am pushing the CO2 barrow...and well worth giving a lot of consideration to.



        • #5
          Matt is spot on as usual - A hand pump is no big effort if you take it easy - especially if you only get a Slimline-Cylinder model (Like a Benjamin Marauder) as opposed to a Buddy-Bottle type (like an FX Royale) - Anyway a little bit of exercise is good for all of us

          My advise on which one to get would be to "Get Both" Training hard with a reasonable-quality-springer (Have a look at the Hatsan range) in 177 Cal will get your shooting up to speed and then a .22 Cal Hunting PCP will sort out all your vermin problems
          "For it is the doom of men that they forget"


          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
            Editing a comment
            If you want to go hunting, then a PCP is going to have more desirable features.
            Higher power, zero recoil, lightweight, accurate.
            PCPs do almost everything better - why do us grown men still like springers is one of life's unanswerable questions?
            The only thing a springer has over a PCP is the self contained nature of the rifle.

            I'm a big springer fan - I like the challenge of getting them to shoot accurately - A decent PCP by comparison is boringly accurate to shoot. Once you've got them all going through the same hole there's nothing left to do.
            The rate at which a 12yo can unload a PCP magazine gets expensive, a springer on the other hand keeps him out of mischeif until his arm drops off.

            I'd suggest that even a magnum springer isn't the right choice for fox sized game.
            There's some that could potentially do the job, but a decent PCP has been proven to deliver the goods.
            Go to a bigger calibre like the .25 and you've got even more down range energy.

            As with all things in life - you get what you pay for - even though we tend to pay through the nose for hardware here in Oz.
            It's hard trying out various rifles to see what you like.
            Research lots and ask questions on here - we'll try to help you spend your money.

            I'm sure Geoff will jump in at some point with the test requirements on tanks.

        • #6
          HUGE +1 for PCP (I've got an Evanix Blizzard)

          The only difference between the two is you pay for the effort of a PCP "up front"
          Pump up your PCP up - then let off 50 shots, time it & see how you feel.
          Now let of 50 shots with your springer in the same time.... how's that arm coming along?
          It is MUCH easier to pump up a PCP as it uses body weight etc, vs springer that uses just your arm.

          For hunting - are you going to go through 50-60 shots in a session? (then you'd need a pump with you)

          PCP all the way, light, quiet, no recoil & fully adjustable power (with tuning thats all been done for you already).
          HIGHLY recommend a Blizzard S10, it'll take a 5c coin all day long (50 shots at a time) at 50m - doing 900fps with 21gr pellets


          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
            Editing a comment
            One bloke put the air gum dilemma well, he goes and buys another brick of Zeds!

            If your thinking of other guns later, by a cz rimfire and a brick of Zeds first!

          • grmkc
            grmkc commented
            Editing a comment
            OK Geoff's chiming in.

            SCUBA tanks only need to be tested annually because it's being used in salt water and used for breathable medical grade air. The only difference, if you use it for the PCP is a 5 yearly test instead. You still get medical grade air but you're not inhaling. At least that's what Mr Clinton said of his experience with marijuana.

            I am with Nate. I've had the Blizzard now for about 6 weeks and it get used once or twice every week. In that time the tank went from about 220 Bars to 195 - 190. Just got it topped up because I intend to do some testing otherwise I would have let it go to 175-180 Bar. That's where the Blizzard really starts to hum anyway. Unlike SCUBA divers, we don't need a large fill, just a top up. The place I go to charges me $5, end of story.

            I don't even bother taking the tank with me for my state forest trips. If I shot a rabbit for every pellet in the magazine, the missus would be screaming because there's no room in the freezer. And with 60+ useable 18.16 grain shots @ about 900-950 fps in a reservoir, you'd get sick of four legged chicken pretty quickly.

            Foxes and cats with 0.22 PCP is very do-able but I think I'd be leaning towards a 0.25 if you're doing it regularly. I'm sure Brad can add more to this. He has a Blizzard in 0.25 and dispatches foxes with it on a regular basis.

            It depends on what sort of budget you have setup for the new rifle. The majority of PCPs are better shooters than the rifleman. I suppose prices start at $900 up for a new piece of equipment . The lower end will get you a new Benjamin Marauder, Evanix Rainstorm or Blizzard, Theoben Rapid. Around the $1500 upwards will see you with great quality name brands; Fx Airguns series, Weihrauch HW100s, Air Arms. In the $2000 and above we start talking the the cream of the crop with Daystate, Steyr, Feinwerkbau. The secondhand market is worth exploring.

            The guys will tell you I'm a Weihrauch man but as a first PCP the Blizzard has been great. Got mine second hand with all the bits including tank for about 55-60% retail. Have a look at usedguns.com.au. There are a few there for starters. I did several months of research and looking before I took the plunge. The quality secondhand market turns over pretty quickly. A HW100 was up on the site for about 2.5 hours a couple of weeks ago and then gone. My Brno 2 (eventhough a RF) lasted 45 mins. http://usedguns.com.au/Guns/used_air_rifles There's even a 0.308 there at the moment.

            Set yourself some criteria so you can tick the boxes. Make sure noise level is included on that list. New PCP are very likely NOT noise moderated.

            Where abouts are you located mate? I'm sure there will be a few members from this forum nearby and you could possibly try a few PCPs before buying.

            Hope that helps.

        • #7

          Co2 is just so easy.....screw in a tank/cart and shoot......no gauges....and at $50 for 6 kilos, bulk fill, you will be shooting happily all year.

          No pumping, no tanks to get tested, no hi pressures.....just cold gas.



          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
            Editing a comment

            Another vote for the PCP here

            I agree with a lot of what others have said. The PCP just has it all really, if you are planning to do more than a little hunting they are the way to go!

            As Nigel said they are boringly accurate, but that's what you want when shooting live quarry IMO

            As Matt stated if you are leaning towards a PCP check out models with smaller reservoirs for ease of filling with a hand pump. Matt may be able to set you up with a pump as well.
            If budget is not an issue there is always the FX Indy or Independence, which contain their own pump.

            Good luck with your research

        • #8
          Where are you based Mike ?


          • #9
            Thanks to everyone for your advice - all good and will take some time to digest. Real world experience is worth a whole lot more than over the counter sales talk.
            You guys have got me reconsidering PCP and hand pumps. I have 6 adult sons who are home often and will gladly lend a hand to refill.
            But the Umarex/Hammileri, wow what a revelation. Had not even considered CO2. Light, accurate and European quality by all reports and 200 odd shots per refill. Every review I read remarked on how much fun this gun was to shoot. Just may be a bit underdone for larger varmints.
            Back to PCP's and the Evanix have caught my eye. Looking at the Blizzard, Rainstorm and AR6 (second hand).
            I know they are not German or British but sometimes the new players may have to try harder and produce a good product to gain market share.
            They look good and pack a whallop and are getting good some good reviews. Would these cylinders be ok to pump?
            On the subjects of pumps, what would be a good pump with moisture filter.
            I sort of subscribe to the philosophy of "buy cheap buy twice - buy quality cry once".
            To answer a question - we live in Boonah, about an hour and twenty South West of Brisbane and about an hour from a dive shop in Springfield.
            Thanks again for your time and very valuable advice.
            cheers Mick


            • #10
              My first AR is a PCP and would definitely recommend one to anyone. I fill mine from a scuba tank and they only need hydro testing every 5 years if it is not being used for diving, I have not used my Hills pump for 2yrs, bugger that, just fill and shoot. Everyone will tell you to use a pump, get fit while doing that but try controlling your heart rate afterwards not to mention the bloody blisters in the palms of your hands and I have boilermaker hands. You can always find somewhere to fill a scuba tank, do you know any of the local firies? I am 4hrs away from a dive shop but the local mine training centre has the facilities for filling breathing apparatus so they fill my scuba tank for me. Go buy a PCP, be happy


              • #11
                Thanks, GRMKC, as soon as I hit the submit button I thought this is going to go somewhere I don't want
                Boonah, buy a PCP, BE HAPPY


                • nate
                  nate commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The Koreans have been making big bore ARs for a LONG time & they DEFINITELY know what They're doing!

              • #12
                I have a hills hand pump with the dry pack thingy. works well, easy to use, only 'issue' is when the pump decides to fall over when I'm connecting the pump to the gun because the hose is so stiff because it has to be to cope with the pressure. When this happens, if it hits a wall or your gun or something - it's gonna mark it because the pump is quite solid and very well made.

                But - just be careful and you're set. pumping is easy.


                • Guest's Avatar
                  Guest commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Originally posted by SuburbanMe" post=43020
                  only 'issue' is when the pump decides to fall over when I'm connecting the pump to the gun because the hose is so stiff because it has to be to cope with the pressure. When this happens, if it hits a wall or your gun or something
                  So true!

                  Most stirrup pumps could do with being more stable (and somehow still be compact and portable?)
                  Very easy for them to go A over T particularly on carpet or other soft surfaces.