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Thread: Which 5.5mm PCP rifles come recommended?

  1. #1
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    Default Which 5.5mm PCP rifles come recommended?

    Hi, all! Nick here.

    I need help in solving a conundrum. I'm in the market for an air rifle, but I need help making my choice from peeps who are more knowledgable about exactly what's out there, and is best suited to my needs.

    A little background: eight months ago, my fiancee and I moved from Johannesburg to a 70-hectare farm just outside De Rust. The farm is all ours, and it's a wonderful environment - very hilly and stuffed full of fynbos.

    Target shooting, PC are the two reasons why I want a small-calibre, relatively high-velocity rifle. Something else I want the rifle for is to teach my fiancee basic marksmanship.

    So my requirements are:
    - Hitting power (high muzzle energy).
    - Multi-shot capability, with minimal time between shots.
    - A gun that's kind to its telescopic sight.
    - Reasonably light weight.
    - Ease of use.
    - I'd prefer something that needs minimal maintenance.
    - High accuracy.
    - Reasonable cost (I can't afford to just buy the most expensive gun I see).
    - Reasonable availability of gun and parts from a local supplier, without the need to import something myself.
    - Reliability!

    So far, I've narrowed down the rifle configuration (the need to preserve the scope and high-speed multi-shot requirement mean I want to go PCP) and calibre (the muzzle energy requirement means I want to go 5.5mm).

    So far, the ones I'm looking at are the:
    - Walther Rotex RM8
    - Kral Puncher S
    - Kral Puncher Breaker
    - Kral Puncher Jumbo
    - Gamo Coyote

    I'm not particularly fixated on any of them, and I'm more than open to suggestions for other good guns in the same price range!
    So far, the Gamo is the only one I've seen in person - they're currently available from the Klein Karoo Agri in Oudtshoorn for R8 773.

    However, I'm struggling to find detailed, objective long-term reviews of any of the guns above.
    What I need is feedback on your long-term ownership experience of the 5.5mm PCP you'd recommend.
    How has the rifle treated you? Has anything broken? If so, what was involved in fixing it? How expensive has it been to run? And would you or wouldn't you recommend that someone buy it?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    I have used a friend's FX Royale 400 5.5mm and it is awesome!

    But probably beyond the budget looking at the other rifles you mentioned.
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  3. #3
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    A couple of things IMO...

    If you want 'hitting power', then you may as well forget about an air rifle. Especially a cheap one. Rather buy a .22 rimfire.

    RELIABLE VERY high power comes with a price... some of the Daystate models are fantastic... at the price of a second hand car.

    High accuracy comes with a price. An accurate rifle needs a high quality barrel, and with a cheaper rifle, it is sometimes (excuse the pun) 'hit or miss'. For instance... my cheap P12 - one of the first in the country, had a barrel so bad, the pellet dropped through it and hung out of the end of the barrel. Put a LW barrel on it, and now its a 1-holer. It is now also a keeper! I own 2, with the same mods.

    A cheap gun will ALWAYS need some work on it to improve (or even just get it to where you want it to be). That work comes at a cost, in terms of time and money and parts (barrels, regulators etc). Before you know it, you have spent what you would have on a high quality gun, having simply put lipstick on a pig.

    Cheaper multi-shot rifles are also not very robust, and with the general low levels of support this country offers on the air rifle front, rather buy something that is proven to last. Also... multi shot is overpriced, IMO, and not really absolutely necessary, if you know your gun.

    That said, these would be my choices on rifles that cover all of my issues mentioned above, but at a decent price for what you are getting (a second-hand gun from a reputable person on this forum would be far better value than ANY cheaper new rifle)

    HW100
    Kalibrgun Cricket
    Air Arms FAC

    Anyone else can mention other rifles with the same quality/price factor...add them!

    I would not touch anything GAMO, except their scopes... and even those have become kak.

    Rather save up and have around 15-22K in your hands. Fantastic deals come along every now and then, and many guys have closet queens stashed away, and need quick cash.

    You can thank me later.
    Last edited by Bludlust; 15-06-18 at 19:27.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bludlust View Post
    A couple of things IMO...

    If you want 'hitting power', then you may as well forget about an air rifle. Especially a cheap one. Rather buy a .22 rimfire.

    RELIABLE VERY high power comes with a price... some of the Daystate models are fantastic... at the price of a second hand car.

    High accuracy comes with a price. An accurate rifle needs a high quality barrel, and with a cheaper rifle, it is sometimes (excuse the pun) 'hit or miss'. For instance... my cheap P12 - one of the first in the country, had a barrel so bad, the pellet dropped through it and hung out of the end of the barrel. Put a LW barrel on it, and now its a 1-holer. It is now also a keeper! I own 2, with the same mods.

    A cheap gun will ALWAYS need some work on it to improve (or even just get it to where you want it to be). That work comes at a cost, in terms of time and money and parts (barrels, regulators etc). Before you know it, you have spent what you would have on a high quality gun, having simply put lipstick on a pig.

    Cheaper multi-shot rifles are also not very robust, and with the general low levels of support this country offers on the air rifle front, rather buy something that is proven to last. Also... multi shot is overpriced, IMO, and not really absolutely necessary, if you know your gun.

    That said, these would be my choices on rifles that cover all of my issues mentioned above, but at a decent price for what you are getting (a second-hand gun from a reputable person on this forum would be far better value than ANY cheaper new rifle)

    HW100
    Kalibrgun Cricket
    Air Arms FAC

    Anyone else can mention other rifles with the same quality/price factor...add them!

    I would not touch anything GAMO, except their scopes... and even those have become kak.

    Rather save up and have around 15-22K in your hands. Fantastic deals come along every now and then, and many guys have closet queens stashed away, and need quick cash.

    You can thank me later.

    totally agree also also as the power gets higher you need to move to slugs etc ,it's my believe a lot of the high power rifles are a sales fad as you end up turning them down to get accuracy.No point launching the pellet at 20000 ft per sec if the grouping is 40m across.

    As for gamo no chance, get them in UK they are useless in the main.

    not sure on the Kral in SA but here they very hit and miss more miss than hit
    I brought a breaker puncher here wouldn't hit less than 5" at ten meters so back to the shop

    sumatra are good guns not sure on supply in SA or price but not bad guns
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  5. #5
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    I have been playing with SPA M10 rifles for a while now, and still like and trust the rifle. For the price of the M10 you will NEVER get the consistancy of shotstring of the Daystate, but for the price and effort of tuning, it is good enough for 10 shots and refill....

    I am busy testing and tuning my M10 .20 conversion, no range time as yet for accuracy, only velocity and effeciency tests so far.
    This is an average of 10 shots per pellet weight:

    Brought the velocity down a bit on the 23.75gr for effiency, was running at 979fps.

    All in all, you have to think about it like this; ALL PCPs are value for money; if you pay R25 000, you will get R25 000 worth of value, and when you pay R8 000, then you will be getting your R8 000 worth of value...

    Decide on the "level of value" you can afford, and if need be, get that lower value tuned.
    Last edited by wimpie swart; 16-06-18 at 08:53.
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  6. #6
    Marksman

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    I live on a farm too... Get a Sumatra. I don't have much experience with airguns but i do have a Sumatra Carbine with a after market l hammer spring and velve from African Air Ordnance. It goes bang louder than a .22 rimfire and is accurate enough for what I use it for (I shoot slugs not pellets). They are far from the refined HW100 I have seen but their price and power are far more attractive for me.
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  7. #7
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    I am with Bludlust here.

    Your best bet is to buy a 0.22 long rifle powder burner.

    Living on a farm you should have no problems in obtaining a firearms licence for the 0.22 Long Rifle.

    An air rifle will not cut it for the purpose that you envisage.

    Cheers.
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  8. #8
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    Just so you budget adequately for whatever you buy :
    1) Safe. You're not legally required to store your up-to-5.5mm air rifle in a safe although its a good idea but a rimfire .22 is a fire arm and needs to live in a rifle safe.
    2) case/bag - you'll want one of the two to transport it
    3) scope and mounts - cheap but adequate is going to cost R1500 plus. Airguns have loopy trajectories and for the ranges you can shoot on the farm a mildot or similar reticle will help. Sidefocus is also much nicer to use than AO.
    4) If you are new to PCPs you going to need a scuba tank or pump to fill the PCP. A pump needs to be a good one with a filter and air dryer or you will get water (condensate) and corrosion in your pump and rifle. Pumps are hard work and better suited to PCPs requiring lower fill pressures in the 100 to 150 bar range. 200 bar is doable but hard work... For higher pressures you'll prefer a scuba tank and this needs a filling station that doesn't come standard with any PCP. R4000 plus for a good pump or tank/fillstation if you buy new. You also need a dive shop within reasonable distance for scuba tank refills.

    Of your choices the Walther PCP is probably the best. Someone here is also advertising a new HW110 FAC for R15250 which is not bad for the new model from this top notch brand.

    Energywise the .22 LR rimfire ammo is mostly subsonic like an air rifle but the bullets are way heavier than pellets and it hits several times harder than most PCPs.
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  9. #9
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    Take a look at the Brockock range of air rifles as well. Very well built and a very comfortable rifle. Not a bull pub and not a full length rifle.
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  10. #10
    Sharp Shooter
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    Hitting power, multi shot, lightweight, accurate,reliable and fast?
    You want a Ruger 10/22!
    50 Years - Speed Shooting the Ruger 10-22 Combo - YouTube
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  11. #11
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    I was waiting for that, yes a brocock!! I have a bantam HP synthetic. 30ft/lb's and super accurate. 70+ shots per fill and a fairly flat power curve thanks to the slingshot system. Speak to Eugene at airgun nut. Good service there!!
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  12. #12
    Sharp Shooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick V View Post
    So my requirements are:
    - Hitting power (high muzzle energy).
    - Multi-shot capability, with minimal time between shots.
    - A gun that's kind to its telescopic sight.
    - Reasonably light weight.
    - Ease of use.
    - I'd prefer something that needs minimal maintenance.
    - High accuracy.
    - Reasonable cost (I can't afford to just buy the most expensive gun I see).
    - Reasonable availability of gun and parts from a local supplier, without the need to import something myself.
    - Reliability!
    Given your requirements I wouldn't waste my time with an airgun. Blud has called it spot on in this instance.

    A .22LR rifle will give you all of this for a shitload less money and greater range and accuracy.

    Something like a nice CZ452 bolt action with a sound moderator (silencer) would be a budget rifle or if you want to stretch to something pricier - Anschutz or Sako.

    There is no air rifle out there that will give you anything like your requirements in a cost effective or easy handling package.

    The Ruger 10-22 as mentioned above by DSF is a cracking little rifle but can be a bit lacking in pinpoint accuracy at longer distance unless you spend time (and money) building a custom version.
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  13. #13
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    A lot has changed in five months.

    First, a big Thank You to everyone who replied - especially Wimpie Swart, from whom I bought the Artemis M10 he mentions in post #5 above.

    For me, it was largely a question of not asking the gun to do something outside its capabilities. Obviously, there is a horse for every course.
    (Not so) obviously, there were also different interpretations of what I said:

    When I said 'Hitting power', I meant enough energy to humanely kill something the size of a Scrub Hare at between 30m and 50m.
    My M10 is more than adequate for that. So is my ATAC.
    Reading up on the Air Arms Ultimate Sporter XS in .25, it's said to be capable of 60J ME under ideal conditions. That could get *anyone* into more trouble than they could handle.
    On the other hand, I know people for whom the definition of 'Hitting power' is this: Denel NTW-20 - Wikipedia
    Somewhere in between is the .300 Winchester Magnum.
    Och Aye, one could explore this topic all day long.

    I dismissed the Walther as too expensive, the Krals for their awful customer reviews, and the Coyote (indeed, almost any brand-new PCP) as offering too little value for money.

    I bought a 5.5mm Stoeger ATAC S2 from The Knife Guy in Hartebeespoort on a close-out sale, at R2 995 - partly as a stop-gap while I did more research, partly because the convenience of a spring-powered mechanism appealed enough to own a second rifle in the long term.
    It's had about 1 200 pellets through it, now - enough to determine that the stock scope had gone the same way as every other stock scope fitted to an ATAC.
    It's been replaced by a Nikko Stirling Mountmaster 4-12x50AO, which I'm sighting in today.

    Luckily, I live just out of De Rust, which means Wimpie isn't a million miles away.
    When I brought the ATAC to him for a new barrel seal, I saw his M10, and it just happened to be up for sale. A few weeks later, I got the rifle, with its scope, silencer, bipod, a 6-litre air tank (and about R10 000 worth of R&D work), for R9 500.
    To put that into perspective, all this came to me for a sum that would otherwise have bought an out-of-the-box Gamo Coyote with no extras, and left me about R300 in change.
    Since I bought it a few weeks ago, the M10's already had about 500 shots through it.
    What can I say? I'm a happy man!
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