Jerry in­vites read­ers to join the Grey Squir­rel Hun­ters Group on Face­book, and asks two of the mem­bers to tell their sto­ries

Steve Prime goes down the PCP route … at last!

Air Gunner - - Contents -

So, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster and prob­a­bly the clos­est we will get to a tin chicken! If this is the case, then 2016 was def­i­nitely the year of the bullpup - a year when airgun man­u­fac­tur­ers put a cat amongst the chick­ens with air­gun­ners across the coun­try di­vided in opin­ion. Yep, they had stirred up the Mar­mite ef­fect again! Love or hate it the bullpup took cen­tre stage in 2016 when we had our ap­petite whet­ted at with one ex­am­ple on dis­play stand­ing out from the crowd. How­ever, we had to wait un­til the end of the year for its fi­nal re­lease and it was well worth the wait … gain­ing great ac­cred­i­ta­tion from fel­low testers, all mur­mur­ing arise Sir Knight: the Gala­had from Air Arms had stolen the show.

Too much money

The Gala­had and many of the other bullpups came at a price, but as a springer fan I, for one, was not pre­pared to pay that price even though I knew I would be pay­ing for qual­ity. There is noth­ing worse than sit­ting on the range ac­com­pa­nied by a mate with a PCP and a 10-shot mag’. By the time I have taken one shot and bro­ken the bar­rel for the sec­ond with my trusty springer, my mate has dev­as­tated a row of cherry to­ma­toes, leav­ing me with lit­tle or no tar­get to zero into. It was time to take ac­tion and join the dark side; time to pur­chase a PCP! Not easy on a re­stricted bud­get, but a cer­tain bullpup had taken my eye, the very com­pet­i­tively priced Kral Puncher Breaker with its Turk­ish wal­nut stock. Re­mem­ber though, once you go down the route of PCP you will need to bud­get for a stir­rup pump or diver’s bot­tle, as well as scope and mounts. It soon adds up!

I chose to stick with .22 hav­ing bought a se­ries of old Webley springers of the same cal­i­bre and feel­ing con­fi­dent that I was get­ting used to the dif­fer­ence in pel­let tra­jec­tory from my usual .177. Ex­cite­ment over­took ra­tio­nal­ity and I made my first mis­take; with my scope and mounts po­si­tioned, I raised the Kral to the shoul­der and I could see ab­so­lutely noth­ing. Never mind par­al­lax – it was more a black hole! I solved the prob­lem with a Weaver riser and the sight was per­fect, but log­i­cally, it did not seem right with the scope sit­ting so high from the bar­rel.

Pel­let-on-pel­let

On the range, within a few min­utes the Puncher Breaker was sighted in and at 25/30 yards it was pro­duc­ing the most amaz­ing re­sults, pel­let- on-pel­let con­sis­tently, shot af­ter shot. I could not be­lieve how ac­cu­rate this gun was and what great value it is. The trig­ger is not as smooth as I would like, but it’s some­thing I have be­come used to, and some of the lads don’t like the po­si­tion of

the cock­ing lever, think­ing it’s set too far back. Again, I have not got a prob­lem with this be­cause it works well for me. The mag’s are a lit­tle fid­dly to lo­cate in the breech and care is re­quired not to dam­age the thin-line, plas­tic lo­ca­tor on the mag­a­zine. A quick tip - put some thin gun oil on the back of the mag­a­zine to help it to slide into place smoothly. That said, .

To set it apart from the norm, it has a power level con­trol which I have been in­formed is re­ally use­ful when hunt­ing or un­der­tak­ing pest con­trol at close range, or where there is lim­ited space to cull. The soft rub­ber butt has an ad­justable plas­tic cheek plate set above and in front of it. To fin­ish mine off, I added the Kral si­lencer, which in­creased the length of the gun from 28 inches to 34 inches.

The com­plete out­fit; gun, riser, mounts, scope and si­lencer came to just over £ 550 - money well spent. In­deed, so much so that I de­cided to pur­chase a sec­ond in .177 cal­i­bre with syn­thetic stock. Again, I added the si­lencer, but this time bought higher mounts and a Hawke scope. Apart from the stock and cal­i­bre, the guns are iden­ti­cal, equally as ac­cu­rate as each other. The syn­thetic stock does have a slight edge on its wal­nut ri­val - at the end of the stock is a hinged door which when opened, gives a small hidey hole for a spare mag­a­zine – which is use­ful be­cause each gun is supplied with two multi-shot mag­a­zines.

Class act

The syn­thetic stock is also re­ally durable, more so than the wal­nut, but I al­ways pre­fer the look of wood and it would be my pre­ferred choice if I could only have the one gun. The .22 will give just in ex­cess of 120 shots on a fill with the .177 giv­ing a few less. The filler port is pro­tected by a ro­tat­ing shroud with the gauge set at the end of the air cylin­der. Both stocks sport a pis­tol grip and thumb­hole, mak­ing the Kral an easy ri­fle to carry out in the field. The last real point to note is the safety which is a man­ual safety set be­hind the cock­ing lever. It is easy to oper­ate and feels re­ally pos­i­tive. The trig­ger has a 2/2.5lb pull and is ad­justable, for me the fac­tory set­ting is spot on, although as I men­tioned ear­lier, it could be a lit­tle smoother.

To con­clude, I now own two bullpups for less than the cost of one of the topend models. I have been fir­ing Daystate Sov­er­eign pel­lets through both the .22 and .177 with ex­cel­lent re­sults up to 40 yards, and the best group­ings were be­tween 25 and 30 yards. The Kral Puncher Breaker is a bud­get gun, but feels and fires like a class act. It won’t dis­ap­point and is a per­fect en­try-level PCP ri­fle. What does the fu­ture hold? Well, Kral are about to in­tro­duce the Marine with either type stock, but the ac­tion is a pol­ished sil­ver colour. Wow! It looks amaz­ing, but an­other PCP? I don’t think so!

“at 25/ 30 yards it was pro­duc­ing the most amaz­ing re­sults, pel­let- on- pel­let con­sis­tently, shot af­ter shot”

Like many bullpups, these needed high mounts

I now have a .177 and a .22

The mag’s have a clear shot- count in­di­ca­tor

I’ve re­ally fallen in love with these ri­fles

This neat holder car­ries the spare mag­a­zine

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