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!
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.
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.
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