Mark Camoc­cio tries out a new, high­pres­sure pump from Kral

Mark Camoc­cio con­tin­ues his love af­fair with pumps and looks at a new model from Kral

Air Gunner - - Contents -

I’ve al­ways loved the idea of a sin­gle- stroke pneu­matic air­gun, which ef­fec­tively gives the shooter to­tal in­de­pen­dence from hav­ing to worry about any charg­ing gear what­so­ever, but the de­signs are still to be cracked, where a full- power pro­duc­tion model is con­cerned. Sim­i­larly, when us­ing a PCP, a ded­i­cated air­gun pump al­ways held mas­sive ap­peal, for much the same rea­sons. Far eas­ier to own your own pump, and not have to worry about buy­ing heavy div­ing bot­tles, and get­ting them pe­ri­od­i­cally tested and re­filled at the div­ing shop.

It’s all about in­de­pen­dence, and to be free of all that has­sle is the way for­ward, for me. I do own a small, diver’s bot­tle, just to deal with some es­pe­cially awk­ward pneu­matic sys­tems, but for all day- to- day du­ties, I’m a big fan of the pump.

HEAVY DUTY

Early de­signs were back- break­ing af­fairs, which I re­jected at the time, but sev­eral mod­els now avail­able are com­pletely dif­fer­ent an­i­mals, and per­fectly man­age­able by any­one in rea­son­able shape. On test here is the Kral High Pres­sure Air­gun Pump, and the first thing that stands out is that it is ex­tremely ro­bust, and clearly built to last. Kral is a Turk­ish brand, with an ever- ex­pand­ing range of their own air­guns, and this ded­i­cated pump is a se­ri­ous piece of kit de­signed to be eas­ily op­er­ated by any en­thu­si­ast. It comes nicely pack­aged in a padded car­ton, and the de­sign is also im­pres­sively thor­ough.

In­side the box, there’s the main body tube and block assem­bly, han­dle bars, flex­i­ble air line, screw pack, metal base, liq­uid- filled pres­sure gauge, span­ner, and even a se­lec­tion of re­place­ment ‘O’ rings. An in­struc­tion man­ual is also here, which should be re­as­sur­ing.

ROOM TO AS­SEM­BLE

Iron­i­cally, de­spite the ac­com­pa­ny­ing notes, no ba­sic assem­bly guide was ob­vi­ous, but if you are at all fa­mil­iar with this sort of pump, the assem­bly of so few parts should be pretty straight­for­ward. This is how it’s done:

First, wipe away the ex­cess oil with an old rag be­cause tran­sit grease and oily parts in the box can be an is­sue.

Now fix the han­dle­bars to the top of the main tube, us­ing the two long­est screws from the pack.

Screw on the base, us­ing the four small screws, and have the pro­trud­ing feet point­ing away from the gauge side.

Screw the air line/ca­ble into the lower hole in the tube block.

Then screw the pres­sure gauge into the higher hole on the block.

Care­fully, tighten both the ca­ble and gauge with the span­ner pro­vided, and the pump is now ready.

PER­FOR­MANCE

As men­tioned, I’ve been a long - term ad­vo­cate of the pump and reg­u­larly use a Hill de­sign, which of course, of­fered up the per­fect chance on test, to com­pare the Kral pump’s

ease of use and per­for­mance with one of its mar­ket- lead­ing ri­vals.

Charg­ing a Cometa Orion ac­tion was as good a task as any, and to repli­cate the usual sce­nario in which most shoot­ers are just top­ping up their pneu­matic af­ter a shoot­ing trip, the Cometa was to be topped from a resid­ual pres­sure of 130bar, up to a full 200bar.

On test, the Hill pump man­aged 200bar af­ter 78 down­wards strokes, against 94 strokes from the Kral pump. Those fig­ures alone don’t tell the full story, of course. Firstly, in the big scheme of things, the dif­fer­ence is neg­li­gi­ble; and sec­ondly, the smooth, wholly man­age­able, re­as­sur­ing feel of the Kral, gives it plenty of plus points. A mi­cron fil­ter helps to keep dirt at bay, and an un­usu­ally high top pres­sure of 310bar is also im­pres­sive.

Pump on a fairly hard sur­face rather than a spongy car­pet, bending the knees in the cor­rect fash­ion, and the task should be quite easy. I found pump­ing ef­fort with the Kral com­pares very favourably with Hill, and a Fos­ter- style con­nec­tor keeps things sim­ple, too, be­cause this will snap straight onto the air valve of many guns. For any other valve styles, I would ad­vise the adop­tion of the quick- change adap­tor ends from Best Fit­tings, which stream­line the ap­proach across a wide va­ri­ety of air­guns at a stroke.

NEG­A­TIVES

On the neg­a­tive side, the fact that the pres­sure gauge on my test pump didn’t sit fully the right way up, was an ir­ri­ta­tion. Like­wise, the way the gauge is not marked up in ‘bar’. How­ever, mark­ings are still very clear, with a scale in psi and MPa ( Me­ga­pas­cal). 1MPa= to 1/10 bar, so it is easy to read the scale and con­vert i.e 20MPa = 200bar – just a lit­tle un­con­ven­tional.

REC­OM­MENDED

So not per­fect maybe, but this Kral High Pres­sure Air­gun Pump is def­i­nitely one of the most ro­bust, and smooth- op­er­at­ing con­tenders cur­rently on the mar­ket, and as pre­vi­ously al­luded to, com­pares ex­tremely favourably with the highly re­garded Hill prod­uct. Very man­age­able pump­ing at the end of the day, and when you also con­sider the com­pre­hen­sive trou­bleshoot­ing guide, and the in­clu­sion of an ‘O’ ring set to en­able home main­te­nance, it has to get a big thumbs up. Let’s hear it for in­de­pen­dence!

The Kral pump is a ro­bust piece of hard­ware

BE­LOW: Assem­bly is sim­ple with so few com­po­nents

RIGHT: Mark­ings are clear and are in psi and Mpa (Me­ga­pas­cal)

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