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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)