The Umarex Notos: A Versatile and Affordable PCP Airgun for Small Game Hunting and Plinking Reactive Targets
Airguns have been around for centuries, with the earliest known design dating back to the 16th century. Today, airguns continue to be popular with hunters, target shooters, and backyard plinkers. They are quieter and generate lower power than firearms, making them ideal for situations where a firearm isn't practical or legal. Among airguns, PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) models have gained popularity in recent years due to their power, accuracy, and consistency. In 2023, Umarex USA introduced the Notos, a new PCP airgun that offers versatility, accuracy, and affordability.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at the Umarex Notos and its features, as well as review its performance in the field and on the range.
Umarex NOTOS Specs and Features
The Umarex Notos is a PCP airgun that comes with all the components to set it up as a large handgun or a very compact carbine. It weighs only 4 pounds and has a barrel length of 11.75 inches. Its caliber is .22, and it can shoot up to 740 fps (feet per second). The Notos features a shrouded barrel with a 3 baffle SilencAir system, making it one of the quietest airguns on the market. Its seven-shot magazine and side lever action allow for quick and easy loading and firing. It can hold 21 shots per fill, with an operating pressure of 3625 psi and a regulated pressure of 1900 psi.
As a PCP airgun, the Notos requires an external air source to fill its air tank. Two of the most common options are a compressor or a large air tank used for scuba diving. A compressor made for air rifles is required because it needs to fill the gun to a very high pressure of 3,600 psi and remove moisture from the air. If a tank is used, it can be filled at a dive shop, paintball store, or firehouse.
The Umarex Notos is a quiet airgun thanks to its shrouded barrel and moderator at the end of the barrel. Sound suppression on air rifles doesn't require any additional paperwork, unlike firearm silencers that require a $200 tax stamp, paperwork, and a long waiting period. Think of it like an integrally suppressed rifle like the B&T USA SPR300 Pro Rifle.
Testing the Umarex Notos in the Field
To test the Umarex Notos in the field, I took it on a recent javelina hunt in West Texas as my small game gun. Before the hunt, I spent some time on the range testing several pellets to determine which worked best with this airgun. I shot groups at 30 yards with the JSB Jumbo Express 14.35 gr round nose, the 14.5 gr RWS Superdome, the 18.1 gr JTS Dead Center round nose, the 18 gr Apolo hollow point, and the 17 gr Apolo wadcutter pellets. I shot off a bench, with the carbine rested on sandbags, starting with a full 3625 psi (250 BAR) charge of air. I continued shooting as long as the pressure gauge stayed in the green, refilling before the needle moved into the red. This is a regulated gun and should remain consistent as long as the tank pressure exceeds the regulator pressure (1900 psi).
After getting sighted in, I shot five consecutive five-shot groups at 30 yards, one with each of the five pellets. The Umarex Gauntlet 2 consistently delivered tight groups with each pellet, and the shot-to-shot consistency was impressive. I also found the rifle to be relatively quiet, thanks in part to the built-in suppressor. Overall, I was very pleased with the Umarex Gauntlet 2's accuracy and performance.
However, it's worth noting that the Gauntlet 2 is a bit heavy and bulky compared to some other PCP air rifles on the market. Additionally, the included 3-9x32 scope is serviceable but not particularly high-end, so shooters may want to consider upgrading to a better optic for maximum accuracy. Nonetheless, the Umarex Gauntlet 2 is an excellent option for hunters, plinkers, and target shooters alike, offering impressive power, accuracy, and value for the price.
The carbine is also quite versatile, allowing the shooter to adjust the length of pull to fit their shooting style. The carbine is 28 inches long with a total weight of 4 pounds. With the adjustable stock and the compact barrel length of just 11.75 inches, the NOTOS makes a great hunting gun for taking small game or plinking reactive targets.
One feature that I particularly appreciated on the Umarex NOTOS was the side lever action. This is a departure from the traditional bolt action that is commonly found on airguns. The side lever action makes it easier to cycle the magazine and get back on target quickly, especially for follow-up shots. I found the action smooth and easy to operate, which added to the overall enjoyable shooting experience.
Another aspect of the NOTOS that I appreciated was the magazine system. The Umarex NOTOS comes with a seven-shot magazine that is easy to load and insert into the gun. I found that the magazine stayed securely in place during shooting, which is critical for maintaining accuracy. The magazine is also easy to remove from the gun, which makes it quick and easy to reload.
One of the standout features of the Umarex NOTOS is the shrouded barrel with the 3-baffle SilencAir system. This system effectively suppresses the sound of the gun, making it ideal for hunting in suburban areas or in situations where a firearm isn't practical. The moderator at the end of the barrel also helps to reduce the report of the gun, making it even quieter. This is a significant advantage for airguns, as firearm silencers require a $200 tax stamp and additional paperwork, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
In terms of power, the Umarex NOTOS is a .22 caliber airgun with a maximum velocity of 740 fps. The gun is regulated to 1900 psi, which ensures consistent shot-to-shot performance. I found the power output to be in the range of 18 fpe to 20 fpe, which is more than sufficient for small game hunting and plinking reactive targets. The gun is also very efficient in terms of air usage, with 21 shots per fill. This means that you can spend more time shooting and less time filling the air tank.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Umarex NOTOS is a PCP airgun, which means that it requires an external source to fill the air tank. This can be done with a compressor or a large air tank. If you go the tank route, you can buy a tank from an airgun supplier and fill it at a dive shop, paintball store, or firehouse. The compressor you use to fill your gun must be made for air rifles because it needs to fill to a very high pressure, 3,600 psi, and remove moisture from the air.
Overall, the Umarex NOTOS is a fantastic airgun that offers a lot of value for the price. At well under $300, this gun has features that you would normally find on airguns that cost many times its price. The NOTOS is accurate, reliable, and versatile, making it an excellent choice for small game hunting and plinking reactive targets. The side lever action, magazine system, and adjustable stock all contribute to a great shooting experience, while the shrouded barrel with the 3-baffle SilencAir system makes this gun one of the quietest airguns on the market.
If you're in the market for a new airgun for small game hunting or plinking, I highly recommend checking out the Umarex NOTOS. This gun has quickly become one of my favorites, and I think it will be for many other airgun enthusiasts as well. It's also worth noting that Umarex is a well-respected brand in the airgun industry and known for producing quality products. The NOTOS is no exception, and I was impressed with its accuracy, power, and overall feel. It's a great option for beginners and experienced shooters alike, and I believe it offers excellent value for its price point. Overall, if you're looking for a reliable, accurate, and enjoyable airgun, the Umarex NOTOS is definitely worth considering.