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Even though pre-charged pneumatic airguns continue to grow in popularity, one thing keeps them from becoming even more ubiquitous: the need for an external air supply. Hand pumping an airgun to full power is labor-intensive. And if you decide to go the air tank and/or compressor route, then it becomes pricey. the new Umarex Komplete eliminates those barriers.

The Komplete Nitro air rifle, which is just hitting shelves, gives shooters a chance to enjoy the benefits of a PCP—accuracy, no recoil, consistency, modest noise, and a multi-shot magazine—in a relatively inexpensive, almost standalone package. That word “almost” is there because the gun still needs air. Or, in this case, nitrogen, which comes from a single-use cartridge that resembles a giant CO2 cartridge. This helps keep both the labor and price down while still getting PCP capabilities.

Over the last few weeks, I took the new Umarex Komplete to the range to see how it performs as a plinking and, potentially, small game air rifle. Here are the results.

Umarex Komplete Overview

Specs

  • Type: NitroAir cartridge powered
  • Action: Repeater
  • Caliber: .22 (tested); .177
  • Projectile type: Pellets, slugs
  • Feet per second: 950 fps (.22); 1025 fps (.25)
  • Energy at muzzle: 30 foot-pounds (.22)
  • Sights: No sights; Picatinny scope rail; 4X32 scope included
  • Length: 41.5 inches
  • Weight: 5 pounds without scope
  • Required accessories: NitroAir cartridge
  • Price: $199.99 (MSRP)

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Simple operation
  • Good, consistent power
  • Low cost
  • Light

Cons

  • So-so trigger
  • Loud for a pneumatic
collage of airgun
Clockwise from top: The nitrogen cartridge installed inside the forearm of the gun; the threads for the nitrogen catridge; the included scope mounted on the Komplete. Mark Taylor

By offering PCP-like performance from a disposable cartridge, the new Komplete addresses the labor-intensive challenge that prevents many from getting into the PCP game. A good external tank requires a substantial upfront investment, and you’ll still need to have it filled, either at a shop or with your own compressor, which is another substantial investment.

All you have to do with the Komplete is screw in a cartridge. That said, there is a price for this convenience. A pack of two 3,600 psi NitroAir cartridges carries an MSRP of $24.99. Each will provide at least 45 full-power shots at the rifle’s internally regulated pressure of 1,800 psi.

According to my back-of-a-napkin math, you can get at least 2,070 shots out of the Komplete before you reach the $570 it would cost you to buy the 74 cubic foot Air Venturi Wingman carbon tank I use. Another way to look at it: the Komplete’s cost of operation is about 28 cents per shot, not counting the cost of the pellet.

This air rifle features a black synthetic stock with an angular design similar to the stock on the Umarex Gauntlet family of PCPs. The forestock, which is removable for installing the NitroAir cartridge, features M-lok slots for accessories like a light or a bipod. The package includes a 4×32 scope as well as two magazines (10 rounds for .22; 12 rounds for .177). The rifle also features Umarex’s “SilencAir” built-in suppressor. Even with the included scope, this rifle still weighs under 6 pounds.

A nitrogen cartridge next to a typical CO2 capsule.
A nitrogen cartridge next to a typical 12g CO2 capsule. Mark Taylor

At the Range

Umarex sent two NitroAir cartridges with the test rifle, so my mission was to test the rifle as thoroughly as possible in roughly 90 shots. That is far less than I typically shoot when I’m testing a gun and meant I wasn’t able to extensively test a variety of pellets at different ranges. The good news? I didn’t have to shoot the Komplete many times to get an idea of its capabilities.

Before heading to the range, I ran two mags worth of pellets through the rifle at my 25-yard backyard range. The first thing I noticed was the gun isn’t as quiet as a PCP with a fully shrouded barrel or one with a high-quality screw-on shroud. I’d deem it sort of backyard-friendly. However, the accuracy was impressive despite the limitations of the entry-level, low-powered scope. Both groups—with 18.1-grain FX domed pellets—were about a half-inch center-to-center. Later at the range, shooting off a Caldwell Lead Sled, I confirmed that the rifle can knock out those half-inch groups at 25 yards with ease.

The Uamerx Komplete grouping at 25 yards with FX pellets.
The Umarex Komplete grouping at 25 yards with FX pellets. Mark Taylor

As measured by my chronograph, the Komplete was pushing those relatively beefy FX pellets down range from 844 to 861 feet per second, which is impressive consistency, before it started losing velocity after about 40 shots. Though velocity dropped to 747 fps from shots 40 to 50, the groups remained tight. At full power, the rifle was producing about 30 foot-pounds of energy.

I shot only a handful of pellets at 50 yards (at full power). The group was a mediocre 1 ¾ inches, but that was clearly more of an optics issue than an accuracy problem. Once velocity dropped to 600 fps, I stopped shooting at the target and tested the trigger, which broke at just over 2 pounds. Umarex advertises the trigger as having two stages and an adjustable take-up, but out of the box, it felt more like a single, long, creeping stage.

I was hesitant to waste my precious nitrogen while messing with the trigger, so I waited until my second NitroAir cartridge was fading before fooling with the adjustment screw (which requires a 2 mm hex wrench). I was able to reduce the trigger take-up, but I still couldn’t feel two stages.

After depleting the first cartridge, I took off the included scope and mounted a 6-24X50 Hawke AirMax, cranked it up to full magnification, and made more five-shot groups. Not surprisingly, the better glass made a difference, and I managed several ⅓-inch groups. FX Hybrid slugs, which at 22 grains require a good amount of power to perform, also shot quite well.

The Komplete’s side-lever cocking mechanism was smooth, and the magazine fed flawlessly, even with the longer slugs. The Komplete will still fully cycle after the magazine has been emptied. So, if you lose count, you’ll just fire a puff of air. In this case a 28-cent puff of air!

Who is the Umarex Komplete For?

The mission of the Umarex Komplete is pretty simple. It gives shooters a chance to experience PCP-like performance without having to invest in PCP-supporting infrastructure like an external tank or compressor. The NitroAir cartridges aren’t cheap, but you’d have to shoot a couple thousand rounds to break even with what you’d spend with normal PCP supporting equipment.

For a $200 rifle, the Komplete performance is solid. It’s powerful enough for pesting and small game hunting—and plenty accurate to do that job well. The included scope isn’t great, but it’s good enough to get the job done for plinking and hunting at ranges out to 50 yards or so.

If you’re already a PCP shooter, the Komplete probably isn’t for you. Rather, it’s a good fit for casual or new-to-airgun shooters seeking a convenient rig for occasional hunting, pesting, and plinking. It fills that role so well that I suspect it will also prove to be a gateway gun that will lead plenty of buyers into the PCP world.