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The old adage of getting what you pay for generally holds true when it comes to air rifles, but every now and again, a rifle comes along that punches above its weight class. I just found one such rifle in the Umarex Origin.
The Origin is accurate, powerful, quiet, ergonomic, and has a great air management system while at the same time maintaining an affordable price tag. It’s not the only rifle to achieve the ideal combination of features, performance, and pricing, but it is in a small group. Here’s a look at how the Origin performed at the range and in the field, as well as why I think it’s one of the best values available.
Umarex Origin Specs and Key Features
Calibers: .22 or .25
Velocity: 1075 fps (.22)
Weight: 6.8 pounds
Overall Length: 43.1 inches
Barrel Length: 22.9 inches
Max Shots Per Fill: 40 (.22)
Magazine Capacity: Eight shots in .25 caliber and 10 shots in .22
Operating Pressure: 3625 psi or 250 BAR
Two-stage, adjustable trigger
Weaver and 11mm dovetail scope mounts
Filling the Origin with a Hand Pump
The Umarex Origin looks like a standard PCP rifle, but it incorporates some very interesting technology that alleviates the main challenge for new airgunners—how to fill a PCP airgun. You can buy it in a package that includes a hand pump, which is usually a strenuous method for filling an air gun. But the Origin’s power plant requires about a dozen pumps to get a full-power shot, or 100 pumps to fill the reservoir.
The technology that enables this low effort filling is the Umarex Ever Pressure Tank system, which compresses the reservoir air with a pre-pressurized chamber. This system is said to reduce the number of pumps needed by up to 50 percent over similar airguns, and after numerous refills with one of my hand pumps I believe this is a fair claim. The gun fills with a proprietary fill probe, and an integrated fill pressure gauge is incorporated to allow the shooter to monitor air use.
In my opinion, the Origin is ideal to pair with a portable compressor, which has become a more affordable option and provides an endless supply of air. Read my review of the best PCP air rifle compressors for some options. Either way, this is one of the easiest PCP rifles to keep charged and ready for shooting.
Action and Trigger
The Origin uses a side lever action and has an adjustable trigger. Jim Chapman
The Origin uses an ergonomic side-lever action that auto indexes an eight-shot magazine (10-shot in .22). The trigger is an adjustable two-stage with a comfortable medium-width shoe, that breaks at about 2.8 pounds out of the box.
Testing the Umarex Origin in the Field
Umarex Origin groups at 50 yards. Jim Chapman
Before hunting with my .25 caliber Umarex Origin, I took it out for a range day. The “range” in this case, was my portable bench in the woods behind my house. That’s a big advantage of airguns in general, you have a lot of flexibility as to where you can shoot them. I squeezed off several eight-shot groups at 30 and 50 yards using a variety of pellets. I found that while the gun was pellet tolerant, it did shoot the JSB 25.39 Exact Kings particularly well. I decided to stick with these round-nose pellets as they have performed very well as a small game round for me over the years. I found that at 30 yards, I could consistently achieve ragged, one-hole groups and 0.6-inch groups at 50 yards.
The chronograph results recorded by the author. Jim Chapman
The Origin is not regulated, but had a fairly large sweet spot noted in several 20-shot strings fired across my Caldwell chronograph. In a typical string, the max velocity was 829 fps, the min was 806 fps, and the average velocity was 818 fps, with a 23 fps variation generating about 38 foot-pounds. This is a really good performance profile for a small game gun, and it served exceptionally well in that role.
I’ve used the Origin on rabbit, squirrel, and prairie dog hunts with great results. The gun comes to shoulder and shoots well off hand at 40 yards in the squirrel woods, which is why it’s one of my picks for the best air rifles for squirrels. It also has the stability and accuracy to let me reach out to 80 yards for prairie dog shoots in open grasslands.
The side lever is a little rough compared to some of my higher-end guns, but this is to be expected considering the price differential, and the action is still easy to cycle. At no time did I feel any obstacle to getting a fast follow up shot, and I would still give it a big thumbs up when compared to other guns around $300. I should also note that the magazines I received with the gun functioned flawlessly, and extras are only $10 to $15, so you can head into the field with a backup loaded and ready to go. The Origin uses the same mags as the Gauntlet. While the rifle had a bit of a bark, the integrated shroud does a fair job of dampening the sound signature, and I would say the gun is backyard/basement friendly.
What the Umarex Origin Does Best
The Origin’s pressure gauge. Jim Chapman
Thanks to its balance and ergonomic stock, I found this rifle packed well for a full-sized, 7-pound rifle. I find that with low or medium profile scope mounts it offers a solid cheek weld and good sight alignment. The pistol grip gives a good hold, and the trigger fits the pad of my shooting finger perfectly. I find the Umarex Origin easy to shoot from most field positions, offhand, off sticks, or utilizing natural rests.
The gun is accurate and appropriately powered for small game hunting; it hits hard and does a good job on longer-distance shots as well. As mentioned, the Origin is not the most silent, but it is quiet enough for hunting in suburban areas. The low effort of charging the gun is a definite advantage to this platform, especially if you decide to go with a hand pump. This alone could be a decisive factor for many potential buyers.
What the Umarex Origin Does Worst
As with every rifle I review, nothing is perfect. Some may feel that a 20-shot count in .25 caliber is less than ideal and would rather have the 40 shots per fill achieved with the .22 caliber. My read is that for most hunting applications 20 shots is more than enough. If not, I’ll carry a small buddy bottle, or plan to cycle back to the truck for a refill as needed.
Another minor point is that the rifle is shipped without swivel studs, and though these are not difficult to install it would be nice if the rifle came out of the box ready to sling over the shoulder and hit the woods. It should also be noted that there may not be enough scope clearance with low-profile mounts, depending on the model. However, this can be easily addressed by going to a medium profile mount.
Final Thoughts on the Umarex Origin
Finding a rifle that offers excellent performance (accuracy and power), fast cycling, and excellent air management in an ergonomic and affordable package, will tick all the boxes for shooters looking for a rifle to plink, target shoot, or hunt with. I think this is one of those rifles that is great for getting a new shooter into the field with a quality shooting platform at an affordable price. And the fact that a handpump is a viable option because of the Umarex Ever Pressure Tank feature, further enhances the value proposition. At the same time, this rifle performs at a level that an experienced hunter would feel comfortable heading into the woods with. If asked for a recommendation for a moderately priced small game rifle, this one would certainly make my short list.
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