First Impressions: GunPower HellCat

Mike Morton grabs hold of the GunPower HellCat, a rifle that’s light enough to be carried to hell and back – or at least around the hunting field.

There are times when shooting from a hide or setting up an ambush off a bipod are the perfect way to bag your quarry – but there are plenty of other occasions when you’ll need to stay mobile and go on a roving hunt.

And it’s at times like these that carrying a rifle that’s a little shorter and a lot lighter than the norm really is a bonus. Rifles like the GunPower HellCat.


Key specs

Manufacturer: GunPower (www.gunpower.net)
Model: HellCat
Price: Rifle £475, shoulder stock £50, silencer £50
Fill Pressure:  200 bar
Action: Single-shot
Weight: 1.59kg (3.5Ib)
Length: 61cm (24”) excluding adjustable butt
Barrel length:  30cm (12”)
Barrel type: Lothar Walther premium match
Calibre: .177, .20, .22 and .25
Trigger: Two-stage adjustable
Sights: Open sights or a scope may be fitted
Buddy bottle volume: 213cc
Safety: Automatic on cocking


GunPower is probably best known for the Stealth – a single-shot, takedown PCP that has a rear-mounted buddy bottle acting as both butt and cheekpiece. But there are no fewer than eight iterations of the base rifle, even including a target gun.

Length of pull can be adjusted by sliding the butt assembly forwards or backwards over the buddy bottle, then securing it in place

The HellCat is one of these variants, and this is very much a lightweight hunter, tipping the scales at just 1.59kg. Suddenly, the idea of a roving hunt that could potentially last all day becomes a lot more appealing with a rifle such as this.

Like its GunPower siblings, the HellCat is a single-shot rifle, with each pellet being loaded directly to the breech by hand. It’s an unconventional looking gun, and the way it operates is a little unconventional too, because the bolt is pushed forwards to cock the rifle, rather than backwards.

The dovetail rail sits relatively low to the barrel, offering decent head and eye alignment with the scope for a skeletonised rifle of this type

Automatic safeties are a bit of a rarity too when it comes to PCPs, and the HellCat has one of those as well. The wedge-shaped catch clicks backwards through a cut-out in the trigger guard when the rifle is cocked – it just needs a gentle nudge forward to set the gun to ‘fire’.

It may be a minimalistic rifle, but it’s practical too, as length of pull can be adjusted to taste by varying the location of the butt plate, and the plate itself can also be adjusted for height.

The curved trigger blade is wide, so offers plenty of purchase – the safety catch is the tab that’s located at the front of the trigger guard

The HellCat defies convention yet again in terms of choice for its sighting system. While most shooters will probably head straight to a scope, it’s possible to fit fibre-optic open sights to this gun as well.

Black rifles like this probably won’t appeal to traditionalists, but as tactical takedowns go, the HellCat is a very pretty kitty.

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