Hunting Deer with a Muzzle Loading .50 Caliber Quackenbush Airgun One of my favorite hunting buddies is Randy Mitchell, but this year we’d not even had the opportunity to do a squirrel hunt. So I was really happy when I got the invite to come down for the muzzle loader season in Kentucky. Not only because we’d get to hunt together again, but also because I’d missed my opportunity on a couple of Indiana bucks and the season was over. If I was going to get a deer this year, it had to happen here. I had been on business up in Michigan, but hurried home to Carmel, kissed the wife and kid’s hello and goodbye, then took off on the three hour drive to Kentucky. When I’d left Ann Arbor there was a lot of snow on the ground, and a howling blizzard blowing …. However three hundred miles south I’d left the bitter cold and snow behind. I met up with Randy the following morning at 6: 00 am, it was dark and raining with a temperature in the twenties. We drove out to the clubhouse on his lease and signed in, then drove out to the eastern side of the property where Randy had set up a buddy blind. We hiked a couple hundred yards from the truck to his stand. If you’ve followed the hunting adventures on his website, it is the same spot where he’d taken a doe a few weeks earlier (the story isRead More →

The DAQ Exile .308 is one of the semi-custom large bore air rifles designed and manufactured by master airgun designer Dennis Quackenbush. I had finally acquired one for my collection, and a fortuitous business trip out west gave me the venue to run it through its paces in the field. The gun built for me has a 20″ barrel and an overall length of 37, weighing in at about 7 lbs. The gun is prepared for firing using a bolt action to load the .308 bullet and is cocked using the knurled cocking lever situated right below the bolt. Note that this airgun fires swaged bullets, not the conventional pellets one associates with air guns. I had obtained my ammunition as a gift from Eric Henderson at MDR, and was grateful to him as I wouldnÂ’t have made the schedule for this hunt otherwise. The air reservoir houses the charging port at the distal portion of the barrel. The port is protected by a rotating band which covers it when not in use. DAQ recommends that the gun be charged to a pressure of 205 BAR (3000 psi), and yields four full power shots after which there are a couple more useful shots which demonstrate vertical stringing resulting from the rapidly reduced pressure / velocity. The fill probe Dennis uses in his design is included with the rifle, which I had coupled with a male Foster fitting allowing me to use it with my standard rig. When I take myRead More →

Flying into Las Vegas for the SHOT Show earlier this year, I was eager to see what the airgun manufacturers had in store for us. I arrived Friday night and had to leave for a conference in Germany Sunday morning, which left me with one full day on Saturday to cruise the show. I spent my limited time running from one Airgun booth to another as fast as I could, followed by pre dinner meetings, dinner meetings, and after dinner meetings. But even under these time constraints I kept finding myself drawn back to the ROHM GmbH booth to look at two new rifles they were introducing; the Twinmaster Air Hunter Rifle and Twinmaster Air Hunter Carbine. These guns were both things of beauty, but it was the Carbine that really caught my eye: the precisely shaped thumbhole stock, the shrouded carbine length barrel, the solidly built bolt action, and the light crisp adjustable trigger all impressed. After my second or third visit I sat down for a chat with the product and marketing guys in attendance, and was treated to a demo of and discussion on these yet to be released rifles. We agreed that when test guns were available, they would ship me the pair to get in some preliminary range and field time. As the months flew by, we kept in loose contact with an understanding they would be shipped as soon as a pre-release run of test guns was available. Then one day in June, IRead More →

I’ve had several emails asking me about Conquest .357, the mid bores are getting lots of interest! I had a pre-release version that I was providing feedback on. The production gun is just in and I’m just getting started working it up, so this is a very early and brief write up. Included some notes specific to the earlier gun for context. Evanix Meca Corp has been on a roll of late, with several new guns that are based on their longstanding revolver type action (AR6), followed by a series of sidelever cocking guns (Rainstorm, Windy City, etc), and most recently the semi/full auto guns (Speed and Max) which are distributed in the USA by Pyramyd Air. The latest gun being released to market is the Conquest 9mm/.357 seven shot, bottle fed, semi auto PCP that I think will make a great little predator hunting gun. I received one of the pre-release guns, which had come off the Evanix production line but required a work through before a general release to market. This is a step where a handful of guns are sent to reviewers to shoot, evaluate, and provide feedback and suggestions. It is where the manufacturer makes sure that the gun is performing to specification and gets a chance to tweak it and make changes that will enhance the products performance, stability, and reliability before they start rolling out in numbers to the first buyers. After testing and providing some feedback on the pre-released rifle I shipped itRead More →

I’ve been quite pleased by the performance of the Career rifles and carbines that I’ve shot, and when I came across this low cost PCP rifle offered by Cobra Airguns, I really wanted to give it a try. Following is a review based on experience off the bench and in the field I recently obtained a Career III 300 in .22 caliber, and took it to the range for a day of shooting. This is a substantial gun that weighs a little over eight pounds, with a 22â€� barrel and 41â€� overall length. The stock is a nicely figured Asian hardwood, which has machine checkering on the pistol grip and forearm, and a rubber recoil pad. The comb on this stock permitted a good line of sight with the low profile scope rings I’d used to mount a Leapers 3-9x 50 scope. The height of the receiver allowed enough clearance for this large aperture scope to sit in these low profile rings without contacting the barrel. The gun is driven by a precharged pneumatic power plant, a stacked reservoir under the barrel is charged using a fill probe (shipped with the gun) that inserts into a port located at the distal end of the top air reservoir. The reservoir has a capacity of 300 cc and is filled to a pressure of 3000 psi. There is a power adjustment wheel situated just in front of the trigger which can be used to optimize the gun for various applications or aRead More →