A year or two back I was out on a squirrel hunt in Kentucky with Randy Mitchell, and had a chance to use his Techstar. I found the gun to be a nice shooter and wanted to give it a more serious work out. Unfortunately by the time I got around to asking him to loan it to me, the gun had moved on (as they often do) in a trade.
Jump ahead to the present; I was offered a loaner Techstar to have a go with and promptly jumped at the opportunity. The folks over at the well known online airgun shop Compasseco are the sole importer of the BSA badged gun, and they kindly provided me with one to use on the bench before heading out west on a jackrabbit hunt.
The Techstar is a .22 caliber single shot carbine that comes equipped with iron sights and a grooved receiver which accepts a scope. It presents as a compact package that is easy to carry for a long day of tramping around the desert. The overall length of the gun is 37” with an 18.5” barrel, and weighs a scant 6.6 lbs. This rifle is manufactured by the long established and well respected British company BSA. The Tech Star is based on the companies Hornet model and even though less expensive it produces more power. The Tech Star has an adjustable power setting and the 100cc reservoir yields about 25 shots at 38 foot pounds (1000 fps), but you can get another 10- 15 shots by dialing back the power.
I mounted a Weaver 3-9x scope and sighted the gun in at 35 yards before I left home using a variety of pellets. The gun is loaded by depressing a small lever just behind the action on the right side, which causes a dedicated bolt to slide open and open the loading port. Cocking the gun is accomplished in a separate action by pushing back a golf tee shaped cocking handle located at the distal end of the forestock. This is not my favorite aspect of this gun, but many of buddies think itâ€™s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and truth be told it is was not a problem for me to get used to it pretty quickly.
I shot several brands and styles of pellets through the gun, but narrowed it down to the Predator Ultrashock, JB Exacts, and a prototype of the new XP2 Tin/Copper Alloy pellet that Iâ€™d been doing some concurrent testing on, using a variety of shooting platforms. As I was doing my sight in procedure the rain started to pour down so I had to move inside the shed which limited me to a twenty yard range. The results are shown in the attached photographs, all three yielded good accuracy and all three proved fit for hunting. The highest velocity was achieved with the prototype pellets, and I obtained a peak velocity of just over 1000 fps, along with quite respectable accuracy. This was followed by the JB Exacts at the 950 fps mark and the Ultrashocks at 930 fps.
One thing you notice with this gun right away when you start to shoot is that it is loud! However the barrel is threaded and I had a moderator which fit and effectively reduced the report to a whisper. So all geared up it was time to pack up my guns and gear and head out for the airport. I arrived early in the day several hours before my son was set to join me, and immediately on my arrival rented a jeep and drove deep into the desert to get in a quick jackrabbit hunt. Arriving at my secret spot nestled deep in the Mojave I was pleased to find an abundance of rabbits everywhere as I parked and got myself situated. I used my hand pump to charge the gun up, no small feat I might add, and started off through the brush.
My first rabbit heard me coming and started to move away, but as soon as I spotted him I stopped in my tracks. Slowly moving around a bush I saw him at thirty five yards sitting alert listening for my approach. I slowly brought out my camera and snapped a picture, then slipped it back into my pocket. The rabbit sat with ears erect as I brought the gun to my shoulder and took aim. I had slipped an XP2 pellet into the loading port and cocked the gun before starting off, so all I had to do was ease off the safety and start my shooting sequence…. Two full breaths, blow out half, slowly squeeze the trigger… watching as the head shot found its mark, flipping the big jack off his feet. Walking up to retrieve my downed quarry I scared up a second bunny that went bounding off straight away from me. I pulled up the gun and snapped off a quick shot that rolled the running rabbit tail over head. I hardly ever take a shot at a running rabbit, but when they move away it is easier to line up the shot. I spent about two or three hours in the field and collected eight rabbits.
In the field I found the gun easy to carry and a compact package that was quick to come to shoulder and pointed well. The loading port was generous and I had no problem loading the gun even when I was busy watching a potential target. There was no question of the power being sufficient, especially when partnered with these prototype XP2 pellets. The efficacy of this gun and ammo combination was impressive. I liked the gun quite a bit and believe it is one of the best values in a hunting PCP, costing under $300.00 at Compasseco while their inventory last.