I’ve been using the AirForce Texan quite a bit lately to hunt everything from Turkey to Whitetail. I have rifle and/or carbine versions of the .257, .308, .357, and .457, and have found myself gravitating more to these as my go to guns for bigger game, finding that across the board they offer the right balance of accuracy, power, shot count, and tactile response of the trigger. I also have come to appreciate the ability to dial in the optimal power setting for a specific bullet, which I think of as the airgunners equivalent of powder burners hand-loading for their rifles.
I’ve had several of my rifles barrels cut down, re-crowned, and set up with a suppressor to quiet them down for shooting in areas that might be noise sensitive. The addition of the suppressor not only quieted the gun down, but brought it back to about the same overall length. But with my .457 carbine, I didn’t care about noise, instead wanting to have the most compact and powerful brush gun I could come up with. As a disclaimer, I will do a video and a write up later to go into the range work and optimizing the performance, in this short post I’ll just tell you about a couple of simple things I did to optimize it for my use.
The first thing I added was the Covert Clutch Universal Tactical grip sleeve, which is a rubber sheath with a raised pattern that provides a solid grip that I find more comfortable than the hard synthetic grip as it comes from the factory, especially when in thick brush on a hot humid day chasing pigs. This was an Amazon purchase for about $9.00.
The Next easy upgrade was a rubber buttpad I bought on Amazon for about $7.00, called the Global Pioneer Combat Buttpad, which is designed for use on M4 type stocks. This serves two purposes: it provides a solid, consistent, and comfortable hold and it covers the hardware on the sling swivel which I’ll come back to a little later.
The last thing I added was a sling mounting system that utilized the GUGULUZA Sling Swivel Mount Qd Quick Detach/Release 1″ / 1.25″ mount that fit on the Texans under barrel accessory rail. This was (surprise) another Amazon purchase at $9.00. It is a solid and secure forward mount, and the push button system permits it to be quickly detached.
The rear mount is where I changed things up a bit. I’ve had the factory supplied rear swivel, which is held in place by a very lightweight E-clip, let go on me a couple of times with a couple different rifles. I knew this gun was going to get hauled through rough terrain, so I wanted to anchor the buttstock mount in place. To accomplish this I used a swivel stud out of an Uncle Mikes shotgun kit, the machine threaded stud is attached with a nut, and after screwing it in firmly then hack sawed off the extra length of the bolt. Sitting in the recessed groove in the buttstock it’s almost flush, but not quite. However, with the 1″ thick rubber buttpad in place, this slight bump is completely covered and unnoticeable.
My objective with this gun is to keep it at the weight down, and I am going to continue refining the gun with a minimalist eye on it. You’ll note that I source most of the materials on Amazon, the whole thing cost only a few bucks, and I think it really enhances the gun for the intended use. I’m heading back to Texas in a few weeks and will be using this carbine as my primary hog gun.