Right before SHOT Show 2018, I had the opportunity to travel to North Texas on a hunt. I’m in Texas several times every year, as this is one of my favorite airgunning venues. I hunt hogs, predators, small game, and the occasional exotic, so coming to Texas to hunt is not out of the ordinary for me. However, the objective of this trip was going to be something special! Umarex intended to release their new .50 caliber Hammer precharged pneumatic air rifle at the SHOT Show and had invited me down to Bowie Texas to hunt with it! Was I available? Oh, heck yeah I was! The fact that this was Umarex’s long anticipated entry into the big bore market segment was exciting enough, but I’d been talking with the developers for over a year and had used the Hammer a couple times while we were filming segments of the American Airgunner. It was Impressive on many levels, and I was itching to get some field time with this rifle! When talking about big bores, power is always the first topic that floats up, and this rifle generating an honest 700 fpe over three shots was something to talk about. The Hammer uses Umarex’s proprietary Lightspeed Valve system, which on a 4500-psi fill provides three regulated shots at 3000 psi. This is a very important feature: most big bore air rifles are not regulated and utilize a significant volume of air with each shot, reducing the pressure with each successiveRead More →

I recently posted about the importance of practicing different real world shooting positions when heading into the field to hunt. In this post I’m going to discuss getting a gun ready for a hunt. I’d received the Hatsan Hercules and was going to take it with me on a hunt down in Texas, to use as my pig gun. My first activity was to take the rifle to my indoor range and zero it at 20 yards, just to get a feel for it with the JSB .35 cal pellets I intended to feed it. I was happy with the way it grouped on paper at close range, so after mapping a shot string across the chrony to assess the power profile, I took it a friends farm for some field shooting After setting the zero at 50 yards, I was ready to get started. I spent a morning shooting the Herc offhand and off sticks, and also shifted between sitting, kneeling, and standing positions. I knew there wasn’t much chance of a prone shot, so didn’t spend much time on my belly. I figured that I wouldn’t take more than five shots on an outing, so didn’t really worry about dialing in the POI throughout an entire shot string, and topped off after the 5th shot. After putting a tin of pellets through the rifle, I felt pretty comfortable with this Hatsan and was ready to go! When I arrived on-site, I quickly checked zero (set at 50 yards),Read More →

I am often asked what shooting positions I prefer when in the field when hunting. The easy answer is that prone is the most stable, followed by sitting, kneeling, and standing. As you move higher your center of gravity shifts and your anchor points to earth become more tenuous. I’m going to discuss this in terms of offhand shooting, though even if shooting of sticks, this holds true. The more relevant answer is that it depends on the situation. In many of the places I hunt, a prone position is not possible, and you need to pick the best position that will work in the terrain your hunting in. For instance, when hunting prairie dogs on the gently rolling hills of South Dakota in early spring, I’ll often go prone. But as spring progresses, the grass gets too long to see over so I shoot more from a sitting position. When spot and stalk hunting through a prairie dog town, every once in awhile a dog pops up close and offers a shot. Sometimes you might be able to take a knee, but more often it will require an offhand shot. For this reason its good for hunters to practice shots from these field positions, a bench is great for working up a rifle and getting sighted in, and it’s great as an end point if you’re into benchrest competitions, but it can throw you off if that the only way you practice. I frequently see guys that shoot theirRead More →

This is post is not intended to be a comprehensive review, I’ve done a video and an article in Airgunner, and am working on a comprehensive review video. But for the airgunners that visit the website I wanted to give a brief statement of what I think about this rifle as a small game gun. I’ve had the Hatsan Vectis for a few months now and have gotten a fair amount of plinking and range time with it, as well as having carried it on a few hunting trips. This rifle has a bit of a polarizing effect, mostly because it has a different look from just about any air rifle that’s been on the market. It made me do a double take when I saw it at SHOT Show earlier in the year, but after staring at it a while, throwing it up on my shoulder, cycling through it, then staring a bit more….. I thought it look kinda cool! The pairing of a lever action with a lot of more “tactical” appearing attributes (synthetic stock, square barrel shroud with a moderator, and built in accessory rails), do produce a rifle that is hard to compare with other rifles…. at least from a cosmetic point of view. Whether you like looks or not is subjective, what is not is the Vectis’s performance. I’m shooting the .25 caliber, and it is accurate giving 1/2:” 50 yard groups, hard hitting it’s putting out about 40 fpe, comfortable on the shoulder withRead More →