I’ve been wanting to visit the Utah Airguns shop for awhile, and finally got the chance last week. Well worth the trip down from Idaho where I’d been visiting. They have a large and varied selection of rifles, optics, and accessories. But what I really wanted to see was their camo finish selection, they offer both dips and Cerakote finishes. If you follow this website or my YouTube channel you might have seen the FX crown they did for me last year. I also enjoyed the 35 yard shooting range they’ve built….. the owner (Justin Jacobson) said they have both rentals and memberships available. The shop is about 1200 miles from my home base of Minneapolis, but if I lived closer I’d be a fixture here….it would be a great place to terst rifles! I ordered a new rifle while I was there, an FX Dreamline Tactical with a Hogue stock and grip, and a camo dip you’ll have to wait to see. Taking this rifle with me in a couple weeks on a prairie dog shoot in SD. There will be an article coming up in Airgunner magazine in which I look at the Utah airgun shop, and discuss trends in the US airgunning market in some detail.Read More →

Hello everyone, as I recently posted several new ATN optics arrived and I’ll be using them a lot for hogs and predators in the upcoming season. As you probably know, I live in Minnesota but get down to Texas pretty much monthly, sometimes more, to hunt. I am really looking forward to getting on those night time hogs during the warmer months. But in the meanwhile, I want to get started on the predators closer to home, before heading out prairie dogging in South Dakota next month. I decided to put together the rig I want to use locally, more of a closer range urban predator rig. I have permissions on a couple farms and a pheasant hunting reserve near home and on the boundaries of city limits. The scope I’ll start off with is the ATN ThOR LT, which is the companies entry level thermal imaging scope (around $1100.00). On paper this looks like a pretty well spec’d scope: it compact and light weight (1.4 lb), has an integrated with very low power consumption and long battery life, has white hot/black hot displays at a display resolution of 1280×720. I also like the fact that it uses standard 30mm rings, I’m using a set of UTG Max Strength Picitinny/Weaver ring on my set up. The rifle I chose is a standby urban predator gun I’ve been using for years, my Evanix .357 sniper carbine. The gun gives me a solid 7 shots, using a sidle lever action to cycleRead More →

Look what just arrived on my doorstep: the ATN ThOR 4 Thermal scope full feature model with HD video (should have some good stuff coming on youtube), and the little brother the ThOR LT, it’s the entry level thermal scope that has many of the features as the ThOR 4…. but no video. But very compact and it has great battery life. And finally, I have my hands on the X-Sight 4K PRO. I’ve been using the X-Sight HD with good results for over a year and really like this scope. But the newer 4K PRO has an integrated lithium battery with low power consumption, is more streamlined, and has a higher magnification, so I’m really looking forward to running this scope through its paces for day and night use. I think ATN offers the best value for Airgunners that want to get into night hunting as far as IR scopes, and I cant wait to give the thermal optics a go! I’ll be doing much more in-depth reviews on these scopes as I get them into the field, so stay tuned!Read More →

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 →