It started with a brief chat on the Hatsan booth at the SHOT Show last January. That’s where I first saw the New Hydra rifle, and was impressed with its most unique feature, a fast change barrel/receiver assembly that allowed caliber to be swapped without a need to re-zero the scope! I had a couple days to spare and decided to head back out to South Dakota to go airgun hunting with the new Hatsan Hydra .25 caliber. This rifle is based on the proven Flash platform, which I’ve has first hand experience with on my iguana hunts in Puerto Rico as well as some general small game hunting over the few years. One of the things that sets this rifle apart is the incorporation of Hatsans Versi-Cal multi caliber barrel system, which allows the shooter to select either .177, .22, .25, or an arrow barrel. But te thing that is unique is that it is the entire receiver and barrel unit that is swapped, so that the scope mounted on the gun is left mounted to the receiver when the assembly is removed or replaced. The gun is packaged so the airgunner can opt only for the calibers they want. For instance, as a multi species hunter I might opt for the .25 caliber model as my preferred small game set up, and get the arrow barrel so that I could hunt pigs or javalina with the same rig. Easier on the pocket and less gear to deal with.Read More →

Hunting is slowly getting underway for me after a couple months of lock down and not much shooting. I was in Texas for jackrabbits and predators last month, South Dakota for prairie dogs a couple of weeks ago, and was awaiting the opening of squirrel season in Sept for Minnesota and Wisconsin. Then while doing some online research it came to my attention that both Nebraska and Illinois seasons open in August! So I started doing my online research in earnest, and found a state wildlife area in Nebraska that according to the posts I could find, is said to have good squirrel populations. So I am off, my non-resident license is about $90.00, and the place I found is a five hour drive. I’m going to get there the day before season and then hunt the next 2-3 days. A lot of times for short overnight trips, I just throw a mattress and sleeping bag in the back of my Outback, and sleep there. No set up time, flexible as to where I lay my head, and comfortable enough for one night. But on this trip I’ll be hunting for 3 days and sleeping out 3 nights, and don’t think the back of my car is going to do it! To this end, I’ve decided to set up a small game tent camp. I actually have been collecting car camping gear to use with my boat while out fishing, but I think it will work great on this trip.Read More →

I’ve always enjoyed lever action guns, and when I was young just about shot out the barrels of my Marlin .22 and later Marlin .357 lever action powder burners. So it follows that the Seneca EagleClaw would resonate with me! I’ve been using the lever action Seneca EagleClaw for almost a year now, having brought it to the mountains of Arizona after Aberts squirrel, then on a few more squirrel hunts around the Midwest before the end of season, and for prairie dog in South Dakota. From the squirrel hunts and range time I knew the rifle delivered a punch and had good accuracy, but it was on the prairie dog hunt I came to appreciate not only how intrinsically accurate the gun is, but also how stable and well designed the stock is for long range shooting in the field. I didn’t have much time before I needed to get back on the road, but before going out shooting wanted to check the zero. It was printing cloverleaf groups at 50 yards, a bit high and to the right. I determined that the lean to the right was caused by the constant stiff breeze that was blowing so didn’t mess with it. The gun was zeroed at 80 yards which is why it was hitting high, and I left that as it was as well. The action is cycled with a lever action that has a short and smooth travel, and I’ve found the reliability of the 8 shotRead More →

I had a last minute opportunity to hunt some problem pigs, only problem was I was already supposed to be on my way home! I was down in central Texas to do some small game hunting, when an acquaintance I met through one of my friends told me that he had lots of pigs on his property and they were making a mess of his deer feeders. He told me I was welcome to come shoot some if I wanted. The problem was, as it often is, time. I’d already been in Texas for a few days and I needed to get back to work, however, I could get in an afternoon hunt if willing to drive all night to get home on time. I showed up at the gates to the ranch early on the afternoon of my planned departure. It had been raining and looked like it might do so again. I followed a hand sketched map I’d been given and quickly located a couple deer feeders, and one was covered in hog prints. I settled in behind a pile of bulldozed mesquite at about 3:30, and started my wait. The gun I had with me was the AirForce Texan .457, and this line of rifles has done well for me. I’d brought the gun along as an afterthought since my primary goal was small game However, I thought I’d use my downtime to sight in the Texan and play around with a few different bullets. In theRead More →

I was on my way back from a hunting trip, when a friend invited me to stop by his property to shoot a pig. Luckily I had my Texan Pig Rig with me! I was on my way back from South Texas where I’d been hunting javalina and predators when my friend Shawn invited me to stop by one of his properties. He was out of state, and asked me to top off the deer feeders, and feel free to shoot any pigs if I saw them. My drive home to Minnesota would be delayed for a day, and out of nowhere I was on an airgun pig hunt with the Texan .357 big bore air rifle. I’ve taken a lot of game with the Texan over the years, and it’s served me well in all its many caliber versions, I am particularly fond of the carbines. My gun was pre-carbine era, but it was cut down and recrowned by Edwin at Airguns of Texas, and is a compact (without the suppressors) or very quiet (with the suppressor) rifle. I’ve been frequently asked if I would recommend the Texan, and what I think about AirForce as a company. The short answer is that, yes, I put these guns on my short list of production big bores. I think the Texan is a very good big game rifle. It is powerful, can be accurate once dialed in, and is modifiable with a lot of after market accessories. I think there areRead More →

I’m getting ready for a prairie dog shoot in South Dakota next week, and one of the guns I’m taking along is the Air Venturi Avenger. Had a real surprise getting the rifle prepped for the trip! I don’t know why I haven’t seen the Air Venturi Avenger…… I have a great relationship with the team and speak with them on a regular basis, but this rifle never came up until a call last week. In mentioning that I’d be doing some long distance shooting and needed accuracy, consistency, and power, they asked if I’d seen anything on their Avenger platform. I’d seen a few videos and read the specifications, but hadn’t used it. They offered to rush a .25 caliber version to me, and true to their word, it arrived yesterday afternoon. I’m leaving tomorrow, so don’t have a lot of time to work up the rifle, that will come later. I’ll do a full review while on this trip, as I’ll have a range available. But I also wanted to slap a scope on and get some idea of what could be expected of the Avenger. I drove to a vacant field near my house, sighted the rifle in at 25 yards to get it close, moved the target to 85 yards and made a couple of adjustments, then shot a 5 shot group off the hood of my car. Let me first comment on an initial impression of the shooting characteristics of the rifle. The stock isRead More →