I think most air gun shooters that surf the net and visit the forums are aware of Metal Work Designs, an outfit that has been turning out some really interesting guns built on the modified Crosman 2240 platform. Recently Matt Parker, owner and airgun craftsman, has started building custom rifles. I’ll have a full write up on his work published elsewhere in the not too distant future, but on this web page I’ll give a quick review of my first hunt This picture shows the gun wearing a very nice custom stock. This particular gun is a .20 caliber. It is a powerful and accurate gun, and takes advantage of the 6-24x scope mounted on it. This is a rifle of substantial dimensions, but not enough to diminish it as a great hunting gun. Matt is working with a custom stock maker to dress his rifles in a fashion befitting the excellent mechanics designed and built into his guns. I’d like to get a thumbhole stock to try out on this gun, as I find I shoot better, and this gun deserves a shooter that is on his game MWD guns can be fabricated using a wide variety of materials. This one uses stainless steel for the barrel shroud, air reservoir, and receiver, and the endcap and barrel band are brass. The gun uses a male Foster adaptor fitting that works with the same charging equipment I use for my Daystate and XS-B50. Matt has made a simple cover usingRead More →

I’ve had the opportunity to take the Benjamin Bulldog out on a few hunting trips, so what do I think? Well first, the performance is quite good. The Bulldog is accurate, and while at the lower end of the spectrum and caliber for big game, it is a potent predator gun. And this is where I like the gun, coyote and the Bulldog are made for each other! And this isn’t to say the Bulldog won’t do the job on feral hogs and whitetail if you need a multi-application gun.. There are two undeniable trends in the world of airgunning, at least as it applies to the US market. The first is the move by many manufacturers to include a big bore offering in their product portfolio, this was clearly demonstrated at the SHOT with a half dozen new guns in the .30 and up calibers. Secondly is the trend to offer at least one bullpup configuration. The gun I’m looking at in this short review hit both marks, it is both a big bore and a bullpup. Now I’m going to be up front, I have a few bullpups and I use them for hunting. For me it’s very much a case of form following function, to my eye there is no beauty in the design…. but rather they are a utilitarian tool and in this respect I view them as I do a hammer. I’ve never been entranced by the beauty of a hammer (though I’m sure thereRead More →

I get this fine rifle from the British manufacturer BSA out for a shakedown. Spoiler alert; this gun shoots as great as it looks! The BSA R 10 Mark II is a great looking bolt action PCP air rifle that comes to the shoulder quickly and mounts solidly. The two stage adjustable match grade trigger is crisp, breaking cleanly with minimal creep and very little over travel. You do need to remove the stock to adjust the trigger, but if you’re adjusting the trigger yourself removing a stock is a non-issue, and one done infrequently. The trigger blade is just broad enough to provide a great contact with the finger pad, but no extraneous material. The safety is easily deployed with the thumb of the shooting hand. The thumb shelf behind the receiver lets the shooter use a thumbs up hold if so desired, and is a detail I appreciate. The stock is to my eye a thing of beauty, finely figured walnut, sharply cut checkering on the forestock and pistol grip, and ebony colored caps to both the forestock and pistol grip. The forestock is perfectly shaped and fitted around the removable 200cc bottle. I really like the cut-a-way butt piece of this rifle; it reduces weight and looks fast and sleek. To my way of thinking this is the prettiest bottle forward design I’ve ever seen. Enough wood to protect the bottle and make it look integrated into the design, rather than simply forced there out of necessity.Read More →

Many things to make me happy on this day: I love the desert and here I was hiking the canyon country landscape of Northern Arizona, I love a small compact rifle and this little Brocock is the definition of the type, and I love rabbit hunting and I’d seen many before even stepping out of my truck! It was another warm dry day in Northern Arizona, much appreciated by a Californian that had found himself dropped in the frozen northern climes of Minnesota! I worked my way through a constantly changing landscape that transitioned from piles of jagged rock interspersed with clumps of desert grasses into rolling hills covered in native cedars. This has become one of my favorite rabbit hunting locations, especially in those years when the cyclic rabbit populations are up. I’d been taking both jacks and cottontails on this vast track ranchland for a long time, and have had days when you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a rabbit and other where I’d get a couple of shots if lucky. There was a lot to see here besides rabbits, I’ve kicked up mule deer and elk grazing, with antelope in the lower regions. The gun I was carrying on this outing was the Brocock Specialist, a rifle that is a tad over 34” LOA, with a 12 ¾” barrel, and weighing in at 5lb it is a very compact little multishot pcp rifle, that generate a bit over 20 fpe and approximately 24 shots perRead More →

Jim Chapman and Eric Henderson head out on a Texas hog hunt at Lone Star Hunts. Here I was, back in Texas for another big game airgun hunt with Eric Henderson of Bigbore Airgun Adventures. We had planned to do the hunt in December; however my work schedule had precluded it. But then fresh into the New Year, I’d been called down to Dallas for a meeting …. and was able to schedule an open day for me. About 4:00 the day of the hunt (not my favorite wakeup time) Eric rolled up to the front of my hotel in the "Bigbore Truck" and after loading my minimal gear we were off. To make my travel easier, I left my guns at home and opted to use his. After a two and a half hour drive northwest of Dallas, and still in the dark, we rolled up to the gate of Lone Star Hunts. This operation is run by ranch owner Allen Shaffer, who after running dove, quail, and puddle jumping duck hunts for a number of years on his 2000 acre holding, decided to expand the opportunity for feral hogs and trophy rams. The ranch is open pasture with mesquite dotting the landscape, with particularly heavy cover along the creek running through the bottom lands. While Allen has a number of blinds and stands set up at strategic sites around the property, Eric and I both prefer still hunting, so that is exactly what we did. In this briefRead More →

I received several tins of H&N pellets to try out, and as I’m always on the look out for quality hunting pellets, was interested in seeing how they work out of several of my favorite hunting rifles. JSB Exacts and Beemans Kodiaks are excellent performers out of these guns, so I used them to benchmark the H&N Baracuda Match Part I: Close Range Shooting The Barracuda is a heavy (21.14 grain in .22 caliber) roundnose pellet that has been designed for field target and hunting at long range. The skirt of this pellet is substantially thicker than that on the JSB Jumbo Exact, exactly resembling that of the Kodiak.In fact I’ve been told these are the same pellets Beeman has marketed as Kodiaks, but I don’t know if there is any difference in manufacturing equipment use for the Beeman branded pellets. One thing I love about the H&N pellets is the packaging: for the H&N branded pellets, the tin is clearly labeled with model, the number of pieces, pellet weight, suggested application, the suggested range, caliber, and optimal energy level. Each tin has the information in the same place …… what a great idea! The packaging also protects the contents, out of several tins used there were no damaged pellets found. The manufacturer recommends the Baracuda be used in guns generating 12 – 40 fpe, so I pulled out a number of my hunting rifles to give them a go. The guns I selected were all proven performers that I’dRead More →

I am always looking for a gun that can be taken out for impromptu hunts when I am traveling. Looking at some of the online airgun shops I noticed the B-57, which is a breakdown spring piston air rifle. The Specifications: This guns is a spring piston power plant that cocks with a side lever and has an anti-beartrap mechanism to prevent the cocking lever shutting accidentally. The cocking effort is fairly light, and the pellets are loaded through a large chamber when the cocking lever is deployed. Performance: this rifle was chambered in .177 and the rifle generates about 620 fps with the light predator pellets. This yields a power of around 8fpe, which is adequate for small game and pests if the range is kept close. Later that night, I met up with my brother at a friends place to shoot some rabbits that were overrunning their commercial nursery. Rabbits were everywhere, but we only had an hour to shoot before we had to meet up with some other friends. These guys were fairly used to people and if you moved slowly could get into twenty five yards. On the first shot I lined up on the head and nailed him. The rabbit dropped without a twitch. As a matter of fact, I shot three more rabbits at about twenty yards, and each one went down stone dead. The last outing was a few days later in pursuit of prairie dogs, I went out to a property inRead More →

After several months and thousands of rounds through this rifle, I am feel comfortable reviewing what I now consider the best Chinese Spring Piston Airgun on the market. While the subject of Chinese guns can polarize the shooting community, I must say that I like some of the more recent guns coming out of Shanhai. These products are being manufactured in their factories which had produced military arms, as they find new opportunities in the post cold war world. One of the new guns I quite like is the BAM B40, which I’ve been using for a few months now. During this period I have had a chance to run the B40 through its paces on the bench and in the field! The B40 is a clone of the Air Arms Tx200 and comes in both a .177 and .22 versions. I purchased the .177 caliber, as I like the smaller bore in most spring piston air rifles (not a hard fast rule, but more of a leaning). As mentioned, the B40 is a clone of the AA Tx200 and is very similar, however it must be stated up front that the fit and finish are not comparable. What you get with the B40 is a much planner stock and a less refined finish. The B40s stock is formed from a nice Asian hardwood blank, and given a light matte finish. The woodgrain is not highly figured, but still a nice pice of wood, and (at least on my example)Read More →

In selecting the guns I’d be taking along to South Africa this year, I gave a lot of thought to my small game arsenal. On last years safari I was very happy with the performance with my big game guns, less so with my choices for small game. So this year I started well in advanced and got my hands on about a dozen new rifles to test ; looking at not only the accuracy and velocity performance, but evaluating reliability, consistency, shootability from a variety of positions, rapidity of follow up shots to determine what guns to bring along. What make the process all the more important is that we are only allowed to bring three guns each into the country, and the same calibers are not permitted. We did have a little leeway however in that not everyone in the party had three guns selected so we could spread our selection out, still it was tight. The Evanix AR 6In the end, one of the small game guns selected was the Evanix AR6. This is a new gun manufactured in Korea and is based on the old AR 6 design. It is one of the most powerful production airguns on the market today; a six-shot repeater using a rotary magazine that can be fired in single or double action mode. All of this sounded great when I first came across the description of the gun, but of course it all comes down to performance, so let’s take aRead More →

I bought my first B20 a few years ago and thought it was a good rifle, a little rough out of the box, but all in all a very satisfying hunting rifle for little cash out. I took it with me on several hunts for squirrels in the Midwestern woods and rabbits in the Southwestern deserts, and found that it performed very well for the intended purpose. Jump ahead a few years, and I was looking through some factory literature that had been sent to me for an article I was working on, when I came across a notice on a rifle being readied for release to the market. It was called the BAM XS B26, and like the B20 it was based on the renowned Beeman R9, although the literature claimed it was a significant improvement over the B20 due to better manufacturing and quality engineering processes, along with a couple of design changes such as a larger chamber (25-26mm) and a much more ergonomic stock (even though the B20 is not too bad either). The gun was shipped to me double boxed, with adequate bubble wrap padding. Included in the box was a 3-9×32 variable scope, a couple of Allen wrenches for mounting it, and a users manual. The gun did not have too much oil or grease externally, and though there was a bit of dieseling on the first few shots the gun settled in pretty quickly. The B26-2 is a break barrel spring piston airgun whichRead More →