Jim takes the gauntlet .25 on a hyrax hunt in South Africa! I was visiting a friend’s farm in South Africa, and in addition to hunting plains game intended to do some varminting. I have been hunting this property close to 15 years, and have come to know it quite well. And even though the pest populations are dynamic, I had a pretty good idea of where to star my search. While most of the property is given over to wildlife, it is a working small stock farm so there is always a multitude of nuisance animals coming in to raid his feed lots from the adjacent wild areas. I decided that during my breaks from hunting plains game, I would take one of my small game rifles, and thin out some of the hyrax that were starting to spread into the stock production areas. There is a rugged area with rocky cliffs situated close the agricultural land adjacent to the farm. The cliffs border a lambing yard, and the dassie were spreading into the pastures where they dig large and deep holes precisely where the livestock grazes. The farm owner had told me that it would be helpful to thin some out in this area, but this was the only place he wanted them culled. Many years ago, there had been a bounty on hyrax, but these days most landowners leave them alone unless they start to over populate and move into areas where they are not welcomed. StandingRead More →

RTI Arms is preparing to release a new bullpup air rifle that has a lot to offer fans of this style of airgun!. It is called the Prophet and is a variation of the companies Priest model line. It is a compact, modular, multi-caliber design that is in vogue these days, and I have to say I really like this one! I met the head of RTI at the Extreme Benchrest Competition in Arizona a couple months ago, and he showed me the gun being used in the competition, where it was shot by the winner of the open class 50-yard BR Competition. I was able to send a few pellets down range and wanted to see more! We arranged through Airguns of Arizona to have the gun shipped to me where I had a few weeks to shoot it. I brought it on a hunting trip to Texas, but got rained out before I could use it. I only had the gun on a short loan, and wanted to at least get it out on a short hunt. It is very cold up here in Minnesota, but squirrel season is open through February so I decided to at least get out for as long I could deal with the frigid conditions. Not much happening in the woods and the frigid conditions and crunchy ice underfoot made it hard to get into shooting range. I’ve got another Prophet from the first production run on it’s way to me, so you’llRead More →

I this video I’m going to compare two of the scope cameras that I use to record my airgun hunts. I’ll put a link here to a hunt using a SideShot scope for comparison. In this video I’ll include a short hunt using the ATN X-Sight 4K Pro to use as a baseline. Full disclosure: I need to work more with both scopes to fully optimize them. This video presents my preliminary impression from using them in the field. On the hunt I only had a couple hours available one morning, and thought I’d use the time to field test the ATN Day / Night Vision X-Sight 4K. I’d had some recording mishaps on a squirrel hunt in Arizona the week before, and wanted to review my options for filming future hunts.Take a look at the results of these two squirrel hunts, and tell me which video camera you prefer. Other hunting videos: https://youtu.be/egOSWAbGaokhttps://youtu.be/bfkfrhCbsa0 If you find these videos interesting please give it a like and subscribe if you haven’t already so that you are notified as new content is released!Read More →

Today was my first day of hunting in Arizona, and my first objective was to wrap up my grand slam with an Abert’s. The limit is 5 per day, and I bagged 3 in what was one of the toughest small game hunts I’ve done. Not may squirrels, I saw 4, got shots at 3, and dropped all with one shot each. All were high up in the trees, I was using the Seneca Eagle Claw .25 cal with JSB Exacts, and man this combo makes an impact. The last squirrel was about 45 yards away and about 40 fee up, and the pellets blew right through side to side on a chest shot. I really liked this lever action rifle and will give more details in the video.Read More →

If you follow my videos or writing you know that I love squirrel season. I’ve been gearing up for the first hunt, and this morning was day. I’d been planning a 2-3 day hunt, however family plans required a change, and I needed to postpone departure on that trip until later in the week. But I wasn’t bummed, I figured I could still get out for a couple hours in the early morning, and be home by 10:00….. so everybody would be happy! I rolled up to a public land wildlife management area (WMA). It’s great that we have these available to us, but finding access without trespassing on private land can be a task. I lost about a half hour trying to figure this out, but finally after a 20 minute hike managed to get into the woods. My plan was to hike in, find some hardwoods with cuttings on the ground, and set up at the base of a tree and wait. I give myself about 20 minutes before moving on. The first set nothing happened. The second set nothing happened…until I was getting ready to move when I hear some noise. I stayed put an a minute later a fox squirrel came running by with a little red squirrel nipping at his heels. I’ve never seen this, and watched as the two squirrels raced by. Turning slowly, I saw the fox squirrel up a tree less than ten feet behind staring right at me. I slowly mountedRead More →

I had a note from Tim Smith, the editor and an old friend over at Airgun Hobbyist, telling me about this months issue. Some of the content comes from a discussion we had at the SHOT Show awhile back. This is our only dedicated airgun magazine in the USA, have a look then think about supporting them, they are doing a lot of good for our sport. Here’s what Tim has to say about this issue:     In this issue, you notice a few more hunting articles than normal. There’s a reason for this. Over the summer, our daily internet news-feed popped up an articles discussing the top airguns for hunting. After reading the post, what was discovered was that they author suggested using airguns that produced less than ethical energy levels to quickly and humanly dispatch the game. In the shooting sports, we need to promote safe, ethical, and responsible use of the power that we posses.    For the fall issue, we’ve assembled “subject matter experts” including Jim Chapman, who has years of airgun hunting experience. Jim travels throughout the U.S. and abroad to hunt with airguns. He’s a regular on American Airgunner TV, authors articles for various publication in the USA and UK. In 2016, we met up with Jim and had a long conversation about hunting and airguns. A memorable quote from Jim was “These days however, when I use one of my centerfires to hunt, I almost feel like I am cheating. This is not aRead 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 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 →