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 →

Ten years ago I wrote a booklet for Crosman on hunting small game in South Africa with the Marauder. At the time the company was going through some changes, and they ended up never moving forward with it. My relationship with Crosman broke down, and I ended up scraping the project. Those days are over, the people I disliked dealing with are no longer at Crosman, and I came across this PDF as I was cleaning up my hard drive. Its a bit out of date, but still (I hope) interesting. Feel free to peruse or download!Read More →

I was going back over some of my hunts from the last few years, and found this article on an interesting bullpup I took out on several hunts. Let me know if you like this stuff from my archives, and if so I’ll post some more. While visiting the Pyramyd Air booth at the SHOT Show in 2015, the good folks at AirArms pulled me aside to show me a gun they were working on. It was a bullpup prototype, and they wanted feedback on it. I had some ideas to share as did many others, but the important point is that AirArms were asking before going into production. And when I saw the prerelease gun at this years show it had evolved, proof that they had been listening. Named the Galahad, this gun leverages the companies technology assets using some elements from their existing products, but it is an original where it counts. The trigger assembly, the stock design, the cocking mechanism were built to get the best out of a bullpup configuration. Did they realize their objective to build a superior bullpup?  What constitutes the best of breed is difficult to define, because it is very subjective. I will say that in my opinion AirArms did it right; the power is optimal for small to medium game (adjustable power with high power setting), the accuracy achieved in my range work promised a solid 50 yard small game gun, the proven multishot magazine works without a hitch, the gunRead More →

Last month I was out in Texas and took the Air Venturi Seneca Aspen out for a few rabbit hunts. The rifle is a multi-pump PCP platform: the air reservoir takes an initial fill from either an external air source (like any PCP), or can be pumped up from empty using the integrated pump. The difference between this mechanism and a traditional mulit-pump designs such as the Benjamin and Sheridan rifles, is that once filled (250 BAR), the gun can shoot 10-15 pellets before it needs to be pumped. In this respect it is like a standard PCP ……. except the pump is built in which makes this a self contained powerplant. This freedom from an external air source has always been the advantage of the spring piston air rifle, and the Aspen could be a good fit for airgunners that have stayed away from PCP’s because of costs and the amount of gear required. You might have to spend several hundred dollars for the PCP rifle, then several hundred more for fill gear which ramped up the initial investment. Will the Aspen the cost is under $400.00, and you don’t need anything else. I have a comprehensive collection of tanks and compressors, but still like the idea of having a rifle that can always be ready to shoot packed in my camping rig or kayak. The Aspen is inherently accurate, and importantly, easy to shoot accurately. There are two power settings, though I confess I haven’t worked with theRead More →

I just got back from a few days in Texas where I had the opportunity get in a few days of rabbit hunting with a rifle I’d first seen at the SHOT Show last January…. the Hatsan Vectis. When I first saw it, I thought the appearance a bit odd: it was a lever action gun with an otherwise tactical look. But the more I looked at it I started to think it was weird enough to be cool. When I picked it up, felt it on the shoulder, and cycles the action, I wanted to get some field time with it. I covered some miles with the Vectis in .25 and had the chance to take down some big desert jackrabbits at distances out to 75 yard, and also to do fast close range shooting on cottontail. The Vectis hits hard, is accurate, has a high shot count and cycles very quickly. This is a rifle I have a lot of fun shooting and will post the video of the hunt soon, stay tuned!Read More →

Been down in Texas since last week, and man have I put in the miles. When I went to pick up the truck I’d reserved, they didn’t have one available…… always makes me think of the Seinfeld episode, taking the reservation isn’t the important thing…. keeping it is! Anyways, I got a white Jeep Cherokee’s with 4 miles on it,m and it is being returned with over 1600 miles. I’ve been east, west, and south hitting three different properties. The bad news, I struck out one my last javalina of the season…. they just weren’t moving. However, got some great rabbit hunts in with the lever action Hatsan Vectis and the multi pump PCP Seneca Aspen, and will have some videos and article combining out on those. Will let you know when and where those are being published. Then last night out at my buddy Shawns Salt Fork Ranch property outside of Abilene, in the last moments of light, I had a chance at a tank of a boar hog with the AirForce Texan and Devastator bullet combination that has done so well for me this year. Got some good video of this that will be on American Airgunner.Read More →