On a recent trip over to South Africa, I had the opportunity to spend the downtime when not big game hunting, wandering the bush and working areas of a huge sheep ranch with a collection of airguns to get in some pest control shooting. The two primary guns used were a BSA Superten in .22, and a Quackenbush Exile in .25. In the BSA a number of pellets were used, including the Predator Polymer Tips, RWS SuperDomes, Beeman Kodiaks, and Crow magnums. In the .25 I used RWS SuperDomes and Field Trophy roundnose and pointed pellets. We performed a lot of bench testing with these pellets before hitting the field, and all were known to be accurate out of the guns being used. Both guns had silencers, which are legal on airguns in South Africa . These were a very effective piece of equipment in the field, allowing multiple shots before spooking other animals in the region. The animals identified as pest that I was asked to remove on sight included a variety of starlings, crows and ravens, a several species of pigeons, hares, springhares, hyrax, and if possible, any jackal I came across. We shot the pigeons around the animal feeders where they would literally fill the sky at times, coming in and eating vast quantities of feed. This was fun shooting,,, sitting beside a big tree and waiting for the doves to land first. We didn’t shoot these, but after a few minutes the pigeons would land, andRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

Jim Chapman, Eric Henderson, and Randy Mitchell head to the Eastern Cape of South Africa for an airgun hunting adventure like no other. The three hunting buddies from Indiana, Texas, and Kentucky (respectively) met up in Washington Dulles airport for the 22 hour trip to Dakar, Johannesburg, and on to Port Elizabeth South Africa . A Quick Introduction Ever since my return from South Africa last year, Randy Mitchell, Eric Henderson, and I have been planning an airgunning safari for the three of us. I had arranged with my friends at Hounslow Safaris on the Eastern Cape to organize a yearly hunt, and this was to be our inaugural trip with a group of airgun hunters. I can’t think of a better group of guys to hunt with; besides the three of us were Professional Hunter/Outfitter Rob Dell and PH Andrew Myers. The Dells 10,000 acre farm serves as the base of operations, but Rob has tens of thousands of acres in additional land to hunt. Andrew has the airgunning background, having picked up on hunting with them while living in Europe and looking for hunting opportunities (much like my own introduction to the sport). These guys have developed the knowledge of airgun technology, equipment, performance, and hunting techniques to qualify them as the only airgun hunting specialist that I know of in Africa. The species hunted on this trip fall into the big stuff; kudu, impala, bushbuck, springbuck, duiker, Steinbuck, and warthog,,,, and small stuff such as hyrax, suricate,Read More →