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Three economy pistols under $100

The need for high end Airguns is always there, but what about for those times you just want to have some fun on a budget? We have found three pistols that offer good value for the money. Over the years we have gotten our hands on a wide variety of BB and pellet pistols and have found them all to be great fun. The nice thing about using BB pistols is they are a bit more economical to shoot along with being easier to pack into a bag and off to your favorite shooting spot. Over the past several years these pistols have become much more realistic in mimicking the function of a firearm. The three pistols we are showcasing are just a handpicked look at whats available to the consumer and we have found them to be nothing more than fun. All three are intended for plinking and not really suitable for any type of hunting, and as always we recommend using safety glasses.


The first gun is the Brodax revolver made by UMAREX. The Brodax is an air-powered revolver featuring futuristic styling along with dual Picatinny rails for mounting a red dot sight, laser or flashlight. This pistol is mostly all lightweight polymer besides the internal parts such as the trigger and hammer. The CO2 capsule is concealed in the frame of the grip as most other similar pistols, and a hex tool for tightening the capsule is integrated into the grip plate to prevent you from losing it. I really like the fact that the safety is conveniently  placed at top of the grip behind the hammer. The pistol came with three 10 shot rotary magazines that are very simple to load with BBs and easily slide in from the side of the fixed cylinder.

Umarex Brodax bb pistol

This pistol is really difficult to beat for the price point considering the features it includes. We tested the speed and were pleased to find it getting very close to the advertised fps of 375 fps and as high as 392 fps. The fact that accessories can be mounted makes the gun a bit more user friendly and fun to use. This gun wont win any precision shooting matches but has enough to put down some cans at 20 yards along with a good amount of shots per cartridge at around 55. Overall this is a really fun pistol that should give anyone a fair amount of enjoyment without breaking the bank.


The second pistol is the Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 Revolver made by WinGun.  This is a fairly realistic BB revolver that has some good weight to it adding in the realism. To load the revolver you swing out the cylinder where you load the 6 included shells that are each individually loaded with BBs. To remove the shells the gun has a fairly well made ejector rod that’s very similar to a real firearm. The revolver has a 5.5″ barrel and textured plastic grips. This would be a good gun for maintaining firearm proficiency without the cost or inconvenience of going to a range and the cost of expensive firearm ammo.

Smith & Wesson revolver

We shot this gun over the chrony and found it to be fairly consistent at 400 fps as the company has stated and even as high at 410 fps. A few things noticed were the barrel had a slight wobble and the grips could have been designed better as far as removal to insert the Co2. This gun works both double and single action and in honesty could be a bit smoother. The open fiber optic sights work very well and the gun seemed to have fairly good accuracy for a BB pistol. The TRR8 is a tactical pistol and does accommodate a dot sight very well although the rail can be removed if desired. If your looking for a fun, realistic pistol that has features that are close to a firearm this is a good pick for the money.


The next gun and possibly my favorite is the 250XT TAC-BOSS made by HATSAN.  This pistol is an obvious clone of a Ruger MK111 and will say its fairly close in function and feel. The gun has a very sturdy feel being it is nearly all metal excluding the grip frame, grips and the fiber optic sights. The magazine in this pistol drops down just as the real firearm and holds 17 BBs in a stack along with housing the Co2. The latch to the magazine is a very realistic clone of the Ruger, also adds good detail to the function and use of the pistol.

Hatsan 250xt tac-boss

The TAC-BOSS has a beautifully fluted barrel along with the added detail of the side ejector (non-functioning) and a disassembly lever on the back of the grip that does function in removing the bolt. The safety is on the left side of the frame and easily applied with a flick of your thumb just as the Ruger itself.  The pistol is double action but unlike others this one seems to be fairly smooth and light with a fair amount of over-travel that did take a little getting used to. This gun feels powerful and was shooting at the 430+ fps that was claimed on the packaging, with several shots going over 440 fps. Overall this may be my favorite BB pistol as far as ease of use and efficiency in its Co2 consumption, getting nearly 60+ shots per cartridge.


The amount of Air Pistols on the market now days can make it difficult to decide on one that’s right for you. I always try to look at where the good outweighs the bad, coupled with value, function and durability. The three pistols we have featured are just a few examples of what can be found for under $100 and may offer a good amount of use when properly cared for. Over the next year we will be looking at several budget minded Airguns that will offer the consumer a good value for the dollar.

 

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HUNTING & PLINKING PRACTICE

Many hunters as myself have a difficult time practicing in between hunting trips. Some may find target practice somewhat boring and lacking the fun that hunting small game can provide. There’s no doubt plinking is one of the greatest American pastimes. Today we will outline just a few ways we have found to make practicing fun and very beneficial to defining good marksmanship. As hunters we need practice at various ranges that can mimic shots that we may find in the field, close and far. Field targets are great practice tools and can also provide a very close representation of hunting situations we may find. The targets we used were rather inexpensive and the rifle we were using was a QB 78 .22 that is Co2 powered, accurate and with very economical shot count.

The targets were set at various ranges from 15 yards all the way out to 55 yards with some being partially obscured with bushes to mimic hiding game animals. These targets come with rings that can change the diameter of the kill zone, we removed them as it may be to challenging to the new shooter.

We shot from the standing position as this is mostly how we are shooting during hunting situations.

Moreover, most hunters as myself are sometimes not familiar with shooting at closer ranges and sometimes having to “hold under” our targets. This is a very important and widely overlooked skill that can ruin chances at getting a kill from simply missing a shot and/or not knowing range.

We too set up some other plinking style objects such as tin cans and junk we had found on the desert floor. Things like this are fun and provide a solid way to see where you are hitting and help the opportunity to change the point of impact.

Lindsey, being fairly new to our sport set out targets such as muffin tins, glass bottles, scrap metal piping, and buckets at various distances. These targets were shot with an array of air powered guns: Colt Peacemaker, EVOL .30, and a QB78 Air Rifle. Each one of these low-cost experiments gave the inexperienced shooter a very expensive education. Distance, velocity and power were able to be roughly determined and too comparisons of inaccuracies could be made with each shot. For a new shooter its important for it to remain fun, safe and free from the pressure of making every shot just right. We can learn from our mistakes and too have the opportunity in finding our own individual shooting style. Reactive targets are a great way to keep interest and allow the shooter to feel some confidence they may not find in simply shooting paper targets. The areas we choose to plink are simply much easier to find with an Airgun as with a firearm as we can be much more discreet and too don’t have as much to pick up after.

We always carry trash bags to pick up after ourselves as its never a pleasant sight to show up to an area with trash and empty shell casings scattered about. This is the kind of thing that leaves an impression on all shooters, so leading by example is one of the most important things we can do for our sport.  Plinking is a fun practice tool for new and veteran Airgunners, too can provide us with the key ingredients that makes a good shooter a great shooter. Enjoying Airguns and sharing the sport with others is the keystone of what keeps it alive and available for all.

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SAN LUIS OBISPO/ MORRO BAY FIELD TARGET AUGUST 20-21, 2016

On Saturday August 20th Lindsey,Marley and I headed two hours North from Ventura to the Beautiful San Luis Obispo small bore range. Our good friend Terry had arrived the day before and was kind enough to send me some photos that prompted us to make our way out. When we arrived to the location we were greeted by a nice little dirt road that took us about a mile off the highway into a secluded nook where the small bore range was. We pulled into what looked like a wild west movie set,complete with bathrooms, showers and a nice little clubhouse.

We were kindly greeted by many familiar faces,one of which was Motorhead. Was so good to see him,one of my favorite Airgunners of all time and someone I have always looked up to. We had made it up to late for me to compete but in still plenty of time to do a little field target shooting and to check out some very cool airguns.

Tapian Mutant Bullpup

As the day went on, Lindsey and I did a little plinking with her Colt replica .177 pellet revolver.

She is quite the Annie Oakley with that thing…..Yeeehaaa

By this time it was getting later and we set up our camp and enjoyed the cooler temperature with a nice ocean breeze. I finally made way to the clubhouse where I had the pleasure of meeting Scotchmo, the man who seemed to be doing everything. Scott was very welcoming and yet i could tell he was overwhelmed with everything that was going on. This man is obviously very dedicated to our sport and was very helpful in getting us set up and comfortable. Big thank you Scott, I really appreciate all you have been doing.

The evening was upon us and I could see the fog rolling in over the mountains bringing the temp down enough to want a jacket.We had a wonderful BBQ dinner followed by some good times around the campfire sharing stories and lots of laughter. I really enjoyed hanging with some of the old-timers that have been shooting airguns longer than I’ve been alive.

The next morning I was slow to wake up by 7:00 as I slept very well that night. I ventured over to Motorheads camp and was greeted kindly with an invitation to use his custom .177 Marauder, a beautiful gun that I had been eyeballing the day before. Scott was so helpful and kind, even providing some pellets and shooting sticks that later I realized I had forgotten to return. I spent a little time shooting the gun but not nearly enough to be comfortable to compete with. I had brought several guns with me but none of which were under 20fpe so i was blessed that Motorhead was kind enough to set me up.

Here is Marley and I waiting for the match to start, Yes I am a hunter.  ;D

I believe the match started about 9:00am but we all gathered around first to hear some rules and to find out who we would be paired to shoot with on the coarse.

I was going to be shooting with John and a 10yo old girl named Annabel, I felt a little out of place as these two obviously had way more experience than me in field target competitive shooting. Both were more than helpful in helping me learn how the scoring works and too was nice to be able to watch the techniques they used.

The first set of targets were standing only, one of my strong points of shooting being a hunter.

As we moved further down I could definitely see this was very challenging as some of the targets had obstacles such as branches and change in distance and elevation.

John shot mostly from the prone position while Annabel and I both preferred shooting sticks. The wind was blowing fairly erratically but in some cases would let up just long enough to make a shot.

John was a very experienced shooter and on a few of the courses made it look easy, very entertaining to watch. Annabel was just the sweetest girl, very smart and polite as well. I had the best time watching her as I felt excited seeing a kid her age having so much fun shooting airguns. She made some shots that were very impressive, and I even learned a few things without her even knowing she taught me.

Some of the targets were very hard to see.

I was having a great time even though I wasn’t doing so great, I did clean out a few lanes that put a smile on my face. Looked as though I was getting better, but still didn’t trust myself being comfortable with the gun. I was doing pretty good considering I had only practiced for 20 min before the match. Honestly I was having a great time just being outside and around so many that love airguns as much as myself. The coarse was as beautiful as a field target shooting range can get, cant imagine how pretty it is in Springtime.

Here is my friend Terry with his Marauder

We all finished our last set of targets and headed back to the clubhouse to eat,I was so hungry that I apparently had forgotten Motorheads shooting sticks somewhere. :(

My first field target match was absolutely one of the best things I have done for upgrading my hunting skills,I can only imagine how much better I will get with some more practice. The group of men and women I met here were some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I will urge anyone who may be interested in trying Field Target to go to  http://www.slsba.org/  or  http://www.socasa.org/ for more information. Thanks to everyone and hope to see some of you again very soon. 8)

Enclosed are just a few of the photos I was able to get.