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Hatsan FLASH Review/Hunt

This field use review of the new Hatsan FLASH .22 caliber entry level PCP was one I had been very excited for. The market for entry level PCPs has become what almost seems like a race between many different Airgun manufacturers. I believe this is a great time for people to get sucked into this sport as the market has produced so many budget minded PCPs. HatsanUSA sent me the .22 caliber FLASH that was set to debut at the 2018 Shot Show in Vegas. My job was to simply field use the rifle and to document my experiences through video and my writings here. I received the rifle on a Friday and was eager to spend some time with it at the range to test various pellets and to site the rifle in for a two day hunt the following week. My initial thoughts of the rifle out of the box were very good, the gun was obviously very lightweight coming in just under 6lbs. The thumbhole ambidextrous stock was very comfortable and with the raised Monte Carlo cheek the rifle shouldered very well.

The FLASH felt very sturdy and super solid, I checked for flexing of the barrel, stock and breech, finding no movement. The rifle came with two rotary style magazines, single shot tray and quick fill probe.

Model FLASH
Caliber .22
Max Velocity*  From our field use

(Lead Pellets)

.22 915 FPS

18gr

Shots At Optimal Velocity**  

.22 25 shots

Stock Advanced polymer, ambidextrous thumbhole with monte carlo raised cheek and piccitiny for bi-pod mounting.
Key Features Bolt action

Fully shrouded choked barrel

165cc fixed aluminum air cylinder

Optics Rail (11mm and 22mm)

Spring-Loaded Rotary Magazine, single shot tray

Quick fill probe

Under 6 lbs

Anti Knock System

Onboard pressure gauge

Overall Length 42 1/2″

MSRP $299

After some time looking the gun over in the shop and mounting the Hatsan Optima 3-9x40ao scope I was ready for the range. Here are several more detailed photographs of the gun that may help to show a bit more of the gun not represented in the video.

Adjustable (metal) Quatro trigger with manual safety

Rubber butt pad with raised Monte Carlo cheek, very comfortable.                                                                                                               

Bolt action design with 11mm&22mm dovetail rails for mounting a wide variety of optics.

Single shot tray that snaps into place, perfect for range use.

Quick fill probe

Pressure gauge, gun fills to 3000 psi

Two 12 shot rotary magazines included

My main goal was to get to the range, use the chronograph and to test a wide variety of pellets to match the best accuracy and power. I was very happy to have the provided single shot tray and I prefer single loading from the bench, much easier than loading magazines. The gun was easily filled with my air tank and can see someone with a hand pump having no trouble filling the small 165cc air reservoir. The FLASH was very quiet and what I would consider backyard friendly, the QE shroud did an exceptional job quieting the 30 fpe bark. The Quatro trigger was a bit heavy but had a very predictable break, the trigger is fully adjustable and the gun includes the two small allen wrenches to easily do the job.

After some work with the chronograph the rifle was starting at a 3000psi fill with first shot 915fps using 19gr H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme’s shooting 25 shots with the last settling at 863 fps at 1700 psi. I wanted to keep the gun as is out of the box but can see some tuning potential to bring a flatter shot string. After documenting the numbers I moved onto accuracy and found the 18gr H&N Sniper Magnums to be the best I was able to achieve. Hatsan has incorporated a new Anti-Knock System into this rifle, what is this system? The Anti-Knock System is essentially a safety device that keeps the hammer in place during times the gun is bumped, bounced or knocked or dropped. This system ensures the gun cannot discharge air without the trigger being engaged. This may be a fix to a problem that was never there and one I personally have never encountered. I think this safety device does add a bit of further comfort and piece of mind added to a field gun such as the FLASH.

5 shots at 25 meters

After spending a good part of the day with the FLASH I was very excited to get out into the field with it that following weekend. I packed the gun away in a soft case and inspected it several days later for any loss of air, it held exactly at 3000 psi where I left it. Friday evening I packed up the Jeep with all the equipment and gear Marley and I would need for the several days in the Mojave desert. My good friend Tom Costan was accompanying us for the several day trip where I had planned to do some video work for several different field use projects. Marley and I left the house very early to make way through the desert in good time and to try to make the most of the day. From the highway we followed a rough motorcycle trail near 16 miles into one of the most remote areas of the Mojave desert.

As we drove through the whooped out trail Marley was keeping watch for the occasional Jackrabbit that would bolt in front of us. The area had many large rock outcroppings, Joshua trees and miles of animal trails heading from the desert floor into the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.

These areas of the desert are very unforgiving and are home to many dangers such as snakes, mountain lions and birds of prey. After arriving to our spot nestled between several large rock outcroppings I set up camp and unloaded my camera gear and Airgun. By this time it was 11:30am and the temperature was in the high 60s. I checked the zero of the gun as I had packed the FLASH into a soft case, sometimes the rough ride can knock the scopes out of zero. The gun was still perfectly zeroed and ready for the day of hiking. Marley and I slowley hiked a bit South of camp where there was a huge amount of rock outcroppings, we made our way up to the base of it and sat for awhile looking for movement.

After filming several segments for the video I had spotted several Cottontail’s moving about through the many rocks and small crevices. I spotted one at near 70 yards sitting in a small crevic on the side of the adjacant rock outcropping.

I lined up for the shot that was across the canyon only to be to low just skimming its right front leg, it ran down to the left stopping just behind a boulder where I was able to make a finishing shot at 35 yards.

The FLASH is extremely quiet, especially in the unconfined spaces of the wide open desert. When hunting small game it’s sometimes important to have a quiet report as so it doesn’t alert the many other animals in the vicinity. After collecting and bagging our kill Marley and I continued around the mountain of rock formations hoping to spot several more rabbits. As we continued down a small animal trail I noticed a squirrel ranged at 68 yards off to my left sitting atop a large sagebrush.

For longer offhand shots like this the FLASH really shined with it’s lightweight shoulder-ability.

68 yard head-shot

After another short break Marley and I headed back to camp to have lunch with Tom before venturing out again into the afternoon sun. The area was very beautiful and so quiet with the only sounds being heard were from the many different types of small birds that move through the dense sagebrush. I couldn’t help but to stop and take a photograph of the FLASH.

After continuing our hike along an animal trail the sun was beginning to set over the mountain that dropped the temperature by near 20 degrees. After hiking around for a good bit of time seeing nothing within range Marley and I headed back down towards camp to see if Tom had better luck. Tom was sitting on top of a huge rock outcropping that looked over miles of desert floor.

That evening was not as cold as we had expected, we made a nice little campfire that warmed us enough to enjoy the beautiful night sky. I slept all through the night and awoke by 7:15am to air up the FLASH and head out due South towards the large outcroppings from the previous day. Marley and I slowly made our way, stopping frequently to scan the many nearby rocks. Early morning is an excellent time to Cottontail hunt, better than late evening from my experience. As we made it to the top of this hill I spotted some Cottontail ears from behind a large rock at 40 yards.

I made a nice headshot that thumped the rabbit down without even a twitch where Marley made her quick recovery.

Marley and I continued on over the hill making a big several mile circle that would ultimately lead us back to camp.

As we made our way down to the valley floor I spotted several more rabbits scurrying away with one that left me with a split second shot that was a near miss.

By this time I had to end my time with the FLASH and work on some other video work with Tom. My time spent with the FLASH was very successful and can’t wait to get out with it again very soon. The rifle is an absolute pleasure to carry around all day and made offhand shooting in off camber terrain much more doable.  The FLASH is a laser accurate rifle out to 70+ yards and is no doubt a great entry level choice in the PCP market. I hope my short adventure may be enjoyed and too will bring someone closer into purchasing their first PCP rifle. I will enclose this video that documents everything I have written and can only hope to share more very soon. Till then, “The best gun is the one your shooting” take care!!

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Cometa Lynx V10 .22 Field Review

Several months back I found myself researching some possibly overlooked Air rifles and came across a few reviews of the Cometa Lynx V10 rifle. Most of the reviews I saw were all in Spanish and really didn’t give me a good overall opinion of the rifle. After some further research I decided to reach out to Cometa that is facilitated in Spain. Within about a day I received a very nice email back passing on my information to the US distributor Airforce International. In particular, the main parts of the airguns such as the barrel, stock and tube are manufactured and controlled by Cometa itself. All the airguns are individually tested and calibrated by them; the speed is controlled under the laws of each country. Within a few more days I started corresponding with Airforce International and they were most helpful in providing me with a .22 Lynx V10 PCP rifle that got shipped out to me very quickly. The rifle was packaged very well and included a single shot side load magazine, 13 shot rotary magazine, several extra o’rings as well as two allen keys to make adjustments to both the power output and trigger.

  • Maximum pressure 200 bar/3000 psi.
  • Constant regulated pressure. Included pressure gauge.
  • Easy loading of pellets with multi-shot magazine.
  • High precision cold hammered barrels with 1/2” UNF thread.
  • Adjustable two stage trigger and manual safety.
  • Ambidextrous stock with a modern checkering.
  • Power is easily adjusted by the user*. It allows the shooter to use the air rifle for hunting, Field target, long and short ranges, etc.
  • Great number of shots per charge, offering up to 1,000 shots in some configurations**.

* Maximun power limits set according to the Laws of the Country of destination.
** 400cc tank offers huge shot count.


After spending a few hours getting the gun sighted in with the Leapers ACCUSHOT UTG 30mm 1.5-6X44 I packed it up into the Jeep where it would be traveling deep into the Mojave desert for a several day adventure hunt. Marley and I left late friday afternoon to arrive to our camp to meet my good friend Mike by 8:45pm, the weather was getting extremely cold and I had just hoped we would have a few good days with no wind. Upon arrival to our camp we started a large fire that kept us warm while we cooked dinner.

That night the temperature plummeted into the low 20s and made me thankful I had chosen to stay in the Jeep rather than a tent. The following morning was equally cold until the sun finally made its way over the mountains to raise the temperature into the mid 70s by 9:00am. Mike, Marley and I had set off a little prior to field use another product so this particular hunt didn’t start till around 11:00am. The Lynx V10 is right from the start a very well balanced rifle and shoulders very comfortably. Marley and I set off South from camp and walked down a trail that nestles between many boulders, fallen trees and huge rock outcroppings followed by miles of Oak tree pastures.

This area is supreme habitat for the California Ground Squirrel, these squirrels are said to hibernate this time of year although when it’s warm they occasionally come out for sunning. Within about 5 minutes of walking down this trail I spotted a large Ground Squirrel sitting on top of a large boulder.

I crouched down next to a tree and set myself up for the 72 yard shot.

I lined up my shot and did the best I could to adjust for the slight breeze from left to right, I squeezed the trigger and sent the 14gr H&N field Target Trophy right into the squirrels neck. The Ground Squirrel violently flew back and rolled off the backside of the rock.

Marley and I attempted to recover the Ground Squirrel but unfortunately it was lost down inside a rock crevice. We continued our walk down through the valley stopping frequently to look for movement in the many rocks and fallen trees. This area was a bit slower than it is in in Spring and Summer months but still had a small amount of activity left.

As we took a break and did a bit of film and photograph work I was just enjoying being out in such beautiful country.

After our short bit of film work we continued on a small animal trail that weaved through many trees and as we came around into a clearing I spotted another Ground Squirrel sitting up on top of a boulder at 68 yards. I was easily able to make a headshot that really gave a smack with instant lights out.

As Marley and I continued on the small animal trail I had spotted several more Ground Squirrels moving about through some fallen branches. We sat 50 yards away under the base of an Oak tree and waited for one to hopefully show itself.

Within about 10 minutes I finally spotted a tiny head poking up from behind a crack in the very top of the large outcropping.

I was able to make another headshot that sent the Ground Squirrel sliding down through the crevice. By this time it was getting late in the day and I still had quite a bit of film work to get to so we headed back towards camp.


The .22 Lynx V10 is pretty much an all day gun getting about 70 shots per fill as well as being reasonably quiet. The hammer forged barrel has really shined in this gun and I felt pretty confident with it out to 75 yards. The safety on the gun was my only little issue I had as it felt like it could be a bit smoother, I think with some use it may smooth out. The black wood stock may scratch easy as well as being susceptible to pressure dents. The natural wood finish may last longer cosmetically but really may not be an issue if the gun is cared for. The Lynx is fairly easily adjustable such as the power level and two stage trigger although I was very pleased with everything right out of the box. During field use we can sometimes find things about a gun we would never find from the bench, this is one reason I enjoy this type of review. The majority of buyers may not just be paper punching but using this gun for hunting, one reason I wanted to document its field test. My overall impression of this gun is pretty high considering price, features and accuracy that can compete with guns twice the cost. I will include this video documentation of my review along with the hunt. The goal of this review was to share my experience and hopefully to be the deciding factor in purchasing a Lynx V10. Here is the link to Cometa’s US distributor Airforce International who I would like to thank for the use of this fine rifle.

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Hatsan Sortie Semi Auto Airgun field test

Several months ago I came across a short YouTube review of the Hatsan Sortie semi auto pistol that immediately got me excited. As some of you know I have quite the collection of pistols as well as several I frequently hunt with. For me I enjoy pistols for the simple reason of being able to transport and carry them easily into the field. This pistol looked to be a great match for me to use for a project field review. I wrote to Hatsan USA  and ultimately got the go ahead to be sent the pistol to be sent out to me for a 4 day adventure in the Mojave desert. I received the Sortie pistol several days before my departure and it was packaged very well. The gun arrived in a very nice hard case and enclosed were 3 magazines, fill probe, extra o’rings and a manual. Hatsan was kind enough to enclose several tins of H&N Sport pellets, some 19gr and 14gr. The first thing I noticed was just how large and very futuristic the pistol looked. Cosmetically the gun is something that needs to grow on you but I was more concerned with its performance and function as a hunting tool. The gun comes equipped with fiber optic front and rear sights that can easily be adjusted or removed. After some debate I decided to mount a dot sight that I felt may add to quicker target acquisition. The magazines are very well made from aluminum as well as having thicker plexiglass front covers.

 

Model Sortie Pistol
Caliber  .22
Max Velocity*  

.22 – 700fps

Shots At Optimal Velocity**  

.22 – 36

Stock Advanced polymer, ergonomic pistol grip.
Key Features Semi-Automatic Action

Fully shrouded barrel

62cc on-board air cylinder

Combo Optics Rail (11mm and 22mm)

Spring-Loaded Rotary Magazine

Overall Length 15.5″
Barrel Length 7.9″
Weight 4.4 lbs.

* Above maximum muzzle velocity figures may differ depending on the pellet weight & shape.

Filling the gun to 3000 psi was easy and the 62cc reservoir is small enough that it may even be hand pump friendly. After setting up the gun, sighting it in etc, it got packed into the Jeep for its long drive into the heart of the Mojave desert. I had planned to spend several days hunting Ground Squirrels, Rabbits as well as scouting some new areas for future projects. Marley and I left the house late Friday afternoon and arrived to our camping area to meet my good friend Mike by 8:45pm, wow was it cold. Upon arrival Mike and I immediately set up camp and started a fire to keep us warm as the temperature was rapidly dropping.

The next morning Mike, Marley and I got up fairly late as we were waiting for the sun to come up over the mountains to provide us a little more warmth. We soon headed South away from camp and down to an area known to have supreme Ground Squirrel habitat such as large rock outcroppings, fallen logs and miles of Oak tree pastures. Within a few minutes of hiking I spotted my first target that was sitting just on top of a large boulder at 28 yards. I aimed the dot sight at center mass and made a devastating spine shot that sent the squirrel tumbling down the other side of the rock leaving quite the blood trail.

After doing some more hiking around I spotted several more Ground Squirrels scurrying about, not easy to get in close to a spooked squirrel. From my experience with hunting them is once they get spooked it may take up to 20 minutes for them to come back out again. Mike continued on in a big circle while I stayed put with Marley to sit and wait for movement in the nearby rocks.

I really much enjoyed just being out with my good friend Mike and my dog Marley for several days and getting to do what I love. After what seemed like forever I finally spotted a Ground Squirrel popping it’s head just over the top of a flat rock at 25 yards.

I had to slowly set up my camera as I was trying to document as much as possible on video, this is sometimes very frustrating. Filming can sometimes be out of our control and we find ourselves having to position ourselves in uncomfortable positions to capture the shot. In this case I was having to hold my tripod down with my foot while trying to line up my shot, well it didn’t work out as planned and I pulled the shot hitting about an inch to low. After this I decided to head back down to do some other film work and to take some photographs of the gun.

Hatsan Sortie .22 Semi Auto PCP

After using the pistol I have concluded that front handle is very useful, the ugly thing was really starting to grow on me. I have learned that function over form is one of the most important things in designing a gun. I commend Hatsan for really thinking out of the box as far as design and thoughtfulness in ergonomics. One of the other things that stood out to me through use was how convenient the safety was to use, easily flicked on and off with my index finger. When doing a project field test we sometimes find out things about a gun that you just can’t get from the bench. After heading back around towards camp I spotted another Ground Squirrel high up on a rock at a very far 40 yards.

The shot made a perfect arch right into the Ground Squirrels shoulder sending it flying down off the backside of the large outcropping. This shot was really pushing the limits to what the gun is capable of with a dot sight, this made me realize a pistol scope may be a better choice for really pushing the limit to this pistol. In most of the reviews I have seen they classify this as a plinking type pistol, I really believe the gun was designed with hunting in mind. In the next week or so I plan to mount a pistol scope and take it out again for some Jackrabbit hunting. To note, the gun does have some recoil that in turn makes the muzzle jump a bit. The balance of the gun really aids to the guns accuracy, it does take some practice to get used to shooting it well. The semi auto feature will cycle shots as fast as you can pull the trigger but would be impossible to stay on target in most cases. The semi auto feature is very nice for simply not having to cock the gun after each shot and always being ready to fire. I was taking one shot, pausing, and then taking another giving myself time to recover my target acquisition. The 62cc air reservoir provides more than 25 powerful shots at over 700fps using the 14gr H&N Field Target Trophy’sThe gun is a prime candidate for a good pair of shooting sticks, this may even further aid in making further shots possible. My final thought is that this pistol has a ton of potential beyond just a plinking gun and may just take some patience to learn what works well. Here is the video of my adventure with this gun I hope you can enjoy. If you like what you see and have serious interest in owning one of these very unique Sortie pistols, you can visit HatsanUSA.

 

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Schofield No.3 Revolver Field Review

Over the past year I have had my eye on several replica pistols but none more than the Bear River Outdoors Schofield No.3 revolver. After watching several reviews of the gun on YouTube I decided to reach out to them and see if one was available for field use. After several emails they swiftly sent me out the beautiful replica via FedEx. Upon arrival it was very well packaged and they even included a small extra set of “pellet” shells as well as the standard BB shells. The goal of using this pistol was not only to add to the content here but to help them to promote such a wonderful piece of history.

The Schofield revolver may have been one of the best friends a 19th-century cavalryman ever had. George Schofield joined the 10th cavalry in December 1870 where soon after Smith & Wesson was contracted to provide over 1,000 .44 caliber No.3 that was later called the “American” revolver. The revolver was so popular with cavalrymen because it was able to be opened with one hand and was much easier to load and unload when navigating the battlefield on horseback.

The schofield No.3 is a single action, heavy robust revolver that was built to last through everything the soldiers could put it through. I was more than happy to enjoy a beautiful piece of history with the Schofield No.3 Vintage Revolver from Bear River. This is the most faithful replica of the classic Smith & Wesson No.3 Schofield revolver I have seen, the first thing I had to notice was the precision craftsmanship and attention to detail. The only parts of this gun that is not metal are the grips, these are made from faux, looked very much like wood as well as having close to the same feel.

  • Full metal with polymer “faux” grip
  • 7 Inch barrel
  • 435 FPS
  • 12g CO2 powered
  • Real single action hammer
  • 6 Round cylinder with ejector rod
  • Includes 6 realistic cartridges
  • (Pellet cartridges available)

The 7″ barrel has a smooth bore as well as traditional fixed sights that may be difficult to use in low light conditions. I would recommend a dab of white or red nail polish on the front blade to aid in sight alignment. The advertised velocity is around 435 fps with BBs although this may change depending on outside temperature. During my use with pellets it was shooting close to 400 fps at 76 degrees outside.

The safety is easily placed just below the cocking hammer making it very easy to flick on and off. The revolver cocked and cycled very smoothly as well as having a very nice trigger that made precision shots easier. To break open the pistol to gain access to the cartridges the rear sight is simply pulled back that will release and open the gun. The Co2 is cleverly hidden under the grip that simply can be unclipped from the frame, even has a built in allen key to tighten and loosen the Co2 cartridge. I was able to hit just about everything I aimed for with the pellets even though they were moving a bit slower than the BBs. I set up some cans, balloons as well as some pine cones that had fallen.

This gun is not just pretty but made to be used and enjoyed, I did just that. Being a sucker for pistols I will sometimes keep one in my hunting pack for when I’m back at camp and looking for a little fun.

I had a great time in the mountains and got much enjoyment out of this project review that I hope may encourage the use of this really fun replica. Enclosed is a short video review of this revolver as well as a short segment of its action.

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Texan .457 100 yard Ballistic Gel test/Hunting weekend

Friday afternoon Nick Nielsen and I headed out from his house where we had a several hour drive into the mountains. Here we would be spending the next four days hunting and vigorously testing ammo. We had to take Nick’s truck that was loaded to capacity with the good amount of supplies and gear needed to sustain us for the several days ahead. We were having quite the heat wave here in California so I was more than happy to enjoy the 20 degree cooler weather the mountains provided.

Nick Nielsen 

We made it up the long winding highway thankfully with very little traffic as well as some very scenic views that I was happy to enjoy being I wasn’t having to drive. We made it into town where we met up with our friend Russ who was kindly allowing us to make use of his beautiful cabin. Soon after we arrived several other Airgunners arrived to join us as well, was nice to see a few folks I hadn’t seen in awhile.

From Left Craig, Dana, Russ, Nick, Kerry not pictured

After some catching up we got down to business and headed quite a few miles into the outback where the remote cabin was nestled. The road was quite rough heading up to the cabin that is only accessible during the Summer months before the snow makes it inaccessible to vehicles. As we arrived up through the well hidden trail to the cabin it was near pitch black outside making it hard to get around the many tall pine trees. We stepped out of the truck and were greeted by what looked to be the coolest hunting cabin I have ever seen, was excited already. All the guys were as impressed as I was to be able to stay in such a beautiful place. The place had a rustic charm that followed all the way through the door of the two story place. We were all able to sleep very comfortably with plenty of space as well as a kitchen and wood burning stove in the center of the floor. I was so happy to be away from everything for the next few days as well as being able to enjoy it with some friends. The night was still young but we decided to get some sleep as we would be awakening early to do some hunting.


The next morning it was nice to get up in such a beautiful place and get to enjoy the view from such a nice spot.

 

The plan was for us to meet our friend Jon down the hill near a favorite local shooting area, from there we planned to do some Coyote and Jackrabbit hunting. Nick and Jon thankfully were both very familiar with some of the areas that made finding each other much easier. As we made our way up the steep dirt fire road we soon spotted Jon’s truck parked where he had gone off on foot to do a little scouting. I got my gear out and headed Southward up into the hills to check out the Jackrabbit situation. As I headed up the hill I could barely make out Jon’s figure as his camouflage blended in near perfect to the surrounding terrain.

Was great to get out again with Jon, one of my new favorite hunting buddies and just an all around pleasure to hang with. As we headed back down the hill I couldn’t help but to capture some candid shots from afar. How lucky we are to be able to explore so much open country!

After a few minutes to gather our thoughts we decided to head further down the road that proved to be a little rougher than we had hoped for. I felt sorry for Craig’s nice shiny truck as it was not equipped for such a boulder infested “trail”. After a short stop to investigate an abandoned vehicle that through our report to the police turned out to be stolen we headed on. As we made our way down the steep trail it became apparent we were not going to make it back up, luckily we had seen plenty of little roads that gave us some options back to the highway. After the road flattened out Nick and I spotted a coyote running across the desert paralleling the wash, Nick hit the brakes and I was quick to pull my rifle from its case. By the time I loaded up the Coyote was already near 150+ yards away on the run, I ran out as fast as I could and took a shot that came fairly close amazingly enough.

I hiked down into the wash that was covered in Coyote tracks that told me the place was very active. Jon decided to join me as the others continued down the road in the vehicles where they tried to find a suitable accessible trail back onto the highway. The sun was by this time coming down pretty hard on us with only a few opportunities from the few Jackrabbits we encountered. As Jon and I made our way up out of the wash we continued onto the road where Nick, Kerry and Craig were taking a break. After relaxing for a few minutes we loaded into the vehicles and headed back up the long winding highway that ultimately gained us some altitude into a much cooler setting. The area we had arrived to was a hybrid desert environment that had many rock outcroppings, cactus and densely covered sagebrush.

Nick had wanted to try calling in some Coyotes as the area looked to offer some good cover to make some stands as well as having plenty of high ground to see some distance. The backdrop of this area was very pretty as well as the ground that was heavily covered in quartz crystals. This will definitely be a stop I will be making with Lindsey as she is an avid rockhound. We set our stand halfway up a nearby hillside that offered a good view of our surroundings while still providing some good cover to hide our silhouette’s.

After calling for near 20 minutes without seeing or hearing and sort of response we decided to pack it up and hike in a few miles to explore the area. We had thought with all the rocks the area may have a good number of Ground Squirrels, later we had learned many of this area had been hit by the plague that wiped out a huge number of the populations. We slowly weaved our way through the many rocks, trees and small washes that appeared to have almost no living creatures. I always find it interesting that what looks to be a great habitat turns out to be missing some key that only animals can be in tune with. As we continued a big several mile loop that sent us back to where we parked our vehicles we spotted a Jackrabbit flash across the trail in front of us catching us all off guard. I had noticed it move to my right side behind some trees, figured I may be able to stalk it. Nick and Jon watched as I moved slowly side stepping hoping to catch the Jackrabbit standing still.

Sure enough as I moved around a large Juniper (Juniperus Californica) tree I was able to spot the Jackrabbit just in front of a small sagebrush at about 75 yards. I made a quick shoulder shot using the new 45gr Nielsen Specialty Ammo HP that sent the Jackrabbit down with authority.

Nick and Jon both were excited as with all the hiking around we finally had something to show for it as we headed back to the trucks. After a short break we packed up the trucks and returned Jon to his truck and then continued back into town for a burger. After visiting a very cool restaurant and consuming a huge mac&cheese burger, that’s right “mac&cheese burger” I was ready for some relaxing back at the cabin for a few hours. Nick and I had planned on doing an evening hunt followed by trying to call in some Coyotes later that night. After several hours of relaxing at the cabin and taking a nap I was feeling a bit refreshed and ready to head back out. Craig and Kerry stayed back at the cabin while Nick and I ventured back down the hill into the open desert where we had had spotted the Coyote earlier.

The evening was beautiful and a bit cooler thankfully, hiking around in the high temperatures really sucks the life out of you. We had brought plenty of water to stay hydrated, even through the night. Nick and I hiked through the wash and up a steep hillside a bit North of where we parked the truck.

Nick was using his .357 Bulldog loaded with his proven accurate 110gr swaged hollow point. Through some vigorous testing Nick is happy to have finally developed a slug that works well out of the Bulldog out to 100+ yards. The rifle was outfitted with an electronic sight coupled with a powerful red light made by Wicked Hunting Lights that has several great features such as adjustable mount, intensity control, and an adjustable focus beam.

Nick and I sat on the side of the hill with our electronic caller set near 65 yards down the hill from us. We started the caller out with a Jackrabbit distress on a medium tone that sent a good sound down through the desert floor. After several minutes Nick and I both began scanning the area for flashing eyes. I had my beam set very wide and dim, barely visible but still enough to spot the flash of peering Coyote eyes. We continued calling for about 45 min till finally I spotted a faint glare at near 130+yards behind a large Joshua tree. I thought it may have been a Jackrabbit but the eyes were spread to far apart and it definitely had a canine type movement. As both Nick and I continued to watch it I decided to intensify the red light that gave a more pronounced view of the animal. After several minutes of watching it peeking from behind a joshua tree it finally moved far enough into the light to see it was a Coyote. I took the shot that was aimed at center of it’s chest, the shot fell short right between its front legs where it amazingly offered Nick another shot. We both missed and through the excitement had a hard time spotting the direction it had ran off to. This is the kind of hunting that really gets the heart going, it can be frustrating though. After spending another few minutes scanning the desert floor we concluded the area may not be as full of life as we had anticipated. Nick recovered his caller and we made our way back to the vehicle to go meet up with Jon who had been scouting several other areas. After a short meet with jon it was getting late so we headed back up the long beaten road to the cabin to call it a night and get some much needed sleep.


The next morning we woke up a bit more casually as we had planned to stick around the property, explore a bit and to do some shooting. The property had several Airgun only ranges that stretched out through the trees to 150 yards. We took a short walk up the hill to check out a few of the other cabins, what a beautiful day.

The area had several cabins that were each peacefully hidden away from each other nestled through the treeline. Russ had not yet arrived so we decided to go visit the place he uses as a weekend sanctuary, what a neat little place it was.

After a few minutes of enjoying the views from his porch we made our way back down the hill to set up the 100 yard range.

The range was set in front of a cabin that was built in 1905 by a miner that had several nearby open mines that he worked for many years until he died. The place had been abandoned for many years but thankfully had survived the elements in good condition.

 

Nick had planned to do some ammo testing with his Airforce Texan .457 Airrifle. I had brought all my camera gear to capture the entire test through both photographs and video to help him promote his new ammo that will prove to be the best.

Nick had brought two blocks of Clear Ballistics that were (9x4x4) each and would be set at 100 yards. I encouraged them to be placed at distance to see how well his ammo would react at hunting ranges. I know several ballistics test have been done but none that I know of at 100 yards, close range test are worthless in my opinion. We set the block of Gel out at 100 yards on a block of wood just under the target Nick used to sight in the rifle.

The ammo we were testing was a 220gr NSA Hollow Point that Nick has spent a great deal of time developing to be accurate.

After the gel was set up Nick spent some time cleaning his barrel followed by leading it up with some practice shots. Those little clear blocks don’t leave much room for error at 100 yards.

After Nick took several practice shots I went out on the range to start the small camera I had placed several feet from the ballistic gel. After my return I filmed the event with my handheld movie camera as well as trying to capture some other photographs of our experiment.

As you can see from the (above) video snapshot the shot entered thankfully near center of the block making way all the way through both blocks.

I was impressed he made the shot so perfectly center, I have not seen any other Texan ammo be able to achieve much more than hitting a barn at 100 yards.

We brought the blocks back to our shooting table and examined to find the 220gr NSA had made it’s way entirely through the first block and 3/4 of the way through the second block. Craig dug out the slug and we continued to use the gel to continue testing with some other lines of ammo Nick is developing.

Left to right .300 44gr/.300 44gr Polymag/.357 110gr NSA/.457 220gr NSA

After having lunch we continued to shoot a little more and conclude the rest of the testing we had left to do. We did a good amount of testing with some of the smaller bore slugs and some of the results were pretty dang impressive.

 

Left to Right .250 39gr JSB/.250 39gr NSA point blank /.250 39gr NSA 100 yards

Soon after our testing had concluded Russ,Craig and Kerry had to leave us to head back to civilization. I was most pleased to have had such a great group of Airgunners to hang with as well as to hunt with, thank you all. Nick and I relaxed a bit and were soon getting settled in for the night as the plan was to get up fairly early to pack up the truck and return the key to Russ.


After a great nights sleep I think Nick and I both were ready to start heading back home, a shower was about all I could think of. After cleaning the cabin and securing the doors and the gate to the property we headed back down into town to return the key to Russ. I want to personally thank Russ for his kind hospitality as well as the honor of his several visits with us during the past few days. Thank you my friend!!


After we said our goodbyes Nick and I headed down the road where we met up with Jon to do some scouting through some other areas of the desert, some of which were extremely remote.

We parked near some large rock outcroppings that stood like landmarks in the vast dry desert, figured these areas may sustain life.

The temperature was well up over 100 degrees so plenty of water was an absolute necessity in this unforgiving desert. We drove through several different areas and decided to settle on one spot that had a huge amount of rocks that no doubt had to be home to several coyotes. We hiked several hundred yards from the vehicles and I set myself up on top of a small hill, just high enough for a good view of my surroundings.

Nick and Jon stayed down a bit lower to manage the caller as well as to look from the other direction, my thoughts were focused on some small caves that I believed could be a coyote den. Nick started his caller with the Jackrabbit distress and within about three minutes I sure enough spotted a Coyote coming right out of the rocks to my right side. The Coyote was coming in really fast and I was not even fully prepared with my gun nor my movie camera.

I set the camera in the general location with no zoom, basically guessing where it was aimed, in this video snapshot (above) the arrow is where the Coyote was along with the direction he was moving. I raised my rifle as he came into around 75 yards, Jon whistled getting him to stop just long enough for a perfect head shot. I pulled the trigger and CRACK!!!!!!! NOTHING CAME OUT OF THE GUN, I forgot to load it……..OMG!!!!!! Well the Coyote was only about 200 yards away by the time I unzipped my pack to grab a slug. What an embarrassing thing for me to do, I was to put bluntly pretty pissed off about my blunder. Apparently when I got out of the truck I cocked the gun, set it down and grabbed a water forgetting that I didn’t load the rifle. When I picked it up I checked it, noticed it was cocked and assumed from habit that I had loaded it. UHHHHHH wow, ok I’m glad I got that off my chest now. Nick and Jon were having fun with it, those guys are both awesome and am so glad to have friends like them. I can honestly say I learned a big lesson on this outing, a failure like that just makes the hunt that much more special when it’s a success. The hunt for me is really just to be in nature, enjoy the company of friends and just to try being a positive example to other Airgunners. After the walk back to our trucks we were tired, hungry and overheated from the sun beating down on us, we called it quits and headed to a nearby town for a burger. I want to especially thank Nick from Nielsen Specialty Ammo for inviting me with him and showing me such a great time. I would encourage anyone looking for the best quality ammo made by someone who puts tremendous dedication into all his products to contact Nick for help. Till next time, keep shooting and enjoy what you have.