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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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RAT HUNTING CHRONICLES

 by Ron Stephen


As the sun is about to set over the Chicken buildings/Ratting grounds. Time to gear up and get ready for the nightly invasion of fury terrorists…

 The buildings are all connected, covering over 2 acres, of Rat-o-mania.
 That’s a LOT of rats!

The silo’s are full of chicken feed that is automatically mechanically distributed through-out the chicken cages containing 25,000 to 50,000 chickens…

Row, after row, after row, of mechanical driven automatic feeders, providing a “Free-for-All-Feeding”. When the lights go out,… the rats COME out, (in DROVES !)


Rows, and rows, and more rows of chickens with open troughs of feed available 24/7. with this much grain spread through-out the building, it’s easy to see why there are thousands of rats each night

Here is where they will be moving up in the rafters, right over your head, behind you, in front of you, beside you, between your feet, and all around you.

 Yes, several times I have considered taping up my pant legs so they don’t go crawling up my leg! EWWwwwww!


OK, So,… moving on.

Weapons of choice.
Low to medium powered single projectile type guns do work very well. Either Co2 or low pressure HPA/PCP guns do very well,… BUT !,… they do have some disadvantages. Those disadvantages include the fact that you will be shooting in near total darkness, using only a flashlight to hunt them by.
Green lights works OK, and are better than standard white lights, but Red lights seem to work a little better. This is because the anatomy of a rats eye has different “Rods and Cones” as compared to Human eyes. Humans see a color spectrum of Red, Blue, Green.
 Rats see a spectrum of Blue, Green, and low I.R.,… (they do not see Red the same way we do).
 They see red as more of a “Grey shade” (almost like a shadow)… and therefore they do not Alert and Spook as quickly when using a red light for spotting them.
Another disadvantage to using a single projectile type of gun is that the rats are being shot at ranges usually in the 15′ to 45′ range. (we are talking FEET, not Yards here). this means that zeroing a gun with a scope for this short of distances is almost impossible. if you zero a scope for only say 25 FEET,… then the “Line of Sight” vs. the “Line of Flight” is extremely narrow. sometimes as low as only 6 to12 INCHES closer or further than you 25′ zero.
 Seems easy right ?,… but here’s the deal,…
 when you DO spot that rat at the perfect zero distance,… he is RARELY sitting still, AANNNNDDD, he is either moving towards you or away from you.
 Now remember,… It’s almost COMPLETELY DARK, and you are trying to find a MOVING rat, moving through the rafters, using a fairly dim red light. By the time you actually ACQUIRE him as a target, he is no longer at that sweet 25 or 30 feet. SOOoooo,…. that means you catch him stopping at say 15 feet from you,… OR,… maybe its 40 feet from you, and you’ve only got 2 or 3 seconds before he starts moving again.
 So at this same moment, is when you are trying to figure out,…
 “OK, Now do I give it 1 mil-dot Hold under ?”,… “or is that 2 1/2 mild dots Hold over”,…. or,… “oh crap,…. nevermind,… he’s moving again” ! LOL !
Trust me,… it’s not as easy as it may seem to be shooting rats at such close quarters. you basically just have to experience it to understand it.
 It can actually be pretty exciting, AND is SOOoooo Much FUN you won’t believe it!
So SCOPED guns present there own challenges in these conditions, and “Open Sights” or “Iron sights” actually are BETTER than scopes.
 Here’s a couple of scoped guns I’ve used for the job…

 Also, Red Dot type sights are a bit better than scopes, because they generally are mounted lower to the bore of the gun, but,… they still do suffer somewhat similar issues as a scoped gun, trying to zero at such close range.
 Should I hold over the dot ?, Under the dot ? Where’d he go? how far is he away? Is he moving towards me? Away from me? man it’s so dark, Where’d he go again ? Do you see him yet ? OOHHHH THERE HE IS, right over your Head ! HEY,  Duck Down and Hold Still While I shoot ! … DANG IT ! My flashlight battery just went dead ! Just stay still where you are, and I’ll try not to hit you !
SO, the moral to the story is, if you will be using a “single projectile shooter” for close range,…Then open sights and a good red light are the best choice.
(Of course there are then the guys who have Night Vision set-ups on there guns, which makes shooting the rats at 20-30-50 yards possible), AND THAT MEANS, you no longer have such a short window of usable zero’d distances….
 but that’s an entirely different subject !
OK,…. so what’s a guy to do ? ? ?
Well,…This type of shooting is absolutely perfect for the old vintage Trapmaster’s , with their limited power and range. Add a little creative ingenuity and a custom fitted weaver rail,… a small flashlight in a scope ring,… and Waa-Laaa ! ! !,..
You’ve got yourself one HECK of a “In the Dark at Close Range Ratter Gun” !
Here’s mine…

A Red Headlight, and/or Handheld light can be very helpful in spotting and chasing them too…

So let’s move on to some recent kills.

And of course,  some of the Smelly Rats come visiting for a free meal too,
 so we happily serve them a hot lead injection also !

Hope you enjoy,
Cheers,
Ron