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Seneca Double-Shot Shotgun field review

A few weeks ago I received two Air Venturi products, the Seneca Wing Shot and the new Double-Shot Air shotgun. These are both products of Air Venturi and arrived fairly quickly with 150 loaded shotshells and .50 Air Bolts. I had very little experience using any type of shotguns, so I was a bit excited as well as skeptical using them in the field. My expectations of air-shotguns were very low. I expected them to have low power, be heavy and have only a few inefficient shots before getting refilled. This detailed article is written as my first-hand experience using these in the field.


      Seneca Double Shot .50 cal Double Barrel Shotgun

  • Precharged pneumatic
  • 244 cc air cylinder
  • Two Smooth Bore Barrels
  • Up to 5 good shots per fill
  • 3000 psi fill
  • Male Quick Disconnect Foster Fill Fitting
  • On-board pressure gauge
  • Velocity up to 1130 fps with shotshells
  • Velocity up to 425 fps with Air Bolts (170+ FPE)
  • Velocity up to 600 fps with Round Balls (140+ FPE)
  • Thread on chokes (Easily removed for use with Air Bolt or Slugs)
  • Front bead sight (no rear sight)
  • Optional 11mm dovetail scope rail to add optics
  • Ambidextrous hardwood stock
  • Rubber Buttpad
  • Patent Pending Air Distributor allows a follow-up shot in less than 2 seconds
  • Bore Diameter: 12.47mm Barrel Thread: 16.6×18 Choke Measurement: 12.4mm The choke reduces the inner barrel diameter from .494″ to .486″

Easily the most flexible big bore system on the market: Double Shot delivers a decisive one-two punch to medium and large game with any combination of .50 caliber ammo, shotshells, and the Air Venturi Air Bolt. The Double Shot uses a patent-pending air distributor that allows you to perform a quick follow up shot in less than two seconds, through the use of a barrel selector dial. Simply load both barrels, rack back the bolt, fire your shot, twist the barrel selector dial, rack the bolt, and fire again. To sight in on your target, use the traditional shotgun style bead sight, or purchase the Air Venturi 11mm Dovetail rail for mounting the optic of your choice. This innovative PCP uses a 244cc cylinder, filled to 3000 psi, that provides 5 full-powered shots per fill. This high pressure translates to incredible velocities with up to 1,130 fps with shotshells. The options don’t stop there, as the Double Shot can sling .50 caliber big bore ammo and the revolutionary Air Venturi Air Bolt—an arrow-slinging system that can put 170 FPE on target. Each Double Shot features the trademarked etched actions and finely grained hardwood stocks you’ve come to expect from a brand that pays homage to the golden age of the hunt. Put simply, the Seneca Double Shot is a very versatile big bore PCP shotgun that doubles down on big bore power. This is a PCP shotgun that can sling .50 caliber rounds downrange one shot after the next, perfect for small game such as birds and rabbits. Load slugs, round balls or Air Bolts for large game hunts.

Check out these configurations below:

Mount up optics with the Air Venturi 11mm Scope Rail (sold separately).

SHOTGUN: Choose the shotgun option and enjoy velocities of 1,130 feet per second with either No. 6 or No. 8 filled shot shells. With consistent spreads of 12″ at 20 yards. (NOTE) Empty shells can be purchased to customize your load for various types of hunting)

RIFLE: UNSCREW THE CHOKES BEFORE USING LEAD BULLETS. Hunting for larger game? With .50 caliber slugs the Double Shot offers speeds of 600 fps and fpe exceeding 140. That’s more than enough power to take medium game with a well-placed shot.

BOLT-SLINGER:  UNSCREW THE CHOKES BEFORE USING AIR BOLTS. Arm your Double Shot with Air Venturi Air Bolts to turn your air shotgun into a hard-hitting arrow launcher!  Now more speargun than airgun, be careful not to “Robin Hood” or split bolts already on the target –they are that accurate!  Capable of speeds up to 425 FPS and 170 FPE, Air Bolts are a fusion of innovative design and incredible knockdown power.


The first day out with this rifle was mostly to just get familiar with its function as well as to get several promotional type photographs to use for this report. I took both rifles with me to make sure they both functioned and would be sufficient to hunt with. The only part of the rifle that needed assembly was the cocking bolt, very easy to install with the provided allen key. Marley and I arrived to our location high in the mountains in a remote part of California, perfect for testing these rifles. My first impression of the Double Shot was great, it’s lightweight at 7.5 lbs and has a great looking wood stock as well as good durable metal finish. I found the rifle to be very easy to fill with a standard foster fitting with a cap that snaps on and off with ease. The rifle is very well made and has a unique and robust double loading breech with a manual valve that controls airflow into each barrel.

I loaded the rifle with the provided Air Venturi #6 shot that came boxed very well, these in my opinion are great for birds, but from later experience found them to be too light of a load for rabbits.

Marley and I proceeded to hike North away from the Jeep hoping to spot some Quail, Cottontail and Jackrabbits. The rifle really carried well and had a great solid feel to it and it did not feel like 7.5 lbs at all. Within several minutes of hiking I had spotted two Jackrabbits running up the hillsides at over 100 yards away. Marley and I moved slowly into the mountains with the hopes to get some closer shots on rabbits as well as to find some Quail. We were now several miles from the Jeep and decided to take a much needed break from to 80+ degree weather. I figured we would sit in the shade for awhile and wait to see if I could spot any movement on the nearby hillsides.

After about 20 minutes of rest Marley and I continued in a large loop through the brush covered hillsides with very little activity. Marley flushed out a good sized Jackrabbit that sped off leaving a poof of dust behind, much too quick for me to even react. I had made the mistake of not mounting my camera on the rifle and was only carrying my movie camera and tripod. On the way back we flushed a large covey of Quail and I was able to get several shots on a few at 40 yards. The brush is so thick that the #6 shot just didn’t carry enough energy to get through it at that range. Our real goal was to test the rifle, see how it carries and look for performance issues. As we made our way back down the hill I made several stops to take some more photographs, as well as to enjoy the beautiful scenery this location offers.


The following day I was accompanied by my good friend Terry who is an avid Airgunner and hunter as myself. This would be his first experience hunting with an air powered shotgun as well as his first time hunting the California Quail. These birds are abundant in the areas we hunt, but are incredibly difficult to find and get close to.  Terry and I left fairly late in the morning and arrived to our location around 11:00 am, the weather was in the low 80’s with a slight cool coastal breeze. Terry would be using the Seneca Wing Shot, the single barrel version of the Double Shot. He was impressed with the simplicity, lightweight and feel of the rifle right away. We did some initial shooting with it just so he could get a feel for it as well as familiarizing how to aim it. We found that the front bead covering the target would get the full pattern on the target. The pattern was as stated approximately 12″ at out to 30 yards, great for birds and even rabbits at close ranges.

 

Terry, Marley and I headed out into this large field where we had spotted a large covey of Quail. We moved through the field with Marley zig zagging through the tall grass trying to flush some birds and rabbits.

We continued through the field in a big loop that took us into some thicker areas where we soon spotted a large covey of Quail at 50 yards. Terry and I both took shots on several that were fleeing away from us. I believe we may have hit one of them but the area was so thick that Marley had a difficult time making her way through the brush. This was the most fun I think I’ve had with an Airgun in a long time, a very unique way of hunting. The challenge at this point was very apparent to both Terry and I, super fun nonetheless.

‘Terry and I took a short break in the shade and just enjoyed being out in such a beautiful location to hunt. Terry was saying how surprised he was on how light the Wingshot was to tote around, shouldered nice and had a forearm that made good for offhand shooting.

Over the course of the next few hours we had very little luck finding any birds or rabbits, but we did have some fun back at camp. We had set up some small pumpkins at 20 yards and took turns blowing them off the log.

After looking at the damage afterwards it became apparent how powerful these shotguns were. The shot penetrated through very easily, with heavier load I’m sure they would have exploded. The rest of the day was spent doing some filming and taking some more photographs for this write up. The following week would be the Dove opener so I had planned to come back to try for that, giving me a better chance to capture something on film. When making field use videos we sometimes feel like we have to capture a kill on film. I have to remember that when hunting there is never a guarantee. We still enjoy the time out getting to hunt with some awesome Airguns.


Today Marley and I got up very early and headed back for the Dove opener, this would be another first for me. I had not really ever hunted many birds, through curiosity had been reading as much as I could on the subject as well as watching a few videos. I had decided the night before to pull apart several of the #6 shot shells and replace them with 20 Crosman Copperhead BB’s. I felt that the #6 was just to lightweight for punching through the brush as well as making longer range shots. When we arrived I tested out several that I had loaded on a tin can at 35 yards, the shot seemed to hit with much more authority. I had packed my large backpack with close to a gallon of water, snacks, as well as all my camera gear. This time I had decided to mount a small Sony HD camera to the barrel of the Double Shot, hopefully to capture the action with ease.

We headed up through a rugged canyon that had many fallen trees and tall dry grass that eventually lead us into some very thick brush. I wanted to get up into the higher elevations to get to where the Cottontail would most likely be, as well as some birds. Within about 20 minutes I spotted several Doves fly overhead and land in some nearby brush. Marley and I quietly made our way closer where I was able to take one at 35 yards as it was perched on a branch.

The shot took the Dove down fairly violently and Marley was quick to make her first bird retrieval.

Finally after a few days with little luck I felt some success, it’s tough hunting but when things like this happen it makes it all worthwhile. What a beautiful bird, I was hoping several more were around but I think we would have to work hard to find them.

Marley and I bagged our prize and headed further South where it took us through a creek and up a steep ravine into the higher points of the mountains. By this time it was close to 9:30 am but fairly cool in the high 60’s, perfect weather for hiking. As we followed a small but busy animal trail I spotted out of the corner of my eye a small Cottontail scurry under a bush at 20 yards, THWACK!!!

Marley ran to find it with me close behind, it got hit so hard that it literally drilled it into the ground. I think 20 yards was a bit to close haha! After the recovery I filmed a little as well as taking some more photographs along with a much needed water break.

After our break Marley and I continued down the small animal trail along a ridgeline that was fairly flat giving us a fairly good view in front of us. As we slowly walked I soon spotted another Cottontail sitting under a nearby bush at 30 yards in front of us. THWACK!!! Another one down with authority, I actually hit a bit in front of it, but still managed to take it down.

As we continued down the trail I spotted two jackrabbits with one leaving me a great shot, in the excitement I aimed a bit to low just missing it. Very exciting watching Marley chase the huge jack into a big circle where I was able to take a good running shot hitting just behind it. I think with some more practice behind the gun I could really get used to hitting moving Jackrabbits. This rifle is so much fun, I love it the more I use it, and have found it to be near the perfect tool for this type of hunting. Using a shotgun can get frustrating when we see a shot that is beyond 100 yards, still at close range it’s versatility is well above a standard pellet shooting rifle. Marley and I made our way back to the Jeep where I planned to film some footage with the Air Bolts.


Back at the Jeep we took a rest and had some lunch, my legs were killing me from all that hiking around. I felt relieved that I finally had something to show for all the work I put into making this field use review. I mean lets be honest, we want to be successful and show how capable the rifle can be in real life scenarios. The Air Venturi Air Bolts are .50 in size and made from a carbon fiber shaft with finely machined aluminum tips. Broadheads can be fitted but the composite points are more than adequate for any small game use up to Coyote size.

The first thing we do when using the Air Bolts, slugs, round balls is to remove the chokes from the barrel. To do this they simply unthread from the rifle, these chokes are what adjust the shot pattern. After we have removed the chokes we can now insert the Air Bolt from the muzzle end of the shotgun.

The Air Venturi Air Bolts have a small o’ring at the end of the nock, this o’ring rides on the inside of the smooth bore creating a seal to propel the arrow at optimal speed. The Air Bolt can achieve 238 foot pounds of energy, more than any conventional archery device I know of.

The Air Bolt is easily inserted in the muzzle end of the rifle with a twisting motion to get the flights to glide through the bore. I took several test shots and was astounded at both the accuracy and power of these things. I actually broke one of them because it went through my test target and into the tree behind it. The arrow had gone so deep into the tree I couldn’t remove it without breaking the shaft. These Air Bolts are not cheap, but could be extremely deadly on almost any game animal. I set up a target at 35 yards and was amazed at how accurate they could be. Even with having just open sights a scope on the rifle would be most ideal for this setup.

Over the past week I have enjoyed the Seneca Double Shot Air Rifle, it’s versatility and fun is near impossible to beat. I went into the situation a bit skeptical, but was quickly satisfied after my first shot with it. This truly is one of the funnest Airguns I’ve had the privilege to use in the field. I think with some practice one could become very efficient in hunting with this awesome piece of kit. My final thoughts are as follows:

PROS 

  • Extremely versatile
  • Great fit and finish
  • Lightweight
  • Simple design
  • Easy to fill
  • Great power

CONS

  • Need buddy bottle for longer trips
  • Cost of shot shells/ Air Bolts

I want to thank Air Venturi for sponsoring this field review and allowing me the opportunity to bring my honest review of this great product. If you like what you see and are interested in purchasing this rifle please click HERE to find the best location for you!


Here is the video documentation of our adventure with the Seneca Double Shot, help us out by SUBSCRIBING to our YouTube Channel.

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Cometa Lynx V10 Long term review/hunt

by Dana Webb

 

Friday evening I packed the Jeep with several days worth of supplies as the following morning Marley and I would head several hours into the remote mountains of Southern California. About 8 months ago I did a field review of the .22 Cometa Lynx V10 thats distributed by Airforce International. Since I had done the first field review Airforce was kind enough to let me keep the rifle to continue using. As soon as I had confirmation to keep the Air Rifle I went ahead and stripped the black painted finish off, sanded and applied several coats of durable clear semi gloss lacquer. The natural wood grain was beautiful and felt it was a shame to cover with paint. I did some minor trigger work as well as wrapping the shroud and bottle with camo tape to protect the finish as well as to quiet the gun when hiking through thick brush.


Saturday September 8th Lindsey, Marley and I headed out several hours into a familiar location although this time we would be exploring much further into the mountains than on previous trips. This area has been very dry from the lack of rain so through some work on Google Earth I was able to locate an area that looked to have a water source. The narrow dirt road went on for miles and just before we started heading down into the valley floor we just had to stop and take in the beautiful scenery.

Over the next several miles we encountered some cattle next to the road as well as many California Ground Squirrels scurrying about on the many rocks and fallen trees.

Marley was getting very excited as she knew as well as I did the area was plentiful with varmints to hunt. The fairly smooth fire road eventually became very rugged with several creek crossings, rocks and off camber turns.

After a few more miles we came to a flat area that had many Ponderosa Pines, fallen logs and an abundance of green bushes. We set up our camp where we would spend the next two days enjoying ourselves. As I was setting up the tent I noticed quite a few Ground Squirrels just around our camp sitting atop the many tree stumps and broken timber. After everything was set up at camp Marley and I headed out in a Northern direction following a small animal trail. The trail took us atop a hill that looked to be an excellent place to hunt Cottontail’s and Jackrabbit’s. We sat down next to a bush facing down through a canyon where after several minutes I ended up spotting a large Jackrabbit.

I tried to be as quiet as possible while setting up my camera that had to be adjusted for the off camber, range was 83 yards with calm wind conditions. I set up my rifle, took a breath and the Jackrabbit just hopped away like it knew what was about to happen. UGGGGGGG gets frustrating but I know after years of doing this it’s just part of the work we put into hunting and filming our experiences. Marley and I sat for a few more minutes glassing for any further Jackrabbits or Cottontails sitting in the shadows before moving on. Anytime I hunt new areas I always like to get a lay for the land and become familiar with the terrain as well as areas that may be better to hunt from. I was checking the ground and it became very apparent this was extremely active with wildlife. We found a wide variety of animal tracks, droppings everywhere as well as fresh urine in forms. Forms are the best sign that an area has large Jackrabbit populations, these are small indentations that are only about an inch deep. These are spots that Jackrabbits sit on a regular basis like clockwork, usually in the morning or evenings are best times to spot them in their forms. Marley and I hiked in a big loop for about two hours before heading back to camp, during the hike we flushed many Jackrabbits, Quail and Cottontails. Back at camp Lindsey was busy working on some Jewelry that she will be selling on her Etsy store. She made these really neat pendants out of stones she found near camp and then wrapped them with 18 gauge copper wire. One of the pendants looks like it was a lower jawbone from a Ground Squirrel, haha never seen that done before. We were all having a great time enjoying one another’s company as well as being secluded away from people and noises, this place was so nice and quiet.

After a late lunch I topped off the Lynx V10 with air, packed a few bottles of water and Marley and I headed back out into the hills for some rabbits. We took the same route as before but now having the lay of the land I knew better where to look as well as good vantage points. The sun was just about to head down over the mountaintop bringing the 87 degrees down to about 73 degrees, much better to hike in. We sat next to a large manzanita bush that overlooked a canyon with a hillside 65 yards across, great vantage point. I soon spotted some bunny ears from behind a bush moving out into the open, I unfortunately took the shot before I could situate the camera but did manage to catch marley making way to recover. This was a nice headshot and a very healthy looking Cottontail with a fairly wild coloration to the fur, almost reddish brown.

Marley carried that bunny all the way back to camp and was proud to show Lindsey what she had done, I got to say she moved really quick up that hillside to recover. She was one pooped pup by the time we made way back to camp. That evening was just beautiful, nice and cool but not cold at all.

That evening we had a small campfire that I was going to use to cook the Cottontail, I had left it on a tree stump to process and when I went to get it Marley had only left the head and foot. She ate the whole thing, guess she didn’t feel like sharing that night. We stayed up for a few hours watching the stars, was a long day and the plan was to get up early for some more.


Sunday morning I woke up to Marley whining, sounded like “Dad, get up, time to hunt” UGGGG. I made way out of the tent, got my boots on and grabbed my morning coffee drink to get me started. I loaded the pack, loaded my two magazines with 18gr JSB’s and we proceeded the same route as the day before. We took it very slow and were as quiet as can be as we made way to the top of the hill, to my amazement there were Jackrabbits everywhere, spotted at least seven of them, most were 100 yards or more away. Marley and I inched our way alongside this field where I spotted three of them moving up a hillside at 65 yards, I took a shot on one, missed and shot at the second one that was towards the bottom….THWACK right through it’s side, collapsed and rolled down the hill into a bush. Marley made a quick recovery and dragged it back to where I was sitting.

By this time it was about 8:15 am and the sun was making for some nice T-shirt weather, about 79 degrees. We headed back to camp and my plan was to hunt the Ground Squirrels that were plentiful all within 50 yards of camp. The area was covered in fallen trees, stumps and a few rocks that they had burrowed under. Marley and I sat in the shade and waited for them to come up from the holes and move about across the fallen trees. After a few minutes we spotted several that were sitting in front of a fallen tree at 68 yards.

The shot went just below it’s ear and made a very loud distinct catchers mitt THWAPP!!! It’s amazing how tough these little squirrels can be, even with a devastating blow they still will sometimes make way back down their hole.


Over the next few hours I was able to take about 30 California Ground Squirrels with the Cometa Lynx V10, I hunted all day on a single fill taking over 40 regulated shots at 30 fpe.This gun has treated me well and has proven to be a very rugged little gun. The only issue I have had in the 8 months of owning it was the magazine coming unwound and breaking. I did a search for replacements and found they wanted $75 for one. I ended up trying a .22 Marauder magazine and found that they fit a bit tightly but when inserted correctly they function perfectly. To use the Marauder magazine the single shot side pin just needed to be removed, was very simple and easy to do.

That pin is used to mount the single shot loader, with the pin in the magazine wasn’t able to slide in far enough. I think if I sanded the marauder magazine down a bit it would work even better, the way it is now I have to make sure it’s not in to far or else the bolt won’t close. This is the only issue I have faced with this rifle and am beyond pleased with it’s performance. 


I continued to take quite a few Ground Squirrels from 25 yards out to 80, they just kept popping up all around us. At 30 yards I had taken one that was moving through a pile of cut up wood, really hit it hard, enough to fling in back several feet.

The hunting was a lot easier than I’m used to, we usually have to work hard and do a ton of hiking around with only a few down by the end of the day. This was very enjoyable being able to sit in one spot and almost have them come to me haha.

We had a great day but unfortunately had to start packing up the Jeep and making our way back to civilization. I hope some may enjoy this adventure and will consider the Lynx V10 when looking for a great small game Air Rifle. I will enclose a description of what was done to the rifle to make it field friendly as well as a video. Till next time, “The best Airgun is the one your shooting”


Cometa Lynx V10 .22

  • Stripped black paint down to natural wood and applied clear lacquer
  • Added sling studs
  • Applied camo wrap to shroud & airtube
  • Adjusted trigger
  • Added more spring preload
  • Removed single shot pin for Marauder magazine use
  • Scope (UTG 3-12×44 Mini Swat mil-dot
  • Harris 24″ Bipod

Here is the VIDEO of our adventure, please help us by hitting the SUBSCRIBE button.

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Air Rifle Varmint Hunt

by Dana Webb

 

Saturday morning Marley and I fired up the Jeep and drove several hours into the Mojave desert where we had planned to meet up with Terry, Tom and Brian who was visiting from Michigan. The area was well known to us and we thought it would be a great location to take Brian for his two day visit to California. This area is prime habitat for the California Ground Squirrel and offers a huge amount of property to varmint hunt on. We arrived in Mojave late morning where we met Terry at the gas station to fill up our cooler with ice and water before caravaning another 50+ miles into the rugged mountainous outback.

As we pulled off the highway we made our way to the top of the mountain that opens into a huge desert valley bordered by Oak trees, fallen logs and enormous rock outcroppings. Tom and Brian had already been hunting for several hours before we came and were set up with targets set at 175 yards when we arrived.

The day before I had spent several hours with Doug Noble reconfiguring the power levels of my EVOL .30 so I needed to spend some time sighting it in. This area can sometimes have a good amount of wind that makes it a somewhat difficult Airgun friendly location. This particular day was quite windy with gust near 40+mph at times. Marley and I sat under a giant oak tree and zeroed the rifle as well as getting familiar with the new holdovers.The EVOL is topped with a Hawke Frontier scope and DonnyFl moderator that keeps the noise down very well. This rifle is regulated and getting near 34 shots at near 90 fpe using the NSA 47gr slugs, an excellent long range varmint setup.

After spending some time getting comfortable with the new configuration it was time to get down to business and try finding some live targets. All of us spread out in several directions with me heading up a hill and along a fence that opened up into a large field near infested with Ground Squirrels. Most of the shots were all over 100+ yards with several approaching the 200 yard mark. ( check video at bottom of page) I found a nice spot to sit in the shade with some cover from the wind as well. I had spotted several Ground Squirrels moving about on the rocks and had ranged them at 98 yards out to 160 yards. Tried to film as much as I could but the wind was making it very difficult to keep the camera steady with the lightweight tripod I had brought along.

I spent several minutes waiting for this particular Ground Squirrel to stay still enough to make a shot leaving only a 1/4″ killzone as he peered over the top of the outcropping.

After spending a few more minutes waiting for more Ground Squirrels to move about I decided to hike a bit further down through the large Oak tree covered field to look for more. Within several minutes I spotted another that was sitting on top of a fallen uprooted pine tree at 78 yards.

After connecting with a shot to the chest sending the Ground Squirrel into a flip it rolled down into the thick branches and under the log. From previous experience I don’t generally like to recover many Ground Squirrels as this habitat is home to many rattlesnakes. Last year I went to recover several only to find several rattlers coiled up in and around the many holes. Marley and I made way back to find the others that were set up against a large outcropping that looked out into a giant field.

Brian with the American Air Arms High Power .22

left- Dana Webb and Tom Costan with the American Air Arms High Powered .22

After spending some time hanging out we all set ourselves up to what looked like a Ground Squirrel “Shooting Gallery” with live targets out to 300+ yards. Tom was using the experimental regulated .35 Air Rifle that shoots 81gr JSBs as well as putting out 150 fpe using the 95gr NSA slugs. This rifle is based on the Slayer platform and it’s long range capable topped with a Valdada 4-28 IOR Recon scope with the furthest kill of the weekend at just over 227 yards.

We spotted several Ground Squirrels on the rocks on the other side of the field out to 159 yards where Tom and I both were able to hammer several. In windy conditions the high BC slugs are far superior to that of a diablo type pellet, the energy is carried and the wind drift is near cut in half making these shots much more enjoyable. Brian was using the High Powered .22 EVOL thats been fitted with a dedicated slug barrel and is capable of 80 fpe although the gun is currently tuned for 60 fpe using the 27gr NSAs that have a BC around .09. Tom was giving the data through his StrelokPro application on his phone and giving the correct holdover that was allowing Brian to make shots out to 200 yards. The wind was getting very strong and in honesty was very surprised we were making as many hits as we were.

As I sat behind the gun I could hear the distant crack of Terry making hits with his .22 Tapian Mutant bullpup. In just a few minutes he had gotten 8 confirmed kills with some out to 100+ yards using the Predator Polymags.

After taking a break from our hunting we decided to move our camp to a more suitable location that would shelter us better from the wind and offer better clearing to have a campfire. We moved several miles up into a canyon that had a good flat area to park the vehicles as well as some good hunting spots within walking distance. After setting up our camp we headed down into the open desert to try for some Jackrabbit hunting into the evening.

We headed up towards the mountains and had planned to make a big giant loop around and back to the Jeep. As we moved away from the Jeep I had spotted a good size Jackrabbit moving just behind a Joshua tree and up a small animal trail where we soon lost sight of it. These Jackrabbits are so elusive and hard to spot in the thick sagebrush, they blend in and disappear so easily. We hiked and were able to spot several more but the area seemed to have very little activity. We all took several shots but none were connected as the flats make it so difficult to get a good open shot. Once the Jackrabbits are startled enough to run they usually will not stop for 100 yards or so, gets very frustrating. We hiked for several miles as the sun went down and after no success made it back to the Jeep.

That evening back at camp was very relaxing after a long day of hiking around, my feet were killin me and I know Marley was pretty beat. We stayed up for awhile and had planned to get up early the following morning to head to a new spot for Jackrabbits as well as Ground Squirrels.


This morning we woke up at about 6:00 am and took the Jeep and Terry’s truck several miles back down into the desert to a spot we call “The Hills Have Eyes”. This area is very rocky and gives a very being watched feel to it along with having many vantage points to hunt from. We moved down the very narrow path that leads around the side of a rock covered mountain with several scattered Joshua trees and Juniper bushes. As we hiked slowly down the narrow steep trail Terry spotted several Squirrels sunning themselves on the rocks at 85 yards.

Terry and I spent about 20 minutes in this area making several shots on Ground Squirrels and Chipmunks both.

Brian and Tom continued on along the side of the mountain about 100 yards in front of Terry and I, we were glassing the lower areas for movement and were able to spot several Jackrabbits moving about. I took several shots over 200 yards missing by several inches on both. I think the wind from the day before may have trained my shots to give more holdover than was needed. I will say it was just nice to just be out with friends and getting to enjoy this beautiful territory. As we hiked I could hear the distant crack of the high powered .22 EVOL , Brian sounded like he was busy and had connected to something. We made way through the many boulders where I could see Brian moving down the side of the hill, he had made a connecting shot but had lost the Jackrabbit in the very thick sagebrush that was covering the hillside. We took a break as it was now getting fairly hot somewhere in the mid 80s, still very cool for this part of the desert. During summer it can reach as high as 116 degrees, near impossible to hunt in. Terry and I turned back as it was a fairly long hike back to the vehicles and all uphill for the most part. We spotted several more Jackrabbits on the way back, I even made a solid heart/lung shot on one that we spent some time looking for, ultimately lost in the thick brush. If Marley can’t find the Jackrabbit it’s a very rare case but can sometimes happen, amazing how tough they can be. By this time it was approaching noon and time for us to head back to camp where we hoped to try for some more Ground Squirrels before we packed up and left for home.

Tom and Brian set up in some rocks that generally are filled with Ground Squirrels, very difficult to spot but they are usually found sunning high up in the rocks.

Brian using my Cometa Lynx MK2 .22 and Tom with the High Powered .22

Several Ground Squirrels were moving around over 80 yards up in the rocks offering not more than a headshot, very difficult shots. Tom was able to connect with one near 90 yards making a perfect headshot that gave a very distinct THWACK!! Brian against my suggestion decided to climb up into the rocks that most likely had many snakes. Sure enough he found one on his climb up….

Brian standing just above Toms Ground Squirrel kill

We had a very eventful few days and hiked near 17 miles through this amazing property. The total between all of us had to be over 50 Ground Squirrels taken, this is a very low number but we have been hunting the area over the past several months. I think we all had a great time and was happy that we were able to host Brian in such a great location and give him a chance to hunt with some truly unique Airguns. We packed up once again and left down the dirt road with some great memories I’m happy to share through writing, photographs and video. Over the two days I was able to gather some footage, the wind made it very difficult to film in but here is a link to what was produced. VIDEO

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Airgun Ground Squirrel Adventure Hunt

With the recent wind and rains here in California it has been difficult to get away to do some hunting. My good friend Terry and I had planned to leave early Friday morning and head out to a familiar stomping ground several hours away. Terry, Marley and I had planned to stay for several days where we would scout several new areas as well as film for several upcoming videos. The night before it had rained quite heavily so I was a bit skeptical about the road situation going into the hunting area. This area is many miles off the main highway and heads into what I call an oasis in the desert.

Road heading in approx 6:45am

The recent rains had left everything green and full of life, Terry and I stopped near a large Oak Tree where we planned to site in the rifles and scout a portion of the valley for Ground Squirrel activity. This area is one of the best habitats for the California Ground Squirrel with it’s many fallen trees, rocks and hillsides to dig their holes in. After Terry, Marley and I spent some time getting the guns ready we hiked around and could hear the distant bark as well as the occasional Cottontail rabbits moving about. (out of season)The morning was still a bit cold and the sun was not in full effect, nevertheless Terry still managed to hammer a Ground Squirrel out of its hole at near 55 yards. After about an hour we packed up and moved to the area we had planned to camp about a 1/4mi North. This area had a great place to park the vehicles and spot Ground Squirrels all over the many large rock outcroppings.

We unpacked and proceeded to hike around looking for a good area to sit an eradicate them from distance.

Terry glassing for Ground Squirrels

After a bit of hiking around we settled down in a nice spot that looked to be very active, just needed to be patient and wait for them to come out.

Marley’s running the camera

It didn’t take long for us to spot several squirrels moving about and both Terry and I had our sites on several.

Terry and I were both getting connections from 55 yards all the way out to 70+ yards.

Result of a .30 47gr NSA HP to the head.

Terry and I spent about an hour or so moving along the hillsides where we frequently could spot Ground Squirrels sunning themselves on the rocks. This place was beautiful and had some pretty amazing views of the vast Oak tree covered valley below.

Terry and Marley taking a break.

After some time taking a break Terry proceeded down the hill where there were many rocks, Marley and I stayed above. After a few minutes I could hear barking and soon after the distant CLAP of a Ground Squirrel receiving a headache.

Tapian Mutant .22 at 30 yards,that shut him up.

Marley and I sat under an Oak Tree for about 45 minutes where I was able to take down several Ground Squirrels at various ranges.

A few screen-shots of the video.

Marley was having a great time hiking around with us but by this time we needed a break so headed back to camp for some water and snacks.

After a short break we decided to stick around camp and look into the nearby rocks where occasionally one would appear. I had spotted one high up on the very top of a rock outcropping at 75+ yards. I manned the camera while Terry took the shot with his Tapian Mutant.

Good shot considering the wind.

As our long day was coming to a close and the sun was going down the temperature dropped near 30 degrees making “camping” sound horrible. We both decided to pack up and head home as the night and lack of dry firewood would have been simply unbearable. We headed out the long dirt road back to civilization left with the memories of yet another successful adventure.


I hope some may enjoy this write up and be inspired to get into the field and enjoy the outdoors. Airguns have brought much joy into my life and have enjoyed sharing it with the community through video and writings. Enclosed is the video documentation of our adventure along with some bonus content regarding the Nielsen Specialty Ammo 47gr slugs as well as the Tapian Mutant bullpub. Till then, the best Airgun is the one your shooting.

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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 (That was apparently done for free) 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 slowly 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 crevice on the side of the adjacent 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!! (Note) several months after we did this review with no compensation from Hatsan we sent an email asking for some assistance to get the word out about Airgunflix. Our email was ignored, after all the hard work we have done to support Hatsan we felt a bit used. We do not support those who do not support us, this has left a fowl taste as to how they treat the hands that feed them.Cheers MSA Team

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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 quick 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 Pyramydair.

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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.

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Coyote Hunt with the .25 Cricket

Marley and I packed Jeep and left the house by 3:00am Friday morning to meet Nick in the high desert of Southern California. As we made our turn off the highway onto the long dirt road we were already met by several Jackrabbits running across the road dodging our headlights, Marley was already excited although she had no idea we wouldn’t be after Jackrabbits today. We arrived to our location a bit early to set up the camera gear  etc, where we were soon met by Nick from Nielsen Specialty AmmoNick arrived and the plan was for us to hike in about a mile to an area I had previously scouted and had even taken a Coyote several years ago. This area had many fresh tracks along with several dens that are heavily secluded through the jungle of tall Joshua Trees. The morning was a bit warm and unusually calm as it frequently is very windy here. As we made our way East from the vehicles the sun was just coming up, absolutely stunning area to hunt.

Coyote hunt

Nick and I walked very slowly as we weaved through the thick jungle that can easily be disorienting if not familiar with the area. These Joshua trees are amazingly beautiful and are really the heart of this desert in providing cover for many animals including the Owls that haunt the area at night where they hunt Jackrabbits, Cottontail, Kangaroo field mice as well as other small rodents. Marley and I moved a bit ahead of Nick to video and photograph the hunt for some future video’s.

Nielsen Specialty Ammo

The area I chose for use to make our stand was surrounded by dens and areas where I have seen many Coyotes resting from the sun during the day. Nick set up his caller about 35 yards South of where we were sitting up against several thicker Joshua Trees and small sagebrush. Nick and I decided that a Jackrabbit distress was the most natural prey Coyote’s would encounter here so he set his caller for that at a medium/high volume. As soon as the caller started Marley’s ears perked up that obviously got her attention as an avid hunter herself, very realistic sounding. We all sat up against the thick backdrop of foliage and waited anxiously to spot some movement.

Nielsen Specialty Ammo

Within about 5 minutes a Coyote rushing in from our right, the problem was we had one short 4′ tall Joshua Tree in our line of sight not only from us but from the camera. These Coyote’s don’t stand still for very long, I was manning the camera and unfortunately Nick had no clear shot.

Nielsen Specialty Ammo

The Coyote soon ran off followed by another that I noticed was hiding behind some thick bushes. Wow was my heart pumping, I know Nicks was too because he had that look of excitement. We were both surprised as to how fast the Coyote’s came in as well as how close to us they were. This was Marley’s first Coyote hunt so she was a bit caught off guard seeing we were hunting dogs, not sure what she thought. As Nick and I sat a bit more attentive to another close encounter we continued the caller and within about 15 minutes we spotted another Coyote rush in from our right side, this time stopping just out of my line of sight leaving Nick with a good opportunity.

Nielsen Specialty Ammo

40 yards

Nick took the shot around the 35 to 40 yards with a mil dot hold under releasing a 38 grain HP swaged slug right behind it’s left shoulder. The hit was very solid and you could see the Coyote move its head back trying to bite the impacted area. It took off quick so we waited a few minutes before looking for a blood trail. As we searched the area we only found one small wet spot where the coyote was shot and started walking the direction it took off.  Around 60 or so yards we stopped to see if we could see any blood and then spotted the Coyote laying about 10 yards from us dead as a door nail.

coyote hunt airguns

This was a smaller healthy looking Coyote with a nice coat for this time of year in the super hot desert. This was Nick’s first Coyote taken with a .250 NSA slug, I was very impressed with performance of this ammo as well as his tuned KalibrGun Cricket. These are accurate slugs and a great choice for hunting with .25 cal PCP air rifles.  Swaged from pure lead to give excellent expansion for effective and responsible hunting.  This pellet is sized .250 with a 2S hollow point nose and flat base, 38.0 grains and the KalibrGun Cricket launches them at 880 fps. The gun has a larger plenum and the regulator is set to140 bar. Charlie at Georgia Air Guns sells the plenum that is a major upgrade in power to the rifle.

.250 with a 2S hollow point nose

NSA .250 with a 2S hollow point nose

airgun coyote hunt

After we took several minutes calming down from the excitement, taking some video and photographs we headed back to our stand where we continued to call for another 20 minutes or so before heading back to the vehicles. The trip was a great success already and was very pleased with the experience and footage I gathered sofar. By this time it was approaching 8:00am so we decided to move to a different area to try calling in some more Coyote’s. We tried several different locations with no action at all, by this time it was already getting very hot and the sun was pushing down on us fairly hard. Marley, Nick and I continued for the next few hours and ultimately decided to call it quits as the heat was near unbearable, especially for Marley. This was a great successful hunt and am so glad Nick was able to get out and join me, I learned a little and was just happy to spend time with a friend. Here is a link to a short video I put together and have already planned for a full three day Coyote hunt coming up soon.

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Three day Adventure Airgun/Bow hunt

Thursday evening I came home from work and started packing the Jeep for a three day long hunt in the high desert of California. The plan was for me to meet with Jon, a gentleman I had met on the popular SCHOUTDOORS forum and who had volunteered to help me with some filming. The next morning Marley and I left the house bright and early for the several hour drive into the desert where we would meet Jon and have him follow us up through the rugged terrain to our hunting spot. Thankfully when we arrived it wasn’t as windy as I had anticipated as well as being much cooler than planned. As we drove into the camping area Marley and I had already spotted several Cottontails as well as some Jackrabbits and Ground Squirrels. This area is very unique as it offers a wide variety of animals to hunt, all within walking distance. We unpacked our gear, relaxed for a bit and then started setting up the camera equipment, guns etc, for a short hunt where I would show Jon the lay of the land. Jon had never used an Airgun before and was primarily used to firearms as well as a compound bow. I offered him to use my custom MK1 .22 carbine pistol that was near perfect for this type of hunting and accurate enough to make shots out past 60 yards. Jon was excited and within several minutes from camp we decided to sit down under one of the many Oak trees that nestles among the large valley with many rock outcroppings and fallen trees, the best natural habitat for the California Ground Squirrel.

hunting cottontail

Within several minutes of sitting I had spotted a good size adult Ground Squirrel sunning himself atop a large boulder at 63 yards. I took aim while Jon maneuvered the camera that we had mounted on a tripod to film the action.

ground squirrel

ground squirrel kill

63 Yard headshot

After I had made the kill on the Ground Squirrel Jon spotted a Cottontail grazing in some grass just under another Oak tree at 45 yards, Jon was able to make a nice head-shot making it his first rabbit kill and his first time using an Airgun. As we moved our locations we spotted another Cottontail that was grazing further up the hill at 40 yards where I was able to dispatch with authority using the .30 American Air Arms EVOL. After a short trip back to camp where Jon decided to pick up his compound bow and some more water for our walk down the hill we set out again.

cottontail hunting

Over the next 20 minutes Jon, Marley and I walked down through the valley that followed a small creek with embankments that many Cottontails like to graze at. The grass near the creek is a bit greener as well as having a bit more cover for them to scurry into in the event they are attacked by predators. As we walked slowly down through a wooded area following a game trail I soon spotted a Cottontail at about 25 yards, perfect range for Jon’s bow.

cottontail bow hunt

cottontail kill with arrow

The arrows he was using were fitted with a large blunt tip that in turn is suppose to simply knock out the rabbit and not penetrate, this one passed through the entire rabbit. As Jon was collecting his kill we spotted another Cottontail that was heading up a hillside towards a large rock outcropping. I was able to make a nice kill at 64 yards that dropped the rabbit just before it disappeared under some rocks, Marley was fast to assist in the recovery.

cottontail kill

As we continued down the creek-side into an area that was a bit more open, almost like a field we spotted another Cottontail grazing. The position of the sun gave Jon a great silhouette to make sight on at what looked to be near 45 yards, impressive with a bow.

bowhunting

bowhunting cottontail

Jon and I continued a giant loop that lead us back onto a road that headed North up a hill and back to camp, by this time it was getting very hot. We made our return to camp where we were happily greeted by Nick, his wife Jessica and three boys. Nick was busy sighting in a few of his rifles and putting the final test on several lines of ammo he has produced.

The one thing I really admire about Nick is his drive for perfection in producing a quality product, he spends hours testing his ammo and is always open to suggestion. Over the next few hours we all relaxed at camp and enjoyed the shade and luxuries such as ice cold water, food and snacks. Jessica his wife was amazing and pretty much fed us all the entire weekend!

 

It was a great fellowship we had and I much enjoyed hanging with Nicks youngest son Josh who did join us on several hunts throughout the weekend.

After several hours of relaxing in the shade I suggested that we take two vehicles and head down the hill several miles to the Jackrabbit hunting area.

This area is huge and offers a wide variety of terrain to hunt in, flat areas, rolling hills and steep mountains. When Airgun hunting where we are trying to keep our ranges fairly close, similar as to what a bowhunter needs. After witnessing Jon’s several kills with a bow I was was excited to see what he was capable of in a more open environment. After parking our vehicles and unpacking our gear we headed East towards the mountains, I usually do this in late afternoon where I walk several miles away from the sun and then turn back into it. By doing this I can usually spot the amber ears of the Jackrabbits that are brightly back-lite by the sun.

As we all made our way East spread about 100 yards apart I was able to spot several Jackrabbits moving through the thicker bushes and tall luminous Joshua trees. As I looked over I could occasionally spot the other guys taking shots on the many Jackrabbits that call this area home.

As I walked I much enjoyed being here, this area is absolutely beautiful and in ways I almost felt like I had been transported back in time to the wild west. The look and feel of this location is unlike any other desert I have visited, amazing how the plants and animals can sustain such a dry climate. As Marley and I continued our slow walk, stopping every few steps to glass for movement I spotted several Jackrabbits at 75 yards in front of us between two Joshua trees. These two had frozen like statues and were near invisible with the perfect camouflage they wore. I had the EVOL .30 loaded with the 44gr Predator International Polymags that I have concluded are just about the best ammo for this type of hunting. They feature a polymer tip in the head of the pellet which implodes into the rest of the pellet, making for a devastating impact. This pellet is also lighter due to its polymer tip that in turn shoots a bit faster, these are not as great for super long range but out to 120+ yards they work very well.

Jon and I continued our walk where we eventually turned around to head into the sun hoping to spot the illusive amber ears, the evening was just breathtakingly beautiful.

As we walked a bit more Jon had suggested that I stay put and he would continue in a short half circle direction hoping to flush several Jackrabbits my direction.

Several minutes went by and sure enough I had a smaller Jackrabbit moving its way casually right towards Marley and I by about 65 yards. I was able to make a nice clean chest shot that sent the Jackrabbit into a back-flip where Marley was quick to make her retrieval.

As we made our way back to the Jeep we had noticed that our second party had left us, figured it may have been to hot or they simply had gotten to many or not enough.

 

I was very pleased with our short little hunt that turned out to be very action packed and successful, too the footage I had gotten of Jon stalking a Jackrabbit was spectacular. As we packed up the truck I took several more photographs and we headed back to camp excited to hear how the others did. The evening was nice and cool and offered some spectacular views of the stars, Nick, Jon and I stayed up late and talked for a bit with Jon and I deciding to call it a night as we planned to get up early and hunt.


This morning we awoke just after sunup and decided to follow the creek down through camp and cross the road where I had previously scouted for Cottontail the day before. We had been expecting Tom Costan from American Air Arms to arrive that morning so had planned to stay fairly close to the road so that we could hear his arrival. As we made way down the creek Jon and I had spotted several Cottontail that disappeared into the treeline and out of sight into the thicker bushes. This area was loaded with rabbits, no doubt one of the best habitats I have ever seen.

We continued down the creek-side path that led us into a giant open field that gave opportunities for much longer shots. As we took a break from our hike we stopped just near the creeks embankment where I soon spotted a Cottontail moving around next to a large bush at 115 yards. I set up the rifles bi-pod and took my shot that sent the rabbit into a backwards flip leaving a loud crack that echoed through the canyon.

 

cottontail hunt

After this photograph was taken we heard the distant crack of a Big Bore Airgun in the distance, figured it was Tom Costan from American Air Arms making his way into the field with his .357 Slayer. Soon enough Tom made his way down through the tall dry grass and across the creek to where we were posting up.

hunting

Tom was excited when we told him of the success we had that morning and was eager to accompany us on our hunt further out into the hills. We now headed Eastward where a large many Conifer trees were, Cottontails usually frequent the base of these areas and offer good opportunities. Tom was able to make a shot on one Cottontail at close to 75 yards that came in a bit low sending the rabbit on the run and into the thicker areas of bushes where we lost sight of it.

This area made way past several of these large trees and then into a more open area with Oak trees and scattered rocks. Jon spotted a Cottontail moving through the grass and up into the many nearby rock outcroppings, this was a great habitat for them.

bowhunting

After Tom had taken several shots getting after some rabbits he made a quick refill with his buddy bottle with a little help from Marley. As he was refilling I had noticed Jon stalking a rabbit so Tom and I decided to quietly continue down the path where we split up a ways so I could photograph.

Tom headed up into the mountains that offered him further shots and was soon to spot several ground squirrels sunning themselves on the many rocks that scattered the area. As he made his way through the rocks he made a beautiful 85 yard head-shot on a ground squirrel that left quite the mess on the rocks using 120gr  Nielsen Specialty Ammo Swaged slug.

slayer headshot

As we hiked further into the mountains we took a rest under a large Oak tree that offered shad and a great location to spot animals moving in the distance.

By this time it was late morning and the heat of the sun was starting to beat down on us pretty hard, especially Marley. We rested for about 20 minutes while glassing the vast valley for any visible movement, very little mount of activity other than birds as it was simply by this time to hot. We all stuck fairly close together on the way back as we headed down the other side of the mountain where we followed a trail that ultimately would return us to camp. As we made our way back I could see several rabbits in the distance scurrying in several directions, one made its way right in front of Tom at 40 yards where he was able to take it out even considering a small bush was in his way.

After lunch we headed down the hill where we had planned to do some long range shooting with the Slayer as well as some photography work I was doing with several other products. The area we drove to was only several miles down the road and offered a nice shaded area to park as well as ranges out to several hundred yards.

We had set up a soda can at 100 yards, eggs at 175 yards and a 3″ spinner at 250 yards that offered all of us some good challenges, especially in the wind. Tom was first to make some shots and make it look easy with the .357 Slayer, well he should have considering he built the entire gun from the ground up. The eggs were by no means easy in the wind, luckily Jon had brought his high end spotting scope that helped very much in identifying the shots.

After annihilating a bunch of eggs Tom turned his sights on a very challenging 3″ spinner that was set out at 250 yards, pretty hard to see at that distance.

Both Tom and I took turns with the gun and with some practice were able to consistently make hits, even in the wind that was swirling at times. His Valdada IOR Recon 4-28X50 scope is a beast and one of the nicest long range scopes I have used, perfect match for the Slayer.

We all had a great time shooting, John even had brought his .22 rifle that he had a great time shooting.

As the guys continued shooting I decided to set up the Kalibr Cricket .25 bullpup with the new Side-Shot phone mount that’s a great new product that allows you to shoulder the rifle like normal and look through scope while still recording. The kit comes with 1 complete Side-Shot, 1 Scope clamp of your choice (3 scope clamps are in the picture to show different sizes, comes with 1 clamp) in 1 inch (25mm), 30mm or 34mm size (to fit scope tube size) and 1 stabilizer bar (plastic piece that snaps onto your scope and dampens vibrations) Side-Shot is a universal phone adapter that holds your smart phone securely and adjusts to different phone sizes and brands so you don’t have to keep buying more holders each time you get a new phone. Its quick change system lets you switch from one gun to the next in seconds.

This  Kalibr Cricket .25 bullpup is set up to shoot .25 38gr NSA slugs at near 880 fps making this gun quite the hammer. I was setting up this gun to use for my hunt that afternoon and evening, hoping to capture some action on video. This is the first time I had really ever used any type of scope-cam and was very pleased with how easily everything went together. After I set the gun up I set out into the nearby field and immediately spotted several Jackrabbits. The cant was a bit off adjustment but I can see with a bit more time in fine tuning this may be the ultimate setup for recording.

I spotted several Jackrabbits and most were on the run after they spotted Marley, she chased a few after I had taken several shots. These Jackrabbits are amazingly fast, especially out in the open as they were here. I much enjoyed playing back the action on my phone and can see I will be using much more of the Side-Shot on future hunts. I think its really good for me because I can easily record and send to email, Facebook or even directly to YouTube. After making some very unsuccessful shots in the extreme heat of the day Marley and I made way back to the Jeep for some water and to join the other guys for our continued long range activities.

We all had a great time and felt a little more confident with our shooting skills after the several hours spent practicing, the 250 yard spinner was a ton of fun and really shows what Airguns are really capable of. The footage we got was impressive! We loaded up the vehicles and headed back to camp where we really just sat and relaxed until about 5:00pm when it started cooling down a bit, the high for the day was 112 degrees, much to hot to be out hunting. As we drove down the hill the plan was to follow a small Jeep trail that headed East up into a very remote part of this desert. I had previously found the area on Google Earth and had noticed it being a little greener that may have indicated some sort of water source.

Tom took off up into the valley a bit ahead of us where he soon made a beautiful 105 yard shot on a good size Jackrabbit, you can see in the photo just how close the Jackrabbits fur matches the ground cover.

Jon, Marley and I continued several hundred yards next to Tom following the many animal trails that were covered in tracks, this area was very active. We made our way into a field that seemed much greener just as I had seen on Google Earth and almost immediately spotted several Jackrabbits. I set my sights on one at 75 yards that had froze like a statue next to several bushes just long enough to make a great shoulder shot.

The .25 Cricket is a great bullpup for offhand shooting and has a ton of power to push the NSA 38gr slugs nice and flat for longer range shots.

As we continued our hike through the desert Tom continued his own busy hunt and even managed to get a very large Jackrabbit at 90 yards with a spine shot that dropped that jack on the spot.

 

.357 Slayer Jackrabbit kill using 120gr  Nielsen Specialty Ammo Swaged slug

Jon and I moved a bit further away from each other and I moved towards a strange area that had some sandstone hills with more open terrain with very little vegetation. I saw something out of the corner of my eye like a flash of something big moving, as I looked again I noticed it was a very large Coyote, unlike others I had seen this one almost had more of a winter coat. I tried getting my scope on it and was able to capture some on film but unfortunately it was moving way to fast to take any successful shots. I was caught a bit off guard by the sighting and was a bit disappointing that I had not had a better chance. As the sun moved down a bit more I was starting to see more and more Jackrabbits moving about through the bushes and sandy washes. Marley and I continued to follow the sunset in a slow walk down the sandy wash that led us to an opening where I spotted a good size Jackrabbit sitting next to a Cholla Cactus. I had a nice clear shot at 87 yards that I placed right in the head that sent the Jackrabbit flipping backwards where Marley was able to make a quick retrieval.

Over the rest of the evening we continued to see several large Jackrabbits but I think between all the foot-traffic they had become very aware of our presence in the desert. As we continued back and made our way to the vehicles Marley had spotted a Jackrabbit and gave it a pretty good chase, amazing how fast that little dog is when she is motivated. Over just the past two days she had gotten more action than any other hunting trip I can remember, near 20 rabbits between all of us. We took a break by the Jeep soon accompanied by Tom who had to say his goodbyes and head back home, what a great day we all had. That evening back at camp Nick BBQ some burgers and we had a great time hanging out and reminiscing the great day we had.


It was 4:15am and Marley, Jon and I awoke very early to head into an area I call “The Hills Have Eyes” a very desolate location that offers extreme long range shots. I had hunted here several times before with Tom and we had both always had great luck finding Jackrabbits and Cottontails. The area we parked was near a trail that wrapped around the base of a mountain that overlooked several miles onto the desert floor. It was barley light out by the time we started our long hike that’s terrain can be very unforgiving and rocky. As we made way over the first rise I spotted a Cottontail at 83 yards in the open that gave me opportunity to make an excellent head-shot.

Jon set up his GoPro camera to capture some time-lapse video that we planned to use in the video of this adventure. The morning was fairly quiet other than the distant chatter of a Coyote caller that someone had set out several miles down on the desert floor followed by several large caliber shots followed by silence.

As the sun started to come up over the mountains Jon and I were starting to spot several Jackrabbits moving about, most way beyond 200 yards. I knew most of the shots here may beyond what the Cricket was capable of but still was excited to see what Jon could do with his .22 rim-fire as I knew he had much practice with it the day before. Jon set up his rifle into his tripod that would assist him in making some shots that were out to 300 yards, amazing for almost any type of rifle.

We had spotted several Jackrabbits moving, some were simply lost due to the extreme distance and difficulty to track through the scope with so many bushes, trees etc,. After some patience Jon finally settled in on a Jackrabbit that I believe was just beyond 300 yards sitting next to a bush offering not much more than a sharp black silhouette as a target.

As you can see from the photograph this is an extreme long range shot and very similar as to what we were doing with the Slayer in a previous video we did. I manned the camera and even with a tripod and the friction head cinched down it was still difficult to keep still at these ranges.

After a few minutes of setting everything up Jon took the shot that through a video review took several seconds for it to reach out the 300 yards where it fell just short and to the left by about 8″, still impressive shooting as far as he was.

As it was now approaching 9:30am it was time for us to make our way back to the Jeep and make our way back to camp to start packing for the trip home. As we made way through the mountains and more nearing the vehicle we spotted several Cottontail, one of which we both took shots at with no luck of recovery, even by Marley. As we made out of the mountains and back to the Jeep Jon had spotted several Ground Squirrels that were sitting upon a huge boulder high above us.

With very little energy left to sit and wait for the Ground Squirrels to come back up we decided to call it a day and make our way back to pack up all our camping stuff and head back home. Over the three days we had taken many Cottontails, Jackrabbits, Ground Squirrels and even had a short encounter with a Coyote. For me this one simply just one of the best hunting trips I had had in a great many years and was so happy that everyone had such a great time. I learned a few new things and got to make a new friend out of the whole adventure. Marley and I said our goodbyes and headed down the long desert road left with the exhaustion and memories of another great adventure together. I want to thank Jon for his amazing photography and video work, Nick for his great company and allowing me to use his Cricket coupled with his NSA ammo that worked flawlessly throughout the hunt. I want to thank Tom for coming out and hunting with us and allowing us to do some long range shooting with his .357 Slayer. Over the next few months we plan on doing some more trips and as usual will try our best to bring all the action through video and photos. Enclosed is a video link of our three day hunt I hope you can enjoy. If you can help us by SUBSCRIBING to our channel it’s much helpful, Thanks!