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New Rapid Air Weapons HM1000x Field Review

Several weeks ago I received the new Rapid Air Weapons HM1000x in .25 from Pyramyd Air for a comprehensive field review. I was excited to do this review as it would be the first RAW that I would have the privilege of field using. Rapid Air Weapons is known for building precision USA Made rifles that have been proven accurate by shooters all over the world. The HM1000 was shipped to me in a nice hard case and included one 12 shot rotary magazine, O’Ring kit and users manual.


RAW HM1000x PCP Air Rifle with Tan Laminate LRT Stock

  • Tan laminate LRT (Long Range Target) stock
  • Lothar Walther polygonal rifled barrel
  • Left- or right-hand actions available
  • MADE IN THE USA
  • Fully adjustable, match-grade trigger
  • 950 FPS (.22), 900 FPS (.25)
  • Fill pressure: 230 BAR (approx. 3,335 PSI)
  • Male quick-connect fill fitting
  • Easy access trigger spring adjustment
  • Overall length: 45.37”
  • Fully regulated
  • Precision side-lever cocking mechanism
  • 480cc carbon fiber air bottle
  • 12-shot rotary magazine
  • Fully moderated, carbon fiber-wrapped barrel w/offset shroud
  • 50 FPE (.22), 60 FPE (.25)
  • Includes one magazine

Thanks to a partnership between Tennessee-based Rapid Air Weapons (RAW) and AirForce Airguns out of Texas, one of airgunning’s most sought-after pre-charged pneumatic air rifles is now available without much of a wait. The RAW HM1000x LRT (Long Range Target) PCP air rifle achieves the kind of precision, reliability and consistency that have come to characterize RAW’s high-quality airguns. Each rifle is hand built and individually tested before leaving the factory and is billed by RAW as “the most accurate pre-charged pneumatic air rifle made in the USA… capable of sub 1-inch groups out to 100 yards. The HM1000x’s LRT’s factory high-power tune produces muzzle energies of up to 50 foot-pounds (in .22, using JSB 25.39-grain pellets) and 60 foot-pounds (in .25, using JSB King Heavy 33.95-grain pellets). Its fully regulated PCP power plant ensures consistent performance from the first shot to the last and the 480cc carbon fiber bottle packs enough capacity to put up to 50 rounds downrange per fill.

It uses a 12-shot rotary magazine and features an adjustable, match-grade target trigger with an added safety catch. The fully moderated Lothar Walther polygonal rifled barrel, allows backyard plinkers to shoot without worrying about loud reports bothering neighbors and the offset muzzle shroud eliminates the need for taller scope mounts.

The RAW HM1000x LRT integrates all of this industry-leading hardware into a high-end, laminate stock with a cheek rest and rubber butt pad that are each height-adjustable to enhance accuracy and control. The pistol grip and stock are checkered, with the forend incorporating five M-Lok slots for mounting accessories like bipods and Q.D. attachments. The forestock of the RAW HM1000x LRT is flat underneath to provide bench shooters with an ultra-stable point of contact. Designed for everyone from serious plinkers and hunters to field target and benchrest competitors demanding the highest levels of performance, the RAW HM1000x LRT delivers the accuracy, consistency and precision that serious shooters demand.


Looking over the rifle and learning some of the features that were included I could hardly wait to get this rifle down to the 100 yard range and to configure it for my several days of hunting. The RAW has a Lothar Walther Polygonal barrel, this barrel has no choke and should except shooting slugs very well. Beyond the barrel this rifle can produce a good amount of power in .25 and can easily be configured to a conservative 60 FPE. The rifles stock is outfitted with a nice slot that allows us to adjust the hammer spring tension located at the rear of the receiver.

This is a great feature that allows the shooter to really fine tune this rifle for the specifics of the pellets or slugs they might be using. The rifle comes pre tuned to 60 fpe using 33gr JSB’s but can be tuned up or down with a chronograph using the hammer adjuster. Clockwise for more power, counter clockwise for less. The HM1000x is regulated and one of the main components that makes this rifle so accurate. The regulator is located just inside the front of the breech where the bottle threads into. To remove the action from the stock to make visit to some of the hidden components it’s first necessary to remove the 480cc carbon fiber bottle. To pull the action from the stock the bottle needs to be removed first to to prevent damage to the stock. The bottle can be removed while it’s under pressure and will give a “pop” sound when it’s near the end of the threads.

Once the bottle is removed we can now loosen the allen bolt from the bottom of the stock to view other components such as the regulator and trigger assembly.

The HM1000x is fitted with a regulator that’s factory set between 140/160 BAR. I easily removed it from the gun for sake of looking it over and to show its a good quality component.

The regulator simply allows only a set amount of pressure into the plenum that gives good consistent fps numbers. This regulator uses a belleville stack that just establishes a pressure that holds open the valve seat until the pressure in the plenum overcomes it and pushes a spool to the seat that will halt air flow. The amount by which you can increase or decrease the pressure is by adding or subtracting the washers. This is a much more advanced adjustment and should never need to be bothered with by the end user. Each one of these regulators is set personally by Martin at Rapid Air Weapons and looks to be very well made and trouble free unit. While I had the stock removed it was a good time to look over the match grade trigger that’s fully adjustable 4 ways.

The trigger on the HM1000x is definitely and important key component that helps to make this rifle easier to shoot accurately. The 6oz was a bit lighter than I’m used to but nonetheless this would prove to be one of my favorite parts of the rifle. The users manual included a diagram that easily explains the 4 available adjustments to the trigger.


The following day I packed the Jeep and headed out to the 100 yard range for a day of quality shooting time.

Today I would be getting the gun ready for my several days of hunting so I would be shooting some new 34gr Nielsen Specialty Ammo slugs as well as the 25.39gr JSB’s. I didn’t waste any time setting up the chronograph to run some shot strings as well as to sight in my Hawke Vantage 3-12×44 SF Scope. I spent a good hour sighting the gun in and practicing on some targets at 100 yards. The Nielsen Specialty Ammo 34gr slugs shot very well out of the HM1000x and even in the wind were very predictable. These were putting out near 64 FPE in the rifle, very impressive and accurate!!

NSA 34gr 12 shots at 100 yards RAW HM1000x .25

The RAW HM1000x comes with a 12 shot rotary magazine that loads from the left side of the rifle and has plenty of room for a variety of pellets and slugs.

The side-lever on the rifle is very robust and well made, has no slop or play and opens and closes very smoothly. The probe on this rifle is large and designed to load and seat each pellet/slug with extreme precision. Small details like this are no doubt important keys to extreme accuracy. Next we would try out the 25.39gr JSB’s, these were a bit lighter and proved to be going way to fast through the chronograph. Ideally the 33gr JSB’s would have been a better choice but unfortunately I didn’t have any on hand at the time. I used the hammer spring adjustment and turned down the gun till they reached speed of 950 giving a bit over 50 FPE. After shooting some groups I found they shot very well but not as predictable as the slugs were in the swirling winds out to 100 yards.

HM1000x 25.39gr JSB’s 12 shots at 100 yards

The accuracy of the Rapid Air Weapons HM1000s .25 is definitely impressive with not only pellets but slugs. I was excited as it’s very rare to find a rifle that’s capable of shooting both so well at longer ranges. The ability to fine tune this rifle by the user to the specifics of a variety of pellets and slugs makes it an extremely versatile Airgun. My time at the bench was well spent but now it was time for the RAW to make it’s way into a hunting environment. That evening I packed up the Jeep with all my gear for our several days adventure into the remote mountains.


The following morning Marley and I headed several hours South to a familiar remote location where we would be spending the next two days. This area is very remote and has one of the best natural habitats for the California Ground Squirrels. The recent rains have brought California a super bloom of flowers and an amount of green I haven’t seen in years.

The day was partially cloudy with the sunshine coming in and out, still very beautiful with all the bright yellow flowers. Marley and I pulled into our camp that was nestled in a canyon surrounded by many Oak trees and small creeks. I unpacked some of my gear and we wasted no time getting out into the field in search of the many Ground Squirrels that call this place home.

The area we were headed to was about a mile South from camp and offered some amazing hiking through some rolling pastures. We came up on several large rock outcroppings that had several Ground Squirrels moving about atop them. Marley and I sat down and within a minute or two I was able to spot my first victim of the day. This one was at 116 yards sitting high up on a giant boulder, he was staying pretty still and left me with a good headshot.

After making a successful shot and capturing it on video we headed a bit further to an area that was much greener. The yellow flowers were so bright that they were near blinding, pretty amazing picturesque view.

Marley and I sat on a small bluff overlooking a creek and many rocks and fallen trees. We spotted quite a few busy Ground Squirrels moving about at around 60 yards.

The RAW HM1000x has plenty of power to whallop down these Ground Squirrels with ease at ranges out to 130 yards. We spent the next several hours here putting down quite a few of them. The area was one of the best hunting spots I have been to for Ground Squirrels, on a sunny hot day I’m sure we could have gotten even more. Marley and I took a break down in the creek as the clouds moved overhead.

The temperature was in the high 60’s so the ground squirrels were not as active as they would be on warmer days. Marley and I continued our hike and decided to move higher up into the rocks where we were able to overlook a good portion of the valley floor.

The Ground Squirrels can be very difficult to spot in this type of terrain, they can usually be found high up in the rocks where they like to sun themselves.

The Hawke Vantage 3-12×44 SF is a great scope for this type of hunting, the side focus is definitely a step up from the standard model AO scopes and makes focusing much quicker. The 3-12×44 works very well for hunting at closer ranges offering a good wide field of view, at longer ranges the 1/2 mill-dots are perfect for most applications. This scope is one of my favorites because it’s lightweight and has great glass for the money along with smooth turret adjusters. I added a sun-shade and some good quality medium rings that mounted very solid the the HM1000x. For hunting situations it’s imperative to have a good mounting system to hold the scopes zero under heavy field conditions. Expect to see some thorough scope reviews coming very soon!

By this time it was 5:00pm and we had a two mile hike back to our camp where I still had to set up the tent and get situated for the night ahead. The HM1000x had treated me well on the first day of hunting and had already allowed me to learn a few things about it away from the bench. Sofar my favorite things about it were the power, trigger and great shot count. One of the things I really noticed was the noise levels, on a scale from 1 to 5 of loudness this ones a 4. I was not to concerned about the sound level though due to the fact the gun had so much power that I was able to shoot from far distances out beyond 130+ yards. My experience is what may be loud to the shooter is usually not heard at all 100 yards downrange.


Back at camp I set up the tent and made dinner along with digging a fire pit to keep us warm through the night. That night the wind picked up as well as giving us a short sprinkle around 10:00pm, thankfully it wasn’t really very cold.


The next morning Marley and I woke up around 7:30 to start out the day. The morning was a bit cold and had some clouds rolling overhead giving us moments of warmth from the morning sunshine.

I was quick to get the rifle situated by loading it’s magazine with the 34gr NSA slugs. The magazine is very large and easy to load, 12 shots is a good number to keep busy for awhile before reloading.


QUICK TIP

I always like to leave both my Air Tank and gun out in the sun before filling, this keeps the pressures up. Sometimes if our Air tank is a bit low we can use the sun to build pressure, sometimes several hundred PSI. In field situations this can sometimes come in handy and has helped me on numerous occasions.

The HM1000x is very easy to fill, no probes or funky fill devices to lose or break. A simple foster fill has never let me down and the one on the RAW is as trouble free as they come.

The foster fitting has a nice little dust cap that pops on and off with ease to help keep the field debris out. The carbon fiber bottle fills to just over 3,300psi and provides enough air to keep most varmint hunters in the field all day long with 50 shots.


Marley and I headed out to a few areas we had scouted the day before that looked to be very promising with Ground Squirrels.

The first area was fairly flat and had several Ground Squirrels scurrying around through the rocks and fallen trees. Within a few minutes I was able to spot one just behind a small rock, they really blend in well and are sometimes impossible to see.

Marley was quick to retrieve this one from the rocks that was put down with a mean headshot.

We continued on and soon spotted another high up in some rocks at 70 yards away, this area is getting busy.

Moving along up over the mountain we came back down into a creekbed where I was able to take several more Ground Squirrels with the furthest out to 92 yards.

The HM1000x shoots very well offhand and from the sitting position, I really like the flat bottom of the forearm. The guns weight is balanced very well and considering it’s length is very manageable. The checkering on the grip and forearm area give enough to use from a variety of holds. I will say I felt this stock was not something that would handle a drop well, I was a bit careful with the gun but still used it as intended. Over the past few days I have carried the rifle without a sling and found it to be pretty lightweight, never felt uncomfortable. If this was mine I would definitely have added a sling but since it would be getting returned I did not want to drill out the buttstock for a swivel stud. Marley and I spent the next few hours moving to several different areas with a total of 24 kills over the day. The HM1000x was a powerhouse and worked flawlessly coupled with the NSA slugs. Our time was near up so we headed back to camp to pack up and head down the long dirt road to home. My time spent with this fine American Made rifle was well spent and more than a pleasure. I really appreciate Pyramyd Air for sponsoring this trip and allowing me the opportunity to bring my experience to you. I will enclose my final honest opinion of this rifle along with the review in video form.


      PROS

  • Powerful (60+FPE)
  • Adjustable (easy to fine tune)
  • Great trigger
  • Great weight
  • Good shot count
  • Accurate (works well with both pellets and slugs)
  • Easy to work on
  • Convenient safety

      CONS

  • Loud (does have 60FPE though)
  • Bit long (would like to see shorter moderator)
  • Delicate Stock (handle with care)

This rifle has been thoroughly field tested and is one of the most accurate long range Airguns that I have used for hunting. The fact that it can shoot both slugs and pellets so well is very rare to find, I was happy to see that Airforce has committed to keeping this rifles legacy alive with quality. This PCP is definitely on the high end of rifles but has proven itself time over to be one of the best.



 

 

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GAMO TC45 Field Review

Several months ago we reached out to Gamo USA and were awarded a chance to field review the TC45 Big Bore. This is GAMO’s newest entry into the Big Bore Airgun market and was something I thought may fit well with an extended use review. The TC45 has been branded by GAMO but is essentially modeled after the Evanix REX platform of Airguns.


GAMO TC45 STATS

Gamo TC45 Big Bore PCP Air Rifle

  • Precharged-pneumatic
  • Single shot for maximum ammo flexibility
  • Integrated noise dampening
  • Adjustable 2-stage trigger
  • 480cc carbon fiber air cylinder fillable to 250 BAR (3,625 psi)
  • Highly efficient in-line valve system
  • Weaver/Picatinny optics rail
  • 10-40 shot count, may vary depending on projectile and settings

Gamo is diving headfirst into big bore pre charged pneumatics with the all-new TC45 PCP air rifle.  This PCP hunter is built for one thing, and one thing only–delivering huge lead into medium to large game. The TC45 has a large 480cc carbon fiber cylinder, sheathed by a rubber-coated polymer stock designed to provide the ideal cheek weld.  Each cylinder includes an easy-to-read integrated manometer and the cylinder itself is removable for easy takedown and transportation. When you’re ready for a scope, a long tactical Weaver/Picatinny rail awaits your choice of optics and an adjustable 2-stage trigger awaits your preferred pull. Featuring an innovative underlever cocking system, the trigger guard acts as the cocking lever that simultaneously opens the breach. Load up a .45 cal. round, and send it downrange at speeds up to 900 FPS. This is definitely huge air power, but the TC45 includes an integrated suppressor to keep the noise down a bit. Lastly, the TC45 features grooved and textured AR style grip is interchangeable with other AR15 grips. Gamo’s TC45 gives shooters huge rounds, good power, in a streamlined frame filled with added features, and the result?  A big bore that’s more than ready to face most hunting situations.

Caliber 0.45″
Max Velocity 900 fps
Muzzle Energy 248 ft/lbs
Loudness 4-Medium-High
Barrel Length 24.24″
Overall Length 47.13″
Shot Capacity 1
Barrel Rifled
Front Sight none
Rear Sight none
Scopeable Weaver/Picatinny
Trigger Two-stage adjustable
Buttplate Rubber
Suggested for Hunting
Action Underlever
Safety Manual
Powerplant Pre-charged pneumatic
Function Single-shot
Body Type Rifle
Weight 8.0 lbs
Cylinder Size 480 cc
Shrouded Yes

I received the rifle and was given several months to conclude my review, this so I thought would be more than adequate time. My first impression of the rifle was the weight, it feels extremely lightweight and well balanced considering it’s length. The TC45 felt very sturdy and well made right down to the finish on the gun, the only plastic on the gun was the AR style grips. My first course of action was to mount a scope, I had chosen a Trinity Force 1-4X28 tactical style scope.

This is a great scope for short ranges and fit the gun well with it’s tactical style mount and the ability to accept a light for night hunting. I looked over most all of the physical aspects of the gun and will show the best details I can. TC45 comes in at 8.0 lbs and that’s partly due to the 480cc carbon fiber bottle that’s able to lower the overall weight as well as to fill to 3600psi or 250BAR. The bottle is easily removed by loosening the locking ring and simply unscrewing it from the receiver. This is a nice feature to the gun as it’s easily able to pack into a small case.

The TC45 is uniquely designed with an underlever that is part of the trigger guard. To open the breech this lever is simply pulled down and forward.

 The loading port on this rifle is very large and has plenty of room for a variety of different length Slugs and Pellets. Having a large loading port is especially important when we may be reloading quickly and have no time to fumble. The lever itself has a small latch on the right side that acts as somewhat of an Anti-Bear Trap that keeps the lever from accidentally getting slammed closed. This is an interesting feature but one that’s certainly important for safety of our fingers and accidental discharge. The lever does have a little bit of play in it but nothing out of the ordinary or sloppy. The safety sits just above the trigger on the right side of the lower part of the receiver, simple design that works well. Moving on we look at the barrel system that includes a full length shroud and built in moderator. I inspected the inside of the moderator and discovered that it had no baffles or any other form of deadening material to quiet the gun.

 I have concluded that this moderator is most likely for cosmetic purposes and serves little to quiet down the guns bark. This most likely was added to stiffen the shroud and through design it was made to be a larger diameter to enhance the appearance to the front of the rifle. My initial inspection was to see if it may unthread and would allow for the installation of an aftermarket moderation device, it doesn’t. The barrel system on this rifle is very strong and had no flex or movement whatsoever, this is a great stiff system. After checking the gun over and making sure everything was tight it was time to pack it up and ready it for a day of shooting.


The following weekend Terry, Marley and I drove several hours North to a location that has excellent space to set up for longer range shooting. We arrived fairly early and were met by a good amount of wind that never makes for great shooting conditions. We had brought a 12″X12″ steel freestanding plate that would be set to 50/100/200 yards.

We aired up the rifle to 3600 psi and loaded it with some Neisen Specialty Ammo 196gr Slugs, these were the lightest weight swaged slugs he had. Through some chronograph reading I had concluded that this ammo would give 3 shots at close to 300 fpe.

We set the plate out at 50 yards and proceeded with taking three shots. The trigger on the TC45 was set up good out of the box and gave a very predictable feel with smooth break to it. The trigger is adjustable but after extended use it seemed to get even smoother.

We moved the plate out to 100 yards and this is really where the wind started howling as well as my camera giving me some difficulty and ultimately needed a major cleaning. The wind had blown some debris into the internals causing some distortion to the picture.

After taking a break and having lunch I hiked out to 200 yards with the steel plate, setting it up just above the creeks bank.

Making it out to 200 yards was no easy task and quite honestly took quite a bit of practice to find the correct hold. The wind at that range was just killing me!! Although the rifle was able to reach out I felt is was a bit much, especially with slugs. The rifle faired well at closer ranges but just did not seem to have enough power to push the 196gr slugs at extended ranges. We packed up and headed back down the mountain and called it a day. The TC45 is a very enjoyable rifle to shoot, has a little kick but super manageable and predictable at shorter ranges. I was happy with the first test run and was excited to move forward with the review.


Several weeks past due to rain and some roads being closed that kept me away from my normal shooting areas. When the rain finally let up I headed over to a nearby private range to conclude my testing of the TC45. I received some Air Venturi 138gr diabolo pellets, these were the most lightweight cast pellets I could find.

The Gamo TC45 seems to like lightweight “pellets” that not only bring up the speed but bring up the shot count of the rifle. I spent some time over the chronograph and was able to achieve the provided shot string over a 3600 psi fill. The sweet spot seemed to be in the 3400psi range giving me 8 shots, most were all declining but somewhat close in numbers.

The rifle produced 8 shots with the highest at 236 fpe, I felt this was fairly conservative and more in range with the overall power it’s best suited to. For accuracy out to 100 yards these fared ok, the main benefit was to increase the shot count for field use. I had some fun with blasting some pumpkins and a water bottle at 100 yards, 200+fpe was a pleasure at that range.

This rifle is no doubt a bunch of fun to shoot and pretty accurate out to 100 yards, beyond that it was kind of hit or miss and just didn’t seem consistent enough for long range. I can see this being an excellent predator hunting gun, being lightweight and having a fair shot count with good power. The following week I had planned to head into the remote mountains for several days of hunting with the GAMO.


We have received quite a bit of rain here in California that has made getting into the field difficult. Most of the areas we hunt require traveling dirt roads that don’t fair well during the winter months. I finally had some time to head out to a familiar location for several days and hunt with the TC45.

I left the house and headed into the mountains that took Marley and I several hours into a remote location where I would be spending several days. My hopes were to try for some Jackrabbits, Ground Squirrels and Coyote’s as this area has plenty of all three. We arrived to an area I frequently camp and was quick to find a good amount of Ground Squirrels running about in a nearby field. The temperature was a bit cold and the ground was still very saturated from the several inches of rain the night before. I was quick to set up camp and to ready my gear for a short hike into the field.

The clouds were passing over quickly giving several minutes of sunshine before being gloomed over again by large thunderclouds. This area was very beautiful and certainly starting to look a lot like Springtime. Everything was so green and I could loads of ground squirrel holes scattered around every few feet. The first shot I took was on a large Ground Squirrel at 65 yards, made the shot only to have it move into it’s hole just as the pellet hit. I think many times they can actually see the projectile coming towards them. After making the shot most of them cleared the field and down into their holes to safety. This Big Bore is fairly loud and gives a good amount of feedback depending on the environment such as hills and canyons, this is where I would have liked to see the gun a bit quieter. After sitting for a bit longer watching the clouds roll by I spotted a Ground Squirrel come out at 55 yards in front of me. I took the shot that whalloped right in the center mass, near exploding it.

After the squirrel explosion I headed back down the hill as it started sprinkling enough to make me not want to use my camera. Near camp was an old abandoned barn that gave me a great opportunity to take some photographs of the TC45 as well as to dry off my equipment.


The weather started getting pretty bad after I finished up with taking my photographs so we ended up staying in the barn for several hours. I was as usual just happy to be out enjoying the trip with Marley and being able to relax a bit in such a beautiful place. After having a late lunch the rain stopped so Marley and I headed out again with the hopes of finding some more varmints moving about.

After a few minutes of walking through the field I was able to spot a few more Ground Squirrels peering from their holes. Most of them were beyond 100 yards and wouldn’t keep still long enough to give me adequate time to set up my shots.

I was able to take several before giving myself enough time to set up the camera, thankfully for future hunts a scope camera will be in order. This trip was especially difficult considering everything was wet and much more care needed to be taken with the video equipment. Keeping the lens dry was my biggest problem and some of the footage was later discovered to be unusable. Marley and I continued hiking in a large circle that eventually made way towards a steep ravine where I flushed several Jackrabbits. I took a shot on one of them at 60+ yards that was sprinting up an embankment but fell short by several inches. Over the next hour we saw very little action and ultimately headed back to camp as the rain was moving back in again. Back at camp it was now getting into evening and I decided to pack up as the rain was coming down fairly hard. The goal of the trip was to document some hunting but unfortunately my camera gear is just not suited to moisture. Hunting in the rain is usually slim to none anyways, the animals are hunkered down and out of sight.

Marley and I headed down the road just before dark thankfully because the road can get pretty nasty and flooded.


The following weekend the weather was much better so we headed several hours south of us to a large farm. This farm is a great location and has plenty to hunt such as Coyotes, Ground Squirrels, Rabbits and Birds. We had just acquired a new motorhome so this trip would be our main voyage and something we looked very forward to. My friend Ron who frequents the farm is a long time Airgunner and has spent a good amount of time on this particular permission. I had planned to gather some footage for several reviews and to use the GAMO TC45 for a night hunt against some Coyotes and Rabbits.

This farm has large fields full of brush piles and fallen citrus trees, the perfect habitat for Cottontail rabbits. Over the two days I hunted some Ground Squirrels, Eurasian Collared Doves and Jackrabbits. Saturday night Ron and I set up our guns with low powered lights, thankfully that evening would be a full moon. The sun went down and the temperature dropped very quickly into the low 40’s, still the moonlight made hiking around much easier. Ron was kind enough to loan me one of his lights that mounted perfectly on top of the Trinity Force 1-4X28 tactical scope. Ron showed me a bit about the poor man’s night vision that uses an adjustable green laser. These can be found fairly cheap on Amazon and work very well out to 150 yards.

Ron discussing how to use the green laser with his scope

Ron, Marley and I hiked around for a bit looking for “eyes” to shine back at us using the laser and the mounted light.

Ron scanning the brush piles

Ron and I both took shots on several rabbits as far away as 130 yards, it’s amazing how little light it takes to spot the eyes. I was able to connect with a small cottontail at 20 yards that was hiding is a brush pile.

This was Marley’s first time hunting at night.

After about an hour of hiking around Ron became frustrated with his batteries in the laser as well as having some pain in his leg from a previous injury.

At around midnight Ron packed it up and went back to the shootin shack to call it a night. Marley and I however were not tired and continued along making several kills within the next few hours. Most of the rabbits we spotted were all within 50 yards moving about in the grassy fields around the brush piles.

The nights chill finally took it’s toll on me around 3:30am so we headed back to the motorhome to get warm and hit the sack. The following morning I spent several hours filming for another field review before packing up and moving down the road to home.


My time spent with the GAMO TC45 was just a bit over three months, much longer than anticipated. Normally a review may take up to 4 weeks but this took much longer due to camera problems and poor weather conditions. This was not a paid review and a project I took on freelance to be able to give a real honest review of it. I really appreciate GAMO sending me this rifle to use as any end user would. I will enclose my final honest thoughts on this rifle as well as the video portion of the review.


         PROS

  • Lightweight and easy to pack
  • Easy to fill
  • 3600 psi Carbon Bottle
  • Nice underlever
  • Good trigger
  • Very durable
  • Well balanced
  • Large Loading Port

         CONS

  • Loudness
  • Needs lower picatinny rail
  • Underpowered for large Slugs

Here are links as to where to purchase this Air rifle:


 

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Air Venturi Nomad II Compressor Review

Several weeks ago I received several new products to field use, one was the new Air Venturi Nomad II compressor. I was excited to unbox the compressor and get it into the field and see how well it worked. I had spent several days prior reading about it, as well as taking down some ideas for my video review of it. The compressor was shipped in a very sturdy box and packed extremely well with plenty of padding on all sides. I knew this would be a fun review because this compressor is something I have wanted for a long time. Over the years I have traveled to many places to hunt, some are extremely remote and required me to bring several tanks. The Nomad II has pretty much been designed to keep guys like me in the field for extended periods of time. Here I will enclose as much information as I can on the Nomad II through my own experience with it.


Air Venturi Nomad II 4500 PSI Portable PCP Compressor

The Nomad II 4500 PSI Compressor can work from home or in the field being able to hook up to your vehicles 12V battery. This is a great way to keep the Airgunner in the field being completely independent with air. The Nomad II plugs into a standard 110V outlet as well as being able to adapt to 220V. Once connected, you can fill PCP guns directly up to 4500 psi with an adjustable cut-off switch.  The compressor includes a hose with female quick disconnect fitting, integrated moisture catch and bleed valve as well as maintenance parts.

  • Adjustable auto-shutoff
  • Pressures up to 4500 psi
  • Integrated LED lights on underside of the unit for low light use
  • Capable of running off of a 110V or 220V outlet or 12V car battery
  • Power supply for electrical outlet use is built into the unit
  • Compressor includes carrying handle
  • Fan-Cooled
  • External Lubrication Port (Use Silicone Lubricant only)
  • Jumper Cables included
  • Hose w/ integrated moisture catch and female QD fittings
  • Noise level while running is 92 dB.
  • Dimensions: 10.6″ L x 8″ W x 7.9″
  • Weight: 19.6 lbs
  • Ships with travel bag for easy transportation

Please Note: The Nomad II is recommended for filling PCP guns only and is not to be used for breathing air.

The Nomad II comes with a very well made travel bag that holds everything you will need for filling in the field. Here are the contents included:


I read the instructions and to be honest was a little nervous, not because it was difficult, but because it was something new. I figured I would be just about the first one to review this product, so I wanted everything to go perfectly. Over the past year I had read many stories about these small compressors failing, and just not lasting very long before burning out. My first run of the compressor was in my garage, just trying to get familiar with how it worked and that it functioned well enough for field use. My first fill was on my Gen1 .22 Marauder that had been sitting for some time with very little pressure in it, something like 400 psi. The Nomad II is set to run on standard 110V household outlet, but can be configured to run on 220V with a simple procedure explained in the instructions. I plugged in the compressor and the cooling fan immediately comes on. I plugged in the fill whip to the compressor, set the PSI to shut off at 3000 psi. (NOTE) When using the compressor it’s very important to keep the cooling fan open, don’t have anything obstructing it. Place the compressor in an area it will get the most open air.

After setting the compressor to 3000 psi I plugged the fill whip into the Marauder.

Once the fill whip was securely connected I hit the power button on the top of the compressor.

The display on the load indicator will go up, and through my experience to about 20 when filling smaller cylinders such as the Marauder. I kept my eye on the gauge and was surprised how fast it filled to 3000 psi. It took a little over 3 minutes to fill up the Marauder, and the compressor shut off exactly where I had set it to.

After the compressor shut down I turned the pressure release counter clockwise, this knob is located just under where the fill whip attaches to the compressor.

Before I pulled the power cord on the compressor I wanted to check out the light that’s located underneath. This light is a brilliant blue and illuminated my garage quite well, kind of a cool feature that may come in handy for night hunts.

This compressor has very good build quality from what I can see on the outside. The carry handle, feet, light, load indicator and cover look very good. I wanted to go beyond what any other reviewer would do, so I removed the cover to check out what’s under the hood. My main concern was how it was wired as well as the visual quality of the components such as the built in power converter.

Everything was very cleanly wired with good connecters and quality heavy gauge wire. The 25 amp atc fuse located on the exterior of the unit is a good plus to the safety of the components. I like how all the components have a good amount of room to breath as well as being fed by the cooling fan.


The following morning Marley, Terry and I loaded the Jeep and headed into the mountains where we would film this review, and to do a little hunting and shooting. The Nomad II compressor packed very well into the Jeep and took no space at all, leaving plenty of room for all the rest of our gear. The morning was a bit cool with almost no wind, perfect day for filming a review.

We pulled into one of our usual shooting areas that’s next to a large riverbed, Terry wanted to do some target shooting and this spot is excellent. While Terry was setting up his shooting bench I pulled out the Nomad II and prepared it for review. This was the first time I had really tried to film anything like this, so I took my time setting up the camera.

The first thing I did was to hook up the battery cables and connect the red cable to the positive terminal followed by the black to the negative terminal.

I then plugged the yellow plug end into the right side of the compressor, the cooling fan kicks on right away.

(NOTE) Its very important to run the vehicle while the compressor is in use so that it wont drain the battery. The last thing you want in remote areas like this is to get stranded with a dead battery so I kept the Jeep running the entire time the compressor was running. The next step is to set the compressor to the desired fill pressure, I was using the Seneca Double Shot Shotgun that was down to 1000 psi. This rifle has a 244cc Air reservoir and was the perfect test for this type of compressor!

I hooked up the gun and started the Nomad II by hitting the on button, the load indicator will now start going upward.

The load indicator is a very important part of the compressor that shows us how it’s running. The compressor is designed to shut off if the load indicator reaches beyond 29, these numbers are telling us how hard the compressor is working. The Nomad II is not designed to fill large tanks or buddy bottles, it simply does not produce enough volume and would have to run much to long. The Nomad II is made to fill or top off Airguns directly where we are running it for short periods of time. The load indicator can tell us when the compressor needs lubrication or other maintenance. The compressor never went over 20 during any of the times I filled guns with it, chances are as it wears in those numbers may go a little higher.

The compressor shut off exactly where I had set it to, I released the pressure and disconnected the Air Rifle from the fill whip. I now disconnected the power cable from the compressor and then disconnected from the vehicles battery terminals. (Note) The carry bag comes in very handy to keep everything together and clean for storage when in camp. Now we can hit the field for a few hours of hunting, was a nice feeling to know I had all the Air I would need just back at camp. Marley and I hiked around for a bit looking for some birds and rabbits.

The hunting was a bit slow so I did some shooting as well as some filming for the video portion of my review.

After a full day in the field and getting to use the compressor in situations it was intended for I was pretty impressed. I think Air Venturi will sell a ton of these compressors, so far it seems to be the best portable option I have seen. Marley and I spent some time shooting with Terry before packing up and heading back down the mountain towards home.


I had a great time with the Nomad II compressor and found it to function perfectly and just as intended. When I got home I took it into the shop to read over the maintenance procedures that I filmed and photographed for this review.

Maintenance 

The Nomad II is fairly maintenance free but does need to be lubricated every 5 fills, this is very easy to do and is imperative to the health of the machine. To lubricate the compressor we will need to use silicone oil. On the left side of the compressor is a lubrication hole just above the cooling fan.

(NOTE) ONLY USE SILICONE LUBRICANT

The Nomad II comes with an applicator bottle but I found using silicone spray was much easier and less messy. A good rule of thumb is every 5 fills or if the LOAD indicator on the compressor is reaching 28 or higher. When we lubricate the compressor it should be running to properly make way inside the moving components. Two or three drops with applicator or when using spray just one small squirt, wipe off excess. Now is a good time to wipe down the exterior of the compressor and check to make sure no obstructions are in the fans cover. The Nomad II also has a filter that’s located inside the fill whip, this needs to be checked for debris every 2-3 hours of use, I would check it every 10 fills or if we have been using it in dusty areas. To get to the filter simply unscrew the cylindrical collar of the filter housing.

 Inside the housing the filter sits fairly snug, check to make sure it’s clean and free from debris or dark in color. The Nomad II comes with 4 of them that should last for quite a long time! Every 20 fills it’s necessary to purge the lubrication system. The reason we want to do this is to expel excess silicone oil and moisture. This is a very important step and imperative to the performance of the compressor. To purge the compressor is best done while it running, underneath is the moisture release valve, loosen it counter clockwise. Now we want to lubricate the lubrication hole on the side of the compressor. What this does is flushes out all the moisture and junk that may have built up inside the unit. With proper maintenance this compressor should perform well. These small compressors are sometimes used improperly such as trying to fill an SCBA tank, Buddy bottle etc, These are things that will burn it out and cause problems. USE IT AS INTENDED!!


I really enjoyed the time spent with the Air Venturi Nomad II portable compressor, I used it as intended and was very pleased with it’s quality and performance. Enclosed are my thoughts:

 

         PROS

  • Great build quality
  • Very nice carry bag that keeps everything neat and clean
  • Size, lightweight and compact to save space
  • Fill times
  • Load indicator (good for checking health of machine)
  • LED light for night use
  • 4500psi with set shut off
  • Easy maintenance (spare parts included)

CONS

  • I would have liked to see it with a cigarette lighter adaptor ( It would draw to many amps though)
  • Wish cables could be longer

If you are interested in purchasing this compressor it’s available HERE


I want to thank Air Venturi and Pyramyd Air for sponsoring us to make this review. Enclosed is the review in video form, hope this may help others interested in this great product.

Want more? Visit the forum over at AirgunFlix 

 

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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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