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Air Arms S510 XS Ultimate Sporter Field Review

Several weeks ago Pyramydair sent us the new Air Arms S510xs Ultimate Sporter in .25 to be able to field review.  This rifle is one of the hot picks of 2019 so I was very excited to get a chance to field use this awesome rifle. I received the rifle and was very pleased with the packing of it in a very well formed shipping box. The S510xs comes in several stock options, I had chosen the walnut 288cc version in .25 caliber. Air Arms has done a beautiful job with the fit and finish of this sporter, beautiful natural looking wood. The rifle included two 10 shot magazines, T-Bar fill probe as well as some allen wrenches for adjustments to the stock and trigger.


 

Air Arms S510 XS Ultimate Sporter Xtra FAC, Walnut

  • Precharged pneumatic
  • Smooth side lever cocking mechanism
  • 10-shot repeater
  • 2-stage adjustable trigger with safety
  • 11mm scope grooves (no open sights)
  • 250 Bar / 3626 PSI Fill Pressure
  • Built-in manometer (air pressure gauge)
  • Built-in adjustable power
  • Fully shrouded Lothar Walther barrel
  • Ambidextrous Walnut Stock
  • Adjustable cheek piece
  • Checkered pistol grip and forearm
  • Adjustable rubber buttpad
  • Rear sling swivel stud
  • Fully-Regulated 288cc cylinder
  • 60 shots in .177, 55 shots in .22, 40 shots in .25
  • Accessory rail under forearm with built-in adjustable sling mount
  • Includes 2 rotary magazines, 4 hex wrenches, fill adapter and airgun oil

The Ultimate Sporter XS Xtra takes Air Arms’ most prized PCP and adds even more value to a platform already at the height of its powers. With an introduction of a fully-regulated system, the Air Arms S510 XS is the S510 action perfected, with more shots per fill than ever before. This variant features a finely crafted Walnut stock, with luxurious etching that reflects Air Arms dedication to traditional craftsmanship. This XS’s precision checkering on the grip and forend, fine curves and grooved handholds make this PCP a worthy mantlepiece. The Minelli stock comes complete with an adjustable, soft-touch coated cheekpiece, adjustable buttpad, integrated sling mounts, and an accessory rail ready to accept bipods or even a palm shelf. Customers requested a regulated S510 and Air Arms delivered, all while boosting the power of the increasingly popular .25 caliber. With this regulated upgrade, the XS can achieve a whopping 44 ft-lbs in .25, 32 ft-lbs in .22 and 20 ft-lbs in .177. Power isn’t the only thing increasing in the XS. The XS regulator offers increased consistency and shot counts from the 288cc cylinder, delivering an impressive 60 (.177), 55 (.22) and 40 (.25) shots per fill with minimal velocity change.  These long shot strings are further aided by a built-in power adjuster. Each XS Xtra features the prized Lothar Walther barrel, which gives this platform its renowned accuracy. Each rifle includes 2 of Air Arms perfected 10-shot indexing magazines, smooth side-lever cocking mechanism and an easy to read built-in manometer. The Air Arms Ultimate Sporter platform has turned heads at the range since 2013 with shots so accurate they require a double-take. If you want the longest, most consistent shot strings with surgical accuracy, join the elite ranks of Air Arms airgunners with S510 Ultimate Sporter XS Xtra.

Caliber 0.25″ (6.35mm)
Max Velocity 815 fps
Muzzle Energy 44 ft/lbs
Loudness 2-Low-Medium
Barrel Length 15.5″
Overall Length 44.74″
Shot Capacity 10
Barrel Rifled
Front Sight none
Rear Sight none
Scopeable 11mm dovetail
Trigger Two-stage adjustable
Buttplate Adjustable
Suggested for Small game hunting/target practice
Action Sidelever
Safety Manual
Powerplant Pre-charged pneumatic
Function Repeater
Max Shots per Fill 35
Body Type Rifle
Fixed/adj. power Multiple settings
Weight 8.37 lbs
Cylinder Size 288 cc
Shrouded Yes

After a full inspection of the rifles function and making sure everything was tight I mounted a Hawke Vantage 3-12X44 SF Scope.

This is a great scope for the money that I believe to be a good step up from the standard AO Vantage. This model has the Side Focus that works much better in the field for quicker adjustments.

  • Rifle scope
  • 3-12x magnification
  • 44mm objective lens
  • 1 mono-tube for superior strength
  • 1/4 MOA (1/4″ click value @ 100 yds)
  • Side focus control for parallax adjustment from 10 yds to infinity
  • 30.6 ft to 7.7 ft field of view
  • 3.5″ eye relief
  • 17.3 oz.
  • 13.3″ long
  • Includes elasticated lens covers and lens cloth

Other features:

  • 11 layer fully multi-coated optics for maximum clarity
  • 100 MOA elevation and windage adjustment range
  • Nitrogen-filled
  • Shockproof
  • Waterproof
  • 1/4 at 100 yard low profile no snag fingertip turrets
  • Fast focus eyeball and high torque zoom ring
  • Black matte finish

10X 1/2 Mil Dot Reticle

  • Designed to be exact at 10x
  • Multiple aim points for hold over and hold under
  • Between each dot is a dash for more options when selecting an aimpoint

With the Hawke Sport Optics Vantage Side Focus Rifle Scope you’ll enjoy both close and long-range shooting. The unique 1/2 Mil Dot reticle offers several aim points for those times when you need to hold over or under. All the power you need for your most accurate shooting is built into this scope with its side focus control, low profile MOA turrets, and convenient side focus operation.


Ater mounting the scope I took a look at the T-Bar fill probe, this is Air Arms standard adaptor that I personally don’t like. The reason I don’t like any type of probes or adaptors beyond standard fosters is the get lost easily and are reliant on several O-rings.

To fill this gun using a standard foster fitting an Air Venturi adaptor will be needed. This model has the 288cc air reservoir that fills to 250 BAR or 3600psi.


The Air Arms is fully shrouded and is able to be fitted with several different types of moderators to quiet the bark. The end cap is threaded for a 1/2×20 male, I have chosen a DonnyFL Tatsu moderator as these have worked well on my other rifles and are of great build quality.

 


The side lever on this gun is of excellent quality, easily opens and closes with one finger. Really smooth and easy to use, very well done and looked very durable.

On the right side of the rifle is the power adjuster knob that has five increments “clicks” for fine tuning the power levels or consuming of air.

On the left side of the rifle is where you can see the adjustments with a small bar with +/- symbols.

I personally don’t see myself using this feature and would most likely always have the setting to maximum power levels.


Next we look at the safety that is of a simple crossbolt design, I don’t really like the placement as it’s not able to be put on easily with my index finger.

The Air Arms is fully shrouded and one thing to note is it is vented, I mention this because for those not familiar with a vented design.

A shroud with vents will expel air and can sometimes be felt by the shooter, this is totally normal to a true shroud design. The Air Arms is fitted with a fully adjustable Cheek piece as well as an accessory rail under the forearm with built in adjustable sling mount. This is a great feature that allows the rifle to be set up comfortably to the individual. I mounted a Benjamin tactical type bipod that extends out to 7.9″ and works well from bench to field.


The following day was spent at the 50/100 yard private shooting facility, the weather would hopefully cooperate. I first set up at 50 yards where I spent some time sighting in the new Hawke Vantage scope. The rifle came with two 10 shot rotary magazines that in my opinion are very reliable due to having no “spring” inside. Air Arms has incorporated a mechanism on the rifle itself to advance the magazine. These magazines are very easy to load and very friendly to leave loaded and field carry.

I had brought several types of pellets but found the .25 JSB Match Diabolo 25.39gr domed pellets worked very well.  Air Arms has done a great job with the ergonomics of the rifle to work very well from the bench. The large 288cc air reservoir gives 32 regulated shots at 44 fpe, a very conservative shot count. The trigger is fully adjustable but was very pleased with it’s set right out of the box, smooth and predictable. After spending some time shooting the rifle and sighting it in I shot several groups at 50 yards, all very good.

This S510xs .25’s regulator works very well to keep the accuracy very consistent, the gun shoots far better than I can. We moved along to the 100 yard range where unfortunately I would need to contend with some wind. I was actually kind of happy to be able to practice with some wind as the area I would be hunting is frequently very windy. Filming in the wind is never fun and makes it difficult to keep the video smooth and shake free. I shot several groups that fared very well so decided to go for the gold and shoot a 20 shot group. To put it simply, this gun is “ACCURATE”!!!

The Air Arms S510xs definitely shoots well and no doubt the regulator and LW barrel are a great combination to the rifle. A 20 shot group like this at 100 yard no doubt puts a smile on my face, can’t wait to get this into the field for some hunting. My initial thought was that 44fpe really isn’t much power for a .25 caliber Airgun here in the United States, this power level however works very well for it. The weather here in CA had been very poor the past several weeks so getting outside was hit or miss with the rain storms.


The following week Marley and I headed several hours North to a familiar location where I have spent much time hunting the California Ground Squirrel. This terrain is one of my favorite areas and offers near perfect habitat for these varmints. The weather here has been poor and the temperature and rain has kept many of the ground squirrels inside their holes. We arrived to find some snow still on the ground as well as the temperature being about 44 degrees at 6:00am.

The morning was a bit cold but nonetheless very beautiful and green after having some much needed rain. I unpacked the rifle and aired up for a full day of field use!

The area we would be hunting first was a bit of a hike into some thick forest that had many fallen trees and a hillside with many rocks and logs. By this time it was still cold but the sun was starting to warm us up as we set up behind a large fallen tree.

It didn’t take long for us to spot several of our first victims moving around out past 70+ yards.

This Ground Squirrel went down with authority sending the THWAAACK echoing through the canyon. The Air Arms works very well for offhand shooting and the adjustable cheek is an added bonus for comfort. The texture on the beautiful walnut stock makes for exceptional grip in a variety of shooting positions. Marley and I spent another hour in this spot and managed to feed some lead to 5 of them. This one I put down at 55 yards with a mean headshot!!

The Hawke Vantage 3-12X44 SF scope works very well for most hunting situations, the side focus really is a step up from the standard AO model. The glass is clear and the half mil dots really help with those precision shots at longer ranges.

I like having the lower power for close range quick shots where a higher magnification can sometimes take awhile to get on target. Excellent scope for the money!! After taking several Ground Squirrels we headed back to the Jeep for some lunch and to film a few details to the video portion of this review. NOTE: Due to weather we had to call the day short and return a few days later


A few days later we would be hunting the same area but with a bit more wide open terrain that has several rock outcroppings and Oak tree groves. This really is one of the best natural habitats for the California Ground Squirrel.

The temperature was moving up into the high 60’s with the clouds moving through pretty quickly. Marley and I found a valley that looked to be a good spot to sit in the tall grass and wait for action.

It didn’t take long to spot a few Ground Squirrels at 57 yards, this shot needed to get threaded between some branches to make a connect. THWAAACK!!!

We ended up taking several in the same spot, most were lost down into the many holes that were covering the small embankments. We continued in a big loop that followed a small animal trail that eventually led us down a steep hillside.

I spotted quite a few Ground Squirrels sunning themselves on a rock at 116+ yards offering several great shots. I missed on a couple of them only to have continual shots due to the fact they really couldn’t see or hear me from so far away. I made a perfect headshot on one that was sitting in a crack at 116 yards. THWAAAACK!!

The Air Arms S510xs .25 is in fact one of my new favorite Airguns for field use, I love the ruggedness, accuracy and adjustability of it. After spending the rest of the day filming and taking some still photographs we were ready to head back down the mountain. The activity was very slow but still managed a successful trophy Ground Squirrel hunt.


I have truly enjoyed my time spent with this amazing Air Rifle and cringe at the thought of having to return it. I have had my hands on a great many Airguns over the years and can honestly say this may be in one of my top five favorites. I want to thank Pyramydair for sponsoring me to review this rifle and be able to show it’s full potential to making a great hunting gun. My final honest thoughts are as follows:

       PROS

  • Accurate
  • Great Shot Count
  • Great Adjustability
  • Great Trigger
  • Smooth Side Lever
  • Well Balanced
  • Nice Magazines
  • Durable
  • Bipod/Sling Mount
  • Threaded For Moderator

      CONS 

  • Fill Probe
  • Safety
  • Easy To Double Load

I really enjoyed making this review and hope that it might help those of you who are interested. If you would like to purchase this rifle it’s available for order through Pyramydair with the provided link.


WANT MORE? Visit the forum at Airgunflix

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Pest Control on the Farm

by Dana Webb

Several weeks ago I had received a call from a good friend of mine who kindly invited Lindsey, Marley, Buddy and I to spend the weekend on one of the farms he frequents. This was an excellent opportunity for us as we had just recently purchased an R/V for extended trips and to make room for our new larger dog Buddy. Friday afternoon I loaded up the R/V with all of my camera equipment, Airguns and gear so we could get started on the road early Saturday morning. My friend had informed me that the Ground Squirrels and Collared Doves were plentiful and ready to be thinned out a bit. Saturday morning we left the house for our several hour trip down to the farm, the weather was a bit chilly but bright and clear. We arrived to the farm by 9:00 and were kindly greeted by the farms owner. We drove in slowly as the road was still a bit muddy from the several days of rain we had had. All the rain has turned the hills grass so green, something I have not seen in many years.

This farm has many acres of prime huntable land that offers a great place to target shoot as well. The panoramic views were just gorgeous with the green grass and snow capped mountains in the background. I had brought several Airguns with me but had planned to use my American Air Arms EVOL .30 for most of the weekends hunting. I started off the day by unpacking the gear from the motorhome and to situate it for the several days of being parked. After setting things up I was eager to set out on foot and have a look at the property as well as the varmint activity.

As we made way down an animal trail that weaved through the many fallen citrus trees I noticed a ton of Rabbit and Ground Squirrel activity. This trail made way around the property and ultimately led up to a small abandoned shack. This shack was a great place to stay hidden from the many Eurasian Collared Doves that flock into the branches of the fallen citrus trees.

I set myself up inside towards the back wall that left me some great shots between 20 and 60 yards. After waiting for several minutes sure enough a good size flock of Eurasians came in to perch on the branches just ahead of me.

The Eurasian Collared Doves are becoming more and more abundant here in the Western states and can be found near almost all agricultural properties. In many cases the populations have simply become far out of control and at times may need to be thinned out. No species of bird has colonized North America at the speed with which the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) has marched across the continent. Many invasive species have a negative impact on native species, particularly species that are similar to the invader.

Eurasian Collared Doves can be easily identified by the black ring that goes from the back of the neck and stops halfway around the front with a sharp taper. Most states have no limit on these invasive species and are in some cases encouraged to be taken. Air Rifles are near the perfect tool to ethically hunt the Eurasian Collared Doves, especially in a farmyard type environment. When hunting on any permission it’s imperative to be safe and know your surroundings. Under some circumstances the use of a large caliber may be a poor safety choice. When hunting birds we are most likely always aiming upwards and sometimes near buildings or livestock. We always need to be aware of what’s behind our line of sight and to be conscious of the surrounding areas.

 

Over the next few hours I had some great success with taking many Collared Doves and ranges out to 60+ yards. My rifle is outfitted with a DonnyFL Ronin moderator that quiets the report down considerably making the birds a lot less skittish to land.

Many of the times I was able to take several sitting on the same branch. The fallen citrus trees had many California Ground Squirrels that burrow in and around these areas.

Marley and I spent enough time on the birds so we headed back to the motorhome for some lunch and a bit of relaxation. This area was a pleasure to hunt and definitely had given me the most fun I’ve had hunting birds in a great many years. After lunch I topped off the EVOL with air and filled my bag with some more NSA .300 47gr hollow point slugs. I have used these slugs for the majority of the hunting I do here in CA as they’re extremely accurate and carry much better BC than that of a standard diabolo pellet. After reloading my pack and putting a fresh battery in my camera Marley and I set out again, this time we were going after the California Ground Squirrel. This farm has several large pastures that are bordered by some large citrus groves. When Springtime comes the Ground Squirrels move into the groves and cause serious damage to the orange trees, killing many of them. Our goal was to eliminate some of the larger adults before having a chance to create offspring that can explode the population in less than several weeks.

I walked around the property and noticed quite a few large adults in an area approximately 40 yards from the edge of the citrus grove. These areas all had very large mounds with active holes set several feet apart. Marley and I set up on the very edge of the northern part of the field between 65 and 100 yards of most of the active holes.

In most cases hunting Ground Squirrels requires a good amount of patience and quiet time. When hunting like this we sometimes may be waiting 20 minutes before we get a good clear shot. After a short wait I spotted several large adults congregating just outside one of the large mounds at 67 yards. With careful aim I was able to take a great headshot that threw the Ground Squirrel down lifelessly.

A short time later I spotted another one at 72 yards and was able to take it down with another perfectly placed headshot. This field looked to be pretty active but after killing several off they became extremely skittish and stopped coming out. At this time I decided to move a bit higher up on the hill where I could get more of a long range view of the field. This hill gave me a great view but took me out of the shelter of the wind. The next adult ground squirrel was across a ravine at 112 yards, somewhat of a tricky shot in heavy wind. I took the shot and was a bit low hitting it in the shoulder sending it into a flip. Not much can survive a shot like that and sure enough Marley found the squirrel expired just under a nearby bush. After several hours of some casual pest control we headed back to the motorhome to relax and to take a short walk with the dogs. That evening my friend and I had planned to take a trip out for some rabbits, skunks and coyotes.


After having a nice relaxing dinner in the warmth of the motorhome my good friend and I got ready for a night hunt. I would be using the GAMO TC45 loaded with 138gr Air Venturi diabolo pellets.

This is a rifle I have been working with for several months doing and in depth review on. I have found it to be an excellent short range big bore that’s an excellent choice for small to medium game. This rifle is easy to carry and with the Trinity Force 1-4X28 scope I’m able to mount a light very easily onto the tactical rail. This area gets very cold at night so we quickly found that most battery powered devices lose power due to the low temperatures. This evening I was hoping to spot one of many coyotes that frequently roam throughout the farm looking for rabbits as well as trying to enter a nearby chicken pen. Due to the cold we called the night short but not before I was able to take several cottontails moving about through the thick areas of a large field.


The following morning I got up fairly early to head out to film some shots for the enclosed video. Over the next year I plan to do add some more hunts like this into the “Farm Series” of videos. This has been a great experience for me and was happy to have the opportunity to try something new. Most of my hunting is done in very remote and hard to reach natural terrain, this has opened my eyes to a different form of hunting. I was happy to have put a dent in the pest populations on this farm as well as opening the door to future visits. I apologize for the short post but have found it to be increasingly difficult to produce both videos and written reports together. Over the past several months I have been working on several amazing projects with some very interesting Airguns that will be shared very soon. Enclosed is the video I hope you may enjoy!!

 

Want more? Visit Airgun Flix forum

 

 

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RX Target Systems Review

Over this past month we have had some great time spent with a new Airgun product manufactured by RX Target Systems. These are very unique targets that are brilliantly made right here in the USA by a friend of mine David  Bitkowski. Over the past year I have watched the progress of these target systems develop through post made in the many Facebook groups we’re both a part of. I enjoyed the enthusiasm David put into making these target systems. I soon wanted to reach out to learn a little more about him and this product he developed. Through our several emails and phone conversations he was kind enough to send us one here for us to review. To look back as to how David became involved in creating the RX Target Systems we will share this short story written by his daughter Melissa:


“My name is Melissa Bitkowski. I  am a third grader in Rossford, Ohio.  In March of 2017, I was diagnosed with a very rare chronic inflammatory disease called GPA, (Granulomatosis PolyAngitis). GPA occurs in 3 and 100,000 and mostly in older people. GPA  commonly affects the lungs, sinuses, and kidneys, and is caused by the immune system attacking the blood vessels . My sinuses and lungs were ok; but my kidneys became very sick and I had to use dialysis three days a week to clean my blood out, sort of like an oil change. We were told that the damage to the kidneys is called “Crescentic Glomerulonephritis” which happens to 7 in a million people with kidney damage. It  caused high blood pressures, seizures, and anemia that needed managed by medicine. There is no cure. Doctors treat GPA by making the immune system “go to sleep” or into remission using medicine so it stops attacking my kidneys . However, the first choice of treatment failed. We were told two thirds of my kidneys were unrecoverable. The second treatment put me in remission, but my kidneys still failed. I received a kidney from my Mom’s cousin which saved my life. Now I’m on anti rejection meds for the rest of my life and close monitoring by my doctors. This has been a very rough time for my family who has given up everything to help me live the new normal. My Mom has left her job of 15 years to take care of me, making sure I got to my dialysis appointments 3 days a week and doctor visits at CS Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. My dad took money from his retirement and is working a lot of hours to help pay the bills. Dad started making Airgun Targets to keep his mind off the stress and to help others get better with shooting. He also wants to help support other families who have a child in Dialysis. Please consider supporting I our business . My  family and I thank you for taking time to read our story.”

After reading this letter it became apparent that it needed to be shared for spreading the word, and to hopefully play a small part to help out. David is a very dedicated family man and has spent countless long hours in his garage putting together these fine target systems.


About the RX Target Systems

FROM SKETCH TO FINAL INSPECTION, EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE A QUALITY PRODUCT IS PRODUCED. THOROUGH RESEARCH WAS DONE PRIOR FILING FOR A UNITED STATES PROVISIONAL PATENT, 60207-US. THE DESIGNS ARE ENTERED INTO AUTO-CAD THEN CUT OUT ON THE PLASMA TABLE.  THE FACE PLATES, TARGET PLATES, AND RESET BARS ARE THEN CLEANED OF THE ROUGH EDGES, AND WASHED TO PREPARE FOR PAINTING OR RETAIN NATURAL FINISH. WOOD IS CAREFULLY SELECTED AND CURRENTLY CONSISTS OF PREMIUM CUT PINE.  RUSTOLEUM BRAND SPRAY PAINT IS USED FOR ITS COST EFFECTIVENESS AND WIDESPREAD AVAILABILITY.  FIELD TESTING IS DONE WITH EACH MODEL TO ENSURE IT HANDLES THE FORCE TO WHICH IT IS RATED.

David does extensive testing of all his products to ensure they can withstand the repetitive force of Airgun use.

 KITS ARE SHIPPED ASSEMBLED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE FACE PLATE WHICH ATTACHES WITH TWO HEX BOLTS.  ONE KIT WEIGHS ON AVERAGE 8 POUNDS. EACH BASE IS 16″ LONG. FIELD TARGET WIDTH IS 8″ AND BULL CHALLENGE IS 6″. HEIGHT IS 4“. The RX Target Systems are available in many different styles and colors that can be used for many different shooting applications. Most of these targets are designed for smaller calibers but that may change soon as the need for something that can withstand large calibers is growing. These are very well made for the cost and was a bit surprised seeing just how well these have been built. Terry and I spend some time with them in the field and found the target to be extremely enjoyable to practice with.

Rx Bull Challenge, shown with black and white style. Standard with 1 inch bulls but can be customized to skill, down to 1/4 inch. Great for biathlon style shooting.

These targets can be custom painted directly from RX Target Systems or customized by the user. We found this camo model to be an excellent challenge as well as looking really cool during field use.


Terry, Marley and I headed into the remote mountains of Southern California to film for several videos as well as to give us a great opportunity to test out the RX Target Systems.

 Terry is a very well accomplished field target shooter and can be found on the Offhand Airgunner YouTube channel. I figured Terry would be a great candidate to try out this target as I felt it was the perfect tool for practicing for field target. We spent a good portion of the day filming as well as taking several photographs of various products. We set up near a riverbed that offered some good cover from the wind as well as a safe area for some long range shooting with a Big Bore we were testing.

Terry and I set up the RX Target System at 25 yards, we nestled it between two bushes that left a great backdrop to the target.

At 25 yards this target was a good challenge for me, especially offhand.

The RX Target System was easy to set up, we spiked it into the ground with stakes through the provided holes on the base.

The reset hinge has a nicely riveted hole that’s makes a secure place to tie the reset string. David has obviously done his homework on this design because everything works so smoothly. The major working components of this target system are protected well and stronger than they need to be to last during heavy use. Lets face it, they have to be to withstand thousands of pellets hitting them at 25+fpe. Terry had brought his .22 Tapian Mutant with the newly mounted Discovery optics scope. This is a great kit for both target shooting and hunting and is no doubt one of the most accurate bullpups on the market.

Terry made using this target look easy, doing it all offhand. I had a difficult time and found the kneeling shots to be much easier for me, you can see from the photograph I missed a few times. This is the type of target I can easily set up in my backyard to practice some improvement on my offhand skills. I can see the RX Target Systems being an excellent gift to ANY Airgunner and something that will last for years. I hope our readers will reach out to David and share his story with others, he’s a great guy and has a strong foot in the Airgun community.


We had a great time with this target and was able to gather some good video of our use of it that will be enclosed at the bottom. I would urge anyone interested in purchasing the RX Target Systems to visit Davids website or Baker Airguns who is now a distributor of these awesome targets. You can also find RX Target Systems on Facebook here.


If you would like to make a donation to help families affected by Childhood Kidney Disease in your area, contact David for help finding these locations. Here is his email:

dave@rxtargetsystems.com


WANT MORE? Visit the video forum at Airgun Fix

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Rainstorm .30 Resurrection

by Dana Webb

Saturday morning Terry, Marley and I left my house at 4:45 am to head hour North to the mountains. I had recently acquired a Brocock Sniper HR that I wanted to field test as well as to set it up for review. Terry has been working on Rons Rainstorm thats been converted by American Air Arms to .30 80 fpe beast. This was the Air Rifle used to develop the American Air Arms EVOL model rifles. About a year ago the sling’s quick release failed and the rifle dropped and broke the stock beyond what was thought could be repaired….Well Terry fixed it stronger and better than new. The full write up of the work he had done can be found here. He wanted to take the rifle out for it’s first main voyage so what better than a Jackrabbit hunt. We stopped in an open area first and spent about 30 minutes sighting in both rifles at 50 and 100 yards. We then headed another 35 minutes driving into the hunting area where I have spotted some very large populations of Jackrabbits.


The morning was very nice at 70 degrees by 8:00am, great for hiking around and refreshing after the many months of 100+ degree temperatures.

We arrived to the location, aired up our Air Rifles, loaded our packs with water and proceeded up on top of a hill. I immediately spotted a Cottontail at 130 yards moving through some thick brush that covered the hillsides. I sent Marley down to try flushing some Jackrabbits but I think we may have arrived a bit late to find them in the usual spots. We moved slowly around to the left side of this field where the brush got thicker with several small animal trails that weaved through the hills. I spotted two Jackrabbits moving away from us headed for a deep ravine where they usually will hide out. Terry moved ahead of me and I told him I suspected several would be in the ravine, they generally get spooked and will run up the other side offering an excellent opportunity to make shots. As soon as we hit the edge of where the ravine was sure enough a Jackrabbit started moving up the hillside diagonally.

Terry made several shots finally connecting with a shoulder shot at 100 yards, this Jack was moving fast, great offhand shot at that range. Terry sent Marley in pursuit and she was able to locate the Jackrabbit high up in the thick brush.. WOW were we excited when we saw her return dragging this kangaroo in her mouth. Pretty exciting to watch her retrieve from such rugged terrain.

Marley with her monster bunny recovery

I have seen many Jackrabbits in this area but this no doubt is one of the largest I’ve ever seen. I think Ron will be pleased with how this rifle performs, gun looks really cool as well.

Terry with the custom Rainstorm .30 with Tj barrel


The rest of the day was spent scouting new locations as well as some photography work I had for several new projects coming up that I have been working on. This area is absolutely stunning for this type of work, excellent photo opportunities.

We found several areas that had Ground Squirrels but the activity was very slow, we did find several spots that had some moving around.

Terry spotted several at 120 yards moving around on some rocks.

The scope he had mounted had no mil-dots so judging holdover beyond 100 yards made shots very difficult, that .30 44gr JSB gets out quick with little effect from wind.


The rest of the day was not very eventful, I really just enjoyed being out with my two friends enjoying the mountain air. I was able to gather some great product photographs as well as getting to try out an awesome new gun. We are working on several new field use projects that should make for some exciting videos, so stay tuned and SUBSCRIBE!!!!

Brocock Sniper HR .22 with MTC Cobra F1 scope courtesy of AOA 

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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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Airgun Hunting, Scouting Safari

by Dana Webb

Thursday morning Lindsey, Marley and I left home and traveled several hours North of us where we would spend the next 4 days. The area we had chosen is somewhat familiar to us although this trip would be spent exploring new territories within the park. The weather was typical for Springtime here in California and was supposed to be in the high 70s and mid 80s throughout the rest of the week. As we turned off the highway and into the BLM land we were immediately greeted by the 246,812+ acres of grassland. Springtime is especially amazing here as everything is so green and the wildflowers are exploding throughout this vast wilderness of rolling hills and mountains.

Most of the area is semi-arid grassland where very few trees grow with the annual rainfall around 9 inches. This area is close to the terrain you would expect to find on the African Plains and gives a very “Safari” like feel to it when traveling down the long dirt roads in the Jeep.

We had planned to travel much further than before into the area where we would create a primitive campsite where we would spend our first night. The area we chose was at much higher elevation and would prove to be much cooler as the sun made way down over the mountains. The small trail that switch-backed through the picturesque mountains was steep, rutted and no doubt a great job for the Jeep. We found a nice spot that offered a spectacular view of the valley floor as well as great scouting opportunity for the giant Jackrabbits that roam the hillsides. We unpacked the Jeep and set up a nice comfortable campsite complete with fire-pit to keep us warm while enjoying the stars.

We spent the evening enjoying the stars and making plans for our following days adventure. This area offers a great deal to the outdoor enthusiast such as hiking, offroading, wildlife watching, metal detecting and some unreal hunting opportunities. My plan was to get up early and hike around the hillsides looking for signs of large Jackrabbits.


The next morning Marley woke me up ready to start the day with a nice leisurely hike, she was very excited to get out and about looking for big bunnies. On this trip I packed very minimally with only a small pack for water, pellets, rangefinder and the .22 Lynx MK2 PCP rifle. I had recently done some work to the rifle making it more suitable to extreme field use. Marley and I moved slowly down the hillsides through the tall grass and with hopes of spotting some Jackrabbits in the distance as the sun came over the mountains.

As I was carrying a light caliber rifle the ideal range was within 100 yards limiting many of the shots that are more suitable to the larger .30 rifles. The nice part of using a smaller caliber is the challenge of getting closer and making much more precise shots to bring down these giant Jackrabbits. These animals are tough and can many times run for miles if shot placement isn’t perfect. I found myself using more stalking techniques that have not been practiced in awhile. The key is to stay low and slow, frequently stopping to look around. I like to work hillsides, canyons, ravines as these are generally the areas Jackrabbits move through. Many times I will walk for a few minutes and simply sit and wait to spot for movement, it’s amazing to see a Jackrabbit sometimes appear from nowhere. This particular habitat can be difficult as the grass is taller and the Jackrabbits blend so well into the environment.

Marley had flushed a few Jackrabbits from the tall grass with none stopping long enough to to make any decent shots. I was having a great time just being able to hiking around with my little friend and to have the opportunity to gather some great photographs of our adventures. After about an hour we headed back to camp and had decided to pack things up and venture back down into the valley to explore some different areas. We had enjoyed our stay in the primitive campsite and will most likely return sometime to spend a few more days. As we slowly drove down the mountain into the valley floor we spotted a large Elk herd off in the distance.

After spending several minutes watching the Elk move across the large open plain we continued down the road and deeper into the territory. I had found several buildings off in the distance using the spotting scope I figured we would go and explore. The area was home to several ranches in the mid 1800’s and many of these homes are still in fair condition as well as the many other ruins left such as farm equipment, water tanks and windmills.

One of three wooden harvesters found near an abandoned homestead site

Homestead built around 1929

After having a short break in the shade of the old homestead we continued north spotting several more Elk as well as some Antelope grazing in the miles of open plains. One of the prominent attractions that can be seen from the highest points of the valley is an alkali lake, essentially a dry lake bed. From a distance the lake seems to give the illusion of water but upon closer inspection it’s just several miles of salt bed.

We spent some time walking around taking some photographs while Marley played in this interesting new environment. We soon left and continued down the road heading up into a more remote area more off the beaten path, this area is simply huge and fairly easy to get lost in. Lindsey drove for a bit as it was now late afternoon and we decided to try settling on a new spot to spend the night. We drove up a small trail that took us into some beautiful rolling hills covered in grass.

This area was very open with a few Ephedra Viridis bushes spread throughout, very beautiful place to camp. After we parked and started unpacking the Jeep I had already spotted several Jackrabbits moving about. I dug a small fire-pit as I knew it may be a bit chilly later in the evening, I too gathered a small amount of kindling as well as some larger dead branches I found.

That night was a bit chilly as anticipated but offered some unimaginable views of the stars, I ended up staying up quite late just enjoying the sky.

Lindsey enjoying a beer next to a great fire


The following morning Marley awoke me as usual as she was ready to start the day with a nice hunt. I was excited as I was sure we would no doubt have some action from the many Jackrabbits I had encountered moving about from the day before. We moved slowly heading towards the Northeast of the camp where there were some prominent hills.

We hiked up to the highest hill where I had planned to sit and see if I could spot the ears of some Jackrabbits that sometimes glow as the sun hits them. After the sun started coming up I sure enough spotted a Jackrabbit behind a bush at 74 yards.

I slowly moved to my right as to get better sight of the Jackrabbit and made a nice heart lung shot that took it down instantly with Marley excitedly able to recover.

As Marley and I hiked back to camp the morning was really starting to heat up and by 9:00am was already approaching the mid 80’s. Lindsey spent some time walking around looking for some interesting rocks to add to our huge collection at home. I had forgotten the metal detector and can only imagine the cool things we may have been able to find if we had brought it. We plan to make a future trip dedicated specifically for relic hunting. We packed up once again and decided to venture to a nearby marked campground where a trailhead was located. The trail was to take us on a several mile loop that weaved through a cattle pasture and up a steep mountain offering spectacular views of this amazing wilderness.

Lindsey and I had a great hike and it was the first time she really got to witness Marley hunt Jackrabbits. As we walked the trail we would flush them and watch Marley shoot after them like a rocket, amazing how fast and hard that little dog can move through the rugged terrain. She is extremely adapted to this type of hunting as she’s so short she can easily move through the bushes. After each session of her chasing we would take a break to keep her hydrated to lessen the probability of heat stroke, a very common cause of death for dogs. We continued the trail back to the Jeep where we enjoyed a nice lunch in the shade of one of few trees found in the area. We decided to head another direction and back into the mountains on a small fireroad that weaved us high up onto a giant overlook. We decided to make our camp and enjoy no doubt one of the best views of the entire trip. It was quite exhilarating being up so high and able to view the many different features and mountain ranges over 50 miles away.

That evening my friend Jon had arrived with his girlfriend, her sister and his two boys. The campsite had plenty of room for all our tents and it was nice to have some company for the next few days. The plan was for Jon and I to hunt that evening and early the following morning where we would take the Jeep into and area he had previously scouted. That evening Jon, his son and I had decided to hunt up the hill from camp and work a very steep hillside where we hoped to find some Jackrabbits moving about. We all hiked down the steep hillside, Jon and his son sat at the edge just as it dropped off into the ravine. I moved a bit North and followed the ravine occasionally stopping to scan the embankments for Jackrabbits.

Within a few minutes I spotted one foraging around a large bush at 80+ yards unaware of my presence from high above. Hunting from a high point like this is always a great way to increase success as we have a much better view and the shots are usually less obstructed by thick vegetation, this becomes especially important when using small caliber Airguns. I was able to make and a good chest shot that took down the Jackrabbit with authority using the H&N Sport Sniper MagnumsIt took me quite a while to recover as I had left Marley back at camp and with Lindsey, it was getting dark and the ravine was ridiculously steep.

By the time I made it back up to the truck it was pretty much dark but thankful to have bagged a Jack. We had a great little drive back down the hill to our campsite where the girls had started a nice fire for us to warm ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon and I processed the Jacks and marinated them in olive oil, black pepper and several other spices he had brought. After having a nice bed of coals we cooked them over the fire and had more than enough for all of us including Marley to feast on.

That evening we slept great in our tent having much more room than the previous nights being cramped in the back of the Jeep with Marley.

 


Jon and I woke up early to fire up the Jeep and head 12 miles down onto the valley floor to a spot he had previously scouted for both Coyotes and Jackrabbits. Marley was eager to hunt as usual so we proceeded to the area that was very near the dry lake bed.

Jon, Marley and I parked the Jeep and proceeded to hike up a hill into a large field that ran into a steep ravine, we saw many Jackrabbits moving about on the hillsides. We spread about 50 yards apart and paralleled this ravine where I soon spotted a good size Jackrabbit moving up the other side stopping at 58 yards. I was able to make a good headshot that sent the Jackrabbit into a flip as it rolled backwards down the hill into a bush where Marley recovered.

This area had a ton of Jackrabbits but the terrain was a bit open and difficult to get close without spooking them. I see myself returning at a later date with the .30 EVOL and laying it down with some long range varmint hunting. Jon had set out his Coyote caller with the hope of bringing one in within range of his .223 varmint rifle. Marley and I patiently sat behind hoping to partake in the excitement of Jon’s hunt and to keep watch in several different directions. We spent about 20 minutes using the caller with little activity other than viewing some crows and birds of prey staying busy in the sky. This area is no doubt a good area to hunt predators and I would much enjoy returning for a dedicated Coyote hunt. Usually areas with a large habitat for small animals such as kangaroo rats, squirrels and rabbits are good places to set a stand. The place is large enough that we would never run out of areas to try, I do believe the higher elevation areas may be a better choice to try.

We made our way back up into the mountains where we started packing up the camp and venture to several other landmarks. The areas throughout this valley have a ton of history and almost to much to see in just a few days, can’t wait to return again and continue our exploration. After just a few days we had managed to find several new areas that are excellent for hunting, camping and hiking. I hope you enjoyed this write up and encourage you to subscribe and share this website with others. Till then, enjoy life and remember “The best Airgun is the one your shooting”

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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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2016 EXTREME BENCHREST

On Wednesday October 5th 2016 Doug Noble, myself and Tom Costan left the American Air Arms facility in Acton California to head out 7 hours into the Arizona desert. Our trip had not started as soon as we would have liked as our rifles had literally been just finished that morning setting us back more than 6 hours. I was very excited as this was my first widely followed Airgun event where I was sure to meet some very familiar faces. My goal was to do well in the Big Bore event and to hopefully place well in the small bore 75yard benchrest that was to be very challenging. We arrived in Arizona early that evening where we settled in and made sure we had all necessary components to compete the following morning. The next morning we piled into the van and made our way for some coffee before our arrival to the 2016 Extreme Benchrest event.

We pulled into the beautiful  Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club by 7:30 am where we were greeted by banners and an army of Airguns Of Arizona staff diligently getting the event ready.

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We made our way into the registration area where we were kindly greeted and given our time schedule that included a small bag of goodies along with an 2016 Extreme Benchrest T-shirt. Tom, Doug and I were excited to get some practice in before our 1st afternoon Big Bore event. We unloaded our guns, tanks and pounds of other shooting equipment to the nicely shaded shooting benches.

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We were greeted by AoA’s own Kip Perow who later I found to be quite a great shooter in the Big Bore event. The man sitting was Ron from High Arc Hunting shooting the new Bushbuck .45 monster Big Bore rifle. Doug Noble set up his custom built .338 that he has spent many months preparing to shoot here.

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Other well known names such as Rossi Morreale (below) from the show American Airgunner were practicing for the event. Tom and myself had a great talk with Rossi and were impressed with his love for the sport and his sincerity in trying to make it grow.

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As Tom and I set up our new guns for testing we had Micheal Wendt (below) the new owner of Airgun Nation forum come by to say hello and to check out our new guns. Micheal is a very friendly guy that had some very positive energy behind him and one I was glad to meet.

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I was having a great time trying out my new wood stock EVOL .30 while Tom was using the .30 TAC version. We were practicing with both of the American Air Arms .357 Slayers as well. For me it was quite the adjustment to switch between two completely different power levels. I was sighting in my .30 for the 75 yard event and my .357 Slayer for 200 yards.

img_6924-copy-copyimg_6908-copy-copyMy first event was the Big Bore 200 yard event where we were shooting at 4 military style targets, we had to make 5 shots onto each target. I was shooting horrible not only due to the wind but I had chosen the wrong scope for the application being a fixed parallax. After that disastrous event I headed over to have my Airtank filled where I was kindly greeted by Todd DeOrio (below) Airguns Of Arizona’s fill station expert. He was most helpful and very on his game as I had to visit him quite often over the next few days,never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a fill. Thank you

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The rest of the day we practiced some more and walked around in between checking out some cool guns and even spotting a few more well known shooters such as my friend Tim McMurray of Mac1 Airguns and former winner of the EBR.

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Food and refreshments were available all day long with a great shaded area with plenty of room to sit and chat. Precision Airgun was on hand with its mobile repair center as well as the onsite gunsmith.

img_6964  Day two for us was to practice till about 3:00 where we were to shoot our first 75 yard card.

img_6925-copy-2 I had still been dialing in my gun and practicing the best I could in the wind that didn’t seem too bad as of yet. Tom was shooting the best out of the three of us with his gun, ending with him doing fairly well on his card. I had made the mistake of not using my sighters as often as I should of, ending with me doing very poorly. (no need to post pic)

Day 3 we had or 2nd 75 yard card to shoot, all three of us were in the 3rd relay so we had a good portion of the day to practice. As I walked up to practice I saw another more familiar face such as Ted Bier.

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As the time approached I was feeling confident in my gun and my ability to shoot it well. We all headed down to our lanes to set our bench and to start the 75 yard event. I thankfully used a rear lead bag that proved to work much better for me, good to learn for future competitions. The wind was not as bad as the previous day but was still a bit unpredictable for me. This time I used my sights as needed and filled my gun along with using sorted pellets. For me this was my personal best and was very pleased regardless of how I placed.

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img_6983As you can see, these are very small targets and very humbling when missed. Unfortunately as good as I had done this day my previous card had killed my chance to qualify for the 3rd card at 100 yards.

Day 4 started early for us as our Big Bore event started at around 8:00 where we would be shooting at 85 yards and 200 yards. I was pretty confident with shooting 200 yards but was a bit nervous of the 85 yards as I’m not used to having to hold under. Doug, Kip, Ron and Tom were all shooting great. That Bushbuck is a pretty amazing gun, Doug’s .338 is just plain radical.

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I had a bit of confusion with my 85 yard targets but in the end was very happy with a 2nd.

After the event we had nothing more to do till the banquet so we spent our time plinking with our guns and visiting friends. I was having fun offhand shooting the 200 yard silhouette while Doug was visiting the 550 yard silhouette with his custom .338. My good friend Jim Walton (below) from “Fun Birds Hunting” came by to visit and to do a bit of shooting with us.

img_6947-copyHad some more visitors from Chile “Patagonia Airguns” So nice to see people from all over the world, bringing some very nice airguns to compete with.

img_6958 img_6957My friend Steve Marsh (above) who lives in Arizona and came to keep us company and to show us some killer places to eat throughout the area. I cant wait to come back and do some hunting when time allows. The day was just about to and end with a few Thunderheads in the distance.

img_6991We headed down the road several minutes to a very upscale banquet hall that was overlooking a beautiful golf coarse. This is where we would have dinner, announce the winners and to draw for the raffle prizes.

img_7006Some very nice raffle prizes this year.

ham-raffleThe dinner was excellent along with coffee and dessert, and followed by the awards.

img_7007 Big Congrats to Ted for winning the $5000

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This year had so many amazing competitors,some that traveled from far away places. I see this event only growing stronger and I will say the future is in the young shooters. We all as airgunners need to focus on the progression and to try sharing this wonderful pastime. I want to especially thank the AOA crew for doing such a wonderful job and being so welcoming to me as this was my first year competing. I feel it was well worth the trip and can only help to do better next year. The 2016 Extreme Benchrest has many events that can fit just about any shooters needs. Next year I plan to compete in the American Field Target and Big Bore events. Anyone that’s wanting a fun,family friendly event,this is a winner. Thanks to all who participated. Results can be found here: 2016 Extreme Benchrest

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