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TECHNIQUE / GEAR / INSpiration
2018 Gear Special! ■ Daystate introduces the Red Wolf ■ Wolverine, Bantam & Compatto upgraded ■ Weihrauch HW 95K put to the test ■ Maintaining your rifle in the rain FIELDCRAFT
WINTER WOODIES Hunting woodpigeons for pest control and the pot
HIGH-END HFT SIGHTS We scope out four of the best optics over £500
TORNADO Handgun fun with both optics and open sights
• Managing recoil effectively • Follow-through techniques
ISSUE 106 april 2018 Meet the TEAM Editor-At-Large MAT MANNING An author, journalist and countryman with over 30 years’ shooting experience, Mat is a world-leading authority on hunting.
Contributor Chris Wheeler
Chris has been into airguns for more than 40 years, and in recent years hunting with PCPs has become a passion.
Whenever you talk to a group of fellow airgun shooters, certain subjects are bound to come up: topics like people’s favourite calibre, whether they prefer springers or PCPs, and the optimum level of scope magnification for a particular shooting discipline. Another one that’s pretty much guaranteed to crop up is the buying and selling of airguns – and in particular, mourning the loss of guns we really wish we hadn’t sold. If you’ve been shooting airguns for a number of years, you’ve perhaps already sold one or two yourself, and can probably relate to this. I’ve lost track of the number of people I’ve spoken to who’ve expressed their dismay at having sold a gun they should have kept – me included, in the case of a beautiful TX200 HC. Often, these people will end up buying a similar model to the one they sold, and might even be lucky enough to buy back their old gun from its new owner. Amid all this angst, why do we sell our guns in the first place? If we’ve fallen on hard times, we may need to sell some of our possessions to
CONTRIBUTOR Richard Saunders RICHARD is a journalist , author and airgun hunter who’s been creeping about the undergrowth with his rifle for more than 30 years.
Contributor Jonathan young Jonathan has a lifelong interest in shooting and weapons history, and loves collecting airguns as well as shooting them.
Contributor Andy McLachlan ANDY is the man to help you get a competitive edge. While he’s happiest shooting HFT, he has been known to dabble in FT too.
tide us over until our financial situation has become more solid – and, of course, that can include our guns. There’s no dispute, debate or dishonour here: we do what we must to survive. But what about selling our guns when we don’t really need the money? Maybe we’re not shooting a gun very much. Maybe it holds little sentimental value. Maybe it’s taking up room. Maybe we’re just bored of it. In cases like these, it can be useful to use the three-month rule. If you decide a gun has to go, wait three months. Still want to sell it? Go ahead, with no regrets. Glad you didn’t get rid of it when you first thought about it? Hang onto it for a while longer – with no remorse.
Mike Morton,Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
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After one of the wettest winters in recent years, here’s how you can look after your gun following a foul-weather shooting session
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Effective gun cleaning
8 Zeroing In
63 Airgun Answers
87 Reader ads
Our regular collection of news and views from the airgun community brings you the hottest hardware from the SHOT Show, including the Red Wolf and a limited-edition rifle from Daystate and upgrades to Brocock’s Compatto and Bantam.
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90 The Gun Room
Get reacquainted with a classic German rifle that offered a precision instrument for shooting refinement
Issue 106 April 2018
Especially For HFT
Your all-new guide to HFT and everything target-related!
54 Fundamentals Adjusting to a new spring-powered rifle proves much harder than expected for Andy McLachlan, as he explains how to manage recoil effectively
on 57 Finger the trigger
Master the fine arts of trigger control and follow-through
Mat Manning hunts woodpigeons for pest control – and the pot
60 A visit to Leigh A trip to a popular range in the north of England offers a chance to learn new skills and explore hand-crafted guns
Bullpup believer They look cool, but how easy are these stubby pups to shoot? We put a choice pair to the test
TEsting Station 100% independent reviews
70 Weihrauch HW 95K
80 Weihrauch F+T Special
76 AirForceOne Tornado N-RAM
Test: Highend HFT sights 82 Group
This edition of the popular rifle adds a moderator to the original
Head out onto the garden range for some fun with this pistol
A domed diabolo with the potential to appeal beyond its specified audience
Four competition-ready scopes to help you get consistently on target
AirForceOne Tornado N-RAM An airgun that promises many happy hours of fun-gunning on the garden range
Zeroing In KIT / News / People / events / insight
NEW YEAR, NEW RIFLES Gear special
Get ready for some animal-themed airgun action as a host of new Wolves, Wolverines, Bantams and Cobras make a stampede from the SHOT Show in Las Vegas
The barrel is enclosed inside a carbon-fibre shroud. If that doesn’t quieten everything down enough to your taste, you can also screw on a moderator
The Serie Rosso is fitted with a carbon-fibre buddy bottle, which should return an impressive shot count in whichever calibre you choose – .177, .22 or .25
The display screen proves the Red Wolf is an electronic rifle
There are some unexpected visitors coming to The Game Fair
his year already looks to be an exciting one for airgun shooters, with several manufacturers taking advantage of the SHOT Show in Las Vegas – the biggest shooting show in the world – to announce new additions to their 2018 line-up. Daystate unveiled its Red Wolf – a hi-tech multi-shot PCP based on an electronic action developed from the company’s flagship Pulsar. But while the Pulsar is a bullpup, the Red Wolf is a rifle, and will be available as a standard edition as well as a special called the Serie Rosso (Red Series), both with sporter-style stocks. Let’s take a look at the specialedition Serie Rosso first. This rifle is
Meet the Paralympian who earned a gold at last year’s USA Nationals
Results from the recent British Schools Pistol Championships
limited to 200 worldwide, with each individually numbered. It comes in a hard case and costs £2,499, but that gets you a red laminate stock with an adjustable cheekpiece and butt pad, plus an engraved breech. It comes in .177, .22 and .25 calibres. The standard edition of the Red Wolf, meanwhile, offers a choice of
Daystate unveiled its Red Wolf – a multi-shot PCP with an electronic action two stocks – a laminate in grey with red accents, or walnut, both offering similar stock adjustments. These rifles are priced between £1,799 and £1,949 with carbon-fibre and steel
air bottle options. Other common features between these Wolves are a digitally-regulated electronic action with user-programmable shooting modes, as well as the Pulsar-proven sidelever cocking action that autoindexes the rotary magazine. The regular edition of the Red Wolf is available in the same three calibres as the Serie Rosso, plus .303 (7.62mm) calibre. Power outputs are available from sub-12 foot-pounds to 70 foot-pounds for FAC Air. Daystate has also extended its recently revamped Wolverine 2 range, with the addition of an R model to the Type-B, Hi-Lite and Hi-Power variants. The Wolverine R swaps the bolt action of the Wolverine 2 for a sidelever. That’s not the only change, though,
The Red Wolf features both a fully adjustable butt pad and cheekpiece to help get perfect head, eye and scope alignment
Although the Daystate Red Wolf is a rifle, it was developed from the Pulsar, and inherits that bullpup’s sidelever magazine-indexing and pellet-seating system
An adjustable trigger will let you set the perfect angle and height of the blade to match the pad of your trigger finger
Gear special as the ‘R’ suffix signifies the inclusion of a regulated action, developed in partnership with Dutch reg specialist Huma, to bring performance gains in velocity, consistency and air efficiency. Prices start from £1,349. The Renegade hybrid bullpup, which we reviewed in Airgun Shooter 104, is also benefiting from Daystate’s collaboration with Huma, with the launch of the Renegade HR in standard and Hi-Power formats, priced at £1,399 and £1,449.
New from MTC
If you’re in the market for a new optic, MTC is bringing out a new first focal plane (FFP) scope called the Cobra
Both new versions of the Brocock Bantam (top) and Compatto (bottom) have a section of Weaver rail to attach a bipod, while the Bantam seen here has been scoped up on a Weaver rail as well
First focal plane scopes used to be fairly specialist affairs, but more and more manufacturers are now offering FFP optics in their line-up, including MTC’s Cobra F1
provides numerous aiming points to counter trajectory and windage deviation. Its crosshair is click-stop adjustable in 1/4 minute-of-angle increments via lockable, fingeradjustable elevation and windage turrets, and can also be illuminated to one of six intensity settings. It also boasts sidewheel parallax adjustment from infinity down to 10 metres, which means it’s airgun-friendly. Its final features of note are its 30mm tube, 50mm objective lens, fast-focus eyepiece and flip-up lens covers.
4-16x50 F1, which will retail for £259. On an FFP scope, the relationship between the size of the target and the size of the crosshair remains constant throughout the scope’s entire magnification range. This is particularly helpful when allowing holdover and holdunder on targets. Once you’ve worked out the various aim points for your particular rifle and pellet combo at different distances, you’ll be able to use the same aim points at any level of magnification. That’s not something you can do with a conventional second focal plane scope. The Cobra F1 features the multi-stadia SCB2 reticle that
New from Brocock
The Wolverine R is regulated, hence the ‘R’ suffix, and it’s also operated by a sidelever rather than the bolt found on previous Wolverines
Brocock has been busy too, updating its Compatto and Bantam semibullpup PCPs to Mk 2 format. Visually distinguishable by a redesigned breech and inclusion of a single-shot loading tray option, the Mk 2 models feature an array of performanceenhancing updates. Both the Mk 2 Compatto, which has an inline air cylinder, and the Bantam, which uses a buddy bottle, are also being released as Sniper HR variants. Like Daystate, Brocock has also been working with Huma, and these rifles are fitted with a Huma regulator. Compared with the standard Mk 2 configuration, the Sniper HR versions offer more shots per fill as well as more consistency of velocity across the entire usable air charge. These rifles will initially be available with black synthetic and soft touch ambidextrous thumbhole stocks, and a choice of 400 or 500cc air reservoirs – including a 480cc carbon-fibre option on the Bantams. The rifles are available in .177, .22 and .25, with power outputs from sub-12 ft-lb to 28 ft-lb. Prices start at £639.
Brocock has been busy too, updating its Compatto and Bantam semibullpup PCPs to Mk 2 format www.airgunmagazine.co.uk
NEWS IN BRIEF Quick shots...
DEFENDERS? HEAR! HEAR!
Hearing protection is usually associated with firearms use, but airgun shooters should definitely consider wearing ear defenders. The crack of an air rifle, even at sub-12ft-lb levels, can certainly set your ears ringing if it’s been shot in an enclosed space without a moderator. Our hearing is precious, but thankfully products like the SureFire EarPro EP3 Sonic Defenders, distributed in the UK by Edgar Brothers (www.edgarbrothers.com), are here to help. The in-ear Sonic Defenders provide 24dB of noise reduction, and come in three sizes. The design is low-profile, so you can achieve a comfortable head position with your stock – which can be hard to do with bulky over-the-ear cans.
DISCOVERY HITS THE SWEET SPOT Discovery adds a wallet-friendly scope to its expanding range of optics that’s suitable for both airgun and firearms use
iscovery’s latest scope, the VT-2 3-12x44 SFIR-N, could well be gracing the mounts of quite a few rifles because it does seem to have hit the sweet spot in terms of magnification, features, size and price. It has a 1in tube, side-focus/parallax adjustment down to 15 yards, and an illuminated reticle with five levels of intensity in both
red and green. Push-lock 1/4 MOA turrets, a 3-in sunshade and flip-up lens covers complete the checklist for this £139.99 scope, which is available from Sure Shot Airguns (www.sureshot-airguns.co.uk). The scope is 35cm long with the caps fitted. If you want a little extra magnification you can opt for the VT-2 4-16×50 SFIR, which costs a tenner more at £149.99. That scope offers 1/8 MOA turrets for even more precision when adjusting for fall of shot, and will parallax down to an impressive 10 yards.
Both scopes feature the HMD-10x reticle, which offers half-milliradian subtensions – giving you plenty of aimpoints for holdover and holdunder
TEST YOUR METTLE WITH SOME WOOD STAY ON THE LEVEL
Tilting your rifle, also known as cant, can ruin your accuracy, and things like sloping ground, a rugged skyline, uneven bushes and irregular-sized trees can all work against you when you’re trying our very best to stay on the level. Discovery Optics has released a range of bubble levels to help you conquer cant. While swing-out and bridge-style levels are fitted to the mounts, these attach directly to the scope tube. They’re available in 1in and 30mm tube sizes, as well as 34mm for fat-tubed scopes such as Discovery’s very own HD 3-18x50 SFIR. The levels cost £12.99, £14.99 and £15.99 respectively, and are available from Sure Shot Airguns (www. sureshot-airguns.co.uk).
Slot one of these square hardboard targets into a steel pellet catcher and see how your marksmanship skills shape up
ustom Targets (www.customtargets. co.uk) is probably best known for its laser-cut wooden animal-shaped targets, which feature a huge number of tiny wooden discs that you shoot out. The Somerset-based firm is now selling two types of steel pellet catcher – one measuring 14cm and the other a more standard 17cm – that take Custom Targets’ own wooden designs, as well as regular bullseye-type targets from other manufacturers. The one seen here, the 14cm Steel Pellet Catcher Target Holder, comes with six laser-cut reactive targets – each containing 64 shoot-away zones. The difficulty can be varied by placing the target holder nearer to or further away from the firing point, of course, but even at closer ranges these little targets are tricky to shoot out, making a successful hit all the more rewarding. The holder also accepts 14cm conventional paper or card targets, but you’ll have to source these yourself. The 14cm pellet catcher costs £19.99, while the larger 17cm model is £24.99,
with a replacement six-pack of reactive wooden targets costing £10.74 for both sizes, and individual targets going for £1.99.
Reactive targets are certainly fun, but fun doesn’t necessarily mean easy – they’re tricky little devils!
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