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FREE 2019 wallplanner

WIN! NORICA HAWK RIFLE And MAGNUM SCOPE

worth £327

in focus

FX CROWN

Aimpoint Micro H-2

RIFLE REVIEW

Accurate shooting with a red dot

Hi-tech Swedish supergun tested gun test

hunting

SIG SAUER BLOWBACK

WINTER WOODIES

US military’s new sidearm gets a .177 makeover

hunting

FARMYARD TACTICS Top tips to target collared doves and jackdaws

It’s time to play hide and deek with the pigeons round-up

COLD WEATHER S AT CO Five jackets to keep you warm – and on target

Issue 117


Editor’s letter

ISSUE 117 FEB 2019 Meet the TEAM Editor-in-Chief MIKE Morton Mike has been shooting air rifles and pistols for four decades, and loves target shooting, hunting, plinking and tinkering.

CONTRIBUTOR

come and join us

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.

Shooting clubs create a valuable opportunity for thousands of people up and down the country to enjoy airgun shooting in safe surroundings, while having fun in the company of like-minded people. The thriving network of local ranges is also the backbone of competitive airgun shooting, so we’ve teamed up with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and BSA Guns to offer you some great prizes, plus the chance to get your picture in Airgun Shooter magazine, while enjoying your usual club contests. The team at BSA Guns have pledged some serious prizes for shooters ranking high in the competitions – while we’ll be giving these talented people free subscriptions to Airgun Shooter, and we’ll do our best to feature results and photographs from the competitions in the magazine. What’s more, the winners from all the events will be entered into a draw with a chance to win a BSA Ultra SE. Apart from making the competitive element of your club shooting even more rewarding, we hope the promise of taking home some serious goodies will also encourage new recruits to join in with the fun, so please tell all your friends! Taking part couldn’t be easier. All your local club has to do is to register a competition between March and September 2019 – which could even be one of its regular fixtures – as the Airgun Shooter/BASC/BSA Shoot. There’s no strict format regarding how the competition should be run, and BASC will even help you to promote the event via its social media channels. We’ve got more information and registration details on page 12, so don’t delay – get your club or range signed up now. Good luck, and may I wish you a very happy Christmas and New Year from myself and the rest of the team.

CONTRIBUTOR Kev Hawker KEV is an avid shooter and countryman, specialising in hunting and fieldcraft, with more than 40 years of in-the-field airgunning

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.

Mat Manning Group Editor, Airgun Brands airgunshooter@futurenet.com

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THE AIRGUN SHOOTER Promise Authority

Airgun Shooter is written by airgunners for airgunners. Our team has decades of combined experience in everything from target shooting to hunting and is committed to bringing you the highest quality advice around in print and video form every month.

www.airgunmagazine.co.uk

Passion

We are absolutely obsessed with airguns and we love writing about them. We’re here to share our knowledge with you and focus on helping you become a better shooter, and we hope you’ll share your knowledge and expertise with us, too!

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Independence

The views you read in Airgun Shooter are entirely our own, which means you can trust every word you read in these pages. We’ve built up reputations from years in the field, we’re not prepared to pull any punches when it comes to telling you what’s hot and what’s not.

Inspiration

Our mission is to maximise the enjoyment you get from your shooting, so you’ll find every issue is packed with new things to try with your airgun, unparalleled technical insight and the real-world experiences of shooters just like you.

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Future PLC Units 1 & 2, Sugarbrook Court, Aston Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 3EX

Editorial Group Editor, Airgun Brands Mat Manning Editor-in-Chief Mike Morton mike.morton@futurenet.com

Art Editor Steve Mumby Production Editor Ed Ricketts Senior Art Editor Stephen Williams

CONTENTS 22

Protect to serve

Easy ways to look after your wooden stock and ensure it gives the best performance

Contributors Simon Everett, Ray Garner, Kev Hawker, Andy McGarty, Andy McLachlan, Richard Saunders, Jonathan Young Photography Phil Barker, Olly Curtis, James Sheppard All copyrights and trademarks are recognised and respected Advertising Media packs are available on request Commercial Director Clare Dove clare.dove@futurenet.com Senior Advertising Manager Toni Cole toni.cole@futurenet.com 01225 687368 Account Manager Callum Madden callum.madden@futurenet.com 01225 687436 Account Manager Chetna Shukla chetna.shukla@futurenet.com 01225 687429 International Airgun Shooter is available for licensing. Contact the International department to discuss partnership opportunities International Licensing Director Matt Ellis matt.ellis@futurenet.com Subscriptions Email enquiries contact@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk UK orderline & enquiries 0344 848 2852 Overseas order line and enquiries +44 (0)344 848 2852 Online orders & enquiries www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Head of subscriptions Sharon Todd Circulation Head of Newstrade Tim Mathers Production Head of Production Mark Constance Production Project Manager Clare Scott Advertising Production Manager Joanne Crosby Digital Editions Controller Jason Hudson Production Controller Nola Cokely Management Commercial Finance Director Dan Jotcham Group Content Director Paul Newman Head of Art & Design Greg Whittaker Printed by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd Distributed by Marketforce, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HU www.marketforce.co.uk Tel: 0203 787 9060 ISSN 2042664 We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill holds full FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification and accreditation All contents © 2018 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/ or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions.

Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR) www.futureplc.com

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Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244

Every month…

8 Zeroing In

Stoeger introduces a stonker of a rifle, the Northern Shooting Show gears up for 2019, BASC helps you to prove your safety credentials – and we chat to 23-year-old Lauren Parsons, Field Target shooting star

ALL-NEW & IMPROVED!

20 Competition

You could win a .22 Norica Hawk GRS Elegance rifle together with a 3-9x40 AO Magnum scope!

32 Letters

Do you suffer from dirty deeks? A reader has some solutions. Plus, all about leading-up a barrel

34 Subscriptions

Get a free Napier Trigger Lock when you subscribe – and save money on Airgun Shooter

68 Airgun Answers

Our experts’ brows are once more furrowed by your gun questions – until they duly answer them, of course

88 Reader ads

Buy or sell free of charge with our airgun trading service

90 The Gun Room

The Weihrauch HW 55T: so accurate, it once faced a bell target ban

www.airgunmagazine.co.uk


Issue 117 February 2019

Especially For HFT

TARGEt SHOOTER

Your all-new guide to HFT and everything target-related!

down 55 Throwing the gauntlet Andy McLachlan returns to competition shooting after an extended break…

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a 58 Hunting better score

…and brings us full details of his adventures in the Daystate Midlands Hunter Series…

Foul-weather bolthole

Hunt winged pests from the comfort of a farmyard shelter

of the 61 Cock North

…before finding time for the Emley Moor Field Target Club combined HFT Classic to boot!

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Hide and deeks

React quickly and deploy decoys to catch out seasonal grain-eating pests

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Seeing red

How the Aimpoint Micro H-2 mini red-dot sight revolutionised fast target aquisition

TEsting Station 100% independent reviews

74 FX Crown

82 Vulcan 2 Tactic

80 SIG Sauer M17

86 FT-Exact Jumbo .22

Mike Morton meets royalty – or at least, this majestic and multi-adjustable, multi-shot rifle

A recreation of the US military’s latest sidearm, which swaps 9mm Parabellum for .177 pellets

Semi-bullpup: check. Goodlooking: check. Tremendously exciting: check. Pedigree? Czech

Size isn’t everything. Weihrauch’s pellets may act big, but can they deliver when it comes to the shot?

74 www.airgunmagazine.co.uk

FX Crown If there’s one thing the Swedes know about, it’s hunting – as this gloriously opulent rifle shows

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Zeroing In KIT / News / People / events / insight

The RX20 comes with black grips with ProAdaptive Checkering. These can be substituted for orange or blue MultiGrip panels

This ability to swap grip patterns and colours extends to the forend, where the panels feature some very deliberate palmswell for a secure grip

The rear fibre-optic sight is only available in green, but can be adjusted for windage and elevation without the need for any tools

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www.airgunmagazine.co.uk


14

Steven Randall of AW Rule & Son on the firm’s bespoke services

16

The 8th Warwicks Home Guard Rifle Club welcomes everyone

18

We talk to talented Field Target shooter Lauren Parsons

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

STOKE UP THE STOEGER

An air rifle is nothing more than a metal tube on a stick, right? Stoeger argues otherwise, and having handled the RX20 S3, Mike Morton can see why

S

toeger may be an American company, but it’s extremely proud of the fact that its new RX20 range of break-barrels has been styled in Italy. Anyone thinking all airguns look the same would be taken by the scruff of the neck by these particular rifles and shown the error of their ways. The one seen here is the S3 Suppressor model, the most obvious feature being its massive – and rather strangely shaped – barrel shroud, which looks like a bit like an inverted teardrop when viewed head-on. This shroud makes it look, feel and sound distinctly different to a regular break-barrel. Ergonomics are a key feature of this airgun, with multi-directional panels of chequering adorning the grip and forend. The default black panels have been treated to a very aggressively moulded chequering pattern, which Stoeger calls ProAdaptive

Checkering, but you can quickly change the look and feel of the gun by swapping the pistol grips and forend panels for either orange or blue alternatives. These are moulded with a slightly less intrusive stippling pattern which Stoeger and its Italian design team call the MultiGrip System. Stoeger points out that this rifle was born out of the technical inspiration of the Italian city of Urbino and the innovative vision of Milan, offering “functional ergonomics, user interaction and user experience”. It’s not a case of style over substance though, as the RX20 S3 Suppressor includes fibre-optic open sights – with the shooter being able to swap the front element from red to green – as well as a 4x32 scope, which comes fitted with two-piece mounts. An automatic shotgun-style safety engages automatically when the gun is cocked, and the trigger is Stoeger’s new T2 two-stage unit. But what you probably want to know is how well the RX20 S3 Suppressor shoots. So it looks like it’s time to go shooting and find out…

KEY Specs Manufacturer: Stoeger (www. stoegerairguns.com) UK supplier: GMK (www.gmk.co.uk) Model: RX20 S3 Suppressor Combo Price: £250 Available calibres: .177 (4.5mm), .22 (5.5mm) CoCking system: Break-barrel Trigger: T2 double-stage Safety: Automatic shotgun-style Front sight: Interchangeable red and orange fibre-optic Rear sight: Green fibre-optic, fully adjustable for elevation and windage Stock: Optional inserts for ProAdaptive Checkering and MultiGrip System Finish: Black synthetic stock, blued steel barrel Rail for scope: Integral dovetail scope rail on receiver Scope: 4x32 scope with included mount Total length: 42 1/2 in (108cm) Barrel length: 16 1/2 in (41.97cm) Weight: 3kg (6.6lb) without scope

Ergonomics are a key feature of this airgun, with multi-directional panels of chequering adorning the grip

www.airgunmagazine.co.uk

The front fibre-optic sight is red by default, but an orange element is also supplied to suit personal tastes and lighting conditions

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NEWS IN BRIEF Quick shots...

NEED A KNIFE MATE? If you hunt airgun quarry, the new RWS Pocket Mate would be a great blade for game prep. This folding knife, which features a back lock for safety, is produced especially for distributor RUAG Ammotec UK (www.ruag.co.uk) by knife-maker Boker. It features a 65mm stainless steel blade, with wood handle scales. It measures 150mm when deployed, but folds small enough to be kept in your pocket when shooting. The blade design is a clip point, making for a sharp and controllable point that’s good for piercing. This is useful for delicate work such as paunching a rabbit where you have to be careful not to nick the intestines. The £19.95 RWS Pocket Mate also has plenty of cutting edge.

First impressions

PUMP UP THE PROTECTION

If you’re keen to clean you can now do so using either a pump or a spray, thanks to these two new products from Napier

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un Cleaner Lubricant and Gun Oil, two popular maintenance products from Napier, are now available in non-pressurised pump packs. Having them in non-aerosol format means they can be taken on an aircraft, for example by someone travelling overseas to an airgun competition. But there’s a good reason for using a pump that’s a bit closer to home: it’s easier to dispense just the right amount. So with the chemical delivery system taken care of, are these pumps any good? Mike set to work on a number of airguns with some brilliant results, the Gun Cleaner Lubricant being particularly effective to shift stubborn lead deposits using a pull-through. This product won’t remove grease where it’s needed, and won’t damage the finish on an oiled stock. Many airgun shooters also shoot rimfires, and Mike tested these products on a friend’s rifle, finding caked-on powder

residue easy to remove. The pump sprays cost £8.66 each. See www.napieruk.com for more details. Take the time to keep your airgun clean, lubricated and protected, and it will thank you in the field

SHINE BRIGHTER WITH THE BRITER Clulite’s range of hunting lights has been joined by the Clu-Briter Flame. This lamp contains a super-bright LED, giving it an impressive range of 700m. It’s powered by Li-ion batteries contained within the handle, making it lighter to carry, and is Clulite’s brightest model yet. It has a comfortable grip for easy handling, and is both splash-proof and shockproof, so should stand the test of time. While the Flame will no doubt find favour with hunters when out lamping, it will also be at home for general surveillance or stock control. It comes complete with mains, vehicle and USB charging leads at an RRP of £86 ex VAT. Filters are available in red, amber, green or blue (www.clulite.cluson.co.uk).

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First impressions

THE AIGLE HAS LANDED

Whether you want to go out and enjoy pellets or the pub, the heavyweight Courtal coat from Aigle has you covered

A

s Richard Saunders points out in his winter coat test on page 64, while any hunting jacket is designed to serve you in the field, not all of them are suitable to be worn down the pub afterwards. The Courtal from French firm Aigle, however, is definitely one that’s equally at home in either situation. While the Courtal can easily be used as streetwear, it’s in the field that it really shines. This is a heavyweight coat made from a tough, waterproof fabric, but while it’s durable, it’s also flexible, allowing you to get on aim easily. If you enjoy wet-weather shooting, or simply get caught out when it starts to pour, rain will most definitely not stop play. It boasts lots of features that make it really practical, such as a waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane backed up by watertight seams, a removable hood, shoulder reinforcements, a double flap over a two-way zip with puller, adjustable inner and outer

cuffs, and more. It also has a warm fleece liner that can be removed and worn on its own. The Courtal costs £255 from Aigle (www.aigle.com). Tough, waterproof and comfortable, the Courtal will look after you whatever the weather decides to throw at you

www.airgunmagazine.co.uk


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events

CALLING ALL CLUB SHOOTERS! Take part in an event supported by BASC and BSA and be in with the chance to win some great prizes – plus get your picture in Airgun Shooter

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irgun Shooter has teamed up with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and BSA Guns to launch a new contest that can be shot at your local airgun club or range. This competition will run from March until September, with the winners picking up some great gifts along the way. We’re certain everyone taking part will have a brilliant time and are sure it will also attract a few newcomers to the sport into the bargain. There’s no specific format – it’s up to you to agree with your club or range what type of competition you want to stage. All we want is for people to get involved, take part and have fun shooting. You can apply at https://basc.org.uk/ airgunning/airgun-club-competition. Then choose the type of shoot you want to stage and the date of your choice to turn it into the Airgun Shooter/BASC/BSA shoot. For example, if you have a club shoot every Sunday, nominate one of these regular shoots as the competition and the winners will take away some Airgun Shooter, BASC and BSA prizes. You simply run the shoot as normal – all we need to know is when and where the shoot is taking place and we’ll help promote it on social media. When the dust has settled and the winners have emerged we’ll do our best to put your match report and photos from the event here in Airgun Shooter.

So what could you win? Each club running a nominated competition shoot will receive a BSA black tactical backpack, a BSA 3-9x40 WR Essential rifle scope, a BSA knockdown target, a BASC multi-tool and a subscription to Airgun Shooter, worth more than £200. It’ll be up to each club to decide how the prizes should be allocated. Once the contest is over, all the clubs taking part will be entered into a draw to win the overall competition prize: a BSA Ultra SE multi-shot PCP worth £559.

So head online and get your club or range to register, start shooting – and most of all, enjoy yourself!

Here’s what we’ll do: BASC has created an online booking form for clubs to use, and published this on the BASC website

• BASC will promote the events on the main BASC airgun page and each relevant regional events page on the BASC website

• BASC will promote the events via its social media channels within its existing social media schedule

• BASC will create a simple guide for clubs

to use to help them promote the events on their social media

• BASC will create, print and send out

material for each club to use during the shoot itself

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go to https://basc.org.uk/airgunning/airgun-club-competition www.airgunmagazine.co.uk

Profile for Future PLC

Airgun Shooter 117 (Sampler)  

You can subscribe to this magazine @ www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

Airgun Shooter 117 (Sampler)  

You can subscribe to this magazine @ www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk