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THE UK’s BEST MAGAZINE FOR ALL AIRGUNNERS

january 2017

r e t o o h S

Springer supreme

Out hunting with the Walther LGU

FREE! 2017 year planner inside

11 knives to sharpen up your act

Hawke Vantage tested ● Clear up the corvids ● Sub-zero shooting ●

Airgun Shooter is proud to be in partnership with The British Association for Shooting and Conservation

working for airgunners  ● www.basc.org.uk

teen titans Junior rifles from Gamo and Weihrauch

Shoot more

rabbits

this winter Hunting masterclass How to use anything as a shooting rest

Pull an

all-nighter! Our essential ratting gear


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CONTENTS JANUARY 2017

ON THE COVER

16

TEST: WALTHER LGU

52 QUARRY FILES: RABBITS 37

54 HEAD TO HEAD:

TECHNIQUES: FARMYARD FIRING POSITIONS

GAMO JUNIOR HUNTER v WEIHRAUCH HW30S KIT 10

LATEST: NEWS

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WIN

All the information from a busy airgun scene

TARGET-AIR SET-UP WORTH

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14 POST BAG

Get on your soapbox and possibly win a fantastic prize

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26

31

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Pete Wadeson The excellent under-level action springer, which offers superb value for money, gets a ‘full MoT’ from our expert, Pete

HUNTING: AUTUMN WOODLANDS Ian Barnett Do you ever hunt for no other reason than to enjoy the craic? Ian and lurcher Dylan head out into the woods with that familiar tingle of anticipation in their bellies

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... to enjoy at least 47 per cent off the cover price, and claim a useful Anglo Arms 3-in-1 box set

COMPARISON: KNIVES

The humble knife, which can carry out a variety of tasks, is a vital part of the hunter’s kitbag. We round up a selection of the best and most affordable on the market

AIRGUN SHOOTER

TALKING SHOP

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HUNTING: PEST CONTROL

GET THIS Anglo Arms 3-in-1 box set

FREE!

26

Simon Everett Simon serves up some inside knowledge on how to bag those pesky vermin without being spotted

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16 REVIEW: WALTHER LGU

TECHNIQUES: FARMYARD FIRING POSITIONS

Store manager Ashley Gibbins chats to Airgun Shooter about Northampton Gun Co, which has been serving shooters for the past 35 years

Mat Manning Mat heads out at dawn to crack down on some pesky corvids causing a nuisance on a nearby smallholding. No prizes for guessing who wins

48 TEST: HAWKE VANTAGE IR

Pete Wadeson Hawke have recently unveiled a new range of optics, including the 4-16x50AO Vantage IR. Pete puts it under the spotlight – and is immediately hooked

52 QUARRY FILES: RABBITS Arguably agriculture's greatest pest,

the rabbit is a staple target for airgun hunters. We suggest the best strategy for tackling them


CONTENTS: JANUARY 2017

31 COMPARISON: KNIVES

22 HUNTING:

AUTUMN WOODLANDS

60

AMMO TEST: BSA INTERCEPTOR

80

GEAR: RATTING AT NIGHT

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59

60

62

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TWIN TEST: JUNIOR AIRGUNS

Mark Camoccio Gamo and Weihrauch have respectively produced the Junior Hunter and HW30S Kit aimed solely at the young guns’ market. Mark compares them in our head to head test

FREE COMPETITION

WORTH

WIN! A cracking Crosman Redtail rifle £200! fitted with a Centerpoint 3–9x40 scope and a one-piece mount. Will YOU bag a late bonus Christmas pressie?

AMMO: BSA INTERCEPTOR

Simon Everett In search of a low-damage pellet for tackling vermin up to squirrel size, Simon tests out the lightweight BSA Interceptor .177

TRADING: AIRGUN 100

The official sales index chart of what’s currently selling across the UK’s gun dealerships

HUNTING: RATTING

Stuart Wilson Venturing out to a silage dump at night to shoot some shady scaly tails, Stuart finds the Brocock Compatto MTC combo proves a satisfyingly deadly accomplice

seeks out a fresh spot where he can tackle some unsuspecting woodies

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REVIEW: BSA ULTRA XL

80

GEAR: RATTING AT NIGHT

85

WRITER PROFILE: IAN BARNETT

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SHOOTER PROFILE: NICK HOPKINSON

92

HUNTING HACKS

READERS’ CLASSIFIEDS

68

BOOKS AND FILMS

Shooting media to keep you educated and entertained

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HUNTING: WOOD PIGEONS

94

Mat Manning His favoured pigeon roost falling victim to the chainsaw, Mat

Mat Manning The trusty mini PCP from BSA has grown up with the introduction of the Ultra XL model. Mat takes one onto the range to test the old adage: is bigger really better? Pete Wadeson All the kit you’ll need to make a proper job of sweeping up the scaly tails after dark Helena Venables In our new series Helena chats to seasoned author and hunter Ian – a regular contributor to this magazine Mark Camoccio Scottish ace shooter Nick chews the fat with Mark about his HFT competition successes, the joy of .22s... and hamsters! Ian Barnett Eager to find out the best ways to keep warm and toasty when out hunting on a chilly winter’s day? Ian has 10 excellent ideas to prevent you from turning blue! Bag a used bargain or sell your surplus kit in our free-to-list private ads section

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www.airgunmagazine.co.uk Issue 90 January 2017 Contributing editor: Mat Manning Sub editor: Stuart Newman Graphic design: Steve Dawson Advertising sales: Chetna Shukla PRODUCTION Head of Production, UK & US: Mark Constance Production Controller: Nola Cokely

OPENING SHOT

SUBSCRIPTIONS & BACK ISSUES Online: www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Email: contact@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Telephone: UK: 0344 848 2852 International: +44 344 848 2852 MANAGEMENT Managing Director, Magazines: Joe McEvoy Editorial Director, Field Sports: Paul Newman Group Editor-in-Chief: Peter Carr Group Managing Editor: Colin Fallon Group Art Director: Rodney Dive LICENSING Senior Licensing & Syndication Manager: Matt Ellis Matt.Ellis@futurenet.com +44 (0)1225 442244 Copyright © Future Publishing Limited 2016. Printed in the UK. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the express permission of the publishers in writing. The opinions of the writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. The editor reserves the right to edit submissions prior to print.

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S

ocial media has become a huge part of the shooting scene over the last couple of years. This fast and efficient form of mass communication can be an incredibly useful tool – but there’s no denying that it can also be very damaging. Several shooting organisations do a wonderful job promoting our sport and all the great things that go on in the shooting community, and the BASC is one of them. Whether it’s fundraising events, Young Shots activities or social gatherings, the BASC makes the most of social media to rally its supporters and share their achievements with the wider world. One of the BASC’s recent social media campaigns has showcased the ecological, economic and social benefits of proper grouse moor management. The organisation’s action was prompted by an attack on grouse shooting, with outspoken BBC television presenter Chris Packham once again one of the main protagonists. Protecting grouse shooting may not be a priority for most airgunners, but I, for one, urge everybody to get behind the BASC and help them spread the word. The shooting community is a much stronger force when all branches of our great sport are pushing in the same direction – and with Packham on record referring to supporters of hunting and shooting as “the nasty brigade”, there’s more than just grouse shooting at risk. With that in mind we all need to think about the way we represent our sport, and how our actions and opinions may be perceived by the wider public. We airgun shooters pride ourselves on safe and responsible conduct in the field, but some of the online representation of our sport leaves a lot

to be desired. We all need to think very carefully about what we post on social media, because it all reflects on our chosen pastime – a pastime which is under constant scrutiny from all quarters. Attacks from keyboard warriors who are supposed to be on our side also do nothing when it comes to defending our sport and demonstrating a united front. I came under fire in The Airgun Show’s comments section a few weeks ago. No great surprise, as I expect to have my actions questioned from time to time, but this particular post beggared belief. I’ll spare you the details, but it drew comparisons between shooting feral pigeons and shooting people; the post essentially attributed animals with human emotions and human intelligence – a risky business for anyone who eats meat, drinks milk, wears leather or does just about anything else. So when I took the viewer (a shooter) to task over his ill-informed post, he had the temerity to tell me the comment had actually been made by an anti-shooting associate who had gained access to his YouTube account which had been left signed in. That response was as ludicrous as the initial post and, if true, demonstrates serious negligence. Although you’ll no doubt be reading this well before the new year, as this is the January issue I think we should all make a new year’s resolution to use social media to show off our sport in the best possible light – and think very carefully about how the words and images we post online will be perceived by others. May I wish you all a happy, healthy new year from myself and all at Airgun Shooter. Mat Manning, Contributing Editor

Tel: working for airgunners www.basc.org.uk

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AIRGUN SCENE  ● AIRGUN The latest products, gossip and news from the airgun world

Duo bags UKAHFT spoils

Dave Ramshead and Justin Grice secured the honours in rounds eight and nine of the 2016 UKAHFT championship, both held at Emley Moor FTC on 15/16 October. With shooters vying to qualify for UKAHFT’s The Gathering event at Furnace Mill in Worcestershire in November, Dave defeated Chris Cundey and Alex Larkin after a tense, three-way shoot-off in round eight, with the trio having scored 60 points apiece. Dave again faced a shoot-off for victory in round 9, but eventually lost out to Justin after both had carded 59 points. Meanwhile, Steyr enjoyed a double triumph by securing the manufacturers’ team title in both rounds. Meanwhile, Mark Wilson, representing airgun manufacturer Air Arms, claimed the overall winner’s crown in the 2016 Scottish UKAHFT affiliated league following nine fiercely fought rounds.

Creek unveil hi-tech jacket

A technologically advanced men’s jacket has recently been added to the hunting collection of Stoney Creek, the New Zealand apparel brand. The versatile 365 Techshell, offered in Realtree Xtra Green camo, is made from durable, quick-drying stretch-fabric and coated in DWR to repel water, dirt and blood, while a polyesterknit lining allows the skin to breathe. It features several handy pockets, and its lightweight and compact nature enables the jacket to be easily packed away. Available in sizes from S–4XL, the jacket is priced at £99.41. www.stoneycreek.co.nz

More shooting comfort from Diana

A new ergonomically designed airgun, exclusively distributed in the UK by Edgar Brothers, has been launched which will make hunting a far more comfortable experience for airgunners. The German-made Diana 340 N-Tec break-barrel, offered in .177 and .22 calibres, features a smooth beechwood stock and polished black metal barrel along with a rubber recoil pad to offer maximum comfort. The rifle also boasts a new N-TEC piston which will give consistent power and better accuracy across a higher number of shots. It comes with fibre optic sights as standard. The airgun retails from £308.99. A detailed review of the Diana 340 N-Tec will be coming soon in Airgun Shooter. www.edgarbrothers.com

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N SCENE  ● AIRGUN SCENE  ● AIRGUN SCENE TSP take direct approach

Shooting and outdoor pursuits company The Shooting Party has attempted to enhance its customer relationships by launching a 100% Direct to the Trade distribution policy. “We believe our new ‘single-source’ strategy offers the benefits of sharper focus, enhanced product knowledge, improved stock availability, a shorter supply chain and reduced costs,” said chairman Mike Hurney. “Couple these with a no minimum order value and free shipping on all orders, and it’s a win-win situation for retailers and shooters alike.” www.shootingparty.uk

Gloves enhance dexterity

A new glove which will help airgunners with those tasks when dexterity is called for has been added to John Rothery Wholesale’s Extremities range. The Waterproof Sticky Power Liner gloves feature a sticky silicone print palm which extends across the fingers to provide added dexterity and a secure grip. The gloves are lightweight and thermal, and made with a waterproof and breathable membrane. Available in M, L and XL sizes, the gloves retail at £22.00. www.bisley-uk.com

Pinewood’s cool camo clothing Swedish outdoor clothing brand Pinewood has introduced Coolmax® base layers in Realtree camo to its men’s and ladies’ autumn/winter collection for 2016/17. Ideal for airgunners out in the field, the garments – made from quick-drying and wrinkle-free fabric – have been developed from Coolmax® fibres which allow excess moisture to be moved to the outside where it evaporates resulting in a cooling effect after intense activity. The garment also works effectively as a base layer on chilly days with hidden thumbholes helping to retain heat. The apparel’s handy chest pocket is also useful for keeping possessions safely stowed away. The men’s garment is available in sizes S–5XL (retailing for £65.00) with the ladies’ offered in sizes XS–XXL (from £54.00). www.pinewood.eu

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AIRGUN SCENE  ● AIRGUN The British Association for Shooting and Conservation

www.basc.org.uk 01244 573000

Licensing issues under spotlight

Rothery’s Walther gig

The UK-wide distribution of the Walther and Walther Pro range of knives, torches and gun care – aimed specifically at hunters – will now be handled by John Rothery Wholesale. www.bisley-uk.com

Jacket is logical choice A new weather-resistant jacket has been unveiled which will help keep hunters cosy when chasing quarry this winter. The robust Thermo Armour Pro jacket, offered by ProLogic, is produced in Realtree Max-5 with silent fabric – ideal when stalking quarry. Waterproof and breathable, it contains an outer jacket with soft mesh lining and a detachable quilt-lined inner fleece jacket for extra insulation. Taped seams will prevent water seepage and a foldaway fleecelined hood with peak affords further protection from the harshest of elements. Offered in sizes S–XXXL, the garment retails at £149.99. www.prologicfishing.com

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Topics regarding medical involvement in firearms licensing were recently discussed at an “extremely positive” meeting between the BASC and government policing minister Brandon Lewis. The BASC also thanked Whitehall for clarifying the firearms legislation which forms part of the new Policing and Crime Bill, and welcomed the opportunity for holding talks on potential improvements in the laws around expanding ammunition. The government and Vicky Ford MEP were also praised by the BASC for taking a firm stance in representing the lawful interests of the British shooting community as the European Commission considers amending the European Firearms Directive. Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “We are grateful that the government continues to work with the people who have at heart the best interests of shooting.”

Snaring debated by SNP Snaring remains an essential pest control tool for land managers in Scotland, the BASC told the Scottish National Party’s conference in Glasgow. The BASC confirmed its stance during a debate on a report which has called for the abolition of snaring. Scottish Natural Heritage is currently carrying out a review on snaring on behalf of the government. Dr Colin Shedden, BASC Scotland director, said: “The report is not an accurate reflection of the progress that has been made under the training and accreditation that is now required before anyone can set a snare in Scotland.”

Get festive with Xmas cards BASC Christmas cards are now available to buy. Each card, part of a 10-pack, features a festive snow scene, with the selection costing £5. The BASC’s 2017 calendar is also available to buy. It features the work of acclaimed rural artist Simon Trinder who is particularly well known for his pictures of wildfowl and wild places. The calendars cost £5 each. Both cards and calendars can be purchased from Fur Feather & Fin (www.furfeatherandfin.com) or by calling 01243 811844.



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