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WIN A BSA Sporter worth £570!

INE THE UK’s BEST MAGAZ S FOR ALL AIRGUNNER

febRuary 2017

r e t o o h S

on test

target more squirrels

this winter

Wadeson finds the Kral Puncher a Turkish delight

HOW TO HUNT Winter woodland

head to head:

Webley Stingray v Cometa Fenix Gre at-va lue guns

Manning and Everett's top tips

CHEAT

THE CHILLS!

QUARRY HANDLING TIPS ● BISLEY AMMO TESTED ● GAVYN JONES PROFILED ●

issue 91 February 2017

www.airgunmagazine.co.uk

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

working for airgunners  ● www.basc.org.uk

OUR CRUCIAL COLD-WEATHER GEAR


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CONTENTS February 2017

ON THE COVER

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TEST: KRAL PUNCHER

59

WORT!H £570

COMPETITION

37

54

WOODLAND VERMIN

HEAD TO HEAD: COMETA v WEBLEY 10

LATEST: NEWS

All the news and information from a busy airgun scene

WIN

TARGET-AIR SET-UP WORTH

£33! 16

22

POST BAG

Get on your soapbox and possibly win a prize

PEST CONTROL: RATS

Mat Manning Still having trouble getting a bead on the fidgety critters? Mat advises on the best attractors to help stop the skittish rodents in their tracks ... to enjoy at least 47 per cent off the cover price, and claim a useful Anglo Arms 3-in-1 box set

GET THIS Anglo Arms 3-in-1 box set

FREE!

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COMPARISON: COLD WEATHER GEAR

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TECHNIQUES: WOODLAND VERMIN

40

TALKING SHOP

43

HUNTING: SQUIRRELS

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HUNTING: VANTAGE POINTS

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QUARRY FILES: WOODPIGEON

TEST: KRAL PUNCHER

Pete Wadeson Our man Pete tries out the Kral multi-shot PCP, and discovers that the Turkish ‘slugger’ packs a real punch on the hunting scene

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Want to make the most of your time during the winter hunting season? We round up a selection of the best gear and accessories to use when Jack Frost bites

Simon Everett Accompanied by his faithful lurchers, Simon reckons the vicinity of chestnut trees will be the ideal place to find, and bag, a few feisty squirrels and hares Pete Mallett, once a beef farmer, reveals how he’s turned Pete’s Airgun Farm into a popular hunting and camping facility

Mat Manning Heading into the woods early in the morning, Mat’s determined to free the pheasant feeders from the greedy clutches of some hungry nut lovers Pete Wadeson Selecting the best spots for bumping off quarry is every bit as important as the quality of the gear you’re carrying. Pete suggests the best places to hole up The destructive pigeon offers a wide range of shooting opportunities – but the wary woodie will still test a hunter’s fieldcraft to the limit. Good luck out there!


CONTENTS: FebrUARY 2017

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COMPARISON: CLOTHING

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SQUIRRELS

80

WINTER WOODLAND

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quarry handling 54

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TWIN TEST: SPORTING SPRINGERS

Mark Camoccio Two prime spring-powered sporting rifles, which offer great value for money, cross swords in Mark’s head to head test

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GEAR: LASER RANGEFINDERS

80

HUNTING: WINTER WOODLAND

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WRITER PROFILE: MAT MANNING

FREE COMPETITION

WIN! A brilliant BSA Ultra XL. Will YOU grab a welcome new year’s bonus?

Want to get a bead on more vermin? Then check out our selection of top-quality laser rangefinder products which will provide you with a real head start on your quarry

Mat Manning Woodlands in the grip of a wintry spell may look barren, yet they offer huge hunting opportunities for bagging hungry quarry. Mat wraps up warm and gets out there!

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AMMO: BISLEY PRACTICE

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TRADING: AIRGUN 100

64

HUNTING: GUN CHOICE

88

SHOOTER PROFILE: GAVYN JONES

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BOOKS AND FILMS

92

HUNTING HACKS

70

HUNTING: DISPUTES

94

READERS’ CLASSIFIEDS

Simon Everett Simon examines the Bisley Practice .22 pellet – and scotches the belief that flat-heads should only be used for short-range work The official sales index chart of what’s currently selling in the UK’s gun dealerships

Mike Powell Mike gets all misty-eyed recalling his favourite air rifles from his long career as a pest controller during which he’s tackled scores of vermin Shooting media to keep you educated and entertained

Ian Barnett Hunting is not always a straightforward exercise – sometimes it can involve bitter conflicts with neighbours. Ian referees on behalf of an old acquaintance

Helena Venables Helena chats to Airgun Shooter’s Contributing Editor and expert hunter Mat about his shooting background

Mark Camoccio England international Gavyn’s trade as a machinist has earned him a host of spoils on the HFT circuit. Mark listens in to find out how he does it

Ian Barnett Need to know how best to handle your quarry once it’s been caught? Ian passes on 10 pieces of top-notch advice Bag a used bargain or sell your surplus kit in our free-to-list private ads section

AIRGUN SHOOTER

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www.airgunmagazine.co.uk Issue 91 February 2017 Contributing editor: Mat Manning Sub editor: Stuart Newman Graphic design: Jess Riley Advertising sales: fieldsports@futurenet.com 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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W

inter has certainly arrived with one heck of a bump since the last issue. Even where I live in the West Country, where a touch of overnight frost is usually regarded as extreme weather, we’ve had a couple of prolonged cold snaps that have frozen ponds and cracked pipes after the mercury has stayed below zero during night and day. When conditions turn harsh it’s all too easy to surrender to the creature comforts of home and let sport take a back seat in favour of the warm environs of the sofa and a few hours in front of the television. With that in mind, I’m going to use this column to appeal to readers to get on out there and make the most of it, whatever the weather – especially given that many of us are going to be taking a few days off work over the coming week or two. Spending time with family and friends is vitally important, but some of the airgun shooter’s finest sport is there to be enjoyed during the winter months. Harsh weather encourages woodpigeons to gather in larger flocks, and pushes hordes of hungry rats off the open countryside and onto farms as they seek out shelter and an easy meal. Scavenging corvids can also be easier to outwit when they’re distracted by the need to seek out precious

morsels of food during short winter days, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to spot grey squirrels up in the treetops now that the trees are bare. The hunting opportunities are almost endless, and over the following pages you’ll find plenty of top tips from the Airgun Shooter team to keep your cold weather forays on track. And it’s not just the hunters who stand to benefit. Airgun ranges are usually quieter at this time of year when fair weather shooters are less likely to venture out, making it easier to brush up your technique with some undisturbed practice. Of course, with so many ranges being indoors, or at least featuring covered and heated firing points, it should be pretty comfortable, too. And anyone lucky enough to find airgunning goodies under the Christmas tree will have an added incentive to head out to the club or garden range. Wherever you shoot it’s important to dress for the conditions, and a flask of hot tea or soup always provides a welcome warmer. And, if you are heading out into the sticks remember to let someone know where you’re going and when you intend to get back, just to be on the safe side. Stay safe and enjoy! 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

Make England MAJOR shooting destination

The BASC has urged the VisitEngland tourism body to promote the country and its regions as sporting shooting destinations. The call came in the wake of BASC evidence to a government inquiry demonstrating how rural areas in England have been boosted by shooting tourism. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee inquiry considered the BASC’s detailed evidence when studying tourism’s social and economic role in supporting rural business and community growth in England. The Value of Shooting Report revealed that shooters spend £2.5 billion each year on goods and services, and the industry supports the equivalent of 74,000 full-time jobs. “Our evidence shows that... shooting destinations should become the cornerstone of any future plans to boost the rural economy,” said Dr Conor O’Gorman, BASC policy development manager.

Image © Flickr/Muffinn

Gamekeepers’ and Kelmarsh fairs join forces

The BASC Gamekeepers’ Fair and the Kelmarsh Game and Country Fair, run by Countryman Fairs, will form part of one large show in 2017. Both events, located just an hour’s drive apart, have hitherto been held in April – but next Easter visitors can enjoy one, much bigger all-in-one event at Kelmarsh Estate in Northamptonshire over the weekend of 16-17 April. Among the attractions and demonstrations will be air rifle coaching and competitions. “It makes perfect sense that our two organisations come together to create one exceptional country sports-focused event,” said Steve Bloomfield, BASC director, England, and Gamekeepers’ Fair organiser.

Laces are hot stuff! Leica’s interactive space

Leica has transformed its flagship London store into a state-of-the-art space which will offer hunters and airgunners a truly interactive experience. The German manufacturer’s Mayfair facility will give customers the chance to explore its range of premium sports optics and enjoy hands-on demonstrations of riflescopes and binoculars. An in-store café will enhance the customer experience. www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk

Game Fair up for award

The Game Fair has been nominated for a gong in the annual Countryside Alliance Awards – also dubbed the Rural Oscars. The long-established Game Fair will be seeking success in the Tourism Enterprise category of the Awards, which recognises and honours those individuals and organisations that go the ‘extra mile’ for their communities. Judging will take place over the winter with the winners due to be announced next spring. www.countryside-alliance.org /ruraloscars/

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Hunters who need to light up a camp fire but lack the necessary equipment will now have the perfect emergency solution – their boot laces! The Shooting Party has launched the innovative AirForceOne™ Twisted Fire Starter™ boot laces, manufactured from strong woven Paracord 550, originally used in US parachutes during World War Two. The 1,300mm laces incorporate two flint spark rods and two steel striker blades; simply striking the rod tips on the striker blades will produce hot sparks that can be applied to any tinder material and start a fire in the harshest of conditions. Available in a choice of five colours – Desert Storm sand, OD green, green camo, brown and black – the laces retail for £14.99. www.shootingparty.uk


N SCENE  ● AIRGUN SCENE  ● AIRGUN SCENE Rimfire scope ideal for pests

Vince tastes UKAHFT glory

Vince Holland claimed the overall honours at the UKAHFT National Series The Gathering event at Furnace Mill in Worcestershire on 20 November. The 2015 World HFT champion carded 77 points to defeat runner-up James McLachlan by a single point, the latter claiming second place after a tense shoot-off in windy conditions. Ian Clark and John Oldroyd, third and fourth placed respectively, also bagged 76 points apiece, with Justin Grice (75) in fifth spot. The Gathering, which drew shooters from across the country, was the finale event of the 2016 UKAHFT series which consisted of nine qualifying rounds.

Boot Butler keeps socks dry

Hunters have no need any more to put up with wet and muddy socks when removing their footwear out in the field – thanks to a new take on the traditional boot jack. The Boot Butler allows the user, having already taken off one boot using the jack, to place their besocked foot on a clean and dry surface by simply flipping over an adjoining plate covered with grippy rubber matting. This will allow them to remove their second boot in comfort. Created by Hertfordshire designer Mark Frey, the Boot Butler is due for a nationwide rollout in the new year. The item retails for £29.99. www.bootbutler.co.uk

A series of high-power variables scopes, specifically designed for rimfire calibre rifles used in pest control, has been unveiled by US optics brand Bushnell. The series – exclusively distributed by Edgar Brothers in the UK – is aimed at .22 LR, .17 HMR and .17 WSM cartridges, and consists of five adjustable scopes: the 3-9x40, 3.5-10x36, 3-12x40, 4-12x40 and 6-18x40 (pictured). Each scope has a quarter-inch click value at 100 yards, multicoated lenses and a tube diameter of one inch. The scopes retail from £155.99. www.edgarbrothers.com

Air Arms gets festive

If you’re full of Christmas spirit and wondering what to buy the young airgun shooting fan in your family – then check out the Air Arms festive video advertisement, now showing on company’s website. The advertisement tells the story of a young lad called Haydn who loves all things airgun shooting. When he hears his uncle in the gun room he heads there to check what’s going on – but little does he know that an Air Arms S200 Target rifle is being prepared for him... The .177 calibre gun is Air Arms’ entry-level target rifle and, according to the tagline on the two-minute advertisement, is A Gift for Generations. Image © Courtesy www.air-arms.co.uk of Air Arms website

AK47 air rifle hits market

SMK has released the Kalashnikov AK47 air rifle which is designed for plinking and various recreational activities. The 4.5mm BB-calibre rifle, which is the full weight (3,050 grams) and size (900mm) of the original classic, has a single shot/repeat action, full metal action body, single-stage trigger and full size magazine. Boasting a real wood stock, it features an authentic rustic finish. The AK47 retails at £399.95. www.sportsmk.co.uk


AIRGUN SCENE  ● AIRGUN Brocock launches Bantam bullpup

Gunmaker Brocock has capitalised on the rise in popularity of bullpup-style PCP carbine air rifles by launching the Bantam. The lightweight gun, whose handling mirrors that of a conventional smallbore rifle, is a higher power and high shot count version of the manufacturer’s Compatto model. A relatively short rifle at just 34 inches in length, the Bantam is produced in 12ft/lb and FAC versions, with .22, .25 and .177 calibres. It comes with three choices of carbon air bottle and has three power settings, a self-indexing 10-shot rotary magazine, two-stage trigger and built-in silencer. Prices start from £589 incl. VAT. www.brocock.co.uk

Realtree shirt aids insulation

Hunters can stay warm out in the field this winter, thanks to a new well-insulated shirt available from New Zealand firm Stoney Creek. The lightweight 2 Pocket Shirt in Realtree Xtra Green, made from Performance Plus fabric, can be worn comfortably under outer garments. With a camo design, it features long sleeves and a high neck along with a half-chest zip for ease of removal. Available is sizes S–7XL, the shirt retails for £41.00. www.stoneycreek.co.nz

Competition winners

Darron Goodes, from Northampton, is proudly pictured with his prize for winning our competition in the May 2016 issue – a magnificent BSA Ultra SE Multicam .177 air rifle. Many congratulations! Winner of our Summer 2016 competition was Ken Rees, of Radstock, who claims a terrific Pneumatic Ballistics Mk1 .177 airgun complete with silencer, open sights and branded gunbag. Well done! Fancy winning a superb BSA Ultra XL rifle? To stand a chance simply check out this month’s freeto-enter competition – on page 59. Good luck!

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Foxy fashion!

Female hunters and shooters can stay extra warm during the cold spell by donning a stylish new sporting jacket which is the latest addition to the country collection offered by Maude & Fox, the British tweed clothing brand. The Doris ladies jacket is designed to be both warm and practical, with Teflon milled into the tweed for extra water resistance. It is cut down at the back and high on the neck to keep out winds and offer complete warmth and comfort. It also features plenty of fleece-lined pockets for storage. Produced in a traditional tweed shade of green and available is sizes XS–XL, the jacket retails for £480. www.maudeandfox.com

Scottish shooters reminded of new rules

Shooters should have appropriate arrangements in place for their airguns as the introduction of new legislation in Scotland approaches, the BASC has warned. From 31 December this year, the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 will make it an offence to use, possess, purchase or acquire an airgun in Scotland without holding an air weapon certificate. Existing firearm or shotgun certificate holders will still be able to use and possess airguns until their current certificate expires. Anyone in possession of an airgun without a certificate after the cut-off date could face a custodial sentence and a fine.


Airgun Shooter 91 (Sampler)  

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