Friday, 13 March 2009

Great Ratting Combos

Rats are a favourite quarry of airgun hunters - and over the past few weeks, I've had a couple of superb ratting rigs on test. Ultra-light and very compact, this PCP pair is just the ticket for a fast-action scaly-tail op.

Brocock Contour (£375)

I had a great rat session down the farm the other week with this single-shot PCP rifle. It's a tiny affair - an uprated version of their Grand Prix pistol with a longer barrel and dressed in a sumptuous thumbhole walnut stock.

It handles like a dream, though, and is just the ticket for farmyard hunting, when you're scrambling over machinery and shooting in confined spaces. It's also very quick to bring onto target - and you can read how it coped on the trail of a scaly-tail in the next issue of Sporting Shooter.

FX Airguns Verminator (£799)

Another real shorty, this Swedish-built PCP take-down comes to the UK courtesy of Deben - and boy does it have a performance bigger than its appearance!

Filled up at the front, the air's stored in the buddy bottle that doubles up as a butt - so you actually get around 200 full-power shots in .22 calibre, all recoilless.

The aptly-named Verminator runs an eight-shot, autoloading magazine (removable) which indexes with each pull-back of its sidelever cocking action - and the FX is a dream to handly courtesy of its synthetic drop-down grip and adjustable butt.

I think it needs a silencer, though - its eight-inch barrel certainly barks a fair bit! But you won't need a gunbag - this pocket rocket comes with a hard briefcase style case into which the take-down action and butt fit like a glove.

Best of all, though, is the Verminator's three-way power adjustment. At the flick of a switch, you select either Hi, Med or Lo power (approx. 12, 9 or 7 ft. lbs.), making it the perfect tool for ratting or despatching feral pigeon.

Why perfect? Well, as most rat shooting is undertaken at close-quarters, you don't want too much power. For starters, you risk 'overkill' - something you don't want when sabre-toothed rats are the target! And, secondly, 12 ft. lbs. is way too much oomph when you're shooting inside barns and cattle sheds.

Check out my more detailed evaluation of the FX Verminator in my Test Bench report scheduled for May's Air Gunner magazine.

1 comment:

  1. Rats generally like quiet, dark areas to build their nests so you will be looking for a ball of fuzz and rat droppings in a dark area to determine where the rats are living. There may even be a trail of rat dropping leading from the area where they are stealing food back to where their nesting area is.