Wednesday, 20 May 2009

.22 Calibre Officially Better Than .177!

.22 calibre is better than .177 - and that's now official!

The verdict comes from the votes cast by readers of my blog over the past few months - with almost 1 in 2 of airgunners saying they favoured the bigger bore size.

However, .177's still popular with more than 1 in 3 airgunners, showing that the dominance of the larger calibre is coming under threat. My bet would be that if this poll was run 10 years ago on a UK blog, the .22 would have won a landslide victory.


1st - .22 with 48% of the vote

2nd - .177 with 35% of the vote

3rd - .20 with 16% of the vote

4th - .25 with 1% of the vote

There's a new poll starting today. Now we know your favourite calibre - tell us your favourite type of pellet. My money's on the round-head winning, but who knows? You decide...

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Blow me... A Revelation in Windage!

Wind. It's the airgunner's worst enemy... and my Achilles heel in the field. In all but the most blustery of conditions, it is masterable, though - but how much do you really understand about the effects that wind has on your pellet?

I've spent a few months testing the windage characteristics of typical roundhead airgun ammo - and I've discovered something that I've never before seen in print!

So, I'm in the process of putting the record straight right now - and will shortly be updating my blog with a discovery that's sure to get airgunners talking. Though I'm the one who's done the testing, even I think it's somewhat of a revelation!

Make sure you check into my blog where I'll be giving you the link to an exclusive, never-before published review on how pellets react in a head wind, tail wind, oblique wind and (very interestingly) side winds.

Watch this space... it'll blow you away, not just your pellets!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Range Right Fast Fire 10 - Test

If you've been following my blog, you'll remember me mentioning about the fun I was having with the Range Right Fast Fire 10 (here); this PCP is probably the fastest-firing air rifle on the planet! Well, my full review's now out and you can read all about it in June's edition of Air Gunner magazine, on sale at newsagents now.

Made in the UK by Phoenix Airguns, the Fast Fire 10 is a take-down that comes with two bottle options and a unique grip-action auto-loading system that allowed me to empty its 10-shot magazine in eight seconds flat!

The rifle's also supplied with a hard case and a special silencer - the FF10 - which utilises a special reverse-thrust system of air channels inside to help reduce muzzle crack and prevent barrel flip. It's a helluva long silencer, but super-lightweight thanks to its carbon-fibre casing.

Despite all the fun I had letting rip at high speed with the Fast Fire 10, I must add that it's an extremely capable shooter. Out to 40 metres, I was grouping as well as any 'field' gun, and I think any prospective owner needs to look beyond the Fast Fire's styling. Like or loathe its paramilitary looks, it's an extremely powerful, highly accurate rifle that's ideal for pest control.

Field Testing the All-New Prestige Kub PCP

For the past few weeks, I've been field testing an incredible little carbine from a new airgun outfit called Prestige Airguns - and I'm very sad now that I've had to return it! You'll be able to read my full, five-page feature test in July's issue of the new-look Air Gunner magazine (out the first Thursday of June), but for now, here's a sneak preview...

The rifle's called the Kub - and it's available in three versions: the Kub-SB, Kub-RB and Kub-SL. The suffixes relate to differences in the cocking system - side-bolt, rear-bolt and side-lever. I've played with all three and, essentially, they're the same gun. My favourite (and, therefore, my test reports) are of the side-bolt which has got to be one of the most beautiful looking bolt-action combos on the airgun market today.

The Kub comes in delightful thumbhole or sporter woodwork (both walnut and both ambi) and its all-up weight - unscoped - is just 6.5 lbs. (3.1 kg). With my Hawk 3-12 x 44 AirMax on-board, I got a couple of ounces change out of 8 lbs. - and as well as the Kub-SB being a nice field weight, it's also beautifully balanced in your shoulder

As you can see from these scoop photos - a few more of which are on the Prestige Airguns website, along with detailed specs - the Kub is a very streamlined rifle. There's elegant chequer panels on the grip and fore-stock and despite the rifle's compact weights and measures, it's laden with lots of great features.

The firing valve has a special secondary air chamber which controls air-output in a pseudo-regulator way, and my .22 test sample actually gave me 120 usable shots per charge. In my case, a charge was 180 BAR down to 80, although Prestige quote 200 BAR as the maximum fill pressure.

I was well impressed with the Kub's two-stage trigger and its down-range accuracy was enough to tempt me into reaching for my wallet! With features like quick-fill charging (rotary cover), on-board manometer, 11/22mm scope grooves and adjustable butt, it's easily worth the money Prestige are asking for it. Prices range from £549 (for the Kub-RB Sporter) to £639 (for the flagship Kub-SB Thumbhole shown here).

Kubs are scheduled to arrive in gun shops around mid-May 2009 and I'm hoping to have another sample soon on which to undertake further field tests. When I do, you can be sure I'll be blogging about my hunting trips with the Kub... but for the meantime, remember to get your copy of July's Air Gunner for the exclusive first airing of this cracking little carbine.