Friday, 4 March 2011

NEW DAYSTATE PELLET (and a free tin!)

If you're fed up with your pellets' consistency altering from one batch to the next, then you'd do well to try out Daystate's new American-made RangeMaster Li (standing for Lightweight).

I've only shot a couple of tins' worth in my .177 Air Wolf and .22 Theoben Elan... but I can tell you that I've already decided to switch to them; they definitely perform better than the Air Arms Field I've been shooting for the past few years.

I got news of them via the high-precision sport of Field Target. FT competitors don't suffer poor pellets gladly... and they were saying very nice things about the RangeMasters.

Actually, I cheated a bit. Knowing I wouldn't be able to find the time to undertake tests for myself until spring, I commissioned one of Airgun Shooter's writers - professional pest controller, Pete Meek - to try the .22s. His results, which are printed in the April 2011 edition of the magazine, were conclusive proof that Daystate's new ammo is a bit special.

Because they're made from a single die, the pellets are remarkably consistent - and they're so smoothly finished, they appear to possess better ballistic coefficients (for their weight). This means they not only shoot more accurately, but they also have a slightly flatter trajectory. In the case of Pete's test, the 14.3-grain Li dropped around an inch less at 50m (from a 30m zero) compared with the similar Crosman Premier roundhead.

As Pete's .22 results impressed me so much, I cheated again - and commissioned twice-world champion Stuart Hancox for his verdict on the 7.9-grain .177 version. I didn't have long to wait for his verdict - he'd already ditched his JSB-made ammo in favour of them for his competition work!

So, with their verdicts - along with the buzz the RangeMasters are creating around the UK - I've collared Daystate into giving away a free tin. Collect eight 'Star' tokens from Daystate products, stick them onto the collecting card we've supplied with April's Airgun Shooter... and you've got yourself 500 shots for nowt. (And I've even printed a token inside the mag to start you off...)

Airgun Shooter - the UK's leading airgun magazine

The Mindless Minority

So... over the past couple of weeks, we've had an idiot popping off soft airgun BBs at school kits, a psycho murdering Somerset swans with an airgun and pathetic Ashley Cole having an accident with a loaded pellet gun. Isn't it funny that all this happens when the latest shooting legislation - see details here - is announced by the government. Maybe I'm getting a bit old, but it does make you wonder whether the anti-shooting brigade have had a hand in at least two of these three stories...

Buth, I'm surprised at how lightly the press has let us off; I was expecting a real hatchet job on airguns, yet even the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 gave, I felt, a good case 'for' our side.

The truth is, the laws in the country are already so incredibly strict that incidents such as these only serve to show how pointless all this 'tacked-on' legislation - for the Anti-Social Behaviour Act, 2003; Violent Crime Reduction Act, 2007; Crime & Security Bill, 2010 are not part of the 1968 Firearms Act per se - actually is. No government can ever legislate for the madman - as was so well put by the current Prime Minister in his response to last summer's shooting incidents (by madmen).

The facts are, all these cases are breaking laws which were around with the original Firearms Act - and my hope is that the full force of the law is brought to bear on the culprits. We've got the laws - let's apply them.

The Scottish sniper is a moron... though, again, conspiracy theorists among us would wonder whether he was a plant by the anti-shooting lobby. After all, plastic BBs shot from what is a toy isn't really life-threatening, but perfect fodder for the sensationalistic media.

The Somerset swan killer will, I hope, be found and publicly hanged (metaphorically speaking). Armed trespass and numerous breaches of the Wildlife & Countryside Act should ensure he gets his just deserts.

And the old King Cole? Well, as would appear to be the case, it's the celebrity under the spotlight rather than the airgun. Let's hope his time has come and this is the final straw in what has, of course, been a pretty negative couple of years as far as PR is concerned for him. If he'd been the victim of the shot, I'm sure the media would have made much more of how 'dangerous' airguns are - so it may even be a mixed blessing that he was the jerk who jerked the trigger. But I sincerely hope he doesn't just get let off with a slap of the wrists; he's a role model for many and should be well and truly admonished for his misdemeanour, in my opinion.