Tuesday, 26 July 2011


As many of you will know, I'm a big fan of Daystate's PCP air rifles - and even use their computerised AirWolf as my main hunting tool when I'm not testing. 

So, you'll understand whey I'm about to highly recommend the special VIP Day they've got on offer in conjunction with this year's Midland Game Fair at Weston Park, Shropshire - an airgunning Mecca which takes place on the weekend of 17/18 September 2011.

You can get yourself on Daystate's VIP Day for just £60 (£30 for under-14s accompanied by an adult) - and that's even refundable if you buy one of their rifles from the Fair! Even if you don't, it's great value - here's what you get:

  • A guided tour of their Staffordshire airgun factory (fascinating - I've been there many a time)
  • Free entry to the Game Fair
  • A courtesy coach from factory to Fair (fast-track entry), and then back again
  • Lunch at Weston Park
  • Daystate Seminar, including demonstrations
  • A chance to shoot Daystate's current range of PCPs (including a preview of a new one!)
  • One-to-one coaching by airgun experts
Interested? Then ensure your ticket from either Daystate's website here, or call Hannah on +44 (0)1782 791755. 

The VIP day commences at 09:00 on Saturday, 17 September (at the Daystate factory), after which you'll get the red carpet treatment all day until Daystate drop you back at the factory for 18:00.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Heads up on a new night sight

The infra-red sight picture as seen through the 3-inch monitor of the NiteSite
Every now and then, something comes along in the airgun world that makes you sit up and think 'wow - what a great idea'! Well, the latest gadget I've had on top of my rifle is just that - the new NS50 night-hunting device from NiteSite.

I'll be filing my full report in the September 2011 issue of Airgun Shooter magazine, but I'm impressed enough with its performance to give you a sneak preview. In fact, because the NS50 comes with a video-out socket, I hope to post some night-action recordings of rat and rabbit hunts pretty soon. Meantime, though, you can watch the manufacturer's sneak preview trailer that they've put together prior to their unveiling of it at this year's CLA Game Fair on AirgunTV, here.

The NiteSite ingeniously bridges the gap between conventional lamping and night vision (NV) - and it allows you to shoot after hours with your daytime combo. It takes just seconds to change over to NS-vision... so you can shoot in the day, twilight and after sundown without any hassle whatsoever.
Heads-up: using the NS50 NiteSite on a Daystate AirWolf
How? Open up the NS50's custom case, push the camera module onto the eye-piece of your scope and mount the TV monitor (which incorporates a variable infra-red illuminator) above it... and with the cables all pushed in to place, you're ready to see in the dark without the aid of any white light at all.

Because you can't rest your head on the stock with the NS50 in place, I was initially sceptical, but I've been out with it a few times now, and it's really not a problem. You simply rest the rifle and look 'at' the monitor, rather than 'through' your scope. It takes all of five minutes for getting used to, after which the sheer brilliance of the NS system shines through.

My pre-production prototype sees much further than the 50 yards the NS50 is meant to - and the NS200 (which is good for 200 yards) would be fantastic for fox shooters, especially if they shoot from a vehicle.

A big round of applause to the English inventors, NiteSite.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


If you're thinking about going to this year's CLA Game Fair - the world's leading country sports event - why not have a go at winning some tickets... gratis

Airgun Shooter magazine has got five pairs of adult tickets up for grabs in a free-to-enter competition - and you can find out how to enter (via email) on their Facebook page, here.

Besides all the usual attractions, the Fair plays host to the Airgun Experience - an extravaganza of all things airgunning and a kind of 'Airgunmakers' Row'. There's more details on the Game Fair's website.

I'll be there with some of the award-winning Airgun Shooter team, too - come along to the Blaze Publishing stand (no. R1128) on the world famous Gunmakers' Row for a chat or to ask any questions. 

We've got a few 'show deals' on the go - so check them out, too.

So... see you at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire sometime between 22 and 24 July. Oh, and good luck with that ticket draw on the magazine's Facebook Page!

Friday, 1 July 2011


Since Theoben has let its patent for the gas-ram powerplant lapse, there have been plenty of big name gunmakers who've jumped on the bandwagon of manufacturing air rifles that dispense with a conventional mainspring in lieu of a 'strut' of pre-compressed air.

The latest is IGT - Inert Gas Technology - from Spanish gunmakers, Gamo. The gas is, actually, Nitrogen - and I've had the supposedly full-powered Hunter IGT model on test for the past couple of weeks... which was earmarked for publication (once my comprehensive tests were completed) in Airgun Shooter.

Now, you may have been astute enough to have spotted words like 'supposedly' and 'was earmarked for publication' - you see, the Airgun Shooter test team highlighted a problem on the test sample BSA sent us that, as it turns out, is a problem right across the board. All the IGT models in the UK at the time of this post are underperforming in terms of power.

The Airgun Shooter test rifle produced a power in the region of 8 to 8.5ft/lb - well below what we'd been told to expect. Following our findings, we asked BSA to randomly test some more samples from their stock... and they found those rifles to massively vary "between 9 and 14 Joules" (6.6 and 10.3ft/lb).

Power stats from the Gamo Hunter IGT tested by Airgun Shooter

As a result, Gamo's UK distributor has been forced to recall all those models already sent to gun shops - and, obviously, it would be wrong of me to now file my test report in a magazine as authoritative as Airgun Shooter. All the same, well done to BSA for reacting so promptly to the fault.

And as BSA were able to highlight this problem quite early in the rifle's release, only a few of the rogue guns have found their way into consumer hands - but if you have bought one with the intention of using it for pest control, I would strongly recommend you consult your gun shop. Air rifles under 10ft/lb are rarely suitable for hunting humanely.

BSA are hopeful that the Hunter and Shadow IGT models will soon be back on sale, at their correct power level.

You see, power issues aside, I can confirm that I found the Hunter IGT one of the sweetest break-barrels I've ever shot. Beautifully engineered and finished, it let go with a very fast firing cycle with no vibration through the chequered beech stock whatsoever. It came with fibre-optic Tru-Glo adjustable sights and a rise-and-fall cheek that was perfect for use with a scope - and although its trigger was slightly below what I expected in a £259 air rifle, everything else was well on the money. Possibly the best sub-£400 gas-ram around.

But it's just you won't be able to read a full report about it for a while.  


Now, if you live in Britain and are reading this Blog post, you're going to be disappointed - because UK gun laws don't allow the guns I'm about to tell you about. But in many other parts of the world, you can own them - and I think you'll want to! I'm talking about the new Giant and Speed PCP air rifles from the famous South Korean gunmaker, Evanix.

I've been to the factory and am in no doubt as to their ability to manufacture top-quality air rifles - but their latest incarnations are a clear sign as to how how much of a world power Evanix is actually becoming. 

This video from AirgunTV shows their new Giant, (a twin, carbon-fibre buddy-bottle fed PCP) and Speed (a conventional cylinder PCP) - both of which are capable of firing pellets in full-auto mode at an incredible 10 shots per second! Yes, TEN shots a second!