Umarex is a leading purveyor of BB and pellet firing replicas of famous firearms and this example is a licensed copy of the popular P30 series from Heckler and Koch that is actually manufactured in Germany by HK for Umarex.  Like its firearm counterpart, it is a polymer pistol sporting a metal slide. However, this is not a blowback pistol as the slide is non-reciprocating.  It does separate, with the front section sliding forward upon depressing what would be the slide release lever on the actual firearm.  Once the slide is open, either a metal 8-round rotary magazine or a BB adapter can be inserted into the gun.  To shoot BBs, the plastic “BB adapter” supplied with the gun is inserted in place of the rotary pellet magazine and 15 BBs are loaded into the drop-free magazine.

P30 with magazine & accessories

This pistol operates in both single and double action modes and has a functional exposed hammer.  The P30 is listed as being a semi-auto because the internal workings line up the next shot automatically and ready the gun for firing, but to shoot in single action, the hammer must be manually cocked each time.

While the P30 is a faithful reproduction in looks and feel, right down to the picatinny rail on the dust cover, the only controls that operate as on the original are the ambidextrous magazine release incorporated into the trigger guard and the de-cocking button at the rear of the slide, next to the hammer.

To ready for firing, a 12-gram CO2 capsule is inserted into the drop-free magazine after rotating the magazine base plate 180 degrees clockwise.  A small knurled wheel at the base plate of the magazine is rotated to “snug up” the capsule and then the magazine base is rotated counterclockwise to pierce the capsule.  The gun would then be pointed in a safe

P30 Magazine with base plate in open position

direction and the trigger pulled to make sure that CO2 was flowing and the gun would fire before loading it with ammo.  Note that, with this gun, if the manual safety near the rear of the slide is engaged, it blocks the valve so you might think the CO2 capsule has not been pierced as trigger pull is not affected by the manual safety.

Nice features of this P30 replica include a 3.3-inch rifled steel barrel, vertical groves in the face of the trigger, front and rear sights that are drift adjustable for windage, a hard-plastic foam-lined case plus the inclusion of two 8-round pellet magazines and a small plastic tool for seating the pellets to the same depth.  Additionally, it is a quiet shooter compared to other CO2 pistols I own, making this model “backyard friendly”.

Umarex rates the P30 at 360 fps for pellets (grains not specified) and 395 for BBs.  Since I prefer not to shoot BBs through barrels with shallow rifling, I can only report my results from the pellets I used.  My findings are based on a 90+ degree day at well over a mile above sea level.  Using H&N Excite Plinking pellets weighing 7.3 grains the average fps was: 304.9 and with Predator GTO lead free wad cutters at 5.5 grains the average fps was: 278.1.

The P30 wasn’t stingy with the CO2, yielding only 45+ full power shots per capsule.  It was fun to shoot and with the two magazines provided, was quick to reload for a full 16 shots, however, keep the pistol level and over your shooting bench when opening the slide to insert or remove the 8-round pellet magazines as they will easily fall out otherwise.  The trigger pull averaged 3 pounds in single action and a very heavy 11 pounds in double action.  Not unmanageable, but it was more pleasurable to shoot by manually cocking the hammer for each shot.  Accuracy was acceptable for a nice plinking airgun at ranges out to 20 yards.  All-in-all, I liked the way it shot and the solid, comfortable feel in your hand.  If you are into the replica airguns at all, this one would make a nice addition to your collection.  MSRP on this model runs in the $225 range and it can be found on the AofA website www.airgunsofarizona.com

for a considerable savings.

For the plinkers in the audience I wanted to cover a fun little item that is an accurate enough replica to be valuable as a training arm as well – the Walther PPK/S from Umarex.  This is an all metal semi-auto replica of the pocket .380 firearm.  As Walther is part of the Umarex family, this little 1.2-pound replica BB shooter sports the Walther logos and is a pretty exacting copy.  The only deviations would be the non-functional safety on the left side of the slide (an actual safety is located on the right side of the frame) and in the case of my slightly older version, a protruding thumbscrew used to pierce the 12-gram CO2 cartridge.  Newer models no longer have the thumbscrew, replacing it with a threaded plug needing a hex wrench, and this gives a more realistic look.

Umarex Walther PPK/S with grip panel and magazine removed.

A 15-round drop-free stick type magazine forms the “pinky ledge” that would be part of the magazine on the real deal. The CO2 cylinder sits behind the stick magazine under the left grip panel which is held in place with spring clips.  The pistol operates by single action and Umarex rates the gun at velocities up to 295 fps.  I experience less velocity because I live at higher altitude but was unable to measure the fps due to a malfunctioning chronograph.  BBs still hit with some authority and in no way diminished the plinking fun that can be had with this little pistol.

The non-adjustable trigger was very nice with a smooth pull that averaged around 2 ½ pounds.  The face of the trigger is grooved like it is on the firearm and after a slight take up it travels about ¼ of an inch before dropping the hammer.  As this is a blowback action gun, some CO2 is bled off to cycle the slide and prepare the next shot.  After the last BB is fired, the slide locks back, but only partially.  Still, it is somewhat realistic and prevents the waste of gas by pulling the trigger on an empty magazine.  The pivoting safety switch on the right side is made of plastic and disengages the trigger when in the downward position.  There is a small cutout in the right grip panel so the lever needs to be slightly depressed to move upward, revealing a large red dot and readying the pistol to fire.

Sporting a 3.5-inch smooth bore barrel, a high degree of accuracy cannot be expected but if you keep your targets to within 25 feet or so, you’ll put plenty of BBs on soda cans, pinecones and other reasonably sized targets.  This pistol was pretty conservative on its gas use so I was able to get up to 90 shots before the pressure dropped to where the slide would not cycle.  It is possible to get additional shots with a fair amount of punch by simply manually cocking the hammer each time thereby getting the most of the CO2 cylinder.

Close up of left side markings on the Walther PPK/S.

Having excellent balance and feel in the hand, plus a very nice trigger for this price range, the PPK/S is a lot of fun.  The MSRP is around $85 and it comes with a 90-day limited warranty.  Umarex USA has a good reputation for warranty work should you need to make use of it.  Check out this model [http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/bb-pistols/walther-ppk/s-bb-co2-pistol/] and other licensed copy CO2 pistols which are available on the Airguns of Arizona website at: www.airgunsofarizona.com.

The airgunning community can feel tiny speck when compared to the firearms community. The firearms community has money, power, political groups, etc. We don’t. It would be nice if we did but, our community is so small that I don’t know if we could effectively sustain it. We simply don’t have the numbers… yet.
But, if you look at it from another perspective, we’re actually pretty lucky. We have a community of shooters where many of us know one another and call each other “brother” or “sister”. It’s very easy to reach out to each other for advise and friendship through the online forum or blogs like this. I think we are very lucky to be part of such a tight knit group of people. Sometimes we disagree and get on each others nerves. But, overall, we know that we are all in this adventure together and we all do what we can to watch out for one another and come together when we need to. This became very apparent to me when youtube had it’s banning spree. Everyone from industry leaders and manufacturers, down to the newest faces in our sport was ready to stand together. It was really great to see that collective reaction.
While we may not have all the power of the firearms industry, we also don’t have all the political attention like the firearms industry, which is really nice! Youtube did eventually realize that they made a mistake and most of our airgun channels have been reinstated. Firearms channels are still in the radar though.
It was unfortunate to see one of the old forums get torn apart. As a “community” we stuck with each other and turned a bad situation into something great. I think this tight knit community is something we should really cherish and appreciate. Because we are so small and so tight with one another, I think we could almost use the word “Family” of airgunners.
I recently attended the 1st ever “Daystate owners fun shoot” hosted by Airguns of Arizona. It was a heck of a good time shooting all the newest Daystate rifles, meeting new people, and seeing old faces again. While I was down there, I noticed something interesting. On the back of the new Daystate T-shirts, it says, “Welcome to the family!” It put a smile on my face since I had been brainstorming on this topic before heading down there.
How hard do you think it would be to get in touch with the owner of one of the major firearms dealers? I think it would probably be a bit of a chore. I have personally spoke with many retail owners and manufacturers in the airgun industry over the past few years. Some of them are so approachable and talkative that I end up wondering how they could possibly have the time to run a business if they’re that chatty with everyone they talk to!
As an airgun family, we know one another. We know what rifles each other has. We borrow from one another. We know each others families. We celebrate additions to the family and mourn losses together. 6 degrees of separation? In our community, it’s more like 1-2 degrees. Do you know Steve, Giles, Ted, or Matt? I’ve met them. I consider them distant friends and know that they recognize me, who I am, and what I stand for. Since you’re reading this that means you’re 1 degree of separation away from knowing them as well!
I look back at a time when I was shooting firearms and before I found airguns. While shooting firearms is an enjoyable sport, I had an overall feeling of isolation. Even at the range, shooters rarely spoke to one another. These days, when I shoot with other airgunners, we’re always talking and laughing and having a great time together. I feel tremendously fortunate to have found this sport and all the great people involved in it! I hope all of you enjoy this feeling of family like I do.
Tom Adams

Beretta Px4 Storm air pistol showing the safety lever

This Umarex licensed copy of the Beretta Px4 Storm, a 1:1 BB/Pellet firing copy of the original firearm released in 2004, is a black polymer pistol with a metal slide.  It features blowback action and a single or double-action trigger mechanism utilizing an exposed hammer to activate the valve.  Sights are fixed and the slide stop and manual safety levers are molded in/non-functional.  However, Umarex did provide a manual safety on the right side that requires a 2-step action to engage/disengage it.  A long lever has a ribbed bar inset into its face that must be depressed and slid rearward slightly in order to be able to move the safety lever either upwards to disengage and reveal a red dot, or downwards to engage.  Interestingly, if the hammer is back when engaging the safety lever, it will safely be dropped.

CO2 cartridges are inserted in the grip after rotating the false magazine floorplate clockwise 270 degrees and removing a small backstrap panel.

False magazine floorplate is the piercing knob

Insert with the neck pointing upwards and the base of the cartridge rests on a curved plastic wheel that can be rotated to snug the cartridge up against the piercing pin.  Returning the false magazine floorplate back to its original position pierces the cartridge, taking guesswork out of the piercing operation.  Pellets are held in a stick magazine that rides in the grip just in front of the CO2 cartridge.  It is ejected from the grip by depressing the functional magazine release button found in the usual location on the left side just behind the trigger guard.  Be certain your hand support hand is in position to catch the magazine as it is forced out by spring pressure.  The magazine is a double-ended affair with rotary pellet chambers on either end each holding 8 pellets.  Count your shots or you may wind up wasting CO2 before you realize you need to drop the mag and insert the other end as there is no mechanism to lock the slide back after the last pellet has been fired.

A number of replica CO2 guns on the market bleed off some CO2 in order to simulate recoil and cycle the slide.  However, this Beretta model really offers some kick!   Partially because of that harder recoil/blowback action, I averaged 4 ½ magazines (72 shots) per cartridge shooting only slow fire.  This pistol does not disassemble or field strip like some replica CO2 guns are capable of.  Indentations on either side are the location of the takedown buttons on the firearm, but there are no such buttons on the CO2 version.  Still, those indentations make a nice tactile area for resting the index finger when it is outside the trigger guard.  A short rail is provided on the dust cover should you want to mount a flashlight, laser or training device such as Laser Ammo or MantisX.

Firing in double-action for the first shot averaged a trigger pull of 10 pounds, 4 ounces.  Of course, the hammer is cocked after that first shot and the trigger pull drops off to an average of 5 pounds, 6 ounces.  The trigger pull is long and a little gritty, but I anticipate that will improve as the gun is broken in more.  Trigger break is crisp and remarkably good for an air pistol in this price range.  Shooting in single-action mode, I was getting good accuracy from standing shots using various lead and alloy pellets at 10 yards.  The best accuracy seemed to be with the SIG Match Ballistic flat-nosed alloy pellets which weighed in at 5.2 grains.  They averaged 398.8 fps at a mile above sea level out of the 4.1 inch rifled steel barrel.  I am hesitant to fire steel BBs through these dual ammo guns as the rifling is shallow so I stick with pellets.  Umarex USA rates the Px4 at 380 fps using pellets.

The Px4 Storm with magazine and backstrap removed

This little pistol was fun to shoot and accuracy was on par with other semi-auto replica pistols.  It would be an excellent training replica for holster drills and dry-fire practice.  There were no feeding problems or malfunctions.  While the MSRP lists at $110, here is a direct link to the Airguns of Arizona page where the Px4 Storm lists for $79.95: http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/co2/beretta-px4-storm/.   The warranty offered with the pistol covers the buyer for 90 days.

I’ve been seeing some pretty cool optics come out recently that are integrating technology into their functions.

Most recently, I picked up the MTC Rapier Rangefinder. I first noticed this little rangefinder at Shot Show 2018 and was immediately impressed at how much more it did than just tell me the range alone. This little gadget uses your smart phone or watch to calculate the ballistics of your rifle and then shows you and tells you exactly where to place your shot. Yup, it actually talks to you through either through your device or via an included bluetooth earpiece! It gave me a laugh the first time I heard it because it’s been programmed to talk to you with a British accent! It does require some initial setup information from you in order to provide you with the most accurate feedback. But, that little time spent in the beginning will take away any guess work out in the field.

Calculating ballistics is one thing but, this little rangefinder does even more. It also takes into consideration the angle your shooting at. That alone can mean the difference between a hit and a miss. “But wait, there’s more!” If you’re in an area with internet connection, you can download the local weather in your area and it will compute that into your ballistics as well. “But wait, there’s more!” There’s also a place for the shooter to enter the local wind data so that it can compute that into the ballistics of your shot as well!

The Rapier Rangefinder provides 4 pre-sets that are set up by the shooter a “custom tailored” fit to each of their rifle/scope combinations. I say custom tailored because ballistic coefficient, zero distance, velocity, scope height, twist rate, bullet weight, caliber, and length are all taken into consideration.
So, you might be wondering if it works with any scope. Yes! It asks you a couple of questions during setup in order to work with whatever scope your using. Is it First or Second focal plane and at what magnification is the scope at “true mil-dot.” Once this is entered, the main screen will then allow you to set and change your scope magnification very easily.

You can also choose what it tells you after you hit the “FIRE” button. It will tell you Range, plus any combination of the following – Angle, Drop, and Drift. Are you an MOA user? Or, maybe you prefer to “click in” to take your shot? No problem! Just set it to what you like… mil, MOA, 0.1-0.2 mil clicks, 1/8,1/4,1/2 MOA clicks, or bullet drop in inches or centimeters, and it will tell you what you want to know and how you want to hear it.
You do need a smart phone or watch in order to utilize all this information. But, even without one of these, the rangefinder will still work as a standard rangefinder. Through the eyepiece, you’ll see the changeable reticle, distance in yards or meters, angle with up or down indication, battery level, and whether vibration mode is on or off.

I searched around to see if there was anything else like this available. There is, but there’s only about 2 others to choose from (that I found) and you’d have to spend double or even triple the price in order to get one of them. Another product you might compare this to is the ATN X-sight scope. It has a lot of the same features built directly into the scope itself. Here’s why I like the rangefinder platform better. I own multiple rifles and I can easily use it with them without having to go through the process of un-mounting or mounting anything at all. That means I also don’t have to re-sight in. Being a rangefinder that will work with any scope, I can use whatever scope I want to look through and not be forced to use something that I might not like as much. Then, there’s the weight. The Rapier is 6.2oz in your pocket whereas the ATN scope is 2.5LBS on top of your rifle. Cost is always a concern as well. The MTC Rapier is the lowest priced of anything I found that compares to it making this little “piece of kit” (as the brits say) hard to beat!

I put together a youtube video about this little gem! If you’d like to see and hear it working, follow the link and check it out!

Happy Shooting!

Tom Adams

With the last blog I gave the five-cent tour of the Daystate Renegade .22 and it is a striking PCP bullpup airgun that worked flawlessly.  In this segment I’ll let you in on how it performed with me behind the trigger.

Close up of the well designed Renegade bullpup stock

As far as first impressions when shooting this model, I liked the slightly tacky feel of the stock.  I’m not sure of the thinking behind it, but the forearm is made of a hard polymer, which is slicker, but the recesses on either side allow for a firm grip.  Being able to adjust the cheekpiece as well as the buttpad was very beneficial as well and makes all the difference when setting the gun up for your chosen optic.  The AR style pistol grip was very familiar and made activation/deactivation of the manual safety very easy and convenient.

As covered in the previous installment, the Renegade is equipped with a hybrid trigger that is both mechanical and electronic and it was sweet.  It averaged a pull weight of 1 pound, 5.4 ounces and was incredibly smooth, positive and predictable.  At that pull weight I did not mess with it as I found it to be just right.

I paired the Renegade with a Sun Optics USA 5-30x56mm scope which added 30 ounces to the already substantial 8 pounds of the Renegade, but it was worth it.  The 30mm tube required large rings so I had to utilize an adapter on the dovetail rail that added height which actually worked to my advantage.  The Sun Optics scope was clear as a bell with using a glass etched micro mil-dot red/green illuminated reticle.  Low profile turrets provide 1/8 moa adjustability and there is a parallax side wheel adjustable down to 10 yards.  This nitrogen-filled scope retails around the $450 range.

Renegade .22 with 5-30x56mm Sun Optics scope

As for shooting, the rotary magazine is easy to load, even with fat fingers like mine.  There is a provision for reversing the magazine so it can be loaded from the right.  It slides easily into position and a strong rare earth magnet draws the magazine into perfect alignment with the bore.  Additionally, the Renegade comes with a single pellet loading tray, also embedded with rare earth magnets to hold it in perfect alignment.  I set up targets at 25 yards and filled to 2000 psi after every 5 shots.  Shooting several different weights of lead and alloy pellets of different brands let me know that this bullpup preferred medium weight lead pellets and the brand that came out on top for me were the RWS Superdomes at 14.5 grains – 5 shots touching but stringing horizontally; still able to be covered by a quarter.  Next best were H&N Baracuda Hunters at 18.21 grains – again, 5 shots able to be covered by a quarter.  I’m sure better accuracy could be wrung out of this bullpup with more practice time.  It did not like 9.9 grain RWS Hypermax pellets as I could not get them to group well.   Even though I was not using a full complement of air (only 2000 psi), the pellets it liked were still chronographing at 825 to 869 fps providing for up to 28+ foot pounds of energy.

I can confirm that the new Daystate models are coming with a 5 year transferable warranty now and the Renegades now rolling off the assembly line also have a laser built into the forearm and there is a Huma regulated version available as well.  www.airgunsofarizona.com not only imports the Daystate lineup, they can fix you up with any accessories you might need from big Daystate compressors to targets and pellets.  For those who like the bullpup configuration, the Renegade should definitely be something you check out.

Owning your own high pressure air compressor can be a big step for an air gunner but, it’s a step towards independence and makes shooting an air rifle much more convenient by taking away the drive time, fuel costs, filling charges, and waiting around for the shop to open… or rushing to get there before they close!

High quality, high pressure air compressors can cost $1000, $2000, and up so, it’s no small feat to get your hands on the money for one. Even when you do get your hands on enough money to buy one, the temptation is there to use that money to buy another rifle, or supply bottle, instead of a compressor.
There are basically two different styles. One is called a “booster compressor” which takes the pressurized air from your home shop compressor and “boosts it” to the higher pressure you need for either your rifle or your supply bottle. The other style is the “stand alone” type, which do the whole process by themselves.
Many of the booster compressors do not come with filters for drying the air they are providing to your rifle. So, you might have to pick up an additional desiccant filter in order to give your rifle high quality, filtered, dry air. Accessories such as this not only bring additional costs but, they can also make the whole process a bit more cluttered by adding more hoses and equipment to your set up. But, for someone on a lower budget, one of these might fit the bill. Also, if you decide on a booster style, you’ll have the added benefit of owning a home shop compressor.
High quality, stand alone compressors such as the Omega Turbo Charger will run a higher price tag. But, they come with some very nice advantages. Oddly, the saying “Less is more” applies to these advantages. You’ll get less equipment, less machines running, less fittings and hoses, less noise, less power being used, and less things that can go wrong over all. They’re usually very compact, about the size of a suitcase, which makes it easier to find a place for them for operating and/or storage. Being stand alone, there’s nothing else to worry about hooking up, maintaining, or storing. Then there’s the noise factor. With a stand alone unit, you only have one machine running that’s about as loud as a washing machine. As I write this, my Omega Turbo is happily humming along, filling my supply bottle in another room. On the other hand, a booster compressor will have two machines running, the booster itself and a home shop compressor. I can tell you that any home shop compressor I’ve ever owned has been VERY loud and is certainly not something you want to be around when it’s running! Another big benefit to the Omega compressors is the moisture purge system which periodically purges moisture out the back of the machine before it gets to your rifle or storage bottle, without the use of a separate desiccant system.

Regardless of what style of compressor you’re looking at, they should all have some kind of safety feature built in. Either in the form of a pressure based automatic shutoff system, an over-pressure burst disc, or a redundant system that has both. Having the peace of mind in knowing that your bottle will not be overfilled is a MUST!
Personally, I like the stand alone units. I’ve had a booster compressor in the past and the one that I had made my shop compressor run very hard. In fact, it ended up breaking the shop compressor and I had to go out and buy a new one with a higher output. With a stand alone unit, I only have to worry about one machine. With proper maintenance, I should be able to fill my bottles “trouble free” for a very long time. Even if something does go wrong, it’s only one machine to worry about, diagnose, and fix.

Here’s a timely tip!!!

As I mentioned above, the cost of a stand alone unit can be significant and can leave quite a dent in a shooters budget. As of writing this article, it’s late-February and that means “tax season” is upon us! If you’re one of the lucky people that is expecting a tax return, and doesn’t have it ear-marked for anything yet, this might be a great opportunity to achieve “high pressure air INDEPENDENCE!”

Tom Adams

Daystate is pretty much a household name in Great Britain and has an excellent reputation on this side of the pond as well.  Based on my initial impressions of the Renegade, it is easy to see why.

My loaner was the .22 caliber synthetic stocked model in the green color.  It is also available in .177 and .25 calibers and in a black synthetic stock.  Setup for a right-hander, I understand they can be ordered for left-handed shooters.  The barrel is 17 inches with an overall length of 30 inches.  A little on the heavy side for a synthetic stocked bullpup at almost 8 pounds, but you can’t deny it is solidly built.  The buttpad is adjustable vertically, as well as for cant, by use of a metric hex wrench.  The onboard cylinder volume is 300cc and the max fill pressure is rated at 230 bar (3300 psi).  It comes with one 10 round rotary magazine and in a hard plastic carrying case with a dense foam interior that is fitted with a little “headroom” for an optic if it is not too large.

Daystate Renegade showing 10 round magazine

The synthetic stock has a rubber feel to it which is very nice and should be impervious to just about anything.  Inlet into the stock on both sides are contrasting black plastic chevron-looking “swooshes” that give a little flair.  The buttpad is a hard rubber and not sticky as some of the buttpads coming on air rifles today.  At the bottom of the stock is a hard plastic, hollow pistol grip that is stippled to give a non-slip grip.  At the bottom of the grip is an access door that flips open to allow for storage of hex wrenches, extra batteries or whatever.  The stock is actually a two piece affair with the fore-end being a synthetic “shroud” that covers the air reservoir and also provides a recessed area for gripping with the support hand as well as a 3 inch section of picatinny rail for mounting a bipod or other attachment.  At the tip of the fore-end is a large threaded aluminum cap that protects the male foster fitting.  The fully shrouded barrel has a threaded end cap for additional sound moderation, although it really isn’t necessary as this .22 Renegade was very quiet.  Atop the barrel shroud sits a stylish rail with 11mm dovetail grooves for mounting optics and a built in bubble level.  Additionally, there is a curved polymer cheek rest that is adjustable forward and back.

The heart and soul of the operation is the hybrid trigger.  The actual trigger is a smooth-faced metal job and very substantial looking with a cross-bolt safety button located directly to the rear of the trigger.  Adjustable for first and second stage travel and pull weight via access holes in the trigger guard it is Daystate’s new hybrid trigger system.  Those familiar with bullpup configurations know they have suffered from stiff, gritty triggers due to the nature of the trigger being well in front of the action/breech and the complicated linkages involved in tripping the sear.  In their Pulsar line of bullpups, Daystate used a fully computerized electronic trigger.  With the Renegade, they combined the mechanical Harper Slingshot Hammer system as used in the Wolverine model plus electronics that transfer the trigger’s movement via a wire to a small solenoid.  Dubbed the Hybrid Trigger Unit (HTU), it instantaneously releases the sear with the press of the trigger, which can be set to a hair-trigger pull if desired. The system is powered by one 9-volt battery which requires the stock to be removed in order to replace it.

Built for the U.S. market and not restricted to the British 12 foot pound limit on energy output, this particular rifle is considered a Magnum 22 capable of an output of 34 foot pounds.  There is also a high power version with a longer barrel capable of up to 50 fpe.

A 3 year warranty came with this loaner gun; however I understand that all of the new Daystates now come with a 5 year warranty.  Will have to check that out and report back in Part II.  The current price on the www.airgunsofarizona.com website is: $1559.00.  The HP version goes for a hundred dollars more.

 

Please Note:  I need to make a correction to last month’s blog regarding things seen at the SHOT Show.  I mentioned Gamo’s introduction of their TC35 and TC45 big bores.  I noted they would come to the market in the $500 range.  I was only off by half.  These big bore PCPs will retail at $999 each.  Sorry for any confusion I may have caused.

Is it a way to relax or, maybe a way to get excited? Do you shoot for pest control? Is it an avenue for experimentation in the quest for the “perfect shot” or the “perfect card” in competition? Do you shoot for the pure joy of plinking? For some, it’s a way for families to come together and enjoy their time with each other. A way for parents and children to connect.
For a lot of us, the draw to air gunning is the fact that they can be so quiet and so accurate, while not being as loud or deadly as a firearm.
For this writer, airguns started out as a way to continue shooting and learn about how to shoot without shooting firearms. When the ammo crunch started to hit, it was very nice to have already been established in airguns and be able to go and fulfill that desire to shoot a rifle and not struggle to find ammunition or struggle to pay for that ammunition. Since then, it has quickly turned into my primary shooting passion. It is no longer necessary for me to go down to a public range and hope there’s a bench available in order to shoot. Or, sit down next to someone testing out their new “hand cannon,” that’s loud enough to hear a mile away, while blasting me with concussion wave after concussion wave. Today, my firearms are neglected because I enjoy shooting airguns so much.
The lower power of airguns, compared to firearms, allows them to be shot in many backyards safely, using a proper backstop. Some shooters can actually shoot an air rifle inside their own home or garage, which is especially nice this time of year because you don’t have to battle the elements or wait until the weather is nice to shoot. Even with a very short range, a shooter can perfect their shooting skills such as trigger control, breathing, head positioning and more from the comfort of their own home.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws to air gunning is that they can legally have a moderator (LDC) added on to the barrel to make them quiet. Extremely quiet! In fact, an airgun can be so quiet that you can quite literally shoot all day and not disturb any of your neighbors. At my home range, there have been numerous times when deer actually walk up to my targets to see why their making noise!
I can recall one summer day, a few years ago, when I was shooting off my back deck out to 100 or 125 yards in the open field behind my house. It was just me, my rifle, my supply bottle, and a tin of pellets. The wind was calm, it was warm out, and the sun was shining. I sat there for what seemed like a long time and shot at my target over and over. During the course of my shooting session, the world around me seemed to quietly fade away. I was comfortable, calm, and very focused on my target. I began to push my limits. Instead of aiming at the target, I started aiming at the “T” post it was mounted on. Sometimes I’d hit… sometimes I’d miss. I moved my shots out even further. At that point, it wasn’t so much about hitting the target or creating small groups. For me, it was more about the calming effect of sitting there shooting in peace and quiet, and the tranquil state of mind it had put me in. When I finally got up to put things away, I had a feeling like I had just got back from a great relaxing vacation. The extremely low noise level of my airgun played a big part in allowing me to reach that point of contentment.
For me, air gunning is all those things I mentioned above. Relaxing, exciting, competitive, useful, safe, and most of all… great fun! How about you?

Happy Shooting,
Tom Adams

A tiny view of the SHOT Show floor

Man, 2018 already…at least one of the best things about that is the SHOT Show rolled around again!  This marked the 40th year of the show and it was another banner Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trades event.  Sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, it is the largest trade show held at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas.  Some fears about the show being negatively affected by the recent tragedy there were not realized it came off without a hitch so allow me to share some of the things coming to stores and the www.airgunsofarizona.com website later this year.

Of note at this year’s show was the plethora of HPA air compressors from all of the big name companies.  A complaint from shooters that have shown an interest in pre-charged pneumatic airguns is the high cost of getting into that realm of the sport.  This year’s offerings of compressors (and low cost hand pumps) is taking a little of the air out of that argument (pun intended).  Naturally, some smaller, lower priced compressors may take longer to fill a cylinder or need to be run in shorter intervals due to heating concerns, but are a welcome addition.  Retail prices ranged from around $500 to the $1000 dollar mark.

Speaking  of costs to get into PCP airgunning, all of the major manufacturers also rose to meet that objection and have models that allow the first time buyer to get into the sport for as little as 199 bucks.  Watch for future blogs as some of these models become available for testing and evaluation.  Of course, an air source will still add to the startup costs, but HPA hand pumps are now breaking below the $100 mark as well.

Big bores were still alive and well with Umarex unleashing the .50 caliber Hammer this year after some modifications that delayed its coming to the market last year.

Umarex released the .50 Hammer

Developing 700 foot pounds of energy, the Hammer is touted as the “most powerful production airgun in the world”.  I had a chance to fire it last week and it packs a bit of recoil when launching the heavy slugs.  Gamo also stepped into the big bore arena this year with two models, the TC35 in .35 caliber and the TC45 in .45 caliber.  Both are all black guns with tactical looks and will retail in the $500 range.

Airforce Airguns big announcement for the show was their merger with Rapid Air Weapons.  The merger will allow RAW access to Airforce’s large, modern manufacturing facility and reduce delivery backlogs on orders.  As an added bonus, Airforce gained rights to Theoben designs and has plans to reintroduce them to the market.

Many readers of this blog may only shoot pellets, but an interesting accessory announced by Air Venturi is their new frangible BB.  It contains some steel in its composition so it will work in guns with magnetic feed systems, but disintegrates on impact.  These frangible BBs are lighter so produce higher speeds than all steel BBs.  They should become available in the second quarter of the year.

As usual, there were many more things to see at SHOT, which showcased many new and innovative creations and bodes well for the future of our little hobby — as long as we all do our part to encourage young people into the shooting sports.  Rest assured, as I can get my hot little hands on some of these new items, I will get that info out by way of these blogs.