You don’t have to read this blog for very long to figure out that Your Humble Correspondent is a beady-eyed, slavering, unrepentant, not-in-the-twelve-step-program, airgun junkie. Put an airgun in my hand and chances are that I’ll find something to like about it. I just plain love airguns. I love that they cost just pennies a round to shoot, that by and large they don’t generally make much noise, that I can shoot them in my back yard, and that they are just plain fun.
In many ways, I think we are living in the Golden Age of airguns right now. So many manufacturers are making such great stuff that we airgunners have really a wide selection of excellent air rifles and air pistols to chose from.
What follows are some of my current favorites.
The RWS 34 Meisterschutze Pro Compact. This air rifle surprised me by turning out to be one of the most accurate break barrel air rifles I have shot in a long, long time. With one of these, a shooter could hunt, plink, shoot air rifle silhouette or field target without breaking the family budget. You can read more about it here http://22.214.171.124/blog/2010/12/the-tackdriving-rws-34-meisterschutze-pro-compact.html
The RWS Model 56 TH. This is a big, heavy, wickedly-accurate sidelever springer air rifle with an excellent trigger and a recoilless action. If you can put up with the weight, it is a certified tackdriver. You can read more about it here http://126.96.36.199/blog/2010/03/big-kahuna-rws-model-56-th-part-i.html and here http://188.8.131.52/blog/2010/03/big-kahuna-rws-model-56-th-part-ii.html
The HW35E is an absolute classic break barrel springer, available new today. What sets it apart from all other break barrels currently available – apart from its euro styling – is the breech latch that makes sure the barrel and breech have returned to the same position after loading for greater accuracy. The HW35E shoots great and looks terrific. For more info, look here: http://184.108.40.206/blog/2010/08/hw35e.html
When it comes to precharged pneumatic rifles, two spring readily to mind. The first is the Gladiator Tactical. It has enormous storage capacity, gets a huge number of shots between fills, has power levels that can be adjusted at the flick of a lever, is a fast repeater, has a very neighbor-friendly report, and is satisfyingly accurate. You can check out more here http://220.127.116.11/blog/2010/10/the-outstanding-gladiator-tactical-%e2%80%93-part-i.html and here http://18.104.22.168/blog/2010/10/the-outstanding-gladiator-tactical-%e2%80%93-part-ii.html
For a PCP rifle that you could use to hunt just about anything you might reasonably want to hunt with an airgun, I’d pick the .25 caliber Marauder. It delivers over 40 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle and, with its Green Mountain barrel, will deliver dime-sized groups at well beyond 50 yards. You can get more info here: http://22.214.171.124/blog/2010/08/25-caliber-marauder.html
When it comes to pistols, I am very fond of the RWS LP8. You can learn more about it here: http://126.96.36.199/blog/2009/06/rws-lp8-classic-in-making.html But any of the HW45 pistols are enormous fun to shoot and extremely well made. You can check out one example here: http://188.8.131.52/blog/2009/04/hw45-stl-looker-and-shooter.html
If you want a rifle that embodies everything I prize most in an air rifle: accuracy, quiet, fully self-contained, repeater, and powerful enough to dispatch any small game or pests you might want to take with a pneumatic rifle, the FX Independence has it all. Here’s a link to my review: http://184.108.40.206/blog/2010/06/independence-day.html
Finally, if you absolutely forced me to choose just one airgun as my overall favorite, the one that would be the absolute last one I would be willing to give up, I think it would be an HW30. It’s light, easy to cock, fully self-contained, a delight to shoot, nicely accurate and capable of taking small game out to about 30 yards or so with proper shot placement. Here’s a link to my review of the HW30 De Luxe http://220.127.116.11/blog/2010/09/hw30s-de-luxe.html
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
– Jock Elliott