Archive for the ‘Airguns’ Category

The SHOT Show is well under way and I’m enjoying my time with 70,000+ of my closest shooting buddies.  The convention center is huge and it is overwhelming to see all of the items that are being showcased/offered.  I’ve been able to catch up with my friends at AOA (www.airgunsofarizona.com) and this blog site will surely be awash with information on the new items they brought forth at the show this year:  a new, shorter Bushbuck model that is a full 6 inches shorter than their Bushbuck Magnum; a new Bocock “semi” bullpup with thumbhole synthetic stock and fully shrouded Lothar-Walther barrel and too many other great features to go into here; a Daystate Pulsar with Forest Green/Brown laminate stock; Brocock Grand Prix Elite pistol and a Limited Edition Griffin by Daystate that is awesome to behold.  Other things I’ve seen so far are the newest Texans to come out of the Lone Star state in .308 and .357 to compliment last year’s release of the original .45 caliber Texan  -“The Most Powerful Production Airgun in the World”.  They also released a new bipod that will appeal to enthusiasts.  Umarex’s Colt SAA BB pistol was their most popular model sold last year and they came out with pellet versions this year.  Umarex also brought their Walther PPK model back this year after re-tooling the model and doing away with the piercing wing nut that used to stick out from the base of the pistol.  Additionally, some new PCP and break barrel rifles were released, including the Throttle, which incorporates all of the newer Umarex technologies including the newest patented technology called “Stopshox”.  Stopshox reduces internal shock and slamming of the spring inside the receiver.  Can’t wait to get a hold of one to check out more thoroughly.

I was also able to be there when Crosman honored long time airgun writer and expert, Tom Gaylord for his lifetime of achievement in the airgunning industry.  Tom was presented with a bronzed model 760 mounted on a wooden plaque.  Very cool and well deserved.

That is all for now as I have to get back to my hotel room and soak my aching feet.  More later…

It is that time of year again when the manufacturers, vendors and purveyors of all things Shooting, Hunting or Outdoor Trades related gather at the SHOT show in Las Vegas. Your humble reporter will be there and relay information in additional blogs this week. Since the show doesn’t officially start until Tuesday, I’ll keep this short and post again later in the week.
Just a quick reminder as I didn’t make it clear last year when posting about SHOT: it is the 5th largest trade show in the U.S. and not open to the public. It is where companies come to show off their latest-and-greatest wares and introduce their new products that will be hitting the shelves later this year. Around 80,000 people attend the show, coming from all over the world to display goods, place orders or report on the happenings.


Rather than a review or general airgun related article this time, let me hop up on my soapbox for my last blog posting of the year.  My hope is I’m “preaching to the choir” here, but since we are entering an election year where our gun rights are under attack more than ever, I want to make it clear to readers – if you as an airgunner do not belong to a recognized organization that supports the 2nd Amendment, get off you’re backside and join now.  The NRA is the largest and oldest, but if you like another organization that has a legitimate goal of keeping guns available to law-abiding citizens of this country, then go for it.  I say legitimate because gun-grabbers have used the old “wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing” ploy in the past to masquerade as a pro-gun group. I believe their thinking was hoping to dilute membership and dues to pro-gun organizations and spread their propaganda to an unsuspecting public.  Whatever their twisted thinking was if you go with an outfit outside of the known pro-gun groups, check them out carefully.  One of these phony groups was the “American Hunters and Shooter’s Association (AHSA) and it was headed by a member of the Brady campaign.  Its Board of Directors was a Who’s Who of the gun control cabal.  They were exposed by the NRA and social media and have since closed their phony operation.  I guess I begrudgingly have to give the gun-banners credit.  They are a creative lot for certain.  Since they’ve had a tough time putting the Second Amendment out of business legislatively, they find other ways to chip away at it.

So, bottom line and I’ll get off my soapbox:  If you value the airgunning hobby and you’d like to have unfettered access to lead ammo, powerful airguns and even realistic air soft replicas, get in the game.  Support pro-gun organizations and candidates anytime you can.  You may be thinking “I only like airguns and nobody is after them; they even come with ‘silencers’ now and aren’t on the gun-grabber radar”.  That is dangerous thinking.  The gun-grabbers just haven’t gotten to them yet.  Keep standing on the sidelines and they will.  Some overly emotional argument will be promoted about “the irresponsible use of all things airgun”.  We the People all of a sudden cannot be trusted with them because serious airgunners will be lumped into the same bucket as irresponsible and unsupervised youngsters who shoot out car windows and any other negative angle they can come up with.

There is an old saying: there are 3 kinds of people – those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what happened.  Which kind will you be?

The above statements are my personal opinion and not necessarily those of AOA.  However, for questions you can reach out to Airguns of Arizona at www.arigunsofarizona.com or leave a comment.

For those of us who don’t have the kind of discretionary income that would allow us to purchase all of the classic firearms we ever wanted, Umarex is one company that provides the ultimate in replica guns that don’t just look good on display.  They are extremely fun to shoot as well.  Let me introduce you to one of their recent releases – the P.08 Blowback.  Now, Umarex has an all-metal non-blowback Luger replica in their lineup, but this blowback model is so much cooler in my opinion.  Of course, adding the blowback feature expends the CO2 faster and cuts velocity down to approximately 300 fps out of the 4 inch barrel, but that is more than adequate for a plinker.  Let’s face it, these guns are designed to look real and spew BBs, not be taken to a 10 meter match.Luger box #2

The details:  This Luger is the same size as the original it copies.  It weighs in at 1.9 pounds, also very close to the original.  The 12 gram CO2 cartridge and 21 BBs are contained in the drop-free metal magazine.  Once the last BB is fired, the toggle locks back, also just like the real Luger.  The safety lever on the left side functions as the original does by disengaging the trigger.  To keep the lines clean, the piercing screw hides inside the base of the magazine and is turned by the supplied hex wrench.  It sports black checkered plastic grips similar to the later wartime versions.  Markings were authentic with a ’42’ on the toggle link and 2 digit numbers on the side plate and take down lever in keeping with how Luger parts were serial numbered to insure all parts stayed with the same pistol.  The trigger is true to the original being semi-circular and as wide as the trigger guard.  The clear and easy to read Owner’s manual is printed in English, Spanish & French.  Users are cautioned not to disassemble the pistol, but it does field strip similarly to the real thing (to a point).  Additional chips toward the coolness factor as long as you know the proper way to field strip a Luger.Luger parts

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this pistol and have added it to my collection.  The accuracy was good at 20 feet and it made short work of soda cans.  Unfortunately, the give up of gas bled off to cycle the action causes the P.08 to go through cartridges more rapidly than many other CO2 replicas.  At my altitude of a mile above sea level, I averaged in the range of 50+ shots per 12 gram cartridge.  With rapid fire, that average drops but this pistol just makes you want to shoot rapid fire.  Initially I did experience several jams but that problem seems corrected after break in.

Our friends at AofA carry Umarex products so please contact them to purchase or for further information: www.airgunsofarizona.com.  The MSRP on this model is: $109.95 and it carries a limited 90 day warranty.

This realistic replica is recommended for ages 16 and up which makes sense, due to its realism.  It would be a very bad idea to brandish any of these Legend replicas in a public venue. We can only hope anyone above 16 would have the common sense and respect for guns not to pull such a move.

If you have an FX Revolution or Monsoon semi-automatic air rifle or a springer or a single- or multi-stroke pneumatic and you send it to www.airgunsofarizona.com, there is a high probability that it will fall into the capable hands of repair technician Todd DeOrio.

Repair Tech - Todd DeOrio

Repair Tech – Todd DeOrio

Todd came to Airguns of Arizona by way of birds – his brother’s birds to be specific. It turns out that at Todd’s brother’s house, birds attack the siding. He got tired of repairing the holes, so he bought an inexpensive airgun from one of the big box stores. It wasn’t very accurate, so then he bought a precharged pneumatic rifle from AoA. Then he (Todd’s brother) began looking for a compressor he could use to fill his gun. After considerable research, he contacted a Chinese firm that could supply a compressor, and he said to Todd: “Let’s develop our own air compressor line to sell to the airgun industry.” Todd, who is a licensed auto mechanic, machinist, and welder, agreed.

The DeOrio brothers worked with the Chinese firm for several months, improving the compressor, and finally bringing it to AoA’s Robert Buchanan, who loved the compressor and began offering it to customers.

Todd says, “During the next two and a half years, I would stop by now and again to repair a compressor. One day, Robert asked if I could come in one day a week to repair airguns. Over the next few months, the demand for my time gradually crept up a day at a time until now I am full time at AoA.”

He notes that the opportunity with AoA appeared just when a big woodworking job he was doing with another company was winding down. “It’s amazing how God opens and shuts doors for us,” he says.

When it comes to precharged pneumatic airguns, he says, o-rings are the weak link in the system. “They don’t generally wear out. They will generally harden up, and that can happen over time whether you are shooting the gun or not. Over time, they will simply harden and lose the seal, but I can understand a customer’s frustration that the very expensive PCP rifle they purchased and haven’t used much suddenly doesn’t work for no apparent reason. Every PCP owner needs to know that it will require periodic resealing, just in the same way that a luxury automobile will need periodic maintenance, even if it has been stored for a long time.”

He recommends storing PCPs charged full and keeping them clean. “If you want an airgun that will probably shoot even after it has been stored for a very long time, get a high quality springer. You can burn a seal or kink a spring, and they will still shoot, but at reduced velocity. Just don’t store a springer cocked for long periods.”

The majority of springers that Todd sees for repairs are simply older guns – 10, 20, sometimes 30 years old – that still shoot but need a new piston seal and spring to restore the oomph that they once had.

Todd servicing a pistol

Todd servicing a Weihrauch HW45 pistol.

Above all, Todd has one big recommendation for all airgun owners: “Get out and shoot as often as you can. Shoot with your family, shoot with your friends. It’s a great sport; get out and enjoy it!”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

  • Jock Elliott

If your precharged pneumatic air rifle or air pistol needs help, and you send it to Airguns of Arizona, chances are it will fall into the hands of repair technician Don Golembieski. And, as we shall see in just a bit, they are pretty capable hands indeed.

Don Golembieski, expert tech at AOA.

Don Golembieski, expert tech at AOA.

Don worked for many years in the aerospace industry as a highly skilled machinist, and it’s fair to say that he has an unusual mind. He has the ability to visualize a machine or assembly in his mind, to see how it works, and to visualize how any problems in its operation might be solved. It is a bit like he has his own computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and computer animation studio operating inside his skull, so that he can look at a piece of machinery and “grok” how it works. Some years ago, Don was able to solve – in a day – a problem that had vexed a major robotics manufacturer for many months.

He says, “My background in aerospace technology makes firearms look easy, and air rifles and air pistols simply aren’t that complicated.”

Don got involved with airguns when Robert Buchanan opened his first small Airguns of Arizona shop. Don purchased an FX Tarantula and has been a lover of airguns ever since. “One of the things I love about them is that they make it very convenient to have fun close to the house.”

Don started competing with firearms when he was ten years hold and has continued to this day. For the past 30 years, he has been building custom firearms, including hunting rifles, competition rifles, and sniper rifles for law enforcement and special military applications.

He offers some recommendations for airgunners: fill your airgun with clean, dry air; give it a little TLC – wipe it down, keep dirt out of it; keep an eye on the probe seals, and be sure to store your PCPs with a little air in them. He thinks that many airgunners clean their barrels too often, and he recommends shooting pellets that have been lightly lubed. (He adds, “I have some Air Wolfs that have 20,000 rounds through them, and no issues.”)

If you think you are having accuracy problems because the barrel is leading up, he offers the following trick: shoot about ten non-lead pellets through the barrel. That should strip much of the lead out of the barrel, and then try shooting some lightly lubed lead pellets. You might find a big improvement.

The most common problem that he sees are leaks from a PCP rifle or pistol. “Send it to us,” he says, “We can reseal the entire airgun fairly quickly and at pretty reasonable cost.”

Don using a microscope to inspect precision parts.

Don using a microscope to inspect precision parts.

One of the problems he sees that he feels is completely unnecessary is an airgun with multiple pellets stuck in the barrel. “If you shoot your gun and something doesn’t happen, take the magazine out and fire again at a safe target. If something still doesn’t happen, pull the bolt back and slide your cleaning rod down the barrel from the muzzle. If you see the tip in the breech, you’re okay. If not, send it to us.”

He notes that sometimes shooters complain that their gun isn’t accurate, but some shooters don’t realize how many variables are involved in shooting a good 50-yard group: Is the scope tight? How are you resting the gun? Is it the right pellet for the gun? What are the wind and weather conditions?

He says, “When I was shooting smallbore, we’d find a particular lot of ammunition that the gun really liked, buy a bunch of that ammo, and shoot it until we ran out. Sometimes the next batch of ammo wouldn’t work as well in that gun as the first batch, and we’d have to go through the ammo testing process all over again. I think that is possible with airguns; sometimes you have to go back to pellet testing at shorter range to make sure you have the right pellet for the gun.”

“The bottom line,” he says, “is that if you have a quality rifle, quality scope properly mounted, and a quality pellet that the rifle likes, you’re probably going to have a good combination, and I won’t be seeing it very often except for the occasional resealing.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

  • Jock Elliott

 

Weihrauch HW95

The Weihrauch HW95 spring-piston airgun.

Most of us live in a fast pace rat race society.  With today’s advanced technology we stay connected to family, friends and the workplace associates seemingly 24/7.  I find myself looking back at the days of my youth with pleasure more and more.

At the age of 54, I grew up when phones still had cords, fuel was .25 cents per gallon and the drive-in movie was a great place to take your sweetheart or find one.  I remember saving the spent shot shells from my dad’s 16-gauge after the opening day of dove season because I thought they were so cool.  As a society we seem to need immediate satisfaction with today’s connectivity. We can order the latest widget and expect it at our door tomorrow, use it over the weekend, and discard it after our disappointment over its lack of quality and/or performance. We tend to want our things fast and cheap, and not value the qualities that last.

My last blog post was in honor of Mr. Stefan Weihrauch, owner/partner of the HW airgun factory in Germany. The owner brothers Hans and Stefan have built a company that embraces quality over quantity with high value for the money. I recommend their products highly. In particular, the Weihrauch HW95. This rifle is of the highest quality and performance standard with pricing that was negotiated by Stefan before his passing to provide German engineering at a value that rivals much cheaper made airguns. Take advantage of this special promotion while it lasts and bring back some childhood memories. It will put a smile on your face!

Thank you for reading,

Robert Buchanan

President, Airguns of Arizona

Daysate Pulsar .25

Daystate Pulsar .25 with optional scope and bipod.

Daystate steps up again with their commitment to the US market! We asked nicely, and they listened to the request for a .25 caliber Pulsar rifle. We have been selling out of Daystate latest electronic marvel, the bullpup called Pulsar, in .177 and .22 calibers as quickly as they have been coming into the US. But US airgunners want more power and bigger bores! Daystate’s latest addition is .25 caliber and delivers some serious power for a gun in its class!

Daystate Pulsar in .25 caliber

Daystate Pulsar .25 with optional scope and bipod.

With every bullpup design, the weak link almost always comes down to the trigger. In the past, bullpup designs were based off rifles, and triggers were connected with linkages. These linkages change the feel of normal trigger designs, and can lead to non-typical trigger pulls. Although some newer bullpup airguns (like the FX Wildcat and FX Impact) have new trigger locations designed into the bullpup shape, Daystate has held the ‘trump card’ advantage all along. Daystate’s electronics are “triggered” with a mechanical styled trigger assembly. This assembly is added to give a typical and expected feel of a rifle trigger. But in actuality, all that is needed is a completed circuit joining the “+” and “-” wires. These wires can be located anywhere the designer would like. This is where Daystate started when they moved the entire trigger assembly forward. The same exact functionality found in Daystate’s Air Wolf and Mk4 trigger model are what inspired the Pulsar.

Daystate Pulsar Display

Pulsar display gives you a low pressure warning when time to refill!

Now, Daystate is not a company to convert one model to call it another, so the Pulsar project was MUCH more involved than simply moving the trigger wires! They went ahead and re-designed the entire airgun from the ground up, and it became a work of art as result! Attention to every detail was given, and the Italian influence at Daystate came forward with sports car lines and hand-crafted tolerances where the action and stock blend as one! But this blog article isn’t about the Pulsar in general, as the rifle has been out and proven itself to be a top-seller! This is about the new power house in .25 caliber! So let’s get on with the details!

Daystate Pulsar .25 Magazine

Daystate Pulsar .25 10-shot magazine

The Pulsar .25 delivers over 85 shots at velocities generating 40 ft/lbs with JSB King Heavies! That is enough power to take this tiny bullpup out for some serious critter hunting! Out to a conservative 100 yards, small to mid-sized quarry had better watch out for this stealthy Pulsar! The laser guided pellets (quite literally…because they have a built-in laser on this rifle!) are holding extreme accuracy at this power as well! We were able to shoot 5-shot groups at under 0.15” c-t-c at 25 yards! That is basically one ragged hole! So this rifle will perform as a hunter, but also has the ability to hold its own on the bench. As point of fact, the .25 Pulsar made its worldwide debut at the 2015 Extreme Benchrest 75-Yard competition earlier this year! Mr. Tony Belas of Daystate himself shot a score of 222 out of 250 on one of his 75 yard targets. It was not the match winning score, but it goes to show how much accuracy the Pulsar .25 is capable of supplying, even under the extreme conditions of wind and Arizona heat!

Daystate Pulsar Cocking Lever

The Daystate Pulsar Lever is reversible for right or left handed shooters.

All in all, the Pulsar .25 is a great little gun. No, it is better described as a great TINY gun! Measuring at a mere 30 inches from end to end, this little powerhouse is a centerpiece to any airgun collection!

 

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

Weihrauch LogoAs you may have read in an earlier blog post of mine the joy that was brought to me with the return of my beloved HW35L model rifle that was stolen and then recovered some 25 plus years later. The maker of my childhood sweetheart is of course the firm HW, short for Hans Weihrauch. Weihrauch in German translation means ‘smoke house’, an appropriate name for a gun company. Many thousands of satisfied air gunners take pride in their HW rifle and/or pistol the world over, so it is safe to say that Weihrauch has and continues to be the stalwart of airgun manufacturing, design, and production.

I not only admire and appreciate the products produced by this family-run factory, but I have also been blessed to be able to spend personal and professional time with the owner brothers Hans and Stefan Weihrauch.  These men are both honorable, honest family-first human beings that have a passion for bringing us the best in quality and performance at a fair price. I look forward each year to meeting with  these men at the IWA show in Nuremberg. I can tell you that the customer and quality-first attitude is always present in any of our discussions. The last three years at IWA myself, my wife Staci, Marcus Gehmann, Volker Friedrich and Stefan Weihrauch have shared an evening meal together, laughing about who knows what while dinning on fine German fair and quaffing a local brew. This year’s topic was our favorite rock and roll bands with the Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd getting most of the play. Free Bird was of course at the top of the list for all!

Stefan Weihrauch

Stefan Weihrauch
1959-2015

Funny how life brings to each and every one of us opportunities. Lord knows I have been blessed with many opportunities. Also with joy, sadness, fear and bravery. Every time a big event in life happens it seems to come from out of the blue and it makes getting up in the morning exciting. As J.R.R. Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins said,

“Its a dangerous business… going out of your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

A few months ago I received an email that hit me up side my head like a baseball bat. My friend, Stefan Weihrauch had unexpectedly passed away. Stefan leaves behind  family and friends that will miss him with hurting hearts and multitudes of people that will continue to  love him every time they send a pellet down range with their treasured HW airgun. Fly away Stefan, you are indeed a Free Bird.

With respect,

Robert Buchanan

President, Airguns of Arizona

Yes, an animal uncommon in the U.S. is poised to become a lot more familiar to those who hunt with

Bushbuck on the range

Bushbuck on the range

air rifles and want more knockdown power. In its natural environment, the Bushbuck is the smallest member of the spiral-horned antelope found in sub-Sahara Africa.  It is also the .45 caliber PCP brainchild of Western Big Bores airguns; so now we have a Bushbuck “native” to the U.S.  It is a long, dark beauty capable of driving a 405 grain soft lead bullet to 600fpe, enough power to take any North American game animal.  The bolt-action, single shot Bushbuck comes to us from the great state of Arizona, which has a progressive and liberal airgun hunting mindset.  The need for a powerful, production air rifle was recognized by the folks behind WBB and they made it happen.  This 10 pound (w/o optics), 49 ½ inch long rifle is completely made in the U.S.A. down to the screws used in assembly.  The receiver is milled from a solid block of aluminum and incorporates a picatinny rail.  It is finished all in black and mated to a dark grey laminated wood stock.  The stock is stippled in all the right places, aiding gripping, has an adjustable cheekpiece, thick rubber buttpad and is equipped with studs for mounting a sling and a bipod should you so choose.  The stippling on both sides of the pistol grip forms the image of its namesake, a classy touch.

A 285cc reservoir holding 4500psi gives the shooter a capability of two full power shots of 800+ fps.  A lower power can be selected by only pulling the bolt back to the first cocking position for those shots that don’t require all of that knockdown power (around 400+ fps with a 240gr bullet).  A shooter always needs to practice safe gun-handling and this is especially so with adult airguns as they are not required to have a mechanical safety.  Some companies choose to incorporate a safety but WBB has chosen not to on the Bushbuck.  Having a trigger pull out of the box of around 3 pounds means there can be no lapses once this baby is loaded up.

Damage to a phone book backstop at 100 yds.

Damage to a phone book backstop at 100 yds.

The Bushbuck loaned to me came with an MTC Genesis LR 5-20×50 scope sporting an AMD illuminated reticle.  It also provided for parallax adjustment.  An awesome scope that allows the shooter to easily compensate for the drop that will occur once the pressure decreases on each subsequent shot.  A scope is not included in the $1895 MSRP on the Bushbuck, but the quality and accuracy of the rifle demand a quality scope as well.

Stippling & MTC scope

Stippling & MTC scope

The Bushbuck will also appeal to the long range/benchrest shooter as that area of recreational shooting is picking up momentum as well.  However, its main claim-to-fame will be with hunters, especially if you are fortunate enough to live in one of the 9 states that allow for hunting up to deer sized game with air rifles.  If you are not fortunate enough to live in one of those 9 states, check with your state’s game and wildlife management bureau to find out if taking wild hogs is legal with an air rifle.  The hog over-population problem has led some states to allow for just about any method for reducing the number of hogs.

Obviously there is much more to this American production air rifle than I can cover in this short blog and there is more on the horizon for WBB (i.e. a big bore pistol!).  The idea was to give readers a taste of what’s new on the “range” and whet your interest.  To find out more, please reach out to www.airgunsofarizona.com and they can fill you in on anything you want to know about this powerful new air rifle on the market or MTC scopes.  They also like to hear from folks so you can give them a call at: (480) 461-1113.