Archive for the ‘Airguns’ Category

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.

One of the joy-laden moments in an airgunner’s life is when that package arrives containing a new air rifle or air pistol. When a new airgun arrives at El Rancho Elliott, the moment is loaded with expectation. I think about the care that went into selecting the new airgun, and I hope that it will be as accurate and fun to shoot as I anticipated.

Airguns of Arizona knows about that; they know that opening the package of a newly delivered airgun is one of the critical moments in a series of critical moments that ultimately leads to a satisfied customer. As a person who has tested and reviewed airguns for a number of years, I have seen hundreds of airguns delivered here and some failures along the way – guns with stocks broken in half, parts snapped off, or components crushed.

Airguns of Arizona takes safe delivery of product so seriously that they “went to school” with UPS to develop a packaging system that most likely to result in the delivery of an airgun that is in perfect shape: double boxing every gun, wrapping smaller stuff in bubble wrap, and surrounding everything with packing peanuts. It is a system that is actually more effective than shipping an airgun in a hardshell case.

The person in charge of making sure your order goes out packed as safely as possible is Kevin Lamoureaux. In case the name sounds familiar, Kevin is the younger brother of Brad Lamoureaux, who also works at Airguns of Arizona.

Kevin Lamoureaux Shipping“I’m the last line of defense before your order goes out the door,” Kevin says. “I’m in charge of the double-boxing, the bubble wrap, and all those peanuts.”

Kevin has been working at AoA for just over a year. “For many years, I worked in the food and beverage industry and had a painting company, but I wanted a change of career. I met Robert Buchanan (president of AoA) through Boy Scouts, discovered AoA had a position open up, and he asked if I wanted to come to work.”

Lamoureaux adds, “I hadn’t been an airgunner previously, but I really enjoy shooting them, and it opened my eyes to a new world. I wasn’t aware of how popular airguns are becoming, and it’s a lot of fun because I am constantly learning.”

“I try to shoot as much as I can at work,” he says. “The shop also allows me to check out guns and bring them home. I have targets set up in my back yard so I can shoot there.”

Kevin in Repair

Kevin Lamoureaux is also cross-trained in helping out on the phones at busy periods, and he works in the showroom on Saturdays. When he is not at work, he enjoys spending time with his 8-year-old daughter.

He adds, “This is a great company to work for, more like a family than a workplace. It has been a great experience so far. I am excited about the future and want to work for AoA for as long as I can.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

  • Jock Elliott
Easy to use control panel

Easy to use control panel

For the PCP enthusiast, even if you only own one, a method to recharge your gun other than hand pumping is probably high on your Christmas list.  For some, that will mean asking Santa to bring you a new, glossy carbon fiber wrapped air tank in one of the handy sizes that Airguns of Arizona sells (www.airgunsofarizona.com).  And, for other gift-giving holiday occasions, you could ask for accessories to go along with that tank such as extra Foster quick connects and flexible HPA hoses or tank carrying straps, padded cases, tank rests, etc.  But, the ultimate accessory is a do-it-yourself, at-home high pressure air compressor.  For an article I was doing several manufacturers provided me with big bore PCPs.  Taking them to the range would inevitably lead to questions about the Omega 100cf air tank I brought along.  Most firearms shooters have little experience with PCP air arms and still equate airguns with their first .177 Daisy or Crosman.  When observing me recharging the rifles from the air tank, the next question typically was: “Do you have a large compressor in your garage?  They were genuinely surprised when I explained that the pressures the tanks and guns were utilizing were in thousands of psi, so your standard garage compressor really wasn’t up to the job.   I further explained that for the serious hobbyist, a local SCUBA/Dive shop was the typical source for the HPA.  For the uber-hobbyist (or airgun writer) the Omega Super Charger fits the bill.  This self-contained little unit does some mighty big work.  The unit is only 8 ½ x 17 ¾ x 19 ¼ inches so it doesn’t require much space but they are heavy (70+ pounds) because they carry out some pretty heavy duty work.  Mine came wired for normal 110 volt house current.  You have the option to go with 220V if you’d prefer.  No noxious fumes or odors are produced when filling but you won’t want to try filling a tank in your family room while watching TV.  It does produce constant noise while running and will need to run for several hours in order to fill a large tank from empty to 4500 psi.  Plus, user configured settings control the release of accumulated moisture out the back of the unit.  This purge can be set for time of delay and duration.  I have to run mine in the garage because my wife jumps every time that purge valve opens up unannounced.  I won’t be storing it in my garage when winter comes however.  Deep cold is not good for the unit, and it is water-cooled.  Even though you get a sample of special anti-freeze to be used in the coolant tank, you don’t want to take a chance the tank or lines might freeze and crack.

A pretty compact unit

A pretty compact unit

The Omega Super Charger is easy to use with well-marked buttons and dials.  It has an auto-shutoff feature so it stops at your pre-selected pressure to avoid over-pressurizing the gun or tank you are filling.  There is an hour-meter on the front so you can keep track of the amount of time the unit has run.  Every four hours lubrication is applied by simply turning a knob near the back of the unit.   The finish is a very nice woven carbon fiber look.  In addition to a one year warranty, a nylon protective cover comes with it as well as a unique tri-spoke (think “Peace Symbol”) wrench to get inside to replace O-rings or for other maintenance.  The Omega Super Charger is just one of several air compressors carried in the AOA line.  An air compressor represents a serious commitment to the hobby as they start around $1400.00, plus taxes and shipping costs, and go up from there.  AOA can even fix you up with a gasoline powered compressor if that fits your needs.

So imagine this: you’ve just ordered a super whiz-bang airgun from www.airgunsofarizona.com. Maybe you talked to one of the sales people on the phone, or you emailed an order, or maybe you ordered on-line. The point is, you’ve made your choice and laid down your money . . . have you ever wondered what happens next?

Dillon Treloar happens next, that’s what. In a very real sense, Treloar is the last line of quality control for Airguns of Arizona. He’s the guy who takes an order – regardless of its source, the phone, an email, online – and pulls it all together and checks it so that AoA’s shipping department can actually ship it to you.

Dillon sighting in an airgun.

Dillon sighting in an airgun.

He says, “If somebody orders a gun, I get it all set up for them. I pull the requisite parts from the warehouse – the gun, the scope, the mounts. I set the gun up for them and make sure it is doing the proper velocity. If the customer wants a regulator installed in a precharged gun, I pull the gun and the regulator and take them to repairs to do the installation. After the regulator is installed, I check the gun to make sure the velocity is correct.”

He adds, “Most days, I try to come in a little early to pull some orders and bring them to shipping so they can get started filling boxes as soon as they come in.”

Dillon prints off a shot target to send with the order.

Dillon prints off a shot test target to send with the order.

When I asked Treloar if he had been an airgunner as a kid, I could almost hear him grinning at the other end of the phone. “Well,” he said slowly, “Robert Buchanan (president of Airguns of Arizona) is my stepfather. He bought me my first airgun, a Daisy Red Ryder, when I was about seven.”

Treloar still enjoys airgunning. “I try to get out to the local airgun benchrest match about once a month, and I am starting to get into field target.”

The gun he uses most often is Daystate Mark IV Panther in.177, but Treloar also owns a somewhat rare gun, a Parker Hale Phoenix lever action.

I asked if Treloar had ever encountered anything unusual in his duties at AoA. He replied, “Occasionally, a wealthy new customer will order three or four high end guns all at once or order multiple guns of the same model for his friends. That has happened several times since I have been here.”

When he isn’t at work, Treloar plays lead guitar in a band and enjoys country music and classic rock and roll.

He says, “I am just super blessed to have this job. I love every minute of it, and we’re all like family here.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

There’s a new Heavyweight Champion on the airgun scene, and this one is the King of the .25 pellets!

JSB King Heavy .25 Pellets

Heavyweight Kings in .25 caliber!

JSB is very keen to the demands of the World, and it feels as though they are especially in-tune with the US market specifically. The Czech Republic company has been manufacturing pellets for many years, and they began specifically with the 10-Meter match gun market. Over the course of business, they have added and included so many types of sporting pellets, hunting pellets, and more. Many years of hard work and dedication to detail have earned JSB a reputation for building quite possibly the best pellets around! When they jumped into the Quarter-bore market with the JSB King .25, they were met with huge success. As the market continued to grow in the .25 caliber, the power levels began to rise as well. So what have we come to expect from JSB? They respond with yet another great pellet…the King Heavy .25 at a dense 33.95 grains!

The JSB King Heavy .25 pellets are all around good looking pellets! They have a long, thick waist, with very little taper. At a glance, they resemble a cylindrical pellet like the old Sheridan .20’s. The skirts are good and solid, which will help the soft lead composition hold up with moderate use. The head is a shallow round nose, and is likely the best design possible, knowing the extent of testing JSB would have performed prior to committing to this profile! We have the King Heavy pellets in the larger 300 count tins, and they come safely packaged with foam liners on top and bottom of each tin for added security and support.

JSB King Heavy vs King Standard

King Heavy (left) vs standard King (right)

In testing, accuracy is what accuracy always will be…hit or miss! No pellet will ever be the best in all barrels, and no pellet will shoot with accuracy guarantee. As with most JSB’s, we find they are more consistently the best pellet tested out of many airguns. The same held true with the King Heavy .25’s. Heavy hitters like the FX Royale 500 or the Daystate Air Wolf Extreme did surprisingly well with these new pellets. Velocity (of course) decreases, but overall power increases and BC gets better with these King Heavies! We tested the FX Wildcat .25 for fun and got these results:

King 25.39gr = 910 fps Average = 46.7 ft/lbs

King Heavy 33.95gr = 805 fps Average = 48.9 ft/lbs

As you can see, the power level of the rifle increased by over 2 ft/lbs, and the added weight retains the energy better down range. Also, due to the lower velocity, the pellet had a noticeably quieter report when exiting the rifle! All these features add up to great things for hunters!

Best of all, we waited to post this announcement until after we received our first large shipment. Let’s face it, reading a review and getting excited about a new product is very upsetting when you then learn that the product is not available yet! So, if you have a .25 caliber precharged airgun that is shooting hot, and you want to see if the new JSB King Heavy .25 pellets bring out more potential from your rifle, get a tin on order and give them a try!

 

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

Omega;  AFA tanks

Omega being used to fill an Airforce reservoir

Pre-charged pneumatic guns are a joy to shoot.  They can be very powerful, yet all but the most powerful produce no felt recoil at all.  For all of the fun and lack of recoil, there has to be an equal and opposite side and that is: charging these guns in the first place.  Starting out, if you can only afford one PCP gun, you might opt for a hand pump to fill that reservoir.  They are convenient, easily portable and take up little storage space.  They work well and can last a long time with proper usage and care.  The downside, as many of you reading this know, is the amount of work involved in hand pumping a reservoir with a capacity of around 200cc up to a pressure of 3000, or more, psi.  If you are not familiar with the process, it can be a tedious workout.  It may take hundreds of strokes, stopping momentarily at both the top of the stroke and the bottom of the stroke (for most efficient air transfer), to completely fill an empty gun.

Now, I certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from owning a PCP airgun.  Luckily for those of us who enjoy owning and shooting them, there are options to a hand pump.  Got an old scuba tank laying around that is still capable of passing the hydro test?  If you were never into scuba or your tank is so old no one will fill it for you (old High Pressure Air vessels are nothing to fool around with), check out the possibilities from www.airgunsofarizona.com.  AofA carries the Omega line of carbon-fiber wrapped aluminum air cylinders that are rated for 4500psi – higher than scuba tanks.  Plus, they weight a lot less.  The smaller tanks can easily be carried in a backpack for topping off your gun while afield.  The bigger tanks like the 100 cubic foot model shown here will keep you shooting longer between refills.  The only caveats: you must treat these tanks with care; protect them from scratching and gouges as that might weaken the tank, making it unsafe to refill, and they have a usable life of 15 years.

Super flexible HPA hose with Foster quick disconnect

Super flexible HPA hose with Foster quick disconnect

Along with the tanks and single gauge valve, a highly flexible hose comes as a marvelous little addition.  It is longer (one meter) than most of the hoses that come with a tank.  This is a big help when you have multiple airguns to fill and the fill ports on each gun will most likely be in a different place — anywhere from the front just under the barrel, to the rear under the buttstock and anywhere in between.  The most remarkable feature about this hose is that it could literally be tied in a knot without kinking (although I wouldn’t recommend making a practice of that!).  This valve and hose combination comes with a lifetime warranty.

Additionally, AofA offers options such as an “Adaptable Connector System”, allowing quick connections to various types of fill ports without the use of wrenches.  AofA was the first to provide this adaptable system to the market and now others are following suit.  They also offer a carry system that makes it convenient to transport the tank while providing protection from damage.  Another option: AofA can fit the tanks with a dual gauge valve that provides more accuracy by showing the tank and fill pressure during the filling process.

Contact AofA for additional details and pricing at either: www.airgunsofarizona.com or (480) 461-1113.

If you don’t have easy access to a dive shop or other filling station, then you’ll want to check out the compressor options available through AofA.  More on that in a future blog.

If you to want to get a job, conventional wisdom these days is that you post your resume in the right places on-line, scour the on-line job posting sites, apply for jobs, do interviews, and go through the process.

Or . . . you can do it the way Brad Lamoureaux did.

Brad at AOALamoureaux’s main responsibility is for sales, so if you call Airguns of Arizona or visit the showroom, you stand a pretty good chance of talking to him.  However, like everyone else at AoA, he fills in wherever he is needed, testing guns and so forth. (I find the corporate structure of AoA fascinating; it reminds me of what I know of a Green Beret team: everyone has a specialty, but everyone also has enough competence to fill in at another person’s specialty if needed. So, for example, if the medic gets hurt, there is at least one other person who can fill in. AoA is like that.)

So, now, let’s set the scene for how Lamoureaux found employment at AoA. Lamoureaux is the Scout Master of a troop of 50+ Boy Scouts. Robert Buchanan, president of AoA, is the troop’s chaplain.

“I had just finished my master’s degree literally the night before,” Lamoureaux says, “when Robert came up to me and asked ‘How’s your job going?’”

Lamoureaux explained that he had just finished his master’s degree and that he was thinking of applying for something perhaps in hospital administration. To which Buchanan said, “Yeah, but how’s your job going?” Then he said that he wanted Lamoureaux to come work for him.

“But I don’t know anything about airguns,” Lamoureaux protested. You’ll learn, Buchanan said, adding “If you don’t know something, ask. Besides, if you have the temperament to handle 50 boys, you can talk to people on the phone.”

Lamoureaux says, “When you spend all day testing airguns and talking about airguns, you learn very quickly. I shoot a lot at work, and my favorite gun is the Daystate Wolverine Hi-Lite in .22. I still don’t consider myself an airgun enthusiast, but I really enjoy shooting with my son in the backyard. He has a Webley springer in .20 caliber.”Brad from AOA

One of the things he enjoys most is that every day he gets an interesting phone call. “I have one customer who raves about how accurate his FX Independence is. He hung up washers from strings at 80 yards, and pretty soon hitting the washers got to be kind of boring, so he started shooting the strings and dropping the washers by cutting the strings with a pellet. “That’s pretty much the epitome of accuracy,” Lamoureaux says.

On several occasions, he has had members of the military or SWAT teams tell him that they use airguns to take out street lights without giving away their position with a muzzle flash.

“One of my favorite things,” he says, “is to educate people about airguns, tell them Kip’s hunting stories, update them about what’s new, and get them excited about the sport. Then there are guys who make special trips here like it is their Graceland, that’s always fun.”

He adds, “My satisfaction comes from making people happy, finding out exactly what their needs are, and then finding the exact airgun that will fulfill those needs.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight,

– Jock Elliott

Today’s blog comes from our Man on the Road, Larry Piercy, who came back last Monday with a story so grand it had to be shared here with everyone! Enjoy!

A funny thing happened (funny after the fact!) to me at our cabin this past weekend. I arrived in the late afternoon after spending several hours working on the backyard at our house in Mesa, AZ trying to catch up after traveling for 2 ½ weeks in the Precision Airgun Distribution van. Since I was planning to attend the Airgunners of Arizona Field Target Match on Saturday morning I had driven the van to the cabin.

Precision Airgun Distribution Van

Precision Airgun Distribution Van

I unloaded the van, put things away, and started dinner. I had noticed some rodent droppings, which isn’t all that unusual, but they seemed more prevalent this time. Since it had been a long tiring day I decided to retire early. I had no sooner turned out all the lights than I started hearing the tell-tail sounds of something running through the attic storage area and the kitchen.

Hoping to identify the type of vermin – we have an abundance of squirrels and chipmunks along with a few mice around the cabin – making all the noise I grabbed the Hawke LEDRay flashlight I had brought in from the van and slipped out to the kitchen. Our cabin was built in 1918 of full-dimension lumber and a couple of knot holes have fallen out of the ceiling planks over the years. I shined my flashlight up at a couple of them to see nothing but an empty hole. Good! I checked the counter and noticed that one of my two bananas was totally missing! Okay. It isn’t a mouse!

I checked the knot-holes again and this time I am about four feet from a rat peering through the hole at me. The rat isn’t nearly as alarmed as I am! A chipmunk or a squirrel would be allowed to spend the night and I would find how they got in the next day while they were out gathering food, but not a rat! Immediate action was required!

I remembered that I have a rat trap out in one of my storage spaces so I go out and get it. I slather it with peanut butter, gingerly set it (after 3 attempts-talk about a hair trigger!), open one of the doors to the attic storage area and slide it into where this rat had taken up residence. I close the door and latch it. I go back to bed hoping that I awaken to the snap of the trap in the night and not the rat staring me in the face in the morning!

I get up the following morning, eat a banana-less breakfast, and get ready to work on a cabin project. Since I had not been awakened by the snap of the trap through the night I decide that the trap needs to be checked. Before checking I decide that it would be a good idea to utilize the Weihrauch HW45 .22 Silver Star air pistol just in case I need to dispatch the rat caught in the trap.

Weihrauch HW45 Silver Star

Weihrauch HW45 Silver Star

I go to the van, load the air pistol with a JSB Express 14.35 grain pellet. A little heavy for the pistol, but it was the lightest pellet I had on board. I find a dirt clod at about five yards away and fire. Okay. Now I know where it is hitting at very close range. I think I am ready to face “the rat” that is hopefully caught in the trap.

Now sliding the trap into place in the attic on my tip-toes last night was no problem, but to really check the trap this morning I had to take off my shoes and climb onto the wobbly bed in my sock-feet. With the LEDRay flashlight and HW45 in hand I carefully open the attic door and latch it open. I am now at eye level with the attic floor and the trap. My light immediately goes to the rat trap while holding the pistol at high retention and trying to maintain my balance on the bed.

As I inspect the trap it is clean! Not a morsel of peanut butter remains! How is this possible! As I stand there in disbelief, wobbling on the bed to maintain my balance, I raise the flashlight beam slightly and there is the rat staring back at me, wiggling his whiskers at not more than five feet from my face!

With all the composure I can muster I very slowly raise the HW45 pistol from high retention to eye level. I align the silhouetted sights so that the top of the front blade is level with the top of my nemesis’ head, all the while trying not to panic. As I fight to keep the LEDRay from shaking I begin pressing the trigger and ………… POP, the air pistol goes off.

When the HW45 discharged Mr. Rat jumps six inches straight up in the air. When he landed he is going full speed toward my face! Fortunately the rat trap was between my face and the aggressor! The rat runs over the trap, tripping it. His tail and back leg are caught in the trap and the trap keeps the rat from jumping into my face or onto the bed. Rat and trap fall about seven feet to the floor where the trap releases enough for the rat to escape and run off into the corner under another bed.

After I catch my balance and stop shaking, I reload the HW45 and begin searching under the beds. This is not what my instinct told me to do since I had nearly fallen off the bed trying to get away, not to mention nearly dirtying my drawers. But my sense of duty forced me to do it since my wife and daughter were coming to the cabin to join me on Saturday. Nothing returns your system to calm like laying on your stomach on the floor moving storage boxes under the beds looking for a wounded (I hoped!) rat. I find no sign of the rat so I go back to the attic opening and search to see if I can find blood or a hole in the wood indicating that I had missed. Again I found neither.

Now I am wondering if I hit the rat hard enough to kill it. Just in case the rat shows up again I left the HW45 loaded, after I regained my composure, and lay it with the LEDRay on the living room end table so I am prepared for round two, if there is one.

A few hours later I found a blood trail on some of the cabin foundation stones. The following day I found the rat, dead on his back, feet toward the sky. What a relief to know that we won’t have a rat crawling across our bed through the night, but if another one shows up I know just how to resolve the problem – a Weihrauch HW45, a Hawke LEDRay flashlight, and a JSB pellet. Forget the rat trap!

Larry Piercy

Larry-1

Umarex Colt .45?...Let's skeedadle!!!

Umarex Colt .45?…Let’s skeedadle!!!

Having a problem with empty soda can desperados? Have BB gun – Will travel.  Wire Gordon; Denver. 

For those of you too young to make a connection to the “Have gun – Will travel” reference, it comes from the opening of a weekly horse opera of the same name.  The show aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963 and starred Richard Boone as the title character, Paladin.  Paladin was a gun for hire and that gun was his trusty Colt Single Action Army.  The new Umarex Colt SAA would look right at home in Paladin’s fancy black holster with the silver knight chess piece embellishment.  Flat out – this is one well designed and awesome replica!  When I first laid eyes on it at the SHOT Show, I had to have one.  The size and weight are very close to the original and the operation is identical to the Colt SAA, right down to the individual cartridges that the shooter loads with a single BB and then places into the cylinder through the loading gate on the right side of the revolver.  CO2 cartridges fit under the left grip panel which contains a really nice design feature of a permanently mounted hex key for turning the piercing screw.  No more misplaced hex keys!

They currently come in 2 flavors: a nickel-like finish with faux ivory grips and a “blued” finish, also with the ivory grips.  The 4 ¾” barrel has an enclosed ejector rod underneath that is used just like on the original powder burner.  The smooth bore BB barrel ends about ¾’ from the muzzle and Umarex saw fit to put “rifling” into that last ¾’ to add even more realism.  The individual metal cartridges are a nice touch as well, but do make it a bit tedious to load, so you may want to order up extra cartridges from www.airgunsofarizona.com for quicker reloads.

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A most handsome tribute to Col. Colt’s invention

I like everything about this licensed replica and it would make a fantastic training tool to introduce a new shooter to proper safety/loading of single action revolvers.  The action is so smooth and easy to cock and there is even a half-cock position of the hammer for loading and unloading that blocks the trigger, just like the original.  To meet modern liability requirements, there is also a manual safety located on the bottom of the frame in front of the trigger guard.  It is a very unobtrusive sliding switch that locks the trigger movement and doesn’t spoil the lines of the gun.  The left side of the frame carries the original Colt markings and the right side has the obligatory warnings and safety messages seen on all airguns plus a unique serial number.

In a side-by-side comparison with a real Colt SAA, about the only telltale giveaway on the Taiwanese made replica would be that the hammer does not fully seat into the recoil shield when uncocked.  It is a minor thing and takes nothing away from this fantastic replica in my opinion.

The approximately 400fps velocity produced by this revolver is plenty for decimating those no-good, low-down soda can desperados as well as any other plinking targets you can come up with.  As a backyard shooter this gun is second-to-none, right down to the fact that you could line up six targets and take ‘em out like Clint Eastwood in “Hang ‘Em High” by holding the trigger down and fanning the hammer.

If you appreciate fine firearm replicas like I do and have a hankerin’ to practice the art of fast draw, or just want a really fun plinking gun, connect with the folks at Airguns of Arizona and they can fix you up pardner.  Umarex has a pretty extensive line up of realistic firearm replicas as well as their own brand of BBs and CO2 and in the near future I’ll showcase another of their historic guns.  Until then, I’ll just saddle up my old stick pony and ride off into that sunset.  Take care y’all.