Archive for the ‘Airguns’ Category

Steve is not only an owner at AOA, but a shooter. And a dang good one too!

Steve is not only an owner at AOA, but a shooter. And a dang good one too!

Steve Buchanan is the guy behind the scenes at www.airgunsofarizona.com, making sure that things go smoothly in the repair department. Steve is also one of the owners of the business.

Steve and his brother Robert started as automotive mechanics at Buchanan Tire and Auto. “We had our own recapping plant,” Steve says. “We grew up around tires and hard work, and I became pretty much the go-to guy if there was a complicated problem.”

“We added airguns to the business,” he says. “We did it of course because we hoped to gain a few dollars, but also because we grew up with airguns and guns in our hands. I had my share of HW products as a kid. I grew up, got married, forgot about airguns for a while. Then we decided to get back into airguns, brought in the Weihrauch line, and eventually the airgun business outgrew the automotive side.”

He adds, “Last year, about this time, I was answering phones, answering emails, and getting buried. We realized that we needed another man to help deal with airgun repair, and I thought ‘Why hire someone else when I know all the guns?’”

Steve Filming an AOA Repair Series Video

Steve Filming How To Service an Airgun in an AOA Repair Series Video.

Steve enjoys getting his hands dirty and solving problems. He notes that Airguns of Arizona still gets calls from customers who have taken apart brand-new guns and can’t get them back together. He says, “I get it; I understand the appeal of trying to figure out what makes your gun tick. But with a lot of the newer guns, if you don’t have the right tools, the right gauges, you really can’t work on them and you’re going to come to a place where you are stuck . . . so don’t do it, don’t take your gun apart. When you can’t get it back together again, we are going to charge a fee to fix it.”

In addition, virtually all of the new precharged pneumatic guns have regulators, and those can be particularly tricky to reassemble.

“All of airguns we handle are designed to give years of reliable service,” he says, “but the plain fact is that o-rings and seals don’t last forever and will dry out. It’s a good idea to send PCPs into the shop roughly every three years for some preventative maintenance, to have o-rings and seals replaced and the gun checked for peak efficiency. Springers ought to be checked for seals and lubricants every five years or so, particularly if they are not used much.”

“Sometimes people ask me how I can work with my brother. The short answer is that it is easy because we are not in competition with each other. What we concentrate on is how we can serve the customer better and how we can improve what’s going on around us on a daily basis.”

He adds, “We’re blessed from God above to be in this business. It has been a really fun ride. As a boy you only dream about doing something you really enjoy, getting to play with airguns. Here at Airguns of Arizona we have some of the most intelligent men working in the airgun industry today, and we’re like a family.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

  • Jock Elliott

 

Brocock’s Grand Prix pistols are PCP airguns and the line up now reflects the design influence of the parent company, Italian gunmaker Marocchi.  The Grand Prix and Grand Prix Elite pistols shown at this year’s SHOT Show were 6-shot rotary magazine fed bolt action repeaters in either .177 or .22.  I received a sample of their Elite model in .22 caliber and it is a beautifully executed air pistol sporting hand-filling palm swell walnut furniture with a flat base.  The contours fit my hand nicely right out of the box, but for those who would wish to reshape it there is plenty of material to work with.  My sample was for right handers but a left-handed version can be a special order item.  The Grand Prix is the laminate stocked version and comes with basic target sights.  Weight of the pistol is 3 pounds without optics and adding optics positively shifts the balance back toward the shooter’s hand which is desirable due to the barrel heaviness of the 16 inch long pistol.  The Elite has a black matte finished barrel over top of a polished black reservoir making for an attractive air pistol.  Internally it carries a Lothar-Walther barrel, threaded at the muzzle for attachment of a suppression device.  The report was sharp, but not loud enough to warrant ear protection if shooting outside.  I would say similar to a nail gun.  (Sidebar: There is a movement to remove sound suppressors from under the National Firearms Act and make them legal to own without jumping through all of the current government hoops.  If that movement is successful, Brocock suppressors would be available to U.S. shooters.)  A built in pressure gauge resides at the end of the reservoir, which can be filled to 2900 psi/200 bar.  The trigger is a two stage affair, adjustable for pull weight, with a wide trigger face connected to the exposed transfer bar that releases the sear.  My Lyman trigger gauge showed a trigger pull of about 3 pounds 8 ounces out of the box.  The Elite pistol ships with two magazines and a brass male probe for filling from your high pressure air source.

The Elite

The Elite

As far as what it can do, using a red dot sight attached via the 11mm dovetail cut into the top of the receiver, I was able to keep pointed pellets within an inch at 60 feet off a sandbag.  Mounting a dedicated pistol optic would no doubt increase the user’s capability of squeezing out the accuracy potential of this pistol and make it a great varmint hunter as well.  I found the Elite seemed to like the heaviest pellet used, the H&N Barracuda Hunter at 18.21 grains.  Average fps on the Hunters was 619.  I also had good results with lighter pointed pellets from H&N, the Excite Copper and Vortex Super (sold under the Hatsan name).

8 shots at 60 feet

8 shots at 60 feet

Because these airguns are produced for adults and serious shooters, they are not required to have a manual safety and do not come with one.  As has been said many times, the best safety is the one between the shooter’s ears, so always bear that in mind and never relax when it comes to gun safety

MSRP on the Grand Prix runs $799.00 for the walnut stocked version and $715.00 for the laminate.  Airguns of Arizona www.airgunsofarizona.com have factory trained techs to keep you Brocock’s in fine shape long past the two year warranty offered with the guns.

Grand Prix on top, Elite below

Grand Prix on top, Elite below

Recently we published a review article on the FX Wildcat .22.  We are following up today with the video review to showcase the features and testing.  Enjoy!

Details and information for ordering can be found online here for the FX Wildcat airgun.

Ok, ok…you asked in the last article and we listened!  Here is a shot graph from the FX Wildcat .25 as well:

An example of a shot graph from a FX Wildcat .25

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

Greg-AOA

In some regards, it has been a long strange trip for Greg Glover at Airguns of Arizona. “In 1995, when I was in junior high, my stepfather had an interest in airguns. He had heard about this airgun shop near us in Arizona and set out to find it. That’s how I met Robert,” Greg says.

At the time, the Buchanan brothers – Robert and Steve – owned a tire and car repair shop. The airgun “shop” was a sideline within the business consisting of a gun safe with perhaps a dozen guns in it behind the counter in the tire store and a few more boxes of guns stored in the shop.

“I got involved in the fledgling field target club, started chatting with Robert,” Greg says, “and he offered me a part time job at the tire shop, cleaning up and sweeping floors. We took a liking to each other and became friends.”

He adds, “The airgun side was interesting to me. Guys would find us. Robert was trying to keep on top of the phones, and it wasn’t unusual to see him under a car doing an alignment while talking airguns to a potential customer on the phone.”

As the phone was ringing more, Robert had outsourced his web work for the airgun shop. It was a really awkward process involving faxing whatever changes needed to be made to the web guy who would respond, and the response would always be accompanied by a bill.

“I came on fulltime in 1999,” Greg says. “I knew basic web, so I told Robert that I could take care of that, so he gave me the responsibility.”

As the business was growing, Greg had more and more to do. “I was heavy into sales for several years, answering the phone, talking to people, doing web work. I packed guns, repaired FX guns when we first got them.”

He says, “I have always gravitated toward doing whatever needs to be done, and I enjoy new challenges when they come along. For example, if a piece of equipment plugs in, it seems to be my job to manage it. A few years ago, we decided we needed to do videos. A friend who runs a video business and I took on the challenge, and it was a pretty big one, but our results speak for themselves.”

Today, Greg is general manager of Airguns of Arizona. That means, in part, that he looks at the overall flow of the business, sees where the needs and bottlenecks are, and tries to make some improvements. “For example, back in the day, we wrote UPS labels by hand. Now we can generate them out of our computerized order system with just a few keystrokes.”

Some of the other challenges Greg has taken on over the years include most of the photography for the www.airgunsofarizona.com website and heavy involvement in the annual Extreme Benchrest competition.

As I was interviewing him for this blog, he was in the throes of preparing two booths for the upcoming SHOT show while at the same time, keeping an ear on the sales floor. “I am responsible for the guys who answer the phone. I try not to micromanage but to make sure all the sales guys are on track and correct. Customers are number one, and we focus on keeping them happy. That starts with making sure they have correct information.”

He concludes: “I like being in the background, helping to do the things that need to be done, and I love our crew and our workfloor attitude. We’re definitely a family, and we support each other. That makes it a really nice place to come to work.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

  • Jock Elliott

This weeks blog is presented in the form of a video!  Check out the in-depth review of the Daystate Pulsar:

If you haven’t been keeping up with our videos and social media posts, check us out here:

AOA YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/airgunsofarizona

AOA Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/AirgunsOfArizona

AOA Webpage – http://www.airgunsofarizona.com

Last Friday was the closing day for the 38th SHOT Show and it was another one for the books.  With over 1600 exhibitors and over 64,000 attendees it weighed in as the second largest one on record.  There was an upbeat, positive attitude to the show and many of the exhibitors reported it was one of their most exciting and successful shows.

A few items of note seen at the show were some new Russian PCPs which appeared to be nicely made with decent triggers.  Another PCP of note was the massive Hercules revealed by Hatsan; a 13 pound, multi-shot .45 caliber rifle with a twin tank system.  For those who like historical replicas, a company named Gletcher came out with a pellet version of their 1895 Nagant revolver introduced last year and Air-Ordnance produces a .35 caliber single shot copy of an 1858 Remington Rolling Block.  There are just too many new airguns on display at SHOT to try and cover here so I’ll finish by mentioning that other exhibitors showed off all types of accessories needed by airgunners.  These included new optics, mounts, infrared sighting systems, flashlights and lasers, and cleaning/maintenance kits with the latest natural and synthetic based lubricants.  Not all of these items will be available to consumers right away due to production schedules, etc., so stay tuned and additional info will be forthcoming.  Check out the AOA website often at: www.airgunsofarizona.com, and watch for future blogs for reviews.

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.