We asked a good airgunning friend of ours, who lives in the UK out in the wilds of East Anglia, to give us a regular flavor of life there. Here is his latest post.


Easter 2016. It’s been chilly weather at Home Farm in Norfolk. The winds have been blowing in from the south with an unexpected vengeance, cutting straight across the county’s flat fields, skimming across the huddled backs of wood pigeon which have flocked down onto the fields. Yesterday we had a hailstorm. The oil seed rape has been growing well, but this has drawn in pigeon to feast on the burgeoning crop. They have been devastating field after field. One of our neighbours, a farmer, knocked on our door in the last week – “Airgun or shotgun, don’t really care. Please just spare some time to take out some of those pesky pigeon.” So midweek finds me trudging across wide open fields to one of three very small woods which will afford me enough cover to take some shots. I have a trusty old FX Verminator (I really should upgrade to something more 2016) and an Italian Fabarm 12 gauge, over and under. This was my first ever shotgun bought 26 years ago and still going strong.

Snuggled down in the wood, facing the wind, with a few pigeon decoys tucked in the lee of a hedge 70 yards away, the waiting begins. As the pigeon drop in, I keep a keen eye but a still hand. Finally, I have around 40 or so in sight. With the airgun, I pick out several single birds on the outer edge of the group, closest to me. The noise of the wind and the excellent Huggett moderator on the airgun combine to mask the shots. After 10 minutes, I have enough pigeon for the pot and it’s time to do my proper job and move them all on. The shotgun is readied. My movement disturbs a ‘sentry’ who, unseen by me, has flown into a nearby tree. The flock lifts and my two last-gasp shots miss, but still, I scare them off. Switching between rifle and shotgun is not so easy as it was in earlier days.

As the light starts to fade, I head for Home. By now the fire will be lit and a strong cup of tea will warm me up. But there is one last treat as the great indoors beckons. I walk quietly past Home Meadow, and there, with her back to me, is our wild barn owl, getting ready for her hunting time.


Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

Back in June, 2015, I interviewed Larry Piercy, who was about to embark on a really cool adventure traveling the U.S. with the Airguns of Arizona van. Initially, the project had four goals:

  1. To establish additional dealers in the Precision Airgun distribution network.
  2. To help existing dealerships be more successful.
  3. To interface with the airgunning public.
  4. To do some outreach to provide some relief for people in need.

Recently I spoke with Piercy, getting an update from him on the road with the AoA van in Florida.

PAD Van ocean side in Florida!

PAD Van ocean side in Florida!

“It’s going well,” he said. “but with a slightly different emphasis than we initially thought. We’re doing more support and education. We’ve been supporting a lot of shoots – benchrest, 10 meters, and field target. And we’ve been doing education. We went to the California duck calling championship. There were 4,500 to five thousand people there, and most had no idea that airguns have advanced to the level that they have.”

“We’re doing stuff with some of the younger kids, going to some of the ranges and opening up the van, working with different clubs and sponsors, and letting the kids shoot different guns from the van.”

Piercy has also been supporting Precision Airgun distribution network dealers. Several of the dealers are working on airgun ranges, and Piercy has been consulting with them on what kind of guns, safety and other considerations associated with setting up a range. “My NRA certified instructor and range safety office training comes into play there,” Piercy says.

He adds, “We have established some additional dealers, but not as fast as we had hoped. Everyone is amazed at the state-of-the-art in airguns, but they are typically slower to react and do something about it. Still, it is better to have one good dealer than five who are in it half-heartedly.”

“Some of the existing dealers have picked up their sales as well. Some haven’t been dealers that long, so I have been doing a lot of education,” Piercy says.  “Often they want to know ‘how fast does it shoot?’ and I have to point out that fast isn’t necessarily accurate, and if you are not accurate, you are just blasting lead. A better question to ask is “How many foot-pounds will it shoot accurately?’ They also want to know how many shots a gun will deliver, and I always tell them how many good shots it will give.”

Piercy has also visited many events: the field target nationals, the US air rifle benchrest nationals, the Cajun Spring Classic, several local benchrest and ten meter events, filling tanks and sometimes repairing guns. “I found out that if you offer free tank fills, that’s like offering free food – the shooters definitely show up!”

PAD van photobombing the 2016 Cajun Spring Nationals!

PAD van photobombing the 2016 Cajun Spring Nationals!

As to helping people in need, Piercy has been handing out one-gallon zip bags stuffed with soap, toothbrushes, razors, socks, water, and other goodies. One chilly fall morning in Albuquerque, Piercy gave a bag to a gentleman who was asking for help, and as Piercy drove away, he could see in his rearview mirror the fellow wolfing down the breakfast bars and drinking the water.

The biggest surprise for Piercy is that “the general public has no idea that airguns have advanced as far as they have. Another surprise is the demand for information about airguns for nuisance wildlife control.

So far, Piercy is enjoying the project. “I’ve met a lot of nice people, seen a lot of beautiful country, and helped some airgunners and dealers along the way.”

Larry in the Everglades.

Larry in the Everglades.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

This week we take another trip back in time! Back to the 70’s with the Benjamin Franklin Model 3120, .22 caliber lead ball, pump-up repeater! And we do so in a fun video showcasing this old classic:

This rifle is part of the AOA vintage collection, and was also featured in a recent article in Hard Air Magazine, with a title of “How It All Began” by AOA’s own Robert Buchanan! Click Here to read the Article over at Hard Air Magazine.


While the Model 3120 is no longer made, we do still offer modern pump rifles made by Benjamin under current ownership of the Crosman Corp.


Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

M712 with box #2I have always been a fan of the C96 “Broomhandle” Mausers and not sure what is at the root of the attraction.  Maybe because it was a pistol ahead of its time, maybe because of its distinctive look with the magazine forward of the trigger as opposed to inside the grip like with modern autoloaders; it’s hard to say.  The “96” part of the designation stood for the year of its release – 1896.  Originally in caliber 7.63 with a 10 round box magazine, it was copied by Spanish and Chinese manufacturers and saw action all over the world for more than half of the last century.  The M712 Schnellfeuer (rapid fire) was the select fire version of the C96.  Suffice that the C96 and M712 are iconic and historical firearms and this replica BB CO2 pistol will satisfy the collector in you while also providing many hours of enjoyable shooting.  After going over the instruction manual to be certain I was familiar with any unique operational differences from the many CO2 pistols I’ve had the pleasure of shooting, I was ready to take it outside.   Of all metal construction, the M712 has the heft of its real counterpart with the controls in the same places as the original and even a lanyard ring at the base of the grip.  The smoothbore barrel is made of brass and is 4 ¾ inches long.  In keeping with the original there is a ladder type rear sight, but with the M712’s limited range, you won’t do much with it.  It sports plastic grips made to resemble real wood with a slot in back to accommodate the wooden stock/holster that came with some original guns to turn them into carbines.  Umarex does not sell a replica stock at this time but I understand some internet sites have an aftermarket version.

The drop-free magazine holds both the 12 gram CO2 cartridge and 18 BBs.  To charge the magazine: remove the threaded plug from the magazine’s base using the provided hex key, insert the cartridge and replace the threaded plug.  (Umarex recommends placing a drop of high quality silicone oil on the tip before insertion.)  Once assembled, but before piercing or loading with BBs, install the magazine into the pistol.  Then, continue to screw in the threaded plug until the cartridge is pierced.  Point the muzzle in a safe direction, pull back the charging handle and fire the pistol to make sure the CO2 is flowing.  Remove the magazine and proceed to load BBs.  It is possible to load 20 BBs, but don’t do it – the follower will not work properly and you’ll wind up with feed problems.

The bolt does not lock back on this airgun version, so clearing a stuck BB is definitely a two hand operation.  Also, when firing full auto mode you will waste some gas not realizing the mag is empty and it is time to release the trigger.  The M712 was a whole lot of fun to shoot, especially in the rock n’ roll mode, with one drawback: it was slow to load.  It is possible to purchase extra magazines, but if Umarex could figure a way to help speed loading and/or hold more rounds, it would be just about perfect.M712 right side close up

I’m not sure how to gauge the rate of fire, but it was fast.  You can empty a full magazine in just 3 or 4 seconds.   Of course, being CO2 driven, this does not efficiently utilize the gas so velocity drops during full auto firing, but it is a blast! (Please pardon the pun…)  Have plenty of CO2 cartridges on hand because you’ll go through them quickly – and have great fun doing it!

After firing a couple of magazines to break-in the airgun you are ready to strike fear into the hearts of pop cans everywhere.  Accuracy was very good at 7 yards and the trigger was quite nice.  The chronograph showed an average reading of 357.4 FPS from a 5 shot string on a 64 degree day at 6,000 feet. The safety is excellent and disengages the trigger when the lever is pushed up.

Being a hundred twenty-something year old design, it’s different than what you are used to but proficiency comes quickly.  If you have interest in famous military arms or just want to have a great time plinking in your backyard, you owe it to yourself to check out this well-made airgun.  MSRP is in the $120.00 range and it comes with a 90 day warranty.  Airguns of Arizona (www.airgunsofarizona.com) can certainly be your connection to this and any of the Legends replicas from Umarex.

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!


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.