Been on the Road!
Hello to everyone, sorry I missed last weeks post! Just got home from a long trip to Tokyo last night, after leaving the SHOT Show I had to jump right on a flight to the land of the rising sun. I like Japan: the people, the food, the culture, and as I used to live here so it’s also a bit nostalgic…… but I was ready to get home! Very cold here in the Twin Cities, so I spent the day today im my basement sorting out some new guns, working on some new camera gear I’ll be using on my website/Youtube channel, and pouring over maps getting ready for a couple of upcoming hunts. I’m going to tell you a bit about the SHOT Show, but first I’m going to share some information on my hunting buddy Brian Beck and a couple of predator hunting competition he entered while I was off eating sushi and udon!
Becks Big Weekend!
I’ve talked about Brian here before, I think he is one of ….. if not the best predator hunter in the country specializing in airguns. He enters open competitions and uses an airgun against teams shooting small caliber centerfires …….. and he does very well. When I got home there was one of those “YOU REALLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE” emails that surfers, fly fishermen, and hunters get that fill them with envy, jealousy, and other less than sterling qualities we all sometimes exhibit …… if were honest with ourselves 🙂 . Brian was shooting a Sam Yang Recluse .357 and the 116 grain HPs from Robert Vogel AKA Mr. Hollowpoint. The Recluse is stock out-of-the-box trim it left the factory in and is generating about 130 fpe. Brian had been shooting a Halley .308 for a long time, but has been ripping them up with the Recluse not to mention his tweaked up AirForce Condor .25, but this time it was all Samyang! Brian was using his FoxPro call and a variety of calls: vocalizations such as bitch heat, long howl and prey distress such as jackrabbit, gray squirrel, and rodent squeaks for the closers. He took 3rd last week with four dogs and 4th this weekend with eleven dogs. But here’s the thing ……… besides shooting against centerfires, all the others competitiors were shooting in 2-3 man teams and Brian was on his own (all his buddies let him down, sorry about that, but he didn’t let that slow him down)! Way to go Brian…. you’re doing the airgunning world proud!.
The show was a blast as usual, there was a lot of interest around airguns ….. every year I see the presence grow larger, with more companies, products, and buzz about airguns…. our sport is getting visibility within the mainstream. I have a series of videos that are coming out on the show that give a good look at the range of airgunning gear on offer….. but I will mention that two of the hottest new items on display in my opinion were the Daystate Wolverine Type B and the FX Bobcat .25 caliber bullpup. I’ve talked about the Wolverine quite a bit lately, and think it’s probably one of the more important guns to come a long in awhile; it looks like an Air Ranger but it is really an innovative new design with the action fabricated from a single chunk of aluminum that anchors the barrel, air bottle, receiver, and scope mounts to a single block of metal which results in an exceedingly stable and robust design. I think in coming years this may well be the gun that others are benchmarked against. The Bobcat takes the proven Royale action and delivers it in a very compact and ergonomic (not easy in a bullpup design) package that will appeal to the guys that like these little tactical type air arms.
One of the items that got a lot of attention was not a gun, but rather an accessory most of us PCP shooters covet: the Raptor Pneumatics EZ-Fill-4500 Air Compressor. This electrically powered, relatively compact and quiet (only slightly louder than the air conditioner at my hotel) compressor, has an adjustable automatic shut-off dial and an automatic moisture purge. It weighs less than 60 lb and was the compressor we took to South Africa on our recent safari, and left for our future hunts. It is cooled by an antifreeze radiator system, and can fill my 80 cubic foot, 4500psi tank (from zero to full) in about 3-4 hours. Check the online AOA shop for price, it is the first compressor I’ve seen price where you don’t have to raid the kids college fund to afford.
Also saw a low of my friends, Steve Schinis (owner of the Yellow Forum), Eric Henderson, Ted Bier (Tedsholdover), Rick Eustler (Airgun Web), Terry Doe (Editor of Airgun World) and of course the guys from AOA; Robert and Greg et al. One of the great thing about our sport, even though it may sound cliché, are the great people involved. Some of these people I hunt with or do projects throughout the year, some I hunt with, and some I communicate with by phone or email, but to get the club together in person is always a lot of fun. All these guys have contributed to the world of airgunning in a number of ways, doing so so out of their love for the game, and continue to do so.
Don’t know if you’ve been catching the videos that our friends at AOA are putting out; Kip Perow is Host and they guys are doing some excellent stuff …… if you haven’t done so already, you need to stop by for a look. The link is on their home page. My news is that I’ve signed on to host a number of the hunting segments on the American Airgunner program on the Pursuit Network, which is picked up in over 30 million homes and has a viewership of well in excess of 100,000 weekly viewers, and I’ll be doing some great hunts this year as well as round table segments with an expanded list of participants. Also starting my 8th year writing the Airgun Advantage column for Predator Xtreme. And finally, I don’t know if you’ve seen the new Airgun Hobbyist magazine, but this publication is the only didcated airgun magazine in the USA and the staff are working hard and doing an excellent job for our sport …… take a look and support them with a subscription if you can. That’s all for this week, catch up with you all in a few days!