I was watching Shane Keller clean up in the speed silhouette event at the Extreme Bench Rest shooting his FX Verminator left handed, and it got me thinking back over my experience with the gun. I have been blessed and lucky in that my love of Airguns and hunting dovetailed with a modest skill with the pen and keyboard, and writing about the sport has become a second job for me. I still have a professional life outside of airgunning, but I spend a lot (just ask my wife and kids) of time shooting and hunting. Having professed awareness of my great luck, I feel like an ingrate when I complain, but here it is; I have too many guns to shoot. OK, I can almost see you rolling your eyes and strumming the world’s smallest violin, but there is a real cost to this……. Namely I don’t have time to shoot or hunt my favorite guns as much as I’d like, and the Verminator is a perfect example. Cycle through dozens of new guns each year, try to get out on a few hunts with the ones that make the cut, and it doesn’t leave much time to circle back on the old favs.
But that’s exactly what I intend to do with my .25 caliber Verminator. I’ve taken rabbits, prairie dogs, raccoons, guinea fowl, pigeons and ground hogs with this superb take-down rifle over the last couple years, but it hasn’t made it out to the field with me much recently. But tomorrow I’m heading to the snow covered woods in pursuit of squirrels, and my Verminator’s coming out of hibernation. So let me tell you why this gun is one that stays in my collection even if I don’t get to shoot it much; 1) it is a very accurate rifle, 2) it is powerful when it needs to be, but can be dialed down when appropriate, 3) the bottle butt stock provides a lot of air for a high shot count, 4) the side lever cycles very quickly and feeds reliably, and 5) it breaks down for transport, and can be put together in a variety of configurations.
With the long barrel/shroud extension assembly, the bipod attached, and the power turned up this gun was a sniping machine taking out long range prairie dogs on a couple hunts in Kansas a while back. The intrinsic accuracy let me dump prairie dogs out past a 100 yards, with the hard driven .25 pellets knocking them head over stumpy tail. The other great thing was that the high volume of air let me stay in the field shooting for much longer than my buddies that seemed to constantly be hiking back to the truck for a refill.
Then a while later I mounted the short barrel and took off for a hike around a buddies farm after rabbits. Atypical of some bottle/stock configurations this guns fit and ergonomics were comfortable to shoot quickly offhand standing or kneeling, which this property and game called for. Here, unlike the prairie dog hunts where I was shooting constantly all day, I dropped the crosshairs on a couple rabbits and both of them were anchored in place. Another trip followed, shooting in buildings and around equipment and buildings. I mounted the shroud extension and dialed down the power, and used the gun to quietly dispatch starlings and pigeons in big numbers. Pass through and collateral damage from the occasional miss (shooters fault not the gun) bounced off the tin roof without puncturing it, ensuring I’d be allowed back on another day! That’s why this gun stays in my gun room, and why I’m leaving the new gun I’m supposed to be testing this weekend on the rack, to go on a field date with the Vermintor!
You can see more in this article on my website: http://www.americanairgunhunter.com/Verminator.html
I hope you are all enjoying the winter hunting season, and urge (at least you northerners) to get out there and hunt/shoot before the dog days of winter set in for real! I’m flying out to Texas next week for some big bore action on pigs, then Arizona on birds, fitting in the squirrel and coyote hunts when and where I can……. Because by the time SHOT Show rolls around in January it’s going to be too cold to go out in my neck of the woods. It will be me, a mountain of guns and pellets, and a lot of work on the indoor range!