I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and haven’t had time for as much shooting as I like. I was home for a few days last week, and was out with two of my favorite guns for some target shooting and plinking. I had my Daystate Huntsman Classic .22 and my FX Boss .303 aired up and nailing spinners set between 30-125 yards. These guns are as different as chalk and cheese, with the Huntsman a classically styled sporter (and probably the most beautiful example of the breed), while the Boss is a synthetic stocked, bottle forward design that is all about performance. The former is chambered in one of the traditional standards calibers, while the later was built around the new .303. The Huntsman is just about the perfect small game gun, while the boss lets you step it up to larger game such as bobcat or even coyote. What both of these guns have in common, is great performance. Both rifles are very accurate, with purpose built and finely crafted barrels, and equipped with great triggers. What makes these triggers great? They are two stage, match grade, fully adjustable and can be set up the way I like with a slight take up, light weight and a crisp break. Both stocks are ergonomic, the Huntsman compact and light, the Boss is more of a handful yet still fairly light.
Random notes: shooting my guns and visit to new gunshop
This is why I have such a hard time when asked about my favorite rifle: it could be either of these rifles, depending on what I wanted to do with it and what I happened to be shooting when you asked me. There are other guns such as the AirArm 510, the BSA R-10, Falcon Prairie, RAW H1000, and don’t even get me started on the custom big bores……. Back to the Boss and the Huntsman: if I had to sell one it would take me long and anguished hours to decide what would go and what would stay. I’d be second guessing my choice and once the choice was made and the deed done, I’d be plotting how to get the gun I let go back into my collection.
So rather when asked about my favorite rifles; I’ll say something like “this is one that does a fine job”, “this rifle is compact, fast to the shoulder, cycles quickly, a great small game gun” and give the reasons when and why I would choose a specific model. I’ll say “this is a solid performer in the field that I’d be happy to use” or “this is a beautifully designed and finely crafted rifle that I want to use in the field and keep in my display case”. If I don’t like a gun, I don’t write about it, because I just don’t have the time to waste on a gun I wouldn’t use or own. But the most important component in determining what’s the best rifle, is that it’s the best rifle for you! It does what you want, it feels good on your shoulder, you love the looks and it is your ideal, it’s at the right price for your wallet. This is why it drives me crazy when I see guys arguing or making disparaging remarks about another’s ideal gun.
That’s why if you ask me about a specific gun I can tell you what I think about it, and if you tell me more about you as a hunter and what you’re looking for, my answer will be that much more useful. And my answer will be consistent, it won’t change if asked the same question by the same person months later. But if you ask me what’s my favorite rifle, that will change frequently. Ask me my top ten and why …. I can manage that one!
I’m sitting at a restaurant in Edinburgh eating peri-peri chicken wings as I write this. Had a free afternoon after my flight in and went to an airgun shop to see the selection. I know Scotland is under pressure regarding airguns, but I was a bit disappointed by what I saw. The shop was a combined hobby and airgun shop, there were only a few low end springers on the wall, a few more CO2 models, a few tins of pellets. No suppressors, no PCP’s…… Quite honestly with 70 or so PCP’s and a couple dozen springers in my collection, not to mention cases of pellet tins in every caliber, I have a better stocked store in my basement and gun room. The guys I spoke to were very nice, not experts on airguns, but were able to order anything I wanted. But besides the lack of restriction we have on airguns in the USA, it makes me aware of how lucky we are to have shops like Airguns of Arizona where we can get just about anything we want, either at a physical store or delivered right to our door.
Along these lines, Robert Buchanan told me that they have launched the AOA demo truck that will travel the country attending shooting events and visiting dealers to give airgunners a chance to see and handle quality airguns they might not experience otherwise….. A great Idea! And a great service to the Airgunning community!
When I get home from this trip, I have a couple new guns on the way to shoot, then heading out on a very interesting hunt that I can’t talk about yet…..and a lot of other airgunning activities planned……..catch up with you all soon!