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About the BLOG

Welcome to Airguns of Arizona’s Hunting Blog! We are excited to share weekly stories of hunting related topics which showcase the ethical use of airguns for hunting legal game. Moreover, we are pleased to be joined by a well-known freelance writer, Jim Chapman. We have given him the floor, and he will guide you through his awesome adventures, hunting the world with air rifles and pistols. We hope you are equally as excited to have such an experienced writer offering up a weekly read.


38 Responses to About the BLOG

  1. William Abercrombie

    Dear Mr. Chapman,

    I first saw your ‘Air gun Advantage’ column in the December 2007 issue of ‘Predator Extreme’ magazine. I was delighted to read it.

    It was the first practical and informative article on air guns I had seen since I was a subscriber in the 1960’s to ‘Air Rifle Monthly’ (ARM), published by Robert L. Law of Grantsville, West Virginia.

    Unfortunately ‘Predator Extreme’ is not widely distributed in my area of Alberta, and I was not able to obtain more than a few copies since then. Recently, I renewed my interest in air guns when a neighbor and I decided to do something about the crows and magpies in our village that prey on the songbirds that are becoming quite scarce.

    My neighbor bought a new air gun (.177 Diana Spring-gun) with a scope, but found he was unable to sight-in. Using all the scope adjustments, at about 30 ft. the gun shoots low and to the left with various brands of pellets, and I decided to mount a scope on a BSF (S60) 22 calibre because I can no longer see well enough with the front and rear aperture sights I installed years ago (I am now 84 years old).

    I re-read your December 2007 article ‘Sighting In And Setting Up Your New Air gun’ in which you mentioned you had covered “details of how to mount a scope in recent columns” ,so I called your publisher in Birmingham, Alabama.

    I was disappointed to learn that back issues of the magazine are not available so I got a subscription for future articles.

    Mr. Olis of the editorial department explained that you are an engineer and travel a great deal in your work but he kindly gave me your e-mail address.

    Reading your articles that I have, I am rather surprised at the development of air guns in recent years; especially the increase in technology and power. I know that air guns have been around for a long time and special powerful air guns were used by British commandos in World War Two.

    My understanding was that the technology was restricted to the military because of ‘danger to the public’. So I am amazed that you can shoot animals as large as raccoons, foxes, and bobcats with your pre-charged semi-automatic .25 calibre.

    As I am an aged retiree limited in funds and energy, I will stay with my two spring guns, a .177 BSA Super Sport which dislodged the scope as you said and eventually required a spring replacement, and a .22 BSF S60 on which I am trying to mount a scope (no dovetail so a rail has to be installed).

    In Alberta, it is difficult to find air gun information.

    Even my neighbor, who is an accomplished rifle maker and only a couple of courses short of his degree from the Colorado State Gunsmithing College admits he knows very little in this subject area.

    I would like to know if your articles on spring-guns are available.

    I am particularly interested in articles on the following subjects:
    •Lubricants (we used to use a leather conditioner to keep the piston seal moist and pliable and a molybdimun disulphide product called Dri-Slide to lubricate the cylinder).
    •Pellets (what brands are most consistent and accurate)
    •Disassembly and re-assembly instructions
    •Parts and repair information
    •Sights – especially scopes
    •Where such products are available

    If such articles are not available, would it be possible to obtain copies of your articles on scope mounting?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your response.

    Best Regards,

    William Dyson Abercrombie

    Holden, Alberta, Canada

    P.S. I sent this to an email address (which I believe to be yours) as well.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello William,
      Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond, I’ve been on the road for the last couple weeks. Thanks for writing, I enjoyed reading your post, and your mention of Robert Laws Air Rifle Monthly goes back to the roots of airgunning in North America. He was one of the earlier champions of the sport with Dr. Robert Beeman that helped bring visabilty to the sport by providing information on the highend European guns as well as the homegrown models.

      Time goes quickly, I’ve been doing the regular column in Predator Xtreme for about seven years now, and been writing the ocassional feature article for Fur-Fish-Game for quite a few as well. What has been rewarding is that these publications are both targeting mainstream hunters, most of whom didn’t know about this breed of airguns. There’s another American magazine called Airgun Hobbyist that has a broad scope of airgun related topics and targets the airgun a fan, called Airgun Hobbyist. I’ve also started writing for one of the British airgun magazine, Airgun Shooter. If you go to my website http://americanairgunhunter.com you can download my two volume book (part I on guns and gear, part II on airgun hunting) free of charge, and that might address many of your questions.

      Thanks again for visiting the blog and taking the time to post!

      Regards,

      Jim

  2. Jonathan Buth

    Hi Jim,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews. I’ve recenently returned from Tanzania and finally have the chance to research my “guineafowl thumper” in .25 to eventually take back.
    I’m impressed with the reports on the Hatsan BT 65 especially for power. The rainstorm 2, and Benj. Marauder for all around value, and the P. Falcon for it’s reported accuracy (lower ft. lbs?). Of the above rifles what would you recommend for ‘longer range’ guineas. Also, would it be easy to tune the P. Falcon Profile .25 into the 50 ft. range while keeping it’s accuracy intact?
    Any ideas on the above (or other models) would be most appreciated. Thanks!

    Jonathan

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Jonathan,
      I’m envious, Guinea fowl is one of my favorite (if not the favorite) air gun hunts… but I only get a chance every year or two when we head back to SA to visit my wifes family. They are smart, wary, and with the big covies have a lot of eyes on lookout. I’ve used .22, .25, and .308 in a few different guns to hunt them; I’ll first start by saying that I haven’t used the Hatsan BT 65, but the Hatasan PCP I’ve shot have been accurate, powerful, and good value for money. Mine have also been very loud, but that can always be addressed. On my first airgunnning hunt in SA several years ago, I brought my P Falcon .22 and took quite a few Guinea fowl with it. I prefer to either headshoot them, or take them at the base of the neck so a lot of power isn’t as important as a high degree of accuracy ….. and the P Falcon is that in spade! I also have taken several with the Marauder in both .22 and .25, and they were also very effective. A couple other guns that I am very high on, though more expensive, are the FX Boss .30 and the Daystate Wolverine .30. I am going to take one (or both) of these guns with me on our next hunt on the Eastern Cape in September. We’ll be hosting an air gunning safari, which I’ll write more about.

      • Jonathan Buth

        Thanks Jim,

        Some good things to think about. You got thinking of the P. Falcon in .22 for neck sniping on guineas, or one of the .25’s for body shots……hmm. I’d love one of those .30’s, but that will have to fall off Santa’s sleigh some other year:) In the meantime any pcp will be an improvement over a .416 Rigby for the fowl! Merry Christmas, and thanks for all the info for newbie pcp-ers in your articles…..

        Jonathan

  3. Jon Wren

    Hello Sir,
    I am interested in getting a PCP for coyotes and other predators and was looking at the .25 caliber. Is it a powerful enough for coyotes? My state doesn’t allow air rifles for deer hunting so I wanted I caliber that I would get more use out of. I do quite a bit of squirrel hunting and rabbit hunting as well a pigeon. I know the 25 would be enough for coons and such but I call coyotes every week and was wanting to try something besides my 223. I have springers in 22 i use for squirrel. Should I get get something bigger?
    Thanks
    Jon

  4. Dave James

    Have followed the site for awhile and enjoy the articles, have decided to jump into an air gun for small to medium pest hunting, and was wondering if there is a Piston model you could suggest, that would give me close to same performance that the PCP’s give, would like 22 or 20 caliber so groundhogs and small coyotes would be possible

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Dave, glad you’re enjoying the blog. There are several spring piston air rifles that can give you plenty of power for small to medium sized game. The HW 90, RWS 450 Magnum and RWS 350 Pro Compact deliver more than enough power for 40 – 50 yards groundhogs, though they are on the light side for coyote. Having said this, if you keep to sub 30 yard ranges and head shots you could put a dog down. Springers are a lot harder to shoot accurately than PCP’s, so you need to practice with the gun a lot. When you can shoot a five shot group in a quarter sized group from a certain range, that will define how far you should reach out for game. Be interested to hear what gun you select and how it goes for you.
      Jim

    • Jim Chapman

      Hello Dave;
      Thanks for reading, and glad to have another hunter joining our ranks! There are quite a few magnum spingers that have approximately the same power levels as a medium power standard caliber pcp. The real challange is that these guns are a lot tougher to shoot accurately, so you have to practice a lot and be much more selective with shot placement. The thing about coyote is that my prference is for larger than standard calibers (.30’s on up) and much more powerful guns. You can’t get laeger than a .25 caliber springer and the power is far below what a high power pcp can produce. I don’t really recommend springers on predators becuase you have no margin for error and shot placement (brain shots) has to be perfect. If you have to use a springer, get one of the 25 fpe and stick to 25 yard brain shots, and make sure you can print quarter size groups all day long before trying a shot on a coyote….. still, I don’t recommend any springer as an ideal coyote gun.
      Regards,
      Jim

  5. Chris

    Mr Chapman
    I just found your weblog and noticed that you are on your way to MN, shoot me an email and I’ll return a great contact for you.

    Chris

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Chris;
      I’ll do that once I get settled in. I’m in the western Minneapolis suburbs.
      Jim

  6. Jimmy King

    Hey Jim, I’m a proud owner of two Marauders thanks to your review’s and use of them. Got to say I’m thouroghly pleased with them. I recently saw some of your photos you took while on a squirrel hunt. One shot showed a water hole in the pines with a tree stand leaning up against one of the trees. Probably no chance but was that photo taken in New Mexico? Keep up the good work.
    Jimmy

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Jimmy;
      The last times I was in NM, I didn’t have the MROD along. If it was the pic where some of the squirrels were the black color phase, believe it or not, was on the UP in Michigan! But you’re right, my dad had a property in the Sandia Mts in NM that we used to hunt when I was a kid, and the pines could fit in there. Glad you’re liking the MRODs……. next we need to get you on the big bores 🙂
      Jim

  7. Chris Adkins

    Mr. Chapman,
    Great Blog. If I may ask a question. What scopes (brand or specific models) and mounts do you recommend for magnum springers? I’ve just acquired my first “adult” airgun, RWS 350 .177, and need to scope it. By the way, I just finished your book. Wonderful job. It was extremely informative and a good read. Thank you for taking the time to write it and make it available for free. If only more people were willing to contribute there time, experience and wisdom in such a way.
    Thanks
    Chris

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Chris;
      First, thanks for the comments on the book, I am glad you enjoyed and found it useful. A scope manufacturer that I’ve used a lot is Hawke Optics out of the UK, They have several models that I use and like. The one I’d recommend for the application you mention ( a magnum springer) is the AirMax EV 3-9×40 variable. The glass is very good for the price (actually regardless of price it is very good), it has a great MAP6 reticle, and I’ve not damaged it even on my “scope eater” rifles. The Bushnell Trophy series is another good option, I’d take a look at the 4-12×40 model. And lastly, I’ve been impressed by the Vortex scopes I used on loaner guns, but I haven’t had my own and haven’t torture tested them the way I have the Hawke scope so I can’t comment on how they stand up long term, but the glass is great. It always depends how much you want to spend and what features you want, but in the end, my first choice would be the Hawke.

  8. Alan

    Mr. Chapman, Check the new Arizona regs and I think you will be happy to find that you can take every game animal in the state with the exception of elk and dove with an airgun. Also, you can now take coyotes and all other furbearers with airguns. Can’t wait to use an airgun on quail and coyotes.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Alan;
      As soon as I saw your post I downloaded the regs ……. great news! I will be spending a lot of time in AZ this year …. I’ve wanted a mule deer and javalina with my airgun, and this is the first legal opportunity for both! As a matter of fact I will focus on AZ, it’s only a couple hours by air and I’ve got plenty of frequent fliers miles and vacation time banked! Thanks for the update.
      Jim

  9. Jack

    Hello Jim, I’ve read several of your hunting and air rifle reviews with great interest. Recent highway construction has migrated a very large ground squirrel population toward our property and they are now invading my garden. After trying semi-useless gas bombs, I purchased the HW95 with a Hawke Sport scope which is great at 25 yards but out farther my accuracy is quite diminished. You had high praise in your review of the Weihrauch HW 100 PCP rifle. if I purchased one PCP rifle for local ground squirrel abatement out to 50 yards is the HW100 a good option or are there others to consider?

    Jack

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Jack;
      The HW 95 is an excellent springer and the Hawke scopes are uniformly good airgun optics, but virtually all springers are more difficult to achieve optimal accuracy out of than a PCP. This is especially true as you extend the range, and they are not ideal for shooting off sticks or bipods, which is my preference for taking living targets. The HW 100 is a very nice little hunting rifle; it is compact, very well constructed, and accurate. I was knocking over prairie dogs and rabbits at 75 yards consistently, with the occasional longer shot. There are several nice guns out there, I also like the Daystate Huntsman Classic and the FX Verminator quite a lot. I think any of these three would be excellent choices, and ground squirrels are a great airgunning quarry.

      • Jack

        Thanks Jim, I’ll look at those three PCP rifles and talk to the AOA staff about their opinions of quality and durability as far as seals, ect.

        While I have been able to shoot several ground squirrels with my HW95, They have not been clean head shots even though I have been spending a lot of time practicing.

        Since I’m on a retirement income, I’ll need to convince my wife that I need a “better gun” for my garden protection. Thanks for the quick reply and the excellent atricles and reviews.

        Jack

  10. Jack

    Excellent “articles” that is.

  11. Jon Wren

    Hello Sir,
    I am a big fan of your writings and enjoy your hunting stories. If you could only have one small caliber PCP in a 22 or 25 which one. If you could have a big bore but only one which one? The reason I ask is I have a condor in 22 and that is it for pcp. I life in Oklahoma where it is illegal to take a deer with air rifles, but I can hunt coyotes with them. I cannot afford several rifles so I am looking for a good 25 caliber for coons and such and good big bore for coyotes. I am just wondering what you would do. Thanks again for the writings and good hunting!
    Jon

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Jon,
      If I was only allowed one rifle, it would most likely be the best quality 25 caliber I could buy as this gun would serve for small to medium sized game. For a big bore I’d go with a Quackenbush .457 as it would let you hunt anything that you can hunt with an airgun in North America. And I really like his rifles! However, if I was never going to use it over a coyote sized animal, I might opt for one of the many .308 or .357 rifles. These guns are relatively flat shooting and more than enough omph for a song dog.

      I am just starting to get more experience with the .303 on predators, they do a great job on small and medium game (I’ve taken lots of prairie dog, jackrabbits, coon and a handful of fox and bobcats with the .303) haven’t gotten any serious experience on coyote yet, but my feeling is that it will be a solid performer at close range (inside of 50 yards). Tell you more about that later in the year.
      Regards,
      Jim

  12. Jack

    Hello Jim,

    I read your reviews and read your comments above about trying to shoot ground squirrels at long range. I went and purchased a FX Royale 400 in 22 caliber and it is so much easier to hunt ground squirrels than with my Weihrauch HW95 springer. I have had great success shooting off Primos Pole Cat sticks out to 80 yards so far and the accuracy is just amazing. Again, thanks for your informative articles and feedback to questions on the blogs. I read with great interest about your recent hunting trip and as a long time business traveler, I understand the frustrations with unexpected air travel weather it’s medical emergencies, plane trouble or scheduling problems.

  13. Daniel Moore

    I am thinking about buying a Sam Yang….which caliber would you choose…I want to shoot turkey,deer,coyote,wild pig etc…also …can you fill the tank at a gas station air pump

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Dan;
      The caliber depends on the State to some degree. If your in MO for instance it will have to be a .40 caliber or larger. If you’re in Virginia, a .357 is a viable option. Regardless of the caliber, the Sam Yang guns can benefit from a tune and a trigger job and there are some good gun smiths out there. For air, if you get a shop compressor and a shoebox compressor you can fill your own tanks, otherwise you’ll need a dive or paintball shop. Or if you’re up to some work, a hand pump.
      Regards,
      Jim

  14. Kerry

    Hey Jim this is Kerry from honolulu HI, I posted yesterday and asked a new question how can i find it having trouble finding it.

  15. dennis

    hey, jim watched your hunt in south Dakota, using raw .357 some shots out to 125 yards, did you shim the scope was wondering about enough elevation out that far.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Dennis;
      I didn’t shim it, but a 125 the bottom of the vertical wire was about dead on. Past that and it moved the target out of the field of view.
      Regards,
      Jim

  16. John F.

    Hello Jim,
    I really enjoy reading your blog, following your hunting adventures. You are truly living the dream. I’ve learned a lot from your articles and videos. I mostly hunt pigeons and Eurasian collared doves in and around feedlots and dairy farms in northern Nevada.
    We have lots of black tail jackrabbits in northern Nevada. I haven’t hunted them much but am interested in doing so. The question I have is I’ve heard you can eat jack rabbit but haven’t heard good things about the taste etc. also have heard they carry parasites and was wondering if you eat them and how do you handle and prepare them?
    Thanks

    John F.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi John;
      I don’t eat them, but have tried them in the past. The meat didn’t taste bad as much as being very stringy and tough. I have heard they are OK if prepared as tamales or in a chili but can vouch for that.
      Jim

  17. John F.

    Hi Jim,
    I have another question for you. I see a lot of guys have bubble levels installed on their guns. I have limited experience using scopes on my guns so I’m still learning. Are bubble levels used only when shooting bench rest situations or field targets? I mostly hunt pigeons,rabbits etc. out in the field so would a bubble level be useless in this situation ?
    Thanks

    John F.

  18. Squirrelhunter

    I am always fallowing your blog, I love the reviews you do on airguns. All of my airguns I have bought are because of your reviews. I really like the TwinMaster rifle wish they had it out in production. Anyways after reading your blogs about hunting, I got started on hunting squirrels for a local farmer. He has many pest and he only allows air rifles so I took my Gladiator and got about 100 squirrels. I to on video and hope you enjoy it.

    • Jim Chapman

      Thanks for following the blog, I appreciate it! Glad that you’ve enjoyed some of the airguns I’ve talked about….. a guns appeal is a subjective thing, and I try to look at what the gun was designed for and who it might appeal to. That’s great on the squirrels, would love to see the videos
      Regards,
      Jim

  19. Carlos riojas

    Who made your seats for your high rack

    • Jim Chapman

      Carlos, that belongs to a buddy of mine in West Texas, I’ll check and post it here when I have the answer.

  20. DuWayne Prellwitz

    Hello Jim,

    I am an avid reader of Predator Extreme and especially your articles. I’m thinking of purchasing a Hatsan Hercules 22 caliber air rifle and would like your opinion on the product.

    I have some concerns. Can the trigger be set for less than 3 lb.? What scope and mounts are recommended? I like the idea of 2 air tanks on the gun but I’m concerned on how the tanks are recharged. I have been unable to find information regarding these issues.

    I currently have a Beaman’s Springer 177 air rifle with a Blue Ribbon 4X12 scope. I have tore the cross hairs out twice.

    Thanks , DuWayne Prellwitz

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi DuWayne; that Hercules is a very large and heavy gun for .22 caliber. I think that in that caliber I’d be looking at the AT44, BT 65, or Galatian if set on a Hatsan. My favorite .22 hunting rifle right now (and for the last couple years) is the Compatto. You need to buy the rifle you like, but I’d suggest you take a look at this compact semi bullpup.

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