Posts by AOA Team

AoA: 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 flavour of life there. Here is his latest post.

Old friends re-appear after a long absence.

Summer 2017. It’s been a week of sweltering 90F temperatures by UK standards, particularly as our houses don’t have air conditioning.

Meals are taken outside, under the shade of our decades-old Allington Pippin apple tree. This is especially enjoyable when friends drop round for a bite to eat.

So, it was in this dappled shade, that we were delighted to meet up again with Ben Taylor, airgun guru and, of course, half of the original Theoben airgun company. Theoben rifles are still much sought after today. I used to work alongside Ben but, since he’s retired, he’s spent a lot of time on his BMW 1300 motorbike. He was just back from attending the Moto GP in Spain.

And that was the starting point for an amazing story. While in Spain, Ben met a British airgunner who lives there. They had been chatting previously about airguns, and 2 had piqued Ben’s interest quite considerably. One of them was Ben’s very own engraved Sirocco .20 calibre that he had used around 1985/86. Its condition was ‘almost as new’; its serial number is #1000. The other rifle was one of his famous and rare Metisse air rifles: No.8, in .177 calibre.

Ben then told us the fantastic tale of the Sirocco. Many years ago, when the company was at its base in Cambridgeshire in Britain, Ben was just closing up for the day when an Aston Martin swept into the car park and a man leapt out. He said he wanted an air rifle. “I’m afraid they’re all built to order and we have none spare.” Undaunted, the visitor said, “what about that one then?” pointing to Ben’s own rifle on the rack. Ben said, “It’s mine, and anyway you can’t afford it”. But Aston Martin drivers are a determined bunch! “I’ll give you a thousand pounds for it,” ($1800 in those days and about 5 times the going rate for a rifle then). The reply was typical of the Ben we know and love! “Would you like it in a box or a bag?” That was the last Ben saw of the rifle for over 30 years. Ben's Taylor's Sirocco

Ben Taylor with SiroccoSo, it’s astonishing that the Sirocco has re-surfaced after all these years, purely by chance. And of course, Ben couldn’t resist buying it. The Metisse looks like it has never been shot, and Ben bought that too.

Ben Taylor's Metisse

But it’s also typical of Ben, that when he got home to the UK with the rifles, and when he had done admiring them, that, as he said to us, “I’m not really sure why I bought them, as I really, truly, have retired from air rifles.”

So, we’re not surprised that they’re now up both for sale at over £2,000 for Sirocco and over £3,000 for the Metisse. As for retirement from airguns? Somehow, we’re not surprised he’s planning on coming to Extreme Benchrest this year!

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

Late June 2017. We’ve had a week of glorious sunshine in the South … temperatures in the 80s and a real feeling that we’ve shaken off the cold and blue skies, and summer is heading for Home Farm.

Rain or shine, our bird feeders are mobbed from dawn to dusk. They all take their turn, and, apart from the blackbirds, there’s not too much squabbling. It’s all very British. Then in drops a gang of long tailed tits. Everyone else scatters as they attack the food, hanging every which way on the fat-balls and peanut holders. Then, they are off before you have time to wipe your nose and pull your ear.

Last weekend it was sunny and warm enough to bring out butterflies, bees and a magnificent 4ft long female grass snake which made her way across the front of the house towards an old compost heap where she must have some eggs. It was also warm enough to have a barbecue with some friends. We set up targets in the garden for a bit of airgun fun (airfun?). In pride of place on the ‘range’ was my old Webley Hurricane pistol, handed down by neighbour Stan, a retired Polish WW2 fighter pilot who lived 3 fields’ distance away. Stan was a hoot, There were always laughs, stir, commotion and tales from his old Spitfire days! Stan would concoct his own lemon vodka at home. It was the best. So was he. Anyway, we crowded round the air pistols to choose our ammunition. I’m a big fan of airgun darts at gatherings like these as they’re great fun for all ages. I always buy a minimum of 5 packs of 10 multi coloured darts so I end up with 10 red, 10 blue, and the same numbers of green, black and yellow. It makes it easier for people to have a decent number of their own single competition colour. There’s talk, as usual, of ‘darts affect barrel rifling’ – this is a myth in my opinion. Ask anyone who claims this just how they know it and you’ll hear something vague such as “Oh, well, everyone knows that…”. Well, I’ve never found the slightest damage to barrels which, after all, are made to withstand all manner of wear and tear. It’s the mohair flights which have most contact with the barrel. So, I say load up – and take aim. Our visitors found them a lot more accurate than they thought…and a lot more fun!

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

Brocock Compatto Target

Brocock announce an exciting addition to the Compatto line up.

The new Compatto Target – a regulated Hunter Field Target version of the popular Brocock Compatto.

Developed in conjunction with the Dutch firm of Huma, who over the last 5 years have become renowned for their high-quality precision regulators, the new Compatto Target adds an increased shot count as well as better shot to shot consistency for the more discerning shooter.

By using the highest quality materials such as aircraft grade aluminum-bronze, chrome-moly steel and precision Belleville springs, the Huma regulator has been specially developed in a joint venture to be combined with the patented sling shot hammer system. This combination is able to reduce shot to shot variation to a 1% fluctuation, yet both are proven and reliable systems allowing Brocock to give two years between services.

Depending on the market, the Compatto Target is fitted as standard with the latest ‘anti slip’ soft touch stock finish.

Brocock Compatto Target Diagram

The Compatto Target has been developed to compete in Hunter Field target competitions and at sub 12 foot pounds will deliver 115 shots in .177 caliber with a shot to shot consistency of only a few feet per second – or as good as your pellets will allow.

Caliber

Power ft/lbs

Shots/Fill

177

12

115

22

12

125

22

27

30

25

28

30

Brocock Compatto Target Angle

The new Brocock Compatto Target will be available in the USA soon!  Meanwhile, for the existing Compatto owners, check out our Huma Regulator for Brocock Compatto .177 and .22. We can offer custom install services as well.

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

We asked back a good airgunning friend of ours, who lives in the UK, out in the wilds of East Anglia, for another flavor of life there. Here is his latest post.

May 2017. The weather has been as capricious as ever – a long sunny week followed by cold Arctic northerly winds with an overnight frost that nipped our plum and walnut trees hard. Now it’s heavy rain. Looking up, I half expect to see a USA–style twister heading my way across the damp fields of England. The wildlife is a bit confused by all this, but they carry on with relentless excitement about Spring at Home Farm.

Better times must be on their way, because we have welcomed a rare bird, back to the Farm. Turtle doves used to be prolific in the UK, but changes in agriculture and habitat have had a major impact on these slim, modest and private birds. Numbers are 96% down compared to 1975.

Five years ago, we were very excited when one arrived literally out of the blue. It was the first one in 25 summers. So, this year, we were delighted to welcome back an exhausted turtle dove, just arrived from North Africa. A good feed soon perked her up again though, and she was off into the privacy of the bushes and high hedges we keep here, in defiance of modern farming practice.

Recently we, too, have been traveling. A new Game Fair in the North of England opened its doors for the second time, so we went back to see what’s fresh and exciting in the world of shooting, airguns and hunting. Folk from “up North” can be a bit reserved at times, but underneath sometimes craggy exteriors are fine, friendly, warm-hearted folk. So, we got talking. In the course of our conversations, we were reminded graphically of the importance of Rule #1 in shooting: shoot safely.

We met one fellow on crutches who had nearly lost a foot through the accidental discharge by a companion with a 12 gauge shotgun. Surgeons wanted to amputate but he insisted he keep his mangled foot. A cheerful chap, he’s been hobbling for months to come, alas. We met another, who had lost the muscle from an arm when a shot caught him sideways across his chest. And, very sadly, we talked again of the local 13 year old boy from Suffolk who was fatally wounded by an airgun while messing around with a couple of his friends, both 14 years old. This happened just 20 miles from us, this time last year.

We set out thoughtfully on the long journey back home to our turtle dove, brooding over the importance of always, always, always shooting safely and carefully.

Turtle Dove Turtle Dove 2

 

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

Daystate has launched the latest and greatest in high power electronic airguns.  Introducing the Daystate Pulsar HP!

Daystate Pulsar HP Synthetic

Daystate Pulsar HP Synthetic with optional scope and mounts.

For more details and ordering information, check them out at:

http://www.airgunsofarizona.com/precharged-pcp/daystate-pulsar-hp-synthetic-bullpup/

As reports continue to come across from the 2017 IWA show in Nurnberg, Germany, we keep hearing buzz about the FX Crown. So let’s piece together the information in a collective article and share what we know as well.

FX Crown Laminate

FX Crown Laminate with Optional Scope

The new FX Crown air rifle uses a 480cc Carbon Fiber air bottle for its reservoir and refills via a quick disconnect port.  This interchangeable bottle supplies air to the pressure regulator, which is externally adjustable and features a pressure gauge which shows bottle pressure and another which shows the regulated pressure.  This feature alone is useful for dialing up or down your power, but the FX Crown does not stop there!

FX Crown Air Gauges

Crown Air Gauge for Cylinder and Regulator Pressures

The rifle also features a multi-step hammer stroke adjuster, externally adjusted with ball-detent steps.  This allows the shooter to dial in the efficiency and consistency of the shot cycle.  To top it off, the FX Crown also has a Power restriction wheel, which allow the shooter to quickly increase or decrease the power of the rifle while in the field.  This feature is perfect for pest control, where your backdrop can go instantly from a 100 yard open field to a 20 yard enclosed barn, and the power can be limited to ensure safe dispatch of the pests.  It also works well for the back yard shooter, who wants to keep the full power settings, but needs more shots at low power for the afternoon in the back garden.  Needless to say, the FX Crown is fully adjustable, all externally, and it does not stop there!

FX Crown Walnut Adjusters

Hammer Stroke Adjuster and Power Wheel

The Crown comes with a beautifully shaped, Italian made stock available in Walnut or Laminate, each with an adjustable butt pad.  As an upgrade, an adjustable cheek piece is available as well.

Crown Adjustable Stock

Optional Adjustable Cheekpiece

The target trigger is adjustable with an extremely smooth and predicable pull.  The Crown also features a manual safety which is easily switched on/off near the trigger.

FX Crown Safety

Safety Switch on side of stock near trigger.

The FX Crown uses FX’s High Capacity magazine, but inserts at an angle which reduces the height for lower profile scope mounting.  It is also compatible with the standard magazines for those who want ultra low scope mounting.
The FX Crown’s barrel is shrouded in a full length moderator, which can be extended for even more sound moderation, taking the rifle from quiet to extremely quiet!  The advantage of this feature, apart from noise, is that the length can be instantly reduced to put the rifle back into a standard gun case.  And, while we talk about the barrel, we need to call out the biggest feature found on the new FX Crown…the Smooth Twist X barrel!

FX Crown Barrel Shroud

Nearly Silent Barrel Shroud

Building upon the proven Smooth Twist technology, FX Airguns has pushed the design further with the new X barrel system.  The barrels start with a highly polished tube, clear and free of any cuts or grooves.  Using a patented procedure, FX presses the entire length of the OUTSIDE tube with “grooves” that translate through the metal to impart twist on pellets when fired.  This Smooth Twist spins the pellet much like rifling, but it does not cut the lead or leave markings on the pellets.  This makes the pellet more stable in flight and more resistant to air turbulence.  Furthermore, FX has developed this design to allow for a variety of “Twist” rates and the barrel on the FX Crown allows these inner liners to be changed out easily.

FX Smooth Twist X

So, if your new FX Crown arrives, and after tuning the valve, regulator, and hammer you find it shoots exceptionally well with JSB Exact Heavy pellets you are happy.  But, like many other airgunners, if you insist on shooting the heavier H&N Baracuda pellets despite the rifle loving the JSB’s, you can simply experiment with other barrel sleeves that impart different twist rates, and in no time, you have a rifle that suddenly loves the heavier Baracuda pellets!  Never before has a shooter been able to tell the rifle which pellet to shoot best!

FX Crown with Fredrik Axelsson

Photo courtesy of The Airgun Gear Show

But wait there’s more!!!  While you are swapping out your twist rate barrel sleeves, why not jump into a different caliber altogether?  Maybe its time you take your .22 and install a .30 barrel for some high power hunting.  With the Crown design, this is possible!  You simply swap out the sleeve in the Smooth Twist X barrel to .30 caliber, easily change out the bolt probe in the breech, switch out the magazine and you are all set to dial in the power and consistency for the .30 pellet of choice.  Oh, and if you want to further perfect the accuracy, grab a couple alternative twist rates in .30 caliber while you are experimenting!

FX Smooth Twist X

And this Smooth Twist X barrel system is what truly sets the new FX Crown apart in such a unique way!

Now, we know everyone wants to hear more about the length, weight, power, shot count, accuracy, etc.  But that will require some hands-on testing, which we are prepared to do once the rifle arrives here.  That leads us to the big question, which is WHEN??  FX tells us they will deliver the first guns to the USA mid-April 2017.  So, hang in there and we promise to deliver all the information as it becomes available.  Meanwhile, feel free to order yours now to hold your place in line.  We anticipate the Crown to stay on pre-order status for quite a long time, much like its ever popular cousin the FX Impact!

FX Crown Options

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

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.

Farm

Mid April 2016. There’s been warmer weather at Home Farm in Norfolk. It’s party time in the garden for our visitors who have been buzzing with excitement recently. The birds, who visit our feeding stations around the garden, are in a frenzy. All through the winter we have tried to understand why some feeding points are so much more popular than others, when the same mix of seed and suet goes into each. Some are emptied immediately; others take all day to be finished. “You need an Avian Feng Shui Consultant to explain it” laughs one of our more human visitors. Well, to be frank, I would think that an AFSC, if such exists, is the last person whom I would sit down with to learn the mysteries of the natural world. Whichever restaurant our birds prefer, they are always welcome here. So many regulars: yellow hammers (ten or more); green finches; blue tits; great tits; sparrows; starlings; blackbirds; collared doves; moorhens; lesser spotted woodpecker, Mr & Mrs Jay, the robin and El Magnifico (our friendly cock pheasant who lives at #1 the Ditch) – they are all here, waiting for us, half an hour after sunrise. Meanwhile, somewhere in the tall ash tree, our thrush is singing, as bright, loud and as sweet as you can possibly imagine, saying to us “Welcome. It’s another great day”.

Our winged guests are messy eaters. The smaller birds throw out a lot of grain on the ground as they sift for the tastier morsels. Alas, this attracts in rats from the adjoining the fields. This is where airgunning comes into its own. I don’t even need to leave the farmhouse to make sure I have a good and safe shot. The rat may see the back door of the house slowly swing ajar, spot a shadowy shape inside hunching over slightly… “but, hey, let’s not worry too much when there’s so much food around here, right beneath my nose”. The rat’s eagerness gives me my opportunity and –wham– the airgun has done what it was made for. The FX Verminator has lived up to its name. Time for me to tidy up the corpse, wash my hands and have a mug of hot tea on this sunny, uplifting, Spring day.

Yellowhammer taking off

Yellowhammer taking off

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

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.

Farm

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.

owl

Until next time,

Get out and shoot!

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.

http://hardairmagazine.com/features/how-it-all-began/

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!