Monday, September 11, 2017

2nd Arizona Airgun Prairie Dog hunt

Since 2014, I have been hooked on Prairie Dog shooting. That trip took me and a local buddy to Arizona.  The next year or so, I had not had the opportunity to go back.  I then hooked up with another avid airgunner from Colorado who sent out a invite.  I of course accepted and attended the Colorado Prairie Dog hunt that was sponsored by Predator International in 2016.  Fast forward to 2017, and its time to revisit Arizona and the Gunnison Prairie Dog.

On this trip, I bring out another new GUEST hunter.  The 1st year was Doug, the 2nd trip to Colorado with with Nick and this trip was with HunterOne who has a successful YouTube hunting channel (HunterOne).  Mason, my son, was also in attendance.  This trip would be new adventure for HunterOne and Mason's 2nd trip.  Mason did not score any hits on P-Dogs while he and I where in Colorado.  He actually told me that he needed this trip due to "REVENGE" because he got "SKUNKED" in Colorado.  These where HIS  Needless to say, the pressure was on and the determination levels by Mason and HunterOne were pretty high.

On this trip, 4 guns were taken by Mason and Myself.  The infamous TD257, Mason's TalonP .25 cal, the newly acquired Hatsan Galatian .25 cal and my trusty Marlin 17 HMR  The Galatian was for backup purposes just in cause one of the main intended airguns failed while on this trip.
Mason's TalonP .25 cal

My Hatsan Galatian .25 cal

My TD257 (all black rifle)

My Marlin 917v 17 HMR cal

We left California in the wee hours of the morning and arrived to our AZ locale roughly at 9am.  We promptly filled up our trucks and grabbed some ice and snacks as we knew this was going to be a long day.  What was left of it.  Our 1st destination was a local ranch.  Once there, we took a few minutes to take scenic pics.  We then sped off to a known spot and started our P-Dog hunt.  It wasn't very long until we spotted some dogs in the distance and set up on them.  HunterOne and I both ranged the dogs at 190 yards.  I break out the folding table and my TD257.  Mason grabbed his TalonP.  HunterOne took out his Hatsan Hercules .357 and his homebrewed cast slugs. HunterOne took a few shots at the P-Dog but passed off the shot to me.  I then take a few shots to get in the zone.  The 1st shot was very high and the 2nd shot was just under the Dog.  The 3rd shot found its mark and proved fatal.  It was a 190 yard headshot, ON VIDEO!  WooHoo, excitement filled the air.  After Mason and I retrieved that Prairie Dog, I told him it was his turn. 

We now head back out into the field to find Mason his 1st P-Dog.  It would end up being one at 75 yards and another at 40+ yards!  He was so stoked and his revenge had been settled.

HunterOne heads off and finds his own targets while Mason and I pair up together.  HunterOne took a couple of P-Dogs with his Hatsan Hercules.  He was also super stoked.  We all meet back at our trucks and decide its time to move to another local.  We all headed out to a different part of the ranch and found much success.  At this point, it was all about Mason and HunterOne.  Mason quickly racked up 4-5 more confirmed kills while HunterOne got a handful himself.  So did I.  We then decide to go check into our hotel and drop off our luggage and any other unnecessary items that we were not using.  And of course, we grab a bite to eat when we finish with the Hotel and decide of course to hit the fields again for the evening portion of the hunt.  Even though we had been up since 2am, the concept of being "TIRED" never struck us.  We where there to hunt and hunt is what we did.  We all score a few more Pdogs and decide that its getting late and that we should pack it up and start off bright and early the next morning.  And that's just what we did.

We rise early the next morning and decide to hit another locale.  To go scouting if you will.  Well, we wondered up on the best spot of the trip.  The area had peaks and valleys and plenty of PDogs.  Hunter one and I decide to start the morning off with the Rimfires and then use the airguns for the 2nd half of the hunt.  HunterOne brought along his trusty Marlin 60 .22 lr.  HunterOne set up in one field while Mason and I drove up the hill and over into our own area.  And man was this a great idea as it was all this territory to ourselves.  Unlike hunting in California!  I could hear HunterOne in the valley behind me lighting up PDogs with his Marlin and he later confirmed that he could also hear my 17 HMR making connections.  My longest shot on this day with the 17HMR would be 150 yards and the longest shot with my TD257 would be 182 yards.  Mason's longest shot was at 100 yards using his TalonP and it was a head shot.  1 shot, 1 kill.

All in all, the was a great P-Dog shoot and Mason got his revenge.  HunterOne got his chance to get his first ever Gunnison P-Dog.  We all had so much fun and plan on going back before long.  And when we do, I will film the 2nd installment on my video series titled "NUAH".  Which stands for "NUTTIN' UNDER A HUNERD".  Which means, all shots will be 100 plus with airguns.  As a matter of fact, I will push deep into the 200's.  See ya'll real soon!


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Airgun Review #2: KRAL Puncher Pro .25

Its time to get back to small bore pellet shooters.  Well, at lest .177-.20-.22 and .25 calibers.  I've been missing them.  And what better time than now because my big bore collection is at a reasonable caliber capacity as you can see from my last blog post.


For a few months, I've been contemplating a few airguns including the MROD and a host of others.  When the Krals came out, I gave them thought also but just wasn't sure.  The 1st generation of Puncher Breakers only looked OK to me.  Shortly after their release, I got a glimpse of the PRO series which has a much sharper stock shape and IMO, beautiful lines too.  There are a few more new ones on the way out which really have my interest peaked.  My goal is to also buy another PCP in .177 at a later time but not sure which gun I will choose for that task.  But right now, the KRAL's are looking good.  Let's HOPE THAT DOESN'T CHANGE!


Thanks for watching and STAY TUNED!


Saturday, January 21, 2017


My newly customized .375 cal Epox Badger is mostly finished as of today.  I say mostly because I still have some power tuning to do but this will be done over time as I shoot the gun more and more.  So without further hesitation, here she is:

The gun started life as the EPOX BADGER 40 cal:

.375 cal. WHY?: Many will ask this question and its no secret or magic theory behind it.  But here are the reasons.  #1, the caliber in the airgun world is unique and or different.  I love "UNIQUE" and I love "DIFFERENT".  No current manufacturer makes this caliber in their big bore airgun line except DAQ (not even sure if he still offers it).  A long time ago, I fell in love with the .375 cal that came from Dennis Quackenbush (DAQ) and I've always wanted to own one.  They were hard to get and it still seems impossible to get on his list.  But anyways, I said my next big bore would be a custom .375 cal since I can't get a DAQ. Then along came EPOX BADGER.  The price point and timing were just right.  #2, since I live in California and can't hunt but coyote as my biggest game, there is no need for 45 or 50 caliber IMO.  I have owned 50 cals, 45 cal and 357 cals and the 50's and 45's slung too much weight for my use and the 357 cal seemed just about right. The .375 cal is also more of a rifle round and would provide much heavier and longer bullets than 357 cal for more downrange punch and penetration.  #3, proper barrels with twist rates where readily available from TJ Enterprises Barrel Liners which are proven.  The .375 is known as an accurate round.  #4, plus, being a caster, the 50's and 45 cals use too much lead when casting as is more efficient in this regard. #5, I already own a 257 cal and 7mm airgun that made more power than available .357's.  So the .375 was the next logical choice as it will provide 350-400 FPE.  So this gun will become my medium to big game hunting gun.  A niche my 357 could not fill.  So there you readers go, those are my reasons and I'm sticking to

THE PARTS, THE WORK, THE MACHINING: As stated earlier, the gun started life as the Epox Badger 40 cal.  From its beggining, I already knew how I wanted the gun to look and how I wanted it to perform (of course caliber too).  1st purchase would be a Richards Microfit laminated stock to add a little weight and style to the rifle.  2nd purchase was a TJ Enterprises .375 cal barrel liner at 30" and 39/64" O.D.  3rd, I did not need a scope as I have a few that have no homes. I installed a older model Hawke Varminter 6-24-44 with Mil-dots.  4th, for reaching out near and far, I bought a set of Burris Signature High Mount rings with 20 MOA inserts. 5th, I bought a 3' section of Carbon Fiber tubing to epoxy onto the TJ barrel.

To machine/fabricate the parts, I acquired the services of my machinist Doug Noble and RJ Porter.  Doug machined the TJ barrel to exact tolerances to properly fit the Epox breech.  The finished barrel is 28.5" long.  RJ Porter custom made me a barrel band to install onto the new TJ barrel complete with epoxied CF tube and he also fabricated me a new hammer and cocking pin made of hardened steel.  The OEM barrel band will be used with the 40 cal barrel.  Yes the gun will be dual caliber.

One of the issues RJ, Doug and I found was that the hammer cocking pin was not only bent backwards but was hitting the underside of the bolt probe.  Doug made me a stronger cocking pin and I have since dremmeled out the underside of the bolt probe.

One of the task I completed was to aluminum pillar bed my action. Since my action was to be aluminum pillar bedded at the rear, I had a grand idea to pillar bed the air-tube at the front.  This is something that has never been done by a big bore airgun manufacturer and because I want extreme accuracy, this was the most logical idea I could come up with.  The idea was presented to Doug and he made me a reverse barrel band.  I think you guys get the concept here and there are a few different ways to accomplish this.

Next up was to work the QB trigger assembly that comes on the gun.  I am pretty familiar with these type triggers and while the are only single stage, they can be made lighter and smoother.  In comes Mr Dremel, Mr Spring (lighter 1's) and Mr Trigger Pull Gauge.  It didn't take me long to get the trigger down from 3lbs to 14.5 ounces and a lot smoother pull cycle.

ACCURACY/POWER/FPE:  Right now, the gun is still making a little bit more power in .375 as it did in .40 cal.  350 FPE now and about 320-325 in 40 caliber.  I'm still working on the tune.  Thats pushing a 40 cal-180 gr slugs at 885 FPS and 215 gr slugs in .375 cal at 850'ish.  But the gun is deadly accurate in both calibers.  It's holding MOA in 40 caliber at 100 yards and SUB 1/2" MOA at 100 in .375 cal.

GOAL:  Simply put, this gun will be the most accurate big bore out there.  It is a HUNTER and a TARGET shooter.  WHY?  Because you can have both and it doesn't have to cost $2000.oo.  One just has to put on their thinking cap like I did.  Forget high power claims, too many manufacturers are reaching for this with claims of 700-1000 FPE.  Well, you can have those numbers because with that power, you now have 1 shot guns that have no accuracy.  And ACCURACY is what has been forgotten.

I soon wait to see manufacturers/folks copy my ideas and give me no credit.  At least apply some lube ;)

Stay Tuned!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

THIS JUST IN.............357 caliber Predator PolyMags

Not much info on these yet except the weight (on the can lid) and that they have hit the US shores and have been distributed to Airgun Depot and Pyramid Air.  I checked both website and they have yet to post them for sale but with this being the Holidays, I would expect them to go on sale here shortly.  So as of now, all I have of pics of my test samples:

l to r: .22 cal Predator MetalMag, .25 cal Predator PolyMag, .357 cal Predator PolyMag

Stay tuned for field test results here soon!


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Epox Badger RMF stock....The Beginning

Ok, so RMF, what does it mean?  RMF stands for Richards MicroFit gunstocks.  The have an awesome collection of laminate stocks.  From Rifles to shotguns.  From blanks to ones for select rifles.  And in all sorts of colors and styles.  So when I purchased the Epox Badger 40 cal, it was automatic that I would buy a RMF gun stock.  Not just because I like RMF but also because I mod everything I own.  Another reason I chose RMF is because they offer any color/style stock the make for QB actioned guns.  And the Badger is one such Air Rifle.  Its based off of the QB action.  Here is a quote right from the webpage showing what they are all about:
"Richards Microfit Stocks, Inc.
Semi-Custom Gunstocks Since 1948
Gunstocks for Over 100 Bolt Actions, Air Rifles, & Muzzleloaders in 25 Different Sporter, Standard & Target Stock Designs!
20 Laminated Colors & 8 Grades of 7 Different Species of Hardwoods! 
Our Gunstocks are Custom Made.... You Choose the Style, Wood Type & Action Inlet
FREE Rosewood Tip & Cap Installed on Sporter Stock Styles"

The Epox Badger 40 cal:

After sorting through many pages, I decided to go with the WOLVERINE style and the IMPERIAL color scheme.  Complete with Rose Wood end caps on both the pistol grip and the for-end.  The one thing about ordering a stock for the QB action is that RMF cuts off the fore end rosewood end cap which makes the stock overall length shorter.  You don't want this as the Big Bore conversions based off the QB action tend to be much longer than an actual QB airgun itself.  So IMO, it makes the gun look a little weird.  So with this order, I made sure I enforced the "do not cut off the endcap" rule.  And RMF complied.

The RMF stock (in the raw):

 The RMF stocks come to you unfinished bye the way so you can either do it yourself or send it off to your favorite gunsmith.  I choose to tackle mine myself and also add a Morgan Butt Pad.  I'm not going to get into "how to finish a gun stock" but here is the final SANDED gun stock ready for coats of preferred finish:

So as you can see, the stock project is coming along quite nicely and will be done very soon.  More update on this project coming soon so make sure your in the know!