Saturday, January 21, 2017

INTRODUCING: BADGER .375 cal

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 em....lol.

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!

Tofazfou
























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!

Tofazfou

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!

Tofazfou





Friday, December 9, 2016

Long Range Ground Squirrel Hunting-TD257 Style!

Recently, I managed to get out with a couple of local YouTube hunting buddies.  BWalton and HunterOne.  I've posted and hunted with BWalton (Baxter) before but had never met HunterOne (Toby).......TILL NOW!  On this adventure, we head to a local area in the mountains that Baxter managed to receive permission to hunt on years ago.  Toby's and I are 1st time visitors there and the farm did not disappoint.  Watching previous videos from BWalton, I had loned to shoot this property with him.  The location and property are breathtaking.
  
As usual, we start off sighting in and it didn't take very many shots to get to center.  This was a good thing as the morning temperature was roughly 34+ degrees.  California has a way of being beautiful and HOT looking when its actually cold.  After all its the desert.  After sight-in, we all pick our spots that we wanted to occupy in the field. The field is roughly 300+ yards by 600 yards.  The draw for me coming to this local is that it would offer me long distance shots.  200+ yards and further.

The action proved to constant despite the cold weather.  Ground Squirrels in California don't necessarily hibernate and will sunbath and feed year round long as the sun is out and it feel moderately warm to them.  I was having slight issues with the guns performance due to the cold weather.  My Air Rifle is custom and the tolerances are close.  Many parts of the rifle are aluminum and some are steel.  This means the gun gets either very cold (winter months) or very warm (summer months).  The orings in the breech tend to drag along the barrel when its cold.  And this was the primary issue of the morning.  With a few short and long distance practice shots, I got a feel for the performance.  The 1st squirrel was at 60 yards and I missed slightly left of the squirrels noggin.  The next shot was dead on.  Ground Squirrel 1....down!  The next GS was 139 yards away but despite my gun shooting slightly lower speeds than normal, my mil-radian scopes hash marks still hold true for 12 yards each mark.  So it was still easy figuring out which hash mark was dead on at 139 yards.  At the shot, it dropped slightly to the right of the squirrel but dead on vertically.  A minute hold left on the 2nd shot provided a square upper torso hit which DRT'd the squirrel in its hole. The gun was becoming better and the morning was starting to heat up slightly.  The next bunch of shots down range found their marks with no follow up shots necessary.  My furthest shot was well over 200 yards but unfortunately, because of the dead/brown alphalpha stalks, distances over or near 200 yards became very hard to range accurately.  So i don't have an EXACT range number but trust me, it was well over 200 yards.  Our pesting session ended on a high note with BWalton and HunterOne shooting my TD257.  BWalton was up first and made a very near miss on a GS at over 210 yards.  He gave the gun over to Hunter1 and he managed to tag a GS at a lasered 194 yards.  His response was music to my ears.  He simply said, "WOW, THAT WAS EASY".  BWalton and HunterOne were very extactic to shoot the 257 that they have heard a lot about.  It lives up to the hype.
These are only a handful of pest that we took that day.  The rifles are from left to right: HunterOne's Hatsan Carnivore .30 cal tuned by BWalton.  Another Hatsan Carnivore 30 cal that BWalton was testing for 1 of his customers.  Tofazfou's TD257.

Left to Right: HunterOne, Tofazfou, BWalton

Tofazfou YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/tofazfou/videos
BWalton YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgeuw4_-CMvgevEFLGMFSFA/videos
HunterOne YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtWPWVSfSgJR0Z_zoLfrBmQ/videos

Stay Tuned for more HPA Adventures!
Tofazfou

Sunday, November 13, 2016

This Just In!!!! Epox Badger 40 cal

Ordered this gun back in March (2016) and it finally came in the other day.  Its designed based off the Chinese QB platform so if it looks familiar, that's why.  But this is definitely no QB CO2 air-gun. Its American made 40 cal big bore muscle.  The only QB parts on this gun is the cocking handle and the trigger assembly and the wood stock.  Even the barrel band is different.  This big bore is said to make roughly 200-300 FPE but when testing starts, we will have the final numbers.   The scope she is wearing is an older model Hawke Varminter series in 6-24-44mm with mil-dots and is pretty clear.  Its what she will wear for now for glass and it the scope continues to be trouble free like it has, I see no change in the future.  Word on the streets is Dan McVey from XP airguns made this gun and this company goes by the name EPOX.  This gun was purchased from www.airgundepot.com and was a steal at $599.00.



I bought here a nice new Red and Grey dress complete with Black 3" high heels.  Richards Micro-Fit is one of my favorite places to purchase such items......lol!  Boy did i have some sanding to do.

Stay Tuned!  More to come very soon!
Tofazfou