As many of you know who have followed my scribbles over the last 28 years or so, know I love to use air rifles the most, although I use every caliber of gun there is from center fire and rim fire rifles to shotguns of all calibers and including sub 12ftlb air rifles and FAC air rifles.
Now over the years I have tried so many great air rifles from all sorts of manufacturers each and every one of them have a special place in my gun room, but since 1989 there is one manufacturer that has a special place in my heart, of course it’s the awesome Air Arms air rifle company an English company, I might add. The gun that first captured my eye and my heart was the Air Arms Camargue a spring side lever powered air rifle that was as sweet on the eye as it was to hold and as deadly as a rattle snake with her strike, thus began my love for all things Air Arms well the guns that is.
Like I say the Camargue captured my eye and my heart and my imagination, I have written about that sweet little feisty lady, many times both in my articles and my best selling hunting books. The books tell of tales of me waging a momentous war on my local vermin population (available from www.theoutpostshop.co.uk) so go buy some of my books and help our future generations as all the money from the books go to Pass it On Young Sports (www.pass-it-on-young-sports.org.uk) and thus we help continue the field sports what we love.
Now moving on through the years I have tried them all and found that my absolute favorite air rifle is the Air Arms S410, a classic looking rifle that mounts in my arms as sweet and elegant as Elizabeth (the farmer’s daughter from my first book) who is as tough as Jack Russel terrier but as elegant as a swan, she has a beautiful bolt action cocking mechanism a nice indexing mag and is now my main lady out waging war on the vermin hoards.
I have been most fortunate to have gained Air Arms as a sponsor for my work I do with the young sports organization that is Pass It On |Young Sports, so when they sent me a new rifle to review and to use with the young sports I was just a little bit more than excited I was like a kid at Christmas waiting for the delivery driver to come.
So what air rifle have they sent you I can hear you ask, well they sent me the amazing Air Arms TDR (take down rifle) in a lovely hard case style case that looked like a lap top bag as young sport Jake said, it has two nice shoulder carry straps a handle and the Air Arms logo on the front with a good strong quality zip around the outside, on the inside its molded perfectly for the disassembled air rifle to fit in with a scope attached so once zeroed you won’t have to keep re zeroing.
The rifle itself is very easy to assemble straight from the case, first you add the stock to the action by lining up three guide pins tight tighten a wheel up and bobs your uncle the stock is fitted, the moderator just pop over the grooved section on the barrel tighten the hand held grub screw, no tools needed and there you have it a fully functional ready assembled target or hunting air rifle, that will hold zero no problem to the scope you already have fitted, you are now ready to go hit those targets or go out hunting, I couple all my air rifles with the best pellet in my opinion and that’s the Air Arms Field Diablo in either 177 or .22 caliber depending on what caliber air rifle I am using at the time, those pellets are deadly accurate and do what they say on the tin and drop your quarry cleanly and humanly every time.
Fitting the scope and zeroing in on that first night, well I can hear you all gasp zero an air rifle at night, yes I sure did with young sport Jake holding the lamp for me, I had the gun zeroed shooting a 5p grouping at 25 yards before I had even finished the first magazine, and she is still bang on target now, just last night I shot over 40+ rats with her using the awesome NiteSite Eagle RTEC but more on that a little down the line in a future blog, you see this is not going to be a one off article this is going to be a story a tale as it were all about this rifle and the adventures we get up to, so brace yourself as this will be one hell of a ride and fingers crossed I can inspire some young sports and pass along some knowledge to help you my fellow countrymen in your air rifle hunting etc.
Well like I say I had this sweet little gun zeroed before the first magazine needed re loading, seeing Jake’s excitement and knowing full well he wanted to have a go on the TDR I loaded the mag and said here you boy your turn before you burst with excitement, if you see the video and pics attached to this blog mere words just don’t do his smile justice as he was like a Cheshire Cat, I must admit I was too as she was quite simply a sweetheart to shoot and I could not wait to get out verminating with her, Both Jake and I had a lot of fun that night trying to out shoot each other with the TDR.
The following night my ole mucker Nik and his 2 boys Robin and Alec came all the way a 3 hour drive to spend a few days with me sorting some vermin jobs out, the boys were with Nik as it was the school holidays or he would have been on his own, Both the boys were armed with Air Arms S200s and off we went to deal with a rat job on a VIP venue were the rats had moved into the dung heap, Jake joined us too and wanted to use the TDR v the S200s game on boys young sports go head to head on some scaly tailed ratticuss, I was lamp man and poor old Nik well he was placed as tea boy keep the kettle brewing son the lamp man needs his cuppa.
So here we are 3 boys all armed with Air Arms rifles a Mk2 S200 in 177 a Mk3 S200 in .22 and a new TDR in .22, we set up a fencing railing to rest on so the boys could take a steady aim on went the lamp with the red filter and they took it in turns to shoot, the muck heap was alive with rats it looked like it was literally crawling with them almost as if the muck heap was moving with maggots, shot after shot rang out with a whisper from the Huggett Moderators on the S200s and the Air Arms one on the TDR, as rat after rat fell to the young sports the more excited the boys got ribbing each other for missing etc.
We stopped at around 60 rats as it was almost 1am in the morning and Nik and I were tired out the boys however were as fresh as daisies and wanted to carry on until the last rat fell, but I don’t think we had enough pellets or air in the divers bottle for that as it was only full and had 5 tins of pellets, so we talked the boys into calling it a night and we will come back another night.
Well for the first blog about the TDR I can’t say high enough what a cracking air rifle, well done Air Arms you have done a cracking job and I am so looking forward to hunting this winter with this great little gun on various small vermin especially a squirrel job I have coming up in a forestry plantation, until the next blog I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing this and remembering the amazing adventures I am having with this amazing little air rifle.
By The Ole Hedge Creeper