Sportsman Gun Centre Blog

  • Bramble Bashers Charity Clay Shoot

    Bramble Bashers Charity Clay Shoot

    This May bank holiday weekend sees the return of the famous Bramble Bashers charity clay shoot in Ashcombe, Devon. The Sportsman Gun Centre are, once again, proud to be supporting the event by supplying prizes.

    The Ashcombe Village Hall field hosts several fiendishly difficult traps with competitors shooting a total of 50 clays, with prizes being awarded for individuals and teams. Prizes are available for top individual shot, best team, best lady gun and best young gun.

    All proceeds will be distributed among local charities.

     

    Details

    Date – Sat 5th May 2018
    Entry Time – 10am-4pm
    Location – Ashcombe Village Hall – EX70QD
    Contact – 01626862153/07908190770

     

    Traps loaned by Ashcombe Adventure Centre
    Refreshments available

  • ATA ARMS- A History of Innovation

    ATA ARMS have been producing innovative guns now for over 60 years. Their founder Celal Yollu, produced his first single barrel shotgun in 1955 and their first side-by-side in 1967. By 1973 ATA had released their first over-under shotgun, a gun which is still an ATA icon to this day.

    In 1992 ATA released their first semi-automatic shotgun, not only THEIR first, but the FIRST semi-auto ever produced in Turkey. Among other developments, they spent the next 21 years perfecting their over-under and semi-auto models.

    In 2013 they released their flagship semi-auto, the VENZA. The VENZA has a patented automatic gas pressure control system (GPCS) and moving barrel to reduce recoil and increase accuracy in serial shots. It feels like shooting a light load cartridge when shooting much heavier loads. It comes with a Grade 2 Turkish Walnut stock with a matte finish and is available in Fonex, camo and carbon options.

     

     

     

     


    VENZA features

    • Larger Gas Release Valves
      • Allowing gas to escape faster when firing heavy loads
    • Moving Barrel
      • When firing heavy loads the barrel recoils and opens the gas valves to reduce pressure from the forend, side vents and cap holes, this reduces overall recoil and minimises muzzle jump, which in turn increases accuracy
    • Bolt System
      • The breech bolt is machined from top grade alloy steel and is hard chrome plated to reduce friction and increase corrosion resistance
    • Receiver
      • Constructed from aircraft grade aluminium alloy to reduce overall weight
      • It is specially designed to provide a clear sight picture for accurate shooting
    • Choke System
      • 70mm choke tubes for a stronger pattern
    • Trigger System
      • Minimum travel for precise shooting
      • Easily removed for cleaning, simply remove one retaining pin
      • Safety button can be reversed making the VENZA suitable for both left and right-handed shooters

    The ATA VENZA and other ATA shotguns are available on our website.

  • Daystate announce the Red Wolf and limmited edition Serie Rosso PCP air rifles

    Of all the news and announcements to come from this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV, we think one of the most exciting came from UK Air Gun manufacturer, Daystate.

    Daystate officially unveiled its eye-catching Red Wolf pre-charged pneumatic air rifle. It’s a hi-tech multi-shot, based on the electronic action developed from the company’s flagship Pulsar.

    The Red Wolf launched with a connoisseur’s special edition model; the Serie Rosso. It is limited to just 200 worldwide, with each rifle individually numbered and issued with a factory Certificate. Presented in a hard case, the £2,499 Serie Rosso boasts a stunning red laminate sporter stock with fully-adjustable cheek and butt-pad, and specially engraved breech available in .177 and .22 calibres.

    The Red Wolf standard edition model is also dressed in coloured laminate – grey with red accents – with a walnut option, and both offer similar stock adjustments. Priced between £1,799 and £1,949 with carbon-fibre and steel bottle options, other common features are a digitally-regulated electronic action (with user-programmable shooting modes) and side lever cocking that auto-indexes Daystate’s time-proven rotary magazine. It’s available in .177, .22, .25 and .303 calibres, with power outputs from sub 12 to 70 ft/lbs.

    The Sportsman Gun Centre will be getting a small number of the limited edition Serie Rosso rifles, as well as stock of the Red Wolf standard edition in the coming weeks, check the website for more details.

  • Target Sports - A Female Perspective

    Most of you will know me as the Receptionist here at the Sportsman Sportsman Gun Centre in Exeter. What none of you will know about me is that I have actually been shooting since I was 12 years old. A lot of people are surprised when they hear this about me, especially when I was younger because it wasn’t exactly a hobby my classmates were interested in. I wish I had an impressive story to tell you about how I became interested in shooting but to be honest it’s more of a funny coincidence than anything.

    When I was 11 years old my family were camping in Cornwall, at the holiday park we stayed in there was a shooting game. I thought this game was brilliant! You had to shoot at different targets with a rusty old air rifle and when you hit them a character from the game would spring into action and squirt water at everyone. The devil child in me loved it much to my older brothers’ annoyance, the day we discovered this game we went back to our parents who wondered what on earth had happened as he was soaked and I was bone dry. When my brother explained the game to them they didn’t believe a word of it, they thought he had just fallen in the pool and was trying to get his sister trouble. My brother then made them come and watch me and it wasn’t until my parents were soaked from head to toe that they realised I hadn’t missed once. Luckily for me, I have an uncle who is a member of my local Rifle Club, after we came home from our holiday I started begging him to take me with him. When I turned 12 I became the youngest member of that rifle club, 12 years later I am still an active member and Range Officer.

    I almost feel like I’ve grown up around rifle ranges, shooting is such a big part of my life. This doesn’t mean I’ve not had my share of controversy. I will always remember my first competition where turning targets were involved. One of the gentlemen I was besides on the range made a rather snide comment and asked if I could actually use my own gun because it looked heavy. The stubborn 12-year-old me thought I would show him. With turning targets they will face you for five seconds, you shoot once, they turn away for three seconds before they turn back to face you. Not for me, the stubborn devil child managed to shoot all five rounds of ammo in the first five seconds then I went and sat down. At the end of the round, the range officer asked if everything was okay, the gentleman who had made the previous comment had a bit of a smug look on his face until I said: “yeah I just finished”. That round I scored 50/50, something I’ve never done again. This is now a story I hear every time I go back into that club and the gentlemen there haven’t underestimated young female shooters since.

    Over the last 12 years, rifle shooting has been my main hobby. I have taken part in many competitions in and around Devon, some I even came away winning. I always take part in the Summer and Winter Leagues with my club. I was also a Sea Cadet so I did a lot of competitions for them when I was younger. I mainly shoot .22 LR but have recently been trying my hand with Air Pistols just for a change, I’ve taken part in Prone shoots in the past but I’ve always been more of a Sporting girl. I’ve been using the same Ruger 10/22 Target Rifle for about 8 years now and I have no immediate plans to change, I’ve become stubborn in my ways.

    It’s no secret that shooting is largely a male-dominated sport. My belief is if I can challenge that perception from the age of 12 then others can too. It is an interesting and very diverse sport, anyone can give it a go! There is a Devon lady I have unfortunately never met but whom I do look up to as she shoots even though she is registered blind. It is an amazing and surprisingly accessible sport that I wish more people would consider looking into if they wanted to try something a bit different.

  • The Sportsman Gun Centre Perazzi Open Day

    The 15th of December 2017 will see something extra special happening at The Sportsman Gun Centre store in Exeter. We will be inviting Perazzi representative Philip Unwin to help host our first Perazzi Open Day.

    Perazzi manufacture high-grade precision shotguns in Brescia Italy. They create a wide variety of shotguns, including models for hunting and competition, ranging from standard to deluxe models. As well as their superior quality, Perazzi uniquely offer the option of a fully bespoke product. They allow you to choose the model, engraving and even the wood for the stock. The bespoke Perazzi experience can even include a tour of their factory in Italy.

    At Sportsman Gun Centre we understand, that although you probably would really like to, not everyone can take a trip to Italy to experience the full bespoke experience from Perazzi, so we brought it to our Exeter store for a special, one day only, open day.

    We will be joined by Philip Unwin from Perazzi’s UK importers. On the day both Perazzi representatives and the Sportsmans will be offering gun fitting and advice for your custom Perazzi order. We will also be displaying our vast range of Perazzi guns from standard MX12’s, through to SCO Extra models.

    The Open Day will be running through the usual store hours, from 9:30 am to 5 pm.

    Where
    The Sportsman Gun Centre
    19 Apple Lane
    Trade City
    Exeter
    EX2 5GL

    When
    9:30 – 17:00 - 15/12/2017

  • Sportsman Gun Centre Open Day & Black Friday Event

    Something big is happening on Friday 24th November 2017.

    It’s that time of year again where shops and online retailers across the country drop their prices for Black Friday. As well as some huge reductions across our products we are also hosting one of our legendary open days.

    At 10 am we will be opening our doors (and some of our warehouse) to visitors for a shooting based extravaganza! We will be joined by representatives from some industry-leading brands, BASC advisors, trophy head measurers and even a shooting simulator!

    We will also have over 1000 of our guns on display, many of which will be included in our huge discounts and offers.

    Here is a list of representatives and activities available on the day.

    Reps:

    • Pulsar
    • Swarovski
    • Weatherby
    • Strasser
    • Revo
    • Browning
    • Nightforce
    • Yukon
    • ATA Arms
    • Kofs
    • LightFORCE
    • Steyr Mannlicher
    • Accuracy International
    • Boyds

    Advice and activities:

    • BASC advisors
    • Shooting simulator
    • Trophy head measuring

     

    Some more details:

    Where
    The Sportsman Gun Centre, 19 Apple Lane, Trade City, Exeter, EX2 5GL

    When
    24/11/17 – 10am-8pm

  • Lightforce Wins a SEMA Diesel Tech Magazine Show Stopper Award

    At The Sportsman Gun Centre we are proud to distribute LightForce products, so naturally we were exceptionally proud to hear that LightForce won a SEMA Diesel Tech Magazine Show Stopper Award!
    Check out the announcement from the LightForce team below:

    Lightforce Wins a SEMA Diesel Tech Magazine Show Stopper Award
    Each year at SEMA Show in Las Vegas USA, Diesel Tech Magazine reports on new products, designs and industry breaking news to help keep their audience up-to-date with what's happening in the auto industry.
    Recently, Diesel Tech Magazine decided to take things up a notch and began awarding trophies to just five of the best Show Stoppers out of thousands of exhibitors.
    Lightforce is proud to accept one of the 5 trophies awarded at SEMA Show 2017.

    This award is in recognition of our Genesis LED 210mm Driving Light which was designed, tested and manufactured right here in South Australia. This award validates our passion for the design and manufacture of high performance lighting systems. We aim to push the limits with every product we bring to market and it's satisfying to see this recognised by others in the industry.

    Our focus will always be on building lights that are effectively “tools not toys” and that serve those who value performance, innovation and design. Thanks to Justin Waters and Brian Gearhart, our guys at SEMA! Brian will soon be featured in a video for Diesel Tech Magazine Facebook Page.

    For regular updates on LightForce and the other amazing products we distribute you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

  • Beretta White Onyx

    Beretta are known the world over for quality, accuracy and a touch of luxury. With shotguns reaching costs as high as £165,000 you would be forgiven for thinking that Beretta is not a brand for everyone’s budget, but you would be wrong.

    Beretta has a range of much more budget-friendly guns such as the 680 range. This range features models such as the Onyx, White Onyx and the Silver Pigeon 1 which are a favourite of sports shooters and wildfowlers alike!

    The White Onyx is a striking over-under shotgun built around an action that has become an unrivalled benchmark for over-unders. It features a dual locking-lug system that ensures both strength and sleekness: the dual lugs in the middle of the action dispense with the need of a cross-bolt on top, thus enabling the receiver to be thin and low-profile. The point of balance is right at the hinge-pin, meaning that this Beretta shotgun will shoulder and point better than other brands costing several times as much.

    Sometimes, you don’t need extra embellishing to bring out beauty. The 686 action is a perfect example of this. With its trim proportions and its lines, with its flawless contour and harmonious geometry, you get a sense of form following function, resulting in a truly classical object. Add to this the rest of the shotgun--with its components in harmonious proportion with one-another--and you see why the 680 line of sporting guns has become something highly prized in the gun-cabinet of the most discriminating collectors. Put another way: the 686 White Onyx Sporting is something you can brag about even when you are not shooting it.

    The White Onyx comes with barrels equipped with the Optimabore/Optimachoke system, to let you easily swap choke tubes to match the type of shooting you intend to do. Also, the cold-hammer forged tubes are super-resistant and with withstand any kind of shell you put through them. The single selective trigger further enables you to put two different chokes on the barrels, thereby tailoring each shot to the intended distance and purpose. Lastly, the 686 White Onyx is extremely easy to maintain, since Beretta has constructed it of highly-durable materials designed to last for generations.

    The White Onyx is available with a 30” barrel in 12 gauge Field and Sports specifications and with a 28” barrel in 20 gauge Field specification.

  • Le Chameau – The Rolls Royce of the wellington world

    Le Chameau has been producing exceptional quality handmade wellington boots since the company was founded in 1927. Originally called Monsieur Chamot, after the creator, it was renamed to Le Chameau (French for ‘The Camel’) when the production was moved to Morocco in 1949.

    Over the years, Le Chameau boots have been recognised for their quality and exclusivity, even recently by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. They have been a staple for hunters, country folk and farmers alike due to their comfort, grip, longevity and build quality.

    We thought we would take a closer look at their two most popular Wellington boots; The Chasseur and The Vierznord.

    The Chasseur

    One of Le Chameau’s more pricy wellingtons, the Chasseur is first and foremost a comfortable, warm, waterproof wellington boot. This model is one of their premium range and as such is priced to match at £254.99 from The Sportsman Gun Centre.

    £254.99 may seem like a crazy amount for a wellington boot, but if you spend long days in the field, in the wind, rain and even snow, then you want your feet to be warm, dry and blister free. Enter the Chasseur.

    I must admit, I was sceptical, but after wearing a pair of Chasseur boots daily for a week this summer on a VERY wet, cold and muddy camping trip, my feet were the happiest they have ever been. The highlight of the Chasseur for me, though, was the side zip. While my friends were scrambling around trying to pull off slip on wellingtons, I would simply unzip and walk into my tent.

    The Chasseur Neo is a variation of the model that comes with a neoprene lining on the inside. These are great for the colder months. Neoprene, the material diver’s wetsuits are made from, is exceptional at retaining heat so for winter use, these boots are more than up to the challenge.

    The Vierznord

    The Vierznord is kind of the Chasseur’s little brother, although, only in terms of price and lacking a side zip! Much like the Chasseur, the Vierznord is comfortable, durable, warm and waterproof. In place of a side zip, they feature an adjustable waterproof gusset which can be adjusted using a quick release strap.

    At £148.99 the Vierznord are actually quite affordable, particularly in comparison to the Chasseur. This is perfect for people who are looking for a premium product but don’t want to break the bank!

    The lack of side zip may be a bit of a drawback, but the generous wide calf offered by the boot aids in removal, even when wet or muddy.

    The Vierznord is lined with neoprene which means it can get quite warm. The temperature rating for this boot is from 0c to -20c which makes it perfect for UK winters.

     

    What about accessories?

    You may have the best wellington boots in the world, but your experience can be made or broken by the accessories you use.

    Socks

    Socks are almost as important as the boots themselves. They help distribute moisture, prevent rubbing, add an extra layer of insulation and even help reduce that ‘old boot smell’. A bad pair of socks can make even the best boots uncomfortable so it’s important to get it right. As a rule, we at Sportsman recommend wool or wool blend socks. The natural material is great for insulation but is also very breathable and distributes moisture very well.

    We love Pennine socks for wearing with wellington boots; they are also available in a variety of colours and styles. Check them out on our online shop or in store.

    Boot Jacks

    So you’ve got a pair of slip on wellington boots and you love them but they are a pain to get off at the end of the day? Check out boot jacks. Boot jacks dramatically improve the ease of removing slip-on boots, even when wet and covered in mud.

    We recommend the Le Chameau boot jacks which are also available on our online shop as well as in store.

  • Restocking with Boyds Hard Wood Stocks

    When most people think of aftermarket gun stocks, they think of Boyds. Since 1981 Boyds have been producing quality hardwood gun stocks for some of the world’s most popular rifles.

    Here’s Boyds in their own words:

     “At Boyds we use only top-grade hardwoods, because a hardwood stock performs! Every stock is dried to exacting specifications to ensure rigidity and stability, then sealed with chemical-resistant finishes for long-lasting durability and performance in all weather conditions.

    Boyds stocks are engineered to perfectly fit the gun. They’re tight where they need to be tight, loose where they need to be loose for superior performance and improved accuracy you can measure.”

    With this ‘perfect fit’ in mind, we sent one of the team to have a go at restocking everyone’s favourite .22LR, the Ruger 10/22.

     

    Restocking

    I would like to state that I am not a DIYer, I am not the kind of guy who has a shed full of tools and I don’t know how to rewire a plug, so when I was asked to restock a gun, I must admit, I was a tiny bit concerned.

    Ruger 10/22 before restocking Ruger 10/22 before restocking

    I was given a Ruger 10/22 and went to look at our Boyds selection to choose the stock to work with. At first, I was blinded by how many stock designs were available for the Ruger and the range of colours for each of those designs.

    I chose the Boyds Evolution Thumbhole laminate stock in Black Olive (light wood grain with green), although I came very close to choosing the same stock in Black Jack (pink and grey).

    With a little guidance, I got started. Although we NEVER keep guns loaded I did check thoroughly first. Giving it the all clear I started by removing the barrel band with a flat head screwdriver, I loosened it a little and slid it off and over the barrel.

    Ruger 10/22 barrel band before removal Ruger 10/22 barrel band before removal

    I was surprised to see that after the band I only had one screw to remove; the takedown screw. This is located on the bottom of the stock, just in front of where the magazine would sit. After removing this screw I gently lifted the front of the barrel and started to lift the stock away. The safety button got caught on the stock so I had to position it halfway between on and off and then it lifted off very easily. I put the old stock to the side and grabbed the Boyds.

    Removing the action from the Ruger 10/22 Removing the action from the Ruger 10/22
    Ruger 10/22 action with Boyd evolution stock Ruger 10/22 action with Boyd evolution stock

    The next steps were basically a reverse of the steps above. I placed the receiver and barrel into the Boyds stock, receiver end first. There is a notch in the receiver that lines up perfectly with a notch in the stock, once I was happy with its position I gently pushed the barrel down, holding the receiver in place with my other hand. It was a tight fit but this gave me some confidence in the quality of the stock.

    Turning the gun over, I replaced the takedown screw and tightened it. As the Evolution stocks don’t make contact with the fore end of the barrel, this was the only screw to replace, completing the stock replacement.

    Ruger 10/22 with Boyds Evolution stock Ruger 10/22 with Boyds Evolution stock

     

    Final Thoughts

    I can’t get over how easy it is to replace the stock on a Ruger 10/22 with a Boyds stock. Admittedly, this is down to the gun as much as it is the stock but restocking with Boyds is so easy and affordable that anyone could do it.

    I had used this rifle with its original stock at a range and was generally happy with it, but after switching to the Boyds stock I’m not sure I could go back. The Evolution is light, comfortable, ergonomically perfect (for me) and looks amazing. I was able to shoot for longer due to it’s lightweight and I found my scores even improved! I put the score improvement down to the comfort of the stock.

    This stock not only improved the aesthetics of the Ruger but also improved its performance and comfort and with such an easy change this makes Boyds stocks a very accessible upgrade to your rifle of choice. You can find our whole range of Boyds stocks on the Sportsman Website.

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