SGC Buying Guides

  • BOG Death Grip Tripods

    By Chris Parkin

    The BOG’s Death Grip tripods are available in aluminium and weight saving carbon fibre variants but are otherwise functionally identical. Starting out at the patented clamp, the rifle is held securely in a 115mm long saddle, with rubber lined walls 50mm high. The easily gripped 80mm triangular side handle clamps forends of width from 30 to 70mm, with firm rubber fins applying satisfactory grip without requiring excessive compression that might distort lighter synthetic rifle forends.

    An identical handle on the opposing side controls elevation/tilting tension to suit your rifle’s weight and balance point. Below, there is a 360-degree rotating axis to locate and track targets which can be locked in position by a 20mm handle if required after a bubble level helps align the intrinsically stable tripod on uneven ground by adjusting the leg length. Each of the three-segment telescopic legs in either carbon fibre or aluminium extends from 610 to 1515mm with independently tension adjustable locking levers. Both materials offer equally stiff support throughout descending diameter 35/31.3/28.4mm segments. A neoprene grip surrounds one of the legs for the off-gun hand. Each leg has a red, three-position aluminium locking stud traversing adjacent to the pivot axis, enabling 20-, 45- or 85-degree opening angle of the legs to further control height and span, especially helpful for working around obstructions on an uneven surface. This is a solid locking function and only needs the slightest of weight reduction on the particular leg to operate this latching mechanism, rather than having to fold legs inward slightly in this situation as some tripods require.

    Set at 20 degrees with full extension, the rifle clamp stands 1480mm from the ground, in contrast at 85 degrees and fully compressed, it’s just 220mm from the ground. That range covers any position from standing to prone as well as personal height variation and uneven ground or supporting surface or from kneeling and seated positions! Each foot offers a steel spike for extra grip on loose surfaces, the surrounding rubber spins anticlockwise to extend beyond the spike for grip on hard or easily damaged surfaces. A single rubber strap wraps around all three legs for transport minimising any noise when folded and all junctions can be individually tension adjusted, including the bearing supported rotating axis.

    The inherent grip of the rubber coated jaws prevents the need for excessive clamping force on the rifle forend which can tilt 45 degrees up or down. I didn’t miss a ball type head as when shooting in ambush situations for long periods (when shooting tripods seem of the greatest benefit), there is time to set up and level the head and rotating axis anyway. The independent axes also allow a compact format with less separation of the rifle’s mass from pivot location, aiding stability on this rifle specific, rather than photography derived head. Weight of the aluminium version is 3.9kg/8.6lbs, the carbon 3.6/7.9lbs with the latter also remaining slightly quieter if bumped and less thermally conductive in contact with skin in cold conditions.

    Price

    Aluminium £196.34

    Carbon Fibre £326.39

  • Elements Optics Helix 6-24x50 FFP, APR-2D MRAD

    By Chris Parkin

    It’s great to see Element Optics offering first as well as second focal plane riflescopes at most market price points to assure users of getting exactly the functionality they require. The Helix is just such a scope, with a smooth matt finish 30mm hard anodised maintube. The Helix is available in both Minute of Angle (M.O.A.) or Milliradian (MRAD) specification using corresponding reticle matching turret click values exactly, regardless of magnification setting. The turrets are particularly nice in that they are Tool-Free, once zeroed you can unscrew the cap on elevation and windage with just fingertips to remove the outer engraved marking dial and return it in position donating your exact zero. You will require a small, supplied Allen key to set up the zero-stop but this is fully visible, hence simply logical to set without any confusion or major disassembly. The turret’s column shows a vernier scale to indicate which overall elevation region you are dialled into with 18.9 MRAD or 65 MOA available overall depending on which model/units you choose. The Helix also includes a removable throw lever to aid speedy magnification change as well as a sunshade, lens cleaning cloth and rubber lens covers as well as flip up lens covers to suit preference. All lenses are fully multicoated with waterproof and shockproof assurance from the Platinum Lifetime Warranty. Nitrogen purging prevents internal fogging.

    Side parallax is adjustable from 10 Yards to infinity making this scope applicable to shorter range rimfire and airguns with full use of all reticle options at any magnification setting, not just for centrefires at long range. All controls move smoothly with a crisp reticle picture available from the fast focus eyepiece, featuring excellent knurling to match that of the magnification collar and mechanical turrets, assuring grip without excessive abrasion with fingertips or gloved hands. Importantly, all mechanical features work exactly as described with crisp etched reticle easy to hold position on target or aim off quickly and precisely compensating for external variables. Eye relief of 94-101mm with plentiful mounting space will adapt to the physical proportions of most rifles making this an ideal scope for use throughout any shooting lifestyle as your needs progress along with engagement ranges where 6-24x magnification can be moderated for most scenarios and target types. Allied with a bright overall image from the 50mm objective, the dots and lines of the reticle remain ideally proportioned even though varying as magnification alters with all detail laid out and explained clearly in the user manual.

    Conclusion

    A great riflescope producing exactly what it advertises in a well-made package adaptable to most rifle users, Excellent warranty as well!

    Price

    £429.99

    Specifications

    Magnification Range 6-24x
    Tube Diameter 30mm
    Objective Lens Diameter 50mm
    Exit Pupil 9.1-2.2mm
    Eye Relief 3.7 – 4 Inches
    Field Of View @100yds: 18.3-4.6 Ft
    Click Value 1/4 Moa (15 Moa / Rev) 1/10 Mrad (6 Mrad / Rev)
    Elevation Adjustment Range 65 Moa 18.9 Mrad
    Windage Adjustment Range 40 Moa 11.6 Mrad
    Minimum Parallax 10 Yds 10 Meters
    Length 14.3 Inches 363 Mm
    Weight 26oz 737gr

     

  • Clay Season Shooting Essentials

    Clay shooting is the popular and growing sport of shooting flying clay targets with a shotgun. Hitting the target requires skill, timing and hand-eye coordination and you can enjoy clay shooting at any level, from local club shoots all the way through to national and international competitions and the Olympics.

    There are a range of different forms of clay target shooting disciplines which tend to be roughly divided into Trap, Skeet and Sporting. All three types of clay pigeon shooting challenge a shooter to hit moving targets, but they each vary according to structure, rules and style. Although all of these shooting disciplines originated as hunting simulations, they have evolved to become unique versions of the same sport.

    Differences in Types of Clay Pigeon Shooting

    Trap clay pigeon shooting challenges the shooter by flinging the target straight in front and away. The marksmen fire five shots from each of the five different positions for a total of 25 shots per round. The shooter on station one fires the first shot, followed by each of the shooters on the other stations. Once all shooters have fired their total of five shots, each shooter moves to the next station. This means that the marksman at station five, walks behind the others to station one. All station changes are made with unloaded guns and open actions for safety.

    Skeet clay pigeon shooting involves the crossing over of the targets. Two target machines, 40 metres apart, launch the clay targets across a semi-circular arrangement of positions at a constant trajectory and speed. One target launcher, referred to as the ‘high house’, is 10 feet above the ground, while the second, called the ‘low house’ is just 3 ½ feet above the ground. This difference in height creates a greater challenge for the shooters as they move around the stations. A round of skeet shooting includes both single (one target at a time) and double (two targets at a time) target presentations. Similar to trap shooting, skeet involves the shooters moving through the various positions to complete a round. Also like trap, the different shooting positions in skeet create alternative angles relative to the targets.

    Sporting clays is thought to offer the greatest approximation to an in-the-field hunting experience as it is classed as the most unpredictable. A sporting clays course tends to include a range of different stations, each with unique target presentations and machine setups. For instance, one station might send a single target straight up into the air, while a second could send two targets simultaneously, one rolling across the ground and one heading towards the shooter.

    So how did clay shooting start?

    • The first clay pigeon shoots started around 1885 as an affordable alternative to competitions using live pigeons as targets.
    • Shooting schools – particularly those owned by London gunmakers – set up courses to simulate the flight of live birds. The new sport quickly became a hit with Victorian and Edwardian game shooters as a form of practice during the closed season.

    Tips for beginners

    1. Your first taste of clay shooting will almost certainly be on a Sporting range where targets are thrown to simulate the flight of game birds.
    2. In Sporting you will shoot from a number of different “stands” each offering a different target. These targets vary greatly in terms of trajectory, angle, elevation, distance and speed and it’s that variety that makes Sporting so popular with clay shooters.
    3. Determine your dominant eye - Determining your dominant eye is important- some right –handed people will shoot left-handed if they have a left master eye and vice versa. Likewise some people who are right handed but who have a left master eye will close one eye to help their aim.  Either way it will help you decide which eye to use to look down the barrel of the gun to focus best on your target.
    4. Comfortable and strong standing position - By getting your feet in the right position and holding your body correctly you will be able to maintain accuracy when firing shot after shot.
    5. Mounting the gun correctly - By holding the gun in the correct position you will be able to fire your shot comfortably and accurately.
    6. Bring your head to the shotgun - This is often a problem for new clay pigeon shooters. Instead of keeping the body steady and bringing the head into position, it can be tempting to lean back or slouch the body to be positioned.

    What do you need for clay shooting?

    The different forms of clay pigeon shooting do have an ‘ideal’ shotgun type that works best. However, if you’re just starting out in clay shooting, do not let a lack of the ‘right’ equipment stop you. You can start in any of the three shooting disciplines with virtually any form of shotgun, as long as it can fire two shots without reloading.

    Clay season shooting Essential accessories:

    •  Ear Defenders - Safety first, whatever discipline of shooting. We recommend wearing a pair of ear defenders.
    •  Eye Protection - All clay shooters should wear eye protection.
    •  Shooting Vest - This is the most essential piece of kit for most clay shooters.
    •  Shirt or Polo Shirt - As most clay shooting is within the summer months, a light shirt will be sufficient - or even a polo.
    •  Hat / Cap - Especially if it is a really sunny day, a baseball cap or flat cap will keep the sun out of your eyes.
    • Footwear - In wet weather, wellingtons are ideal.
    •  Jacket (waterproof) - If you are going to wear the coat while clay shooting, it needs to fit well and not restrict movement.
    • Shooting / cartridge Bag - To carry cartridges, chokes and any extra clothing you think you'll need for warmth would be ideal.
  • Primary Arms Holosun HS507C -X2 Awarded Silver Rating by NTOA

    The Primary Arms Holosun HS507C -X2 has been tested and recommended by the members of the National Tactical Officers Association.

    Primary Arms
    Holosun HS507C -X2
    Overall Score: 4.36

    Tester 1 of 4
    Tested by a police officer from California

    Design 5
    Performance 5
    Ease of Use 4
    Size 4
    Quality 4.5
    Durability 4.5
    Storage 4
    Versatility 4.5
    Convenience 5
    Application 5
    Comfort 3.5
    Accuracy 4
    Cleaning & Maintenance 5
    Individual Score 4.42

    As pistol optics have been around for years they have continued to improve to reach a duty grade level of durability and use. With the number of departments making the jump to RDS equipped pistols we often see a steep learning curve for officers switching from irons to dots, primarily with finding the dot in the optic window. The ACSS Vulcan reticle solves a big problem of maintaining the pistol in a correct orientation so that the dot is centred or in assisting the shooter to quickly reposition the pistol to see the dot. The enlarged ring around the centre chevron is such a great addition to help new shooters I am surprised it wasn't done sooner and I fully expect other manufacturers to follow suit. I've used the original Holosun 507c on my duty pistol for the last two years and it has been a great optic, changing the battery annually and daily cleaning the lens were all I e needed to do. I'm confident the 507c-X2 will be just as durable. I initially mounted the X2 on a 12 gauge shotgun, firing duty 00B and slug rounds. The optic performed well and had no issues maintaining zero. Once mounted on a pistol the optic was easy and quick to zero at 25. After a day of single handed manipulations by racking the slide off the optic and a range post, I've noticed no zero issues. The updated side battery tray is a big upgrade to older Holosun and the majority of other RDS optics. No need to remove the optic from the slide and check zero annually, just swap the battery. As an armorer, this is a welcome addition, as it saves us time from ensuring optics are properly mounted and saves us ammo in having students needing to re-zero. My only complaint is the chevron in place of a dot, but this is a personal preference. The more time I have spent behind an RDS equipped pistol the smaller the dot I want for increased accuracy. At this point I prefer a 2 or 1 MOA dot. Newer shooters do benefit from the larger MOA chevron and dot options because it usually means less searching in the window, however with the large ACSS Vulcan reticle to redirect the shooter to centre the optic, I feel a smaller MOA dot is better for accuracy. This optic, particularly the unique ACSS Vulcan reticle, performed better than expected. As an instructor it will be mandatory to have on a loaner pistol for RDS classes to help students having issues finding the dot on the draw/recoil. It will also be added to the departments approved RDS optic list.
    Tester 2 of 4
    Tested by a member from Florida

    Design 4.5
    Performance 4.5
    Ease of Use 4.6
    Size 4.2
    Quality 4.5
    Durability 4
    Storage 3
    Versatility 3.5
    Convenience 4
    Application 3.6
    Comfort 4
    Accuracy 5
    Cleaning & Maintenance 4.4
    Individual Score 4.15

    Overall a very sound piece of equipment. It carries enough weight to be solid yet negligible on the weapon. I used it in the rain, sun and sand. The illumination was adjustable as to work in varied light levels. The chevron shaped aim point was effective and easy to use. With practice, it can be used almost like a mil-dot. Once zeroed at 25yds, consistently hitting 12" steel plates at 100yds was no problem. Mounting this optic on the Glock 19 was as easy as pulling the plate and putting two of the provided screws through the optic. I had no issues with loosening due to vibration. The one downside to the ACSS Vulcan reticle was the outer ring. It served no functional purpose. If the point of aim was on it hit. The ring didn't help acquire the sight picture. All of the adjustments, (on/off, illumination + / -, windage and elevation) were all easy to reach and manipulate.

    Tester 3 of 4
    Tested by a member from Maryland

    Design 4
    Performance 4
    Ease of Use 5
    Size 4
    Quality 5
    Durability 5
    Storage 4
    Versatility 5
    Convenience 5
    Application 5
    Comfort 5
    Accuracy 4
    Cleaning & Maintenance 5
    Individual Score 4.69

    The Holosun H507C- X2 ACSS Vulcan work with your handgun or Carbine platform. I put the Holosun on my Glock 19, which does not have the MOS slide. I ordered a DPP Titanium Mounting Kit for Glock, which fit the Holosun HS507C-X2. The only issue with going with this method is you must remove your rear sight as the Mounting kit slides into the grove on your slide. To do this you will need a rear sight tool. The only issue with not having the MOS slide and removing your The Holosun HS507c- X2 ACSS Vulcan will definitely get my recommendation. This sight will work with rear sight is you solely depend on the red dot and you do not have a backup if the sight stops working. Once installing the sight, which was easy to do, I did several evolutions with an empty weapon just acquiring my target. I did not have any issues with target acquisition. The Chevron was easy to find and made shooting with both eyes open easy. This sight also has a large Halo around the centre chevron. When you punch out or present, if you have a good sight picture and have good alignment you will only see the centre chevron. If your alignment is off, you will start to see the halo around the centre Chevron, which gives you your corrections. For example, if you are aiming right, you will start to see the halo on the left side of sight giving you your correction. I found when in a standing isosceles stance and you press out, almost every time you will find your chevron with not issues at all and no Halo. Where this reticle really comes into play is when you start positional and barricade shooting. As we all know when you start getting in those awkward shooting positions, it easy to lose the dot and your moving the firearm all around trying to find it. The ACSS Vulcan reticle takes all of that guess work out of it. It gives you the corrections or reference you need to find the chevron. Now why the Chevron instead of just a dot. The Chevron is your bullet drop compensator. You zero the sight at 25 yards for a 9mm. Then the middle of the Chevron is zero for 50 yards and the bottom at 100 yards. Using this sight, I was able to hit steel with no issue at these distances. Now for CQB when you are within 5 to 7 yards you need to remember your mechanical offset. When you press out and aim at the 10 ring on a B27 target putting the point of the chevron on the X, your point of impact will be slightly low. When your close within 5 to 7 yards, you hold high using your point of aim as the bottom of the Chevron and your impact will be the same. Not to mention the clarity of the glass and lack of severe parallax is unparalleled. The ability to change reticles puts it a head above the rest and the battery life is second to none! Shake awake, auto brighten/dim, solar assist, chevron/ring, night vision capabilities, this has far more to offer than even the most expensive out there!!!!

    Tester 4 of 4
    Tested by a member from Maryland

    Design 3.99
    Performance 3.99
    Ease of Use 4.5
    Size 3.5
    Quality 4.5
    Durability 4.5
    Storage 3.5
    Versatility 4
    Convenience 4.5
    Application 4.5
    Comfort 4.0
    Accuracy 4
    Cleaning & Maintenance 4.5
    Individual Score 4.19

    The Holosun HS507C-X2 out the box was an impressive optic. The mini reflex sight was essentially zeroed from the factory and was easily mounted to an aftermarket pistol mounting adapter on a .40cal Smith & Wesson M & P pistol. It would easily mount to an optic-ready slide and comes with a picatinny mount for long-gun applications. The reticle view has the option of a traditional chevron or switching to the unique ACSS Vulcan Reticle. The large 250 MOA circle (ACSS Vulcan reticle) was a welcome addition to the reticle in comparison to other optics on the market. The circle provides quick reference for the shooter to properly sight in allowing for rapid target acquisition during instinctive/combat shooting drills without losing the chevron. This is especially true while firing on the move. Adjustability to the circle size or a slightly smaller circle would have been preferred allowing the shooter to see the outer edges of the large circle even when the sight is properly aligned. I was able to conduct a moderate drop test of the optic and the zero did hold. It performed well in various lighting and weather conditions with no unexpected issues. The sight would compliment any personal or duty weapon nicely and appears to be comparable to other brands on the market with the ACSS Vulcan reticle giving it a slight edge of some of the competition.

     

  • FX Crown MKI Compact - FIT FOR A KING

    Alpha Militaria’s Rich Saunders gets delusions of grandeur when he tests the FX Crown MK2 Compact

    Two cups of tea and half a packet of hobnobs and I still can’t come up with a royalty-themed pun that isn’t rubbish or been used before, so I’ll just get on with it…

    Though perhaps best known for its market leading bullpups, such as the Impact, Wildcat and most recently, the Maverick, Swedish company FX Airgun’s take on a more traditional, sporter style air rifle is the FX Crown.

    Now in its second iteration, the Crown’s family lineage is easy to spot, with plenty of adjustment features, high power models and the ability to swap calibres, barrels and liners. In fact, the line up comprises .177, .22, .25 and .30 with barrels ranging in length from 380mm to 700mm – all containing the Smooth Twist X Superior Liner apart from the .177, which uses the STX liner.

    There are plenty of stock options too. Minelli designed walnut and black synthetic soft touch thumbhole stocks are complemented by Forest Green, Yellow and Black and Black Pepper laminate options. In addition, there’s a GRS designed Green Mountain stock with additional adjustment features.

    The stocks wrap around a fully regulated, side lever action that is fed by a 480cc carbon wrapped bottle (aluminium on the entry level VP Edition) and a large capacity magazine that delivers 22 shots in .177, 18 in .22, 16 in .25 and 13 in .30.

    High powered models range from 28 ft. lbs. in .177 up to 75 ft. lbs. in .30. In between you can have a 54 ft. lbs. .22 and 65 ft. lbs. .25. Adjustability to find the perfect set up for different weights and styles of ammunition has long been a feature of FX products and the Crown mk2 is no different. A dial on the left at the rear of the action adjusts hammer spring tension and another just forward of the breach alters power output by adjusting the transfer port. And whilst it’s denied to 12 ft. lbs. rifle users, high power owners can also change the regulator pressure.

    Of course, all that flexibility is at its most advantageous when you have more foot pounds to play with, but the control afforded by the two dials gives 12 ft. lbs. shooters the ability to fine tune and optimise the set up for different pellets.

    Once you have twiddled your knobs, the Crown sits comfortably in the shoulder. The butt pad can be adjusted for height and angle, and although there is no adjustment in the comb, eye alignment for a scope mounted on the split picatinny rail is spot on.

    The pistol grip is acquired via a thumbhole cut out and has grooves either side to accommodate your thumb and trigger finger regardless of whether you are right or left handed. However, the biathlon style side lever and the switch style safety catch are designed with right handers in mind.

    Shot count from the 480cc bottle, which takes a 250 bar charge (the aluminium bottle on the VP Edition takes 230 bar) is prodigious. I couldn’t get a figure from FX for the 12 ft. lbs. FX Crown mk2 Compact I tested for Alpha Militaria and got bored after 400 shots. When I checked the gauge, which is located under the fore stock next to the fill port and another gauge for regulator pressure, there was still plenty of air. This is a ‘tin of pellets on a fill’ rifle with no mistake.

    Incidentally, the test rifle was fitted with an Element Optics Titan FFP 5-25x56 scope which did an admirable job of exploiting the Crown Compact’s prodigious accuracy potential. On the chronograph, the rifle returned test string of 11.7 ft. lbs. with a spread of just seven feet per second, and I’m sure it would have continued to do so if my attention span hadn’t been spanned.

    The review FX Crown Mk2 Compact in the black synthetic soft touch stock has a 380mm barrel and weighs just under three kilos unscoped. With its 380mm barrel, it measures exactly a metre with the supplied silencer fitted.

  • FX Impact and PARD NV008P LRF - A Review

    Controlling pests on more than a thousand acres across the south of England means Alpha Militaria’s Rich Saunders is no stranger to shooting in the dark, in fact he finds it the best time of the day to tackle rabbits and rats.

    He’s been using ATN X-Sights for almost as long as he can remember, usually on Daystate rifles. In fact, his current set up is a .25 calibre FAC-rated Red Wolf on which he uses an X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20x most of the time.

    However, having recently gained another permission, he needed a more compact and lighter set up. The farm grows strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, as well as plants and shrubs for the garden industry. Covering some 300 acres, rabbits are a constant problem, causing thousands of pounds of damage each year by eating the crop and chewing through irrigation pipes.

    “They just can’t help themselves,” he says. “The problem is that breaks in the pipes cause water pressure drop and potentially crops to be ruined.”

    With such a vast area to deal with, covering the ground on foot isn’t an option so instead, Rich drives around in his truck, spotting rabbits with a thermal monocular and shooting them through the open window. It helps that the rabbits are used to farm vehicles and don’t pay them much attention.

    The only snag with the plan is that whilst his Red Wolf / ATN X-Sight 4K Pro combination is great for stalking and ambush tactics, it is too big in the confines of a truck. His solution has been to use an FX Impact mk2 and a PARD NV008P LRF. And because he is restricted to driving the lanes that criss-cross the farm, shots often present themselves at distances too far for 12 ft. lbs. legal limit rifles. To overcome that hurdle, his .30 calibre FX Impact has been tuned to deliver 95 ft. lbs.

    “People ask why I don’t use a .22 LR or .17 HMR,” says Rich. “The truth is I like airguns and the combination is easily capable of taking rabbits cleanly at 60 or even 70 metres. Although it’s a big area, there’s always the chance of a ricochet with a .22 LR and there are several cottages on the farm I have to be mindful of which puts me off using a .17 HMR.”

    With 44.75 grain pellets, the FX Impact hits extremely hard and is better able to withstand the effects of any breeze, although Rich is experimenting with a second rifle, an FAC-rated Daystate Delta Wolf, which he has set up to shoot slugs.

    However, regardless of the capabilities of his rifle, he finds that the limiting factor at night is the ability to see small quarry such as rabbits clearly. He finds the PARD NV008 LRF the ideal tool. Weighing only 450g and measuring just 162mm long, it’s the ideal partner for the compact and light FX Impact and Delta Wolf.

    The tiny onboard infrared (IR) illuminator has three brightness settings and is more than capable of lighting up targets at the range Rich shoots over. And despite sometimes spending all night shooting, the rechargeable 18650 battery usually provides enough power, although he always has a spare to hand just in case.

    As anyone who has shot at night knows, judging distance is extremely difficult, especially if shooting over open land. Having opted for the LRF version of the NV008, Rich is able to accurately measure ranges at the press of a button and adjust his aim point accordingly.

    As a writer for Airgun Shooter magazine and presenter on The Airgun Show, he also finds the Pard’s ability to record HD video and take photos invaluable.

    Visit Alpha Militaria for a full review of the PARD NV008P LRF and a run down on the FX range.

    Written by Richard Saunders of Alpha Militaria

    Both day and night, the FX Impact mk2 and PARD NV008P LRF make a potent hunting and pest control combination, and are perfect for enclosed spaces like vehicles and hides
    The PARD NV008P LRF’s light weight and compact dimensions make it ideal for use on tactical bullpups like the FX Impact mk2 and can be used day and night

    With day and night settings, complete with an integrated IR illuminator and laser range finder, the PARD NV008P LRF will not only help you convert opportunities but film them as well

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • The perfect hunting companion Zeiss

    Thoughts on what makes the perfect scope

    The most important factors when choosing your scope are your particular hunting preferences and the conditions in which you hunt. All-rounder or specialist – this crucial decision will depend not only on what scopes you already have, but also on what, where and how you will want to hunt in future.

     

    • If you will be hunting in daylight, what you need most is flexibility when it comes to magnification. The key aspects to consider are the terrain (flat country, mountains) and the type of hunting (hide, stalking).
    • Riflescopes with excellent optical performance are the number one choice if you will be hunting at twilight or by moonlight.
    • Reliable aiming, fast reactions and short distances: when on driven hunts, sights with a large field of view and low magnification allow you to aim with both eyes, thus increasing the reliability of your shot.
    • Various types of game and hunting, different times of day or environments: all-rounders with excellent optical clarity and a wide zoom range really come into their own here.
    • For high-precision shots over long distances, long-range scopes with extreme magnification and pinpoint ballistic settings are what you need.
    • If you are hunting in the mountains, it is important to have the flexibility to take long-distance shots, as well as to adjust your ballistic settings to suit the game. A product such as the ZEISS Victory Rangefinder System can be a great help here too.

    Finding the perfect binoculars


    For the most part, hunting is not about the hunt itself; it is about being able to experience nature and, in particular, to view the game.

    What constitutes the right binoculars will depend on the type of hunt, time of day and, last but not least, the hunter and their requirements. When hunting on the move, factors such as size, weight and ease of use are really important, on top of the optical considerations.

    • If you are hunting game that is on the move, you often have to act fast. Compact, lightweight binoculars that are really easy to use would be ideal here.
    • During the day, what hunters need most is to have a good overview through a wide field of view, along with good magnification, so they can aim at game properly.
    • In poor light, when hunting at night or at twilight, a good pair of binoculars with large lenses and good light transmission will allow hunters to get the most out of their hunt.
    • In order to measure distances accurately for an exact shot, the binoculars will need to offer enhanced technological features that are easy to use, on top of the optics themselves.
    • A built-in image stabilisation function will enable you to see clearly over extremely long distances – even without a tripod.

    The perfect spotting scope

    Whether used to view game or simply see nature in a different way: spotting scopes give hunters and nature-lovers a unique perspective and enable them to take precise aim. Spotting scopes are usually needed to take accurate images over long distances, but sometimes they serve to pick up details on smaller animals that are already visible to the naked eye. So why do I need a spotting scope?

    When deciding whether you need a spotting scope, as well as the performance data of the optics in question, such as maximum magnification, zoom range or field of view, it is recommended that you consider other factors too: for example, weight, dimensions, setting options, handling or ability to extend the product with corresponding accessories.

    • If used for aiming at game, the mobility of the spotting scope is important, as well as its optical performance: it should be lightweight, compact, robust and with no bells or whistles.
    • If used for viewing game, simple handling and maximum optical performance are the order of the day.
    • If used for identifying animals, when it is all about extreme magnification, a wide field of view and true-colour reproduction, every tiny detail counts.
    • Whether it will be connected to a camera or used for digiscoping – with the right spotting scope, you can record your sightings as photographs or moving images.
  • Christmas gift guide.

    Gift Guide
    As the countdown to Christmas has well and truly started and Christmas shopping is now well under way THE question is are you prepared?

    To make life easier we have put together a Christmas gift guide to help you out!!

    SO DON’T PANIC!!
    We have gathered a small selection of great gift ideas for all types of country sport lovers!!

    • Guardian Canterbury Luxian Elite Shotgun Slip

    The Canterbury Luxian Elite Shotgun Slip combines genuine chestnut leather with an elegant fleece lining to offer the feeling of true luxury when transporting your shotgun. It’s visuals are timelessly classic  and  all of its features are practical yet refined. The combination of full side-zip access, easy access flap and brass effect metal details create a strong, reliable and visually striking slip that will be a talking point even on the most exclusive shoots.

    In essence, it’s a premium slip without the premium price that is ideal for transporting your shotgun. It is compatible with both side-by-side and over-under shotguns with a barrel length of up to 32 inches.

    • Guardian Canterbury Motor Shotgun Case

    The Canterbury Motor Shotgun Case is a hard case with an elegant, classic look. Designed for packing your pride and joy away for your journey to and from the shoot, offering rugged protection while looking beautiful.

    Dressed in genuine walnut leather, with reinforced corners and leather straps, the Canterbury Motor Shotgun Case is a thing of beauty! Internally it is lined with luxurious felt and offers a configurable layout, depending on the dimensions of your gun using clever padded blocks.

    Finished with bronze effect metal accents and combination lock, the Canterbury Motor Shotgun Case offers security, protection and a premium look for a pocket friendly price!

     

    • ATA SP Game 12G – Youth 28 inch

    Few shotguns have been as well received as the ATA SP range.  Impressively presented in a Turkish Walnut stock with an action drawing inspiration from some of the world’s best gun manufacturers. If you buy an ATA   you get a lot of gun for your money. At £599.99, why buy another gun   when value and quality are unmatched in the market place.

    ATA’s winning formula of form, function and affordability is now available in a 12G youth configuration. Its features are much the same as the rest of the ATA range, but has 28 inch barrels, a youth stock and is available in 12G with a black action.

    This is THE perfect gun for beginners and experienced youth shooters alike and can be bought for less than most other second hand guns.

     

    • LightFORCE SL 240mm Blitz Handheld Hunting Light

    LightFORCE are the big boys of the lamping world with a huge range of products from handheld lights to vehicle mounted spot lights. There is nothing that country folk, farmers or lampers could need that LightFORCE don’t offer.

    One of their most versatile and revered lamps is the SL 240mm Blitz. It simply plugs into a vehicle 12v cigarette lighter socket to create a 100W ultra bright spotlight that offers extraordinary range. There is also a version that will run off an external battery pack.  The Blitz range is built with a light weight hi-tech polymer which offers extreme strength and durability; it is a must for any l country folk!

    • Le chameau Chasseur Neo Neoprene Lined Wellington boots

      Available in Menes and Women’s.

    This is THE ultimate in terms of comfort and performance, the Le Chameau Chasseur Neo combines both traditional styles with the excellent insulating properties of neoprene.  Comfortable in temperatures as low as -15 degrees centigrade and still a pleasure to wear on the warmer of days.  These boots have fast become the boot of choice for many shooters and royals alike.

    Famous for their full length zip for ease of putting on and taking off , superior fit and supple natural rubber upper, the Chasseur has become an iconic piece of the shooting landscape.

    Both practical and fashionable these are the boots of choice for the high street or the muddy lanes.

    • Delta Forest 10x42

    The Delta Forest II binoculars are built for the observation of nature. They are tough, rugged and have impressive light gathering properties.

    These binoculars are nitrogen filled, fog proof and feature a Roof-Schmidt/Pechan prism. All combined, these features provide clear, bright images, even in low light conditions.

    The impressive 5 year warranty makes the Delta Forest II Binoculars a must for any nature observer.

    • Harkila Pro hunter X jacket

    This extremely hard wearing jacket is manufactured for the ultimate weather tests that can be thrown at you. The GORE-TEX membrane is both breathable and waterproof, providing you with the best for all weathers. Incorporating a 5 year warranty demonstrates exactly how Harkila are that confident in the product they manufacture.

    With a detachable hood, hand warmer pockets and action back for ease of movement the Harkila Pro hunter X jacket is one jacket to definitely be seen in this winter.

    • Seeland Lady Glyn Jacket

    Warm hunting jacket for sedentary and active hunting in biting cold. The jacket is padded with ThinsulateTM and features the waterproof and windproof SEETEX® membrane. Glyn Lady jacket keeps you warm and protects you from rain, snow and wind. The main features include large cartridge pockets, hand warmer pockets lined with fleece, 2 way front zip, detachable hood with faux fur brim and a tapered and adjustable waist. This is the perfect winter shooting jacket.

    • Musto Women’s Glemsford Polartex Fleece Gilet
    • This classic Polartec® fleece gilet is ideal for layering under a weatherproof jacket or keeping off the chill on crisp days. Lightweight, breathable and warm, the Women's Glemsford Gilet gives you full freedom of movement in your arms. Its long length with a scooped back hem keeps your lower back warm. The high collar, drawcord hem and bound armholes give a snug fit to keep out the breeze and zipped pockets will keep your valuables secure.

  • Copper coated - The Eley Zenith

    The Copper coated lead shot

    Eley Hawk, is a brand that has worked with copper-coated shot since 1992. Eley's first cartridge that  incorporated copper-coated lead was the Classic Game paper case which was designed for use in traditional side-by-sides. Their latest cartridge, The Eley Zenith, was released in 2015 to suit modern over-unders.

    Why copper?

    “Our engineers realised that the key to creating consistent shot patterns at range lies in ensuring that individual pellets can fly as straight as possible,” says David. “To achieve this they tried various things, but the one test which proved most efficient whilst remaining affordable was applying a thin coat of copper to the lead shot.”

    As the element is much harder and smoother than lead, a coating of copper around the softer lead shot is said to reduce the friction between the shot from the cartridge and the walls of the barrel, which  minimises premature deformation, yet remaining malleable enough at a typical range to transfer enough energy into a bird’s tissue and organs to kill it humanely.

    How?

    Adding copper plating is a relatively simple process, and takes place once all normal stages of creating lead shot have been completed. The lead shot is bathed in a special ionic solution – a bath of dissolved copper in water and chemicals – which is then exposed to a direct electronic current. With voltage applied, the copper particles act as an anode (positive terminal) and the lead a cathode (negative terminal), thus the copper is attracted to the lead and sticks firmly and, hopefully, seamlessly to it.

    The length of exposure and strength of electricity in this process is crucial. “For example, too much time in the solution will overcoat the lead and make it overly large and heavy,” says David, “and too high a voltage will cause hydrogen bubbles in the solution and lead to imperfections in the lead and overall finish.”

    Other factors

    Having 'improved' the quality and characteristics of the shot, it would also make sense that the other components that make up a cartridge should be developed, too. “The powders we use are of the highest quality possible, to ensure that the burn is clean and consistent, and prevents balling of the shot,” admits David. “And we also use bespoke fibre wads.”

    Tailored for copper shot, these wads are made of a higher density fibre to that used in standard cartridges, which adds further integrity under firing and prevents the now harder shot embedding into the wad – thus, adding even more consistency.

    To bear in mind

    In the current market, copper-coated shot sits at around six per cent more expensive than premium lead shot. “We have tested our Zenith cartridges against our premium lead loads on pattern plates out to 15–20 yards – using the same gun, chokes and barrels – and have found that the Zeniths have approximately 40 per cent more pellets within a 30inch circle. The general industry-wide consensus is that within the circle there should be no less than 120 pellets, with the copper coated product the average is 172. So, if you really think about it, you are getting a lot more shot for your money,” says David. really think about it, you are getting a lot more shot for your money,” says David.

    Reflections

    At the end of the day, regardless of the technology, no cartridge will make you a better Shot. Shoot what you are confident with and know that if you put it in the right place, the bird will be killed quickly and efficiently. And if you are still curious, why not experiment a little at the pattern plate with a few different cartridges and investigate the matter yourself?

  • The SGC Open Day & Black Friday Event 2018

    Its that time of year again. Black Friday is coming and it is coming fast! Its a time for deals, savings and early Christmas shopping, but at the SGC it’s something bigger.

    This year sees the return of our Open Day & Black Friday Event and as it’s our 25 year anniversary, we are going big! We’re slashing prices on the brands you love both in our stores and online by up to a massive 91%, including brands such as Seeland, Harkila, Musto, Deerhunter, Warne, LightFORCE, Zeiss, Pulsar, NIGHTFORCE and so many more!

    As well as the impressive discounts we have on offer, our Exeter store is playing host to one of the more important dates in our calendar, the SGC Open Day. We will have experts from your favourite brands including NIGHTFORCE, Yukon, Pulsar, ATA Arms and Kofs as well as reps from BASC and the Devon Wild Fowling & Conservation Association.

    If that wasn’t enough, this year will see the return of a new and improved shooting simulator with a new competitive twist, a prize for the top shooter on the day.

    To top it off, we will be joined by Maserati who will be showing off their new vehicles.

    This is not a day to be missed so come on down and join us at the Sportsman Gun Centre Exeter on Friday 23rd of November between 9am and 8pm to see the spectacle for yourself!

     

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

Showing 1 - 10 of 24 Item(s)