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Pimp your PCP

Pete Wadeson offers up his ten best accessories to improve your pre charged pneumatic hunting rifle

PIMP UP YOUR PCP

The PCP (precharged pneumatic) air rifle, especially multi-shot models, is now the choice of many dedicated hunters. Obvious reasons are it gives pin-point accuracy, due to the firing cycle having no discernible recoil and back up shots are quick and easily accessible at the throw of a bolt or sidelever. So, here are my top ten recommended accessories for helping infield use and transportation, enhance performance, ease of usage and overall operation of your chosen make and model. Incidentally, as I said in a previous article, as with any rifle you can go as far as to have a custom stock made, or in the case of an un-regulated PCP have an air regulator fitted. However, a regulator doesn’t make a rifle more accurate, that will always be down to the nut behind the butt. However, it will have the effect of making it more air efficient, which in itself is no bad thing, as it will give you a much better idea of useable and consistent shot count.

  • GUNBAG

    GUNBAG

    Prices: 42”, 50” Black: 42”, 50” in ‘Buffalo Camo’ - £61,99, £65.99, £65.99 and £69.99 respectively

    Contact: Highland Outdoors; www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk

    The Buffalo River Dominator PCP Gunbag is primarily designed for ‘buddy bottle’ PCP air rifles with a large objective lens scope plus bipod attached. It also accepts most air rifles with a Nightvision scope on-board or with a conventional day scope and lamp. Available in two-lengths of 42” and 50” both measure 15” at the deepest point and are approximately 6” wide when closed. Manufactured from durable ballistic Nylon, the very generous internal foam lining and inner waterproof PVC skin can be removed for cleaning and fully opens out for use as a shooting mat or ‘sit-down’ rest area. External stowage consists of a full zip open pocket that extends right down one side of the bag and the pouch extends towards the front. It also has two centrally positioned zip closed pockets on both sides.

  • MAGAZINE

    MAGAZINE

    SRP: from £64.95 depending on model of air rifle Spare ‘Magazines’ £39.45

    Contact: Rowan Engineering; www.rowanengineering.com

    Most hunters now use multi-shot rifles, but if you started hunting with a single-shot model and want the benefits of easy and swift access to another shot, then retrofit experts Rowan Engineering have just the solution. This being their CNC machined Universal Multi-Shot Magazine System. Available in .177 and .22 calibres, it carries the universal title because the mounting bracket that holds the manually operated removable rotary magazine is fully adjustable to enable it to fit the breech of most popular single shot PCPs. All size requirements are given on the company’s website. The ‘kit’ comprises of 1 x magazine assembly, 1 x mounting bracket, 2 x Allen keys plus full fitting instructions. Capacity-wise, the .177 magazines ‘hold’ nine pellets .22 seven and their available for left or right-hand side mag well fittings. Reason being, the inner aluminium drum is designed with a ‘finger notch’ for indexing around by the thumb of your leading hand, so right hand shooters will require a left-hand system and vice versa. I would say, when shooting, don’t forget to operate the mag each time you shoot.

  • SCOPE MOUNTS

    SCOPE MOUNTS

    SRP: from £27.95

    Contact: Sportsmatch UK: www.sportsmatch-uk.com

    Quality scope mounts are essential for keeping your optic of choice securely in the position mounted to your air rifle, therefore enabling you to retain your set zero. However, with more and more air rifles (specifically PCPs) now having a Weaver rail instead of traditional 11mm dovetails, a specialised design of mount that has a compatible Weaver base is required. Sportsmatch UK offer a variety of this type, in a two-piece configuration to suit 1” body tubes and 30mm. All are CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminium, black anodised and of the highest quality.

  • QUICK FILL KITS

    QUICK FILL KITS

    SRP: from £23.75

    Contact: Best Fittings Ltd; www.bestfittings.co.uk

    If you own a few different makes of PCP, then the Best Fittings Quick Coupler starter kits offer a high-quality, cost-effective and slim line solution that enable the quick and easy change over from one filling probe to another. Compatible with all fill probes with the Industry Standard 1/8” BSP male thread and hoses with a 1/8” BSP Female. This allows the quick and easy charging of airguns that use different fill adaptors. The kits consists of 2x 1/8” BSP Quick Coupler Socket Snap On Connector, 2x Quick Coupler Plugs with Bonded Seal Washers plus 1x Stainless Steel Combined Pressure Test/Dust plug. To use, screw any filling adaptor into the snap fit connectors, which are then attached to the ‘bayonet’ style snap fit unit in the end of the charging bottle’s hose. When the need arises, you simply clip one off to be replaced by another that is already rigged up with a coupler in the same manner to fill another rifle. You can buy extra Bundles and plugs in kit form depending upon how many different rifles you have. All fitments are precision made from high grade stainless steel.

    For anything related to charging a PCP air rifle, be it a diver’s bottle, gauges, hoses etc. Best Fittings have a comprehensive catalogue of this and associated kit.

  • SILENCER

    SILENCER

    SRP: from £39.99

    Contact: Highland Outdoors; www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk

    The sound of most un-moderated PCPs can be heard as a loud crack, which isn’t conducive to hunting with stealth. The Webley QGS Moderator is manufactured from a single billet of high-grade aluminium, it measures 7” long and is approx. 1 3/16” in diameter with a ½” UNF female thread for attaching to a screw cut air rifle barrel. Internally, the QGS uses a stack of refractive baffles, all encased in carbon-impregnated acoustic matting. A simple yet very efficient design that makes this can amongst one of the quietest on the market for a 12 ft/lb air rifle.

  • RECOMMENDED SPECIALIST SCOPE

    RECOMMENDED SPECIALIST SCOPE

    Prices: £319.99 (3 – 12 x 32), £299.99 (3 – 12 x 24SL)

    Contact: MTC Optics; www.mtcoptics.com

    The only dedicated scope designed for use with a recoilless rifle such as a PCP, due to it having zero eye-relief meaning your eye almost touches the rear of the body tube. The MTC Optics Viper X Connect 3 – 12 x 32 is famous for its amazingly wide field of view, approximately ‘double’ that of a standard optic set on 10x magnification. Measuring 287mm long with a 30mm body tube and features a side paralax, low profile ¼” MOA capped turret adjusters, 12-level rheostat, fast focus ocular with detachable rubber eye-piece extender and an integral lens cap in the 32mm objective. Image quality is superb, and it can be purchased with either MTC’s, multi-aim-point AMD (Advanced Mil-Dot) reticle or SCB2 (Small Calibre Ballistic). It’s nitrogen-purged, water, fog and shockproof. With so many useful and unique features, it’s quickly become one of the most popular optics for close to medium range airgun hunting. MTC now offers the 3 – 12 x 24 SL (slim line), with features of the original but a smaller 24mm objective. Both models now come with a dedicated one-piece mount to suit positioning. It has a double screw front and single strap rear ring. The top cradle of the front double screw mount has a 30mm long run of Weaver/Picatinny style mount rail allowing you to fit a gunlight or laser.

  • ADJUSTABLE TRIGGER BLADE WITH SHOE

    ADJUSTABLE TRIGGER BLADE WITH SHOE

    Price:£38.95

    Contact: Rowan Engineering: www.rowanengineering.com

    Retrofit specialists, Rowan Engineering, supply a host of ‘off-the-shelf’ custom parts for air rifles. Their Adjustable Trigger Blade with match-style shoe being just one - of which there are various styles to fit different makes and models of popular air rifles. All kits come supplied with Allen keys and comprehensive fitting instructions. The ‘Adjustable Trigger’ offers 10mm forward/backwards adjustment with ‘shoe’ rotation and two height position settings. There are so many other ‘retrofit’ parts available, but no room to mention them all; such as trigger guards, cocking bolts, adjustable barrel bands, adjustable butt pads even Hamsters are amongst the many other parts that are readily available. Available in Natural Aluminium, Black Anodised or Brass.

  • BIPOD

    BIPOD

    Price: £79 for the 6 – 9” model and £84 for the 9 – 13”

    Contact: Hawke Optics; www.hawkeoptics.com

    When lying in an ambush position, having a bipod attached to your PCP is invaluable to steady your aim when taking shots from prone. The Hawke Swivel Tilt Bipod is available in two sizes of 6 – 9” or 9 – 13” and is manufactured using lightweight, hard grade aluminium alloy with a black anodised finish. The upper (base section) attaches to the forend sling swivel stud by a vertical scissors clamp and lugs, that extend upwards through the base which tighten using a screw. The cant (tilt) facility allows for instant levelling and the ‘swivel’ facility obviously allows you to adjust aim from side to side of where the legs deploy to the ground (traverse). They also have a sling swivel attachment point. To prevent the unit from ‘flopping around’ when the rifle is being carried, there’s a lever at the rear of the base that adjusts the tension of the cant. Pushing in release catches allows you to adjust the individual leg heights and grip is provided by hard rubber boots. Legs lock out in the open or closed positions by external springs sheathed by thick rubber sleeves, which not only protect them from the elements and getting clogged up with mud and debris but help reduce any potential noise during operation.

  • SILENCER ADAPTORS

    SILENCER ADAPTORS

    Price: £9.50

    Contact: Best Fittings; www.bestfittings.co.uk

    Fitting a silencer to an unsilenced PCP is an absolute must for the hunter who needs to operate stealthily. However, certain models (from manufactures in the UK and abroad) don’t have a standard ½” UNF male threaded muzzle. Rather some are ‘cut’ to take screw in moderators or others have a barrel sleeve that isn’t standard threaded. In this case Best Fittings are the people to look to for an adaptor to suit your model of air rifle. They’re all CNC manufactured to the highest tolerances from aircraft grade aluminium and black anodised, so as to be unobtrusive, add little in relation to the overall length of your rifle and come with a protective screw on cover cap. Check the company website for the list of rifles they supply adaptors for.

  • SPIRIT LEVEL

    SPIRIT LEVEL

    Price: £31.95

    Contact: Sportsmatch UK: www.sportsmatch-uk.com

    Evan when shooting off a bipod, you may think that your aim (as it should) be as accurate and steady as possible. However, if the rifle is slightly tilted to the left or right (known as a cant) your aim won’t be true, so your pellet will go to one side or the other of where you have intended it to strike. This is exacerbated as the range increases too. To combat this, the Sportsmatch SP1 is ideal, as it bridges over the top of a scope mount and attaches to the lower mount cradle with extra-long grub screws (supplied). So, when on aim, a glance over the top of the scope will show if you’re exactly on the level and with the minimum of movement you can then sight in and take the shot.

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