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- Last updated: 21/01/2023
Shooting is very hardware orientated, and once serious investment has taken place, the kit needs looking after. Scopes are a case in point and it makes sense to take good care of them. Whilst many scopes are supplied with some form of lens cap, the ultimate design has to be the flip-up variety, which not only protects the lenses when not in use by keeping out grit and dirt but also keeps out the elements. The design is also the most practical since the caps can’t be lost and can be simply opened or closed in a second.
American brand, Vortex is a big player in the optics market, and they supply a variety of accessories as well as an exhaustive range of scopes themselves. Their Defender Flip Caps are available in a variety of sizes, to fit the rear ocular lens and also the front objective. Plus, with a flexible soft rubber body, each size allows for 4-5mm of flexibility. The design incorporates a small spring-loaded clip, but it also allows the open cap to be set in three positions; vertical, halfway and flat. Closure is also firm and precise.
For those who take their shooting seriously, these caps have to make sense, and for the reasonable outlay, they all but guarantee to keep quality glassware in tip-top condition.
Skan can boast that their chronographs are in regular use with police forces and airgun manufacturers. This is all very reassuring of course, and with Skan quite rightly making much of the fact that their chronos are the only models available that self-check themselves, resulting in 99.5% accuracy, not to mention their 2-year warranty, we can certainly buy with confidence.
I’m a big fan of the Combro and I also use a Shooting Chrony model, and whilst both have served me well, the way they rely on daylight being just so is both infuriating and irritating in equal measure. Sun too bright or too dull - either will stop play, and this is where the Skan, designed with infrared sensors, bypasses such drawbacks. All importantly, it requires no special lighting and is even immune to fluorescent lighting.
Designed primarily for indoor use, the Pro 1 Series 3 is a slick design that incorporates a diamond-shaped shoot tube with special wide diagonal beams, with the end result being that it’s fairly easy to achieve alignment.
Skan has designed this chrono to either run from battery power (2x 9v) or mains and once plugged in, the unit’s LCD display activates. For protection, tough rubber surrounds the opening and having spoken to the manufacturers, I am assured that the polycarbonate material used for the shot tube should deflect a badly placed shot in most circumstances.
Cleaning the barrel of any gun periodically, is a vital task, for two good reasons. Firstly, there’s the small matter of protecting the rifling and preventing any rust build-up. Secondly, clearing any deposits left behind from previous shooting sessions ensures maximum potential accuracy.
Napier of London has built up quite a reputation for their shooting gear and gun care products in particular, so it comes as no surprise that they produce their own barrel cleaning kit, in the form of their Napier Universal Rifle Pull-Through set.
Supplied in a very neat zip-up bag, the kit contains 100 precut Ultraclean patches, the Napier Pull through device, a can of Gun Cleaner, an adaptor for refilling the Gun Cleaner can and a quantity of VP90 field patches.
Ultraclean is Napier’s specially developed material. The rough ‘brush’ side shifts deposits, while the soft ‘mop’ side helps to polish and lubricant the rifling. They are sized for perfect results when used as per the calibre chart included. For example, 2 patches for .177 (4.5mm), right up to 8 patches for .45 (11.5mm). All are to be used in the conventional pullthrough manner. So, feed the loop down the barrel from the muzzle, until it emerges from the breech. Then, place the patch/ patches into the loop, apply some gun cleaner and pull it through the barrel.
All very neat, contained in that handy travel bag, and the perfect accessory for either on the move or in the workshop at home.
Air Targets has definitely identified a gap in the market. They now design and print all their own targets to satisfy increasing demand across the board. I’ve now handled and used a sizeable selection of their targets and I have to say the quality is excellent. Vibrant designs, all printed on firm card, and with a choice of sizes too, it means that we can order targets that will just drop straight into a metal box/funnel-style target holder. Of course, they can be pinned or taped anywhere you fancy (safety/backstop permitting), but providing 14cm or 17cm standard target sizes does mean there’s a convenience factor here too. Fancy larger targets? Then there is an A4 size (Air 4 Series) available. Zeroing and serious competitions need appropriate targets, and again, a variety of precise designs, all aimed at encouraging fine grouping, are in the lineup.
Bright fluorescent targets are always handy for shooting on particularly dull days and Air Targets carry a good range of these too, plus some are available as stickers. I’ve used these many times over the years, for serious checking of the zero, when the eyes don’t want to be straining to see the shots.
Elsewhere in the Air Target product listing are their ‘Air Wrap’ products. These are sticky-backed targets, designed to wrap around tin cans. They’re a brilliant idea and I’m sure they’ll prove really popular for plinking fun down range, instantly turning old food or drinks cans into useable targets.