As we step into spring, Pete Wadeson looks at 10 accessories he feels every airgun hunter should consider adding to their kit bag or wardrobe…
In past articles I’ve looked at the reasons we should have different combos, rifle types and even quarry to target as we go through the year, in this I’ve chosen to detail accessories I feel all airgun hunters would benefit from having in their kit bag or wearing for and during the season ahead…
‘Don’t cast a clout until May is out’ is a very apt saying because if the heavens really ‘open up’ you have no other option (no matter what quality of clothing you’re wearing) to quickly don a pair of waterproofs. 100% waterproof are the Jack Pyke Technical Featherlite Jacket and Trousers. The build consists of a Tasion Nylon outer with a mesh liming making them tough yet light in weight for ease of transportation and stowage. The jacket boasts an internal mesh pocket, two lower front pockets with zips and a weatherproof zip closure chest pocket. The zip-detachable generously sized ‘peaked’ hood has a top adjuster and elasticated draw cord. Other features include an elasticated waist cord and elasticated cuffs with Velcro fasten-down cuff adjusters. The front fastens with a double zip plus Velcro tab secured storm flap and underarm zip fasten vents help regulate body temperature. The pull-up over trousers design of the separate bottoms feature an elasticated waistband plus toggle adjust/lock draw cord, two side pockets with weatherproof zips, and feature cordura reinforcement at the shin and ankle area. Side zips allow easy ‘pull on’ over boots and Velcro fastening ankle straps cinch them tight to your footwear. All zips are self-sealing plus elongated tabs enable them to be gripped easily in wet weather.
RRP: Jacket: £68. Trousers: £45.95
Sizes: S - XXXL
A field knife is an essential but for the times if you need that ‘extra help’ a multi-tool can be far more useful, and the Leatherman Rebar will cope with virtually all eventualities you might encounter during your seasonal activity.
Measuring 4-inches in the closed position, 6-inches open and weighing 6.7oz, the all stainless-steel Rebar is a butterfly opener, and holds a pair of upgraded needlenose pliers, regular plier and a pair of replaceable ‘cutters.’
All other tools are accessed from the insides of the handles and have either thumb nicks or lugs for ease of access. The tools include a double-sided file, small and medium flat head screwdrivers, full sized Phillips head screwdriver, awl (with thread loop), 3-inch fine edge knife blade, 3-inch fully serrated edge knife blade, can/bottle opener, lanyard ring and a very aggressively edged 3-inch wood saw. Includes Leather sheath and 25 year warranty
This is a season the airgun hunter should take the opportunity to ambush quarry and no better accessory to steady your aim shooting prone than a bipod.
Manufactured using heat treated steels and hard alloys with a hard-black anodised finish the Webley Pro-Tilt Bipod is available in two sizes of 6 - 9 or 9 – 13-inches. Easily attached to a standard forend sling swivel stud the bipod’s tilt facility allows for instant levelling and a tension lock screw enables you to adjust it so as to prevent the ‘pod’ moving around when the rifle is being carried. It also can be used to adjust the tension of the base for a more positive feel to avoid cant.
The legs are adjustable along their length of travel due to ‘Multi-Position Locks’ found just below the push in ‘Lock Release Catches.’ The adjustable spring tensioned legs with generously sized rubber feet lock securely in position by figure of eight headed locking screws. Strong external springs hold the legs very securely in the open and closed position plus their ‘noise reducing spring covers’ help protect them from the elements, mud, dirt, debris and reduce noise during operation.
RRP: £52.99 for the 6 - 9-inch model and £64.28 for the 9 - 13-inch
A small day pack is all that’s needed for carrying a few essentials such as food, hot drink, waterproofs and such like. Manufactured from waterproof spun polyester, the Napier Ranger 1 Backpack is ideal having a modest 20-litre carrying capacity. However, it’s capable of swallowing up a good amount of kit as it also has two outer side elasticised pockets.
This ‘clam-shell’ opening backpack features a heavyduty full zip around back flap — so opening the rucky face down enables easy access to everything inside. The pack is reinforced with adjustable webbing fastened with quick (snap) release ABS buckles. On the inside of the back-cover flap are two zip fastening inner pockets for slim items, or ones that benefit from being kept flat. The moulded rubber base allows the pack to stand up when placed on the floor – no matter how full or empty and the reinforced shoulder straps are well-padded with an adjustable sternum and waist strap. Available in Green or Camo.
The evening’s may well be lengthening but the sun can disappear quite quickly with darkness descending far more quickly than expected. Therefore, a headlight is a very useful aid for tasks such as paunching rabbits in the field and leaving your permission in safety.
The Fenix HP25R Rechargeable Headlamp comes supplied with an 18650-battery housed in the rear and a micro USB charging cable but can also be powered using 2x CR123A non-rechargeable batteries. It’s highly versatile having both a neutral white floodlight and far-reaching spotlight beam. The spotlight features a Cree XM-L2 U2 LED, 4x brightness settings with the highest intensity delivering an impressive 1000-Lumens output when its crisp powerful beam can reach out to more than 185m. The broad 90-degree floodlight beam features a Cree XP-G2 R5 LED and offers four brightness settings up to 350-Lumens, perfect for close tasks. Individual switches control each beam (beams cannot be combined). A red LED built into the lamp unit offers added appeal when you need to protect your night vision. Waterproof to IPX-6, the HP25R is prepared for the challenge of all-weather use while the aluminum alloy body also enables longer operation at high power levels, plus the built-in mode memory circuit remembers your last used lighting level for each lamp unit and there’s a battery level indicator.
Judging range on the targets can be difficult so a laser rangefinder is useful to have and can also act as a useful fixed mag monocular.
Measuring 99mm x 68mm x 40mm and weighing only 180-grams the ergonomically designed 6x magnification Hawke LRF Vantage 400 has an ABS body casing and fits very comfortably in the hand with easy access to the control buttons. Its range finding capabilities include distance, height, height difference and angle. The LRF takes power from a single CR2 3V battery and will automatically ‘shut off’ after 15-seconds of no operation to save power. It’s water resistant, has a wide-angle FOV of 140m @1000m and all readouts are clearly displayed (including battery status) in the in-view LCD that can be brought into pin sharp focus using the ocular adjuster at the eyepiece.
It comes supplied with a hand lanyard (including integral battery compartment key), a very stylish and practical Neoprene carry case with belt loop and is protected by the Hawke Worldwide two-year warranty.
Cover will be sparse in many places and spotting or associating a specific sound with your position is made all the easier for quarry on high alert.
Also, if using a multi-shot PCP, if you miss with the first shot your quarry in confusion will hold station so you can cycle the action and have another slug ready to go – but only if using an effective silencer.
The Webley QGS Moderator is manufactured from a single billet of high-grade aluminium it measures 7-inches long and is approx. 1 3/16-inches in diameter with a ½-inch 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 very capable option for a 12ft/lb air rifle.
At this time of year, a lightweight, flexible, high leg but tough pair of boots are the optimum choice as long as the weather isn’t too inclement. The Viper Covert Boots are ideal as they’re manufactured from a hard wearing Cordura with overlays of black suede seen as ribbing/ banding on both sides plus being used on the entire lower section. Internal padding is present from approximately the midway section to the top where it meets a substantial synthetic collar. This adds to wearer comfort but doesn’t hinder the inherent ‘flex’ of the footwear.
The rubber outsole is described as ‘durable with slip and oil resistant properties’ and offers a good level of traction on a variety of terrain plus are easy to clean.
There’s also a generous toe rise/buffer and even more protection is seen at the heel. At this area the suede rises to a leather finish synthetic Achilles flex panel and the entire rear profile has an ergonomic curve which gives extra wearer comfort and a secure fit.
The lacing system consists of six captive retainers and a pair of eyelets at the top. All are non-metallic, and the eyelets are strengthened by synthetic collars.
RRP: £49.95 Sizes 7, 8, 9,10,11 & 12 Available in Black, Coyote and Titanium
Spare ammo always needs protection in the field and they often need extra protection in certain conditions as you can easily knock into or lean on something which could affect a ‘standard’ pellet pouch.
The RWS Pellet Saver is a round shape sheath designed to fully encase a tin of pellets once it’s slipped inside via its flexible yet strong cut out double-sided entrance. Due to the inner sizing, shape and due to it having full sides for most of its circumference it wraps around the tin holding it securely in place.
On the opposite side to the larger ‘cut out’ is a much smaller one stopping the tin from slipping straight through but recessed enough to allow you to push the tin out when required.
Manufactured from a semi-rigid plastic that forms a round cover with a diameter of approximately 2¾ x 1-inch thick. These dimensions make it suitable for all tins of .177 calibre pellet of 500 and also some popular 200-250-pellet tins of .20 and .22 calibre.
Shooting gloves not only conceal the whites of your hand but protect them from the elements and terrain while moving around and if needs be ‘crawling’ into a shooting position.
MacWet gloves offer a secure and tactile grip on your rifle and have all the attributes required for outdoor use, plus they’re fit like a ‘second skin’ and tick all the boxes for ‘stalking’ hand wear. They’re available in short or long cuff lengths plus six colour options, - obviously green and black being the optimum choice. They’re also available in summer and winter versions, the latter known as ‘Climatic’ as they have a windproof, water-resistant fleece lined backing. They feature Velcro strap adjustable cuffs with what the company term as strapline ‘All-Grip-No-Slip’ technology.
RRP: from £27.99