As we move into Autumn, Pete Wadeson looks at 10 accessories he feels every airgun hunter should consider adding to their kit bag or wardrobe
As Autumn brings shorter days and undoubtedly much more inclement weather, airgun hunters however always welcome the varied opportunities that come with it. Many will head to the woods as the leaves fall from the trees, making targeting quarry aloft a much easier affair. In fact, this is the season that we see far more pest species in our sights, as they can be anywhere and everywhere in their seemingly endless search for food. Here are my chosen accessories I feel all airgun hunters should have or would benefit from having in their kit bag or wearing during the coming months…
‘Combats’ are the universal trouser of choice of many for hunting, especially if wearing over trousers which are worn for extra protection and if of a camo design also concealment. The Viper Camo PCS 95 trousers are made from a 65%/35% mix polycotton, a heavy-duty material that will withstand a lot of wear and tear. The waist boasts an extended top fasten button and zip fly, an internal waist cord, side button tab adjusters for drawing the trousers inwards and large belt loops. The latter being compatible with any belt in the Viper range. They feature two angled side pockets, one rear button fastened and two cargo style leg pockets. These are generously sized and angled for ease of use and have button fasteners with protective over flaps. They boast a reinforced seat and knees, the ankles have cord adjust/ fasteners which combined with all other attributes makes them suitable for many different situations, uses and environments.
SRP: £25.95 Sizes 28” – 52” in V-Cam
This is the season you’ll find a fully featured multi-tool of great use and the Leatherman Charge Plus fits the bill perfectly. Measuring 4” closed, 6” in the deployed position and weighing in at 8.3oz, it offers a good selection of outboard tools including a 154CM clip-point fine edge blade, diamond coated wood/metal file, wood saw and a 420HC serrated edge knife with gut hook. Both blades have elongated thumbholes for one-handed opening, while the file and saw have thumb nicks. When opened, the Charge Plus shows needle nose, regular pliers, and Premium replaceable wire cutters, and hard-wire cutters and stripper. From the inner handles, you have access to spring-action scissors, bottle/can opener, large and small bit drivers and a medium flat head screwdriver. All open using thumb nicks or small lugs. A Bit Kit in an unobtrusive ABS card holder is included comprising of a square driver #1 & #2, eyeglass screwdriver, and a selection of Hex heads: 5/32”, 9/64”, 1/8”, 7/64”, 3/32”, 5/64”, 1/16”, 050”, Phillips #1-2” and 3/16” screwdriver plus a 1/8” & Torx #15 screwdriver head. Also included is a quick release lanyard ring, removable pocket clip and nylon sheath.
Spare ammo always needs protection in the field and for the myriad of hunting techniques you can employ both day and night in autumn, think a bit more about taking care of them. The Wilkins Pellet Pouch has to be one of, if not the strongest and most durable! These handmade, hard leather protectors come in three sizes, suitable for all calibres and have a secure, heavy-duty press-stud fastened lid. Due to the construction and quality of the leather, it means that there is no possibility when opening or closing the pouch that any pressure will be exerted onto the pellets contained, thereby eliminating the possibility of damage. The press-stud opening is easily operated single handed and they have a quick release belt clip and a sensible size length of strong neck cord. There are five colour options available, those being black, light brown, dark brown, red and green.
SRP: Small £12.95 Medium £17.95 Large £19.95
W: www.wilkinspouches.com www.range-right.co.uk
The Klean Kanteen TKPro 750ml insulated flask is manufactured using safe, durable, high quality materials, the body is made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and the electropolished interiors don’t retain or impart flavours. It’s fully leak and shatter-proof and the company’s Climate Lock™ double-wall vacuum insulation system is just one feature that makes it so effective. This alone keeps contents hot for up to 28 hours or iced for up to 90. The TKPro however, also has an integrated double-wall 305ml stainless steel cup and features what is termed a TK Closure™ internal thread design, that considerably increases thermal performance. This refers to the highly innovative new age thread structure of the twist and pour cap, which also has a 360° pour-through design. It also has a streamlined design, making it easy to pack and is finished with a highly attractive and practical Chip-resistant Klean Coat™ finish in Shale Black. Also available in two other capacities of 500ml & IL.
W: www.whitbyandco.co.uk www.kleankanteen.com
The grey squirrel is one of our main target species at this time of year and using a call specifically designed to arouse their attention can often result in them showing themselves. The Primos Squirrel Buster measures 4 ½” long by 1 ½” wide at the widest section of the bellows and is surprisingly effective. It comes with an instructional mini-CD, which is a large part of the appeal of this particular call for the comprehensive nature and amount of information it imparts, particularly for the airgun hunter.
Clothing is an important consideration at any time of year and the Jack Pyke Hunter Jacket and Trousers are hard to beat for performance and price. Now available in their English Oak Evolution pattern, design makes them even more versatile for the areas you can wear them. Manufactured from the company’s Stealth fabric material, they’re breathable, waterproof and silent. The Jacket has a full-length double zip opening with press-stud fastened storm flap and a generous PVC hood with drawstring concealed in the high, stand-up collar. For stowage, there are two lower double press stud fastened front bellows pockets with flaps and internal cartridge holders, two single press stud fastened hand warmer pockets, one internal deep yet narrow, zip fastened chest pocket and a useful fold-down waterproof seat flap at the rear. The cuffs incorporate adjustable Velcro fastened wrist straps and also cleverly integrated into the build are internal elasticated weather shrouds. The Trousers are of an over-trouser design, being easy to pull up and wear over regular combats. They feature two upper pockets with weather flaps, two more side leg pockets with flaps and single press-stud fasteners. The bottom of the legs have a 14” long zip relief for ease of donning or removal. The trousers are generously cut and also feature a reinforced seat and knee, plus they have a strong elasticated waist with draw cord, and they feature Velcro adjustable ankle straps. As for headwear, currently in this pattern is the Stealth Baseball Cap, which features a duck bill peak, plus rear Velcro adjuster. All are still available in the company’s original English Oak as well as English Woodlands, Wildlands and Hunters Green.
Sizes available are S-XXXL.
SRP: £89.95 Jacket, £64.95 Trousers and £9.95 Baseball Cap
As you’ll be targeting a wide range and variety of pest species, you’ll require an accurate (obviously) hard hitting pellet with wide, general usage. H&N Field Target Trophy maybe one of the ‘old timers’ on the gunshop shelves, but they are time-tested and all-round winners for springer or PCP. A typical smooth formed dome head design made from a special lead alloy and semilubricated, they’re available in all four calibres, including two different head sizes in both .177 and .22 choices. So, if you favour the small slug or the big bruising .25 calibre, when shot with accuracy all will easily deal with the variety of quarry you may well encounter.
SRP: Tins of 500 .177 calibre head sizes of 4.50 or 4.52mm weighing 8.64gr £10.99 .20 weighing 11.42gr £12.99 . 22 head sizes of 5.50 and 5.54mm weighing 14.66gr £12.99 Tins of 200 .25 calibre weighing 19.91gr £6.99
Headlamps are always useful, especially now the nights are drawing in, and aids in such diverse tasks as; paunching rabbits, making your way safely off your permission and checking guns and equipment. The Fenix HL26R, which measures 65mm x 44mm x 37mm, weighs 86-grams and built to IP-66 weatherproofing standards. The ’60º tilt’ aircraft grade, aluminum casing holds a Cree XP-G2 R5 and Nichea White LEDs. The former offering 3x Spotlight, the latter 2x Flood modes - which incidentally have separate switches for operation but can’t be ‘run’ simultaneously. There’s also an SOS ‘flashing’ emergency mode, including low battery indicator and an internal aluminum heat dissipater. A ‘last mode memory’ for each beam setting is also a standard feature. The powerful 450Lumen ‘burst mode’ on main beam operates for one minute after activation, giving excellent punch to reach out to 100m when required. Powered by an integrally housed Li-poly battery it charges via the USB to Micro USB charging cable supplied. Run times are: Spotlight: Burst 450Lumens (1hr 30min) High: 130L (6hrs), Medium 70L (12hrs) and Low (25hrs). Floodlight Modes: High 40L (13hrs), Low 4L (100hrs) and SOS 40L (26hrs).
For the airgunner who needs to take more ancillary kit for their various hunting techniques you can employ at this time of year and for stowage and protection, there’s few if any finer than the drag bags manufactured by Aimfield Sports. The AIM55 Multi-Cam Tactical Drag Bag is just one example of the build quality there wares display and like all in the range is manufactured from a heavy-duty denier Cordura material, coated on the back for water resistance and finish-treated with a durable water repellent. The bag fastens with two-way, heavy-duty zippers with pull assists and fully opens out to be used as a shooting mat. An over flap protects the zip, plus there are six, ABS side clip fasteners on adjustable webbing straps to take the strain off the main closure. Two similar fasteners secure the detachable drag hood with integral handle. The main compartment is protected by thick, close-cell padding, while internally there’s a butt support pouch plus three, adjustable, cargo straps. There’s also an internal sleeve integrated into the spine to accommodate a cleaning rod. There are two enormous, external, expandable utility pockets and the smaller one has an additional diagonally zipped pouch on its outer face. On the opposite side to the pockets, there’s a multitude of web loops plus a discreet zipped panel. This contains a pair of detachable and adjustable, well-padded shoulder harness with adjustable sternum strap and detachable, adjustable waist belt. This is one of the Company’s larger options and takes a rifle up to 54.5” in length. Other models include the Aim 40, 45, 50 & 60. It’s available in Green and in Multi-Cam.
Two items invaluable for protecting the interior and exterior metalwork of a rifle in inclement weather are Napier Field Patches and, in the gunbag, it’s wise to have a sachet of their Super VP90. The former are a quick and very efficient way of protecting your gun, as each sachet contains a full sized Super Clean patch, which is impregnated with 2ml of Napier Gun Oil, this is sufficient to completely clean and rust proof your air rifle until you do the job more thoroughly. It also contains VP90, a powerful Vapour Phase Corrosion Inhibitor, ensuring that any metal surface is completely rust proof. A sachet of VP90 can also be placed inside a gunbag, where the advanced vapour phase action deposits/bonds an invisible mono molecular coating on any exposed metal, surface but leaves other materials, such as the stock, totally unaffected.
SRP: Field Patch (Pack of Ten) £4.76 One Sachet of Super VP90 £7.63