Air Gunner - - Contents -

All the fun of this year’s Game Fair at Ra­gley Hall! High­lights and prod­ucts.

Over the last week­end of July, The Game Fair was held at Ra­gley Hall in War­wick­shire and I think it’s fair to say that the weather de­fined the show. Fri­day was stink­ing hot, with only the slight­est breeze to of­fer re­lief now and again, ex­cept per­haps a pint of cider or two. Satur­day was much cooler with cloud of­fer­ing pro­tec­tion from the sun’s burn­ing rays and a pow­er­ful wind whipped up send­ing clouds of dust and dead grass into the air. Sun­day com­pleted the set of ‘ev­ery pos­si­ble weather’ with pour­ing rain and much lower tem­per­a­tures. It was al­most four sea­sons in one week­end.


In the Air­gun Zone I vis­ited our friends at Air Arms who had two very in­ter­est­ing new mod­els on dis­play. The first was the S510 Ul­ti­mate Sporter now with a reg­u­la­tor, that I hope to have on test very soon in its high- power ver­sion. The sign read that the medium length ver­sion will de­liver 32 ft.lbs. in .22, which is just how I like my high- power ri­fles. I asked if I could have the wal­nut stock with the soft- touch cheek piece be­cause I haven’t tried one in that con­fig­u­ra­tion be­fore. I was told we can ex­pect these stun­ning ri­fles to be in the shops in the early au­tumn.

They also had an in­no­va­tive vari­ant of their su­perb S400 MPR tar­get ri­fle, spe­cially de­vel­oped for use in the Tar­get Sprint com­pe­ti­tion that Air Arms has been sup­port­ing. The new cock­ing and load­ing sys­tem has broad levers on both sides of the ac­tion that you press with your thumb to cock the ham­mer spring and with­draw the load­ing probe. A pel­let is quickly dropped into the load­ing chan­nel and the levers re­turned to the orig­i­nal po­si­tion. In com­pe­ti­tion, this sys­tem has been shown to be five vi­tal sec­onds faster than the con­ven­tional bolt- ac­tion, which could well be the dif­fer­ence be­tween win­ning and los­ing. I thought it was quite su­perb and it set my mind won­der­ing if per­haps they might ap­ply it to other mod­els in the S400/500 fam­ily.


“I thought it was su­perb and it set my mind won­der­ing if per­haps they might ap­ply it to other mod­els”

Across the aisle, Hull Car­tridge had all the Weihrauch mod­els on dis­play and a new ad­di­tion for us to en­joy. The ul­tra- suc­cess­ful HW110 now has a car­bine ver­sion. As with pre­vi­ous Weihrauch PCPs, the HW110 car­bine is a short­ened ver­sion that keeps all the fea­tures of the full- length model, but re­duces length and weight. That be­ing said, it still had a good heft in the hands and that tra­di­tional Ger­man so­lid­ity about its build.


The ever- ex­cited chaps at Scott Coun­try gave me my first view­ing of the FLIR Scout TK ther­mal- imag­ing monoc­u­lar, which I’d been look­ing for­ward to han­dling. This tiny de­vice comes from a highly re­spected brand, yet is on of­fer for just £ 559.00! I can’t be­lieve that ther­mal- imag­ing scopes have come down so far in price, mak­ing them af­ford­able for so many more peo­ple. I truly be­lieve that ther­mal- imag­ing de­vices are the fu­ture of hunt­ing sports and this is a huge step into the fu­ture for many, many peo­ple.


One of the joys of game fairs is to see all sorts of peo­ple en­joy­ing their time on the air­gun ranges close to the man­u­fac­turer dis­plays. There was a huge choice of guns on of­fer, all with su­perb coaches on hand to help show- go­ers get the very best from their ex­pe­ri­ence. There was also a long- range com­pe­ti­tion to win a Daystate Hunts­man Re­gal, but with the wind blow­ing so hard and so er­rat­i­cally on Satur­day, I didn’t fancy my chances, so I chick­ened out.


Along­side all the air­gun fun, the game fair is a cel­e­bra­tion of things in the Bri­tish coun­try­side and some rather ex­otic ones too. As I walked to­ward the fly-fish­ing demon­stra­tions, I couldn’t be­lieve my eyes when I saw a chap on … a camel! Just what that had to do with the game fair I’ll never know. In the same area, my eyes were daz­zled with a wide se­lec­tion of the loud­est trousers I think I’ve ever seen. The story was that a posh London club had re­cently banned its mem­bers from wear­ing red trousers, so lovers of bold- coloured trousers had got to­gether to be loud and proud in an en­vi­ron­ment where ev­ery­body is wel­comed and ac­cepted – the game fair.


One fi­nal piece of Bri­tish coun­try­side fun warmed my heart and made me smile. In the main arena they held a Shet­land pony Grand Na­tional, where tiny young girls and boys raced their ponies over lit­tle jumps and the crowd sim­ply loved it. The horse­man­ship shown was quite ex­tra­or­di­nary, with con­fi­dence and skill hugely be­yond their years. Once the flag dropped, they were de­ter­mined and gave no quar­ter even at speed. The crowd ap­plauded ev­ery ef­fort, and I can’t think of an event that I’ve seen give so much plea­sure to so many peo­ple.

The new S510 Ul­ti­mate Sporter with a reg­u­la­tor will soon be in your lo­cal gun shop

Chris from Hull Car­tridge loves the new HW100 car­bine

The new Air Arms cock­ing sys­tems is bril­liantly ef­fi­cient

I’ve never seen a sport­ing event raise so many smiles

The air­gun ranges gave hundreds of peo­ple the chance to have fun

Ev­ery­body is wel­come at the Game Fair, no mat­ter how bright your trousers are!

Ther­mal-imag­ing spot­ters have just be­come so much more af­ford­able

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