Gad­gets and Giz­mos

Russ Dou­glas shares some handy, cheap ac­ces­sories which have helped his shoot­ing

Airgun World - - Contents -

Russ Dou­glas shares some of the great lit­tle bar­gains he’s dis­cov­ered

Air­gun shoot­ing is one of the most af­ford­able branches of our won­der­ful sport, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t save a few quid where we can. Over the last cou­ple of years, I’ve dis­cov­ered some great lit­tle gad­gets and gear that help me keep costs down, and per­for­mance up - and here is a se­lec­tion for your con­sid­er­a­tion.


I like to keep an eye on my lo­cal Lidl be­cause the hard­ware sec­tion some­times has some gems. My eyes lit up re­cently when I saw a lock­able, slim, al­loy brief­case – think pis­tol stor­age – orig­i­nally in­tended as a coin col­lec­tor’s case. The lid was al­ready lined with plain foam, and I lined the bot­tom with some eggshell foam I had saved. The case can fit up to four com­pact pis­tols, or two larger-framed pis­tols (e.g. Crosman 1322s or HW75s). I was go­ing to bin the four par­ti­tioned coin trays, un­til I re­alised that they were per­fect for keep­ing com­po­nents tidy when ser­vic­ing guns, or even for seg­re­ga­tion dur­ing pel­let weigh­ing ses­sions.


I’m sure you’ll know that coated lead BBs are safest for use with CO2 BB pis­tols, re­mov­ing the risk of dan­ger­ous ric­o­chets, but for those still us­ing steel BBs, aside from the es­sen­tial safety eye­wear there’s the ad­di­tional

in­con­ve­nience of find­ing the lit­tle blighters all over the place. Thank­fully, our loft bed­room has short-pile car­pet. I was in my lo­cal gen­eral house­keep­ing-cum-iron­mon­gery store, when I spot­ted a so­lu­tion. The tele­scopic mag­netic grab­ber has a rub­berised grip, and even a light within the tip to help spot er­rant steel shot – job done!


Back when I had ‘at­tempt­ing HFT’ in mind, I wanted to trial which pel­let brand/size/weight pro­duces the best groups. For the lat­ter, I got my­self some handy pel­let scales from Ama­zon, which come with their own 50g cal­i­bra­tion weight and dis­play in g, oz, ozt, ct, dwt and of course, grains. Some cheap il­lu­mi­nated tweez­ers from the hard­ware store are per­fect for pel­let se­lec­tion and dis­card­ing the de­formed, too.


Hand­ily, when I or­dered my Wild­cat (spec­i­fy­ing Pi­catinny/Weaver mount­ing rail) I found to my de­light that the box in­cluded the al­ter­na­tive 11mm dove­tail rail – nor­mally £69 ex­tra. So swap­ping rails and mounted scopes

is rel­a­tively easy by loos­en­ing two Allen bolts, plus a gen­tle tap from a gun­smith’s rub­ber mal­let.

I swapped the rail over, tri­alling the wide-an­gle MTC Viper-X Con­nect, be­cause I found my Hawke Van­tage 3-12 x 50 too nar­row a view in the HFT woods at 10 x mag. To speed up scope align­ment and ret­i­cle ver­ti­cal­ity, I slipped a slim Post-It-style pad be­tween the flat scope sad­dle un­der­side and the mount, ad­just­ing the num­ber of notes un­til the fit was snug – job done, and eas­ily re­peat­able.


I re­cently got some new crutches, pow­der­coated here in Aberdeen­shire, which was cheaper and more con­ve­nient than send­ing the outer tubes down to Manch­ester for an­o­dis­ing. Ei­ther way, the in­con­ve­nience is still drilling out the riv­ets be­fore­hand, and re-riv­et­ting them upon re­ceipt. Once done, I re­pur­posed my now scratched, ev­ery­day crutches with two rolls of self-stick­ing cammo tape. They’re now cam­ou­flaged and quiet, and the tape pro­vides both a warmer ‘soft-touch’ and soft matte, padded sur­face fin­ish. Ded­i­cated Pest Con­trol Per­mis­sion crutches = re­sult!


Fol­low­ing on from my new per­mis­sion/back gar­den stake­out ar­ti­cle in this is­sue (see page 50), I re­alised that my Trig­ger Sticks would ben­e­fit from go­ing stealthy too. Cue us­ing a third roll of cammo tape to cam­ou­flage and si­lence the hol­low, noisy tubes. The up­per legs can’t be taped due to the tele­scopic de­sign, but this should all help to keep me stealthy as I try to move the sticks back and forth qui­etly, within my por­ta­ble hide on rab­bit stake­outs.

Hope these tips are of use to some of you, and as al­ways – en­joy your shoot­ing.I

ABOVE: … ideal with the scales. INSET: … or £5 with il­lu­mi­na­tion?

Re­pur­posed ‘coin case’.

Re­sult – but only with steel BBs.

Post-It notes to align scope and mount = ge­nius!

Old crutches, be­fore and af­ter stealth­ing.

Even the Trig­ger Sticks got the camo treat­ment.

Who knew B&Q would have af­ford­able gun­smith’s mal­lets!

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