ED’S TEST

THE COM­PLETE COMBO CON­CEPT

Airgun World - - Contents -

This month’s Ed­i­tor’s Test is a to­tal de­par­ture, not least be­cause I’m not ac­tu­ally test­ing an air­gun. Un­der test this time around, is a con­cept, and I be­lieve it’s an im­por­tant one.

Among the thou­sands of ques­tions we at this mag­a­zine are asked through­out each and ev­ery year, the most fre­quent theme is, ‘what should I buy?’ This is en­tirely un­der­stand­able in any equip­ment-based sport, and all the more so due to the mind-bog­gling ar­ray of hard­ware avail­able to to­day’s air­gun­ner.

This type of ques­tion isn’t re­served for new­com­ers, either. Ex­pe­ri­enced shoot­ers can also be un­sure of new de­vel­op­ments and emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy, and we get plenty of long-term read­ers con­tact­ing us for ad­vice, and that too is per­fectly un­der­stand­able, es­pe­cially when as­sem­bling a com­plete com­bi­na­tion.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve talked shoot­ers through their en­tire pro­posed kit list; ri­fle, scope, mounts, pel­lets and ri­fle case, plus all sorts of other ac­ces­sories such as bipods, chronos, clean­ing kits and lim­it­less items of hunt­ing gear. At the end of these con­ver­sa­tions, my ad­vice is al­ways the same, ‘Once you’ve bought it, take all the time you need to set it all up per­fectly.’ This is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant, and I usu­ally leave the per­son I’ve just ad­vised with a fi­nal thought, ‘No mat­ter how much you spend, no com­bi­na­tion will ever serve you prop­erly if you don’t set it up right.’

VI­TAL CHOICES

Choos­ing the right gear is a mas­sively com­pli­cated task, and get­ting any part of it wrong can se­ri­ously af­fect your suc­cess rate and there­fore the amount of plea­sure you get from this sport. This in turn will play its part on whether you stick with it, or not, and that is a huge driv­ing force for me, and for any­one else who is pas­sion­ate about the fu­ture of air­gun­ning. Thus, my ears pricked up when Jim, an Air­gun World reader of 15 years stand­ing, phoned me to tell me how happy he and his mate, Tony, were after a visit to Hert­ford­shire air­gun su­per­store, Ron­nie Sun­shines.

OUR READ­ERS’ EX­PE­RI­ENCE

James wanted a BSA R10, scope, mounts and bi­pod, and when he and Tony went to Ron­nie Sun­shines for a mid­week recce, James learned about their in-store com­plete combo su­perdeals, which in­cluded an out­fit that listed ex­actly what he needed, at a price that, ac­cord­ing to Jim, ‘saved me a right few bob.’ Then Jim be­came re­ally an­i­mated about what came next.

After sav­ing ‘a right few bob’, Jim was de­lighted to dis­cover that the Ron­nie’s deal also in­cluded a life­time war­ranty and ser­vic­ing for the orig­i­nal pur­chaser, plus a full day on the shop’s range for him­self and Tony. Jim could also have had his new out­fit as­sem­bled by one

of the Ron­nie Sun­shines’ tech­ni­cians, but Jim was happy to do that him­self.

A DAY AT RON­NIE SUN­SHINES

As re­vealed in last month’s is­sue, I re­cently dropped in to see David Craze and his crew at Ron­nie Sun­shines, to see the ‘com­plete out­fit’ deal in ac­tion. David took me through the whole ‘what the cus­tomer gets’ process, and I could see im­me­di­ately what Jim and Tony were so happy about. I came away with ex­actly the same BSA R10SE ‘Pro Kit’ out­fit Jim had bought and I thought I’d go through the com­po­nents to see how well they all worked to­gether, after which I’d study the whole con­cept of hav­ing your gear cho­sen for you. I found the process ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing and it threw up a ques­tion I’d like you to help me an­swer. Let’s study the gear, then.

THE RI­FLE

I’ve used the BSA R10 pretty much since it was re­leased, and I was part of this ri­fle’s pre-pro­duc­tion test­ing team, so I have no doubts about its per­for­mance or po­ten­tial. For the few who aren’t fa­mil­iar with the BSA R10, it’s a right-hand, bolt-ac­tion, fully-reg­u­lated, pre-charged pneu­matic sporter that runs a re­mov­able, ro­tary, 10-shot mag­a­zine. It has a fully-ad­justable, two-stage trig­ger, an oiled wal­nut stock with hard­wood fore end tip and grip cap set off by white­line spac­ers, plus a height-ad­justable butt pad.

The R10SE is sup­plied from a 280cc buddy bot­tle that is charged with air via a push-in adap­tor, and each charge should sup­ply over 150 shots in .177 and over 200 in .22, with min­i­mal vari­a­tion through­out, thanks to that reg­u­lated ac­tion.

BSA makes its own, cold ham­mer forged bar­rels and this ver­sion of the R10SE comes with that bar­rel fully shrouded and tipped with the fac­tory’s own si­lencer. Ac­cu­racy is a given, and past test­ing pro­duced sub-20mm groups at 45 yards in .177, us­ing Air Arms Di­abolo Field pel­lets. If you can out­shoot a prop­erly set up one of these, I’d surely like to meet you.

THE SCOPE AND MOUNTS

The team at Ron­nie Sun­shines have matched a Hawke 4-16 x 50IR scope with Hawke mounts. Hawke does an in­cred­i­ble amount of in-house test­ing on its products, so I’d have com­plete con­fi­dence that this scope and mounts will com­ple­ment the qual­ity of the ri­fle. That 4-16 for­mat is my per­sonal favourite for all-round hunt­ing use and the Hawke’s 50mm ob­jec­tive and il­lu­mi­nated ret­i­cle will take its owner round the clock, from first light stalk­ing, through lamp­ing trips.

THE AC­CES­SORIES

The Pro Kit out­fit I took away from Ron­nie Sun­shines in­cludes an ad­justable-height, tilt­ing bi­pod, a quick-de­tach­able, BSA sling, and a high-qual­ity, fully-padded hard case to keep ev­ery­thing se­cure. Study this out­fit from any an­gle you like, and there’s no doubt­ing the qual­ity of the hard­ware. Back it all up with that free ser­vic­ing for life and life­time war­ranty for the orig­i­nal pur­chaser, plus a full day on the range with ex­pert ad­vice on set­ting it all up, and it’s ob­vi­ous why these to­tal pack­age deals are as pop­u­lar as they are.

The com­plete pack­age - just add air and pel­lets.

Jeff’s an ex­pe­ri­enced, knowl­edge­able shooter, but he can see the at­trac­tion of the com­plete pack­age.

The Hawke 4-16 x 50 AR IR is one of the ver­sa­tile op­tics around. Good choice. .

Solid mounts as­sist solid per­for­mance. .

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