Edi­tor’s Wel­come

Airgun World - - Contents -

The edi­tor em­braces change and ap­plauds a remarkable man

As I write, the long, hot days of our remarkable sum­mer have fi­nally given way to early au­tumn. Morn­ings are de­cid­edly damp and misty, and there’s def­i­nitely a nip in the air for those of us who are up and about at first light. My boots land more softly now, as I stalk around my shoots, and the heady scent of the fields and woods has be­come richer. I’ll soon be out at night, still mainly with the lamp, but the creep­ing tide of tech­nol­ogy has car­ried away most of my shoot­ing mates, and they’re now com­mit­ted night-vi­sion and ther­mal hard­ware users. I’ll have to make the move, soon, no doubt about it.

Progress and change is one of the as­pects of our sport, and of life it­self, we just have to ac­cept, even when we’d rather things re­mained com­fort­ably fa­mil­iar, but as you’ll see in this is­sue, I’m at last com­ing to terms with that, and so can my fel­low time-warp air­gun­ners.

AL­MOST EV­ERY­THING CHANGES

Dur­ing my half-cen­tury or so of ‘se­ri­ous’ air­gun use, I’ve seen so many changes and so much progress, at least in terms of hard­ware qual­ity and per­for­mance. Air­guns, and their users, can now ac­tu­ally do most of the things some of the ‘less re­al­is­tic’ shoot­ers of yes­ter­year claimed they could. Nei­ther can re­li­ably ful­fil the claims still so un­wisely made by cer­tain peo­ple, mainly on the In­ter­net it has to be said, but as far as tech­nol­ogy goes, we’ve never had it so good.

BUT SOME THINGS DON’T

One as­pect of our sport that re­mains a greater chal­lenge than it’s ever been, is find­ing per­mis­sion to hunt, and if ever in­spi­ra­tion were needed, last month’s mag­a­zine had pages of it. I’m talk­ing about dis­abled shooter, Russ Dou­glas, and his remarkable hunt­ing ex­ploits.

Russ is a young man who has more than his share of chal­lenges, just to do what most of us take for granted, but he never al­lows his dis­abil­ity to stop him. Russ is a mod­est, de­ter­mined, hard­work­ing per­son, who puts a great deal of thought, plan­ning and en­ergy into his air­gun­ning, and it’s that com­bi­na­tion, plus his ami­able na­ture and will­ing­ness to give any­thing a go, that gets him where he is.

Russ would be the first to tell you, ‘if I can do it, so can you.’ He’s right, and I ap­plaud him for his ‘can-do’ at­ti­tude. Well done, Russ, you’re an ex­am­ple to us all, mate.

YET MORE CHANGES

Back to things that have changed, and some­thing per­sonal for me. I used to ac­tively dis­like the so-called ‘tac­ti­cal’ ri­fles, and now I gen­uinely do not. They’ll never be ‘old Betsy’, be­cause they are prod­ucts of prac­ti­cal­ity, with min­i­mal con­ces­sions to sport­ing style, but there’s no deny­ing how ef­fec­tive th­ese ri­fles can be. I’ve tested enough of them now to truth­fully change my stance on them, and not be­fore time, ac­tu­ally.

Yes, looks and the move­able feast that is style will al­ways be vi­tal com­po­nents of our sport, but func­tion is ab­so­lutely key, and many of th­ese tac­ti­cal ri­fles per­form to a remarkable stan­dard. Long may our air­gun va­ri­eties con­tinue to spice up our sport­ing lives!

All the best.

My an­i­mos­ity to­ward tac­ti­cal ri­fles has fi­nally ended – and not be­fore time.

Russ Dou­glas is a to­tal in­spi­ra­tion.

Edi­tor Re­minder - The Novem­ber is­sue is on sale on Wednes­day the 24th of Oc­to­ber!

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