Tuesday, 5 November 2013


At the time of writing this feature a bit of sadness is creeping in. The long sunny evenings are coming to an end and the thought of evening walks with the rifle after work will be a distant memory.
Don't get me wrong I will be looking forward to some frosty morning squirrel hunts and getting out with the lamp on those rabbits that are raw to the red filter but its not the same as getting bitten to death and being warm.
This feature will be a close to my summer hunts but it is to show just what can be achieved in just a couple of hours and why I like to just be able to pick the rifle up any evening and get out.
I had shot this ground a couple of days before and it was a real red letter session.
Within an hour I had taken 8 shots and had 8 kills , it seemed every corner I crept around had something feeding well within range.
I had decided to have another walk and take the camera this time as I thought taking the same route would be an easy feature to write up about as I was sure to shoot something.
I had loaded the Rapid up and with the head net and gloves on I set off.
It wasn't long before I got to the first location , it was in a quiet corner of one of the small cattle fields. There is a small thistle patch about 30 yards long and probably 10 feet wide. These thistle patches are always a winner for me as rabbits always seem to feed in between them.
You can look and not see anything in there at first and you get the tendency to step out to carry on to the next spot. I used to get caught out quite regular but if you really look hard you will often see a pair of ears moving amongst the thistles as the rabbit eats.
I will not move from my resting place until I had scanned and scanned again, failure makes you work hard and the rewards will show with time.
On this evening surprisingly there was no rabbits in there at all. Carrying on to the next spot that produced the last time again showed nothing out feeding but about 80 yards away on top of a bank I could see one out feeding.
As I had my camera with me this time I had to use a ruck sack and in this hot weather it was already getting warm so I took it off and carried on this stalk without it.
Also there is nothing worse when you think you are low enough to keep out of eyes way and you forget about the ruck sack and the rabbit runs off after seeing it over the nettles or long grass.
I had reached about half way and at this point the bank is high enough where you are out of view, the main task now is finding a place where you can creep up the bank and have somewhere to hide behind and take your shot.
I had got to the opposite end of the bank and only thirty yards from where the rabbit was feeding, the only draw back not seeing the rabbit was is it still in its original spot or had it moved.
I had crept up to a birch tree that had two thickish trunks that left a gap four feet up to shoot through.
The rabbit was pretty close to where I had spotted it so I slowly pushed the rapid through the gap and raised my head up behind the scope. I have been in this situation before in the winter and most times I get spotted as I lift my head up but this time of year the leaves give you a good backdrop and your camo blends in well leaving no silhouette in the gap.
With a good rest for the Rapid I lined the rabbit and pulled the trigger , the rabbit sunk to its stomach when the pellet struck and a couple of nervous twitches lay motionless for kill number one.
I gutted the rabbit and hid it in some long grass for retrieval later and carried onto my next hot spot.
It was a good 30 minutes and 5 hotspots later that I got my next chance. Tonight was not going to plan for some reason and the rabbits were not showing where they are usually on the dot.
This next chance was another rabbit feeding in the open in a corner of a horse paddock . The tricky part was now getting within range,but I had a plan. There were quite a few small jumps that had been placed in the field , these were thick tree trunks that were just thick enough to cover me if I kept really low.
I had slid like a snake for a good twenty yards , I had crossed from one jump to another always having something between me and the rabbit . There was hardly a breeze here and I had decided to take the rabbit from this last jump that I had reached.
Previous days shooting from this spot when ambushing them had shown 35 yards on the range finder so rather than chance being seen I was confident to take my shot from here.
The rabbit was happily feeding with it back to me, this helped enormously as I could rest the Rapid on the end of the log and shoot comfortable.
I lifted my head up just as the rabbit turned its head and my cover was blown. The rabbit looked straight at me and I could see it was ready to run for cover .
I wasted no time in putting the centre of the cross just above the middle of ear and eye and let the pellet do its worst.
With the rabbit gutted and hid I set off again in search of another.
Things did not got as well as the last time I was out and where ever I thought a rabbit would be there was nothing. I didn't want to give up with two rabbits for a feature in the summer as this is the time we should be having the best times on our grounds so I decided to go to a place that I have not been to for a while.
This part of ground has small bushy trees that have only just got high enough to get under comfortably. There is a mixture of Birch, Oak and Hazel and the grass is pretty long here so actually seeing a rabbit or anything in the trees is pretty hard, but I had a plan.
Over the years I have walked through the trees to other parts of the ground I have made a nice path through one row. This row is quite close to the edge of the field , there are rabbit burrows and large oak trees dotted along here so something should show up.
I had spotted a pile of fresh Hazel nut shells half way along the path and really made my mind up on what I was going to do.
Using the shadows under a Hazel tree I had planned to let the quarry come to me , I knew the squirrels were not going to be finished feeding yet and surely would be going back to that same spot to get more nuts to store fore the winter.
I was going to lie along the path but from the shadow I could see one of the big oaks that might just give me a chance of a pigeon and it would have no chance of knowing I was there.
I had been sitting still for around 20 minutes when movement no more than 10 yards in front of me caught my eye. I wasted no time turning the parallax down on the scope as I lifted it to my eye and scanned through the ferns where I last saw what ever it was move. It was a good minute before I finally spotted what it was. I had noticed a big eye looking through the ferns right at me , the sun had just shone through the trees and I could make out the pink glow of sunny rabbit ears.
The rabbit sat motionless , staring straight at me, I would love to know what it was thinking when it saw me as I am sure it did not have a clue what I was. I found a small gap where I could thread the pellet through to its brain and thump , number three was in the bag.
I didn't want to move from the shadows and give myself away so I cocked the Rapid ready for my next chance.
It was about 15 minutes from when I last shot the rabbit when I heard something right above my head. The Hazel tree is about ten foot high and unknown to me a squirrel had managed to sneak in and start pulling the nuts from the tree. I was sitting as still as possible scanning through the leaves when I noticed the grey fur no more than 5 feet above me. I know if I had been wearing the JackPyke LLCS suit I probably would have had it jump on me but as it got to the lower barer branches it spotted me. It froze solid for a few seconds before running straight down the clearing in front of me. I thought my chance had gone as I had tracked it through the scope but I noticed it looking at me from behind the thin trunk that it had disappeared behind. Resting the rapid on my knee I held a steady aim just behind its eye and as the pellet hit his head it curled up and dropped to the floor. I decided to go and pick up the rabbit that I had shot before and head back to a promising ambush point before the sun set low enough to loose the light.
This ambush has produced some good results as the rabbit numbers are quite high in the little spinney that runs next to a trailer. At this time of evening the sun shines longest here and the rabbits seem to sit out getting those last few rays and under the trailer the shadow gives you excellent cover.
I had been here for about 10 minutes when I had my first shot. Two three quarter grown rabbits had come from the cover together and rather than sit close to the edge of the fence line they ran straight out into the field. In this situation I try and get a shot of as soon as possible as I nearly always get a second shot as they are still pretty raw to rifles and to be honest if they had ever heard a shot they were certainly the lucky ones that didn't get the lead in their head. This pair succumbed to the .177 pellets , although the second one ran a couple of yards as it was startled from the first rabbits impact he joined its friend on the floor. I had managed to to get another in range before the sun dropped and finished with a pretty good bag considering the start I had.
Using the shadows worked a treat tonight where I had no problems in the sun the time before but it just goes to show if you work hard you will always get a result.


Every time we read about a new rifle on the scene there is always some doubt because you really want to try it out before parting with your hard earned cash. They look nice and reports of everything they can do can sway you to go for it. If your like me you want to know deep down how well they will do in the field , how consistent it is and how many shots you can expect from a fill.
In my mini reviews that I do in the field I try to be as accurate and honest as I can get , the amount of words I have are limited so I can only go on how I found it personally in the short time I have the rifle.
The rifle that I have this month is a bit different because I owned one , it was formerly known as the Webley Sidewinder. It also had a couple more names as Webley were not the only ones to supply it and this did cause some confusion amongst the public. The Sidewinder I had was extremely accurate , it had a nice thumb hole stock and a pretty good shot count straight out of the box. It was a bit noisy when the vibration on the tube as it was fired gave of the dreaded `boing' noise that you get without a de-twanger and in the end I just stopped using it. It was a petty reason to sell it as it was nice to hold and shoot but I could not help myself.
Recently a good friend and a wizard with rifles Simon Atkins asked me if I would like to review the new look and re named rifle. I was a little apprehensive about it because I thought well how can it be different , it is still made in the same factory so what could I be excited about.
Well after a few chats with Simon I agreed to go over to his unit where he trades as the Airgun Doctor to see what all the hype was about.
Now normally I don't go into to much technical detail about the rifle as all I want to do is shoot it in the field but what I will do is tell you some of the answers I got from Simon on his grilling and show you some results I witnessed first hand when we did a shot count.
My first question was an obvious one and that was what it is now called.
It is called the Evanix blizzard S10 .”
So why would you want to supply a rifle that had mixed reviews when Webley showcased it some time back.”
Having worked closely with Evanix whilst at Logun & Webley, I suppose it came as no surprise that we were the obvious choice to ‘spec’ the new arrivals when  AC Guns became the official UK supplier for the Evanix product range, having worked with AC Guns in the past on the Sumatra rifles.”
All well and good you have worked on these rifles before but tell me why I should part with my hard earned cash because of a few modifications.”
The rifles have seen many factory improvements since the old prestige, Webley and Armex models. The factory spec guns we were given to start with were much changed from the previous incarnations, using some parts from the unreleased Logun Black Widow. Although these guns may look similar to the above, they are most definitely not. In fact very few parts could be considered to be interchangeable, so what’s different thus far……”
I am still not convinced here.
The number and position of sealing O rings has been changed, less O rings = less chance of any air loss. The magazine system is now completely different, it is now 13 shot in .177, or 11 in .22, completely self indexing and can be inserted from either side. The Breech block is now shorter and slimmer, valving, hammers etc are also altered. The guns were undoubtedly now much improved, however, we couldn’t resist making a few ‘modifications’ of our own!
Having been continuously ‘tinkering’ with my own Webley Venom Sidewinder for the last few years, that is, when I actually get the chance to work on my own guns! the results of these modifications and improvements are now the standard set up in the new Evanix models.”
So you are going to test and make sure every rifle that is sold shoots exactly the way a factory rifle should. “
Definitely , that is what I would want if I was the customer and to have my name linked to a rifle , I want to make sure it does exactly what I claim.”
After a look at the rifle I wanted to know about the consistency and shot count and a raised eye brow from simon had me waiting impatiently for his answer.
Without giving too much away, we have managed to virtually double the original factory shot count, with most .177 rifles doing 170 shots, and the .22’s doing over 200, all this with no regulator!
We have made several alterations to the way air is metered  to the firing valve, both in terms of flow rate, and capacity available to the valve for each shot, porting is now much more efficient throughout the charge range, the hammer spring rate and length has been modified, along with hammer length and weight too. This has seen some fantastic results such as the massive shot count per fill and very flat power curve. The guns are now considerably quieter too, also due to more efficient air use.”
Now a claim of 200 shots from a tubed rifle is going to be laughed at from some but I had only one thing on my mind and that was his chronograph sitting in the corner of the room.
To test this claim we shot one through the chrono and nine more into a safety tin just to quicken up the process and make it possible to photograph the results that were on the PC screen. A quick fill up to 200 bar from the diver bottle and after god knows how long we finally got a shot under 11ftlb.
Looking at the pc it showed nearly 180 shots in .177 over 11ftlb and the shot to shot consistency was brilliant. The only drop we had was the pellet I sneaked in that I squashed a little bit as Simon was getting rather cocky , The gauge was reading 100 bar at the end of the test so there is room for improvement I think, “only kidding Simon”.
We did do more tests on the rifle shooting 5 magazines continuous through the chrono and the results were just the same. The side cocking lever and new type magazine also cycled faultlessly through out the test but I need space to write about how I got on hunting so I will stop the technical stuff now.
I had been playing with the Blizzard for a couple of weeks now so I decided it was time for the big test. I had planned for an early morning assault on some rabbits and then try my hand at a few magpies that I had noticed knocking around the fields.
I had arrived at my local shoot about 6am , the sun was already shining and pretty warm. I had thought about getting up earlier but a late night put any dent on that and I needed some sleep.
I knew on this ground where most of the rabbits are and I have shot many a rabbit here so creeping up on them should be a breeze. I started off at the bottom end of the ground, this gave me the very slight breeze in my face and also I can creep up right to them as most of the gaps in the fence are on my left side. This lets me get close to the ground and look around corners better without being seen before I slide the rifle into place for the shot if one presents itself, if I was working around the opposite direction shooting to my right I would have to show more of myself to get a shot as I lined the scope up to my eye.
Well this plan went on for about an hour and although I did see the odd rabbit nothing was in the gaps I was looking through so I moved onto a more productive spot.
My first rabbit was a bit of a surprise . I had just climbed over a gate and was starting my stalk down the side of a small bank. I had spooked a rabbit in the long grass and as it ran through it it must have startled another. I fell flat on my face as fast as possible as I know the second rabbit had not been spooked by me so on the off chance of it stopping I needed to get ready as soon as possible. The rabbit had run to my left over to a small bump with a hawthorn bush right in the middle of it, it was only 25 yards away so the shot was not going to be hard. The nice kind rabbit stopped near the trunk of the hawthorn in the shade , it was very alert and I knew it was looking in my direction. The sun was shining on the rifle and the monster scope that Simon had graced the rifle with was sticking out like a sore thumb , I was praying it would give me a few more seconds to line it up in the cross hairs and oblige it did. I had gently squeezed the blizzards trigger and sent the pellet on its way , the millisecond of silence that seemed to have passed was broken with a loud thump and the rabbit rolled on its side.
The first hit with the rifle was pleasing to say the least but now I needed more. I had walked over to where I was planning my magpie stint when through the branches of a hawthorn I noticed a couple of rabbits feeding about 30 yards out into the field, I was surprised to see them feeding so far out here as they normally sit pretty close to the hedge line here. My challenge now was to get under the tree and through the bracken to be able to get a clear shot. I slowly pushed myself through the grass stopping every few seconds to see if I had alerted them , to my surprise they were oblivious to my presence and once through I even managed to get into a kneeling position.
I lined up on the closest rabbit and wasted no time pulling the trigger , the rabbit lay kicking with its legs outstretched while the second rabbit sat alert but knew nothing of what had happened to its friend. I quickly cycled another pellet into the rifles breech and lay the other rabbit on its side within a foot of the other.
I was so impressed with the slick side lever and the new magazine , it was very quiet and I was able to keep the rifle more or less on the rabbit as I loaded it again, I was even more impressed as there was no boing from the tube.
As I was at the magpie ambush point I decided to set out my decoy over a gutted rabbit. Unfortunately I have ran out of space to go into to much detail but after a good long hour I finally got a magpie in my sights . It had come straight in to the decoy and was giving it some right grief. I could hear others calling from behind , I did not want to miss this opportunity and with a nice head shot I lay the magpie to rest.It did not take long for a few more to come in going crazy at the sight of one of their family sprawled out in the field and in a matter of minutes I had managed to get 3 more.
Its always the same with magpies , you wait for ages for them to arrive and within a few seconds you have shot the family and so protecting so many songbirds in the process, its so satisfying .
I did manage to get a wood pigeon and another rabbit from the hide to finish off a very productive morning and it was a nice reunion with a much improved rifle from the past.
Now the verdict.
Would I buy one? .
If I had no other rifle and this was going to be my main one then yes, the loading cycle is very smooth and the shot count is way too impressive not to consider it. I would definitely put a smaller scope on it as well. Its build quality is really nice with a nice bluing to finish it off. I would though consider a stock upgrade from the ambi sporter only because it felt better on the old rifle I had.
Well I hope you have got something to consider now as I know Simon will make this one very special rifle fer everyone who buys one or he will eat his hat.

Rifles can be purchased from Airgun Doctor AGD Ltd Tel ...01543 876800 & 07970 770604

or AC Guns LTD Tel 01424 752261 http://www.acguns.co.uk

prices start from £560


I have been doing a lot of night shooting lately with the old man . We have been clearing a few rabbits from a new ground with his 17 HMR and the Pulsar N550 Digi Sight. This has given us the edge and we have made a good dent in the population , but shooting like this will soon end any sport for the summer. I now we have to do a good job to keep the farmer happy but like every hunter out there , we like to leave a few even if the farmer says no . One recent trip out I was talking to the farmer , he was pleased with the results we had since we were going and mentioned he had a few rats knocking about some old silo towers . Rats are becoming pretty scarce around my parts on any of my permissions so to get a chance at some new ones was music to my ears . I had kept it quiet from the old man and about a week later I just happened to mention that I needed to borrow his Pulsar for a few hours to test it on my Rapid.
The questions soon started to flow from his mouth , Why ? What ? Where ? , he knew something was not quite right and blagged my head until I caved in and told him about the Rats .
That was it , I had no chance on the planet of getting the Pulsar from him now and it was soon mounted on his Rapid ready for some action . Not to be put off with the lack of skills of keeping my mouth shut I agreed he could come and I would use the trusty Led Lenser T7 light .
When ever I use a lamp or torch for ratting the light source needs to be as low as possible , you have a very short window in which to get your cross hairs on target so a bright light shining on the rat will spook it even quicker than a dull one . I always use a red filter as well , for some reason the rat is not as spooked with this colour over any other that I have tried.
Shooting rats is going to be quick fire action so you don't want a scope with a high magnification setting. I usually shoot with a 6 x magnification as it gives me a good chance to see the rat quickly but not make it small enough so it takes me longer to get the head shot that I want . Rats are hardy little animals , I thought squirrels were tough until I started shooting rats. If you use a .177 then I will stress a head shot is the only way to go for a clean kill.
While I am going to be using all my skills as a pro hunter (cough , cough ) to get a few rats , my old man might as well get a deck chair set up and just sit and wait for them to smile for him . The night vision set up rules rat shooting over any other method . If you sit quiet enough they will just keep coming out looking for food and make your night so much more productive.
As it was a request by the farmer to get as many as possible you will see why I wanted to steal the N550 from the old man and go alone , I would get all the glory , a big bag of rats and not have to work hard for it.
Well a nice night finally descended on us in rainy Staffordshire so we made the call to go for it. We arrived at the farm just before dark so we could get any information from the farmer where they would be most active. We found that the two silo's had a bit of grain still in them and when I opened the door of one of them all I seen was a mix of grain and rat droppings. This was definitely my hot spot , I noticed a hole in the floor of the silo where the rats were coming in from underneath , all I had to do was wait and flick the lamp on every couple of minutes in the hope my target would be in front of me.
The main place for the old man was going to be one of the cattle sheds . The farmer has boarded this all the way around up to five feet high. The rats have chewed a good hole in one corner and it looks like it could hold many rats behind it. Also it will give them time to come out in the open while not getting shined on and they can be shot away from the hole so not to spook the others .
Now our tactics were sorted out it was time to set zero on the scopes. As I was shooting at such close ranges I wanted to set my zero at around 8 yards , I know its common practice to set your cross dead centre but with the target being so small I opted to set my first dot below the cross as my aim point . This setting gave me the clearest view of the rats head as the centre cross can cover a lot of the target you are after and when you need to be quick its the best option for me. With the Pulsar you can change to a reticle to what suits you and a small dot dead centre of your scope is a great option to have. Rifles all ready for action we set off to the old man's location .
We had walked quietly to the gate of the barn that we had chose for him , he turned on the pulsar and took his first look at what he had in store for the night. I was looking into the dark filled with anticipation of him saying yes I see one , but that call never came . Instead he said “ There's 2 , no 3 , no , 4 ,no 8 “ I just whispered to him to just bloody one instead of rubbing it in that he could see loads and me nothing but darkness . He had been watching then for at least a minute , he still had not shot one so being the the nice son I am I shone my torch in there . The suspense was killing me and I just wanted to see a rat , and that is what I did. Within seconds most of them darted for the safety of the hole in the corner but one stayed long enough for me to get a bead on it and I sent a pellet straight for it. The loud slap of the pellet sent it backwards and a few twitches later it was stone dead. “1-0 “ to me I said to him laughing as I walked off to my location , Well he did spoil my nights shooting in the dark in the first place so revenge is sweet .
I know some one will be thinking why did I turn my lamp on while a nigh vision scope is turned on . The Pulsar N550 is digital so any light source wont harm it like more conventional tubes in some NV scopes.
Still quietly laughing to myself I reached the point from where I could see inside the silo I was going to shoot in. I pressed the pressure pad to light my torch and was greeted by two pairs of eyes shining back at me . One of the rats made for a quick exit down the hole but the one furthest from the hole just sat looking at me , I quickly put the dot between its eyes and the pellet hitting its mark gave me rat number 2 in the bag. Now it was a waiting game I would lift the rifle to my shoulder and turn the light on every five minutes in the hope a rat had ventured back out and would just sit long enough for me to get a shot off.
Half an hour had passed now and to be honest I was struggling , every time I turned to light on I would see a rat but they would not sit. It is very frustrating but you have to be patient and after nearly an hour I was rewarded again. I turned the light on and there was three rats out this time , one bolted straight away but two stayed for some reason. Quickly I put the dot on the rat and killed number three the other ran for cover , I wasn't surprised by this but what did get me wondering was why did the other two stay . I had come to the conclusion they were either dumb or as I had shined the lamp on them so many times and nothing happened to them they had lost some fear of the it.
I decided to take a walk to so how the old man was doing , he was still stood in the same place so he must be doing something here. I asked him how he was getting on and if they rats were coming out ok for him. I didn't get a very detailed response but what I could squeeze out of him is he had got a couple.
I was dying to shine the light in there and see how many he had but I had messed it up once for him and if I did it again I think I would blow any chance of stealing the Pulsar in the future from him.
I left him to his shooting and decided to have a walk around the cattle sheds just in case there was the odd one about elsewhere . I was nearly at the far end of the sheds now so I decided to shine in a shed with some cows in. I was surprised to see not one but four rats trying to make their escape towards some pallets by the gate. I rushed round to where the pallets were and thought to myself if I can get close the hole where they are running I might just get one as it stops to go in. I had got to the pallets now and close to the hole was an understatement , I was about a foot away , there was a food trough along the gate and they had to run down the side of it to get to the hole, a perfect ambush point I thought. I shone the torch and there was one about two feet away , I wasn'

t quick enough to stop him but I could see one bounding its way towards me through the cows legs. I shone the torch right over the gap where I thought he would come through but no , The rat had other ideas ! . As he came towards the trough he didn't run down the side as I thought he would , he jumped straight on top of it no more than a foot in front of me and went straight between my legs . Now I know many readers will have heard about Ian Harfords dangerous escape from a cow that hit him and if you seen the film of it you would have heard him scream , now put yourself in my situation . I have a giant rat coming at me full pelt , he is heading for his hole when all of a sudden he heads straight at me . This is no pet cow I remind you , it is a wild animal with big teeth bearing down on me, all it wants to do is take me out . I screamed higher than Mr Harford could ever reach and jumped and skipped and shivered all the way back to the old man.
Now this is where you mere Sons will definitely feel for me , I told my old man of my dangerous escape and that it might have been the last he would have seen of me alive , instead of embracing me like a father should he nearly dropped his Rapid laughing. Well that's family for you I thought so I decided to shine in his spot and see what he had shot .
He had nailed me on this occasion so far , he had seven rats to my three , a smug grin made me feel like choking him but fair is fair he had the tool to win was my excuse . We decided to just go for a walk about and see what we could get with what time remained before we had to head back . I had the old man looking for them and I would shoot them just for a bit of sport for myself. We ended up getting three more with the lamp , I even got one of those from the killer pack by the pallets . As we were just about to pick the rats up and call it a night my old man sneakily shot one more, he had spotted one in between two sheds and waited until I had walked past it , he then crept in for a rest and took it out to bring the total to fourteen.
I know this was not pest control to the fullest but we did find get a lot of information for our next trip out. I will hopefully get hold of some kind of night vision kit for myself to try out and this time make a proper dent in the rat population between us.

Always use disposable glove to pick up any shot rats. I forgot mine but the gloves I used were disinfected and washed straight away .

Always carry a first aid kit , if you cut yourself you will need to cover the wound up just in case of any infection getting in. I use antiseptic had scrub after any rat shoot .

Always discard any Rats on a fire if the farmer has one going or is planning to have one.


The rifle that I am reviewing has been in my possession for some time now and rather than rush and write about it I needed some time to really get to grips with it.
When the LGV first came out I did read up on it when it was reviewed in AirGunner and having read a lot of comments both good and bad on various forums I thought it was now time to put my views across and however right or wrong it may be in the readers eyes , it is going to be how I got on with it.
Rather than go into detailed techno stuff as its been done before I will say how it looked to me personally then spend more time writing on how I did in the field with it.
The rifle in question is the Walther LGV Challenger in .22 calibre , most of you who have owned one should agree with me straight away on how well the rifle looks and is put together.
Straight out of the box the rifle looks the part. Its black synthetic stock looked rather nice with its swirls where the chequering would normally sit on a more traditional rifle stock , the rest of the stock was nice and smooth and the care and attention to detail was not missing one bit over it.
The bluing is not as smooth and deep as the higher end Theobens or Air Arms rifles that I have had but it is still well done to a very acceptable level.
The barrel lock underneath the barrel can be a bit fiddly if you have never had a rifle with one but it was pretty easy to engage once I had had a few shots and once closed the lock up on the barrel was nice and tight with no movement what so ever.
The fibre optic foresight was to me a bit chunky and in my opinion could be left off the rifle, I would rather there be no open sights at all and a nice silencer fitted as standard.
The LGV will be coming with a scope and screw on silencer in the package so that would out weigh the need for open sights. With all that in mind I think it would look more of a hunting rifle and give it a more slicker look.
The LGV is certainly a light rifle for its size , it looks a long rifle once the silencer is on but honestly the only things that I felt let it down a little was it felt a bit front heavy ,if I was to own one I would a little more weight at the rear and that would sort that out.
The other gripe that I had and a couple of my friends that shot the LGV was how forward the trigger was. On a few occasions all of us would be trying to pull the back of the trigger guard instead of the trigger but the more we shot it the more used to it we got and in time it soon stopped being a problem.
Now the bit I really liked about the LGV .
When shooting a springer your first reaction is going to be to hold it a little tighter expecting recoil, but to my surprise there was hardly any.
When I shot it I was sickeningly in awe of how it shot. The recoil was nothing like I had felt from a out of the box spring rifle before, the level of kick is something you would expect to get from a highly tuned gas strut rifle, not a springer straight off the production line. The report from the fore end was nothing but a p hut and this is exactly what any hunter is looking for in the field.
I would expect this to be a little harder if it was a carbine but in no way will I take the shine off how it performed as standard.
Now for those few customers that have reported on the forums that this was not the case with their rifles, I would advise you to have a chat with your suppliers as they should all shoot as near to this one I had. I will add mine did still have its tags attached and the box it came in definitely looked unopened so I would say it had not been messed with before I got it for test.
I can not really think of any more of the boring stuff to talk about now so lets see how it performed in the field.
I have taken the Challenger out on numerous occasions since I have had it in my possession . The first hurdle I came across and has been a constant problem in sunlight was the shine I got from the rifle. Even though the synthetic stock is kind of a matte look it still directs the suns rays at any quarry’s eyes you are trying to sneak up on but once I had used a few of the Jack Pyke leaves all over it to break it up it was not such a problem and I did manage to get a lot more shots off.
For this feature I had to use it bare , covering a rifle that you are supposed to see what I am writing about is not an option thanks to the editorial staff so a different approach was needed to get something to show for my efforts.
Rather than waste time walking about and shoot nothing I had decided to sit it out amongst some trees that run opposite a few small warrens . The distance can vary from 25-40 yards so getting the distance spot on is a must as the drop from a .22 pellet to a .177 that I am more used to could result in injuries to rabbits and that is not an option.
I had set myself up behind a trunk of one of the thickest trees, sitting down and resting on my knee would give me a steady platform for a more accurate pellet placement. I had been sitting for a while and the sun had crept high enough to shine over the warrens, you know something has to show its self sooner or later as there are a few rabbits that live here. It was another half hour when three half grown rabbits sat proudly over the holes warming themselves up with the suns rays , its so tempting to shoot one when its a new rifle you have in your possession but I had shot a few before with the LGV so I held out for another ten minutes until momma finally showed herself.
The younger rabbits were happily chasing each other around in circles and mum decided to break from her seat near the hole she emerged from and settled in the short grass to have an early breakfast. I knew the distance was around 28 -30 yards so all I had to do was make sure the cross hair was bang on behind its ear. I like shooting like this as the rabbits have no idea your there and all caution is out of the window once they start eating. I steadied myself and gently held the LGV in my shoulder , I had to give a little clicking noise to get the rabbit to lift its head as it was moving to much while feeding. With the rabbit side on looking what the noise was I squeezed the trigger and watched the pellet arc towards the rabbit. The sun shining on the pellet skirt made it easy to see and before it got two thirds of the way across I knew it was bang on. The rabbit jumped about a foot in the air and landed firmly on its back, a couple of kicks to finish and it was dead.
The three younger ones headed back to the warren looking and wondering where the shot came from , thinking I could get one of these three I cocked the rifle as slow as I could but as I was trying to close it up again they spotted me and headed underground.
Not to be down about a possible pair I sat and waited for my next shot.
It was about half hour after my last shot that I noticed a ball of brown fur some sixty yards further up the hedge line to my right , unfortunately the trees I was in thins out considerably here so trying to creep up on it was not going to be easy . Not to be a defeatist I started my slow walk through what cover I could use to help break up my outline. What seemed like an age I eventually managed to get within thirty five yards . Now with my Rapid this would be a formality but I decided to try and get that little bit closer . The rabbit was feeding with its back to me so I decided to go for it, I was creeping so slow at one point that I must have resembled a chemealean to any eyes that could have been on me. I was now out of my comfort zone , the trees were bare and thin now but I only had a couple of more yards to go . I was only about one more yard away to get a nice rest when the rabbit sat upright , it was looking straight at me, I was like a statue , not even an eye lash was moving. The rabbit eventually started to feed again so I lifted my foot up to start off again, the rabbit again looked straight at me I froze again until it decided it could feed safely again.
Standing with one foot off the ground for at least three minutes was not the best thing to have to endure but I was determined to get this rabbit after all the effort I had put in. I had finally put my foot down for the last time and was ready to raise the rifle into position, the rabbit was looking in my direction knowing something was not right. Either the rabbit was short sighted or thick I don't know but I managed to lift the rifle between the thin branches and get my eye to the scope.
I was looking at a nice plump rabbit , the cross was just lining up behind its ear ready for my next shot when it decided to go for a little hop down the field to my left. I was gutted , all that bloody effort and it waltzes off. I tracked it on its journey down the hedgerow through the scope and it seemed to go on for ages. I pulled my eye from the scope to see exactly where it was and to my surprise it was still in range. It may have run past me but it had stopped about 10 yards to my left and I was still around the 30 yard range. I wasted no time taking the shot this time and he finally lay on its side.
I cant remember the last time I had put so much effort into getting a rabbit, I will say this though , it was one of the most heart stopping stalks I think I have had in years , there was so many emotions going through my body at one time it really made me see why I still love hunting so much. Now all that has put me over my word count now but I will go on to say that I did manage one more rabbit and a lucky pigeon that decided to land in a tree directly above me while I was waiting for another shot. The last rabbit had me walk out into the field behind me and crawl on my stomach to the far end of the trees , it was sitting opposite an open space between the trees and there was no other way to get to it. I managed to crawl up to some nettles and take a relatively easy resting shot to claim my third and final one of the session.
The LGV has performed faultlessly since it has been in my possession and if I was in the market for a springer I might just be tempted. I would probably go for a wooden stock myself and that's just my preference as the black synthetic one is nice it was just the balance that might have put me off it.
I have seen the prices differ on a few sites for these rifles so if you are interested shop around as you might just get the bargain you have been searching for.
Armex will be selling these with a scope and silencer with the new stock so old stock probably wont
feature these additions.

For details of the bundle or stockists ring Armex on 01216434900 or you can message them on their web site here http://armex-airgun.co.uk/