You ever have one of those trips that just seems to go on and on? Well, my original plans were to have been back in Havasu late last week with plenty of time to crank out some work product for the blog. I’ve grown to write all my plans in pencil, because you just never know what may change. As it sits now, I’ll be back early next week. So, I’m going to fill you all in on some fun that I’ve been having out at our TX ranch.
There are advantages to being “rustically” located
Let me paint a very short picture as to where our ranch is located. We are 8 miles from the nearest paved road. The nearest gas station and/or traffic light is 30 to 45 minutes away depending on the roads. You could say it’s “rustic.”
I love coming out here for a couple of reasons. First, my family live full time on the ranch so I love to get to see them. Second, we have access to several hundreds of acres with no neighbors for miles. This means I can shoot whatever I want, just about whenever I want. Here’s a shot that I took with my aerial photography rig while at the ranch this week.
It’s always fun to do a little testing
The wind has been averaging 20 to 25 miles an hour. That just not going to work for testing for accuracy, but it doesn’t mean that we still can’t get in a bit of testing and some basic target practice. I started with my newly acquired Galatian QE in .22 caliber. I’ll have a full review of this gun coming along shortly. For now I wanted to get an idea of its basic performance. Given the advertised velocity and knowing that Hatsan Barrels seem to like JSB pellets, I shot the 18.13 grain JSB heavies over my Alpha Red Chronograph. The Galatian did not disappoint, averaging 958 FPS across a full mag of 14 shots. That’s about 37 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. As you get into the 2nd mag, the velocity really starts to drop, but remains usable throughout the full additional 14 shots. Accuracy stayed on point even through the 2nd mag as long as we kept it to reasonable distances like 25 and 35 yards. At full power, i.e. through the first mag, the Galatian is a 50 yard shooter all day long.
Nuisance bird removal with the Marauder Synthetic .22 caliber
The second day started out calmer but by the time we actually got out to do some airgun work, the winds had gotten really ridiculous. Our close friend and ranch foreman mentioned that he was getting overrun by nuisance birds over where we keep the horses so I figured why not take the Marauder out for a spin. Now I’ve tuned my Marauder for shot count vs power so that I’m getting about 30 to 40 good shots. This has reduced the velocity down in the 800s with 14.3 grain pellets. Frankly, I’ll take accuracy and shot count most of the time over power, especially when dealing with very small game and pest control. You don’t want over penetration, you want clean kills and a lot of shots.
By the time we setup the camera and started to scout our prey, the wind had kicked up to a solid 15 mph with gusts up to twice that. This really limited our effective range to about 20 to 30 yards. But, that didn’t stop me from taking the occasional long shot out to 40 yards if the shot lined up right. In the end, we thinned out the sparrow population by well over a dozen birds. I got a lot of clean kills on video and a couple of pretty epic complete misses. You may want to keep an eye open for that footage down the road.
I had a lot of airguns that I could have taken out for this short hunt, but I chose the Marauder Synthetic .22 caliber for a couple of reasons. First, and most important, I had confidence in my ability to put the shot where it needed to be. Second, it was fairly lightweight which allowed us to spend a solid couple of hours having some fun. Third, I’m able to get 40 and even 50 shots out of it in a pinch, which is really important to me when I’m away from my home base. I had my Air Venturi regulated fill system for topping off in the field which worked great. Forth and also very important, was the low noise. While there are no neighbors, there’s livestock around where we were shooting. I certainly did not want to unnecessarily spoke any of the animals.
Heading Back to Havasu…
I hope these last couple of articles were entertaining and useful. It’s been a great trip, but boy I’m ready to get home! Stay tuned to the blog for some really great upcoming articles on the new Quiet Energy series from Hatsan and much more. As always, we want to hear from you, so be sure to send us your comments!