One of my great pleasures is to participate on the TV show American Airgunner. The show, which airs on the Pursuit Channel (the 2013 season is currently showing on the Sportsman’s Channel!), is all about airguns and what you can do with them. The 2013 season was the first to feature “Round Table” segments which featured a panel of experts that talked about airgun technology, small and large game airgun hunting, target shooting, historic airguns, etc. These were undoubtedly the most popular segments of the show and were a ton of fun to pull together.American Airgunner – Round Table Set – Rick, Rossi, Jim, & Tom
Who are the experts?
The panel of experts has to start with the “Godfather” of airgunning Mr. Tom Gaylord. What many people may not know is that I owe my airgunning carrier to Tom. He helped point me in the right direction and opened more than a few doors when I got started. When you are sitting at the table with Tom, you very quickly realize that he’s forgotten more about airguns than you or I may ever know. Anyway, Tom’s the resident airgun historian and he’s always good for a few “old timer” phrases. There was a real beauty that I sure hope makes the cut.
Next you have the expert big game hunter Jim Chapman. If it walks on 4 legs and is legal to hunt anywhere in the world, Jim’s probably been there and shot it. With Jim in the mix we are able to really dig in and talk about what it means to hunt medium and large game with an airgun, even down to caliber and shot placement.
Of course there’s myself. I’ve taken on the roll of “airgun critic.” I’m there to toss in the occasional monkey wrench into the works and talk about the practical application of airguns vs the theoretical. Since I have my hands on so many airguns pretty much all the time, I’m able to talk about what works and what doesn’t work once you take it out of the box.American Airgunner – Round Table Set – Rick, Steve, Jim, & Tom
There’s a couple of new guys on the block…
New to the round table this year is Steve Criner. I’m sure he’d deny it (because he wants you to think he’s a real tough guy), but Steve is one of the nicest guys that I’ve met in the industry and always good for the off the wall statement where his inside voice managed to get out. (check out this video to see what I mean!). Steve’s got his own show called the Dog Soldier and his claim to fame is predator hunting. He brought a great perspective to this year’s round table. We even discuss the “redneck” hollow point. You’ll have to wait and see about that!
This was a little behind the scenes fun with (left to right): Tom, Myself, Steve Criner, and Rossi. My wife is behind the camera…
Last but certainly not least was Steve Fjestad. Have you seen the Bluebook of Airguns? Steve’s the guy that puts all that together. Some of the most interesting Round Tables were when we had Steve Fjestad and Tom Gaylord talking about really old airguns. Talk about getting an education!American Airgunner – Round Table – Day 1 with Steve Fjestad
Actually, the last guy on the list is really NOT an expert and he does not claim to be either. The guy that keeps us all on track is our fearless host Rossi Moreale. While he currently lives in LA but claims to NOT drive a Prius, he actually hails from the redneck woods of Arkansas which helps “Mr. Hollywood” fit right in with us normal folk. You may see us wearing ear plugs around the set. That’s not because we’re shooting anything, it’s because Rossi talks so darn loud OSHA came in and required anyone within 100 feet of Rossi had to wear them. (Just kidding). I say all this in jest and because I know it will make him chuckle if he reads it. Rossi is about a very nice guy and as down to earth as you could imagine. He’s all business when it counts. Rossi is a an awesome host, and fortunately for us, a bit gullible at times too. There’s one scene in particular where I was describing the best way to maintain your airgun and I really had him going.American Airgunner – On Location: Tom, Steve, Rick, & Rossi
What else can you expect from this year’s American Airgunner?
Last year we had the airgunner challenge where contestants competed to see who was the best overall airgunner. This year they are taking a break from the challenge and putting in more Round Table segments, more product reviews (I review the new Hatsan AT44 Quiet Energy, Sumatra 2500, and many others), and more hunting. There’s some things that they wouldn’t even let us see yet. It’s not like I’d write a blog about it or anything!
Anyway, the 2014 season is shaping up to be a real winner so be sure to set your TV to the Pursuit channel starting in July to catch all 13 episodes!