Fieldsports Britain - Airguns vs shotguns on pigeons, big-bore air rifle review, and young shots

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 05.09.2012

Welcome to Fieldsports Britain. Coming up top rifle reviewer, Tim Pilbeam has got his
hands on a 30 calibre airgun. Is it worthy of the name fire arm. We are putting guns
into the hands of giggling girls as the final of the Oxford Gun Company’s Novice School’s
Challenge. First another couple of screamers, Roy Lupton and Mark Gilchrist are clearing
out feral pigeons from a barn in Essex.
You don't have to be a game chef like Mark Gilchrist to appreciate that no-one wants
pigeon poo in their sandwiches. But when the skies start to darken thanks to bird numbers
around wheat storage barns it's time to send some of them to the big grain store in the
So you have got a few pigeons here.
Got a lot of pigeons, a lot of ferals now built up over a long time now.
What sort of problems do they cause you?
We are in various schemes that we are not really allowed to have any sort of pigeons
around the grain stores, food stores. You just don’t want birds messing in the stores.
So hopefully we will be able to sort them out today.
That is what I am hoping.
You have very kindly let me shoot a few pigeons here, so the least we can do is try and do
some feral pigeons.
That would be good.
You kindly put some wheat out for us, in strategic spots.
There must be about £500, £600 worth of wheat on the floor there, the way the price
is at the moment.
If only. We will be gathering it all up afterwards.
When Roy has finished he will individually pick up each grain and put it back into the
store for you.
I will be checking .
Mark is joined by Roy Lupton with his Air Arms air rifle. To avoid damaging the roofs
we need some subtle, more refined shooting. Giving them both barrels will win no friends
With a little of farmer Mark's precious wheat on the ground we're hoping to get the birds
dropping in - but first we're going to have a quick whizz around the yard.
Roy takes a few birds but the guys think that the best bet is a two-pronged approach. Roy
picking the birds off with the air rifle - Mark keeping them moving with the Maxus on the
neighbouring field.
What is the game? What are we going to play at today?
We are going to have to get you to shoot them off the roof and I will go down to the bottom
there with a shotgun, because every time that bunch comes up. If they come out and I can
get 3 or 4 out of the bunch and they go back in, we are very quickly going to rack up some
I think if we can just pick them off when they are 25, 30 yards with the air rifle and
you keep them moving, hopefully we will get a better chance.
Well we will go and give that a go. I will go and stand behind that hedge. I don’t
need to build a very good hide as they are only ferals afterall.
Ok mate.
With Mark installed - Roy starts working the yard. The birds are already a bit skittish
and half of them have got the flock out of here.
But there's plenty to keep us busy. Roy is of course happiest taking shots with a backstop.
Although the yard is empty we only reserve skylined shots when the field is the only
place the pellet can fall.
Now, not every shot finds it's mark - and there are some lucky birds out there...
Like a scene from the matrix it's a perfectly timed getaway, ... this second bird gets a
glancing blow to it leg... then there's this wood pigeon feeding on the ground.
Now with the wood pigeons, they are a much tougher creature to kill with the air rifle,
so you want to get a nice head shot if you can. If he doesn’t hold his head still,
I am going to try and go through and hit the spine. So these are much tougher creatures
than the ferals. He doesn’t really want to hold his head still. Oh I should have shot
the one at the back then, he held his head still for me. Right there we go, hang on.
What on earth happened there.
So I have just done the replay on that pigeon that was sitting there in front of the coil
of yellow hose there. Took the shot and you can see that the cross hairs were perfectly
on so should have been absolutely spot on shot for just taking the head out or dropping
down into the neck. You can see perfectly the pellet going off to the left hand side
and there is no wind because we are in a court yard surrounded by barns so it is not windage.
That can be down to the deformity in the pellet. That particular pellet might have had a slight
crease in it or something like that and that was enough to just crease the back of his
neck, take a few feathers out of the back of his neck and then away he went. It does
look good though.
Roy has zerod the rifle at 30 yards, so when we have a couple of birds around the 50 yard
range we have to start looking at bullet drop more closely...
It all depends on the pellet drop here. So he is just over 50 yards away.
The pellet drops nicely into the chest.
There we go. So that was just over 50.
As Roy reloads the magazine he finds a damaged pellet..not spotting one earlier might have
been the reason for the woodies' close shave.
So you can see on that pellet there, we have got a big deformity there. I just put it in
the magazine and then noticed the shape it was. So what I probably did on that wood pigeon
is had a pellet in there that was like that so it is not going to fly true to target.
So that is probably what we are getting. That is not necessarily the fault of the pellet
manufacturer. That can be just down to the storage of your pellets. If you have dropped
the tin or dropped pellets on the floor and pick them up and put them back in that is
what you can get and so you can get deformities in there. So it really does pay to be very
careful with your pellets and make sure they don’t get deformed and knocked about too
Every now and again we hear a boom from the other side of the farm so we know Mark is
getting some sport.
The real down side is I can’t really shoot up that way and there is quite a lot coming
from that field over there back over the farm, I can’t shoot into the farm obviously and
some are coming inside that line over there I just don’t want to shoot over that way
because it is not long until you get to the road and all the buildings and workers that
way. So I have only had stuff out in that angle. I think they will come back, I can’t
believe they they will stay away for ever.
Back to the air rifle and Roy gets another couple of good shots off. This one is an excellent
head shot. It's so important to practice so that you're confident of finding a very small
So obviously you can see this pigeon was shot in the back of the head there. So that is
the entry wound there. He was poking his head up above the gulley and when you are shooting
anything with the air rifle, obviously you have got very little room for error. So you
either want to be taking a head shot, a neck shot, or obviously through the vital organs,
preferably if you can take the spine out as well, they drop on the spot, or tend to drop
on the spot. So you have only got a very small margin for error though. When you think that
the main part which is going to kill the pigeon is just behind the eye, so you have got a
very small target there. Probably about the size of a 5 pence piece if you are looking
at him side on. So taking away the feathers and everything else it doesn’t give you
much of a target. So you need to make sure your air rifle is spot on and you have practiced
shooting from lots of different positions so you are used to shooting from a standing
position, a leaning position and what ever
else. So you ensure your pellet ends up to where you want to hit it.
As the afternoon marches on the number of birds above us is falling- they know something
is up and dead birds on the roof don't help. Things have also dried up for Mark to so time
to call it a day and make further plans to tackle the problem here.
He was very appreciative we made the effort which is about all we can do.
Well that is about all you can do. As long as you are trying, it keeps everybody happy.
There is a bit of ferret food there as well.
There are 3 woodies in there some Mark food as well.
There's a bag of about 50 birds, Mark scores about 15 with Roy taking out the rest - all
helping to keep your cheese and pickle sandwich, pigeon free.
Well it may come as a surprise to you to know that we do a lot of air gun films. We have
got Roy Lupton creeping around a London shopping centre looking for feral pigeons. We have
our rather popular pellet power and performance film. If you would like to see a list of them,
click on the screen which has appeared in the sky above me and you can go straight there
as long as you are watching this on Youtube.
Now for another bird with no future, it is David on the Fieldsports Channel News Stump.
This is Fieldsports Britain News.
With the wildfowling season getting underway, BASC has brought out a new guide to superb
value wildfowling with clubs all over the UK. The 2012 / 2013 Wildfowling Permit Scheme
booklet is designed to provide information to people who have never been wildfowling
as well as the experienced wildfowler who wants to shoot in a new area. We made a film
about the scheme which you can watch by clicking on the link on the screen. To request a copy
of the book, email
BASC is also underway mapping the future of shooting. The Green Shoots mapping website
aims to identify the health of quarry populations and other important wildlife across the UK.
BASC members will also be able to print off custom maps of their shooting ground for their
own use.
It might become necessary to kill beavers. That’s the conclusion of a new report by
Scottish Natural Heritage. There is a trial release project underway in Argyllshire. A
wider programme of releases in the future could, in some places, see the animals causing
problems by damaging trees and crops. This film shows beaver hunting in Latvia.
Organisers of the Midland Game Fair say the event is going ahead as planned despite a
summer of rain. The organisers have issued the statement following cancellations of British
rural events including the CLA Game Fair and the Great Yorkshire Show.
A former American basketball star is the latest face of anti elephant and rhino poaching in
Africa. Yao Ming spent ten days filming a documentary aimed at discouraging the purchase
of ivory and rhino horns.
And finally, London commuters face a new terror on the Underground. Mice are attacking passengers
at Farringdon tube station, according to the sign that has done the rounds of Twitter and
the rest. The solution according to Transport For London? Tuck your trousers into your socks.
There - don’t be a victim.
You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain News. Stalking the stories. Fishing for facts.
Thank you David. Next a really big gun. Tim Pilbeam is testing the Daystate Wolverine.
The Daystate Wolverine .303 has got people talking - Some say 'it's awesome'. Others
point out that, in order to own this work of Dr Frankenstein the UK you need to have
a fire arms certificate - and if you have an FAC why on earth would you bother about
air when you can have powder? Well today we want to find out if this beast is worth howling
about. Instead of putting it in the hands of an air gunner, we're giving it to a rifle
reviewer who hasn't been air gunning since he was in shorts.
The last time I shot an air rifle, I was 15 years old and then as soon as I got my hands
on a .22 Rimfire I saw the light and that was it. That was the very last time and that
was 35 years ago and now I am faced with a 30 calibre air rifle which is brilliant. So
I am looking forward to this.
Tim certainly likes the look of the Daystate, but before we see if it does the job, what
about applications. To put it bluntly - what's the point of it?
Quite a few plus points for the .303. Beyond 150 yards these are very, very safe. The pellets
just fizzle out and very, very low ricochet so very inherently safe, soft, malleable pellets.
Secondly the ammunition is a bit cheaper than the .22 Rimfire. Apparently there are some
police forces who are steering people towards an FAC air rifle, because they feel it is
safer than a .22 or a .17 HMR.
The biggest worry for Tim is animal welfare. Not the fuzzy kind peddled by the antis. Tim
wants to see his animals drop to the shot and he knows his rifles will do exactly that.
If you are going to kill an animal, make sure you kill it with plenty of power. But air
rifles have moved on an awful lot over the last 35 years. So we need to look at these
types of air rifles again and see what they are capable of.
So Tim is willing to give the Wolverine benefit of the doubt... However - he wants to do a
quick couple of comparison tests between his .22, a .17HMR and this .303
First up penetration...
We have got 5 bits of wood here. They about 15mm wide. Let’s see how deep the bullets
travel into the wood. So the .17 has gone through 60mm plus of wood. The .22 has gone
through 45 say 50mm. And the .303 Wolverine has gone nearly through 30mm of wood. What
that tells me is that the Wolverine .303 has a lot better knock down power than the actual
.22. The .22 with a rabbit tends to go straight through a rabbit whereas a Wolverine I suspect
will actually stop in the rabbit itself which is very safe and I suspect it will knock the
rabbit over a lot better than the .22 Rimfire.
Next, let's look at accuracy. Here are some targets he prepared earlier..
Comparing the Rimfires to the .22 Wolverine. This is a .17HMR 17 grain bullet at 50 yards
we achieved about .6 of an inch grouping. There were very windy conditions today so
not the best conditions to check the grouping. The .22 Rimfire 40 grain bullet, we achieved
about 1inch grouping at 50 yards which is quite respectable. The .303 Wolverine in fact
we have actually got 10 shots here - very, very windy and whilst we got 2 slight fliers,
most of the shot went into the middle there. So I think as the day went on the actual Wolverine
improved quite a bit. So I am very happy with the accuracy of the .303.
So far, the Wolverine seems to pack a punch and it is pretty accurate - delivering all
that energy where it counts - but what about the real thing? Well, Tim has a couple of
myxamotosis sufferers that we can use for the last test.
First up it's the .22 - then the .303.
This is the rabbit shot with the .22 Rimfire. We have got an entrance wound there which
has actually come straight through. You can just see that which is standard for a .22
at about 50 yards. With the impact the rabbit moved quite a bit so I was quite surprised
on that. But that is fairly normal penetration exit wound for a rabbit. On the .303 once
again we have got an entrance wound there, but it has actually come out the other side.
What is interesting is that the rabbit didn’t actually move. The pellet went straight through.
I would have thought with the knock down power of the .303 this rabbit perhaps fall straight
over the bag. But is stayed still and the bullet went straight through it. Interesting
observation, nothing scientific about this, just interesting to see how a rabbit reacts
to a heavier bullet. In this situation it went straight through it. The next thing we
need to do is go out into the field at night time and knock a few bunnies over and see
actually what happens with the .303.
OK - Tim fires up the beast - his now infamous V8 Rabbiting vehicle. It does twice as many
miles to the gallon as the Daystate does to an air fill...
All eyes are on the Wolverine tonight - and to start with Tim's friend Matt will be shooting
with Tim driving and lamping. Rabbit number one is hit hard and drops - a good start but
how is that pellet behaving?
Just shot a rabbit about 35 yards away with the .303. The entry wound here has gone straight
through the front shoulder. At the moment we can’t find any exit wound what so ever.
So what we do is get the knife out and have a quick look inside the chest cavity and see
if there is actually anything in there. The pellet has actually gone through the rabbit.
In fact we have had a closer inspection and it has actually gone through the other side.
So on this occasion the pellet went straight through the rabbit at about 35 yards. Which
is slightly surprising, because it has taken the shoulder out and I would have thought
the pellet would have perhaps mushroomed a bit more than that, but it has gone straight
through the shoulder, straight through the chest cavity and out the other side. But it
was an instant kill. A job well done.
As we move across the farm Tim spots a fox - not an animal he'd chose to shoot with the
.303 but thankfully Matt has also packed his .243... just in case. The animal is on the
move but has one last glance back in our direction. The vixen drops.
Fortunately as ever foxes tend to, if they are running away, they always have a last
look and it looked round in front of this tree here and we managed to shoot it. We are
using, tonight on foxes, 75 grain VMax at about 3.5 feet per second. We like the VMaxes
as they do expand very, very quickly, fragment causing huge, huge trauma to the body and
that stops the animal straight away. It is instant death and that is what we are trying
to achieve here.
The rabbits aren't playing tonight. The ones we do see are too far for the Daystate - however
before calling it a night this bunny provides a nice close shot.
Here we got a rabbit not very far away. I think about 15, 20 metres away and once again
we have got quite a large entrance wound, on the other side of the animal on this occasion
the pellet went straight through the neck, it was a great shot by Matt. Ok yes here we
go. So the pellet has passed through the neck and out through the lower part of the jaw.
Which is slightly surprising because you have got some hard neck bone tissue there and also
at the bottom of the jaw here - I can feel it now. That is all very hard bone and the
pellet has gone straight through and out the otherside. I would have though an air rifle
pellet would have mushroomed out and stopped and just cause quite a big exit wound, but
there is nothing there. So it has actually gone straight through.
We haven't had the volume of rabbits we had hoped for this evening but Tim's certainly
got a feel for this the big question is would he consider the Wolverine as a serious
pest controlling contender??
I suppose I have got to look at it from a person who likes the smell of gun powder.
It performed, we shot 3 or 4 rabbits and every single time the pellet went straight through
the animal and actually on 2 occasions we didn’t actually get a complete kill straight
away, which is slightly concerning. If has been a .22 Rimfire I think on both those occasions
I would expect the rabbit to be dead. With a .17 HMR it would definitely be dead because
of the explosive nature of the air rifle. It is a beautifully built air rifle. Beautiful
bit of wood here, but after a night out shooting, I think I will stick with my .22 Rimfire and
my .17 HMR. But it has been a very, very interesting night out with the .303 Wolverine.
It's not for Tim, but it is an exciting addition to the world of fieldsports, it's a calibre
feared by enemies of the British army right up to when NATO introduced the limper-wristed
556, and thank goodness there are British companies out there who are working to revolutionise
the sometimes staid old world of airguns. For more information about the wolverine and
the Daystate range go to
From airguns to shotguns and getting people into shooting. It’s the School’s Challenge.
The Novice Schools Challenge aims to introduce youngsters to shooting that have never held
a gun before. The hope is that some will continue to keep on with their shooting.
If we have 10 that take it up that is a result in my book.
You would be happy with that.
10 more people shooting, 10 more customers into the shooting industry which will keep
the shooting industry going. 10 more guns out there. It will keep it going. So if that
happens, I will be happy.
You can see evidence of this today with some young guns returning. They may hold a slight
A bit of friendly competition always helps get the kids interested and gives them something
to work towards over the summer months. The Oxford Gun Company holds have-a-go days every
Tuesday throughout the summer holidays.
The best 18 shots from the 75 who took part in those days make it into today's final.
Who knows? Maybe there's a future Olympic gold medallist among this lot of promising
guns. To prep them for Rio 2016, the Oxford Gun Company provide the same flash clays used
in London 2012.
Today there are four girls competing - and there's a bit of healthy rivalry in the air
with the boys.
There are a total of three stands on offer. The idea is not to frighten these novices
with challenging targets but give them some fun clays to shoot at. One of the stands is
a bouncing bunny for added challenge and excitement.
After everyone has given their best, six finalists go through to a shoot off.
Michael Hook, winner of the boys' competition today, has competed before but this is his
first win. Starting when he was nine years old, Michael takes what he learns at the Oxford
gun company and applies it to shooting outside these grounds.
Since I won this competition I really want to go on and do better competitions.
Is this your 2nd competition.
Yes, last year I lost, I didn’t do as well. But I was determined that this year I was
going to win it and I won it.
Michael's friend Will Ford is last year's winner. But you can't have glory every time.
In some ways it would have been nice to win but then again he has been shooting really
While Will and Michael are, by novice standards, old hands, Isabelle is new to the shooting
scene. She tried shooting for the first time in Scotland and, with only one lesson at the
Oxford Gun Company, she is the winner of the ladies' shot.
It was quite relaxing because I didn’t think I was going to win. And then during the end
it was like a few points between all of the girls and we all started to get a bit tense.
But it was really good.
David Florent runs the Schools Challenge and is a keen advocate of promoting shooting in
the younger generation.
The Novice School’s Challenge is there to encourage people to continue with shooting.
Not just have a go and put the gun away, but to continue with it. It shows them that the
more they do, the better they can achieve. The better things they can win and the lad
that won it, Mike, has been trying to win this, he has done I think all 3 of them, he
has put a lot of effort in and he has come out with the result.
We have made loads of films of the School’s Challenge over the last 3 years and if you
would like to see some of them and you are watching this on Youtube, click on that screen
in the sky behind me.
Now let’s go international. It is Hunting Youtube.
This is Hunting YouTube, which aims to show the best hunting, shooting and fishing videos
that YouTube has to offer.
A couple of French films for starters. Ooh la la. Milouin has featured before. This time,
he is showing a lovely early morning in the Carmargue looking for duck.
Next is a languid film about a mouflon hunting trip in the Czech Republic. There are a lot
of mouflon here. An awful lot. Despite the calming piano music soundtrack, he does get
to shoot them.
From flocks of Czech sheep to sounders of Australian pigs. SteveLeeILikeGuns is hunting
Crocodile Dundee country in the Northern Territory for feral pigs. He says that the NT has a
high number of large boars because of the remoteness and the size of the state. That
turns out to be an understatement. This place is pork soup and the animals are not hard
to get close to. The damage they are doing to the countryside is clear to see. Steve
has a lot of shooting on his hands here.
Use your fingers says Totally Awesome fishing host Graeme Pullen in this British how-to
piece about catching chub. What he’s talking about is touch ledgering, where you feel the
weight bumping along the bottom of the river bed. "You can bump and feel, and also use
your left hand," he says "It’s so sensitive, you can feel the bite". Fnarr fnarr.
Now we go 6,000 miles to California where ‘Jeremy Salmon Fishing 2’ is a cute film,
mainly to 1980s computer game music, showing an angler catching a chum salmon that has
run up from the Pacific. And then showing his increasingly desperate attempts to let
it go. He succeeds in the end.
Staying in America, it’s not quite our experience of deerstalking but here’s a keen hunter
, Casey Shoopman, editor and videographer for ManagementAdvantage, who is planning what
corn to leave on his farm in Illinois in order to attract deer. He is talking about crops
and vegetation we barely grow and know in Europe but the film has some useful tips about
what he reckons deer want for cover and for food.
Now we’re back in the UK again and looking at rodents. Top of the list is this test of
thermal imaging equipment by LordLardOfFrams which includes plenty of rabbit shooting.
Next we have rat hunting and CountryPursuitsTV is getting baity - that is he is showing off
the secrets off his best baits for ratting. You get seven minutes of Malcolm being a kind
of vermin version of Delia Smith but eventually he takes the stuff out to try it out on the
real thing.
You can click on any of these films to watch them. If you have a YouTube film you would
like us to pop in to the weekly top eight, send it in via YouTube, or email me the link
Well If you like shooting you will love the Shooting Show. It is appearing on the screen
just up there in the sky. Byron Pace is going out after Mountain reedbuck in Africa and
Peter Carr is after roebuck.
Both at home and abroad, episode seventeen of The Shooting Show takes in the best shooting
sports the planet has to offer. Byron is in South Africa, where he finds himself heading
up dirt tracks into the mountains for a mountain reedbuck cull with a couple of old friends.
They are on the trail of rams and ewes. Back in Britain, Pete Carr spots a roebuck living
dangerously close to a busy road. There is the threat of a road traffic accident, so
the pressure is on to go out stalking and grass the buck quickly. It’s a textbook
stalk and the chance for Pete to share some of his favoured advice and equipment for lowland
stalking and the gralloch. The Shooting Show has also got the latest on British medals
at the Paralympics and big bags shot during this year’s grouse season.
Now if you are watching this on Youtube, please don’t hesitate to hit the subscribe button
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