Cvlife 1.2m Hunting & Shooting Carry Case Rifle Square Bag Black

So once I had my rifle, I needed a few essential accessories. One of them was a rifle bag/slip.

What were my requirements? Well, it had to keep my rifle covered and safe in public, as per the law. I wanted to be able to fit my rifle inside without taking its suppressor, scope and bipod off. In the field, until I was ready to hunt the bag had to keep my rifle clean and dry. I wanted it to match my Hatsan AT44-10, And to keep a few key bits and pieces in pockets and pouches.

When I plan to out hunting, I will need to take a few things with me. Some will be in a small daysack, including room of course for the bunnies I’m going to be bring back. Others I’ll be wanting to be close and on hand and will be kept in the gun bag. Things like, allen keys for the scope, lamp and bipod. A torch, zip bags, thin rubber gloves for when I’m cleaning the rabbits, a knife till I’m ready to use it, spare pellets etc. Things that if carry on my person would rattle and make unnecessary noise every time I moved position.

Looking around on the net it would be quite easy to spend a small fortune on a rifle bag. Old well known names and manufacturers. You know the ‘all the gear no idea’ type of things. I dear reader didn’t have the cash to spend on those kind of bags.

As you know, if you have read all of my blog, and of course you have, I purchased my bipod online from CvLife on the amazon website. It was about half the price of others. Because I was new to this hobby, I had the advantage of not being a shooting snob and it mattered not that it was from China. It arrived, it was quality and 3 months on I haven’t changed my mind it will serve me for as long as I want. So naturally I was drawn once again to Amazon and the lovely people at CvLife.

They had a few bags for sale. Some camo, some black. Some to fit two rifles, some to fit the smallest of rifles.

Mine needed to fit my rifle with scope and bipod and needed some storage. The one I settled on and bought was the Cvlife 1.2m Hunting & Shooting Carry Case Shotgun Rifle Gun Slip Square Bag in Black.

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So here goes a review of said bag. If I jump around a bit please excuse me but I shall try and be as methodical as possible.

It’s 1.2m long (or 48inches) and 26cm (10inches) deep. Plenty of room inside for what was needed. The bag is made from high density nylon, which makes it strong, resistant to abrasion, resistant to mould etc.

There are two smaller size Velcro pouches and two larger zip pockets. The stitching looks good as does the overall feel of quality. Also on the outside is one large zipped pocket measuring 60cm by 26cm, (24in by 10in).

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Turning to look at the back of the bag reveals another full length zipped space. I’m not sure what you put in here but if wanted I guess you could put extra padding to stiffen the bag up if desired.

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To help carry the bag there’s a webbing carry handle to the top and two adjustable shoulder straps to the rear.

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Internally there’s a waterproof, anti-scratch PVC liner. The bag does feel slightly padded but I still had the foam from the original rifle packaging and as there was plenty of room inside, I put the foam in as well.

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Also, outside there are 4 compressing straps and clips to tighten the bag up so your rifle is nice and snug inside.

The one downside is that inside there are two Velcro straps to put round your rifle halfway down the bag. In my opinion they are on the wrong side of the bag as you open it and could do with an extra strap down at one end to put round the butt. However as there are four compression straps this is not a real problem.

My Hatsan AT44-10 is not a small rifle. Especially extended with the suppressor fitted. Plus a scope and a bipod. This bag however handled it no problem.

So, to recap. This bag looks the part. Feels the part. Is big enough to fit a big rifle with scope and has lots of external storage. It’s well made and looks and feels durable. And how much are CvLife charging for this?

£20.

This rifle bag certainly has the look and the feel of something much more expensive.

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Bedford Rifle Club

Target practise with an air rifle doesn’t interest me too much. I didn’t buy my Hatsan AT44-10 to shoot at paper targets. But even I recognise that while waiting for my first permission to shoot, plinking down my garden is doing me no good.

Just down the road from me is a rifle club. Bedford Rifle Club. It’s been around since 1929 and has many top notch facilities, and some of their members are internationally renowned. They do cater for air weapons but mainly concentrate on small bore rifles. I maybe mistaken so their website is well worth a look.

http://www.bedfordrifleclub.co.uk/

Just because at the moment, my final goal is to hunt, it would be madness not to make use of such a facility and potential expertise and guidance so close to home.

So one night I make the call. I talk to Richard Davies. Are you open? Yes. Can I come down? Of course!

So I pop down and get introduced to John Marchant. He is a qualified NSRA County Coach and also on first meeting him, one of the friendliest people I have met. On talking to him for a while, he is obviously very knowledgeable and very very keen on his sport.

His own website http://www.tenrings.co.uk

John gives me the indoor tour, an indoor range for air pistols, and a larger one for small bore, but rather than do the facilities a dis-service, please visit their website for full details about their ranges, clubhouse etc. As I say the club also have members of the highest quality and have proven themselves at the highest levels.

I find everyone there just as friendly and return the next week hoping to shoot. Once everyone has finished, John takes me onto the range, explains to me the protocol of shooting on the range then let’s me fire off two magazines. My target looks miles away and through my scope I can hardly see the centre. But I do my ‘best’, and in truth is not too bad.

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So in closing, if you have ever thought about getting into small bore shooting or just to practise your grouping and live in the North Beds area, the Bedford Rifle Club is the the place to be.

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Permission to shoot update

Hi all, long time no see. I blame Christmas getting in the way. And the fact I was ill during the whole of December and the first part of January. Another poor excuse but I’m sticking to it.

I’m also about three posts behind that I could do all at once. The first is an update on getting permissions to shoot. The second about our local rifle club and third, the promised review on my rifle slip/case. But I’ll do them separately.

I am dear reader getting very disheartened. It is proving to be very difficult to get a permission to shoot. My cat has disowned me, as it appears to him my promises of fresh rabbit to feast upon was all a lie. So I will list my failures so far.

Firstly, there’s a peice of wasteland in the middle of nowhere a few acres in size owned by the council. I asked my ‘friend’, Mayor Dave Hodgson of Bedford, England. We had a chat, explained about the law, and what I wanted to do. He was worried about what the press would say etc. After 5 weeks of no reply and leaving messages and emails for him he gave a quick phone call saying that he couldn’t let me because it would be dangerous for him personally if it ever ‘got out’.
I said fine, could he put something in writing so I could post it online. He wasn’t best pleased he was going to be published. I backed up the phone call with an email, adding that it would be great if it didn’t take another five weeks. So he replied with what could only be described as an essay. It was very aggressive in nature and spun in such a way that it was a lesson in arse covering. Denying everything that had been said in our first coffee meeting and the reason that it would be bad for him personally to let me. Basically calling me a liar. But that’s politicians for you.

Then their was Brickhill allotments. They pay £250 a year for someone to walk round once a month. So no I couldn’t. I asked what harm then would it be if someone else went round once a month for free. NO!

Queens park allotments, we don’t get rabbits ever so there would be no point letting you walk round.

Southill Park Estate, which is huge, like half of the county. No.

University of Bedfordshire, after talking to the groundsmen, who said rabbits were ruining their pitches. No. Not university policy.

And finally, my best friend in the world, my stalwart in difficult times. Who I have been shotgun shooting with many times for pheasant, partridge etc. Would not even give me an introduction to the farmer who let’s us on his land to use shotguns. I can only think he doesn’t want to share his permission. He doesn’t even go shooting for rabbits.

Still life goes on and I must persevere and keep trying.

At the moment my Hatsan is just a very expensive ornament.

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Preparation and Permission to shoot

Good evening all.

As you probably noticed, my writings like my journey has stalled in the past couple of weeks. This tends to happen, like in life, when you have to rely on other people for that journey to progress. Unfortunately that has tended to happen more than I would liked recently. And mirrors in fact some of the reasoning in embarking on the point of my writings in providing for myself, by myself. I think I have gone as far as I can in preparing for the task ahead. Now, I’m all for preparation. Poor planning can, and does, more often than not result in failure. Planning does not guarantee success, but gives you more of a chance. And I dear reader have had planning and preparation until it’s coming out of my ears, and it’s frustrating. In equipment, I believe I have everything I need, ( including a new gun bag, more of later). I have what seems to me the perfect rifle for the job, of course the Hatsan AT44-10. I have the clothing and the knowledge to keep me warm, in which is likely to be a cold winter for me, indoors and out. I’ve plinked at 10, 20, 30 and 35 yards till I’m sure I can get target groupings within the size of a two pence piece. But as I’m not intending to shoot in Rio, target shooting is getting tedious.

If only that was enough to put food on the table, and entertain myself enough from stopping from going insane. A paper target shows no resistance, self preservation or eagerness to stop me putting a humane hole through it with a lead pellet. I’m grumpy, very grumpy.

I’m by no means deluding myself that I’m able to successfully go out, hunt, track down, stalk and kill my prey, but I’m confident I can do no more sitting here wasting my beautiful H&N Target Trophy Pellets on Jamie and a paper target.

Which leads me to answer your question, ‘what am I doing sitting at home instead of out in the fields?’

You may or may not know this but every piece of land in England is owned by someone. It may sound obvious to us, but in other places such as the US this is not the case, and providing your prey is in season, you can go off and hunt. Even in our national parks, the land is still owned privately by someone.

So here in England, to be legal you must get the permission off of someone to be on that land. Now you may think that a farmer might be only too happy for someone to offer, without recompense, and to allow someone to aid in ridding their land from pests. However, farmers are a funny lot and if not approached in the correct manner are easy to upset. And upset one, then you risk upsetting the whole community. Therefore leaving you with no hope in getting access or permission to shoot.

There are two ways to get this permission from a farmer. Ask directly, (which is more difficult than it sounds), or rely on someone for an introduction.

There is streams of advice around on how to approach your farmer, which seems to me is even more difficult than it will be to approach a rabbit. Dress smartly, but not too smart. Your not inviting him to the local Ball.

Some say write first, and if no reply is forthcoming swiftly, on no account should you follow this up with a phone call bothering the farmer who might just be to busy with running his farm to write back! So you have dressed smartly, you turn up and explain you are no juvenile delinquent and would like permission to freeze your self silly on his land from just before dusk till just after dawn in the hope of shooting some of those pesky rabbits. If he says no, we are told that not in any circumstances are we to try and persuad, cajole, or bribe said farmer. We are to thank them for their time and back away in a responsible manner.

I have to tell you I haven’t tried this yet, well kind of, but more of that in a bit. I do have an opportunity of being introduced by someone who already has permission to shoot, and I can join him when he goes I guess, but with the whole kind of ethos that I’m trying to achieve, I want my own permission and my first hunt and kill to be a solo one. It is my journey after all and I don’t want to cheat any more than I have to by having help. It’s me against mother nature. One on one. So although I asked for said introduction a month ago, I’m still waiting. I just have to be patient. Which is difficult but such is life.

So I have indeed asked permission off a land owner to do a bit of pest control and in the act of this feed myself too. And no it isn’t a farmer. I live on the edge of quite a big town and not far away is a few acres of fields just sitting there. So ten days ago I have a meeting with the person who is, ultimately responsible for the land. Our glorious town leader, the Mayor. Yes dear reader I don’t do things simply or by half.

He does know me of old, so it wasn’t just a random phone call, and we arrange to have a civilised coffee. I explain the legal bits and bobs. I need permission in writing, nothing as complicated as a affidavit. And as long as it’s 50 feet away from the centre of the closest public highway, everything will be fine.

He has two concerns. The first is the local rag. He doesn’t want the publicity of being the Mayor that gives permission to slaughter lil bunny rabbits. He can see the headlines now! Secondly, he sees a problem with setting a precedent. However I don’t. If there is another person who wants to do the same thing, he will have to go through the same process as I have. I’m sure the Mayor has the confidence knowing my past that I’m responsible and would not do anything to break the law or put anyone’s safety at risk. And if I do he can always rescind the permission. If anyone else asks he can give or refuse permission on a case by case basis. If someone with a history of firearms offences turns up at the town hall with his gun in open view asking to shoot the place up, then there’s probably enough reason to say no.

But then again I’m not in politics.

p.s. As we mentioned the law, and hopefully at some point going to actually do some hunting. I will need a suitable bag for my rifle. I don’t really have the cash to afford one but it’s a necessity. So, having bought my bipod, which is excellent value, from the people at CVlife on Amazon, I once again head there. There’s a very good looking case for around £20 and I go ahead and purchase. I’ll take a few pics and tell you what I think sometime soon.

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Practise, practise, practise!

I, dear readers, (if I have any, if not to the blog itself), i have apologies to make, profusely. It’s been nearly a week since my last post, and you are all too dear to ignore. Although it wasn’t the fact that I didn’t want to I tell you all. Who new that after the disintegration of my bubble of everything called life, home, work, play etc. Only now the singularly faithful thing that hangs around is my cat. And even that is for food. Who new that I would have a busy week? That’s about 90% of it, the rest, I believe is called writers block. The inward thoughts, that I wasn’t interesting, the self loathing of people who don’t want to know the struggle of one man to feed himself off the land. The preparation it takes, the know how, the equipment. Then I tell myself to stop being annoying. This, in the first place, is a record I have for myself that I can come back to anytime and read and relive the moment. Making memories. And then, if only one person comes and shares in those memories, then that’s a bonus. Thank you.

Last Sunday was Remembrance Day, and Monday, Armistice Day. People who do not come from Britain find it hard to understand why we ‘celebrate’ war. World war 1, world war 2, the Falklands conflict and so many since. So we have to explain, it’s not about celebrating war, but remembering it. So it doesn’t happen again. Although it will, there is no doubt about that. Tell that to the politician who said not one shot will be fired in anger in Afghanistan, whilst persuading us that it was absolutely vital for the defense of Britain and to rid the world of the crop that devistates so many lives with the product heroin. Will he tell that to the families of hundreds of young men and women who have died for his war. And I tell you dear reader, that this years crop is as big as ever!

Anyway, we remember the end of war, the brave men and women, on all sides, who have died. Not to celebrate. In remeberance.

I tell myself that this links in to my own journey. That I’m not out to celebrate the death of a rabbit. But be proud of the fact that I have learnt to do one of the basic instincts we have as a human. The hunter! Not the bloodlust of the kill but the fact I can provide.

So to the subject of the post. Of people that I know who shoot, the forums you read and sometimes participate in, the posts and the rants. The common theme is the humane kill. And to get this you need accuracy. HH best described this in the original Rabbit Stew blog. As follows….
‘ “Never take a shot until you can absolutely guarantee that it will pass through the brain of the rabbit and turn that animal off like you would turn off a light” – was the impression I got from reading the forums. “Any other shot, any failure to instantly and painlessly transfer this animal from the state of being alive to the state of being dead is inhumane and has no place in our sport” – this was, more or less, the message.’

He’s absolutely right of course. There are a few other things you need to consider to achieve this however, and give yourself the best chance of obtaining that accuracy and the best chance of the much looked for humane kill. Namely, distance, judgement, fieldcraft, understanding the effects of wind and the weather, depth of view, the effects of hidden ground. Most of these work on human prey as well as animals. And all of these I learnt at Sandhurst, training to be an Army Officer. I must remember it. It was drilled in to me, to be automatic at any time I needed it. Unforgotten deep down till it was needed. Well it’s needed now, or soon will be.

How first to attain this accuracy, well that’s easy enough. Practise, practise, practise. And as I have been away all this week, my firing practise, like the rest of my responsibilities, have been ignored.

Everyday, I think about the first time I went out to my home made range. The perfect start. Perfect grouping. A masterly sense of achievement, and I was climbing the walls for the next fix of excitement that was surely to come.

I arrived home Thursday night and like an excited child the night before some big occasion, had a fitful nights sleep, not being able to wait for the morning. I woke early, mainly because I had no air for the rifle and the need to make the hour round journey it would take to get to the shop, refill my air cylinder, have a chat to the owner and get home. Set up the target and let rip. Having first safely put the cat inside. Though like a good attentive boy he sat at the window and never took his eyes off me. Maybe he had some 6th sense and wanted a chortle.

Jamie, the target, was ready, I lay down on some matting as it was a little damp, reached for my new faithful, who would never let me down and I lay in the prone position at 25 yards, settle my breathing, as I was told in training. Oxygenate the blood to steady the muscles and nerves. Breath slowly in, slowly out, in again and let out a 1/4 of my lung’s breath, place the crosshairs over the target and fire, keep your gaze and position through the scope so a clean follow through is achieved. Let rip. Two magazines later, I was in deep shock. Not only were the shots off target, but they didn’t even have the decency to be grouped off target. Too high, too low, left, right, maybe one lucky shot close to the middle, which was in all probability a flyer . All in all the target had looked like someone had attacked it with a hole punch rather than a high piece of engineered weaponry.

I was disgusted, who had messed around with the rifle, spoiling the scopes zero in the process. I looked at the cat. He looked back. Guilty. I told him, no rabbit for him from my first kill. He thought to himself, ‘I’ve seen you shoot mate, fat chance’. In my mind he has a monologue voice of a cockney Kray twin.

Then I took myself to 10 yards. It was marginally better. So fine! Back to 25, reloaded the two ten pellet capacity magazines and tried again. Awful. By this time I was ready to give up, sell the Hatsan AT44-10 for a fiver and go get a happy meal. I was furious, depressed, baffled. Time for a good old English cup of tea. Black, lots of sugar. Sat next to the cat and stared out of the window, with him silently judging me, the way cats do!

I sighed, went back outside, expecting nothing, reloaded, settled down and sent five pellets down rapid fire style. Actually, not too bad. I trotted down to the target, not bad at all. Not a tight grouping, but better. I replaced the target for a fresh one, reloaded the mag once again, tapped it on the side of my head for good luck, and placed it inside the rifle and tried again.

How in this world, without touching the rifle, this beautiful piece of art, ( now it had started to perform properly), without zeroing in again, with the same make of pellets, had it started to put pellet after pellet within a half inch of each other. I let loose both mags and apart from maybe two flyers, all within a space of a two pence piece. I was totally confused, but who was I to question the shooting Gods.

I felt brave. Fresh target. Placed Jamie back down the garden as far as he would go, pressed myself back up against the opposite gate. Refocused the scope, it told me about 40 yards, to be confirmed later when measured. The shot wasn’t impeded, but it was to be tricky. For one thing, my position was seated, not prone. I wedged myself between the gate and the wall to hold myself steady. The pellet would have to travel down the original range, between a wall and the conservatory, but at an angle. The distance between the two getting narrower, it looked and felt tight, with the cat inside, watching, judging, past a hedge that I had to trim to get rid of in the way branches, up an incline to the target placed on top of a grass collector from a lawn mower, long ago forgotten, so I could see the target. The adrenaline was up. Went through my breathing exercises. Put the zoom all the way up to times 9 magnification, overkill, but made the target feel closer but also magnified the slight tremble that my new position gave, tried not to grip too hard on the front of the stock. I was ready, fired off 5 rounds. Not bad, grouped together, but a little low. I cursed myself. Stupid boy pike! I’m at 40 yards. With the scope zeroed in for 30, I would have to take into account the extra yardage and raise my aim for holdover. Let fly another five. All in the centre. The first 40 unpredictable Swiss cheese target maker the rounds had caused, now forgotten.

Son of rabbit stew was back! (For now!)

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First firing, Hatsan AT44-10

Another week starts dear readers. I do hope we all had a good weekend. Here it was very wet indeed.

So on to my first experience of firing the Hatsan AT44-10 Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP) Air Rifle. I have included a few more pictures. Even though the bits and pieces will be fairly obvious. If you are like me, and haven’t been up close to an air rifle before, they may be of interest. I will now apologise for the overly long description of the rifle. Let’s get it out of the way now. Please bear with me.

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As you can see from above, the rifle and accessories are all either black or dark gun metal blue. Starting from the front, you have the added on silencer attaching of course onto the barrel. Below the barrel is the air cylinder, which, has a pressure gauge built in. The cylinder is filled upto 200 bar, which gives you around 60 shots. Now I admit this doesn’t sound much, but unlike have the CO2 version of a rifle, you don’t have to pay for the air you put in it. Unless of course you do it at home. Myself, I pop along to the shop where I bought the rifle and they do it for free. Plus on a hunting trip, even with my skills I don’t expect to bring home 60 bunnies.

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Behind the barrel is where all the working bits and bobs are. Including the cocking lever, the space for a 10 pellet magazine, (2 provided), and the gold plated securing pin to hold the magazine in place. With the safety catch at the rear, which is set automatically when cocking the rifle, or can be set manually at any time. On top a scope is attached, and quite helpfully there is a rail allowing you easily to do so. All this is attached to the polymer stock. Under the stock I attached the bipod, which is spring loaded and can be pushed forward, making it easy to pack away. At the end of the stock is an adjustable butt.

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A close up of the pistol grip, and gold plated trigger. The trigger is full adjustable, but I found the settings out if the box perfect. The first movement when pulled shows little resistance, till you come to the second stage, which is stiffer making it obvious when you come to the business end. Below is a picture of the magazines, which are both easy to load with pellets and easy to load into the rifle.

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All in all a very nice looking piece of kit and very comfortable to lay behind.

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So, ‘yay’, I hear you all cry. That was about as technical as it gets and as technical as I want to get. Not only as you’re probably asleep by now, and who could blame you. I know I nodded off a few times writing it. Please dear reader do not get put off my writings as hopefully that’s as boring as it gets. And doing so contributes only to rapidly running out of the energy required to keep you entertained, and to keep you reading.

I didn’t start this journey for the technical side of things but for the emotional side of pitting my limiting skill as a hunter, with a piece of equipment that can be enjoyed for both its aesthetic values as well as (hopefully, if I don’t let the Hatsan down), it’s prowess and effect-fullness as a rifle.

So excited I am to finally fire my Hatsan, I surprise myself on not rushing straight ahead to the garden and firing off as many pellets I can at the various gnomes, pieces of wood, plants etc. Wreaking havoc Rambo style.

I reign myself in, because of course we all know safety is paramount. I’m fortunate to have the room and line of sight to set up a 28 yard range, of types. I pin my target to an extra thick Jamie Oliver Cook book (best use it’s ever had), and place inside an upturned stone birdbath. With this and the sight of me coming out with a rifle, the local bird population do not look impressed. I myself have to explain with my cat seriously not doing his job, I need all the help I can get.

I’m given instructions on how to zero in my scope, so the wildlife do not laugh at me when I do eventually get round to hunting for my dinner. Apparently doing this at a range of ten yards is best because it corresponds to the same at a distance of 30. I measure precisely 10 yards, to the inch, my steps shaky as I get closer and closer to firing my new pride and joy.

I lay prone behind my rifle. The target in my sights…….I cock the weapon and slowly pull the trigger. Doh, I’ve left he safety on! Ok push off the safety, take up the slack in the trigger then pull. The rifle makes a barely audible sound and if wasn’t for the thump of the pellet into Jamie, I would thought nothing had happened. I fire twice more. Quickly because of the magazine, and although way off the centre all three holes are just about on top of one another.

I adjust the scope up and down, left and right, and fire 3 more. Dead centre. I can hardly believe my eyes. I’m a crack shot!! I replace the target and go back as far as I can to test out the 30 yards theory, or as much as I can. And would you believe it. Replacing the magazine with a full one, I put 10 pellets all inside 3/4 of an inch. Well nearly all ten. One went about three inches high but I put that down to adrenaline. So, I did well, I tell myself. I do however forget to tell myself that it’s because of the outstanding rifle and scope, and not the sausage finger behind the trigger.

I put the rifle away, take my targets, and proudly stare at them for a good half hour. I am as I thought I was, going to be an expert hunter.

Just as long as the rabbits played the game and will be as easy to shoot as a static, 5 inch by 5 inch piece of thin card, reading how to make a lemon tart, instead of concentrating on me!

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Forums. Clique or font of all knowledge?

I have my shiny brand new rifle, as you can see in my very arty photo in my last blog….very David Bailey if you ask me, which you probably don’t. My first shoot in my back garden made 28 yard range, was a whole kaleidoscope of feelings which I shall get on to hopefully in my next post.

So I have the weapon. I have a plan, sort of, but being the soul I am, most of my plans pretty regularly go out of the window more often than not, quite quickly. But it’s the willing and thought that I should have one is what counts. Isn’t it? I now even have the blog, to prove in words of all my successes I achieve. And maybe of some of the failings too. Of which I am sure there won’t be many. I hear a collective sigh, and thoughts of how naive I am.

I also have more curiosity than a cat. And if you knew my cat and the trouble he gets in to, is quite enough thank you. I have a million things going on inside my head about everything air rifle. From this beautiful work of weaponry art I suddenly have before me, to stalking, hunting, rabbits and much much more.

But where to find the answers to all my questions. It’s not going to be in the randomness that most of the internet brings through a one word google search that delivers back 99% random thoughts from the great and the good! And, the not so great.

How to filter it all out?

Before I bought my Hatsan AT44-10, (even the sound of saying or typing the model name out in full sounds majestic, to me anyway), to convince myself I was doing the right thing I read as many reviews as I could from around the world about this rifle. Most of them I have to say dear reader was not complimentary.

It was like reading a far right manifesto of some immigration hating, scare mongering party that warned us of this Ottoman like Turkish invading force that is coming to attack our Christian made, green Jerusalem shore, God fearing home grown rifle makers.

Turkish guns are no good. Especially the Hatsan made ones.

They can’t hit a barn door. The barrels are as bent as a Downing Street copper. ‘Please, please don’t touch them. Stick to the good old BSA, Daystate, Air Arms etc and burn anyone who doesn’t support our boys’. All would say.

Now I will point out that some of the early ones, pre-2006 or so, do seem to warrant this kind of warning, but not now.

But I digress. To filter all this out I went in search of a forum!! And to my disbelief I found one. It was for British shooters. Living in Britain. Owning these Johnny Foreigner rifles from Turkey. Mainly Hatsan, but welcoming all comers. The welcome page said all the right things. How friendly they were. The newbies where very very welcome and to ask anything they needed. Nothing, they said and no one would be turned away. I joined in an instant.

I had welcome comments from long established members.

I posted my first response. And even first subject post. Some people even replied and patted my head giving me all the well dones I needed. I was pleased.

It wasn’t to last.

My next post wasn’t to be well received. Not at all. What rules did I break? What unspeakable subject did I breach? Now dear reader I am a passionate soul. Whatever I take part, or interested in, I immerse myself 100% I have an engineering degree, and have been in one form or another in engineering for over 20 years. So what did I do? I asked how an air rifle worked!! Oh the sin! Give that man a BSA right now and banish him. Not quite, not that dramatic. But had it been that dramatic, I could not felt any more of a poaching, illegal, pleb loving low life had I tried!

I asked if anyone had a guide or the know how to walk me through the strip down and assembly of my rifle. Pointing out what this spring and that screw was called, what it’s purpose was and how should I clean or spot a seal to be replaced. Just a question from a mid life crazed man and engineer on how his air gun tool worked.

I felt, dear reader ostracised. I could not of stood in the whispering gallery and shouted ‘HOW DO I DOUBLE THE POWER OF MY RIFLE? ANYONE?’ And be treated with silent accusations. Sent to the forum Coventry. With being seen as an infiltrator in to their little world, their kingdom, and I a serf. But that won’t let my passion be diminished. I have had my ear clipped.

I have but one question?

In the freedom of speech world that is the interweb, is the forum a font of all knowledge, or a clique?

One you will be only allowed to join and partake in if you know your place!

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