Friday, July 30, 2010


My New Toy

I finally decided to sell off some of my airguns so I could finance a new Air Arms EV2. I have been wanting to get one for a while now but decided to wait until after the Mk4 version hit the streets to buy one. I have been shooting my AA ProTarget over the past couple months and it kicked up my desire to get the state of the art EV2.

It all started a couple weeks back when I gave my Daystate MakoFT to David Slade at Airgunwerks to go through. I hadn't been shooting it much and it needed some seals or cleaning up. I bought this MakoFT from David about 10 years ago and have shot it from time to time. David had tuned and customized it and boy was it a tack driver! It is one of two rifles that I ever cleaned an FT course with. It fit me like a glove and shot very smoothly.  This rifle was also the same rifle that Beeman used for their catalog pictures back when they offered the MakoFT model.

I told David that if I ever decided to sell the Mako that he would have first rights of refusal. Once he had it back in his hand for a while he decided he wanted to buy it back. This was the spark that started me selling off some of my unused sporter rifles so that I could finance the EV2. 

Over the past year my wife had been laid off and then decided to try to develop a line of custom jewelry to sell on the Internet. We were also supporting my son while he was in college during this time so spare money has been very short. Selling some of my airgun collection was the only real avenue I had, for now, to finance the EV2. I decided to sell an RWS48S rifle, Beeman R7 rifle, RWS 92 rifle, and a FAS604 match pistol. So, I took some photos, posted them on my classified ads page, and within a day had enough money from sales to pay for the new EV2.

The EV2 arrived two days ago and I haven't had time to post about it until now as I was busy setting it up and shooting it. The firing cycle is very smooth and benign. The barrel has a compensator at the muzzle so there is almost no movement when the rifle is fired. The trigger is terrific, I have it setup with a single stage so all I need to do is rest my finger on the blade and just squeeze a bit to release the shot. The stock is so adjustable that it is easy to get the rifle to fit perfectly.

The only issue I have with the EV2 is the scope rail. I shoot over my arm and my position causes me to mount my scopes forward on the scope rail. The extra wide breech opening doesn't allow me to install my mounts where they need to be so that I can move the scope forward. The old ProTarget has a dovetail rail installed as standard so that the mounts can be installed anywhere along the entire length of the breech. I think the EV2 also need a similar dovetail rail.

The is a gentleman in the UK, Barry Taylor, who is working on an adjustable dovetail rail for the EV2. I think I am going to need one of these once he gets them fabricated. Until them I think I am going to have to buy two sets of extended (reach forward) mounts to get the proper scope placement.

So far I am very happy with the EV2. It is only 12 ft. lbs. but the rifle is a tack driver. I haven't had time to shoot groups from a bench yet but some of the groups I have shot from my FT position lead me to believe that it will do the job. Knocking down a 3/4" kill zone field target at 37 yards time after time confirms to me that the rifle performs. I am looking forward to working with this rifle over the coming months to get it completely setup and shooting!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Adjustable Objective tapes.

On my last blog I had a picture of the sidewheel on my Hawke Sidewinder32 8-32x scope. It had a tape with my numbers applied to the sidewheel. I had some questions asking how I generated that tape. It is a pretty manual process, I don't have a program that generates it automatically.

I use this process for both my sidewheel and front objective scopes. I tape a strip of paper onto the sidewheel and then mark all my ranges by focusing the objective on a target at every range from 10-20 in 1 yard increments and 20-55 in five yard increments. I put tape on just the ends of the strips so it is easy to remove.

After marking the ranges, I remove the temporary range tape and tape it to a piece of printer paper. Then I put the paper and a ruler onto my scanner and scan the range tape into my computer. The ruler is important as it allows me to make sure that I can size the image to the actual size. At this point I import the image into a drawing package, I use Microsoft Visio but there are others.

Once in Visio, I resized the image to actual size using a 1" box and the ruler in the image. I resize the image until the 1" division on the ruler matches the size of the 1" box I drew in Visio.  Now I draw lines on the image that correspond with the marks on the range tape image. For the ranges from 10-20 I draw the lines on top of the marks drawn on the tape. For the ranges from 20-55 I draw lines on the marks drawn on the tape. I then draw in lines between the major yard marks and space so they are equal distance between the major yard marks.  After adding in the text for the yardages the draft of the tape is complete.

I print out the tape on regular printer paper, cut it out and temporarily tape it to the sidewheel using the 10 or 11 yard mark as a reference. I then check all the marks between 10 and 55 yards at 5 yard intervals. If they aren't exact I make a few marks on the temporary tape and change the line positions in the drawing and repeat the process again until the marks are spot on.

Once the tape is done I use rubber cement to glue it to the sidewheel or objective and then cover the whole thing with clear packing tape to seal the tape from the weather.  The process is labor intensive but once it is done, the tape can be reused for the same scope or other scopes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Shooting My ProTarget/Hawke Sidewinder30 Combo

We had a local FT match today and I shot my ProTarget with the Hawke Sidewinder30 8-32x scope. This combination has seemed to work out quite well. As mentioned in a recent blog, I found out that the ProTarget shoots the JSB Exacts 8.44 pellets very well. At 17 ft. lbs., it shoots them around 950 fps which means a very flat trajectory. How flat? Well, using the Hawke scope with 1/4 minute clicks, there is only 5 click between 50 and 55 yards. I was very satisfied with my score of 58/60. I only dropped a kneeling shot that I just flinched a bit as I released the shot and the other was my last shot on a 54 yard target that the pellet just didn't go where I was aiming. I was talking with Roz and some others and forgot to check the head of the pellet before loading it and a little scratch or mark on the head will make it fly off.

The ProTarget, or PT, has a great trigger and I have it setup with a single stage with enough pull weight to allow me to comfortably rest my finger on the trigger but light enough that applying just a bit of pressure will release the shot. I am really liking the single stage trigger setup and there isn't the worry of pulling through the second stage as you take up the first stage travel. For match shooting it is the way to go.

I am getting used to the Hawk scope. I really like the 1/4 minute clicks on this scope. The Sidewinder30 has 60 click per revolution so shooting the JSBs at 950 fps I can shoot from 10 to 100 yards within one revolution of the scope. With this PT rig I am able to easily hit a 2.5"x3" target at 100 yards. I haven't shot groups at 100 yet but I am going to try that in the near future.

I didn't much care for the original sidewheel the Hawke came with. The sidewheel is just under 1/2" wide but half of the width is consumed by a ridge intended as a grip. I decided to modify it a bit. The first thing I did was to file down the grip area and then I used a belt sander to sand down the entire face flat. I then used progressively finer grit sandpaper to polish the face smooth. This gave me a nice wide area that allowed placement of my own numbers.

 Original Hawke Sidewinder30 100mm Sidewheel

 Sidewheel with grip area and face sanded down and polished

 Sidewheel with range tape installed

 This worked very well. The sidewheel is still easy to grip and now I can make my own charts for the sidewheel.  Since the original sidewheel was only 100mm, measured from the outside of the grip area, the sanded down sidewheel only measures 3.80" which doesn't give much room between the distances past 40 yards. However, with the very flat trajectory if I was able to get within one yard on any target past 40 yards, I was able to hit the target. The setup seems to work pretty well and I think I will continue shooting and testing this rig.

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