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 Up North Airgunner / 49 Views /  21-08-2018

Aug 21st 2018 Could the AirForce Airguns​ Texan .45 big bore air rifle become the most powerful PCP shotgun on the market. YUP! A little sneak peak of my new .410 AirForce Texan .45 Big Bore AirShotGun..... Before you snicker at the .410 gauge selection for this platform and ask why I didn't go with a 28 or 20 gauge barrel - there are strategic and intentional reasons why. Before I get to that - here is the backstory. I have been working with Bryan Ware​ at Lethal Air on this project for the last month or so right after I presented at the Big Bore Air Rifle demo day for the DNR officials here in Michigan. During that awesome event there was a lot of conversation and movement forward on the regulatory vs. legislative actions that could happen to broaden the "method of take" across all seasons and species to use airguns. The Michigan DNR was able to make tweaks to existing language to open up quite a few new seasons for us Airgunners without any additional legislative action. The one I had been most hopeful for was TURKEY season! In Michigan, rifles are not allowed for Turkey hunting - you have to use a shotgun with #4 shot or smaller or a crossbow or a muzzleloading shotgun. The new language that regulates (allows) airguns to be used for Turkey hunting was wrapped up in a nice little tidy section in the new 2018 Michigan Hunting Digest (although it has introduced some other issues I will cover later). This new wording basically states that an airgun can be used as a method of take as long as it follows the same equipment and ammo requirements as firearms. So if I could figure out a way to get a .45 AirForce Texan to sling #4 shotgun shot or smaller and get any decent patterning at 20-30 yards - I just might have a decent Turkey gun on my hands. But why .410 and not 28 or 20 gauge? #1 - .410 is a direct drop in barrel for the Texan .45 with ZERO other modifications to the stock AirForce Texan platform. The .410 gauge is the closest to the .45 caliber thus no need to do any kind of breech modifications. #2 - Sectional Density and Ballistic Efficiency of Lead vs. Tungsten. In a nutshell - what will make this .410 a possible Turkey gun at all is the recent innovation in Tungsten based shot. This stuff is SUPER expensive and ain't your trap and skeet shot (unless you are super rich). But if you can invest in a pocket full of shells that could last you many different seasons where you will just take a handful of shots - these little BBs of death are a game changer! Up until recently, a .410 gauge really had no place in the conversation for ethical Turkey hunting. That was until Tungsten Super Shot (TSS) started popping up with shotgun reloaders and with Federal coming out with their .410 TSS for Turkey loads. Imagine a #9 shot size that has the foot pounds of energy and penetration power of #4 lead shot. MASSIVE shot count with the knock down power of a much larger shot size. TSS #9 has about 367 pellets per ounce compared with lead #4 with has 136 per oz. Therein lies the magic of Tungsten #9: better pattern density in lighter loads which allows smaller gauges and opens up a whole new world for airgun shotguns. #3 - So how will I load it? Where will I get shotgun shells? I will roll my own! The age old craft of paper cartridges baby! I have been practicing making these and it is super fun and easy (had a bit of practice rolling similar shapes in my college days - wink). I just wrap a trapezoid shaped piece of paper around an empty .410 shotgun shell hull and dab the end of the paper corner with Elmers glue - pre-weigh the TSS shot to around 13/16 of an ounce - fill the cartridge - and tie off the end with string or just roll the ends zig zag paper style. The last step is I lightly coat the paper cartridge with Bore Butter to help the cartridge slide into the chamber and helps make a better seal for increased velocity. Stay tuned for pattern and velocity test results! GOBBLE! GOBBLE! Airgunner style baby...

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