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 Up North Airgunner / 301 Views /  03-10-2021

AirForce Texan 50 cal Carbine Big Bore Airgun Tree Saddle Hunting and Deer Camp Shenanigans!

The AirForce Texan .50 cal big bore airgun has been on my wish list ever since I saw Justin Jacobson and Rick Rehm slinging lead at hogs in Texas hanging from a helicopter. The second I saw that video, I knew that this would be a great compact big bore option for my new passion of tree saddle hunting. Little did I know this big bore airgun would change a lot of opinions I had about the concept that longer barrels are always better.

Gear used:

.50 Cal Texan Carbine: https://utahairguns.com/airforce-texan-carbine/

Hawke Micro 3 MOA Red Dot: https://us.hawkeoptics.com/12141.html

Mr. HollowPoint .50 cal Slugs: https://mrhollowpoint.com/40-cal-to-50-cal.html

Utah Airguns / Air Marksman Compressor: https://utahairguns.com/airmarksman-12v-110v-portable-compressor/

Extreme Booster Pump: https://lethalair.net/shop/ols/products/booster-pump-bst-pmp1

I have been a HUGE proponent that the longer the barrel the better for big bore airguns when it comes to big game and deer hunting. Reason being, is you get roughly 10-15 additional FPS (and more FPE) in velocity for every inch of barrel you put onto an AirForce Texan. FPE is always your friend when hunting deer and with this hunt, I confirmed that theory, but with a nuanced approach.

HOW you are hunting should dictate though which big bore airgun rig you go with. Normally I am on the ground on a stool with my trigger sticks tripod. In that situation, having a long big bore airgun is just fine and I can eeeeek out every bit of energy from my AirForce Texan. But if you are going to be in a blind, hunting from an elevated position, or in a restricted space, like up in a tree, losing all that barrel length is a HUGE benefit.

It is a balance though giving up some of that energy for maneuverability and there are terminal ballistic considerations you need to understand. This .50 cal Carbine is slinging 345 grain Mr. Hollowpoint slugs and as a comparison, slinging similar 350ish grain weight in .457 slugs can yield much different terminal ballistics on impact. In my testing, I have seen smaller caliber slugs penetrate even deeper at the same FPE levels. FPE isn't your only consideration, but it is nuanced.

The sectional density and how the projectile penetrates is also a HUGE consideration and this hunt proved it for me hands down. What I mean by that is I am a firm believer that a full passthrough on a deer is what you are going for. I have tracked many - many - many deer after being shot with big bore airguns and I can tell you this, three holes are always better than one. Three holes? WTH is he talking about? This is going to be a bit graphic, so if you aren't a hunter, please stop reading here.

A single entry hole often won't yield in ANY blood trail because of the suctioning effect internally to that deer where the lungs are collapsed, but the diaphragm of the deer is still trying to function which can actually suck the blood back into the chest cavity leaving little to NO blood trail. A single hole is often clogged up by tissue and you won't find a single drop of blood. If you get a full passthrough, you fully ventilate the chest cavity allowing for a better blood trail and those two holes are now creating a much better opportunity for recovering that deer.

Well, what did I mean about three holes? The third hole is the mouth of the deer. I have found that when I get a full passthrough in a double lung shot, I also get a lot of blood being expelled through the nose and mouth of the deer which adds to the better blood trail and better opportunity of recovering the deer.

Now this is where the nuance of HOW and WHERE you are hunting matters. If you are in a situation where you know that you don't even have a shot greater than 50 or maybe 75 yards just go BIG! Go with a .50 cal and maybe even slinging the heaviest slug you can fit in the chamber. At those ranges you don't have to worry about the vertical drop of the slug and flatness of your shot trajectory, but you do want all that FPE and penetration. So that is why this .50 cal carbine is PERFECT for the kind of hunting I am doing from a saddle. It is more like archery ranges and I need the manoeuvrability it offers.

So in conclusion, this .50 cal AirForce Texan carbine performed EXACTLY as I hoped and is perfect for the vast majority of deep woods deer hunting I typically do and with my new found love of dangling from a rope like Spider Man from a tree. This new AirForce Texan is a compact winner!

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