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Hunting: Clever kit

PUBLISHED: 16:13 11 October 2017

Most bullpup rifles will fit snug into the Viper tactical gun bag

Most bullpup rifles will fit snug into the Viper tactical gun bag

Archant

Eddie Jones shows us just what he’s been using kit-wise recently

People often ask me what other gear I use, what do I not show readers and why do I use that? Since I have been writing for Air Gunner magazine I have had the pleasure to try out a lot of kit, including rifles, scopes, clothing and luggage. Much of this gear would normally have been out of my price range, so it has given me the opportunity to compare it with the more affordable items that I use – and this is what I want to show you this month.

The rumour is that we writers only give good reviews because we get to keep the gear, but this is not true because most of the items that I get go back to the manufacturer. I would rather send things back and not review it at all if it’s not something I would use myself, so in this month’s feature you will see gear that I would definitely use, and you won’t need to break the bank to get most of it.

Viper tactical gun bag Viper tactical gun bag

You Cannae Beat It

We’ll start off with a gun bag from Scott Country. I was on the lookout for a bag that I could use for two rifles because I shoot both sub-12 ft.lbs. and FAC air rifles, and I sometimes take both of them out with me. Much of my shooting is done prone from a small blind, so when I take both rifles with me I can range my distances, and if a shot presents itself further than I would be comfortable taking with the 12 ft.lbs., .177, I will use the FAC .22. This makes carrying the equipment and rifles a bit of a haul but the Cannae Triplex Acies bag gave me an opportunity to find out if I could make it a bit easier. The bag retails for around £130, which is quite expensive for a gun bag, and I wouldn’t have looked at it, but when I actually saw what you get for the money, I wanted to save up for one.

The Cannae Triplex Acies is made of the finest materials, and designed to create the ultimate tactical gun bag, as used by Special Forces. There is plenty of room for all your rifles, ammo, tactical gear, and range kit, and it’s just what I’ve been looking for. It will accommodate all modern air rifles; it is 44 inches long and if you have a rifle with a sound moderator, the Triplex Acies has a concealable case extension to incorporate the added length of your rifle AND moderator.

The rifle bag comes standard with a shoulder carrying-strap and a built-in, concealable shoulder harness. When carrying the bag containing two rifles, I will always hold it with my arm underneath, or have a grip on the handles; there is probably no need, but the clips are plastic and with two expensive, heavy rifles in there, it gives me peace of mind. I am not going to drop them if the worst should happen.

Full-length or bullpup-style rifles will fit in with ease Full-length or bullpup-style rifles will fit in with ease

Big and Bad

The bag is made of Cordura nylon. Its dimensions are 44” L x 4” H x 13.5” W and it weighs in at around 5lbs. The buckles are made from strong Duraflex, but as I said earlier, peace of mind will make you grip the handles on a longer walk with two rifles in the bag. It has a full-length zip so you can get good access to both rifles, and it is very well constructed. There are many pockets for storage, which contain so many little compartments that you can fit magazines, pellet tins, targets, and your first-aid kit in with ease – you could probably fit in a three-course meal if you were planning an all-day hunt! I still look at it sometimes and think, ‘does this really have to cost so much?’ but then I think of the number of gun bags I have bought over the years that haven’t lasted, and then realise that yes – it does. .

Now for the other end of the market. I also wanted a new bag for the Galahad. There is no point in having a gun bag for a single rifle, that is 10 inches too long and looks cumbersome for such a short gun, so the bag I chose for this situation was the Viper tactical, multiple gun carrier. This only holds one bullpup-sized rifle, but it also has enough compartments for everything you will need to take with you. The main compartment has a padded foam interior and includes a pistol compartment that you would use for other small items. You also get the extending rifle compartment, if you have a longer silencer on your bullpup.

It is made from 600D polyester, and includes a full-length zip and shoulder strap. Its size is 86cm x28cm x5cm and it comes in black, coyote and V Cam colours. This is also a well-made bag and retails for around £60, but I have found it cheaper on the ‘net at different outlets. It’s the perfect bag for any small rifle at an affordable price tag.

SniperScopes Ratta kit: set up and ready to go in five minutes SniperScopes Ratta kit: set up and ready to go in five minutes

Affordable NV

Now for an item that I have been using a lot lately. This is definitely a bargain basement bit of kit that will get you plenty of quarry at night, as well as when shooting with it in the daytime. As you will have seen, I have been using some neat new gear for after-dark shooting. The new Yukon Photon that I liked, and the older Pulsar digital units that I use regularly are all great bits of kit, but they come with a price tag that many of you guys wouldn’t want to shell out for a bit of night-time shooting. This kit also takes one of your rifles away from you because it will be dedicated to that scope.

We also have the Nitesight units that help in this situation of keeping your rifles with a day scope, but it’s still expensive kit. So, I have found a little company who make a unit that works in a similar way to a Nitesight, in principle, but at a fraction of the cost. This homemade type of unit is not the best made in the world, but after looking at the main materials used, you’ll see that you are getting a good piece of kit for silly money.

Great value

The Ratta kit: to buy the kit supplied and build it myself was much cheaper The Ratta kit: to buy the kit supplied and build it myself was much cheaper

When I received the kit, I was surprised at what I got for the £125 price tag. There was a TV screen that fixes to a supplied torch and scope mount, together with a very good camera that attaches to the rear of your scope via a piece of rubber hose. A small IR torch was also in the kit with battery and charger, and there’s a battery holder that attaches to your rifle’s cheek piece. When I first tried to set up the kit, I had to focus the camera to the scope by turning the front piece of the camera lens – this took about five seconds. You then fit the tube onto the camera and push it onto the eye piece of the scope. The fiddliest part is fitting the torch and mount on the scope because there are so many screws, but you get used to it.

The one problem I had was that I use 30mm scopes so I had to improvise because the mount is 25mm, but otherwise this kit is set up in no time. I was very surprised at the clarity of the picture on the screen; I have seen homemade kits a lot worse, at double the price, that give you a very poor grainy picture even in daylight shooting. This kit also lets you record what you shoot bu using an external DVR if you have one.

Tweaks

When I took this kit out, I did make a couple of changes to what is supplied, but that was for my own benefit. I used a different battery pack and this saved using the butt pouch and 8AA batteries for the pack that was supplied. I used a different mount because I didn’t have a 30mm to use for the screen, but apart from that I was over the moon at what this unit delivered. When using it for the first time, I had rabbits, pigeons, and more rabbits at night using the supplied IR. This unit is from Sniper Scope and they do other units for longer range shooting, too.

Resting on the gate makes getting on aim much easier Resting on the gate makes getting on aim much easier

After using this equipment for some time now, my final verdict is that it’s a great little unit for the price. They could use better pieces of tubing to attach the camera to your scope, better mounting attachment and battery pack, but this all adds up and makes a product more expensive. These guys are shooters like us, and like us they want something affordable for everyone. I would definitely support anyone who wants that!

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