A step-by-step guide to using the AC Guns Night Stalker unit
- Credit: Archant
The editor and our Airgun Student study a new, seriously affordable, night hunting system
Within an hour of getting the call from Terry, I was standing in a photographic studio at Airgun World headquarters, trying to figure out the step-by-step instructions for this brand new, AC Guns Night Stalker unit. According to those instructions, all I’d need was a small, cross-head screwdriver...and that was it. Here goes, then, and you can follow me through every step.
In the case
The Night Stalker comes in a neat little padded case, and inside this I found the following: the main camera unit and its attachment bracket, a T50 variable-intensity infra-red torch, a 4.3-inch monitor, a clamp for the monitor and another for the torch, an 18650 rechargeable battery, a li-poly battery pack and charger for the camera, a selection of shims to fit the scope attachment to various telescopic sights … and a pair of tweezers. The test button on the power pack showed around 30% charge, so I thought I’d get used to assembling the Night Stalker before I did a full re-charge.
Using the Night Stalker
Next month, I’ll be out and about on my favourite hunting permission, where I’ll really find out what this Night Stalker system can do. I’ve had a few ‘dry runs’ with it on my practice range and I’ve already learned quite a bit about it.
First, there is no loss of zero, whatsoever. This isn’t a surprise, because the unit’s camera is simply showing what the scope ‘sees’, but it’s reassuring all the same. So far, I’m happiest with 6x magnification on the scope, although that might change as I become more used to using the Night Stalker. Next, the whole system weighs just over a pound, or 600gms, and it doesn’t affect the handling of either the TDR it’s fitted to, or my own S510. If anything, the Night Stalker seems to make these rifles more steady on aim, but that could just be my imagination.
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That variable-intensity torch really does a job in lighting up the landscape for the Night Stalker’s camera unit. Rabbits and rats can’t see the infra-red light, either, so there’s no chance of my quarry becoming ‘lamp shy’. I’m still experimenting with the torch’s position – the bracket lets me slide it to the side if I want to – and its intensity, but I’ll have everything sorted by next month’s issue.
I called AC Guns and spoke to Connor, and he assured me that the T50 infra-red torch gives a constant run time of around two hours, whilst the camera’s battery pack will keep it working for well over twice that time, again if constantly switched on. In the real world of hunting at night, the unit and the torch would only be turned on when needed, rather than being left on all the time, so I’m already confident that the Night Stalker will provide me with a full night’s hunting. Next month will be the clincher, though, as I do my best to make full use of the Night Stalker’s amazing features, and I can’t remember being so excited about my shooting.