Mastering Vermin Control: Essential Preparations for Airgun Hunting

Introduction: Airgun hunting has gained popularity among outdoor enthusiasts as an effective and challenging way to control vermin populations. Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a beginner, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a safe, ethical, and successful experience. In this blog post, we will guide you through essential steps to prepare before heading out for vermin controlling with an airgun. Discover the key factors to consider and equip yourself with the knowledge to make your airgun hunting trip a resounding success.

  • Know the Local Regulations: Before venturing out into the field, it is vital to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and laws concerning airgun hunting. Research the specific vermin species you intend to target, understand the permitted hunting seasons, bag limits, and any licensing requirements. Complying with legal guidelines not only ensures ethical hunting but also prevents potential legal repercussions.
  • Selecting the Right Airgun and Accessories: Choosing the appropriate airgun and accessories is crucial for a successful vermin control outing. Consider the specific vermin species you will be targeting and the environment in which you will be hunting. Opt for an airgun with sufficient power and accuracy to dispatch the vermin cleanly and humanely. Additionally, invest in quality optics, such as scopes or red dot sights, to enhance your aim and precision.
  • Practice Proper Marksmanship: Achieving accuracy with an airgun requires consistent practice. Familiarize yourself with the operation of your airgun and spend ample time practicing marksmanship skills. Set up targets at various distances and practice shooting from different positions, mimicking real-life hunting scenarios. Remember to focus on proper stance, breathing control, trigger discipline, and follow-through. Regular practice will increase your confidence and ensure accurate shots when it counts.
  • Research Vermin Habits and Patterns: Understanding the behavior and habits of the vermin you intend to control is crucial for a successful hunting trip. Study their feeding patterns, preferred habitats, and movement routines. This knowledge allows you to strategize your hunting approach, increasing your chances of encountering the vermin in the right place at the right time. Online resources, books, and local experts can provide valuable insights into vermin behaviour.
  • Plan Your Hunting Location: Identify suitable hunting locations where the vermin populations are known to be abundant. Consult with landowners, farmers, or local wildlife management authorities to gain permission and access to private or public hunting grounds. Ensure you have a clear understanding of the property boundaries and adhere to any specific rules or guidelines provided by the landowner.
  • Safety First: Safety should always be your top priority. Before heading out, familiarize yourself with basic firearm safety practices and protocols. Ensure you have appropriate safety gear, including ear protection, eye protection, and appropriate clothing for the hunting environment. Always be mindful of your surroundings, especially when shooting in areas with potential human activity. Adhere to safe shooting angles and never shoot at targets that may cause a ricochet.

Conclusion: By following these essential steps, you can maximize your chances of success and ensure a safe and responsible airgun hunting experience. Remember to research local regulations, select the right equipment, practice your marksmanship skills, study vermin behaviour, plan your hunting locations, and prioritize safety. With the right preparation, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a skilled vermin controller while enjoying the thrill of airgun hunting. Happy hunting!

Choosing Between a Spring-Piston and CO2 Airgun: Making an Informed Decision


Are you torn between a spring-piston airgun and a CO2-powered airgun? We understand the dilemma! To help you make an informed decision, we’ve created this comprehensive guide comparing the two types of airguns. By exploring their differences, benefits, and limitations, we aim to assist you in finding the perfect airgun for your shooting preferences. Let’s dive in!

  1. Understanding Spring-Piston Airguns:

Spring-piston airguns are renowned for their simplicity, reliability, and affordability. They operate by utilizing a coiled spring mechanism to generate power and propel the pellet. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Power and Accuracy: Spring-piston airguns generate considerable power, making them suitable for target shooting, small game hunting, and pest control. While they can be accurate, mastering their shooting technique is crucial for consistent results.
  • Recoil and Noise: Spring-piston airguns have a noticeable recoil due to the spring’s release, which can affect shooting accuracy. Additionally, they tend to produce more noise compared to CO2-powered airguns.
  • Maintenance: Spring-piston airguns require minimal maintenance, usually consisting of periodic lubrication and spring tension checks. They are relatively robust and can withstand rough handling.

See More Spring Powered Airguns

  1. Exploring CO2-Powered Airguns:

CO2-powered airguns use pre-filled CO2 cartridges to propel the pellet. They are known for their ease of use, versatility, and consistent shot-to-shot power. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Power and Accuracy: CO2 airguns offer consistent power levels throughout the shooting session, providing reliable accuracy and predictable trajectories. They are ideal for plinking, target shooting, and recreational use.
  • Recoil and Noise: CO2 airguns generally have less recoil compared to spring-piston counterparts, resulting in improved shot-to-shot consistency. They also produce less noise, making them suitable for backyard shooting and areas with noise restrictions.
  • CO2 Cartridges: CO2-powered airguns rely on disposable CO2 cartridges. While convenient, it’s essential to consider the ongoing costs of purchasing new cartridges as part of your shooting expenses.

See More CO2 Rifles

  1. Factors to Consider When Deciding:

When deciding between a spring-piston and CO2 airgun, several factors can help guide your decision-making process:

  • Shooting Purpose: Determine whether you intend to use the airgun for target shooting, pest control, plinking, or recreational shooting. Each purpose may favor a particular type of airgun.
  • Power and Range: Consider the power and range requirements for your shooting activities. Spring-piston airguns generally offer higher muzzle velocities and energy, while CO2 airguns provide consistent power across multiple shots.
  • Budget: Evaluate your budget, considering both the upfront cost of the airgun and the long-term expenses. Spring-piston airguns tend to be more affordable initially, while CO2 airguns may have ongoing cartridge costs.
  • Shooting Environment: Assess whether noise restrictions or limited shooting areas play a role in your decision. CO2 airguns, with their reduced noise levels, may be more suitable for urban or backyard shooting.


Choosing between a spring-piston and CO2 airgun ultimately depends on your shooting preferences, purpose, and budget. Spring-piston airguns offer affordability, power, and durability, while CO2-powered airguns provide ease of use, consistency, and reduced recoil. Consider factors such as shooting purpose, power requirements, budget, and shooting environment to make an informed decision.

At Pellpax, we offer a wide range of high-quality airguns to cater to various shooting needs. Visit our website to explore our selection and find the perfect airgun that aligns with your needs.

Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Airgun for Your Needs


Are you searching for the ideal air rifle that perfectly fits your shooting requirements? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision when purchasing an airgun. From understanding the different types of air rifles to considering key factors before buying, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

  1. Exploring the Types of Airguns:

Airguns come in various types, each with its unique characteristics and purposes. Understanding these types will help you narrow down your choices and find the perfect fit for your shooting preferences. We’ll cover the three primary types:

  • Spring-Piston Air Rifles: Known for their simplicity and affordability, these rifles use a coiled spring to generate power and propel the pellet. They are great for beginners or those on a budget.
  • PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic) Air Rifles: Utilizing compressed air stored in an onboard reservoir, PCP rifles offer consistent power, accuracy, and multiple shots per fill. They are favored by enthusiasts and professional shooters.
  • CO2-Powered Air Rifles: These rifles use pre-filled CO2 cartridges to power the shots. They are easy to use, require minimal effort, and offer semi-automatic or automatic shooting options.
  1. Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Rifle:

Before making your purchase, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you find an air rifle that meets your specific needs. Here are the key factors to keep in mind:

  • Purpose: Determine whether you’ll be using the airgun for target shooting, pest control, small game hunting, or competition. Each purpose may require different features and power levels.
  • Calibre: Airguns are available in various calibres, including .177, .22, and .25. Consider the target size, shooting distance, and your personal preferences when selecting the right calibre.
  • Power Source: Decide which power source best suits your shooting requirements—whether it’s a spring-piston, PCP, or CO2-powered air rifle.
  • Budget: Establish a budget range and look for air rifles within that range. Remember to consider the long-term costs, such as accessories, maintenance, and ammunition.
  1. Research and Compare:

Once you have a clear understanding of your shooting preferences and the factors to consider, it’s time to conduct thorough research and compare different air rifle models. Visit reputable websites, read customer reviews, and seek expert opinions to gather valuable insights. Pay attention to factors like accuracy, ergonomics, durability, and overall performance to find the best airgun that suits your needs.

  1. Make Your Purchase:

After conducting thorough research and narrowing down your options, it’s time to make your purchase. Ensure you buy from a trusted retailer or manufacturer to guarantee the authenticity and quality of the air rifle. Take advantage of discounts or special offers to get the best value for your money.


Choosing the right air rifle is crucial for an enjoyable shooting experience. By understanding the different types of airguns, considering important factors, conducting thorough research, and making an informed purchase, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect airgun for your needs. Remember, investing time and effort in the decision-making process will ultimately lead to enhanced satisfaction and improved shooting performance.

To explore a wide range of high-quality air rifles and accessories, visit our website Our expert team is ready to assist you in finding the ideal airgun that aligns with your shooting goals. Happy shooting!

Weihrauch vs Hatsan

When it comes to Weihrauch and Hatsan, there are many similarities that can be drawn between the two companies in their products ranges. These include the fact thats they both produce spring-powered air rifles, as well as pre-charged pneumatic air rifles, as well as spring and PCP pistols in all the common calibres. All their items are usually imported below the legal limits, which are 12 ft/lbs for a rifle, and 6 ft/lbs for a pistol, although the rifles are usually available in FAC levels if you have the right licence.

Both companies produce their products mainly for sporting purposes, such as target shooting, hunting, and pest control, so deciding which one is best for you can often be a tricky task. Weihrauch’s and Hatsan’s products are both in similar price ranges, which doesn’t help make the decision any simpler, but hopefully this blog will help you make the right choice.

Let’s start off by talking about Weihrauch

Weihrauch are one of the oldest players in the airgun game. Founded in 1899 as firearms manufacturers, they even produced the first German .22 rimfire rifle. However, the company ran into trouble after World War 2 when the Allies put Germany on the naughty step and banned the production of firearms, forcing Weihrauch to put their years of research into creating the finest sporting airguns.

However, instead of sinking, Weihrauch thrived, and many of the designs they produced formed the basis of the modern spring-powered air rifle. The company has gone from strength to strength ever since.

What can you expect from a Weihrauch?

Well, their rifles are among some of the most reliable in the business, and we have many customers who still possess rifles they bought in the ’70s and still swear by them, despite the myriad of newer options available. The rifles themselves still carry an air of tradition, and feature solid wood stocks with minimal bells and whistles – just a well-made gun with a good barrel and all-round performance. This may be a turnoff for some, and another complaint that’s logged against Weihrauch guns is that they’re often heavy, with high cocking effort and clunky triggers; the whole thing feels mechanical and is operated as such.

I think this is maybe a little harsh though. Yes, the weight is higher than some other brands (an un-scoped HW97 weighs upwards of 4kg), but the cocking effort is nothing 99% of shooters can’t handle. I quite like the overall weight and feel of Weihrauch rifles; everything feels solid and built to last, and most importantly, powerful and accurate.

See more of the Weihrauch range of airguns here

The new(er) kids on the block

Hatsan were founded in 1976 and first started off manufacturing shotguns directed at sport shooters, with great success. They’ve now translated that knowledge of sporting competition to provide a range of airguns that are just as effective in shooting competitions. The rifles themselves are made in Turkey, which mirrors the company as an up-and-coming economic powerhouse that has risen rapidly upwards in terms of reputation and quality, and now stands firmly amongst the world’s elite.

The rifles themselves are modern and ergonomically designed with rubber inserts, thumbhole designs, and a wide variety of synthetic stock options. Another good thing about the brand is that they often come with silencers attached, and with front sights on the silencer; this means that you no longer have to choose between the two. Hatsan rifles also represent incredible value for money, with many coming with bipod, carrying straps, and other accessories for no added cost, and they also add extras like adjustable cheek pieces and inbuilt swivel studs to a lot of their models.

Two of the best

Let me preface this by saying that spring rifles are my bread and butter. There are also various PCP options out there for both brands, which may be subjectively better than these rifles. But not to be tied down with external gas canisters suits me best. So here are my two picks:

Weihrauch HW77K

The HW77 was Weihrauch’s first rifle that loaded directly into the breech of the barrel, as opposed to a loading tap, which reduced the power, but greatly increased accuracy. This has made the 77 extremely popular in countries with strict power limits, like the UK and Germany.

This K or carbine version of the 77 also decreases the weight to make the rifle more manageable and easier to aim, whilst a raised cheekpiece and sculpted butt-pad make the rifle a nice fit into the shoulder. The gun itself is also equipped with a front sight, but I would make use of the long rail mounted across the top of the rifle, and get a good quality scope.

The gun is exceptionally accurate and shoots well in the field, but where the gun really shines is when shot down the range. The underlever makes bench shooting a little awkward, but the high accuracy and predictable shot placement are winners in my book.


Hatsan Dominator

The Dominator is round about the same price as the HW77 and also uses an underlever cocking mechanism. However, that is about where the similarities end. Instead of a wooden stock, the Dominator uses a synthetic polymer that is over-moulded with rubber for resistance to shocks and knocks. This also has the added effect of eliminating that horrible texture that some synthetic stocks have, where they feel like cheap car dashboards. Despite my usual preference for a wood stock, actually the Dominator started to win me over.

Another nice touch is the stock’s raised cheekpiece, and actually this rifle comes with a wide range of accessories – swivels studs, fibre-optic sights, bipod, strap, and muzzle break … to name a few. This rifle also features a top-mounted rail for optics, and the quattro trigger system is great.

I’d recommend this rifle for field work, especially as the rubber on the stock stays grippy in the wet or through gloves, whilst the rifle’s lighter weight means it can be carried long distances. You even get a strap included!

See more of the Hatsan airgun range here


I hope this has given some insight into the two brands and given some ideas as to what rifle you may want to pick.

If I had to choose one, the Weihrauch wins for me every time; but actually, after initially dismissing them, the Hatsan rifles were well made, well priced for what you get, and I could see their appeal.

Kozak and Hortitsia PCP Air Rifles from Zbroia Company

Meet Zbroia Company – Manufacturer of the Kozak and Hortitsia PCP Air Rifles

At Pellpax, we’re very excited to be stocking the new Hortitsia and Kozak PCP air rifles from the Ukrainian manufacturer and wholesaler, Zbroia Company. These elegant and distinctive air rifles have proved to be a popular choice for our customers, and so we thought it might be nice to have a closer look at the company that makes them.

It’s worth mentioning that the Ukrainian language is very different from English, in that it is written with its own Ukrainian alphabet. However, the language is also represented by Roman script. ‘Zbroia’ is the Romanised, phonic representation of зброю, which is the Ukrainian word for ‘weapon’.

Zbroia Company is based in Ха́рків (Kharkiv), Ukraine’s second largest city, after its capital, Kiev. Kharkiv was founded in 1654, close to the River Kharkiv, by people fleeing from the Khmelnytsky Uprising (also known as the Cossack-Polish War). The city is now a thriving centre of engineering industry, and is the home of 13 universities.

Zbroia Company supplies its products to many different countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and – as of this month – North America and South America. The person responsible for the export of Zbroia products is Andrey Zhylitsyn, a graduate of Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics, faculty of management and marketing.

Andrey told me: “In my present work, I communicate with clients from different countries, speakers of different languages, followers of different traditions, culture, and religion. It is very interesting. In one day, following the sun, I can start communicating with clients in Hong Kong, move on to the Emirates, Germany, and Great Britain, and then finish the day, far beyond 6.00 p.m. Ukrainian time, solving issues in Chile or the US, where it is early morning.”

Zbroia’s chief designer is Roman Kysylov. Roman graduated from the Ukrainian State University of Railway Transport, mechanical faculty, in 1998, and joined Zbroia Company in 2008. This highly talented mechanical engineer, who has 20 years’ experience in the design of firearms and pneumatic guns, and a life-long love of shooting sports, is the man responsible for the design of the Hortitsia and the Kozak.


The козаки́, which we know as the Kozak, is of the bullpup design, with the gun’s action situated behind the trigger, decreasing the rifle’s overall length and weight, without compromising the length of the barrel. The safety catch, positioned on the side of the barrel, can be reached and operated without having to lower the rifle from the shoulder, enabling the shooter to fire shots in quick succession, with accuracy. This lightweight rifle is ideal for quarry shooting, where you might be manoeuvring among trees; it’s well balanced, has a sensitive trigger, and is very quiet, thanks to the built-in barrel shroud.

The word козаки́ (kozak) is Ukrainian for ‘Cossack’. Cossacks were democratic, self-governing communities in Russia and Ukraine, who, in the 14th and 15th centuries, went into the steppes (grassland plains), turning their backs on serfdom and religious persecution. козаки́ (kozak) is a word from the Cuman language – a language that is now extinct – meaning ‘free man’.

Cossacks have contributed greatly to Russian and Ukrainian history, serving in the militia, in eastern European conflicts, until the early 20th century. In times of war, the women of these strong, martial groups took on the roles of their absent men, ferociously defending their territory and providing for their communities. Хо́ртиця (Khortytsia), which is the largest island on the river Dniepro, was the home of the Zaporizhian Sich, one of the earliest and most powerful Cossack communities.

The island of Khortytsia, now home to the Museum of Zaporizhian Cossacks, is a popular tourist destination, and has been a historical and cultural reserve since 1965. Khortytsia is, of course, the name’s sake of Zbroia’s Hortitsia PCP air rifle.

The good-looking and relatively light-weight Hortitsia has delighted so many Pellpax customers, and we, in turn, have been delighted by the positive feedback. Like the Kozak, the Hortitsia has an integrated barrel shroud for very effective silencing, a sensitive trigger, and smooth probe engagement. Both models are available in .177 and .22 calibre, and with a short (330mm) or long (450mm) barrel.

In July this year, Pellpax became a UK distributor for Zbroia Company. Pellpax Managing Director, Darren Kirk, is pleased with the impression these two rifles have made on UK customers. He told me: “Everyone who buys them loves them.”

I asked Andrey Zhylitsyn if he has ever visited the UK. He said, “Unfortunately, I have never been to the United Kingdom, but as soon as such an opportunity arises, I will certainly use it.”

I’m sure that when that opportunity arises, Andrey will receive a very warm welcome.

What is an Air Gun?

Many of you will think of an air gun as anything that fires a projectile from a smooth-bore or rifled barrel using the power of air.

This is the standard definition that can be found across the internet. But air guns are so much more than that today, as some use compressed air, others CO2 gas, and some a spring and piston, which still all come under the umbrella of air guns. As a rule of thumb, the term air gun is generally used to refer to any type of gun that uses compressed gas as the propellant, as opposed to burning powder, as in rifles and shotguns. And you should always consider the right air gun pellet for your needs as well.

Spring Power

Probably one of the oldest air gun mechanisms to still be around today is the spring-and-piston type, with the first examples of their existence going back to the late 1800s.

The principle of a spring-powered air rifle is that a spring is cocked by means of a lever; it’s often the barrel that doubles for this job, but some guns are a side- or underlever type, which allows the barrel to be fixed in place. This lever then compresses the spring, which has a piston in front of it, with a washer on the front. This washer used to be made from leather, but today they tend to be made from plastic. This washer creates a near air-tight seal, so that when the spring’s tension is released, the piston compresses the air in front of it, which is then forced through a port into the barrel, propelling the projectile forward.

The Stinger Starter UL Tactical Kit is a great spring rifle for target shooting and plinking.

As this mechanism has very few moving parts, it’s probably the most reliable type of air gun, especially as so many models from nearly 100 years ago are still working flawlessly today!

One slight downside of this system is that the spring wears over time, causing power loss, but a gunsmith can easily replace the spring to get the power back up to where it should be. Spring air rifles come in a wide range of prices from choices such as the Stinger UL Tactical Starter Kit .22, right up to the top-of-the-range, state-of-the-art Air Arms Pro-Sport Walnut Stock .177, which offers some of the best accuracy and consistency straight out of the box.

Choose from the best Spring Powered airgun brands

Gas Ram

An upgrade on the standard spring airgun is the gas ram system, which is very similar in its principles to a spring air rifle, except the spring is replaced with a gas strut. For those of you who can’t picture a gas strut, it’s basically a larger version of what holds a car boot open. The gas strut doesn’t suffer the same downfalls as a spring does, such as spring fatigue, meaning that the power stays the same for longer. The gas strut also offers better shot-to-shot consistency, as the compression of the gas is more consistent and accurate than that of a spring would be. Again, prices vary in the gas ram range, from the e Webley VMX D-Ram .22 – Black Synthetic, right up to the Weihrauch HW90K .177.

Choose from the best Gas Ram powered airguns

CO2 Powered

The next step up from spring and gas ram air rifles are CO2-powered rifles, which use either the small 12g capsules, or the larger 88g cylinders. Both are filled with compressed CO2, and once loaded into the rifle, the gas flows through a valve, eventually being released into the barrel to propel the pellet when the trigger is pulled and the hammer strikes the valve. This system is completely recoil-less, so it’s a lot easier to get better accuracy with one of these rifles straight out of the box.

CO2 does have its disadvantages though, as it’s very dependent on temperature, so it’ll be a bit more powerful on a warm day, but less powerful on a cold day. Spring and gas ram don’t experience this fluctuation by comparison. CO2 are a lot quieter though, as they don’t have much internal movement going on, so with a suppressor fitted, they are close to silent.

Choices start from the Rat Sniper .22 CO2 Air Rifle, which is a great rifle for those looking for a bit of target shooting and light pest control, up to the all-bells-and-whistles Umarex 850 Air Magnum XT .22 Deluxe Kit, which offers multi-shot, full-power shooting.

Choose from the best CO2 powered airguns

PCP Powered

The Zbroia Hortisia Bolt Action PCP Rifle is an excellent starting point

PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) rifles are the next step up from CO2 and offer the best in accuracy and consistency out of all the airgun types currently on the market.

PCP rifles use high pressure air – some running at pressures of up to 300 BAR – to propel the pellets along the barrel. The advantage of high-pressure air is that it doesn’t change power as the temperature varies, and is also a lot more stable than CO2, giving much better results when firing pellets. The principle is similar to the workings of a CO2 gun, with the air held in a reservoir, which is recharged via a diving cylinder or a stirrup pump. This air is then released into the barrel via a valve, which is struck by a hammer when the trigger is pulled.

PCP rifles are available in all shapes and sizes, with both single-shot and multi-shot actions available.

Some good starting points would be the Zbroia Hortitsia .22 – Black or the Daystate Griffin .177, with prices varying anywhere in between, depending on your budget!

Choose from the best PCP Powered airguns

An airgun is not just a gun that uses air to fire pellets. It’s much more than that today, with some top-end rifles even utilizing electronic actions to fire the pellets! There are still many new advances to come, but I hope this blog post has helped explain some of the different types.

High Powered Air Rifles for under £200

In these times of Brexit and Trump, it seems everyone’s looking for a good deal. So I’m here to shed light on some of the best that cheap air rifles have to offer. Now, just 60 years ago, £200 would buy you a brand-new car, but cars are not necessarily the most efficient tool for pest control. So let’s see what high-powered airguns we can get for the same price. And you should always factor in the importance of choosing the correct air gun pellet too.


Hunting For Value: Remington Express XP

If you’re looking for value, you can’t do better than the Remington Express XP. It’s not just one of the cheapest spring rifles, but it’s one of the cheapest airguns, period. The express is only available in .177, but it will shoot 11.5ft/lbs plus, making it just as effective as many other more expensive guns on the market.

The finish on the rifle is also surprisingly refined, considering the price, and the hardwood stock (read ‘not beech’) is suitably shaped and well stained. The rifle also weighs under 3kg, making it lighter than some other similarly priced spring rifles. The trigger of the Remington, in particular, is nice and wide, and whilst there’s a little creep, the pull weight seems perfectly set to achieve a predictable let-off. The Remington is also accurate, with 1/2” groups at 30 yards, using Air Arms Diabolo pellets, and the muzzle report is greatly reduced by the addition of a silencer.

This rifle, however, is not as quiet as a CO2 or PCP rifle, as the main noise of a spring rifle comes from inside the rifle itself. Also, the silencer is moulded to the front of the rifle, eliminating the possibility of front sights. Now, the rifle does come with a 3-9×32 scope, but it’s always nice to have the option.
All in all, a great rifle that’s limited by its lack of options, such as calibre choice and sight options.

Great finish on the XPs stock.

+ Great finish
+ Accurate
+ Brilliant Trigger
+ Comes with Scope

– Silencer is Fixed
– .177 Only
– Still Quite Loud

Lightweight and Reliable: Webley VMX

Next up is rifle that has had a couple of re-brands over the years, the Webley ValueMax, now known as the VMX has been a popular choice amongst airgunners looking to get more bang for their buck.

Slightly less powerful than the Express XP, the VMX none the less shoots at around 11.3ft/lbs which is more than enough to deal with either feathers or fur. The VMX features a Powr Lok mainspring that delivers consistent power and smooth delivery although the two stage trigger could be of higher quality.

The VMX also features fibre optic sights and can be fitted with a scope because of the rifles top mounted rail. The VMX also features an automatic safety, but is not possible to de-cock the rifle without firing so always ensure you have a target first, something that is good practice anyway.

The synthetic stock is OK I guess, but I’ve never liked the feel of most of them, they remind me of the texture of a cheap car dashboard, but they are light and I guess for £120 I cant exactly expect walnut can I? The shape is good however and the rifle is comfortable to shoulder for both left and right handed shooters.

The rifle is maybe not the nicest to look at or shoulder, but it shoots like a dream and for under £120 you can’t really have many complaints can you?


+ Smooth Action
+ Fibre Optic Sights
+ Under £120!!!
+ Auto Safety

– Ugly Synthetic Stock
– Moderate Trigger Creep
– No Way to Decock

A Man’s Gun: SMK XS38

Webley Valuemax VMX Air Rifle .177

The Chinese have, in recent years, shaken off their reputation for the cheap and the nasty, and instead are now famous for making some of the most reliable air rifles that money can buy.

Continuing in that tradition, the XS38 is a full-sized, full-power airgun, which, instead of a break-barrel system, utilises an underlever to cock. This reduces wear and increases accuracy by ensuring the barrel never moves throughout the firing process. The rifle is fitted with a scope rail as well as fibre-optic sights, which aid hunting in low light.

The rifle itself is somewhat heavy, weighing in at nearly 4kg, and under-leavers are notorious for having all their weight at the front – something that will take a bit of getting used to. The rifle does have a fair bit of kick, though this is counteracted with a generously sized recoil pad.

The trigger of the XS is somewhat unrefined and is a single stage, leading to a little unpredictability, and the break-barrel action is a little stiff, so you’re in for a workout if you’re going to be doing a lot of shooting with it. It was the most powerful of all the rifles I tested, clocking in at 11.8ft/lbs, ideal for pests.

The XS38 is definitely excellent value, but it’s very front heavy and a bit cumbersome to aim. The gun does, however, pack a real punch, and it’s accurate enough for targets or pests.


This silencer is not removable

+ Under lever
+ Fibre Optic Sights
+ Great Finish
+ High Power

– Unpredictable Trigger
– Heavy
– Tough to Cock

[This silencer is not removable]

Built to Last: BSA Meteor EVO Silentium

The BSA Meteor Silentium was originally introduced in 1955, over half a century ago, and we are now on our 7th iteration of this famous gun. BSA, and now Gamo, who took over in 1986, have always adopted an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the Meteor, and consequently have ended up with a rifle that’s very old fashioned, not to mention underpowered. It’s really only suited for purists of the brand, looking to reclaim a bit of the past.

Now, however, they introduce the Meteor EVO, a version of their classic rifle that has been given a firm boot into the 21st century. First thing to note is the power: upped from the original’s 8ft/lb, the EVO features a brand-new spring-and-valves system that will produce around 11ft/lbs of muzzle energy, just under the legal limit.

The EVO, much like its predecessor, is a rifle that’s built to last, something that continues to impress me about the brand. The finish of the EVO is also really good, with chequering on the stock and a thick rubber recoil pad. Testing the gun out, 4.52 Air Arms field pellets gave tight groupings at 30 yards, and I’m sure that, with a bit of experimentation with pellets, this could be improved further.

Also, unlike some previous BSA models, like the Lightning and the Supersport, the Meteor features a barrel fulcrum that consists of a threaded screw instead of a pin, which eliminates the lateral barrel movement that has given this brand a bit of a bad rep in recent years.

The only real complaint I have is that the gun is still pretty loud – and yes, I know all spring rifles have a similar problem, but don’t call your gun a Silentium if it gives away my position to everyone within a mile radius. Also, this silencer can’t be removed and replaced with a more effective one, or one that doesn’t look like a giant piece of plastic. Oh well…

The BSA carries a lot of heritage. It also shoots well … even if it’s a little loud and cumbersome to aim.

SummaryBSA Meteor Evo Silentium Air Rifle .177
+ Great Build Quality
+ Well Designed Stock
+ High Power
+ Accurate

– Quite Loud
– Can’t Remove Silencer
– Front Heavy

Best Gamo Ever: Gamo Whisper X

The Gamo Whisper X has been billed as “the best Gamo ever”, and while that doesn’t mean much to some people, the Whisper X does shake off some of
the baggage that’s been attached to the Gamo name. Normally known for having a heavy trigger, the Whisper is surprisingly light and responsive, and I found myself growing to like it more with each shot. The accuracy was again pretty good, inside a penny at 30 yards. Nothing to complain about here.

Another thing Gamo rifles were famous for was the “twang” noise the spring made when fired. Now, I don’t know if they use a different manufacturer for their springs now, but that noise was absent, instead being replaced with a more pleasant thud sound. The recoil level of this rifle was also way below what I expected in the shoulder, with the skeleton stock absorbing a large part of it. However, the kick is still larger than most air rifles, and I wonder if this may cause damage to the gun in the long run.

About that stock: it’s not exactly my cup of tea. I have to say I prefer a classic sporter-shaped wood stock, as opposed to the Whisper X’s unusual styling. At least it doesn’t look like a Kral Breaker … Having said that, looks are subjective; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, blah blah blah … Really, if you’re hitting groups as tight as the X does, how it looks pales into insignificance.

The X was perhaps the gun I was most sceptical about before shooting, and yet it was the one that grew on me the most.

Gamo Whisper X

The Gamo has an unusual thumbhole design

+ High Accuracy
+ Light
+ Comfortable
+ Improved noise…

– … but not exactly Whisper Quiet
– Fixed Silencer
– Polarising looks

The Gamo has an unusual thumbhole design

And the Winner is …

In conclusion, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this range of rifles. The build quality is about what you would expect, but the performance far exceeded my expectations. With the exception of one, all were over 11.5ft/lbs, and all were accurate enough to be used for either pest control or target shooting at ranges up to, and including, 30 metres. If I had to pick a winner, I’d probably go for the Remington. Yes, it is a bit rough around the edges, but that trigger is great and makes the gun a joy to shoot. I would have liked the option of front sights, such as on the non-XP model, but this gun is a great choice for target shooters and hunters alike.

The overall standard of the guns was actually very good. Manufacturers have been competing with each other for decades now to try and get their rifles to be the most affordable, and there’s now more choice than ever. Whereas 30 years ago buying a cheap airgun was really scraping the bottom of the barrel, nowadays the bar has been raised so high that you can find a great airgun, regardless of your budget, so long as you’re prepared to compromise.

Airgun Pellets, what’s the best for me?

So you have your rifle. What’s the first accessory you’re going to need? Well, something to shoot out of it might be an idea; so let’s look at your choice of pellets.

A Sample Pack is a good place to start

Now, the barrel of any air rifle will contain minute imperfections in both the material and rifling, which can have a large effect over shot placement. What this means is, every airgun will respond differently to pellets and different shooters. For example, I have a TX200 that prefers JSB Exact pellets to anything Air Arms have to offer; so much for brand loyalty.

So a good thing to buy would be a Pellet Sample Pack. This way you can try out a couple of different types of pellet before committing to one, to see not only what your rifle prefers, but what kind is best for what you need.

Everyone has a type

Flathead or Wadcutter :

These pellets are ideal for shooting paper targets, where their flat, circular nose will cut a clean hole through paper, allowing you to see exactly where you’ve hit. This makes them ideal for zeroing in scopes and lasers, as well as for competitions, where competitive scoring must be as accurate as possible.

These pellets do also have some hunting utility, particularly in smaller calibres, as they have a high rate of deformation and expansion upon impact, which leads to larger wound channels and less chance to wound.

Notable Examples : Gamekeeper Rat Dispatcher, Pro-Target Trophy, Apolo Champion.

Hollow Points :

These pellets have an indentation in their nose, which, upon impact, drives air into the centre of the pellet, causing rapid expansion. These pellets are designed for hunting and pest control, and are best used at short to medium range to be most effective. This is because the hollow point in the centre can affect accuracy and cause the pellet to tumble at longer distances.

I would recommend them for anyone thinking of using a pistol for pest control, as the higher level of energy transfer from the pellet can help counteract the pistol’s lower power.

One thing that’s good about hollow points is that, thanks to their high rate of expansion, they’re extremely unlikely to over-penetrate, and, although I would always pay concern to what is behind your target, this will minimise the risk.

Notable Examples :Crosman Piranha Hollowpoint, Bisley Pest Control, H&N Baracuda Hunter Extreme.

Pointed : Designed to prioritise accuracy above all other aspects, pointed pellets are created to maximise aerodynamics around the fired pellet to ensure a laser-straight flight path. That’s the theory anyway. However, from my experience, pointed pellets tend to be amongst the most inconsistent.

After some testing, I’ve concluded that it’s down to the way the pellets are manufactured and stored. The pointed pellet works fantastically well only if the point is aligned correctly, and, due to pellets being stored in a tin without much protection, this is the exception and not the rule.

Having said that, my dismissal of pointed pellets has led me to experiment with them less, but I have a couple of friends who swear by Gamekeeper Infiltrators for rabbits, which I am yet to try. So let’s just say I’m waiting to be won over.

Notable Examples : Gamekeeper Infiltrator, Webley Powapell, Apolo Jumbo.

Domed : The classic pellet shape. Domed pellets are by far the most popular shape of pellet and are really a jack of all trades. Their shape leads them to be accurate, with deep penetration and reliable expansion, without excelling in any of those areas.

Honestly, these pellets can do anything pretty well, and if I didn’t have a specific task in mind, these would be the pellets I’d go for. Since they’re the most common type of pellet, there’s a very long list of pellet brands, all with variations in shape, so something is almost guaranteed to suit your shooting style.

One thing to bear in mind with domed pellets is that, more than any other, they offer differing skirt sizes. Now, the skirt is the size of the end of the pellet and effectively equates to how tight the seal is of the pellet inside the barrel. The tighter the seal, the more pressure has to build up behind the pellet for it to be fired, therefore increasing FPS. This skirt size will be represented by an additional .01 when listing the pellets size. For example, .177 pellets which are usually 4.5mm will be listed as 4.50, 4.51, 4.52 etc.

A wider skirt will leave more lead behind inside the barrel. This lead fouling will need to be regularly cleaned to keep your rifle in perfect working order, as large build up can affect both power and accuracy. Also, some magazines, most notably semi-automatic rifles like the Sig Sauer MCX and Beretta CX4, tend to prefer smaller skirted pellets, so I would stick with .50 or .51 if using these rifles.

Notable Examples : ProShot Precision Magnum, Weihrauch Field Target Special, Air Arms Field, JSB Exact Pellets.

What are you made of?

The next important consideration is the material that the pellet is made from. The various qualities of these materials, such as weight and hardness, will play an important role in how the pellet flies through the air and also how the pellet behaves when it impacts the target.

: The first and by far the most popular choice is lead. Lead has been used for ammunition for literally centuries, thanks to its properties of being not only very heavy for its size, but also a relatively common material.

Its weight makes it a great projectile, as a small lead pellet will transfer more energy into the target than a larger pellet made from a lighter material. This means that the pellet is more effective in smaller calibres, and that it’s also less affected by environmental conditions in flight, such as wind.

Lead was also traditionally chosen because of its relative softness. This leads to deformation upon impact, dramatically widening the wound channel and leading to more effective hunting. Nobody likes wounding animals, so the fact that lead dramatically decreases this risk makes it a great choice for hunters.

Lead is not without its downsides, however, and because of its soft nature, the pellet often leaves a small amount of residue inside the barrel. This is an advantage, as it helps lubricate the barrel, but the build-up will start to affect accuracy and will need to be periodically removed – not a particularly hard job, but something to bear in mind.

Lead is also hazardous to the environment and is particularly toxic when it enters river systems. As a result, many places are becoming stricter on its use in ammunition, particularly the use of lead shot, and this is a trend I can see continuing with people’s growing concern over the environment.

Lead pellets are great for almost any task and are perfect for sub 12ft/lb air rifles, where their rapid expansion ensures humane hunting.

Notable Examples : ProShot Precision Heavy, RWS Super Field, H&N Field Target Trophy.

Copper : The military has been using copper jacketed ammunition for over a century, so copper coated pellets are nothing new in the airgun world. But how do they compare to their lead alternatives?

H&N Rabbit Magnum Power copper pellets

Well, first of all, they provide a handy barrier between the lead and your hands, which is always good, as lead’s not a particularly nice material to ingest. They are also significantly harder than 100% lead pellets, which has two distinct advantages. Firstly, they offer greater penetration, and pointed copper pellets offer some of the deepest penetration of any airgun ammunition.

The harder coating also provides protection against damage, and means that the pellets in the tin are far more uniform. This increases shot-to-shot consistency, and ensures the pellets are all in excellent condition when fired. It’s certain a strong reason to recommend the use of pointed copper pellets, as the problems that lead pellets have with making a reliable point is not present here.

Copper may be far less toxic to animals than lead, but it’s actually far more dangerous to plants. I always remember being taught the best way to kill a tree stump: hammer it full of copper nails. Now, thanks to their great penetration, copper pellets can perform a similar, if largely unwanted, role; so always ensure a safe backstop.

Copper Pellets, I think, are best used in conjunction with high-powered FAC air rifles, where their harder coating and more uniform shape will yield incredibly high accuracy.

Notable Examples : H&N Baracuda Power, Apolo Air Boss Barracuda Copper, Apolo Hollow Point Copper, ProShot Precision Pacifier

Alloy : PBA or Alloy pellets are a fairly new development when it comes to airgun ammunition and are available in quite a limited number of designs.

Alloy pellets have the advantage of being non-toxic and can be safely handled and fired, although I would always ensure a secure backstop. The pellets themselves are often lighter than lead or copper, and consequently can produce higher feet per second. FPS is not necessarily the most important metric when viewed on its own, but it can aid accuracy and give a boost to range.

Alloy pellets do tend to be expensive, however, and I would only recommend them for close range target shooting in 6ft/lb pistols and 12ft/lb rifles, where they will perform very well. Anything more powerful than that, and you’re going to be getting close to the sound barrier (~1125 FPS depending on temperature), something that most airgun pellets are not designed for, and something that will negatively affect your accuracy. The noise they make, however, will be awesome.

Notable Examples : H&N Baracuda Green, Gamo PBA Platinum, H&N Match Green

In Conclusion

Hopefully that clears up some of the jargon surrounding airgun pellets; it can be quite a confusing topic for the uninitiated. I would recommend buying a decent tin of domed lead pellets as they can do pretty much anything well, and then starting out with a sample pack to determine what is best for individual tasks.

How To Get Into Shooting For Beginners (Air Pistol / Air Rifle)

IMG_20160413_153255If you’ve ever fancied getting started in the world of shooting, it’s probably easier than you first thought. Let us help you with this handy guide to starting out ……

First off, you have to be over the age of 18 to purchase an air rifle or air pistol, and have valid photo ID (passport / driving licence) to prove this when you purchase from a shop.  If you want to buy online, We’re one of the very few internet retailers that deliver to item to your door. Secondly, the rifle or pistol has to be below 12 ft/lbs, which is the legal limit for air weapons which don’t require a license. If you take a look in our Airguns category, then everything within there is below this limit, so they only governing factor now is your budget!

The Sport of Shooting

The sport of shooting has more benefits for it that you may think, and is by no means reserved for the upper class, as many believe it is today. Air rifles and air pistols are a low cost form of shooting, and there are many local clubs which have large memberships in the disciplines of Field Target and Hunter Field Target shooting. If you fancy joining one of these clubs, a couple of great websites to check out are and, which have details of numerous air gun clubs across the UK that would be more than happy to accommodate new members.

Of course you don’t have to be a member of a club to shoot; you can quite as easily purchase several targets and shoot on your own land. A wide range of targets are available such as knockdowns, knock and resets, and standard paper targets. You can take a look at our full selection of shooting targets here and start building your own home range today!

A lot of air rifle users also use these weapons for pest and vermin control, such as rabbits and squirrels. They present the hardest of targets as they are prone to rapid movement, and shot placement must be spot on to ensure a humane kill.

All these targets and practicing target acquisition massively improves your hand eye coordination, steadiness and sense of distance which can benefit you greatly in day to day tasks.

The Law

The law is very clear on Airguns; they are classed as a firearm and hence carry heavy penalties for misuse. For this reason you must ensure that you comply at all times, which means you must first know the law.

The Law is split down into different age groups as follows…

If you’re over the age of 18 then there are no restrictions on you purchasing an air rifle and ammunition, but you must only use it on land which you own, or have permission to shoot on. If you do get some land to shoot on with permission, I would suggest getting it in writing, as well as a map of where you are allowed to shoot. You must also remember that whilst shooting, no projectiles must leave the boundary of the land, so know your boundaries!

If you’re between the ages of 14 and 17 years old, then you can borrow an air rifle and ammunition, and use it without supervision on private premises where you have permission to do so. At this age you can’t hire or buy an air rifle, buy ammunition, or receive one as a gift. Everything must be looked after by someone over the age of 18 such as a parent, guardian or other responsible adult. You also cannot have an air rifle in a public place unless you’re with someone over the age of 21 and have a reasonable grounds to do so, such as traveling to a shooting club.

The final age group is 14 years and younger. In this age group you can use an air rifle on private land with permission, but you must always be supervised by a person over the age of 21. You can’t buy or hire an air gun or ammunition, nor receive one as a gift, and those who do buy an airgun for use for someone below the age of 14 must be sure to exercise control over it at all times.

Air Gun Power Plants

When it comes to choosing either an air rifle or air pistol, there are a few different power sources to choose from, and each has advantages and disadvantages. This is just a quick rundown on them, but for a deeper insight, check out our blog post from our Gun Smith Jason here.

Spring power is the cheapest and easiest to use as it consists of a large spring moving a piston within a chamber to compress air in front of it to move the pellet along the barrel. These guns require very little maintenance and only need the movement of you cocking the barrel to make them ready for firing. They also don’t require any other accessories. Spring guns do have recoil though, but this can be seen as an advantage, as it teaches you how to correctly hold the gun to deal with this, henceforth improving your skills right away.

Co2 power utilises Co2 canisters which come in a couple of sizes. These are loaded into the gun, which is then released through a valve, into the barrel upon each shot. This method reduces the recoil to practically nothing, as well as cutting down on the noise from the action. This means in most cases that a silencer can be fitted to reduce the overall noise of shooting. However, Co2 does suffer from power fluctuations with the temperature, and requires you to carry spare capsules for reloading when they run out.

PCP stands for Pre Charged Pneumatic and these guns are based around an air reservoir, which is refilled with a dive bottle or stirrup pump up to pressures of 200 BAR. This high pressure air is then allowed through to the barrel through a valve. The use of high pressure air provides excellent accuracy and consistency and similar to the Co2 guns, and a silencer can be used to reduce the barrel noise. The drawback of PCP is that they are expensive to buy, particularly with the accessories, but once set up they are phenomenally accurate and simple to use which makes them the number one choice for top end competition and match purposes.

What do I need to get started?

To get started you need as little as an air gun, either a rifle or pistol, the necessary pellets, and other essential accessories such as co2 capsules, where required, of course.

Here at Pellpax we have a few kits that we have put together at a great price to get you started. One such kit is the Wildcat Kit which comes with the rifle, scope, a gun bag, a tin of pellets and a pack of our targets. Everything you need to start punching holes in paper as soon as it is delivered.

Or if you’d prefer a pistol then check out the Rat Dispatcher Kit, which is a spring powered pistol that comes with the pistol, scope, case and pellets to get you started. Our avid air pistol shooter, Ross, says that “This is a powerful, reliable and accurate pistol, that simply does what it says on the tin!”

Once you have your selected item, then it’s time to start shooting! As both of these are break barrel items, you first have to tap the barrel to break it away from the breech, then grasp the barrel firmly and pull it towards you to cock it until it clicks. Then load the pellet into the barrel and return it to its starting position.

Basic Technique

Firstly, take aim at your target. with the air rifle the best technique is to not hold the stock too firmly, as you need to allow the rifle some room to recoil slightly. With a loose hold on the rifle, disengage the safety, and slowly squeeze the trigger until the shot fires.

With the pistol it is much the same, except you will need to hold it slightly tighter to support its weight, and feel free to use both hands, one round the grip and one supporting the front of the pistol to get the best accuracy. Enjoy!

From here it is really down to you developing your technique over time and fine tuning the scope / sights and practicing hitting the centre of the target and learning your gun. Of course you might consider upgrading over time to a high quality rifle, but these basic tips and kit are a great place to start.

You can grab a Pellpax Wildcat kit here, or a  Rat Dispatcher Kit here

Our Spring powered air rifles can be found here. Our Co2 air rifles are here, and our PCP air rifles can be found here. 

Club Focus: Cromer Air Rifle Club

kneeling air rifle shot
A club member practicing his aim

In a new feature, we take a look at airgun clubs up and down the country. This month it’s the turn of Cromer Air Rifle Club, which is in our part of the world, Eastern England. 

Cromer Air Rifle Club was established in 1974. Like most airgun clubs at that time, it was an indoor range, which meant shooting paper targets at six yards, using 6 ft/lb air rifles – not too challenging, but great fun when you’re in competition. But as the sport waned in popularity, so did local competition. Airgun clubs’ membership was diminishing, and some clubs just folded. For the handful of members remaining in the Cromer Air Rifle Club, indoor shooting was not much fun.

So, in the 1980s, the club moved outside, to a range where members could shoot at 55-yard targets, using 12 ft/lb guns. The ft/lb unit is a measurement of kinetic energy, calculated by multiplying half the mass of the projectile by the velocity squared. It is a legal requirement that an airgun that shoots over 12 ft/lbs (approximately equal to 16 joules) must have a firearms certificate.

Outdoors, with mud, foliage, nice views and weather, competition wasn’t so important. Shooting with a few friends, or even alone, was a pleasure. Now airgun shooting was fun again, and, as you would expect, club membership grew.   

Nick Larty with a hand-built Sports Match GC2 air rifle
Nick Larty with a hand-built Sports Match GC2 air rifle

The Cromer Air Rifle Club now has its home in Bodham, in a quiet, out-of-the-way location on farmland. The long track that leads from the road to the shooting ground is very thoughtfully signposted with the location’s postcode. Shooters meet every Sunday morning between nine o’clock and twelve o’clock, unless it’s raining.

There are only eight airgun clubs in this region – a region that covers no fewer than eight counties. The winter league, which takes place every year between October and April, is open to all members of these eight BFTA (British Field Target Association) clubs, and each club takes a turn to host a round.

It’s a thirty-shot course, undertaken in pairs. In each of the 15 lanes there are four targets – two for each shooter. Every metal target is punched with a hole, which is 35 mm, 25 mm, or 15 mm in diameter. Behind the hole is a piece of metal on a spring, which, when hit, gives a satisfying ‘clunk’.

Airgun shooting is normally done in a sitting or lying position, but some of the targets in the Winter League competition are ‘positional’ shots, whichnr postcode picture must be taken from a standing and a kneeling position. (If your knees aren’t up to kneeling, you can opt for standing only!)

If you are interested in taking up airgun shooting, or if you are an experienced shooter looking for a local club, contact Nick Larty, Cromer Air Rifle Club co-ordinator, on 01263 570 223 or 07796 904 482, or just turn up at the club on a Sunday morning from 9 a.m. The postcode is NR25 6PN.