CAMMENGA, milspec, lensatic compass.
I mentioned previously, that the last time I was out in the boonies, my digital compass went south, (pun intended) on me. I decided to go back to low tech, and just get myself a good quality lensatic magnetic compass. Lots of cheap chinese knockoffs out there, but I decided to go with the real deal.
CAMMENGA, (cammenga.com) has been supplying these compasses to the U.S. Military, and other organizations for a couple of decades now. That's good enough for me. Milspec, heavy duty, waterproof, and dust proof, just what I'm looking for. High tech stuff is amazing, right up until it craps out on you, and then, old tech that works, come hell or high water, is nice to have around too. Reliable, simple, and time tested. What's not to like?
No batteries needed. Magnetic north is my friend.
The next item that I recently picked up, is one of the latest versions of the RC Machine and Tool ( airgunclips.com ) company's magazines for the Air Arms 400/410 and 500/510 series rifles.
When I got my first AA 410 PCP rifle, it wasn't long before I started to have magazine indexing issues. I replaced the indexing finger in the gun, and that seemed to fix the problem, but a few months later, I started having the same issue again. It was about that time, that I found out the RC Machine and Tool company was offering a high quality, after market, magazine for these guns. I immediately purchased one in .22. WOW! What a difference in materials, machine work, and functionality, compared to the factory supplied magazine. Along the way, I've purchased one for each of the four Air Arms PCP's that I own. The indexing problems were gone forever.
The downside was, they would not handle the long Predator Poly Mag pellets. I just recently tried the new Predator Metal Mag pellets in my AA 410 ERBSL rifle, and found that they shoot quite well in it. The testing was done using a single shot tray, also made by RC Machine and Tool for the AA PCP's.
In doing some research, I discovered that the newest versions of these magazines, in .177 and .22, will now handle both the Poly Mag, as well as the new Metal Mag pellets. I immediately ordered one for my AA 410 rifle. I've tried shooting both pellets using the new mag, and they feed and cycle flawlessly through it.
If you want a nice inexpensive upgrade for your Air Arms 400/410 or 500/510 PCP, get one of these mags. The difference in materials, machine work, and functionality is like night and day. Compared to the factory magazines, the indexing on these is effortless, and butter smooth. Check 'em out.
The last thing that I added to my tool box, is a set of four large wind flags, to compliment the set of four small ones that I have had for some time. I want to shoot more at 100 yards, and the small ones are too hard to see at much over 60 yards, plus four flags isn't enough to effectively cover 100 yards.
These flags are made by a gentleman by the name of Dan Keeney, and sold through Killough Shooting Sports, ( Killough Shooting Sports ) I've been using these flags for several years now, and for what I do, they work just great.
So what's the big deal about using wind flags? Below, are a couple of examples of what wind flags can bring to the party. Both of these targets were shot with the same gun, same ammo, same day, and in the same windy conditions. Target number 1, was shot during the worst possible time to pull the trigger. How did I know it was the worst possible time, the flags told me. I did it just to illustrate a point as to how much wind can affect the path of a pellet from muzzle to target. My hold for each shot was on the single pellet hole at about 7 o'clock from the eye. As I recall, the target was at 50 yards.
Now, if I was just John Q. shooter, out testing my new rifle, and had no clue as to what the wind was doing down range, and shot that group, I would probably be pretty disgusted with my new rifle. The reality is, the gun and pellet are capable of great accuracy, but if you don't take the wind out of the equation, it looks like it's a pretty inaccurate shooter.
The next target, was shot while reading the flags, to determine the "BEST" possible time to fire each shot. HUGE DIFFERENCE! This is the reason that I never do any accuracy testing, or sighting in of a scope, without having my wind flags down range. Without them, I'm....well, just shooting in the wind, and getting the random results that shooting in the wind, without any wind flags out produces.
Anyway, I'm set now to do some 100 yard shooting at my Steelplinkers steel targets, while using my flags to help read the wind. Sort of like plinking with a purpose.
All three of these new items will be put to good use over the next several months.
Until next time, thanks for reading.