Today’s airguns aren’t what your grandpa used to shoot. Sure, spring operated break-open airguns are still on the market (or springers, as we call them in the airgun realm), but a whole new breed of airguns is among us now.
PCP (Pre-charged Pneumatic) airguns are lightweight, powerful, and virtually recoil-free. They pack the punch of a “powder burner” gun, but are powered by air. What’s more, airguns are fairly inexpensive to shoot when compared to loaded or even reloaded firearm ammunition. They also shoot cleaner than firearms, leaving less fouling and residue to clean up after you are finished shooting.
Although PCP airguns may cost more than their firearm counterparts, ammunition is fairly reasonable, and it is becoming more and more available via online retailers. This is especially true within respect to big-bore airguns, which typically use cast lead ammunition. Also, this new breed is more than capable of handling large game at surprising ranges.
Hunting hogs and exotics with today’s revolutionary and innovative big-bore airguns is a different experience, but not far removed from hunting with a firearm.
I have hunted many animals in the past with archery equipment or firearms but hunting solely with airguns is a newer experience for me. One of my favorite Texas hunting ranches, DB Hunting Ranch (www.dbhunting.com), offers a wide variety of hunting opportunities, and I recently visited DBHR for an airgun hog hunt.
I own a few air-powered rifles and pistols and chose the Airforce Texan from Airforce Airguns (www.airforceairguns.com) as my weapon of choice for this hunt. As you can gather from the name, the Texan is manufactured right here in our great state. The Airforce Texan is the most powerful production PCP airgun on the market today.
I own a Texan chambered in .45 caliber and love this gun for many reasons. It is powerful, accurate, and an overall incredible hunting weapon, well suited for just about any big-game-sized beast in the Lone Star state—or the rest of the nation for that matter.
I can typically get eight shots per fill of the air tank on this rifle. Refilling one of these PCP guns is as easy as acquiring a used scuba or carbon fiber air tank and a universal refill assembly.
You can even get your air tank refilled at your local dive shop where you would normally go for scuba gear. It’s much easier to refill your rifle with an air tank like this than with a hand pump. Trust me, I’ve done both!
Although it’s not yet legal to hunt native wildlife, such as whitetail, deer with an airgun, the entire spectrum of exotic species and wild hogs we have here in Texas are fair game. So, numerous opportunities are available for you to take an airgun afield to fill the freezer and maybe even garner a trophy for your wall.
Dustin Vaughn Warncke