Airgun Shooter presents: Gear of the Year (pt3 of 7)

In our third part, we’re continuing our mammoth recommendation of products to cap off 2019 – this is Gear of the Year!

So whenever you’re considering a new gun, optic or shooting accessory, you need to know that it works really well, is a pleasure to use and represents great value for money. Here are just some of the items that have impressed us over the past year!



While first focal plane scopes tend to be dearer than their second focal plane counterparts, Discovery is on a mission to deliver more for less, as witnessed by the VT-3 Compact 4-16×44. True to its name, the VT-3 Compact measures just 270mm and comes in a generous package including a set of flip-up lens covers and a honeycomb sunshade.

Decent glass has been married to a genuinely useful reticle, enclosed in a compact housing – with some restrained aesthetics – at an equally compact price, earning the VT-3 a place on your shortlist.


Bullpups and carbines are no longer niche types of airgun, being increasingly popular rifle choices. To accompany guns like these, Hawke has introduced the Airmax 30 Compact series of scopes.

However, Compact scopes like the 3-12×40 seen here also work well with front-loaders like break-barrels and underlevers, where a longer scope could get in the way. The Compact is an extremely capable mini scope which offers the shooter plenty of features, while its quality build and good glass make it excellent value for money.

KONUSPRO T30 3-12×44

This little telescopic sight from Italian optics company Konus offers a generous range of magnification while ensuring both its 598g weight and 264mm length have been kept to the absolute minimum.

That means the T30 is suitable for mounting on shorter air rifles, for hunting or for fast-fire target disciplines where a smaller, lighter scope helps the shooter get quickly on aim. While it may be small, it’s big on build quality, with a flawless black finish and slick turrets.


MTC has two optics in its SWAT Prismatic range – this being a 10×30 model called the Atom. It may be small, but it’s big on technology, measuring just 122mm from the 30mm objective to the eyepiece.

SWAT stands for Super Wide-Angle Technology – the Atom offers a wider field of view than a conventional 10x scope. It features ultra-short eye relief and a concertina rubber eyecup, and the objective lens housing allows the fitting of many NV day scope adapters.


The F1 5-20×50 IR PA from Professional Airgun Optics is a robust first focal plane rifle scope with side parallax adjustment and an illuminated mildot reticle. The package offers very good value for money as it includes a set of two-piece mounts – meaning that the F1 is ready for attachment to your gun without any additional outlay.

The kit also includes a detachable 75mm sunshade, which helps to prevent sunlight from glinting off the objective lens.


A long-range rifle scope, the Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16×44 First Focal Plane with EBR-2C milliradian reticle is great for target shooters and hunters, as it will side parallax-adjust down to 20 yards.

The glass is particularly crisp on a scope that costs less than £500, and the fact that the lenses are positioned in the first focal plane means that zero shift after adjusting magnification is a thing of the past.


Prismax scopes differ from traditional rifle optics, as they use a roof-mounted prism, increasing light transmission through the scope tube and delivering a brighter sight picture with an increased field of view.

Two models are available, with the LRF version offering a laser rangefinding mode with the click of a button on top of the scope, or controlled with a wireless remote control. Both models feature an illuminated reticle, rear focus and short eye relief.


The best air rifle and telescopic sight combination in the world won’t be able to deliver optimum performance unless the two are connected by using high-quality mounts like those manufactured by Sportsmatch.

The firm offers a range of one and two-piece mounts of various heights to fit numerous sizes of scope, fitting both dovetail and Picatinny rail systems. Sportsmatch also has a number of adjustable mounts to ensure you can zero your rifle without running out of elevation.

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