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Telescopic sights are the norm for most air rifles these days, whether they’re PCPs, springers or gas-rams, but there’s another type of sighting system that’s far less bulky, is lighter and is generally cheaper than a scope, and that’s the dot or reflex sight, and Mike Morton gets to grips with two different types to see what they have to offer.

Cold weather is setting in and rats are becoming even more of a nuisance than ever as rising water levels and dwindling natural food supplies force increasing numbers of scaly-tails onto the farm in search of shelter and an easy meal, so Mat Manning sets up with night vision and puts in a late shift in an attempt to hold back the winter influx.

Mat’s also been out after a few woodpigeons that have been proving themselves to be a bit of a nuisance on some seed drillings. Movement is one of the prime factors in persuading pest birds to approach a decoy pattern, so Mat tries out a new flapper to get them within range.

Many airgun hunters who end up returning home empty-handed feel a little disappointed that they didn’t account for any quarry, but Phil Siddell explains the subtle art of knowing when – and more importantly when not – to pull the trigger.

Some airguns have a reputation for being a bit of a handful, and Phil Hooper attempts to unlock the accuracy potential of the iconic Weihrauch HW45 spring-powered pistol, his preferred model being the Black Star version with its more ergonomic grip and better proportions.

After cutting his teeth on the high-power Delta Wolf, Mat gets to grips with Daystate’s new flagship rifle in sub-12 guise, finding a gun that pushes the boundaries of both technology and accuracy.

Mike picks up the Winchester 4.5 Special – a pellet-firing revolver with a rifled barrel – to find out if it really is all that special. Spoiler alert: he finds it a lovely looking handgun that’s easy to shoot.

All this is capped off by our Airgun Answers section in which we tackle your shooting-related queries, this time looking at butt plate repairs on vintage airguns, spotting devices and rail-mounted scopes.

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