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It’s that time again when we take a look back over the year’s highlights in terms of guns and accessories in our Gear of the Year roundup. And what a year it has been! Despite all manner of disruption including a global pandemic and countless snags in the supply chain, we airgun shooters have still been spoilt for choice when it comes to great kit.
Our roundup fills no fewer than 15 pages, and even with all that space we had a really tough job whittling it down. It covers everything from guns and optics to ammo and accessories, and should give you plenty of ideas for Christmas presents and stocking fillers. Maybe try leaving it open on the relevant page if you want to drop a few hints to your nearest and dearest.
Staying with the subject of desirable gear, Richard Saunders is leading the way with infrared riflescopes, pulling together some of the best for his regular kit roundup and then showing us how he uses this gear to bring nocturnal rats to book in his hunting feature.
Mat Manning’s also been getting in on the after-dark act and has included an article on his top priorities when choosing and using thermal spotters. These handy gadgets are proving more and more popular with airgun hunters. They aren’t cheap, so we hope Mat’s advice will help you to get the most from yours if you decide to take the plunge.
The performance of night optics just gets better and better, and Mat takes a look at one of the best in his main review. The InfiRay Rico is a thermal sight with a hefty price tag but it boasts performance to match. Most of us will probably just have to be content drooling over the pictures, but the fortunate few who are able to justify such an investment won’t be disappointed with this awesome piece of thermal tech.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for some fast-fire action but need to be careful with your cash, Mike Morton reckons the Gamo Whisper X Swarm is well worth a look. He also takes a close look at some Gamo accessories that can be easily paired with this rifle to make a true one-stop shop plinking or pest control package.
On the target shooting front, Thomas Bristow reports on the WHFTA British Open, focusing on three competitors of varying abilities in a sport that’s accessible to everyone, while Andy McLachlan explains why you might actually want to add more weight to a target rifle.