I was out shooting this afternoon/evening with my mate Andy (AndyFR1968 here) after a fair old lay off from the permission due to work. However, he had brought along his usual, trusty WEIHRAUCH HW90 while I had both my HW77 and TX200 .22 rifles and we set to for a zeroing session.
Well, he'd also brought along his Crossman King Ratcatcher .22 Co2 toy pop gun!
You know what it looks like. It's a short, plastic-looking air pistol with a tiny barrel, a skeletal rifle stock (that's just enough of a stock to get it round the 6ft/lb limit ruling on pistols!) and a Co2 bottle up it's arse....
And no self respecting rifleman with top end spring rifles like me, is gonna even look at this joker.....!
As I'm zeroing my walnut-stock-to-die-for .22 TX200 in the woodland part of my shoot, he pulls out his toy pop gun....And a sharp crack of muzzle blast is instantly followed by a very positive thwack against a 25-metre target board. His second shot hits with a very assured thwack again. And Again...and again...!
Anything that shoots accurately has my attention pretty quick.
it's not long before Andy has a very respectable one-hole group on the 25-metre target we'd set up and after whacking another round into the same hole, he offers this King Ratty to me to try.
After five shots into a very tight hole, and out to 40 metres without a missed beat, I'm starting to change my preconceptions about Co2 air.
For a start, this Crossman King Ratcatcher feels like a decent weight in the hand. Not hefty like a spring rifle but, no lightweight either. Just right. It's a simple little bolt-action and probe to load a single pellet and its ready to shoot. It has a generous run of scoperail that will allow you to fit just about any type of sight you like. Andy had sensibly fitted a Simmons compact fixed-mag scope on this rifle and it was a perfect compliment to the compact proportions of the King Ratty.
Even zeroed from a right-handed shoulder, it took my left-handed characteristics without a flicker of need to adjusat zero and put every one of my left-handed shot exactly where I was aiming it.
The trigger is an absolute little beauty. No question.
I loved it's solid-brass feel and finger-hugging curve. A lot like the classic German Luger 9mm pistol's trigger. There is a tiny little bit of creep before let off and this helps to quickly predict when it's going to release shot. It's no two-stage precision feel, but one of those idiosyncratic characters in firng you soon get to know and use.
Power comes via a detatchable C02 bottle which is screw-inserted into a regulator receiver at the rear of the gun, which is cranked downwards to turn the bottle into a cheek-rest over the butt stock. A Neoprene jacket over the replacement bottle makes it a comfy one on your cheek.
Trigger let-off is as crisp as you like and as predictablyt good as I've found on top dollar sporting rifles that would make this little gun look like nothing.
We didn't have Chrono readings to work on but, from the sheer consistency and vellocity that each shot thwacked into the target, the Crossman King Ratcatcher is certainly well up to power specs as a medium range hunting arm at the very least and its accuracy is absolutely superb.
So. to sum up.
It's delightfully nice to shoot with. Very compact carbine proprtions and powerful enough for medium 30-metre range hunting at least, and very, very accurate. I can see an enormous potential for Rat hunting shots from a vehicle or a woodland stalking session where a compact rifle comes into it's own. Fit a compact scope and you'll be well sorted with it.
Would I buy one? NO!
I'm a spring rifleman through and through!
One very well served by my spring rifles that will take out any airgun game at all decent ranges as they are, but, I wouldn't put anyone off buying one. Never!
Superb little rifle and I'm really pleased for the experience of shooting with it. Thoroughly enjoyed my session with it. And it has taught me never again to judge by appearances alone! It is far better made than it actually looks to be honest.
If anything, it needs a proper little moderator to baffle down the pretty sharp muzzle crack. But that's all I can honestly say against it.
Thanks Andy mate.
Now...about tuning my HW80...?
Edited by pianoman, 21 September 2011 - 11:14 pm.