Jimmy BigMac97KT and Nicola have just left us this morning to get home to Newcastle for a family function. It's been an absolute honour and a pleasure to have them stay with us. We had a lovely day yesterday reconnecting and of course, putting the refurbished stock back where she belongs with her action and getting her back into zero on my 30-metre garden range. He brought his stunning HW100 rig down with him and we set that up too with a range session...Well, I can see why they are so well loved by most of you lads here who have them.
I don't really have the words to properly describe the kindness and warmth of friendship from this great man. But, they rolled up yesterday with a box...And after coffee and Helen getting dinner underway, out came the most beautiful HW80 beechwood factory standard stock I have ever seen. And I write with absolutely no bias at all. I took the HW80 action out of her reserve stock and slipped her into this beautifully finished original.
It is a stunning finish and smoothness that you'd only find on a Best Quality English Gunstock costing a fortune. The photographs before and during the work Jimmy has put in do not do the finished item justice.
IT IS TRULY, ABSOLUTELY STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL. The swirls of rich deep reds and browns of the grain and the utterly beautiful gold flecks he's brought out are beyond my powers of description. Other than to keep repeating words of stunning, beautiful, exquisite etc.
First thing was, Jimmy showed me the fit of the Bisley Adjustable pad and made his marks precisely on the metal stock-shoe to finish it off with his grinder and set the pad. Once this was finished and fitted together the rifle was reassembled.
This pad has transformed the fit of the rifle to me to absloute perfection. Far from pushing the stock-length to over-length as I initially feared, it now fits me and my reach as well as only a purpose-built made to measure bespoke rifle.
we took it out on the range after dinner and loaded first pellet. You'd expect to rezero the riflescope after a few days off from shooting and a change of stock but, WHACK! Straight into the 30 metre target centre! A couple of fliers followed but the black dot of single pellet hole began to appear slightly left off centre. Once click UP and RIGHT and the shots went clean through the two and a half-inch thick plyboard target-boards and thwacked the concrete Paving slab I have as a backstop behind.
Good old SIMMONS WHITETAIL CLASSIC SUPERNIGHTVIEW. 4.5 -14 X 40 AO. Graphite coated. 30/30 Du-plex reticle. Another blindingly superb air rifle scope no longer made...
The little extra width of the butt-pad has given the rifle just the perfect amount of stabilising, restful back-pressure on my left shoulder. It has now rendered the rifle absolutely at the peak optimum oscillation for recoil management at the shoulder. This makes each shot almost100% consistently controlled as it should from a properly secure yet gentle anchor from the butt to the shoulder. You have to pay a fortune for a rifle that fits you to that extent.
The pellets hit the under-5p sized hole in the wood to smack the concrete slab and only three pellets were fliers and even these stayed within what would be within a lethal spread. Nothing of them was ever hitting alarmingly wide.
I draw a simple disc with a black 'sharpie around a 10p piece and a dot in the middle. Groups all shots within that space. That's all it needs to be for hunting zero with this rifle. And once she's warmed up the fliers calm down and the groups begin to flow and tighten with boring ease.
Finally, when the turret caps go back on, there is a quarter inch .22 group from a heavy recoiling spring rifle that's 18 years old, at 30 metres measured distance. And Jimmy was there to witness it.
He'll be home later and will post up the pics he took with his own thoughts on our day I'm sure.
But for me, right here, right now, I have standing before me what must be ...THE BEST PERFORMING, FINEST HANDLING AND MOST BEAUTIFUL HW80 IN THE COUNTRY.
Ive said this all weekend but, Jimmy sir. I cannot thank you enough. It has been a genuine delight to have you both stay with us and the cats......and the Ghosts!
(Poor Nicola's been looking over her shoulders and had the fright of her life when one of the little cats we have, got into their bedroom and brushed her feet in the night!
This is an old house that is haunted by ghosts here. And I'm not taking the piss Gentlemen, this is a fact. It is a 3-bedroom cottage and former village bakery that has been a happy and well loved home for over 150 years. There are no bad or malevolent spirits here. Only good ones. An elderly man who wanders about and a beautiful young woman I saw once. Combing her long dark hair in the spare bedroom window. (Seriously. I passed the bedroom door and I thought it was Helen's daughter Rosie and thought nothing more. It was when she was staying with us..until I found Rosie and Helen sitting downstairs a moment later...!)
(And he's taken the old HW77 of mine to restore that. It has a lovely swirl of grain in the beechwood. God knows how this is going to look once this gentle giant has worked his magic on it! )
What can you say that properly acknowledges and states, about a great man as kind and generous with his talents and skills as this man, our Jimmy, among our company here?
Shooting his HW100 was something to behold. Just a sweet cycle of the cocking lever and he was whacking a half inch group in rapid succession. That rifle is as smooth and efficient as it gets. Hawke panorama on it is a lovely little optic for an air rifle. Got one on my HW97K and these are definitely worth having in your collection.
We shot in the garden till nightfall and went in to a few beers and a look over the guns. Proper stuff. Then supper and bedtime very happy.
We'll have Jimmy down with Littlehunter his grandson soon. I'll set to work on that little bairn's spring rifle technique with a few proper coaching sessions and a trip to my permissions.
Hurry and show the pics Jimmy when you get home buddy. We'll know you're home safe too.
Fondest love and wishes from us both, to you and Nicola dear pal.
Simon and Helen.
It's gonna be a lovely day today. The sun's shining, the weather's good...Off to the fields with the world's best HW80!