Paul Hodson

Air Arms Ambassador

Background

I have over 35 years shooting experience, covering a wide variety of disciplines. Air rifles for rat and feral pigeon control, sporting clays, pheasant, pigeon and corvid control – but my passion lies with fox shooting, using night vision. Air rifles have always held a place in my heart as it was with air rifles and air pistols that I learnt my field craft and shooting skills. My first experience was using my fathers airgun to keep the pigeons off the family vegetables. I learnt from an early stage that doing your homework pays dividends as I was very inquisitive about pellet drop, speed, velocity etc.

Moving forwards, my field craft improved by moving out of the garden and stalking rabbits and pigeons along the hedgerows of local farms. Because the air rifles I used back then were not as powerful or accurate as modern day equivalents, I was forced to hunt with stealth to get within shooting distance of the quarry.

As I began to undertake more and more fox and rabbit control for local farmers, I was repeatedly asked to deal with rats, feral pigeons and corvids around farm buildings and sheds. Given in this context, rimfire and centrefire rifles would not be safe, so l reverted back to using air rifles – though this time straight in at the PCP level.

Current Gun

I am currently using an Air Arms S510 Carbine PCP and it’s incredibly accurate and consistent. It’s a great improvement on other PCPs I’ve used in the past. I use the S510 in conjunction with a Nitesite Viper Night Vision unit, which allows me to use my rifle in total darkness for the control of rats and feral pigeons in farm buildings. I also use it on small permissions for rabbit control, where rimfire is not an option. I strongly believe that accuracy is paramount as although what we shoot is vermin, we need to undertake their dispatch in the most clean and humane way possible. By using accurate equipment, I am satisfied that I do the job the best of my ability.

Set-Up

I use top quality optics which are compatible with night vision units. Currently I am using a Hawke Sidewinder 3-12 x 50. The scope is mounted with precision and accuracy. My favourite hunting pellet is the Air Arms Diablo Field in .177 which is not only accurate and consistent, but has great penetration and stopping power. I could easily take out quarry at 50 yards +. At these distances, it’s imperative that you’ve done your homework on the range, and know your gun’s capabilities.