Shin Sung Career 707 .22 Carbine rabbit clearance.

November 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

A request to shoot some rabbits, that were making a mess of flower beds and ruining a garden lawn, gave me a flutter of excitement this week, as with houses either side, for safety, I would have to use one of my air rifles instead of a rimfire. On an earlier visit, the lady owner had shown me an area to the side of the cottage, where the furry visitors were making a mockery of her horticultural efforts, digging up plants and bulbs, while turning the lawn into a mud patch.

This position looked the ideal spot for a rabbit ambush, but they scattered the moment I appeared, making their escape through bolt holes under the fence. I’d opted to use my Webley Venom Viper .22 carbine PCP for this, as with it’s added external moderator, it is virtually silent and 20 to 30 yard head shots are a guaranteed kill with .22 Bisley Magnum pellets from this legal limit rifle.

Apart from one large buck that came through the fence for a recce without settling, I saw no other rabbits and with the light going, had to admit defeat to the lady of the house, who consoled me with a strong cup of tea and a slice of apple cake. There are compensations to this pest control game.

The house sits in the garden and I decided that on my next visit I would enter from the other side, using the house and an island flower bed for cover. This would mean a much longer shot from the bottom of the garden, ideal for my .22 semi-auto rimfire Magtech, but with houses either side and a with a chance of a ricochet, it was a no no. Time for the Career 707 .22 PCP to come out of the gun cabinet. This FAC rifle is at 28 ftlb on full charge, giving about 10 shots before the 21 grain Bisley Magnums begin to drop, holdover needed by twenty. This is not usually a problem for an airgunner and I rarely fire more than ten shots on an outing shooting rabbits, squirrels, or pigeons, while the Webley Viper copes well with rats, giving at least 30 full power shots.

 Back at the cottage, from a window overlooking the garden, several rabbits could be seen munching the shrubbery, so  exiting the back door, I made my way unobserved along the opposite side to the small orchard at the rear. A ten yard belly crawl to the flower bed and the rabbits were in view spread over an area 35 to 45 yards away. Also in view was the kitchen window facing back at me, with the lady of the house grinning like a Cheshire Cat at this cammo clad figure stalking about in her garden. This had better work. Before coming to the cottage, I’d set a target in my own garden at 40 yards, firing until I’d taken out the 20 mm centre. Another charge of air and I was ready to go.

Pushing my bag round the corner to rest the rifle, only my cap covered head was on view, when the first rabbit toppled over. A perfect side on shot from 35 yards. To reload the Career, the under lever trigger mechanism is swung out and back, much like the old Winchester rifle. This only takes a second, but you have to take your eye off the target and looking back some rabbits were sitting up, while others were already making for the escape route. Smack. The next pellet resounded on impact with one of the sitters. They were now at full exit speed, one making the fatal mistake of stopping at the fence. Three rabbits in what seemed like the same number of seconds. One was still kicking, but had stopped by the time I’d reached it.

Another 30 minute wait and nothing else came out apart from a lone pigeon, which clattered into the air the moment I swung round to get a bead on it. Time to knock on the kitchen door to claim my cup of tea and cake, amid much congratulation and relief on my part. The next day a phone call informed me that they were back again. Time for a repeat performance and more cake. I’ll be sorry when there are none left.