|American AirArms Slayer .357!
I've been shooting this gun for a couple of weeks now, and am getting ready to go on an 11 day hunt for predators, hogs, and small game
using several rifles. From what I've seen out of this compact and well designed bullpup, I am impressed. I'll be honest, I appreciate
bullpups for what they deliver, and unlike some shooters I generally find them ergonomic and comfortable to shoot. Even though when I
saw the aggressive styling at the Extreme Benchrest in Arizona a few months ago, it didn't immediately appear to be made to fit.... well
anyone. But I'll be the first to admit when I am wrong, and I was with this snap judgement; I found the gun mounted well and consistently,
it provided a good sight alignment, the control layout allowed comfortable access to the trigger and safety. The gun was easy to cycle, but
I'll come back to this in a minute.
The stock is essentially the 400 cc air reservoir and the receiver, with a rudimentary buttstock attached and machined rail under the
reservoir that houses the trigger assembly. The gun weighs in at 6.5 lb, has an overall length of 38", and it manages to incorporate a 24"
barrel and very effective shroud while keeping that compact LOA dimension. The barrel uses a 1:26 twist, and I found that it handles light
and heavy bullets. This is on interest because while I plan to use the Slayer .357 primarily for predators, where I want a light bullet that is
fast and flat shooting, this is one of the only .357's I've used that is getting up past 250 fpe. I know you can hunt deer and bigger game
with lower power .35's, but I prefer to get complete pass though to make tracking a bit easier.
The gun is set up with a 13.5" to 15.5" length of pull which is adjustable, and I found right around 15" a good fit for me, and the two stage
(adjustable at both stages) trigger was set up to break crisply at just under 2 lbs of pull, with no creep, a crisp break, and no over travel. I
found this impressive on a bullpup design.
The air reservoir is an under barrel tube configuration, fabricated from titanium for strength and lightness, and fills to 3600 psi using a
Foster style quick release fill. On this fill you'll get an advertised 6 shots, but on paper I was getting 8-9. However, when hunting the gun
The Slayer is new big bore out of the California
based manufacturer American AirArms, and
they have got it spot on! A light and compact
bullpup, with a nice trigger, integrated barrel
shroud, and a six shot rotary magazine, the
.357 I'm shooting could be one of the hottest
predator airguns on the market. In this initial
field note I look at the gun before heading out
on a predator hunt down in Texas.
Like a lot of bullpups, the
Slayer settles into the
shooters center of gravity, and
makes for a stable offhand
shooting platform. I also found
it easy to shoot off sticks, and
all of this is important in my
predator guns because I
never know the position I'm
going to have to shoot from. A
quiet, multishot, accurate,
powerful, and flat shooting
.357 is a game changer!
Three shots with 126 grain Mr
Hollowpoint HP bullet, I'm ready to go
after a coyote! I just moved in to 60
yards for this shot, pretty close to dead
on at 75 yards.
I'll fill it after every 6 round magazine is shot through. This self indexing magazine by the way, is all aluminium. It loads like the FX magazine,
first pellet goes in base first then flip it and finish loading nose first. The sidelever cocking mechanism is my favorite so I am biased, but I
think that coupled with the magazine and resulting fast cycling action this gun was made for predator hunting!
Things I've done to prepare the gun for my upcoming hunts are to mount a Leapers 3-9x40 scope on UTG low profile mounts. I've used a
Picatinny rail mounted sling swivel up front and through the small attachment point on the buttstock. I am taking a lighter 75 grain
hollowpoint for my predators, but also have taken some heavier xxx grain bullets in case I have the opportunity to take a hog with the Slayer.S
This is one of the most solidly
constructed big bore air rifles I've
shot, and the thing (besides
performance) that amazes me is how
light the bullpup is. I put in a lot of
miles on my predator hunts, on foot
and climbing in and out of trucks, and
appreciate not only the compactness
but how light weight the Slayer is. And
even though the sidelever is right
under the cheek, it is easy to cycle the
rifle rapidly. I do want to give the
single shot tray a go in the near
future, I always like this option on guns
that I'll venture far afield with!
Recently I had a chance to slip down south of the border on a
predator hunt, and during downtime in the day and at dusk
got out to do some javalina hunting. I tracked this sorta-porker
and laid him out with a 126 grain hollowpoint (Mr Hollowpoint)
at about 90 yards. I got a complete pass through and the
peccary didn't take a step after impact. I'll be writing more
about this gun in coming months, as it's going to be used a lot
on predator hunts!