About Sean Campbell

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1947
Author with deer

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You certainly long to know more about your favorite airgun reviewer. Of course, I’m Sean Campbell by name. What else?

I was born in the Maverick County of Texas way back in 1983. One story by my dad during my early childhood years has always struck a chord with me.

My dad and mum were cattle grazers. We didn’t own a ranch as such. Some of our neighbours did. All we had was about 50 heads of cattle. These fitted perfectly in our 10 acre piece of land. 

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My dad would never stop talking about Charles Goodnight, one of the richest cattle barons in Texas in the late 19th Century. Together with his friend Oliver Loving, they used to drive thousands of Texas Longhorns for hundreds of miles for sale. The paths they used came to be known as Goodnight-Loving Trail.

“Always work as hard as Charles Goodnight!” My dad would forever urge me.

That really spiked my interest in cowboys. On my 10th birthday, I successfully convinced my dad to buy me a full cowboy regalia. On top of that, I got my first locally made crossbow. If only I was of age, I would have acquired my first Winchester 1873. That was my dream rifleA. 

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The weeks, months, and years that followed were a pure cult. Picture a gang of small boys fully dressed as cowboys and armed with ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Cattle grazing was never boring again. We would spend the day scouring through the shrubs and bushes for whatever tiny living thing we could pin down with our lethal arrows.  

Education

For me, grazing and outdoor life seemed the main business of the day. Schooling was more of a part time activity, though the major part of weekdays was spent in class. I schooled at Pete Gallego Elementary School in Elm Creek, and thereafter Eagle Pass High School.

Math was my favorite subject. Once it was introduced to me as a ‘game of numbers and symbols’, it captured my heart, soul, and mind. I would effortlessly practise solving math problems every other day. No need to reveal my grades, but be sure they were outstanding. 

Throughout my school years, I was part of the scouts group. For some unknown reasons, I shunned other sports. Football never got into my blood. Nor did baseball, volleyball and the like. By being a scout, at least I was assured of a camp in the woods once or twice a year. Boy Scouts of America really mobilized us to be part of the Karankawa and Huisache camps.

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It’s during these camps that I really improved my survival skills. Think of things like:

  • Finding and purifying water
  • Building wilderness survival shelters
  • Starting fires without a matchstick or lighter
  • Navigating in the wilderness to avoid getting lost
  • Signalling rescuers incase lost
  • Performing survival medical operations
  • Food acquisition to ward off starvation

Later on, I enrolled in the United States Naval Academy to study marine sciences. I really strengthened my skills in seamanship, navigation, naval engineering, leadership, and naval electricity and electronics.   

Work history

After several years of job searching, I landed a job with the United States Marine Corps, specifically the Marine Infantry division. FYI, the marine infantry units are responsible for locating, marooning, and destroying any enemy forces threatening the peace of our beloved nation. 

One of my international combat tours was in 2010, where we actively participated in the Battle of Sangin in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. 

After all those years of weapon handling, it occured to me that I could better spend my time making, selling, and repairing firearms. You’ve probably already realized that I’m such a hands-on guy. And I just can’t help it.

I joined the Georgia-based Ashworth College in 2011 for a self-paced diploma in gunsmithing. It took me 2 years since I was juggling my studies with other worthwhile life commitments. 

In 2013, I got a job with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a firearm instructor. That has kept me busy up to date. 

Family

Outside my work hours, I spend my time hunting, practicing shooting, doing outdoor photography and repairing people’s rifles.

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All these achievements would not have been possible without my dearest wife, Katie Anderson. We surprisingly met in high school – and not in college as most people do. Not that we started dating then. We were simply general acquaintances. Life’s mercies finally led us to tie the knot at a private function in the summer months of 2010. Whether I was late in marrying or earlier than expected, it really doesn’t bother me.

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What matters is that I love my wife and she loves me back. Our union was blessed with one kid, whom we named Larry, in honour of the world renown American television and radio host Larry King.

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Why I hunt with air guns (and not crossbows nor real rifles)

I prefer air rifles to real rifles because of the following two factors:

  • Air rifles are less noisier than real rifles. For this reason, game animals tend to stand in place and decipher the origin of the noise after a shot from an air rifle. This allows for quick follow-up shots to ensure the animal doesn’t escape the wounded. Conversely, the loud noise produced by real rifles causes great alarm and panic to both game animals and people living or passing nearby.
  • Secondly, with air rifles, I can carry as many pellets as I wish to and never risk running short of ammo. That may not always be possible with real rifles as there are limitations on how many rounds and magazines one can carry. Being deep in the woods without ammo is risky as the wild animals can turn on you anytime and harm you. 

I also prefer air rifles to crossbows because of these two reasons:

  • Reloading a crossbow seems to take more time than reloading air rifles. When in the hunting field, I always need to act as quick and swift as possible. One second wasted in loading the ammo may mean losing a potential kill.
  • In the case of a mishit, a pellet lodged in an animal’s body is less disturbing and painful than an arrow lodged in the same animal. Thus when hunting with crossbows, I may be forced to track down animals that I fail to kill with the first shot, as hunting ethics dictate .

My favorite airguns

For the 2 decades I’ve actively handled firearms, I’ve owned and operated quite a number of real firearms and air rifles. Here are my most favorite airguns:

  1. .45 Texan SS (330 fpe)
  2. .308 Texan SS (196 fpe)
  3. .30 WAR Flex (150 fpe)
  4. .25 Airforce Condor (60 fpe)
  5. .25 Benjamin Marauder (40 fpe)
  6. .22 Hatsan Bullboss (28 fpe)
  7. .22 Gamo Urban (23 fpe)
  8. .177 Benjamin Marauder (12 fpe)

As you can see, I have a varied collection of several calibers, both small and big. I mostly use the .177 and .22, and sometimes the .25 air rifles for rabbit and squirrel hunting. The .30 and .308 are specifically for deer hunting. My favorite hunting states are Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

I rarely use the .45 Texan SS for hunting. I find it too powerful for the deer. But I practice a lot with it to feel the raw power of a .45 air rifle. I also enjoy occasional target shooting, though I rarely spare time for that. My daily schedule at times gets tight, and so I prefer to spare the little time I get off work for hunting and other outdoor activities. 

That’s pretty all about me. If you’re reading this and you frequent the areas I’ve mentioned, I hope our paths soon cross. Otherwise, for all the rest, let’s keep interacting online.

Sean Campbell’s love for hunting and outdoor life is credited to his dad who constantly thrilled him with exciting cowboy stories. His current chief commitment involves guiding aspiring gun handlers on firearm safety and shooting tactics at the NRA education and training department. When not with students, expect to find him either at his gunsmithing workshop, in the woods hunting, on the lake fishing, on nature photoshoots, or with his wife and kid in Maverick, Texas.

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