Air guns are the perfect rifles for shooting practice and hunting expeditions. Shooting with an air gun is a ton of fun. Whether you’re aiming at a sandbag a few yards away or eliminating varmints and rodents, the air gun will deliver.
Though most airguns are manufactured with precision and power in mind, you still have to practice to get better at hitting your targets.
In this air gun guide, you will find useful tips on how to sharpen your shooting skills. Whether you’re aiming at pepper tins, cans or rodents the criteria for airgun handling is virtually the same.
Here you’ll find tips on how to properly set up your practice area to get the best out of your shooting practice.
Whether you are shooting at home or a dedicated shooting area, we are confident that this guide will equip you with all the skills necessary to excel at effective target shooting practice with your airgun.
Setting Up Your Practice Area
Setting up a decent practice area will not take up much of your time or money. You only require four items namely: a shooting bench, a shooting rest, targets to aim at and a stand.
Most of these items are readily available in our homes, but if you desire a more intense shooting practice, you can purchase custom items form local sporting items retailer.
Companies such as Caldwell shooting supplies and Shooters ridge are famous for providing range equipment at reasonable prices. However, if spending money on items is not on your agenda, you can set up a practical homemade range area with a few household tools.
Your backyard picnic table can double up as a shooting bench. Fill up some sandbags and use them as a shooting rest. Build your target stands from wood piles or tripods. If you are shooting for the first time, use cans, tins or cardboard as your targets.
When engaging in shooting practice, safety must always be your priority. Wherever you decide to set up your practice station, ensure it’s in a safe location.
Always be aware of what lies beyond your targets. Select an open area in your backyard or basement where you’re certain that if you miss your target, there’s no risk of causing harm to people, animals or property.
Going To The Range Versus Shooting At Home
If you own a large piece of land in an area where shooting is acceptable, you can set up your own shooting range. Having a backyard shooting range is convenient because it allows you to practice at any time of the day.
However, you have neighbors; it is wise to notify them of your activities especially if your rifle is noisy to prevent misunderstandings and potential lawsuits.
On the other hand, shooting at dedicated ranges has its share of benefits. Firstly, you get access to high-quality accessories in the form of benches, stands and rests. Benches and stands are also set a variety of distances for range practice.
At the range, you also get to mingle with strangers who share the same passion for shooting as you do. You also get to learn a few tricks from shooting veterans.
Your best chance of locating a suitable shooting range is via your local directory search. Search for ranges by entering your areas zip code after which a list of all ranges will appear.
The national rifle association also has an intuitive website where you can pin down ideal range locations. It’s likely that your search will generate numerous locations closer to your residence.
Distances To Practice
When practicing with pellet guns, the ideal distance between your gun muzzle and the target should be 10 meters or 33 feet. 10 meters is the internationally recognized distance for shooting competitions.
10 yards is a reasonable distance when using air rifles that fire pellets at 600 feet per second. When using rifles with a velocity of between 800 — 950fps, then 20 yards is the recommended distance. 30 to 40 yards is considered suitable for rifles with a velocity of 1200 fps or more.
When practicing, start with a 10-yard distance and slowly work your way up. Learn to aim using your sight-in scope to boost precision.
Shooting Tips To Follow
Poor air gun accuracy is mostly down to a weak shooting style rather than flaws in your rifle. Before you get down to practice, you ought to select an air gun that fits your profile.
When it comes to rifles, weight and length do matter. You should be able to hold your rifle comfortably and steady at ninety degrees to your body without struggling too much. The main options here are the .177 and the .22.
Secondly, you need to choose your pellets wisely. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to airgun pellets, some air rifles tend to be picky than others when pellets are concerned. Instead of opting for cheap pellets for practice, inquire from an expert on the best pellets to use.
177 caliber pellets tend to be lighter hence much faster than 22 caliber pellets; however, they pack less power than the former. You can never go wrong with pellets from brands such as RWS, H&N, and Crosman.
Thirdly, use a good scope when aiming. You reduce your chances of hitting the target by 50% when you don’t use your rifle’s scope. At no point in time will an open sight shooting outperform the use of a sight cope.
When choosing a target scope, always go for one with a high level of magnification as well as fine reticles. Rifles with a properly installed scope will significantly boost shot precision.
The proper way to hold an air rifle is to grip it tightly and tuck it in your shoulder where you feel comfortable. If you’re a right-handed person, like most people, you are better off handling a right- handed gun.
Left-handed people handed people should use the left-handed rifles. Try to relax when shooting, tension in your mind and body can skew your aim and curtail your performance. Practice taking deep breathes before and after shots.
Try to keep your arms loose then zone in on your target. A good way to develop accuracy is to practice shooting on your prone position which is by lying on your front with the rifle resting on your hands. If you prefer shooting in an upright position, consider using a rifle sling or a rest to help you manage the rifle’s weight.
Finally, learn to spread your shots. Distribute your shots more evenly bay aiming at different parts of your target board. This strategy will allow you to verify whether you’re hitting your target correctly.
An effective target shooting practice with your airgun can be highly satisfying if repeatedly done. As always, practice makes perfect.
It is irresponsible to handle any air rifle without getting familiar with all the guidelines in its user manual. Practice is the only way to sharpen your mental and physical abilities as well as to confirm that your equipment is functioning properly.
Though some experts recommend the 1000 round policy for novice hunters, you can develop a custom shooting schedule depending on how much free time and resources you have. Ensure you have all your safety gear with you during practice sessions.