Mike Morton reveals the best way to sight your target when you’re using a springer fitted with a silencer
Q. What’s the best way to sight in using a springer with a silencer?
A. While it’s pretty easy to zero a PCP using a bipod or another stable rest such as shooting bags, springers need a different approach due to the fact that they recoil. If a springer isn’t allowed to recoil exactly the same way every time you take a shot, your downrange results won’t be consistent.
Nevertheless, the same aids we’d employ to zero a PCP can be used to zero a springer, just in a slightly different way. I like to zero my springers sitting at a bench, with the back of my leading hand resting on a shooting bag, and the rifle resting lightly on the palm of that hand. It’s important to grip the rifle with your shooting hand fairly lightly too. It’s no good placing the rifle directly on the bag, as it won’t be able to recoil consistently that way.
Lightly resting it in the palm of your hand works best, because as long as you maintain the same degree of grip (virtually none at all), the rifle will be able to recoil and return to its starting position the same way each time. If you don’t have access to a table or bench, you could try shooting the gun prone, again with the rifle resting on your leading hand, but this time with your hand and forearm resting on a bag, rucksack or rolled-up jacket.
Fitting a moderator to a springer usually has less effect in terms of deadening noise than it would if you fitted it to a PCP. A moderator may have a slightly beneficial effect in reducing recoil, but don’t expect it to tame the rifle by any noticeable amount. A silencer can have a massive effect on how a springer or PCP shoots in terms of changing its point of impact (POI). Some moderators are long and heavy enough to weigh down the barrel ever so slightly, and shots can go low with one fitted. Conversely, other moderators can have no effect on the way a rifle shoots. You’ll have to experiment to find out whether or not yours alters POI.
If you do intend to shoot your springer with a moderator, it’s important to zero the gun with the moderator fitted. If you ever need to shoot without your moderator, check zero to see if your POI has changed. The easiest thing of all, though, is to just keep your moddy on all the time.