Mike Morton’s top tips (10-1)

Welcome to the final countdown of Mike Morton’s top tips on all things airguns.

10. Use sticks

Shooting sticks offer great extra support where no natural features like a gate, tree or fence post are available. But sticks aren’t just for taking standing shots, as they can be used for sitting or kneeling ones too.

Sticks can even be used with springers and gas-rams, as long as you rest the forend in the palm of your leading hand rather than the yoke of the sticks.

9. Squeeze your butt

You may feel your leading hand is redundant when shooting with a bipod, but it has a vital job to do. If you make a fist and rest the toe of the butt on top, it will help make the rifle even more stable.

You can make precise elevation adjustments by relaxing or tightening your fist. Your leading hand can also be used to control the gun when shooting with a rear bag.

8. Clean the rings

Clean the inside of scope rings before fitting a telescopic sight to prevent the scope tube slipping inside the rings.

New rings can have a light film of oil on them, and it’s always best to give mounts a clean if you’re buying second-hand. Lighter fuel and a microfibre cloth are perfect for this.

7. Don’t have a screw loose

Unless a locking compound has been applied to the threads, screws can come loose. While this mainly applies to recoiling rifles like springers and gas-rams, screws can work loose on PCPs.

It doesn’t take long to check the screws on your stock and scope mounts, a worthwhile maintenance task to carry out every month or so – or every time you use your gun if you don’t shoot it that often. 

6. Which calibre?

The four most common calibres are .177, .20, .22 and .25, each of which brings something different to the table.

But of these four calibres, .177 and .22 stand head and shoulders above the others in terms of popularity, pellet choice and availability.

5. Make a list

It’s easy to forget an essential item of kit – like leaving the magazine at home when out shooting with a multi-shot PCP.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, make a checklist. Create several different lists to cover a series of shooting scenarios.

4. Dismiss and discard

Even high-end pellets are cheap compared with centrefire or rimfire cartridges, so there’s no need to shoot sub-standard ammo. Check every new tin you buy for damaged or deformed pellets and discard them. Get rid of any swarf you find as well.

2. Finger placement

Placing the pad of your trigger finger on the blade will give the most control. A typical mistake is to release a shot using the first joint of the finger, rather than the pad.

Correct finger placement doesn’t come naturally to everybody. You may have to practise until it becomes second nature.

1. Clean, not scratched

Be careful not to scratch your scope lenses when cleaning them. More scope lenses are scratched by well-intentioned cleaning than grit or grime.

Clean off the worst detritus using canned air, which won’t run the risk of dragging dirt over the lens and damaging the coating, then follow up with a dedicated lens cloth.

For the best field sports news, reviews, industry and feature content, don’t forget to visit our sister publications Clay Shooting Magazine, Sporting Rifle, Bow International, and Gun Trade News. And our YouTube shows The Shooting Show and The Airgun Shooter. For subscriptions, please visit https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/

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