Welcome to the third of our weekly list of airgun top tips running throughout July!
This week, Mike Morton is sharing 20-11 of our key tips month, with tricks and techniques to help raise your game and be top of the ‘hit’ parade when you release your next shot.
20. Check For Head Size
It’s great to find a pellet that works well in your gun, but it’s even better to know why it works well.
One factor is the head size, which can often be found, along with the batch number, on a label on the bottom of the tin.
If you ever have to change pellets, choosing a new one with the same head size is a good starting point.
19. Plot That Power Curve
An unregulated PCP will produce a power curve as it’s shot, with the most erratic fluctuations coming at the start and end of the usable fill pressure.
This curve will be at its flattest in the middle – an area known as the ‘sweet spot’. For the best accuracy and consistency, learn the way your rifle behaves, fill it to its optimum starting pressure on the curve and stop shooting just before you reach the end of the sweet spot.
18. Everything In Moderation
It’s common to use a moderator when hunting, but they can be useful on the range as well.
If you use one gun for both, it’s wise to shoot it with the same moderator on all the time, because removing a moderator, or fitting a different one, can cause a massive shift in point of impact and you may have to spend time re-zeroing.
17. A Gentle Hold
Make sure to use a light hold when shooting a springer, as these rifles must recoil exactly the same way each time they go through their firing cycle.
A useful offhand technique is to use the artillery hold, where the rifle can recoil in the palm of the hand, a bit like an artillery piece recoiling in its gun carriage.
16. Get Insurance
Having insurance, such as that offered by BASC membership, doesn’t just give you peace of mind. Some ranges require it before you shoot, and landowners will be far more likely to offer you a permission if they see you take your shooting seriously enough to be insured.
15. Correct Set-Up
Make sure your scope is set up for you, not someone else. Ensure eye relief is just right for your needs – and don’t forget to adjust the ocular ring so the reticle appears perfectly sharp for your eyesight – not your shooting buddy’s.
14. Just Right, Not Too Tight
Don’t over-torque the screws on scope mounts, or you may crimp the scope tube and damage the erector tube inside. It’s a sure way to ruin a scope. It’s also very easy to avoid.
Make sure the mount screws are finger tight, then add a little bit of extra torque. Easy does it.
13. Flip-Ups And Bikinis
Some scopes come with bikini-style lens covers, where the caps at each end are connected by a rubber or elastic strip. These are great for storage or at the range, but not so handy for field use.
Flip-up covers are best for hunting, like those from Butler Creek and Vortex. Buy the correct diameter, and check you have enough barrel clearance when fitting the objective lens cover.
12. On The Level
When fitting a scope, you need to make sure the action and the reticle are level. You can easily verify this by using either a plumb line, or a simple cross that’s been drawn on an old target or piece of card with the help of a spirit level.
11. Don’t Stretch Your CO2
Don’t try to squeeze too many shots from a CO2 capsule. It’s easy to get carried away when the action’s coming thick and fast, but it’s far better to shoot conservatively.
Accuracy will seriously suffer, and you run the risk of getting a BB or pellet stuck in the barrel, or the gun not cycling properly if it’s a blowback. When your gun nears its limit, just stop firing, stick in a new capsule and carry on with the fun.