Roger Laitruns through everything Pete’s Airgun Farm has to offer – you’ll need to grab a coffee and sit down to take it all in!
The only way is Pete’s? Well it is in Essex, and I couldn’t think of a title that was clever and catchy, but what a place it is! So Pete’s Airgun Farm – what’s it all about, and what can you do there?
Let me tell you, if you want to shoot sub-12 foot pound airguns, then there’s nowhere else you need to go. It has literally everything.
So, let’s start from the top. It has two massive ranges – one is 50 yards long, and the other is 35 yards long. Both ranges are heated, and that is most handy in the winter, I can assure you.
There is a shop that sells everything you could ever need for airgunning, including targets, pellets of all sizes and Best Fittings PCP charging equipment. You name it, they have got it. There are hot and cold drinks too, and I must just say the coffee there is lovely. I do enjoy a coffee when I am practising.
I could go on – so I will! There are also two outside ranges. One is an HFT course and the other is a longer range one out to 60 yards, making it ideal for FT shooters. I don’t even know how many targets he has, there are so, so many. I would really not fancy painting them all, that’s for sure!
So if you are new to shooting, can you turn up there and just have a go? Well, not as such. You need to do a few bits and bobs first. You will need an induction on the Dos and Don’ts, of course.
You will need to be shown around all the different ranges and where to shoot. Once that’s done, you are almost good to go. And if you haven’t got a gun, then don’t worry, because they’ve got you covered. When I said Pete’s Airgun Farm has everything, I meant it, including gun hire, coaching, the lot. What more could you need?
The only downside is the opening hours. Sadly, it’s only open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, so be quick and get down there. I have been there until the wee hours many times, and the place has been as busy as you like.
You will need shooting insurance, but there are a bunch of companies that will do it for little money – BASC and the NRA to name but two. Get yourself insured to shoot sub-12 foot pound airguns!
Get Ya Gun
So you have a gun, you have pellets and you are ready to go. You need to chronograph your gun, of course, to check the power, but again they have one ready to go.
See, I told you they have everything! Run out of air in your tank? Don’t worry, they have a compressor to fill up your tank too – assuming your tank is in test, of course. I know I keep saying it, but Pete’s really is a one-stop shop.
Can you stay on site? Well yes, you can. Camping is also available, as are motorhomes. This is handy if you have to travel a decent way to get there. It’s well worth staying and enjoying the facilities to the max. On a sunny day, I can’t think of anywhere better to be.
I have spent many a sunny day there, in and out of the ranges testing pellets, testing my holdovers and making sure my guns are working perfectly. It’s the perfect place to set up your gun to make sure everything is working as it should.
Just Air Rifles?
No! There is a pistol range, which is great fun, but is there anything else to do other than shoot? Surely not! Don’t be silly, there are loads and loads of things to do.
Fancy some metal detecting perhaps? How about wild camping or even flying model aircraft? Bird watching is popular too. I’ve never tried it myself, but I hear it’s a great place for that too.
The People At Pete’s
I really like the people there. We’re talking lots and lots of people who help each other out. There is always someone with a broken gun, a damaged filler probe, or a scope that needs a decent level.
You’ll find a lot of knowledge at this place. You can certainly pick up some really good pointers without even getting your gun out of its bag – all you need to do is sit down, have a coffee and listen.
I started shooting there 16 years ago. I turned up and watched these shooters hitting things at 50 yards and was gobsmacked. That was me hooked. I watched people setting up their guns and asked them loads and loads of questions.
It was like a light switch had been flicked on. Everyone (well, most non-airgun shooters I know) thinks it’s easy to shoot an airgun. I laugh when people ask me why I bother with those ‘silly airguns’. I always ask them to show me how easy it is. Oddly enough, most of the time they can’t!
So I watched, and asked a bunch of questions, and learnt as much as I could. There were some people shooting at the time that were really helpful, and pointed me in the right direction. These guys were shooting lots of HFT and practised all the time. I loved every minute of it.
Back then, the range was not heated, and I can assure you, cold was cold. I once sat there for hours and hours freezing. And I walked out of the range at some ungodly hours only to find my car completely frozen over.
Luckily, both the ranges are heated now, and it makes the biggest difference – plus, you can go to the newer range and buy hot chocolate, which is brilliant. You lot have never had it so good!
Can you just turn up? Well, not as such. You need to call in advance and book to get your induction with one of the instructors, assuming it’s your first visit.
If you have done the induction, are insured and your gun is sub-12 foot pounds, then off you jolly well go and enjoy this amazing facility. But be warned, because I have made this mistake many, many times. Time seems to fade when you are there.
One hour turns into five hours or longer very, very easily. You turn up for a quick zero session and you get talking, and the next thing it’s the next day – or very nearly!
Have a look on the web for www.airgunfarm.co.uk or call 01245 200 570 and get the ball rolling. I have been shooting there for years and years, and have learnt lots about my guns. It’s helped me no end, and I am sure it can do the same for you.
Have fun! I know I will.