April’s Airmail

This is the chance for you to air your views and opinions

Each rifle Mat owns has earned its place in his airgun armoury by fulfilling a specific role

Letter of the month

While reading Airgun Shooter for what must be a couple of years now, I’ve noted that Mat is fortunate enough to own a number of air rifles. I recall seeing him in action with a BSA Scorpion, Daystate MK3 (FAC), HW 100, HW 95, AA Ultimate Sporter and recently a Red Wolf.

This prompts me to wonder what he takes into consideration as he stares into his vast gun room and selects that day’s gun. Does he have a gun specific to a type of quarry or a certain hunting environment? Is he a man who considers .177 for feather and .22 for fur, with a .25 on hand for rats? Or does he just think “Sod it, I fancy the BSA for a change”?

I’d be interested to know. I’d also be interested in what he considers to be the strengths (and dare I say weaknesses) of each in a field environment. This could make for an interesting article, as I’m sure many readers think the same as I do. 

Gareth Jones (owner of a mere three rifles)

Mat’s response:

That’s a very good question, Gareth, and a subject I’ll try to cover in a more detailed article in the near future – so thanks for suggesting it. I do own a lot of airguns and, when it comes to choosing calibres, I tend to favour .177 for sub-12 ft-lb and .22 at FAC power.

Most of my guns are set up differently and do tend to serve different purposes – the stubby BSA Ultra around the confines of the farm, the high-power Daystate Red Wolf for longer-range work, and the Weihrauch HW 95K for the simple joy of shooting a springer.

Essentially, I always try to choose the right gun for the job in hand, and also factor shotgun and rimfire into the equation when they’re needed.

Show me the data!

Has anyone produced graphs or tables showing the error in hitting a target caused by distance, different wind speeds, and whether a rifle is pointed downwards or upwards, for a properly set-up air rifle with telescopic sight?

Parallax is another error to consider. While theoretical figures will be different to those in practice, at least they would give an indication of where to start for shooters with relatively little experience. 

Nick Taylor

You’ve raised some very good points, Nick, but luckily most of the questions you’ve asked can be answered by using a ballistics program called ChairGun Pro.

This is produced by Hawke, but is totally free to download and use from http://bit.ly/ags120hawke, for both Windows and Mac as well as iOS and Android apps. Unfortunately the program will not be supported or updated any more, but it still works.

Of crucial importance is the need to measure (and input) the height of the centreline of your scope from the centreline of your bore. Wind data can be entered using the Wind Profile panel at the top right.

Scope for more

It has been good to see that you’re featuring more high-end optics in your reviews. I have even seen a reviewer elsewhere comment on the folly of putting a $150 scope on a $2,000 rifle!

The Aimpoint Micro is a fantastic piece of ‘kit’, as you English say. There is nothing better than a red dot for quick target acquisition. There is an interesting twist to the Aimpoint.

Spuhr is an ultra-high-end Swedish scope mount manufacturer, which makes an Aimpoint mount that attaches to the Picatinny side rail of one of its dual-ring mounts. The Aimpoint mount is canted on the right side of the scope so that it is not blocked by the elevation and windage turrets.

In this way you can simultaneously have the availability of both a red dot for close-in targets, and high magnification for more distant targets. Zeroing the Aimpoint in this configuration requires simultaneous adjustments of both its elevation and windage.

I had a Schmidt and Bender on the rings and the Aimpoint Micro on the side. The Aimpoint was zeroed at 15 yards and the S&B at 50 yards. Hopefully more affordable manufacturers will follow suit with similar configurations.

William Baxt, Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Thanks for that info, William. I must try this solution on one of my own rifles at some point. It appears to offer the shooter an awful lot of choice without having to swap optics.

William mounted a red dot and scope simultaneously using Spuhr mounts

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