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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    parker county, tx
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    7,923

    Default Learning to shoot an air rifle

    I've never learned to shoot long guns- I don't like the noise or the recoil.
    I decided I wanted to learn to shoot a pellet rifle, so I bought a cheapie from Walmart and started learning. I love it. Do any of you guys have any tips I might need to be aware of or secrets of the trade? Are there any specific pellets you think are more accurate than others? Round, pointed, hollow, or flat?
    So far, it seems to be a fairly accurate little gun (based on my very limited experience). It even came with a cheapie scope.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,297

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    I've tried every pellet known to mankind in a couple different rifles. The best I've found so far are Gamo Power Pellets. I get them at Dick's Sporting Goods. They're a non-lead alloy, gold plated, and accurate. I use them to control the local tree rat population, but they have also worked well on a couple of possums.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    knoxville, tn
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    get comfortable

    good sight picture

    deep breathe, let half of it out

    squeeze trigger

    repeat until mission is accomplished

    Shooting air rifles is a great way to practice for target shooting with a .22, since the air rifle is much slower in lock time and muzzle velocity.

    type of target will determine what type of pellet to use.

    I have a couple of precision paper punching devices to my name

    happy hunting

    G3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    parker county, tx
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    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_stix View Post
    I've tried every pellet known to mankind in a couple different rifles. The best I've found so far are Gamo Power Pellets.
    Thanks.
    I had a tin of RWS that seemed pretty good, but I used them all up, and can't find them locally. Then I tried some Daisy Precision Max- they don't seem to group well at all (it could just be me). I also tried some Gamo Rocket Superior- I had a problem with three of them jamming within about 5 minutes, so I took them off the table. Right now, I am using some Crosman Destroyer EX, and they seem the most accurate so far (which could also just be me).
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
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    7,923

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    Quote Originally Posted by G3farms View Post

    type of target will determine what type of pellet to use.

    I have a couple of precision paper punching devices to my name

    happy hunting

    G3


    Thanks for all the advice. If I get good enough, I will be shooting starlings and sparrows (to keep them out of my bluebird and martin houses), plus just target shooting. I'm really surprised at how much I enjoy it. I think DH is concerned that I am obsessed.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    I was looking for something productive but fun to do yesterday so I spent most of the afternoon shooting starlings out of my parents palm trees with my beeman air rifle. Be careful or you might not get anything else done.

    Air rifle tips for squirrels, starlings and sparrows:
    There is alot of fall to an air rifle pellet so don't expect to hit the same target with the same sight picture at ten yards and at thirty yards. Pace off the distance from where you will ussually be standing to where you will ussually be shooting them and practice at that distance somewhere else.

    All of the above animals are smarter than we give them credit for so they WILL learn quite quickly that you are trying to kill them whether you hit them or not so a sure kill is best as it slows the learning curve.

    I find it best to go on a killing spree about once every two weeks and get lots of them and then let the survivor stock regain their confidence for a while. Otherwise they all just take off everytime they see you and then you get denied the sheer pleasure of their elimination. If they're really getting cagey try carrying a stick with you when you're not shooting at them... Makes it easy to replace the stick with a rifle.

    Have fun and keep us posted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    Thanks CP!

    I never saw a starling here until three years ago, but since then, there's been a slow steady supply. Thank God I'm not in town where there are really high numbers. One of the members of one of the purple martin discussion forums I visit has killed around 1200 starlings and 900+ sparrows in the past year.
    We've probably had about 12-15 total starlings this year, and about the same number of sparrows. I don't mind the sparrows as bad, but the starlings are heck on a martin colony, and very destructive/murderous (if you can call a bird murderous).

    The stick is a great idea, and I will do that when I graduate to shooting from a wide variety of spots. Right now, I'm practicing off the shooting bench at 25 yards, which is the distance to the martin houses from my bedroom window, which will be my "blind". I have a little heavy alumimun 2"x2" square which I cut out, put an adhesive target on, and suspended it from a steel frame to shoot at. It's probably good practice because it moves a little with the wind, and the small size seems to keep me focused on the target. I'm really having a good time with my practice- so much so that I think I am flaring up my old tennis elbow tendonitis.

    Thanks for the advice.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    which is the distance to the martin houses from my bedroom window, which will be my "blind".
    You're kinda nuts like me.
    When we first bought our property, it was infested with ground squirrels. I hate them with a passion. The only thing worse than the thought of a ground squirrel is the thought of the ground squirrels going away so that I can't kill them anymore.
    One day my wife came home with the two babies and found me in shorts and flip flops with my hat on backwards and my entire arsenal laid out on the kitchen counter to cover different ranges with the lights off and a jar of peanuts and a six pack. I had a wad of half-chewed peanuts in my cheek and I was aiming the twenty-two at the brush pile that used to sit in our back yard. I'll never forget the way she looked at me... I know in the back of my mind that it's the first time she ever realised just excactly what she'd gotten herself into.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    Dang CP, I wish she had taken a picture, because it's one I'd love to see. That's one of the best hunting/marriage stories I've ever heard.

    The people I work with have no idea how much of a redneck I can be, except for one of the younger guys who came by to see us unexpectedly one day, when I was wearing my rubber boots with my jeans tucked in.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,297

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    CP; was home based at Lemoore NAS for about 7-8 years. I killed thousands of ground squirrels in the alfalfa field our house backed up on. The farmer came driving by one day after we first moved in and I asked if it was OK to shoot them. He said "Son I'd pay you to shoot 'em if I could make any dang money in this business." I wore out a pellet rifle, had most fun with a Ruger .22 pistol. One of the other guys in my squadron had a .223 which would reach out and touch them on the other side of the field, about 250-300 yds. My wife, too, thought I was crazy, until she learned to shoot!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,033

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    I enjoy shooting a lot too... haven't had an air rifle for years but as soon as some money crops up.... . I'd pick the range you'll most likely be doing the shooting at, set up on sandbags (or wadded towels or whatever) and try out three or four types of ammo from the dead rest on a paper target. Do several groups of three with each, marking the groups and changing targets when you need to. You'll find out exactly which ones group best, and shoot more confidently afterward!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
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    1,380

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    CP; was home based at Lemoore NAS for about 7-8 years.
    Spooky flashback. Before my family moved "home" to Exeter, we lived next to NAS Lemoore. We had a walnut nursery backed up to the Kings River but most of our neighbors farmed alfalfa. I learned how to shoot from a naval officer that my dad knew who used to shoot squirrels along the ditchbank. My dad taught me some but most of what I know came from him. I followed him for hours as a little kid and he never got tired of me... at least he didn't show it.
    When were you at Lemoore?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
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    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    Thanks a bunch Ben. I will have to wait until I get more consistent before I do any real accuracy testing, but what I noticed off the bat was that the first brand I tried seemed relatively accurate considering my new status. The second brand was noticeably off (the Daisy), the Gamo jammed, but the Crosman groups fairly well. It really groups well at 40 feet, and seems to be the best I've tried at 75 so far. The rifle I bought was just a low-cost model that Walmart sells (made by Crosman), but for the 79 dollars I paid for it, I'm really quite impressed. I am still low on the learning curve, but am developing a sense of consistency in my method, so that will help. I added a new beer bottle top target alongside the 2x2" square one. I'm much better on a 2" target than the bottle top. (but at least I'm managing to hit it about 50% of my shots).
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,297

    Default Re: Learning to shoot an air rifle

    CP; Was out there from 70-77. I flew A-7E's and spent a tour in a fleet squadron and then a tour as an instructor pilot/weapons training officer in the A-7. Nice place to live! Small farming community, nice folks, didn't even have a traffic light in town until just before we left. My wife was not happy to sell our house and leave. My next door neighbor, and roomate on the ship, was originally from Kerman, right up the road. His dad was a crop duster pilot and WW2 Navy pilot. Took us hunting and fishing in the Sierras and the coastal mtns and hills. Kept us busy whenever we were at home and not deployed. If I were to ever move back out there, I'd be perfectly happy to live back in Lemoore.

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