Air rifles come in handy when going out for target practice or even hunting. They are quite powerful and available in different designs from which for you to choose. You can find airguns for sale online at an affordable price. The ammunition is also affordable.
To become an experienced shooter or hunter, you have to practice. However, it takes a lot more than backyard plinking to prepare for different situations that may arise in the field and to improve your aim.
That said, here are some useful beginner tips for air rifle users.
- Choose a Rifle That Fits You Right
- Use the Right Stance
- Control Your Breathing
- Use the Right Pellets
- Use a Good Scope
- What is an air gun? When can you use one?
- Pay attention to the following aspects when buying an air rifle!
Choose a Rifle That Fits You Right
It is advisable to acquire a rifle that is easy to use and that you can hold comfortably. Using an air rifle that fits you right, improves your accuracy when shooting.
Picture a scenario where the barrel is too long, or the cheek-piece is too low. You are likely to feel uncomfortable when holding the rifle, and in the end, you won’t use the air rifle to the best of your abilities. You are likely to experience a parallax error when the gun does not align with your stature.
When choosing a rifle, also make sure that you pay attention to the trigger. Your trigger finger ought to fall comfortably on the trigger blade. It is important to note that every shooter has different needs, which vary according to the upper body build, fingers, and arm’s length.
Use the Right Stance
Backyard plinking is very useful when working on your stance. When shooting while standing, make sure that your body is at 90 degrees to the target. Your feet should be apart from each other. One arm should hold the rifle from underneath while the other one operates the trigger.
Control Your Breathing
It is advisable to control your breathing, especially when shooting at distant targets. You have a better chance of hitting the target when you do so. As simple it sounds, controlling your breathing requires practice. Before squeezing the trigger, inhale deeply and exhale to control your breathing and prevent the barrel from moving.
Use the Right Pellets
Even though most air rifles support several types of projectiles, it is vital to choose the right pellet for a specific task. You can use cheap wadcutters when practicing in your backyard. However, you will need a pointed tip to hit targets that are a bit far.
You can buy the test pack, which contains different sizes and types of pellets, or ask around if you know nothing about pellets.
Use a Good Scope
A proper scope does not necessarily have to be expensive. However, it should be compatible with your rifle and have features that make your life easier.
For instance, an illuminated scope is useful when hunting in areas with low-light. On the other hand, a scope that supports zooming is better in scenarios where the shooting distance keeps changing.
Practice makes perfect. You have to be consistent when learning different ways to shoot, improve your aim, and get better at using an air rifle.
What is an air gun? When can you use one?
The air gun is a kind of gun using compressed air to fire BBs or pellets. There are two main air gun categories: the air rifle and the air pistol and both resemble small arms. According to your purposes and skills, you can use an air gun for many things.
Target shooting with air guns
Target shooting refers to various air gun activities, such as practicing at a shooting range and competitions, plinking, and target shooting events. Target shooting has been part of the Olympic Games since the 80s. Plinking is a laid-back version of target shooting where the shooter uses homemade targets such as soda bottles, tin cans, and even paper targets attached to logs. The significant part of plinking is that you can do it in your backyard without spending any money on your ammo.
Hunting Small Game
Hunters typically use air guns to hit small game like rabbits and squirrels. Air rifles have to meet the legal regulations regarding weight, propulsion, and caliber. Legally, you can use lead or steel BBs when hunting with an air gun. The speed and weight of the lead/steel BB give the necessary energy to penetrate and pass through the target. The airsoft pellets (made of hard plastic) won’t generate the energy needed for hunting, especially when you have to do it at a long-range. Additionally, the plastic pellets are lightweight and factors like the wind will impact their performance.
You can use air guns or rifles to eliminate pests like rats and mice without spending a lot. As a matter of fact, using air guns for pest control in residential areas is safer than using standard firearms.
Pay attention to the following aspects when buying an air rifle!
When you buy an air rifle, you have to check out the propulsion method, the ammo, accessories you can use with it, etc. We encourage you to examine the following aspects when picking your air gun.
Precision & Power
If you only plan to use the air gun for plinking, you shouldn’t stress much about precision. However, accuracy is essential for the air gun if you intend to go in competitions or perform target shooting. When we refer to air guns, the pellet’s velocity or BB gives them precision. The velocity depends on the method of propulsion and the FPS, whereas the power depends on the muzzle velocity and BB propelling speed. The heavier the BB, the greater the power on impact will be. Your air gun will be accurate when the BB is heavy and has high velocity.
Pneumatic air guns have a pump-action that compresses the air inside for every projectile shot. You can find single and multi-stroke pneumatic air guns, with the single models offering less muzzle energy and precision. The multi-stroke air guns provide various amounts of power according to your needs. Most of these models present a mechanism to jam the lever if you reach the maximum pressure.
Since they’re effortless to use, air guns using CO2 gas cylinders are frequently used in simulated shooting competitions. You only need a full CO2 container to cock the air gun and fill it with the right amount of gas for your shots. It’s one of the most straightforward propulsion methods because you only need to cock it once to fire it until you consume all the gas.
The pre-charged pneumatic air gun will offer incredible power and accuracy, especially compared to pneumatic models. The reservoir for compressed air is large and made for up to 3,000psi. You need to fill the pre-charged pneumatic air guns with an external high-pressure source like a SCUBA tank or a hand pump. As a result, you will get to use a high amount of shots at the same power and velocity.
With this type of air gun, the spring is retracted before every shot; when it’s released, it pushes the internal piston forward and propels a charge of air into the barrel. The spring piston is widely used because it’s powerful and consistent. The cocking mechanism varies between products that modify the lever’s location from barrel action, underlever, and side-cocking. The difference isn’t significant and doesn’t impact the gun’s performance.
Some air guns have the spring piston operating with gas spring and not a mechanical one. With such models, the lock time is faster, the recoil is less, and you can maintain the air gun cocked for a long time without altering the spring.
Durability & Safety
What you use the air rifle for will impact the life span and safety. If you check out the Olympic-grade air rifles, you will pay attention to the power and muzzle velocity. However, you will care a lot about overall safety and weatherproofing for targeting shooting and plinking.
You can find many types of ammunition that range in use and cost. You have to consider the propulsion method when calculating the cost for ammo; the SCUBA tanks and the CO2 containers can get pricey. Even so, it’s cheaper to buy ammo for air guns than it is for regular guns.
Scopes and sights
Scopes and sights will help you improve precisions, especially for long-range shooting. You need a scope that matches your typical air gun usage. Seek that it’s able for distances you want to shoot and that it’s weatherproof.
Air tanks and charging systems
If you use CO2 or pre-charged pneumatic air guns, you have several options for propulsion. Choose depending on the frequency of use. You don’t need a large tank if you don’t intend to shoot every single weekend.
There aren’t many accessories to buy for the air guns, but some matter for the competition target shooting. You can use accessories to improve the durability and precision of the air gun. Don’t forget to buy glasses to protect your eyes when shooting the air rifle.
The prices for air guns vary a lot and start at $40 and can go as high as $1,000—a model for high-end competitions. The purpose of the gun should be the main factor when deciding the budget for the air gun. Don’t forget to check out the durability, precision, and power.
Cleaning Kits & Targets
Air guns don’t get as dirty as regular guns, but they still require cleaning and maintenance. You will need to use silicone oil for spring-piston propulsion and brushes to remove oil, rust, and particles to clean the gun’s exterior.
You don’t need to buy any targets for plinking, but you will have to purchase realistic targets for target shooting, pest control, and small game hunting. Targets can present many features such as shooting galleries with automatic reset, tough metal build, and center mass knockdown.