Buying an air rifle involves a certain assumption – you will be shooting at some target. While at first the very fact of firing a shotgun can be fun, after a short time it becomes a source of satisfaction to hit the center of the target. Appetite grows with eating, so it’s worth getting acquainted with basic shooting techniques that will make it easier to get closer to the target “flashes”. That is also the subject of this guide. You can try here.
Shooting stances – whether one stands or lies down…
According to all regularities, learning should begin with the basics, or in this case, stances. Shooting stances. At the outset, you have to forget about the acrobatics from Matrix-type movies, because the average person shoots standing, kneeling, lying down, or sitting. While the first three stances are allowed during official competitions (with appropriate restrictions), the last one is mainly used recreationally.
Standing shooting stance
Tactical applications aside, two standing stances can be distinguished: hunting and sporting. The difference between the two lies mainly in the effectiveness in tracking a moving target and the precision of the shot itself. Since unlicensed windcheaters are not hunting equipment, we will focus on the sporting stance.
The sport shooting stance may seem somewhat unintuitive and uncomfortable. At first it will probably be so, but after some time dedicated to training you will strengthen the relevant muscle parts. As a result, the aiming instruments will even be “glued” to the target for the time it takes to aim and fire the shot.
Position yourself with your left side to the target so that your feet are in the axis of the carbine. Extend your left hip and rest your elbow on it. Lightly rest the butt of the carbine against your right shoulder while keeping your right hand on the grip. Keep your right elbow aligned with the windlass, that is, vertically. Your left hand should support the carbine instead of holding it by the bed. For left-handed people, the directions should be reversed.
Kneeling shooting stance
To assume the correct kneeling posture, extend your left leg forward toward the target. On the other hand, bend your right leg at the knee and kneel down. Your right foot can rest on the ground with your toes or instep. You can sit on it. The left elbow rests on the knee and supports the bed of the carbine. The right hand holds the butt against the right shoulder, the elbow remains close to the body.
Lying shooting stance
Theoretically, the lying down position gives the greatest accuracy due to the support of the hands directly on the ground. Indeed, this is true, but the condition is to find the right position. How do you recognize that you have succeeded? When the muscles relax, the carabiner remains roughly on target.
To assume the correct lying down posture, lie on your stomach with your head facing the target. Spread your legs in such a way that you can’t feel tension in your muscles. With your right hand on the grip of the carbine, bring the flask to your shoulder. Rest your left elbow on the ground and catch the bed of the air rifle with your palm. The angle between the forearm and the ground must not be less than 30 degrees. The carbine must not touch the ground.
Shooting from a seated position
Shooting from a seated position is somewhat less standardized. It can be done from a Turkish sit or from a chair using a table and support. This is a popular position for shooting selector and sniper rifles. There is, of course, no contraindication to using it in miniscale with a windlass. As in the recumbent posture, the most important thing is to position the body comfortably to avoid spasms and significant “escapes” from the target when relaxing.
About the grip – a few words
A very large impact on the accuracy of shots fired from a windshield is the way of holding the carbine. In theory, it is intuitive, simple and obvious, but practice can turn many a theory to rubble. Therefore, we will discuss some of the most important issues related to holding a carbine.
Position of the hand at the trigger tongue
The right hand should securely, naturally and without strong squeezing embrace the carbine grip (grip). Unnecessary muscle work will cause tension and block the work of the trigger finger. Ideally, the middle phalanges of the fingers should be perpendicular to the axis of the barrel. A very unfavorable situation is to tilt the fingers at the wrong angle when pulling down the trigger tongue. Inadequate support can result in additional search for finger placement on the trigger surface. The thumb should rest comfortably on the top shelf of the grip, preferably parallel to the axis of the barrel.
This technique is particularly applicable to spring-loaded windcheaters due to their recoil. Here a word of explanation regarding the mentioned feature. When you press the trigger of a “spring-loaded” rifle, you release the lock of the piston, which begins to rapidly rush forward, rejecting the rest of the windcheater in the rear. The shotgun sets off through the barrel just before the moment the piston hits the front of the compression chamber. This impact causes another jerk, this time forward. In addition, the barrel (in which the shot is still accelerating) vibrates, creating another obstacle in the way of an accurate shot. The time interval between both jerks is too small to compensate for them in any way. Therefore, it is necessary to allow them to “go out”, that is, not to interfere.
The artillery grip took its name, as you can easily guess, from artillery. Or, more specifically, the way of shooting from it. Cannons have a powerful recoil and no one tries to stop it. This is also how you should proceed with a spring-loaded air rifle: hold it gently against your shoulder, while your left hand should only support the bed of the carbine. The most important thing to keep in mind is the constancy of the support points – the hands must be in the same places of the windgun every time, in order to count on repeatable shots.
Follow through – waiting out
A very common mistake of beginners (and not only) shooters is to immediately lower the carbine after the shot. In the worst case scenario, you can do it before the shot leaves the barrel, and thus spoil the shot. Therefore, after squeezing the trigger, wait a second for the shot to hit the target and only then lower the barrel. The results on the target should become much more interesting thanks to this.
Adjusting the targeting instruments
Shooting without aiming makes sense, provided the target is the barn gates, and we are standing 5 meters away from them – obvious. In order for aiming to make sense, the windmill must have working aiming instruments – also clear. In this chapter we will suggest how to make these instruments increase the precision of the shots you take.
Adjustment of the bow tie and the pinkie
Open (mechanical) aiming instruments, i.e. a bow tie and a pinniped, are the basic equipment of almost every air rifle. The stationary musket is located at the end of the barrel, while the pinniped is located at the beginning of the barrel or even closer to the shooter’s eye. Adjusting the latter vertically and horizontally allows you to aim effectively. The principle of operation is simple: when you look along the carbine, the bow tie must be centrally located in the stock. Nowadays quite a few models have the convenience of Tru-Glo fiber optics in distinctive colors.
Draw a target on a piece of paper: a dot about 3 centimeters in diameter. Set the target at a short distance, suppose 10 meters. Take a comfortable, stable shooting position and fire 3 follow-up shots. If the shot hits the dot it means that the instruments are set. If there are deviations, use the dials and make corrections. If the hit point is below the aiming point, raise the sights. If you are hitting too far to the left, move the scimitar to the right. Do the same with hits above and to the right of the target.
Optical sights, or scopes, are a more advanced affair. Keep in mind that the recoil of spring-loaded windcheaters is capable of calibrating or even destroying a low-quality scope. Therefore, for carbines of this type, it is advisable to choose a scope with a more durable design. CO2, PCA or PCP models are not so demanding in this regard.
Calibration of the scope is done roughly in the same way as for open instruments, except that instead of a dot it is better to use a dial. Each “click” of the dial moves the aiming point by the distance indicated by the manufacturer. Some models are additionally equipped with a parallax knob, which further improves the performance of the sight at the selected distance.
The skill of the shooter is the main factor responsible for the results obtained on the target, but not even Solomon can pour from empty. Thus, even the best shooter can have a big problem if his equipment hinders him. The situation is different when it comes to accessories that are designed to facilitate accurate shots.
Adjusting the trigger mechanism
The trigger should be adjusted to suit the application. The ideal situation is when the carbine you own allows you to adjust the trigger. In sport shooting (stationary), the desired trigger setting is as follows: a short path to the first resistance, then 1-2 mm of pressure to fire. Further ways can be blocked. In the case of, for example, biathlon, the first path may be longer, so that a tired athlete under time pressure does not fire an accidental shot.
Tripods and bipods (bipods)
If the carbine is to be used for shooting at a longer distance, such as 70 meters, it is worth thinking about a tripod or bipod. This solution is especially recommended for owners of PCP airguns, but others can also “frequent”. Just keep in mind that some models of tripods available on the market will not necessarily fulfill their role in the case of spring-loaded carbines, which, due to the vibration of the barrel, may even lose accuracy. In their case, either bipods mounted to the bed of the carbine or shooting pads come into play.