But now you’re in your backyard, plinking away at targets to discover that you’re not the natural gunslinger you’d assumed you would be. Have no fear. Shooting takes practice, and a little knowledge of technique can go a long way.
Here are some tips to help you on your journey to being a top shooter.
- Use a decent air rifle scope: There is a huge world of difference between shooting using open sights, and any scope. This will increase accuracy by 50% at least. You may wish to challenge yourself by shooting using open sights, but in general, it’s best to use a scope if you want to hit the target. Look out for higher levels of magnification and spec if you’re serious, and have the budget.
- Let the airgun point where it wants to: this may sound a little like ‘use the force, Luke’, but there is truth in it. By standing naturally with your airgun, holding it as you would normally, and then seeing where it points, you will find it naturally points in a certain direction. By adjusting your body accordingly like you and the gun are part of one big mechanism, you will be far more likely to hit the target than if you try to move your arms around to zoom in your quarry.
- Shoot From The Prone Position: The easiest way to learn how to shoot accurately is to lie down on your front, with the rifle resting naturally in your hands. It’s known as the ‘prone’ position, and is a good way to develop your accuracy. Not to be dismissed, you can always use it as a building block to grow your shooting style, before you learn to shoot on your feet.
- Use a Rifle Sling, Bipod or Tripod: If you’re shooting from the upright position, then a rifle sling can help you to carry the weight of the rifle more comfortably, leaving your hands to focus in on fine tuning your aim. Equally, if you’re down on the ground, a bipod or tripod attachment can take the load off your hands, and let you dedicate your energies to finding the sweet spot.
- Relax: Tension, in the mind, body, or both, is going to ruin your aim. By relaxing the body and mind as much as possible, particularly with deep breaths before, and after the shot, you can keep your arms nice and loose, and zone in on what you’re trying to hit.
- Spread your Shots: When aiming at a target, if you constantly try to hit the centre of the circle, you will find you quickly create a hole which makes it difficult to discern whether you’re hitting subsequent shots correctly or not. By aiming at different points on the target board, you will distribute them more evenly, and be able to see whether you’re hit what you were aiming for, more easily.
So there you go. Happy shooting, and if you need help, advice or more gear, be sure to get in touch, or check out our site for .22 air rifles for sale, and shooting accessories including Scopes, Slings, Bipods and Tripods, to help with your endeavours!