Air Arms

70 is the new 50

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With UK laws limiting air rifles to below 12ft/lb without a firearms certificate, it is the tool of choice for many a shooter here in England, yet the humble air rifle remains underrated in my opinion. The question "What is the maximum distance you can humanely dispatch quarry?" has been a regular can of worms to those familiar with UK air rifle forums. I've often seen websites having to take preventative measures by only allowing discussion of shots at 50yds or under.


So what is the maximum range quarry can be ethically taken? The simple answer being "How far away can you accurately and consistently hit the kill zone with your chosen rifle."

We are beginning to see shooters pushing the boundaries on YouTube channels like 'Air heads' with 65yd head shots and it's about time. Modern rifles coupled with a suitable pellet type are easily capable of kill zone sized groups at 70yds, leaving you to deal with factors like wind and your own capabilities as a shooter, so why limit yourself to the politically correct 50yds?

For those who shoot sub 12 rifles and wish to have a try, you will need a good quality rifle, a laser range finder, a ballistics app such as Chairgun Pro to help learn your rifle is handy, but not essential, and last of all you will need the best pellet for your rifle.

Testing! You cannot test enough. There are many ways to work around a rifle to get the performance you want but this is my typical routine when testing a new rifle. I set 3 card targets out starting with 25yds, then 55yds and finally 70yds. The target at 25yds is my zero range. My chosen calibre is .177 and a 25yd zero with an 8.4gr pellet at 780fps makes good use of the mildots on my MTC Mamba lite's SCB reticule.

MTC Ret

Let's say we are testing a new pellet type. You've zeroed in at 25yds and every shot is whistling through the same hole. You drop 2 mildots and take several 5 shot groups at the 55yd card. Are you still getting tight groups? If the answer is no, it's time to try a different pellet, if the answer is yes then it's time to drop another 2 mildots to the final target. If the groups are not quite there, you can try pellet lube or adjust the rifles power to fine tune your groups. Using a scopecam is another big plus, as you can relive those testing sessions over and over.



Once the rifle is at this level of accuracy, you are left with the biggest inconsistency of all. You! Your ability to judge wind, elevation and distance in the field is something that will progress with your shooting experience. A decent laser range finder is an invaluable tool and eliminates the guesswork, giving you the confidence to reach out further and further, like this 73yd shot to the vitals.



Practice pays and never forget your quarry deserves an ethical and humane dispatch. Never take the shot unless you are 110% sure of the outcome.
Judge your conditions conservatively but above all, have fun! Take your time, enjoy your shooting and while the sky might not be the limit, about 70yds should be.

By Danny Easter

Urban Hunt by Corvid Hunter March 13, 2016

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I started my hunt by walking around my industrial permission and it wasn't long before the first pests showed the pigeon was 35 yards away and on the edge of a roof top I lined up for a heart/lung shot i waited for a few seconds to compose my breathing and relax my heart beat, i gently squeezed the trigger and watched as the pellet hit home providing me with my first success. I quickly cycled another pellet and scanned for the second feral pigeon who was still sat on the roof

Air Rifle Hunter's Kit Bag Basics

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Hi folks,
One of my most common questions I receive is:

"What is it that you take when you go out for a night of shooting?"
Well let me show you what my kit bag consists of:

Rifle-
There are many types of rifles to choose from, if you are a beginner then my advice would be to start with a simple air rifle. I started with an old Diana model 97, cracking little break barrel and versatile for all small quarry. I believe that when people begin learning about shooting, it's great to start of with air power as there is an obvious risk factor with starting using more powerful rifles; as the saying goes, walk before you can run. Starting with an air rifle allows you to get used to handling a firearm safely and effectively, although you are handling a lower powered alternative to higher calibres I cannot highlight enough that it is a dangerous tool that should be used with the utmost caution and respect as they can do a lot of damage to people and property if misused; as well as this, there is a reason why people still LOVE to use air rifles to hunt with, it hones and polishes a persons skills in stalking and field craft, which I believe enriches the experience all the more!

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Of course if you have a bit more money to spend and fancy a smoother shooting experience then you can invest in a PCP rifle or Pre Charged Pneumatic in long form. These air rifles are highly accurate and have an excellent “point and shoot” charm to them, with very little if any kick they provide a shooter with smooth clean shooting over greater distance. With this rifle however you will need to purchase either a scuba tank to fill the air cylinder with air or a manual pump. These can be quite pricey however it shouldn't take anything away from the fact that the PCP is an excellent and effective tool for any shooter new or experienced.

My rifle of choice is my BSA Lightning XL SE break barrel, spring powered air rifle in .177. I use a rifle mounted scope to accurately kill my prey. I love this versatile rifle, BSA have a history of making fantastic rifles. being spring powered I never run out of puff half way through a hunt if I'm having a good day on the rabbits or pigeon! 

Ammo- well what is the the use of a rifle with no ammo, well... pellets in my case? I use Bisley Magnums or RWS Super Hollow points/Super Domes. The Bisley Magnums are a heavy pellet with a rounded point and have a very heavy impact when they strike home.

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Game bag- I always carry a game bag which I use to put my freshly shot dinner in to save me carrying it in my hands everywhere I go if I'm on a big permission.

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General kit:-
Knife for skinning and gutting
• Plastic gloves for well... Gutting
• Twine
• First aid kit
• Spare pellets
• Water
• Coffee/tea
• Torch
• Spare knife
• Cammo hat, gloves, jacket and trousers
Targets for zeroing
Range finder
• Pins to stick targets up
• Notepad and pen
• Lighter/matches
• Cammo netting for hides
• Pellet pouch
• Snack bars

So there we have it folks, a simple list of what I take with me on my hunting trips. Any further questions about my kit list feel free to leave a question for me!
Happy hunting!

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