View Full Version : Yes, your shooting will improve if you shoot airguns!

09-29-2013, 02:53 PM
After this section started I have gotten re-interested in my Air Guns. I have had a 10 yard range setup in my shop for many years and have tried to shot as frequently as possible but conflicting interests tend to shift my attention away from shooting towards Jeeps and other projects. Getting back into it and really loving the experience and sharing it with others.

After cleaning the safety on my HW 35 last week I started shooting it nightly. The results are starting to show.

These guns My HW35 and HW 77 both require a substantial amount of effort to cock and as a result I am good for about 20 shots max in one session. This will go up until I get to being able to shoot a complete 40 shot silhouette round all the way thru in one session.

I have a Williams Peep sight (came from Beemans many years ago.) mounted on the HW35 with the stock globe front sight with a post insert in it ,,, and a Burris 4x Airgun Scope on the HW77 which is .22 cal.

I use the HW35 for Short Range Silhouette Practice, and the HW77 for long range practice. I shoot cartridge silhouette matches with my .22 rifle and my .308 once a month on two different Saturdays at my gun club here in Ojai.

The practice aspect of all this all comes down to refining your stance, your mounting and cheek weld on the gun, your sight picture, and of course Trigger Control. Redefining all of these factors comes back pretty quickly as long as you had them firmly in place at one time, and in my case evolving these factors to a more technically advanced form is the ongoing goal. If you watch any of the gun shows which spotlight competitions you will see that styles are evolving and it is up to all of us to evolve with them.

I have modified my stance now due to shooting High Powered Rifles offhand, from the traditional NRA Marksman stance where your body is pretty much inline with the gun, to a more combat oriented stance where I am bladed at 45 degrees to the target and the gun is placed deeper in the pocket of my shoulder, rather than out on the bone as it is in the old stance. This hurts less, when shooting my GSR Scout rifle.308 .

My left elbow rests on my stomach (no, I ain't that fat guys!) and is folded in as far as I can get it, and my right arm/elbow is turned down along my side as far as I can comfortably hold it. The "tactical reason" for the right arm/elbow down is so it doesn't get shot off when you are shooting from behind a barricade. I find it makes the hold steadier as all the muscles in your right arm are pretty much relaxed and when held against your body form one solid pillar, (Your whole torso.) also it increases the size of (contracts) your pectoral muscle that is taking the hit from recoil.

The entire weight of the gun is supported by the left arm which by extension is supported by my belly.

Just in the last few days I have improved from 1/40 last week to 4/10 last night on chickens alone. This doesn't sound like any big improvement but wait til you see the targets.The chicken targets are about 1/2" squareish.

Point of all this is,,, I'm not just doin' this for the hell of it. I am actively trying to improve my rifle skills, and it is working. The best scores I have shot in Long Range Silhouette have come after a few days of air gun practice before the shoot. My best score so far in .22 silhouette was 31/40 last month with open sights so you can see where I'm headed to.

I download and print targets from a website I found once, and those stapled to a heavy box with a few sections of cardboard and a rag are what I currently use as a pellet trap. Any one who has a garage can do this. If you live by yourself you can shoot in your house down a hallway, which is what I did for many years. Your back yard also works with these guns, and the great thing is you don't have to go anywhere to shoot them, which means you will shoot more. And more is what we are looking for here.

Here's a link to the silhouette targets I have been using http://www.citlink.net/~schattler/target.htm

I normally shoot at the #10 target which is twenty targets on one sheet. The spots are about 1/2" and provide a challenging target at 10 yds./10M with iron sights. The #9 targets are more appropriate with the scoped guns.

I should be noted that the correct sight picture for these targets is where the gun is sighted so that sitting the foot of the target on the top of the front post will yield a center mass hit on the chicken pig turkey or ram at this distance.

Hope some of this info will get you shooting.

Here's the deal guys,,,, The more you shoot anything,,, the better you get, and we all want to shoot good now don't we? You never know when this skill will come in handy.

In days of old, English Archers were required to shoot at least once a week to keep their muscles in shape for pulling a 100-120 lb. Long Bow. This was not optional, everybody did it. This also resulted in competitions which made archers more accurate.(Robin Hood Types) Being able to hit a man sized target at 60-100 yards consistently was a useful skill back then, and being able to do the same today with your weapon of choice could be useful today.

The fact that you can practice in the privacy of your home only makes the airgun option more attractive since nobody has to know you are doing it.


09-29-2013, 03:11 PM
i agree.I shoot at 12ga hulls at 50 yards offhand and kneeling after work almost everyday.I shoot close to 1500 pellets a month over this last year or so and my shootign has improved greatly.Some nights last winter i wasted nearly a full tin of 250 shooting at moths on my 25 meters lighted target behind the shop.

Lead Fred
09-29-2013, 06:58 PM
I shoot weekly in my back yard. A few hours before we take off to the range to.
A friend gave me his Dad's broken Sheridan 20 cal silver streak. What a fantastic rifle.
It took a $60 rebuild kit, and its been shot every week since then.

last month during a birthday gathering, My daughter & grand son got into a shooting match in the backyard.
The grand boy shot way better than he mom, but then he comes down and practices a lot more.

09-30-2013, 12:54 AM
My buddies kid me about me shooting expensive "BB guns".But their $1200 AR's are shot about 5-10 times a year while i shoot mine about every day.They get all "geeked" about piston's vs direct impingement and tactical **** but spend very little time on the trigger.i still shoot my powder burners at least 4 times month but this airgun thing is a real joy.

09-30-2013, 01:28 AM
I agree that the off hand shooting an air rifle the week before a match really helps. I was able to get 30ft by shooting through the dining room through the kitchen and into the laundry room. That worked well as long as the wife was not there. I would shoot 20 quality shots per day the week before a match. Nowdays after moving from town into the country I have a 30ft range setup in the barn. As soon as this Afghanistan gig winds down I'll also have a place to practice the outdoor long range practice I need.


09-30-2013, 10:00 AM
I have a 25 yard airgun range in the backyard. That is almost too short a range to be any challenge. My rifles aren't high dollar but they are more accurate than I had expected. Groups range from one holer to dime sized.
The pistols I use more as plinkers. The Gamo is a copy of a double action autoloader but the grip gives it much the feel of a DA revolver, so I have used it to refine my trigger control.
My Walther PPKS CO2 grip and trigger have much the same feel as my FN 1922 so it helps develop point shooting skills that carry over. Its a blowback action and the slide movement is very strong, it feels about the same as the FN when firing.

09-30-2013, 12:51 PM
Offhand at 25 is a challenge if the target is small.I agree and prefer to shoort at 50 most of the time.

10-03-2013, 10:07 PM
Someone mentioned the Crossman 38C on another thread. I had forgotten about mine till then. Its no longer in firing condition but I believe firing thousands of pellets from this CO2 revolver made transition to the S&W and Colt revolvers much easier and developed good trigger control and sight picture. It also introduced me to fully adjustable pistol sights.

10-04-2013, 07:52 PM
Aspirins and Necco Wafers make great targets, and they blow up when hit. Hitting an aspirin at 10 M is pretty hard to do consistently.

Neccos are good for 25 yds. they are about 1" in dia.


Silver Eagle
10-07-2013, 01:39 AM
A number of fast draw and shoot from the holster trainers have recommended the use of airsoft guns to train with from a safety perspective.
There are many fun and interesting targets for use with airguns. Paintball ammo on a golf tee are nicely satisfying. Stale soda or oyster crackers are fun and challenging. Mini-sniping is the airgun sport of shooting small targets at relatively long distances. Common target are empty 9mm brass at 20 to 40 yards. Use empty shotgun hulls for the kids or for longer ranges. Weeds in the yard are fun, dandelion hunting anyone? For the more adventurous; or competitive; look up Field Target shooting competition's.
Airguns are a relatively inexpensive way of teaching shooting fundamentals. Not to mention, practicing when a trip to the range is not possible.