Keep your shooting eye in tune with an air rifle

3 1 Air Rifle
The author's old .177 air rifle and a one-inch bull’s-eye target. The author fired 10 shots, at 25 yards, bench rest, on a windy day.

So, the last of the Ohio hunting seasons are over and the hunting gear and guns cleaned, sorted, stored. What next?

A suggestion: Keep your shooting eye in tune with regular practice with an air rifle. You can “hunt” on paper in your backyard or basement, depending on your situation, all year long. And that is the beauty of air rifles. They do not disturb the peace, pellets are cheap and plentiful, and you can spend pleasant hours keeping your trigger finger and shooting eye in tune till next fall.

In fact, if your circumstances allow, you even might control some pests on your “back 40,” from destructive, burrowing and gnawing chipmunks on up. With a relatively quiet air rifle, the season never really is over.

I won’t get into the air-rifle selection process. Individual tastes and pocketbooks vary way too widely. For me, I wanted good, but did not need the “ultimate.” I think that an air rifle, scoped, somewhere in the $125 to $400-$500 range, will fill the bill. Bottom line advice: buy the best you can afford.

Personal: Many years ago, on advice from, and sale by, a trusted air-rifle “gunny,” I bought a Diana/ RWS 34 .177 caliber rifle, mounted a fair 4X Bushnell air-rifle scope, and never looked back. The gunny even machined a brass muzzle-weight for good measure, to aid accuracy and balance. Which is not to say that many other air rifles, including others even more affordable, could not duplicate same. Much depends on how much you intend to shoot.

Just be sure to buy an air rifle-rated scope if you are into optics. Air rifles recoil violently twice – forward and backward – in firing. Normal scopes are not designed to accommodate that double recoil, so be advised.

In any event, my long-time friend, the old Diana .177, has moved on to grandsons, and I am finding myself again wanting for a backyard rifle. I thought I could do without one. Not possible. I guess it is time to go shopping.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Ohio – Steve Pollick

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