MIND OVER MAT­TER

Airgun World - - Technical Airgun -

In the early 1980s, very few peo­ple owned or had ac­cess to chrono­scopes, and the first thing air­gun-own­ing friends wanted to do when ar­riv­ing at my house was check the muz­zle ve­loc­ity of their guns on my Skan Mk.1 chrono­scope. Two such vis­i­tors, one a game­keeper, the other a farmer with a thriv­ing side line in pest con­trol, each shot hun­dreds of rab­bits ev­ery week, and in both cases, their ri­fles tested in the range of 8 ft.lbs. to 9 ft.lbs., and their re­sponse was iden­ti­cal: “I can’t shoot rab­bits with …” their voices tail­ing off as they re­alised shoot­ing rab­bits was ex­actly what they HAD been do­ing.

My two vis­i­tors were ma­ture, ra­tio­nal, and ex­pe­ri­enced air­gun hunters, and they had proven be­yond all doubt that their un­der-achiev­ing air­guns were fully ca­pa­ble of cleanly dis­patch­ing rab­bits at the sort of ranges at which we could achieve the nec­es­sary ac­cu­racy us­ing 1980s air­guns and pel­lets, but nei­ther of them had the con­fi­dence to carry on us­ing them as they were. One drove straight to the com­pany that had tuned his ri­fle to have the per­for­mance re­stored, the other sent his (FAC) ri­fle away to the man­u­fac­turer to be sorted.

Th­ese days, PCPs, and spring air­guns with modern pel­lets, have im­proved ac­cu­racy and al­lowed us to ex­tend max­i­mum range to the point at which a change in muz­zle en­ergy of any sig­nif­i­cance will be very ap­par­ent as a drop in pel­let point of im­pact (POI) at longer range, so checks on the chono­scope should not re­veal sur­prise falls in muz­zle ve­loc­ity of the mag­ni­tude (100+fps) that so alarmed my vis­i­tors all those years ago, though there’s plenty apart from ‘power’ to spook the mind.

MISS AND MIS­GIV­INGS

Al­though I don’t shoot HFT, I love help­ing to set out cour­ses, and of­ten check the scores on in­di­vid­ual tar­gets to try to an­a­lyse what it was about the shot that caused peo­ple to miss, so we can do it again. One thing that’s be­come very ap­par­ent is that a fair num­ber of score cards from those scor­ing in the 30s and low 40s fea­ture series of ‘dinks’ (hits to the face­plate rather than the pad­dle). On oc­ca­sion, the run of dinks can be at­trib­uted to the run of tar­gets all be­ing sub­ject to the same strong wind, but more fre­quently, I

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