AIR ARMS S500 A NEW TYPE OF SHOOTER From my frequent conversations with the trade and suppliers, it’s obvious that more and more airgunners are shooting in their gardens, and we’re not just talking about grabbing a long-forgotten plinker and blatting away at tin cans. There’s a new type of garden-gunner evolving, and this one wants to take things further; to push the performance envelope of themselves and their hardware. Overall, at the newly-emerging end of things, these garden sessions are becoming more like lessons in precision marksmanship, where calm control is king, and accuracy the ultimate reward. NO MAGS? ARE WE SURE? Furthermore, it seems that these ‘new’ shooters want rifles specifically geared to their preferred pace of delivery, and for many that means single-shot, rather than magazine-fed guns. Yes, I furrowed a disbelieving brow at that one, too, but further research eventually smoothed those furrows and made me say ‘blimey’, but before any revelations could be made known unto me, to explore fully the new approach, I needed a rifle. Then, during a conversation with the irrepressible Claire West, MD of Air Arms, it emerged that her company’s order books had recently seen a significant bulge, due in part to an upsurge in demand for single-shot PCPs. That was my cue to ask Claire to send me one of the company’s finest sporters, sans mag’, and within a day or two, I was disinfecting the outside of a box containing an Air Arms S500 Carbine, single-shot sidelever. Truth to tell, even after fitting a scope and charging the rifle, there was still a furrow or two on the editorial brow, so I cleared my mind as best I could, staked a paper target out at 40 yards, and settled my sceptical self at a shooting bench. O terms of a necessary diversion. Our sport is uniquely suited to the ‘therapy’ side of things, due to the fact that a silenced airgun can be used pretty much anywhere it’s safe to shoot, and the need to focus on a target pushes aside our enforced concentration on the problems of everyday life. This happy situation has always existed, of course, but its healing effect has never been more beneficial, or important, than it is right now. f the many changes wrought by this pandemic, greater appreciation of our beloved hobby has definitely been one of them. I have genuinely lost count of the ‘it’s keeping me sane’-themed emails, letters, calls and conversations I’ve had since March, and my own experience endorses entirely this view. The opportunity to escape the various stresses, strains and demands of dealing with this crisis simply cannot be overstated in BACK IN THE ZONE Instinctively, and just for a split second, I looked for the familiar Air Arms magazine, before simply opening the tin of .177s, drawing » 19 www.airgunshooting.co.uk AIRGUN WORLD
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