Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - SPORTING ANSWERS -

BASC’S head of firearms and

global author­ity on guns

Air­gun­ner and jour­nal­ist from

the West Coun­try

Shoot­ing Times ri­fle re­viewer

and stalker

Highly re­garded writer and


NGO chair­man, Shrop­shire

game­keeper and keen wild­fowler

Shoot­ing con­sul­tant and

sport­ing au­thor

River­keeper, with spe­cial­ist

knowl­edge of chalk­streams

Ve­teri­nary sur­geon with a

spe­cial in­ter­est in gun­dogs

A game Shot, keen stalker and

for­mer ed­i­tor of Shoot­ing Times

Pro­fes­sional shoot­ing in­struc­tor

and avid pi­geon shooter

Runs Fen­way Labradors and

a pro­fes­sional gun­dog trainer

For­mer head chef at River

Cot­tage and runs a shoot in Devon

Au­thor, pro­fes­sional fer­reter

and rab­bit con­troller

Keen stalker and se­nior CIC

in­ter­na­tional tro­phy judge I have bought an air­gun to use for rat shoot­ing but I’m hav­ing prob­lems with am­mu­ni­tion se­lec­tion. I was ad­vised to try a va­ri­ety of pel­lets and have found that the gun seems to be a lot more ac­cu­rate with heav­ier am­mu­ni­tion. The only prob­lem is that the weight­ier pel­lets cause the pel­let to drop quickly at longer range — more than 1in at my 30m zero. Should I stick with these pel­lets or go back to ex­per­i­ment­ing with lighter ones? The Mediter­ranean gull is one of the gull world’s suc­cess sto­ries. I re­flected upon this as I watched large, de­mand­ing chicks be­ing fed by ha­rassed adults on the north Nor­folk coast this You could per­se­vere with lighter pel­lets un­til you find one that works well with your gun but it could work out to be time-con­sum­ing and ex­pen­sive. I’d be in­clined to stick with the heav­ier pel­lets and spend some time on the range to work out the hold-over and hold-un­der re­quired to keep shots on tar­get at var­i­ous dis­tances. As you are mostly go­ing to be us­ing your air­gun for rat­ting, you could even re­set zero to 15m and stick to shoot­ing over that range. The com­bi­na­tion of pre­ci­sion and a heavy pel­let should be deadly on the rats. MM sum­mer. These par­ents seemed more dili­gent than the smaller and more nu­mer­ous black-headed gulls. There are prob­a­bly well over 1,000 pairs of Mediter­ranean gulls breed­ing in the UK — and num­bers are ris­ing fast. For 60 years the species has been ex­pand­ing west­wards from Hun­gary to Ger­many, Bel­gium and the Nether­lands and fi­nally here. The first pair bred in Hamp­shire in 1968 and the species can now be found in any part of the UK, typ­i­cally breed­ing along­side black-headed gulls. In sum­mer, the black head is much darker than the choco­late-brown of the black-headed gull and there is an ob­vi­ous black tip to a heav­ier blood­red bill. The key fea­ture in all plumages is that Mediter­ranean gulls do not have black wing tips.

Suc­cess story: an adult Mediter­ranean gull in win­ter plumage

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