Keep those fingers safe!
A number of articles recently have mentioned the problem of fingers, particularly those of young learners, potentially getting caught in the ‘bear trap’ when loading a springer air rifle. This can be very simply avoided. When I use a spring-powered rifle, instead of cocking the action and inserting the pellet into the breech, whilst having to hold the barrel, I simply break the action, insert the pellet and only then complete cocking the rifle. In this way, no fingers are ever in the breech area when the barrel is under tension. This is always how I teach any young shooter, and it soon becomes the norm, thus eliminating the bear trap danger. John Ryan
Hello John, You make a good point and over the years I have been shown this technique, but I think force of habit makes me fall back on the conventional way. By coincidence, Jamie Chandler mentions the very same technique in his article this month. With his ‘hands’ he has to think of different ways of doing things, and you and he have come upon the same solution. The only time I’ve struggled with your way is when you have a gun that only opens a little bit before it’s cocked, making getting the pellet in impossible. Ed.
Jamie knows how to load a breakbarrel safely, as does John