Keep those fin­gers safe!

Air Gunner - - Your Letters -

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

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