Air Gunner - - Ed's Welcome -

In this month’s is­sue, we have plenty of lovely prod­ucts that will start you think­ing about which new items added to your shoot­ing kit could make you a more suc­cess­ful shot. This ap­plies to us all, whether we’re hunters, com­peti­tors or back-gar­den plink­ers. I’m as bad as any­body when it comes to lust­ing af­ter sexy new prod­ucts, but I learned a long time ago that 95% of a suc­cess­ful shot is prepa­ra­tion and train­ing. With this is mind, I’ve writ­ten the sec­ond in my se­ries in un­der­stand­ing what is known as ‘ex­ter­nal bal­lis­tics‘ – in other words, what hap­pens to our pel­lets in flight.

Even if we hold the per­fect sight pic­ture and re­lease the trig­ger cor­rectly, if we don’t un­der­stand the grav­ity and wind ef­fect on the pel­let’s flight, the chances are we’ll miss. Last month, I cov­ered tra­jec­tory and in this is­sue, I’ve be­gun to write about windage, which is a tricky sub­ject that needs re­spect. Prac­tice is your friend when it comes to windage, and al­though it sounds like a daft idea, do­ing that on the windi­est days can teach you a lot; days when you’d never con­sider hunt­ing can be used well, to learn about mother na­ture’s cruel tricks in de­flect­ing your pel­let away from where you in­tended it to land.

Be­yond this, time spent with your ri­fle in hand builds strength in the right ar­eas, and mus­cle mem­ory, that helps to make shots more in­stinc­tive, so that you’ll cope bet­ter un­der stress. Even a few shots ev­ery day in your back gar­den will be of huge ben­e­fit to your ac­cu­racy, and it’s one area in which we have an ad­van­tage over all other shoot­ing sports. Think of it like brush­ing your teeth – al­though you don’t see the ben­e­fit im­me­di­ately, in the long term it will re­ward you for your hard work.

Reg­u­lar prac­tise is key to shoot­ing in the wind


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