Following last month’s article on trajectory, the editor takes on our next biggest challenge
Last month, I gave a brief overview of what the trajectory of our pellet means to accuracy, and I believe that it was vital information for any airgun hunter hoping to be successful. The great thing about trajectory is that it’s largely consistent, with the acceptance that head or tail winds can affect it somewhat. The next biggest error factor we need to address is the effect that the wind has on the left-to-right element of each shot. No matter how still a day might seem, the wind always has some effect on our shots. Just once in a while the air might really be still, but this is absolutely the exception to the rule; for 99% of the time the wind will affect your shot.
Worse than that, you just can’t see the speed or direction the wind is coming from. The wise and experienced hunter studies the grass and the trees, searching for clues about speed and direction, but this is a hard-won skill. I completely agree that shooting outdoor target competitions, like field target and hunter field target, are absolutely the best thing you can do to learn the wind’s effects on your pellet’s flight.
Clanging the face plate of a ‘ tin chicken’ causes no harm to anything but your pride, but we have no place taking risky shots on living creatures. This is where real-world practice in the environment where you plan to hunt becomes your number one choice. I like small, spinning targets that can be carried easily, but that punish bad shooting. My favourite has a 1” disc at one end and a ¾” disc at the other. 1” is my minimum accuracy requirement as an airgun hunter, but I prefer to hit a ¾” disc to know that I’m on it.
“for 99% of the time the wind will affect your shot”
Main: The Apex Airglo floats in the breeze giving lots of useful information
Left: Chairgun has been a great help to me in understanding the wind’s effects
Right: A few leaves dropped from a height can show wind direction and speed