WINDAGE WOR­RIES

Fol­low­ing last month’s ar­ti­cle on tra­jec­tory, the edi­tor takes on our next big­gest chal­lenge

Air Gunner - - Accuracy -

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.

Tin chick­ens

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

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