STA­BLE MATE

Can this ver­sa­tile sup­port prove its worth this sum­mer? – the ed­i­tor asks

Air Gunner - - CONTENTS -

Phill Price strikes a bal­ance out in the field with the Ri­fle­man3, strudy but light, tri­pod shoot­ing sticks

If there one thing I’ve learned above all oth­ers about air­gun hunt­ing it’s that ac­cu­racy is the most im­por­tant fac­tor in suc­cess, and be­cause of this I’ll use any­thing I can find to sta­bilise my shot and and over the years I’ve tried ev­ery sort of aid you can imag­ine, apart from one. I’ve never tried trig­ger sticks, so I asked the folks at UK Shoot Ware­house if I could test their Ri­fle­man 3. This clever de­sign uses three tele­scopic legs that re­main locked un­til you press the re­lease trig­ger, at which point you can raise or lower the shoot­ing cra­dle in­stantly, to the pre­cise height you need. They’re nat­u­rally self- lev­el­ling, which is quite bril­liant and it takes just frac­tions of a sec­ond for them to be­come a truly solid sup­port.

STAND­ING OR SIT­TING

The grass is so long at this time of year that we’re of­ten forced to take stand­ing shots and this de­sign works su­perbly in that role. How­ever, I also like to find well- grazed ar­eas to sit in wait for the rab­bits to show, and this is where the Ri­fle­man sticks re­veal an­other trick. The legs can be spread wide to de­liver the right sup­port for a sit­ting shot, and I found this par­tic­u­larly use­ful. I was able to rest the ri­fle in the cra­dle, point­ing to­ward the area I felt most likely for the rab­bits to show, so that I needed only to make a small ad­just­ment to come on aim and take the shot. This re­duces give- away move­ments and fa­tigue, im­prov­ing the chance of a clean ac­cu­rate shot. Of course, there’s quite a lot of move­ment needed if a rab­bit comes out in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion from where you an­tic­i­pated.

SOLID AND STRONG

The build qual­ity feels good, and I know a cou­ple of peo­ple who have been us­ing these for well over a year and they still work per­fectly, de­spite be­ing cov­ered in mud and muck. At max­i­mum height they reach 1.85 me­tres ( 6 feet) so they can even sup­port el­e­vated shots at pi­geons or squir­rels. De­spite the sturdy con­struc­tion, they weigh just 1.3kg which sur­prised me be­cause the legs are metal and there’s a com­plex lock­ing mech­a­nism in­side. With the legs fully closed, they also make a use­ful walk­ing stick for cov­er­ing rough ground and steep banks.

I’m look­ing for­ward to putting them to good use over the com­ing months and I’ll re­port back later to let you know what I’ve learned.

RIGHT: It takes just sec­onds to be­come sta­ble and more ac­cu­rate with these sticks

BELOW: The legs spread wide to make a su­perb sit­ting sup­port

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