HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?
Q I want to hunt with my airguns. All my rifles are either .177 or .22 and run at about 11.2 foot pounds. How far does that enable me to shoot accurately and dispatch quarry? A
THAT’S A VERY sensible question and one I really wish more people would ask. There is a simple answer to this: how far can you accurately put 10 shots inside of a 10 pence piece? And that doesn’t mean shooting off a bench either, but from the stances you realistically expect to be adopting when you’re targeting live quarry in the field.
We all know a “long-range airgun shooter” who shoots rabbits at 450 yards with their rifle. It’s a shame, because some people really do listen to this nonsense and actually believe it. I have chatted to many hunters who have told me about their hunting prowess, and then been totally taken apart on a simple HFT course. I shoot lots and lots of HFT which has helped me no end with my rangefinding and pellet trajectory, and this in turn has helped my hunting massively.
I shoot to 40 yards with sub-12 foot pound rifles. I know my guns can do further, but this is what works for me in both .177 and .22 as I can comfortably group 10 shots within a 10 pence piece, so that’s my maximum distance.
Practise lots so your shooting is second nature – and learn your fieldcraft too. This will help with getting closer to your quarry, and that’s the real skill of the hunter. Closer means an easier shot – and that makes for a reliable, responsible and humane dispatch.