RANGE OF OP­TIONS

Airgun World - - Points Of You -

I hope this email finds you and your team well. Over the past few months, I have read a lot of mag­a­zine ar­ti­cles and trawled through many well-known me­dia and video sites. No doubt, my ques­tion has been asked many times: What do peo­ple class as a safe range to guar­an­tee the kill with the first shot, for rab­bits, rats, mag­pies, crows? Peo­ple say a max­i­mum of 35 yards, or 40 yards at a push.

I know many of your read­ers can shoot much fur­ther dis­tances, and that’s only been achieved by hours upon hours, and in some cases years of prac­tice. Prac­tice makes per­fect, so they say. Then I read about peo­ple shoot­ing well over 65 yards with sub-12 ft. lbs. and achiev­ing head shots ev­ery time. I would re­ally like to chal­lenge these state­ments. Are they gen­uine, or peo­ple just boast­ing? What hap­pened to the art of the chase, cam­ou­flage and concealment, learn­ing the habits of your quarry, am­bush­ing and despatch­ing with a first-time shot to pre­vent un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing? Like I said ear­lier, no doubt there are air ri­fle shoot­ers who can do this stand­ing on one leg and blind­folded. I know this might open up a can of worms, but se­ri­ously, 65 yards and be­yond, and head shots each time you squeeze the trig­ger? KEITH MICHAEL PINDER

Keith – re­spond­ing com­pre­hen­sively to your let­ter re­quires an en­tire ar­ti­cle, rather than a re­ply on this page, but un­til that ar­ti­cle is con­structed, here are my thoughts in brief. In over 40 years of ded­i­ca­tion to this sport, much of that time spent in the com­pany of some of the finest marks­men on this planet, I have never met any­one who can hunt re­li­ably and re­spon­si­bly at 65 yards with a sub-12 ft.lbs. air ri­fle. I cer­tainly can’t do it, and I’ve reg­u­larly of­fered those who claim they can the chance to show me how they do it. My ab­so­lute limit is 45 yards, and only then un­der per­fect con­di­tions, which are ex­tremely rare in the hunt­ing field, be­lieve me. The vast ma­jor­ity of my hunt­ing shots are taken at no fur­ther than 35 yards and usu­ally be­low that. Ba­si­cally, I stick to ranges and field con­di­tions that al­low me to group my shots con­sis­tently, in­side an inch, and it’s this that should form the ba­sis of your train­ing to es­tab­lish your own ef­fec­tive range. – Ed

I can’t hunt ef­fec­tively and hu­manely at ex­treme ranges, but if you can, please get in touch and show us how you do it.

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