Terry’s intensive range time with the Galahad prompts a change in approach
Terry Doe takes a different approach with his extended test of the Air Arms Galahad
The purpose of a follow-up test is now extremely basic. Where once I intended to reveal the things that changed on the rifle during another month’s heavy usage, I now find myself highlighting the changes that use has brought to the way the rifle is employed. In simple terms, I’m charting the benefits of growing into each rifle and how best to work with its features. That’s exactly what’s happened with this month’s follow-up subject, the Air Arms Galahad … only a bit more so.
Before I cover what I’ve discovered about getting the most from the Galahad, I’ll scoot through its unchanging mechanics, and it should be stated that, despite some seriously intensive sessions, this rifle’s performance remained totally as received. The average muzzle energy, shot-to-shot consistency, the amount of shots per charge, and the downrange accuracy of the test rifle have remained exactly as reported last month. Perhaps the 40-yard groups have tightened very slightly, but that’s almost certainly due to the ‘becoming familiar’ aspect I mentioned earlier, rather than any ‘running-in’ of the action and its regulator, or ‘accurising’ of the barrel due to having over 1000 pellets through it. Other examples might change during this level of use, but the one I have next to me as I write refused to budge.
THE UNCHANGING REQUIREMENTS
Before I move on to the major changes, I’m duty bound to cover the ever-present essentials, no matter how many times I’ve done so before. Consider it my duty of care. Thus, setting up the Galahad’s butt pad position and the eye/scope relationship is absolutely crucial to maximising the rifle’s potential, as well as yours, of course. In fact, the change to which I keep referring could well make getting the set-up of this rifle absolutely perfect even more vital. Now add trigger adjustment and pellet selection and my duty is done, for now at least.
NOW FOR THOSE CHANGES
The single greatest difference between the way I shoot the Galahad now, compared to a month ago, is the aiming/shooting sequence I use. I could treat the Galahad like every other highperformance sporting rifle, and shoot it in the measured, almost match rifle style that has served me faithfully over more than four decades. If I did that, I’d definitely do well, but I wouldn’t be making the most of what this rifle offers. Sporters of the bullpup design are different … by that very design. Their weightdistribution, and therefore balance, produces a different type of handling experience, and their shorter length complements this. What I’ve been doing for the past month, is changing my aiming sequence to make the most of this designed difference.
THE DIFFERENCE IN ACTION
In short, I’ve been training myself to compress the essential components of accurate shooting into a shorter time span. I want to shoot every bit as accurately as the task of hunting demands, but I want to do so faster. With a ‘normal’ sporter, I require just short of five seconds in which to aim and shoot, and within those precious few seconds I’ll somehow cram stance, hold, target acquisition, breathing control, trigger technique, hold-over and windage, plus the all-important after-shot follow-through. Everyone else does this, too, mostly without thinking about it, as the routine is established through repetition and training. Just five seconds of technique and composure, is all that’s needed to take the perfect shot, so why on earth would I bother trying to speed things up? Simply, because the Galahad makes it possible.
CHALLENGE AND REWARD
Achieving the same degree of accuracy, and doing so in a shorter time, is a buzz. That alone makes it worth it, but there are spin-off benefits, too. Getting a shot off just a fraction faster is no great advantage in the hunting field, but the process involved in doing so is definitely a
winner because it improves overall technique. First, that perfect set-up requirement I mentioned earlier is a major bonus for any rifle system. Next, the steps I take to keep the Galahad’s handling as fast and smooth as possible – hands already in position, rifle carried with the butt pad almost locating my shoulder - can only help my results whenever I’m in any situation where a shot is likely.
Finally, there are the changes designed to shave split seconds from the handling time. These amount to making sure there’s nothing that could snag the Galahad as I transition it from ‘at rest’ to ‘on aim’. Garment folds, pocket flaps, rifle slings, and anything else that could get in the way of the smoothest, fastest shot possible, are sought out and either modified or eliminated. Again, this system benefits any approach and the use of any rifle.
As long as the requirement for consistent accuracy remains at the top of your priorities list, anything you can do to make producing it smoother and faster has to be worth trying. The Air Arms Galahad helps my quest to shoot faster with maximum accuracy, and I believe it could do the same for anyone.
This change in my approach is all about the ‘nth degree and my desire to push things as far as I can. It’s not compulsory, or even necessary, but then neither is airgunning itself. I shoot for pleasure, and that applies even when I’m carrying out important pest-control duties, because the satisfaction of a worthwhile job done well never diminishes. Trying to make the utmost use of the Galahad’s remarkable qualities is another route to shooting pleasure, and anything that increases the enjoyment of this precious sport is worth chasing.
I’m currently still working on my ‘Galahad technique’, and when I believe I’ve got it nailed, I’ll do a step-by-step feature on it, so like-minded airgunners up for a challenge can have a go at it. You won’t actually need an Air Arms Galahad to get to where I’m going, but after using one for a couple of months - I think it would help.
The Air Arms Galahad has sparked a change of approach for me.
Measured and deliberate will always bring results, but I’m heading elsewhere.
Fast, sure and secure, that’s the way for me and the Galahad.
Fully-regulated, sight solidly fixed, and on the level. As a bench-tester, the Galahad shines - but this isn’t its natural game.
Another magazine-load of training done, and I’m getting there. Take a ton of time to get the position of this absolutely spot on.