Fol­low-up Test

Terry’s in­ten­sive range time with the Gala­had prompts a change in ap­proach

Airgun World - - Contents -

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.

FI­NAL THOUGHTS

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.

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