Is a rangefinder es­sen­tial?

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - SPORTING ANSWERS -

My 18-year-old son is in­ter­ested in tak­ing up air ri­fle shoot­ing and has been told that he will need a laser rangefinder. Is this re­ally an es­sen­tial piece of equip­ment or will he be able to get by with­out one?

Laser rangefind­ers are use­ful tools for fast and pre­cise range cal­cu­la­tion. They are, how­ever, far from es­sen­tial. Though your son might even­tu­ally want to in­vest in one, there is no rea­son why he shouldn’t be able to shoot his air­gun ac­cu­rately with­out one.

I would sug­gest that your son starts out by ze­ro­ing his gun at 25m or 30m and then shoots pa­per tar­gets at closer and fur­ther ranges to gain an un­der­stand­ing of the pel­let’s tra­jec­tory. He can then ap­ply hold-over and hold-un­der to shots to com­pen­sate for the rise and fall of the pel­let, but he will need to know the dis­tance to the tar­get to do that.

If he in­tends to shoot live quarry he can es­ti­mate range by set­ting up shots over pre­de­ter­mined dis­tances, ei­ther by us­ing de­coys and baits or by us­ing land­scape fea­tures such as fence posts and trees as range mark­ers. MM

Laser rangefind­ers are handy ac­ces­sories for air­gun shoot­ers but there are other ways to cal­cu­late the dis­tance to your tar­get

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