Practice is Key to Taking Your Crosman Airgun Afield
Hunting with airguns is becoming more and more commonplace in many states across the U.S., and with it comes a marked interest in marksmanship and, more specifically, shot placement on various game birds and animals.
Hunters using shotguns don’t require the precision necessary of airgun shooters. The multiple pellets fired from a shotgun shell spread out to create a larger killing radius than a single airgun projectile. So with airguns, the game is all about good marksmanship and head shots, whether hunting turkeys, varmints, small game or larger animals such as wild hogs, coyotes or deer.
New technology, such as the Crosman Nitro Piston-powered break barrel rifles and the Benjamin pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) rifles, have made it possible for hunters to take airguns beyond the backyard and pursue such game animals. But airguns don’t produce the velocity of a firearm, requiring their shooters to take animals at shorter ranges with precision.
The first lesson for airgun hunters is to eschew the lifelong lesson of aiming for a heart/lung shot. Airgun ammunition doesn’t carry the same kinetic energy of a firearm round or the cutting diameter of a broadhead shot from a bow. And rarely does an airgun round pass through an animal to create an exit wound.
To ensure a fast, clean, ethical kill, the head shot is an airgunner’s best option. This requires skill obtained only through practice. An airgun round remains in the barrel longer than a firearm round, requiring the shooter to hold their aim longer after squeezing the trigger.
Television host Eva Shockey used a Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 to kill a wild turkey in California recently, and professional airgun hunter and writer Jim Chapman killed a whitetailed buck in Michigan with a Benjamin Rogue .357 airgun. Both recorded head shots.
Before heading to the woods with such game in mind, airgunners need to prepare with these simple guidelines:
- Practice, practice, practice. After sighting in your airgun, set targets at varying distances from 10 to 40 yards. Your goal is to have at least eight of every 10 shots hit the bull’s-eye at each distance; you should be able to cover these groups with a single quarter.
- Always use basic marksmanship skills: good posture, breathing from the diaphragm (not the chest), obtaining a good stock weld with your cheek on the gun, and shooting between heartbeats. Even the slightest movement can change your point of impact on a target.
- Pull the trigger slowly but firmly. Let it surprise you when the gun shoots, but be careful to not flinch.
- Select the right type of ammunition for the game you wish to pursue. Flat or hollow-point pellets work well for small pests or target shooting. Round-headed or pointed pellets are better suited for longer shots and larger game.
- Check your state’s hunting regulations. A basic state-by-state species hunting chart is available at http://www.crosman.com/pdf/HuntingRegsChart.pdf.
Learn more about Crosman and airgun shooting at www.crosman.com/university.
Original Source Sportsmans Lifestyle.com