Air Arms Ambassador
I have over 38 years shooting experience, covering a wide variety of disciplines. Air rifles have been my first choice for all my small pest control. For that last 5 years I have also been out shooting centre fire and rim fire rifles for fox and rabbit with my father and that has lead me to put in for my firearm licence. This was also to widen my knowledge and gain experience with the more powerful air calibres. My first experience with air rifles was at the age of around 7 years old, I would follow the older lads in the street when they went shooting and watch them until one day one of them took me under his wing. He taught me everything I needed to know about safety and field craft and from that day I have never stopped learning.
I am a firm believer that all young newcomers to our sport should learn to shoot a rifle rather than just being able to point at a target with the more sophisticated rifle and scope set-ups of today. There is no better feeling when you can master the recoil of a springer and place the pellets exactly where you want. Who remembers the smell of the oil after that first shot as you re load, I will never forget it.
My first air rifle was a second hand Gammo that would creak and strain every time it was cocked. I was not allowed it at home so I used to hide it in a bag in our local woods, I would spend every spare minute I could with it and mastered the technique of shooting a springer. I then moved on from the toys to more updated rifles like the TX200 and it was from then I took a more serious approach to my pest control with PCP rifles.
In 2010 I was approached to write for Air Gunner magazine and I continue to do so at present. I have enjoyed sharing my hunting experiences through the articles every month and hopefully it has helped the readers with their days out in the field.
I am currently using an Air Arms Ultimate Sporter Carbine PCP and it is incredibly accurate and consistent. It is different from what I have been used to as in the past as I have been shooting buddy bottle rifles mainly. I use the Ultimate in conjunction with a Hawke Airmax 4x12x50 scope. This is a fantastic set up and both compliment each other superbly to deliver the accurate shooting needed for pest control. My favourite hunting pellet is the Air Arms Diablo Field in .177, this is a super pellet and very consistent straight out of the tin.
Always spend time on targets with a new rifle, many rifle scope combinations shoot so different. Set up a simulated hunt, this will help greatly to learn hold over and under for closer and longer shots.
When hunting, no matter how good your clothing is, your field craft will always get you more pests in the bag. Practice with the rifle and practice on getting close to your quarry, this will make you a better hunter.