James Osbourne's Hints and Tips for your Air Arms

5 Comments27 March 2020  |  Air Arms

What to do?! No chance of FT competition in your life for a while? Still need an airgun fix?

No doubt we’ll be spending a more than can be healthy amount of time on the internet. Plenty of airgun related content to browse and forums to suit all tastes so there are opportunities to educate yourself on airgun techniques, maintenance, as well as keep in
touch with fellow shooters. Finding good content might rapidly become difficult though!

Browsing the internet is no substitute for a more hands on approach so what can we do to keep our airgun related urges satisfied…

Everyone needs a little TLC now and again, and our shooting equipment is no different. So depending on your confidence and ability why not give your kit a bit of a once over?

Clean your barrel

When was the last time you cleaned your barrel? Some shooters have a very strict regime when it comes to barrel cleaning in order to maintain peak accuracy, others…less so. So if it’s been a while buy or make yourself a pull through and using a suitable cleaning product give your barrel a treat. Probably best to fire a few pellets through the gun afterwards just to make sure any oils left from the cleaning don’t make their way into parts of the rifle they shouldn’t.

Time for a deep clean

I believe in car circles there is something known as ‘detailing’ which as far as I can tell is basically an expensive wash. Many well used airguns could probably benefit from a bit of a deep clean. Small paint brushes are ideal for removing dust from all the hard to reach spots around scope mounts and accessories. Just remember to do this before removing the stock and giving the action a wipe down with a nice oily rag to restore a factory fresh appearance. Rifle stocks tend to take their fair share of knocks and scrapes, take this opportunity to refresh the finish with a little gun stock oil if the stock has an oil finish. If more significant wear and tear is present well it looks like there will be time to completely strip back, repair and refinish any rifle stock. Not much in the way of materials are required but it can take a lot of patience and time. The results however can be most rewarding and if done properly a finish superior to the original can be achieved.

Show your Air Arms some love with a full service

If you have access to the correct equipment and tools this might be the time for a full service. Strip down the rifle remembering that springs spring and compressed air can give you a nasty surprise if not properly decompressed. So if you aren’t sure what you are doing, don’t; and remember just because someone can post a ‘how to’ video on the internet it doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. After any tinkering like this make sure you test the rifle properly and ideally check the power and consistency on a chronograph. With a rifle that is beautifully presented and performing perfectly after a service it’s a real shame not to use it and this is where many of us will struggle over the coming weeks and months as clubs close.

Do some structured shooting

If possible get out in the back garden to do some shooting. Some people will have more options in this regard than others but try to add some structure to these sessions. For example if you’re shooting at paper targets set yourself a score as a goal to achieve. I find shooting in the back garden very limiting but setting a challenge helps motivate me to do it. A word of warning, don’t upset your neighbours, you might need them to fetch you some food in a few weeks time!

If you’re serious about the competitive aspect of your shooting you could even try dry firing while in the comfort of your own home. If you’re a FT shooter get all your favourite gear on, sit on your bean bag in front of the telly and make sure everything feels right and try some adjustments to assess if they might help. Probably best to make some notes on what you’ve done though as it might not be quite right when you get back out in the field; ensure anything you do is easily reversible.

Some more simple ideas...

Read a book

There are many shooting related titles. You could read something on sports psychology (it might help your competition shooting), or perhaps something a little lighter on the maintenance or history of airguns. Maybe just go for some popular fiction and escape for a while.

Weighing and sorting pellets?

Now here’s one for when times become really desperate. Try weighing and sorting some pellets. Weighing pellets is a very tedious and time consuming pastime but you can check the differences between different batches and when we’re allowed out to play again you’ll have some pellets ready for testing so that you can decide for yourself that it truly was a waste of your time!

Tidy out your gun cabinet

There may be all sorts of forgotten treasures in there. It might be possible to sell some old and unwanted items which could then fund something new and shiny?

Scott Pearce
28 March 2020  |  12:55

Thanks for the information. I'm a first time shooter at 45 yrs old all advice is welcomed

29 February 2024  |  21:34

48 for me. Perfect time to do something with yourself. Other than nothing. Hello from Poland.

Carl Van Der Linde
27 April 2020  |  18:59

Thank you, nice reading and advice for our lockdown in South Africa.

11 January 2021  |  9:41

Hello. I have a s510 superlite in hunter green, it has a slight chip on the stock at the forend, do you know what sort of finish it's been given, do they use lacquer, varnish or a sprayed on polyurethane? I don't want the repair to have an adverse reaction to the rest of the stock.

Al D
17 October 2021  |  15:19

Any specific FT or sport shooting titles? What about podcasts or YouTube channels?