Ted’s essays

ten meter air

My best year of DCM, CMP and NRA-High-Power competition followed a winter where I had an international-style ten-meter air rifle on loan and a ten meter air gun range in my basement.

Here in our riverside paradise, I once again have a ten-meter air-gun range. In the years since my first international-level air gun experience, I also acquired one each adequately accurate rifle and pistol to shoot on it.

Sadly, I have not used them much at all recently.

A couple of days ago, I celebrated a long overdue clear sally port floor and clean workbench by shooting both my air rifle and air pistol.

As you can see from my notes on the target, I last shot at the rifle break-in target over a year ago. You may also notice that lack of shooting does not improve my skill. I consider it a bit of a victory that I’m not a lot worse.

Oh, and the target in the middle was where I was shooting and adjusting sights between shots. Those holes don’t mean a thing.

A quality air rifle, capable of teaching the shooter something of value MUST HAVE a good trigger, decent weight, nice balance and supreme, consistent accuracy shot after shot.

Thanks to Airguns of Arizona I selected a Weihrauch HW77K Carbine fitting that description beautifully. Too bad for you: they are no longer available … but I’m sure there are equally good substitute rifles at reasonable prices.

Mine has so few rounds shot through it the manufacturer still considers it on its break-in period. I spent a few rounds sighting in, but am not working on refining that initial sight-in setting yet. Just running rounds through it until this first target is fully lacerated with 150 rounds or so.

My home-made pellet trap has international air pistol and air rifle target holders. I swap the center out, then shoot the other gun.

Rather obviously, the short-radius handgun scoring rings are more generous than the long-gun target. Both are shot from an unsupported standing position, but rifles are still a lot more accurate even standing up.

My air pistol was a particularly good deal. At the time I bought it, unfettered, respectable trade with Russia was politically correct. A Russian company, Baikal, was producing world class 10-meter-air-pistol quality at bargain basement prices.

I think I paid around $180 for my IZH 46M. Trade restrictions ran that up to about $600 before the political prostitutes banned importing them from Russia altogether. They shoot as accurately as $2,000 guns. Ergonomically, you have to work the crude wooden grips to fit your hand. BIG DEAL! Baikal gave us plenty of extra wood to work with.

My last shots at this target are 21 months old. I seem to have lost some skill at this in the interim. I intend to fix that. I am pleased my shooting isn’t worse. I have no valid excuses. Hopefully my enjoyment of this air-gun range henceforth won’t need any.

One very important thing I have not lost is the ability to “call my shots”. After the projectile is released by your trigger action, it is CRUCIAL that you hold as still as you possibly can and replay that moment in your mind. KNOW where it went… without looking outside your head, just concentrate on holding still and replay that moment. Then call your shot.

Then, and only then, look into your spotting scope to see where it went. If you KNOW you shot high-right, the new hole should be high right.

I can still do that. Every one of my 20 misses were right where I called them.

That’s something.

Needless to say, I am quite happy with my Baikal … as well as my Weihrauch.

Now I just need to enjoy them a bit more often.