I’ve always been fascinated by the Hollywood portrayal of making that perfect 1000 yard shot. Add video games into the mix, and you might get the impression that it’s all just point and shoot. I can personally tell you, that’s not how it works.
Gear matters, but the shooter matters more.
As a reviewer, I shoot a lot. I can tell you for sure that the gear you are shooting matters. But, I can also tell you that the guy or gal behind the trigger matters more. Maybe you’ve experienced how this works, having bought something after seeing a review and not being able to duplicate the results in your backyard. The typical male ego will see the fault as either the gear or the reviewer inflating the results. The reality is that while both of those could be the case, the more likely cause is the guy behind the trigger.
I’ve been able to get some pretty excellent results out of “lesser than” airguns over the years simply because I’ve learned how to make up the difference for their inadequacies. Often it comes down to spending hours with a product to find out how to make it work. Spring and gas ram guns are the best example. Because they are all so different in how they react when shot, each needs something special to see its potential come to the surface. It’s taken years, over a decade, to develop that skill set. Don’t be discouraged if you need some time to get good with your airgun.
On the flip side, I’ve seen folks get down behind some of the best gear, with the best optics, and not be able to hit the bullseye at 50 yards. The best equipment can’t overcome nasty habits. Proper instruction, training, and practice is what overcomes bad habits.
Shoot ’til it works, or you’ve exhausted all other options.
Of course, I enjoy shooting the higher end airguns fitted with high-end optics. But I expect the best from them when I sit down at the bench. When you are sitting behind $2500 worth of gear, it better shoot the center out of the target without me having to do much work. And, they all generally do. When you get to that price level, nearly all the airguns are fantastic. Just pick the style you prefer and have fun.
What’s exciting to me is to sit down behind equipment, that’s all in, under $700. Take the Air Venturi Avenger at $300. Add in a Hawke Vantage SF or Airmax SF scope in the $300 +/- range, and you’ve got a pretty serious contender in your hands. I’ve spent some time behind the trigger of this setup. I can say that at 50, maybe even 75 yards, the results on paper are nearly identical to what I got from the $2500 airgun package. The difference, and it’s not insignificant, is the shooting experience between the two. Higher-end airguns are nicer to shoot, and they generally take less work to achieve the same results. It takes more work to get great results from entry-level products.
But that’s why I LOVE entry-level airguns!
The challenge to get behind the trigger of a decent, but entry-level airgun and make it perform like a high dollar airgun is what makes me love my job, and it’s what helped me develop the skills necessary to take my first shot at a mile. Without the years of trigger time, I don’t think it would have been nearly as easy.
I had the privilege of taking a trip out west as a technical advisor for a major airgun manufacturer. It was not just an airgun event. There was also a major firearms manufacturer, ammo manufacturer, and a very high-end optics maker. After a couple of great days out hunting and enjoying the wide-open spaces of Wyoming, we all had the opportunity to get behind the trigger of a Mossberg MVP Precision, chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor and topped with a Swarovski Optic rifle scope. I would have loved to be the one doing the initial dial in on this rig, learning what it takes to get things dialed in at a mile, but that was all done by our guides. When I sat down at the bench, it was just a matter of drawing upon my years of experience with trigger control and follow-through.
It was all of the years shooting airguns, most of them entry-level airguns, that made me push my skillset to be a better shooter. Within just a couple of shots, I was hitting the target repeatedly at one mile. This is the great power of airguns! If you want to be a better shooter, not just an airgun shooter, but a better shooter all around, then airguns are a great way to get in the trigger time that gets it done.
Need help finding the right airgun for you? Then give us a call here at Airgun Depot, and we’ll put together the perfect package to get you started!