Accessories for Air GunningMark Watts
When starting a new hobby like air guns, it’s easy to get caught up in the plethora of products on the market – looking to buy everything and anything in sight. This usually happens for two reasons, either the individual has plenty of money to spend, which is definitely a common thing within the shooting world, or because they think buying a range of accessories will instantly make them a Navy SEAL Sniper, hitting targets from a mile away with pinpoint accuracy.
Now, we’re not going to want to discourage those who have an abundance of money to spend, however, we are looking to advise those of you who do not have a proverbial pot of gold, and instead have to cherry-pick their purchases, hoping to improve their shooting prowess as much as they can on a budget. Thankfully, in our opinion, you don’t need to break the bank for some high-quality accessories, and in reality, you don’t actually need everything the market has to offer!
While it’s a bit of a stretch to label pellets as an accessory, so many people fail to see the benefit in putting high-quality ammunition through their high-quality airgun, often leading to a very dirty airgun and a very disgruntled user. Airgun pellets come in three different types – flat, domed and pointed, all of which have their own specific advantages and disadvantages.
One of the questions we get asked a lot is “what is the best pellet?” and if truth be told, there isn’t necessarily a correct answer for this as all airguns are built differently – what is soul food for one airgun may be another’s least favourite meal. In reality, a lot of this comes down to trial and error, however, if you’d like to find a good starting point, you can find a more in-depth look about pellets here.
While your trusty new air gun will keep you entertained for a while, you’ll get to a point where you want to start hitting your shots from a longer distance. While a certain level of accuracy can be achieved purely using the iron sights that usually come as standard with an air gun, a properly zero’ed scope will push you even further.
What’s better is a scope opens up what you can actually achieve with your air gun. While many people purchase air guns purely to target shoot, others will make use of them for pest control, and being able to slot a rat from 50 yards is a whole heap better than slotting one from 10 yards – especially due to the idea that if you’re that close to a rat, it’s probably done a runner already!
Like pellets, there is a huge range of scopes on the market, so instead of attempting to break them down in this segment, we’ll point you to a full article written on scopes, found here!
You’ll probably notice a trend by now in regard to the accessories we’re introducing you to – each item is essentially an extension of air gunning, starting off with your airgun, then moving towards what you put through your airgun, then to how to improve your effective range via a scope. Next, you’re going to want something to improve your accuracy!
When it comes to shooting aids, you have two real options – the bipod, or the shooting stand, and dependant on your intended use for your airgun, you’ll make use of one or the other. If you’re someone who simply wants to get down to a shooting range and start hitting the smaller targets towards the back of the range, you’ll want a shooting guard such as the BSA Shooting Rest Bag, however, if you’re more of an outdoors shooter, then the bipod is going to become your best friend!
As we’ve looked heavily at the idea of using an airgun as vermin control, having a reliable way to haul your airgun when you need the use of your hands is a huge benefit. Unlike range shooting, the outdoors is a little on the muddy side at times, and while some of you may be happy to just dump your airgun in the mud, we can assure you that your airgun isn’t happy in said mud! Why? Mainly because mud can get everywhere, and the last thing you want is a ton of mud in places it shouldn’t be!
Instead, we’d suggest picking up a simple 2-point sling, allowing you to throw your rifle over your shoulder in times of need. The sling market really is inundated with examples, so a lot of this will come down to personal preference, however, with that said, you could do a lot worse than the Quake Claw 2-Point Rifle Sling!