Friday, March 21, 2008

The art of range finding

Did you know most airguns and shotguns have an effective killing range of about 35-40 metres, and research shows that up to 25 metres is the furthest that most new/inexperienced shooters are really accurate? Doesn’t sound very far does it? Shoot at quarry further away than this and you increase the risk of only wounding it, so all responsible shooters need to learn how to judge range effectively… Not only will you become a more successful shot, but it’s really simple too!

Here’s how you do it…
· Choose a noticeable starting point - a tree, lamppost, parked car etc.
· With a tape measure, mark out a distance of exactly 25 metres from your starting point.
· Look back to your starting point and try to memorize just what 25 metres looks like.
· Pace back to the starting point, counting how many same size steps it takes, and remember this too.
· Do this two or three times to make sure you get the same result each time.

Now whenever you’re out and about in the field or your own garden, try to guess whether objects are within your 25 metre shooting range, then pace up to them to check. You’ll find that in no time at all you’ll be really good at range judging!

To help make things more realistic try placing a life-sized decoy of, say, a pigeon or crow at 25 metres so you get a really good idea of how big birds will appear to be when they come into range.

Make sure you try your range finding in a variety of conditions because 25 metres can look very different in an open field or thick woodland, looking uphill or downhill, and especially when the light is poor at dawn and dusk.
Always be honest with yourself about your level of skill - only take shots when you can ensure a clean kill, make sure that you retrieve all shot quarry quickly and put it to good use – game meat is really tasty!

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