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How do you hold a Springer air gun?


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#1 Mr Del

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 11:41 AM

I need to get some input here. I am thinking that .....anyway is correct as long as you do "it" the same way every time. I also heard that the Gamo is one of the most difficult guns to learn how to shoot. What is your opinion?

#2 ShooterJohn

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:34 PM

Don't know about Gamo's but a springer is a springer is a springer. The hold is called an artillery hold. The hand that supports the fore end of the stock does not grip it. It is left free floating so that the gun can recoil through the hand. The hand that pulls the trigger is also a light grip and you should strive for consistency in doing so. The thing that destroys groups with a springer is a death grip. If you grip the gun hard or inconsistently you will never have good groups. Hope that helps. I shoot as many as 100 pellets in an evening of indoor target practice. It translates to being a better rifle shooter too. It's all about consistency.

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#3 Mr Del

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:42 PM

Thanks John.... I will try the artillery hold during my night shooting.

#4 mackeralboy

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:21 PM

MD,Learning the artillery hold as John explained it is a great skill when it comes to shooting springers. Being the owner of 7 springers and 1 gas ram I can tell you that it works well with some of my guns but others like more of a firm grip on the forend. I think with springers it has a lot to do with how much vibration and secondary recoil a particular gun has as to weather or not it's better to artillery hold. Because Gamo's tend to have more vibration than a Beeman or an Air Arms air gun they will probably respond better to the artillery hold. Having said that, it might not always be the case, and might not always be the case between two identical airguns. My routine for sighting in my airguns is as follows. Number 1 is I check all of the screws on the stock, mounts and scope and make sure they are secure. I like to use blue locktite on all of my screws. Next, try a variety of different pellets and see which one the rifle groups best with. It dosen't have to be the one that shoots closest to the bullseye but the one where the pellets are clumped the closest togeather. After I find the best pellet, I then sight my scope in for that particular pellet, and proceed to experiment with different hold locations and hold pressures to see if any particular combo works better than another. You will also notice as you shoot more, the gun should start to smooth out and settle down. This has been referred to as the break in period. There are different theories on how long this takes but basically should be finished somewhere between 500-1000 pellets. With springers I have found it is a process of elimination and experimentation as far as accuracy goes. The artillery hold is one of those useful tools that can help you shoot a particular springer like a dream. I know you already replaced the trigger in your Whisper with a GRTIII and that alone will make your gun a whole lot better of a shooter. The next step for you is to experiment. Later on you might consider getting it tuned or tuning it yourself. Gamos tend to be kind of middle of the road guns as far as workmanship goes and tune can take it from being a decent shooter to a great shooter. It's more info then you asked for but I thought I'd try to save you some time. Owning a .177 Gamo Whisper myself I'd be interested in hearing your shooting results. Mine likes Beeman Kodiaks.Mc

#5 VarmintAir

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:22 PM

I need to get some input here. I am thinking that .....anyway is correct as long as you do "it" the same way every time. I also heard that the Gamo is one of the most difficult guns to learn how to shoot. What is your opinion?

This was written up by a gentleman by the name of Russell Best. I don't know that he is still doing it, but at one time he was regarded as one of the best spring powered airgun tuners around. I think he did a great job on this, and it has helped untold numbers of new airgunners learn to shoot a springer.Hold Sensitivity. Getting the most out of your spring gunBy Russ Best Many shooters using a spring gun for the first time complain they cannot get good groups with their guns. Rarely is this a problem with the gun. There have been many discussions amongst airgunners about Hold Sensitivity. What is hold sensitivity? What guns are hold sensitive? How do I deal with a hold sensitive rifle? What can be done to reduce hold sensitivity? Let’s look at a couple generalities, then get down to specifics. Generally, guns that use pre-compressed gasses to develop power are not what we’d call hold sensitive. These include CO2,pump pneumatics and pre-charged pneumatics (PCP). Spring guns are nearly always more hold sensitive than the above mentioned types because of their recoiling nature. The moving mechanical mass jolts the gun when fired. Keeping the gun pointed at the desired target, while the pellet moves down the barrel is of utmost importance. With a spring powered gun, the shooter must develop a VERY consistent method of shooting. This method has been called the “Artillery Hold” by Tom Gaylord, and the “Howitzer Hold” by Larry Durham. No matter which name you choose, it amounts to pretty much the same style of shooting. Another term used in conjunction with these is “follow through”, which really has nothing to do with the way the gun is held prior to the trigger being pulled. Follow Through is what you do after the sear is released, and is only part of the Howitzer Hold technique. The technique itself involves having minimal contact with your gun while aiming and shooting. This means you don’t GRIP the forestock, but rather you let it just lay on top of your hand. The finger grooves and fancy checkering on spring airguns is more of a styling carryover from firearms, and doesn’t serve much purpose when firing a springer. This also means you rest your gun on your hand at the same point on the forestock every time. Champion airgunner Nick Jenkinson wrote an article on choosing the best contact point for your gun, finding that it’s usually located at some point ranging from 2 to 5 inches in front of your trigger guard. Wherever your “sweetspot” is, use it consistently. Mark it with a piece of tape if necessary. Changing from one contact point to another, can alter your point of impact. The next thing to watch is your grip on the rifles pistol grip. I rarely wrap my thumb around the grip, but instead- just barely touch the back of the pistol grip. Some shooters like to point their thumb up the back of the grip, thumbtip aiming at the end cap of the receiver tube. The fingers wrapping around the grip should just have very light contact with the gun. I generally only allow the two centermost fingers to control the grip- more to keep the gun from leaning off the vertical plane than anything else. Another important point is to just use the pad of your fingertip on the trigger. Don’t wrap the first finger joint around the trigger blade. When squeezing off the shot, apply no side pressure to the trigger blade - just ease it straight back towards the heel of your thumb. Don’t rush the shot either! If you move off target, stop pulling the trigger. Regain the bullseye and start over with the firing sequence. Next is cheek contact with the stock. It should be very light. Don’t lay your face down on the comb of the stock. Touch your cheek to the same spot with each shot. Pull the gun up to your shoulder, then relax the ‘pull-in’ pressure to the point where the butt is merely touching your shoulder. After you’ve learned all this, you still have to ‘follow through’ with your aim, once the gun is fired. Proper follow through involves keeping your eyes on the target, as best you can, while allowing the gun to float straight back in its’ recoil. It also involves keeping your finger on the trigger after the shot is released and not unconciously 'lifting off' a little bit. If you cannot master this follow through, everything else you’ve done, no matter how perfect, will place your pellets where you DON’T want them. Other techniques to help master a hold sensitive gun are breathing and adjusting your trigger properly—when possible. Just because a gun is hold sensitive doesn’t make it inaccurate! Many extremely accurate springers can be hold sensitive, but to be precise, a shooter MUST be CONSISTENT. Without mastering consistency, the most expensive spring gun is only as mediocre as it shooter. Another way to reduce hold sensitivity is to get the gun professionally tuned. A good tune removes excessive recoil and vibration, and improves the guns shot to shot consistency. Improved groups are almost always the result. The gun is also less fatiguing to shoot. Even when the shooter is doing everything just right, they have the feeling the gun should be shooting smaller groups. This is usually an indication of the guns preference for a certain style or weight of pellet. Many airguns are pellet sensitive, not just spring guns. The quickest way to find your guns pellet reference is to ask other owners who have the same gun and caliber what works well for them. Because each gun is an individual, you may still need to experiment with pellets of various weights and skirt sizes to determine what is truly the best for your own gun. Springers require a certain amount finesse and experience before you can appreciate them. A shooter who is very good with a spring gun is usually an excellent firearms shot, but not necessarily vice versa. Good Shooting,Russ
VarmintAir WebsiteAirgun Hunting the California Ground SquirrelVarmintAir's Airgun Hunting BlogDevoted to the sport of responsible varmint and small game hunting with Modern Adult Airguns

#6 Mr Del

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 05:01 PM

WOW!!!! I thank you three so very much. I had no idea. I will read and re-read this info many times. I plan on shooting and then read this again..... many times. You guy's are great! Thanks for spending so much time with me.

#7 VarmintAir

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:36 PM

We're all glad to help. :) The thing most guys, who happen to shoot powder burners, have a problem with, is understanding that most of what you know about shooting those guns well, doesn't really apply to shooting spring powered air rifles. A friend of mine just dumped an RWS 52 because he is frustrated to death with not being able to hit anything with it. Yet he is an excellent rifle shot with his powder burners. He has a PCP on the way. :pirashoot: That's one way to get that frustration under control. :popcorn:
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#8 ShooterJohn

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:25 AM

The best part is shooting a springer well translates into being able to shoot powder burners just as well.

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#9 Mr Del

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:28 AM

My RWS-34 seems to shot where I aim it. My Gamo Whisper in .177 is a completely different story. Last night I tried out the Artillery style. Guess what! I could not find the paper at 20 yards. I was getting ready to ..... well, you guessed it. I did figured it out. When you turn the dials far enough on the scope ( they furnished scope and mount) The scope will pass 180 degrees and start back the other way. When this happens the dial says to turn it to the right to go right is REVERSED. To get the shot to move to the right now .... you have to turn the knob the other way of what it says. Right means left and up means down. Untill i figured that out I was very confussed to say the least. I finally just bottomed out the adjustment knobs and started all over. That is how much this gun is *touch sensitive.* Doing it the right way pushed me right off the paper at 20 yards. It got dark before I got it sighted in so I have more work to do today. Now, as a matter of fact. Going to the range, now.

#10 MikeNC

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:40 AM

Wow...Lots of good information there you guys. And some of those air guns being dumped on the classifieds provide a good way for people like me getting back into air gun shooting...to buy at discount prices ;) Oh yea, my Scotch ancestry showing it's cheap side again B)

#11 Mr Del

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 12:56 PM

I went to the range and got my whisper to find paper. The scope is STILL driving my nutso. But I am going to figure it out. Working with a scope at ten yards is difficult. Just a little is not enough and alot is way to much. Try to go in between and it shoots in the same spot as before. I need a beer,.... I wish.

#12 ShooterJohn

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 01:12 PM

I hate to bring this up to add to the equation, but you may have a bad scope.

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#13 MikeNC

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 04:52 PM

Have you tried shooting with open sights?




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