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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:03 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Campbell River, B.C.
Hi,

I just ordered a Ruger Air Hawk rifle, the 495 FPS model, not the 1000 FPS.

I am looking to get into shooting and decided I'd start with an inexpensive airgun before I head down the path of getting my PAL and a nice .22LR with solid optics.

The rifle I purchased comes with a cheapie scope, but I am likely going to start off with the included open sights for awhile to develop my skills a bit before moving into optics.

The question I have is... I've been reading on zeroing sights and while I fully get the concept, I'm not sure what distance I should be zeroing this air rifle, considering its low powered 495FPS rating, which likely isn't totally accurate regardless.

I'm thinking I should sight it in to 20yds, as that'll likely be the standard distance I shoot from, but not too sure on this.

Second, I've read about the second zero point where the pellet will intersect the line of sight. Is this just a trial and error to figure out where that is, or is there a formula I can use to anticipate that second zero distance?

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:31 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
Welcome to the board! And to the hobby!

Couple of thoughts on the zero distance... If there's a distance that you will mostly be shooting at, zero the sights for that. And maybe also do some tests a few yards closer and further so that you'd have an idea how much hold over/under you'd need for those distances.

As far as optimum zero distance goes, well, your rifle isn't really all that powerful, but check out the free program called "Chairgun". It's really very useful. BUT, you'll have to know the velocity that your gun shoots a particular pellet at (unlikely you have a chrony to measure the speed, but maybe a friend does?). Anyway, you enter the velocity for the pellet you're using, select the pellet from a large database and go to the utilities screen. One of the options there is to calculate the optimum zero range. And that's the range many of us use.

Again using Chairgun, you'll then be able to see the ballistic curve of the shot in a graph and where both your near and far zero points are. And you could plug in any distance and it'll tell you how much to hold over or under to hit your target. That can be in inches, mil-dots, clicks and a few other options.

For my gun the near and far zero distances are 17 and 34 yards. And if I want to shoot (for example) something at 50 yards, if I aimed directly at my target, the shot would fall just over 2 inches below the target. So I'd have to aim that much above in order to hit it (or adjust my scope by 16 clicks, or aim 4.1 MoA above).

Hope this helps.

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AA S510 Xtra FAC Ultimate Sporter *CARBINE* .22
CZ200S "Green" .177
Feinwerkbau 800 Evolution Top
Air Arms S400 MPR FT .177
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:03 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Campbell River, B.C.
Thanks. That helps. Clearly I have lots to learn, but that's part of the fun.

I DL'd Chairgun last night for iPhone, but was overwhelmed with all the terms I'm unfamiliar with. It was clear that knowing the actual velocity is key for its calcs, not just the stated velocity, as you have confirmed as well. I can likely find someone with a Chrony.

Until then, I'm assuming that picking a "working zero" for the range I'll typically be practicing at is ok to start, even if not optimal by chairguns calcs.

I sure hope I'll at least be able to work on basics with this rifle. I wasn't sure if it's something that'll stick, so thought that an inexpensive but decent enough air rifle would get me into the basics and help me determine if I wanted to drop $ for the PAL course and get into a more powerful/accurate target rifle.

I'm assuming that without optimal Chairgun calcs and having the rifle zeroed by those calcs, the over/under hold could be disproportional, so it would be solely based on trial and error in the field, for ranges closer or further from the zeroed range. Correct?

I have to read more on MoA as I see it referenced a ton and don't really understand it yet, but think that needs to be tackled next.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:57 pm
Posts: 1754
Location: mb
shinyrhinostudio wrote:
Hi,
. . I am likely going to start off with the included open sights for awhile to develop my skills a bit before moving into optics. . . I'm not sure what distance I should be zeroing this air rifle . . .

I'm thinking I should sight it in to 20yds, as that'll likely be the standard distance I shoot from, but not too sure on this.

Chairgun is an awesome tool, but if you're just getting into this, it might be too much, too soon. . . .

Shoot the heck out of that new gun. It'll happily take a couple hundred rounds for the gun to settle, and you to find the right "hold'. Zero it at your chosen distance (20 yards is perfectly fine), and then find out what your hold offs are for nearer and further targets.

You can change your zero distance anytime you choose, and there is no right or wrong number. There are better/worse, but no right/wrong.

It all comes down to target size and your eyesight. With open sights outdoors, the smallest thing I shoot at, are pop cans. They're audible so I don't need optics to confirm hits. With "glass", my favorite targets are 68 cal paintballs. They explode real nice when optically enhanced. :lol:

To start with, get yourself a nice assortment of pellets, and get as much lead down range as you can. The gun will benefit from the break-in, and you'll get used to the shot cycle. The rest will come with time, practice and experience.

As the old saying goes - "Beware the man with one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

Good Luck, and Welcome Aboard!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:32 pm 
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Location: Campbell River, B.C.
vAgRaNt wrote:
shinyrhinostudio wrote:
Hi,
. . I am likely going to start off with the included open sights for awhile to develop my skills a bit before moving into optics. . . I'm not sure what distance I should be zeroing this air rifle . . .

I'm thinking I should sight it in to 20yds, as that'll likely be the standard distance I shoot from, but not too sure on this.

Chairgun is an awesome tool, but if you're just getting into this, it might be too much, too soon. . . .

Shoot the heck out of that new gun. It'll happily take a couple hundred rounds for the gun to settle, and you to find the right "hold'. Zero it at your chosen distance (20 yards is perfectly fine), and then find out what your hold offs are for nearer and further targets.

You can change your zero distance anytime you choose, and there is no right or wrong number. There are better/worse, but no right/wrong.

It all comes down to target size and your eyesight. With open sights outdoors, the smallest thing I shoot at, are pop cans. They're audible so I don't need optics to confirm hits. With "glass", my favorite targets are 68 cal paintballs. They explode real nice when optically enhanced. :lol:

To start with, get yourself a nice assortment of pellets, and get as much lead down range as you can. The gun will benefit from the break-in, and you'll get used to the shot cycle. The rest will come with time, practice and experience.

As the old saying goes - "Beware the man with one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

Good Luck, and Welcome Aboard!


Sounds good. Seems like solid, practical advice. ;)

Will get to shootin' when she arrives and see if I can learn a thing or two.


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Last edited by shinyrhinostudio on Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:51 pm 
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Posts: 711
Location: Bradford
Hi there
Yes, the projectile will cross the line of sight twice, however I wouldn't even START to worry about stuff like that just yet.

That Ruger (made by Umarex) is a good deal. I recently bought 3 at Wally as they were on for $99.00...one was to replace a pile of junk Umarex Surge barrel and action in the Surge stock, second is a project gun for a youth Christmas present, and the third is just sitting there for now :)

As previously advised, go put a tin or two of pellets through it and break it in. Then if youre mechanically inclined you can take it apart and clean it up.

The trigger leaves a lot to be desired, but good enough to start out with. Practice, practice, practice.

On one of mine, the front sight was off center. They have a set screw, but in reality they are a friction fit and a real bitch to move. I STRONGLY suggest heat, use a hair dryer to warm it up and rotate it slightly if yours is off center.

The scope is typical $5.00 4x32 fixed junk. I wouldn't waste my time mounting it.

Anyway, its a nice, low powered inexpensive gun to start out with. If you find you like the hobby, you will follow the usual path and start moving up...you will notice a huge difference in quality even with an inexpensive Diana for a few hundred, and when you move up to something like a Weihrauch, well, its all over for you :)

The Ruger is very easy to take apart and the spring is so weak you really dont need a spring compressor, although a dozen people will chime in and say you need one for safety's sake, etc etc etc.

By the way, I would zero it at 10 yards to start. First, its a very low powered rifle and your energy drops off quickly and secondly, as a new shooter it would be nice to hit what you are aiming at and not get frustrated.

Cheers

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:03 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Campbell River, B.C.
Thanks for the info, ITGUY.

I am analytical and like to "fiddle and tweak" so will likely not be able to shelve the ballistic theory stuff entirely, but I hear what you're saying and am planning on prioritizing the actual trigger time.

I was planning on leaving the scope off, and haven't read much that leads me to believe it's worthwhile, so I'll follow your recommendation and keep it as an open sight rifle.

I tend to go hog wild once I like sometime, so getting a high end rifle will likely be something I will look forward to doing.

What is the pros and cons with going to a high powered air rifle over .22LR at that time? I was originally thinking that I'd move to the .22LR, but it seems like many stick with the air rifles. How come?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:13 am 
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Location: Bradford
Some people, including myself have "been there, done that". Think of a bell curve and you are at the beginning of the starting slope...I'm almost at the bottom of the backside.

To explain...I started shooting 51 years ago when i was 7yrs old. Had everything from cheap single shot .22's to custom made Perazzi O/U for trap that would buy you a nice car today. Then handguns, then competitive bulls eye, then custom made .45 race guns, action shooting, long range varmint, hand loading all the while. The money tied up would blow your mind.
Bird, varmint, deer, moose, bear, elk, you name it...multiple specialized calibers for each...

Eventually, especially with all the laws that started rolling in it just got to be too much. Everything started to become a pain in the buttock. A hundred trigger locks, multiple gun safes, I had to create spreadsheets to keep track of everything.

Even cottage country got so populated that you couldn't go out and screw around with a 30-06 anymore without some j***** complaining. I even bought 118 acre parcel near Baysville, a back lot just to shoot, but I had no cabin and it got to be a real hassle to lug everything in.

Not to mention years and years of having the biggest and baddest of everything (to punch holes in paper for goodness sakes LoL) have pretty much ruined my wrist and shoulder.

So what to do? :) Well, airguns come to mind right? The pistol replicas are fun to play with, have simulated recoil now (blowback) and are pretty damn realistic. The biggest bonus is they can be shot anywhere pretty much. Especially indoors in your basement or whatever.

Air rifles are very similar. They are quiet, can easily be shot indoors, and as long as you keep your PAL versions few and far between, arent much of a legal hassle. To me, ANY law that says you need a firearms license for an airgun is a bad joke, BUT the law is the law..I just dont see the point in having a full collection of PAL guns since your storage and transport requirements are the same as a proper firearm.

As for a .22LR, meh..dirty cartridge. Makes your auto-loader filthy in short order. Bolt actions are far easier to clean though.

Just remember that as in any good hobby, the only limit is your wallet. :)

EDIT: Speeling

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:57 pm
Posts: 1754
Location: mb
Quote:
How come?

Primarily - Distance of available Range, and pocket depth x the square root of "leisure time". . . . :lol:

Precision shooting's fun at nearly any distance. How far do you want to walk to check targets? <50m use an airgun. ~100m, use a high power airgun, or small powder burner. >100m, the sky's the limit. . . .

I have an MOA .22LR that gets used verrry infrequently, primarily because I have air arms that are waaay more convenient to use. No requirement for hearing protection, next to nothing to cleanup after an entire day of shooting, 1/10th the ammo cost, etc, etc.

Olympic "air" competition is decided at 10m. Choice is a wonderful thing! We're lucky to have so much of it!

Only you can decide what's right for you. It's all good!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:44 am 
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Posts: 758
Location: Burlington ON
Straying a bit off topic but I have to say I really agree with these last two posts. I get as much challenge and grin-factor shooting at 21 ft across the garage (that's as much as I can stretch it) with air pistols as 50 yds or more down the range with anything else.
I recently bought my first PB handgun simply because I could since getting the RPAL. It's been used once but is now trigger-locked inside a locked box in a locked cabinet - and I still wonder if that is good enough. Not sure how long I will keep it and maybe just make the cabinet all air-powered...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:58 am 
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
Another thing you'll need to know (as accurately as possible) is the height of your scope above the barrel (center to center).

I agree with the other posts that (especially since you state you don't plan on installing the scope right away) that you should just shoot the heck out of the gun until you're ready to advance. Adjust your open sights as best you can for your most common distance and practice holding consistently, shooting smoothly, following through, etc. Your gun will settle in as you use it and you'll advance. Then once the gun has settled it and you put a scope on it, get a friend with a chrony to help you find the velocity that various pellets shoot at. Then and only then, start worrying about the optimum near and far zero to adjust the gun for. Your gun will shoot different pellets (and sizes) differently and part of the fun of this learning curve is to figure out which pellets shoot most accurately and at which speed.

Have fun!

_________________
AA S510 Xtra FAC Ultimate Sporter *CARBINE* .22
CZ200S "Green" .177
Feinwerkbau 800 Evolution Top
Air Arms S400 MPR FT .177
Steyr EVO 10
Benjamin Sheridan 397P
Stoeger X5 (non-PAL)
Crosman P1377 & P1322


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:16 pm 
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shinyrhinostudio wrote:
What is the pros and cons with going to a high powered air rifle over .22LR at that time? I was originally thinking that I'd move to the .22LR, but it seems like many stick with the air rifles. How come?

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What do you really plan to do with a gun? Hunting? Shooting at a club? Doing field target or 10-meter competitions?

I got into shooting about 11 months ago, and got totally TOTALLY hooked on it. I went from a non-PAL spring rifle (similar to what you're getting) just for fun to owning 4 more (PAL rated) spring rifles, a PCP 10-meter rifle, a SSP (single-stroke-pneumatic) Olympic class match rifle, another PCP field target rifle and an Olympic class 10-meter pistol. I'm not a hunter. Nor do I want to have to search out a place where I could shoot a .22LR rimfire rifle. I can shoot (most of) my air guns right in my home or my office where I have 10-meter ranges set up in both places. I can shoot outside on my suburban property as well. And I'm now a member of two competitive shooting clubs. I'm not terribly good (probably never will be) but I have a LOT of fun with it and like the challenge of competing against myself, always trying to better my results. I've found I love competitions, and love shooting paper targets at 10 meters or field target targets at 50 yards. No need for anything else for me.

If I bought a .22LR, I'd be VERY limited as to where and when I could shoot it, and that would mean I would be shooting a lot less. Plus the noise, the much higher (relative) cost of powder burners, well, I very much doubt there will be one in my future.

An interesting story... Our club has an annual "Corn Roast" shooting event. (I was working and unable to attend.) But one of the competitions they had was a 50-meter event. Everyone (almost) was shooting rimfire from prone positions. My friend Vitaly (member here, and one of the most incredible shooters I've met so far) entered with his springer HW97K. He sat in the field target position (less stable than prone) and he BEAT the guys with rimfires!!!! Quite an eye-opener for them!

So, my advice is not to buy anything else in the near future, but rather to just shoot and shoot with your new rifle and then you should slowly see what interests you the most and with the help of this and other forums (and if you're lucky, you'll find a club near you) you will learn more and see where this sport takes you.

Cheers!

(Oh, by the way, please enter your location in your profile settings!)

_________________
AA S510 Xtra FAC Ultimate Sporter *CARBINE* .22
CZ200S "Green" .177
Feinwerkbau 800 Evolution Top
Air Arms S400 MPR FT .177
Steyr EVO 10
Benjamin Sheridan 397P
Stoeger X5 (non-PAL)
Crosman P1377 & P1322


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:32 pm 
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I just started my airgun hobby this summer, and found a discounted Grizzly Predator .22 on sale at the Princess Auto. I spent weeks getting used to shooting it in my basement at 15 yards, and just worked on technique before finally getting a scope. I have to admit I was pretty close with just the iron sights, but adding the scope really made shooting more fun with these old eyes.

Since I never anticipate shooting outdoors, I don't worry too much about the trajectories other than accuracy to the target in the 15 to 20 yard region. I have since added more airguns to my collection, but all sticking with nonPAL as these are simple transactions, and I don't really need the power.

I am tempted to get my PAL - although not for any powder burner, it's just that many of the airguns I would love to add to my collection require PAL, but then at the same time, considering my shooting needs, I wouldn't like shooting 1100 fps in my basement. Also, it's funny but although my wife is paranoid about guns in general, she is rather chill with the air guns, something I haven't been able to explain, but happily accept!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:51 pm 
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Location: Campbell River, B.C.
Well, had a long answer all typed up on my iphone using tapatalk, and somehow managed to lose it. Grrrr..

Anyway, switched to the website version and will give it another go.

So I'll give an overview of how I got here and where I see myself going. My dad had rifles when I was younger, but he had pretty much stopped hunting when I was a pup. Around 12, I was allowed to get an air rifle and I used to plink around the yard etc, but was never taught anything about shooting technique just basic gun safety etc. I remember shooting a bird on a wire around that time, and felt terrible for it. I grew up playing with toy guns and all the neighbourhood kids would run around playing "guns." Eventually, I stopped picking up the air rifle and stopped playing with guns. Fast forward a bunch of years. (I'm 40 now). A year ago, one of the guys I fly RC planes with, tells me he's started shooting and I entertain the idea, but it goes nowhere. Then in the spring we are preparing to move and I'm packing. The house is empty and I realize that I didn't come across my old childhood air rifle that I knew I had. I vaguely remember giving it to a hunting friend with kids as I wasn't ever planning on using it again. Don't think much more about that. It is what it is. Then recently, about 2 weeks ago, I start chatting with a colleague and he brings up that he just bought a gun. We start talking guns and I say that I had toyed with the idea of getting back into shooting a year ago, but it never took hold. For whatever reason, I end up looking at an Airsoft site and am impressed at the realistic appearance and am intrigued. I tell my wife I want to buy an Airsoft pistol to plink in the yard, she says go for it. It arrives and I'm enamoured with it. Reading about technique, watching vids etc. Start chatting with work colleague and he takes me to the range last weekend. SOLD! Shot .22LR and a few .270 rounds. Fun times indeed.

So with that all in mind, I ask myself what I want to do with this. Well, joining the local club would be part of that to shoot at a range, but I also like the idea of testing the hunting waters. I figure that I'll do both the PAL/CORE course in one go and buy a 1000+FPS rifle of some sorts at that time. With that, I'll try my hand at grouse hunting and see how that goes. I have several Deer hunting friends that would gladly take me out if I feel that's where I want to go, but dipping my toe with the grouse thing will be my gauge.

Who knows, I may end up just punching holes in paper, and that may be enough for me. What I do know is this... When I get into something, I jump in with 2 feet, which is likely something most forum members here can relate to. I also tend to spend the time to develop technique and practice effectively. I am competitive by nature, so the idea of competing kinda floats my boat too. We'll see if I end up having a knack at this. My trip to the range last weekend confirmed I wasn't terrible, so that's good news.

So that's where I see myself going. I think after the PAL course, I will likely buy another rifle, but I am in no rush. Hoping I can really utilize the new Air Hawk to both determine how serious I want to become and hone my basic skills.

I appreciate all the responses I've received so far and have considered all the points that have been made. Thanks to all that have contributed thus far.

Anyway, looking forward to chatting and learning more about it all. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:48 pm 
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badrad wrote:
I am tempted to get my PAL - any of the airguns I would love to add to my collection require PAL, but then at the same time, considering my shooting needs, I wouldn't like shooting 1100 fps in my basement. Also, it's funny but although my wife is paranoid about guns in general, she is rather chill with the air guns, something I haven't been able to explain, but happily accept!


Yeah, this. A LOT of the nice stuff is PAL only

So aggravating to buy a nice PAL gun, them immediately de-tune it because you couldn't care less about 900fps in .22 and are more interested in shot cycle smoothness than power. Not to mention the cocking effort gets tiresome if a springer or gas ram. At least the good part is you can toss it in a corner after the de-tune and say the Hell with gun safes and trigger locks, etc etc.

I find the non-PAL guns are treated almost like second class citizens...they dont sell as well, selection is poor, and so on.

Our own forum store here has some nice non PAL Hatsans and D&L sells a Weinrauch line of under 500fps "made for Canada" guns and THOSE are nice guns (for springers).

There are also a lot of Chinese stuff out there (C02) that are PAL in .177, but under in .22. They are usually inexpensive and a ton of fun to play with...no spring or gas ram to deal with...such low power you get 75 shots easy from two C02's, if you care about that (i dont).

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