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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:13 pm 
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Following on from the "Home Range" thread, the family is stuck at home for the foreseeable and everything has stopped! An email from the son's scout group got me thinking, it is encouraging the kids to pursue badge's during this period and I notice the Man at Arms badge that can be done with air pistols. It involves being taught correct range procedures and safety, coaching, techniques and some form of supervised competition.

The range part isn't an issue, however I'm struggling to get a standard height to the centre of the 5 ring (I've seen 1.4m for 10m). 17 x 17cm target keeps cropping up.

The next problem is pistols, the selection is an old Gamo very loosely called target pistol from the 80's, a Record Jumbo (with rather nice adjustable sights) or a Walther CP88. Luckily loads of pellets and CO2 capsules, plus more wad cutters in the post.

The next stumbling point is I've only plinked with air pistols and know absolutely nothing about pistol competitions. I've been looking for information about types of the more classical disciplines and failing miserable on the detail.

So really I'm after tons of advice and pointers to help put together a vaguely serious pistol shooting course. It also counts as a garage project for my own sanity!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:47 pm 
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Certainly help if I can, however it depends a bit how serious you want to be. - yes, 1.4m is the ISSF official height for the 10m pistol targets, but if short kids are going to shooting pistols it might be better to have the target at shoulder height for them. Have you got room for 10m are you going for 6 yards? Both are NSRA official distances and there are NSRA downloadable targets. It's no easier at 6 yards, the target are much smaller.

Are you going to let the kids shoot with two hands or one? Are you going to let them use a rest? Will they be able to cock the Gamo or Jumbo on their own?

It might be better to forget "official regulations" all together until one or two show some promise - I think it's very disheartening for the kids if your trying to teach "target" shooting when they would be lucky to actually hit the target given an unsuitable heavy pistol. It might be an idea to start them from a sitting position with the pistol resting on a sandbag until they understand how to line up the sights and squeeze the trigger.

Unfortunately none of the pistols you have available are really suitable for target shooting on an official air pistol target unless you were really quite experienced - not saying you couldn't have a great deal of fun and make up you own competitions and print out your own targets.
Here's few to download and there's plenty more about:
https://www.1967spud.com/resources/free-targets/

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:31 am 
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Thanks 1066, I think you've highlighted a number of the issues I was discovering last night. The Gamo and Walther, I was struggling to shoot accurately one handed due to weight and a rubbish trigger on the Gamo. The Jumbo was a nicer option. So definitely my lad would struggle as he's only a squirt, so would have to shoot either two handed or resting it on something.

I totally agree about keeping it fun especially at the moment!

So I suppose it will have to be a more informal variation of competitive air pistol shooting. But I would still like to teach him the basics of air pistol shooting, how you safely handle them (obviously muzzle down range at all times, don't just assume it's empty, finger off the trigger until you ready etc.). Techniques - hold & posture, do you aim at the centre or lolly pop the centre rings? So it probably would be these issues that I could do with being put straight on.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:52 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:15 am 
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"No, Mr. Packham, we don't need your interference. You mis-heard. The scouts aren't being given guns and encouraged to go out pursuing badgers. Now, we have to go, we have Brian May on the other line..."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:39 am 
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For youngsters, it's much easier to teach basic rifle shooting, including range etiquette/safety. With a junior sized air rifle with open/aperture sights they will learn the basics of sighting and trigger control and if started from a supported position will quickly gain competence and confidence. There are a myriad of cheap metal "spinner" type reactive targets that are great fun.

This type of thing works well:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Jack-Pyke-Re ... 2c0d17498e

In places like India and China they have extensive programs for teaching kids to shoot - In France there are recognised classes starting from age 8, these programs are designed to encourage "match" type shooting, nearly all these use some sort of supported shooting., where the weight of the rifle or pistol is either rested on a spring system (Belgian spring) or a counterbalance weight system.

These can easily be made at home.
http://www.usashooting.org/library/Yout ... _Stand.pdf

Just another thought - a cheap rifle is fairly accurate at 10 metres - i.e. capable of a reasonable score in experienced hands. A cheap pistol will never score well even in experienced hands and is very disheartening unless hitting a coke can at 10m is as far as you want to go.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:20 pm 
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Thanks again 1066, those counter balance rests are brilliant (also a good garage project). I've got a reasonable amount of reactive type target which are always fun to shoot. I will definitely aim to keep him keen otherwise he will be scurrying back to his Xbox.

I hadn't thought about the air rifle side of things because of limited air supply, but that my be a better starting point. He has a little S200 with a very low power scope and I've my trusty BSA Meteor (1984) which luckily was serviced a couple of years ago and that has open sights. I just worry about the state of the garage door after 2 1/2 months!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:56 pm 
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Don't know if it is any help, but if you wanted to get a different air pistol, Pellpax are still doing home deliveries of airguns (and Sec1 and Sec2 firearms).
I've never used them but might be an option.
https://www.pellpax.co.uk/page/customer-announcement


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