Controlling the recoil of an air rifle
Recoil on spring powered airguns.
What's the trouble?
Of course, this is not a problem when you are shooting some cans from a close range.
But when shooting more precise at longer distances, this might be a cause for misunderstood frustration when your pellets make a nice circle around the target instead of hitting the bull's-eye.
Also, when using a scope, the violence of the recoil requires you to use a sturdy scope rated for airguns like a Hawke.
Unlike firearms, the recoil of an airgun moves in multiple directions. So your expensive scope designed for the rearwards recoil of a firearm, could lose zero or might even break on an air rifle.
How does this happen?
In short: Due to the mechanic movement of the spring, Newton's third law kicks in and causes the rifle to shift slightly.
In more detail: When you aim at your target, and you pull the trigger, the spring is released.
When the spring moves forward pushing the piston, it is also pushing rearwards.
Then, when the spring reaches the end and the piston stops, the momentum causes the spring to move backward and forward again. This chain of actions and movement results in recoil, and the rifle shifting away of the target.
What can I do about this?
In the end, even if we really want to, we can't defy physics.
We can however, adjust our shooting technique to keep the recoil in mind.
When your technique is consistent, your recoil will also be. And then your shots will be much more precise.
The way you hold your air rifle has a bigger impact than most people think.
When your tension a muscle in your hand, this might cause a shift in your aim, affecting your precision.
For example, the thumb is a strong finger, when pulling the trigger you might accidentally tension your thumb, causing a shift in your aim without even being aware of it.
A lot of precision shooters rest their thumb on the side or the top of the grip instead of wrapping it around the stock. But this mostly comes down to the design of the stock and personal preference. It's recommended to experiment and find and a position that works for you.
Consistency is key when shooting precise groups. When you have a grip that works for you, keep using and training this grip until it's second nature when gripping your air rifle.
It's like wise important to be consistent with your trigger technique. Of course, the smoothness and tuning of the trigger is important. But the way to pull the trigger will also affect your shooting.
When pulling the trigger, it's always best to do it slowly to prevent shifting the aim, until it breaks clear and the spring is released.
It's also recommended to place the trigger at the middle of the phalanx of your index finger. This way, you can't accidentally pull your aim to the side.
As mentioned before, the recoil can cause a scope to lose zero, or even break. Therefore it is advised to use scope that has been designed and rated for use on airguns. These sturdy scopes can handle the violence of the shifting recoil. A recommended brand would be Hawke.
When fitting a scope, most scopes will have a plug underneath that will fit in a hole in the rail of an airgun. This plug prevents the scope for sliding when shooting, and thus preventing the loss of parallax and zero.
In the end, when you have found a technique that works for you, keep using and perfecting it. Consistency is always key when shooting precise groups. When your technique is consistent, your recoil will also be. And then your shots will be much more precise.