Using Airguns to Break Away from Cabin Fever
By Burt Carey
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow when he emerged from his burrow on Feb. 2, 2015. For those who put faith in such groundhog lore, that spells six more weeks of winter. But with football season over and college basketball tournaments yet to come, the airgun shooters among us will find creative ways to use cabin fever to their advantage.
It’s time for some indoor shooting fun, and shooting Crosman airguns indoors is a safe and effective way to combat the doldrums that groundhog in Pennsylvania has promised.
Because the large majority of us do not have an indoor shooting range in a basement, garage or shed, the first order of business is to build one. Placing a pellet trap target in front of a canvas, heavy tarp or rug are the rudimentary first steps to providing hours of target shooting and honing your marksmanship skills.
Competitions between family members, friends or your hunting buddies will take your mind off all the snow, ice and wind that’s been pounding at your door for weeks now. And with the low cost of airgun ammunition, you’ll be able to shoot for hours without breaking the monthly budget.
Airguns can be fired safely indoors for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is that they are quiet; their report won’t alert even the nosiest of neighbors. Low muzzle velocities, generally less than 800 feet per second, allows them to be used with a variety of pellet traps without the threat of punching holes in interior walls. And with adult supervision, kids can enjoy the fun, too.
Creating an Indoor Range
Any interior room – hallways, bedrooms, living rooms — can be turned into a home shooting range. I prefer a garage, workshop or even an attic, where it’s easier to control safe areas behind the shooter(s), and where interruptions are least likely.
Competition airgun distances require a length of 10 meters, or 33 feet. If basic marksmanship or just shooting with friends or family is your goal, the distance doesn’t have to be perfect. If you don’t have 10 meters, use whatever distance you can safely acquire and down-size your targets.
Use a shooting table. Not only will this make things convenient and comfortable for shooters but it can be used as a safety line: No one walks beyond the table unless the range is cold, all guns are unloaded, and their muzzles are pointed in a safe direction.
Commercial indoor shooting ranges feature lighting on the targets and a somewhat darker shooter’s area. That’s by design. You want lighting on the target to make it easier for shooters to acquire in their scope or sights.
Crosman has made the selection of a good pellet trap easy and inexpensive.
The Collapsible Pellet Trap ($34.99) folds flat for easy transport and storage. It quickly unfolds to offer three layered curtains backed by a heavy-gauge galvanized steel plate to stop pellets. It comes with 12 paper targets (two each of six designs). Look for model number 0853: http://dld.bz/d6TDg
The Crosman Target Trap ($24.59) was engineered for .177, .20 and .22-caliber pellets in
the following feet per second maximums: 800 fps for .177; 650 fps for .20; and 750 fps for .22. It features triple safety curtains and a heavy-gauge galvanized steel plate to stop pellets. Paper targets that depict various silhouetted animals are included. Model 0852 is not recommended for use with .25-caliber airguns or metal-tipped pellets. See more information online here: http://dld.bz/d6TDq
And the Crosman Varmint Target Block ($19.99) is an 8-inch square of high-density foam that traps pellets and BBs, Model CAVTB. Each side of the block depicts one of the Crosman Varmint Targets. It’s easy to use indoors or outdoors and is designed for airguns shooting less than 700 fps. Find out more at: http://dld.bz/d6TH9
Picking an Airgun
Airguns to use on your home range run the gamut from beginner models through competition guns. If you don’t already own an airgun, it’s important to know which type of airgun will fit your shooting needs best. You’ll need to choose from traditional pump or lever actions, break-barrel designs, or pre-charged pneumatics.
Typical for beginners are classic .177-caliber/BB models such as the Pumpmaster 760 ($44.99) and the Pumpmaster 760BKT ($64.99). Both models come in pink versions, the Pumpmaster 760PKT and Pumpmaster 760 Pink. For the paramilitary fans, there’s the M4-177 ($79.99), which you can also purchase as a kit that includes ammo and shooting glasses ($119.99).
The next step up would put you into the .177 world of the Benjamin Discovery ($299.99), Benjamin Titan NP ($179.99) or the Benjamin Trail NP2 Synthetic ($299.99). The latter two models are also available in .22-caliber configurations.
If airgun pistol marksmanship is part of your game, you’re going to love the Crosman 2300S Silhouette Pistol ($74.95), which meets IHMSA rules for Production Class Silhouette competitions.
And if you want to go all out and hone your skills with a competition air rifle, the Challenger PCP Rifle ($529.99) or the Challenger PCP Rifle with sights ($629.99) will have you slinging .177-caliber pellets downrange with alarming accuracy.
Every good shooter is a safe shooter, and shooting indoors requires some additional concerns that don’t affect outdoor range shooters. Follow these tips to ensure a safe shooting experience.
- Eliminate the possibility of anyone wandering into a downrange area. This is especially critical when setting up near a door or in a hallway, where people or pets can unwittingly walk downrange of shooters.
- Everyone must wear safety glasses, whether shooting or not.
- Use an approved pellet/BB trap.
- Do not shoot toward appliances, electrical boxes, or outlets.
- Drape a heavy tarp, canvas or rug around the perimeter of your pellet trap. Pellets shot at velocities above 600 fps shatter into fragments when they hit a hard surface. Surrounding your pellet trap with those materials or a large cardboard box will help keep lead fragments from damaging walls.
- Sweep after every shooting session to prevent children or pets from ingesting pellets or lead fragments.
- Use a strong magnet to pick up spent loose BBs.
- Never reshoot ammunition.
- Dispose of spent lead ammunition and fragments properly. Lead is recyclable.
If you’re tired of shelling out hundreds of dollars every time you take your firearms to the shooting range, you’re going to really fall in love with Crosman’s airgun ammunition prices.
Try $13.99 for a 500-count of .177-caliber Super Point 7.9-gram Premier Pellets. Or, if you’re planning to stay on the range a bit longer, you can dive into a box with 1,250 of those same pellets for just $29.99. (I’ve done the math: That’s 2.3 cents per round.)
Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle