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Just picked up my first air rifle

Discussion in 'Anything Airgun Related' started by pod, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. pod

    pod Busy Member

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    So, after a few weeks of deliberation on whether I want to get into this sport, the opportunity came to purchase a basic springer at a bargain price.
    Now I know there are mixed views on the SMK rifles, but I picked up this Syntarg in .177 with a Hawke scope, bag and some pellets to start me off.



    While this isn't the BSA Ultra SE I want, it was £60 for everything! I feel a lot more comfortable spending £60 rather than over 10 times that for a full set up with BSA.

    I'm hoping that this intro rifle will get my interest and that being a springer it will help me to shoot more accurately.

    Any tips for zero-ing this gun scope combo?

    And please - no negativity about SMK, I wasn't prepared to spend a fortune committing to equipment I may decide not to use.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2014
  2. mattyts

    mattyts Donator

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    First of all,no dead animal pics in the non hunting section....

    That out out the way
    I'm a big fan of SMK,I used to have negative views on them...then I got one :)

    As for zeroing,start close (10 yard) and use a big piece of card so you see where your bullets are striking,trying to zero in at 30 yard using a normal 14cm card target is impossible unless you get lucky and it's already hitting the card.
     
  3. pod

    pod Busy Member

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    Thanks Matty. Didn't realise the animal rules - just the photo I had on my phone so my apologies, certainly not my shot after an hour of ownership!

    I have had a quick shoot with it, but either my aim is off or it needs zeroing. Thanks for the tip :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  4. mattyts

    mattyts Donator

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    It probably needs zeroing since you're holding the rifle different to the previous owner,that's the thing with all springers,they are much more hold sensitive than PCPs.
     
  5. bhodge

    bhodge Keyboard Hero

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  6. Pete E

    Pete E Engaging Member

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    Pod,

    Where abouts are you based? I might be lucky enough to have a fellow member local enough to help you..

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  7. pod

    pod Busy Member

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    In Derby, Pete. That would be very useful :)
     
  8. Pete E

    Pete E Engaging Member

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    Bit far from me, but somebody might chime in..

    Before you start zeroing, you need to ensure the scope is mounted correctly and that all the screws on the mounts are secure..If your air rifle has an arrestor block, make sure the rear of the mounts is tight up against it...This is to prevent the mounts moving under recoil.

    As to actually setting up and zeroing an air gun scope, have look at this clip on Youtube: [video=youtube;Ltqjn1aGqI0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltqjn1aGqI0[/video]

    One thing I would say is that its best to shoot the rifle off a rest to zero..

    You don't want rest with a hard solid surface, but something with a bit of give like a sand or bean bag and def don't rest the rifle barrel, but rather the fore end...If you do a search on Youtube, there's plenty of videos to give you an idea.

    One thing to bare in mind, and mentioned in the video above, is that most scopes have turrets with 1/4" adjustments. For all practical purposes, and to keep things simple, turning the turret one click will move the pellets point of impact 1/4" at 100 yards...

    So at 25 yards, to move the pellets point of impact 1/4", you will need to turn the turret 4 clicks, and to move the point of impact 1" at 25 yards, it will need to be turned 16 clicks..

    Personally, I would initially zero at 10 yards and once roughly correct, move back some where around 25 yards to 30yards and do my final zero..

    Then set up targets every 5 yards from say 10 yards to 50 yards, and shoot and note how high or low the pellets point of impact are compared to your point of aim..T

    his will tell you the "hold under" or " hold over" for that particular brand and weight of pellet at each range...

    Write the results down and also take a copy into the field with you..some folks write it on a bit of paper and cello tape it to the eye piece of the scope where they can read it easily.

    Any questions, please ask, and either myself or somebody here will help you..

    Regards,

    Peter
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  9. David M

    David M Donator

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    Hi pod, welcome matey.

    Sounds like a good deal to start of with to me...! I have a B20 (same as an SMK XS20) and I hunted very successfully with it for a few years before I got a pcp. Firstly, take it to a gun shop and get it power checked with the pellets you are going to use, it wants to be between 11-11.5ftlb ideally, over 12ftlb and it's illegal without a Fire Arms Certificate, hopefully all will be well. They should advise which brand of pellets to try, but I would recommend RWS Superdomes, they are a well priced pellet that suits a lot of SMK type guns giving consistant results.

    Regarding zeroing it, make sure the scope is mounted spot on forward/back on it's mounts so that you get a full sight picture when you naturally bring the gun up to aim, every time. A good tip hear is to bring the gun up to aim with your eye shut then open it and adjust the scope back and forth in the mounts until it's spot on. It'll hopefully be about 2-3" (5-7cm) from your eye. Now focus the reticule (the cross you see in the scope) by holding the gun up to a light background and twisting the eyebell focus ring (the one nearest you). Then get it spot on upright in the mounts. Support the gun and put a small bubble level across a flat part of the stock (usually behind the action?) to get the gun sitting vertical, then hang a plumb line up the garden in view through the scope, if your scope has one, focus the objective lens (adjustable front lens) to give a sharp view of the line. If it has an adjustable zoom (maybe x3-x9..?), set it to about x6 then gently twist the scope in the mounts to line up the vertical crosshair onto the plumb line. This means the gun and scope are perfectly upright, then you can gently nip up the ring mounts around the scope body. Be careful not to crush the scope by over tightening them as it's easily done....:eek:

    Wind the vertical and horizontal adjustment turrets one at a time to their furthest point and count the clicks all the way back until they stop in the opposite direction, halve this number and set them both to this mid point click range. Now for the good bit, get an A4 piece of paper and tape it to a good backstop around 2 feet or more square (I use a bag of old cushions as it's silent and doesn't annoy the neighbours). Put a cross in the middle of it and put it around 10 yards/meters from a place that you can shoot from where you can lean your leading hand on (a corner of a building is great). Gently lay the gun, ungripped, in the 'V' of your thumb and index finger and take a shot right at the cross. Hopefully it'll hit somewhere on the paper, adjust the horizontal adjuster until the pellet strikes above or below (or smack on if you're very lucky) the bullseye. Then do the same with the vertical turret bringing the pellet onto the cross.

    You may find you run out of vertical adjustment and are still low of the bullseye, it this is the case, you'll need to remove the scope from the mounts and pack the rear mount with something like a small piece of coke can ali or pvc tape etc and start again from plumbing the scope. Leave the horizontal turret as is and re-centre the vertical, then aim at the middle of a fresh A4 target. Hopefully you'll get to the bullseye this time but if not, sadly you'll need to add another shim to the rear mount and try again. When you can hit the bull (within a 10cm/1/4" anyway) consistantly, move the target back to say 20-25 yards/meters and try again, you may need to slightly re-adjust the zero again but try and get a consistant group of 5 shots inside an inch (25mm) circle. This will take good consistant gun handling, try and keep as still as possible. You will need to achieve at least this level of accuracy from 10 to 30 yards to be humane and guarantee clean dispatches of quarry, hopefully close it up to around a penny size before venturing out. All very possible with your choice of gun and plenty of practice. Enjoy yourself and let us know how you're doing...:up:

    EDIT.... I took so long typing my effort, Pete E beat me to it, a good idea to watch a few zeroing videos on Youtube.....:up:
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  10. pod

    pod Busy Member

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    Wow, thanks David! Very insightful. I'm making a beanbag out of mountaineering socks and rice, so will use that as my steady. I have re-sat my scope so I get a comfortable view each time and counted my elevation and wind adjusters on the Hawke scope (560 & 580 respectively). These are now set half way, so that should be the starting point I need to be at?

    I'm going to go dive in Spondon to see if I can get a mix of pellets, or am I better committing to one type for zeroing? I guess if I throw too much into the mix it will affect the results?

    And here we are again...minus the pigeon

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  11. mattyts

    mattyts Donator

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    Try a good quality dome head first such as:

    RWS Superdome,JSB Exact,Air Arms Diabolo or H & N FTT,if possible,try buy a tin of each.

    Clean your barrel,fire 50 of the first type of pellet (to re lead the barrel) then shoot some into card, clean your barrel then repeat with the next type,do it for all of the pellets then see which is the best and stick to those.
     
  12. pod

    pod Busy Member

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    Ah ok, nice idea Matt. I'll see if they can do a mixture. I wanted to try the exacts and diablo pellets as my mate uses the exacts in his R10. They seem to be a comparable pellet - good recommendation :)
     
  13. Pete E

    Pete E Engaging Member

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    Pod,

    If you do a search on the Net, I think there are companies who will sell a selection of pellets in smaller amounts..I would buy something like 250 Super domes to get the scope set up and zero'd ect, and then one of those "pick n mix" ..packs to see which pellet groups the best...

    Re the bean bag, rice will but be careful where you store the bag re the damp.

    I've found plastic pellets/chips are about the best compromise as a filler if you want something portable, not too heavy and that is also resistant to damp, but they can be difficult to find.

    I dropped lucky at a car boot sale and bought a carrier bag full of assorted plastic raw plugs for a £1,..I then spent a couple of hours one evening cutting them up with a pair of pliers, before using the chips to fill an old webbing pouch and sewing the lid shut...A mate found somebody at a gamefair selling shredded rubber as a shooting rest filler (from wellies apparently) and that works well also..

    Regards,

    Peter
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  14. pod

    pod Busy Member

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    Never even thought about the rice swelling and perishing with damp! Hmm...maybe a different media should be used inside :)

    I have seen companies offering mixed pellet bundles (seem to be a lot on eBay to be fair). I'll look into the super domes.
    Thanks :)
     
  15. Pete E

    Pete E Engaging Member

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    Rice will def get you going, just keep an eye on how you store it...Re the pellets, I believe some of the places that do the bundles allow you to choose what pellets to include, and that's what I would look into...of course you might find the Superdomes or Exacts or what ever you choose to zero with group ok, in which case stick with them for the time being..
     
  16. dekka

    dekka Engaging Member

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    use wheat this has the advantage of being able (after three mins in a microwave) being used as a heat pack for sprains etc
     
  17. Greg1983

    Greg1983 Busy Member

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    Hello, for a resting bag "this may sound odd" use a couple of condoms with flour in it, after tied put other condoms over it then a women's tight then a outer material to smarten it up :) the end result = a nice rest and can be moulded into multiple shapes and positions! And the rubber keeps the contents dry!
    I got the idea from when I was a kid in school we made them with balloons kinda like a stress ball, hope it helps :)
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z1w2tSAZEE
    You can also use balloons if you can find a decent sized one but I find condoms are perfect for the length.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. Pete E

    Pete E Engaging Member

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    Sorry Greg,
    Not turning up at home with condoms and tights...having your balls cut off does nothing to improve your aim! :p

    Regards,

    Peter
     
  19. SteveO

    SteveO Top Poster

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    Two things I thought were worth a mention, The Syntarg rifle is not a full power gun coming in at around 8fpe, and isn't shooting off a bag or support a no-no for springer air rifles?

    Welcome to the forum Pod! :up:
     
  20. Greg1983

    Greg1983 Busy Member

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    Haha true I guess it would be difficult to explain to the Mrs... Oh well best hope the local shops sell big balloons bud :)
     

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