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How Spring Guns Work & How to Maximize Their Effectiveness

Most folks whose primary shooting experience is with powder burners have trouble shooting spring air guns.  With either a .22 or a .30-.06’, folks tend to have a firm shoulder weld and a death grip on the fore end.  Both of these techniques are a recipe for inaccuracy with a spring air gun.  It gets worse when you tie the rifle down into a gun vice and then try to shoot.  Firearms’ instantaneous detonation has a very different recoil and vibration signature than a springer.  The spring not only has two direction recoil, but it vibrates like a tuning fork when shot. Holding onto the gun tight isolates the vibration and forces it to go to the one place on the gun that is not held fast, the barrel. Check out the resources listed below. Most folk find that the video and the article are very informative for shooting spring guns.

Spring Rifle Shooting Tips

For Air Rifles Powered by a Coiled Spring

Here are some tips on breaking-in and shooting a spring-powered air rifle:

  • Spring-piston airguns, including break barrel, side lever, and under lever, typically require 500-1,000 shots to break in properly. Groups may be erratic for the first 100+ shots.
  • DO NOT bench rest on ANY solid objects! NO part of the gun should rest on a rigid surface or object.
  • Utilize sand bags, pillows, or folded quilts as a shooting surface.
  • A springer’s* barrel is NEVER to rest on any surface when shooting.
  • Position the rifle so that it is resting and pointing at a specific target point without being held. You can then ease into the shooting position without changing sight picture. By taking out as much of the “Human Factor” of holding the rifle, your accuracy will most likely improve.
  • SQUEEZE the trigger – pulling the trigger and or jerking the trigger will result in terrible accuracy.
  • Follow Through is Very Important. Try not to blink when the rifle fires and continue to focus on the precise point of aim.
  • Always hold the rifle “loosely” at the forearm and in the shoulder. Spring guns usually become inaccurate when held tightly.
  • Changing your shooting position or grip can and will affect your point of impact.
  • Scopes are to be mounted with 2.75″ to 3″ of eye relief.
  • DO NOT pull the trigger when the barrel is broken over. The barrel will fly up causing a bent barrel and could result in serious injury to you or someone else. Also, a cracked and/or broken stock may occur.
  • Each air rifle is an individual and has its own characteristics. To achieve the best performance, you should try an RWS Sampler pack of pellets to see which ammo your air gun shoots the most accurately.
  • Use only high-quality pellets in your air gun, such as RWS air rifle pellets. RWS Airgun Pellets are much cleaner and manufactured to more exacting tolerances than many other brands.
  • Do not dry fire your spring air rifle as this can damage your rifle.

*A “springer” is an air rifle that utilizes a coiled spring inside the gun’s receiver.

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