Doesn’t pulling the trigger create instant gratification? So, how is precision airgun shooting like fishing? They’re not alike at all if you’re thinking of a competitive bass fishing tournament. Those can get a bit stressful especially if you have a competitive streak in you. But let’s not compare competitive fishing. Think more along the lines catfishing along the bank of a calm body of water or maybe more appropriately identifying your “target”, the fish, on a fish finder and carefully placing just the right jig on the right weight line with the right twitch in front of that fish to bring it home. Now that takes patience and skill much like is needed when shooting an air rifle with precision.
What’s Your Shooting Personality?
Someone like Rossi Morreale, host of American Airgunner TV Show, does not enjoy punching paper (paper target shooting). He’d rather run and gun or pray and spray. Hunters like Steve Criner, aka the Dog Soldier and host of Real Air Gun Hunting TV Show, rely on precision for an ethical shot (you just gotta see this precise shot during a hunt for bobcat with the .50 caliber Umarex Hammer), but there’s room for forgiveness in vital shots (lungs and heart), so perhaps precision is not the word to apply in hunting. Then there’s someone like Rick Rehm on the other hand, aka Shooter1721 and host of Jager TV. He gives precision air rifle shooting a whole new twist. He has a keen ability to know an airgun projectile’s trajectory and its almost like he can guide it right into his target. His signature airgun trick shot is splitting a playing card from a deck of cards at different distances with all kinds of airguns.
Whichever Your Passion, Fishing and Shooting Take Patience and Skill
I grew up fishing with my dad and my grandma (dad’s mom). I enjoyed learning how to fish from them. How to clean a fish. How to tie the hook. Where to find worms. All the fundamentals of fishing. For some, sitting with a line in the water waiting for fish to detect your bait and ultimately bite it (if you’ve chosen the right color and wiggled it right) is a daunting task, but if you have the ability to be patient yet attentive to all the variables it’s gratifying when a fish finally does bite. Hold on! This is where precision shooting is like fishing.
Chad, the chief videographer at Umarex USA, (check out some of his video work on YouTube) finds peace on the shooting range. Like selecting the right fish bait and being attentive to the movement of your line, he finds solace in loading the right load for his rifle or handgun and then being attentive to how the gun shoots that load. For him, the projectile hitting the target exactly where you wanted it to is like a fish biting a lure or the bang and clang of the gun and then the bullet’s impact on the target being like a big bass tightening your line, fighting you, and surfacing to make a big splash. In either case, it’s gratifying when you’ve combined your knowledge, patience, and skill to achieve what you were after.
What Pellet or Slug Does Your Air Rifle Like?
Precision air gun shooters aren’t much different than patient fishermen. When an air gunner gets a new rifle the pursuit of just the right pellet or slug ensues. Just like a firearm’s barrel an air rifle’s barrel has its own personality and therefore will perform optimally with a certain grain weight, hardness, and even projectile shape. Some may even throw in lubrication. Generally, a manufacturer like Umarex will find a common load for testing and stick with it, as they’ve done with the development of the Umarex Hammer. It becomes the standard by which they test to ensure a prescribed level of quality. Sometimes, or more likely often, that “quality testing” load is not meant to be precise but sets a standard. From that point forward is where patience, attentiveness, skill, and a little research on the airgun forums come into play.
Passionate and patient shooters spend time getting to know their air rifles. Many often give a new rifle a cleaning before sending a variety of airgun pellets downrange. They’ll research and investigate the experiences of others and then they’ll test a variety of projectiles all in the pursuit of finding that exact pellet or slug that will accomplish what they desire, such as a sub 1-inch group at 100 yards with a .50 caliber Umarex Hammer. Shooter 1721 is no stranger to this journey.
Rick has been working with Neilsen Specialty Ammo to identify just the right .510 slug that creates the harmonics that help him accomplish his spectacular trick shots. From what he’s been saying he’s just about there with the Hammer. He’s found that he can get three almost-on-top-of-each-other shots at 50 yards using a 321 grain Neilsen and 3,600 psi in the gun. Rick had a .72 inch hole in his target a buddy put there with a slug gun at 100 yards. He stacked a couple of .510s almost right in the center of that hole. Two shots in nearly the same place. 321-grain airgun slug. 100 yards. But his desire is not a 100-yard group with a Umarex Hammer but rather a 200 yard split a card shot! You don’t want to miss that so subscribe and follow Rick Rehm @Shooter1721 on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.
Shooting and Fishing Both take Knowledge, Skill, and Patience
It’s been said that shooting is better than fishing because shooting provides instant gratification. That’s debatable and not necessarily the case when talking precision air rifle shooting. There are lots of variables that require some knowledge, some level of skill, and certainly some level of patience. From feeling the gentle tug of a fish on your line to detecting the pause in your heartbeat or knowing the water current and calling the wind or which lure or bullet—both fishing and shooting sports require your attention and intimacy with your gear and surroundings. Spend time with your rifles. Let them tell you which projectile it loves and then, SEND IT! #ShootWithAir
By JB. Just a man in pursuit of a deeper relationship with God, a lover of his wife and family, the outdoors, and moments of quiet stillness when not shooting, fishing, camping, or hiking.