Ancillary Equipment

Although it is possible to hunt with nothing more than an air rifle equipped with effective sights and some suitable pellets, there are other tools that add to the enjoyment and success. One of the most useful items is a good binocular. Often the hunter is faced with deciding whether that lump on a tree limb is a squirrel or something else. The tendency is to raise the rifle and look through the scope, but that may mean pointing the muzzle where it should not be pointed. It is far better to have a small, portable, effective binocular for such viewing. The scope in an air rifle should not be used for viewing.

As described earlier, air rifles have curved trajectory compared to firearms. Therefore, it is necessary to estimate range accurately in order to know the path of the pellet relative to the line of sight. A range finder is the simplest way to determine distances accurately. This must not be considered as a way to “stretch” the range of an air rifle because the uncertainty in being able to place the pellet accurately in a lethal zone depends on many other factors (wind, shooter ability, etc.). Within the effective range of the rifle/shooter, a range finder is a useful device.

One of the most legendary bowhunters of all time was the founder of a famous company that for many years made only recurve bows. In the innumerable photographs taken during his hunting, that hunter never appeared in camo clothing. Do not be misled into thinking that even your watch band must be camo colored or you are somehow handicapped. Wear suitable cark colored clothing that allows you to move quietly without a raspy noise when you brush against a bush or tree limb and move slowly. Sudden movements and noise are more likely to spook the game than is the color of your clothing. With that said, the type of clothing chosen is largely a matter of personal preference although in some areas you will be required to have a specified area of blaze orange visible as a safety precaution.

Jim House

Jim House began shooting with a single shot BB gun at a very early age. Now, seventy years later, he is an airgun enthusiast. After a 32-year career as a chemistry professor at Illinois State University, he has written extensively about shooting sports, which has resulted in the books American Air Rifles and CO2 Pistols and Rifles. His books also include The Gun Digest Book of 22 Rimfire and, with his wife Kathleen, Customize the Ruger 10/22. Jim is the Reloading Editor for Gun World magazine and a Contributing Editor for The Varmint Hunter Magazine, The Backwoodsman, Airgun Hobbyist, and The Illinois Shooter. Although a lot of his work is with firearms, he maintains a keen interest in airgunning while also serving as Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Illinois Wesleyan University.