Tuesday, May 15, 2012




Version 1.0 – April 2012

World Field Target Federation Shooting Rules.


A short history of Field Target Shooting (FT) - acknowledgement to Dale Foster of England.

FT first started on the 7th September 1980, the first event being held on land behind a pub called the Red Lion in Magham Down in Sussex. Over 100 people attended this inaugural event, armed with air rifles varying from a Webley Vulcan in .22 calibre to an FWB 300 match rifle. It was originally started as an informal sport for anyone with an air rifle. The original targets were not the knockdown type we know now, but simple metal silhouettes of the common quarry species, to which orange stickers were affixed as hit zones.

The new sport quickly gained popularity and spread across the UK. By the mid 1980's the sport had grown massively in popularity, with the familiar knock down style targets being introduced. The introduction of the Weihrauch HW77 was a pivotal point in the sport, as this rifle quickly established itself as the rifle of choice, either out of the box or in a custom form from specialist tuners such as Venom Arms and Airmasters.

At some point in the mid 1980's, FT shooting was adopted by the USA, initially hosted stateside by only a handful of small clubs across the country. As more shooters joined the legions of devoted weekend "hunters", there appeared a need for a national organization to oversee the growth of the sport. Thus, the American Airgun Field Target Association (AAFTA) was born in 1987 to manage the sport. The US rules differ slightly from the UK version.

By 1987 the sport had reached comparatively massive proportions in the UK, with attendances in excess of 300 at the national shoots. 1987/88 saw the first serious use of pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) rifles and high magnification scopes in FT, which would ultimately have a profound effect on the sport.

The first international FT events started taking place somewhere in the mid 1980's, with UK shooters being invited to attend events in the US. Shooters such as Richard North, Tom Walton, Terry Doe and others travelled to California for various events around 1987/8.

The first formal world championships came about at the end of the 80's into the early 1990's, with the venue alternating between the UK and the US - these two being the only major players at this time.

Over the 1990's other countries started to appear on the scene. Norway was one of the first with Germany following at a later date. By the end of 2011 the WFTF (World Field Target Federation) already consisted of 30 member countries.


Hamster – A support that is affixed to the underside of the rifle stock and rests on the shooter’s hand or knee, depending on the shooting position.

Kneeling – a shooting position where there shall be only 3 points of contact with the ground (2 feet and 1 knee). The rear foot shall be upright and straight in line with the knee. A legal seat may be used to support the rear foot and/or ankle, or to keep the knee clean provided that the foot has contact with the ground. The leading hand will support the rifle and from the wrist forward be unsupported by the knee. A single rifle sling and/or butt hook may be used to steady the aim.

PCP – pre-charged pneumatic air rifle.

RGB – Representative Governing Body, the organisation that represents a member country at the WFTF.

Single rifle sling – a sling used to carry the rifle or as a means of steadying the aim. Such a sling shall be attached to the rifle at a minimum of one and maximum of two points when a shot is taken. The sling may be unclipped from the rifle when not in use.

Springer – air rifle in which power is generated by a large spring/gas ram and piston.

Standing – a shooting position where the shot is taken in a standing position without the aid of any support, but a single rifle sling and/or butt hook may be used to steady the aim.

Worlds – the annual World Field Target Championships hosted by a member RGB under the auspices of the WFTF.


These rules will apply to all World Championship, International or other major field target events. RGB’s are urged to apply these rules to all field target competitions that are hosted under their auspices.

1. Equipment

1.1 Airguns. Air rifles (PCP or Springer) with an output not exceeding 12 ft/lbs (16.3 Joule), and which are in safe working condition may be used. No power adjustments may be made to an air rifle during a competition. In host countries where higher power air rifles are allowed, the latter may participate in a separate class. Fully adjustable rifle stocks are permitted to accommodate various shooting styles and positions. The surface of the hamster (and knee pad) must be flat and not shaped to provide lateral support to the rifle.

1.2 Ammunition. Any design of pellet that is completely made of lead, lead alloy, zinc or zinc alloy, or a similar material may be used.

1.3 Sights. Any form of sighting system may be used with the exception of laser sights. No built-in or separate laser range finding device may be used.

1.4 Rifle accessories allowed.

 A single rifle sling - no additional straps are allowed;

 Butt hook;

 Spirit level;

 Sunshade on scope;

 Scope enhancer (rubber);

 Thermometer;

 Wind indicator (non-electronic);

 Inclinometer.

No additional equipment, electronic or other, may be used to assist the shooter in evaluating the wind or other weather conditions.

1.5 Clothing. Any type of clothing, glove or footwear is allowed provided it is not a hazard to the shooter or others. Clothing may be padded to reduce the pressure of the rifle stock resting on the arm or knee. Separate pads may be worn over non-padded clothing. Gloves may not contain any rigid material extending beyond the wrist.

1.6 Seating. The maximum height for any form of seating is 150 mm (6”) when flattened between 2 boards. The seat may only be used as an aid in sitting or kneeling shots.

1.7 Targets. Metal silhouette “fall when hit” targets resettable from the firing point shall be used. The hit zones shall be circular and of a contrasting colour to the faceplate. The use of simulated hit zones on any other part of the faceplate is prohibited. Standard hit zones shall be 40 mm in diameter. A limited number of targets may be fitted with reduced diameter hit zones of 15 mm or 25 mm. These reducers shall be painted the same colour as the faceplate and shall be fixed to the side of the target facing the shooter.

2. Shooting Range.

2.1 Terrain. For field target shooting events a suitable field/forest terrain should be identified and prepared. For the annual World Field Target Championship event this terrain should ideally allow for three courses of 25 lanes each with 2 targets to be erected per lane (total of 50 targets per course). Lanes of these three courses must alternate (e.g. red/blue/green course) along the terrain. For non-Worlds events 3 targets per lane may be erected.

2.2 Target placement and numbering. Targets shall be placed at distances of between 8 metres and 50 metres from the firing line. All targets shall be clearly numbered (per course from left to right) at both the target and the firing line. Targets may be placed at higher or lower elevation to the firing line, but must at all times be fully visible from all shooting positions and face the shooter at a 90° angle (plus or minus 5°).

2.3 Positional targets. The basic/free shooting position is sitting/prone, but some lanes may be designated as ‘standing’ or ‘kneeling’. The total number of targets designated as standing or kneeling may not exceed 20% of the total number of targets on that particular course, and these positional targets should be divided as equally as possible, e.g. 3 standing and 2 kneeling lanes or vice versa. The maximum distance that positional targets may be placed at is 40 metres. A clear sign at the firing line shall indicate kneeling or standing lanes.

2.4 Reduced diameter hit zones. The total number of targets with reduced diameter hit zones may not exceed 25% of the total targets on that particular course. Maximum distance limitations for such targets are as follows:

Reducer size

15 mm

25 mm

Non-positional targets

20 metres

35 metres

Positional targets

Not allowed

20 metres

2.5 Practice/sighting in range. A safe practice area shall be provided for the competitors at least one day before the World Field Target Championship event. Shorter periods may apply at other events (e.g. one to two hours). The practice area should be in close proximity to the competition range. Multiple paper targets should be placed at the different competition distances (between 8 and 50 metres). The range should be large enough to accommodate all competitors. Compressed air should be available for competitors and a Deputy Marshal shall be present whenever this range is open for practice. All the normal range safety rules will apply.

2.6 Shooting line. The shooting line/position is indicated by a clear line on the ground or two posts between which competitors must shoot from. When shooting, the barrel of a rifle may be in front of this line, but the trigger must remain behind it.

3. Safety

3.1 As is the case in all shooting sports, safety on the range is of the utmost importance.

3.2 No rifle may at any time be pointed in the direction of people or animals.

3.3 Except whilst shooting, no rifle may be loaded. Rifles must face down range whilst being loaded.

3.4 When a ceasefire is signalled (one whistle/horn) and a rifle is loaded, the shot must be fired into the ground in front of the shooter.

3.5 When carrying a rifle it should be pointed up or down, unless in a closed case or bag. If carried in an open rifle carrier, the cocking lever/bolt shall at all times be in the open position.

3.6 No non-participants are allowed on the shooting line.

3.7 No children or pets are allowed on ranges during a competition, unless accompanied by and under control of a responsible adult.

3.8 No alcohol or drugs may be consumed before or during a day’s competition until the last shot had been fired. This excludes prescribed medication.

4. Administration

4.1 Entries for Worlds are normally invited shortly after conclusion of the previous year’s event. A web site is usually opened by the host organisation on which a log of entries received (plus other relevant information) is reflected. Other major events may accept entries at a much later stage or even on the day of the event.

4.2 Categories for competitions at Worlds are PCP and Springer (both limited to 12 ft/lbs or 16.3 joule). If a host country’s laws allow higher power air rifles, an additional high power category may be entertained.

4.3 Classes of entry for Field Target shooting are as follows:

 Junior (not yet 17 on 1st of January);

 Senior Ladies;

 Senior Men;

 Veteran (60 years or older on 1st of January).

4.4 In both categories national teams consisting of a minimum of 4 (four) and maximum of 8 (eight) competitors can be entered. A minimum of 4 (four) teams in any category is required to constitute a competition at Worlds. Team scores will be derived from the top 4, 5 or 6 scores (determined by the team entered with the smallest number of shooters) per 50 target match, added together at the end of the event.

4.5 Teams at Worlds must be entered 24 hours before commencement of the first day of competition, and the organisers must post all teams on a notice board at the range. Each senior/sole RGB is entitled to enter one team only per category.

4.6 Shooters grouped together on a shooting lane should ideally not consist of members from the same country/area/club. In events spanning over more than one match, the shooters per lane for subsequent matches may be grouped according to accumulated score ranking. Where there are multiple ranges used, each shooter must shoot on every range once. Score cards indicating the shooters’ names and starting lane, timers and pens must be prepared (per shooting lane) and handed to all participants before each match commences.

4.7 A Chief Marshall and a sufficient number of Deputy Marshalls shall be appointed. All Marshals shall be well versed in shooting safety, FT rules and especially the understan-ding and handling of field target failures. Where ever possible, they should also be able to speak and understand English. There must be enough Deputy Marshals to cover the complete range within view of each other, and they shall be supplied with identifying vests, effective two way communication equipment and whistles/horns.

4.8 Competitors that cannot, for whatever physical or medical reason, comply with a particular shooting position, shall inform the Chief Marshal before commencement of a match, and obtain permission to use an alternative position or aid, providing that no unfair advantage is gained. All Marshalls shall be made aware of such arrangement.

4.9 Emergency services in the form of an ambulance or qualified first aid staff must be present on the range during at least all Worlds and international events.

4.10 Insurance. Each competitor is responsible for his/her own personal accident insurance. In addition to this the host organisation (in countries where this is permitted) shall take out event insurance at Worlds and international events.

4.11 A copy of these Rules shall be kept on the range during matches, accessible to all present.

5 Competition

5.1 A full course of fire at Worlds consists of 50 targets per day over 3 days. A full course of fire must be completed for a score to be deemed valid excepting for circumstances listed below under paragraph 5.10. During 2011 the majority of RGB’s voted in favour of an additional practice match on the day before commencement of the Worlds competition.

5.2 All rifles shall be chronographed daily. It is preferable that on day one these tests be done before commencement of the competition. At this first test rifles that exceed the 12 ft/lbs or 16.3 joule limit, may be adjusted for a re-test before the match starts. The Marshall shall personally load each pellet, ensuring that it is not deformed or damaged. Tests on subsequent days may be done at any point along the course as determined by the Chief Marshal. Any failure at these subsequent tests will lead to disqualification. Each time a unique sticker shall be attached to every rifle that has passed the test and the chronograph speed recorded is noted on a master sheet held by the Deputy Marshall in charge.

5.3 A match starts/course re-opens with the sounding of two whistles/horns by the Deputy Marshals. The course is then open and safe for shooting to commence/continue. Any timers that had been stopped for a ceasefire are immediately restarted.

5.4 Competitors are allowed one minute for preparation plus one minute per target on a lane. Timing starts when the competitor sits down/kneels or brings the scope to his/her eye for ranging in the standing position.

5.5 A score is indicated on the score card by an X for a knock down or a 0 if the target remains standing. Only shooters grouped together on a lane or a Deputy Marshal may handle score cards. Any changes to a score card shall be counter signed by a Deputy Marshall.

5.6 A shot is deemed to have been fired if air is discharged from a rifle. A shooter may however fire a shot into the ground after declaring this to his/her lane partners.

5.7 Targets are addressed in number sequence. If an incorrect target was shot at, the shooter scores a 0 and carries on with the following target on his/her score card.

5.8 A course (or section thereof) is closed when a single whistle/horn is sounded. All timers are immediately stopped and any loaded rifles are fired into the ground in front of the shooters. No participant may move towards a target (unless requested by a Deputy Marshall to do so), range-find a target, or do any other preparation until the range is re-opened.

5.9 Any disputed score must be challenged immediately after a shot is fired. Under no circumstances should the competitor touch the reset cord until the dispute has been resolved. Targets should be checked by the Marshal whose decision is final. Any target found to be defective should be repaired or replaced immediately and may be re-shot by only the shooter who had challenged the shot.

5.10 Competitors may only leave the firing line under the following circumstances:

 Voluntary abandonment of the shoot, in which case the score up to that point will be accepted as a valid result;

 To repair equipment that has been rendered unsafe or is incapable of firing a shot by whatever means. This excludes zero-shift of optical equipment or poorly zeroed systems. The competitor may replace the offending part or equipment with the permission of the Marshal. No visit to the sighting-in range by the competitor or any person on his/her behalf is allowed;

 For any other occurrence deemed valid by the Marshal.

In all the above cases the competitor’s score card must be handed to the Marshal and the latter’s permission obtained to leave the firing line, with a stipulated time for return. The time of departure and intended return will be recorded on the score card and any card not claimed within the designated return time will be submitted as final score for that match.

5.11 As soon as a match is completed, all score cards, duly completed and signed by both the shooter and scorer, must immediately be returned to the registration officials.

5.12 In the event of tied scores for award winning positions, final placements shall be decided by a shoot-off. A lane containing targets within positional shooting parameters (standing/kneeling) is selected, and competitors with tied scores will shoot off as follows:

 One round by each tied competitor from the sitting/free position;

 If undecided, one round by each remaining competitor from the kneeling position;

 If still undecided, one round by each competitor from the standing position;

 If still undecided, competitors continue shooting from the standing position until all awards placements have been determined.

5.13 Unacceptable firing line conduct will not be tolerated. Coaching or barracking of a competitor in competition is prohibited. Rifles will NOT be shared on the firing line.

5.14 The penalty for an unsafe practice or any form of cheating is disqualification, with the organisers reserving the right to take further action.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Rule No 1

This is the most basic safety rule.


It's as simple as that, and it's all up to you.

Rule No 2


Never assume a gun is unloaded.

Rule No 3


Treat every arm as though it can fire at any time. Never touch the trigger until you actually intend to shoot!

Rule No 4


Never shoot unless you know exactely what your shot is going to hit. Be absolutely of your target and where your shot will stop.

Most Common Types of Airguns and Calibers

Pre-Charged Pneumatics

Pre-charged pneumatics use a large air reservoir of highly pressurized air, which results in many shots before needing to be recharged. Recharging is a simple matter, either with a high-pressure hand pump or a SCUBA tank. These guns have many advantages, they are extremely powerful (the most powerful air guns made are pre-charged pneumatics), very accurate and most are made of high-quality parts and craftsmanship. The only real downside to most pre-charged air guns is the cost of the gun itself and the initial investment of a SCUBA tank.

Most PCP airguns here in Malta are un-regulated, which means that when the rifle is filled with air to it's rated maximum fill pressure, the rifle will show a gradual rise in muzzle velocity with each shot as the valve gets into its best working pressure range. The muzzle velocity should then level out through the Heart Of the Fill finally tailing off as the rifle runs out of air.

Definition of the Heart Of Fill

The Heart of Fill is the combination of initial fill pressure and number of shots that produces the most consistent practical shot string. It's the best trade off between the number of shots per fill and consistent muzzle velocity. It's choice is subjective, depending on the range to target, muzzle velocity and pellets used.

To find this area the gun is filled to full pressure and shot over a chronograph. The shots are counted, velocities recorded and the graph plotted. The pressure at the end of the test is recorded and subtracted from that of the beginning. This number is divided by the number of shots and the result is approximately the amount of pressure per shot that the reservoir diminishes. The gun will now be charged to the pressure where the graph starts to flatten and shot to where the graph starts to drop off.

Spring Piston Air Rifles

Spring piston airguns are probably the most common air guns. They utilize a stout spring and air piston to propel a pellet down range. The operation is actually very simple, for each shot the spring is retracted and when fired, the spring pushes the piston forward, propelling a charge of air into the barrel. These types of air rifles are very consistent on a shot-to-shot basis, can be very accurate and sometimes very powerful when kitted up. While the spring piston is the propulsion method, there are several types of cocking mechanisms, such as a break barrel, side-lever and underlever. All methods essentially do the same job, with a different placement of the lever, however, it should be noted that certain designs such as side-lever cocking and underlevers are slightly more accurate than break barrel cocking models due to their longer sight plane and stiffer barrel-to-action mating, but for hunting and general plinking the advantage is not significant enough to make much of a difference.

Air Rifle Calibers

Over the years, air rifles have been produced in literally dozens of calibers, and while there are manufacturers that still produce custom calibers for specific purposes, the vast majority of air rifles manufactured today come in one of four common calibers: .177, .20, .22, .25.

By far the most common of these four is the .177 caliber. This caliber is the same diameter as a steel BB and many guns chambered in .177 can fire either BBs or pellets. The .177 is an excellent target caliber and also serves well for shooters interested in cost effective plinking. The .177 caliber also boasts high velocities, good penetration and a flat trajectory.

The next most common caliber is the .22. The .22 is primarily used for small-game hunting and is an efficient caliber for delivering energy downrange due to its heavier pellets, however due to lower velocities it is not as flat shooting as the speedier .177.

The .20 caliber is probably the third most common air rifle caliber. While it is not as popular as either the .177 or the .22, it is an effective caliber in its own right. Most .20 caliber air rifles have high velocities, flat trajectories and enough downrange energy to make them a highly effective small-game hunting tool. Many proponents of the .20 feel it is the perfect air gun caliber, boasting of the best characteristics of velocity combined with energy of both the .177 and .22.

The least known of the four common air rifle calibers is probably the .25. However, it is a substantial small-game hunting caliber and carries a lot of energy downrange for quick, humane kills. Since the velocity is slower than all of the mentioned calibers, it has a more loopy trajectory, but within reasonable ranges.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Scope features, mounting and zeroing



Quality is the most important aspect when choosing a scope. A scope well made of highest quality components is always worth the extra money it costs compared to inferior quality scopes.
Good quality control alone costs money. But it’s worth the extra investment as the result is a better performing scope that should last you for years.
Many things affect both quality and price of any scope. These include the type of glass used, eyepiece design, precision taken in grinding, polishing, and centering the glass interiors, the type of anti-reflection coatings, the sharpness and contrast of the whole optical system.
Important issues to consider include the material the tubes are made of, the type of construction of the tubes, single or multiple piece, the way the lenses and reticules are mounted and kept in place, how well the tube is sealed against the elements, the capability of all internel components to handle recoil and the external finish of the scope is always to be kept in consideration.
In most situations the brand name is a guide to quality. Manufaturors like Leica, Leupold, Nikon, Schmitt und Bender, Swarovski, Weaver, and Zeiss all have a reputation for high quality optical products. Other companies like BSA, Bushnell, Simmons, and Tasco have a reputation mainly on low budget scopes. As a rule you get what you pay for.


Scopes are usually described by their magnification. Sometimes a second number is provided, eg 4x28 or 3-9x36. The first digits refer to the magnification, and the second is the diameter of the objective lens.
Magnification may be fixed, or variable between a low and higher value, as in 3-9x or 4-12x. 4x means the scope magnifies four times closer than it does with the naked eye.
Magnification also affects brightness. The higher the power, the dimmer the view. Magnification also affects the field of view of the scope. The greater the magnification the smaller the field of view.
Everything is magnified when you look through a scope, including your own shakes. The higher the magnification, the harder it is to keep the target steady. 2, 3, or 4 power scopes are easier to sight through if the rifle is hand held. Higher powered scopes often result in blurred views unless it is a top quality scope.
Magnification also affects the size and weight of the scope. Usually a scope with higher magnification is longer and heavier than a scope with less magnification.

Objective lens

The second number most commonly associated with scopes points to the diameter of the objective lens in millimeters. So in 4x32 the 32 means that the front lens of the scope is 32mm in diameter.
The diameter of the objective is essential as it controls how much light the scope can let in, and finally transmit to your eye. The bigger the objective lens, the more light the scope absorbs. A large objective lens makes for a larger and heavier scope. A 40mm objective lens is the largest normally required for Field Target, even for high magnification riflescopes. Low and medium power scopes will do very well with objectives of 20mm to 35mm.

Main tube diameter

The standard main tube diameter for most scopes is 1" (25mm).
A 1” main tube scope has enough internal windage and elevation adjustment range for all normal purposes. Scopes with 1" tubes are lighter than scopes with 30mm tubes, which is always an advantage.
The idea behind a larger main tube is for more efficient internal light transmission. These scopes are also usually equipped with "syrup bucket" objective bells. Big scopes undermines the handling qualities of the rifle and should be avoided unless really necessary.
Consider a scope with a 30mm tube only if the rifle is being set-up specifically for hunting in full darkness.

Light transmission

Light transmission affects how much light gets through the lenses inside a scope and out towards your eye. It is influenced by the type and quality of the glass used, the anti-reflection coatings, and control of glare inside the scope.

Exit pupil

The magnification of a scope determines the size of the exit pupil. The size of the exit pupil determines how much light is transmitted to your eye. The exit pupil can be seen by holding the scope at arm's length and looking through the eyepiece. The pencil of light you see is the exit pupil.
The diameter of the exit pupil is calculated by dividing the diameter of the front objective lens in millimeters by the magnification of the scope.
The diameter of the exit pupil does not really matter as long as there is enough sunlight so that the pupil of your eye is smaller than the exit pupil of your scope. But when sunlight light gets dim, and the pupils of your eyes enlarge, the exit pupil of your scope may become the limiting factor.

Field of view

The field of view is the area you see through your scope. This is measured in degrees.The larger the field of view the more area you can see through the scope. A big field of view is very important at close range when out hunting moving animals.
Since field of view is measured in degrees, the closer the shooter is to a target, the smaller the actual area he sees through his scope. Field of view is inversely proportional to magnification. For these reasons someone who may have to shoot at for example a rabbit needs a lower power scope because it provides a bigger field of view.
If using a variable power scope, keep it set at low magnification for maximum field of view when out hunting.

Eye relief

The term "eye relief" refers to the distance from the scope's ocular lens to the eye. For scopes to be mounted on springer piston air rifles or pre-charged pneumatics a 3”-3.5” eye relief is more than enough.

Contrast and resolution

These are the most recognized optical specs of any scope. Resolution is the sharpness of a scope. A scope with good resolution can resolve fine details. Contrast is the crispness, and ability to distinguish one object from another. Together they primarily determine how clear things are observed through a scope. Good design, premium quality optics, good lens coatings, good internal flare suppression, precise assembly, and good quality control usually result in a scope with high resolution and contrast.


The parallax refers to the apparent movement of the target relative to the reticule when you move your head as you look through the scope. Parallax can only be eliminated from a scope at one range, although it is not usually apparent in normal use unless there is something wrong with the scope. All Field Target scopes come with an adjustable objective that can be adjusted to eliminate parallax at specific the distances needed to knock down a target.
To minimize the effect of parallax, always mount an optical sight as close to the barrel as possible.

Lens coatings

Most optical sights have magnesium-fluoride anti-reflection coatings on their air to glass surfaces. These coatings assist light transmission. These are what produce the blue, red, or green reflections you see when you look into the objective lens of a scope.
Be aware of how the scope is described as anti-reflection lens coatings. Coated means the glass surface has a single layer of anti-reflection coating on some lens elements, usually the first and last elements. The only ones you can see. Fully Coated means that all air to glass surfaces are coated. This is good. Multi-Coated means that at least some of the surfaces, usually the first and the last lenses have multiple layers of anti-reflection coatings. Fully Multi-Coated means that all air to glass surfaces have multiple layers of anti-reflection coatings. Multiple coating layers are more effective than a single layer. Always for Fully Coated or Fully Multi-Coated scope.

Focusing a telescopic sight

The idea is to focus on the reticule, not some object in the distance. To focus a scope, set it to its highest power and go outside. Point the scope at a blank area of sky. Turn the ocular bell housing until the reticule appears to be perfectly sharp. Tighten the locking ring and your scope is focused to your eye. You will not have to change it unless your vision changes.

Fixed magnification scopes

Fixed magnification scopes have great advantages when compared to variable power models. In scopes of the same quality and maximum magnification, a fixed power scope is optically superior. It is also simpler in design and construction, and therefore more durable. The fixed power scope is easier to seal against water and dust. It is usually lighter and more compact than a variable power scope. Fixed power scopes are less expensive than equivalent quality variable power scopes. For all of these reasons a fixed power scope may be a better choice than a variable power scope, depending on the application of course.

Variable power scopes

The great advantage of variable power scopes is the freedom they give the shooter to select a larger field of view or greater magnification, depending on the situation. This is an enormous asset on a dual purpose rifle, or an all-around rifle. The shooter who shoots only at close range, or who always shoots at long range, has no real need for a variable power scope.
Variable power scopes almost always perform better at the low to medium power settings than they do at the highest settings. Since the front objective of a variable power telescopic sight cannot enlarge to let in more light as the magnification is increased, the view gets dimmer as the magnification goes up. This is because the exit pupil gets smaller.


Over spend, but don't over buy. This contradictory sounding advice is actually pretty good. What it means is, buy the very best quality optical sight you can afford. But don't buy more magnification, light grasp (objective lens size), weight and bulk than you actually need. The same applies to mounts. Spend your money on solid, high quality mounts. Whatever magnification or type of optical sight best fits your needs, if you buy top quality sights and mounts you will not be disappointed.


The first thing one has to decide before mounting a scope is to determine which type of mounts to set up on your air rifle. Mounts are usaully made as a two piece and a one piece in three heights. Low, medium and high. Quality of the mounts are also very important. Make sure you choose only good quality mounts for your air rifle.

Two piece mounts are generally mounted on pre charged pneumatics (PCP).

One piece mounts are mounted on spring piston air rifles.

Low mounts are usually set up on a rifle with a scope with a small objective lens. For Field Traget shooting, a scope with a bigger objective lense is mounted, usually up to 50mm, and medium height mounts are used. Scopes with an objective lens over 50mm, a high mount is the norm. Try to use the lowest possible mount to keep the scope as close as possible towards the barrel. Time to put the mounts on the air rifle.

On this spring rifle, there are two parallel dovetail grooves with three scope stop holes between them. Select one of these three holes for the scope stop pin on the rear mount.

Step 1 : Attach the scope rings to the rifle.

Most recoiling spring piston air rifles have three stop pin holes. Put the stop pin of the rear scope ring in the one that seems best to you. The pin's purpose is to stop backward movement of the scope rings and of the scope itself. Airguns that don't recoil don't need a scope stop. Remove the top caps of the ring before installing them on the rifle. The reason for this will be shown in the next step. Snug the rings so they don't move, but don't tighten them all the way yet.

Step 2. Position the scope.

Lay the scope on the open rings and position the eyepiece by sliding the scope back and forth. You may have to move one or both rings to get this right. Position the rings so the scope's eyepiece will be the correct distance from your shooting eye when the gun is held naturally. This is usually between two and three inches from the eyepiece lens, but it is the spot at which the image in the scope appears as full and bright as it gets. To see what this looks like, move your head back and forth along the stock, as you look through the scope with both eyes open. Then, position your head on the cheekpiece where you want it to be and move the scope back and forth until the image appears bright and full. Now put the top caps back on each ring without moving the scope forward or backward. Tighten them until the scope is held secure but can still be rotated with your hand.
Step 3. Align the scope's vertical reticle.
Align the vertical reticle with both eyes open and the gun held naturally to your shoulder. Rotate the scope until the vertical reticle seems to bisect the gun perfectly. Now you can tighten the base of the rings securely to the gun.
Step 4. Tighten the top caps to hold the scope.
This is a step where care should be taken. There is no need to over-tighten the ring caps to hold the scope in place, but most people overdo this part. Tighten each screw partially, then move to the next one and go around the pattern of screws many times, rather than tightening each screw all the way on the first try. You will put even tension on the caps and be less likely to dent the scope tube this way. If there are two screws on the side of the ring, tighten only one, then tighten the one on the opposite corner of the other side of the cap. Leave the other two screws for the moment and tighten two screws on the other ring next. Then come back to mount one and tighten the two screws you left loose. Then back to the other ring and keep rotating until the scope is secure. It takes less tightening that most people think. Keep going around the pattern, tightening very little each time. Hold on to the small end of the Allen key to keep from over-tightening. Some try to get the same amount of space between the caps on either side of the mounts, but don't worry about it very much. Once the screws are tight the job is finished. Now the scope can be zeroed.
Once you have your scope fixed securely to your rifle, you can begin the process of zeroing in your scope.

With your target set up, a plain target with a centre bull is enough, you need to decide at what range you want your rifle to be zeroed in at. Most air rifle zeroing is done at 30 or 35 meters. Zeroing is preferebly done on a bench with rests to minimize movement as much as possible whilst shooting.

To start, shoot three shots at the bullseye of your target. If your shots group, for example, low and to the left, then the adjustments you need to make on your scope are high and to the right. Make the necessary adjustments via the turrets on the scope. The turret on top is for elevation and the one to the right is for windage. On the elevation turret you will clearly have marked which way to turn to go higher or lower. Same thing goes for the windage turret, right or left. Fire three more shots, to see what effect the adjustments you have made have had on the impact point. Keep making minor adjustments until you are satisfied that the impact point is the same as where you are aiming. This is a trial and error process.

Sometimes you find that your scope has run out of adjustment before you have achieved your zero. In this case you will have to do what is called shimming the mounts, in order to give yourself more adjustment. When shimming, first set the adjusters to their mid positions and then remove the scope from the mount rings, and if the rifle is shooting low, you will need to add a shim or two to the rear scope ring. The most common material used for shimming is negative film. This can be cut into strips wide enough to lay at the bottom of the mount and you will probably need to use no more than three shims in order to give yourself the necessary adjustment back in order to obtain zero. It is important not to have the adjusters at their full extent of travel, as this can restrict the amount of movement that the other adjuster will allow.
Once you have achieved zero at the range required, your scope should hold this until adjusted again. Put any adjuster caps back on the scope, to protect your settings.

It is pointless to have someone zero the scope for you since each person shoots differently and you could have someone zero it for you but it may be of no use to you at the end, because of different eye relief and shooting style. There is no substitute for getting to know your gun and scope combination, and this starts with assembling it all together and zeroing it in. You are the one who is going to shoot it, so you must be the one to set it all up.

Happy shooting!!!!