The following guest  article was written and submitted by Bill Price

We welcome a variety of points of view on the subjects of shooting and marksmanship. Test them objectively on the range and let the results fall where they may.

IN THE BACKYARD?

By Bill Price

You can learn marksmanship, ballistics, wind-doping, trigger control, and a broad base of shooting skills without leaving home—at least in some states and some neighborhoods. And in most states and neighborhoods, you can do this a lot closer to home than at your nearest shooting range.

Ever since something caused ammunition prices to skyrocket a few years ago, my “powder-burner” firearms have been gathering dust. About that same time, I bought an air rifle—one of the entry-level “magnum” types advertised to shoot pellets at 1000FPS. It turns out that this was not the best way to get started in airgunning, but it was at least a beginning.

About the same time I began to get a little wiser about what airguns (pellet guns, not BB guns) could shoot accurately, the great commonwealth of Virginia passed a law prohibiting municipalities and counties from enacting legislation prohibiting a person to fire an air gun on his own property (provided that the pellets do not leave the owner’s property and that normal safety precautions are observed).

I’m also fortunate that I rent a home situated on a large farm, and my landlord’s only stipulation is “don’t shoot the cows.”

I try to shoot at least every Saturday at home; I’ve joined up with DIFTA (Damascus Izaac Walton League Field Target Association, Damascus, MD) and shoot competitively once a month during 6 or 7 months of the year. I have a target, pellet trap,  and a four-foot square backstop in my dining room (bless my wife’s understanding) and ten yards away (in the living room) is the shooting position for my indoor range.

I participate on several airgun forums, and between the exchange of information available there and at the monthly matches, I’ve probably squeezed ten years worth of information into my two-plus years of airgun shooting.

And last week I shot my first five-shot, one-inch group at fifty yards (from a bipod).

There are airgun competitions in Field Target, Silhouette, Three-Position Target Shooting, and more. I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having with a couple of very reasonably priced airguns. One of my pistols cost about $45 delivered, and included a red-dot sight. It will put pellets into the same hole at 10 yards if you do your part, and the best, most accurate pellets are around 2c apiece.

Look around your area for airgun clubs or organizations. Look on the net for some forums and dealers. E-mail me, Bill Price (chrodoc -at- gmail.com)   if you need more info.

Stay well; shoot often.

Visit the Damascus Izaac Walton League Field Target Association, located in Damascus, MD, online at http://www.damascusiwla.org

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