‘Hi, Terry, I really hope you can help me, mate, because if you can’t, I think I’ve reached the end of the airgunning line. My problem is, after almost 20 years of fanatical dedication to shooting airguns, I’m absolutely fed-up with the over-complication of my sport and the frustration it causes me.  

I fully accept that the majority of my problem is entirely my fault. I’ve always been a perfectionist, and as you well know, there’s more than enough ways to mess up your head in modern airgun shooting. I’ll cut a very long story short, by saying I became obsessed with chrono’ readouts, finding stocks of perfect pellets, setting and re-setting the performance of my rifles, and constantly striving for the ultimate … in everything, really.  

Now, it’s all become too much, and I’m not enjoying my shooting. My basic question to you, Terry, is, can you show me the way back to having fun with an airgun, again? I hope so, and I’ll truly appreciate anything you can do to help. 

Thanks in advance - Nick


Well, Nick, first, I’ve been where you are, and I can totally understand your plight. More importantly, I believe what worked for me, will also work for you, and the remedy is, quite literally, simplicity itself.  

All you need to do is swap complication for simplicity, with basic, solid function, and the pure pleasure of hitting the target. I de-cluttered my sport via a single-shot, non-regulated, Air Arms S500 Carbine, in a standard stock, and .22 calibre. Shooting Air Arms Diabolo Field, unprepped, straight from the tin, I knew I wasn’t equipped to reproduce the tiny groups at silly ranges I’d always insisted on, and that was, in itself, a good thing.  

On the flip side, smacking down targets out to 45 yards became a major source of pleasure, and the process of cocking the rifle, and loading pellets one-by-one, became therapeutic.  

I soon reached for Emily, my beloved Airmasters HW77 FTS springer, and alternated shooting her with the S500 Carbine, and within no time, I was enjoying the best of both worlds. 


Those early, simple sessions brought back to me what my shooting used to be about for so many years, where the pleasure of hitting targets and using, what these days would be considered uncomplicated hardware, was the foundation of everything I went on to do.  

Nick, please put away your cutting-edge hardware, at least for now, and get yourself behind something that delivers good performance under a far more basic format.  

Then, clear your mind of your previous goals and obsessions and just shoot some targets. Not 10mm reducers, but sensible, realistic targets that respond pleasingly to a good hit. Now, start hammering those targets, until that smile comes back to your face.  

The answer to your problem, Nick, is not to give up, it’s to get back to your shooting roots. All the best, mate.