The Best Air Rifle accessories in the UK
- By Phill Price
- October 31, 2021
- 11:10 PM
Airguns are all about precision and accuracy, and a few well-chosen accessories and air rifle supplies can really help in making your shots count.
This is never more true than in the hunting fields where the kill zone of our quarry is very small and only a precisely placed pellet will result in a clean kill. Perhaps the number one quarry in the UK today is the invasive grey squirrel that does so much damage to our songbirds and woodlands. You must hit its brain to kill it, a target no bigger than a grape, which clearly demonstrates the need for accurate shot placement.
The old saying, ‘you can’t shoot what you can’t see’ comes to mind here and a well-made scope with bright, clear optics is a huge help to the precision shooter. Leupold Optics has a well-earned reputation for making some of the finest scopes you can buy and they offer their 3-9x33 VX-Freedom model, designed just for airgun use which it’s a great choice, as it ticks all the boxes for the modern hunter.
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x33
The objective (front) lens is 33mm, easily big enough to gather all the available light to offer a bright image, but not so big as to make the scope too heavy. The magnification can be varied from 3 to 9x allowing us to select just the right setting for each and every hunting situation. Vitally, it also offers parallax adjustment, something every airgun scope must have. This lets us focus precisely on the range of our target, eliminating internal aiming errors. Further, the scope is waterproof and well able to resist the knocks and bumps that are part of hunting life. There’s a huge choice of airgun scopes on the market these days but this is surely one of the top choices.
One of the biggest challenges facing airgunners is the fact that pellets fly on quite a curved trajectory, meaning that you must make corrections to your aim all the time to compensate. Knowing the exact distance to the target is the vital information you must have to make your calculations. Today, the airgunner’s number one tool for this is a hand-held laser rangefinder. These are small, light and easy to use, so you can have one in your pocket every time you’re out shooting.
Leupold RX-1400i TBR/W Rangefinder
Leupold Optics has a range of rangefinders, and their RX-1400I looks like a great choice for airgunners. As with scopes, a bright, clear image is vital allowing you to place the crosshair precisely on the target to get the correct range. Hunting can be tough on equipment so the rugged, light-weight polymer housing is just what you need to protect the delicate internals if it should get dropped, as so often happens in the field. This really is a vital piece of equipment for the serious airgunner and highly recommended.
It’s very hard to shoot accurately if your arms are tired and aching, which is why all serious airgunners fit a sling to their rifles. This is also a great help when you’re covering rough and steep terrain because you’ll have both hands free for balance and to hold on to fences and trees for support. There are thousands to choose from and many are good but with the Light Harness sling, 3HGR has taken things to a new level. It’s fully adjustable and features a padded shoulder section to ensure non-slip comfort throughout the day. What makes it stand out from the crowd is that in seconds it converts into a harness that very securely holds the rifle across your back for maximum security in the toughest conditions. It also makes carrying heavy rifles far more comfortable, reducing fatigue.
The 3HGR Light Harness Sling
To shoot accurately you must zero your rifle precisely and get regular practise, and for that you’ll need target cards. Again, there are hundreds to choose from but the days of being satisfied with a black dot on a white card are long gone. Modern manufacturers like Pro-Shot offer ones that show the pellet hole very clearly with a bright colour against the black or red target area. This makes seeing each shot way easier than the old-fashioned types. Further, many in their Splatter-Shot range come with patches, allowing you to fire many more shots at the same card than in the past, making them good value for money too.
Splatter Shot Sight in Target
One of their most interesting targets is called the ‘Sight In’, which, as the name suggests, is specifically designed for zeroing your scope. Its clever layout offers diamond shaped bullseyes which are very clear to see as your crosshairs hover over them. Behind these, the card is lined with a one-inch square grid, helping us to see exactly how much we need to adjust the scope as we’re zeroing in. Very clever indeed!
Each of these accessories will help you to place your pellets with greater precision if you take to time to set them up properly and practise regularly. Of course, practise itself is one of the best ways to become a better shot, so you’ll be improving as a shooter as you’re learning your new equipment. It’s a win-win!