Lots of newbie questions

Discussion in 'General Airgun Chat' started by Reptile Smile, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. Reptile Smile

    Reptile Smile New Member

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    Location:
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    Hi all,

    I'm a complete newbie to the HFT scene, and know nothing about anything but am really keen to learn.*

    I've done a fair bit of research, though have been constrained by budget, and have bought an AA s410. I appreciate a magazine feed isn't perfect for HFT, but it was so cheap at £320 that I couldn't really resist it, and I figure I can always put a single shot adaptor in it (have seen the one from Rowan Engineering - are there any others?).

    It's in a bit of a state cosmetically, though I believe shoots fine (or so I'm told - I haven't had a chance to shoot it as I live in the middle of Bristol. Am hoping to go down to Barbury this weekend to get more advice and do some plinking). *I'd like to get it re-blued - can anyone advise where I might be able to get that done at a reasonable price?

    I've almost inevitably, I guess, ended up with a few questions. *Hope it's ok to ask them here...

    1) it came with a scope that as far as I can tell is a Hawke Sport 3-9/40 AO Mil Dot. Now, leaving aside that mil dot makes me as baffled as Adam and Eve on Mothers' Day, I gather this is a budget scope? What would make more sense to get, as and when budget allows?

    2) given it's zoom-able, but I couldn't alter it mid-comp, what's best to leave the magnification factor on?

    3) how precious do I need to be about how solid the scope is on top of the rifle? I'm not talking about banging it around, but more should I expect putting the gun in a slip cover to knock it out of true/zero?

    4) should I have a spirit level on my scope rail to avoid cant?

    5) should I stick to one brand of pellet or for some one as inevitably hopeless as I will be when starting out, does it really not matter?

    6) what's the point of moderators in HFT? I can't see much advantage in it, given the noise isn't *that* anti-social, and it's quite a weight to put on the end of a long lever. Surely it can't exactly help stability? (Of course, there might be none - the previous owner used it for vermin control rather than HFT, and it might be due to that...)

    Huge thanks in advance, and sorry to ask so many daft questions...
     
  2. Kevg

    Kevg Warning: May post in random areas

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    That's an excellent starter rifle and scope, give it a try and you will start to learn what you've got!
    Try as many different types of pellets as possible, shoot groups with and without the silencer.
    As with most kit, it's the getting to know it that gains points and not how much it costs!
    If you fancy a go at HFT Kibworth is holding its open this Saturday and there will be loads of people who will be happy to help and give advice if wanted!
    All the best
    kev
     
  3. LANKY MK

    LANKY MK this **** is killing me.

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    Hi mate

    1) yes it's a budget scope but good enough to use until you can afford to upgrade, if you feel you need to.

    2) this will vary to what suits you, between 8 and 10 mag is popular. Personaly i use 10 mag and i would try that 1st if i was you.

    3) you should not expect your scope to lose zero with sleight knocks, assuming everything is tightened up enough (don't over tighten)

    4) this depends on which rules your shooting, UKAHFT don't allow spirit levels for example. Personally i wouldn't bother even if the rules allowed.

    5) i would try exacts and air arms pellets first. Finding a barrels preferred pellet can make a big difference, depends on the barrel since some are more pellet fussy then others. So try different pellets and when you find a batch it likes and buy as many as you can afford.

    6) although i currently don't have a moderator on my comp rig i do prefer them. I'm not a fan of the load bang of a pcp (my current rig isn't too bad, which is nice), can help with balance having weight forward and "deaden" any movments as long as it's not too much weight. (depends on rig/shooters preference)
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  4. chrisc

    chrisc Lucky git

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    No such thing as a daft question mate. One thing that you'll find on the forum is that HFT is really well supported on here with the best HFT shots in the whole wide world being members:D.

    Some good answers already so i'll try and add a few bits n bobs.

    1 & 2. The scope is perfectly fine for HFT but i suspect that on the full mag (9) the mil dots might be tricky to use. The first mil dot down (hopefully should be the point where your pellets strikes at 45 yards), given that you've set the scope up (zeroed) at 35 yards. 35 yards is probably the most common zero for HFT. You will soon realise that there's no aim point for 40 yards in the scope. that's why there's been scopes developed with half mil dots and ladder/christmas tree reticules as in the MTC Viper and Hawke TAC. Also your 'budget' scope will be low on optical quality so targets placed in dark, shadowy ares might be difficult to make out. As Mark said, use the scope and then you'll soon see if you need to find something different.

    3. securing anything on an air rifle or scope you should use the short arm of an allen key and then follow with a gentle nip up tight with the longer arm. bear in mind that one day you'll need to undo those bolts:)

    4. spirit level isn't allowed in HFT.

    5. The AA s400 series isn't known for being pellet fussy. Most target shooters will grab a selection of different pellets and use whichever one groups the best. personally i try to get consistant groups of 15mm and smaller at 35 yards. You'll never get a HFT kill that small at that range (unless an extreme shoot).JSB exact 4,52 and air arms are popular at the moment.

    6. You will see a few moderators at HFT shoots but not many as it's down to personal preference. I don't use them but my mate above lanky Mark prefers a moderator as loud bangs cause him to flash back to the time when he was in Vietnam.;)

    p.s in HFT **** taking and banter is mandatory:)

    On 30 th November there's a HFT shoot on.
    http://www.furnacemill.net/air-rifle-range.html
    Furnace Mill Fishery
    Wyre Forest
    Nr Kidderminster
    DY14 8NR

    Me and Lanky Mark are hoping to get there but for me depends if the wife is working or not. However some of the best HFT shots in the country will be going and you will be well looked after and will learn more in a day with a seasoned HFT shooter than a decade on the zero range. Also, please don't be put off with the word 'competition'.....even if its the world championships , you'll still find smiles and banter. i'll also guarantee that your score won't be the lowest of the day.:)

    If you have any questions then please don't hesitate to drop me a PM.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  5. Tone

    Tone Active Member

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    Location:
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    Club:
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    There isn't any dedicated HFT clubs in and around Bristol, so if you want to get into the sport be prepared to travel. As Chris has said Furnace Mill is well worth a visit and so is the Quarry http://quarryhunters.co.uk/Quarry/Welcome.html

    A great bunch of lads and very helpful. Its just under an hours drive from Bristol (once you know the way :rolleyes:) and they normally hold at least one of the National Series events.

    Pay a visit to Glevum in Gloucester sometime http://glevumtsc.co.uk/, although it doesn't have an HFT course its a good club a few of us are dedicated HFT'ers.

    Its a great and challenging sport and well worth getting into.

    Tony
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  6. chrisc

    chrisc Lucky git

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    Just Googled and Bristol to Furnace mill is 1.5 hours. Not sure if you can make that date (30th) but if you can maybe there are other shooters travelling from the Brizzol area that you could car share with.

    p.s i know Bristol a bit as worked at Airbus Filton for a while.:)
     
  7. Reptile Smile

    Reptile Smile New Member

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    Thanks so much to all for their expert advice.

    Furnace Mill might well be on, but not sure. Sounds good if poss, even if I am as green as grass. Not sure I wouldn't on balance at least have got a bit of practice in, but like you say, I'm sure the tips I could pick up would more than outweigh any potential humiliation...

    Glevum and the quarry are both within striking distance, as is Barbury. There's also the Avon Hawks but they're not accepting anyone til the end of January, and I'd rather have gotten started by then...

    Thanks again!
     
  8. blackscale

    blackscale Member

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    Best thing you can do is jump in the deep end and shoot a comp, i guarantee two things, you won't regret it and you will learn more on that day than any other...oh yeah! you will also have a few more silly questions! :D:D

    Get there early and get somebody to help zero your rifle for you...it could even need a barrel clean if it has been a bit neglected (going by your bluing question...which by the way i wouldn't touch for the winter, do it next summer if you really want to but not very cheap..)

    Goodluck :D
     
  9. Reptile Smile

    Reptile Smile New Member

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    Is there a downside to working in metres rather than yards? I suppose I might be missing out on some of the discussion after each lane because presumably th vast majority of people work in yards, right? But in terms of scopes/mil dots/etc, it's academic, right?

    Or have I missed something?

    Also - I'm just trying to work out my scope height to enter into Chairgun - is it from the centre of the scope to the centre of the barrel?

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
  10. DazT

    DazT Nursing A Semi !!

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    Center scope to centre barrel is how to measure scope height. Chair gun is a great app and is usually pretty accurate, providing you enter all the variables in correctly.
     
  11. chrisc

    chrisc Lucky git

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    If you go i will gladly shoot round you. Let me know near the end of next week:)
     
  12. AndyS

    AndyS Member

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    Now that's a offer you should not refuse. Chris is an excellent shot and I guarantee you will learn a lot and have a great time. There are not many sports when you get the chance to accompany someone of an excellent standard around and learn from them. Just do it!
     
  13. Reptile Smile

    Reptile Smile New Member

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    That's a hugely kind offer, Chris, and I'm very grateful. Will definitely take you up on that if I can. I'm optimistic, but need to check with She Who Must Be Obeyed when she returns from London tomorrow.

    I had an absolute blast today - shot the s410 for the first time in the indoor range at Mendip Shooting Ground. Someone extremely knowledgable and helpful helped me zero it (I ended up zeroing at the max I could on the indoor range which was 30ft. I'd rather work in metric, but any zero was better than none...). In addition to shooting some of the HFT type targets there, I also had a crack at some targets. As a beginner, of course, I have no idea what's good, but the attached pic was my best 10-shot, 30-yard effort.

    The s410 shot like a dream any any problems encountered were 'pilot error' and not the gun. I found the standing shots a nightmare, but I suppose the whole point of them is that they're the most difficult...

    Just need to learn how to cope with wind next...
     

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  14. chrisc

    chrisc Lucky git

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    Not bad at all. there's no doubt that the S400/500 series are good rifles but you're already starting to realise that it's the muppet on the trigger.:D. That's the thing with HFT...not only does your rifle and pellets need to group well, then you have to take into account wind, elevation, Standing/ kneeling shots and uncomfortable shooting prone positions:D. One thing i can guarantee though, you'll be smiling for a week after smashing some of the tricky targets.
     
  15. Reptile Smile

    Reptile Smile New Member

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    Hi Chris. I have the all clear from She Who Must Be Obeyed! So am really pleased that I can be there on Sunday.

    The downside is that it turns out that my s410 may have to be "put away for Xmas"... This would leave me with a rifle (though the missus may not remember).

    If she doesn't remembe, I'm all good. If she does, I wonder whether the club there have loan rifles I could rent, or if anyone has one they could lend me if pay them a suitable quantity of beer vouchers..?

    Cheers
     
  16. chrisc

    chrisc Lucky git

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    You can use mine mate. Ask around for Chris Cundey when you get there and someone will no doubt point me out. we can get booked in and on the same lane so you're not feeling too exposed:)...You'll enjoy it and get to shoot a Steyr as well.:) 10 minutes on the zero range should get the rifle sorted for you. PM me your full name so i can get the wheels rolling. I've PM'd you my mobile number so , if for any reason you can't make it, just drop me a text.:)
     
  17. dnic

    dnic Share the Love

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    You have certainly hit the Jackpot, Chrisc as your mentor, using the best rifle in the world a Steyr, if it was me I would fib to Chris that I couldn't bring my AA

    Make sure you set your alarm the night before, don't want to be late.

    David
     
  18. Reptile Smile

    Reptile Smile New Member

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    Thanks Chris, that's fantastic of you on every level. Can't wait - hugely looking forward to it. See you on Sunday!
     
  19. chrisc

    chrisc Lucky git

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    See you Sunday Ian.:)
     

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