Newbie seeking advise...

Discussion in 'General Airgun Chat' started by Makalu, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Makalu

    Makalu New Member

    Jul 8, 2012
    Dowry Hill
    Hi All,
    As mentioned in my introduction elsewhere on this forum, I am just about to start out in FT having never really shot anything much before - I am therefor a complete newbie.

    I could really use some help and guidance on what kit is needed in order to take part in the sport. I'm a competitive person and I know I will not be happy plodding along and just 'making do' so I would like to start off with a half decent rifle and scope combination that I can grow in to.

    Having trawled the web a lot over the last few weeks, it is clear that there is a huge selection of rifles and scopes that are capable of doing the job and all at different price points. I have set myself a budget of £1k and for this I would like to get a rifle and scope that will support me at most levels of competition.

    Starting off with the rifle.
    Im looking at rifles in the £600 area and the one that catches my eye the most is the Air Arms MPR FT. As with all 'reviews', there are always supporters (ie. those that have experience of the gun) and the nay-sayers. What is the balanced opinion of this forum regarding this rifle? Would it be a good place to start or can I do better? At this point I should mention that I have a strong preference to buy new since I dont have the knowledge or contacts to give me the confidence to buy used.

    Scopes.... OMG!!! (as my 12 year old son would say) much choice, so many different spec's and descriptions I really dont know where to start. Do I need IR? What kind of reticule is best for FT? I understand that for FT, it's smart to have a variable zoom with an objective lens > 40mm (did I explain that correctly?) I have read about the popular models such as the 'Big Nikko' and then, when you try and find the 'Big Nikko' on the manufacturers website, there are about 10 different varieties that could be called a 'Big Nikko'. Which one am I supposed to be looking at? Many of the manufacturers I read about turn out to be too expensive for my budget and if I'm correct in my guesswork, the 'Big Nikko' falls outside my budget by £2/300.. So my question is simple this - what are my FT scope options for about £400? At the moment, I'm looking at the Falcon T50. Some reviews thinks its great, and then someone else says it's rubbish (but doesn't say why...). All I can say is that for £400 it looks like a good buy if it lives up to it's spec.

    Pellets... I'm not even going to start worrying about this bit until I get the rifle and scope bit sorted. But one quick question which has me baffled - what is the real difference between a 4.52 and a 4.53 (apart from 0.01)? I'm assuming that the number refers to the pellet diameter in mm's?

    Finally, assuming I find a rifle and a scope (and yes, I hope to try a few out at the club I am joining), what else do I need in order to take part in a competition? Is it really just a set of waterproof's and a bum / gun rest? Or is there something else that is a 'must have' or 'nice to have'?

    Sorry for all the dumb questions but I really am starting from scratch here and any pearls of wisdom you can share will be one less question I need to bombard the other club members with when I finally join later this month.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. NJR 100

    NJR 100 Because I`m AWESIME !!

    Aug 10, 2009
    Avon Hawks, Tondu, Oaktree
    best bet is to go to nerartest Ft club and see whats in use.
    you cant be far from Dowry Hill.

    top club and some very nice chaps there.

    Chris Large and Val S are top shots and really nice chaps.
    Some kid called Ozzy shoots there but most in Wales are beating him of late so i would not bother with him too much lol

    Mpr is a nice gun but for most the stock is too short.

    I would look at a pro target (no i would not, i would look for an NJR but thats me!) . Not new but good Pro targets are £4-500.

    Scope, Big Nikko (diamond 10- 50) is a strong contender, £3-400 2nd hand or perhaps a new Falcon T50 for £400.

    That leaves you £100 for 2nd hand 3lt bottle and £100 for seat and pellets plus bits and bobs.

    Sense of humour handy :D
  3. Shaun

    Shaun Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Hi Mak,

    first bit of advice is - many people new to the sport buy equipment and then quickly find that it's not up to the job. There must be loads of scopes sitting on shelves that were bought with good intention but ...

    This is my view for the rifle: I would look for an Air Arms EV2 or Air Arms Pro Target. The former probably £600+ and the latter as little as £450. These are both proven FT rifles. There are of course others but they tend to be more expensive. What are FT competitors using? By far the commonest are the Air Arms Ev2 and Steyr LG100/110.

    Scope: Big Nikko refers to the Nikko Stirling Diamond 10-50 x 60. This is available 2nd hand as the Mk1 (black turrets) the Mk2 (small green turrets) and new as the Mk3 (big green turrets) around £699. Secondhand I have seen the scopes from £250 upwards. All are good but popular was the Mk2.
    What are FT competitors using? By far the commonest is the Big Nikko followed by the Leupold Competition scopes. There are, as you say, some much more expensive options.

    Whilst I appreciate that £1000 is a lot it is worth saving up so as to get is mostly right at the first attempt - I think if you had an EV2 with a Big Nikko on top then this would take you a long way in the sport.

    The MPR has been around for a while but hasn't really caught on in FT, there are a few about but nowhere near the numbers of the EV2.

    Pellets - 4.52mm yes is the diameter. Some manufacturers offer 4.50, 4.51 and 4.53 options. These suit different barrels but it's a matter of testing to find out which best suits yours.

    Other equipment:
    Bean bag, deep gun bag, pellet pouch, cleaning equipment, shooting glove, waterproof clothing, boots ....

    I see that you are in Leicester. Dowry Hill is the FT club in Leicester (out by Groby Pool). Also you're not far from Purley Chase at Atherstone or Castle near Nottingham. Best advice is get along to a club say hello and ask about the kit being used. FTers usually love to talk about their kit and will, I'm sure, let you have a go.
  4. Shaun

    Shaun Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Oops I forgot you'll need air (thanks Simon!)

  5. mountain view

    mountain view New Member

    Jul 17, 2012
    West Wales
    Blaina Gwent ARC
    Hi Mak
    I'm quite new to this too, started about December 2011; like you went to the clubs talked to shooter and like you was a bit overwhelmed by it all
    Decided to go with a many times recommend AA S400 and bundle offer that included a NS Mountmaster, a basic scope which others now tell me is quite a good choice for hft being a 4-12x50
    At this moment having gained some of the many skills in this sport I'm trying to decide upon the next scope that will have better range finding qualities
    Staying with NS I'm thinking of the 8-32x60 with mill dots, now they tell me that there is a new LRX reticule which is NS intro apparently, so a bit confused at the moment, and kit is not cheap and of course you don't want to buy below or beyond your expectations
    You are right It can be daunting
    All the best, you will enjoy it, it's fun and the company is excellent
  6. cocoamedia

    cocoamedia New Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    South Dorset Field Target Club
    Hey Mak...

    I am in a similar boat, except I am intending to start out with HFT.

    I have been visiting my local club and shooting some other members guns. I have to say that pretty much all of my thoughts about guns and scopes have been changed... so glad I didn't buy first.

  7. simona

    simona Active Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Lots of good advice.

    Don't get sucked into worrying about the kit. Go to a local club and have a go, many clubs have club guns. It would be best to use these for a fair while until you develop your own ideas about what kit you might like to consider buying.

    There are numerous rifles and scopes which when properly set-up with well-suited ammo will produce identical results. If any one gun or scope was better than the others you would see nothing else used.

    At the begining (and ideally, always) you should not get fanatical about the kit; it's just a means to an end! You cannot buy success in this sport, kit good enough to win any event can be had for very modest expenditure. Modest kit, working correctly and perfectly set up, will beat high end stuff which has been slapped together with imprecise markings, poor zero and any old ammo every single time.

    If you used a standard S400 it would be a very long while before it held you back.

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