Friday, April 10, 2020
A suggestion for shooters during the "stay at home" period
While the powers that be have confined us largely to our homes for the time being, until the coronavirus pandemic has eased its grip, many shooters are getting bored. After all, there's only so many times one can clean one's guns, or count one's ammunition, or whatever; and we can't get to a shooting range to indulge in more practice (even if we have enough ammunition for that, because we sure can't buy much at present). I've had several friends complain that they're frustrated.
That being the case, let me remind you of tips I gave some years ago about practicing with BB or Airsoft guns and ammunition. It's a very valuable way to keep your skills honed; and it's legal in most jurisdictions to use a BB or Airsoft weapon in your back yard, as long as the pellets stay contained within its perimeter.
Briefly, if you don't already have one, pick up a BB or Airsoft pistol or rifle from a sporting goods dealer. (Amazon has a good selection, if you can't find any at your local shops.) They're not expensive, and small CO2 cartridges (for those powered by gas) and BB and Airsoft ammunition are also freely available. You should be able to equip yourself for less than $100, all told. While you're at it, buy some cheap tennis balls and table-tennis (ping-pong) balls. Get cheap ones - you're going to be shooting at them, so it's not worth buying high-end stuff. You'll start with the big ones, and work your way to the small ones as your skills improve.
When you've assembled your gear, go out into your back yard and begin practicing as I outlined in my earlier post. You can put in an hour or two a day if you wish, or even more - it all depends on how much time you have at your disposal. During inclement weather, use the inside of your garage (with suitable protection for the walls, of course). Given the extremely low cost of your investment, and the negligible cost per round of more ammo and CO2 cylinders, you can afford to invest a lot of time in improving your skills. If you wish, and if your BB or Airsoft gun is a same-size replica of an actual firearm, you can buy a holster to fit it (or use one you already have), and practice drawing and shooting from concealment. You don't have to worry about polluting your grass, either: most BB's will rust away quickly, and Airsoft ammo is generally biodegradable.
(Just don't mix up your BB or Airsoft weapon and your real gun. Much louder bangs, and holes in walls and fences [not to mention people], are hard to explain to unsympathetic law enforcement responders.)
By the time the lockdown is over, I'd expect that your shooting skills will at least have been maintained, and at best be several times better than they were. What's not to like?