Air Rifle purchase, anyone any experience?

It depends, I would say, on why you are shooting them. If it is just for fun or pleasure, I would agree with you. But our countryside is far from natural, and we don’t have the natural predators that we should have. Grey squirrels don’t belong here, do a lot of damage to trees (I could show you pictures of one of our oak trees that no longer has any bark on it, for instance) and have seriously reduced the population of red squirrels. Rats are fine in their place, but in and around my house is not the place. Pheasants are not native, and are quite tasty. Rabbits likewise, and they do a great deal of damage to banks around fields (here in Devon, for instance).

1 Like

I have nothing against shooting animals as long as there is a good reason, there are many good reasons I’m afraid, for example there is currently an outbreak of bird flu on Anglesey where pheasants are being culled. Grey squirrels carry Parapoxvirus which is deadly to the native red squirrels, infestations of rats in farms, the list goes on. It is a necessary part of life in the country, I must admit I’m like you and despite having been involved with target shooting now since 1979 I have never shot an animal and probably never will. Shooting animals purely for fun, now that is a different thing altogether.

Was that at Stonehouse barracks?

Slight detour.

When I was last in the US of A I went to the Las Vegas Gun Range booked a package and off loaded:

M16 with Holographic sights
MP5 Fully Automatic
Swedish K
Pump Action Shot Gun
Magnum 44
Desert Eagle Point 5-0

That was some firepower and I have to say great fun.

1 Like

My best recommendations are (1) buy .22 caliber absolutely (2) you get what you pay for, buy as expensive as you can justify (3) don’t skim on scope or mounts, scope should run 25-50% of the cost of the air rifle(4) on scope make sure it has an Adjustable Objective, it adjusts the parallax (5) power adjustable from either 3-9, 4-12, or 6-18. Good luck and protect the “Reds”.


Keep the noise down please - when I was a kid you could nip over there (Hythe Ranges) and collect the empty shell cases which clipped together - we’d come home looking like wild west bandits.

Haha. Don’t tell anyone, but you still can. Just keep your head down!

1 Like

Thats pretty good

Yes, the Americans always treated us to a nice time on the range, we’d shoot all the hand guns, .45, .44 but the classic S&W 6" .357 mag with a 38 special cartridge was my favourite quite accurate with that combo - be good for squirrels!

I’d sign out a large box of 9mm and we’d have a blast with the old Stirlings - the ones that could fire with the safety catch still on if you got it wrong - my favourite demo on the range, would make the youngs uns pay attention!.

1 Like

No, it was over the other side near Catdown/Sutton harbour.

I just had a look at my old ‘ears’ which has the membership number 439 so it had quite a following at the time, I suspect a fair few RM & RN members.


I just feel there are far too many guns in the world anyway, and in terms of animal management, the natural order of things would be preferred.

Bless its little Cotton socks.



His head looks oversize, relative to rest of body.

It’s a cute little baby grey squirrel.

Sorry I have to disagree, the deer population is totally out of control in the UK and with no natural predators proper management is the only solution. Deer (as well as squirrels) are significantly damaging woodlands that ere being expanded to help address climate change. Shooting is significant part of that. Not that would ever be done with an air rifle which is the subject of this thread.


Replace ‘deer’ with ‘human’…


On no account allow grey squirrels anywhere near your property.
I worked in property and have lost count of the number of times I’ve had to have properties rewired because grey squirrels have eaten their way into the loft and stripped the wiring. They’ll eat through UPVc cladding and if they get under the floorboards call in a specialist.
We always referred to them as rats with fury tails.

Rats with good PR


It would be preferred. But we don’t have a natural order of things here in the UK - or in a lot of countries. I would imagine that the Australians would love it if rabbits, rats and mice had not been introduced to their country.