Never buy a rifle on impulse. You may be in a gun shop with all these wonderful rifles on show, but you must try before you buy.

Come to the club. We have handled most rifles that have been built, you can try popular makes, and see if they suit you

.177 or .22? For hunting out to 30 yards, .22 is best. For target shooting, and general hunting, .177 is to be preferred.

Types of air rifle.

Spring rifles Because they are cheap to buy, they are popular with beginners, but the triggers may be of poor quality. On the other hand, an excellent springer can be as accurate as a PCP.

PCP these rifles have a reservoir which contains high pressure air. Because they have no recoil, they are easier to shoot than a springer, but they are more expensive, and need a source of high pressure air, either a pump, or a diving bottle.. At DM, we have a diving bottle which allows you to fill your PCP for 1 per visit.

CO2.. These rifles get their power from one or two carbon dioxide capsules. Because the pressure of CO2 can vary with temperature, they are not recommended for target shooting, but can be great fun for plinking.

Magazine, or single shot? A magazine rifle is more expensive, there is more to go wrong, and they may damage pellets when loading, making the rifle inaccurate. Magazines are best suited for hunting rifles.

Popular rifles. It is an unfortunate fact of life that you tend to get what you pay for.

The most popular rifles at the club are made by Air Arms, Weihrauch, BSA, and Daystate

Buying second hand. A rifle in excellent condition which hasnt seen too much use is worth about 66% of the new price. Buying from second hand shops, or markets is very risky.

Telescopic sights. There are hundreds to choose from. A good all round scope which can be used for every aspect of shooting is a 3-12 X44 AO Mildot.

Gun slip or case. You need a slip or case to transport your rifle, from 20 upwards.

Pellets Cheap pellets are a false economy, the club sells JSB pellets, which suit most rifles, from 10.00 per tin.

Local gunshops, in alphabetical order,

Gun and Sport, Heavitree, Exeter, 01392 271701.

Pull the trigger, Plymouth, 01752 257384.

Sportsman's, Exeter, 01392 354856.

The Gun Room, Ivybridge, 01752 893334.

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