Far too tired for proper training tonight. Stripped the rifle down, took the compressed air to it and blew the dust and dirt off it and out of the sights, then reassembled and cleaned out the barrel with the “blue crap” (DURC’s technical term for VFG cleaning paste), and then lots and lots of felt pellets, then fired a few VFG abrasive pellets through it and then a half-dozen ordinary VFG felt pellets. It’s just prep work for doing proper training later, but it’s got to be done every so often and coming back from Finland seemed to shake every particle of dirt in the case into the rifle itself.

Reading Air Rifle Shooting I noted the small point that not cleaning the air rifle after every match will open the groups up by 0.2 millimetres, and not cleaning it at all will open it up by 0.5mm or even further. 0.5mm doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the difference between 9.9 and 10.1 so it’s worth a minute or two of work every so often I guess. But beyond firing a VFG pellet or two through the rifle after shooting, I don’t think I’ll be investing a huge amount of time into it just yet, it’s too much like batch testing.

Air says you should batch-test your pellets, because the group size for 5 shots might be 4.5mm but for 60 shots it can wind up being as much as 7mm (or more with bad pellets). Personally, I hear that and I keep thinking of the really gimmicky measures we’ve seen down the years, like pellet sizing tools and the like, and I keep hearing Matt and Geoff’s often loudly unstated opinion that if we spent half the time on the range that we do fooling about with this sort of small stuff, we’d be picking up twenty or thirty points instead of the one or maybe two that you can pick up by fooling about with some small technical detail (it’s called “hex key shooting” round these parts and it’s not a good idea!). So I think the batch testing can wait until I have a hold that’s solid enough that batch testing might give a return that’s higher than the background noise level. Meanwhile, it’s just time spent wall-watching and working on hold. Basics first.