Hunting/New to Guns


Hello Steven.  
I recently bought a Crosman Phantom Air Rifle as a present for myself, for target shooting and small game hunting.  When I was younger, I used to go out around the property (15 acres) with my Daisy multipump BB gun and get Rabbits and Squirrels (to the amazement of my father).  It was fun, but now that I am older I wanted something with a little more power.  I reviewed lots of guns and settled on a .177 Air Rifle over a .22 because I do live around neighbors and didn't want the distance that a .22 shell can travel.  
Well, the sites on my gun are crappy (as reviews stated), and cluster shots of around 20 give about a grapefruit sized spread.  I am not good at siting in the sites, so I bought a NCStar Tatical 4x20 Compact Air Scope to help with my siting.  As the reviews also say, my airgun is hard on the scope.  The rear eye piece was shaken off yesterday and I had only shot it maybe 15 times.  
So, My questions are, what is the best way to site in my rifle, and do you recommend any airgun scopes that will work better than what I have, ie Red Dot, Lazer, etc.  Also, I have a budget, but do want to get something that will make my shots accurate.
What is the best distance to stand away from the target to give the most accurate site reading?
How accurate are the manufactured sites on the Air Rifle I own?  When I turn the dial on the up and down adjustment, it doesn't look like it does anything, same for the L and R adjustment.  Its also cheap plastic rather than metal.  

Thanks for taking the time to read my question,

Hello Kim,
I don't understand your being against the .22 pellet rifle, because in any case, you must know your target before you shoot and you must know how far the projectile will go, in order to shoot safely. Not much difference in range between the .177 pellet and the .22 pellet. If you are speaking of a .22 cal. rifle, shooting "long rifle' cartridges, then I understand.

Scopes: Many scopes are made for air rifles and can withstand the shock. Better to spend extra money and get what you want that will hold up for years. Check out this seller.

To get a good, quality scope that will not be "knocked off zero" by the shock of your air rifle, you will likely pay more for the scope than for the rifle!

I would avoid the open sights that come with the rifle. They will only set you up to not hit that at which you aim. Have a lot more fun with a quality scope, designed to be used on air rifles.

To zero, get close. Maybe 20 yards. Fire two shots and mark where you hit. Make corrections on the scope until you hit maybe 3/4 inch high at 20 yards. Then, move back 10 yards at a time. You want to hit at the average range at which you are seeing game. Make the sights dead on at that range. Then recheck at other ranges. Make a range card. Perhaps note the pellets hit on the target for every 10 yards. Paste a range card to the butt stock for easy reference.

Have fun and please leave me feedback.
Hood hunting,


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Steven L. Ashe


Hunting firearms and how to choose what you need. How to build a reasonably priced custom rifle. What calibers must you have to hunt anywhere. How to train bird dogs. How and where to hunt. How to find good guides. How to view and enjoy hunting as a sport.


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Worked with a number of novice bird dog people who went on to win championship status with their dogs.

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