How To Shoot Spring Rifles – The complete guide to improving accuracy.

HAM contributor Charlie Portlock has a huge amount of experience hunting with spring/piston air rifles. He’s distilled this into a short, readable eBook, which is available from It’s called How To Shoot Spring Rifles – The complete guide to improving accuracy.

As Charlie writes in the introduction, “the springer is capable of the very highest levels of accuracy… if you’re willing to learn how to handle one correctly…”

How to Shoot Spring Rifles is a compact, 43-page, self-published book. But don’t be fooled by that – many gems of shooting advice are contained within its covers. These gems are there for the taking, but they’re best found if the book is read slowly and thought applied to Charlie’s words. That’s what I did.

Charlie describes How To Shoot Spring Rifles as a guide to effective practical shooting. It’s not a lengthy technical study. Instead, this book concentrates on the variables that effect our shooting and cause us to miss the target.

So Charlie starts by analyzing the basic variables inherent in all rifle shooting – and shooting springers in particular.

He groups all these variables into three categories – hardware variables, human variables and environmental variables – and explains them before turning, of course, to ways and means of overcoming them.

It’s Charlie’s contention in How to Shoot Spring Rifles that human variables are the largest category.  By this, he means not only the shooter’s technical skill level, but also his/her physical state and the shooter’s state of mind. And, when you think about it, he’s right. I certainly don’t shoot so well when I’m mad about something!

The book covers what Charlie describes as the fundamentals of accurate shooting. These are shooting position, hold, eye relief, exhale, press and follow through. Again, these aspects are described simply but in ways that make simple sense.

At this point I should mention that while the material in How To Shoot Spring Rifles is universal in applicability, Charlie is British. He’s written this book in “British English”, for a British audience.

This means that a little translation is sometimes required for full understanding by US readers. For example, Charlie “presses” the trigger rather than “pulls” it. A “permission” is somewhere – usually a farm – where the shooter can hunt with his airgun and a “jumper” is a “sweater”. A “garden” is a “back yard”.

Don’t be put off by these words: enjoy them!

More importantly, there are legal restrictions on airguns in the UK that do not exist in the US.

In the UK, air rifles must have a muzzle energy of less than 12 Ft/Lbs in order to not require a special permit, background checks, police approval, etc. This is why he is very concerned about not exceeding that power level. In the UK, having an air rifle with a muzzle energy of even 12.1 Ft/Lbs could cause jail time!

By the way, 12 Ft/Lbs is about 800 FPS with 7.9 Grain pellets in .177 caliber.

This UK focus means that Charlie is shooting with what – in the US – would be regarded as low power air rifles. However this merely makes his comments about technical shooting skill more applicable to the US. With much higher-power spring/piston air rifles in everyday use, we need to learn, in the US we need to understand and use these shooting skills even more for accurate shooting with our high power springers.

How To Shoot Spring Rifles – The complete guide to improving accuracy by Charlie Portlock is available on Amazon. It’s just $2.99 for a download to your Kindle or other mobile device. Go to

For less than the price of a tin of pellets, this is a HUGE bargain!