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Accuracy tips

by B.B. Pelletier

This posting was requested by a reader who asked for more on general airgun accuracy. Specifically, he wants to know how to breathe, follow-through and double-tap with a semiauto air rifle.

Breathing control
Controlling your breathing is as important for airgun accuracy as it is for firearms. And, there is only one way to do it. Before each shot, breathe deeply several times to oxygenate your body (don’t hyperventilate!). As you’re ready to take your shot, breathe deep one last time, let out about half (until you feel relaxed) and hold your breath to take the shot.

You have about five seconds before an oxygen deficit starts your heart pounding harder. This is the best time to let off the shot, while your body is relaxed and calm. If you can’t shoot in five seconds, relax your trigger finger and start the process all over again.

Follow-through is important in golf, baseball AND airguns!
Follow-through means keeping your sights on target after the shot has been fired, and it’s one of the MOST important accuracy tips! By following through, the shooter ensures that the gun is not moved before the pellet is out of the barrel. Poor shooters will quickly raise their heads from the sights when they think the shot is off. Eventually, this becomes an anticipatory flinch that begins while the pellet is still in the gun. When this occurs, the target is hit only by chance.

When you follow through, you start seeing the sight picture the moment the shot was taken. This lets you know how the sights were aligned with the target when the pellet took off. You can even begin “calling” your shots when you can do this. All great shooters do it; poor shooters never do it. Follow-through is one of the distinctions that defines an accurate shooter.

Secrets of a good double-tap
A double-tap means two quick shots fired in succession from a semiautomatic weapon – usually a handgun in a tactical mode. I haven’t heard the term used for airguns – but, why not?

There are precious few true semiauto air rifles. There’s the Drulov DU-10 Eagle, the IZH Drozd and, in a month or so, the new Nightstalker from Crosman. I’m going with the Drozd, partly because more people will have one but mostly because I have zero experience with the Drulov in rifle form. As a pistol, the Drulov trigger pull is so light that it probably isn’t a big issue.

The semiauto pellet-firing Crosman Nightstalker will soon be available here.

The difficulty with a double-tap is gun control. The gun moves with shot No. 1 and should be brought back to target before shot No. 2 breaks, or you’ll throw away the shot. It’s easier to control a rifle than a pistol, which helps, but control is still the name of the game.

The secret to semiautomatic rifle control is adopting a stance and hold that tends to return to zero after the shot. For shot No. 2, you’ll resort to instinct shooting rather than aligning the sights because of the speed of the shot, so returning to where you started is all-important. If you’re unable to rest the gun, then the best stance is to lean into the gun.

Those are my tips. Write if you want more.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

11 thoughts on “Accuracy tips”

  1. me and my friend have some bb pistols and now they only shoot air mine was brand new marksman 2000k pistol do u now of a oil or somthingto get them shooting again

  2. Dallas,

    The Marksman 2000 is based on their model 1010, which is five decades old. Being a spring piston airgun, the best thing you can do is stand the pistol so the muzzle it pointed up, then drop four or five drops of plain household oil (3-in-One works) down the barrel.

    Wait an hour, then shoot your gun several times to see if it regained any power. I’m sorry to say that this only works some of the time.


  3. ex marine (royal) A double tap is one quick round as the sights line up on the target, this militarily is to get their heads down and stop them firing at you. the second from a semi auto is placed carefully on the target controlled as it should be and as you say, and if the 1st didnt kill, let away and followed through to kill

  4. To the royal marine – welcome!

    I guess this is a semantics thing. In police lingo here in the U.S. I believe a double tap is two quick shots on target. At least that’s how I understand it.

    Thanks for commenting and I’m glad you’re reading this.


  5. What model of the Nightstalker is pictured here? It doesn’t look anything like the ones pictured on the Crosman site, or on Pyramid Air for that matter. Is it an older photo or a newer one? I’m looking into buying a Nightstalker and I’d much prefer this one over the ones I’ve seen on the site. This one looks more sleek. Is there a difference?

  6. Mike,

    The photo is of a NightStalker kit gun without the bipod and someone has added a RISE vertical grip to the forend. That is undoubtedly an airsoft part, not a genuine firearm grip, but they feel about the same.

    I used a Crosman promotional photo, so this may be something they made up but decided not to sell. To make one for yourself, you would have to bond the Picatinney base that the grip attaches to, to the underside of the NightStalker forearm. This one looks custome, because it matches the angle of the forearm.


  7. B.B.

    Thanks a lot, that really cleared things up for me 🙂 Just one question though. The stock of this Nightstalker doesn’t look like the ones on the Crosman site either. This one has the little sleek indent while the other ones are more utilitarian looking. Is that also custom or again due to the old photo?

  8. B.B.

    Although I am getting the CF-X, I have a question on follow through.

    How are you supposed to follow through if you only hold the rifle gentry and let it recoil?

    Doesn’t that mean that you cannot actually keep the rifle at a fixed place?

    Thanks again.

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