Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Joy of Springers?

There is a 'return to springers' going on, I understand. Bored with the monotonous regularity of being able to predictably and silently hit target after target, rabbit after rabbit, with terrifying, military precision via the shock and awe technology of the high-end, pre-charged pneumatic, multi-shot air rifle, people - nostalgic perhaps for the rosy days of recoil, loud noises and missing things - are tossing aside their grands-worth pneumatics in favour of guns with great big boingy springs in them.

I can see the point, I suppose. I've only ever had the chance to fire a couple of shots with a HW100 and it was a bizarre experience. After getting to grips with shooting via the great, snorting, hefty howitzer that is the HW80, the 100 seemed like a trip with Alice to Wonderland: You are looking through the scope at the target, you apply a degree of pressure to the trigger and you note - whilst doing so - that, inexplicably, the target appears to have developed a small hole at precisely the bullseye point. Casting around in order to find a cause for this anomaly, you are forced to consider that the all-but-inaudible 'fhut!' a second ago was the 'report' of the gun in your hands as it fired. This seems ludicrous at first because the gun has sat utterly motionless in your arms and has clearly not 'fired' at all in any sense that you are familiar with. But no, it's true, the damn thing actually has gone off!

I can see how this would get boring if the gratification you were seeking in the act of firing the gun was simply the pleasure of firing the gun and no other. If acquiring a rabbit for the pot or not acquiring a rabbit for the pot was a matter of indifference to you then I can see that the satisfaction found in wrestling with the difficulties of the springer might well - then - become the main event, as it were. I can see how this might be the case, but for me it isn't the case: meat is crazily expensive, I can't afford to buy it but I am resistant to being forced into vegetarianism - so I want those rabbits in the pot.

So, yes, cast aside those tiresome pneumatics and return to the blue-remembered-hills of spring-filled joy (but when you do cast them aside, please, cast them in my direction...).

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