Sighting in air rifles is a coaching perk

Part of my job as a volunteer coach for the American Legion Post 6 Air Rifle Team is making sure the rifles are all sighted in, and it’s a job I look forward to every week.

I love shooting. I shoot handguns, rifles, shotguns, bows, and the occasional atl-atl, slingshot or crossbow. If it flings a projectile, I want to use it.

That’s one of the best things about volunteering to help coach the air rifle shooters for the American Legion Post 6 shooting team. We have two relays with 14 shooters each, and inevitably one or two of those kids needs his or her air rifle sighted in. The sights on those rifles are pretty impressive, but even the best sights get out of alignment from time to time. And with 28 kids shooting each week, the chances are good there will be some guns flinging lead where they shouldn’t each week.

I hate to see those kids waste a week of shooting by having a gun out of alignment, but I perk up when I hear a kid saying the rifle might need to be sighted in. It means I get to go back to the range on the weekend and shoot as much as I want.

And shooting those air rifles is a lot cheaper than shooting my .300 Winchester Mag or my .45. The pellets are about 10 bucks a can, and there are roughly a zillion pellets in each container. The air cylinders might need to be refilled, but they just use compressed air, so I can refill them for free. I can shoot those air rifles all day for the same cost as shooting one .300 WinMag bullet.

And there’s the added satisfaction of tuning that rifle so that it drills five pellets through the same hole. Putting one pellet in the 10-ring is cool, but when you repeat it four more times, it’s immensely satisfying. And then you get to see the smile on the kid’s face when he or she shoots for score the next week.

I hope I get to sight in some more air rifles this weekend.