That bit I DO know
The certificate/security needed for rifles seems a bigger deal than that needed for shotguns. I do have an air rifle that I need to get practising with, but that will only do pigeons and very close, very slow rabbits.
Permissions, insurance, etc all very valid points but I think I'm a way off that skill level yet
||Shotgun licences much easier to get than firearms. Do have a go at clay shooting, it's good fun. Expensive hobby if you get hooked though (as I've found out).|
Nowt wrong with a decent (just) sub 12ftlb airgun. No, ,it won't get you a bunny at 100m but you'd need to be a pretty good shot to do that with any firearm.
I'd practice with the airgun you have (what is it and what sight do you have?). Start with targets at 20m and work up to 50m (plenty for the airgun). Don't bother with buying targets, just draw black circles on waste cardboard and staple that to wooden stakes at range. Lying down (Prone) is generally the most accurate method and get yourself some support. A bipod is nice but a rucksack or pillowcase with some old rags / poly beads / newspaper / whatever achieves the same end.
Have a look at this. Although it's long range and rimfire, the techniques are the same regardless of range and calibre.
After you've put a few hundred pellets downrange, you should have a good idea of how accurate you and your rifle are. As long as you keep your quarry within that range then you'll be fine. OK, after a while you'll probably want to extend that range and that's the time to look at getting a licence. Having used an airgun for a while will put you in a better position come the Firearms officers question session though
A quick bit of advice on shooting law: If you trespass on land you don't have specific permission to shoot on with your airgun OR if one of your pellets goes onto that land, you are guilty of armed trespass! That's 5 years inside OK, the landowner would have to be pretty churlish to do that to anyone but it ain't worth the risk. Best to talk to some local farmers and ask if it's ok to zero your rifle initially. If they're OK with that then there's a good chance that they'll be more agreeable to letting you hunt small game / vermin later. Oh, while I think of it Google "General Licences". It's worth being aware of them
Word travels quickly in the farming community: I started off shooting rats with an airgun for a dairy farmer. He was so impressed that I actually collected the bodies for him that he told all his mates. I now have permission to shoot everything from Rats to Deer over thousands of acres and it's enabled me to get my section 1 licence
I hope this hasn't come across as patronising Feel free to PM me if you think I can help further.
An air rifle would be good start as it avoids needing a shotgun licence or firearms certificate.
If you want or need a shotgun for vermin control a small .410 is ace - http://www.shootinguk.co.uk/reviews/shotgun/gun-reviews-mossberg-410-shotgun.
A rifle that requires a firearms certificate is a lot of hassle to get and you're limited to where you can shoot.
Did you manage to sort anything out?
The best way I can think of is finding someone who shoots locally who can show you the ropes. I know that can be hard, a bit like finding a local tradesman who's highly recommended, but it would make things much easier.
You may have a local shooting club that could offer a cheap introduction to shooting but they can be variable depending on the type of members they have (some are more aimed at pure target shooting than others). Might be worth asking as even a target shooting club will probably have a bunny or bambi bashing members.
As for what to shoot, if you have access to land with a safe backstop a simple .22LR bolt action rifle is probably one of the easiest things to shoot. Much easier than a springer air rifle IMO.