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I agree with you to a certain extent, but any weapon can be used beyond it's capabilities.

I wouldn't use no. 7 shot when shooting geese, likewise using bb's on Rabbits would cause a bit of a mess.

The key is to know your limitation and those of your chosen firearm, and to stick within them.

If you do that then I see no problem with standard air rifles.

This might surprise some people, but I actually thought some form of licensing for air weapons would make a great deal of sense. It shouldn't be too strict but it could try to ensure basic knowledge. I know the government did not do this because it would be too difficult to do. (Another case of passing laws just for the sake of it and not to actually do any good).

Air rifles are a good way to teach (on targets) but I wouldn't use on at the 35-40 yrd range mentioned in many magazines because I think it's hard to ensure pellet placement due to wind etc at that range. It does annoy me that many 'professional' writers in the press seem to take long range shots and don't think much of missing (or simply wounding).

I now (with the exception of birds) use a rifle for the shooting of all game

Time for what may be a daft question, but is it legal / acceptable to use a rifle on birds? I'm mainly thinking selective culling of geese or ducks, especially if one is wounded. Personally I'm not that interested in 'sport' so I prefer proper kills of selected animals. If so, I assume a .22 magnum on a goose?

The easy availability of air rifles makes no sense to me at all. It's a dangerous weapon up close where a criminal might choose to use it, and it's only effcient for shooting wild animals in the hands of someone who really knows how to use it. The muppets I see occasionally with air rifles on public land (where they've no business shooting) oughtn't even have such weapons.

I guess that I just don't trust people with air riflesif I wouldn't trust them with a more powerful gun. I've also seen them used quite inappropriately many times over the years.

All air rifles in Northern Ireland require a FAC.

It Keeps the teenagers away from them but I can't see the paramilitaries being bothered, unless they prefer one to their armalites and browning hi powers....

I think the basis for licenceing for NI was that for a FAC you need to show that you had a need or use for any gun, be it an air rifle, shotgun or rifle.
Whereas am I right in saying that with a shotgun certificate in GB, the constabulary have to show a reason for you not owning a shotgun.

The licencing in NI seems to be considerably more relaxed in the last few years. When my brother had wanted a .22 about 10 years ago, he had to find someone who was giving up their FAC, buy the rifle off him and apply for a .22 on his FAC (which already had a shotgun on it).
Now I have friends who have been able to get .22 without being farmers and some have got .22WMR.

Shooting rabbits with a shotgun, I always found much more instant kills
when shot on the run. I never was sure why this was, maybe it is too tempting to shoot at too far a range at a sitting target. I know this sounds
unsporting but we used to have so many rabbits that they caused real damage to grass and cereal crops.

Jonnyboy wrote:

It Keeps the teenagers away from them but I can't see the paramilitaries being bothered, unless they prefer one to their armalites and browning hi powers....

Better get de Chastelain to decommission baseball bats and Black and Decker drills as well Sad

For small game I use a .22 magnum (50 grain bullet) with a big growler silencer. Even at over a hundred yards a clean kill is guaranteed.

At the moment I'm considering to apply for a FAC to buy a rifle to use at a local indoor range and possibly an outdoor range. This is so I can learn how to use it and look after it before venturing out. Otherwise I'm in a bit of a chicken and egg situation: I cannot arrange access to land to shoot until I can prove I can shoot accurately and safely, but I cannot learn that until I have somewhere to shoot...

The main question I have is would it not be extremely difficult to get a centerfire rifle without land or access to land? Would I not be limited to a rimfire to start with?

Yes! I know I should be able to get FAC to use a rimfire only at the rifle club as people have done before. It also helps as several members are police and the club has a good relationship with the various firearms officers who possess FACs. It gets a little difficult discussing these matters at the club because they are target shooting only and, although some clearly shoot live quarry, some members don't seem to like this too much.

However, I would imagine it would be harder to justify a centerfire rifle as the main use would be target shooting to start with. (There is also the range limit on muzzle velocity/energy but I can ask at the club).

Incidentally, I plan to eventually use the rifle on land when I buy somewhere in a year or so. But that's a whole new topic. Rolling Eyes

Any chance of an answer about using a rifle on birds, as posted earlier? This would just answer a question that has puzzled me for a while.

Many thanks.

Cheers, although I would imagine it would mainly be waders. I have thought of what would be the best way to shoot a goose. If, for example, you wished to humanely dispatch one a rifle would seem the most accurate. I hadn't thought of the fact that lead rifle bullets would also be banned along with shot. Is there any alternative?

Wild geese.

I only shoot rabbits, pigeons and pheasants, I use a .22 rimfire and a shotgun. I usually go shooting with my husband and we usually carry one of each - so we can use the correct gun IMHO depending on the quarry. Shot gun for pigeons and flying pheasants, .22 for rabbits and pheasants on the ground (as long as they are not running).


There's nothing illegal about using a rifle to shoot feathered game (Canada geese are often culled with .22s), but I wouldn't happy about using one for anything other than quarry on the ground, though I have used a .22 rimfire for dray-shooting squirrels in remote woodland. Unlike a shotgun, where the shot falls harmlessly after about 75 yards, a bullet can travel for half a mile and still have enough energy at the end to kill or wound, so you have to be darned sure what's lying along its possible trajectory, even out of your line of sight.
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