Just who is this guy anyway? And some MUST-READ Stuff

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pull up a chair and grab a beverage – welcome to the new and (I hope) greatly improved Airguns of Arizona blog.

Once a week – with your help – I plan to write about one of my favorite subjects: airguns.

Here’s a quick sketch of my background: I’ve been a professional writer since 1969. I live in upstate New York with my wife and son, two dachshunds, a cat and a rabbit.

In 1999, I rediscovered the joys of shooting airguns and began writing about them. (My first was a Daisy Pump 25 that I got for Christmas at age 10 and shot until it wore out.) In the past nine years, I’ve written dozens of articles about airguns for US Airgun, Airgun Illustrated, Airgun Hobby, Precision Shooting, The Accurate Rifle, and Addictive Airgunning. I collected the articles for The Accurate Rifle and Precision Shooting in a book called “Elliott on Airguns” that Airguns of Arizona sells. I’ve also written about slingshots, atlatls, blowguns, rimfire rifles, and archery for a variety of publications.

Just because I’m passionate about airguns, and I love writing about them, doesn’t mean I know everything about them. In fact, I’m sure that I don’t. So that’s where you come in: I look forward to your comments and input on this blog.

Now, because I want to keep you – the reader – around for a long, looooong time, here’s some MUST-READ stuff:

The Number One Rule of Airgun Safety is never, ever point your airgun at anything you don’t want to see a hole in. Always keep the airgun pointed in a safe direction, and you will never have cause for regret. That’s because, with the exception of a ricochet, an airgun can only shoot where it is pointed.

Here are some other key points about handling an airgun safely:

· Always treat any airgun as though it is loaded. Even if you are totally, completely, absolutely, positively certain that the airgun is unloaded, still never point it in an unsafe direction.
· Read and follow all instructions in the owner’s manual and know how your airgun works before using it.
· Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard while loading the airgun.
· Wear shooting glasses to protect your eyes and make sure others with you are wearing eye protection. (If your reading or prescription glasses are not safety glasses, wear shooting glasses over your regular glasses.)
· Make sure you have a safe backstop or use a pellet trap. Place it in a location that will be safe if the pellet or BB goes through. Don’t use a hard backstop with BBs.
· Look beyond your target. What happens if you miss? Where will your pellet or BB go? Be sure of the answer.
· Check your backstop for wear before and after each use.
· Maintain control of the airgun when it is not being used, including at the beginning and end of each shooting session. Don’t load it and leave it unattended. Store your airgun, unloaded, where it cannot be used by curious youngsters or unauthorized persons. Store the ammunition separately.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

Jock Elliott

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