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Your Top Five Tips for hold sensitive springers?

Could be a rough bore, turned a few stinkers into shooters by lapping.

Crown is sometimes an issue. Lapping compound, on the end of a sharpened pencil can be chucked into a cordless drill and used to polish the interior edge of the crown. Micro-burrs might be the problem. Had good results with this.

other than this, gun might be ammo-finicky

Good luck!
My R9 is a tad hold sensitive, this seems to work for me-I rest the forestock in my off hand palm up and the heel of my palm against the trigger guard. Using the heel of my palm I pull the gun into my shoulder with enough pressure so it's stable. I kind of pinch the trigger between my thumb and the tip of my trigger finger or lay my thumb against the pistol grip like this so just the tip of my finger contacts the trigger like this-

Hope that helps (and made some kind of sense)!
Don't give up! It took a two to three months for me and my Diana 48 in .22 to reach equilibrium. It will shoot tiny groups at 25 yards but I can't just pick it up and shoot it well. Last fall I bought a RWS 34 in .177 and installed a Vortek kit, it's very easy to shoot, not very hold sensitive and every bit as accurate as the 48. My 48 is a bitch and I've considered selling it and buying another 34 in .22. The 48 is a great rifle, just a mofo to shoot in my experience. Your mileage may vary.
All your responses are much appreciated. Things have improved.

The most effective advice was:
  • Relax and throw the gun seveal times in a natural position. Then adopt that position as the one to work with.
  • Lighter hold is more effective for me than those who have better results with firm holds.
  • The "pinch the trigger" hold was effective.
  • Try more pellets: While my OP said I tried a lot of options, apparently I had not tried enough. A shipment from PA came in with a couple of notable new performers that really helped. The 10.3 JSB heavy and the HN Field Target tightened things up some and gave me confidence to settle in to a relaxed comfortable hold.
  • Be patient. I think I've shot upwards of 1750 pellets. It's taken me this long to settle in. A reflection on my inexperience vs. the quality of the gun, I'm sure.
I did not get to lapping the crown. This particular gun has a permanently installed semi-shroud over the muzzle that conceals the crown down in there. It makes that chore not so straightforward, I think. I have not opened up the internals, and there is still a buzz. I'll enjoy shooting for a while before I get to trying a first-time springer tune.


Mar 4, 2018
    Believe me, I feel your pain. I recently bought the Ruger Impact Max in .22 and I constantly get wild shot. I'm talking, in a five shot string I'm getting 4"+ groups at 20 yards. Then there are times where I'll put a 1" dot on the target and shoot it off in one shot. Then my next shot is 2" of PoA. I've tried several different holds, off hand, bag rest, artillery hold bag rest. Standing, kneeling, prone, loose hold, tight hold, everything I can think of in my 20+ years of shooting airguns. Screws are tight, scope mounts are solid and set, cleaned the barrel once when I got it. Just got through my first tin of 400 yesterday and started on the second. I cleaned the barrel again last night and lubed it so next shots will see how it goes. My guess is it's my scope, but don't have any others to test. 


    Dec 16, 2015
    Syracuse, ny
      Wow, there's a lot of great advice in this thread. But let me add my 2-cents too!

      1) Try to see the pellet in flight during each shot. No, this does not always work due to lighting and conditions, but if you can focus and keep a steady sight-picture throughout the pellet's flight and impact I truly believe this helps with shooting any rifle.

      2) Pull through the entire range of the trigger. This kind of goes with item 1 above. Don't just stop when the rifle goes "bang" (or pfffft, or sproing) but keep steadily and smoothly pulling the trigger as far as it goes. 

      3) If you're resting the gun be sure to find some marking or bolt on the stock to help you align it consistently. In fact, you may want to do some testing with rest points. I would shoot 2 groups of 10-shots at specific rest points on your bag and see if your specific setup "likes" a specific position on your rest. I have a RWS 34 and 48 and they are both very picky about where they are rested... I use just the front (big) bag with my springers. I have a bipod with my PCP so with that one I just use the rear (small) rest...


      Oh, and don't say that a high-power springer CAN'T be rested:

      • I did not get to lapping the crown. This particular gun has a permanently installed semi-shroud over the muzzle that conceals the crown down in there. It makes that chore not so straightforward, I think. I have not opened up the internals, and there is still a buzz. I'll enjoy shooting for a while before I get to trying a first-time springer tune.
DON'T NEVER, EVER TOUCH THE CROWN!!! Unless you're an experienced gunsmith who knows what he's doing. Sorry for the caps, but I've had to recrown so many rifles because of people screwing around with the crown, you don't want to know. 1/100's of a mil off, and your barrel is FUBAR. 

      If you're inexperienced with springers, here's my advice before making all kinds of drastic (and probably irreversible) modifications to your rifle. The Artillery Hold is all about repeatability. Making sure that each and every time you shoot the rifle, you hold it in exactly the same way (less pressure is better). Trigger placement, also way more important than many think. Try to adjust the trigger to the point that it breaks like glass, without having to put much pressure on it, but not as light that the rifle becomes unsafe. Build up your trigger pressure ever so slightly, don't "predict" the break, just let it happen without thinking too much about it. 

      Make sure you test many brands of pellets in different head sizes. Airguns are picky when it comes to ammo. Start with JSB's and forget about crappy brands like Gammo. Before you start modifying, let the rifle settle in first. This takes about 200 to 500 shots. The barrel needs to be "seasoned" with lead first, before it becomes accurate. 

      Start with this first, the rest will come later. That's my advice, for what it's worth. ;)
      I have been shootings break barrels both springers and gas piston for about 2 years now. Just about the time I think I have one of these guns mastered they slap me back to reality and let me know that if I don't do everything exactly the same way every time they will slap me in the face again! Keep the faith dude and check all of your bolts springers are noted for shaking them loose.Make sure all of your scope mounts are tight also.Trigger control is very important . Practice as much as you can,I can shoot dime size or smaller groups at 15 yards and 1" groups at 25 yards . That's with either my RWS Diana 350 magnum springer or my Hatsan 95 Vortex .
      I am certainly not a pro at this springer shooting business. Everything above has rattled through my mind at times and I try to follow all the techniques on trigger, screws, fore grip support, etc. What seems to destroy my groups most is inconsistent butt pressure. Probably just my style, but if I concentrate on similar clothing, similar pressure from the fore grip and exact repetition of butt placement in the shoulder pocket I have better groups. Keep the faith!
      It's not a center fire rifle that you have to properly shoulder to prevent your arm from getting dislocated, you just apply the amount of pressure that's needed to keep the rifle stable and repeat that hold each and every time. That's the secret of shooting springers. ;) 
      • Like
      Reactions: ironlion269
      Some things I learned from you guys

      My groups have tightened up significantly since my last check in. I've applied a lot of advice I recieved here, which I'll list below.

      First, on the subject of selecting pellets, I learned its easier said than done if you are shooting badly. It's just hard to assess pellets when you are gripping, ungripping, twisting and flexing every time a flyer shakes your confidence. I learned it was necessary to settle on a shooting style and quit questioning the scope -- then stick with it long enough to get at least consistent (bad) results. Then you may start picking pellets based on your bad group sizes with the faith they will improve. My choices in this excersize turned out to be JSB Exact Heavy 10.3 and H/N Field Target 8.4.

      Now on to how a consistent style developed in my case:
      • First, I chose to bench shoot off a bag with a completely relaxed left hand supporting the balance point of the rifle, rather than the rifle directly on the bag. This seemed to be more consistent that shooting directly from the bag, which mystifies me, but so-be-it.
      • Next, I took some advice here and simply brought the gun to bear in the general direction of the target with a relaxed natural position over and over again. No shots fired. Just up to the bag -- and cheek to the weld -- repeatedly AND WITHOUT TENSION. I note how the gun rests on the bag, on the shoulder, and in the hands each time. I do it until its the same every time. This became the base of everything to come.
      • Now that I'm ready to shoot, it's time to make the first move. With my torso aligned so the gun is generally on target, I address the rifle by bringing my shoulder into it.
      • Next, close eyes and relax, relax relax. Sink into the bench and become concious of your breathing like a Zen master. As you breathe, you'll realize you may have subtle tension in that supporting hand under the forestock, or in the shoulder connected to it. Breathe again and lose all that tension. If you peek, you'll see the point of aim move when you relax that last unconcious tension away -- and you'll realize how the slightest pressure has an effect. Ah Ha! OK keep it relaxed right there.
      • Now, open both eyes and adjust any verticle misalignment of your scope picture by using the most subtle of moves on the cheek weld or shoulder to get your cross hair 90 degrees vertical. DON'T TENSE THAT HAND UNDER THE FORESTOCK to do this and DO NOT YET ADDRESS THE TRIGGER OR GRIP. Keep that trigger hand free from the gun here if possible.
      • Next, (and I found this to be the most important) Using breathing and the muscles in your core -- adjust to the target by moving your body -- NOT YOUR ARMS OR HANDS. Use just enough pressure in the shoulder's contact with the butt and your cheek weld, and no more, to make the subtle moves directed by your torso.
      • At this point, I am mostly aligned and ready to address the trigger without harshly gripping the gun. I take up the first stage with the front pad of the finger and LIGHTLY seek an imaginary feeling of the gun's rear weight being supported by that light tension on the trigger finger (it is not in reality, it's merely a "feeling"). The thumb is restsing vertically above, not wrapped around the grip.
      • Now, I'm ready to to make the final few mm's of adjustments to the POI. With a last breath I make a final mental check --- forestock hand completely relaxed, grip hand in light contact with the grip but not applying ANY directiontional force, shoulder contact and cheek weld barely firm enough to support the gun, trigger first stage at light tension. I come to the POI and don't hesitate now!
      • Finally! Squeeze and let 'er go. 
      • Follow through, meaning, hold the trigger in fired position and keep your head on the target for the milliseconds it takes for the pellet to hit. Release breath and think about what just happened.
        • Make mental notes. For instance, on follow through did the muzzle end up a little, left, right, high or low? (It shouldn't have been and its a good bet your pellet is on that side of the target too).
        • Ask yourself, how did that happen? You'll find the answer is likely that you applied almost imperceptable extra grip, or trigger pressure and the final moment, pulling you a few millimeters off. Try not to do it next time. Its hard.
      • REPEAT WHATEVER PROCEEDURE YOU ADOPT EXACTLY. That means the position of your elbows on the table, your lean into the table, the pressure on the cheek weld, shoulder, trigger and grip, etc.
      For me, this has played out a bit like finding the right golf swing. When it's right, you'll feel a sweet trigger release and find that the muzzle by some magic ends up right about on the bull at follow through. Just like a golf swing, that sweet spot can be elusive. And, just like golf, if you start overthinking it, or making adjustments that are too deliberate, forceful or impatient, you'll be in the rough more often than not.

      In my case with the HW97K and JSBs I have had moments of brilliance with a 1/4" 5-shot group at 25y -- and near one-holers at 15y. However, that's the exception, not the rule. 3/4" or worse at 25y is more frequent.

      I have adopted the "guide with your torso" rule for standing and sitting positions as well. I try to keep my arms and hands out of it, except to merely support the gun aiming where my body and breathing puts the crosshairs while staying steady on the trigger.

      Now, after all this, it may come to pass that many of you will find that I'm full of sh*t and headed for a sad reckoning with my poor self-taught technique. That's why I'm laying this out there. I have no coach, and no nearby club to learn from. So correct and comment as you see fit. It's not personal, and I figure I'll learn something if you make a post. I appreciate the comments and advice that have gotten me this far.

      Flexwagtail, lots of good info posted on how to shoot a Springer. First off. I think the term hold is bogus when it relate to shooting Springer's. You REST a Springer in Palm of hand or on soft shooting rest. Try rolling up an old blanket for front rest. Get a good set of rabbit ears for rear rest and use talk powder to make recoil easy as possible. The gun should be aligned resting on bags or rest of your choice. You are not holding gun. If the rear rest is not firm and dancing around accuracy will head south. Light grip with trigger hand. Thumb pointed stright up. The secret is to push with thumb while squeezing trigger at the same time. You know about the cheek weld and the follow through. Remember, REST the gun.
      I think shooting a springer well is a very Zen kind of thing. I do have my best results with resting the rifle on a bag at the forward end of the stock. The next thing for me is getting the rifle on target with it and me being in a very "neutral" state, where I am not putting pressure on the stock to really keep it on target. I think as soon as your are putting pressure on the rifle to hold it on target, as soon as the trigger is pulled the spring recoil and bounce back throws the rifle off target so much easier. Give it a try. It will make you a better shooter with all your rifles learning to shoot that springer well.