I have my shiny brand new rifle, as you can see in my very arty photo in my last blog….very David Bailey if you ask me, which you probably don’t. My first shoot in my back garden made 28 yard range, was a whole kaleidoscope of feelings which I shall get on to hopefully in my next post.
So I have the weapon. I have a plan, sort of, but being the soul I am, most of my plans pretty regularly go out of the window more often than not, quite quickly. But it’s the willing and thought that I should have one is what counts. Isn’t it? I now even have the blog, to prove in words of all my successes I achieve. And maybe of some of the failings too. Of which I am sure there won’t be many. I hear a collective sigh, and thoughts of how naive I am.
I also have more curiosity than a cat. And if you knew my cat and the trouble he gets in to, is quite enough thank you. I have a million things going on inside my head about everything air rifle. From this beautiful work of weaponry art I suddenly have before me, to stalking, hunting, rabbits and much much more.
But where to find the answers to all my questions. It’s not going to be in the randomness that most of the internet brings through a one word google search that delivers back 99% random thoughts from the great and the good! And, the not so great.
How to filter it all out?
Before I bought my Hatsan AT44-10, (even the sound of saying or typing the model name out in full sounds majestic, to me anyway), to convince myself I was doing the right thing I read as many reviews as I could from around the world about this rifle. Most of them I have to say dear reader was not complimentary.
It was like reading a far right manifesto of some immigration hating, scare mongering party that warned us of this Ottoman like Turkish invading force that is coming to attack our Christian made, green Jerusalem shore, God fearing home grown rifle makers.
Turkish guns are no good. Especially the Hatsan made ones.
They can’t hit a barn door. The barrels are as bent as a Downing Street copper. ‘Please, please don’t touch them. Stick to the good old BSA, Daystate, Air Arms etc and burn anyone who doesn’t support our boys’. All would say.
Now I will point out that some of the early ones, pre-2006 or so, do seem to warrant this kind of warning, but not now.
But I digress. To filter all this out I went in search of a forum!! And to my disbelief I found one. It was for British shooters. Living in Britain. Owning these Johnny Foreigner rifles from Turkey. Mainly Hatsan, but welcoming all comers. The welcome page said all the right things. How friendly they were. The newbies where very very welcome and to ask anything they needed. Nothing, they said and no one would be turned away. I joined in an instant.
I had welcome comments from long established members.
I posted my first response. And even first subject post. Some people even replied and patted my head giving me all the well dones I needed. I was pleased.
It wasn’t to last.
My next post wasn’t to be well received. Not at all. What rules did I break? What unspeakable subject did I breach? Now dear reader I am a passionate soul. Whatever I take part, or interested in, I immerse myself 100% I have an engineering degree, and have been in one form or another in engineering for over 20 years. So what did I do? I asked how an air rifle worked!! Oh the sin! Give that man a BSA right now and banish him. Not quite, not that dramatic. But had it been that dramatic, I could not felt any more of a poaching, illegal, pleb loving low life had I tried!
I asked if anyone had a guide or the know how to walk me through the strip down and assembly of my rifle. Pointing out what this spring and that screw was called, what it’s purpose was and how should I clean or spot a seal to be replaced. Just a question from a mid life crazed man and engineer on how his air gun tool worked.
I felt, dear reader ostracised. I could not of stood in the whispering gallery and shouted ‘HOW DO I DOUBLE THE POWER OF MY RIFLE? ANYONE?’ And be treated with silent accusations. Sent to the forum Coventry. With being seen as an infiltrator in to their little world, their kingdom, and I a serf. But that won’t let my passion be diminished. I have had my ear clipped.
I have but one question?
In the freedom of speech world that is the interweb, is the forum a font of all knowledge, or a clique?
One you will be only allowed to join and partake in if you know your place!