Well the bullet is going to come down somewhere and you have no idea what or who its going to hit when it does so always use a solid backstop.
Because they're classified as firearms in their own right, its not a licence you get, you tick the box on the FCA1 form and if you have good reason you get the 'S' on your licence
Let's not overlook the warning that used to be printed on every box of .22 rimfire ammunition - 'Dangerous at one mile'.
Also, NOT good to shoot over open water, or any kind of water to tell the truth - ricochets will go on for ever, and it would be just real bad luck to connect with another person or animal that was in the way.
A few years ago over in the USA, a woman driver simply veered off the north-bound freeway adjacent to a lake and some small islands that were actually part of Canadian territory. Paramedics arriving on the scene found her dead over the wheel for no apparent reason. Back at the county morgue, the ME found that she had been shot in the head by a .303cal bullet that had entered, unseen, under the hairline, the bullet having passed through the open window while she was driving at around sixty miles an hour or so.
It took a long investigation to establish that the bullet had come from the rifle of a Canadian hunter on an island almost two miles away from the unfortunate woman, and that the bullet had travelled across the water after missing its intended target.
Thanks lads. Surely a pellet from an air rifle could do a fair amount of damage if shot towards the sky?
Is there any chance you guys could give me a few tips on safety and maintenance of a .22? I will google it too but would also like to get your opinions.
The main thing that comes to mind with regard to safety is while shooting in fields, not to shoot straight ahead unless there is a mound of earth or something that will have a good chance at stopping a bullet. I know this is always the case but anyway!
Never aim the gun at anything unless you intend on killing it.
Never load the gun until you are in the hunting area.
Keep bullets secure in a bag and not in a pants pocket or anywhere on your person.
Always be aware of ricochets and don't aim at something that the bullet has any chance of ricocheting off i.e. a tree.
Never run with a loaded gun
Always carry the gun "broken" until you get to the hunting area.
These are all off the top of my head, some are obvious, yes but safe nonetheless.
If you do the NRA Basic rifle course it will cover every aspect of safety and will show how to clean the rifle etc. I *think* there's only one place in Ireland doing it though.
Your best way to learn about shooting and gun safety is to go out with someone and watch them.
I spend 3 years out with people shooting before i ever got my own licences. I learned a lot about shooting in that time..
Its the simply things you learn that are the important.
Few stuff I learned were
Never fire at anything on a ditch or in a ditch as you dont know whats behind it.
The safety only comes off the gun seconds before taking the shot
Always know where farm animals are before firing
Always ensure you have a secure backstop
Never take shots on the brow of a hill
Unless disassembled treat the gun as loaded
If you are lamping at night, never fire at a set of eyes, identify what it is before taking the shot
Another thing i picked up and copied from the lads I shoot with is I always walk around with the bolt pulled up and put it down before taking a shot.
This means that 3 things have to happen before the gun is fired by accident.
I have this uneasy image of the OP setting out with a new .22 rifle.
The rules are there for all to see but there is no substitute for 'fieldcraft'.
.22 rounds stretch out to surprising distances - I once shot 'shorts' in a dry ploughed field and they kicked up dust at 400 yards.
Ancient guys like me learnt with an air rifle in the 60's and then progressed to a .22. It was a natural starter gun, now people are forced into using a firearm unless they deliberately opt for an airgun. All in all you are much safer with an air rifle and I'd go with one to begin with.
Given the equally difficult time that you're going to have to go through to get either licensed, I would choose the 22lr.
If you want an auto - go with the Ruger 10/22
If you want a bolt - go with the CZ 452
If you want to have some fun, get a Henry Lever action golden boy. Cowboy hat is required.
Just because I'm asking about the safest way to use a gun, you have an uneasy feeling about it? Yeah, that certainly makes sense
I'm afraid when you ask questions about shooting into trees you betray your inexperience.
When I think about any novice ( not just you ) wandering the countryside with a lethal weapon I certainly feel uneasy. I've lived long enough to see a few near misses.
If you are set on a .22 rifle I'd get a bolt action which will cycle all ammo. Personally I use .22 short ammo for nearly all small game shooting as the gun does not need a moderator. However it is hard to find and you will probably end up using subs with a moderator, if your Super will allow.
Recipio, With respect the OP he has come here for advice and has asked alot of good questions, he sounds like he is willing to learn and wants to do things right including being safe. Many lads might decide to get a gun and never ask these questions and go out acting the maggot or doing silly things because they dont know any better and never bothered asking these questions but i highly doubt that will happen with the OP judging from this thread anyway. The rest is up to the guards to decide if he is suitable. I think your reaction is OTT and a bit of helpful advice would have been better
Are you his super??
I started with an air rifle. Then moved onto a .22.
I love my .22. Have shot greys and maggies at 150 and even one at 200yds. Its a brilliant firearm.... however, I am seriously considering trading it in for a good pcp (pre-charged pneumatic) air rifle. I never bother with my .22 anymore unless im shooting bunnies because i have a .223 but i think i would get much more use out of an air rifle cause i can go back to shooting grey squirrels from the trees!
If I were you I would go for an air rifle. At least until you get some experience. And and air rifle will do what you want and more.
PS Paul O Halloran in drangan would be worth a visit. only 20mins out the road from you.