Is buying a complete airgun outfit the best way to go?
PUBLISHED: 16:40 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:40 28 August 2018
Does airgunners need the total package? The editor investigates
The most frequently asked questions I get at the Airgun World offices are based on ‘what should I buy?’ From rifles, pistols, scopes, pellets, clothing, footwear and mounts, right through cleaning products, cammo gear and decoys, all the way to mozzie repellent, face veils and sling swivels. Think of a subject and we’ll have had airgunners asking advice about it, and that’s exactly how it should be, of course. Among the myriad subjects, help with choosing a rifle and scope outfit, and specifically, putting it together successfully, dominates by a factor of at least 10 to 1, and that doesn’t surprise me because it’s such an important decision. There’s so much hardware out there, too, so no wonder people need advice.
I was talking to Dave Craze, the hyper-enthusiastic owner of the Ronnie Sunshines airgun superstore, about this at the Northern Shooting Show, and he replied, “Why don’t you come over to the shop and see how we deal with that. I think you’ll be impressed.” Dave has never been backward in coming forward, but he’ll always back up what he says, so it was that on a bright June morning I found myself in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, nursing a coffee and listening to Dave’s take on how best to help airgunners to make the right choices. It turned out to be interesting stuff.
Give them what they need
Dave told me, ‘We get the same sort of questions you do about choosing rifles, scopes and putting together an outfit, so we decided to create a range of pre-charged pneumatic outfits ourselves that will help as many customers as possible. Most importantly, we don’t ‘sell’ anyone anything. Our approach is to talk to them and find out exactly what would be best for their needs, budget, capabilities and aspirations, and these are entirely unique to each customer. We don’t run a ‘one size fits all’ business, here. Our sport is a personal thing, so that’s how we approach our customers’ needs.
‘Next, we do our best to provide kits comprising high quality, top value products throughout a wide price range. The fact is, some customers either don’t want to spend the best part of a grand of getting kitted out, or they simply can’t afford that much, but that shouldn’t stop them having access to an outfit that will do a great job for them. That’s why our full kit offers range from £599 all the way to £995, and all kits include a rifle, a quality variable-magnification scope, mounts, silencer and either a slip or a case to keep it all in.’
Help to choose and use
As Dave explained things, he took me on a tour of his company’s comprehensive workshop, storage and testing facilities, and when we reached the shop’s impressive indoor range, he continued to explain the company philosophy.
‘Once a customer has made the decision about which outfit is best for their needs, one of our technicians will put it all together for them, explaining how to use and care for it, and then setting up the scope to suit the customer’s build and shooting stance. Then, we help the customer zero their new rifle, making any required changes to scope position or trigger settings they may need, as well as offering advice on technique. We’re shooters, so we know that only range time will truly get a shooter and their rifle performing to their full potential, and that’s why everyone who buys a new outfit gets a full day, with a partner, on our range, to make sure they leave our shop with everything they need to make the most of what they’ve bought.’
Aftercare for life
Dave then showed me some of the 12, BSA-based outfits, dubbed ‘Pro Kit’ and ‘Premier Kit’, based on BSA’s Ultra, Scorpion SE and R10 rifles in various guises, before completing his account of the new Ronnie Sunshine’s initiative.
‘The next thing that comes as standard with our kits, is peace of mind. Not only do the kits have a full lifetime guarantee to the original purchaser, they also come with free servicing as long as the customer owns the rifle. The whole idea of this scheme is to offer the total package of expert advice tailored to the customer’s needs, a competitively-priced purchase, a set-up and testing service, and a lifelong care package. Plus they can always come in or call us for advice if they need to. As I say, this really is the total package. It’s been incredibly well received, and we’ll be expanding the range of kit options as our customers request them, so when you get those enquiries about which outfit to buy – send them here!’
Would it work for you?
The combination of a dozen kit choices, plus the ability to have your kit expertly set up, then the luxury of having a whole day on a windless range to get in tune with it, backed by a service package that lasts as long as you do, has to answer many airgunners’ prayers. It would have answered mine, for sure.
I didn’t have anything like that when I was learning this game and I know it would have been a massive advantage.
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