Whether you’re an air rifle newbie or you just want to get some target practice in, plinking is a great way to get out and have some fun while working on your aim.

What is Plinking in Shooting

The term ‘plinking’ refers to a kind of informal target shooting, mostly as a fun, recreational activity. It can involve shooting various kinds of downrange, usually static targets. Typical targets include empty tin cans, which is where the name for the practice comes from, as these cans make a plinking sound when they’re hit.

Plinking tends to be an outdoor activity. If you have suitable space, you can set up a mini plinking range in your garden.

The Benefits of Plinking

Plinking can be a lot of fun – it offers a low-stress environment for you to hone your skills and develop your shooting techniques. It can also encourage some healthy competition if you’re shooting with others.

Target practice like this gives you the freedom to try out varying techniques and targets to help improve your aim and accuracy. Switching up the targets gives you something different to aim at, which can infuse a bit of extra excitement and interest if you’re bored with the usual paper targets.

The opportunity to shoot at your own pace also allows you to get to grips with scopes and any other air rifle attachments, so you’re familiar with how they affect your shooting.

Air Rifle Plinking Top Tips

There aren’t really any rules when it comes to plinking, as the casual nature of the shooting is much of its appeal. However, you will need to pay attention to a few things to ensure you get the most out of your practice.

Prioritising Safety

An air rifle can do a lot of damage in the wrong hands, so it’s essential you always put safety at the forefront, even when it’s just a bit of casual shooting.

If you’re setting up a mini range at home make sure you properly define your shooting area. You will need an open space that’s away from anything that could be hit accidentally, as well as being far away from any neighbours.

Although plinking will allow for a relaxed atmosphere, you are still dealing with an airgun, so you must remain conscientious when shooting the targets.

Air gun safety tips

You should also set up a backstop to catch any rogue pellets and prevent shots from going too far.

Choosing Your Targets

Aiming at diverse, improvised targets is all part of the fun, so make sure you’ve got plenty of appropriate targets on hand. The basic option is to start with paper bullseye targets, but there are loads to try out beyond this.

Other good options include things like tin cans or bottles, metal spinners or clay targets.

Remain mindful of targets that could splinter or shatter, as you don’t want anything travelling back to hit you.

air gun targets

Choosing the Right Plinking Gun

There isn’t much of a criteria for what makes a good plinking air gun – it’s all about choosing a gun that you can have fun with. If it’s in your budget and suits your shooting needs, it’ll do just fine!

If you’re only planning on a bit of back garden plinking, you won’t need anything too powerful. Co2, spring and PCP are all popular choices for plinking rifles.

The Best Air Rifles For Backyard Plinking

There are some great budget and more premium options out there – ultimately pretty much any air gun can be used for plinking. On the whole, you’re probably looking for a cheap gun that’s easy to use if you’re just getting into plinking.

Another key consideration is choosing a gun that’s relatively quiet as you won’t want to disturb your neighbours if you’re taking to the garden for a bit of target practice. Check out some of our top recommendations for the quietest air rifles around.

What is the quietest air rifle?

And here are a few other top-notch plinkers on the lower end of our price spectrum that would make good first air rifles for new shooters:

These air rifles are a lot of fun to shoot with and are sure to set you off in the right direction when it comes to getting out and having fun with some plinking!

Want to see more guns to suit your shooting endeavours? Check out our full range of Co2 air rifles to discover the perfect addition to your arsenal.

CO2 air rifles