Tetrathlon (Pony Club)

Tetrathlon is a challenging competition for boys and girls organised by the Pony Club. The “Tetrathletes” score points for shooting, running, swimming and horse riding over a cross country course. They shoot turning targets at a range of 7 or 10 meters depending on age.

COMPETITIONS – New Page to Promote your Tetrathlon events.

All of our Air Pistols are suitable for the Shooting phase of this sport.

Special turning targets can be bought for practicing the shooting element.
(Click Pictures to watch clip of operation)
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Turning Target / pellet trap – this target unit has a wireless remote that controls the target. It has a mode for turning the target for a 4 second period as per Tetrathlon rules, as well as a special training timing mode.

Price: £159.00 excluding tripod stand.


 

Choosing an Air Pistol:

There are a wide choice of air pistols on the market making selecting the right one difficult.
The Rules Pony Club for Tetrathlon restrict which type of air pistol can be used to:
  • Barrel Calibre of 4.5 mm (.177)
  • Single shot (i.e. no magazine for loading multiple pellets)
  • Open sights only. No optics, laser or optical enhancements allowed.
  • Pistol must fit in a box 420 x 200 x 50 mm – this is the same as Pentathlon and ISSF 10m shooting.
  • Can be powered by Spirng, Pneumatically, Compressed Air or CO2 provided a firearms certificate is not required. This means the air pistol produces less than 6 ft/lbs of energy measured at the muzzle.

So now you know you are looking for a 4.5 mm / .177 – Single Shot, UK legal limited open sighted pistol. The next choice is how it is powered, and this will mainly depend on you budget.

SPRING POWERED

These are normally the cheapest type of air pistol. However, due to the recoil generated by the spring affecting the accuracy we would not recommend this type of pistol. Some expensive models use a spring system to offset the recoil, such at the Original 6 and FWB 65. However these models are no longer made, and can still be quite expensive second hand.

PNEUMATIC

These air pistols use compressed air rather than a spring, and produce very little recoil. They are often described as recoiless. The compressed air can be provided in several ways:

Single Stroke (multi stroke)

These pistols use an on-board pump to pressurise an air reservoir. Single stroke means just one action required for this, whilst multi-stroke would use several “pumps”.

Pros:

  • These pistols can be very accurate at a low price.
  • No need for expensive charging equipment.

Cons:

  • The main disadvantage is that they can require some strength to complete the action which quite often means an adult will be required to load the pistol each time. This can cause disruption to the shooters position thus making it harder to maintain consistent scoring.

Pre-Charged Pneumatic (PCP)

This air pistols have their own on-board air cylinder which is charged using a Stirrup Pump or a Air (Diving) cylinder. The action of loading the pellet is all that is required to arm the pistol. The air cylinder normally hold enough for over 100 shots on one fill.

The accuracy of the pistol depends on barrel quality and the consistency of the power for each shot. The best quality PCP pistols will have a Regulator which keeps the shots power constant.

Pros:

  • Very little recoil
  • Consistently accurate
  • Easy to load – no assistance required
  • After initial purchase of equipment they are cheap to run.
  • Pressure gauge (on best models) to show how much air left.

Cons:

  • Expensive to buy due to the quality of components
  • Expensive charging equipment required to refill them

CO2 

These pistols use CO2 gas to power them instead of air. The CO2 is provided by inserting a Capsule (usually 12 gram) or filling an on-board reservoir from a bulk tank. The most common system involves the use of a CO2 capsule that is inserted into the pistol, providing around 60 or more shots. Bulk filling has now become less popular since PCP pistols were introduced, and therefore is harder to source equipment. The capsule can be easily bought from around 50p upwards.

Pros:

  • Easy to load.
  • Much cheaper than a PCP pistol
  • No expensive charging equipment to buy.

Cons:

  • Need to buy CO2 refill capsules
  • Accuracy can be effected by temperature (not normally a problem for indoor shooting.
  • No pressure gauge.

GRIPS

The more basic pistols come with an Ambidextrous type grip that can be held with either or both hands. These are best suited to Two-handed shooting and Club pistols that can be used by anyone.

On some models you will have a choice of Right or Left handed grips. The more expensive pistols will offer Anatomical grips that are made in different sizes. Buy having a fitted grip the shooter will have much more stability when taking a shot.

 Summary:

  • Always get advice from someone if you are unsure of what you need.
  • Try to buy a “recoiless” model.
  • Think about who is using the pistol – 1 or 2 handed shooting? Weight of pistol and how much effort is required to load it?
  • Prices range from £85 to £1500 for target pistols. Remember that the top of the range models are designed for 10 M ISSF shooting where you need to hit a 5 mm ring with time to aim. Tetrathlon “10” area is much larger. All these pistols are more than capable of hitting this area. A shorter pistol may be quicker to aim.