Diablo FT Match Report 4/20/08

Yesterday was the 1st FT Match for the Diablo Field Target Association in Concord, CA and it was a great event to kick off the new season and new FT group. Familiar and seasoned FT shooters came out of the woodwork to get back into the game and we had some newcomers arrive to check out FT and do some plinking, practicing and talking afterwards!

We shot a slightly shortened course today with some twists from the same old course that was laid out in the past that made for a more challenging course. For myself, adding to the challenges is that this was my first attempt at clicking versus using holdover to shoot the course and I just set up my gun with the ranges and clicks on Saturday! Naturally I was a bit nervous and lacking confidence, not sure how reliable my scope was for clicking and concerned about all the stories I heard in the past of people getting “lost on their rotations while clicking” as my set up is definitely not “One Rotation”!!! I was also worried about my gun, The Theoben Vanquish that was a basket case for over a year but just recently turned “golden” after a lot of fiddling, but would it hold up, were the 2 tests of its accuracy good enough to be counted as consistent accuracy…I’d certainly know by the end of the day.

I got assigned to shoot with 2 well seasoned veteran air gunners/shooters, Greg T. with his Walther LG300 Dominator and Bill H. with his AZ tuned Steyr LG100 FT. We started off on the long lanes, which was not my preference with the new rig, lol, as my clicks and range finding was limited to 10 - 30 yards as that‘s all I‘ve got at the house!!! Bill tried to settle me down telling me “No big deal, let’s get the hard stuff out of the way first, we have almost no wind at all…” Made sense but it didn’t help me too much, lol…missed 2 shots on and watched Greg and Bill shoot near flawlessly…Figured oh well, I survived the longest shots, time to get to the shorter lanes and hopefully settle down.

Bill H. was “in the zone” with his Steyr and CPH #2s, shooting naked with no harness or shooting jacket and shooting at 50X on his big Nikko scope(telling me early in the shoot to start shooting at 50x, you‘ll do better)…Greg was nearly flawless as well, also shooting Kodiaks, naked with a Bushnell 4200 8 - 32 x 40AO scope…I was trying to “hang with the big boys” making an early freshman mistake…Rangefind, Cock, Load, Power back down to 20x, click, smack, oh no, why’d the pellet hit the base of the target?!?! After a quick visual check, I realized that I FORGOT TO CLICK MY ELEVATION TURRET FOR THE RANGE!!! Note to self “DO NOT FORGET TO MAKE SURE NUMBER ON SIDEWHEEL = NUMBER ON TURRET!!!”

I was having a good time shooting with Greg and Bill, chatting as we shot and settling in with the Clicking Mode and being in the FT position again…Unfortunately, a few lanes into the match, Bill H. had to leave due to family commitments despite us telling him, its “Fundamentally wrong to leave when you are shooting this good!!!” But like a good family man, he went to spend time with his family and left Greg and me to finish the course…Greg and me were shooting really closely…it was a lot of fun chatting airguns with him as we shot the course and I was finally “comfortable” with what I was doing till we arrived at the Standing Lanes!!! I’ve always used the Vanquish as a benchrest gun, ZERO OFFHAND work, and with Saturday being spent trying to dial it in and shoot from the FT position a little, I was about to blaze a new trail!!!

First Standing Target is the closest target, while trying to hold on the kill zone and try to lock my trigger finger on that second stage bump, misfire, shooting early!!! CRUD…set up for the 2nd shot, repeat of the first attempt!!! Get to the second Standing Target and decide the trigger is set around 3.5oz., forget taking up the first stage travel, the gun’s too big and heavy to do this without practice so just get it on target and snatch the trigger, this maneuver dropped the target twice, not proud of it but I’ll take it for now.

Now we’re back on the ground, whew terra firma and stability, set up for my shot , take it and think wow, that kill zone looked big as barn door!!! A quick look and oops, forgot to power back down from 50x, no wonder it looked monstrous…then me thinks, hey Bill and Kevin are right, 50x isn’t so bad…gotta try it again…needless to say I shot the rest of the match at 50x.

At the end of the match, Pat J. aka Photo22 comes up, checking score cards and tells me don’t un strap yet, you might be in a shoot off with Paul A. aka APSHOOTER…I said nah, someone must of shot better…walked back to the club house, was getting my gear off and putting the gun away and Pat J. Photo22 tells me gear up.

So Paul and I walk out and set up, staring at this tiny kill zone hidden in tall grass up on the hillside!!! All I could think is at least its not a standing shot!!! After a bit of hazing from the crowd, Paul gets to take his first shot and drops it with his Solo…Pressures on now, settled in a best as I could, kept feeling like I was falling backwards…let a JSBH fly and the target dropped! Whew, one bullet dodged…Next shot Paul missed so the pressure wasn’t as bad, other than having a crowd at my back, lol, somehow it came together and the target dropped!

It was a fun shoot and learning experience to say the least.

I was really surprised at the end of the match to find out John L. aka Bikerscum actually shot the match. I thought he was on the disabled list due to an injury but was at the match to help out another air gunner that might shoot by bringing his air tank for him to use. Also bringing his rifle for a friend to shoot if he showed up as well! Nice guy or what…I think that despite his injury, he couldn’t refrain from shooting FT and being a spectator!!!

Afterwards we plinked some and then went up to the next range to checkout Air Pistol Silhouette with Paul A., John L. and Steve H. and the rest of the fellas…It was a lot of fun, I took some test shots but didn’t compete like Kevin aka Bondoz and Pat J. aka Photo22 did…I was too hungry, pulled out my small Weber Gas Grill and bbq’d hot dogs and hot links and watched, asked questions and helped out with resetting targets…can’t wait to set up a rifle and pistol for Silhouette, it’s a fun sport!!!

Over in Springer Class, Pat J. and Doug B. aka Leadslug were battling it out in a HW97 vs. TX200MKIII challenge.

The Results for the FT Match are:

PCP Class:

1. Anthony I.
2. Paul A.
3. Greg T.

Springer Class:

1. Pat J.
2. Doug B.

Looking forward to the next match and hopefully the return of Danny S. aka Triangular and his 2 sons and hopefully more of the old and new shooters at Diablo…It was a lot of fun shooting with some great people.



Greg. T.(Dominator), Kevin Y.(Dominator) and Doug B.(TX200MKIII) Sighting In:

Greg. T.(Dominator), Kevin Y.(Dominator) and Doug B.(TX200MKIII) Sighting In

Steve H.(Steyr LG110 FT):

Steve H.(Steyr LG110 FT):

The Shootoff:

The Shootoff: