Diablo FT Match Report

July 20 2008

Got up this morning and loaded up my truck with gear, noticing that it was overcast, windy and borderline drizzling at the house. I was wondering what in the heck it was gonna be like at the Match if it looked this ugly at home...

Sure enough, lots of wind, cool but not cold and the sun was shining...Lots of people of people sighting in and getting warmed up:



Amidst the crowd of shooters, there were some very welcomed faces that we hadn't seen in a long ole while:

Frank Bobbio:



Mark White in the red jacket, Doug Burke with his TX200MKIII:



In addition we had some brand new FT shooters:

CaitLynn in the Juniors Division, with her new S400 Carbine(.177) in custom stained beech stock:



Robert Hopper:



Timothy Howard, no picture, was a new shooter, with an HW97.

It was gonna be an interesting day, I knew it, the foreshadowing was already at hand earlier. To go back a day, on Friday I decided to perform a sanity check on my rifle only to find out it was shooting a 1/2" high. I was able to remedy that with cleaning the bore and relubing it with FP-10.

That night, I get a phone call about how the course was gonna have some changes to make it more challenging for the more experienced shooters. I also talked with my buddy Lonnie about how I haven't been shooting at all in weeks with the Vanquish and he was in almost the same scenario having practiced occasionally, more like setting up a new S400 Carbine that he bought for his niece to shoot FT with than dedicated practice. So we were both less than confident going in to the match, lol.

So we're there and its WINDY, we have the shooter's meeting and start the match I'm starting on the Off Hand lane!!! Normally this would have been a welcomed blessing and others knew it, Paul A. shouted out it isn't fair, he should be shooting that lane at the end when he's tired!!! BUT given that I was out of sorts, I was dreading it, the first shot was a very forgiving killzone and close, maybe 13 yds or so and I missed it twice!!! Get to the 2nd target with smaller killzone farther back a few yards and out of sheer luck I hit it once, go figure. As John M. put it to me, its good that its done so move on...

Back on the ground I was able to settle in somewhat, had a few shots that left me wondering "what just happened"?!?! Everything felt and looked right but the pellet was off the mark and it was a good sized killzone and too close for wind to matter, go figure!

Half way through the match John M. had to leave due to prior commitments so I started shooting with Doug B. and Mark W. Now was time for me to meet my demons, the long shots. Kevin added more long shots on this course and raised them up to take advantage of the swirling winds present at our area!!! First shot is at 45 yards and it really wasn't bothering me, felt relaxed at this point, clicked to 45, cocked, loaded, breathed, refined the sight picture, was stable as can be, exhaled squeezed the trigger and see the pellet flying up at the top of the target!!! Must be the wind, repeat the sequence, same results...ok, it has to be the wind, go to the 2nd target and its low on the ground, wind won't be an issue...first shot, straight as can be but high again!!! Me thinks what is going on here, look at the elevation knob and I wasn't paying close enough attention to my scope settings, I was a whole revolution off!!! Argh!!! One rotation down, fire away and the target falls like clockwork!!! Foolish mistake!!!

As Doug B. put it to someone asking about how I was shooting "He's shooting fine now that he's using the scope right, he missed one target than shot 2 more times to confirm he was off on his rotations!!!"

Always a good laugh shooting with Doug B. and Mark W., they keep the game very sociable and fun!

When passing people between lanes and refills, everyone is commenting that they are shooting less than desirable and that the wind was an issue.

At the end of the day, we go back in the clubhouse to see the final top scores:

PCP

Lonnie Smith 43
Tony Inocentes 38
Paul Alexander 35

Springer

Kevin Yee 39
Pat Jacobs 35
Doug Burke 28

Juniors
Ryley Ghani 26
Caitlynn 16

Lonnie's a force to be reckoned with now, I think he's been holding out on the past matches so its time to step up the pace, lol!!! He did extremely well in tough conditions, had to bug him at the end of the day about how he was worrying about not shooting good the night before...maybe it was a jedi mind trick he was playing!!!

It was great having more new shooters show up. They had fun and looks like they are catching the FT Bug and planning on coming back for the next event, practicing and preparing in advance. The S400c that Caitlynn has is a very nice little air rifle, very compact and balanced, the fact that the barrel is non-shrouded like my S400ERB in particular has caught my attention, may have to spend some time test driving that rig in the next few weeks as it looks initially like a really good value.

It was a fun and safe event for all. Gonna have to practice for the next match to catch up with Lonnie now!!!

More photos and information at the Diablo FT website:

Regards,

Tony

Total Scores:

PCP
John Lindsay 30
Frank Bobbio 32
Lonnie Smith 43
Mike Murphy 13
Tony Inocentes 38
Paul Alexander 35

Springer
Eric Ko 21
Caesar Gorospe 17
Pat Jacobs 35
John Murden DNF
Kevin Yee 39
Mullie Ghani 11
Mark White 18
Doug Burke 28
Robert Hopper 4
Timothy Howard 6

Juniors
CaitLynn 16
Ryley Ghani 26