Diablo Field Target March 15 Match Results

The official 2009 FT Season Opener for Diablo Field Target was set for 3/15/09. The chaos pre-ceding the weeks before 3/15 was unusual for many of the usual shooters. Shooters were busy trying to get rough numbers for their rigs, often having to redo them several times due to changing power levels on their guns to see what was accurate and consistent…switching scopes, barrels, shrouds, muzzle breaks, flip flopping between what pellet they were going to use, LOL…others were waiting on their new guns as they were either ordering new rigs the season or having to send back rigs that failed and order new equipment. New shooters planning to try FT for the first time were also going through their issues of tweaking their rifles, some to the extent of polishing their trigger sears under a microscope in lab conditions in the effort to improve their equipment!

Friday evening, the concerns of a changing weather pattern predicting 40% chance of showers on Sunday was becoming an active concern on top of the usual, my rig isn’t ready, just gonna be shooting for fun on Sunday I guess!!! Saturday gets upgraded to late night showers and light showers on Sunday…

Sunday morning I get up and its cold, wet and overcast! Constant light drizzling as I get into my truck and begin the trek, hoping the course isn’t a giant puddle and looking forward to seeing everyone. Since I was looking at this as a fun match/season opener, knowing I wasn’t gonna shoot well with all the last minute prep work, I did what I really WANTED to do before every match last year, had coffee and chocolate donuts for breakfast!!!

When I get to the range, the usual suspects are already there getting the course laid out with quite a few new faces helping out as well!. I had fair warning that this year’s course was gonna be more challenging for those up the challenge.

To make the course more challenging for shooters seeking more challenge, AA Class was given birth where extra targets with small kill zones or big kill zones and small paddles were set up as alternative targets on a given lane so AA Shooters would shoot one regular target and one of the red painted AA targets! The normally painted targets had kill zones that were challenging but generally not impossible for shooters that had shot air rifles before with regularity.

Once the course was set, guys were busy trying to get more refined numbers on their rigs until Greg T. called for the shooters’ meeting and take care of other administrative duties such as handing out the awards for the 2008 FT Season.

The 2008 FT Season Awards are as follows:

Springer Class

Pat J. 1st Place
Doug B. 2nd Place
Eric K. 3rd Place

PCP Class

Anthony I. 1st Place
Lonnie S. 2nd Place
John L. 3rd Place

2 new awards were awarded as well to give recognition to 2 shooter categories:

Daniel R. Rookie of the Year
John L. Most Improved Shooter

From Left to Right, John L., Eric K., Tony I., Doug B., Lonnie S., and Pat J.:

From Left to Right, John L., Eric K., Tony I., Doug B., Lonnie S., and Pat J.:

We were also advised that in 2009, special awards pins would be given out at each match to shooters that could shoot 70%, 80% or 90%...

70% Pin80% Pin90% Pin
70% Pin: 80% Pin: 90% Pin:

The pins are pretty cool in my humble opinion!!!

After the awards, shooters were paired up to finish up sighting in and start the match! Today I was paired up with a brand new shooter, Earl C. that was using one of the club’s loaner guns. He was excited and interested in shooting air rifles and is an active powder burner shooter in the action pistol discipline. I tell ya, he was gung ho, choosing to shoot off hand initially and shooting the AA Targets!!! As the match went on, he experimented with kneeling and seated shooting positions as fatigue started to set in. Arguably, the Golden BB/Marksmanship shot of the day went to Earl as he took out a very difficult AA Target, a chicken with ½” kill zone at about 25 yards…KNEELING!!!

Earl C. shooting and me scoring:

Earl C. shooting and me scoring:

Elsewhere on the course, other new and old/seasoned FT shooters were having fun getting their feet wet in FT and starting the new season. It was interesting, I was having a déjà vu of sorts and wondering if I was going to experience seller’s regret as a couple of my former FT rifles were on the course and shooting just fine…Riz M., acquired my first FT rifle, a Daystate X2R FT rifle which he modified, improving the only fault I had with it, the trigger, lol, his fine craftsmanship turned that junky trigger into a trigger that’s as good as my Steyr’s!!! Lonnie S. bought my Daystate MKIII FT-R during the offseason and also made a series of modification to it…time will tell if my former guns turn on me as the season and scores develop!

Lonnie S.:

Lonnie S.:

Riz M. was a new FT shooter paired up with a new to Diablo but seasoned FT shooter Guy O. whom just relocated to California. Guy was helping him along and having a good time finally being able to shoot FT again!

Riz M.:

Riz M.:

Guy O.:

Guy O.:

Another new FT Shooter that is definitely gung ho and arrived with the run with what ya brung attitude is Helder S. aka Helder22 on the Airgun Forum. He brought his prized limited edition Daystate Timberwolf(.22), FT is a hunting simulation so what better air rifle than a true hunter?!?! Fortunately for the targets, Helder turned the power all the way down to 20fpe and had at it!

Helder S.:

Helder S.:

As an fyi, me thinks Helder has been bit by the FT bug, as he drove in to the match, he found and bought a TX200MKIII(.177) with V-Mach kit in it!!! At the end of the match, he asked if he could shoot my USFT and after he shot it, he asks, sooo, what’s Tim asking for one of these now?!?! Gonna be watching this guy over the course of the season!!!

Bill H., one of our seasoned veterans was having at it, despite feeling quite Under the Weather but he’s a shooter and he pressed on!

Bill H.:

Bill H.:

I tell ya, one of the AA Targets threw all of us for a whirl, it was a hog at about 15 ½ yards with a ¼” kill zone, seeing that no one shooting the match had their guns “dialed in”, nobody dropped it!

That said, Kevin Y. who wasn’t shooting the match as he was focused on working with 2 brand new air rifle shooters, Vinny and Daniel H., did pull out his Steyr LG100 FT and dropped it twice in a row!!! If Kevin can keep a gun and scope working this whole season, he’s gonna be a force to reckon with!

Pat J. was on fire today with his Paul Watts tuned, Dave G. stocked TX200MKIII. This was his first attempt at clicking with him Bushnell Elite 4200 8 – 32 x 40AO scope and he only got caught off a rotation once. His springer score was better than all but one pcp shooter!!! We’ll be watching how Pat’s scores develop as the season progresses and he gets used to the rig, he’s one heck of a shot! Also in springer class, a recurring mechanical issue reared its ugly head again with veteran shooter Doug B.’s TX200 MKIII, the safety broke! Not sure what causes it but his gun has popped the safety out before and broke it at least twice! Hopefully it will get sorted out once and for all by the next match!

The final scores for the match are:

Springer Unlimited:

Pat J. 36
Doug B. 21
Vinny 7
Jason H. 1
Daniel H. 0

Springer Hunter:

Eric K. 27

PCP Unlimited:

Helder S. 31
Riz M. 31
Bill H. 28
Greg T. 24

PCP AA:

Guy O. 39
Tony I. 34
Lonnie S. 32
Earl C. 2

Also at the event were seasoned veteran shooters John L and Marty whom had experienced mechanical issues with the gun they were sharing. Also, we had the pleasure of meeting Mike whom we should be seeing at one of our upcoming shoots with his daughter that is a 3P shooter as well as another gentleman whom I did not get the chance to meet but was interested in FT!

Afterwards, we put away the targets, started cooking some mild hot links, relaxed, talked and slung more lead down range, packing up to head home a bit after 5pm! A great day was had by all and lots of buzz about getting dialed in for the next go round as well as setting up more loaner guns that are dialed in with clicks or holdover. New shooters are talking of getting a gun and practicing, one in particular was saying that since he doesn’t own an air rifle he’d shoot FT with, he literally gets his shotgun and practices trying to get into a comfortable FT Seated position, showed up today, using a borrowed gun that had no clicks or holdover established, figuring it out as he went along. Not happy with his score BUT happy he was out there shooting and looking forward to having at it again and getting some practice in before hand…with an attitude like that, its gonna be another great year at Diablo Field Target!

In closing, I would like to also point out that Eric K.’s performance in Springer Hunter Class was excellent and a continuation of where he left off with his game last year. He achieved his score of 27 using an RWS34(.22) and a 9 power scope!!! Can’t wait to see everyone at the upcoming Fun Shoot and if you’re in the area, come check the various Airgun Events at Diablo Rod and Gun Club!!!

Regards,

Tony

PS: Thanks again to Greg T. and Kevin Y. for hosting another Fun and Safe event at Diablo Rod and Gun Club!!!