Competitions and Events
Home Guard Shoot
Oh dear. Well, we threatened a competition and that's what we got. And good fun it was too.
Capt. Mainwairing (who bore a remarkable resemblance to Chris Ward) made his promised appearance and roused the troops to go over the top with a Home Guard Memorial shoot. The trenches were soon full of willing volunteers more than ready to have a crack at Jerry in the form of duck shaped knockdowns.
Our weapon of choice was a BSA 1926 Standard Model No. 2 Tap Loading Underlever in .22 cal. No bipod, scope, red dot, laser, hamster or any of that namby pamby modern stuff, the only shooting aids allowed were a tin helmet, gasmask haversack and a Home Guard armband - enough to strike fear into the heart of any duck!
The ducks, however, proved no easy target having camoflaged themselves a dark grey against a black background (that's my excuse) but that didn't stop Lee Wilson taking an early lead by downing three of the little sods. That wasn't going to stand though as Russ Douglas soon equalled that.
The pistol competition was a close run thing too. Using the Weihrauch HW40 with mini Red Dot sight, Billy Matheson set the bar high straight off the mark with 41 (out of 50.) Nobody could get near that with the bulk of following scores being in the low to mid 30s until that Douglas bloke, after complaining to all and sundry about how light the trigger was, shot a 42. His lead didn't last long though because Ewan Manson pipped him at the post with 43, winning the other half of the purse and a Red Cross parcel.
Combining the Rifle and Pistol competition scores for an Overall prize, we had, in third place Craig Watt with 41, second place Billy Matheson on 42 and, sharing the top spot with 45, Russ Douglas and Ewan Manson.
However, by awards time, Russ had sodded off home for his ovaltine muttering something about deadlines on the way so we just gave the £50 cheque (from Swallows Bank, Walmington-on-Sea branch, signed by Capt. Mainwairing) to Ewan and called it a night.
A great fun evening made possible by Chris's enthusiasm, it proved that there's a desire for some lighthearted competition and many agreed that we should do it again. When Spring comes round and using the outdoor ranges becomes feasible, we may just do that.
And check out Russ Douglas's Airgun World report in the "We're Famous!" page.
GARC continues to be a force on the HFT scene with yet more wins so a big "Well Done" is in order for Stuart Gordon and Alex Cruickshank for taking 1st place in their respective classes (Recoiling and Veterans) in the 2017 UKAL HFT Scottish League.
Congratulations also to all the other GARC members who took part this year, especially Grant Thomson and James Hesson who were a close 2nd and 3rd in the Open class, and Brick Lobber Paul Wilkinson who managed 2nd place in .22 class in his first year of HFT competition.
Stuart, Alex, Grant, James and Paul are all entered in the WHFTA "Worlds" Competition in April 2018 and we wish them all the best of luck - take some silverware home guys!
On Saturday 26th March, the hardy souls and soul-ettes of Grampian ARC headed down to the annual World Hunter Field Target Association championship.
The "Worlds" is held over two days in the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall, Northhamptonshire, and, with 360 shooters taking part from all over, it has become the "must attend" event for HFT shooters whether you're part of a National team or just after a cracking two days of shooting, good company and the adventure of tracking down a good Indian or Chinese restaurant (I can definitely recommend Han Chinese and The Cinnamon Lounge Indian - 10/10.)
We got to the grounds at 7:30am to sign in. The weather was dry but very windy - just like home really apart from the dry part.
180 shooters signed in for the morning sessions with the other 180 signing in after 9:30 for the afternoon sessions. The all important safety briefing was read out and it then was onwards to the pegs to wait for the off.
The two courses, Alpha and Bravo, were both set out in separate woodlands at the top of a small hill with targets cunningly placed to cause the maximum amount of head scratching and confused faces. There were targets up trees, under wind fall, on fence lines and further out into open ground. The strong wind was playing a huge part in the scoring, especially the targets in the open getting the full effect of the 20-40mph gusts and swirls.
30 targets later and people were leaving the courses accompanied by the usual mixture of head shaking, confusion, invisible gun aiming and conversations about how and why you missed targets x, y and z. All good stuff.
A short break for repainting targets and it was time for the afternoon sessions to get underway. The gusting conditions had kept up and, at the end of Day One, everybody seemed to agree on one thing - the wind was a nightmare.
Day Two started off with the news that Countryman Fairs, the organisers of the Kelmarsh Show, were possibly going to cancel the event on safety grounds as Storm "Katie" had destroyed parts of the show through the night.
An hour or so later and it was all over. Pulling the plug on the show meant that there was no event insurance for the shooting so it was announced that the winners would be decided on the scores from Day One.
Grampian's Grant Thomson came 2nd in the Open with a cracking score of 56.
Scotland's Greg Morss got 4th on a countback with a 55.
Grampian's James Hesson came 10th on a countback with 53.
Other Grampian ARC shooters scores in the Open class were:
Brennan Somers 50
Stuart Webb 49
Lee McNab 46
Davie Scott 43
The Recoiling class was another success for Grampian with Dale Harris and the magic TX200 winning that class with a score of 51.
Scott "just call me Stu" Robertson put in a score of 41 but won 250 other good reasons for making the trip south.
Congratulations are also in order for young Jack Hoggan,who even managed a smile,with his 2nd place in the Juniors class with a very healthy score of 45.
The Hoggan family trip was made even better by the absolutely astounding feat of dad Willie Hoggan scooping the prize of a CZ air rifle in the raffle.
All in all, it was a good day for Scotland and Grampian ARC in particular as we left the competiton with a World Champion and a Silver Medallist in our ranks - well done Dale and Grant!
Sorry if anybody has been missed out.
All scores and winners can be found here https://sites.google.com/site/whfta1/results/2016-results
Hopefully we'll see you all again next year.
As a footnote, if the Grampian ARC team had been there as a National team, we'd have come 2nd with 210 points.