Competitions and Events
Square pegs and round holes...
The GARC website foretold of a competition for PCPs to be held on the last Denwood
Wednesday in December 2019. It didn’t lie and a taster of Benchrest competition was on the menu. Shooting some very capable PCP rifles, four gallant precision shooters took up the
The format and rules were simple:
• A white painted steel plate, with 25, 12mm holes was set up at the end of the 25yd indoor range with a sheet of paper behind it.
• Each person took a single shot at ten different holes.
• If there was a hole in the paper and no paint chipped off the steel around it, one point was awarded.
• No hole in the paper, or even the smallest chip of paint missing, then it's a zero.
Misses and splits clearly visible on the white paint.
At this point Steve L was accused of cheating as it was his plate and had been practising for years. Yeah, practising being a ‘meh’ shot maybe!
Robert, channeling his inner Peaky Blinder, started us off with Cher, his recently inherited HW110. Steve L followed with a Mk4is (Gaystate, unicorn tasting blocks, stocks made from minced and reconstituted My Little Ponies, exorbitant prices.) Nick with his Ultimate Sporter (the best laminate stock ever IMO) had a go and Bri broke out his seldom seen S400 (still one of the very best – the rifle, that is!)
Again, Russ cried off – aside the pistol comp, I think he’s more about talking and
writing than pitching himself against others.
Abstaining from the comp because he didn't pack a PCP was Chris W. Keen to participate, he asked if the steel plate could be bought next time. He was also heard talking to himself, saying “Now I’ll have to zero a pcp for 25yds!”
Being addictive, shooting ten holes was not enough, so a second round of five holes each (the time was getting on and Tony was packing away around us) meant the final score was out of a possible 15. There was some very fine precision shooting, but there was more metal being hit .
The scores. It was close at the top with a spread of six points between the highest and lowest scores.
Steve L 8
Bri remarked that the scoring was harsh - while a split pellet may record a "kill" in
HFT/FT, even the tiniest nick of paint would be a zero in this comp. This precision makes all the difference - if we relaxed the rules and just counted the holes in the paper then the scores would
have been a much closer 15, 14, 13 and 12 (Steve L, Bri, Robert and Nick.)
Some of the comments were:
“It’s nice to test the precision these are guns are made for.”
“That scoring is harsh, the paint's only just nicked!”
“Ah, nicked it again”
“Well that was a solid miss.”
“Oooh, got to do that again.”
“That should become a regular event.”
“Bring the plate again so I can have a go?”
How difficult is it to thread a 4.5mm pellet through a 12mm hole without touching the side – after all, we read about ‘single-hole’ or ‘clover-leaf’ groups? Well, we’ll tell; not that bloody easy!
Bri has spoken of getting a plate with more holes made (which would save on the range disruption) so, having tried the idea, we'll have a more advertised ‘informal’ competition to test the water for perhaps a series throughout the year. Many of us enjoy shooting from a rested position on the 25m range so don’t be shy - have a go and really test those one-hole groups.
Many thanks to Steve L for this piece.
Well, after two days of being in shock, I am now able to put down in words the competition held on Wednesday 4/12/19. Bugger!! would sum
it up for me.
Les scored a four on the first round with Bri's utterly fantastic Model S (.22) and put the willies up the rest of us - bets were being taken that there maybe a new hot shot in town. But then a downfall with a two and then…... yes, it was a zero for a total score of six.
Steve L started off with a three in the first round with his newly acquired Imp. Model D then another three followed by a two. He
was obviously sliding downhill at this point and, if we'd time for a fourth round, would it have been a zero? Total of eight for Third place. Well done Sir
but your son still beat you! I trust he shared the chips?
Chris M, the winner of the Waulkmill open sights comp with older rifles, scored a good steady two in each round with Bri's Model S, total of 6.
Bri. Hmmm, what do we say here? Using his own gun (BSA Model S 1919 - the Choice of Champions) which proved itself to be very accurate when used by other shooters. Bri, a member of the GARC Musketeers shot a one, two and then a three of which the last shot was the centre paddle, gaining two points for the price of one and bringing his total up to six. At 10m, this boy can shoot all on target and within the bull so it's time to shoot beyond the magic 10 meters with this proven beauty (Webmaster's note - don't remind me...)
Chris W.....Bugger!!! I hang my head in shame, a steady ONE in each round - ONE! Bugger ,bugger, bugger! Should have stuck to my trusted and proven model D (a three time bag of chips winner) instead of using my Midland Demon .22 which is zero'd to 25 yrds and very good. Shame we were shooting at 20 yds because I need my chips on a Wednesday night!!! But wait until next time
chips chaps because you're all going down, I am going to batter you and probably rub salt in too.
Before I come to the Dark Horse, I should mention that Les, Chris M and Nick H had barely ever shot these old girls of yesteryear and went into this comp without a warm up using Bri's Model S. Their scoring surely proves that Bri's beastie is indeed an accurate and steady shooter which also claimed the most knock downs of the night. If only this was true of its owner... Well done to all the cold entry marksmen - you did yourselves proud.
Nick H. Jammy devil or shark? Nick started off with the Model S and, having had no practice beforehand, scored a zero on the first round. After my performance, I have to say I was happy about this and I think some others were too.
Second round and Robert cleared the targets with lots of booing and cheering for a outstanding performance. Steve L had a good showing and was very pleased with himself, telling all that would listen that he was now in second place and with a round to go could still win. Up next was Nick who scored three knock downs which was a good but just above average score - he would have to do better to stop coming last.
Third round and Robert lost the plot, scoring only a one after his previous clear round! Steve L was jumping for joy, he was going to come in second place after scoring a two. Surely no one else could take that away from him now. However, there was still Nick to shoot and, lets face it, after a zero and then a three, the chances of a full house were going to be slight. Steve L's mouth was starting to water from the taste of the Chips that his son would throw at him on the journey back home.
It was like watching the lottery with your numbers being called.
One duck fell with a cheer from nearly all. Bang and another duck disappeared - another cheer followed. Steve was still in second place and still not worried.
Then a third duck fell to Nick the Shark. People were starting to watch very closely now and the noise had dropped to a very light chatter. Sweat was starting to form on Steve L's forehead. Could the impossible happen? The crowd were now behind Nick H with this sudden change in marksmanship.
Nick H would have to claim this last duck for a confirmed third place. Bang and the duck fell, another cheer went up and then silence. Apart from Russ who, oblivious of the tension, carried on talking about something pistol related during an old rifle shoot. He was soon told to shut up by all as this next shot would prove to be the most important shot of the competition. The centre paddle was the last standing and known as the smallest and hardest of the targets and, should it fall to Nick's shot, it would give him two points and beat Steve L, into Second place by one point. Even Bill was looking on in excitement, but didn't take part as usual. Too much gun for this electronic shooter, but each to their own.
Complete calm and quiet now hit the room. Only the rumble of Steve's belly could be heard and a very low tone unknown voice muttered....Bugger!
A bang followed, and it was all over - the centre paddle hit the back of the net and a loud cheer erupted. The winner was Robert, Nick got second with his outstanding 11th hour performance and Steve came in 3rd, restoring honour to the House of L after the previous week's outing.
Well done to Robert for winning the bag of chips and for getting a clear round, seems you're getting to grips with that Model L - 1st round four, 2nd all five
(for six points) and 3rd one for a total of score of 11 out of 15.
It reminded me of the 1988 Winter Olympics when all can remember Eddie the Eagle and few can recall the winner. Well done to all that took part.
And Robert never gave Steve any chips on the way home.
Many thanks to Capt. Chris W for this piece.
What The Duck???
Our November "informal" competition took place (in November bizarrely enough - 27/11/19 to be precise) and produced a clear winner but more of that later.
Those infamous ducks were the target again. This time they were lurking in their steel bunker at 20-ish yards. We numbered seven hunters of these hard to hit quackers – it would have been eight but Russ was more interested with something in a cute shade of baby blue - and there was a selection of four old BSAs (two Improved Model Ds in .177 (both Centennials,) a Model S (.22 - the Choice of Champions,) a Model L (.177) both from 1925) and a positively youthful mid 20th Century BSA Cadet.
Gentlemen, choose your weapons...
After a bit of discussion, a set of simple rules were agreed: five pellets each then, after everyone has shot, another five pellets each. The scores therefore are out of ten.
Someone had to start so Steve took his Model S and recorded a very rounded score. Having set the bar low and receiving the appropriate abuse, the other sharpshooters stepped up to the mark.
A bit of colour for this event:
Inter-service rivalry between the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy
A shooter who had never shot a BSA of such advancing years
Gun swaps between rounds
Underlying turmoil of a possible gun sale/purchase
Cries of “That’s my gun, he can’t outshoot me with my gun”
‘Friendly’ fire in the form of amusing verbal roastings
Some agreed “I hit that, but it didn’t stay down” scores
Shrieks of delight when hitting a duck; not unlike those of a prepubescent girl at the sight of their pop idol (you know who you are - shame on you!)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the first-round interim scores:
Joint 1st with three was John (using Chris’s BSA Improved Model D) and
3rd with two was Bri (also using Chris’s gun.)
Joint 4th with one was Colin (using Steve’s BSA Model S) and Alex (using his own Cadet.)
Joint 6th – sounds better than last – with less than one was Robert (using his own BSA Model L) and Steve.
At this point, emotions were varied. John was pleasantly surprised, Chris was spitting feathers (metaphorically, not duck) as his gun was used to such good effect and Colin was clearly not taking it seriously, having shot standing, sitting, left-handed and right-handed, while still outshooting Robert and Steve. Alex, well Alex is so laid back I can’t say what Alex’s emotions were. Bri was rueing not having his own BSA S Model but putting on a brave face. And the House of L was cast into shame with Robert and Steve being dead last having missed completely.
Robert ensuring that the ducks went unharmed.
So, not having learned from the first attempt, we moved onto the second round. P!ssed with his score, Steve did a sneaky raid and nabbed Chris’s other BSA Improved Model D. John shot brilliantly, accompanied by a mixture of cheers and “That’s my gun” he took out four of the ducks!" Robert, being a chip off the old block, decided to abandon his Model L and shoot the same gun as Steve. Then Russ turns up and turns Bri's eye with the mouth-watering prospect of said baby blueness (Webmaster's note - Russ is into Blue stuff. No surprise there then...) I can’t remember who shot next, my confusion not being helped by the arrival of Black Tony, our erstwhile newly appointed Key Holding Dinosaur. With these distractions overcome (ignored) the competition continued. Despite some good shooting by the other competitors - Alex improving his first-round score by 300% - the focus was on the battle for first place. Having been set a possible (but unlikely) score to beat, all eyes were on Chris; the result of this pressure being evidenced in the final scores:
Chris being cocky.
1st – John, with seven. A brilliant first-time experience with these old guns.
2nd – Alex, with four. With a merely old rather than ancient gun.
3rd (joint) – Chris and Steve, with three. The pressure got to Chris and Steve’s underhand raid on Chris’s arsenal paid off.
5th (joint)– Bri and Robert, with two. A solid but slightly disappointing performance.
7th – Colin, with one. From Colin’s second shot we knew he wasn’t taking it seriously despite his first shot being a very solid hit.
Last – Russ, for wimping out. I’ll not record some of the words and phrases used to describe his decision not to enter.
John showing us how it's done. The git...
The real winners, without doubt, were the ducks - 70 shots and only 22 succumbed. The bas***ds!
These informal competitions are fun, and with £1 to enter you can even get a bag of chips on the way home if you win. Remember, Competition Night is the last Wednesday of the month. Be there or be Russ!
Many thanks to Steve L for this piece.
Competition Wednesday 25/9/19
Vintage gun shoot with the Garc-y Blinders!
Wednesday 25th of September 2019, and a time warp hit Denwood !!!. Shooters suddenly found that their Air Arms and Daystates had been transformed into raw,
good old British Steel and re-materialised into yesteryear top air rifles, ranging from 1908 to the1930's in the form of BSA's model D, two outstanding BSA Standards, a BSA Break Barrel and a
Midland Gun Co. Demon thrown in as well.
So a competition was called for with these would be musketeers. With the welcome return of the Denwood ducks (sadly missed by most, a play on words in this case,) all was set for a evening of open sight mayhem. With a small pot of pennies put aside for a winners purse, it was all out war to knock down the ducks at 20 yards for 3 rounds per musketeer and a final display of long range marksmanship at 25 yards to seal the deal. Steve L had to rob his son Robert to secure the entry fee, so that he could pit his own newly acquired granny against the other grannies that had their pensions with them.
The competition was open to all, but sadly only a few club members attended this Wednesday club night. However there will be a formal repeat of this event at the end of October, so put it in your diaries.
As a note the combined age of the guns used amounted to 483 years!!! However the Demon didn't perform in the ducks shoot off due to there being no suitable
hammer to adjust the rear sight - don't ask, its an old gun thing.
I will not tell you the scores on the doors, as I hope that one of the other Musketeers will add their tuppence worth and finish the story. I will say that the purse won by the winner helped to go towards a bag of chips at the end of the night. Very nice they were too! So musketeers, please add your comments and don't be too hard on the ducks! By Chris W.
Ok, I’ll expand on our “Competing Grannies” as Chris is being modest. The target had four ducks and one reset paddle, each shooter had five pellets per round. On two of the rounds Chris hit all the ducks with a pellet to spare. As I said I was soundly beaten, coming last by a big margin (beginners luck proven.) 1st was Chris, I was last and if my addled memory doesn’t fail me, Bri and Robert tied for 2nd. By Steve L.
Close Steve but your addled memory is indeed letting you down. Chris was 1st, Bri 2nd, Robert 3rd and your good self was 4th. The ducks displayed their usual stealthy qualities against open sights which made Chris's 4/5 rounds (two of them) all the more impressive and resulted in a couple of Victory Laps.
Damn good fun these old guns - a refreshing change from soulless PCPs - and they smell good and make you want to eat chips. Make sure you don't miss the next competiton.
Competition Wednesday 24/4/19
Oh God, where do I start with this one...
Here's a question for when we're sitting round the coffee table with our crisps and kitkats fending off Lucy - Which country makes the best airguns?
Some may say Germany, citing the legend of Teutonic Engineering. Others may (correctly) say Britain for the combination of history and modern day high end design. Sweden would be well represented with the likes of FX at the cutting edge and the US have a long airgunning tradition and are leading the way with high power, large bore guns.
Other countries like Spain, Turkey and the Czech Republic also bear consideration, producing mass market guns at attractive prices - maybe not glamourous but necessary all the same.
The question is sure to raise debate and different opinions but one thing we can all agree on is the flip side - Which country makes the worst airguns?
China. No argument.
And we had four steaming piles of their finest for this challenge - a B2 so old it didn't have scope dovetails, another B2 with such delusions of grandeur that it thought it was a MIG 15 and a pair of B3 sidelevers, each with an AK47 identity crisis.
What could possibly go wrong?
The original idea was to set up on the 50m range and blast away at the spinning ducks two at a time. However, the weather was a little iffy and most folks were shooting indoors so... With the ducks at the far end of the 25m range, they did their usual silver against a white background camouflage thing but they needn't have bothered as the guns available were only casually acquainted with the widely accepted concepts of consistency and zero'ed sights.
Consequently, scores were a tad on the low side. Actually, they were bl**dy abysmal. Every hit, few as there were, was such an event that it got a cheer. A third of the shooters scored 0 including Chris W with his own gun. Bri and Tony also got a big fat zero. Experienced shot Alex only managed a 1 along with Nick H. Chris M gets credit for a 2, a score that, in any other competition, would be cause for concern. Moral Victory of the night went to Ewan with a standing, open sighted 1 - no small achievement with the tools at hand.
Leading the field (or should I say, least bad) were Paul and Les, each with 4.
Both used Paul's AK-alike, leading to rumours that only Paul knew the fabled True Zero. Personally, I don't believe them because, in that case, he should have got a much better score. It's also possible that Les is some sort of "Gun Whisperer."
A shootout between these two titans had Paul emerging victorious and lifting the winner's purse. Everyone who used Paul's gun had the last laugh though as we dropped so many pellets down it's innards while loading that it's bound to jam in the near future - ha ha!
As with past competitions, low scores did not mean low fun - we had a good laugh and thanks, as usual, go to Chris W, Paul and Teri (on resetting duty) for making it happen.
Competition Wednesday 27/3/19
Ducks! Farsands of 'em! Does Chris breed them?
And why are they so stealthy and pelletproof? I think we should be told.
As happens from time to time, there wasn't a large attendance at Denwood so the competition was a bit undersubscribed compared to previous sessions. However, low numbers did not mean low enthusiasm from the participants and this one turned out a bit livelier than usual with two shooters simultaneously firing at the same moving target in what Chris described as Cat & Rat.
The idea was, the "Rat" would try to shoot down the ducks while the "Cat" would chase and attempt to knock them back up. Sounds straightforward but hits would cause the ducks to spin, putting a whole new errrr.. spin on things.
Chris, Paul, Shaun, Les, Ewan and Bri all let rip at the downy little b^$7^£d$ with a variety of pistols, intent on defeating not only each other but the ducks inbuilt camouflage system - reflective silver against a white background does not make for good visibility, the cunning little gits!
We did keep scores but, to be honest, not nearly enough of the ducks died for my liking and in any case we were having too much fun to take the end result seriously. There was a winner but who cares when you're having a laugh? And following that, there was an impromptu challenge match between Chris shooting a BSA Buccaneer rifle and Bri with the FWB 80 pistol which was a little more tactical but no less fun.
Chris's fast moving and competitive Cat & Rat formula worked a treat though and I reckon it'll be even better with rifles outdoors - don't miss it the next time!
Night shoot at Waulkmill 2nd March 2019.
Nine brave souls attended but I can only find score cards for six so please forgive omissions they'll probably be along later. We were pleased to welcome Shug and Elaine who towed their caravan from Killbride (isn`t that illegal, killing brides?) This was Elaine's first proper shoot, in the dark, with a Cometa 200, recoiling and .22 (start off easy then!)
Also attending were, Chris Ward, Paul Shepherd with grandson, Chris Malcolm and Teri who doubled up as Soup Dragon. Dale also took part and submitted a score card which went -
But since he didn't sign his card and obviously wishes to shoot incognito, we will just refer to him as ME, which is really confusing cos I have been me for 69 years and I got there first. Either that or he's got Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Mark Reid brought his Dad who kept the score for Mark and Paul Bates (see I didn't call myself ME cos that`s already taken.)
We started with a safety brief which, cos I had left me bit of paper at home, I did from memory. It included all the usual stuff and two important additions - "The marshalls will be regarded as Gods, don`t argue with them" and, really important, "Don`t go towards the bright light, it`s probably mounted on someone's rifle."
We set off into the dark and scary woods of the bottom course, Elaine was startled by the noisy dhoos up in the trees who were flapping about in the branches. Then it rained, that sort of penetrating misty stuff that gets on your scope and makes it seem like you just developed cataracts. We all swapped positions cos some groups were slower than others and, by the time we had reached the infamous Pink Beaver, the rain had stopped. We continued without incident to the finish.
Having myself completed the course, and being a marshall, I went back to look for the stragglers. They were on Target 19 so I walked the rest of the round with them, messing their night vision up with me head torch. We finally left the course decidedly after ten o`clock. It was then 4degC.
I think everyone enjoyed themselves, there were no deaths/injuries/alien abductions and nobody complained, threw a hissy fit or burst into tears so it must have been good.
Scores - (the ones I've got, again apologies for those missing)
Mark Reid 52
ME ( the other one) 46 mainly taken unsupported cos there were no rules
Chris Malcolm 44
Paul Bates 39
So there we have it - sporting immortality and a seat in the Pantheon of Shooting Greats for Mark Reid. Would've liked a bigger attendance but I can`t force people to shoot. I'm extremely pleased with the support that we had on the night and in the setting up and those that didn`t bother to attend really missed a good night. Never mind, I'm sure there'll be other events.
Field Marshal Paul Bates, AMIMI*, DSO, MOT, T&T and Bar.
*go on google it, you know you want to!
PS If anyone has pictures from the night shoot, please zap them to Webmaster Bri for inclusion.
Competition Wednesday 27/2/19
This month's competition was a two parter - five shots at a 10m paper target and another five at the sodding ducks.
They may not look it from this picture but these ducks have evolved a camouflage system that makes them all but invisible when looked at through open sights. Very unsporting of them.
Still, they deserve to be shot so off we went a-hunting.
Low powered springers were our tools and open sights the norm.
Paul had a crack with his plinking Gamo. The more observant among us may note that the gun is sporting a scope but, whaddahell, it's not as if we're a bunch of Rule Freaks.
To compensate, Paul manned up and shot standing - kudos! That said, the scope didn't help much on paper but got a joint lead of three on the ducks.
It wasn't all plain sailing though. Russ, being used to the latest and most modern of kit, used the BSA L. His disdain of using a gun that wasn't from this millennium was only exceeded when he saw the pellets Chris provided - grey, oxidised efforts with bits of grass and weeds mixed in.
Not happy with this, Russ asked for a Certificate of Conformity and a Letter of Provenance for the pellets along with some scales to weigh them. Chris replied that he'd also need a Risk Assessment if he don't stop complaining. It got a bit heated after that with punches thrown, crutches smashed over heads, pellets shoved where the sun don't shine and a bar room brawl the likes of which had not seen since the Golden Age of Westerns. Things quietened down after the Police left. Or so I'm unreliably informed - I went for a cuppa and missed it all.
Other mentions include Colin who also had a go with the Cadet, Bri, on seeing Nick flounder with the diopter sights on the ducks, switched to the IZH-46M "Izzy" pistol with only marginally better results and, to his shame, Tony, who took one look at the ducks down the sights and ran away.
Intimidated by four little ducks. Pitiful.
Shooter Gun Target Ducks Total (ex 55)
Alex Cadet 46 3 49
Nick H BSA L 33 2 35
Nick R HW30S 37 1 38
Bri HW30S/Izzy 42 2 44
Paul Gamo 35 3 38
Les Cadet 40 2 42
Colin Cadet 37 1 38
Chris BSA L 29 3 32
Russ BSA L 37 1 38
Tom BSA L 34 1 35
Tony N/A MIA/Deserted 0
All that remains is to thank Chris for his efforts, everyone who took part and leave with a fitting salute to those 8!%%£y ducks!
Competition Wednesday 30/1/19
Chris W looks normal* (from a distance) but new GARC'ers Aaron, Les and Per soon discovered what all long standing members know - that looks can be deceiving - when Chris devised a targetless shoot for our monthly competition.
Yep, 10 shot NSRA sheets turned the wrong way round and you had to estimate where the targets were.
Aaron also having a crack with Paul's gun.
The S200 got a fair bit of use and this gave Chris an excellent excuse for when he shot last - "You b*ggers used all the air in the tank and the pressure was too low, the zero was off, the etc..."
Yeah, yeah, yeah.. Still made a change from Russ's usual trigger moans and Tony telling us that we were all cheating because we didn't use his gun.
NAME GUN HIT TOTAL
Alex HW100 10/10 74
Bri HW100 10/10 92
Tony HW99S 6/10 37
Nick 6/10 48
Shaun S200 5/10 36
Paul HW97 9/10 73
Terri Scorpion 9/10 63
Chris M S/Sport 4/10 32
Per 8/10 72
Les 5/10 33
Aaron Scott S200 7/10 57
Colin S200 7/10 55
Chris W S200 7/10 51
Yet another excellent (but crazy) competition from Chris who took his loss like a man and wasn't grumpy about it as the pic above shows. He'd like to thank everyone for taking part with good humour and sportsmanship and is, no doubt, thinking of something even more deranged for next time.
Nice one, Chris - cheers!.
*As normal as anyone who owns a flintlock BSA Meteor can be.
Competition Wednesday 28/11/18
The winner, Nick, seen here with prize money in his pocket and whatever it was he got - sweets or cake or something, I wasn't paying attention because I was still fuming at those scumbag ducks.
That said, all of us (Nick, Russ, Chris, Bri, Craig, Alex, Paul, Laura, Colin, Tony, Lynn and Jennifer) were winners because we had a fun time - roll on next month!
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 camouflaged 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 journalistic 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
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.
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.