Diablo FT Match Report 08/17/08

Today's match was set to be a day of fun and frustrating challenge on many levels. After arriving at the course, there were the usual club members warming up, some with recently upgraded/changed or serviced equipment as well as different rifles all together to try at FT. In addition, Bill Hooghuis returned to the field of honor after missing the last match and we welcomed 2 new shooters in piston class, Daniel Reingard and Dennis Winslow.

In PCP Class, Lonnie Smith was out to try and repeat his first place finish from the last match with his S400ERB(.177) so he was carrying the weight on his shoulders and the air of practicing with one pellet but shooting the match with another!!!. I was debating changing rigs at this point so I brought my USFT to try warming up with to see if I was settled in enough to have a go with it instead of my tried and true Vanquish. John Lindsey was shooting his S410ERB(.177) in a freshly mounted MPR FT Stock that as well as a new Bushnell 4200 8 íV 32 x 40AO atop the rig. Over in springer class, Kevin Yee was testing out a recently repaired/serviced scope. So the stage was set, lots of new variables up in the air that can affect a shooter's confidence and comfort level.

After the warm up/sight in period, I decided to go with the USFT, I was shooting decent with it and feeling pretty comfortable/stable with it. After the shooters meeting, I was paired up with Kevin Yee on Lane 6, the OFF HAND lane!!! Despite what everyone thinks of a USFT feeling and looking heavy, I tell you, try shooting the Vanquish off hand, lolíKI knew that with the USFT's balance and adjustable knee/palm riser, it would be easier. I wasn't expecting to drop the far off hand target and missed both shots but when it came to the closer target, I dropped it twice, comfortably at that, so I was happy, never a big off hand shooter, other than feather and fur, so getting 50% made me feel fine and happy to get back on the ground.

Today's course was a more challenging than in the past, lots of small killzones set farther, higher and in the dark. I was joking around with some of the guys about this one squirrel target up atop a wall that was black with a black paddle, having the latest in stealth technology to make it difficult to detect the killzone!!! I was doing fine through the short end of our course, then Kevin and I were off to the far lanes of 1 and 2! We were both having issues here! I ranged and clicked for 40yds, cocked, loaded, squeezed to see the pellet drop low, almost like it was swatted down by an invisible hand. Second shot was a repeat of the first!?!?! So I tell Kevin I'm taking a few more to check my numbers, clicked for 45 and took 2 shots, the target fell both times!!! Ok, not exactly a confidence booster, my clicks were dead on at the range a week prior, could it be the wind, could it be my follow through, optics acting up with the warming day?!?! To put it mildly, my score blew apart on the far lanes!!! This lead to a mental error on a very short Lane 3 with 2 missed shots due to being off a revolution, AGAIN!!!

Elsewhere on the course Lonnie plugging away but in passing he mentions that he missed all his offhanders, and is not happy with his shooting. Bill H. passes me asking me how am I doing and I let him know I'm missing lots, apparently he's on fire at this point with his AZ tuned Steyr LG100FT, walking over to the far lanes.

In springer class, Pat Jacobs is shooting it up and confirms that he had the same issues on the far lanes with pellets dropping low, really low in his case so maybe it was the wind. At the end of the match, as scores were being tallied, in PCP Class, Bill H. was in first place with a 39 but their was a tie for 2nd between Lonnie S. and myself so a shoot off was at hand! The infamous Partridge target with a 3/8íĘ kz was pushed back farther than usual for us to have at it. Lonnie was first at bat with a crowd gathered behind us that you could feel! Click, spoot, SMACK, with his Barracuda Match just catching the edge of the face plate's killzone! Now its my turn and this is where my Big BSA's target dot reticle really helps me and my wobble; with the dot floating on the paddle, I squeeze, hearing the clunk of the hammer dropping on my USFT and watching the JSBH hit the paddle followed by the Clank of the target falling! I was glad it was over as I and a bunch of the other guys were getting hungry!!!

So the final results are:

PCP Class:

Bill H. 39
Tony I. 37
Lonnie S. 37
Greg T. 35
John L. 33
Paul A. 19

Spring Piston Class:

Pat J. 37
Kevin Y. 33
Paul B. 29
Doug B. 22
Caesar G. 20
Daniel R. 19
Dennis W. 17
Timothy H. 11
Robert H. 5