2010 Temecula Challenge Results


First and Foremost, a huge thank you to Larry and Andrea Durham for hosting yet another fine FT Event that many of us look forward to every year! Openly inviting so many friends and strangers to your home to spend the weekend and shoot airguns is an undertaking that many would not, yet you do it annually and its greatly appreciated by all of us that attend the match.

At 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning I hopped in my van and began my trek from the San Francisco Bay Area down south to Temecula, CA for the highly anticipated 2010 Temecula FT Challenge(4/17-4/18). This annual event has become a major regional shoot and gathering for friends, family and the brotherhood of FT shooters in the west coast. It embodies camaraderie, competition and a passion for shooting airguns like no other.

I'm driving solo on this annual FT Mecca and according to MapQuest its 458miles down there, a long time in the saddle but ya gotta do what ya gotta do! This year I decided to head down early to help out and to set up camp at LDs. In years past, I stayed in hotel rooms with the rest of the crew from Diablo FT but every night when wed leave LDs to drive 15 miles back to the hotel, all I could think was that the fun was just getting starting back at LDs with everyone hanging out, shooting and talking airguns so this year I decided I wasn't gonna miss out!

The drive down went by quickly with the I-Phone filled with music playing through my car stereo to keep me occupied as I passed the miles away. The music really kept me going along with some good coffee along the way as I was tired. I didn't get to bed till 1am that morning as I was busy getting my gear together and once in bed, I was soo excited about the event at hand, I couldn't get to sleep, lol, much like a kid on Christmas Eve!!!

When I arrived at LDs I'm greeted by LD, Bobby Corcoran(AZ), Steve Montgomery(AZ) and Terry Depew(NV). .Bobby, Steve and Terry arrived earlier to help out as they always do and its always a pleasure to see them at FT matches.

After setting up camp and cooking some grub, I make my way to LDs garage to talk and hang out with everyone. As usual, shooting and talking airguns is as much a part of the night as the day at LDs. Shooting at his English Bell Target and a custom(built by Bobby Corcoran) resettable target with multiple kill zones in decreasing diameter that trip flags when you hit the paddles were providing lots of entertainment accompanied by all the different guns we shot at the targets.

Bobby Corcoran brought a very nice and unusual rifle for Target Shooting that Id never seen before; it was a multi-pump pneumatic Sharps Target Rifle with aperture sights. What a nice pump rifle, now I UNDERSTOOD the pricing of the Sharps when they come up for sale and the desire to own one!!! We also shot a variety of LDs many Sheridan rifles and his HW55T at these targets as well. The interesting note on Bell Target Shooting at LDs is that historically, the Sheridan rifles have been the most successful on that target which is set at 6 yards. We quickly started believing that statement as we shot the various guns and Steve Montgomery started inquiring about if any of LDs were for sale and LD pulled out a Model C for him to try out. Over the chrony it was shooting strong as it was Steroided and more importantly it was ringing that bell in Steve's hands very consistently. I was thinking if Steven doesn't buy that rifle, I know I'm gonna put in for it!!! After a bit of horse trading though, Steve and LD struck a deal but LD had others, actually LOTS of others so if I were in the market, lots of options in his stable!!

This rifle was built up using a super accurate bench rest winning .20 barrel, a straight grip and a regged HPA tank along with other hand made and/or weight reduced parts to make a very lightweight USFT. LD walks up and says try it out and hands it to me with a tin of JSBs and I was shocked when I got ready to be handed a heavy gun and it was a featherweight by comparison! Sitting down FT style with it, the rifle was very comfortable to get on target, hold on target and hit what I was aiming at down range. It got my mind thinking, I need to take pics and maybe do some changes to one of my own!!!

Apparently LDs been tinkering with regulated HPA tanks on his normal FT rig as well to test performance and reliability. Admittedly, the regs have been a bit touchy, creeping up on the output pressure as time passes. Hmmm, sounds like one of the primary reasons he designed the Simple Simons and USFTs without regs to eliminate this potential problem. But given LDs passion for experimenting, creating and testing, its no surprise to see the regged test beds, but would they pass the test

Another interesting rifle was Matt Kellerman's mini USFT which I gotta make sure my daughter doesn't see pics of it or else Ill have to order one in pink!!! This is the ultimate car gun for pest hunting and close quarters sniping:

After a bit of fun, it was time to crash as targets needed to be set up in the morning, I needed to get at least one pistol set up to meet the CASA Pistol FT Czars criteria and have holdover from 10 35 yards sorted out, then get 2 rifles dialed in for the planned Quigley Shoot and hopefully get some practice in. Setting targets and running strings didn't take too long, nor did getting my primary Quigley Rifle sighted in but sure enough after getting it sighted in, I went to refill it and reality set in, I forgot the BSA Fill Probe at home!!! So I figure no biggie, sight in the MAC1 Prepped Discovery(.22) and it'll be no worries cuz it just has a Foster Fill set up. Well that didn't go so easily, with a factory Discovery Front Sight and a Williams/Beeman Aperture/Peep Sight on the rear, the front sight is too low to get sighted in at 55yards!

A quick talk with LD and he said go to that box, get piece of or so stock, cut it to a little wider than your front sights foot print, drill it and make a spacer, so he showed me where his tools were and I was on it. Unfortunately the stock sight screw was too short but Terry D. was on it, as usual more than willing to help out, helping me search for the right screw which ultimately wasn't to be found but I found one close enough and got the front sight on and dialed in within just a few shots.

At this point in the day, more and more people were arriving, setting up camp and/or hanging out. The rest of the Diablo Crew arrived and hung out for a while before heading back to the hotel. More shooting and talking for the evening but this time a bit of philosophizing around the campfire under the clear starlit night! After having figured out how to solve all the worlds problems, it was time to crash and get ready for an early morning.

Saturday morning, LDs Ranch is bustling with activity as more shooters and campers arrive. The morning air is calm; winds are expected to be 5mph at worst with mild temperatures in the low 70s. Expected conditions are arguably excellent if they hold true, especially for those of us that have light experience in the wind at farther ranges, especially with the new format for this match where its one shot per target with targets out to 60+ yards!

The sight in range was active but not quite to capacity, perhaps due to the mild conditions:

After a bit of warming up, Riz and I decide to walk the upper course as its his first time to Temecula and I suggested he might wanna have a look before the event goes live! He was impressed by the terrain and range of the targets. Shortly afterwards, the shooters meeting is called:

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Today I am paired up with Steve Montgomery from Arizona. Steve and I were paired up together at the first Temecula FT Challenge that I attended 3 years ago and since then, the last time I saw him was at last years Arizona State Championship, he's a really cool guy that's always good to see one heck of a shot as well! We decide to shoot the lower course first.

The first lane was clean for both of us, unfortunately for me, things were about to change dramatically. As were making our way through the lower course, Steve is killing the targets as expected and I'm flat out missing EVERYTHING despite very light wind conditions by Temecula standards. Something is going very wrong as I'm missing by a big ole stretch!!!

Wacky Wayne Burns drove all the way from Ashland, Oregon to join in on the fun and being the supportive guy that he is, he brought targets down to set up on the course. Check out these wood enclosed Gamo Targets that catch the lead:

Lane 13 on the Lower Course just about killed my drive for the day, lol, 2 relatively easy targets, i.e. big kill zones, inside of 45 yards but the fatigue and frustrations of all the unexplainable, other than something changed, missed shots earlier in the course. I range the first target, click, take aim at the barn yard door sized paddle and break the shot and hit face plate!!! Ok, shake it off and focus on the next shot, range, click, acquire target again, fire and hit faceplate again!!! Time to sit and figure this out, what happened, thoughts running through my mind, look through the scope again only to realize I had shot the same target twice!!! Both faceplates are Squirrels with same sized kill zones and the same flat camouflage(brown/green pattern), placed just a couple yards apart front and rear so with my fatigue and frustration the targets looked the same, i.e. with the flat camo paint, neither looked crystal clear to begin with regardless of the range difference!!! But with jogging my memory, I realized that I saw the same colored lines going to the targets I shot when in reality; one had a red cord and the other a green cord!!!

Now that we were done with the lower course, Steve tells me to go back to the sight in line and shoot a 10 or 15 yard target on paper and see if your rifle is shooting where its supposed to cuz I know it isn't, on one of those far targets you shot 3 over and left of the faceplate, something aint right. So I take a few shots at a 15 yard target only to find Im an inch low and an inch left!!! I click to get back on target at 15 yards pack up and head up to take a break with Steve, getting some water and snacks before heading to the Upper Course!

Its now past noon, temps are in the low 70s with light winds at hand on the Upper Course. In walking to the lanes, I meet up with Doug Burke, another Diablo FT member and ask how he's doing and he says I'm not hitting anything, something's wrong with my gun and I said no way, you're kidding, I'm not hitting anything either, my gun/scope shifted big time and he goes now way(we both have 4200 8 32 x 40AOs on our rigs) and we glance at each others scorecards to realize how bad things are for the 2 of us!!! Oh well, we both know that at days end the friends, food, more shooting and some fancy sodas with slices of lime to make us forget about the scorecards!

While going to the Upper Course I bumped into Tim McMurray who asked how I was shooting and I told him of my issues quickly and asked how he was doing and he says he's clean! I was like wow, that's awesome, I knew he was shooting his go to gun but had to ask, are you shooting special silver bullet pellets(unobtanium pellets) and he responds, I grabbed a tin that just said Culls on top of it, its the pellets that didn't make the +/- grade in the sorting process!!!

In passing Kevin Yee, he told me that he only dropped a couple shots on the Upper Course so the FT Race was starting to take some shape.

The Upper Course provides lots of high angle shots over a road, aiming down hill with lots of wind in your face and sweeping across, typically right to left... This leg of the match is going better for me as at least some of my clicks are actually working so I can hit what I am aiming at or least see a splat on the faceplate that is level with where I was aiming!

At the end of the FT Match some fine food was awaiting us along with a great variety of cold beverages. The Carne Asada was lovingly prepared and on par with last years and expertly cooked by Chef Matt Kellerman. Moose burgers were another item that teased the palate and pleased the crowd.

The FT Race was finally taking shape with Day 1 finished. Tim McMurray is up in the points lead with 33, Kevin Yee and Doug Miller are tied in a close second at 32, and Bobby Corcoran in the thick of things with 31 points for 3rd.

It's clear that this is going to be a hard fought race on Sunday. All of these guys are seasoned shooters, the buzz is Tim is on, will he hold his edge, will Kevin, Doug or Bobby kick their game up a notch tomorrow, would any of these top shooters faulter and someone else move up the rankings?!?!time would tell

An interesting twist to this years shoot was an Airgun Swap Meet that was full of good stuff, ranging from airguns, scopes, knives, parts, accessories, optics, etc.:

One of the amazing pieces of airgun hardware that was there for display only was this old big bore that Bobby Corcoran is holding for photos, its in the restoration phase, functional but leaking air in the removable butt stock reservoir that will be covered in leather once completed. This rifle balances so well that its weight is masked, it shoulders beautifully, check out the octagon barrel:

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While most of us were eating and checking out all the merchandise for sale/trade, Ron Jobbes aka the Pistol FT Czar was running around the course on a motorcycle, frantically setting up the Pistol FT Course, picking existing lanes and targets and just moving up the shooting box.. As the match started, all except maybe Ron were thinking, "Is he nuts?" We gotta shoot those targets?!?!?!?!?!?!? Were staring at targets that most of us missed with our rifles, reducers still on the targets and ranges at 35 yards and change, with some wonderful low angle shots at range!!!

Oh well, I figure It is what it is, time to saddle up and ride and give the Pistol FT Czar a run for his money since he's shooting it too!!! Today I was shooting my FX Ranchero(.22) with its power turned down to sub 12fpe as it was one of the few pistols that I have that would comply with his Proposed Rules for this event. In actuality, Ron was letting just about any Pistol/Pifle/Ristol shoot when it came down to it.

At 5:30pm the match started and I was hitting a few and doing a heck of a lot better than my rifle shooting, ol, which admittedly made me feel better, especially with all that good food I just ate!!!

As the match is progressing, Steve Wan gets up and starts running toward the camp site area, apparently his battery died off so the electronic trigger was not functioning correctly. He quickly returns and accidently drops the green colored battery which momentarily gets lost in the tall green grass! Once he finds it, he's back in action as well as Kevin Yee who is sharing the pistol.

With the end of the PFT Match comes more eating, drinking and shooting! Shooters are gathered on the Patio which over looks the Lower Course where the opposite hillside is loaded with steel silhouette targets and a 160 yard gong target.
Terry Depew is having at it with his Whiscombe from the corner of the patio.. I swear, seeing Terry shooting from the corner of that patio at LDs in late afternoon/early evening is one of those constants in life. Reminiscent of the TV show Cheers where Norm has his chair and no one else sits there, lol! Terry was hitting the gong at 160 yards, and then out comes some cotton tails at 142 yards lasered. They didn't get much farther than 142 yards away from Terry!!! The man can shoot an airgun, especially that Whizzer!!!

As usual, LDs 51 yard shooting tunnel was a popular place, especially as day turned to night. All of us were bringing guns to the tunnel to test out and have other people shoot as well. Later that night, Rich Woods, Steve Wan, Jovan Montanez and I were in the tunnel as Steve was trying to sort out his latest creation, the D9 which is short for District 9. This sci-fi movie inspired rig is so frickin cool looking in person, its impossible to put it in writing, it truly is. This RWS 850 based action has been fitted with a solenoid trigger, barrel stiffeners that run parallel to the bore, looking like outriggers for the barrel, a ton of hand made parts and an ovalized muzzle brake that was original part of a strut wing assembly from his Acura! The rifle looks like a movie prop and boy did it have all of us in the tunnel making suggestions on sound effects, lasers and strobe lights that need to be added for effect!!!

As Steve is testing D9 in the tunnel and were all discussing what might be adversely affecting the accuracy, LD walks in the tunnel room to see what's up and jumps in to check out the rifle, shoot it and help Steve out with sorting it! Steve had switched scopes and that is the likely culprit but since the scope came off his primary FT Rifle, he was going to have to swap scopes again and get sighted in the morning!

Jovan brought his HPA 850(.22) hunting rifle, which he is using for FT, for us to check out his handiwork in making a 2 stage trigger for it. The modification is VERY NICE compared to a stock 850 trigger or one with the normal mods performed that are found on the forums. He's still polishing it up to make the 1st stage smoother, i.e. less gritty(shows up once in a while) but man that 2nd stage is a distinct wall and it breaks cleanly!!!

At midnight we step outside the tunnel to check out some tactical flashlights that Ron and LD have. Flashing the lights on the hillside where the bunnies were blasted revealed coyotes on the hillside! None of us with big bores and night vision though, oh well, something to bring next time!!!

Sunday morning was an early day, had to try and figure out the scope/gun/poi shift issue on my rig. At the sight in range, the wind was calm and the deviations in POI were relevant at range. To help confirm it, I let Jonathan shoot my rifle and its proved out to be 14 clicks low at 55 yards with no wind! I then got some adjusted numbers for 45 yards on out as my short numbers were vaguely in the ball park and I figured my race was over, wasn't gonna beat myself to death trying to get perfectly dialed in. I'm gonna shoot and try to hit more targets than yesterday and just take it easy.

One thing that was readily apparent, with how calm the wind was, you could feel that it was warmer than the day before, it was gonna get hot and heat means more wind, updrafts and mirage to contend with.. Today was gonna be a more challenging course, no doubt about it!!!

Today I am paired up with Ron Jobbes and Todd Folley. Ron is the CASA Pistol FT Czar(truly a guy that loves to joke around and collect/shoot airguns) that I have shot with many times in the past and Todd Folley is a brand new Pistol FT Shooter that has been reading the Airgun Forum for the past few years and recently the FT Forum. He heard about the Temecula FT Challenge and decided he wanted to check it out, calling Tim McMurray and LD to get details as all he had was his MAC1 Prepped 1322 with 14 barrel, a Centerpoint Scope and some practice shooting inside of 38 inside of his house.

TTim told him to just come on down, you've got a gun, scope and pellets, whatever else you need well have on hand. LD told Todd the same but stressed the point that if he shows up for Day 1, he expects him to show up for Day 2 and Todd thought about it for a second and said Ill be there both days. Keep in mind its a 60 mile drive to LDs for Todd, he's only shot his pistol indoors inside of 38 feet and he's shooting with the weekend in both Pistol and Rifle Events!!!

As we start our trek on the Upper Course, Pistol FT Czar makes a ruling on the field, a fine one at that, since Todd is shooting a pistol, well have him shoot the shortest targets on a given lane, give him a point for a face plate hit and 2 points for a paddle/bell hits. Todd was being a great sport about shooting both days given the range of targets, his lack of experience to FT and the fact he's only shot indoors and is now shooting rifle targets at extreme range on one of the hardest courses to be found in North America!!! As Todd put it, I told LD Id shoot both days so I'm gonna shoot both days plus I wanted to get exposure and learn to see if this is something me and/or my wife could get into.

Today is going better for the 3 of us as Ron changed horses today and is shooting a sub 12fpe Falcon(His aystate CR97SE had issues the day before so he left it at home), IC style without straps(not intentionally, lol, he forgot his harness!). Todd is not only hitting faceplates but dropping targets as well! He is quickly learning the concept of using the mildots and holding off and over targets to finesse the pellets onto target. As for me, Im hitting more now that I kind of had some clicks that made sense.

AAs we move along to the Lower Course, we bump into LD, Riz and Matt and learn that LDs regulator took a dump so he's off to get another rig and surprisingly he picks his latest favorite hunting rig, a Logun S-16(.22)!

This squirrel popping rig is dialed in for minute of squirrel head accuracy, not FT accuracy, but at this point in the game, I think LD was out to just have some fun in the Hunting Simulation Game known as FT!

After finishing the Lower Course and watching the scores go up on the whiteboard, we realize a shoot off is at hand in Piston Class for 2nd Place with Dave Fredericks and Brad Stevenson tied at 29 Points!

As always, a big thank you to LD and Andrea for hosting this fine Airgun Event/Extravaganza! As you can tell by the attendance, people are driving from outside of California and from all over California to attend this event because its that good! Friends, Family & Enthusiasts truly appreciate your efforts over the years and the years to come.

Special shout out to CASA and everyone else that contributed to make the event happen.
Regards,

Tony


Rifle, Spring:

Name 1st day, tot.

Johnathan Reyes 21 36/74
Brad Stevenson 12 29
Dave Frederick 17 29
Reid Dixon 15 28
Terry Depew 15 24
Dpug Burke 5 13


Rifle, Precharged

Doug Miller 29 61/74
Kevin Yee 28 60
Steve Montgomery 29 55
Tim McMurray 33 54
Vipha Miller 26 53
Bobby Corcorran 31 21
Matt Kellerman 24 49
Ron Marquez 24 47
Wayne Burns 17 41
Larry Durham 24 37
Ron Marcoe 17 33
Steve Wan 16 31
Ron Jobbes 6 29
Bruce Adamson 16 27
Tony Inocentes 9 26
John Meyer 12 24
Jovan Montanez 12 24
Todd Foley 0 21
Roger Lovett 0 20
Rich Woods 11 17
Al Waterford 8 8