March 19, 2011 – Ben Avery Shooting Range – Phoenix, AZ

Airgunners of Arizona - March 2011 Shooters

It is still winter in Arizona. That means that I didn’t even need a sweatshirt for this month’s match, although the weather report for Flagstaff predicted that those folks were expecting 50 mph winds. Maybe that is why that contingent did not venture south to milder (70’s) temps and less breezy conditions. We did have a lot of high clouds and hazy conditions. The wind was blowing a lot of dust into the air this previous week, and although bright, the sky was not its usual crystal clear appearance.

Regardless, we had 11 shooters come out to enjoy a wonderful day of Airgun shooting along with the swap meet that we did not have last month. We set up 12 lanes on either side of the 2-track; some across the wash, some at various angles to offer challenges for the wind, and even had a few standing shots. With the wind and the distance to one the standing shots (22 yards, 1-1/4” kill zone, in between wind blown bushes and over top of another), I may have to reconsider that for the future. That was a tough one and I don’t think anyone knocked it over. It was, however, a great learning experience in doping the wind coming from various directions based upon target placement. We call them shooting lanes, when in reality they are more accurately shooting positions. Although some targets are shot parallel to each other, numerous shooting positions had targets set up almost 90 degrees from each other. Just when you thought you had the wind figured out, you have to change position to shoot the next one. Great fun, especially when you guess them correctly and the target drops!

Ben Avery range has its usual share of resident critters that we encounter each month, too. We have seen javelina and wild burros, lots of rabbits and all kinds of birds, but this month, with the weather getting warmer, we spotted our first rattlesnake. Bob Pian, match director for the Arizona Cup (Archery) was working on the adjacent FITA range and getting everything ready for that world class match coming up in a few weeks. He first noticed this little guy sunning himself in between 2 of the archer’s storage containers. Arizona Game & Fish Dept personnel (BASF rangers) were summoned, and promptly collected him for relocation elsewhere. While they were there, we showed them the location of what appears to be a badger burrow, complete with rabbit remnants from a recent meal.

Local resident.

We also had one new shooter this month. Rick Eaton has been on the email list for the past 4 years and has finally had the opportunity to make one of the shoots when it did not conflict with work. He is a Captain with the Mesa Fire Dept. and due to scheduling conflicts has not been able to attend. Well, the planets came into alignment and he was able to participate in his first FT match, and had a great time and shot well! We had 4 spectators that also came to watch to see what we do each month. Of course, one of them was our own Guy Zamudio who had the lame excuse of just coming back from taking his daughter to golf lessons. Sydney would rather shoot airguns than whack away at a little ball with a stick anyway. I know; I asked her. (Guy, that is called a “gotcha!”....LOL) There are no mulligans in field target.

We were glad to have Rick shooting.

The swap meet worked out pretty well considering only 11 folks attended. (Where were all you guys who told me you were coming anyway??) I sold a few things and bought a few things, and there were some really nice guns for sale. There was a Steyr that Rick was really jonesing after and one really nice Daystate Huntsman with factory FT stock and target trigger. I also spotted an IZH 64M and some other neat stuff. We ought to do this more often and turned out to be a good time after we finished shooting.

As for the shooting, the scores were indicative of the windy conditions, but were a good test of abilities with everyone shooting very respectably. Husband and wife, Dale & Debbie Keiser always battle back and forth, and this month was no different. Debbie ended up in top spot with a score of 34 out of 48 with Dale one point behind with a 33. Curiously, we had only 1 piston shooter and 1 HFT shooter. Hey, we are still trying to promote piston and HFT, so you folks that would like to give this a try, come on out. It is a lot of fun and I am having a ball shooting HFT with my Marauder.

Match winner Debbie Keiser takes aim!

Here are the scores:

Position Shooter Total/48 Airgun Scope Pellet
PCP Division
Match Winner
Debbie Keiser 34 Daystate CR97 SE Burris 8-32 CPH 10.5

Dale Keiser

33 Daystate CR97 Burris 8-32 CPH 10.5
Larry Nelson 32 USFT Mueller 8-32 CPH 10.5
Bobby Corcorran 30 USFT Bushnell 8-32 CPH 10.5
Steve Timarac 27 USFT Nikko 10-50 CPH 10.5
O.B. Morales 26 FX T-12 Whisper Hawke 6-24 CPH 10.5
Len Tlapa 23 AA NJR Burris 8-32 CPH 10.5
Ray Horneman 22 Daystate Mk4 Platinum Bushnell 8-32 JSB 10.3
Rick Eaton 19 Steyr LG-100 Bushnell 8-32 CPH 10.5

Hunter FT Division

Mark Kauffman 29 Benjamin Marauder Bushnell 12X H&N 10.6
Spring Piston Division
Jim Russel 19 AA TX200 Bushnell 6-24 JSB 8.44

We will be shooting in Camp Verde for the next 2 months, followed by Mormon Lake from June thru September. We will once again host the Arizona state championships in September.

So, until next month, practice, practice, practice.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Kauffman

Secretary, Airgunners of Arizona