Posts Tagged ‘competition’

AOA-Shoot-Photo-04The morning chill blew in from the East with a gusting wind of 12 to 18 mph. As the sun rose over the the mountain top we were waiting for our hunters to arrive. There were rabbits scattered about the ground, crows and even some hogs. All within shooting range! The guns and ammo were being prepared and it was finally time to begin.AOA-Shoot-Photo-16

More than a year ago the planning for this began in one of our Safari Club Chapter Board Meetings that we have once a month to discuss how we can promote not just hunting, but shooting sports as well. Being on the board of directors for Phoenix Chapter Safari Club has opened my eyes to what SCI really is all about. It is not only about hunting in Africa as I had been led to believe, but more about the Conservation of all wildlife species and Preservation of gun sports across the world. In one of our meetings, Van, our Chapter President, said to me that we need to have a big bore airgun shoot and my reply was “Yes, that would be fun. But how would we get enough guns and where would we have it?” His reply was “You will do a good job.” AOA-Shoot-Photo-08Well I needed a bunch of help to accomplish this and with all of our board members we had that part done but still we needed guns and lots of them. Airguns of course, so I went to my friend and boss Robert Buchanan at Airguns of Arizona and told him our plan and what we needed he said “Yes Kip, whatever you need” and also gave me some ideas in planning.

Now back to the shoot. We set out more than 30 targets in total with Remington automatic animals, swinging gong targets and for the Bushbuck 45 Caliber we needed something a bit stronger. So I made a three gong set with a spring loaded jackrabbit. AOA-Shoot-Photo-17Targets were placed from 10 yards out to 77 yards and we set up three shooting stations. One for the Weihrauch spring piston rifles, one for the Brocock, Daystate, and FX  precharged pneumatics in .177 and .22 caliber, and one for .25 caliber FX Royal 500, Daystate Wolverine .303 caliber, and the Big 45 caliber Bush Buck rifles. As a participant any amateur shooter could come and shoot all the rifles as much as they wanted from 9:00 to 11:30am. AOA-Shoot-Photo-28The air was filled with the pop, ting, the Boom, Smack and the laughter of the shooters hitting their targets, and it was nice to see so many young shooters having so much fun!

AOA-Shoot-Photo-29Then we put a competition together for all shooters in three different categories; Adult Men, Adult Women, and Juniors. For this we used the ten meter 5 bull target set at 20 yards. The shooters would get 5 shots, one at each bullseye and have 5 minutes to complete this. We had a tie for third place in the mens division and a tie for first in the juniors and after the shoot off, plaques for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd were awarded in each category.

IMG_09021st Place Women’s – Sandra Ortiz
2nd Place Women’s – Ana Narez
3rd Place Women’s – Olivia Hardy

IMG_09071st Place Men’s – Kyle Seifert
2nd Place Men’s – Peykan Beyrami
3rd Place Men’s – Todd Kluth

IMG_08971st Place  Youth – Keyon Beyrami
2nd Place Youth – Jacob Yarburugh
3rd Place Youth – Scott Yarburugh

Then to everyones surprise i called all of the first place winners up for an overall shoot off… the Quigley Bucket Challenge! This was to be with the BushBuck 45 caliber standing offhand. AOA-Shoot-Photo-71Targets were placed at 40, 50, and 60 yards, three shots, three buckets. First up for the ladies was Sandra Ortiz and as she let off her 3rd and final shot… BOOM !! … the stage was set. One bucket down! Then came the junior Keyon Beyrami and because of his size we let him shoot with a front rest only as the BushBuck 45 is not a light gun… BOOM!! … 1 bucket went flying through the air! Shot 2… BOOM!! … bucket 2 flopped across the ground. Now could he really get three in a row? As young Keyon lined up the crosshairs on the bucket one could hear a pin drop… BOOM!! … the crowd roared as bucket 3 flipped up in the air! Keyon had smashed all three buckets, Watch out Quigly!. Now for the mens division Kyle Seifert to defend his title. As he raised the BushBuck, nerves set in and the pressure was on and with only one bucket out of three the Junior shooter Keyon was the winner! IMG_0916As an unannounced surprise, his prize was a Weihrauch HW30 rifle wrapped in an AOA soft case. But Keyon said he already had an AOA case and asked if he could donate it back for second prize. Way to go Keyon! So we had ourselves another shootoff and after the dust settled Kyle Seifert in the mens division took second place with two buckets out of three to win the AOA case.

The SCI Big Bore Turkey shoot Co Sponsored by Airguns of Arizona was a great success with shooters of all ages attending. Phoenix SCI Extends A Big Thank You to all 49 shooters, And to Airguns of Arizona. Remember if your not a part of a good organization like SCI – JOIN and be part of the solution so events like these can continue for all ages! We must bring our youth more into shooting sports and airguns are the best tool to make this happen.

Until next time, shoot straight and hit your target!

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Kip Perow

 

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shane

By all accounts, the 2014 Extreme Benchrest match was a rip-roaring success. More than 100 shooters from 16 states and 6 countries came to Arizona to compete in Extreme Benchrest (75 yards!), 25-meter benchrest, outdoor speed silhouette, field target and a 10-yard indoor pistol match.

The event, which has been held the last 4 years, is a team effort by the staff of www.airgunsofarizona.com and bolstered by a number of clubs that helped to make all of it possible: Phoenix Benchrest for running the 25 Meter event, Precision Airguns and Supplies for sponsoring the Speed Silhouette event, Quail Creek Airgun club for running the Dirty Bird and Milbro dart events and the Airgunners of Arizona FT club for running the Field Target event.

Shane Kellar was match director for Extreme Benchrest. “My biggest concern was that something would go wrong and throw the timing off. We were running from sun up to sun down – from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm – and any glitch would result in the last relay of shooters running out of daylight.”

You might well think that the responsibility to run the match might take all the competitive spirit out of a person, but not Kellar. He entered and won both the speed silhouette match and the 25 meter benchrest.

The speed silhouette is, in my view, a fascinating competition. The objective is to knock down 16 silhouettes in the shortest time possible. Competitors shoot from front rests only and must shoot either single shot rifles or, in the case of repeaters, with magazines empty. They can’t stage any pellets; they have to start with them in a tin. They shoot at chickens at 30 yards, pigs at 40 yards, turkeys at 50 yards, and rams at 60 yards. At the starter’s signal, shooters begin loading their guns or their magazines, and the match is on.

In years past, individuals with stop watches would stand by the benches, start the watches at the beginning of the match and then click the watches off as the individual shooters finished the course. But as shooters got better and better, and times got closer and closer, it became obvious that a better timing system was needed.

So Kellar and Greg Glover of Airguns of Arizona developed a new timing system. The rangemaster punches a button and a master clock starts for all 20 benches. As each shooter finishes, they punch a button to stop the clock for their shooting position. It’s very similar to the timing system used for Olympic swimmers. “Greg and I were pretty stressed, hoping the new system would behave flawlessly,” Kellar says. It did, and after the first relay, he was able to relax.

Shooting an FX Verminator that was launching JSB .22 15.89 gr pellets at around 850 fps and loading pellets directly into the breech, Kellar was able to drop the 16 silhouette targets in just over a minute: 1:07.34. “I missed two shots and dry fired once,” he says.

In the 25 meter benchrest match, he shot an FX Royale BR, which was sending .22 caliber JSB 18 gr pellets downrange at 885 fps. After three relays, his total score was 736 (out of 750) with 25Xs. He was tied for scores and Xs with another shooter, so the tie was decided by look at the first card. The first person not to shoot a 10 comes in second.

He says, “Obviously I wanted to shoot well, but even more important, I wanted to make sure that the 100 people who showed up had a great experience. I am deeply grateful to all the folks from AoA and all the clubs who bent over backwards to make that happen.”

“It’s very gratifying to have shooters come up to us after the match and say they had a great time. We listen to their feedback and plan on incorporating a lot of their suggestions into next year’s match.”

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

 

A 10 meter air rifle competitor. Photo courtesy of www.usashooting.org

A 10 meter air rifle competitor.
Photo courtesy of www.usashooting.org

Want to give yourself a serious challenge as an air gunner? I mean a serious, serious challenge? Then let me humbly suggest that you give 10 meter air rifle a try. It is both an international shooting competition and an Olympic event, and in my view, it is one of the hardest things you can attempt with an air rifle.

The competitors shoot at a distance of ten meters – just a bit over 32 feet – at a target the ten ring of which measures just .5 millimeter across. From a standing position, the competitors shoot with .177 caliber air rifles that weigh a maximum of 12.13 pounds. For men the course of fire is 60 shots (plus a ten shot final in international competition) and for women, 40 shots plus a final.

I’ve tried it, and it is tough. It is physically demanding to hold up a target rifle 60 times and try to point it with precision at a target. People – all people – wobble, and that wobble creates inaccuracy. As a result, competitors are allowed to wear specialized clothing, including shooting jacket, pants, special shoes, and even special undergarments to help stabilize the body and reduce the wobble as well as help to prevent back injury caused by the asymmetric spine position that competitors assume while shooting. Years ago, I spoke with a collegiate 10 meter air rifle competitor, and she estimated that the use of the specialized shooting clothing improved her score by as much as 50 points. In other words, if she were to shoot in ordinary street clothing (as the 10 meter air pistol shooters do), she might expect her score to drop by as much as 50 points. (An aside: you probably could have encased me in a concrete block, and I still would not have come near her score!)

The competition air rifles that are used in 10 meter air rifle competition are arguably among the most accurate projectile launchers. I know a man who shot groups from a rest with his FWB300s recoilless air rifle, and he showed me a 10-shot group that was a single hole that was barely egg-shaped! Today’s precharged pneumatic match rifles are even more accurate. It is not uncommon for today’s competitors to test their rifles by clamping them into a vice and shooting shot after shot at ten meters, testing difficult pellets and batches of pellets from the same manufacturer until they find the one that produces the smallest possible group size.

The reason for all the fuss about accuracy is that, unlike 10 meter air pistol in which a perfect score has never been shot, in 10 meter air rifle perfect scores have been shot, and competitors need to be as accurate as they possibly can. Top-end 10 meter match rifles are the Formula One cars of the air rifle world. As they go up in price you get more and more adjustability of the stock, handgrip, and so forth, as well as various anti-recoil technologies, incredible accuracy and amazing consistency in velocity from shot to shot. . The Feinwerkbau target air rifles offered by www.airgunsofarizona.com can be found here .

If you would like to dip your toe in the water of 10 meter shooting at a much more modest cost, the Daisy Avanti line of target rifles offer excellent accuracy for beginners but not the high level of adjustability or the incredible triggers available in the FWB line.

If you want to know more about how to get started in 10 meter air rifle competition, visit http://www.usashooting.org/ . Click on the Resources tab for useful information, and under the Events tab, you will find lots of helpful stuff, including how to locate a club near you and how to find a match that offers 10-meter air rifle competition

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott

 

10 meter air pistol competitors. Photo courtesy of usashooting.org

10 meter air pistol competitors. Photo courtesy of usashooting.org

As I write this in the spring of 2014, just a few short weeks ago, the winter Olympics in Russia wrapped up. I am always inspired by the Olympics. The athletes work so hard – so very, very hard – to get to the highest level of competition, and they lay it all on the line against athletes from around the world. Quite frankly, it annoys me that the broadcasters who cover the Olympic games (either summer or winter, it makes no difference), put so much emphasis on winning the gold medals.

These athletes work for years – sometimes decades – to bring themselves to the level of Olympic competition, and to have some broadcaster say, in essence, “Well, he (or she) only won the bronze medal . . .” Don’t get me wrong; I think winning the gold is great, but I also believe that winning a spot on the Olympic team is an astonishing accomplishment in itself.

And did you know that 10 meter air rifle and 10 meter air pistol are part of the Olympic competition? They are, and today we’ll take a look at 10 meter air pistol, which was introduced into the world championships in 1970 and into the Olympics in 1988.

 Photo courtesy of usashooting.org

Photo courtesy of usashooting.org

On the surface, it appears to be an incredibly simple game. You stand in normal street clothes 10 meters – 32.8 feet – from a target. With one hand, you aim an air pistol at a 6.7 inch by 6.7 inch target. What you are really aiming at, of course, is the 7/16 inch 10 ring. The object is to put as many pellets as you can inside the 10 ring during the course of a 40 or 60 shot match. It’s not easy; no one has shot a perfect score (all 10s) in 10 meter air pistol competition.

As competitive ventures go, 10-meter air pistol is surprisingly affordable. You can purchase a Daisy 747 single-stroke pneumatic pistol , suitable for club competition, for under $200. Add to that a sleeve of wadcutter .177 pellets and some practice targets, and you’re good to get started. Competitors at the highest levels generally shoot precharged pneumatic match air pistols that cost close to $2,000. What these pistols offer is incredible shot-to-shot consistency and a large number of adjustments to grip, trigger, and sights so that the shooter can tweak the ergonomics of the pistol so that he or she can shoot with utmost accuracy from shot to shot. Nevertheless, I have heard, first hand, the story of a high level air pistol shooter who was visiting a match, borrowed a Daisy 747 Triumph pistol, and shot a very respectable score.

If you want to know more about how to get started in 10-meter air pistol competition, visit http://www.usashooting.org/ . Click on the Resources tab for useful information, and under the Events tab, you will find lots of helpful stuff, including how to locate a club near you and how to find a match that offers 10-meter air pistol competition.

A personal aside, I tried shooting a season of 10 meter air pistol, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t much good at it, but I found the competition to be gratifying, I learned a lot about the competition, and I found the other competitors to be friendly and generous of their time and expertise. Even if you never get beyond the club level of competition, it is a lot of fun, and I recommend it.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

          Jock Elliott

If you see these guys, they are wanted for pursuit of accuracy in the first degree. They are, in fact, the fine air rifle benchrest competitors who showed up for the Northeast Regionals.

You want to know what it was like? Okay, I’ll tell you. It was a little like being the driver of a car, and you’re at an intersection, and you need to make a decision about which way to go, and the person on your right is yelling “Go right! Go right!” while somebody else in the back is screaming “Go left! Go left!”

. . . Except that I wasn’t driving a car, and no one was actually yelling at me. I was merely trying to put an air rifle pellet down range with high accuracy, and I was getting highly conflicting (HIGHLY conflicting, like two people yelling in your ear) information about what I needed to do. In short, I was trying to read the Salem Swirl.

What do these gentlemen all have in common besides air rifle benchrest? They’re trying to figure out what the wind will do to their pellets.

But I get ahead of myself. It all started back in May, 2012. I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, when an email shows up from Rick Ingraham:

Re: Air Rifle Benchrest

Hi with the East coast and world postal being in your back yard (Salem NY) how about coming over and doing a write up on it? We will have the number 1  – 2 — and 4 world shooter there . 6 or more from the world team, People from 6–10 states and maybe from out of the USA. And a Pig roast. August 4-5  Salem N.Y. Email or call me if you like

 

Well, that sounded like fun. So after a preliminary visit to the Salem Pistol and Rifle Club to test the Benjamin Rogue, I showed up there on August 4, armed with a camera, to see what the fuss was all about. I had not been exposed to formal air rifle benchrest competition before, but I have to say that I came away impressed.

The bottom line is that the guys (I didn’t see any gals competing, although there certainly are no rules against it) who shoot air rifle benchrest are the accuracy “weenies” of the airgun world. They shoot air rifles off rests at targets 25 meters (roughly 27 yards) away. The target has 25 bullseyes that count for score and some additional bulls that you can shoot for sighters, which are simply shots that are used to make sure your rifle is shooting where it is pointed.

During a match, the shooter typically has 30 minutes to complete 25 shots — one at each of the 25 bulls that count for score. You can shoot .177, .20 or .22 caliber, and there are various classes – such as light varmint, heavy varmint, world postal, and open – for various weights and powers of air rifles. For a full explanation of the various classes, visit http://www.usairriflebenchrest.com/2594.html and http://www.wrabf.com/ .

With the ten ring just two millimeters across, accurate scoring is key. You get one shot at each of 25 bullseyes.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting: the 10-ring on the air rifle benchrest target measures just two (count ‘em!) millimeters across. If you nick the ten ring, you get a ten. If your shot obliterates the ten ring, you get an X. If you miss the ten ring and nick the next ring out, you get a nine, and so forth. The highest possible score for a single target is 250 with 25 Xs.

A purpose-built benchrest competition air rifle.

But wait – there’s more: at Salem, you’re shooting outside, so you have to deal with the vagaries of the local breezes. As a result, the vast majority of shooters involved in air rifle benchrest are absolutely fanatical about accuracy. They will do just about anything to get their rifles to put pellet after pellet through the same hole at 25 meters under dead calm conditions. Why? Because once you start dealing with the wind, which wreaks havoc with relatively slow-moving airgun pellets, you want to be certain that it is not your gun that is causing the pellets to go strange places.

The Salem Pistol and Rifle Club is in a picturesque setting.

So I show up at the Salem Pistol and Rifle Club and the first thing that catches my eye is that this is an absolutely beautiful facility. Clean, well-maintained, with 16 concrete shooting benches with an awning overhead. Twenty-five meters out on the grass is a line of target stands, and in between, each shooter had been putting up his own series of various colorful devices for indicating the strength and the direction of the wind between the shooting benches and the targets. With all the colorful wind pennants and gizmos bobbing and weaving in the air, the whole place reminds me of a county fair.

Dan Brown starting to set up his wind indication devices, with the windicators of some of the other competitors visible in the foreground.

A few yards behind the shooting benches are still more awnings and tables where shooters are prepping their guns, cleaning barrels, and doing the friendly shake-and-howdy that is typical of most shooting events I have attended. Presently, Todd Banks, president of the Salem Pistol and Rifle Club and world champion air rifle benchrest shooter, walks over, welcomes me to the match, and asks if I would maybe like to shoot some benchrest. Well, I just came to cover the match, I say, and I didn’t bring any equipment. Yeah, but you could borrow a gun and use my rests, he says. He continues to twist my arm (ever so gently) for about another nanosecond, and I cave in.

Daniel Finney cleaning a barrel before the match. The following day, he set a world record.

A little later that morning I find myself staring down a line of wind indicators between me and the target. I’m shooting Todd Banks super-gnarly multi-kilobuck benchrest air rifle which is resting on Mr. Banks’s ultra-smooth professional bench rests. I have at my disposal basically the best gear money can buy. I ought to have Buddha-like calm, but I don’t. The two windicators closest to me are saying the wind is coming from the right; the two closest to the target say — perversely – that it is coming from the left. And a couple of windicators in the middle haven’t made up their mind. I trigger the shot and it nicks the black six ring.

The view from the “driver’s seat” with Todd Banks’ heavy varmint benchrest rifle, rests, and windicators.

I later remark on this to Pete Robeson, a rimfire benchrest shooter who is helping to score the match. “Oh, that’s the Salem Swirl,” he says. “Wind comes down into the bowl where the targets are and does weird things. You have to learn to read the Swirl if you want to shoot well here.”

By the end of the weekend, it becomes pretty obvious that some of the shooters have figured it out. You can see all the results of the match here: http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?83804-East-Coast-Regional-World-Postal-Results-747-38X-agg-shot-with-a-Maruader!-Long-post

Daniel Finney used a modest setup for front and rear benchrests, but that didn’t stop him from achieving excellent results.

A lot of the shooters had done extremely well, but the highlight, I would say, was Daniel Finney setting a new worlds record for three targets in the postal match of 747-38X. That means, of 75 shots, he only had three that were not tens! Further, he was shooting a highly modified Benjamin Marauder off leather bags supported by wooden blocks. It just goes to show that you don’t have to have the most expensive gear to do well.

In the end, I think airgun benchrest is a whole lot of fun. You can get started with an unmodified Marauder and scope in production class for a few hundred dollars.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

–          Jock Elliott