Mixed Bag @ 1st National Shoot of 2014

Full Details Of Personalities & Friendships

After a night of broken sleep due to a neighbourhood alarm on Sunday past, I washed the sleep from my eyes and headed up to the club to compete in my first National Silhouette Shoot of 2014.

Due to my late start all the early details had been assigned. It was good to see a large attendance of competitors side by side as all 6 bays had a full compliment of shooters. It really was a case of ‘the early bird catches the worm‘. There were shooters from four different clubs all eager to take on the might of the steel silhouette, East Coast Sporting Club, Eagles, Suirside Target Sports and our good selves BRC Shooting Club. A nice mix of personalities and friendships.

A Helping Hand

As I was late and not due to step out on the line until gone midday I took on the role of Range Officer to run the first and second details. The cold morning air would surely bring a bit of colour to your cheeks and drain the blood from the fingers.  It was time to wrap up and tuck my head into my shoulders as my new haircut left me rather exposed around the ears.

All went well and the shooters got of to a cold but steady start. Chickens and Pigs seemed to fall with ease on a few bays while others struggled. As for Turkeys, well they seemed to be fixed firm and undaunted by the shots. Not many fell to the bark of the rifle.  Rams pulled the same stunt. They too felt that their 100 Metre home down range was a safe haven and oblivious to the cross-hairs and accuracy of many shooting sticks. Unfortunately those on Bay 2 suffered a different fate as Dave rattled 9 Rams off their feet. ‘Nice shot execution and result there Dave‘.

Lead Free Turkey & Ram

Finally my competitive detail arrived. I got myself prepared, sils jacket on, magazine loaded, cans on ears and rifle checked and free from any possible barrel obstructions.  I was ready to roll out some lead from my ‘Annie’.

always a good idea to remove the bolt and take a look down your barrel for any possible obstructions before shooting

Taking a little stretch to shake out the stress and bring some blood into my muscles I made ready. My sights set on Chicken number one I waited for the Fire command. Once Fire was given I squeezed back on my Annie’s trigger and waited for the inevitable ping of a flying chicken.  That little corn fed feathered critter didn’t budge, I had missed! Not wanting to repeat that error I made a slight adjustment to my forearm hold and steadied it up some more. Chickens number two through ten all developed a sudden case of fright and one by one took flight.

My Pig site acquisition, shot execution and scoring drew in a little nervous excitement as they dropped one by one making it a clean ten from ten. Was my early afternoon going well, I thought so?

As quickly as you could click your fingers my afternoon began to change. My Turkeys and Rams decided they didn’t want to lie down, they stood tall and proud a row of chests puffed for mating as they resisted the charms of my Lapua Centre X and Annie combination. I couldn’t hit a barn door for love nor money. Yea I dropped a total or five Turkeys but thought OK I will recoup on the Rams as they are a favourite scorer for me. No it didn’t happen, Rams just didn’t fall. I thought perhaps I am shooting a little high so adjusted down 4 clicks but this did not resolve my Ram Slam. I had to settle for a score of four from ten.  Rather downhearted and a frown on my brow I gazed down range in wonder.

As the match came to a close I had to figure out why I was missing those Rams. During the target reset I found the answer. I discovered that my hits were on the feet and lower belly of those four scored Rams. I was shooting low even before I made that mid shoot 4 click elevation adjustment, my call was wrong. No wonder I was off the mark.

Make The Correction & Recover

I wasn’t planning on making the same mistake twice in the one day so I took a note to adjust up 8 clicks when on Rams as this should deliver the shot straight on the centre belly if I am in favour to a steady hand and sharp eye.

Shooting back to back I didn’t have much time to ponder on lost shots. I was back in the game with a bang. Chickens, Pigs, Turkeys and Rams were all falling to my rifles bark. I was suddenly having a brighter afternoon on the range. My Stance, hold, sight picture, trigger control and dialing in elevation had all come together in unison to provide me with a top quality score line that a Master Class shooter should always produce.

Once I delivered my final shot which was an alibi on a fallen Chicken I received a round of applause from club and non club members that were watching from a short distance away, with the usual comical remarks thrown in of course; just to keep me grounded. I had scored 9 Chickens, 10 Pigs, 7 Turkeys ‘as my high school report would say ‘could do better’ and 9 Rams. A final tally of 35/40, a score that I have not produced for quite some time in competitive shooting, I was well happy with that.

I hope it is a good sign as I look forward to the upcoming BRC International on May 3rd & 4th.

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