It is funny how weather can mess with your head. Last month was clear, bright and windy as the dickens, and cold. This month’s match started out the exact opposite; We had blue skies with massive amounts of big, puffy cumulus clouds, mild temps (in the 50’s) and a slight breeze, maybe 3 – 4 mph. That would gradually build during the match to the 5 – 15 mph with gusts to 20 mph that the NWS forecast for this area….and it got colder. Fortunately, the 20% chance of rain never materialized, but the clouds were certainly moving rapidly in a predictable west to east direction. We had rain within the past few days and there were standing puddles of water and muddy patches here and there, especially in the parking lot and behind the firing line.
Because of the numerous other shooting events occurring this week and weekend throughout the Ben Avery range complex, we had been assigned to shoot on the Department of Public Safety (AZ Highway Patrol) range. This range is about 100 yards or so in length and about 75 yards wide, with high berms on both sides and downrange. There were a few conex containers behind the firing line and over to one side. This allowed the wind to be funneled in behind us and swirl (at times) during the match. The wind really picked up about halfway through and because it was coming in on an angle from behind, it was buffeting us to the point where the scope reticle was bouncing up and down and making it difficult to hold steady. 3 inches above and 3 inches below the KZ was not unusual, and the pellet impacts on the targets were all over the place with no set patterns, as noticed after they were collected at the end of the match. Even the orange lane marker cones and yellow caution tape was being blown down range. At least we had some terrain features evident with the cones laying next to the targets….LOL!
Nineteen shooters were on hand this month to do their best against the invading horde of steel critters that were spread all over the open ground. Thanks go out to both Kent and Larry for arriving early to help layout and set up the course and the sight in range. Because these ranges are used every day, we cannot get in to set the course on the day prior to the match as we have done in the past. Fortunately, by planning it out in advance, the setup was accomplished in a little over an hour, so by about 8:15 or so, we were able to open the sight in range for practice. At 9:45 we held our shooters safety briefing and lane assignments, and started precisely at 10:00.
I was shooting with Bobby this month. We have been friends for years and shooting together is always a pleasant experience. Sandy has gotten Bobby all fit and trim but in todays wind, it seemed to blow him around more. My “slightly” larger build has resulted in a more stable shooting platform, which allowed me to edge him score wise this match. At least that is my story and I’m sticking to it! I gotta admit, he made some remarkable shots in difficult conditions, but we still had a lot of fun. We had our usual 10 lanes with 2 targets per lane for a 40-shot match. The Troyer factor without wind was calc’d to be a very doable 30.79 and without any forced positions. With the wind, the Troyer was 37.93!
We contested four classes this month. Open PCP had 7 shooters with Scott and Sandy tied for 1st/2nd with a score of 34. We used the 15-yard frog target with 3/8” KZ as the shoot off target. In the wind, that is a 50 Troyer! After 6 shots, Scott was finally able to shake off Sandy for the win.
In Hunter PCP (6 competitors), Mike (aka, the old man) has been raising #$%& since switching over from Freestyle. He shot a 33 to edge Ben, who shot a 32. These two guys have been playfully battling against each other since Mike switched classes. Tied for 3rd place and forcing a shoot off, were Barry and Cole, tied at 29. Using the same frog target, Barry claimed 3rd place. Cole decided to shoot Hunter PCP instead of shooting Open piston this month which left yours truly as the only Open Piston shooter. I was not displeased with my score.
In freestyle class (5 competitors), a new shooter (to us), Van claimed first place with a 24. Following on his heels were Kent and Doug, each with a 23 and forcing a shoot off for 2nd/3rd in that class. Same target, same distance, same wind and Kent pulled the rabbit from the hat for the win. Doug’s son, Jace, shared his rifle and finished as high junior shooting a score of 20! Great shooting!
Here are the scores and the equipment stats;
Airgunners of Arizona
Airgunners of Arizona
Field Target Club
After the shoot-off’s and subsequent awards, the crew wasted little time in taking down the targets. I swear, it took no longer than about 15 minutes with everyone pitching in. Thanks’ guys. You’re the best!
Next month’s match will be back at the Pistol Silhouette range. Maybe with some warmer weather. Maybe with less wind. We will take what we get, contend with it, and come out victorious. See you then.
Sorry for lack of pictures this month. I took a few, Bobby took a few, just to get an idea of the layout. After a bunch of years, this little camera has taken a beating and is in need of retirement. (It broke. The shutter won’t close) Maybe next month we will have a group shot. Also, forgot to ask for other shooters take on the match and conditions. Remind me next month.
Beverly and Mike in foreground
Doug and Jace in background
Airgunners of Arizona "President's Day" Match Report
Saturday, Feburary 16, 2019 - BASF, DPS range - Phoenix, AZ
See ya next month!