TRAC match – December 29, 2020

This is the last TRAC match for 2020 and it was a doozie!  This year we shot 33 TRAC matches and 12 monthly matches.  That’s 45 full field target matches; something we haven’t ever done before and something we are destined to continue to do.

Getting back to today’s match, everything we could have thought could happen, did.  Well, we didn’t have any snow, it wasn’t quite that cold.  During set up the temperature was 44 degrees with substantial wind.  At the end of the match, it was only 48 degrees albeit feeling warmer due to the wind subsiding somewhat, or was that just our imagination?

The skies to the south were partly cloudy, but the cloud cover to the west and north was very dark and ominous looking.  You could see areas of verga to the north, but about 5 miles west, it must have been raining heavily.  The rain spit at us while setting up and just as we thought about sighting in, it drizzled sideways, being pushed by the wind so much that it was hitting the concrete pad at the BACK of the covered firing line.  Yours truly was the only one to attempt sight in, and called that good after about 3 or 4 shots.  The other three guys were huddled in their vehicles, with the heaters on, staying warm.

Okay, enough of that.  The drizzle subsided and we decided to have a go at shooting the match.  We no sooner get into position to start, out beyond the 100-yard berm, and it started drizzling again, not heavy, but constant and sideways.  Barry, all bundled up, walks up to me and asks, “Why am I here, again??”

Well, we continued and it finally stopped drizzling, but the wind did not let up.  It was coming out of the north, with the 1:00 o’clock, back to 11:00 o’clock shifting that has been prevalent the last few Tuesdays.  We would get this constant push, followed by a lull and resulting, fluctuating eddy’s of swirlingness (is that a word?), then a moment of calm, followed by a sudden WHOOSH that buffeted us.  We had wind going right to left at the firing line, but it was going left to right down range…..we found out!  We had a bear target set out at 45 yards.  I was holding into the wind (at the firing line) at 3:00 o’clock and hit 2” to the right of that!  Okay, I will hold center.  Nope.  Hit 1” to the right.  That seemed to be the “theme” of today’s merriment with Mother Nature just laughing her fool head off!  Miserable B****!

We had our usual 5 lanes / 2 targets per / 2 shots at each, but at half time, we just let them where they were and did it again.  I actually felt pretty good after the first half, having missed only 5 targets.  Ha!  The second half was worse!  The sky did clear up with the clouds being blown off, and the sun coming out…..a little bit.  That was just he name of the game today.

As stated earlier, we had 4 die-hards on hand……all bundled up.

Mike was high score with a 39/40 with his Thomas, as he sat there waiting out the wind.  Even he was making uncharacteristic “comments” about it.

Barry was next in line, shooting his Redwolf and scoring 35/40, taking frequent breaks to go to his car to “warm up”.

Wayne shot surprisingly well with his Brocock Sniper and finished with 33/40.

Mark shot his D54 with new scope and finished with 23/40.  Ranging was fine, all shots were at the correct elevation, but the wind did its thing to the pellets hitting right and left, sometimes dramatically right and left.

After arriving at 9:30, we were finished and putting everything away at 12:00 noon.  3 out of the 4 of us then headed to Wild Horse West to warm up and have a burger as the sun finally burnt through and filled the sky with big, puffy-white clouds.  Figures……

While we were doing our thing downrange, the crews were starting work on the covered canopy at the firing line.  Even in the wind, they were power washing the structure getting ready for paint……sometime in the near future.  Another crew was looking to survey the gravel piles that are going to be used to repair the berms, but they would be back when we were finished.

Speaking to our range liaison officer (Dave Williams), he is going to try to keep us on the schedule for shooting Tuesday mornings and not to interfere with the proposed work schedule.  Also, Winter Range has been canceled this year, so we might be able to move from the smallbore range in February, back over to the rifle silhouette range.  More info to follow…….hopefully tomorrow.  He has to get this squared away before he leaves on vacation……to go camping?!?!?  Who goes camping at this time of year?

Anyway, that is all to report at this time.  Once I get word on the Tuesdays in January, I will shoot out another email.

Meantime, Happy New Year to all!

Take care, Be safe, Stay healthy.  2021 HAS to be better!

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Kauffman

Secretary, Airgunners of Arizona, Inc. 

Field Target Club