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Chapter 09 – GP8 Springfield

And then there was 3.

Yes, we had another club member, Barry Warren, join us for this trip which was just

a day out with a 2.5hr car journey from Southampton. Firstly, was the car loadout,

after Richard had picked me up with my gear we then headed to East Cowes to

transfer both of our equipment to Barrys car. His being an estate so a little more load

space available.

It was not going to a good start on the ferry as I got a text message from them

stating the previous evening stating technical difficulties for hot food. Manage to get

teas and coffee though.

The journey from Southampton to Springfield was quite uneventful for motorway

traffic, the usual traffic jams at junctions but after nearly 2hr or so of travelling we

reached the Essex and neared the ground. This, of course, is home territory for

Barry as he had joined may of the clubs in this area at some point previously.

As we arrived, he knew a few people and got a bit of a ‘priority’ parking space a bit

closer. After nearly getting stuck he managed to get parked. After putting our boots

on due to the wet ground after the rain the previous day, we headed down to book in,

going past the food van which looked like it was still setting up and this at 11pm. A

bit late I am thinking.

Barry, being Barry, was catching up with old friends on the way down. The weather

was dry but windy, oh so windy. I would have said it was gusting to 20-30mph with

occasional stronger gusts.

After booking in and getting our cards we took a walk around the course. The firing

line started in a wooded area weaving a little but with plenty of angles and height

used. After about 10 lanes the course dropped down the hill a bit before heading

back up again and heading towards the open field for the last lanes and the plinking


After the leg stretching, we headed back to the car stopping a cuppa and bacon and

sausage bap. Not the best for £4 1 sausage and 2 thin rashers of bacon in a bap.

Nikki, that does the shoots in the northern regions, has yet to be beaten in the food


After eating the fare, we got the rifles ready and walked down to the club house area.

Richard decided not to have a go on the plinking, whilst me and Barry decided to

have a go. So how did it go for me, well at 30yards which was my zero I had about

0.5-2” of wind as the wind gusted or not, the windicator was no help either as it was

blowing out when pellets went straight.

Moving out to 45yds, the pellets were now landing more constantly 5-7” out with. At

the 55yds the pellets were landing a little low and nearly a foot away from the point

of aim. I made a note of the pellets landing low. I had taken about 20 shots I thought

I was not going to learn much more, so back the club house to shoot the breeze with

the others.

The look of some of the shooters in the morning session as they finished and

handed their score cards made me think that the day was going to be bad. Rumours

of a 46 did the rounds with no-one believing it as some of the well know Welsh wind

shooters such as Mark Bassett & Simon Evans coming off with high 30’s. However it

was an Irish shooter Dave O’Hara that did that score and not many were in the 40’s

in the morning session.

After a lack of a win in the raffle, I wandered to my start lane of number 2, Richard

was on about 10 and Barry somewhere in the middle of the field. Shooting Dave

Ward from Springfield, who was the course setter as well, we both cleared the first

lane a nice 30yd 25mm and a 42yd full size. That settled the nerves a bit, but then I

made a mistake on the next 2 lanes, I forgot about what happened on the zero


Target 5 was a just under 40yd target, I could see the windicator fluttering to the left

so aimed just outside the right edge and the pellet landed there. Got the second on

the lane and then moving to the next lane. Remembering what happened on the

previous lane I decide to stay within the hit zone on the right, only for this time the

pellet landing on the edge on left. If I had stayed outside, it would have gone down.

As Dave said to me afterwards, as it’s his ground, it’s the wind you can’t feel that’s

the problem. Thanks Dave.

Next lane was a pair of Standers both around the 30yd mark and knowing how bad I

had been with these in the previous, I was not holding out much help. But despite the

efforts of the wind, I cleared the lane. The next lane I had a bit of a quandary, I shot

target 11 and saw the paddle move back slightly. Should I call it or not, there was no

split that I could see. Having never called a target and decided not to now but

mentioned it to Dave if he could check the target before pulling the string. He said

the paddle had moved but thought he could see a slight mark just on the outside to

the left. Oh well a miss.

Over the next 10 lanes I dropped another 5, 2 being long positonals and 3 being wind. Give

wind took none, give none took some, just poor wind reading for me. On all 3 I saw the

pellets land within less than a pellets width from the edge, gutting really.

As I headed towards the end of the wooded section you could now start to feel the wind

coming across from the field. Targets 31 and 32 being the most memorable for me. Both

targets long, 31 being around 47yds and 32 nearer 54yds but high up a tree. That one I

felt was going to take some wind.

I shoot at 40x magnification when sitting at 50yds the lines nearly match up to 1 inch

per. The arrow in image with T31 shows you where I had the centre of the paddle. I

could hear and see an increase of the wind when doing target 32 and knew it it

needed more. To make things worse Andy Mason from Springfield club was behind

me videoing me shooting for his YouTube channel (waiting for video to appear). As you

can see from the T32 imaged I was nearly double the windage for that. Both targets I

knocked down with some good congratulations from Andy and Dave. Dave

missed the T32 but could not say where.

I must have used all my luck on those 2 as I missed both targets on the next lane.

So then out into the field, the wind felt like it had dropped from about 10 minutes ago as I

the next 2 lanes including a kneeling lane.

Blimey that’s 8 positonals and only 2 misses so far, I was starting to wonder what

lucky stuff I had trodden in. Maybe it might have been because I was wearing my

CSFTA hat?

After all the targets in the field I dropped another 5 which included a stander, gust of

wind lew me off as I pulled the trigger and then missing a 10yd 25mm target high.

Need to check those short distance markings. The others were just wind misreading

and 1 misrange as the pellet landed at 6 o’clock, Dave had the target 5 yds further

than I made it which would explain it.

After walking back through the woods to lane 1 and target 1 was one that might

catch out the unwary being a long 54yd target. Those who still had the scope turrets

set to the 10yd might forget and then be a turn out. However we both did not make

that mistake and cleared both targets.

That gave me a score of 35 and Dave a 45. Thinking about it on the way home I

know I made a few mistakes and a near 40 score could have happened. Need to iron

those out for the next round in 2 weeks at Sywell.

So how did Barry and Richard do, well Richard finished on a 39 but he also knew he

made a couple of mistakes. Barry just did not have a good day, as he started in the

field reviewing his score card he missed over half the targets out there and then

quite a few O’s in the wood to finish with a 31. I think its was just his match fitness a

bit lacking as he has only done 40 shot Summer league rounds so far this year.

With my 35 I lost my last sub 30 score and with 1 round left another score similar to

this one, means I would drop the my lowest percent with is a 63%.

Sorry about the lack of pictures but not many photographers about.

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