Forum Posts

andy_iowuk
Jul 22, 2019
In Field Target Chat
Well we are now heading towards the end of the GP season with round 8 being held near Bournemouth at the Purbeck Shooting Ground. This ground is another new ground to us all and reminds me slightly of Sywell or Lea Valley with open ground and bowls where the shotgun shooting took place. Having left the Island on the 730 boat with Holly and Richard Green, who shot Buccaneers about a month ago borrowing Barry’s Steyr. Richard was borrowing Barry’s Tsar this time. After about an hour drive we arrived at the ground. The first thing that you got to was a member of Purbeck who directed you to where to park and gave us a map of the course layout. After booking in, we wondered over to the onsite café for a cuppa, or in Holly’s case a sausage and egg roll as well. To stretch our legs both myself and Richard went for a walk to see the course. From where we booked in you could see the first 2 lanes. The plinking range was behind the café shooting towards the back end of one of the shotgun bowls. For me I found this did not really help that much, really just telling you that it was not going to be an easy day. For example, from where you sat you could feel the wind coming in from the right with the windicator going nearly horizontal only to see the pellets land on the crosshair at 55yds. I got 4 shots in a very small group, then with nothing else changing the next landed nearly 2 inches further left and a bit lower. The next landed where the blown pellet had followed by the next 2 back on the original group. Holly was finding the same thing. Oh this was going to be an interesting day. So to the course, you started by a carp lake, the first lane was across the corner the lake with the targets on the backside slope on the first of the 2 shotgun bowls. The next lane was a few yards further along with the targets running along the side the lake and at an angle to the first lane. You then had a walk to the first of the shotgun bowls where there were 3 lanes. The targets were placed on the flat or slopes of the bowl and with a wind that was coming over the lips of the bowl, the pellets went wherever they felt like. With the grasses moving in both directions you really had to be on your toes. The last of the 3 lanes in here was a kneeling lane, the first longer target placed on the edge where the berm dividing the two bowls so was catching the wind coming round from that bowl. Then another walk to 2 more lanes both sitters with the chrono between them. The long targets on both lanes where on the rear most berm and looking at the long grasses lower than the target moving right to left and above going left to right. With the grasses closer to the shooter going bother ways as well, getting it right was a challenge. A very short walk to a standing lane which had curved round slightly so the targets were running along the side of the rear berm. 8 lanes down and another short walk you got to the clubs airgun usual plinking range. There were 4 lanes here, with a bank to the left and a large group of gorse on the right and open behind the targets. The wind I found came from just about anywhere, the longest target here on the second lane the faceplate looked like it had been used as a shotgun pattern plate with pellets in no sort of group and they were left, right high and low. The last standing lane of the course was the fourth in here, with a 18yd 25mm. After all these bowls and open area, a walk though the gorse you then got to the edge of the pine woodland. Here the firing line was on the edge of the woodland with the targets out in the dark of the wood, made mentally darker with the line in sunshine. Here I found the wind quite difficult to understand or work out at times. Cleared the first lane and the first of the next lane. However whilst aiming at the right side of the faceplate on the second target making a decision on where the wind would make the pellet land, I decided that it needed straight down the middle but my brain seemed to send the ‘squeeze the trigger’ signal to the finger before I had aimed in the right place. A right doughnut moment. Cleared the next lane, then only got 1 of the next 4 targets. The wind was much stronger at the targets than the previous lanes and only a few yards from them. The second kneeling lane was in the middle of the 9 lanes in the wood. Height, angles and wind made this quite a challenge for me. Once finished here, we walked back along a track with lanes 22 & 23 shooting in the opposite direct of lanes 6 and 7 with the third kneeling lane as lane 23. The last two lanes were a bit further along but this time fully open area so would catch any wind. So to the scores, I shot a 30 but redeemed my positional shooting by only missing 2 out of 10 and as all taken standing really happy with that. Barry shot a 32 with his Steyr and Richard shot a 35. Holly, shooting Open shot a 36, says he won but the rest of us slightly disagree as he sat down for them all. A bit of a break between now and GP9, so a little more practice needed. Would I go to Purbeck again, well myself and Richard would but Holly has said no as he seems to have an aversion to shooting Shotgun grounds.
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andy_iowuk
Jun 10, 2019
In Field Target Chat
This round marks the just over half way though the season. A trip to Essex was on the cards, however this time I had the pleasure of 2 other clubs members Bazza and Holly. With the expected M25 chaos I decided that catching the early ferry to pick Bazza up on the way. So me and Holly caught the 6am from Fishbourne. After collecting Bazza we headed to Essex. With no hold ups we were therr at 9am. So with the need of tea and food we set off to the onsite cafe to fill up and then let both Bazza and Holly loose on their old region for banter and abuse. Whilst they were doing that I walked round the course. Here at ETL it's a scrubby wood with banks and ridges. The course started on the let side with 3 lanes going out through pathways that had been cut through. With a wind that could be felt an the line but looked very little at the targets. You then had a short walk that took you to a ridge that had never been shot from before. A pair of kneelers then a pair of standers really put the pressure you. Long, short and reducers then were scattered on long the remaining 6 lanes. Up and over a little incline you then head into a bowl with 2 positional lanes and 3 freestyle pointing in 3 different directions to catch you out. After this you had about a 70 yard walk to the final set of lane in the woods before the last 6 targets out in the open. Scores on the doors for us doing it properly 44 for Bazza and a 36 for me and a PB I think. Holly who Sat for them all did a 42 and came joint 3 in that class. Top score of the day was a actual clear by Ian Taylor, top shooting from a top man. Round 6 a lot closer to home in 2 weeks at Soton Buccaneers. Let's hope for nice weather.
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andy_iowuk
May 26, 2019
In Field Target Chat
GP3 Tondu The first half of the double header was basically on one side of a valley. Tondu is an old quarry and has quite a long and steep in places road down to it. And what must be typical Welsh weather it decided that it would be nice to rain, not just one of those short showers but just that constant light rain that just got everywhere. For those that shot in the morning it was probably worse for them as they were in it for all of their shooting. The course had been set in a circle in 2 halves. The first 10 lanes were on the top of the mound some 30ft or so about the car parking area. The targets had been placed low down across some water and high up on the side of the quarry bank. With the wind was blowing to about 25mph meaning that plenty of aiming off required. 5 lanes were on the top of this bank with at least 6 of the 10 targets over 45yds away and between 10 feet beneath you or 25 feet above you. The next 5 lanes started down the mound with a mixture of reducers and a kneeling lane to finish with, the 2nd target of that lane being a 25mm as well. With the misty rain coming in waves rangefinding became challenging as some shooters found it difficult to range exactly on the targets. After carrying on down the mound you then came across a standing lane with the targets now in the opposite direction to the first 10 lanes. The remaining 15 lanes ran along the track that brought the cars to parking area. In the first 2 lanes were in the undergrowth of the wooded area and some over open water. The remaining lanes were in the wooded area, whilst it looked windless it was most definitely there and all the undergrowth was directing it in different directions to what you might of expected. Those shooting in the afternoon carried on with the weather that had plagued the morning shooters. However, a few hours in it finally stopped and by the time the shooters were on their last 4 or 5 lanes the sun came out and then they started to steam in the wet clothes. So what about the scores for the day, well I finished on a 30 again, Mr Consistent I suppose. Highest score in the morning I understand to be a 42, but that is probably subject to the soggy scorecard checks. The afternoon had a score of 44, not much of a difference but with some of the top shooters doing the morning session it could mix things up a little bit. Tomorrow we will be heading to the other side of the valley roughly where the arrow is. I have never been there before so with the forecast 30mph gusts it could be interesting again.
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andy_iowuk
May 12, 2019
In Field Target Chat
GP2 Tawd Vale With this ground being some 240 miles from Southampton a weekend away for me this time. Good job to with a total of 6.5 hours of driving just to get to the Wigan area where I was staying. After a day of visiting places on the Saturday I bumped into 2 shooters from the SEFTA region staying at the same location in the pub next door. So I joined Dan Eley and Dave Croucher for evening dinner and a few beers before calling it a night. As they were shooting in the morning session they did not join me for breakfast at 8am, a champion breakfast if I may say so myself. So after being fed and set for the day I headed out for the short 20 minute drive to the ground. The ground itself is run by the Scout Movement and the club uses a small corner of it. The club uses an area of the woodland near the entrance with a container acting as the club house that had a small stream meandering about 5yds in front of it. The area they use is quite clear of undergrowth, so any breeze would blow through and at one end there is a small slope that ended in a quite open clearing. The course itself started on the left side of the container on the other side of the stream where the first 2 lanes had the targets deep into the undergrowth. With a short walk up the slope to 2 lanes that headed down to more open area of the undergrowth Here was the first of the positional lanes, a pair of kneelers in which one was had a 25mm reducer. |Lane 5 had the targets across the clearing with one quite high up a tree and near max distance. Then you head back towards where the path came up the slope to a group of 5 lanes that ran down the slope, with targets at different angles and heights. These targets were in the opposite direction to the first to lanes, so you needed to keep on your toes for the wind. Lane 6 at the top of the slope was a standing lane with another reducer here. Definitely racking up the difficulty factor for the courses. Once at the bottom of the slope and in front of the container, the course sort of followed the stream with targets changing direction slowly until about lane 18 when the targets were now running at right angles to the ones at the slope. For those in the afternoon the yellow coloured faceplates started to become difficult with the sun breaking through the trees and disguising them in places. 
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andy_iowuk
Apr 29, 2019
In Field Target Chat
So here are my thoughts of each of the rounds as I shot them. GP1 – Millride Millride, or Hellride if you speak to others, is located on a Fishing/Shooting complex not far from M42. I have never been there before but was hearing stories of loads of uphill shots and strong winds. Being the only fool willing to travel from the Island I was on the 630am car ferry from East Cowes and then nearly 3 hours later I arrived in the vicinity. Going by the BFTA Website I was looking for something on the righthand side of the road. Thought I went passed it, so went back to where I thought it was but it was a farm lane. Met another shooter looking for the ground as well. Drove back and forth then noticed a rather large sign saying Millride on the left, took a chance and drove down to find another sign saying Millride FTC. Ahh found it, so time to sign in. With fishing lakes on the right, the airgun on the left and past the airguns and behind some large banks shotgun club. With breakfast so long ago, it time for a midmorning break and the reputation of the onsite café needed to be tried out so off I head. A bacon and egg sandwich with a tea ordered. Tea in a proper china mug and about 10 minutes later the sandwich arrived. A nicely cooked, slightly runny egg with slightly crispy bacon sandwich was soon consumed with no egg residue on the shirt. As is the way with GPs the proposed 12-30 start came and went, but with a few of the morning shooters coming off with 4,5, or 6 dropped shots it was going to be interesting. With the raffle and safety briefing done the afternoon session we all headed to our respective lanes. I was starting on lane 11, the first that ran along the top of a field. The 15 lanes on this hillside were mainly placed inside the wooded strip than run along the top of this hill. This made for interesting wind working out. For me, more than a few times what you thought the wind was going to do. The longer targets here could catch the wind coming up and over the brow of the hill or be deflected by the trees. Along here I had some good lanes, some very bad lanes and some confusing lanes. For me hitting 9 targets in a row was good, knocking 5 out of 6 I was feeling just peachy. So out of thirty I was down 9, not to bad I was thinking. So, after a walk back along the hill and down to lane 1 chatting with a few other shooters on the way so I could also see how others were doing. Lane 1 was on the edge of this wooded bit, and to be honest was where the wheels sort of fell off my wagon. Missed the first 5 targets, admitted the 5th was a 40 yard kneeler that I take standing. As we worked our way up the hill the wind was either there or blowing in either direction. The windicator going one way, pellets going the opposite was a continuing fight for the next 5 lanes. I dropped another 6 clearing only 1 lane, missing a sub 20yd stander. Checked my score card before shooting the last lane, do not usually do that but noted I needed both last targets for a 30. I cleared the last lane for a what I thought was a satisfactory start to the GP season. More work required before round 2 in 2 weeks at Tawd Vale.
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andy_iowuk
Apr 24, 2019
In Field Target Chat
So, seeing as Holly has his FT Blog with all his meanderings on it. I thought it was about time that I would challenge his words with some of mine. I have set myself the challenge of doing all the BFTA Grand Prix’s or more commonly known as GP’s, which are not doctors but after each one I might need to see one. The first one is fast approaching, like this weekend, practice is all done now. And it is all down to the course builders, the weather and me. I am endeavouring to put a general view of each of the rounds, not my thoughts they will be elsewhere, on here with maybe some pictures. These are the rounds and as you can see I will be covering quite a lot of the UK over the next 5 months. The towns are just the general area so you can get an idea of the distances. GP1 Millride MFTA (Birmingham) GP2 Tawd Vale NWFTA (Bolton) GP3 Tondu WAFTA (Swansea) GP4 Oaktree WAFTA (Swansea) GP5 ETL SEFTA (Dartford) GP6 Buccaneers CSFTA (Southampton) GP7 York NEFTA (York) GP8 Purbeck SWEFTA (Weymouth) GP9 Blackbrook MFTA (Birmingham) What do I hope to achieve, well by the end I hope that I might finally qualify for the BFTA Masters and Showdown. Never have done so far but going to give it my best this year. So be prepared for my ramblings over the next few months.
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andy_iowuk
Apr 03, 2019
In Introduce Yourself
I am the current treasurer of the club. A little intro, been into airguns since I was about 15 lusted over a Venom HW77K or HW80 in those days. 1st rifle was a BSA Mercury in .22, soon learned that it was not good enough when the First Vectis FT Club shot up where the tank museum is now. Then in the early 90's started the club again this time near Merstone which was a successful 10 years with many trips to GP and Winter Leaague competitons, the first one standing out with a top score of 12/30 an no target further than 45yds. Got back into in the about 2005 and been going ever since. I enjoy setting the courses out and preparing already for next years Winter League.
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andy_iowuk
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