HFT Diary Analyse This
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- Last updated: 24/04/2017
So where did it all go wrong? If that’s your lament from last season, then it’s time for the annual review! I’ve said it before, but self analysis is often the key, for many of us, in terms of bettering our performances in outdoor competition.
Start by making a list of every aspect of HFT, and work through them methodically, considering the positives and negatives in each case. I’ll work through a few different aspects over the coming months, as we build to the beginning of the season. Rifle accuracy! An obvious place to start, but the basic question of whether your hardware is up to the job, has to be asked? Not all airguns are equal, and if you really crave top class performance, then stick to the quality brands that have a reputation for success. So is it time for an upgrade?
I was always told in the early days of FT, to look at what the winners are using, and that still holds true for HFT too. Many guns look similar in terms of their features and general layout, but cheaper brands can often save money by using inferior barrels and that small tube is the final connection that we rely on to produce tight groups. I may experiment with a couple of other rifles this year, but the bottom line is raw accuracy. If they can’t produce extreme clusters at both my 35 yard zero and the maximum distance for HFT, 45 yards, then I will have no choice but to stick with my tried and tested, albeit customised, Air Arms S400 Classic, which has proven hard to beat, irrespective of budget!
Weight is another key factor; the rifle, not you! Are you panting after lane two round the wood, just lugging kit around? If so, then there are lighter alternatives. Fully tricked out target rigs suit many top shooters, and there’s no doubting the advantage of that full spec match trigger, that comes with such masterpieces. But if the heft starts to hit double figures, many of us just aren’t up to the task. If you really love the rifle, but just find it too heavy, then start your own weight reduction project, looking to shave it from areas of the stock that aren’t necessary, and even having a gunsmith machine off parts of the action if possible. Turning a PCP from full to carbine length is a possible solution, but of course shot count will be affected in this scenario, and the work will need to be done by a reputable engineer. You might be surprised what is possible in this area, so seek out professional advice, if you don’t have technically gifted friends already.
Balance can be vital, and it always amazes me just how different we are in how we like a gun to feel. I have an inclination to add extra at the front, using weights if necessary, as I just need a heavy muzzle to keep stable. Yet several friends are the direct opposite, drill out the butt and adding tubes of lead in some cases! Each to their own, as they say- and that’s the point; as the rifle needs to balance and feel right for you. If it doesn’t, adding weight to a stock can be relatively easy. Again seek experienced help if necessary.
HFT has different classes for different rifles: Open /PCP, Recoiling, Ladies, two different aged Junior and now Veterans, so all are catered for, and can compete on an equal footing. Yet the above considerations still apply, regardless of which class you intend to shoot in.
Of course, I’m looking at trying to sharpen our approach and improve scores, yet the beauty of the sport, as I never tire of saying, is that we can all take part, and enjoy it at our level. I’m out to try and seriously compete for honours, but I’ll always try and enjoy the day too. But many shooters I know, are just happy to enjoy a day in the countryside, free from the burden and worries of life, and for them, maybe a personal best score sits as a goal. Otherwise, it really is just the taking part that counts and who can take issue with that?
On a personal note, looking back to last year, I’m fairly happy that my approach was fairly good, assuming I turned up in a reasonably fit state, and in the right frame of mind. I had enough high points through last season, to show that I’m not burnt out just yet; and it’s no coincidence that my best results coincided with being in better shape, with a trimmer fighting weight. Working at overall fitness levels remains my main task, and shifting some excess pounds along the way, has to be the main plan. OK; I’ve finally burnt my Krispy Kreme loyalty card, but as for that blessed Speckled Hen; not so easy!
For pre-booking application forms and downloads regarding established UKAHFT events (where bookings are possible), and all the latest information on anything connected with Hunter Field Target shooting, take a look at the following websites:
https://sites.google.com/site/ukahft/ and www.shooting-the-breeze.com https://sites.google.com/site/whfta1/
In addition, details of HFT Masters events can be seen at www.hftmasters.com
16th & 17th April World HFT Championship
R1 21st May Quarry Hunters, Wales
R2 18th June Buxted, Sussex
R3 22nd July MAD, Essex
R4 23rd July MAD, Essex
R5 26th August Furniss Mill, Shropshire
R6 27th August Furniss Mill, Shropshire
R7 24th September Cambridge, Cambs
R8 14th October Emley Moor, Yorkshire
R9 15th October Emley Moor, Yorkshire
9th April Cambridge, Cambs
7th May Harrogate (6th &7th May Northern Shooting Show)
27th May MAD, Essex Open shoot sponsored by BSA & Hawke
28th May MAD, Essex Open shoot sponsored by BSA & Hawke
11th June Cloybank, Scotland
24th June BSA International Championship
25th June BSA International Championship
30th July Emley Moor
13th August Meon Valley
30th Sep-1st Oct European HFT Championship
29th Oct MAD, Essex
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