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HFT Diary

HFT Diary

I think we can all agree that we’ve had one hell of a summer, but for us strange types that must wear our usual outer jackets to shoot in, whatever the temperature, it’s been tough going at times. This UKAHFT round, held in mid-August at Furnace Mill, based in fabulous Shropshire, was one such event, with incredible heat for the duration. The location sees us shooting in superb woodland, all around a multiple fishing lake complex; and as we gathered in the car park for the pre-shoot safety briefing, we could see the fishermen, busily setting up and making ready for their relaxing day’s sport. Each to his own, and it is fascinating how we all have our own little worlds of entertainment.

A testing course of 30 knock down targets was all we wanted for the day, and with many laid out high up in trees, down over rough terrain or even water, we were kept firmly on our toes. With roughly three hours of sport, there’s no doubt that stamina plays its part in HFT, and here, the energy sapping heat was always likely to be a factor. Three shooters clearly had what it took on the day, with Dave Taylor, Liam Todd and that wily old pro, Dave Ramshead all finishing on a superb 59 apiece. Mr Taylor emerged victorious, but with that score, all three can feel proud of a job well done. (see Furnace Mill results table)

Furnace Mill results

Open Class: 1st Dave Taylor 59, 2nd Liam Todd 59, 3rd Dave Ramshead 59
Juniors: 9-13 1st Myla Parsons-Smith 48
Juniors: 14-16 1st Abigail Maw 57
Ladies: 1st Karen O’Mara 54
Veteran: 1st Mike Burgess 55
Recoiling: 1st Perry Broad 52
.22 Class: 1st Jason Lockett 52
Club Team Winner: 1st Rivington
Manufacturers Team: 1st Steyr

Air Arms RSN10 Memorial open cup challenge

This event has become one not to miss in the HFT calendar, since the format just works perfectly. Apparently now eight years down the line, this fantastic shoot pays tribute to the drive and energy of Bob Nicholls, the founder of Air Arms, and the father of the company’s current MD, Claire West. Prior booking is required, as it does fill up, but the setting in the beautiful Sussex countryside takes some beating.

All out in the morning to shoot a 25 target HFT course, back in the club house for a hot meal, and to compare notes on performance, then all back out for another 25 targets in the afternoon, before cake and tea and the prize giving at the final stage. An aggregate of the two shoots gives us a score out of 100, and with different classes for the usual Ladies, Juniors, Veterans, .22, Recoiling and the main Open Class, it’s a great day’s sport, aimed at all ages and abilities.

Air Arms MD, Claire West, was celebrating by the end, and deservedly so, since the company had just managed an impressive clean sweep of the results on the day, with shooters winning each class with an Air Arms model! HFT normally treats us to a raffle these days, and this flagship shoot was no exception Your score card acts as your entry ticket, so everyone has a chance, with reasonable odds on the day. Simon Marriott was a happy bunny, when he drew top prize of an HFT500, but there was a heap of other prizes too, rounding off what was a great day.

story continues below...

So, a big thanks; firstly, to Andy Simpson and his gang, for staging two superb target courses, and of course Claire and everyone at Air Arms for their generous hosting of this tournament. Well done to young Jack Houghton too, steering his own HFT500 for pole position, and only dropping five points! Brilliant shooting. (see AA results table)

AA results

Open Class: 1st Jack Houghton 5 Air Arms, 2nd Justin Rayner 93 ISP, 3rd Andy Simpson 91 ISP
Juniors: 1st Scott Somerville 81 Air Arms
Ladies: 1st Karen O’Mara 76 Air Arms
Veteran: 1st Mike Burgess 90 Air Arms
Recoiling :1st Danny Roff 83 Air Arms
.22 Class: 1st Jason Lockett 78 Air Arms


Top shot Gavin Jones has been shooting particularly well over most of this season, and whilst chatting to him at a shoot earlier in the year, I noticed the rather flash accessories adorning his favourite S400 rifle. As a talented engineer, Gavin’s been making his own specialist components to customise his rifle for a few years now, but just lately, it’s got more serious, and he’s branched out with his own brand of custom accessories, under the name of G-Tech. Adjustable hamsters/stock raisers are now available for several popular makes of rifle, along with precision engineered butt hooks and shoulder fittings, all crafted on CNC machinery from aluminium; and there’s even a choice of coloured anodising, so these precision items will bring a touch of bling to your favourite gun too. The quality is about as good as it gets, and with custom accessories becoming increasingly popular, it looks like we’ll be seeing more and more of his handiwork on the HFT circuit nationwide.

Both butt hooks and a hamster assembly start at around £100, but for full specifications, prices and models catered for, see Gavin’s website at www.g-techprecisionengineering.co.uk

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, 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 and www.whfto.com

REmaining national events for 2018 are as follows:

UKAHFT 2018 National Series Planned Shoot Dates
R9 21st October Quarry Hunters, Wales
HFT Masters Planned Shoot Dates For 2018
Round 7 28th October M.A.D., Essex

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