HFT Diary: Easily Lead?
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- Last updated: 03/10/2017
Summer has indeed arrived, and with it, a plethora of HFT events, all vying for our attention. Gone are the days when I attend a competition every single weekend, and whilst life does indeed get in the way, I’m now quite happy with the odd rest week in between. Time to collect our thoughts, spend a bit of time promoting the sport locally at club level, and of course an all important spot of relaxing.
Sponsored by BSA, BASC, The Airgun Centre, Hawke, Jack Pyke, Ronnie Sunshines, Airgun Gurus, Field Sports Channel, and SACF. The HFT Masters team have been busy of late, and their 2-day international event was apparently a big success. Maldon and District (M.A.D.) played host, and with a devilishly tricky course laid out throughout their glorious slice of Essex woodland, all who attended had a great weekend’s sport. Soaring temperatures added to the occasion, and it was all about conserving energy, and trying to keep a healthy score, going in to day 2. Teams from the Czech Republic and Poland all came over specially, and with a large Scottish contingent also in the mix, there was by all accounts, a genuine international feel.
The England team proved a little too strong and saw off the challenge, from the next highest placed Czechs, but with three of the top ten shooters from overseas, including Dusan Mandat in second place, the sport looks to be developing nicely. Justin Grice shot brilliantly to top score, but usual suspects, such as Vince Holland, found himself in yet another shoot-off!
I couldn’t make this weekend, but it sounds like it went down a storm, so congratulations to Ian Bainbridge and the crew, and the generous sponsors. Ron Whitney would certainly echo those comments, as he went home with a brand new BSA Goldstar from the raffle!
Buxted, near Uckfield down in beautiful Sussex, is always a pleasurable shoot, and I could actually get to this one! As it panned out, some super high temperatures arrived, which kept us all working at half speed. Once the weather hits around 29, 30°, it really is time to assess what clothing we wear, but I just can’t shoot in shirt sleeves, feeling like a bag of loose bones. Don the shooting jacket, and everything feels tighter and locks into place. Luckily, ¾ of the course was snaking along the stream inside the shaded wood, which proved a Godsend on the day. Staying sharp and thinking about range and wind, is key to success, and after a few bad judgement calls and a couple of confused moments, I finished on a ‘respectable but nowhere’ 52.
Neil Wakelin steered his Air Arms HFT500 to greater effect, held his nerve, and finished with a superb clear round. Sponsors Air Arms, must have been pleased though, as they also took the team event, with Charles Peal and Stuart James joining Neil, with excellent scores on the day. More drama was to come though at the prize giving, as Neil Wakelins name was again read out- this time to collect the top raffle prize of an Air Arms S400 rifle! He couldn’t quite believe his eyes, but well done Neil and great shooting!
Having been writing about the top pellet brands of late, it’s set me thinking that I could be due a proper evaluation of pellets in my own competition guns- something I haven’t done for a while. Once the 8.44-grain JSB/Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets emerged, I tended to have gone with the flow, and just stuck with them. But other variations such as the lighter Air Arms Diabolo Express, or the RS Diabolos are also well worth trying.
There’s a wealth of pellets on the market, and admittedly when we’re after super consistency, the list of usable candidates dramatically reduces, yet there’s a good number that are worth trying.
Whether a pellet suits a particular barrel relies on several factors, but getting out and running proper checks ourselves, rather than just tapping data into chairgunner, has to be worth the effort!
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 and www.whfto.com