HFT Diary:Up and Coming
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- Last updated: 10/04/2019
OK; whichever way you look at it, coming fifth in the World HFT Championships at the beginning of the 2018 season was impressive. But who else recalls, or even acknowledges this superb achievement, for the cruel rule of sport remains; that ‘no one remembers who comes second’, let alone fifth! So yes, step forward Mr Jake Miller, fifth in the world out of 360 competitors, yet well and truly under the radar, as they say.
Well that was then, but as the year progressed, our Mr Miller went into overdrive, gathering momentum, and proving once and for all, that that stunning Worlds placing was no fluke! I can of course bathe in the reflected glory, as Jake is a member of my club, and I’ve seen his meteoric rise to the top happen before my eyes. And those results have just kept rolling in, so it seems the time has come to shed some light on this young upstart, and share his approach to our sport, and just what keeps him coming back for more.
So Jake, time to take a breather. How old are you, and what do you do for a living?
I’m 26 and self-employed, as a fitting and service engineer, installing blinds, canopies and awnings.
When did you start shooting?
That was 2015. I’ve tried clay pigeon in the past, but never really took to it like I did to airgunning.
Not that long then. What air rifles have you owned along the way, and how would you rate them?
I had an Air Arms S400, which was very accurate and consistent, but I just couldn’t gel with it. I also owned a Daystate Airwolf, and this really triggered off my passion for airgunning. Absolutely fantastic. Accurate, reliable and very nice looking. The only reason for selling this one was because I wanted something more target-orientated.
Yes, we all thought you were mad to sell that one, when you shot so well with it. You say target- orientated, but your current outfit is in theory really basic.
Yes I suppose so, a BSA Ultra SE in .177. This rifle is pretty much standard. Apart from I’ve fitted it with a Gold Star air tube, simply for more shots (£60), a Rowan Engineering air stripper (£40), and complete Rowan trigger unit (£45). I’ve also added a Brian Samson adjustable shoulder pad (£30). There’s a simple custom shroud too, which is more cosmetic than anything.
So not a massive outlay, which proves another point, given the thousands that some shooters are choosing to throw at the sport. But what about that rather snazzy stock?
The action is sitting in a real carbon fibre stock that I made from scratch. The main add-on to that is the adjustable shoulder hook/pad, made by Brian Samson. They are an absolute must-have accessory. Positional shots are so much easier with one. My other HFT rifle is a BSA Goldstar, which I have just had back from a full tune and service by Simon (Tench) Howarth. and I’m just getting to grips with that. I’ve fitted a butt hook to this one made by Gavyn Jones at GTEC Engineering. Other than these, I own a Crosman 2250XL, which I have converted to PCP, and several air pistols.
What about your choice of scope?
I use an MTC Viper Connect 3-12x32, mainly because it’s almost parallax/error-free.; something I’m paranoid about.
So I’m proud to count you among our members at Heckington HFTC Jake, and you’ve shot well at club level, but talk us through your incredible year.
Here’s the results I’ve kept so far:
UKAHFT World HFT Championship 5th
Lincs HFT 2017-18 winter league 2nd
Lincs HFT 2018 summer league:
Round 2 3rd
Round 3 1st
Round 4 1st
Round 5 1st
Lincolnshire Cup HFT 1st
HFT Masters (National) M.A.D. 2nd
Lincs Winter Open Round 1 1st
NEFTA Hunter Series Overall 2nd
Impressive stuff. Next year’s Nationals will be interesting. So, what for you is the appeal of HFT?
Once you get involved, it’s very hard to break away from. The challenge of putting yourself against the course setters, and the environment, in order to make an accurate shot, is just very addictive. Also, the precision side, trying to maximise accuracy. I practice as much as I can, but with work, it’s quite difficult to put the time in I’d like. However, I do try to make a point of shooting every weekend if possible.
Well, heaven knows what you’d be like if you did get enough practise time. I think we’re glad you don’t! And finally, Jake, any advice for new comers?
Yes. Just try as many rifle and scope combos as you can, to find what fits you. Also, take your time to learn the aim points and zero ranges, and just practice as much as possible.
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/ HFT Masters have been developing their website at www.hftmasters.net so it should be confirmed soon. They also use www.facebook.com/hftmasters/ . For details of their own World Championship, check out www.whfto.com.
April 14th Lea Valley, Herts
May12th Northern Shooting Show, Harrogate
June 16th Cloybank, Scotland
July 18th Emley Moor, Yorkshire
August 11th Cambridge
September 22nd Wendover, Bucks
October 27th M.A.D., Essex
UKAHFT World HFT Championship- Midland Game Fair, Weston Park, Shropshire, 14th& 15th September 2019
HFT Masters World HFT Championships, Kalety, Poland , 22nd & 23rd June 2019
HFT Masters are looking into holding their World title event in England at the Northern Shooting Show.
The European Hunter Field Target Championships 2019 will be held on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May 2019, at La Ferme du Chateau, in Grupont in Belgium