Poised and performing
In the starting gate
So much colour
Getting nervous and set up
This just doesn’t feel right …
On 19th April my wife dragged me off to the International Shooting Centre in Sydney. She’d decided to take her air-rifle out and shoot in the Open. Making our usual rather late start we headed north from Canberra in our van with suitcases and shooting equipment. The plan was scope out the range, then have a night at a hotel and for Karen to shoot the match the next day. I decided not to shoot in the 0.22 match because I’ve had frozen shoulders and done little serious shooting recently.
It was super-easy to get to from here and in a lovely setting. So we lugged the rifle out of the van (why are target rifles so flipping heavy?) and put it in the store at the range, before having a good sticky-beak and addressing my wife’s nervousness about how the competition was run.
We had a good night in the hotel and an awesome steak dinner. A bit expensive, but what isn’t these days? Maybe I come from a mean family: my parents thought that I could survive on 25 pounds a month at university in Britain in the mid-70s. Anyway, we won’t dwell on THAT. I will say that I had a long shower in the hotel: free hot water!
The next morning off to shoot. We got Karen set up but she wasn’t terribly happy – she just didn’t feel right. Then when the competition started she immediately ran into trouble and shot badly. Not least of her problems: her glasses kept misting up. So sadly she under-performed and was very disappointed.
BUT we were both very impressed with the place and the facilities and plan to go back there soon to shoot. And the other club members shooting did much better, in particular our young female shooter was stellar.
And for the bonus points? We got quality time together while the kids were enjoying our absence! 😉
Well, I haven’t been shooting for a bit which is why this blog has been excessively quiet. More of my effort has gone into trying to figure out why our old BMW hops like a kangaroo every now and then …. Anyway, the reason for my lack of devotion has been that I can’t aim a rifle at the target. No, it’s not some strange psychosis, I have a frozen left shoulder. First the right one failed for the best part of a year, then the left one followed. I am literally unable to raise the muzzle of my Anschutz high enough to hit the target! But things are getting better.
Hammerli AR20 air rifle
In the meantime the women of the family are taking over – both my wife and daughter have headed onto the air rifle range with our Hammerli AR20. Mum is a very serious sportswoman – she takes technique and instruction very seriously, whereas I tend to point my rifle toward the target and offer a small prayer. Laughing-Water, my daughter, has just started and is not as good as mum yet but she is very stable and strong, so we have great hopes of her. It is really good to see the two of them on the range, all the more so because we are seeing more women and girls on the air rifle range, so perhaps we will reach a critical mass. But of course, in the end it only takes one person to shoot.
In general the popularity of air rifle shooting is on the rise. It is fun and not expensive to get into. The ammunition is very cheap and we bought a new rifle locally for about $1200 or so. They’re probably more now but still not wildly expensive and the Hammerli (made by Walther) is quite adequate to get started with. I think that we added riser blocks under the sights and weights, but it was no biggie. So, if you are sick of team dynamics, then consider air rifle shooting!
My wife and I just got back from cleaning up the club as part of a working party preparing for the Open Shoot next weekend. The place is now relatively glossy clean!
This is an OPEN SHOOT so everybody is welcome to join in! Please come along and try your skills with either 0,22 mm rifles or air rifles, at 20m or 50m and 10 m for the latter.
The shoot takes place on Friday 1st September through Sunday 3rd.
Sorry that it’s a wee bit crooked but I shoot on a slight cant so EVERYTHING looks crooked.
1 event $15
2 events $30
3 events $50
4 events $60
5 events+ $60
Come on! Give it a try!
After a month away, I got to shoot again tonight. Alas not my best performance – after four weeks at the other side of the globe and a day hunched over a hot laptop, my eyes were not up to snuff. I had the rear aperture shut right down and still had trouble pulling the foresight into focus. 184 I got – better than I deserved.
The main range was fairly quiet, about half a dozen of us. But I gather that was a big improvement over last week. However the air range was humming, with lots of new faces and hoards of young folk. So good to see young people getting involved. We need more! Haven’t you ever wanted to give it a try? Come on!
A. went to India for a couple of weeks and I browsed his photos while I had a post-perforational coffee. I’ve always been sort of curious about India. When I was a young lad at university, bus-loads of my compatriots rumbled off to the sub-continent and I rather felt that I’d missed out. Anyway, that’s maybe not strictly relevant to shooting.
Here’s a shooting thought: I use Rifle Match S ammunition. Apparently that leaves the muzzle of my Anschutz at 345 m per second, which is … about 1240 km per hour, if my dodgy maths are to be believed. The cruising speed of an Airbus A380 is about 900 kilometres per hour. At 100 metres from the muzzle the bullet is travelling at about 280 metres per second, or about 1000 KPH. So next time that you are sitting in one of those flying barns, watching some chronically poor movie and trying to keep your food on those professionally polished micro-tables, just think about it!
Well, I’m sad to say that this site has developed Blog Disease. You start off with good intentions and spiral rapidly. So, I will make an effort to keep it more up to date.
Road works are now complete and access to the rifle club is pretty straight forwards. Coming back into Canberra does require a considerable diversion and a scenic trip back past Majura Winery, with its thick crop of roos (or crop of thick roos?) and the associated hazards.
We recently had the club annual dinner at Yowani Golf Club. It was rather a select group of members this year – we always vary a fair bit in numbers. We had a good chat and most of us were very happy with the food. The evening started a bit strangely with an extensive recounting of somebody’s recent surgery. As if the mediaeval torture (differing only by the application of anaesthetic) weren’t bad enough, the recovery period seemed even worse. My neighbours were looking as though dinner was fast becoming redundant.
Fortunately the bright moment of prize giving arrived and intestines gave way to trophies. I was given the task of making a photographic record: a pretty clear indication that I should not expect a prize. As my eyes can only get worse, and work has allowed little time for thinking of other things, I wasn’t surprised. So I clicked away as the goodies were distributed to the tall and thin, the short and tubby, new members and everything in between. The secretary has frequently pointed out that I would win more if I actually shot.
Needless to say I didn’t shoot this evening either. I left work late, had to feed the kids and eat myself. In the toss up between a sociable coffee with the guys at the club, or fixing the dryer, the dryer won. Damp towels are yet another form of mediaeval torture!
Access to the club by road is strange at the moment. It’s better to turn in really slowly off Majura because it is not at all clear where to go on the road if you come at it fast.
We live in hopes that all this strangeness will eventually end with improved access to the club. Perhaps even asphalt! Woo hoo!
And don’t forget to watch for roos, especially when coming back along the west side of Majura by the winery.
The weekend of 9th and 10th April we had another training session for 0,22 calibre and 0,177 air rifle competition shooters. The teaching was led by Bob Marshall and G. de Groen. About ten people attended from both air-rifle and small-bore. Thanks to Stuart and Jayne for their culinary efforts at Saturday lunch!
Even older shooters are surprisingly keen to improve!
Now for the shot in the air range
Bob waxes poetic
Rifles waiting while the shooters are coached in the clubhouse
On Saturday at least, not a lot of experience with wind!
Some nice kit owned by the shooters
I think that I need a new rifle with more colours …
Karen takes a breath and steadies herself