We woke up quite stiff and sore from the excitement of the last couple of days. It has been a while since we have had a full day of shooting and we were both feeling a little beaten up.
Once again, Blenheim has put on a splendid morning for us. Clear, cold and calm. After getting somewhat sun-baked yesterday, Vic remembered to put sunscreen on this time!
We aren’t in this photo but I think it shows off the atmosphere of the range in all its glory!
Vic: I was pretty nervous at the start of this range. I finished up yesterday only one point behind and I was determined to make them up again. The flags were hanging down the poles which made it even worse – no excuses to hide behind!
I needn’t have worried. 8 excellent shots later and I was sitting on a 40.5.
Two very shaky, heartbeaty, tense shots later and I got up with a 50.5. *phew*! This put me a single point ahead ready for the next range.
Jared: With a strong determination to catch up some of the points that I had lost on the first day, and a desire to get my shoot completed before the wind came up too much, I got down last in the squad. I fired my first sighter and saw that all my zeros were pretty good. I released the second sighter and…
Oh no! Where is the bang? Once the range officer approved the opening of the bolt it was obvious that the primer had not been touched… A big oh no! I loaded the round again and…
Click… still nothing.
I was thinking worst case scenario – a broken spring or firing pin. I pulled the bolt apart, nothing to see here… Thankfully there were lots of people who were scurrying around to help me. Someone produced a set of Allen keys and it soon became apparent that the pin that holds the sear block in my trigger had come out and the bolt was not cocking. Thankfully the pin had remained in the trigger housing so with a bit of fiddling I got the trigger back together, had a quick check to make sure all was working, and after reassembly lay back down.
By now I was last on the firing point. Everyone was waiting for me, my heart rate was elevated from all the excitement, and the target looked like an excited fly buzzing over a carcass. Despite this, I held it together and shot one of the nicest groups of my weekend… Yay! first 50 of the season.
Vic: I felt more comfortable going into this range. I got a rough patch of wind.
Ok… not that rough… more like a lazy light fishtail…
Ok… I will admit it… it was almost (but not quite!) dead calm…
I made the decision at the start of the shoot to shoot on only one wind condition… And that is just what I did! I feel like I made a giant leap forward in this shoot. All the hard work I have been doing in visualisation and training paid off. I was patient, decisive and confident. Even though I popped one off on a boiling mirage and missed a wind change, I came out of this match feeling very good and the 48.2 was enough to keep me in the lead to win the C grade short-range aggregate.
Jared: So after the confidence boost of 500 yards, I got down excited to shoot a good score. The wind was steady and not moving around too much. I fired good shots with good sighting and was looking towards a 49 when I got a four…
What? A four?!
I then heard a four called on the target next to me. Knowing that a top shooter was shooting there, I had a look at his plot. Sure enough, his shot was in the same place as mine – low. I started wondering what to do. While I was thinking about it, my neighbour shot his next shot… through the same hole!
Decision made… I brought my sights up half a minute and scored a five just below the V (which for some reason didn’t show up in the screenshot!)
I wasn’t unhappy with a 48.5 It is nice to be able to pull up neighbouring shooters targets on the electronics!
Vic: First long range of the championship. This is where it all gets serious! Looking down-range however, it didn’t seem like there was going to be much of a challenge with the wind.
It was still sunny and bright but the sun had gone off the targets. I used a slightly larger foresight to compensate but I don’t think it was quite big enough. My group was slightly bigger than usual and I am not sure if I was dropping shots underneath (which is where they usually go when I lose them) or if my whole group was just large and low.
I wasn’t particularly happy with a 47.2 as I felt like I hadn’t shot overly well but compared to some of the other scores, it was about right.
Jared: I don’t have much to say about this range. Winds were light and easy to read. I put two shots low and thinking that there had been a pressure change, adjusted off them and put my last shot over the top. Oh well. It was still a five!
Vic: I learnt my lesson from the last range and increased my foresight size by a LOT! This tightened up my group except for a couple of loose shots which I called.
The highlight of this range for me was shooting most of it on right wind and then having it switch direction on me half way. I wasn’t entirely sure of my zero but decided that it wasn’t going to change back again so I had an intelligent guess on the dark side anyway…
I finished with a 48.2, currently eight points ahead in the C grade championship with two ranges to go tomorrow.
Jared: The wind was starting to get tricky here – just as you would expect in a Blenheim afternoon! I shot a reasonable group but got beaten by the pickups and drop offs at times.
Most importantly, I picked up 4 points on the b grade leader by the end of today… only 5 more points to catch up!
Sun-baked and satisfied, we retired to the clubhouse for beer – not before Ralf made us clean our rifles though!
I took the took the opportunity in the evening to borescope my barrel…
The front half-inch is full of pitting! That won’t be helping anything. It has been shooting some sweet groups though so I will get it re-crowned after the Te Puke champs next week.
We collapsed into bed embarrassingly early. Jared 8.30pm and Vic managed to struggle through til 9.30.
Our dreams were filled with wind flags and gun smoke.