Just because we are in Wellington doesn’t mean that it is going to be a cruisy weekend… no… we had lots on and it went like this…
The Back Story
When we were in Blenheim, Malcolm was kind enough to let us use his bore scope. Jared wanted to see the state of his barrel, how it was wearing and if the cleaning regime was working. The good news is the barrel is in great condition and squeaky clean. Vic had a FOMO moment and decided to check hers. The bad news is that there was significant pitting around the crown. This could possibly be creating flyers (though we aren’t convinced of this looking at Vic’s plots!). The solution was easy – get it re-crowned. Luckily with going to Te Puke, we could leave it with Mike to have the work done and hopefully get it back before the next weekend.
Mike got the barrel back to us on the Thursday, the sights went on on the Friday night With some arguments on mechanics and some half-assed diagrams to solve some problems, we got them straight enough to do something with… off to the zero range!
The alarm went off at 7am, and after a demanding week, the warmth of the bed covers seemed an unbreakable bond. The call of hot fresh coffee soon won out. The day was reasonably clear and bright with promise of a great day ahead.
After stumbling around trying to assemble gear and drink enough coffee to keep the eyes open, it was a quick trip to the bakery for a pie and then down to the zero range. The range is the Collings range and is administered by the pistol club who provide the range officers.
Here is Vic not enjoying the downward sloping firing points. You can’t see it but she has a rest under her left hand to encourage slightly tighter groups for zeroing purposes. We aren’t sure if this helped or hindered.
Vic got down and fire a quick group of three to confirm her 300 yard elevation and to see where the sights were set. Next step is to go up 20 minutes on the sights and shoot another group of three to see if the sights are lined up. Well there was definitely a difference! It appeared that she would be about 2 MOA left at longer ranges. That needs to be fixed!
(Vic totally concentrating while sorting out… um… something?)
A quick adjustment on the sights and we could no longer find the shots… Oops! Too much! Another adjustment and the next group with the 300 yard setting was exactly where it should be by Vic’s maths. Up 20 minutes again, and bingo! Perfectly in line! Yay… Done.
First groups and the second groups (after moving sights twice)
Jared got down to see what shooting with and without an eagle eye would do to his zero. After two years with the sights, he has never removed the eagle eye! The result is that his zero changes maybe a minute to the right and maybe a half down. It is hard to tell as the foresight element was very wrong and the groups where a bit open.
After a rushed pack up, it was time to hunt out some food and head to the club to set up for the afternoon.
This is one of the most hotly contended events on the Wellington program, and the clubs put a lot of effort into selecting teams. Petone had 5 teams competing with a Tyro, C Grade, B Grade, A Grade and an F-class team. Vic was selected for C, and Jared for B.
The conditions for the coaches was difficult and it was good to know that we did not have to think about the wind. Jared shot ok but the groups were a bit big. This helped Jared to realise how much he need to practice under a coach as it is a very different discipline to string shooting.
Vic shot mostly very well but it was not up to her usual standard.
After the teams match there was the opportunity to have a shoot individually and we decided that a 15 shot Bisley match would be a great way to end the day. Jared finished with a 70.3 with a group similar to what he had been shooting all day, and after Vic having some frustration with the wind not making sense, she managed a 66.4. Guess which is which!
Prize-giving was filled with collecting bling. The Petone Tyro, C Grade and B Grade teams won and the F-class and A Grade both finished 2nd. Not bad at all really! Thanks Andre Doyle for the prizegiving photos!
After a couple of snags and a bit of socialising it was time to head home and plan for tomorrow.
The excitement of a championship woke us early when we should have been getting the extra sleep. We took advantage of this, and while enjoying the slow start with steaming coffee, we could feel the light prickle of rain on our skin. However, the bright patches in the sky gave hope that the weather would hold off.
The trip to the range had patches of sunlight and patches of rain. It was clearly going to be a Vivaldi kind of day. Once at the range, it was not a difficult decision to prep the rifles for wet weather and turn ourselves into bright orange rubber ducks, although Jared looked very odd doing his impersonation of an orange rubber duck in a trench coat. Ralf was nowhere to be seen… he had decided the weather was not nice and had gone to sulk in the club house.
…was the first range and the wind was not easy but not completely demoralising either. Jared was down first and he proceeded to nail the center and get a few down before the light changed.
Wait… What’s this? The targets are hard to see!
After some peep adjustments not really helping things, Jared realised there was water bouncing off his rain guard. Oh… that explains it! He kept on trucking and even spotted a sneaky drop off but by the time he had released his shot, the wind had redoubled slinging him for a four. Finishing off, he got a 49.3 but it was good to know the wet weather plans worked perfectly.
Vic got down as the rain was easing but the wind was getting a bit more tricky. She was becalmed on one shot but managed to beat Jared with a 49.5.
…and the wind had started to play silly buggers and get a bit more exciting. Jared had changed his foresight to a bigger ring to help with the lower light but it was a poor choice and his group suffered. Now that the rain had stopped the patchy light exacerbated the problem and he got up with a 43.2 with an ugly looking group.
Vic used her new wind reading method of heaps and more heaps combined with releasing good shots and making the most of her time limit. She got up with a whole minute to spare and a very respectable 46.3. A pretty water line.
…and Ralf had reappeared to cheer us on in the final range. The wind was getting worse and it was an opportunity to get Trentham-ed! Jared got down and after a good look decided on 6 minutes of wind and sent his first sighter down the range. 2 on the right.
Ah… Ok… so the wind is less than I thought (thunk Jared) I will put on four minutes.
Jared sends it… a 2 in the same place.
Ah… Ok… there is not much down there at all (Jared thunk) I will put on 1 minute.
Jared sends a bull-5 first counter! From there it got a bit more interesting. Two rushed shots that spat him into the 2-ring. After a small hiding from the wind, he ended with a 41.0.
Oh well (thunk Jared) that was fun – but I’m not likely to win anything with that score.
Vic had a good waterline shoot but patiently waiting for the wind was wasting time and in the quick flicks it was proving fruitless anyway. With 3 minutes to go, 4 shots remaining and the wind getting worse, it became all or nothing… Despite the group being somewhat low, she kept calm, held waterline and shot the last shot with 2 seconds to go.
40.0… adequate in the conditions.
Ralf was feeling left out of the day (having been abandoned in the clubhouse) and decided that any bling received was his bling.
Vic won the C Grade Championship and Spring Meet by 1 point (trophies MIA), and Jared won the B Grade Championship and Spring Meet by 1 point. As is becoming the theme, Vic would have won B Grade by 2 points.
A quick beer and it was time to go home.
After a very hectic 3 weeks of shooting we leave our heroes with Vic asleep on the couch at 7:30pm and Jared stumbling his way to bed.
Ralf, of course, is wide awake and ready for the next competition!