Yet another shoot for myself, Helen and Andrew to attend the Essex open at Springfield this is sponsored by the Airgun Center in Rayleigh Essex.
First some history of this shoot which was introduced by Springfield airgun club two years ago which catered for both FT and HFT shooters and previously won by Craig MacDonald in 2014 and Barry Warren in 2015. The Airgun Center sponsored this event and put up the raffle prizes of a £300 voucher for 1st prize £200 and £100 vouchers for 2nd and 3rd respectively. Helen and myself have attended this shoot each year and the first year I was lucky enough to with the £300 raffle prize. Last year Andrew and Simon Martin joined us Simon shoot well and after a shoot off with Barry Warren was placed second.
Anyway enough about the past this is another of the shoots we look forward to as Springfield is one of our favourite grounds to shoot. Forecast for the day was dry, cloudy with a 13 mph wind. I had set up my second EV2 with another scope and was determined to use this rifle to prove the set up. Helen and Andrew picked me up at 7.45am Sunday and it was time for me to load the rifle into Helen’s truck. Much to my disgust I just couldn’t take an unproven set up (EV2 No.2) so in went old faithful known as number one EV. Off we set and I ask Andrew if he was brave enough to bring his springer to which he replied yes and from this point on I wished I’d picked up the other rifle EV2 No.2. Oh well we are on our way now even though Helen did offer to turn round, no its too late I replied. We arrived in good time and parked up in the field a short walk from the course. After booking in we said a few hellos then walked round the course which as promised was quite a bit different to previous shoots with a new section up the stairway to hell leading to the field of doom as its now called. Targets 1 to 8 where in this field section.
Time for the briefing and allocation of lanes I was partnered with David Elvin, off we went to our allocated lane 9 and awaited the start signal. As FT’ers use there scopes for range finding and HFT shooter’s don’t they went first I can’t really remember how I did until I went out into the field of doom but at this point David was one target ahead of me at this stage, and I have no idea how Bob the HTF shoot was doing as even when they miss the kill they get a point. So with one target to make up and 8 targets in an open field, no problem just like shooting at our ground. David nails both ,first shot for me target 1 just outside left and a little breeze I release the shoot dink damn thing lands on my cross hairs, so swing round for target 2 this target was a bit further out and at a different angle to the first one so again 10 outside left edge of kill and again the pellet lands one pellet to the right of my aim point. On to lane two again David nails them both so its my turn again with the grass bend over at 35 degrees best stay in the kill for this one, down it goes right me thinks I know exactly what to do on the next one which of course was wrong I didn’t I dinked it. Next lane kneelers great I like these not too far away so shouldn’t be a problem again David nails both my turn and down goes the first one swing round to the next one and even though I thought it was a good shoot the target stayed upright. Now to the last two targets outside and again David makes the right decision and they both fall for him, I switched off at this point as id missed too many targets to put in a competitive score.
A few more lanes inside and with David missing a few in the wooded area giving me the opportunity to pull some back and catch up but I failed to take advantage of the situation only managing to pull a few back to within one target by the last lane which was a standing lane. With a stiff breeze David nails them both I get the first one and struggle with the last one and release the shot as I couldn’t hold it on target any longer. So David finished two targets ahead of me with 31 to my 29. Time to go and see how Andrew and Helen have fared, Andrew had a few problems with his poi shifting so dropped quite a few targets before working things out and finished on 16. Helen comes towards us and declared her score of 36 ex 40 a good score any day of the week, but we are shooting against a few AA graders so could they produce a better score than Helen. With the score cards handed in we await the results three AA shooters get called for a shoot off at this point we realise Helen has won the day and is now the new Essex open champion with a big bit of glass trophy and a huge shield to prove it.