"I'm back in the saddle again!"
i've always liked Steven Tyler and his music, but yesterday gained a higher appreciation hearng that rock classic on my way home from the Bench-Rest Silhouette match at Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club.
I wondered how my seventies-vintage Voere .22 sporter would fare against the European target rifles used by most of the BRS competitors; especially given the new, LONGER ranges the Match Director adopted because perfect scores were becoming eminent at the original distances.
As if tricky winds didn't present enough challenge already, for additional perspective on the challenge (to anyone familiar with 1/10 scale airgun silhouettes), the PENNY-sized chickens went from 50 yards to 60, pigs from 67 to 75, turkeys from 82 to 90, and the rams remained at 100 yards. As the match wore on it became apparent the 90 yard turkeys were the most difficult to hit in the gusty winds. Having noticed no-one had dropped more than 5 of 10 turkeys, they being my last animals, I realized the match would be decided by turkey counts.
I missed my first three (by RCH's), but made the minuscule adjustment needed to clean the remaining seven and prevail for Match Winner with a 34/40 (of eight shooters).
I'd also taken a .22 Career air rifle (that I've been tuning for a buddy) to contest the airgun division. However since no other airgunners showed and it would have required a second relay for me to also shoot the airgun, I acquiesced in order to not impose a second relay on the match. So it remains a mystery how airguns might fare against the longer-distanced silhouettes.
During the match I asked the MD if he might at some point consider breaking the rimfire division into two classes, Sporter Rifle and Target Rifle. He replied in the negative. Now that sporter guns not only won but also took second place yesterday guarantees there will be no class segregation in the rimfire division!
That I recognized and rescued an (otherwise) unknown, overlooked and unappreciated vintage .22 from a used gun rack that can shoot with (and outshoot) fine target rifles in real-world competition is very gratifying. The vintage Voere has earned a well-deserved stock refinish to expose nice figuring lying hidden beneath decades of oil. Rather, I should say that as of yesterday that project moves from back burner to front! Another "labor of love" project; this time for myself.
My fall from "grace" in local airgun circles makes every (subsequent) success in various firearms competitions all the sweeter. Kicking technoid a** with inexpensive, practical and otherwise IMPROBABLE equipment is almost as gratifying in firearms competitions as it's been in airgun competitions. Emphasizing skill over "performance at any PRICE" is how I get my jollies.
"I'm BAAACK! I'm back in the saddle again!"