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AAFTA National Championship 2017 in November at Phoenix Airgun Club

February 6 2017 at 2:12 AM
Allen S.  (Login SRGTO04)

Here is a link to the information on the AAFTA National Championship 2017 in November at Phoenix Airgun Club, Phoenix AZ


This message has been edited by SRGTO04 on Feb 6, 2017 2:14 AM

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Bob D.
(Login MB-BOB)

It's been a week since this announcement... Do you hear crickets?

February 13 2017, 3:32 PM 

Normally, an announcement of the national championships would bring comments from shooters, expressing "thanks for the info," "look forward to it", "Shaping up to be a great event." etc. Instead, nothing but "cricket" sounds for more than 7 days. No replies at all. I'm thinking the lack of feedback reflects a polite "say something nice or nothing at all" stance.

Sorry in advance if I am too blunt. But I was really looking forward to this National Match (my 5th in a row), easily driveable for me and several others from Texas. But now, I am frankly stopped cold with several reservations.

And I am not alone. Instead of comments posted here, the underground network appears to be a BUZZ with complaints.

I don't know why, but so far, I have received FOUR unsolicited emails from nationally recognized fellow competitors. Each is grumbling about what they feel are RADICAL changes for the 2017 Nationals. Mostly about the exorbitant increase in entry fees ($165, up 88% over last year's $88), and the justification for the increases... To support a mandatory Sunday NIGHT Awards Banquet, but NOT support first through 5th place awards in the matches themselves (ribbons for 4th-5th?). Not to mention a "lots of forced position shots" promise, when the GP rules specify no more than 20 (total) for any match 100 shots or more.

Required attendance at a BANQUET that won't end before 10pm or later means the traditional "Sunday evening get away" is out the window. Instead, you will have to book your flight home for the next day, and stay an extra night in the hotel instead (still more expense). Take an extra vacation day from work on Monday, a day you might prefer to reserve for the Nov-December holidays. I'm retired so it doesn't matter that much to me. But most who fly to any National Match do so because they need to be at work Monday morning (rather than taking additional days off).

A formal banquet also means the need to pack more luggage... nice slacks, a jacket and dress shoes. (The banquet is to be held at a "Golf Club." ALL the Golf Clubs I know have dress codes.) People (especially those in shoot-offs) will find little to zero time to rush to the hotel to shower and prep then drive to the banquet. Those who skip the banquet to catch a plane instead (or start a long drive to the east coast) will feel even more jilted at wasting 1/3 of their entry fee. Trophies will have to be mailed, etc.

The question is crystal clear... Why a banquet at all that disrupts historical expectations? Also, there are planned mandatory, one-hour lunch breaks during each rifle match. This will push the finish of each 68-shot match well into the evening at earliest (presuming all goes to schedule)? Provided Continental Breakfasts? Snack bars at some lanes?

What shooter serious about doing well at Nationals wants to interrupt their match plan to eat all these heavy meals? I don't know of anyone.

Are we being invited to an airgun shoot, or a running, weekend-long BUFFET?

Other nits, like shooters may not reset their own targets, presumably not to handle the lines at all. All guns required to have empty chamber indicators (you piston guys will love that one). Makes me wonder if anyone in Phoenix has ever been to an AAFTA National Championship weekend to see what is normal or expected?

Phoenix says they want to put on a "first class event." Wonderful goal. But FWIW, my idea of a 1st class Nationals is a well-organized, well-run match, period... not the culinary trappings that surround it, or any other show. IMO, this banquet idea will be memorable alright, but not in a positive way if it means only 40-50 people attend the weekend (mostly west coasters).

I think priorities are well askew here, changes that will impose unnecessary inconveniences on ALL attendees. Based on the emails, I know of several regular attendees who are likely to skip this one unless drastic changes are made that cater to their desires, not the hosting club's desires. If I know of a few, that means there are dozens of others I don't know. If you are one of them, chime in here, please.

I hate bringing it up, but this discussion needs to start now...

I hope the BoG is planning to intervene with Phoenix about all this? The shooters rely on the BoG to represent them to the hosts of these matches.

Again, sorry for this rant.
[linked image]

This message has been edited by MB-BOB on Feb 13, 2017 10:44 PM

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(Login Boomer75)

well Bob, Since you started it, I will oblige with my opinion....

February 13 2017, 9:22 PM 

I am not attending this years National's for the first time since I started traveling for this sport 4 years ago. I have traveled to 3 GP events a year for the past 3 years and 2017 will be my 4th year. Unfortunately, I will not be able to drive for 2 days each way...attend a mandatory Thursday meeting(another extra day off work and in a hotel)...attend a mandatory banquet SUNDAY evening(yet another day in the hotel and off work since there is no way to get home for work Monday and since Monday and Tuesday would have to be driving days, that equates to 2 more days off for travel each direction for me. Most GP events I drive to are less than 15 hours each direction driving and this would be 25 hours of driving alone, so add another night in a hotel half way through the drive since we cannot drive 25 hours straight through.

That makes 2 more days off work before the match to get there. 2 more days off work after the match since Sunday is not a travel day. 1 more day in a hotel mid trip both ways for 2 more hotel nights.

All of this adds up to me not being able to attend. So now I need to plan my GP events this year to assure I make 3.

There is not a single person that is serious about their performance that will stop mid way through your event and have a large meal. Your heart rate goes up by 20-30 bpm when you eat and that is not something that anyone will enjoy when they sit back down to shoot. Most of the good shooters will pass on that meal and snack all day long through the match to moderate their heart rate and energy level through the whole match.

I have nothing against the hosting club. I just do not think they planned this out well. I think they want it to be a week long of exposure to vendors which is absolutely their right to do, they are hosting the event and they can do it however they like. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the event this year and for that I am saddened but that just means I need to make sure I have plenty of fun at the 3 GP's I do attend.

This opinion in NO WAY reflects on anyone aside from me. Nobody at my club, nobody at AAFTA, nobody else that I shoot with. This is purely my opinion and the reasons I am not able to attend the Nat's this year.
"I am not addicted...I can quit anytime I want...I just don't want to..."

[linked image]http://www.bagaclub.com/

This message has been edited by Boomer75 on Feb 13, 2017 9:31 PM

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(Login Ldog1012)

I hear crickets

February 15 2017, 7:52 PM 

Well, I guess I'm not the only one disappointed with the schedule for the Nats . I have done the Nats the last 2 years, and was looking forward to this one. Thinking I may have to pass this year. With the November date,The 4 days of driving, 2 extra days away, just gonna be too much time away from work. Oh well. I was kinda looking forward to another shoot off for forth place with ya Bob, but with no awards for forth & fifth, I guess that wads ant gonna happen any way.

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(Login Knobs)

Two thoughts

February 16 2017, 8:11 AM 

I like the idea of a get together over dinner. It's one of the things that helps cement friendships on our sport. I think it's worth it to help bring the sport together, and it would be especially useful when people visit from other countries.

WE're seeing FT grow in South America now, and Hector & I have talked about setting up an Americas FT Cup somewhere in Central America each year. His though was that it might be more popular if it was held in the US, and the Nationals format would be a good place to start. ( I'm paraphrasing Hector)

For that reason, I'm OK ponying up $50 for something I might not attend.

Safety: I don't think it hurts for us to pay more attention to this. Empty chamber indiators should be something we all use as a matter of habit. It'll go a long way toward making ourselves welcome at PB clubs that might host our events.


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(Login eboniste)

Re: AAFTA National Championship 2017 in November at Phoenix Airgun Club

February 14 2017, 10:21 AM 

What they said..... Sigh.

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Scott Hull
(Login Scotchmo1957)

Re: AAFTA National Championship 2017 in November at Phoenix Airgun Club

February 14 2017, 1:54 PM 

For those (mostly West Coasters) that have spent 80 hours on the road the last few AAFTA Nationals, I don't think 5hrs extra for a banquet will be a deal breaker. Total driving for this years Nationals should be under 20hrs for me. So piece of cake. Whether the banquet makes it worth the $165 entry price is yet to be seen.

CASA could have a good contingent as it's only 5-6hrs away.

Those coming from Maine will have a trek. Bill day - What are your plans?

I'm looking forward to seeing the actual schedule of events.

BTW: "Open" pistol is no longer an AAFTA Division. It's now called "Limited" pistol.

This message has been edited by Scotchmo1957 on Feb 14, 2017 2:00 PM

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John in Ma
(Login jroh1)

I'm not sure

February 14 2017, 5:45 PM 

I'll be traveling to Wales for Worlds. Money will be tight after that. If I can't fly in friday night, shoot saturday and sunday then leave sunday after the match for less than $165 it's a deal breaker. I've never shot a Nationals for the extra's. If they want to offer a match only price of $50 or something, no meals or swag bag I'll go no problems.

Edited: I just read the match details. No thanks.

This message has been edited by jroh1 on Feb 14, 2017 5:57 PM

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Randy Smith
(Login AirGumby)

Well, I've only been to one Nats ...

February 14 2017, 9:25 PM 

...and that was in North Carolina so I don't have a lot to compare to. However, here it is:

I was shocked at the price increase. I was planning to attend and bring my spouse. However, with my entry fee and her banquet fee, that ups that price to $215.00

The Sunday banquet means we have to stay again Monday night. Thus, another night of expense.

Elevation-I hadn't even thought of that so I appreciate the heads up. Perhaps giving us the elevation of the shooting range would be helpful as we attempt to compensate.

The 10:00 am start for pistol means that you might not have time to do pistol if you can only get to the range for rifle sight in on Friday. While I'd love to be there all day Thursday for sight in and shooting, I just don't think I can get off another day. I'm concerned about this elevation thing which is why the thought about range time.

I'm also against this lunch break during the match. Please let me shoot the whole match and then eat.

I do shoot springer, so I'm not sure about that empty breech thing.

Now for some positives:

Nice job on the range. It looks like you are trying to get your range up to World's standards and that's really cool.

Your desire to have a topnotch event sounds great.

Please consider the comments here.

Thanks for all you are doing to host this event. I'm sure all of the comments are meant as constructive criticism.


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Paul Porch
(Login paulporch)

Well here's my 2 cents

February 14 2017, 10:52 PM 

First I only started FT in 2015 with the nationals as NC my first grand prix event. This past year I competed in 6 GPs… Three in the South East and three in the North East including the Nationals in Michigan.
At each of these events the cost of the event was never over $100 even with Giunslynger, Pay day, Challenge and Quigley events at the Pyramid Cup. So $165.00 seems a little high. I guess the Banquet is pretty fancy to justify the added funding…??

The shotgun start is normal but to have 2 teams waiting at lane one, to enter the shooting pad, seems like it will allow the team coming from lane 17 to cool down, waiting to get to shoot.

Plenty of forced positions? Will there be more than is required under the AAFTA rules?

Breaking for lunch in the middle of the match is not good for me either for the reasons already stated above.

LAB Radar……. I have a friend with one and it needs a microphone to pick up the sound from an air gun. Myself and a friend have AZ shrouds on our Steyrs and the sound of the striker is louder than the exit of the pellet!

Thin air and faster FPS…. We need to figure this out and adjust when sighting in. Coming from sea level, we need to take a chrony to figure it out? If so, more stuff to pack, unless one is available to use for this purpose.

Thursday morning briefing was covered, and yes it adds another day to the event along with the Sunday banquet.

The 80 hour round trip is one thing but adding 2 extra days is a deal breaker for me.

The setup of the course and the facility are very nice. I appreciate the efforts in planning and putting on this event, as my club hosted it in 2015.
This is simply my opinion and take it for what it’s worth.

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Billy Dick
(Login ocedummy)

Good points and worthy of consideration, but silver lining maybe

February 15 2017, 11:14 AM 

Leave Tuesday get in Wednesday night after driving two days, Generate new range card for high altitude, attend Thursday meeting, then a bunch of shooting , then Banquet, sleep over on Sunday and drive back 2 day and get back home on a Tuesday. Gone a week, 5 nights in hotel for three days shooting at $90 per night, $450 total. Generally a bummer and deal breaker and I don't need no Stinki'n Banquet like the Extreme Benchrest guys had just to make a good You Tube video of the event. I come to compete for a decent tenth place score. Luckily I am retired so I don't miss a week of work, just time, although I may not have much of that left either.
Now on the other hand, or the good part for me. If Dye, Garvey, Day , Robinson and other really good Hunter PCP shooters don't come, I move up big time in the standings, almost too good to pass up.......I can almost smell VICTORY! It's good to dream or maybe sit home and save a thousand dollars.

This message has been edited by ocedummy on Feb 15, 2017 12:32 PM

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Bob D.
(Login MB-BOB)

What about setting a bar too high?

February 15 2017, 2:23 PM 

Connecting the dots, we now know that PAG hosted the 2016 Extreme Benchrest Nationals, complete with awards banquet, etc. They may think that the formula for EBR can be cookie-cuttered for AAFTA. I disagree...

I may be mistaken, but I feel that AAFTA Field Target has a different (and much older) history and tradition than EBR. Tradition in particular that accommodates shooters with an early as possible closing of the National Match Sunday afternoon so people can get to the airport and catch a Sunday evening flight home. In short, we don’t need to be like EBR.

A Friday-Sunday National Match is our tradition with which everyone is happy, since participation has grown year after year. Just in the last couple years did we add a Friday pistol match. Are we pressing our luck to add more events -- such as the banquet -- that extends the weekend further?

Something else to consider… Are we setting a precedent too difficult to follow?

It's no secret that there are only a few clubs with enough land (and personnel) willing to host the National Match. I know of at least one year when the venue chosen was “volunteered” only because no other club stepped forward.

Inclusion of a Formal Awards Banquet this year might set a precedent that clubs may feel obligated to follow in future. Among the last 4 Nationals I attended, not one was located near a restaurant/banquet facility. So, clubs might feel the lack of a restaurant disqualifies them to host a future Nationals. Enough to convince them not to bid for a future National Match at all.

I don’t think we want to see that.
[linked image]

This message has been edited by MB-BOB on Feb 15, 2017 3:41 PM

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Scott Hull
(Login Scotchmo1957)

It looks good to me.

February 15 2017, 5:06 PM 

I just read through the schedule/registration and I like it.

If a banquet takes up too much of someone's time, don't go to it. Many people already leave early and skip the traditional awards ceremony. The pistol competition was added a while back. Most competitors arrive late and don't do the pistol match. Those rifle-only shooters might view the pistol match as a distraction and a waste of time. As it is, I bet a higher percentage of competitors will be at the banquet than at the pistol match. I like to make the time for both when possible. If not, I can choose which I want to attend.

I see $2000 rifles, $1000 scopes, $$$hundreds for lodging, plane tickets or gas. If there's anyone that strives for a good cost/benefit, it's me. I like to do things "on the cheap". The $50 banquet is another expense (though small in the scheme of FT), but it might turn out to be one of the highlights of the week. I certainly enjoy the after match gatherings as much as the match itself.

Doing something special at a match could make future National match bidders feel obligated to duplicate the efforts. A hosting club should be appreciated even when doing a GP/National match that meets the minimum AAFTA requirements. It does not mean that a hosting club should never do anything special. Each Nationals can have it's own "flavor". I prefer that to a "cookie cutter" template. The AAFTA handbook only specifies the minimum requirements.

If there is something that does not meet the AAFTA handbook requirements/rules/etc., let the hosting club know. Otherwise, I suggest holding off on complaints. Go to the match if you can. Stay for as much of it as you can. After it's over we can hash out the good/bad. I'm looking forward to a great event.

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Mark Kauffman
(Login Mark.in.AZ)

A point of clarification....

February 15 2017, 6:05 PM 

Please note that Phoenix Airgun Club, and Airgunners of Arizona Field Target Club are two distinctly separate organizations and are not directly affiliated with each other.

I appreciate the emails and the phone calls regarding the fact that the AAFTA nationals are in Arizona, but if you guys have questions, comments or complaints, please contact their club directly. Although some of our club members shoot at their club on occasion, and that we did suspend our club shoots to help them get started a few years ago, I am personally not a member of Rio Salado Sportsman's Assn. or their airgun division, Phoenix Airgun club.

I cannot answer for what they do, how they do it, or why they do it. That is best left for that club to respond to. I have voiced my concern (again, based upon the number of calls and emails received) to the club president about the limited amount of space available and was assured by him that they will have room for all the shooters.

That being said, it has been suggested that I let everyone know this. Airgunners of Arizona hopes that Phoenix Airgun club can successfully host a national match with positive results.

Best regards,
Mark Kauffman
Secretary, Airgunners of Arizona

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Hector Medina
(Login HectorMedina)

May or may not go

February 16 2017, 10:41 AM 

it will be a last minute decision. But it has more to do with changes in my life than with the specifics of this Nat's.

In some ways I do agree with some posters, for example: If I wanted to spend $1000 in two meals I can easily do that by driving 1 hour into Manhattan and REALLY get my money's worth in the meal, the wines, the place, and the company. Even $165 would buy an EXTREMELY fine meal at one of the "Medium" (but still 5 stars)restaurants. So much emphasis on food and ceremony is badly misplaced, in my opinion.

I think it is good that the RSSC was kind enough to let us all know what they think and intend to do, AS LONG AS THEY DO AS THEY SAY.
IF I were to go, I now know that I would have to prepare my own lunch and meals because "no special dietary restrictions can be accommodated". Fair and clear enough. I will stop somewhere and get something I can eat. Since, foreseeably, that applies also the "Banquet", well, that just makes the price of the banquet a total throwaway for me. That is MY problem and I have been warned.

It is alright also to decide how many forced positions to use, as long as they comply with the AAFTA guidelines.

I am not worried about altitude which, by the way, is around 2,130 FASL. If anything, springers loose a little bit of power when you go to higher altitudes, so I am fairly certain that even tuning "at the edge" the dryness and altitude would make the gun MORE compliant than less with AAFTA's requirements. BUT, here is one of the main disagreements: AAFTA DOES have a tolerance for ME's and MV's, so, setting a "hard line" is completely OUT of compliance with AAFTA's guidelines. Another thing on this vein is the usage of the LabRadar to "chrono" the shots. LabRadar works by doppler measurements over DISTANCE. Measurements at the muzzle are notoriosly erratic with airguns, specially those that have been equipped to be "neighbour friendly". The best location of the trigger microphone will be specific to each gun and it will be a source of contention. MUCH better would have been to obtain a Caldwell certified Chrono (certified to be accurate within 0.25% of accuracy) for $89 (or several) and be done with it. The most advanced technology is not always the most appropriate technology.

Another thing that goes CONTRARY to AAFTA and WFTF practices, as well as being inconsistent between what RSSC says and what they do, is the mandatory hearing protection laid down on the Range Safety Rules and Waiver. Latest rule changes in WFTF have made ANY HEARING OBSTRUCTION ILLEGAL. In the meantime the Range Rules and Waiver is a LEGAL document you sign when you register. So, even if they say in the advertisement page that hearing protection is optional, they do put it as mandatory on their legal documentation; will everyone need to buy an electronic peak dB cutting device? It is not the same to issue commands over a 60 yard wide firing line than to make everyone aware over an 850' firing line that winds and twists over the terrain.

I do applaud their commitment to bringing "live results", though assuming that EVERYONE has a 3G or 4G phone is a little presumptuous. Personally, I do not bother about scores till I am done, so having them in the Airgun Building is fine.

The "floating squads" sounds odd, but in reality works quite nicely. I think that is also a good idea.

I would SUGGEST marking and numbering ALL TARGETS. They are already taking the effort to set out the pads and all the signage, numbering the targets would go along much better with world class shoots and is just a little bit more to do (in the grand scheme of things).

Allowing ONLY the scorer to reset the targets seems like a good idea. It will prevent all kinds of distractions and corrections. BUT, this should also mean that the scoring duties are rotated, and therefore the starting shooter should also be rotated. Not easy to do if you are not used to it. Common practice in Europe.

I would also like to see the promise to refresh the Sight-in range targets AT LEAST twice in the morning stint and twice during the afternoon one. I see a reference to a schedule, but could not easily find it. Given the size of the range and the facilities, I would hope to see that the "sight-in" range is kept open at all times.

Last, but not least, is the requirement for an empty chamber indicator. While this is a good idea for firearms and PCP's it is absolutely useless and, even dangerous, for springers (unless one uses a break barrel and I have only seen TWO used in serious FT competitions).

As our sport grows and matures, those of us with "Country Boy" mentalities will have to adopt to more sophisticated users/shooters and more competition than camaraderie. Simple human evolution. We have a decision to make, we either adapt to the cash prizes, the vendor areas, the "pomp and circumstance" desires of the cut-throat competitors or, we take a step back, relax and enjoy the shoot for what it is.
After all the stupidities that occurred in Lisbon, the current trends in the rule changes in WFTF, and the attitude of the current "leadership", I am in the fence.

Let's just say that I am bringing out my 0.20" cal D54 out of mothballs for the time being.


Keep well and shoot straight!


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Bill Day
(Login dayjd2)

In 2014 I traveled to this club .....................

February 16 2017, 7:35 PM 

For the Benchrest Nationals. Four of us forced all of our benchrest equipment in to a rental Buick Quest van and we took turns driving to Phoenix. It was a very long trip but we drove straight thru and 48 hours later we pulled into our hotel. We had a great time at the Benchrest event and we attended a dinner at the same Golf club I believe on Sunday night. The match was run very professionally and the dinner was excellent with some very nice toys for the top three shooters in each class besides the medals. We arrived on Thursday and the Match started Friday if my memory serves me correctly. I believe the match registration with dinner included cost was around $125. I shot three classes (Springer, Open, and HV Varmit) I haven't missed a FT National since 2007. I would love to go and want to go, but as Billy Dick said it will cost about $1000 to make this trip from my neck of the woods and would expect that cost for anyone on the eastern seaboard that travels with 3 to four other shooters. Flying is a option but plan on a higher cost if you fly. I'm not counting this match out but I might have to find a part time job if I attend the Crosman event, PYA challenge, and the FT Nationals. I do feel the hosting club should keep the AFFTA National tradition and award five places if participation warrants. I glad you guys on the west coast are getting a travel break this year.
[linked image]~original

This message has been edited by dayjd2 on Feb 16, 2017 7:58 PM

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Jeff C
(Login Dieker)

I think I need to respond. I am in So Cal.

February 24 2017, 12:09 AM 

I was kinda pumped thinking I could attend a national shoot for the 1st time. Maybee 6-8 hrs down the the 10 freeway. Get there Friday afternoon, find a spot in a field and sleep in the back of my truck with my huntin dog and shoot sat and sunday and drive home late sunday. I guess that's all out the window.

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