The very first Gamo Forum’s Shoot-Out / V-FT warm-up event finished and participant’s results were posted on September 2, 2006.
From the very first invitation post which appeared on the Gamo Forum August 18th to the results post on September 2nd the Forum Match was a Gamo Forum first.
The design and development of the virtual match concept was a Gamo forum community experiment. Lon was one of the first to chime-in on the Shoot-Out invitation post along with Yote, Bart, Ken, Pennsylvania Pistolero and Liam. Others caught onto the event posts and threads as the days followed.
The original Shoot-Out post was a challenge to all Gamo forum followers to print and set out field target style practice targets over a wide range of distances. My original goal was to offer shooters a glimpse into the precision airgun sport of American field targeting. I was also looking for follow competitors to challenge as I develop my own FT skills.
The course design I imagined would be very similar to what we use at the Woodshed Field Target Training Range in Ellicott City, Maryland. The rules for shooting the forum match would not be official AFFTA rules. The target difficulty factor of 30T would represent a moderate difficulty level based on Brad Troyer’s scale. This course would be an eye opener for most Plinkers and easily rattle the best shooters who have never shot an airgun into a FT kill zone at 50 yards. A competitive challenge has a way of insuring some people to learn more, I thought.
As the design and concept took shape on the Gamo Forum a very different match started to grow and take hold.
Time was running out for me, I was about to log-off from the Forum and close my office to take my family on vacation. Many Forum Followers were already printing and shooting targets, by this time a week or so had pasted. The Official Shoot-Out Rules & Instructions had not been decided or posted yet.
Lon wasn’t buying into my idea or my suggestion of offering two separate challenge categories. He emailed some of his concerns about my original proposal and we exchanged detailed ideas. Lon and I wrestled a bit over concept, rules, structure and his instances on using a difficulty factor of 15 finally became the design for the warm up match.
I asked Lon and he agreed to take the lead and post Official Instructions and Rules for his 15T proposal. Lon took action with his, “let’s just get this one done” battle cry.
In the days that followed the Official Rules posting, Lon responded to numerous questions as match shooters got through the steps of his 15T virtual match. He coined the phase “Virtual Field Target” for lack of a better term. Lon reviewed, judged and scored all entries as they came into the Gamo Forum. This event would not have happen without Lon, his efforts were virtually exceptional
My friend, Ken “High Winds” Fawcett seemed like he just couldn’t catch a break to get a good set of targets submitted. He tried to submit a set of late target entries after the events drop dead date, but he was denied.
Mr. Chris Klindt showed some impressive shooting results in his 30 yard entry to win the 1st ever Forum warm-up match. His competitive shooting sports experience and comments are truly valued. His willingness to offer guidance to others interested in going from Plinker to precision airgunner is the mark of a real Sportsman. We all look forward in hearing more from him. Happily he has agreed to score the next v-match as the Scoring Judge.
Our Forum is truly a special resource for all airgun enthusiasts. I can honestly say that the Yellow Forums provided valuable data and played a big part in my discovery of adult airguns and the sport of American Field Targeting. A special THANKS again to Lon for taking over and getting the warm up done. It is guys like him that make the Gamo Forum a very fun community to be a part of.
- Rick Tucker
Amateur Airgun Enthusiast and Forum Community Member