They are the physical embodiment of Murphy's Law.
But, they are so much fun!
Last time we talked about loose screws, this time it was a scope the one that caused a less than good performance. Even in a recoil-absorbing mount.
But let's start with the shoot.
DIFTA is a great FT Club, it has been running FT shoots for over 30 years. It has hosted Nationals and other important matches of International reach, like the "Mason-Dixon Shootout".
This shoot was interesting because it was planned and setup remotely.
Paolo was travelling and it was only through the good offices of Mark Mayer that we could have a shoot, as he set-up the field.
It was sparsely attended, but it was not surprising because the weatherpersons of several websites had been warning of a day of continuous rain.
Reminding myself of what my Norwegian friends say: "There is no bad weather, just bad choice of clothing", I got out the Ridgeline (New Zealand) rain suit and prepared to be wet. And what better gun to take to a wet competition than one that is set in a synthetic stock and is gas-spring powered? LOL!
I had previously received a scope for testing (part of the BSA Familly of scopes) and it had an interesting and, what proved to be a useful, reticle for low magnification ranging. It is a version of the Dragunov reticle that is marked 30-40-50 etc.
There is a lot more to read about this here.
SOME of these reticles are based on objects of 2,000 mm's height, SOME are based on objects of 1,800 mm's height, the latter ones are specially useful for airgunners.
I was not expecting spectacular results, after all it is a $100 scope, but the scope did provide some useful information and we'll be looking into these reticles a little more in the future.
So, having scoped the AM-03 with this little scope, off I went to DIFTA.
When I arrived, I met Dean Gumby who was shooting his first match, and shortly afterwards, Mark arrived with a chainsaw.
In relatively short time, the sighting-in range was clear and after setting it up, while the rest of the shooters were rolling out the strings, we had a good sight-in and after the customary shooters meeting, where Paolo made special emphasis on the safety aspects because of the new shooters present, we got the shoot underway.
I was, again, squadded with Vince S
Shooting the JSB's GTO's allowed me to distinguish my hits from the rest (they are the shiny ones), so I was getting good feedback, but scope simply could not take the 20 ft-lbs (yes, 11.5 grs at 875 fps) was a little much and it was going from one side to the other.
I have tested the scope since then in a 12 ft-lb D54 and it has fared well, much better, but still, it is a $100 scope.
We'll have some conversations with the makers and if they decide to bring out a really serious offering, I will let you all know.
So, when all was said and done, the scores were tallied and handshakes were awarded to the winners:
First time I have shot a whole match in AAFTA Hunter style with cross-sticks and I have learned a few things. I'll make some changes to my cross sticks and test some other time.
A successful test of the raingear (not because there was any doubt as to its "waterproofness", but it is the first time that I have worn something like that all day to test how comfortable it can be. Important in a real hunt, or in an international match.
The rifle, with a much better scope now, is shooting as it should:
Which is a remarkable result for a $300, basically OoB rifle, with modifications that can be made by anyone with a modicum of handtools and some knowledge.
And the GTO's gave a BC of 0.0214, which is not bad at all. I would not hesitate to take this rig hunting, especially, harder targets like Chucks, O'Possums, Raccoons, and Badgers; at 41 yards it is still hitting the target with more than 12 ft-lbs and at 54 yards it carries 10½ ft-lbs. and the hardness of the tin pellets would ensure a deep penetration.
I will keep on using sporadically this gun, whose ultimate purpose is to undergo some cold weather tests next winter, it is a lot of fun and a lot of gun for the price!
We may also start working on a 0.177" version setup for sub-12 ft-lbs, but as that will be an all-out FT rifle, we'll go a lot deeper into the modifications.
Hope you have enjoyed the writeups.
Keep well and shoot straight!