In fact, there have been precious little matches going on.
SOME clubs, like Rochester Brooks, or Connecticut Airgunners never lost pace, except for the absolute lock-down phases, but others, like DIFTA, have been forced by range rulings to only re-open the season fairly recently, when "Stage 2" of the opening up had been achieved.
All this to say that few shooters have kept pace with activity, training, or match participation.
When the news came that the North Carolina State Match was going to be held at Will & Ginger Piatt's place at Ennice (right at the heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway), I told my wife and we decided to make a road trip out of it. It would not be the dream road trip we had imagined in 2015, but now we would have a lot more company, LOL!
Besides, my niece is now in the last stages of her driving practice, she'll be taking her final in-car exam soon, so what better opportunity to have her drive the highway and night time requirements?
We set out on Friday and arrived late night, as we got stuck in traffic in two spots.
After a good night's sleep, I was packed and ready to go! Everything I needed was in the range bag, and with the appropriate rain gear (remember 2015? LOL!)
As is often the case, when you are best prepared, things are not too bad, or at least they do not LOOK too bad!
After an early morning breakfast (we were staying in Elkin, about 45 mins from the range), we got there on time, I got setup and started the process of shooting some pellets downrange to see how he trajectory had changed (notice it is NOT a question -if the trajectory had changed-, that is a given when you go from 500 FASL to 2825 FASL), as my MV had probably gone down from 780 to about 745 fps.
It didn't occur to me to check a chrono, I thought there would be a chrono station, but there wasn't. Should have checked. Now I am dying of curiosity! LOL!
As the match developed and as the rain came and went, it was obvious there was something not quite right. Inexplicable misses, POI changing all over the place . . . not the usual quirky behaviour of a springer, more like a schizophrenia.
But, never argue with reality.
I had been testing reverting to the DIANA OEM style of bedding for my 54 and it was clearly not as stable as the CCA designed one. At home in the backyard, it had proven accurate, but once different inclinations and positions where thrown in, the POI changes proved too much for the OEM bedding.
Anyway, I have reverted to my own design and hopefully, this will cure some of that.
The Match, as all matches sponsored by THAGC, was a hard one. 40 T would barely start to describe the deviousness of the MD, LOL!
But still, if you do not shoot hard matches you never learn anything worthwhile, so after all was said and done, we did have a ball, we learned a lot, and I think we will convert those learnings into experiences.
Rain gear performed like it should, pellets performed as they should. The gunsmith . . . hmm so-so. And the shooter did its best to keep a stiff upper lip and go through lane after lane of complete surprises.
Apologies are in order on the quality of the pictures, but I had taken my waterproof camera and it is not as good a camera as the normal one. So that, added to my limited skills as photographer, will make you think that the things were rougher than they really were.
Now, Let's see some pictures!
Will Piatt delivered a succinct and precise shooters meeting:
It would be interesting to see the difficulty rating of the course.
In true FT fashion, and in the tradition of all "Southern Belles", Ginger Piatt served us a bountiful dinner with Shepherds' Pie, home baked rolls and an absolutely fantastic "Eclair pie".
My family arrived in time for desert (you can bet the 3 and 4 year olds were happy about that, LOL!
Hopefully, we'll meet again along some lanes.
Keep well and shoot straight!