Late last month, the team competed in the Texas state Team Long Range Championship. There was a total of 6 teams competing in F-TR.
The CoF was 4-man team, 20 shots for record for each member in a time limit of 63 minutes per pair of shooters. Rinse repeat for a total of 160 rounds on the target.
We had a bit of a problem putting a team together as some of our members had been poached by other teams before we announced we would be participating. So we managed to get hold of two other shooters, one using the equipment of one of our members who could not be there and the other was a last minute pick up, someone we knew from another club.
We had two shooters who had never shot team before and one who was using borrowed equipment. This was promising to be interesting.
The first match started well enough, I shot our two existing members to show the routine to the newbies and we dropped 3 points out of 40 shots. We were actually on track to equal or break the existing National Record, but we had new shooters.
The second pair started and the one who had borrowed equipment dropped only 3 points, not bad at all and he was taking directions very well. The NR was almost out of reach at that point.
The next and final shooter started up. This was a gentleman from another club and he was not following directions very well. We dropped 11 points. I had to challenge one of the scores on the board because that marker was plainly in the 10-ring (finally,) at 12 o'clock. The target was brought down and promptly came back up with a 10. We finished the first match and I was, way let's say, disappointed. But not as much as the last shooter. He was angry at himself. So we talked quietly for a while and he calmed down and took things in stride. He promised to do better on the next match.
As is my wont. I did not want to know the scores from any other team during the break. I don't care, I just want to focus on the game.
We started match 2 shortly after everyone had finished the first match and had a chance to regroup.
During that time, the front came in and the wind started acting up. The second match promised to be more fun.
We stuck with the same shooting order and after the first pair, we were down 9 points, where in the morning, we had dropped 3. I had visions of a train wreck coming up. The wind was really dancing and we had to be crisp in the execution of each shot. The various teams were asking about each other's scores so far and I just ignored all that talk; my focus was elsewhere.
We started the second and final pair. The first shooter, the one with the borrowed equipment, suffered from elevation issues and we dropped a further 9 points. Given the morning trend, we would lose about 15-20 points with the last shooter.
We had had time to talk and he got down on the gun, with determination in his eyes. Using my notes from the morning and seeing what had transpired in the prior three shooters, I fed him some corrections on the scope, told him where to hold off and we shot our first sighter. An X. My shooter was relieved and his focus only seemed to redouble. He was now a believer. We took another sighter to be sure and then we started rolling for record. We were going back and forth, holding right and holding left, and the shooter was following every direction unfazed.
I had identified a condition with 4 flags and we shot quickly in it collecting a bunch of 10s and a few Xs. Then on shot 17, we caught a 9 at 2 o'clock. I had hope to sneak that one in as I saw the wind direction was about to changed, but We fired and by the time the bullet got there, the wind had changed and we dropped into the 9. It was a close 9, but a 9. We stopped shooting.
At this point, I saw 7s and 8s on the other targets all on the right side. Everyone else had been caught also, but more badly that we.
I did a quick assessment during the pause. We had only dropped 5 shots so far in 17 rounds and had collected 4 Xs. I did not have a clue how we compared to the other teams, and did not really care. I wanted to finish strong and get every point we could get.
I told my shooter to just relax, we would be here for a while. By this time, he was having the time of his life and he had no problem lying on his back and just relaxing.
I was watching the other teams shooting in the new conditions and some were doing ok, while others had challenges. I was happy to leave our 9 at 2 o'clock on the board for now. I checked the time and we had 20 minutes left on the clock. We waited.
Some of the other teams were finishing and still we waited. Finally all of them had finished and we had 12 minutes on the clock. I had monitored the other teams to see where they were hitting. Even if I didn't know where they were holding, seeing the results told me if they were underestimating or over estimating the wind. The clock was running and still we waited. Then I started detecting a switch in the conditions and the 4 flags were coming back to the condition I had identified and in which we had a great run. With 10 minutes remaining on the clock, I instructed my shooter to load and be ready. He snapped to it instantly and I gave him a simple command: "One right, fire!" His rifle barked and two seconds later the target went down.
And was down for a bit. Then it came back up with a 10. I gave the same set of commands, the rifle fired and the target went back down and backup with another 10. By that time I had instructed my shooter to load quickly and be ready. I gave the final command: "Zero, fire."
And the final shot came up an X.
We had dropped 5 points only and had 5 Xs in very tricky conditions. Waiting had been the perfect strategy; we had fought for every point and got them all at the end.
The shooter was just so happy, he had never thought we could get 10,10,X after waiting over 10 minutes. We were the last ones off the line and there were many people looking through spotting scopes at our target.
We turned in our score card after getting the scorer to sign it and then we added it up and turned in everything to the match director and ran for the restaurant. Of course, everyone was talking and asking about scores and so on, I just drove home and waited for the results to come in via email. This match was occurring before the individuals which were starting the next day.
The results came in that evening and when I opened the email I saw that we won both matches. The first one by a single point over #2 team. Phew, that had been close and it should not have been because for match #2, our nearest competitor was 16 points behind, #3 was 22 points, #4 was 29 points behind , #5 was 30 points behind and #6 was 55 points behind.
I had worried for nothing but that's a great way of competing; don't get complacent and worry about other people's scores; focus on your own shooting.
awesome! I am lucking if i can hit the broad side of a barn while inside with a rifle
Thank you, and hearty congratulations.
“He who writes carelessly confesses thereby at the very outset that he does not attach much importance to his own thoughts. ”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
Good story. I like happy endings.
Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.
|One Who Knows|
I absolutely loved reading this. Congratulations NikonUser and team!!
The only difference between a wise man and a fool is that one knows it. Unknown
|Knows too little |
about too much
TL Davis: “The Second Amendment is special, not because it protects guns, but because its violation signals a government with the intention to oppress its people…”
It was fun reading that. It felt like I was standing behind the firing line.
Good work and glad you and the other shooter aligned well in that second match.
Thank you all for the nice thoughts.
Great report. Great life strategy. Focus on what you need to do. Forget about what others are doing.
"Practice like you want to play in the game"
|Retired, laying back |
and enjoying life
Thanks for what was once again a great read.
Freedom comes from the will of man. In America it is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment
Great story, thanks!
I really enjoy reading about your shooting events. Thanks for taking the time and please keep doing so.
Hi,I'm Buck Melonoma,Moley Russels' wart.
Thanks for the nice thoughts, everyone.
Next on the circuit are the Nationals in Raton some time in the fall. I'm very busy at work these days and not shooting much; the Texas match was about the only time recently when I did get to escape for a bit.
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