FDPC - Tri Interclub Match
FDPC – Interclub Gallery Rifle Comp
Sunday the 7th of April was my first Gallery rifle competition of 2019. Whilst I have been shooting my Gallery rifles its fair to say I’ve not done any real training with the .22 Ruger or my .44 Marlin Underlever for some time. Of late I have been concentrating on practical shooting which to my detriment has definitely had a negative impact on my Gallery rifle results on the past weekend.
I started shooting in Gallery rifle discipline some 20 years ago at age 15. I was hooked, I loved the precision and different courses of fire mixed over Small bore and centre fire rifles. The boom in practical shooting gave me a chance to take that precision and use it in a world combined of speed and accuracy over an indefinite number of courses of fire shot in practical stages. However, switching back to Gallery over the weekend showed me how different the skill sets can be. I had not forgotten how to shoot a comp, more forgotten the drills and routine I had.
The Interclub competition is run between Frome District Rifle Club (FDPC), Aldershot Rifle Pistol Club and Monmouth Rifle Pistol club. This leg was to be shot at Aldershot. I have never shot here although I know many of the faces of the shooters who call Aldershot Home. The facilities offered are fantastic for the location. Particularly the fact they have separate 50m and 100m ranges! Coincide this with indoor 25m range meant the day consisted of varying courses of fire. The day was split into two parts. Smallbore .22 Gallery rifle and Centre fire Gallery rifle. Each club entered a team of 5 shooters with the aggregate top 4 for each course of fire being entered to the overall team event. Matches shot included Multi Target (SB & CF), T&P1-300 (SB & CF), 50m Precision (CF), Mini McQueen’s (SB) and Close Quarters Battle at 100m (SB & CF).
For this day I was squaded to shoot only my SB in the relative comps. Although I brought both rifles with the hope of getting a spare slot to practice with the Marlin.
The CQB is shot from 100m down to 25m. My first as with other FDPC members was none of us shoot our Gallery rifles at 100m. So after begging the Aldershot RO (literally), we were allowed to have a hand full of sighters see if we could at least get on the paper. The comp its self is a good one, simple, with a total round count of 40 shot at 100m, 75, 50 and 25m. The results however showed we clearly needed some range time at 100m and 75m to understand our guns and ammo a bit better to achieve higher scores. Without mentioning any names also acquiring the right target helps.
Mini McQueens is shot at 50m, a total of 10 rounds on a Castle Target with windows which show 3” targets at random intervals in random windows. Here was my first problem of the day from switching back from Practical to Gallery comps. Concentration! With a varying exposure of 5-20 seconds between each target presenting its self I found it hard to concentrate and keep my left eye closed on the scope. The reason behind this is I have trained my self to shoot my AR .22 and my LBP .22 with both eyes open! I managed to hit all 10 targets with an average final score of 43. Never going to win but for a first outing at the course of fire I’m quite happy with it.
Next up was one of my favourite events. The Timed and Precision 1! Total of 30 rounds maximum score of 300. Shot from 25m down to 10m I love this event. Here is all about consistency and where great shooters show their skills time after time. This event is so tightly contested at the top level that it often comes down to X count with the highest being a maximum 300 points 30 X. Today was not going to be my day though. Everything was going well until my penultimate double tap in 3 seconds resulted in a light strike and me failing to shoot two rounds. Waving good by the 20 points in this event can mean certain low rankings. Sometimes these things happen and from my experience this is the first time SK Match ammunition has let me down. I tried to console myself by jumping on a spare slot with the Marlin for some practice with that. First shot tumbled through the 7 ring….. clearly today was not going to be my day. Annoyingly if I had not of dropped those 3 points, I cleared the rest of the detail only dropping a couple of 10’s finishing with a 297, 27X which if it was a 300 would have walked me in with 1st place on the day by 4x’s.
Multi target is another fun completion which is as the name implies shot on multiple targets. Two in fact. With each detail requiring different rounds and round counts on each target. Not one I shoot often but it is challenging with the pattern and scoring zones on each target. A pretty average result of 110 for me out of 120.
Whilst my results were pretty average, I managed to take away a few things that I need to work on to raise my levels back to where I expect them to be. The main one being the benefit of training for the comps you are going to shoot regardless of what type of shooting. Skill will only get you so far.
It was a great day out and credit to Aldershot for hosting the day. I always love shooting against the best shooters in the country and there were many GB squad members there on the day. It has certainly inspired me to get back to my best and put in the hard yards required to shoot at the top level.
As a club we managed to finish 2nd overall with Aldershot in 1st place and Monmouth in 3rd respectively. Not losing 20-points on my T&P1 SB would have meant a team victory in the SB events but hind sight is a beautiful thing.