Gary Chilling­worth and M.A.D. en­ter­tain some Dutch friends, prior to the Cam­bridge Di­a­bol­i­cal

Gary Chilling­worth wel­comes some Euro­peans, de­spite Brexit!

Air Gunner - - Contents -

One of the things that I love most about the world of hunter field tar­get com­pe­ti­tion is the chance to meet dif­fer­ent sorts of peo­ple. In my years as a HFT shooter, I have met peo­ple from all walks of life; from Lords and ladies to truck driv­ers, plumbers and even a per­son who makes leather items that would make an Anne Sum­mers rep blush.

HFT is a won­der­ful fam­ily sport and its pop­u­lar­ity reaches around the world. At the World Cham­pi­onships (held at Kel­marsh County Game Fair) I am proud to say that I have made many friends from all over this planet, but one group of repro­bates stands out from all the oth­ers and this is team Hol­land; Leon Peute, Mir­jam ( Iron­lady) Stark, Cyril Van Gilst, Stijn Mohr, An­dries Sluiter and Matthieu Smal­le­gange are fa­mil­iar faces on the UK HFT cir­cuit.

Ev­ery year, they travel to the UK to visit Cam­bridge HFT club and take part in the Di­a­bol­i­cal, (the Cam­bridge Di­a­bol­i­cal is a shoot like no other; it is not un­com­mon to have to shoot a 15mm tar­get at 40 yards whilst stand­ing on one leg with the gun upside down). Usu­ally, when I say things like this, I am jok­ing, how­ever, in this in­stance, I am be­ing per­fectly se­ri­ous and this is why it’s called the Di­a­bol­i­cal.

For 2017, how­ever, Mal­don and District Airgun Club de­cided to put on a shoot the day be­fore the Cam­bridge Di­a­bol­i­cal, so that the Dutch could shoot twice and make their week­end dou­ble the fun. The course was set to full 2017 UKAHFT spec­i­fi­ca­tion and to add a bit of spice, those great peo­ple at the Airgun Cen­tre in Rayleigh agreed to spon­sor the event, with prizes for the top UK and top Dutch shooter.

As ever, Richard Woods and his team of min­ions put out a tough course and as we en­tered into the woods at M. A.D., there was an ex­pec­ta­tion of great day’s shoot­ing. Events like this are about meet­ing new friends and ce­ment­ing friend­ships of old and there is no doubt that this event cer­tainly did this.

Team Hol­land came to have fun and this is what HFT is all about. Leon and his group of Dutch­lings (Like Dutch duck­lings) bring a won­der­ful sense of en­joy­ment to the sport and they are a real as­set to the world of HFT.

The course was a su­perb thing to shoot and with my springer I man­aged a 46; how­ever, the top PCPs on the day were Richard Woods for team UK and Leon Peute for Team Hol­land, in the ladies, Jenny Stone was top UK and Mir­jam Stark took the win for Team Hol­land. Once again, a huge thanks to the AirGun Cen­tre in Rayleigh for their sup­port.

Im­prove your HFT :- The Scope

In our new mini se­ries on im­prov­ing your HFT, we are look­ing at ev­ery­thing a bud­ding tour­na­ment shooter needs to help them progress from be­ing an av­er­age Joe, to be­ing a winning Wil­liam.

Last month we looked at the sorts of ri­fle that a shooter can use and this month we are go­ing to look at the best scopes a new shooter should con­sider. As ever, if there is some­thing you would specif­i­cally like me to look at, drop me a line at garychilling­

HFT kit does not have to cost a for­tune, in the world of hunter field tar­get, big­ger is not al­ways bet­ter and hav­ing a scope that costs £1000 + can some­times be a hin­drance.

A per­fect starter scope is the Op­ti­san EVX 10x44 which I can­not praise highly enough. My tour­na­ment scope used to be a £1000 Le­upold, but the EVX is so good, I have now ditched the Leup’ and I’m lov­ing this £ 250 bel­ter.

The EVX is a per­fect starter scope as it has ev­ery­thing a HFT shooter needs; it has a great multi-aim point ret­i­cle ( hav­ing a good ret will make shoot­ing much eas­ier, as you can as­sign a dis­tance to each mark on the ret­i­cle). It also has high- qual­ity lenses that make shoot­ing in low light a breeze, as well as ex­cel­lent build qual­ity and a dealer net­work that has a rep­u­ta­tion for great cus­tomer ser­vice.

For HFT you need a scope be­tween 8 and 10x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion and that ideally has a multi-aim point ret­i­cle. 10x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion is the per­fect com­pro­mise for HFT; if you go higher than 10x, you start to re­duce your depth of field. One of the main rules of HFT is that you can’t ad­just your scope af­ter tak­ing the first shot. If you have a scope like a Nikko Stir­ling Di­a­mond Sports­man set on 50x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, you may be able to see the tar­gets from 20 to 24 yards in HD qual­ity, but ev­ery­thing else will be a blur; with a 10x mag scope like a EVX, you should be able to see the tar­get from 15 to 45 yards with clar­ity and the tar­gets from 8 to 14 yards with some blur. This de­gree of blur is of­ten used to help range find a tar­get, but more of that in a fu­ture is­sue.

An­other great starter scope is the MTC Con­nect. These scopes are de­signed to have a short eye re­lief and as you can see in the pic­ture of Rhyan Jones, you place your eye right up to the scope and this can help re­duce scope er­ror. Scope er­ror is caused when you do not have your head in the same place ev­ery time you take your shot.

The Con­nect has been used by many top shoot­ers, in­clud­ing the likes of na­tional cham­pion, Dave Ramshead and for ev­ery­one from a be­gin­ner to a cham­pion. They are one of the eas­i­est scopes to use, although some words of warn­ing; don’t use one on a springer, they are a short eye re­lief scope and you may end up with a black eye.

Next month we will in­ves­ti­gate how to get the best from your scope and how to set it up to make HFT eas­ier.

Leon Peute with his trusty Air Arms Pro Sport

The BSA Gold­star is pop­u­lar in Hol­land, even in GB colours

Best of friends: Mir­jam Stark and Jen­nie Stone

Team Hol­land were great fun to be with

The EVX is a per­fect scope for HFT

A multi-aim­point ret­i­cle is es­sen­tial for HFT

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