Gary Chillingworth and M.A.D. entertain some Dutch friends, prior to the Cambridge Diabolical
Gary Chillingworth welcomes some Europeans, despite Brexit!
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 email@example.com
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