Shoot­ing for All

Pri­mos shoot­ing sticks give the dis­abled shooter an ad­van­tage, says Russ Dou­glas

Airgun World - - Contents -

Good morn­ing all, you find me happy from last night’s shoot at GARC’s Den­wood range, but sore be­cause I prob­a­bly over­did it, yet again. I know I’ll be back on the parac­eta­mol and Ibupro­fen for the next few days and it serves me right for throw­ing my sen­si­ble hat away once I’m in the zone en­joy­ing my shoot­ing. What fol­lows is last night’s re­sult, warts and all, fresh from sleep­ing be­fore any of it fades.

Af­ter hastily re­view­ing the Pri­mos Trig­ger Sticks for last month’s ar­ti­cle, it was no sur­prise when I de­cided to buy a set for my­self, to help me long-term. I chose the Tri­pod Trig­ger Sticks be­cause they of­fer the most sta­bil­ity, can still be used as a mono­pod or bi­pod – de­pend­ing on how you place the legs – and they can dou­ble up as a stable cam­era tri­pod.

Re that last item: I’d won­dered how the la­bel de­scribed the thread as 3/8” and 1/4”, and yet I couldn’t see how the vis­i­ble 3/8” thread de­tached, or was re­versible. Closer in­spec­tion showed that the 3/8” threaded screw was hol­low. You press down on it and, lo and behold, it sinks down into the trig­ger grip un­der spring pres­sure, and you have a stan­dard (1/4” Whit­worth) thread for cam­era mount­ing. I can see my­self us­ing that in fu­ture when out and about. Lloyd at BAR was chuffed when I mes­saged him about that fea­ture, of which he wasn’t yet aware.

SIGHT PIC­TURE

My goal last night was sim­ply to have a good shoot, es­pe­cially us­ing the Trig­ger Sticks more, and also reac­quaint­ing my­self with the awe­some FX Wild­cat, but more on that an­other time. Of course, I’ve now got ar­ti­cles for Air­gun World on my mind too, so took my cam­era along, and a BAR chrono’, just in case. Sure enough, the first phase was spent help­ing fel­low shoot­ers out by lend­ing them the chrono’ and con­vert­ing their ten-shot av­er­age FPS re­sults into FPE muz­zle en­ergy, so that they knew how their guns were per­form­ing.

Then it was down to ‘busi­ness’ – en­joy­ing a re­lax­ing, but test­ing, bench rest shoot, us­ing the trusty ad­justable 9”-13” Deben bi­pod. I set­tled into the sight pic­ture, watched the cross hairs dance across the steel ver­min

tar­gets, and the tank, and as I re­laxed, my pulse set­tled. De­spite be­ing rea­son­ably fit – rest­ing heartrate is 48bpm – I have a strong pulse and the cross hairs can re­ally ‘bounce’ once I set­tle into my shoot­ing po­si­tion. This ef­fect can be re­duced by find­ing a stable stance, the weight of the ri­fle taken more through bones and less through mus­cles, which naturally tire with use.

HFT PO­TEN­TIAL

I’m hop­ing to try HFT some­time, or my own ver­sion of it, if my body pre­vents me shoot­ing un­aided, so I gave the Trig­ger Sticks and my dys­func­tional body a proper test by com­par­ing stable, bench-rest ac­cu­racy with my worst po­si­tion – stand­ing.

I shot an eight-shot group (12mm cen­tre-to-cen­tre) off the bi­pod at 25 me­tres, and I know that the Wild­cat and I can do so much bet­ter than that, but I had an eye on the time, there were tar­gets to change, and I was ea­ger to see how I could per­form with the sticks. Also, I de­cided there was no point in us­ing the range’s full 50m ca­pac­ity, be­cause oth­er­wise when stand­ing, I’d prob­a­bly need a tent-sized tar­get.

SHOT­GUN PAT­TERN

Next, I di­alled down the zoom to re­duce the an­tic­i­pated off­putting move­ment, and then stood and shot an­other group off­hand. This was a hell of a test, and the crosshairs were danc­ing all over the shop. It was more of a case of partly tak­ing up the trig­ger pres­sure and then tim­ing when to snatch a shot, rather than do­ing things very slowly and pre­cisely off the bench. The re­sult­ing group was 97mm C-C, sadly more of a shot­gun pat­tern than an aimed group, but the first stand­ing group I’ve shot in many years, so it was to be ex­pected.

Next I changed mag’s to shoot what I ex­pected would be a much im­proved group, us­ing the Wild­cat’s fore end cra­dled in the Sticks’ rub­berised V-notch. I zoomed the scope part-way back to­ward the max­i­mum mag’ I’d used off the bench, as­sum­ing that the sta­bil­ity would be mas­sively bet­ter– WRONG! This eight-shot group (54mm C-C) wasn’t much of an im­prove­ment over the ini­tial one shot free­hand. Hmm … need to think/work harder here.

DIF­FER­ENT STANCE

I reloaded, and this time tried a dif­fer­ent stance; feet fur­ther apart and legs locked, to try to elim­i­nate the wob­ble caused by re­ly­ing upon my mus­cles to hold my­self stable.

That’s more like it! You’ll see from the tar­get cards that the group came down ap­pre­cia­bly, to 24mm C-C.

I’m sure all the above groups will im­prove with time and prac­tice, as my body be­comes re-used to the de­mands I’m mak­ing of it. How much they’ll im­prove is an­other ques­tion be­cause it’s whether I’ll be of any use at HFT – time will tell.

GET IN TOUCH

Thanks for read­ing, and I hope all this is use­ful to you. En­joy your shoot­ing and feel free to drop me a line with feed­back, and es­pe­cially with ar­ti­cle sug­ges­tions (RussDou­glasAGW@gmail.com). I’d es­pe­cially love to hear from fel­low dis­abled air­gun­ners with any sug­ges­tions/re­quests for fu­ture ar­ti­cles.

CRED­ITS

Thanks to Bri and Nick for kindly tak­ing the en­closed pho­tos, and to Nick for chang­ing the tar­get cards in my Tar­getAir tar­get holder/ pel­let catcher. He ad­mit­ted that he was partly do­ing me a favour, but also speed­ing up the process to re­duce the range’s ‘cease fire’ time, which I al­ready felt guilty about be­cause I was dis­rupt­ing ev­ery­body else’s steel ver­min-bash­ing fun when hob­bling down­range. I’ve got plans afoot for a mul­ti­ple-tar­get holder – watch this space.

Pri­mos Trig­ger Sticks Black­pool Air Ri­fles (BAR): www.air­gun­buyer.com

FUR­THER INFO:

For my new Flickr al­bums search un­der peo­ple for RussDou­glasAGW. These gal­leries hold higher-res ver­sions of the pho­tos in­cluded in each of these ar­ti­cles, in­clud­ing im­ages there wasn’t room to print. I prep’ and cap­tion the gal­leries be­fore­hand, and then make the im­ages ‘pub­lic’ once each ar­ti­cle goes to print in our monthly mag’.

I can see from this that my seated stance wasn’t re­laxed enough; room for im­prove­ment again.

Above: Not ob­vi­ous here, but by the end my legs were fur­ther apart and locked – much more stable, as the re­sults showed.

Right: Off a bi­pod, tight (12mm) group ig­nor­ing the flier -which was the first shot fired in weeks.

Trig­ger sticks, but re­ly­ing on tensed leg mus­cles (54mm group). Much bet­ter – 24mm group with feet spread slightly and legs locked.

Shoot­ing off-hand, even at 25m a shot­gun­scat­ter re­sulted!

Off-hand, as pre­dicted, all over the shop (97mm group).

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