UKAHFT Round 1 – Quarry
Gary Chillingworth shoots a perfect score, with a springer, too!
Here we are again! It’s the start of a new HFT year and that means it’s time to strap on your shooting boots and head to Quarry Hunters in deepest, darkest Wales.
The UKAHFT – or ‘ the Nationals’ as it’s better known – is the place where you go to test your mettle against the best in the country. It’s also a place to see friends, have a great time shooting tin chickens in wonderful scenery, and enjoy great company. The Nationals is about competing against others as well as yourself, and we are proud to say that we are open to all safe shooters with all types of gun. We have categories from Kids to Veterans, Ladies, .22, Recoiling and the big kahuna, the Open class. We also have shooters of all abilities from top guns like World Champion, James McClachlan, to new boys like Danny Roff, who is starting his journey in the world of UKAHFT with his trusty AR20 (pictured).
What I love most about the nationals though is the fact that it’s a real family affair and it’s the perfect place for mums and dads to spend time with their kids. For instance, children like Riley Cheyne, his brother Darcy, and their dad took on the might of Quarry, and even though the boys are some of our younger shooters, they both scored a very impressive 37 – we won’t speak about their dad’s score. Quarry is the spiritual home of HFT and under the leadership of Peter Sparks it has always been the place to shoot. With wind delivered from the heavens and a course that has literally been hewn from a mountainside, Quarry is a true test of shooters ability.
Pete is a sadist at heart and even though this venue is hard enough to shoot at, Peter and his course-setting minion, Derick Stone, felt the need to place targets high on poles, and targets like peg 10, where the wind whipped through and you had to aim 37
feet off the plate to prevent yourself from missing completely.
The course tore many shooters apart, but I can honestly say it was one of the best Quarry courses that I have shot. I watched shooters like Nigel Wood knock over targets with his TX200, when many shooters with top- end PCPs struggled even to hit the plate.
Round 1 was sponsored by those wonderful people at Air Arms, and Perry Broad was the proud winner of an AA S400; there were also goodie bags and Flopover targets, plus £ 275 in cash given away. To see the full list of prize winners visit :- www. ukahft.com
Huge thanks to Quarry and the team – it was a wonderful day and I look forward to coming back next year.
A Perfect Day
I have been shooting for just over 10 years now, and it would be fair to say that I have had my ups and downs. I have been lucky enough to get into the top five at the UKAHFT Nationals series, and earned the right to represent Team England at the World Championships in 2012 and 2013, and then I’ve had days when I couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn.
The one thing that has eluded me over the years, is a perfect score; the HFT equivalent of a 147 break in snooker or a perfect 300 game in 10-pin bowling, the perfect 60 is what we all strive for.
As some of you may know, I recently ditched my Steyr PCP and moved into the world of spring guns. For me, this has reinvigorated my shooting life. I once again want to get out and practise, and I no longer rely on past experience and glory to get me through. Picking up a spring gun has opened new worlds for me and I truly love it.
These are my favourite things
One of my favourite things is to shoot the Sussex Interclub series, along with the UKAHFT and the Southern and Midland Hunters. It is one of the finest places to be on a Sunday, filled with a bunch of mickeytaking reprobates, the SIHFT is a home from home.
The new 2017 season presented us with a new challenge. ‘ Swallows’ has always been a great club, only let down by a ground that was on the bijoux side of small, but they now have a wonderful ground that on the day of round one was full of bluebells and tweeting birds.
I turned up at the shoot in good spirits. I had been working hard with my springer and I felt confident that I was going to shoot well. The week before, I had been laying the groundwork for an article on precision shooting and training, which is in this month’s magazine and well worth a read.
As we started, the gun was feeling wonderful. The TX200HC is a great bit of kit; accurate, easy to work on, and with a bit of fettling, very easy to shoot, and before long I was 20 targets in and I hadn’t missed.
Shooters around me were starting to look every time I took a shot and even though I scraped in on a few short targets, they were all falling over. With five targets to go, the nerves started to kick in and I started to believe that a possible perfect 60 was on the cards.
As I stood at my final target, I took a moment to drink it in. It was a 35mm kill zone at 40-plus yards, and there was wood in the way, so I had to come up the peg a bit. I pulled the trigger, watched the target fall over and then heard a small cheer from the people who were watching, and my mate, Geoff, who had been keeping me calm for the last five pegs shook my hand.
The perfect 60 is rare, and to do it with a spring gun is almost unheard of, but it’s been down to my friends who have helped me to develop my gun, and give away knowledge that has taken them a long time to come by. My spring gun odyssey has only just started, and over the coming year I hope to improve and learn, and just like my friends who have helped me, I promise that anything I learn will be passed on to you.
“the nerves started to kick in and I started to believe that a possible perfect 60 was on the cards”
Riley Cheyne with his S200 was enjoying his day
My perfect score card
Danny Roff in his first UKAHFT event
The Quarry dragon is the trophy eveyone wants
The perfect 60 badge from SiHFT