Pub­less HFT - the lat­est fun idea from Mal­don & District, and Gary Chilling­worth

Air Gunner - - Contents -

During the win­ter months, it can be a real strug­gle to get out into the woods and shoot some HFT. The rain, wind and the cold can make old bones start to creek and groan, and be­fore you know it, a few months have gone by and all those skills that you honed over the sum­mer have started to dis­ap­pear.

So, this is why Mal­don has al­ways been at the fore­front of win­ter shoot­ing, and it’s found a way to not only keep the mem­bers at the peak of their abil­ity, but also raise some money for Richard Woods to take a nice warm hol­i­day and get out of the cold. I will point out that Richard has al­ways de­nied this and has al­ways stated that his trips abroad have in­volved se­ri­ous re­search into im­prov­ing HFT for the club, but as the pic­ture shows, I think he’s just been go­ing on a jolly.


The M. A.D. win­ter se­ries has now had three in­car­na­tions; the first was win­ter HFT and this was quite sim­ply a bunch of repro­bates in a field with high-power torches, shoot­ing tar­gets. Now, this was a lot of fun and there is no doubt that shoot­ing at night is a real chal­lenge, but it was so cold and be­cause it was tak­ing four or five days to thaw out af­ter each shoot, win­ter HFT was shelved.

Then in 2015, PUB HFT was born. This was HFT, but shoot­ing from the back door of a pub. This was a great idea; it was warm and af­ter the shoot­ing there was beer and food and it was oh, so civilised, but pubs are there to make money and un­for­tu­nately PUB HFT be­came too ex­pen­sive so in 2016 our lat­est in­car­na­tion was born – Pub­less HFT. Luck­ily, Mal­don has a very large plink­ing range and also a large shack to shoot from, so Richard de­cided to in­stall a gen­er­a­tor and re­mov­able flood­lights and set out a course. I will point out that both the gen­er­a­tor and the lights aren’t left at the club, so if you want to use the range at night, you will need to sup­ply your own light­ing.


You might be sit­ting there think­ing that this is just a bit of fun, or just a gim­mick, and to a cer­tain ex­tent, you are cor­rect – at least about the fun part. This type of shoot­ing is com­pet­i­tive, although mainly about fun, but it also has a pur­pose. The course uses 10 tar­gets that are shot three times; two un­sup­ported kneel­ers, two un­sup­ported standers, two sup­ported kneel­ers, two sup­ported standers and two prone tar­gets.

On top of this, every­one is given a copy of the ranges of all the tar­gets, so if you miss, it’s down to lack of tal­ent or not read­ing the wind cor­rectly. Giv­ing shoot­ers the ranges was a stroke of ge­nius be­cause it en­ables the par­tic­i­pants to iden­tify their own weak­nesses as a shooter.

For ex­am­ple, I knew that with my springer, shoot­ing prone was easy, but what I didn’t re­alise was how hard I found shoot­ing kneel­ing tar­gets. As I looked at my card at the end of the shoot, I saw that I hadn’t knocked down a sin­gle kneel­ing shot – sup­ported or un­sup­ported.


If you shoot a stan­dard course with only a few of a cer­tain type of tar­get, then it’s easy to miss pat­terns, but when you are shoot­ing a se­ries like this, you can’t hide from your short­com­ings and if you want to be com­pet­i­tive, you will have to ad­dress them.

Pub­less HFT is more than just shoot­ing; it costs a pound more than a nor­mal shoot and this money is spent on Jaffa cakes, dough­nuts, pizza slices and the odd piece of strudel. As peo­ple shoot, they grab a sausage roll and have a chat and it helps to bring the team to­gether.

There is no doubt that when you shoot as a team, you will im­prove. You can watch each other, and shoot­ers will help you with tech­nique and guid­ance. This is why Mal­don has be­come greater than the sum of its parts; this is the rea­son that we have be­come the most suc­cess­ful team in the his­tory of the UKAHFT, be­cause no mat­ter what your is­sue, shoot­ing or oth­er­wise, there is some­one there to help you.

I am glad to say that I have learned from the best in the coun­try, and as we move to­ward the 2018 UKAHFT se­ries, I have no doubt that team M.A.D. will fight the good fight and take on the best that the coun­try has to of­fer. If you are a shooter, be it hunter, plinker or bench rest wizard, join a club and have some fun and re­mem­ber – prac­tice and Jaffa cakes are what cham­pi­ons are made of.

“I am glad to say that I have learned from the best in the coun­try”

Richard on one of his HFT fact-find­ing mis­sions to Ma­galuf

The night time- crew. The pic’s not grainy - they look like that in real life A 25mm sup­ported stander at 35 yards is hard in the day­light!

Si­mon Vant uses an LED Lenser torch in the early days of night- time HFT

With some elec­trick­ery, shoot­ing is a night- time sport

Coun­try­man Fairs was the first spon­sor of Night­time HFT

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