Friday, April 20, 2018

Field Target April 2018

Field Target April 2018

Pocatello, Idaho
Photo by Jeff

Raylene shot with us after a long absence due to the demands of life. But, she needed a little help with the rigors of Jeff’s RWS-54. Soon, There was a trajectory advisor, a cocking assistant (Being left handed, she really loves her left side cocking Walther ten meter rifle) and a target re-setter But, it is not just the gear or the place it is the people that makes FT fun.

Target number two was a snail of heroic proportions at 16 yards. See photo.

“Are we going to vote on the next shot”?

“I abstain, but she’d better shoot before it runs away”

“Don’t forget to lead, He’s really movin’ out”.

At this point, Raylene grumbles, “It takes a Village…”

“…to shoot a snail”

All present brake into laughter.

There are fossil snails found in Idaho that are up to three feet in diameter.

Dave                      27/36

Ron                        26/36

Raylene                                23/36

Jeff                        23/36

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Extreme Benchrest 2017

Reo Salado range

I am in Mesa AZ, and it is the first day of Extreme BR! Arimo Dave is with me and today we are going to the Reo Salado range to sight in and to see if I have a spot in the American Field Target match.

This match is based on the airgun Field Target format except that the targets are twice as big and stretch the maximum distance from55 yards to 100. Last year, my rifle failed to hold pressure just before the start and I did not shoot the course.  This year I lam back with different rifle, but I am on a waiting list for a slot in the match.

This year my rifle is a .25 second generation Marauder with a UTG scope set to 20 power. I will shoot from a stool and use a bipod. This set up has work well for me in Hunter Field Target.  

 Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Extreme Benchrest Speed Shoot

I first fired the Speed Silhouette match in 2012 at Green Valley. Sixteen 1/5 scale metallic silhouette targets are set out at 20, 30, 40, and 50 yards. The object is to knock them down in the least time. Each compotator I given three runs. One to get the feel of the match and two for record. Your better time is our score. At Green Valley the distances were 5 yards further and the times were kept by scorekeepers with stopwatches. The ranges have been shortened to fit the range at Reo Salado, and the time keeping is electronic. The range reduction is no big deal but the electronic timing eliminated what I thought was the biggest difficulty in the match.

This is not a match for extreme power. My Field Target rifle is a .177 and it has just under 20 foot pounds of muzzle energy. Those 10.5 grain pellets will take down a 1/5 scale ram with authority. They can drift in the desert winds so I have switched to a 30 foot pound .22 for this year.

This is a match of extreme speed. I remember in 2012 the winning time was 1 minute 5 seconds. It would have been under a minute, but he missed a turkey and had to fire 17 shots. By the way, that time was single loading each pellet.

In 2012 I shot extremely bad and didn’t knock down all the targets in the maximum time allowed. I received no times, but I was hooked.  We have shot he seed Silhouette match in Pocatello every summer since 2012 and count it as one of our most fun matches.

Last year they added an Open Class that allows the use of magazines. Single loading I can just brake two minutes. This year I will be shooting a magazine fed rifle.

I have to thank the Crossman Corporation for that rifle. It is a .22 Armada, and while I wanted it for its ability to mount sights on the picatinny rail and the mortice for the magazine is too narrow for my fumble fingers to load signally, it does just fine. Right now I am using the Armada to compare the stock barrel it came with to a Jim Gaska hammer forged barrel. The new barrel shoots just fine too. Take a look at the picture at the top of the post.  

The magazines I am using are stock. On Blueflax Airguns, I like to write about stock equipment. The stock barrel is fine enough for the sped shoot, but I plan to shoot the Armada in the 25 meter Benchrest too


Monday, September 4, 2017

Is Field Target Hunting?

No. Let me how you why.

Blueflax Airguns has been covering FT matches at the Idaho Field Target Club since 20010. In our last FT match this rabbit was set up at ten yards. It has a 3/8 inch Kill Zone. This target was hit five times and missed four times. Making it the one of the two most missed targets in the match. The other target was at thirty six yards. Take a look at the misses on the reducer. In the field target the rabbit t was “killed” only fifty five percent of the time. It looks to me that these 9 shots represent a 100 percent kill if the target was a real rabbit where almost any shot on the reducer would have meant more rabbit with dumplings.

Do 3/8 inch KZs have a place in FT matches? Of course they do. Small Kill Zones at close range require the shooter to have a complete understanding of his rifles trajectory. The work that goes into that understanding should earn that airguners a reward come match time. Also, those very small KZs are hard to hit and every match needs a few hard shots to separate the very good shooters from the good ones.

No, FT is not hunting, but it is a lot of fun.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Shooting a spring powered air rifle

To an Airgun Friend
I was aked the other day why an airgunner could not shoot his new Gamo and well as his "Old .20 caliber".   This is my response.

Those .20 caliber pump air rifles of our youth were the high point of American air rifles, and they still influence our approach to air rifles.

Those air rifles shot with a simple mechanism. A spring and a hammer are retained by a trigger. Release the trigger and the hammer strikes the firing valve stem, opening the valve, and air rushes into the barrel, propelling the pellet out the barrel. The power came from a pump built into the rifle. The pump pressurized the air before the shot is fired.

A century of shooting these air rifles left American airguners with a sense that an air rifle was like a scaled down .22 rim fire.  Now that spring/piston airguns have become popular, that sense has been challenged. With spring powered guns, like your Gamo, some new shooting techniques are needed for good results.

Spring/piston airguns have an entirely different firing cycle. They carry their pump behind the pellet rather than under the barrel. Well before the shot, a spring is compressed behind a piston. The spring drives the piston to compress the air after the trigger has been released. There are no valves, just two seals that only hold pressure for micro seconds. This is an elegant system, but elegance comes with a price.

The pellet doesn’t leave the barrel before near the end of the piston’s stroke. The piston can bounce off a rebounding wave of compressed air near the end of the compression cycle before it is finally stopped by the end of the cylinder.  This sets up forces that weren’t there in that .20 pump air rifle, and they all happen before the pellet leaves the barrel

You can shoot that .20 like a .22 rim fire. Hold it firmly from trigger squeeze to follow through. Steady the rifle on a tree trunk or a fencepost and it will reward you with a good shot. Shoot a springer that way and your heart will be broken. Springers aren’t bad. It only means that your shooting technique has to accommodate the springer’s Newtonian world of action and reaction.

Isolate the action reaction cycle with your hands. Grasp the rifle lightly. Let it pulse in your hands during the shot cycle. Don’t rest it on a hard surface unless your hand is between the gun and that surface. Generations of airgun hunters and plinkers in Europe have done excellent shooting with spring piston airguns, and you will too.

Good shooting,


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Arimo Dave's question

Arimo Dave had a question about my 30 shot group:

So, did you get all thirty shots off in 25 seconds?  😜

One question I have is why are your velocities a bit on the low side?


My response:

25 seconds is a milestone yet to be achieved.

Velocities started out at in the 850 860 range which is said to be ideal though the pellet in those statements are usually 18.1. I an out of 18.1s right now so I used the 15.8s. This barrel is suppose to be tight and velocities should be expected to go down.

I have not re-tuned the gun since installing the barrel. The thirty shot string was suppose to be the first step i re-tuning. Next time I'll try 3, 10 shot strings.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

JSB 16.89 pellets in the Marmot Militia barrel

My plan was to shoot 30 shots at a single target and measure the velocity of each shot.The velocity part didn’t work out,but the 30 shot group blew my socks off.

What first caught my eye was the roundness of the group even with an extreme spread of over 50 feet per second. 

I used a target Arimo Dave made to represent the short range stang shooting target used in Norway. Dave made this target to be set at 30 yards, so that is where I paced it. Score is hit or miss and hits within the white line are used like an X count for breaking ties. The target measures 1.5 inches across at the base.

All sots went into hole .8 inches tall and 0.7 inches wide. Cross wends and dropping velocities egged it out a little. My chronograph did not record all the velocities, but looking at the screen I saw a high on 861 and the last shot was 511 fps.The starting fill was 2700 psi. Measuring the group center to center I get 0.58.

Watching the each pellet rise vertically and disappear through the hole in the target was nothing short of confidence inspiring. This may well be the most consistently shooting airgun I have. I am looking forward to shooting it in our 16 target speed silhouette shoot and our 32 shot sporting rifle match.

I shot this group from the bench with a scope. When we shoot this target it will be in position and with iron sights. Stay tuned to for the match results.