Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Extreme Benchrest, Mesa, AZ. 104 degrees!!

Extreme Benchrest, Mesa, AZ. 104 degrees!!

Sep. 30th, 10:30 AM

We signed in for the match at Airguns of Arizona after a pleasant drive from Flagstaff. The retail sales part of the building is small, but has a rack of airguns to die for, or at least drain the unused portion of your credit card balance to zero. If you thought they  only sold Daystate and FX, be advised that those two brands only occupied about half of the gun rack.

More interesting was to listen to the sales staff talk to the customers who came in while we were signing in. This is not a scene that would be replicated in Pocatello, Idaho.


Yesterday I wrote that the first two relays of the 75 yard benchrest would be shot one in the morning and one in the afternoon. After reviewing the schedule we picked up this morning, we saw that they will be shot on friday and Saturday, but both will be shot in the afternoon.
I don’t think this is a big deal. Likely it has to do with the number of shooters and matches to be held. Over four days there will be five separate events some of which have up to five relays.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Extreme Benchrest, Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona

Arimo Dave and I arrived in Flagstaff just as the sun was setting over the mountains to the north west. We had driven 672 miles, 1075 KM, from Pocatello crossing over several 7000 feet, 2100 meters, mountain pases.

We talked about all kinds on airguns, mostly the ones we couldn't afford, but the major question was how will the larger venue at Rio Salado, and the bigger crowd, 200 vs 100 last year, affect the  the shooting regimens we had gotten use to  over the last two years?

Bigger is more. More shooters, a full size FT course An indoor pistol range and a 200 yard match for air rifles shooting cast bullets.

Most important is the expanded format for the signature 75 yard benchrest match. In past years, competitors were assigned, by a random process, one 20 min really, and you shot the conditions present during your relay. The winds were usually benign in the morning and became stronger as the day went on.  So the luck of the draw could be more important that marksmanship to determine the winner.

This year, constants will be assigned one morning relay and one in the afternoon. Then the top shooters from each relay will shoot one more relay at the same time to determine the winner. We are all waiting to see how this works out.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

IZH air pistol

IZH air pistol

Next week Dave and I will be in Arizona for the 2015 Extreme Benchrest. Dave will be shooting in the 10 meter pistol match where two handed holds are going to be permitted. Dave built a new rear sight and shot in our monthly 10 meter match. His score was club record 261-1X for our 30 shot match, but due to the two handed hold it, like some baseball records, is posted with a footnote.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pheonix Airgun Benchrest & Silhouette Club

Pheonix Airgun Benchrest & Silhouette Club
Ron Gill

Author’s Note: Pocatello, Idaho Mid-September, 2015. The Pheonix Airgun Benchrest & Silhouette Club is major presence at Extreme Benchrest. This year the club will be conducting both the benchrest events and the pistol shoot. In 2013, they worked with a software company from the east coast to introduce computer scoring to the 25 meter event. I am looking forward to shooting with them next month. This story is about Garrett, but it is also about the Pheonix Airgun Benchrest & Silhouette Club.

Garrett is the main sparkplug of the Pheonix Airgun Benchrest & Silhouette Club. I interviewed him while he and some other club members were enjoying the shade at the 2014 Extreme Benchrest in Green Valley, Arizona. When I asked him, “Tell me your story of the club”. .He lit up and the others shared knowing smiles as he started into his, familiar story.

Garrett at a pre-match briefing

Like a lot of airgunners, Garrett, he likes to be called Garrett, shot pellet guns when he was growing up. In adult life something happens and brings that bygone young shooter back into the present.

He told me that he had a pigeon problem long after the air gun of his youth had disappeared. He borrowed a spring gun. “The first shot transported me back to my youth.”  He may have told this story a thousand times, but his enthusiasm was as high as it happened that morning.

Now he had to have an airgun, and he went to an airgun specific store to look for a budget priced springer. The guy behind the counter read Garrett right and suggested that he might be more interested in something a little better. Equating better with more expensive Garrett said “You are not going to make a sale today”. He was, however, talked into taking a few test shots.

“I bit the apple,” he said about that first shot.The price of that upscale rifle was more money than he had, but when he shot it he knew he had to have it. That day he went home without an air rifle, saved his money, and returned to buy an up scale air rifle. The return to airgunning happens to a lot of folks in about the same way.

Where Garrett’s story takes a unique turn was when he went to an airgun match and fell in love with it. It wasn’t just the guns. “People love to be around other people.” The Phoenix club’s matches grew from five  to seven shooters to hosting the 2014 airgun benchrest nationals. “The Nationals were the accumulation of a lot of work,” he swept his hand to the other club members. Garrett is a people person. The whole club seems that way.

The benchrest matches in Phoenix started at 33 feet but grew to 25 yards, they to 50 and 75, and finally to 100 yards.  Along the way, they worked to offer a suite of airgun matches to offer more shooting opportunities to potential air gunners. They included matches that were shot from the bench, but used reactive targets like down sized metallic silhouettes. “They are a fine alternative to shooting paper.” This year, they built a Field Target range to round out their program.

You can go website to read the  details and see photos of their matches. Newly posted is a photo of new Multi Purpose Airgun Centers, under construction, and a airborne video turn of there new field target range. How cool is that!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

5 shots from a Daystate Air Ranger

Five head shots in a row at 50 yards. I suppose that irs not exactly Extreme, but that is where this gun is going.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Benjamin Armada Tactical Accessories 9-3-15

Sling attachment is just aft of the bipod.

The Armada has attachment points to hang all sorts tactic cool-goodies and make the gun exclusively yours. This is especially easy if you already have a black rifle, the muscle memory to go with it, and know what accessories you want.
I didn’t have a black rifle when the Armada dropped anchor, so the rifle came with a steep learning curve. Along with the gun was a scope, short picatinny rails, quick release sling mounts. The bottom and sides of the handrails were covered by long plastic pads. All good stuff but rifle seemed busy and crowded as I added them to the rifle.

The first thing I wanted was sights, I added a set of MAGPUL backup (MBUS) sights. They are plastic and after using them in several matches I found them adequate. For a 6:00 o'clock hold at 50 yards I used all the elevation they had. For a small sling attachment point that would not come loose I bought a MAGPUL QD sling mount. This is a socket that accepts a stud that is held in place with four spring loaded steel balls.
QD swivle plugs into the attachment.

The pads came off. The bottom one to allow for the sling mount and moving the bipot back. I felt the side pads detracted from the long lines of the hand rail.

I found that simplifying the accessories made the Armada more useful for me.