Ok ... Simon, Vinny and Tugg all in agreement.
I like Vinny's question about Bullpups in Olympic 10m standers. Fair play.
I think there are two ways of looking at this.
When HFT started many years ago it was born to give lads with air rifles a chance to come and shoot targets with whatever rifle and scope they owned. No need to go and buy a Star Wars rifle or a Hubble telescope to do well like in FT. No kit wars going on here. Whatever you've got you can come and shoot HFT and do well and enjoy the banter.
Now I can see an argument that if a newbie turns up with kit that is making it hard for them then that may put them off ... so it's best to get them using suitable kit from the off.
However I'm a bit worried that HFT may have lost a tad of direction here, or at least some of the lads posting on the internet boards may give some newcomers the wrong impression.
The 3 lads all in agreement here ( Si, Vin, Tugg ) are all the very top tier HFT shooters. Simon uses a home made custom rifle based on a BSA. The barrel will be remachined and polished. The action will be tuned/regged. The stock will be made to fit exactly how he wants it. The scope is a very small objective with excellent glass giving great clarity and depth and costs many hundred of pounds. I'm presuming Vin and Tugg both use decent kit ( I think Tugg uses a cheapo Rhino? ).
All 3 of these lads are capable of winning any shoot and probably capable of being a World or National Champ ( Vinny's already been there ). The Worlds at Kelmarsh are already sold out. Fantastic achievement again by the HFT gang. Out of those 360 that will turn up to shoot that 2 day event there will realistically be less than 10% ( probably 5% ) that have a prayer of winning it. The 3 lads mentioned will all have a decent chance.
So, for these lads, they want every possible chance and advantage of knocking down every target. They are competing right at the top of this sport ... and well done to them. Well over 300 people will turn up to Kelmarsh and won't have a cat in Hell's chance of winning it. Just like the many hundreds that shoot HFT every year, they will turn up and enjoy the shoot and enjoy the banter and have fun. They will be trying to beat their mate for p1ss taking rights and trying to beat their own PB's.
So not everyone shooting HFT is trying to be World or National Champion. Not everyone is worried if they are at a slight disadvantage on some targets. As I said, some shoot 0.22 and some shoot springers. I shot springers for 12 years or more. I knew I wasn't going to clear the course ( got a few 58s ) or win that day's overall comp if shooting a big comp. I was at a disadvantage on most of the targets. If I shot a NW course and came within a few shots of Dave Ramshead I went home with a massive smile on my face. I've seen Paddy go round with a camo painted Sussex Armoury Jackel with open sights and only knock one down ... and he loved it.
So Bullpups with high mounts aren't the ideal tool if you intend to be World Champ. I agree.
Here are two statements ...
A ... Shooting HFT with your Bullpup will mean that you may struggle a bit more on the couple of targets that will be under 18 yards. However, you may find it easier on the very long targets. You may find standers and kneelers a bit easier. Using a Bullpup in no way affects your right or ability to take the p1ss out of your fellow shooters or to enjoy yourself. The bacon butties and tea will be exactly the same price and will taste exactly the same whether you shoot a Bullpup or a Steyr, Walther or AA FTP900. Despite rumours your Bullpup won't take more wind than the BSA Goldstars. Come next year, no one will give a toss whether you won the championship with a Steyr or came 85th with your Bullpup. So come and give it a go, make new friends and enjoy.
B ... If you own a Bullpup, or are thinking of owning a Bullpup, and you want to shoot some HFT with that Bullpup ... don't bother ... it's not for you.
Oh and ... as mentioned ... the idiots will buy them to look hard walking through the wood in camo ... the sensible people will buy them for maneuverability in close areas like barns, thick woodland, shooting out of 4x4's ... and a few will enjoy shooting FT and HFT with them.