S I have a “ bird new” talking about you are starting again to practice with a springer…..As you probably know, in Euskadi , the springer is the Queen class…Could you accept the challenge to compete with the best shooters , like Nick Murphy, Paul James or with some of the best Spanish springer shooters? .
I have been promising myself an Air Arms Pro-Sport for a few years now, and last year I finally got my hands on one. I also bought a Weaver T36 scope to put on it.
I have been using it when I shoot the NEFTA winter league shoots with differing levels of success. I am actually quite pleased with my progress although I have a long way to go before I can call my self a proficient Spring gun shooter. It is highlighting a lot problems with my technique so hopefully it wil make me a better shooter by using a spring gun.
I don’t think that when it comes to the big competitions I will be using a spring gun, I’ll stick to my EV2 for those. I am tempted to shoot the NEFTA classic with my Pro-Sport though. When I eventually make it over to Spain to shoot it could well be with my Springer.
S Let’s go talk about the training you usually are doing ….
b. Frequency and time
Type – A quick check through all the ranges and a few groups, I do try to take a few kneeling and standing shots too. I’ll also try to get the silhouettes out and shoot those as I find it more enjoyable than shooting groups.
Frequency – Rarely during the winter. Maybe once every 2 weeks for an hour if I am lucky during the summer.
Site – At my club on one of the rimfire ranges. We do not have a permanent practice range set out so if we want to practice we have to set up the range. The only time we shoot a FT course at our club is when we host a competition. There are not enough FT shooters at the club that have the time to spare that setting out a course for practice would require.
Obviously I have a practice at each competition I attend and I rely on the competitions (rather than practice) to keep my form. I shoot a competition about once every 2 weeks.
S Let’s to talk about the wind ….
Have you some rules to decide what correction to do in function of the wind speed? .
( As the answer will be YES, please, talk me with very deep details, for example: at 50 yards, wind from the left of 10miles/h . Correction?
at 50 yards, wind from the left of 13miles/h. Correction?
How do you estimate this gap from 10 to 13 miles/h? )
S Moreover to practice and to practice as much as possible , what are the main rules to be applied to manage properly the wind? .
I am afraid you will be disappointed with this answer. I have no idea how much wind is required on a 50yard target in a 10 miles/h wind. I have never measured wind speed, it is something you have to get a feel for. I can recommend about 20 years shooting FT competition in all weathers to get the basics and even then it is all too easy to get it wrong.
There are some common sense approaches to wind estimation though which I try to use. For example, if the wind is fairly light but is definitely coming from the left, aim just inside the kill zone on the left, NOT on the edge, if the wind has no affect on the pellet you will still knock it over and not get an annoying ‘split’ on the edge, but if the wind does move the pellet you still have about 38mm to play with.
Which brings me on to the next point. Accurate range estimation is critical. Get it wrong by just a yard at say 50 yards and instead of 40mm for your wind estimation to be out by you will hit high or low and only get say 20mm. Much harder I think you will agree.
Finally good technique should allow you to see your pellets land on the target (kill or otherwise) this should help your decision making for the next shot and so on.
Practice and experience, no quick solution I’m afraid.
S Talking about your rig. .
• Why do you use the float barrel?
I had a zero shift when I was shooting in South Africa (it was very hot). On my return to the UK I serviced my rifle and thought I would give it a try. The zero shift I experienced could have been caused by the scope or something else, it just made me think. It just makes more sense to me to have a free floating barrel. I wouldn’t recommend it just for the sake of doing it though, if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.
• What’s the power in your rifle?
At the moment I am using JSB pellets and I run them between 770 and 780 fps, comfortably within the BFTA limits, I don’t want to worry about failing the chronograph test and I don’t see anything to gain by getting close to the limit.
• What power do you use in the scope in the FT free positions?
My scope is a Leupold Competition series and has a fixed magnification of 40x.
S Any additional comment you like to do? .
If you have read this far you are probably ready for a break from me?
S And now the “star question”. When can we meet you in Euskadi’s Open ? .
Not this year I am afraid. My family Summer holiday has once again clashed with the Euskadi Open, and I cannot convince my wife that a shooting holiday would make a good family holiday with our young daughter.
Once my daughter starts school our holidays should be at a different time of year so hopefully then I can make it to the Euskadi Open, assuming I have enough money and time off work.
In all seriousness I would love to shoot the Euskadi Open as I have heard nothing but praise for the shoot and your hospitality, it maybe a few years away yet but it is on my list of things to do.
S As you know we’ll be very proud to meet in the next Open if possible.
S Thanks so much James for your time and courtesy to answer our questions. We hope your opinions could help a lot to some of us. .
I hope that I have answered your questions as you expected and that everything translates from my English fairly well. It is quite difficult to write down the answers and to get them to make sense in English but hopefully you will understand my meaning.
I am very flattered that people might be interested in reading about me and my shooting especially in another country, so thank you for the invitation to talk about my shooting.
Finally below is a list of the equipment I have owned/used over the years (as best as I can remember anyway). It may be of interest.
Titan Manitou (prize)
Air Arms NJR100
Daystate FTR custom
Air Arms tx200
Air Arms RN10
Logun Solo (prize)
Air Arms Pro-Target
Air Arms S400 custom
Air Arms EV2 mk1
Steyr LG110 (prize)
Air Arms EV2 mk2
Air Arms Pro-sport
Bausch & Lomb 6-24x40
Leupold 14.5-35x40 premier reticle
Leupold 18-40x40 premier reticle
Leupold 18-40x40 premier reticle (yes 2)
Leupold Competition 40x45
S&B FT scope (prize)
Weaver T36 36x40
That is quite a worrying list to look at as I consider myself to be a shooter who sticks with equipment………
The photo of the young boy holding a frozen turkey is me aged about 15! I must have won the turkey at Redfearns Christmas shoot and wanted a photo before it defrosted! Redfearns still give turkeys away at their Christmas shoot.
Isn’t it shocking how parents dress their children too?