On Sunday 19th November 2017 I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in Match 4 of the Victorian Precision Service Rifle Series in at the Castlemaine VRA Rifle Range. This was my second match I was able to participate in for the season in this series.
As always the match on the Sunday is preceded by a practice afternoon on the Saturday. As I had adjusted my load slightly I took this opportunity to chrono my load using my mate Carso’s Magnetospeed V3. This load over a six shot string averaged a velocity of 2548 fps with an SD of 22.3 . This wasn’t my best load; however, it would be more than adequate for a match only going out to 500 yards.
That night the club put on a BBQ for those who were staying at the range. I usually camp so I don’t have to drive the 1hr30mins home. It also gives me a chance to catch up with some mates. For me that is a big part of these matches.
The Sunday morning kicked off with a Match brief at around 9am to the 48 or so shooters present, before the coin toss to see which detail would shoot first. My shooting partner for the weekend was selected to call the coin toss for our detail as it was his first match. Fortunately we won the toss and elected to shoot first as opposed to running targets and scoring down in the butts area.
The shooting serials can be found in the image below. This was a fairly technical match with lots of positions including: Prone, Prone – Unsupported, and Hawkins.
For our detail in our shooting pair I was shooter Alpha and my partner Carso was shooter Bravo. This allowed me to shoot first each serial and Carso to act as spotter for me. Even though it was 36 Deg C for most of the match, I felt comfortable. As this was Carso’s first match and we hadn’t managed to get any training in together I was happy to just help wherever I could. He was shooting with a brand new Tikka Tac A1 in 6.5 Creedmoor which actually belonged to his girlfriend.
I personally believe myself to be an average shooter; however, I consider myself to be a very good spotter. This showed in the match.
After we had shot it was our time to act as scorers and run targets in the butts. For some reason we seemed to be short of scorers and target runners which meant I had to score and run targets myself while Carso and his Girlfriend ran another lane. This tells me that there was more than one person, who for whatever reason didn’t come help down in the butts from our detail. I wasn’t very happy about this; however, I continued on.
After the days shooting was completed we retired to the clubhouse for a late lunch that was provided by the club and wait for our scores. For whatever reason I felt like I didn’t shoot very well and my rifle showed some inconsistencies. As this rifle is only 600 or so rounds old I didn’t know at what point my groups would start to open up; now I know.
Since this match I’ve done some testing and found my 100m groupings have opened up to over 3 inches, when before I was getting a consistent 3/4 Inch at 100m. I actually started to doubt my shooting ability at the match and put it down to a bad day of shooting. Glad I now know what went wrong. To further shore up my own self confidence with my shooting, the next day at work I was required to do my 6 monthly shoot with a F88 (for those who don’t know the F88 is the standard service rifle of the Australian Defence Force). I managed to get a 20 round group inside 32mm at 100m. (The standard is 200mm, most people average around 150mm)
At the end of the day the winners for the match were announced and to our surprise Carso managed to snag 3rd overall. Congratulations mate. Hopefully this is his first match of many and has given him the confidence to take it to some of the top runners next year.
After this, as it was the last match of the Victorian series for the year the overall winners were announced. Congratulations to the winners of the match and the series. You are all excellent shooters. A big thank you to Jarrod for putting on such a stellar series this year. I don’t know how you do it mate; but, it always seems to run smoothly from a shooter perspective. Also I would be remiss to thank the series sponsors: Huntsman Firearms, ADJA Tactical, Projectile Warehouse, Impact Dynamics and Low Vis Gear. Your support makes these matches possible.
Unfortunately for my shooting, I am moving to Brisbane in December. Now I have to find another series to shoot in in the South East Queensland area; however, I intend to return to Victoria next year for at least one match in this series.